Egypt and Lebanon: Things Just Keep Getting Worse
Rubin on Egypt:
Three months before the September elections there’s no real moderate party, no Mubarak-era establishment party, and no nationalist party. Just the Islamists and the far left. Now one of the last hopes has been dashed with the decision of the Wafd Party to align with the Muslim Brotherhood. The Wafd was Egypt’s liberal nationalist party from the 1920s to the 1952 revolution when it was closed down. The Brotherhood has a tradition of what entering and taking over purportedly secular political parties. So the Wafd isn’t going to be an anti-Islamist or alternative party. Who is? I always thought the Brotherhood would do well because it has a clear ideology, good organization, and a strong support base. Now I have to add another factor that may ensure its victory: no serious opposition.
Rubin on Lebanon:
Is there a pattern here? I guess I’m going to be writing a series of “things keep getting worse” articles for some time to come because that’s what’s happening. After five months of bickering Lebanon has a government. It’s now a satellite of Syria and Iran with a government dominated by Hizballah (18 of 30 seats!) The new prime minister said the new government would liberate “land that remains under the occupation of the Israeli enemy.” And what Lebanese land might that be? If you needed any further proof of the functional insanity of the mass media on issues like this, consider the New York Times headline: “In Lebanon, New Cabinet Is Influenced by Hezbollah.” Yes, I’d think having sixty percent of the cabinet posts and more guns than Lebanon’s army might constitute influence.
So let’s see, Turkey is governed by a more confident (arrogant) Islamist regime. Egypt is about to be governed by an Islamist regime. The Gaza Strip is governed by an Islamist regime now allied with the Palestinian Authority and backed by Egypt and Iran and Syria. Iran is moving toward nuclear weapons. The Saudis, Israelis, and lots of other people have lost confidence in the U.S. government. And the brave dissidents in Iran and Syria get no Western help. Meanwhile, Western Middle East policy is based on the work of a great political philosopher and statesman. Click here to see who he is and what he advises.
About the author,
Barry Rubin is director of the Global Research in International Affairs (GLORIA) Center, editor of the Middle East Review of International Affairs (MERIA) Journal, and a featured columnist at PajamasMedia http://pajamasmedia.com/barryrubin/ His latest books are The Israel-Arab Reader (seventh edition), The Long War for Freedom: The Arab Struggle for Democracy in the Middle East (Wiley), and The Truth About Syria (Palgrave-Macmillan). The website of the GLORIA Center is http://www.gloria-center.org.