Osama bin Laden thought the mujahideen had seen the last of Marxist-like thinkers in 1980s Afghanistan where the “inevitability” of communism’s world mastery proved illusory. To his surprise and joy, however, this sort of mental malady reappeared with a vengeance this month as the woefully uneducated West cheered democracy’s “inevitable” advance in Egypt.
From CNN to FOX to BBC, journalists performed as weepy, ahistorical cheerleaders, describing crowds of Jeffersonian Egyptians filling Tahrir Square to replicate the events of Philadelphia in 1776 and 1787. And then — Mubarak left and democracy was installed! The unfinished republican project Americans have labored on for 800 years since Runnymede was completed in Egypt in only 18 days. We live in an age of wonders.
Is this analysis flawed? Is the argument’s logic weak? Well no, certainly not. Egypt is what it is, as the saying goes. In a time of economic crisis, political chaos, and looming violence, 80 million Egyptians grasped an alien, long-detested ideology called “secular democracy,” turning their collective back on the Islam that heretofore graced and ordered their lives, and gave them the will and courage to patiently resist Mubarak’s tyranny and rely on God’s promise of victory. They swapped Allah for paganism in just eighteen days. Why, my goodness, Katie Couric said so, didn’t she?
Well, back in his Afghan cave Osama bin Laden knows better, not having benefited from an Ivy League education. Indeed, if Salifism allows such things, Brother Osama is doing the Happy Dance. Bin Laden, his lieutenants, and their allies know that after the Western media returns to what it does best — isn’t Lindsey Lohan due in court? — Muslim Egyptians will be reaching for Allah’s rope, not Facebook’s self-deification. And the Islamists also will know the stout wall of U.S.-and-Israeli-supported Arab tyranny they have long attacked is cracking.
When the West sees pious Egyptians moving toward Islam, not secular democracy, bin Laden will have thanked God for His gifts to the mujahideen. Having designated Arab police states and Israel as Islam’s main enemies — brain-dead America simply being in the way due to its money and guns — bin Laden et. al. now see the ruins of the strongest Arab tyranny, as well as the most loyal, least demanding ally secured by Washington‘s relentless intervention in the Muslim world. They know whatever regime follows Mubarak will be weaker, more influenced by those demanding a form of Sharia law — including General Clapper’s Kiwanis-in-waiting, the Muslim Brotherhood — and, being a democracy, more representative of Egyptians’ deep, abiding hatred for Israel.
With one tyranny dished, bin Laden also will know Israel is thigh deep in disaster. Israel’s physical security long depended on repression by the Levant’s three border-controlling tyrannies: Egypt, Syria, and Jordan. After all, look at the trouble Israel gets from Lebanon’s fitfully representative political system. Now, Israel faces Jeffersonian Egypt, which, to reflect the popular will, must be less “friendly” toward it, less willing to seal its Gaza border, and unwilling to kill Egyptians trying to aid Palestinians. Perhaps the West missed the anti-Mubarak posters showing David’s star burned into his forehead. And perhaps that’s because few Western journalists explained the hard truth that Mubarak was hated not just for repression and joblessness, but because he dealt with Israel and persecuted Egyptians for their faith.
So for bin Laden and all Islamist leaders, happy days are here. Through no actions of their own, their most potent Arab foe disappeared at the hands of their other erstwhile enemies, the United States, and its allies. They can now exploit the Egyptian debacle knowing that, as they do so, Washington will be further weakened economically as the new Egyptian regime begs funds to rebuild — and hints it will take Saudi money if U.S. taxpayers are not shaken down — and the Israel-suborned Congress ships great batches of taxpayer funds to Israel for a military and border-control build-up to cope with Egyptian democracy and prepare for Israel’s other two indispensable tyrants — Jordan’s Abdullah and Syria’s al-Asad — going Mubarak‘s way.
As ever, the wages of U.S. intervention are dire. After intervening for 30-plus years to support Mubarak and allow Israel’s every whim, Washington now finds itself headed toward more intervention in a probably useless attempt to rebalance the Potemkin political “system” its intervention helped create. Like an umpire trying to make up for a bad call, Washington’s forthcoming intervention will spread the Egyptian disaster and undermine U.S. security; only bin Laden and the Islamists will benefit.
Perhaps a reading of General Washington’s Farewell Address is in order?