The Mideastwire Blog

Excerpts from the Arab and Iranian Media & Analysis of US Policy in the Region

Michael Young on Egypt: What is happening is uniquely Egyptian

Illustrating the strange, echo chamber type discussion going on in the US, 360’s host Farid Zakaria just had Michael Young and several other Beltway figures on his show now.

Zakaria had this very useful observation to open the conversation”

“I mean, Egypt after Moubarak could look retrograde… you know with the veil and such, like Turkey.”

Having just arrived from Istanbul this is one of the strangest things I have heard today – Turkey is retrograde and a bad example of Islamists taking over….Huh?

Young ended the program by pushing his book theme that the Iraq War was good (though with unfortunate errors) – and by extension a bit of muscle is needed in Egypt – because one cant just wait for reform to unfold…. Arab societies need some good doses of Western force to put them on a “good” democratic, liberal path, Young suggested.

Let me quote the core idea from his book (and from my review of it which is coming out this week)

“…Young then hones his point further, arguing that a healthy
mixture of externally led violence and indigenous emancipa-
tory energy are best served together, especially in Lebanon, in
order to free subjected peoples, explaining, “What Feltman
was hinting at, and what the Lebanese at Martyrs Square [in
the March 14, 2005 demonstrations] made more explicit, as
did the Iraqis at the ballot box, was that to have a fighting
chance of succeeding, efforts at emancipation in the Middle
East sometimes had to combine a domestic popular impetus
with outside coercion.”

Ignoring the awful loss of life entailed by this “balance” for
the native populations — and refusing to consider that there
may be other, less violent and more effective approaches
to the problems of the region — Young then proceeds to
ignore the U.S.’s active promotion of Israel’s brutal 33 day
war in Lebanon in July 2006 — blaming the escalation of
a border incident wholly on Hezbollah — and therefore
refusing to raise that instigation as a reasonable sore point
for many Lebanese.

Instead, Condoleezza Rice’s grotesque pronouncement
that the war represented the “birth pangs of a new Middle
East,” is termed merely as “unfortunate” by Young, a rhetori-
cal mistake in service of a greater, Liberal goal of forcing free-
dom and emancipation not through addressing underlying
grievances, such as occupation, but through the totalizing
prowess of an F-16…”

Young’s other comment was to echo Feltman in pronouncing the events in Egypt are uniquely Egyptian…. uniquely Syrian and uniquely Jordanian!

Thereby continuing in his theme, explored in an earlier post that referred to a 2010 column, that Arab nationalism is dead….

We shall see.

Written by nickbiddlenoe

January 30, 2011 at 6:22 pm

Posted in Uncategorized


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