It’s a new day in Egypt. It’s a new day in a lot of countries across the Middle East and North Africa.
State Department Spokesperson Victoria Nuland, June 26, 2012
Good morning, Vietnam!
Robin Williams, in Good Morning, Vietnam
The Arab Spring began on December 18, 2010 in Tunisia with the self-immolation of Mohamed Bouazizi, protesting his mistreatment at the hands of the police. The revolution that started in Tunisia as a result, then spread through the Muslim world.
But instead of Muslim dictators falling to Muslim democracies, as the media has consistently predicted, instead -- Muslim extremists are seizing control.
But maybe that's not such a bad thing.
At least that's what The New York Times thinks, that As Islamists Gain Influence, Washington Reassesses Who Its Friends Are
Barry Rubin challenges the idea that Revolutionary Islamists Taking Power Produces Moderation and Ends Terrorism:
To summarize the article’s thesis: before Obama’s election, the United States thought that pro-American regimes were good and radical Islamists were bad — but now we know better.Thus Obama invites Egyptian president Morsi to the White House.
...What makes the effort to talk seriously about the Middle East nowadays so frustrating is that the “mainstream” debate, as illustrated by the Times article, devotes no space to suggesting the following: perhaps the rapid rise of Islamists might be bad for the United States, and the outbreak of violence from Salafist groups, two armed cross-border attacks on Israel, or other events suggest that the threat had been underestimated.
That's Mohamed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhod, of which Rubin writes:
- In March 2002, the Muslim Brotherhood announced it had established an armed wing, eight of whose members were ready to be suicide bombers in attacking Israel.
- When an Islamist inspired by Brotherhood leaders’ call for his murder tried to assassinate Egypt’s Nobel prize-winning author Naguib Mahfouz, a top Brotherhood official testified in the terrorist’s defense that he was right to try to murder the aged author.
Morsi himself is calling for the release of Omar Abdel Rahman, the blind Egyptian sheik who is serving a life term for planning the original attack on the World Trade Center.
But other than that--I'm sure Morsi will turn out to be the best received guest at the White Hosue since Yasir Arafat.
Technorati Tag: Arab Spring and Middle East and Egypt and Mohamed Morsi