I swung a golf club today for the first time in 2 years. Actually had some good shots- all things considered. Its like riding a bike, it all comes back. ( Including the hooks and slices).
It was a great weekend. The S.O. had to work for most of it-which gave me hours and hours to enjoy the peace and quiet, without her whining. As she gets older-it seems to be getting worse and worse ( as well as her libidio seems to be drying up and going away. )
I have been watching the news in Egypt with a lot of interest. From my sojourns to Israel, I feel pretty confident that the Israelis are crying no salt tears over Morsi’s departure. What they will be worried about is whether the Egyptian military can gain-and keep control. That remains to be seen.
Nonetheless, it is quite amusing to read the reaction of the conservative media and blogosphere to the coup. As my Canadian Counterpart took note of:
I carry no water for the Muslim Brotherhood, but there’s no shortage of supposedly conservative nonsense out there that begs responding to. Fox News Republicans and their moronic fellow travelers in the idiot blogosphere have managed over the last year, and especially in the last 24 hours, to be both hypocritical and hysterical. And like most bitches with the vapors, they need to be sent to their fainting couches for a good long time.
Although I thought it would have something to do with a change in foreign policy toward Israel, I predicted that the Egyptian military would depose Mohammed Morsi since he was first elected. Most of my freedom loving friends thought me a knave, a fool, or both. Y’know, because Obama.
The unmitigated balls of some of these people, talking about freedom in the Middle East! The simple fact is that the single greatest retarding factor for democracy in the Muslim world has been American foreign policy. But lets look at places where “freedom” has been imposed at gunpoint, specifically Iraq and Afghanistan. Are things looking good in either country? I think the consensus is that they are not. Any country that requires a massive foreign military presence to sustain its “freedom,” absent third-party aggression, is ultimately doomed.
Don’t believe him that the conservative media is being stupid? Then clearly you are reading Chunky Bobo or the Wall Street Journal. They both have come out with some of the most reprehensible sentiments expressed in public since Paul Ryan offered to gas his own grandmother.
Let’s start with the Journal shall we? They pine for the glorious days of Augusto Pinochet:
Egyptians would be lucky if their new ruling generals turn out to be in the mold of Chile’s Augusto Pinochet, who took power amid chaos but hired free-market reformers and midwifed a transition to democracy.
Oh, really? And tell me again how long it took? Oh yea just over 17 years. And when it happened it was not because Pinochet wanted it, or started it. There are two main problems with this line of thought:
1) It ignores the general desire of the Egyptian people not to become Iran. People tend to forget that Egypt has Western roots in many ways-not the least of which was the influence of that now despised creation that served many nations well, the British Empire. Most Egyptians don’t want to turn back the clock. Or become Iran.
2) These folks and the rest of their neo-con ilk ignore the fact that contrary to what they believe, NATIONAL SOVEREIGNTY MATTERS. This was the key flaw in the thinking about Iraq- the dangerous demon George W. Bush allowed to be loosed-”preventive war”. The transition of the Egyptian government is a problem-but its not our problem. Plus they appear to be sanctioning jettisoning voting, tossing ballot boxes over the shoulder as they strive toward some point about the difference between democratic “process” and “substance.” “Process” means holding and respecting free elections. Substance means making the results of elections hold.
It places too little faith in the Egyptian citizenry:
Voters can recognize when they are cheated. On the same opinion page as Brooks’s column was one by Shadi Hamid, who argued that the coup undid the hard work of persuading Islamists throughout the region to give up violence for electoral politics: “To limit the fallout from this week’s events, Egypt’s new government must ensure that the Brotherhood and its Freedom and Justice Party are reincorporated into the political process and free to contest—and win—parliamentary and presidential elections.” Brooks-wise, that would be cause for a whole new coup.
And that is a big problem. The Muslim Brotherhood is not going away-no matter how misguided they are. The choices are co-opting them, or executing them. Historically, option 2 never works out well. Just ask Mr. Pinochet.
Chunky Bobo is right when he wrote is column about “It’s not that Egypt doesn’t have a recipe for a democratic transition. It seems to lack even the basic mental ingredients.”
Well, yes-that is sort of true-Arabs do tend to fuck up every good deal given to them. But its not because they don’t know how to do it-its that they won’t take the initiative to dispense with the things that hold them back.
The track record of Arab failure is long and not distinguished. Algeria. Lebanon. Syria. Libya. 4 Arab defeats in 4 wars. Iraq-which was given an incredible gift, only to punt it away in their stupid tribalism and endemic laziness. Yemen.
However the problem is, that the United States, if it really means what it says about principles of self determination-cannot pre-ordain a better result. It has to enable the Egyptians to find it on its own.
And that’s what conservative commentators hate. They hate the idea of not being able to pull the strings. The idea of just waiting it out and focusing on our own issues just grates them to their very core.
But like it or not, that is the only prudent course right now. We did the same in Turkey in the 70′s.
Morsi failed. The best favor we can do his followers is not to cheer too loudly for that failure.
UPDATE! Regarding the Wall Street Journal, Charles Pierce is quite quotable in highlighting the hypocrisy in Murdoch land:
There are great reporters doing great journalism at the WSJ. Then, there are the authoritarian whackadoos on its editorial page, pining for the blood-dimmed days in which 3000 Chileans died “midwifing a transition to” democracy, just as the followers of Charles Manson once “midwifed a transition” to thoracic surgery. The operation of the newspaper is altogether like finding an artist colony thriving in the upper floors of Bedlam.