Monday, 31 January 2011

The inevitable conflagration in Cairo [updated]

There will be no attractive outcome from the incipient revolution in Cairo’s streets.  On one side, fighting for survival, a  nationalistic sense of “nationhood” going back several millennia that has been represented in recent decades by the brutal military dictatorships of Nasser, Sadat and Mubarak; on the other, fighting for its biggest conquest since the Iranian Revolution, a brand of toxic, militant Islam from which sprang the ideology of hate that powers Al Qaeda and related Islamic murderers.

Whoever wins in the street battles, the results will not be pretty.

All that can be said in favour of the dictators is that they were and are opposed to the militant mystics—helping make Egypt one of the more secular, “westernized” Islamic nations in the Middle East. But the price at which this was bought was a militant dictatorship maintaining control by political oppression—an environment of overarching brutality in which the odious mystic hate-mongers flourished underground. Like a bacillus.

That bacillus is now out of the cellars and into the streets, and whichever particular individual takes over after the violence subsides (and note that the leading opposition candidate Mohammed ElBaradei is backed by the same Muslim Brotherhood from which Al Qaeda mentor Sayyid Qutb emerged) the eventual victor will assuredly be the bacillus.

It was always inevitable. If Egypt ever had a renaissance, it was only in 1919 to 1928 in the wake of World War I when Egypt's rising tide of nationalism re-emerged in the modern form of secular socialism, building a “modern Egypt” in the likeness of a worker’s Soviet and such lifeless monuments to its dead past as this one shown here by Mahmoud Mokhtar.  Egypt’s sense of nationhood certainly goes back centuries, (as historian Scott Powell explains “an implicit premise embedded in Egyptian thinking that extends back to its “glorious” pharaonic past, of which the ever present pyramids and temples [and mortuaries and funerary palaces] provide a constant reminder”), but without the philosophical base responsible for these past glories, its modern “renaissance” could never rekindle the full power of its past (as Mokhtar’s soulless sculpture adumbrates). The strident militant nationalism of Nasser/Sadat/Mubarak could never be a real substitute for the full-on pharaonic metaphysics.

Hence, since the death of Nasser, Egyptian nationalism's most vigorous standard bearer, Egypt's nationalism has withered in the face of the more explicit and integrated metaphysics and values of Islam, both of which are widely accepted by the Egyptian population.  As I blogged a couple of years ago,

_Quote the values of these two ideological forces have been in open warfare ever since the formation of the Muslim Brotherhood in 1928 -- the suppression of the Brotherhood and the murder of Nasser's successor Anwar Sadat by Muslim Brotherhood killers being two ready symbols of the conflict played out between the secular but disintegrating nationalism and the vigorous, violent and persistent Islamism that the brotherhood embodies.
    This can be a conflict with only one victor.
  Scott Powell argues at his 'Powell History Recommends' blog that because nationalism is merely a set of disintegrated implicit notions whereas Islamism  is an "all-encompassing and explicit system of ideas," it is therefore "only a matter of time before it takes over."

Only a matter of time . . .

_QuoteEgypt is thus a nation in flux, and on its way to somewhere worse. "Despite the constant use of force by the Mubarak regime to suppress the Muslim Brotherhood," notes Powell, "that Islamist organization remains the only organized political opposition in Egypt [as a 2008 day of angry protest was intended to demonstrate]. This matters because the country may be on the verge of economic collapse and widespread violence."

An Egyptian Islamist theocracy? Don’t bet against it.

Why does this matter to us?

_QuoteThis matters to us because Egypt is not only the source of one of the most virulent of Islamism's anti-western toxins, but because it has the potential to be the next Poland -- ie., "the next flashpoint that ignites an unexpected larger war, such as occurred in 1939."

Let us profoundly hope not.

Here’s The Cure:

UPDATE: Egypt and the world face a crossroads, says Liberty Scott.

