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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.

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The biggest demonstration in human history is a blow to Obama as well as a humiliation of Islamism. And you might expect Obama — who has favored the Muslim Brotherhood ever since he insisted they sit in the VIP seats at his Cairo speech to “the Muslim world” — to have worked out some sort of effective strategy for this crisis, which was not hard to foresee, and which was announced well in advance.  So what did he do? True to his principles, the president is sticking with the Islamists.  He’s even sent “crowd control” experts to Cairo to give advice to his pal Morsi (is there such a thing as an “expert” capable of “controlling” more than ten million people en masse?  I don’t think so). He instructed his ambassador to lecture Egyptian Coptic Christians about the importance of supporting the Brothers, even though the Copts are being attacked in the streets and killed in their churches.

It’s reminiscent of the worst moments of the first Bush presidency, when George H.W.B. called on the Ukrainians to resist the temptations of independence and stick with the just-become-former-Soviets in his infamous “Chicken Kiev” speech. Like Bush The Elder, Obama is sticking with the tyrant he knows and likes, rather than rallying to the side of Morsi’s suffering people, who cheekily embrace American values, even as they express their contempt for an American leader who supports the Brotherhood.

Obama is hoping that Egypt 2013 will be a replay of Iran 2009, that the people will be crushed, and that the regime will survive.

History’s on his side. Most revolutions fail. On the other hand, tyrannies are the least stable form of government, and ours is a revolutionary epoch. The Muslim Brothers may well be the Bolsheviks of the Arab world, but they don’t have Lenin’s evil genius for enforcing their will on the masses, Kerensky didn’t have Twitter, and Morsi doesn’t have Felix Dzerzhinsky (Islamists don’t put Polish Jews at the head of the security service, so far as I know).

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Time will tell, but Obama’s luck may have run out, both in Egypt and in Syria.  His pals in the Brotherhood — and their Salafist fellow travellers — may crash and burn, and Bashar Assad — best thought of as the factotum of the Russian and Iranian tyrannical counter revolutionaries — may prevail over the “Syrian opposition.” And for extras, Obama’s close friend and advisor, Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan, is facing demonstrators against his Islamist government, which is increasingly stressed by economic and demographic stresses and strains.

FOOTNOTE:

Claire Berlinsky, who writes from Istanbul, should get a Pulitzer for her wonderfully informative and delightfully written accounts of events in Turkey for City Journal. Take this one, for example, in which she reports that “during the initial days of the crackdown, CNN Turkey aired a documentary about penguins precisely as the international media showed the chaos on Istanbul’s streets to the rest of the world.” Isn’t that terrific? And she goes on to compare it with the weak performance of the U.S. ambassdor in Ankara. Read the whole thing.

With all the excitement, it’s hard to tell who’s winning, even with a good score card, so let’s do a preliminary tally. In Syria, Obama’s supporting the largely Islamist opposition, and says “Assad must go.” In Egypt, he’s with the Islamist Morsi and the Brothers. In Turkey, he’s with the Islamist Erdogan. Can you spot a trend? They’re all radical ideologues who condemn the United States as a force for evil.  (To be sure, the Syrian case offers no attractive “solution,” but that is largely because Obama failed to support the opposition when it was seemingly politically and religiously moderate). His guys are under siege, as is Obama himself, and not just in the Middle East.

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His African expedition produced stern moral lectures about gay marriage from the presidents of Senegal and Kenya, and a cold fish in the face from Vladimir Putin, who trampled Obama at their latest get-together. The Russian president has thrown more cold fish regarding the Snowden affair.

Add it all up: embrace radical ideologues, abandon those who advocate greater freedom, and what do you get? Contempt, which Machiavelli tells us is the most dangerous reaction to any would-be leader.

Contempt is fully justified; Obama is constantly overtaken by events. “Leading from behind” is simply another way of admitting that this president doesn’t understand the dynamics that are roiling the world.  Well, what did you expect from a product of our failed educational system? Our most prestigious colleges produce graduates who know very little about the real world;  they get indoctrinated rather than educated. They are ignorant, yet they are firmly convinced that America is the root cause of the world’s problems, and they sing the false incantations of political correctness: that all cultures (except ours) are equally worthy of respect, and all men (except ours) are basically good.

You can find true believers in the dormitories of our best liberal arts universities, often side by side with their professors. One of them got himself elected president, and he is producing the ruinous results you’d expect from such a misguided worldview.

Unable to cope, incapable of leading, Obama is dragged along in the wake of a geopolitical tidal wave. He takes “credit” for whatever actually happens, and pretends that it’s a Good Thing. This worked for a while, thanks in large part to a sycophantic media and a pathetic opposition in Washington, but Obama’s dropping popularity suggests that time is now working against him.  The world see through the fluff and feathers.

When the president of the United States only attracts a handful of admirers to hear him speak in Berlin, and gets booed in Soweto, you know that things are not going well.

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*****

images courtesy shutterstock / Willyam Bradberry / SELEZNEV VALERY

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Top Rated Comments   
Best article and analysis I have read so far on the current situation in Egypt and US Foreign Policy.

Thanks!
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Michael, wonderful work.

So, with that said...let me haggle a bit with you. "Obama doesn't know...Obama doesn't understand...Obama doesn't see"...

Um...this is a red diaper baby with strong pro-Isalmist instincts. He is following his anti-Amerian heart...like most leftists, his head doesn't have to ever engage.

NOTHING in the leftist argument ever requires logic, only the fallacies.

