MOTHER- MAY I? [My last Texas post]
Over the weekend I read as many news stories as I could on the Egyptian Coup.
Now- there is much debate over whether it was a coup or not.
The Egyptian election of Morsi- after the overthrow of Mubarak- was seen as a major step for Democracy in the Arab world.
And of course- some in the media tried to spin the story [Arab Spring] as it being a result of president Obama’s speech that he gave about a year before the overthrow.
Obama spoke about a new sense of freedom and co-operation- the overall ‘we can’ attitude that swept him into office.
So- as the first ‘revolution’ unfolded- Nic Robertson [CNN] was in the famous Tahrir square- and was searching for some young protestor- to give Obama credit for the ‘new day’ dawning in the Arab world.
Nic went to his first protestor and asked the kid if he credited Obama for this great new day.
The kid said- in so many words- no.
Nic went to number 2.
Got the same response.
He then went to his 3rd protestor- and this kid finally said ‘NO’- he replied that Obama was non committal at first- did not back the protestors- and that he only jumped on the bandwagon after he saw the writing on the wall [that Mubarak was on the verge of being kicked out].
So- after hearing the protestors basically say Obama was not even part of their thinking- good old Nic then turned to the camera- and reported something to the effect of;
‘There you have it- the protestors are vey happy that the president is with them’.
Yeah- that’s how the media have ‘reported’ this stuff for the past 6 years.
So- what really happened with the whole Egyptian revolution?
When Egypt did indeed kick out their Autocrat- they did it with the U.S. working behind the scenes with the Egyptian military.
Egypt- the most populous Arab nation- had its military generals trained in the U.S.
Because of this- we have connections with the generals- in a way that we do not have with other nations in the region.
So- we kind of gave the Green Light to topple Mubarak- and went with what we felt was the popular trend at the time.
There was indeed a legitimate feeling of a need for a change in Egypt.
Lots of the new generation of kids- because of their connection to the world in a new way- thru Face Book and other internet venues- they began seeing what the rest of the free world was like- in a new way.
So yeah- they did want change- and Mubarak was oppressive- he used his police to abuse the people- and they were rightfully tired of it.
So- Egypt had its first Democratic election- and Morsi- the candidate from the Muslim Brotherhood- won.
Now- at the time- there was a fear that Morsi might try and ‘rule’ as a Muslim- who would institute a sort of Theocracy [religious rule] and trample on the rights of the other groups [Christians and Secularists] who wanted Mubarak out- but did not want an islamist to rule in this way.
So- over the past year- Morsi showed himself to be stubborn- and when Egypt was writing her constitution- Morsi did not compromise- but pushed thru a sort of Muslim constitution- and put hard line Islamists in key positions of govt.
He also butted heads with Egypt’s Judiciary- which were known to be independent- and Morsi consolidated more power- some say more than Mubarak- to his own position as the head of Egypt.
Ok- this worried the other groups in the nation- and Morsi made the power grab- thinking that the military would not move against him.
He thought wrong.
Now- here’s where it gets tricky.
During the final days of the Morsi rule- the military was having behind the scenes talks with Morsi.
With the U.S. [referred to as MOTHER] having a hand in it all.
There are some reports that at the last minute- Morsi was going to take a deal- brokered by MOTHER- to share power with the other groups- and prevent a military take over [we were dong behind the scenes negotiations thru an Arab emissary- and when word got back that the U.S. gave the go ahead for the coup- one of Morsi’s guys reported back ‘Mother says we can stop playing in one hour’].
Some reports say that Mori accepted the deal from the top general- but the general reported back that he rejected it.
That the general lied- because he wanted Morsi out too.
How much of this is true- I don’t know [I read this in the New York Times].
But if it is true- this would mean that the military basically did what they wanted- even though the U.S. ‘told’ them to get a deal.
Either way- they arrested Morsi- have been in flux since- and the situation might spin out of control.
And at the end of the day- leave one of the so-called great foreign policy moves of the administration- in a complete mess.
Now- as most things go- there were not a lot of clear- easy choices- to make at the time [or now].
The hard right critics of Obama are saying ‘see- he backed a militant Muslim- and we told you this would happen’.
The left- well they don’t have much to say now- but they are doing their darndest to explain all of these ins and outs- to show you that Obama tried- really hard- and it just didn’t work.
