Originally published at Rubin Reports.
Therefore, my Harry, Be it thy course to busy giddy minds With foreign quarrels; that action, hence borne out, May waste the memory of the former days.” –William Shakespeare, “King Henry IV, Part Two.”
THERE’S NO doubt about the growing crisis in Egypt, a country that is crashing economically and whose highest government official running the religious establishment just called for genocide against Jews.
Here are four dispatches from a 24-hour period:
A ferocious fight between members of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood and their opponents near the group’s Cairo headquarters…could mark a dangerous turning point… raising worries that the confrontation between Islamists, who dominate power in the country, and their opponents is moving out of anyone’s control.
Then there’s the International Herald Tribune’s, “Fall in Egyptian Pound Weighs Heavily on the Ill,” which speaks of “a shortage of an estimated 400 different drugs, some of which are considered lifesaving….”
The Atlantic, formerly one of the most reliably apologetic publications on the Brotherhood regime, speaks of vigilante groups lynching alleged criminals.
And that doesn’t even include massive power cuts; the food poisoning of around 500 students at al-Azhar University due to negligence; the institution of blasphemy cases for alleged insults toward Islam (by an actress) and to the country’s president (by a television comedian). Even the April 6 Youth Movement, which functioned as an ally and something of a front for the Brotherhood during the early days of revolution, has turned against it.
The Brotherhood-controlled state institutions have threatened to lift the licenses of two television stations (here and here) that have been critical. In the turbulent northern Sinai, armed militant groups openly paraded with weapons.
So even with an almost $5 billion IMF loan supposedly on the way—none of which will ever be paid back, meaning taking away from Western economies to prop up an Islamist anti-American regime—the prospects aren’t good.
It also won’t change the ideology of the Muslim Brotherhood which is not, like Communism during the Soviet Union in its last days, a movement that doesn’t take its ideas seriously. This is a vigorous movement that feels the future belongs to itself and which will soon be governing four places (Egypt, Gaza Strip, Syria, and Tunisia).
The official Muslim Brotherhood site just tweeted the claim, earlier made by President Morsi, that Jews control the American media. Of course, that same media has been incredibly friendly to the Brotherhood and apologetic for its behavior.
Egypt’s powerful minister of religious affairs, the person who gets to decide who gets hired as preachers in mosques, as religious instructors in schools, who approves those textbooks and controls vast funds, spoke as follows recently:
We hope the words of the Prophet Muhammad will be fulfilled: “Judgment Day will not come before” the Muslims wipe out the Jews and added that Israel will cease to exist.
The fact that such statements don’t even register in the Western media input shows how conditioned such countries have become from ignoring such things, though anti-Jewish statements from Morsi got a bit of coverage–in the context of being regrettable but not anything meaningful–when that became unavoidable.
Consider, then the simple facts: A country of 85 million people, heavily armed (with U.S. help) is burning with anarchy and violence, teetering on the edge of an economic abyss, and threatening genocide against a neighbor with less than one-tenth of that population.
Might this be a matter of concern? Well, the crisis is being covered but there doesn’t seem to be much worry about this in Washington. And even the media coverage lacks two vital elements.
First of all, none of the many articles pointing to the disaster in Egypt have pointed out that this was all totally predictable and yet no one in the establishment—the “herd-news,” to coin a phrase—predicted it. There is no reflection on how mistaken enthusiasm for an Egyptian revolution helped transform a mildly repressive pro-Western regime that managed Egypt’s economy as well as possible into an Islamist-dominated half-dictatorship, half-anarchy disaster.Barry Rubin
About the Author: Professor Barry Rubin is director of the Global Research in International Affairs (GLORIA) Center and editor of the Middle East Review of International Affairs (MERIA) Journal. See the GLORIA/MERIA site at www.gloria-center.org.
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