Understanding leftism requires one to abandon logical counterarguments, because leftism doesn't respond to a challenge in which they take no part.

The marriage between America/Israel/Western hatred of Islamists and the red treason brigade is not logical on its face...again, because it is not based in logic.

But, do not be fooled. Obama understands, Obama sees, Obama knows...the ultimate results of his actions are BECAUSE...not in spite of...his intentions.

President Treason is not engaged in a dozen scandals in his mind. He is "transforming" America. Good and hard.

1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I think The Messiah is upset that the biggest gathering in human history is not when He is giving one of His speeches. :(
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (35)
All Comments   (35)
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but I grew up in indonesia and am called lord and savior by some two bit entertainer, and you are not being nice to me.

If you aren't careful moochelle will tell you that she isn't proud of you, for tossing out a Moslem, in favor of perhaps a real democratic republic.

And how about, what's her face that mentioned that the US Constitution wouldn't be the best place to start for other new countries.

Sad, really sad,

But seems a lot more people are getting that those in power, like obozo and his court jesters aren't even god like. more like spoiled children that need to be both removed from power, spanked, and sent to their rooms because they have never learned to be nice.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Re: "Morsi doesn’t have Felix Dzerzhinsky (Islamists don’t put Polish Jews at the head of the security service, so far as I know)."
So far as I know, Feliks Dzierzynski, the head of Lenin's Cheka, was not Jewish and came from a Polish gentry family, which is a fact that is often used to tease antisemites when they blame Jews for communist rule in Poland and Russia.
(Just a tiny nitpick, hope you don't mind.)
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
You know, I can easily see this happening in Washington, D.C. Some not too future day.

The president consistently, and redundantly, and habitually lies to us, on anything of importance. The Senate could not care less what we (the people) think about anything, including, most recently, the Gang-of-Eight's amnesty rehash. The House, under the embarrasingly-gutless speakership of John "Kleenex" Boehner, WILL NOT seize upon the opportunity to please the great majority of Americans by KILLING Obamacare before it's too late (too late for the GOP, anyways).

So what are we to do? Wait for the next guaranteed-loser the MSM/RINOs contrive to give us no choice but to accept?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
When people hear the term "new world order" they close their ears, immediately thinking conspiracy ranting. NOT!

It is decidedly the case that Obama Inc is completely in line with instituting the plans of the UN and attendant apparatuses. Previous administrations were on board, but his is in a special hurry to "transform" America into nothing more than the rest of third world basket cases. Equal footing.

But in order to do so America has to be gutted and nation-states have to be dissolved, whatever it takes.

This is precisely why so many anti-American scandals are swirling through Washington and why Israel is in their cross hairs, despite their claims of BFF status.This is why socialist regimes are being lauded and Islamists are given assistance. Their rise assists the socialists, at least for the time being.

The proofs are hidden in the "ordered" chaos and involve the "killing of the dollar" - http://adinakutnicki.com/2013/04/10/the-intersection-of-killing-the-dollar-the-new-world-order-joe-biden-enters-the-fray-commentary-by-adina-kutnicki/

Adina Kutnicki, Israel http://adinakutnicki.com/about/
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Excellent, Mr Ledeen. Thank you !!!!
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
"...and Morsi doesn’t have Felix Dzerzhinsky (Islamists don’t put Polish Jews at the head of the security service, so far as I know)."

Correction: "Iron Felix" was, in fact, born into a Polish noble family
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Felix_Dzerzhinsky
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
o is absolutely the most clueless prez we've ever had. He should be flippin' burgers at McDs.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
And make him a threat to digestion, too?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I really like NRO's Andrew McCarthy, but I think he's in a snit because his "Egyptians will always elect Islamicists and they want sharia" mantra isn't panning out like he thought.

http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/352650/morsis-calculus-exploit-wests-spring-fever-and-call-parliamentary-elelctions-andrew-c

He keeps reminding us that Morsi was elected, but I wonder how much he really understands about their culture and the psychology of voting in oppressed cultures when the lid finally comes off. That they voted the way they did isn't that surprising given the last decades of oppression, and if that were understood it wouldn't be such a mystery to him that they didn't like who they voted for in the end.

He's a good Conservative brother, but sheesh. Stick to domestic policy bud. He seems to be disappointed in any good news if he didn't forsee it.

1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Obama's whole policy in the Middle East is, "Whenever anyone protests against a regime, support the protestors." It's idiotic, but at least it's easy to remember.

But what happens when the people protest against the regime that Obama helped put in power by supporting the previous bunch of protestors? His Cliff-Notes policy book doesn't answer that.

So he's just guessing now, feeling his way, finding out where the people are going so he can lead them (from behind).

I'd say, we got Trouble in our capital city -- with a capital T and that rhymes with C and that stands for Clueless.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I don't think he's feeling his way, really. I think he supports the Muslim Brotherhood. I think he supports them and identifies with them more strongly than his fellow Americans in the Tea Party.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
actually, he supported the Egyptian regime against the protesters. and at the beginning, he supported Assad against "the opposition."
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
And denied his support to the protesters against the Iranian regime.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Morsi's statement about paying his life could be understood as "I'm prepared for martyrdom" if this is what it takes. What comes after a game of chicken, a clash of Titans, or something less dramatic first? who knows?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
You don't cut a figure like Morsi by denying yourself a lot. He'll fold.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
but he wasn't prepared for martyrdom. that's for the little people...
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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