Here come the Jihad Watch readers
Greetings, zombies! Terry Glavin writes so elegantly and compellingly, it is seems almost a shame to disagree with him. Unfortunately, expressing something beautifully does not make it so.
“Middle East myths drop like dominos,” by Terry Glavin in the National Post, February 28 (thanks to Gilles):
[...] Along with the now lifeless Edward Said there are also the undead. Consider Robert Spencer, whose biography reads a little like Edward Said’s, in its way. Like Said was, Spencer is a scholar, a widely published author, and an American of Middle Eastern Christian extraction with legions of fans. Like Said, Spencer is widely regarded in his circles, as was Edward Said in his own, as an authority on the imaginary frontiers that cleave the world between “west” and “east.” The Czar Gaddafi insists that the Libyan protests are the result of Al Qaida putting hallucinogens in everybody’s Nescafe. Not to be outdone:
They may be pro-democracy insofar as they want the will of the people to be heard, but given their worldview, their frame of reference, and their core assumptions about the world, if that popular will is heard, it will likely result in huge victories for the Muslim Brotherhood and similar pro-Sharia groups.
- Robert Spencer, on Libya’s revolutionary democrats, 2011.
In light of everything we are witnessing from Casablanca to Isfahan, the miserable and allegedly “progressive” viewpoint taken by Edward Said’s followers is matched by and coupled with Spencer’s lurid “conservative” cynicism in a symbiotic death grip, each parasitic upon the other, both offering nothing but the ravings of demented Americans. Everything is being swept away – it is 1989, it is 1917, it is 1848, as you like. As it is with Edward Said’s followers, Spencer’s fan base now betrays itself as an assortment of specimens from the Upper Cretaceous period of the Mesozoic era. They are yesterday’s men. They are zombies.
It is not just to the price of oil that the rebellions are proving so terribly inconvenient. All the evidence, from Tunisia, Libya, Bahrain, Egypt and Iran, shows that democracy, freedom, work, wages and a “normal” life are exactly what the people are demanding. The people are not clamouring for the immolation of the Jews anymore than they are hollering for the appointment of Norman Finkelstein as the defence minister.
They aren’t? Really? Demonstrators interviewed in Egypt during the uprising against Mubarak said that they hated him because “he is supporting Israel. Israel is our enemy…If people are free in Egypt…they gonna destroy Israel.” Video here. Also, attackers in Tahrir Square shouted “Jew! Jew!” during their brutal sexual assault of “60 Minutes” reporter Lara Logan. These open-minded secular democratic protesters also drew Stars of David on photos of Mubarak, thereby demonstrating their considered rejection of Islamic antisemitism.
In Egypt, the April 6 Movement that started it all is root and branch a movement of trade unionists, secularists, and young intellectuals, all committed democrats. The Muslim Brotherhood was completely marginalized by it. The Ikhwan failed utterly in its attempts to hijack the uprising and now the aging Brethren sit in their solitary chairs with the rest of the Egyptian establishment, studying ways to mollify the revolt.
And yet Sheikh Qaradawi, godfather of the “marginalized” Brotherhood, recently made a triumphant appearance in Tahrir Square to a massive crowd, while secular liberal Wael Ghonim was barred from the stage. So which group is really marginalized?
In Libya, the February 17 movement has been consistent in its intentions for a secular democracy. The Libyans who have been pleading for our help have heard only cynical incoherence and self-gratifying expressions of outrage, but even so, even the Libyan imams have pleaded for the February 17 demands and continue to assert their faithfulness to the same secular cause.
In Tunisia last week, 15,000 demonstrators gathered to condemn the Islamists who mobbed a synagogue and murdered a Polish Catholic priest in an obscene attempt to hijack the Tunisian uprising. The pro-democracy banners in Tunis read: “Nous sommes tous Musalmans, nous sommes tous Chretiens, nous sommes tous Juifs.” On it goes like this, in Morocco, across Iran, and in little Bahrain….
And yet also in Tunisia, demonstrators swarmed outside a synagogue, chanting a genocidal Islamic battle cry, and jihadists recently murdered a Catholic priest. Evidently not quite tous are Chretiens or Juifs.
Look, I would love to be proven wrong here, and Terry Glavin proved correct. I’d love to see genuine secular democracy blossom all over the Middle East. But Glavin cannot, unfortunately, point to any organized secular democratic movements of any significance in any of the countries in question, while in all of them, Islamic supremacist pro-Sharia groups are sizable, organized, and energetic.
I can’t see how this will end well, but maybe I will be pleasantly surprised, and retire back to my undead coffin in peace.
Kaffir Kanuck weighs in on this here.
(CNN) - Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman John Kerry advised the U.S. to “look beyond the Mubarak era and devise an Egyptian policy” after three decades of following President Hosni Mubarak’s policy, in an op-ed for the New York Times Tuesday.
The Democratic senator further outlined his prescription for “Allying Ourselves With the Next Egypt.” Kerry cautioned “our interests are not served by watching friendly governments collapse under the weight of the anger and frustrations of their own people, nor by transferring power to radical group that would spread extremism.” Drawing a comparison to Iran, he further asserts that “We continue to pay a horrible price for clinging too long to Iran’s shah,” the Iranian political leader ousted after a period of unrest.
Acknowledging that American “rhetoric” did not always match the private concerns of U.S. and that financing Egypt’s military has dominated the U.S.-Egypt alliance, he made it clear that “a productive relationship with Egypt remains crucial for both us and the Middle East.” But for it to be successful, support must move from military assistance to a more social focus.
Kerry advocated for the U.S. response to be directed toward the political, legal, and economic needs of Egypt, which, he says, the Obama administration is already addressing.
And when it comes to President Mubarak, Senator Kerry is as direct in the op-ed as he was when he appeared Friday on CNN’s “John King, USA” with a specific recommendation for President Mubarak.
Speaking with Chief National Correspondent John King, Kerry recommended that the way to a peaceful outcome may be through a frank discussion between President Mubarak and his son.
“One of the things he could do which could be constructive is to talk with his son and his son talk with him and to sort of recognize the frustrations that have built up and what the needs are now, and perhaps defer his son’s ambitions for the moment or ask him to in a way that promises some sort of succession process that opens the process up but still respects the leadership that he’s given over the years.”
In Tuesday’s op-ed Kerry cites the “chaos of the last week” that “has forever changed the relationship between the Egyptian people and their government” and suggested that Mubarak accept that “the stability of his country hinges on his willingness to step aside gracefully.”
“Egyptians have moved beyond his regime,” Kerry continued. And his prescription for avoiding upheaval? “President Mubarak [should] take himself and his family out of the equation.”
Because, Kerry writes, “The Egyptian people are demanding wholesale transformation, not window dressing.”
While the rest of America might not be mourning the departure of the troubled Patrick Kennedy from Congress, MSNBC on Tuesday lamented "the end of an era" that saw at least one member of the Kennedy family serving in Washington for 63 years. The network featured three segments on the topic in the span of an hour.
Jansing and Co. Guest anchor Richard Lui wondered, "…Will we see a family that will be able to take up the mantle here?" Talking to Democratic strategist Karen Finney, he repeated talking points from the Rhode Island Congressman who, in 2006, crashed his car while driving under the influence of prescription drugs at 2:45am: "…Patrick Kennedy was saying, you know, a public service versus public office. It's about public service."
Referring to his other guest, Michelle Bernard of the Independent Woman's Forum, Lui added, "So, when we take a look at that, Michelle, what more might we see going forward in terms of a family that might, again, fill in this void that we're now seeing?"