May 26th, 2012

The glorious Egyptian revolution…

seems to be going the way of most glorious revolutions—not well (although I suppose it depends who’s doing the judging).

It’s fifty-fifty between the Muslim Brotherhood and a Mubarak surrogate in the first round of voting:

In what many described as a “nightmare scenario” that will mean a polarised and possibly violent second round…”It feels as if the revolution never took place,” lamented a despondent George Ishaq, a founder of the leftwing Kifaya Party.

“The Brotherhood are despotic and fanatical and Shafiq is the choice of Mubarak. It is a very bad result. The revolution is not part of this contest.”…

Hisham Kassem, a publisher who had backed Moussa, said: “It’s a disaster. Shafiq will try to restore the Mubarak regime. And my trust of the Brotherhood is minus zero.”

Other liberals retreated into black humour. “All it takes now is for Mubarak to be released and be made vice president,” one tweeted. “This is not the second republic,” said another, “it’s a stillborn deformity”.

Zeinobia, a prominent blogger, compared the outcome to the humiliating defeat of Egypt and the other Arab states by Israel in the 1967 Middle East war. In an already tense atmosphere, there could well be serious unrest if, as some predict, Mubarak is acquitted on charges of corruption and illegal killings next month.

From the very first article I wrote about the revolution in Egypt, I mentioned my fear that the end result of elections would be that the Muslim Brotherhood would take power. I’ve never seen any reason to revise that opinion, and it didn’t take any remarkable insight on my part to call it that way right from the start.

[NOTE: I wrote about the Muslim Brotherhood and its history here. And this is about the revolutionary fervor of the young.]

12 Responses to “The glorious Egyptian revolution…”

  1. Crazy Bald Guy Says:

    Uh oh…

  2. George Pal Says:

    It is the nature of revolutions and rebellions that the chances are slim things will get better in civilized precincts and none that things will get better in third world hellholes. There’s no change like ‘organic’ change and there’s no making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear – pardon the pork.

  3. Parker Says:

    Yes neo, it was easy to predict the MB would win the elections. However, we don’t know what the top brass are thinking. Can they reach an accommodation with the MB? I have not the slight insight into that issue. But I suspect that if the generals believe a MB government will purge the army — or at the first sign of it happening — they will decide to purge the MB. Coup de’etat translates into many language, including Arabic.

  4. Sam L. Says:

    Given the MB was the only really organized group…

  5. Wolla Dalbo Says:

    Fear not, ol’ Peanut, Jimmy Carter says that the MD would definitely keep any peace treaties with Israel.

    That would be the Muslim Brotherhood (Ikhwan) whose motto is:

    ‘Allah is our objective; the Prophet is our leader; the Quran is our law; Jihad is our way; dying in the way of Allah is our highest hope.”

  6. Jim Kearney Says:

    I just spent 3 months in Cairo doing trauma work and bodywork. It was the young secular crowd that were the engine behind the revolution. They had no idea what to do once they were successful The MB were more organized and older and had wealth already established. But the MB and the Salafis are very different and rivals even though they’re both Islamist. The MB have no idea how to govern now that they caught the tiger’s tail. The young secularists will not cave or bend to the Islamists. The women are very strong and vocal. The military are not Islamists and have no allegiance to them. Most of Egypt is humiliated by the odd attempts at legislation such as allowing men to have sex with wives 6 hours after they’re dead. They have a modern secular history. They’re very funny, and have a great sense of humor. The Islamists are looked down on. I have hope for the Egyptian people.

  7. Ymarsakar Says:

    When the Left is in power in the US, totalitarian dictators tend to crop up all over the place in the rest of world…. coincidentally.

  8. Eric Says:

    I always thought that the best case scenario for the Arab Spring was One Man One Vote One Time.

  9. NeoConScum Says:

    Dear Israel: IF the Muslim Brotherhood takes power in Cairo–elected or coup’–I’d respectfully advise retaking the Sinai right down to the Red Sea. The quicker, the better. Fully arm & fortify it.

    A matter of simple protection, survival & national preservation.

  10. ziontruth Says:


    I once suggested (on FPM) that Israel take even further west to Red Sea—obtain control of the Suez Canal to act as a counter-threat to the Islamic oil spigots (if they turn them off to strong-arm Israel, Israel closes the canal to strong-arm them back).

    Note, I don’t believe the Suez Canal, or the Sinai Peninsula for that matter, is part of Jewish land, as it is to all opinions outside the Land of Israel, even the most expansionist; just advocating it as a temporary situation for the sake of geopolitical smarts. The Islamic imperialists use their oil profits to bankroll the jihad, as Mark Steyn has spared no effort pointing out, so fighting them on this front is legitimate warfare as far as I’m concerned.

  11. Dean Esmay Says:

    My read is that the Muslim Brotherhood has far more internal fractures than are readily apparent, and even if they win they now have a tiger by the tail, as someone else mentioned: if they refuse to allow future elections, they risk the same fate as Mubarak, and if they allow future elections, they risk being voted out of office if they are hated.

    Democracy is a process, not an event. Nevertheless if we look at the sweep of history just over the last century, the spread of democracy has been either gradual or startlingly swift, depending on your point of view. I would expect Egypt to become a real functional democracy in about 20 years. What we’re seeing now is just the birth pangs.

  12. neo-neocon Says:

    Dean Esmay: well, I hope you’re right. When I look at the history and stated aims of the Muslim Brotherhood, I see them as having much more hard-line goals, united or not. Will the trajectory of Egypt more resemble Turkey or will it more resemble Iran?

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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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