Missing the point

2 cents: A good article but Friedman is either missing the point deliberately or out of ignorance. The point being in the last paragraph which I have highlighted in red; note the context of the paragraph – it is a mandate, if you will, written by and for Arabs on principles that they believe they need to address and improve in order for their nations and people to thrive. They – the Arab so-called intellectuals and leaders – do not believe Friedman’s insertion (text in red) are principles that need to be adopted and embraced in their countries. My point being that the Muslim Brotherhood in order to fulfill their agenda and beliefs CAN NOT actually allow Friedman’s insertion to be a reality or even seriously entertained by the citizens of Egypt or other Arab countries. Therefore the text highlighted in blue will not be realized as long as they are in power.

June 26, 2012

The Fear Factor

By THOMAS L. FRIEDMAN

If there is one thought that summarizes the strength and weakness of the Arab awakenings, it’s the one offered by Daniel Brumberg, a co-director of the democracy and governance studies program at Georgetown University, who observed that the Arab awakenings happened because the Arab peoples stopped fearing their leaders — but they stalled because the Arab peoples have not stopped fearing each other.

This dichotomy is no surprise. That culture of fear was exactly what the dictators fed off of and nurtured. Most of them ran their countries like Mafia dons operating “protection rackets.” They wanted their people to fear each other more than the leader, so that each dictator or monarch could sit atop the whole society, doling out patronage and protection, while ruling with an iron fist. But it will take more than just decapitating these regimes to overcome that legacy. It will take a culture of pluralism and citizenship. Until then, tribes will still fear tribes in Libya and Yemen, sects will still fear sects in Syria and Bahrain, the secular and the Christians will still fear the Islamists in Egypt and Tunisia and the philosophy of “rule or die” will remain a potent competitor to “one man, one vote.”

You would have to be very naïve to think that transitioning from primordial identities to “citizens” would be easy, or even likely. It took two centuries of struggle and compromise for America to get to a point where it could elect a black man with the middle name Hussein as president and then consider replacing him with a Mormon! And that is in a country of immigrants.

But you would also have to be blind and deaf to the deeply authentic voices and aspirations that triggered these Arab awakenings not to realize that, in all these countries, there is a longing — particularly among young Arabs — for real citizenship and accountable and participatory government. It is what many analysts are missing today. That energy is still there, and the Muslim Brotherhood, or whoever rules Egypt, will have to respond to it.

Precisely because Egypt is the opposite of Las Vegas — what happens there never stays there — the way in which the newly elected president, Mohamed Morsi, the candidate of the Muslim Brotherhood, ultimately learns to work with the secular, liberal, Salafist and Christian elements of Egyptian society will have a huge impact on all the other Arab awakenings. If Egyptians can forge a workable social contract to govern themselves, it will set an example for the whole region. America midwifed that social contract-writing in Iraq, but Egypt will need a Nelson Mandela.

Can Morsi play that Mandela role? Does he have any surprise in him? The early indications are mixed at best. “As Mohamed Morsi prepares to become Egypt’s first democratically elected president,” Brumberg wrote on foreignpolicy.com, “he will have to decide who he really is: a political unifier who wants one ‘Egypt for all Egyptians’ as he said shortly after he was declared president, or an Islamist partisan devoted to the very proposition that he repeated during the first round of the election campaign, namely that ‘the Quran is our constitution.’

“This is not so much an intellectual choice as it is a political and practical one,” he added. “Morsi’s greatest challenge is to unite a political opposition that has suffered from fundamental divisions between Islamists and non-Islamists, and within each of these camps as well. If his call for a government of national unity merely represents a short-term tactic for confronting the military — rather than a strategic commitment to pluralism as a way of political life — the chances of resuscitating a transition that only days ago was on life support will be very slim indeed.”

It is incumbent on the Muslim Brotherhood to now authentically reach out to the other 50 percent of Egypt — the secular, liberal, Salafist and Christian elements — and assure them that not only will they not be harmed, but that their views and aspirations will be balanced alongside the Brotherhood’s. That is going to require, over time, a revolution in thinking by the Muslim Brotherhood leadership and rank-and-file to actually embrace religious and political pluralism as they move from opposition to governance. It will not happen overnight, but if it doesn’t happen at all, the Egyptian democracy experiment will fail and a terrible precedent will be set for the region.

The U.S. has some leverage in terms of foreign aid, military aid and foreign investment — and we should use it by making clear that we respect the vote of the Egyptian people, and we want to continue to help Egypt thrive, but our support will be conditioned on certain principles. What principles? Our principles?

