Saturday, December 3, 2011

Islamists Sweep to Victory in Egypt

   The Village Elliot is not as intelligent as foreign policy analysts working for the federal government.  In particular, the United States now has the policy of taking sides in the affairs of Arab countries such as Egypt, Libya, Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Tunisia, Bahrain and others.  We have cheerfully applauded the "Arab Spring" revolution, which we assume brings with it the potential for enlightened liberal governments within these countries. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton puts it this way:  "Support for emerging Arab democracies is an investment we cannot afford not to make."
     So Egypt had a major election this week, according to results published in Al Jazeera, the Muslim Brotherhood and the fundamentalist Nour Party combined to take 65% of the popular vote.    As the Village Elliot predicted in this space, Egyptian voters decide to support Islamists rather than pro-Western groups.  Sorry, but the Muslim Brotherhood doesn't make me think of an emerging democracy as Secretary Clinton so hopefully suggested. 

 The Muslim Brotherhood offers thanks in a post-election celebration.  

I was interested in the comment in Al Jazeera from a candidate characterized as a liberal (whatever that means), who complained that non-Islamist candidates are consdered as "infidels" in the current Egyptian political scene.  This doesn't sound like an enlightened political environment to me, gang.

     The US simply can not afford to get embroiled in tribal politics, and has no business promoting one group of religious fundamentalists over another.  Put it this way, in the US we would never support bringing some religious faction to political power, so why do we want to bring one faction or another to power in Muslim countries? 

     We should take the position that we will deal with whoever comes to power in these Arab countries, and not make it our business to advocate certain groups over others, and certainly not send in airstrikes in order to make sure that our favorite Islamists make it into power over some other group of Islamists.  
    Maybe in 20 years the government will evolve in a way that is more understandable to the West.  But for the moment Western interference in their affairs just makes things worse.

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