What’s wrong with that John?
Nothing- but they could have gone into these same long explanations for Gitmo- and a million other stories- but when there’s a Repub pres- well they just report how much he blew it.
So- as of now- Egypt is in real trouble.
As a defense of Obama- the Muslim Brotherhood was [is] indeed a political Muslim group- who believed that you should gain power- not by terrorism- but by the ballot box.
Was this a good thing?
So- you can’t fault Obama for supporting Morsi at the start.
And he did work behind the scenes to try and convince Morsi to be more open minded- and to share power.
Morsi did not take this advice.
The danger now is- that the Muslims who rejected the Muslim Brotherhoods idea- that you could gain power thru Democratic means- are saying ‘see- we told you so’.
This leaves a huge gap- which the militants will use to their advantage.
So- it does seem like Obama had no real choice- but to have backed Morsi at the time.
But the real question is- are the majority of Muslims in this part of the world ready for true Democracy- in the way we understand it.
Now- when I say ‘the way we [the West] understand it’ I mean in a secular sort of way.
Most in the Western world accept the reality that whoever we elect into office- most of the time a Christian of some sort- that he [she] will not use that position to simply expand their idea of religion.
But in most Islamic nations- this distinction does not exist.
There are some in the Muslim community- who are trying- real hard- to Reform radical Islam- and bring her into the 21st century- they believe in a more moderate approach.
But how much success they are having is questionable.
So- under Morsi you had a legitimately elected President [like what happened in Palestine when they elected Hamas] and he used his ‘legitimacy’ to basically enact a sort of Islamic rule.
Did the majority of Egyptians want this?
Did he have the right to do this?
Yes- and no.
It depends on your view of ‘Democracy’.
He and his supporters felt ‘we won- we get to do what we want’.
And they pushed thru an Islamic constitution- and that angered- and scared- the other groups who wanted Mubarak out- but did not want this.
Our dilemma [That is us- you know- MOTHER] we did not really want a coup- because it would then justify- in the minds of some- radical Islam.
The younger generation would say ‘see- we tried Democracy- and it didn’t work’.
At the same time- we also did not want to simply be backing a hard line Islamist which is not what the majority of Egyptians wanted.
So- after reading/watching as much as I could- that seems to be the jist of it.
A few things;
When the U.S. - does behind the scenes deals- with any group [ In this case we used our influence with the generals].
It might work the first time around [kicking out Mubarak].
But maybe not the 2nd time [accepting the Morsi deal- like we wanted].
The generals realize that we- if it’s in our interest- will be sneaky- and stab leaders in the back- leaders we were behind just a few days before.
Yes- the U.S. had strong ties- and deals- with Mubarak.
The generals saw what we did to a so called partner- and that didn’t leave a whole lot of respect for us.
When we in the west are seen as MOTHER [this term was coined by the insiders- Morsi and his men saw us this way- that we were trying to micro manage the outcome].
Then there develops a built in resentment to whatever happens.
The people will ultimately blame us if stuff goes bad [Libya- Iraq- Afghanistan- etc.]
We have to come to a place where we simply do our best- we advocate for the rights of all people- but leave the outcome up to them.
That’s the only way the world will function [or not] in the end.
We have to be realistic about what Democracy means to these Arab states.
It does not mean the same thing to them- as us.
Now- I know that can sound demeaning- but it’s just the truth.
Many in the Arab world do not see a distinction between being an elected official- and at the same time promoting the religious values of those who backed you- even if the majority of citizens in the country don’t want it.
That’s the way it is- we can’t change that.
If that mindset is to change- then it has to come from within Islam itself.
But- if every time a more moderate Muslim is found- like some in the West who do advocate for this more moderate view.
And the hard right goes after them- just as much as they go after the radicals- then we are shooting ourselves in the foot.
So- its hard to see any real progress- with all these obstacles in the way.
As of now- Egypt is in real trouble.
They were a stable nation just a few years ago- not any more.
They had a stable economy- no more.
The last ting they needed- was to lose any funding they have- and the money we have been giving them [the military] might go away.
The U.S. has a policy- if your nation has a coup- then we stop funding you until you elect a leader.
Now- as you can see- that’s not as easy as it sounds.
