Benjamin Rosenbaum

Comments on "Egypt"

In such situations, only organization counts. There are only two groups with the necessary organization to win: the military and the Moslem Brotherhood. We have seen what Moslem Brotherhood rule looks like: Hamas is the Moslem Brotherhood in Gaza. Ask the PLO supporters in the Gaza Strip what their rule is like: Absolute brutal suppression of any other point of view. I am betting on the military and I hope they win.

Lots of brutal dictatorships have taken over under the guise of free elections and democratic processes. Hitler, Stalin, the Iranian clergy, etc. They all claimed to support a democratic system until they got in power. After that it was: support us completely or be eliminated.

As far a Turkey goes, the Turkish constitution demands the secularity of the state. The Turkish army is the guaranteer of that under constitution.

The Moslem Party which now rules is, like the Moslem Brotherhood, led by very smart people. Their plan was, and is, to proceed very slowly with Islamicization, even keeping good relations with Israel, lest the army throw them out. What they have done is, starting at the bottom, they have filled the ranks of the army with mostly religious people. They now control up to through Colonels. They are going to win, have already won, really, and will soon reveal their real agenda which is a Moslem state ruled by Sharia and a program to destroy Israel.

Posted by DMR at March 9, 2011 04:15 AM

Which was the democratic election which allowed Stalin to take power, exactly? Not that your point isn't well taken, but it's a funny example; Stalin succeeded Lenin who had already established a dictatorship off the proletariat.

I read that MB in Egypt, while an offshoot of the same movement that led to Hamas, is a good deal more moderate. I think there are plenty of nuances between Muslim parties, and to me your take on Turkey's moderate Islamists seems alarmmist. Got any links to actual data? (You like Wikileaks, so if any of it is classified you can always leak it there first, then link). My sense is that they are the exact equivalent of European Christian Democrats; not that European Christian Democrats are always disinclined to skullduggery, see Project Gladio in Italy (a false-flag operation in which the Christian right engaged in terrorism to discredit the left) I'm sure the Turkish Muslim party is not particularly keen on Israel -- hardly surprising, that -- but you have a lot of convincing to do, to establish that they are plotting Iran-style theocratic takeover. Filling the army with "your guys" is not necessarily proof of that; I think that's pretty par for the course for administrations all but the most developed countries.

Frankly, realistically, even Iran does not have a program to destroy Israel, other than waiting for Israel to go away. They are of course developing nukes, but they are no more actually hoping to use them than the USSR was hoping to launch against the US in the Cold War. Even if abandoned up by the US, Israel would itself retaliate and Tehran would be vapor. Nukes might provide cover for conventional attacks without fear of Israeli nuclear retaliation -- except of course for the fact that in a conventional conflict Israel can hand its ass anyway.

Iran's short term plan, in my view, is to act enough like a "rogue state" to keep oil prices high, increase their regional influence, and be the heroes of the Muslim street, while not actually doing something (like starting a hot, non-proxy war with Israel) that would invite real retaliation or get them invaded. Their long term plan is to wait for the US to collapse economically, China to become the major power, and see what the new field of play looks like. This is not to say they wouldn't like to establish Shari'a throughout the world, but that's about as relevant as the number of US congresspeople planning for the total conversion of the Jews in Israel just before the Rapture. Religious dreams are one thing, realpolitik another.

Posted by Benjamin Rosenbaum at March 14, 2011 12:45 PM

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