February 7th, 2011

Muslim Brotherhood? No problem

Nicholas Kristof says that the Muslim Brotherhood won’t be able to do much that’s bad in Egypt because even if they get elected, if the people don’t like what they’re doing they can just vote them out.

A brilliant notion, showing the depth of historical knowledge and the penetrating analysis that we’ve come to expect from a renowned columnist writing for the NY Times.

In other words: has Kristof never heard of what actually happened, and is happening, in Iran? Can the dissatisfied people just vote the mullahs out?

Or how about Venezuela and Chavez? Or any number of “democracies” that were hijacked by tyranny? And does he know of the “constitutional” manner in which it was usually accomplished? Has he never heard the expression “one person, one vote, one time?”

Does he understand that, unless there are numerous safeguards built into a political system, the will of the people can be overrun quite easily? Or that they can vote themselves into giving it up? Is he aware of how our own Founding Fathers studied and thought and argued and wrote until they came up with a brilliant system that is probably the best one devised so far to prevent this, but still not foolproof?

Does he—or President Obama, for that matter, who breezily assures us that the Muslim Brotherhood doesn’t have majority support—understand that in a parliamentary system, even 30% support can easily make a party the largest and most powerful voting bloc, and a huge force to be reckoned with?

Does he understand—anything?

28 Responses to “Muslim Brotherhood? No problem”

  1. I R A Darth Aggie Says:

    if the people don’t like what they’re doing they can just vote them out

    Hamas is on line 1…that whole voting thing? overrated!

  2. Bob from Virginia Says:

    One of the most pleasant discoveries of the blogosphere is the discovery that the unlettered, vulgar, uninformed and neanderthal masses are more insightful and articulate than the punditry. There appears to be an inverse relationship between the status of the pundit and his professional wisdom. Their take on the Moslem Brotherhood is just the latest example. During the dark days of the Iraq war I was sure that success was inevitable simply because the pundits were unanimous in predicting defeat.

    Orwell noted that these insightful minds look at the present and assume that is what the future will be like. They declare change while predicting that things will remain the same.

  3. Bob from Virginia Says:

    I have to mention this; While we are on the subject of untermenschen daring to speak I noticed Sarah Palin is a master at delicately and gracefully ripping bodies apart. She noted recently that the opinion media is becoming irrelevant. What a nice way of reminding them of their present and future.

  4. Artfldgr Says:

    Does he understand—anything?

    he understands that there is more money to say waht he says than to actually learn, study, know history, and comment on it extensively

    how do i know? easy… he makes a living doing the former, and i get racked for doing the latter and no pay.

    ergo… ipso facto…

    better to spout inanities than merit when being full of merit and part of a meritocracy is being an oppressor in an oppressive state.

    he is not being measured by merit

    but by how well he can repackage and regurgitate party positions

    the fact we cant realize it, grasp it, hold it, and make it part of our assessments and such, shows how deep we have gone and how far such can move unopposed.

    we are way beyond the point of no return without the pain of realizing and excising those things which we no longer can excise…

  5. Richard Aubrey Says:

    Of course he understands. But, like a few trolls on this blog and elsewhere, and various politicians and pundits, he presumes we don’t.

  6. Artfldgr Says:

    Egypt’s time for change is now: Obama
    http://www.cbc.ca/world/story/2011/02/06/egypt.html

    The president also played down expectations that Egypt’s most organized opposition group, the Muslim Brotherhood, would take a major role in a new government, reasoning they are only “one faction in Egypt” and did not have majority support in the North African nation.

    Obama’s remarks came after Egypt’s Vice-President Omar Suleiman convened talks there with opposition groups, including the Muslim Brotherhood.

  7. Artfldgr Says:

    U.S. mends frosty relations with Al Jazeera

    The Obama administration is making an effort to ease tensions, getting its officials on the network, which has an audience of about 60 million and is seen as widely influential in the Middle East.

  8. vanderleun Says:

    What you’re hearing in that quote is the Repubocrat Party Line.

  9. Artfldgr Says:

    Nothing Learned
    By David Warren
    http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2011/02/06/nothing_learned_108796.html

    For history buffs, there is one parallel between 2011 and 1952, when King Farouk was bundled off to Italy, via Monaco. (A big bundle, for he had become in his Khedival office a very fat man.) And that was the strenuous operation behind the scenes, of Western powers including the CIA, to pull the rug from under him. Then, as now, the West plotted to deliver the country into the hands of our own worst enemies.

  10. Ray Says:

    Nothing new here. Remember in 1975 the Democrats in congress voted to cut funding to our allies in SE Asia. Chris Dodd said on the floor of congress that the Cambodians would be better off under Pol Pot.