_QuoteLet's be clear, an Islamist run Egypt would pose a threat not only to Israel, but could be a base for terrorist activities in Europe and beyond.  It would have a stranglehold over shipping through the Suez Canal, and be leading the largest Arab state by population.   The Iranian military religious dictatorship is already claiming a new Middle East, Islamic dominated, is coming to the fore, let's hope not.
    For if it were to happen, do not be deluded that it will cost in lives, and could create a new age of conflict that makes Iraq and Afghanistan seem like they were easy. . .
    For if it is a bad dream for Egyptians to be suppressed by the Mubarak regime, it would be one of our worst nightmares to have an Ayatollah of Cairo.

Not that Obama would know. Looks like while Cairo burns, Obama parties.


  1. It’s déjà vu all over again. Progressives (who should be called regressives; or socialists, communists, Marxists, or freedom haters) have destroyed the economy over the last decade, they did this successfully in the 1970s also. Now we have an Islamic uprising caused by the weak economic prospects in Egypt, in the 1970s we had a similar situation in Iran. Will Regressives ever admit that they have caused all these problems?

  2. Hello PC,

    There are big things afoot that most have missed. The chances of a positive outcome to this and what follows are very high. This is merely the first stage of a period of rapid change that will spill out of the Middle-East and sweep the entire globe. Here are some enlightening insights to help the process along.

    33rd Degree Secrets Published to Help Awaken World from Long Nightmare

    Now to see if US leaders can stay ahead of the pace of change that threatens to engulf them as well. Hang on to your seats, this train is about to accelerate rapidly.

    Here is Wisdom...

  3. Individual self-determination MUST be seen as a better outcome than dictatorship, surely. It must take a real gritting of your teeth to even suggest that the current leadership of Egypt should be defended.


  4. DenMT, I wrote a (long) comment on my smartphone which I then deleted accidentally with a thumbpress!!!

    Anyway, now that I am on my PC I see that what I wrote was pretty much what Liverty Scott wrote in PC's update, so I won't repeat it.

    I do empathise with your sentiments about gritting one's teeth etc. On the face of it, the Mubarak regime seems pretty unpalatable - but the alternatives are so far worse. Think Iran on a scale of 10.

  5. And the West is asleep...again.

    Could it be more than a coincidence that an uprising occurs in several arab/muslim friendly nations at once?

    Basically every dictator controlled nation that is predominantly muslim is a great target to manipulate from within. Such nations can become powerful tools in the al-Qaida arsenal.

    When will Israel twitch and unleash hell over the middle east. It seems it is not a matter of if but when.

  6. Dinther, I don't think Israel will unilaterally 'unleash hell over the middle east' except as a last resort in the closing stages of a region-wide war which they are badly losing. It hasn't come anywhere near that yet, thankfully.

    The Israelis will right now be trying to keep its head down and not rattle the sabres too much because their major sponsor, the USA is showing that it is fast losing its relevance and power worldwide. Nobody in the arab world respects or fears the USA any more.... they have shown in Iraq that even though they might still have the ability to win a war in the short term, they have no stomach for (or understanding of) how to act afterwards.

    This is the beginning of a wide-reaching and fundamental power shift in the Middle East and I don't think it will bode well for the west, reliant as it is on energy from the region.

  7. Allowing the Muslim Brotherhoo­d would be a huge and game changing mistake. It is truly chilling to think that Egypt could wind up controlled by a group that has long and deep ties to terrorism, counts known terrorists among its influentia­l members, and has an agenda that embraces and accepts violent Jihad against any who defy Islam as a reasonable and just means to spreading militant Islam. This group has made very clear thier intentions and goals of Sharia as the dominant form of Law and Governance­, and desire to install Islam into dominance over all of the mideast and eventually the world.


1. Commenters are welcome and invited.
2. All comments are moderated. Off-topic grandstanding, spam, and gibberish will be ignored. Tu quoque will be moderated.
3. Read the post before you comment. Challenge facts, but don't simply ignore them.
4. Use a name. If it's important enough to say, it's important enough to put a name to.
5. Above all: Act with honour. Say what you mean, and mean what you say.