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Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Thomas Friedman, "Egypt at the Edge": Send Tom to Cairo!

Writing from the safety of American shores, The New York Times's own Mr. Fix It, Thomas Friedman, would have us know in his latest op-ed entitled "Egypt at the Edge" (http://www.nytimes.com/2013/07/10/opinion/friedman-egypt-at-the-edge.html) (my red highlighting) that Egypt and the Arab world are on the road to democracy. Friedman declares:

"But in the Arab world’s long transition to democracy, something valuable was lost when the military ousted Morsi’s government and did not wait for the Egyptian people to do it in October’s parliamentary elections or the presidential elections three years down the road. It gives the Muslim Brothers a perfect excuse not to reflect on their mistakes and change, which is an essential ingredient for Egypt to build a stable political center.

. . . .

So now there is only one way for Egypt to avoid the abyss: the military, the only authority in Egypt today, has to make clear that it ousted the Muslim Brotherhood for the purpose of a 'reset,' not for the purposes of 'revenge' — for the purpose of starting over and getting the transition to democracy right this time, not for the purpose of eliminating the Brotherhood from politics. (It is not clear that the 'interim constitution' issued Tuesday by Egypt’s transitional government will give the Brotherhood a fair shot at contesting power. It bans parties based on religion, but that ban was in place under Hosni Mubarak, and the Brotherhood got around it by running as independents.) Egypt will not be stable if the Brotherhood is excluded."

Great advice, Tom, and I think you should hop on the next flight to Cairo to let them know what you think. Of course, you might want to steer clear of Brotherhood mobs. That video to which you refer of "Muslim Brotherhood activists throwing a young opponent off a roof" was pretty nasty, and you being a Jew - albeit an occasionally anti-Semitic Jew (see: http://jgcaesarea.blogspot.co.il/2011/12/thomas-friedman-newt-mitt-bibi-and.html) - might place you in jeopardy. But I wouldn't worry too much: Thus far, the Brotherhood has only busied itself killing Christians (see: http://www.dailystar.com.lb/News/Middle-East/2013/Jul-06/222780-coptic-priest-shot-dead-in-egypt-attack-sources.ashx#axzz2YH0JrzpQ).

Moreover, when has a little worry stood in the way of a seasoned world traveler like yourself. Go for it, Tom! Tell the generals and colonels what you think, face to face, man to man! Explain to them that Egypt is in the midst of a long awaited "transition to democracy"!

The threat of starvation that looms over Egypt? As written in the Asia Times (http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/ME10Ak01.html):

"Egypt is running out of food, and, more gradually, running out of money with which to buy it. The most populous country in the Arab world shows all the symptoms of national bankruptcy - the kind that produced hyperinflation in several Latin American countries during the 1970s and 1980s - with a deadly difference: Egypt imports half its wheat, and the collapse of its external credit means starvation."

Wheat? Tell those generals and colonels to tighten their belt buckles. Who needs bread, when Egypt is hungry for democracy?

Tell it to them, Tom! They just can't wait to hear from you! Go for it, my friend!

2 comments:

  1. I actually met a young American woman who is a war photographer in the Middle East (yes, she isn't Jewish, she isn't blond and she can pass for a local woman) and ... you won't believe it ... her opinion of democracy in Egypt differed significantly from that of Thomas Friedman and the like. Why would that be? Hmmm ... I am thinking, I am thinking ....

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  2. "...a perfect excuse not to reflect on their mistakes and change, which is an essential ingredient for [the USA] to build a stable political center..."

    I just can not help always thinking of the missing political center in the US with every western pundit decrying what has happened in Egypt. The Dems sacrificed their center for the convoluted train wreck of Obamacare. Did they "reflect on their mistakes and change" after the 2010 'shellacking'? No.

    Such hypocrisy.

    K2K

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