Patterico's Pontifications


Scattered News on Democracy Movements in the Muslim World

Filed under: General — Aaron Worthing @ 11:21 am

[Guest post by Aaron Worthing; if you have tips, please send them here.]

Well, for starters, it looks like a number of items have been stolen from Egypt’s museums, including this piece depicting King Tut:

Which needless to say is very sad, because they were priceless national treasures.  Hopefully, the culprit can be caught quickly and spayed.  You can read about it (the theft and not the spaying), here.

At the same time, the military has officially suspended their constitution and suspended parliament until elections can be held.  As I said before brief periods of non-democracy can occur before establishing democracy.  But we should be appropriately cynical that the military will actually step aside when the new government is elected.  You can read about that, here.

Meanwhile Mubarak’s supporters are suddenly pretending to be revolutionaries.  So the fleas and ticks have officially chosen a new dog.  You can read about it, here.  The best comedy in the piece is depicting the editor of a state run newspaper:

It was only last week that Saraya was denouncing the chaos caused by pro-democracy demonstrators. His editorial in al-Ahram on Sunday carried a very different tune.

“A salutation to the revolution and respect to its youth,” Saraya wrote. “The corrupt in Egypt were only a few that led to the destruction of the country, and their era is gone now.”

He then goes on to say that he now welcomes their new military overlords…

For more on how military rule is shaping up, in this article they are mentioning the potential for the outlawing of strikes, and, on the other hand, proposing constitutional amendments within a few months.

In more unambiguously hopeful news, there are protests again in Iran?  Well PBS has some coverage, as well as Pajamas Media.  It’s sad that I trust an outlet called “Pajamas Media” more than most.  And Claire Berlinski, Ed. has a ton of links (especially with that newfangled Twitter thing the kids keep talking about) and admonishes the President “Obama, if you screw this one up, history will never forgive you.”  He screwed it up last time, why do you think he will get it right this time?  And The Blaze has more coverage, here.  Seriously, we just saw two revolutions.  Is this possibly the third?  Only time will tell.

Of course we know who doesn’t want to be the third, Gaddafi.  Which is why he is urging revolution in Palestine, because he really, really doesn’t want to be next, imho.  I seem to recall he seemed pretty nervous when we pulled Saddam out of that spider hole all those years ago.  Oh I forgot the liberal spin, which is that him giving up his WMD program only within days of Saddam being captured was surely just a coincidence.  He gave them up out of the goodness of his heart…

Speaking of the influence of Bush era policies, there is also this headline in the Boston Globe: Bush program helped lay the groundwork in Egypt.  Now before you get all excited and think maybe somehow the liberal Boston Globe has decided that it cannot deny that George W. Bush has inspired all this outbreaking of Middle Eastern democracy, we are not so lucky.  They mean one single program that helped in a much less deniable way.  On the other hand, I am sure liberals will be claiming that Obama’s non-commitment to Democracy has inspired all of this.

I am sure there is a lot more interesting stuff in the world, so needless to say, I am blegging for your help in keeping track of them in the comments.

[Posted and authored by Aaron Worthing.]

47 Responses to “Scattered News on Democracy Movements in the Muslim World”

  1. Protests also in Algeria and Yemen.

    I’ve been saying for weeks that I don’t understand why conservatives aren’t saying this vindicates Bush.

    aphrael (e0cdc9)

  2. Oh, and Bahrain.

    Two successful movements overthrowing local regimes will spawn lots of copycats, it seems.

    aphrael (e0cdc9)

  3. aphrael, some of us are saying that this vindicates George Bush’s approach, and undermines the Obama/Biden sneering of the Bush admin foreign policy.

    But more than that, its showing the vacuousness and amateurish character of the Obama admin and Hillary Clinton. Not to mention Panetta and Clapper’s klown kar act.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  4. Becaus we’ve seen Gaza, and Lebanon, where Hezbollah overturned the Cedar Revolution

    narciso (c8ccf1)

  5. I’ve been saying for weeks that I don’t understand why conservatives aren’t saying this vindicates Bush.

    Well… there’s the little problem of how Egypt could be worse for our interests if it is democratic in the short term. You have faith in the system, and assume once people learn what their votes mean to their lives, they will learn to be more moderate (I agree), but we have a short term news cycle, and I think everyone wants to distance themselves from what’s going to happen with Egypt.

