The Real Egyptian Revolution

by Daniel Greenfield

    The real Egyptian revolution is not on CNN. What the Arab street really wants is a tyranny that reflects its values.

There are two Egyptian revolutions. The one marketed for Western consumption by Egyptian bloggers and the American media– and the real revolution. The rape of Lara Logan brought that second revolution out of the shadows for the first time. This was certainly not the first sexual assault arising out of the Jan 25 protests. It won’t be the last either.

The Western educated Egyptians promoting the protests have always managed to sell the press on the story that all the violence, from the looting of the Egyptian museum, the attacks on reporters, the prison breaks and the mass rapes and robberies were all the work of pro-Mubarak forces. But when Logan was attacked, she was among a crowd celebrating the fall of Mubarak. These were the very people that she and her colleagues had come to Egypt to support.

The actual Jan 25 revolution was wildly different from the one depicted in news reports. Behind the veil of English speaking Twitter feeds by young activists, is an angry and bigoted population which hated Mubarak not because he is a tyrant, but because he maintained ties to America and Israel, and refused to aggressively persecute Egypt’s Christians. Egypt is not looking for a Western style democracy. What the Arab street really wants is a tyranny that reflects its values.

Few of the gullible Western supporters who follow the revolution by Twitter, understand just how much the ordinary Egyptian taking part in the protests hates them. Behind all the English language signs produced for the foreign press and the articulate bloggers cultivated by the US and EU governments, is the angry mob who believes that Mubarak was a puppet of the CIA and the Mossad. And who believe the same thing about all the earnest CNN and CBS correspondents who came to be photographed against the background of a revolution.

No matter how much the reporters propagandized their cause, the mob was certain that they were there to support Mubarak. That belief is part of the xenophobic identity of Egyptians, and so many others in the Muslim world. The only popular cause in the Muslim world is fought against the Americans– even when the Americans are on their side.

The cries of “Yahood, Yahood” or “Jew, Jew” reportedly shouted at CBS’s Logan while she was being sexually assaulted, reflect two things. Yahood is a common insult in the Middle East. American soldiers in Iraq are referred to as Yahood or Jews. (Some have drawn geopolitical inferences from this, but you only need to turn on South Park to see ‘Jew’ used as an insult in our own hemisphere.) The difference is that in the Muslim world, ‘Yahood’ is far more ubiquitous, and often accompanied by conspiracy theories and violent threats. The negative depiction of Jews is rooted in the Koran, making it ubiquitous through the Muslim world.

The other aspect of it however is the prevalence of conspiracy theories throughout the Arab Muslim world. In Egypt, Nazi propaganda merged with traditional Islamic beliefs to give rise to Islamofascist organizations such as the Muslim Brotherhood. While Mein Kampf and the Protocols of the Elders of Zion are given little credibility in civilized nations– they are still highly popular in the Muslim world. Conspiracy theories are the best refuge of failed societies, and the panoply of conspiracy theories in the Muslim world have one common element, the theme of a vast Anti-Muslim conspiracy involving the CIA and the Mossad which prevents them from succeeding.

Pundits like to claim that this is due to the special relationship between America and Israel– but then how does one also explain the ubiquity of “Yahood o Hunood” in Pakistan. “Yahood o Hunood”, which replaces the Mossad-CIA, with a vast Jewish-Hindu conspiracy against Pakistan. While Lt. General Jacob-Farj-Rafael Jacob, a Jewish-Indian, did play a key role in defeating Pakistan in 1971, there has been no extended alliance along the same lines. ”

Yahood o Hunood” like the taunts of “Yahood” at Lara Logan or US soldiers in Iraq arises from the xenophobia and bigotry of the Muslim world. That bigotry is fed by the Muslim need to blame their failures on a vast conspiracy against them by people who are their inferiors. The parallels to Nazi Germany are too obvious to even be worth going into.

