Egypt Speeding Toward Anarchy?
Mubarak's repressive measures and the absence of a real democracy is playing into the hands of the Islamic fundamentalists, who now appear to be more determined than ever to seize control of Egypt.
The Egyptian government's clampdown on secular reformists, including human rights activists and journalists, is driving many Egyptians toward the open arms of Muslim Brotherhood and other fundamentalist groups. These extremists find fertile soil among disgruntled Egyptians and Arabs who are yearning for regime change.
If Egypt falls into the hands of the Muslim fundamentalists, the first thing the new government would do is abrogate the peace treaty with Israel and close down the Israeli embassy in Cairo. This is exactly what the Islamic Revolution of the Ayatollahs did when it took over Iran.
From there, the road to joining the Iranian-led axis of evil would be very short. The new regime in Cairo would distance itself from the US and the EU in favor of a political, economic and religious alliance with Iran and its proxies.
The New Year eve terror attack on a church in Alexandria, which claimed the lives of 21 Coptic Christians, is yet another indication of the deteriorating situation in Egypt.
The attack, which has triggered an anti-government Christian "intifada" in Alexandria, shows that Al-Qaeda -- and possibly other Islamic fundamentalist groups -- is determined to undermine the Western-backed regime of Egyptian dictator Hosni Mubarak.
Egypt's Coptic Christian minority has good reason to be afraid. The deadly attack on the church could be, according to Egyptian security sources, the first in a series of bombings targeting "infidels and Crusaders."
The Egyptian regime's failure to prevent the attack has left some local security experts wondering whether Muslim fundamentalists have managed to infiltrate the country's security apparatus.
Angry Christian protesters have vented their anger on the regime by staging violent street protests and assaulting policemen and local government officials.
The Egyptian Christians are not, however, the only ones disappointed with Mubarak's regime.
The recent parliamentary election in Egypt, which many Egyptians say was hijacked by the Mubarak regime, has sparked a local and international outcry. Candidates belonging to various opposition parties withdrew from the race in light of the authorities' campaign of intimidation against them.
Mubarak's refusal to name a successor has also contributed to the growing sense of insecurity and uncertainty in Egypt. Many Egyptians fear that the Muslim Brotherhood group, which enjoys tremendous popularity among Egyptians, would take control of Egypt after Mubarak's departure from the scene.
The best way to avoid such a scenario is by putting pressure on Mubarak to stop the crackdown on his opponents -- especially those who belong to secular and reformist parties and organizations, and to begin introducing democracy, human rights, and equality before the law. Otherwise, recent developments in Egypt suggest that the largest Arab country may be headed toward a dangerous state of lawlessness and anarchy.
Comment on this item
by Burak Bekdil
It was the Islamists who, since they came to power in the 2000s, have reaped the biggest political gains from the "Palestine-fetish."
But the Turkish rhetoric on "solidarity" with our Palestinian brothers often seems askew to how solidarity should be.
by Raheel Raza
One blogger writes that Malala hates Pakistan's military. I believe it is the other way around.
I would so like to see the day when Malala is welcomed back in Pakistan, with the whole country cheering.
by Francesco Sisci
Democratic evolution in China was being seriously considered. The failures of U.S. support for democracy in Afghanistan, Iraq, Egypt and Libya gave new food for thought to those opposed to democracy. Lastly, the United States did not strongly oppose the anti-democratic coup d'état that overthrew a democratically elected government in Thailand.
On the other hand, Russia -- dominated by Vladimir Putin, a new autocrat determined to stifle democracy in Russia -- provided a new model.
The whole of Eastern Europe and most of Latin America, formerly in the clutches of dictatorships, are now efficient democracies. This seems to indicate that while democracy cannot be parachuted into a country, there is a broader, longer-term global trend toward democracy and that its growth depends on local conditions.
As economic development needed careful planning, political reforms need even greater planning. The question remains: is China preparing for these political reforms?
by Peter Martino
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UKIP stands for small government, low taxes, and preservation of Britain's identity and sovereignty, values that appeal to Conservative voters; and it wants to pull the United Kingdom out of the European Union. UKIP also stands for strong policies on law and order and immigration, which appeal to the traditional old Labour heartlands.
Strategically, to pick up Labour votes, UKIP would need to move to the left, but examples in France, Switzerland, Denmark and Geert Wilders's PVV in the Netherlands, show that it is possible to attract voters from both the left and the right.
by Peter Huessy
Critics of missile defense must have seen their whole multi-decade, multi-million dollar campaign to stop U.S. missile defenses in danger of crashing to the ground.
"All flight tests of the weapon have been rigged," William Broad, New York Times, June 9, 2000.
The success of Iron Dome apparently gave lie to the repeated claims that missile defense tests are rigged; that missile defense systems cannot work; that they do not save lives, and that the threat of rocket attacks must be dealt with through appeasement and concessions.