Friday, January 27, 2012



It seems that in Egypt, where the wonderful democracy so joyously heralded by a consanguineous Western press and an ingenuous Western political establishment has taken root (See, inter alia, my now seminal 1/15/12 piece DON’T BOTHER TO WAKE ME WHEN THE REVOLUTION’S OVER.), the enlightened military government has effectively taken hostage workers for the International Republican Institute (“IRI”) and its sister organization, the National Democratic Institute (“NDI”), including Sam LaHood, son of current U.S. Transportation Secretary and former Republican U.S. Representative from Illinois, Ray LaHood. The government has not allowed the workers to leave the country and raided and sealed the IRI’s and NDI’s offices, claiming that groups such as the IRI and NDI are acting to destabilize the land of the Pharaohs.

Several points need to be made here:

--Let’s all pray that the hostages return safe and sound. Mr. LaHood and the other parents and families involved here are going through something remarkably like hell.

--Where are all the CNN reporters who were so gushing a year ago about the advance of “democracy” in Egypt? Oh, yes; they have moved onto their next “Let’s spread our enlightened view of the human condition and our hopelessly naïve fixation with what we perceive to be the good of ‘the people,’ with whom we could not possibly relate on any imaginable level” crusade and left the Egyptians to stew in the juices of their last attempt to make one of John Lennon’s imbecilic, screwy songs come to life.

--Developments in Egypt provide further evidence that, as I wrote back on 1/15 and nearly innumerable times before, there isn’t going to be any “democracy” in Egypt; about the best we can hope for is continued military government and a gradual introduction of more trappings of self-rule. But I fear that even that outcome is in peril and Egypt may descend into the dystopia of civil war. Not everyone is ready for “democracy” (perhaps including us) and “democracy” is not the best form of government for everybody, despite the accepted wisdom of, it appears, everybody in a position of political power in this country.

--Something remarkable emerged out of this story. Senator John McCain, who is the chairman of the IRI, expressed, according the Wall Street Journal (Friday, 1/27/12, page A8) “outrage” at the way the Egyptian government treated the pro-democracy workers and urged the government to

“…cease the harassment and unwarranted investigations” of the groups and said the action “could set back the long-standing partnership between the United States and Egypt.”

However, Mr. McCain has, mirabile dictu, NOT called for military action against the Egyptian government! Why such restraint on the part of the country’s greatest enthusiast for U.S. military involvement, any U.S. military involvement? Has Mr. McCain’s age and years of public service finally caught up on him? Will he quickly rectify this omission and call for round the clock bombing of Cairo? Or will his sidekick, Senator Lindsey Graham (R., Military-Industrial Complex), quickly make up for his mentor’s omission and call for a land assault on the Land of the Pharaohs, perhaps using the territory of our newest ally and proud democracy, Libya, as a staging ground? Will GOP Presidential candidate Rick Santorum sneer at the patriotism of anyone who doesn’t want to commit U.S. troops to such an effort?

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