No. The principles identified by the 2002 U.N. Arab Human Development Report, which was written by and for Arabs. It said that for the Arab world to thrive it needs to overcome its deficit of freedom, its deficit of knowledge and its deficit of women’s empowerment. And, I would add, its deficit of religious and political pluralism. We should help any country whose government is working on that agenda — including an Egypt led by a Muslim Brotherhood president — and we should withhold our support from any that is not. 

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icubud

Glory to God in the highest, THEN - peace on earth and goodwill to men (Luke 2:14). So peace on earth and goodwill to the human race can not occur until their is first - Glory to God in the highest. This will never be accomplished nor desired by the UN or the USA governments. Hence the Second Advent. Moment by moment I want to grow correctly in the grace, knowledge, wisdom and understanding of ALMIGHTY GOD. Spiritually I consider myself a saved Bible believer but so as to hopefully avoid some of the stigma that is heavily steeped on anyone who does not designate a denomination, I must consider myself an independent saved Bible believing Baptist. But Baptist denominations are highly polluted with leaven and such. I am a Christian in the true definition of the word which is given in Acts 11:26. Roman Catholicism and Orthodox Catholicism are NOT Christian. R.C. has been a great and successful tool in 1) making people not want to be a Christian and 2) making the majority of its believers/followers/members die and go to hell. I have great concern for everyone's present, temporal state of things and the future, eternal state of things. Politically I consider myself an independent, that unfortunately due to the limited choices, usually votes Republican. I am praying for legitimate third and fourth parties to gain traction in our society so that they will provide some better candidates. I am hoping for a bloodless American Spring. I believe one of the greatest detriments to our society here in the USA is the MSM (mainstream media), the judicial system and Congress. MAGA!! WWG1WGA #45 #17 Our country needs to make term limits for those who hold a seat in Congress. The individual can not serve more than 8 years in their lifetime in any capacity of Congress. And yes I voted for Trump both times and will do so again. Some people I admire: The Lord Jesus Christ (wholly God and wholly man), all those who gave their lives as recorded in the Foxe's Book of Martyrs and those since then that have been executed because they would not deny their saving faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, William Tyndale, John Wycliffe, Matthew Rogers, Gipsy Smith, DL Moody, Clarence Larkin, Ronald Reagan, John Knox, Martin Luther, Apostle Paul, the 12 disciples/apostles listed in Acts 1, Samuel the prophet, William Evans, Ph.D., D.D., Litt. D, Edward F. Hills A.B. - Yale, Th.M. - Columbia, Th.D. - Harvard; JTC, Archbishop James Ussher, John Frith, Erasmus, Alexander Hislop, Avro Manhattan, Dean Burgon, 161 1 KJV Bible Translators, Susanna Wesley, Susannah Thompson Spurgeon, PSR & Gail Riplinger. Some "things" that I like: Conscientiousness, well-marked books, kindness, romance, appreciation, morals, empathy, big hugs, nuzzling, eyes, long hair, gray/silver hair, beauty, modesty, when a women is a "lady", good coffee, windy days or nights, the sound of rain, cold weather, spring, autumn (except all the leaves to rake), roaring fire in the fireplace or pit, a good meal, gestures from a loving or friendly heart, the oceans/large lakes, music, coffee houses/cafes, books!, grand libraries, well used bookshelves, peace, white fluffy clouds in a blue sky, birds nesting, bunnies!, chipmunks!, wildlife when its not predatory, learning, smell of bread or pizza baking, the smell of coffee, the Basque, collection of information/data/inputs of various kinds, snow, gratitude, connecting the dots in life, old people still in love and are best friends, a good mystery, good film/tv/etc., internet, clocks and watches, trains/railroad, symbols, history of many types, good conversation/discussion, my music collection, studying the Bible, a well-marked Bible, crunchy snacks, handwritten correspondence & journals/notes, preparing meals for people who will appreciate it, beautiful gardens, blueprints, maps, REAL friends, boat rides, good Bible preaching/teaching, the mountains, the wilderness, hiking, teamwork, correspondence, wisdom, simplicity in the right places & quiet. Some "things" I loathe: The Alexandrian Cult and its supporters, FAKES, bullying, making fun of people, grief, taking advantage of people, neglect, disregard of others, raunchiness, hate, bossy people, brutality, war, fighting, cursing, degradation of society, evil, wickedness, narcissism, liars, abuse of any kind, loss of innocence, smell of burnt popcorn, nosy people, death, fake friends, disingenuous, being forgotten, not being valued, loss, broken heart, deceit, disrespect, manipulators, arrogance, loud people, troublemakers, self-entitlement, non-stop talkers who are completely self-absorbed and make everything in someway related to themselves,

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