Please Help New English Review
For our donors from the UK:
New English Review
New English Review Facebook Group
Follow New English Review On Twitter
Recent Publications from New English Review Press
Easy Meat
by Peter McLoughlin
The Tongue is Also a Fire
by James Como
Out Into The Beautiful World
by Theodore Dalrymple
Unreading Shakespeare
by David P. Gontar
Islam Through the Looking Glass: The Collected Essays and Reviews of J. B. Kelly, Vol. 3
edited by S. B. Kelly
The Real Nature of Religion
by Rebecca Bynum
As Far As The Eye Can See
by Moshe Dann
Threats of Pain and Ruin
by Theodore Dalrymple
The Oil Cringe of the West: The Collected Essays and Reviews of J.B. Kelly Vol. 2
edited by S.B. Kelly
The Impact of Islam
by Emmet Scott
Sir Walter Scott's Crusades and Other Fantasies
by Ibn Warraq
Fighting the Retreat from Arabia and the Gulf: The Collected Essays and Reviews of J.B. Kelly. Vol. 1
edited by S.B. Kelly
The Literary Culture of France
by J. E. G. Dixon
Hamlet Made Simple and Other Essays
by David P. Gontar
Farewell Fear
by Theodore Dalrymple
The Eagle and The Bible: Lessons in Liberty from Holy Writ
by Kenneth Hanson
The West Speaks
interviews by Jerry Gordon
Mohammed and Charlemagne Revisited: The History of a Controversy
Emmet Scott
Anything Goes
by Theodore Dalrymple
The Left is Seldom Right
by Norman Berdichevsky
Allah is Dead: Why Islam is Not a Religion
by Rebecca Bynum

Friday, 4 February 2011
Edward Luttwak On Egypt, Mubarak, And Eight More Months For The Democratic Opposition To Organize

From The Wall Street Journal:

A Quick Mubarak Exit Is Too Risky

It is not often recalled that Hamas is the Gaza branch of Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood.

The Obama administration, like much of the world, is not reacting to the situation in Egypt—a mostly rural country populated mainly by poor peasants. It is reacting to the media spectacle in the center of Cairo, in which huge but largely middle-class crowds have gathered to demand President Hosni Mubarak's removal.

Interestingly, the few journalists who speak colloquial Egyptian Arabic report that among the poor majority of the population—those who wear the traditional robe (djellaba) and depend on bread subsidized by the state—many still support Mr. Mubarak. They know that Egypt is the world's largest importer of wheat, and that part of it is paid for by U.S. aid. While market prices have increased by 17% since last October, the rationed bread of the poor remains very cheap.

Editorial Board Member Matt Kaminski on the anti-Mubarak revolt

Perhaps the impoverished—a quarter of Egyptians live on less than $2 a day—fear that a government more modern than Mr. Mubarak's paternalistic dictatorship will stop the current bread subsidy, or that a more Islamist government will not receive U.S. aid. Either way, many Egyptians have the prudence of the very poor. They cannot afford to take risks with the unknown—including a post-Mubarak government.

The Obama administration and the governments of Europe would be wise to follow their lead, but of course they cannot. Elite opinion in the West is almost unanimous in its certitudes: Mubarak must go now! Fears of an Islamist takeover are overblown, they argue. The opposition in the streets is "moderate," as is the Muslim Brotherhood, which would likely win at least a third of an immediate vote. It is not often recalled that Hamas is simply the Gaza branch of the Muslim Brotherhood, which won power by election—and now refuses to hold more elections.

The Obama administration has, like the demonstrators in Tahrir Square, rejected Mr. Mubarak's promise to step down in eight months after nationwide elections in September. According to White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs, President Obama phoned the Egyptian leader Tuesday evening and said, "The time for a transition has come, and that time is now."

That the crowd refuses to wait is emotionally understandable, but the U.S. and other well-meaning governments should be more patient. It takes at least eight months to organize a meaningful election. Waiting until September would allow parties other than the Muslim Brotherhood time to organize.

Zuma Press

Supporters of Hosni Mubarak clash with anti-government protesters in Tahrir Square on Wednesday.

If Mr. Mubarak leaves now, the result is likely to be an anarchical or Islamist Egypt, or some of both until another dictatorship emerges. It is not by accident that from Morocco to India there is no democracy except for the one built by the U.S. in Iraq: Mainstream Islam, not just Islamism, rejects the legitimacy of democratic legislation that could contradict Shariah law.

The U.S. is widely seen as the chief interested power because until the current crisis it had taken the lead in supporting the Mubarak regime and before that the regime of Anwar Sadat.

But it is Europe that will suffer the greater consequences if the Mubarak regime is toppled and followed by the Muslim Brotherhood or anarchy. Aside from lost exports to Egypt, there will be lost domestic investments, not least in tourism (no more bikinis in Sharm El Sheikh with the Muslim Brotherhood in power), and more illegal immigrants trying to enter Europe.

As for Israel, it is likely to lose an ally in Egypt but unlikely to face a military threat any time soon: The U.S.-equipped Egyptian armed forces could not fight a war without U.S. supplies—and it would take at least $20 billion and 10 years to re-equip them with non-U.S. weapons.

In any event, Egyptian democrats should not be denied eight months to build viable opposition parties before the next election.

Posted on 02/04/2011 10:18 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
No comments yet.

Guns, Germs and Steel in Tanzania
The Thinking Person's Safari
Led by Geoffrey Clarfield
Most Recent Posts at The Iconoclast
Search The Iconoclast
Enter text, Go to search:
The Iconoclast Posts by Author
The Iconoclast Archives
sun mon tue wed thu fri sat
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
8 9 10 11 12 13 14
15 16 17 18 19 20 21
22 23 24 25 26 27 28
29 30 31