Spring is normally followed by summer. Yet, defying this proven meteorological wisdom, the Arab Spring went back to winter, though not yet of the nuclear variety.
Of course as American neocon ventriloquists and their British dummy Dave told us at the time, flowers of democracy would blossom in Egypt.
Its people couldn’t wait to queue outside voting booths, and of course the country had a rich tradition of electoral politics.
However, before the Arab Spring of 2011 it was usually the military who had done the electing. All four Egyptian presidents since the ‘republican’ revolution of 1952 had been army officers and stooges.
For convenience’s sake, each president also acted as the supreme commander of the armed forces – just like in the USA. Unlike in the USA, this arrangement meant not that the civilian authority controlled the military but rather the other way around.
Mercifully the Arab Spring changed all that. As both American and British neocons explained, the events of 2011 reflected the inexorable march of democracy throughout the world. It may have taken the Arabs a bit longer than others to fall in step, but fall in step they finally did.
Naysayers like yours truly were screaming off the rooftops that Egyptians had neither any history of democracy nor any taste for it, but no one listened.
So they voted for their government – only to find that it wasn’t quite to their liking. Muslim fundamentalism is perfectly acceptable provided that there’s much wealth pumping out of the ground.
In countries where this isn’t the case, such as Egypt, Allah needs help from an industrious populace and an economy organised along the lines that postdate the eleventh century.
In the absence of such conditions, excessive piety equals abject poverty. This is something the Egyptians, spoilt rotten by decades of despotic but secular government, weren’t quite ready to accept.
Never mind democracy, feel the dollars, they screamed (or the Arabic words to that effect).
Rioting on an epic scale ensued, with yesterday’s democratic voters instantly turning into looters, vandals and rapists.
Actually, since the 101 women raped in Cairo’s Tahir Square were assaulted in full view of cheering multitudes, democracy was served. A landslide majority clearly supported the acts, which should make them perfectly acceptable to our democracy mongers.
Anyway, out goes the democratically elected president, in comes another military junta. But the military have done their reconnaissance, so they know the trick.
Put the word democracy into the Yanks’ shell-like, and subsidies will rain on your head faster than you can say post-colonialism. Use any other word, and what will rain down on your head won’t be dollars but drones.
The choice is straightforward: democracy and dollars or no democracy and drones. I know which one I’d choose and the Egyptians are no different (in this respect at any rate).
So Adly Mansour, the puppet of the military, reassures the West that elections, this time free and democratic (that is, guaranteeing the right result) will be held soon. Very soon. Very soon indeed. We’ll let you know.
You see, because the last elections brought to power those who “failed to meet the demands of the people”, they were flawed. Fraudulent, actually.
“This [a military coup d’état],” explained the in-coming leader, “is the only way for a brighter future, a freer future, a more democratic one.” Fair enough – anyone observing Dave in action must feel nostalgic about the Colonel Pride concept of parliamentarism.
Perhaps fearing that the Egyptians are setting a bad example, Dave demanded that a ‘democratic transition’ take place soon. You know, of the kind you chaps had back in 2011, during the Arab Spring.
Guido Westerwelle, Germany’s Foreign Minister, also bemoaned the “serious setback for democracy.” This shows that Guido can rise above his narrow personal concerns. After all, the democratically elected Muslim Brotherhood would have joyously stoned him and his male wife/husband to death.
Barack Obama also said he was “deeply concerned” by the events in Egypt. The Arab Spring was just fine by him, but then the president may have a soft spot for Islam.
One can already see the scenario in the making. The military will hold their elections along the traditional Egyptian lines: how the votes will be cast will matter less than how they’ll be counted.
Dave, Barack and Guido will be mollified. Until the next rioting season when Egyptians will feel that their expectations aren’t being met. They will spill out into the streets, expressing their longing for true democracy by raping a few more women.
Press the reset button. Or else, depending on the prevalent sentiments in the USA, the button on the drone-controlling console. One way or the other democracy will be served.