    I’m sure everyone would like to take credit for any reforms in Iran, though.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  6. I’m not sure I care for the spaying joke there. Considering the prevalence of genital mutilation in Egypt, it is truly in poor taste.

    DanH (815af6)

  7. Oh go screw yourself, Dan…

    Would you rather be reminded that in Egypt, they are far more likely to either have their hands cut off, or killed outright?

    Lord, Dan… What’s it like, going through life with no f**king sense of humor?

    The Departed (d027b8)

  8. Damnit… That was me..

    Scott Jacobs (d027b8)

  9. Also, Aaron, I will never get tired of that Simpsons clip. It just has so many uses…

    Scott Jacobs (d027b8)

  10. “I’ve been saying for weeks that I don’t understand why conservatives aren’t saying this vindicates Bush.”

    aphrael – Perhaps because in promoting democracy, Bush was not promoting Islamic theocracies, which are generally anathemas to democratic principles. Watching liberals pretend that the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt is a non-violent social organization, just like Hamas, compounds the lunacy. I see nothing to cheer about the potential of Iran on the Nile.

    daleyrocks (479a30)

  11. scott

    you were danh, is that what you are saying?

    Aaron Worthing (e7d72e)

  12. DanH, people who go out of their way to look for reasons to be offended usually succeed.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  13. I wonder if Medea Benjamin took advantage of the medical opportunities DanH mentioned on her last trip.


    daleyrocks (479a30)

  14. aphrael, some of us are saying that this vindicates George Bush’s approach, and undermines the Obama/Biden sneering of the Bush admin foreign policy.

    I’m not sure there’s a huge difference in the foreign policies of the two administrations.

    Kman (d30fc3)

  15. The restraint shown by the Egyptian Army so far is a direct reflection on the training of Egypts Officer corps in human rights and the role of the Military in a Democracy in protecting same by our School of the Americas and other foreign military training and exchange programs.

    This needs to be said because it reflects well on our Armed Forces.

    SGT Ted (5d10ae)

  16. I thought that Western nations carting off the archaeological treasures of the third world was cultural imperialism. Turns out it was actually an attempt to protect ancient cultures from the ravages of local indigenous populations.

    I mean, really – what do modern-day Egyptians have in common with their ancient counterparts? What would they know about the Pharaohs if the French had not taken the Rosetta Stone?

    Amphipolis (b120ce)

  17. SGT Ted: I would agree with that remark => Egypt’s military has changed substantially due to its affiliation with us, and for the better.

    aphrael (e0cdc9)

  18. I’m not sure there’s a huge difference

    Weasel words bolded.

    Anyway, the primary factor to the Obama campaign was that it disagree with the Bush admin’s claims its actions were necessary… something one must do when the stakes are high.

    All these things from PATRIOT to GITMO to surges to drone airstrikes to extraordinary rendition… Obama was lying about his claims he would change.

    however, it’s frankly a lie, rather than an error, to claim one can’t see a difference between sending the Churchill bust back or capitulating on Missile Shields, and the Bush era policy of not bowing, but rather noting the superiority of western democracy.

    It’s too ridiculous for anyone to believe Kman isn’t just trolling.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  19. Frankly, Dustin, I’m not sure that Obama lied…

    He just spoke without knowledge, and so spoke of high ideals that sounded very nice but were absolutely unworkable in the real world.

    The second he had to face reality, he realized that Bush wasn’t so wrong after all, and so he kept almost everything.

    So he didn’t lie. He was just stupid.

    Scott Jacobs (d027b8)

  20. OK,Scott, I’ll grant that you have a point because I mentioned the campaign Obama.

    However, he was still saying much of this stuff in his first year. And I’m not even getting to the KSM trial. There’s a long list of things Obama bashed Bush for, and makes speeches condemning, that he ultimately also does because … it’s the correct move for political survival, let alone American security.

