Fjordman and I have both written pessimistically about the possibility of installing (or imposing) democracy in the Muslim world anytime soon. The despotisms that constitute the norm of governance for Islamic societies do not contain the necessary prerequisites — a plurality of institutions, civil society, and the rule of law — for a newly-born democracy to flourish.
Turkey is the best we can hope for, and even after eighty-five years of ruthlessly enforced secular governance, Turkey is not a model Western-style democracy. It is teetering on the brink of resurgent Islamic fundamentalism.
The dilemma facing democracy enthusiasts is this: if an opportunity for truly democratic elections were to arise within the Islamic world, extremist illiberal Islamic zealots would be elected in various countries from Algeria to Pakistan. The ascendance of Hamas in “Palestine” is only the latest example of this trend; the success of the FIS in Algeria seventeen years ago showed the shape of things to come.
However, despite all the warning signs, there is no deterring the proponents of “Democracy for Everyone Everywhere, Right Now!” They push ahead with the goal of “free and fair elections” in societies that will elect the Muslim Brotherhood to power as soon as they are given the chance.
The latest issue concerns Egypt, where the Bush administration is dogmatically supporting equal opportunity for al Ikhwan in the upcoming elections. According to ANSAmed:
Egypt: US; White House Concerned Over Political Arrests
WASHINGTON, MARCH 13 — The White House has expressed concern for what it defined as “a campaign of arrests” in Egypt, which targets representatives of the opposers of the government in view of the local elections next month.
More members of the Muslim Brotherhood, the only opposition force in Egypt, were arrested today, bringing to over 350 the arrested since the middle of February.
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“We are concerned by a continuing campaign of arrests in Egypt of individuals who are opponents of the current governing party and are involved in the upcoming local elections,” White House spokeswoman Dana Perino said yesterday evening. According to the White House, “the people of Egypt should be permitted to choose freely among competing candidates”.
The White House spokeswoman called on the government of Egypt “to cease any actions that would compromise the ability of the Egyptian people to fully exercise their internationally recognized human rights and to participate in a free and fair election”. (ANSAmed).
Does the White House really prefer that the Muslim Brotherhood be in control of Egypt instead of Hosni Mubarak and his clique of corrupt accomplices?
Will we continue to hand over two billion a year to Egypt if the MB gains power?
If so, what will they use all those infidel dollars for?
If not, what will happen to a suddenly impoverished country governed by Osama clones? Where will it make up the shortfall?
There’s a good reason why our government sometimes has to support thugs and kleptocrats as leaders of Third World countries: the alternatives are worse. We conduct our foreign policy within the world we have, not the world we wish we had.
If only it weren’t de rigueur to refer to these caudillos and tyrants as “true friends of freedom”. If only we didn’t have to pretend that they were the noble and principled leaders of functioning states.
Then we could assert that we need people like Musharraf and Mubarak in charge of their respective hellholes, because their likely replacements would be far, far more dangerous to the interests of the United States and the rest of the Western world.
Hat tip: insubria.