The real Egyptian revolution was mob violence against the targets of their conspiracy theories, rather than a movement toward democracy. Assaults on Western reporters are not an aberration, but the norm. As often as CNN cheers on the revolution, the average Egyptian will still call them Yahood and CIA. Because the average Egyptian is fueled by hate for outside forces, rather than a striving for progress and reform.

Egyptian activists are apologizing to Lara Logan on Twitter, and assuring everyone that this does not represent Egypt. But there are far more Egyptians who harass women, than use Twitter to promote democracy. The assault on Logan represents Egypt far better than Jan 25 hashtags.

What the Jan 25th revolution really showed was the deep undercurrent of violence in Egypt, and the impossibility of keeping order without force.

Like the Weimar Republic, any liberal government will be forced to put aside its principles and rely on authoritarian means to keep order. That means turning either to the police, the military or the Muslim Brotherhood as the only forces capable of maintaining order. The police are hated, a permanent military deployment in Cairo will mean a junta and the Muslim Brotherhood will be happy enough to police neighborhood after neighborhood, and eventually the whole country. Democracy lovers are cheering on the promise of a liberal Egypt. But there will be no liberal Egypt. Only a state of temporary chaos broken by spurts of violence, as was the case in Germany between the wars, and Russia between the revolutions, ending finally in an absolute tyranny. Either that of the military or the Muslim Brotherhood.

Learning about the Jan 25th revolution from Egyptian Twitter activists is like learning about the future of Weimar Germany from literary magazines. Forget all the Jan 25 badges and enthusiastic revolutionary rhetoric. The reality is a narrow wedge of activists claiming credit for a much wider range of public anger, and pretending to be able to turn it off with their policy proposals. It’s a shameless scam that will collapse with the collapse of the first liberal government. And the same neo-conservative pundits and journalists will look on baffled, not understanding what went wrong. What went wrong is that Egypt is not England or America. It is an unstable Muslim country with a booming population, which wants low prices, social services and the repression of women and infidels under an Islamic system. They will support anyone who can give these things to them, and bring down anyone who doesn’t. That is your Egyptian democracy.

Liberals and their media damned America for the rapes, robberies and the looting of Iraq antiquities after the fall of Saddam. But exactly the same thing happened in Egypt after the fall of Mubarak– robberies, rapes and the looting of Egyptian antiquities. And the media has taken no responsibility for their participation in the overthrow of a regime. The media which loves to harp on the WMD issue, heavily pushed claims that Mubarak had stolen 70 billion dollars from the Egyptian people and was the richest man in the world. A week later those estimates are down to only a few billion. And that billion will of course never be found, because “sources say” that the money has been moved secretly out of the country. Which makes it conveniently untraceable. And the media will never have to apologize for spreading a lie.

Egypt is the liberal’s Iraq. Except that the regime they overthrew was pro-Western, not genocidal and did not gas children. After having spent 7 years condemning the Bush administration, they orchestrated a far more senseless wave of regime change that opens the door for the Calphate to rule the region.

ElBaradei and his little megaphone have already faded into the past. The Muslim Brotherhood has its own political party now. And key liberal players like Ayman Nour are already pandering to them. If the Muslim Brotherhood can form an alliance with aspiring businessmen, the way Turkey’s AKP Islamists did, then it will be well on its way to taking power. If it can also bring the military and the nationalists on board, the way the Nazis did, then it will have absolute power. But the military’s strategy may be to encourage the chaos, and feed the violence, until America and other revolution have no choice but to ask them to step in.

That is the final question. Which totalitarian force will Egyptians choose to order their affairs? The army or the brotherhood.

March 6, 2011 | 9 Comments »

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9 Comments / 9 Comments

  1. To the Egyptian’s, Laura Logan was like burning an American and Israeli flag, but better-she is lucky to be alive. CBS covered up the action, and motivation of that horrible act like they are doing with the revolts in the Arab countries.

  2. Felix Quigley says:
    March 7, 2011 at 12:13 pm

    the glorious Russian revolution of October 1917

    Freak out! What a hubris-filled relic.

