Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Who Lost Egypt?

Supporters of Mohamed Morsi

Who Lost Egypt? -Bret Stephens

•Don't console yourself with the belief that the victory of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt is merely symbolic, since the army still has the guns: The examples of revolutionary Iran and present-day Turkey show how easily the conscripts can be bought, the noncoms wooed and the officers purged.

•Don't console yourself with the idea that now the Islamists will have to prove themselves capable of governing the country. The Brotherhood is the most successful social organization in the Arab world. Its leaders are politically skillful, economically literate and strategically patient.

•Don't console yourself with the expectation that the Brotherhood will play by the democratic rules that brought it to power. "Democracy is like a streetcar," Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Turkey's Islamist prime minister, observed long ago. "When you come to your stop you get off."

•Don't console yourself, finally, with hope that Egypt will remain a responsible, status quo player on the international scene. By degrees, Egypt under the Brotherhood will seek to arm Hamas and remilitarize the Sinai. By degrees, it will seek to extract concessions from the U.S. as the price of its good behavior. By degrees, it will make radical alliances in the Middle East and beyond.

•Who lost Egypt? The Egyptians, obviously. They chose - albeit by a narrow margin - a party that offers Islamic stultification as the solution to every political and personal problem. By the time they come to regret their choice, they won't be in a position to change it.
(Wall Street Journal)

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