At Real Clear Politics, Tony Blankley has a terrific piece on the elections in Egypt which have essentially wiped out an American ally and turned it into what could become the Sunni version of Iran…
Well, the early returns are in. (There are still two more rounds of voting in 18 of the country’s 27 provinces over the next month.) But the Islamists look likely to get 65 percent to 70 percent of the eventual vote. According to the High Election Commission, the Islamic fundamentalist Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party got about 36 percent, while the Salafist Nour Party got a stunning 25 percent. The Salafists are the hysterical wing of the fundamentally reactionary general Muslim population and the Brotherhood is merely the fanatical wing.
The grand total for all the parties that, by the ancient cultural standards of Pharaonic Egypt, are considered the liberal-secular bloc — the makers of the glorious Arab Spring democracy was, wait for it — 13 percent. And I will predict that if any of them try to practice any of that liberal-secular stuff in public, either the military will eventually lock them up or the Salafists will eventually beat them up and/or kill them on the street. Adios liberal secular Egypt, we hardly knew ya. Hello, kill the Coptic Christians and the Jews.
What’s going on in Egypt is basically the same thing we see in Tunisia, Libya and Yemen. Namely, unsightly dictators with whom America had a functional relationship being ousted in favor of – what, we don’t quite know, but it’s a sure thing that the people replacing the tyrants won’t be any more liberal or any more pro-American.
In the case of Egypt, we’re about to see the same all-out assault against religious minorities – namely, Coptic Christians in this case – that we saw in Iraq and Afghanistan. We’re going to see hard-core repression of women. We’re going to see a free flow of weapons into Gaza, the better to stoke a war with Israel that the Egyptian population has desired since the Jewish state’s foundation. And we’re going to see the loss of American influence in a country which, for all its faults, was useful to us when Mubarak was in charge.
Perhaps it’s for the best, ultimately. Perhaps the loss of influence in the Middle East and the resulting state of war with an entire region of the world stretching from Tunis to Karachi will clarify American foreign policy. After all, our dealings with the Islamic world have produced almost uniformly negative results, at the same time we’ve used Saudi and Persian Gulf oil as a crutch against developing a sane energy policy. Perhaps a Cold War with the Islamic world will crystallize for our people the concept that we’re engaged in a 1400-year civilizational conflict with an imperialist enemy, and cause us to reorient our policies to that reality, rather than denying it as we have for the last several decades.
But that certainly wasn’t our president’s intention when he threw Mubarak under the bus during the “Arab Spring.” We instead bet on the come that a people of a failed, alien culture would act in the same way Methodists from the suburbs would when given the franchise, and we did so with a smile on our faces thanks to his political judgement.
We bet, and we lost. And now we’ll have some new enemies with which to deal.