Issue One: Stop Shooting! Get Him!When Israel started sending Hamasters to meet their virgins, the President of Egypt jumped right in and did his best to negotiate a ceasefire. For those who don’t know, this dude’s name is Mohammed Morsi, and he’s from the Muslim Brotherhood, who dominate the Egyptian government. No sooner did Morsi arrange a ceasefire than the head of the Muslim Brotherhood condemned the ceasefire. This freaked out Team Obama, who issued a sternly worded letter.
What does this mean? Believe it or not, it’s probably a good thing.
Look, when the Muslim Brotherhood took over Egypt, I wasn’t worried. A lot of conservatives were worried because they don’t really understand what the Muslim Brotherhood is. They see them as an arm of al Qaeda or some other terrorist organization and they never bothered to learn their history. Liberals weren’t worried at first because they saw the Arab Spring as all unicorn poo and fairy dust. They wanted to believe that now that the oppressive dictators were gone, the Muslim people (who we know are just like liberals everywhere) would create a peaceful democratic government that would usher in a utopia. But then liberals changed their minds once the Muslim Brotherhood didn’t turn out as cuddly as they seemed. So now they’re worried too. Everyone is worried. . . except me.
History and human nature tell us that there is a huge difference between the way people speak when they have no responsibilities and how they act when they are actually given power. Bill Shakespeare picked up on this in “Henry V” when Hal’s friends are shocked to discover that the playful, irresponsible drunk they knew suddenly morphs into a joyless, serious King. It’s human nature. With power comes responsibility. And once you take over a government you suddenly discover that it’s not all “kill the infidels” anymore.... it becomes, why wasn’t my garbage picked up... do something about crime... there ain’t no jobs. At the same time, you pretty quickly learn that you can’t really go angering the Great Satan because Uncle Satan gives you billions of dollars a year which keep your economy from going down the Khomeini. And about wiping out those dirty Jews... well, let’s just say it gets a little harder when you know the Jews plan to bomb your house first in retaliation.
What’s going on here is that the Muslim Brotherhood has done exactly what history, and their history, suggests they would. They took over the government and they intend to govern. This is what they’ve done in other countries where they’ve been the loyal (non-loony) opposition. This is what they said they would do when they swore off violence. This is what revolutionary movements almost always do. And them negotiating a cease fire is evidence they want to become a respectable government.
“But they still condemned the ceasefire!” Yeah, so? This actually gives me even more hope, quite frankly. Think about this for a moment. Think about how cynical this is. This is the Muslim Brotherhood making a choice to ACT responsibly while cynically lying to their followers to maintain the image of being irresponsible. Does that remind you of anyone? That’s right, they’re the Democratic Party in pyramid print. What this means is that they grasp the difference between rhetoric and action and they have chosen the path of making the world happy, not their followers. That is a great sign.
Moreover, the statement they issued to their followers has a laughable caveat. They state that, yes, the evil Jews must die, but not today... not today... we shouldn’t even try to fight them until “all the Arabs are unified.” Wink wink. That will never happen.
Seriously, pay attention to the cynicism. This is how a revolutionary party becomes a respectable government without losing its supporters. This is how China can be both deeply communist and deeply capitalist. It’s intensely cynical, but it also gives me hope that they’ve made their choice and they want to steer Egypt away from the Irans and the al Qaedas.
Issue Two: I Am Your Pharaoh, Beeeatches!The more interesting (read: more disturbing) issue happened while Morsi was making peace between the infidels and the Hamasters. When no one was looking, Morsi issued a decree which allowed him to re-try anyone for any crime committed prior to his taking power from Mubarak. Within this decree was a pardon for everyone on the winning side. It also held that any decrees Morsi issues from now on will be unappealable. In other words, rule of law is dead.
This resulted in a serious backlash from any number of groups, with the Supreme Court itself calling for strikes. People are saying he made himself into a modern Pharaoh and they point out that this is more power than even the evil dictator Mubarak had. Should we be worried? No. Honestly, this strikes me as a win-win-win for us.
● Scenario one: he becomes an evil despot and the people hate him. We win in that regard because it destroys the credibility of Islamic movements like the Muslim Brotherhood. No longer will the reason for the people’s suffering be this fake claim that an American imposed dictator is making them suffer, this time it will be someone they chose themselves. That takes us a step closer to ending our role as permanent scapegoat.The worst case is that he becomes evil and attacks Israel out of desperation to save his butt when things go wrong, but that doesn’t really fit his prior actions or his personality. Plus, the military doesn’t support him enough for him to do that. Not to mention, Egypt’s army wouldn’t make it fifteen steps into the desert before Israel destroyed them because their army is decrepit and is really just built to control the public.
● Scenario two: he becomes a benign despot and uses his power to impose needed reforms. Again, we win because Egypt would become less of a basket case. And the more middle class they become, the less dangerous they become.
● Scenario three: the public rises up and he needs to back down. Again we win because that’s another seed that can sprout democratic ideas and institutions. . . the public demanding rule of law.
Issue Three: Hey, I Know You!The UN Department of Thugs and Perverts voted to give the Palestinians observer status, which kind of implies they’re a real state. Ok. Yawn. Sorry. This has upset a lot of people, but honestly, so what? The Palestinians basically run their own state now as it is. How does UN recognition change anything? Iran already arms them. Saudi Arabia already funds them. Egypt already helps them smuggle in toys for the kids.... Torture Me Hosni is very popular this year. Seriously, how does this change anything?
Frankly, the best solution for the Palestinian/Israel issue has always been for Israel to carve out territory, hand it over, throw up a wall, and say, “you got what you want, now go away.” This is because once the Palestinians have a state, everyone else is going to get sick of hearing their whining. Why? Because “They stole our homeland and are keeping us prisoner” is a pretty compelling argument, “We wanted better land for our homes” is not.
Honestly, I see this recognition as a mistake by the Arabs. They have basically taken a step to make Palestine less interesting to everyone by making their demands a lot less compelling. Less compelling means less interesting. And less interesting means lower ratings. And lower ratings means you get cancelled.