NOTE- The western view- that Democracy trumps just about every thing else- is simply a moral ‘judgment’- the same argument that those who support a Theocracy would say.
That is- some in the Muslim world sincerely believe that the final arbiter of right and wrong is indeed God.
Now- in the West- we are schizophrenic in a way.
We- for the most part- reject religious rule.
But at the same time we too have certain moral standards- judgments- that we impose- even on people who not like those ‘morals’.
The Supreme Court recently ruled in a favorable way for gay marriage.
You also have those in the more ‘liberal’ sector of society- that advocate for ‘Man/Boy’ love.
Now- most of us [including me!] reject that.
We say ‘No way- it’s just not right’ [NAMBLA- North American Man Boy Love Association believes we should legalize sex with minors].
So- the majority rule in our country does indeed impose certain standards- and others need to abide by them- or else.
The argument that men like Morsi make- is they too believe that society needs to abide by laws- but in their mind- they choose the ‘laws of God’ [as they see it].
This argument is not totally defenseless- the problem is once again- whose interpretation do you use?
In Egypt- you did not have a ‘real democracy’ as we in the West would define it.
In ‘our world’ Democracy is not simply majority rule- we have a form of Representative Democracy- we elect leaders and they make the laws [in keeping with the constitution- that’s why some call us a Constitutional Republic].
Where did this idea come from?
Well- you can go back around 500 years before Christ and see the city/state of Athens giving this kind of govt. a shot.
But our founding fathers were really a product of the European Enlightenment.
They were influenced by men like John Locke- for the most part that’s where our constitution came from.
Jefferson- Franklin- etc. put into practice the Democratic ideals that were written about by these men.
So- when we in the Western world say ‘oh well- if they elected so and so- then that’s it- we must respect the will of the people’.
That’s simply a judgment call- the bible does not exalt this ‘will of the people’ to the same degree as we do.
That might sound strange- but it’s true.
What is the type of govt. spoken about most in the bible?
Believe it or not- it’s a Monarchy.
That’s right- we read books like ‘Kings’- yeah- that’s what it’s about- kings.
In the time of Jesus we did have a Roman Senate and stuff- but you do not find a Democracy in the bible- not like we know of today.
So- when we in the West hold to an idea that whoever gets elected must be respected- that’s not always so.
Hitler was elected too.
I don’t say this to demean our form of govt.
I do indeed think we have the best thing going on the planet as of now.
But how long we can sustain it- well nobody knows.
There are cracks- serious ones- that are forming in our system.
And I’m not talking about what you might hear on conservative radio- or in our ‘world’ of anti Obama media [or pro!].
But there are indeed serious issues- that men like Alex DeTocqueville talked about.
A Democracy can last so long- but when people realize that they can vote in others- who will start giving them free stuff- then at that point the writings on the wall.
I heard a recording the other day- it was covering the conversation of people who were getting the free phones that Obama has started giving out- sort of an extension of the Welfare state.
Now- I have friends who get the phones- so don’t get mad if your one of them.
But- in the recording- the people were asking if it’s okay if ‘I get as many as I can and try and sell them for stuff’.
It was an undercover set up- to see what the people- who were giving the phones out- would say.
And sure enough- the people- working for the govt. said ‘yeah- just don’t get caught’.
That’s the problem- when we as a society begin electing- supporting people because he might give me something for free- then at that stage Democracy is in trouble.
The whole point is when we have a mindset- that what the majority of the people want is right- well- that’s just not so.
And we- even in our Democracy- have morals- standards that we impose on others.
Where do these standards come from?
Well- that’s a very long debate about Moral law- one that in the end does prove the existence of God.
But what Morsi was doing in Egypt was not a Democracy like we know of.
As of now- the Morsi supporters have been fighting back- and the military has killed about 50 protestors.
We had our hand in this thing from day one- and when things spin out of control- both sides are going to blame us.
That’s what’s happening right now- and once again- we find ourselves between a rock and a hard place.
Pray for Egypt- no matter what your view is- we want peace for the people of Egypt.
For Muslims- Christians- Sectarians- for all.
Note- Do me a favor, those who read/like the posts- re-post them on other sites as well as the site you read them on. Thanks- John. Don’t forget to scroll down on the timeline [FaceBook] - I have posted lots.