  11. Bob from Virginia Says:

    “Does he understand—anything?’
    Perhaps he does understand everything and seeks the end that this will almost inevitably lead to. He made it clear that the US reeks of sin, remember the apologies, and that he seeks to expunge this sin; perhaps this is part of the redemption process, or it could a be an effort to hurt America, a result of the hatred and contempt he, as a superman, feels for the US, a nation of self-governing rubes and bigots.

    Thanks to dear leader psychoanalysis may replace baseball as the national pastime.

  12. Beverly Says:

    Here’s Ben Stein, making a related point: “Between Mubarak and a Hard Place”:
    http://spectator.org/archives/2011/02/07/between-mubarak-and-a-hard-pla

    And Mark Steyn on the radio today was pointing out that Egypt has an appalling +91% rate of female genital mutilation — down from 97% before Mubarak outlawed it. He also noted that there are almost no WOMEN in the demonstrations, unlike in Iran and Lebanon. Which means we’re looking at a coup by a largely young, Muslim male population in the urban centers.

    Great.

  13. Beverly Says:

    Stein: “Has no one noticed that in all of the recent political changes in the Arab states, power going to persons largely sympathetic to Iran is a constant? Has anyone noticed how Mohamed ElBaradei endlessly carried water for Iran about nuclear arms when he was at the UN supposedly trying to stop nuke proliferation?

    “This is not going to end well for the U.S. and the air of breathless (that word again, sorry!) expectation from the newscasters that Egypt and the whole Mideast will turn out to be like Minnesota simply has no precedent in history.

    Next, how is it that hardly anyone is pointing out except in conservative talk radio that when there was a real democratic outpouring in the streets of Iran, an attempted revolution against the dictatorship of the Holocaust-denying, America-hating, nuclear weapons–seeking Ahmadinejad in Iran, and Iran suppressed it with gunfire, Barack Obama said not a word. He totally ignored the young people trying to make Iran into a democracy. (Iran is the one place in the Mideast besides Israel where there are a lot of pro-American young people.) He tried to kiss up to Ahmadinejad with the blood of pro-democracy youth.

    “But when our (sort of) pal in Egypt, Hosni Mubarak, is under siege, Obama treats him like a whipping boy. This is the classic liberal ploy of appeasing our enemies and snubbing our friends. It is foolish and does not look nice. It says very bad things about us as a people and nation. It is just plain craven.”

  14. Mike Mc. Says:

    Obama wants a re-election/historical headline: I was the one who did Egypt’s Democracy.

    The MSM will give it to him. They’ve already written it.

    Egypt will almost never be mentioned again after roughly this coming March.

  15. Richard Aubrey Says:

    After the Russian Revolution there was the proto-democratic parliament called the Duma–which is what the current one is called. It was destroyed by Lenin, and, as he said cheerfully, “a battalion of Lettish sharpshooters”. The latter were one of the ethnically distinct units raised by somebody or other to fight during and on the fringes of WW I, and among the various forces along the Baltic.
    The folks willing to kill their fellow citizens will get the government. That would be the MB, and not the kids in the streets.
    I see el Baradei said Israel had a treaty with Mubarak, not with the Egyptian people. And he’s the good–relatively–guy.

  16. Bob from Virginia Says:

    Beverly wrote “+91% rate of female genital mutilation”.

    How could anyone get a statistic like that?

  17. Sergey Says:

    “How could anyone get a statistic like that?”
    Since the campaign against FGM was launched by the First Lady of Egypt, Mubarak’s wife, she certainly could gather all needed information demanding medical personal to inform her.

  18. Parker Says:

    Bob from VA:

    “Thanks to dear leader psychoanalysis may replace baseball as the national pastime.”

    Them be fighting words for sure.

  19. Parker Says:

    I’m definitely not a fan of the Clintons, but I have always considered them to be somewhat astute and capable of realizing which way the wind blows. Bill & Hillary must realize that this situation is likely to crash and burn when the MB wields major influence if not outright control in Egypt. So, I am curious as to why Hillary hasn’t announced some pressing need to leave the administration. How can she not realize she will be left holding the bag if things go south? One thing is for certain, Obama isn’t going to take the fall for “losing Egypt”. The MSM will see to that.

  20. Bob from Virginia Says:

    Parker, very good point. I always wondered why Hillary gave up a Senate seat with presidential possibilities to serve in an administration that was bound to crash and burn. They were close enough to Obama to see he was a fraud. How many Secretaries of State ever became President? It is indeed a mystery.

  21. kaba Says:

    Iran has certainly supplied the MB with a significant cache of weapons. And is there any doubt that they have the will to use those weapons to further their position. Those weapons plus a willingness to use them will make the MB a majority in any election.

  22. Terrye Says:

    I am worried about the Muslim Brotherhood, but I am also concerned about the fact that some people seem to think that there are two kinds of people in Egypt, pro Mubarak people who are not Islamists and everyone else who is.

    The truth is the MB represents about 20% of the population. The Copts represent about 18%. And there are all kinds of people in between.

