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Total number of comments: 3 (since 2013-11-28 16:55:07)


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  • South Carolina & Gingrich, Egypt & the Muslim Brotherhood
    • I'm completely unsurprised by the Brotherhood's strong showing in the Egyptian elections. Shows what they've known in American cities since the mid 1800s and what President Obama showed in 2008 - you can have the best message in the world but you ain't got nothin' if you don't have a well-developed organization on the ground (the sacred "ground game.") The Brotherhood was uniquely positioned in that respect; even if God were running, the Divine Being still have to get his or her voters to the polls and ensure that potential supporters (adherents? :) ) actually voted. ;p

      I do concede some surprise about the success of the Nur party. Did Nur and MB candidates regularly compete in the same district? Did they experience successes where MB and secular parties split votes? Egypt strikes me as a very odd place for a "hard-line fundamentalist" party to take root in an election like that. 15-20% wouldn't surprise me, but 29%, while hardly the beginnings of a majority, is a pretty big deal. Without knowing more, though, I couldn't begin to understand whether they reached 29% through actually having being the first choice of 29% of all voters or simply quirks in the specific's of the election's process. I have never personally been to Cairo but many friends have; they all describe Cairenes as a fairly secular bunch compared to some of their neighbors, and at 20m of the nation's 80m, that implies extraordinarily strong support for Nur in the Nile River Valleys or perhaps the less-well-traveled districts of Cairo. Those votes came from somewhere

      A MB-Wafd coalition strikes me as the kind of Grand Coalition that inspires confidence in an infant democracy, although I have been accurately accused of excessive optimism in the past :).

  • China offered Qaddafi Armaments in midst of war
    • I know why China and Russia are "worried," as they both basically govern without the consent of the people, but... Brazil? India? India lives on the precipice of an armed conflict with Pakistan, one that could foreseeably be stopped by foreign intervention out of fear of a nuclear exchange, but... Brazil? What kind of intervention does a peace-abiding, stable, largely human rights-respecting democracy fear?

  • Why Egypt 2011 is not Iran 1979
    • Prof. Cole,

      Had a couple questions (asked out of sincere lack of knowledge, pardon any ignorance)...

      1) What of the people who claim ties between the Brotherhood and Hamas a la Sinn Fein and the IRA? I've heard this reported in Western news, but sadly find it very difficult to get unbiased news on this right now. At any rate, the Brotherhood appears to be consistently about 12 hours behind the news cycle right now, they seem to have still not recovered from their initial failure to organize themselves into the Jan. 25th movement.

      2) Given Egypt's persistent brain drain due to substantial opportunity for education but not much opportunity to apply said education, what do you think Al Azhar's role might be in marshaling Egypt's educated classes to what everyone hopes will soon be a new government? It's an institution I've long had respect for - do they see themselves as participating in Egypt's political future, or are they focused on the entirety of the ummah and likely to stay above the fray in Egypt to avoid becoming intelligentsia non grata in the event the next regime finds conflict with them?

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