Cairo massacre: are democracy fanatics happy now?

Hundreds, possibly thousands of people were killed yesterday, when Egyptian security forces stormed two camps Muslim Brothers set up in Cairo last month.

The Brothers were protesting against the ousting of the democratically elected President Mohammed Morsi, a theocrat in all but name. The army in its turn made a weighty argument for secularism.

The rest of the West must sit back and rue its own gullibility. For, largely as a result of neocon propaganda, America and her allies have got things criminally wrong.

It was 11 years ago that Americans girded their loins, hoisted democracy up on the flagpole and launched an aggressive war in the Middle East.

All along they were egged on by the neocons eager to sell their harebrained vision of the world to the world. Never mind religion, history, culture, ethnicity, race. The world of the neocons’ fancy is neatly divided along the watershed separating democracy from any other method of government.

It escapes their attention that most people in His creation despise democracy. It’s not the American way of life they crave but the American standard of living. Yet the neocons will have none of that.

According to them all Muslims daydream of American-style democracy and are only held back by ‘Islamists’, ‘Islamofascists’ and whatever other neologisms the neocons coin.

Hence it’s in the West’s and America’s interests to introduce democracy by force, thereby isolating the Islamists, making ‘moderate Muslims’ deliriously happy and turning the Middle East into an oasis of tranquillity.

Well, things haven’t quite worked out that way, have they? As a direct result of this idiocy Iraq and Afghanistan have been turned into cauldrons full of bubbling blood, Syrians are dying in their thousands – and relatively secular, if nasty, rulers have been replaced by wild-eyed madmen anxious to murder infidels.

On the rare occasions that neocon purveyors of democracy admit that things have gone awry they blame everyone but themselves. Yet it’s a good rule of thumb that whenever a massive undertaking fails, there’s something wrong with the intellectual platform from which it was launched. The Middle East is no exception.

For the real adversary of the West isn’t Islamism, Islamofascism or even Islamic terrorism. It’s Islam.

The neocons make the typical philistine error of believing that everyone either is or is dying to be just like them. They themselves ignore religion and usually regard it as an annoying irrelevance – therefore they assume that Muslims are roughly similar. But that assumption is wrong.

The levels of piety vary throughout the Middle East but nowhere do they drop down to the level of the West’s indifferent agnosticism. That’s why the green banner of Islam still has more unifying power than any other modern institutional symbol.

And history shows that Islam has been doctrinally hostile to the West for 1,400 years. In the past it was supposedly so because the West espoused a wrong religion; at present, it is presumably because the West espouses none.

Such hostility has seldom been allowed to seethe under the surface – usually it has been expressed through violent action, of which 11 September is only one small example. 

The conclusion is straightforward: the more consistently Muslim a state is, the greater danger it presents to America, Israel and the West in general. Therefore it’s in the West’s interest to support the most secular Muslim regimes, while isolating or trying to undermine those run by proselytising believers.

In practice this means supporting the most undemocratic regimes, for most Muslims, unlike most Christians and Jews, are active believers and practitioners of their creed. A democratic election is therefore likely to bring to power an Islamic theocracy – and this is exactly what happened in Egypt, to cite one example.

Alas, this strategic conclusion escapes Americans, particularly those of the neocon persuasion. Rather than encouraging more or less secular, which is to say non-democratic, regimes in the Middle East, the Americans have gone out of their way to help them on their way out.

Historically the army is the only force in the Islamic world that’s capable of reducing Muslim piety to peaceful worship. But the generals are unlikely to take over by democratic process. It’s military coup that’s the normal expedient.

This has been the case in Turkey, Egypt, Iraq, Iran, Syria, Lybia – well, in every place where variously vile, nationalist but generally secular regimes were installed. Of course democratic demagoguery wouldn’t wear it.

Anyone with half a brain and elementary knowledge of modern history will know that an Ayatollah is the only realistic alternative to the Shah, the Muslim Brotherhood to Mubarak, tribal cannibals to the Ba’athist regimes in Iraq and Syria, Erdoğan to a secular government beholden to the army. A George Washington isn’t an option in any of those places.

Forgetting that their own state was born with the midwifery of a military coup, the Americans feel called upon to decry military coups on form rather than content.

Their God of Democratic Formalism is athirst and they don’t care how many will be sacrificed at its altar. Now John Kerry sheds crocodile tears over the hundreds killed in Cairo – forgetting that it was American meddling that brought them into the streets in the first place.

Our own Dave contributed an insight that violence is “not going to solve anything” and there must be “compromise from all sides”. Well, there was no violence in Egypt before Americans and their British poodle began to agitate for the ‘Arab Spring’.

The only compromise needed is between the neocons’ strident, half-witted ideology and life as it actually is. And this compromise will remain beyond reach – ideologues will never allow facts to interfere with their lapidary stupidity. 



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