    In fact one opposition leader, Ayman Nour was imprisoned by Mubarak in 2005 for no other reason than the fact that Mubarak is an autocratic thug who will tolerate no opposition, democratic or otherwise.

    I saw this at wikileaks, I know wikileaks can be questionable, but I don’t think there is much debate about the truthfulness of this account:

    On the day of Nour’s guilty verdict and sentencing, the White House Press Secretary released the following statement denouncing the government’s action:[6]

    The United States is deeply troubled by the conviction today of Egyptian politician Ayman Nour by an Egyptian court. The conviction of Mr. Nour, the runner-up in Egypt’s 2005 presidential elections, calls into question Egypt’s commitment to democracy, freedom, and the rule of law. We are also disturbed by reports that Mr. Nour’s health has seriously declined due to the hunger strike on which he has embarked in protest of the conditions of his trial and detention. The United States calls upon the Egyptian government to act under the laws of Egypt in the spirit of its professed desire for increased political openness and dialogue within Egyptian society, and out of humanitarian concern, to release Mr. Nour from detention.

    In February 2006, Rice visited Hosni Mubarak yet never spoke Nour’s name publicly. When asked about him at a news conference, she referred to his situation as one of Egypt’s setbacks. Days later, Mubarak told a government newspaper that Rice “didn’t bring up difficult issues or ask to change anything.” From prison, Nour stated “I pay the price when [Rice] speaks [of me], and I pay the price when she doesn’t,” Nour said. “But what’s happening to me now is a message to everybody.”[7]

    In June 2007 President Bush, speaking at a conference of dissidents in the Czech Republic, revisited the issue of Ayman Nour, saying:[8]

    There are many dissidents who couldn’t join us because they are being unjustly imprisoned or held under house arrest. I look forward to the day when a conference like this one include Alexander Kozulin of Belarus, Aung San Suu Kyi of Burma, Oscar Elias Biscet of Cuba, Father Nguyen Van Ly of Vietnam, Ayman Nour of Egypt. (Applause.) The daughter of one of these political prisoners is in this room. I would like to say to her, and all the families: I thank you for your courage. I pray for your comfort and strength. And I call for the immediate and unconditional release of your loved ones. … I have asked Secretary Rice to send a directive to every U.S. ambassador in an un-free nation: Seek out and meet with activists for democracy. Seek out those who demand human rights.

    Nour was released on health grounds on 18 February 2009.[1] He was injured in the Egyptian protests of January 28 2011, where he received a stone in the head. He is being currently treated in a hospital in Agouza.

  23. Parker Says:

    Terrye,

    There must be as you say, all kinds of people in between. And, I think we have not the slightest idea of what percentage of the population supports the MB. Perhaps it is only 20% more or less. But will that really matter? Hardcore, organized, and fanatical minorities often take the wheel in a revolution. That is the danger. From what I can understand the only obstacle to the MB is the army. No one, as far as I am aware, knows what the army is going to do in the days ahead.

    As far as the Copts are concerned, recent events show their fellow Moslem citizens have little reticency over slaughtering them. The Copts are probably locked down tight in their homes and very fearful of the turmoil in the streets.

  24. nolanimrod Says:

    Heck, the Germans had no problem voting the Nazis out, did they?

  25. Dan Says:

    The insufferable Mr. Kristof has now been detained by Egyptian security forces overnight and released. The rest of us are doomed to listen to his rants about this for the next dozen years. Somehow he equates that with revolutionary street cred. He knows NOTHING. Compare his ordeal with the kidnapping and murder of Daniel Pearl. Any resemblance? None whatsoever. Kristof is a fraud, as are most of the MSM reporters dashing around Liberation Square begging to get smacked down so they can deliver a solemn but breathless report on the oppression in Cairo. It sickens me.

  26. Bob from Virginia Says:

    Everyone go over to The Rubin Report and see what Prof. Rubin says. He repeats many of the observations made here, mainly that these revolutions usually end very badly.

    There is some good news today, things in Cairo are calming down. Let’s hope the Army and Ministry of Interior act responsibility and use any calm to track down and exterminate the heads of the Moslem Brotherhood.

  27. neo-neocon Says:

    nolanimrod: actually, the Germans also didn’t vote the Nazis in in the first place. Hitler was appointed.

    And then, using “democratic” means, consolidated his powers through the Enabling Act.

  28. Don Cox Says:

    “The Copts are probably locked down tight in their homes and very fearful of the turmoil in the streets.”

    There have been quite a lot of Copts in Tahrir Square, and they even held services there, with the full support of the Muslim demonstrators.

    But I agree that the MB is very likely to take over.

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Previously a lifelong Democrat, born in New York and living in New England, surrounded by liberals on all sides, I've found myself slowly but surely leaving the fold and becoming that dread thing: a neocon.
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