Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Dictatorship without the Dictator

According the this story in the New York Times, "Egypt Sentences Blogger to Three Years," an Egyptian blogger has been arrested, tried and sentenced to jail for criticizing the military.
"An Egyptian blogger was sentenced Monday to three years in prison for criticizing the military in what human rights advocates called one of the more alarming violations of freedom of expression since a popular uprising led to the ouster of President Hosni Mubarak two months ago."
This was not the expected outcome back on Feb. 11, when the NYT was hailing the ouster of Mubarak as a great victory for democracy. The mainstream press in the West has been extremely naive and irresponsible in the way that it has treated the whole series of revolutions in the Middle East. Change is not always for the better and taking power away from one powerful group and giving it to another in not necessarily progress.

The Obama administration has not considered US strategic interests, but has basically taken a hands off approach even in cases where Islamists are threatening to take power, such as Egypt and Syria. That is, it has been hands off except where, as in the case of Lybia, it has actually empowered the Islamists in their revolt. The lessons of Afghanistan in the Soviet era go unlearned.

The NYT story mentioned above has some very interesting fact deeper down in the story. Turns out this blogger is a Christian and pro-Israel. Now, I wonder who his arrest sends a chilling signal to. . . couldn't be a message from the Muslim Brotherhood to refrain from criticizing a shift in strategic alliance away from a pro-Western, peaceful relationship with Israel to a pro-Iran, antagonism toward Israel, could it? Oh, yes it certainly could.

Of course, the NYT is not going to warn against the danger of the gathering storm of war against Israel. But it doesn't have to connect the dots for anyone who is paying attention to the Middle Eastern strategic realignment now in process.

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