    Yeh, like the “October War” was “victorious” for Egypt.


  3. Yamit, you misunderstand the context of the Aesop Fable

    This is quite a good historical reckoning. Relevance to today is obvious

    “Trotsky, fascism and the united front December, 2010
    Trotsky’s understanding of how to fight fascism in Germany provides important lessons for us today, argues Carl Taylor
    The Russian revolutionary, Leon Trotsky, understood better than most the danger of fascism. He first analysed its emergence in Italy in the years following the First World War. Fascism, he asserted, was a distinctly anti-working class political movement built to annihilate all forms of democratic organisation. Its genesis was in economic crisis. Trotsky explained that in periods where the capitalist state finds itself incapable of suppressing a working class challenge to its rule, the historic role of fascism begins.
    The late 1920s in Germany was such a period. Millions of workers looked for radical alternatives to the capitalist system that had caused the Great Depression and to the bourgeois parliament that was incapable of resolving it. The rising class-consciousness of an increasingly militant working class led millions of workers to the German Communist Party.
    By the 1930s Germany’s fearful rulers looked to Adolf Hitler’s Nazi Party to rescue them from the anger surging below. Fascism’s value to the ruling class lay in the very thing that set it apart from other forms of conservatism—its ability to mobilise on the streets.
    Since the formation of the party in 1920, Nazi gangs, largely made up of ex-army thugs, coordinated attacks against unionists and Communist Party members. Hundreds were killed, undermining the confidence of many workers to fight. By the year 1930 the Nazis, because of the combination of street violence and capitalist political support, gained the second-largest vote in the German elections.
    Trotsky, though exiled to Turkey because of his opposition to Stalin in the aftermath of the Russian Revolution, nonetheless recognised the menace facing the German working class. He likened fascism to “a razor in the hands of the class enemy”, and stressed the urgency of stopping it at all costs. The German Communist Party, alone, lacked the strength to confront the Nazis head-on. However, Trotsky argued, a united front of Communist workers and those who supported the reformist German Social Democratic Party (SPD) could make short work of the Nazis.
    The SPD and the Communist Party claimed a combined 40 per cent of the overall German vote—the bulk of the working class. The majority of the 18 million industrial workers employed were also unionised, making the German trade union movement the strongest in Europe. Trotsky was adamant that the fragmented and largely middle-class Nazi support base was no match for the industrial might of the proletariat.

    The working class divided
    Despite the potential, however, the two mass parties, representing millions of German workers, rejected calls for a united front against Hitler.
    The SPD instead looked to the institutions of the German state to stop the fascists. As Hitler’s brownshirts rampaged through the streets, the SPD leadership sought to form a coalition with the Centre Party of Chancellor Heinrich Bruning. Rather than mobilising the German workers, the SPD put their faith in a parliamentary coalition with ruling class figures like Bruning. They thought this could, through force of law, halt Hitler’s march to power. Trotsky denounced their fetish with parliament, warning that the ruling class needed Hitler and “necessity knows no law.”
    In truth, the SPD sought parliamentary solutions because they feared mobilising the working class. Conversely, the Communist Party did not fear an uprising from below—they were simply incapable of mobilising one. Though the party had collected over four million votes in the 1930 general election, they gained only 4 per cent in the elections for the workers’ factory committees, while 84 per cent went to the Social Democrats. The Communist Party, led by Ernst Thalmann, nonetheless, stridently refused to form a defensive bloc with the SPD.
    Tragically, the German and other European communist parties, following Stalin, considered the Nazis and Social Democrats to be similar “fascist” threats. In 1928, under Stalin’s influence, the international Communist movement had proclaimed social democracy to be the main enemy of the communists. Stalin’s “Third Period” politics ludicrously declared social democracy and fascism to be “twin brothers”, branding reformist parties, such as the SPD “social fascists.”
    Consequently, the German Communist Party regarded the Nazi phenomenon as nothing more than a form of bourgeois reaction. In fact, they considered “social fascism” to be a greater threat than fascism itself.
    But Trotsky maintained that fascism was a distinct political movement drawing the bulk of its support from the middle class. Unified through nationalist and racial rhetoric, it was advancing with the single aim of smashing all working class organisation. In the Bulletin of the Opposition (March 1932), Trotsky again implored the Communist Party to seek unity with the SPD. “Should fascism come to power, it will ride over your skulls and spines like a terrific tank. Your salvation lies in merciless struggle. And only a fighting unity with the Social Democratic workers can bring victory.”
    Trotsky’s appeals fell on deaf ears. The Communist leaders maintained their ultra-left position. They demanded only a “Red United Front” from below. But this call for the entire working class to simply unite behind the Communist banner was empty rhetoric. It looked more like a cynical ploy to win members than a genuine proposal to actually unite the class

