Egypt and Mubarak Not That Simple

I was staggered at fellow blogger David Farrar’s gauche support for the overthrow of Egypt’s Hosni Mubarak. So many people seem to see events there from a kind of fairy tale prospective. An oppressed citizenry finally rising to shake off a cruel and ruthless dictator. Can we be a bit more rational?

Funny how things turn around. George Bush struggled amid a crescendo of criticism from the left to bring democracy to Iraq. It couldn’t be done they said. Iraq was just not suited to democracy. Too tribal, too unsophisticated. George won his battle and democratic elections were held in Iraq.

Suddenly the streets of Egypt erupt and according to liberals, we’ve got a scenario for instant democracy and Barak Obama will help bring it about and everything is just going to be so warm and fuzzy. Funny too how the “Christian” Barak Hussein Obama suddenly found support for “democracy” at a time when the most likely outcome for Egypt is an Islamic theocracy, probably with the Israel hating Muslim Brotherhood holding the seat at the head of the table.

One would think that before one starts cheering for an event based on an expected outcome, one would have to have some idea such an outcome was likely. The idea that Egypt will, as a result of this upheaval become a western democracy with a free press, multi party fixed term elections, freedom of political expression and all the other trappings of the so called western democracies is ludicrous. In my experience most Egyptians would disdain such refinements. Many express scorn for the west and see its democratic governments as laughable examples of the west’s inherent weakness.

The best appraisal of events in Egypt I have seen to date has come from Melanie Phillips-

..when tyrants there fall the outcome is generally not the emergence of a free society but a tyranny far worse even than the one that has fallen – an Islamic theocracy. That’s precisely what happened, let us not forget, in Iran in 1979, when the fall of the Shah was greeted with acclaim by the Iranian people who wanted an end to his police state – but what they got instead was the Ayatollah Khomeini and the beginning of decades of Islamist oppression and tyranny far worse than under the Shah.

The rest of Melanie’s article is here. I suggest Mr. Farrar and a lot of the left wing geopolitical experts expounding their views on this issue on Kiwiblog would do well to read it before the go much further with their uninformed and over simplified analysis. Iraq, thanks to George Bush, is probably a pretty good example of the best one could wish for as far as democracies in that region go. Don’t expect anything anywhere near as good as that in Egypt.

5 thoughts on “Egypt and Mubarak Not That Simple

  1. I think everyone is hoping for a liberal (in the true sense of the word) democracy, and Egyptians who have been on the various news channels I’ve watched seem to be using the words freedom, liberty and democracy a lot, but when you see the problems that need to be overcome for it to happen it seems unlikely…

    Then need; a interim leader who isn’t a power hungry douche, a temporary government to caretake for 6 – 12 months till a Constitution can be written and free and fair election can be held, they need the Armed Forced not to stage a coup and finally they need the first elected government not to consolidate into a dictatorship/authoritarian government…

    All in all, I wish them the best but they’ll be lucky…


  2. I love Farrar using Turkey as an example of a successful democracy too.
    How many coups have they had there?Four since 1960. Only the military guarantee a secular society there. Now dozens of officers are on trial for plotting yet another,whereby the current barely disguised Islamist regime is preventing yet another coup by the miltary,which the military feels is necessary to forestall the place becoming an Islamic republic.
    Democracy my arse.


  3. Good comments all!

    The Pollyanna-ish offerings from the likes of David Farrar and the querulous Pete George fill me with despair. Plenty of people were happy when Sihanouk for deposed in Cambodia in 1970 . . the next 10 years didn’t go well (to put it mildly).


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