“Revolution is not a dinner party, not an essay, nor a painting, nor a piece of embroidery; it cannot be advanced softly, gradually, carefully, considerately, respectfully, politely, plainly and modestly.”
Chairman Mao (HT: Thinkexist.com)
I’ve come to believe that a lot of people go stupid when they hear the term Revolution. Like being a rock star or a pro athlete, people totally overrate the glamour involved and deleteriously underrate the amount of work people have to put in to make a revolution (or a punk rock band, or The Green Bay Packers Offensive Line), a successful operation. Mick Jagger and The Rolling Stones aptly described this dim-witted view of what a successful revolution required below.
I said, Hey and my name Is called Disturbance?
I’ll shout and scream, I’ll kill the king, I’ll rail all his servants
– The Rolling Stones “Street Fighting Man.” (HT: metrolyrics.com)
The cheer-leading squad at CNN has largely taken to reporting the Egyptian Revolution in this manner. If we can just get mean, old, crusty, Hosni Mubarak Baby-Docced out of town; on the next thing smoking, to The Island of Elba, perhaps, Egyptian Society could then become a utopian Democracy. This assumes Mubarak was Egypt’s only real problem. Although Mubarak is a hard man, who does morally disgusting things, and holds a dystopic and amoral view of the world, he is far from Egypt’s biggest negative vector.
Egyptians didn’t just wake up one morning and decide Hosni Mubarak was an intolerable blight on the rear end of Egyptian History. The man comes from a long line of depots ranging from Ramses II, through The Ptolemids, the Fatamid Caliphs and then the Military Dictators. Perhaps; the last determined band of people in Egypt that yearned to breathe the air of freedom crossed the parted waters of the Red Sea at the behest of Moses.
Revolutions require tremendous work, sacrifice and planning. They are only successful to the extent that their leaders are great men. How did the United States, where uprisings against Great Britain began in 1773, finally manage to build the basis of a stable society by 1788? It helps to get to know the people who planned and led this uprising.
Thomas Jefferson, is described as follows by Wikipedia.
In 1752, Jefferson began attending a local school run by a local Scottish Presbyterian minister. At the age of nine, Jefferson began studying Latin, Greek, and French; he learned to ride, and began to appreciate the study of nature. In 1757, when he was 14 years old, his father died. Jefferson inherited about 5,000 acres (20 km²) of land and dozens of slaves. He built his home there, which eventually became known as Monticello. After his father’s death, he was taught at the school of the learned minister James Maury from 1758 to 1760. The school was in Fredericksville Parish near Gordonsville, Virginia, twelve miles (19 km) from Shadwell, and Jefferson boarded with Maury’s family. There he received a classical education and studied history and science.
In 1760, at the age of 16, Jefferson entered the College of William & Mary in Williamsburg. For two years he studied mathematics, metaphysics, and philosophy under Professor William Small, who introduced the enthusiastic Jefferson to the writings of the British Empiricists, including John Locke, Francis Bacon, and Isaac Newton (Jefferson called them the “three greatest men the world had ever produced”). He also perfected his French, carried his Greek grammar book wherever he went, practiced the violin, and read Tacitus and Homer. A keen and diligent student, Jefferson displayed an avid curiosity in all fields and, according to the family tradition, frequently studied fifteen hours a day. His closest college friend, John Page of Rosewell, reported that Jefferson “could tear himself away from his dearest friends to fly to his studies.”
In fairness, George Mason, James Madison, George Washington (at least according to David McCullough, in 1776), and Benjamin Franklin were also not exactly slouches and couch-potatoes as human beings. It took the collective brilliance, and diligence and willingness to risk losing vast financial wealth from all of these people, to make the US of A a governable nation by 1788 – 15 years after these geniuses started to tinker.
So, of course, the Revolution in Egypt has been meticulously planned and carefully rehearsed or it would never have made it as far as it already has. The events we see in Cairo have been carefully engineered for a long, long time. To the extent that this is occurring, the people doing the logistics are probably the Muslim Brotherhood. Jim Goad describes just exactly who will play “Thomas Jefferson” in the current Egyptian Revolution.
…their crossed-sword logo doesn’t exactly scream “peaceful.” And their motto—“Allah is our objective; the Koran is our constitution, the Prophet is our leader; Jihad is our way; and death for the sake of Allah is the highest of our aspirations”—doesn’t quite epitomize the words “moderate” or “nonviolent.” As recently as 2008, Brotherhood leader Mahdi Akef spoke of raising a new generation of Islamic warriors “who love to die as much as others love to live.”
So while Thomas Jefferson sharpened his quill pen to work on the US Constitution by authoring his Plan for Establishing Uniformity in the Coinage, Weights, and Measures of the United States, the Muslim Brotherhood offers us Mohamed ElBaradei and no publically known supporting cast.
ElBaradei has worked as a diplomat and an attorney. He is a legitimately successful professional, but in no manner an intellectual giant such as Jefferson, or a leader of men on the level of George Washington. But then again, Thomas Jefferson’s 1777 Bill for Religious Freedom in Virginia would probably not enjoy the support of the average Egyptian citizen. Goad describes the political and religious sentiments of the people ElBaradei speaks for as a potential revolutionary leader.
So exactly how progressive and moderate is Egypt’s Muslim population? A Pew survey released in December showed that a trifling 95% of Egyptian Muslims thought it a “good” thing for Islam to play a “large” role in politics. Roughly four out of five said they favored stoning adulterers, whipping and dismembering thieves, and the death penalty for any believer who dares to abandon Islam.
(TakiMag, Ob. Cit.).
So Egypt’s revolutionary leader stands at the helm of a dedicated and determined organization, The Muslim Brotherhood. His organization has existed since the late 1920’s and has a clear record with respect to their embrace of peace, freedom and religious tolerance. In the 1930’s they translated Hitler’s Mein Kampf into Arabic and strongly encouraged people to read it. In 1991, they issued a famous memorandum that spelled out their desires for American Moslems to “…understand that their work in America is a kind of grand Jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within and “sabotaging” its miserable house..”(HT: investigativeproject.com)
But, like Barney the Dinosaur in Jurassic Park, the American media and governing elites, can’t seem to understand why revolutionary Egypt won’t turn instantly into paradise, once Hosni Mubarak’s jet lifts off the tarmac for the final and fitting time. They refuse to admit that an organization that distributes The Protocols of The Elders of Zion throughout Turkey probably won’t be producing a stable, modernized, liberal democracy. The types of politicians we need to support and vote for in America are the type who would be in condign agreement with some Revolutionary lyrics penned by Paul McCartney and John Lennon.
But when you want money
for people with minds that hate
All I can tell is brother you have to wait
Political leaders of this mold would be smart enough to realize that the great leap forward occurring in Egypt this month will end up rendering this once-great historical nation at least as far backward as the Fatimid Caliphate. Perhaps the US government and foreign policy cannot prevent the Muslim Brotherhood from taking over Egypt as a base of terrorist operations. But they should be decently mortified that these throwbacks to a stone age, where women still get stoned, have assumed a position of power anywhere in the world. So you say you want a revolution….