The coverage of recent events in Egypt is further proof that Western elites cannot see the forest for the trees. Over the past week, leading newspapers have devoted relatively in-depth coverage to the Egyptian military authorities’ repressive actions in subduing protesters in Tahrir Square in Cairo, particularly during their large protest last Friday.
That is, they have provided in-depth coverage of one spent force repressing another spent force. Neither the military nor the protesters are calling the shots anymore in Egypt, if they ever were. That is the job of the Muslim Brotherhood.
The proximate cause of last Friday’s mass demonstration was what the so-called Twitter and Facebook revolutionaries consider the military’s slowness to respond to their demand for ousted president Hosni Mubarak’s head on a platter. The military responded by announcing that Mubarak and his sons will go on trial for capital crimes on August 3.
Beyond bloodlust, the supposedly liberal young sweethearts of the Western media are demanding a cancellation of the results of the referendum held in March on the sequencing of elections and constitutional reform. Voting in that referendum was widely assessed as the freest vote in Egyptian history. Seventy-seven percent of the public voted to hold parliamentary and presidential elections in September and to appoint members of a constitutional assembly from among the elected members of the next parliament to prepare Egypt’s new constitution.
The protesters rightly assert that the early elections will pave the way for the Muslim Brotherhood’s takeover of Egypt, since the Brotherhood is the only well-organized political force in Egypt. But then, the liberals said they wanted popular rule.
The Facebook protesters demanded Mubarak’s immediate removal from power in January. They would not negotiate Mubarak’s offer to use the remainder of his final term to shepherd Egypt towards a quasi-democratic process that might have prevented the Brotherhood from taking over.
In their fantasy world – which they inhabit with Western intellectuals – the fates of nations are determined by the number of “likes” on your facebook page. And so, when they had the power to avert the democratic Islamist takeover of their country in January, they squandered it.
Now, when it is too late, they are trying to win through rioting what they failed to win at the ballot box, thus discrediting their protestations of liberal values.
Caroline B. Glick is the senior Middle East fellow at the Center for Security Policy in Washington, D.C., and the deputy managing editor of The Jerusalem Post, where this article first appeared.
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