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Wednesday, 6 February 2013
Dying, Egypt, Dying: That Burning Barge Of State On The River Nile
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After all, what has the Ikhwan, what has Dr. Mohamed Morsi, done?

The Egyptians had what they optimistically called a Revolution. Bigshots in Washington -- whose chief characteristic was that they knew little or no history, and didn't understand why that even mattered -- excitably hailed the Egyptian, the Tunisian, the Libyan, the Syrian, etc. revolts, as examples of Getting On The Right Side Of History. But in none of these cases was three a true Revolution of the only kind that would have mattered -- a revolution, or at least a change, or at least some hint of a dawning understanding,  in the hearts and minds of men. Local despots, mainly because of their corruption and not their cruelty, were overthrown. But the real source of the trouble in these countries, the cause of the mainy local failures, political, economic, social, moral, and intellectual -- Islam itself -- was not and cannot openly be identified as something to limit. There are as yet no Arab Ataturks, though for a while, in Tunisia, Habib Bourguiba went as far as he could.

These were not Revolutions, but Uprisings. And in Egypt, the Egyptians themselves, unused to freedom, brought back, and with every kind of vengeance, Despotism, and then managed to produce, along with the Despotism, the Anarchy in the streets and squares.  Egypt today: overpopulation, a failing economy, total dependence on the outside world, and especially on those very Infidels whom Mohamed Morsi deeply, truly hates (though he can smile and smile, and be a villain), and Despotism and Anarchy at the same time.   A neat trick, but not beyond the abilities of those  Egyptian bashibazouks, those beard-and-zebiba boys, those backstreet bezonians. And while, though bardash behavior for baksheesh is hardly unknown in this as in other repressed-and-perverse Arab societies,  hardly a "pretty dimpled boy" of the kind that so enchanted Andre Gide and other Frenchmen in the Frenchified parts of North Africa are apparently to be found in Egypt. But what can be found, because of  that burning barge of state on the Cydnus-supplanting river Nile, is an apt occasion to repeat, endowed with a new meaning, a famous line from an old poet, as describing what the Egyptians over the past two years have done to themselves.

And given all the dangers we have passed, and that are to come, it would be a pity not to use it:

"What they undid, did."

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Posted on 02/06/2013 2:02 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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