Plus ça change, plus …?

Sophia A. writes:

So, “the military” is now in control of Egypt. Ahem, I thought that “the military” has been in control of Egypt since 1952.

It is instructive to read up on the resonances of then and now. The U.S. encouraged the “Officer’s Uprising” in 1952 so as to help clear away colonial corruption.

To be sure, the man on top puts his stamp on things. Nasser was different from Sadat who was different from Mubarak. So until we find out who “the man” is, we don’t know a thing.

P.S. Barry Rubin may have been wrong to say that Mubarak was still “the man” as of yesterday, but he is right on the big picture: Egypt is run by a large state security apparatus and it won’t go easily into the night. And he’s right that the fate of the world hangs in the balance—a cliché I do not hesitate to employ.

LA replies:

On the News Hour tonight, one of the Muslim talking heads who are often interviewed on that program said something similar to what you said: it was the military that overthrew the king in 1952 inaugurating the current regime and it’s the military in charge now. So it’s not at all sure that the military will bring about the free elections that the protesters are hoping for.

Another person interviewed on one of the stations, I believe Haas is his name, a national security type, seemed overall positive about the events of today, but then calmly and reasonably spelled out how if there are to be genuine elections with “secular democrats” represented, the Egyptians must first do certain things, none of which they have done before, and that this would be a high mountain for them to climb. But if that’s the case, I thought, then isn’t the overwhelming likelihood that they won’t be able to carry out open elections and Egypt will end up under some kind of dictatorship, possibly the Muslim Brotherhood? Why, then, was he coming across as so calm and optimistic?

The answer is that everyone is required to be happy about the spectacle of a popular non-violent uprising bringing down a despotic regime. But as a reader said earlier today:

The Times is extremely keen on getting rid of Mubarak, but why? I don’t recall he’s been a monster. I don’t recall the Times running articles exposing his “crimes” prior to this current unrest, or calling for his removal.

How are we supposed to get moderate regimes cooperate with us in the future, after we’ve shown how eager we are to help overthrow a foreign leader we supported or at least never complained about for the last 30 years?

Posted by Lawrence Auster at February 11, 2011 09:17 PM | Send

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