America Must Lead, Not Hype an Election

By the end of the Cold War, Americans had become accustomed to the dichotomy between Communism and democracy, and as practitioners of democracy, we generally view it as a more promising path than other forms of government.  So it comes as no surprise that the knee-jerk reaction to the turmoil in Egypt is to hold democratic elections so the people can decide for themselves who will provide the mandates they must live by.  This is why it is fashionable for men like State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley to suggest that he wants to see "free, fair, and credible elections ... the sooner that can happen, the better."  And Barack Obama has expressed the wish to "transition into a new government."

There is an inherent problem with the application of this strategy when it comes to much of the Middle East, however.  The Egyptians who now seek a reformation do not look to elect an innovator vying for peace; they look to elect an enforcer.  You see, to the fundamentalist factions that oppose Mubarak, someone has already provided the mandates they must live by.  He has mandated that women be covered from head to toe and that they live subservient lives without basic human rights.  It is even quite acceptable that women be married and violated prior to adolescence.  This sovereign has decreed that execution be the proper punishment for homosexuality.  He has demanded that any who does not accept his mandates is either killed or subjugated for a lack of faith, and that sacrificing oneself in that endeavor is the greatest of all triumphs, worthy of divine reward.  And most important to Mubarak's opposition, this sovereign has mandated that Jews be purged from the land that Allah has given to his followers. 

As you've likely guessed, that person is Muhammad, prophet of the Islamic faith that roughly 90% of Egyptians follow.  And those who wish to depose Mubarak follow the very literal instruction of the Quran and Hadith cited above, and particularly the last bit referenced.

Mubarak, though a Muslim, has not followed these fundamental instructions quite so literally, it seems.  He has worked to honor Egypt's peace accord with Israel, an arrangement where the latter returned the Sinai Peninsula to Egypt, which was a spoil of the defensive Six-Day War and an important land buffer to deter future Egyptian aggression.  Israel, at the behest of American counsel, offered the Sinai as a sign of good faith to establish a relationship of coexistence.  And largely for the crime of honoring a peace agreement, Mubarak's leadership is threatened by fundamentalist followers of Islam.

History has shown that the procedure of democratic election has little or no value when the seeds of a warped and twisted ideology have found purchase and flourished in vast numbers of a voting population.  Indeed, Adolf Hitler was elected by a populace that was very aware of his anti-Bolshevism and anti-Semitism, as well as his purpose of Nazi hegemony.  The fact that he was democratically elected did not make his regime any less dangerous or evil.

So why are the president, his spokesmen, and countless Americans so eager to see elections in Egypt?  It is because they, too, are the victims of the very same proselytizing ideology that afflicts the masses in Egypt who long for Mubarak's ousting and Israel's destruction. 

The Muslim Brotherhood found its way into American sympathies as a misunderstood Islamic outreach group, spreading the bold message of a "peaceful Islam."  The group has made an impact in North America through subsidiary groups like the Muslim Student Association (whose brand of tolerance is portrayed in this exchange between an MSA member and David Horowitz).  The Muslim Brotherhood has demanded the resignation of Mubarak's regime, prompting pundits like the pro-Hizballah Reza Aslan to suggest that "the Muslim Brotherhood will have a significant role to play in post-Mubarak Egypt.  And that is a good thing."

As Robert Spencer juxtaposes with the comment on his website, Mr. Azlan's optimism is very curious when you consider that a Muslim Brotherhood memorandum specifically states the following:

Their work in America is a kind of grand Jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within and "sabotaging" its miserable house by their hands and the hands of believers so that it is eliminated and God's religion is made victorious over all other religions.

It is difficult to miss the meaning in the line "'sabotaging' its miserable house by their hands and the hands of believers," but our president would still endorse a popular election in Egypt when the leading candidate to institute reform is the Muslim Brotherhood -- the very group that would suggest such deceit to destroy America? 

The president likely does so because he is pandering to the sensibilities of America's misguided progressives, who presume that parity exists between Islam's followers in the Middle East and those who follow other religions or those who lack religion altogether.  Not only do many of these Americans widely maintain this blind presumption (usually on the weak basis of perhaps knowing Westernized Muslims), but it is often vigorously defended by those who know nothing of Islam or its history.  Consider how many times you have heard someone relate the evil crimes of fundamentalist Islam or its literal dogma mandating violence, affronts to human rights, and submission, only to have champions of political correctness remind that person of the Spanish Inquisition, or the Salem Witch Trials, or the poster child of Christian terror, Timothy McVeigh.  The purpose of such defenses is not to address the issue of Islam, but to avoid addressing the issue of Islam by suggesting that everyone else is just as bad!

