But like the Saudis, they are wrong. The Saudis have redirected the Islamists who might otherwise be giving them the boot with double handfuls of money and foreign enemies. But all that means is that the Islamists have grown more dangerous and more experienced. Sooner or later the monarchies will fall, whether it’s to Al-Qaeda or the Muslim Brotherhood is a minor detail. And the Brotherhood in its time will fall the same way.
Arab Muslims, unlike Persians, actually seem to want to live this way. They want revolutionary purity and executioners who will cut off the heads and hands of the less devout. They want to stone women to death and steal the daughters of Christians to replace the last wife they beat to death. And they can never get enough of all this.
The Muslim Brotherhood has only whetted their appetite for the real thing. The Salafis managed to perform quite well without the organizing power, the sophisticated tactics or the bribes of the Brotherhood. And all it takes to keep the violence going is a few dozen men here and there who are willing to die for the One True Islamic Revolution, which is no longer the sellouts of the Muslim Brotherhood. In a region where AK-47’s and explosives are widely available, the rest is child’s play.
Anyone can call himself an Islamic teacher and begin recording tapes calling for true Islam and then upload them to the internet. Anyone can dig up revolutionary texts from the last hundred years, rewrite them a little and lay out the principles for a truly Islamic form of government. And anyone can assure Western reporters and politicians that, despite all the bombings, their Jihadist gang is filled with moderates who are the only hope of keeping the true extremists at bay.
Another, less well-known quote from Danton’s Death comes from Robespierre, loosely adapted from his own words. “The weapon of the Republic of terror, the power of the Republic is virtue – because without virtue, terror is unwholesome and without terror, virtue is powerless.” This cycle of virtue and terror is an endless escalation, with virtue feeding terror and terror feeding virtue.
Revolutions like Allah devour their own children, and this one has only begun gorging at the buffet.