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February 01, 2011

Also Breaking: Report That Mubarak To Announce He Won't Stand for "Election" In September; Russ and DrewM. Call Shenanigans

Update: More precisely, he will announce he won't stand for "election" later this year.

Sort of a decent compromise, permitting an orderly transition.

Of course, this isn't altogether good news.

A leading member of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt told the Arabic-language Iranian news network Al-Alam on Monday that he would like to see the Egyptian people prepare for war against Israel, according to the Hebrew-language business newspaper Calcalist.

More coming.

Chris Hitchens has a piece that's worth reading on this topic.

A people blocked from democracy become infantilized. They are not trusted to manage their own affairs. Like minors. And like minors, they are protected from the consequences of their own preferred actions, since they're prevented from ever taking those actions. And so insulated, they can fantasize about how wonderful their blocked plans would be if only they could carry them through.

And they tend then to adopt the bad habits of minors, self-pity, scapegoating, fantasy, magical thinking, "rebellion" against reasonableness and wisdom, and so on. 90% of the Muslim world is infantilized in this way.

There's a lot of downside to Islamists coming to power, and certainly on the whole it's a bad thing we don't wish to see happen. But, if you're casting about for a bright side, it's this: Their crude, childish fantasies will be put the hard test of reality. Like an experiment, they'll be either proven right or, uh, much more likely, proven catastrophically and stupidly wrong.

But this, alas, takes years and years. The mullahs still control Iran. Hamas hasn't particularly learned from its constant errors and failures. Hezbollah just took over a country (having previously only owned half of it).

American foreign policy is always incoherent because we talk about democracy and self-determination while knowing, to a moral certainty, that there are good reasons the infantilized populations of many countries haven't been trusted with such a thing yet: They'll abuse it, kill a lot of people acting up and acting out their fantasies, and generally bring almost as much, if not more, misery than the bastard dictatorial regimes which control them until the point of revolution.

How much suffering and misery does it take to beat sense into people? I don't know. I'm thinking at least 30 and as long as 100 years.

So America kicks the can down the road, knowing that it will turn out badly, but, frankly, in most parts of the world, everything turns out badly no matter what you do, because the people there are just stupid and cruel and short-sighted.

Egypt will shortly be on the road to responsiblility. But like children, they don't grow up quietly, and you can expect a lot of fights and calamities along the process of maturation.

Note: Commenters emphasize this is just a report that only Al Aribiya has, which hasn't been confirmed by other outlets. That's true. I said it's a report; I should emphasize that it's unconfirmed.

But, having said that, I believe it, because we've been hearing this kind of chatter and it seems the only likely resolution to this.

Update: It seems to be the opinion of the Coblogger Brain Trust that Mubarak's generous offer to remain president until September is not generous and will not be accepted. Drew and Russ both agree that September is too far off, and the Finally Exploding Arab Street wants him gone now.

They view this as an attempt to negotiate from a position of almost no strength at all, and will be treated as such.

Democracy or Islamist Totalitarianism? Yes Please! A commenter asked what the Egyptians want, phrasing it as a one or the other.

What if it's both?

Byron York has a useful article on the utterly incoherent views of an infantilized people, where...

...the Pew researchers found that 84 percent of Egyptians favor the death penalty for people who leave the Muslim religion.

In another survey, Pew found that 90 percent of Egyptians say they believe in freedom of religion.

The Arab world tends to be childish about defining things, as children do, in terms of different rules for me and different rules for thee. If you read York's piece, the only reconciliation for all these plainly incompatible beliefs (and there's a welter of them) is that they mean things like, "I support freedom of religion, by which I mean my freedom to impose my religion on you," and "I support freedom of speech, by which I mean my own freedom to speak, and my further freedom to stop you from saying things I don't like."

That reminds me of the Muslim incoherence on bin Ladin just after 9/11. You had parades in his honor, with people carrying placards stating two things:

1. bin Ladin had nothing to do with 9/11; it was the Jews and the CIA.

2. bin Ladin is the hero of 9/11.

Makes no sense. Why are the Jews and the CIA not the heroes, then?

Didn't stop the Islamic Rage Monkeys from screaming both.


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posted by Ace at 01:58 PM

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