August 19th, 2013

Has Egypt come full circle?

Will Mubarak actually be released now?

Maybe, just maybe, could people be entertaining the thought that Mubarak’s repressiveness was a reaction to the situation in Egypt at the time he came to power? And that said situation has not changed all that much in all those intervening years? Mubarak (or any other potential Egyptian leader who is not a member of the Brotherhood or a similar Islamicist group) faces the classic dilemma of becoming repressive or allowing forces bent on destroying the government—and instituting a different sort of repression—to prosper. The people don’t get liberty either way, although it’s also unclear just how many of them are actually yearning for it.

An excellent example of the dilemma was the Shah of Iran versus the mullahs who followed him. I’ve written so many articles on that topic that I hardly know which ones to recommend first, but try this one, which compares Iran and Egypt, as well as this one and this three-part series.

But the post you especially might want to read, the one that quotes liberally from the Brotherhood’s role in modern Egyptian history, is this one. Here’s a small but especially relevant part:

Islamists were enraged by Sadat’s Sinai treaty with Israel, particularly the radical Egyptian Islamic Jihad. According to interviews and information gathered by journalist Lawrence Wright, the group was recruiting military officers and accumulating weapons, waiting for the right moment to launch “a complete overthrow of the existing order” in Egypt. Chief strategist of El-Jihad was Aboud el-Zumar, a colonel in the military intelligence whose “plan was to kill the main leaders of the country, capture the headquarters of the army and State Security, the telephone exchange building, and of course the radio and television building, where news of the Islamic revolution would then be broadcast, unleashing – he expected – a popular uprising against secular authority all over the country.”

In February 1981, Egyptian authorities were alerted to El-Jihad’s plan by the arrest of an operative carrying crucial information. In September, Sadat ordered a highly unpopular roundup of more than 1500 people, including many Jihad members, the Coptic Orthodox Pope, Bishop, and highly ranked clergy members, but also intellectuals and activists of all ideological stripes.

The round up missed a Jihad cell in the military led by Lieutenant Khalid Islambouli, who succeeded in assassinating Anwar Sadat that October.

Mubarak, who was Sadat’s VP, was present at that assassination and slightly wounded in it. It was his baptism of fire, as it were. On succeeding to the office of the presidency, he declared a state of emergency requiring emergency law—a state that ended up lasting the three decades of his reign. We can deplore that fact—and most of the people of Egypt resented it—but I’m not at all sure he had any kinder, gentler alternatives. And the situation does not appear to be substantially different today for anyone who would keep the Brotherhood from placing its iron clamp on the country.

[ADDENDUM: Also see this.]

5 Responses to “Has Egypt come full circle?”

  1. Ann Says:

    The people don’t get liberty either way…

    True, but things were looking up for a good number of people during Mubarak’s reign — his wife, Suzanne, was a major player in the fight to end female genital mutilation and was making some headway in that fight. Those efforts all came to a stop once the Muslim Brotherhood was in power. I don’t recall reading much about this in the MSM; maybe I missed it.

  2. Geoffrey Britain Says:

    Strongman or jihadist state, those are the sole practicable choices that can take root in ME societies.

    It’s a cultural dynamic; perhaps best illustrated by, on one hand the Bedouin proverb, “I against my brother, my brother and I against my cousin, my cousin, brother and I against the stranger” and on the other hand, the choice offered by Islam to the world; conversion, second class/servant/slavery or death.

  3. Ymarsakar Says:

    Those efforts all came to a stop once the Muslim Brotherhood was in power.

    As the Left intended. Obama doesn’t particularly want Africa to be a free continent given the change in US polices towards Africa.

  4. Hangtown Bob Says:

    In any state where tribalism of any kind is more important than nationalism, the only way to achieve a relatively stable situation is with a strongly authoritarian government.

  5. ziontruth Says:

    Hangtown Bob,

    Extend the term “tribalism” to include the conversion of nation-states from castles of their nations into free-for-all dumping grounds for any Tom, Dick and Third World Ahmed, and you know why the Left is so enamored of multi-culti. The failure of MC isn’t really a failure to them, it’s how things are supposed to be, the manufactured disease for which Marxism sells itself as the “cure.”

    And in a multiracial nation like the U.S. of A., the strategy will be Balkanization rather than unrestricted admittance of immigrants—at least in the first stage. Hence, the move away from the true racial healing that began in the middle of the 1950s, to the present perpetuation of race-hatred best exemplified by the Trayvon show trial and Rodeo Clown fiasco.

    The thread above about birtherism has it all wrong about what should make a person ineligible to being a head of state (any state, not just the U.S.). It’s not about where he’s born, for you can see for yourself how many native-born traitors there are. No, a Marxist should never have been allowed to get close to a thousand miles’ distance from the presidency in the first place. Nation-wrecking ideologies should be outlawed, not shown tolerance.

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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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