The very first line of a Washington Post op-ed by Eugene Robinson poses the question: “Why don’t conservatives love freedom?”
The rationale for that question is based on the fact that conservatives aren’t jumping up and down to celebrate the Egyptian uprising…an uprising that actually has not resulted in freedom or democracy. It has resulted in the removal of a dictator and martial law. So, there’s really not a whole lot to be excited about isn’t there?
Let’s get one thing straight. Egypt ain’t free. The party in power prior to the revolution is still in power after the fact. The military still runs that country like they have for decades. Egyptians deposed a tyrant who had been a valuable ally to the United States, and they did so in the name of democracy. But they are not free. They aren’t even close to free. In fact, most of the long-standing Egyptian grievances are pleas that the military has long been opposed to.
So, to say that the Egyptian people are somehow “free” is ignorant. There are no democratic institutions in that state. There are no political parties. There is no method for free and fair elections. There is no viable constitution. And the people crafting the new amendments to the constitution are being overseen by the Military High Council…
That’s reality number 1: the Egyptian people aren’t free yet. They have a LONG way to go.
Here’s point number 2:
You know that guy Obama who is supposedly all for freedom and democracy? Yeah. That’s the same guy who broke away from Bush’s democracy doctrine in the Middle East and decided to let countries do whatever they want. Now, Bush made some questionable decisions as president, and you can agree or disagree with him, you can agree or disagree with the democracy doctrine, but you can’t say the man wasn’t a freedom fighter. Oh, and he’s a conservative. So, does Obama love freedom more than Bush? The same guy who COMPLETELY IGNORED the Iranian demonstrations in 2009? What a freedom lover…
But now that we’re on the topic of Obama, let’s analyze something Robinson says about the President’s role in Egypt:
For one thing – and I think this applies to most of the tongue-tied potential candidates – there’s the fact that all of this is happening on Obama’s watch. If everything turns out well, heaven forbid that the president get any credit.
The administration’s public comments as the Egyptian revolution unfolded seemed to take two steps forward and one step back, but there was never any real question about Obama’s sentiments. The United States was by no means in control of events, but the White House used whatever influence it had to push for a transition.
Absurd. There was one group of people who were responsible for the Egyptian uprising: Egyptian protesters. Period. So, when Robinson asks heaven to “forbid that the president get any credit,” he’s making a reasonable request. Because Mr. Obama doesn’t deserve a bit of credit. Not a bit. Egyptians overthrew Mubarak. Not Barack Obama.
Also, we’re apparently supposed to agree with Robinson that “there was never any real question about Obama’s sentiments.” The idea is that Obama was always in favor of Mubarak stepping down…which is, again, absurd. For some reason he wanted instability? For some reason, he wanted a regime less supportive of the U.S.? He could somehow predict that the protesters would not be quashed in the first hours of the uprising? I guess Barack Obama is just sort of always right…even when he’s not…
But then, there’s an even more ridiculous allegation, and it is so wrong that it is actually worrisome. In the article, Robinson criticizes John Bolton for praising the virtues of democracy but cautioning that the results of that democracy might be bad for America. That seems like a perfectly logical concern. Because, it is almost a virtual certainty that the next government will be less supportive of the West than Mubarak, and the possibility of an Islamic regime would be pretty bad….right?
Well, Robinson argues differently:
In other words, some Egyptians might vote for candidates put forth by the Muslim Brotherhood. It is unlikely that the group would win a majority in free and fair elections – or even that a government headed by the Muslim Brotherhood, if it came to that, would necessarily be more dangerous or hostile than the Mubarak regime. But Bolton and some others seem to believe that only political parties of which the United States approves should be allowed to participate in Egyptian elections.
He makes that common, idiotic, dangerous assertion that the Muslim Brotherhood is some sort of moderate organization. He really believes that a government headed by the Muslim Brotherhood would be less dangerous than Mubarak….
Mubarak was our pet. He was a tyrant and a fiend, but the man was our pet. And to say that an Islamic state would not be “more dangerous or hostile than the Mubarak regime” is the most asinine, ignorant, oblivious statement a person could make.
So, when Robinson trashes Republicans for ignoring Egypt during CPAC, it certainly raises some questions about his mental stability. But when he buys in to the lie that the Muslim Brotherhood is moderate and believes martial law is the same thing as democracy, it begs the question:
Why doesn’t Robinson love freedom?