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Total number of comments: 3 (since 2013-11-28 16:54:03)

Doug M

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  • Why Egypt 2011 is not Iran 1979
    • Dr. Cole:

      Thanks for writing this post. It is exactly the insight I was asking for in my earlier comment(s) yesterday.

      I know you wrote it for a much larger audience than just myself, but I like to think it was just for me. That allows me to imagine that I have access to an expert of your caliber, and lightening quick response, just for asking. Its how I imagine it would be to be the US President or something.

      Thanks again. I really appreciate it.

  • Saad's Revolution: Cole at Truthdig
    • No, I am not making a "common mistake" of assuming Islamist parties are a "single radical block."

      Perhaps we can first agree that there are at least some fundamentalist Muslims in Egypt? Whether they are accurately termed a "single block" or not is mostly a matter of how you choose to define your terms. I am not characterizing them one way or the other. I am merely asking for someone to share some insight as to how these groups, (be they a single block or otherwise), will likely fair in the inevitable struggle for power that will follow Mubarak's ouster.

      Parrotting obvious cable news talking points that "the Egyptian and the Tunisians will have to sort out what they want by themselves" and "chances are that the new governments won’t be as pro-Americans as the dictators" adds little to the discussion.

      Also, when you examine the evidence, the distinction between Suuni and Shiites appears to make little practical difference in terms of their willingness to adopt democratic institutions. In fact, the evidence seems to point the opposite direction of your inference that Sunnis, as a religious sect, are more likely to adopt democratic governance.

      The Taliban are Sunnis. So is the Saudi Royal family. They are hardly practitioners of Democracy. The Iranians, on the other hand, DID have a functioning democracy under Mohammad Mossadegh, prior to the Western backed coup in the early 50s.

    • Dear Dr. Cole:

      Muslim fundamentalist movements are unpalatable to a lot more than just Washington's elites. Most obviously, they are also unpalatable to the democratic aspirations of millions of young Muslims who are not "fundamentalists." The Iranian youth that came out in mass to oppose Iran's theocratic rulers being the most recent case in point.

      What Washington (and many others) want is an Arab democracy that marginalizes Muslim fundamentalist movements because what Washington (and many others) recognize is that "fundamentalist movements" (Muslim or otherwise) are institutionally incompatible with democratic governance. Indeed, every time "fundamentalist movements" are put in power (by democratic means or otherwise), those same "fundamentalist movements" tend to end any democratic processes that could possibly threaten their governance, since, in their own minds, their rule is ordained by the will of God, or some other Divine or quasi-Divine edict, rather than the consent of the governed.

      What would be helpful to many of your readers, I suspect, is a discussion of how the Muslim brotherhood and the other forces in Egypt (secular, military, etc.) might wind up sharing power in a post Mubarak Egypt.

      The $64 question is:

      Will Egypt wind up having a secular government that accomodates Muslim theocrats, or will the secular forces driving the protests in Egypt wind up trading Mubarak's secular tyranny for the tyranny of a "fundamentalist movement" that is not currently at the forefront of the protests?

      Since we a very likely to see Mubarak fall, providing your predictions/thoughts on what is likely to replace him would be an excellent place to put your expertise to work.

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