    Which isn’t the sum total of his foreign policy. The idea of America as a shining example is replaced with a bow to tyrants.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  21. However, he was still saying much of this stuff in his first year.

    Did I ever once suggest that, while stupid, he was at all quick on the uptake?

    But pretty much every mistake he’s make can be chalked up to a) being really stupid/naive, b) being unwilling to admit error/fault and c) being unable/unwilling to learn lessons from those un-admitted mistakes.

    Those three are the trifecta of “s**tty policy”, and Obama wields them like a true master of bad decision making.

    Scott Jacobs (d027b8)

  22. I’ve been saying for weeks that I don’t understand why conservatives aren’t saying this vindicates Bush.

    If you can believe it, none other than Juan Williams congratulated Liz Cheney (on the Fox sunday morning show) for her support of the funding that was sent to Egypt (over Mubarak’s strenuous objections) for training citizen vote watchers, who learned their trade well and promptly exposed the last election as a sham. These same citizens were primarily the leaders of the protests last week, and will continue to be a force (I hope) in the future. BTW, Obama promptly cancelled the program as soon as his administration took over.

    Dmac (c50897)

  23. Did I ever once suggest that, while stupid, he was at all quick on the uptake?

    I was pretty sure you had. Just kidding.

    Yes, Obama is easy to explain if you assume he has absolutely no experience or leadership skill, and is having a difficult time with the job we gave him.

    I see you also note he’s naive and not all that smart innately. I think that’s a big part of the problem. A smart guy with no experience would surround himself with excellent advisors and replace them if they were clearly awful. A naive guy thinks he can talk his way out of the problem.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  24. He just spoke without knowledge,

    A running theme with him. One would think he would have learned by now. He speaks to promote his narrative before patiently waiting for all the facts and/or reality to be laid out.

    btw, Scott Jacobs, did you say you were The Departed handle user?

    Dana (8ba2fb)

  25. Protests are also brewing in Tehran. So far no word from our President…his repeated silence (if it continues) will once again speak volumes about him.

    Thousands of Iranians gathered in several locations across Tehran Monday, heeding calls in recent days by opposition leaders to demonstrate in solidarity with Egyptian and Tunisian protesters who recently toppled their own regimes.

    On Sunday night, for the first time in months, Tehran rocked again to the chants from residents on rooftops across the capital of “God is Great,” and “Death to the dictator,” according to witnesses and videos posted on the Internet. The chants, common during the Iranian revolution more than 30 years ago, were repurposed during the height of the antiregime protests in 2009 and 2010.

    About 4,000 people gathered in Azadi Square, in central Tehran, and more were streaming in, with dozens of police on motorbikes circling the square, according to eyewitnesses, opposition websites and Internet posts.

    Dana (8ba2fb)

  26. btw, Scott Jacobs, did you say you were The Departed handle user?


    The handle I used during my exceedingly rare visits while I was gone.

    Why do you ask?

    Scott Jacobs (d027b8)

  27. Dana #26 – perhaps El Rushbo is correct, and we need to demonstrate in DC, with cries of “Allahu akbar; Obama not so much !”

    Alasdair (eabd8a)

  28. Scott, I’m just surprised…The Departed snarked at me a couple of times a few months ago, and I couldn’t figure out why…so I just moved on. Of course had I known it was you, I would have put on my Jimmy Choos and given you what-for!


    Heh. I think Rush is definitely on to something. Sadly. His silence for 10 days last go-round with Iranian protesters was shameful.

    Dana (8ba2fb)

  29. Alasdair – So that’s why the Tea Party gets a bad rap, while the Muslim Brotherhood gets a pass…

    We just haven’t been using the right code word

    Scott Jacobs (d027b8)

  30. had I known it was you, I would have put on my Jimmy Choos and given you what-for!