The truth is that we Americans have unrivaled privilege in harboring such blissful ignorance.  We do not have to send our children to school on buses with a very real fear that a fanatical suicide bomber will take their lives in efforts to reach a mythical paradise.  We do not live in fear that in our hometowns, we have to endure regular rocket attacks and threats of genocide by foreign factions that wish to convey that we and our country do not have the right to exist.

It is not for our sake alone that we must finally address the problem of fundamental Islam.  It is for our friends in the Jewish state of Israel, who live with such realities and, at this very moment, quake in anticipation of the outcome of the Egyptian crisis.

On December 5, 2010, Geert Wilders spoke to the Israeli people in Tel Aviv.  His is a message that I and millions of my American brethren share.  He begs:

Let us stand with Israel because the Jews have no other state, while the Palestinians already have Jordan. ... Let us stand with Israel because the Jewish state needs defendable [sic] borders to secure its own survival.  Let us stand with Israel because it is the frontline in the battle for the survival of the West.

I would like to say this to my own countrymen: let us stand with Israel in spite of our president, who would sit silent as Iran cries for freedom from an oppressive Islamic regime that vows a Jewish genocide, only to later take the first opportunity to suggest the "transitioning" away from an Egyptian regime that has fostered peace with Israel for thirty years.  Let us stand with Israel so their relinquishing of the Sinai does not yield a launchpad for Egyptian rockets traveling to Israel. 

We need to stand with Israel because we believe in freedom and human rights, and it is clear that the Islamic fundamentalists and the Muslim Brotherhood that seek power in Egypt do not. 

A response as simple as an "election" is certainly not a proper solution to the immense problem we face.  Rather, we must demand that President Obama be the leader of the free world that he was elected to be and condemn any who would suggest the illegal existence of Israel.  It is time for him to lead the American people in standing alongside our allies in Israel as they struggle to live as a free people, without the shackles of Islamism, the perpetual realities of suicide bombings, or the threat of a nuclear strike.

Because, as Geert Wilders so perfectly said at the Free Speech Summit in September of last year, "we are all Israel now."

William Sullivan blogs at politicalpalaverblog.blogspot.com.
By the end of the Cold War, Americans had become accustomed to the dichotomy between Communism and democracy, and as practitioners of democracy, we generally view it as a more promising path than other forms of government.  So it comes as no surprise that the knee-jerk reaction to the turmoil in Egypt is to hold democratic elections so the people can decide for themselves who will provide the mandates they must live by.  This is why it is fashionable for men like State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley to suggest that he wants to see "free, fair, and credible elections ... the sooner that can happen, the better."  And Barack Obama has expressed the wish to "transition into a new government."

There is an inherent problem with the application of this strategy when it comes to much of the Middle East, however.  The Egyptians who now seek a reformation do not look to elect an innovator vying for peace; they look to elect an enforcer.  You see, to the fundamentalist factions that oppose Mubarak, someone has already provided the mandates they must live by.  He has mandated that women be covered from head to toe and that they live subservient lives without basic human rights.  It is even quite acceptable that women be married and violated prior to adolescence.  This sovereign has decreed that execution be the proper punishment for homosexuality.  He has demanded that any who does not accept his mandates is either killed or subjugated for a lack of faith, and that sacrificing oneself in that endeavor is the greatest of all triumphs, worthy of divine reward.  And most important to Mubarak's opposition, this sovereign has mandated that Jews be purged from the land that Allah has given to his followers. 

As you've likely guessed, that person is Muhammad, prophet of the Islamic faith that roughly 90% of Egyptians follow.  And those who wish to depose Mubarak follow the very literal instruction of the Quran and Hadith cited above, and particularly the last bit referenced.

Mubarak, though a Muslim, has not followed these fundamental instructions quite so literally, it seems.  He has worked to honor Egypt's peace accord with Israel, an arrangement where the latter returned the Sinai Peninsula to Egypt, which was a spoil of the defensive Six-Day War and an important land buffer to deter future Egyptian aggression.  Israel, at the behest of American counsel, offered the Sinai as a sign of good faith to establish a relationship of coexistence.  And largely for the crime of honoring a peace agreement, Mubarak's leadership is threatened by fundamentalist followers of Islam.

