The Arab Spring’s going pretty well all things considered

Egyptian Elections 2011 – So, How’s That Egyptian Revolution Coming Along? – Esquire

History tells us that when revolutions sweep into power, they often go crazy with it. As it is, the drawn-out parliamentary elections will slowly but surely build up a significant civilian power base that stands in opposition to continued military rule while being realistic enough to bargain with the military about what comes next. Yes, much will depend on how that presidential election process unfolds, but the military hovering over the proceedings will — again — not be such a bad thing, because the generals want a player with whom they can deal and who won’t be a creature of the Brotherhood. Will the U.S. end up loving that compromised candidate? Probably not, but he will reflect a kind of rough balance of power in the system between the Islamists and the military. And that’ll be enough for now.

Soon enough, all three of these power bases (parliament, president, military) will be subjected to all manner of unrealistic (if legitimate) popular demands for Egypt’s rapid economic improvement. And ultimately, that’s what we in the West want this revolution to morph into: a key pillar of the Arab world successfully (enough) embracing globalization’s weave of political challenges and economic empowerment. A post-Mubarak Egypt “lost” to that vast endeavor won’t be the problem we imagine it to be.

The Arab Spring is faltering again!

Complete and utter nonsense. Tunisia’s recent vote was heartening in a similar fashion, and, hey, that rat-bastard Gaddafi is dead.

Meanwhile, look around the region: Syria’s nasty Bashar Assad is looking ever more wobbly, with the Arab League sanctioning his regime, Turkey calling for his ouster, and even Beijing (!) chiming in about the need to move on. The Gulf Cooperation Council monarchies, while baring their teeth, are likewise moving fitfully toward reforms that aim to quell their own people’s demand for progressive change. More generally, Turkey’s influence is rising throughout the region while Iran’s seems decidedly curtailed.

Look: All of this is messy. We rarely get change the way we want it. But this rollercoaster is moving, so shut up, buckle yourself in, and wave your arms above your head, because this is gonna be one helluva long ride ahead.


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3 comments on “The Arab Spring’s going pretty well all things considered

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    • A vote for the Salafists was a vote for Cheney. A vote for the MB was a vote for the GOP.

      I like how Andrew Sullivan put it today:

      the emergence of democratic Islamists in the Arab world, as well as in Turkey and Indonesia, helps explain my insistence on the term Christianism. It doesn’t mean Christianists are anti-democratic or violent – let alone terrorists. It simply means that Christianists, like Islamists, want their democracy to reflect Christian values and priorities, as they understand them.

      We have the equivalent of a democratic Islamist party in the US. It’s called the GOP.

  1. Surprisingly Andrew’s got it wrong, the Ilkwan’s representatives like Quradawi and abdel Rahman, had no qualms endorsing
    the death of Sadat, a generation later, the same fate faced one of the first opponents of Bin Laden, not so long ago, he was
    endorsing suicide bombers in Baghdad, but not in Doha,

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