    Or, you could have done what you were supposed to do, and gone and made me a freakin’ sammich…

    Scott Jacobs (d027b8)

  31. Dana #29 – Rush, as far as I know, still says he’s an entertainer, not a journalist, not a politician … just an entertainer with proudly-espoused political beliefs … I choose not to get caught up when the sinistroids whinge about “But Limbaugh didn’t criticise *this* !” – and I try to point out to those for whom I feel respect that they don’t need to get caught up in it, either …

    Scott #30 – nahh – the sinistroids don’t like the Tea Party cuz Tea Party hoods tend to be over stoves and ranges … they like Muslim Brotherhood cuz their hoods are usually part of their clothing (which is nostalgia for the Dems) and they like hiding their faces (another Dem trait) …

    Alasdair (eabd8a)

  32. Scott #31 – did you *really* intend to invite Our Dana to slice you down the middle, insert some meat and condiments, and then cut you in half ?

    Alasdair (eabd8a)

  33. As if she’d do that…

    I mean, think of the mess she’d make and – as befitting her status as a female – have to clean up?

    Scott Jacobs (d027b8)

  34. It is entirely possible that a tiny bit of sleep-dep has made me slightly belligerent.

    Scott Jacobs (d027b8)

  35. Scott Jacobs, clearly you have forgotten I am the trifecta of the oppressed: female, Republican, minority. As such, I will quietly continue sharpening my heel.

    (…and to think I was actually going to run into the kitchen and grab you a beer. No chance that’ll ever happen now!)

    Dana (8ba2fb)

  36. You running into the kitchen to get me a beer should never happen.

    Everyone knows that you should already be in the kitchen. How are you going to run into a room that you are already in?

    Scott Jacobs (d027b8)

  37. Also, being a Republican counter-acts all other protected classes. :)

    Scott Jacobs (d027b8)

  38. Well looky here, guess who’s very busy;

    narciso (c8ccf1)

  39. Wow, that About page has some interesting figures…Wade Rathke, Kirk Adams, Drummond Pike???

    It’s fun to play connect the dots…

    Dana (8ba2fb)

  40. Eh. Wow, that About Board of Directors page…

    Dana (8ba2fb)

  41. This is Drummond Pike, just one of the folk:

    narciso (c8ccf1)

  42. I noticed the copyright notice dated 2004 at the bottom of that page.

    Felipe (02954a)

  43. Via SMD:

    Stratfor saying Mubarak was attempting the revolution in passing throne to Gamal, without military ties.

    So whether this means change, any change, awaits events.

    gary gulrud (790d43)

  44. From an article on the NYT website this afternoon:

    During a news conference in Washington, President Obama said he supported the courage of the Iranian demonstrators who were seeking a more representative government, and he criticized the Iranian government’s response to the rallies.

    “I find it ironic that you’ve got the Iranian regime pretending to celebrate what happened in Egypt, when in fact they have acted in direct contrast to what happened in Egypt by gunning down and beating people who were trying to express themselves peacefully in Iran,” he said.

    Mr. Obama went on to say: “Real change in these societies is not going to happen because of terrorism. It’s not going to happen because you go around killing innocents. It’s going to happen because people come together and apply moral force to a situation.”

    aphrael (9802d6)

  45. I’m not sure President Obama means what he says, aphrael. If he did, wouldn’t he ask Ahmadinejad to step down the way he asked Mubarak to step down? Wouldn’t that be applying the “moral force” of the most powerful nation in the world to the situation? (In fairness, I don’t think he should have called on Mubarak to step down but if he’s going to do it, why not Ahmadinejad, too?)

    He also said it’s not up to us to intervene in matters of a sovereign nation but, of course, that didn’t stop him from intervening in Egypt or Honduras. Thus, all we can conclude is sometimes he talks the talk, and sometimes he doesn’t. I don’t think that’s what a real liberal considers leadership.

    DRJ (fdd243)

  46. Also, aphrael, I watched President Obama’s press conference and I was struck by the same excerpt. I was especially struck by his use of the term “ironic” to describe reports that Iran’s leaders celebrated the Egyptian protests while “gunning down and beating” its own protesters.

    Ironic is what you say when your co-worker critiques the boss behind his back but not to his face. It’s what you say when a neighbor complains about your barking dog but lets his bark non-stop. It’s not the word I would choose for a regime that murders peacefully protesting citizens.

    DRJ (fdd243)

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