From Iran to Egypt, to Albania ... it's Muslim 52 card pick-up
From Iran to Egypt, to Albania ... it's a Muslim-inspired game of 52 card pick-up
Just as the news was around a year ago, the cable news channels are a blaze with news of another citizen uprising against a decades long oppressive regime. Last year, it was the democracy "Green Movement" out of Iran against the religious Mullah ruling class. The last couple of days have been filled with Egypt's unrest against the secular tyranny of Mubarak with many wanting to fill the potential vacuumed with their own agendas ... from democracy to strong man rule to the Muslim idealism of Sharia Law. Tunisia, Albania, Lebanon, Yemen, Iran, Jordan, Syria, Somalia, and Egypt (to mention a few) are all in a ruling class versus a country class (citizens) game of 52 card pick-up of revolt and the people being ruled need a beacon to point to in order to fuse the direction of this unrest.
How does this play in a world where the stalwart of democracy around the world - The United States - is ruled by as progressive apologists as it has ever been in its over 250 year history? Where is the beacon of leadership toward freedom and democracy when the ruling class here is busy trying to fashion a government healthcare, free-market commerce, and environmental policy yoke around the necks of its voting populous that will limit the personal freedoms to all in this country? Why are the current leaders in our executive branch of this 44th presidency playing around with its critical role in world leadership and abdicating its responsibility by having a foreign policy that is ambiguous?
This excerpted and edited from Pajamas Media and Michael Ladeen -
Egypt: Revolution? By Whom? For What?
January 28, 2011 - by Michael Ledeen - posted at Pajamas Media
As I’ve remarked in the past–but you can’t say the truth too often, right? — nobody knows what a revolution looks like. And in fact that last clause may be very misleading, because there is no one thing that a revolution looks like. Some revolutions happen very quietly, like the Information Revolution.
You can’t judge a revolution by its theatrics. Something real has to happen, something beyond marching, chanting slogans, and making demands. Revolutions end systems of rule and replace them with new ones. Is that happening now in the Middle East? I think that the Green Movement in Iran is revolutionary, and that, if successful, it would end the Islamic Republic and replace it with a secular political system that separates mosque and state. I think that the efforts by Hezbollah to take over Lebanon also constitute an attempt at revolutionary change, because it would turn the secular Lebanese system into an Islamic Republic. It can go both ways.
[I] Remember my Grandma Mashe: “Things are never so bad they can’t get worse.”
So how are we to look at it all?
The basic point is that most everything and everywhere is up for grabs.
There are lots of different forces in play, and in many cases there is no way to know who will make what decisions, let alone what decisions they will make. Orders will be given, some of them will be obeyed while others will be ignored.
Nobody knows how this will play out. Not even the mullahs. Everyone’s in a big hurry, and lots of mistakes will be made.
And what about us? We are supposed to be the revolutionaries, and we must support democratic revolution against tyranny. But we must not support phony democrats, and for the president to say “Egypt’s destiny will be determined by the Egyptian people,” or “everyone wants to be free” is silly and dangerous. Egypt’s destiny will be determined by a fight among Egyptian people, some of whom wish to be free and others who wish to install a tyranny worse than Mubarak’s. That’s the opposite of freedom. Think about the free elections in Gaza that brought the Hamas killers to power. For that matter, think about Khomeini, viewed at the time as a progressive democrat by many of the leading intellectual and political lights of the West, from Foucault to Andrew Young.
We should have been pressuring the friendly tyrants in the Middle East to liberalize their polities lo these many years. We should have done it in the shah’s Iran, and in Mubarak’s Egypt, and in Ben Ali’s Tunisia. It is possible to move peacefully from dictatorship to democracy (think Taiwan. Think Chile. Think South Africa). But we didn’t, in part because of the racist stereotype that goes under the label “the Arab street,” according to which the Arab masses are motivated above all by an unrelenting rage at Israel for its oppression of the beloved Palestinians. That myth went along with another: the belief that the culture of the Arab world (sometimes expanded to “the culture of the Muslim world”) was totally resistant to democracy. The tumult has nothing to do with Palestine/Israel and even a blind bat can see hundreds of thousands of Arabs fighting for democracy, as have their fellow Muslims in Iran.----
It’s quite clear that Obama is totally bamboozled. He has no culture to deal with this situation, nor does Hillary.
Does the intelligence community have people who know in detail who is who in the tumults? Historically we haven’t been great at this — the intelligence failures at the time of the Iranian revolution could fill a fat volume, with another needed to chronicle the failures during the following 31 years — but we’ve got a lot of Arabists and we may be lucky enough to have a few very good ones.
If we do, and if [Leon] Panetta and General Clapper know who they are, then we can try to pick and choose, supporting real democrats and thwarting the likes of al Baradei, the love child of both the Muslim Brotherhood and the Tehran crowd. Surely we know who he is. We should broadcast it.
Let’s hope there’s someone who can grab the president’s ears and explain the rules and the players. But the winning gambit — finally support democratic revolution in Iran — isn’t even being discussed. Paradoxically, this is a very good moment to endorse the Green Movement. I mean, if we’re going to praise the Tunisian and Egyptian freedom fighters, all the more reason to hail the true martyrs in Iran, currently being slaughtered in the country’s prisons at the blood-curdling rate of three per day. And that’s only the officially acknowledged executions.
So, having failed to do what we should have done for the past many decades, we should stick to what got us here: support democratic revolution. But not false revolutionaries. Remember Grandma.
Our leaders should be showing leadership to the world in our foreign policy and support for more of we enjoy over the powers of tyranny and Sharia Law to the masses and show the way to a better life based on freedom.
It is a game of 52 card pick-up, and as we can see with this Carter's Second Term over the last two years ... both here and throughout the Muslim world. We can be thankful that in this country we still have a modicum of public policy power through the ballot box and not violence.