    Note my quoting of this is to elucidate this history and does not imply agreement with the above organization, with which I am not familiar

  4. Democracy lovers are cheering on the promise of a liberal Egypt. But there will be no liberal Egypt. Only a state of temporary chaos broken by spurts of violence, as was the case in Germany between the wars, and Russia between the revolutions, ending finally in an absolute tyranny. Either that of the military or the Muslim Brotherhood.

    You see, Greenfield, being a total anti-communist cannot resist it.

    He is deliberately lumping together the glorious Russian revolution of October 1917 when for the first but not last time the working class takes power from off the capitalists, with Hitler

    Get screwed Greenfield and take Yamit with you!

  5. I’m still waiting for the “moderate Muslims” to come out of their
    closet(s) and make the difference.

  6. Iran threatens Saudi Arabia

    For the first time in history Iran overtly threatened Saudi Arabia over its crackdown on Shiite activists. In effect, Iran suggested Saudi Shiites who sit on the kingdom’s oil fields to revolt with impunity. Looking at the sour relatons between Obama and Saudi king, Iran is tempted to invade Saudi Arabian oil field region through the fifth column of Saudi Shiites. One cannot escape parallels with WWII Germany expanding into the neighboring states through their German population. Iranians are so confident of their might that they spurned the hand of rapprochement which Saudis have extended to them after Mubarak’s fall

  7. Obama’s policy reverses sanctions on Iran

    The Middle East riots have caused oil prices to rise so much that the value of Iranian oil exports has increased to about $10 billion per month, approximately the amount Iran received before sanctions went into effect.

    The wave of riots was boosted by the regime’s failure in Egypt, which was mostly a product of the White House’s pressure on Mubarak.

    Extreme instability in oil supply and prices is good in the long run because it prompts Western consumers to switch from Middle Eastern oil to local supplies, and also prompts the development of nuclear power. In the end, the Muslim economies may be broken completely.

    It is hard to escape the impression that Obama deliberately props up oil prices. That would explain his eagerness to oust Mubarak; doing so inflated oil prices without significantly decreasing output. It also explains the bizarre UNSC sanctions on Libya, which slapped a travel ban on Gadhafi and threatened him with ICC prosecution—which action closed an escape route for his family, ensuring that he would fight until the end.

    But worse than inflating oil prices, Obama may have colluded with Iran. He surrendered the pro-Western government in Lebanon to Hezbollah, expelled Mubarak (a stalwart opponent of the ayatollahs), pushed Saudi Arabia to embrace Iran, refurbished Iran’s economy with petrodollars, and opposes a strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities. Can a Harvard graduate be so stupid as to do that inadvertently?

    When the United States is aligned with Iran, and Russia cooperates with Syria, Israel faces a problem of apocalyptic proportions.

  8. That is the final question. Which totalitarian force will Egyptians choose to order their affairs? The army or the brotherhood.

    The brotherhood either directly or indirectly.

    In either case Camp David is dead, the funeral may be delayed but we will have to deal with an Egypt openly belligerent.

    Look for rockets and infiltration coming from the Sinai like the ones that hit Eilat a few months back..