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For those of you who missed it and the lively discussion it’s generated so far, this is Andy Stunich’s 2009 piece on Egypt.  This morning violence in Cairo is reported – between conflicting protesters.  The military continues to act with restraint.  Apparently the conflicting groups are avoiding violence in Alexandria, though I heard a report yesterday that troops fired into the air to separate two rival groups involving some scuffles.  It appeared to have started after pro-Mubarak people showing up with pre-printed placards tossed molotov cocktails off a roof at anti-Mubarak demonstrators.  This is a point where the opposition leadership, such as it is, had better step up.  There are some striking videos through the link.

Addendum: Another report of police in plain clothes riding into the crowd on horses and camels with whips and other weapons.

Not hard for me to know where this is going. I wrote the following in June 2009: There is an extremely dangerous fallacy gaining strength in intellectual circles. It is the fallacy that democracy can save the Islamic World from its tyrants and deprivations and, in turn, save the non Islamic World from Islamic terrorism.

However, the belief that democracy is an instant panacea for all that ails the Islamic World is specious at best. Most of the Islamic World is not ready for democracy and the call for and push for democracy or increased popular control over governments via the election process will further destabilize many countries that are already at risk of being lost to Islamists. Egypt seems to be the focus of many experts’ arguments that democratization will advance peace efforts. However, democracy would most likley result in more Islamist control in Egypt and will do nothing to accomplish peace. Consider that Anwar Sadat, for example, made a cold peace with Israel despite the strong opposition of most of Egyptian society. If he faced popular elections, he never could have or would have been able to make peace.

It is pointless to free people to elect their leaders when they remain enslaved in their minds to an ideology and belief system that will simply mean that instead of Islamists gaining control through subversive means, they will simply gain control via elections. Democracy and elections will no more bring improved conditions to most of the Islamic World and peace than it did to the Gaza Strip where Hamas, a violent terrorist group, won elections in 2006 and then proceeded to shell Israel with hundreds of rockets. Read the rest of this entry »

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