Saturday, July 13, 2013
Mark Steyn again. Read the whole article, it's always worthwhile to read Steyn in full.
It is hard to be too cynical about Egypt ... or about the entire region referred to as Arabia. Just as you though things are really bad, they get even worse. Read, for example, Gang Raping Your Way to Democracy
But Egypt is a special case because it is the biggest country in the region with a long history. Forget the Pharaohs, the Romans, the caliphs who ruled, the two millennia of history until the English and French set up a king.
Ninety years ago, Fuad I’s kingdom was a ramshackle Arab approximation of a Westminster constitutional monarchy: Even in its flaws and corruptions, it knew at least what respectable societies were supposed to aspire to. Nasser’s one-party state was worse, Mubarak’s one-man klepto-state worse still, and Morsi’s antidote to his predecessors worst of all — so far.
Steyn gives us the history of "modern" Egypt via the life of Princess Fawzia, the aunt of the last King of Egypt who died the other day at age 91 in Alexandria.
A long life reminds us of how short history is: Princess Fawzia outlived the Egyptian monarchy, and the Nasserist fascism and pan-Arabism that succeeded it, and the doomed “United Arab Republic” of Egypt and Syria, and the fetid third-of-a-century “stability” of the Mubarak kleptocracy. And she came within 24 hours of outliving the Muslim Brotherhood’s brief, disastrous grip on power. In the days before her death, it was reported that 14 million people took to the streets of Egypt’s cities to protest against Morsi (and Obama and his ambassador Anne Paterson). If so, that’s more than the population of the entire country in the year Princess Fawzia was born. The Mubarak era alone saw the citizenry double from 40 million to 80 million, a majority of which live on less than two dollars a day. The old pharaoh was toppled by his own baby boom, most of whom went for Morsi. The new pharaoh was toppled by his own stupidity. The Muslim Brotherhood waited 85 years for their moment and then blew it in nothing flat.
I am being persuaded that people get the government they deserve.