Mass Media on Egypt: Admitting in April What Was Obvious in February
I now understand that the purpose of the mass media is to report on things that don't fit the agenda only after they have happened and are so blindingly obvious that ignoring them is impossible. Oh yes, and by then it's also too late to avoid catastrophes.
What prompted that conclusion is seeing that the mass media reports in April what was completely clear -- and which I reported--in February. I mean, just look at this Los Angeles Times article:
"The secular reformers and twenty-something urbanites at the vanguard of Egypt's Jan. 25 revolution have found themselves eclipsed. They lack experience and grass-roots networks to compete with the Muslim Brotherhood and other religious groups that have quietly stoked their passions for this moment. In a sense, Mubarak's obsession with both co-opting and crushing Islamists instilled in them the discipline and organization that now propels their political agendas."
Or in other words:
-- Yes, it was obvious back in January that this was a small group that would inevitably be eclipsed, but the mass media and the Obama administration said they would run the country and transform it into a liberal, modern democracy.
-- Yes, it was obvious back in January that the Brotherhood was well-organized, strong, determined, and possessing a compelling ideology. Will someone please compile a list of U.S. government, media, and "expert" statements saying the exact opposite?
-- Ha! Notice how the last sentence tries to blame Mubarak for this outcome? What they should be saying is: We were wrong when we said that it was a lie perpetrated by dictatorships that the only choice was them or the radicals. You are welcome to dig up quotes on that point.
"The military council ruling the country has astounded many by permitting Islam a wider role. The Muslim Brotherhood, the largest opposition party, expects a strong showing in September's parliamentary elections. In Egypt's first taste of true democracy, the Brotherhood and more fundamentalist Salafist organizations told followers that it was their religious duty to vote to approve a referendum on constitutional amendments that benefited Islamists by speeding up elections. One of Egypt's leading ultraconservative sheiks, Mohamed Hussein Yacoub, influenced by Saudi Arabia's Wahhabi strain of Islam, was quoted as saying after the referendum had passed: 'That's it. The country is ours.'"
-- I wasn't astounded. We have been watching growing pro-Islamist feeling in the Egyptian army for years.
-- Yes, I guess you never thought that an Islamist group in a highly religious country (even by Muslim and Arab standards) would tell people persuasively that it was their religious duty to vote for Islamists. Allah wants you to vote for me! Pretty good campaign slogan. Even better than: Yes we can (turn Egypt into an Islamist state, fight Israel, and tell America to go drink the Nile).
-- Yes, we were repeatedly told that the Islamists were scared because peaceful democracy is shown to work.
Memo to experts, journalists, and government officials:
A revolutionary movement seeks to seize state power as its goal. A strategy is their long-term plan for doing so. Tactics are specific actions designed to fulfill that strategy and to achieve that goal. Violence and terrorism are only a tactic. If needed, other tactics -- running for elections, building a base through social welfare services, etc. -- can be used within the strategy to fulfill the goal.
Consequently, the use of elections or setting up afterschool activities for kids do not prove that a group isn't a radical and dangerous organization. And, besides, afterschool activities are good for spotting potential suicide bomber candidates.
Is it too much to ask that highly trained, expensively educated, and well-paid people who make decisions and report or analyze events understand the previous two paragraphs?