December 3, 2011

SPENGLER: Corruption And Islamism In Egypt. “Egypt under Mubarak was a tightly-controlled kleptocracy, and Egypt since Mubarak has been an uncontrolled kleptocracy, in which public officials steal whatever isn’t tied down. Shiploads of rice, diesel fuel, and other tradables are leaving Egyptian ports for hard-currency markets, while the country–which imports half its caloric consumption–runs out of money. Mubarak’s elite has helicopters revving on their roofs. It’s no surprise Islamists swept this week’s parliamentary elections. Whom do we expect Egyptians to vote for? . . . Stripped of a thin Western veneer, what remains of Egypt is one of the world’s most backward societies, despite the veneer of sophistication that beguiled reporters who parachuted into Cairo for the Tahrir Square theatrics in February. Nearly a third of Egyptians marry cousins (because they count on their clan to protect them). And 45% are illiterate, while 90% of adult women suffered genital mutilation.”