As events in Egypt continue to unfold I had planned a thoughtful post on my worries and expectations. Especially in light of the misplaced glee with which our MSM is reporting on the uprising of Egyptians against president Mubarak. But as it turns out, I need not bother, since a few others have put to bits and bytes what are my thoughts on it all. For instance, His Grace offers some sobering thoughts.
The revolution in Iran and the overthrow of the Shah yielded a Shi’a theocracy intent on the destruction of Israel. Democracy in Gaza yielded government by Hamas, intent on the destruction of Israel. The government of national unity in Lebanon has recently fallen to Hezbollah, intent on the destruction of Israel.On the other hand we have The Gray Monk, who is more optimistic about the ultimate outcome.
Egypt has had a peace treaty with Israel since 1979, for which Anwar Sadat paid the ultimate price. President Mubarak has sustained and honoured that treaty, against growing antipathy towards Israel and the West, in particular by the Muslim Brotherhood. Let us not fool ourselves that the Egyptian people are not looking for a saviour, a king, a strongman to lead them to their promised land.
Politics abhors a vacuum. Just like the Palestinians fell for the lies of Hamas, it is not impossible that some day soon Egypt will be ruled by the Muslim Brotherhood. Democratically elected. And who could then discount an Iran-Lebanon-Egypt alliance against Israel?
I suspect it will happen in two parts, first, the current crop of autocrats will be swept aside and replaced by a new crop of Theocratic Dictators like Iran's. Eventually the religious restrictions on freedom of expression, choice and belief will come under attack as it has in the West - and then Islam will find itself being rolled aside and perhaps even rejected by its natural followers.Even so, the Gray Monk warns that we are in for a very explosive, dangerous and bitter transition.
[UPDATE001] Caroline Glick paints a stark picture of what the upheaval in the Middle East will mean for the only true democracy in the region:
It is the "Arab Street's" overwhelming animosity towards Israel that causes the pragmatists to argue that Israel's best play is to cut deals with Arab dictators who rule with an iron fist. Since Israel and the Arab despots share a fear of the Arab masses, the pragmatists claim that Israel should give up all the land it took control over as a payoff to the regimes, who in exchange will sign peace treaties with it.[UPDATE002] And there it is: Mubarak to step down in September, after new elections. Time to put on the safety belts, this is going to be bumpy.
This was the logic that brought Israel to surrender the strategically priceless Sinai Peninsula to Egypt in exchange for the Camp David accord that will not survive Mubarak. (...)
THE TRUTHS exposed by the convulsive events of the past month make it abundantly clear that Israel lives in a horrible neighborhood. It is a neighborhood where popular democracy means war against Israel.
In this neck of the woods, it is not pragmatic to surrender. It is crazy.