The anti-Morsi, anti-Muslim Brotherhood, and therefore anti-Obama demonstrations in Egypt are the biggest in human history. It’s quite something, an historic event. Whatever the outcome, we should pay attention. What does it signify? Are we now in a new world? Has there been a paradigm shift? Does it portend similar huge protests elsewhere, even here in the USA? Does it require rethinking basic policy options? Or is it just an Egyptian thing, or maybe an “Arab street” thing?
If you’ve been following Spengler, as you should, you know that Egypt is a failed state, where there is a real danger of starvation, and it is tempting to describe the demonstrations as a reaction to misery, as an act of desperation.
No doubt that’s a big part of the monster demonstration. How could it not be? On the other hand, politics is an independent variable, and I think that, alongside those threatened with starvation, many Egyptians don’t want to become “the new Iran.” Those millions of Egyptians look to me more like “the people” — all classes, heterogeneous convictions, even multigender — than a sociological, political, or religious category.
Egypt under the fist of the Muslim Brotherhood was looking more and more like Khomeini’s vision of Islamic government, and millions of Egyptians don’t want to go there, let alone do that.
The Muslim Brotherhood organized its takeover of Egypt by following the same strategy as Hezbollah in Lebanon: offering social services the state was unable to provide, organizing the faithful and telling them that their government was failing because it was godless, and assuring them that Allah would bless a regime that followed his dictates. The Egyptians got the Brothers’ version of sharia, hence less freedom, alongside the hunger pains. The biggest demonstration in human history thus pits Sunni Muslim against Sunni Muslim, not Sunni against Shia, or Muslim against infidel.