I didn’t care for the “Arab Spring,” but the “Arab Summer” is a blockbuster!
Liberals’ rosy predictions for Egypt’s Islamic revolution didn’t turn out as planned. Who could have guessed that howling mobs in Tahrir Square in 2011 would fail to produce a peaceful democracy?
Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak had supported U.S. policy, used his military to fight Muslim extremists, and recognized Israel’s right to exist. So naturally, Obama told him he had to go.
Let’s review what liberals said at the time about that glorious people’s revolution — only from the New York Times:
– “[Egyptian] Officials blamed the Muslim Brotherhood [for the protests]. … Even if the Brotherhood had a role — the group denies it; the truth seems more complex — it is easy to understand why Egyptians are fed up.” (Editorial: “Mr. Mubarak Is Put on Notice,” Jan. 26, 2011)
– “The mistake, which still emanates from think tanks stocked with neoconservatives, is assuming that democracy can come at the end of sword. … Now that some of the dominoes appear to be falling, this has more to do with Facebook and the frustrations of young, educated adults who can’t earn enough money to marry than it does with tanks rolling into Baghdad, or naive neocons guiding the State Department.” (Timothy Egan, “Bonfire of American Vanities,” Feb. 3, 2011)
– “It’s time to be clear: Mubarak’s time is up.” (Roger Cohen, “Hosni Mubarak Agonistes,” Feb. 4, 2011)
– “What is unfolding in Arab streets is not an assertion of religious reaction but a yearning for democracy with all its burdens and rewards.” (Ray Takeyh, “What Democracy Could Bring,” Feb. 4, 2011)
Oops! Within less than a year, we found out that the truth wasn’t “complex”: The Muslim Brotherhood was behind the revolution. They rigged an election and were planning to implement Sharia law — until the Egyptian military stepped in on behalf of the people this year and removed the Brotherhood’s Mohammed Morsi as president.
In Arab countries, at least, it seems that democracy can come only “at the end of a sword.”