Wednesday, January 11, 2012
Professor: [As the Martian ambassador starts disintegrating Congressmen with his ray gun]: "Mr. Ambassador, please! What are you doing? This doesn't make sense! It's not logical! It's not !" --"Mars Attacks"
By Barry Rubin
It is distasteful when Western intellectuals, politicians, and journalists who pride themselves on their enlightened humanitarian views watch people abroad fall subject to ruthless forces of dictatorship and dogma. When these same people actually cheer the new tyrannies, put their arms around the shoulders of those who despise them, and tell everyone else that there's nothing to worry about, that's actively disgusting.
Many in the West have so acted toward Egypt during the last year. They have also and previously done so for the Gaza Strip, Iran, Lebanon, Libya, Syria, Tunisia, and Turkey. Thomas Friedman has been one of them but perhaps no one else has been louder and more enthusiastic. In doing so, of course, he has echoed U.S. government policy.
Now, Friedman goes all-out to explain that the Muslim Brotherhood isn't radical, isn't a threat, in fact is a good thing, and will only become eve more moderate once it is in power.
In a column entitled, “Watching Elephants Fly,” obviously a reference to seeing something impossible happen, Friedman writes:
“Here is what was so striking: virtually all the women we interviewed after the voting — all of whom were veiled, some with only slits for their eyes — said that they had voted for either the Muslim Brotherhood or the Salafists. But almost none said they had voted that way for religious reasons.
“Many said they voted for Islamists because they were neighbors, people they knew, while secular liberal candidates had never once visited. Some illiterate elderly women confided that they could not read the ballot and just voted where their kids told them to. But practically all of them said they had voted for the Muslim Brotherhood or Salafist candidates because they expected them to deliver better, more honest government — not more mosques or liquor bans.”
My reaction is, “So what?” They voted for an authoritarian, Sharia regime (and let’s remember a hardline interpretation of Sharia, not the interpretation of Sharia offered by New York Times reporters). That's what's important. People also had diverse reasons for supporting Communism, Fascism, and Nazism. Indeed, they always voted for such regimes because “they expected them to deliver better, more honest government.” Hasn’t Friedman ever heard that Mussolini made the trains run on time, Hitler built the autobahns, and the Communists promised to give land to the peasants?
But there’s even more irony here. These women are already living lives governed by Sharia and, as traditionalists, are happy (and told to be happy) with that situation. Thus, they have ample reason for supporting Islamists. There is nothing surprising in their political behavior, except to people like Friedman who predicted last year they would back liberal Westernized Facebook kids.
Once again, Friedman shows a striking inability to think logically. If women were voting on the basis of family orders (I'd bet on the husbands and fathers rather than the children so instructing them) how can he then say that they voted out of specific personal motives or--after reporting they were told what to do!--claim that their vote is a sign of freedom?
To read the entire article (including the great closing joke about the title of Friedman's column) click here.
Posted by Barry Rubin at 11:17 PM