History has shown that the procedure of democratic election has little or no value when the seeds of a warped and twisted ideology have found purchase and flourished in vast numbers of a voting population.  Indeed, Adolf Hitler was elected by a populace that was very aware of his anti-Bolshevism and anti-Semitism, as well as his purpose of Nazi hegemony.  The fact that he was democratically elected did not make his regime any less dangerous or evil.

So why are the president, his spokesmen, and countless Americans so eager to see elections in Egypt?  It is because they, too, are the victims of the very same proselytizing ideology that afflicts the masses in Egypt who long for Mubarak's ousting and Israel's destruction. 

The Muslim Brotherhood found its way into American sympathies as a misunderstood Islamic outreach group, spreading the bold message of a "peaceful Islam."  The group has made an impact in North America through subsidiary groups like the Muslim Student Association (whose brand of tolerance is portrayed in this exchange between an MSA member and David Horowitz).  The Muslim Brotherhood has demanded the resignation of Mubarak's regime, prompting pundits like the pro-Hizballah Reza Aslan to suggest that "the Muslim Brotherhood will have a significant role to play in post-Mubarak Egypt.  And that is a good thing."

As Robert Spencer juxtaposes with the comment on his website, Mr. Azlan's optimism is very curious when you consider that a Muslim Brotherhood memorandum specifically states the following:

Their work in America is a kind of grand Jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within and "sabotaging" its miserable house by their hands and the hands of believers so that it is eliminated and God's religion is made victorious over all other religions.

It is difficult to miss the meaning in the line "'sabotaging' its miserable house by their hands and the hands of believers," but our president would still endorse a popular election in Egypt when the leading candidate to institute reform is the Muslim Brotherhood -- the very group that would suggest such deceit to destroy America? 

The president likely does so because he is pandering to the sensibilities of America's misguided progressives, who presume that parity exists between Islam's followers in the Middle East and those who follow other religions or those who lack religion altogether.  Not only do many of these Americans widely maintain this blind presumption (usually on the weak basis of perhaps knowing Westernized Muslims), but it is often vigorously defended by those who know nothing of Islam or its history.  Consider how many times you have heard someone relate the evil crimes of fundamentalist Islam or its literal dogma mandating violence, affronts to human rights, and submission, only to have champions of political correctness remind that person of the Spanish Inquisition, or the Salem Witch Trials, or the poster child of Christian terror, Timothy McVeigh.  The purpose of such defenses is not to address the issue of Islam, but to avoid addressing the issue of Islam by suggesting that everyone else is just as bad!

The truth is that we Americans have unrivaled privilege in harboring such blissful ignorance.  We do not have to send our children to school on buses with a very real fear that a fanatical suicide bomber will take their lives in efforts to reach a mythical paradise.  We do not live in fear that in our hometowns, we have to endure regular rocket attacks and threats of genocide by foreign factions that wish to convey that we and our country do not have the right to exist.

It is not for our sake alone that we must finally address the problem of fundamental Islam.  It is for our friends in the Jewish state of Israel, who live with such realities and, at this very moment, quake in anticipation of the outcome of the Egyptian crisis.

On December 5, 2010, Geert Wilders spoke to the Israeli people in Tel Aviv.  His is a message that I and millions of my American brethren share.  He begs:

Let us stand with Israel because the Jews have no other state, while the Palestinians already have Jordan. ... Let us stand with Israel because the Jewish state needs defendable [sic] borders to secure its own survival.  Let us stand with Israel because it is the frontline in the battle for the survival of the West.

I would like to say this to my own countrymen: let us stand with Israel in spite of our president, who would sit silent as Iran cries for freedom from an oppressive Islamic regime that vows a Jewish genocide, only to later take the first opportunity to suggest the "transitioning" away from an Egyptian regime that has fostered peace with Israel for thirty years.  Let us stand with Israel so their relinquishing of the Sinai does not yield a launchpad for Egyptian rockets traveling to Israel. 

We need to stand with Israel because we believe in freedom and human rights, and it is clear that the Islamic fundamentalists and the Muslim Brotherhood that seek power in Egypt do not. 

A response as simple as an "election" is certainly not a proper solution to the immense problem we face.  Rather, we must demand that President Obama be the leader of the free world that he was elected to be and condemn any who would suggest the illegal existence of Israel.  It is time for him to lead the American people in standing alongside our allies in Israel as they struggle to live as a free people, without the shackles of Islamism, the perpetual realities of suicide bombings, or the threat of a nuclear strike.

Because, as Geert Wilders so perfectly said at the Free Speech Summit in September of last year, "we are all Israel now."

William Sullivan blogs at politicalpalaverblog.blogspot.com.

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