Thursday, July 4, 2013

Bad news and the case of Morsi in Egypt

Generally speaking, the new reporting, newspapers, news TV and news blogs are bad.  I don't delude myself into thinking it was ever any good, generally.  Newspapers have always been owned by people who shaped their papers according to their interests - from William Randolph Hearst to Rupert Murdoch, from the New York Times to the BBC.

The BBC is where I am starting this little adventure.  In Egypt, they have had a lot of anti-democratic protests that have lead to the Egyptian army ousting the legally elected President of Egypt, suspending the Egyptian Constitution and installing a stooge.  As of me writing this, the BBC, nor any news source I've seen, has called this an anti-democratic military coup that demonstrates the lack of both democracy and the rule of law in Egypt.  The Egyptian army is now in the business of deposing civilian leaders as they see fit.  Egypt is a de facto military oligarchy, a banana republic, with elections and the rule of law a farce.

For some reason, the BBC - my primary news source - doesn't seem to recognize the banana republic nature of Egypt or the generally recognized belief that military oligarchic dictatorships are horrible forms of government even when they seem to be supporting populist causes.  That support is entirely coincidental.  Almost always, military oligarchies end up in civil war as either they shift from supporting populist causes to opposing them for their own gain and/or the colonels who run the military carve out their own private fiefdoms and start squabbling with each other.  The fact that Egypt is quite likely set on a course of protracted civil strife and/or warlordism is simply not brought up because, I think, the narrative that the recent populist uprisings in the Middle East - the so-called Arab Spring - are essentially benevolent and democratic in character, rather than the horrible clusterfuck that has made Egypt, in whole, an even worse place than when under more stable forms of dictatorship.

It's like when we in the West don't like a government, we have this incredibly, just shockingly naive view that any revolution is a good one.  Which is why in Afghanistan we supported al-Qaida and the Taliban, why we supported Saddam Hussein against Iran, why we supported the brutal Shah of Iran in murdering Mossedegh, why we propped Manuel Noriega's rule in Panama, the list just goes on and on.  We think that because we don't like a ruler that anyone resisting that rule must be a-okay.

We're currently making the same mistake in Syria, too.  Is Assad a tyrant?  Yes.  But there's a lot of reason to think the rebels are every bit as tyrannical as Assad and anti-West.  Oh, plus, it could start another cold war with Russia and China.  But here we are, supporting crazy religious zealots against a secular tyrant because we dislike Syria's persistent autonomy and it's unwillingness to line up as a client state of the US.

Likewise, we're praising the Egyptian army's impending warlordism and Egypt's civil strife even as the supposed Arab Spring turns more and more into an Arab Winter as sectarian violence grips the area.  Even as religious hostilities in Iraq increase, and the American withdrawal from Afghanistan highlights how little power the Kabul government has, even as our missile strikes into Pakistan continue to destabilize that country socially and politically, as war rages in Syria, as demonstrations get violent in Turkey, the newspapers are essentially reporting that the destruction of the rule of law and the rule of colonels in a banana republic in Egypt are a good thing.

No comments:

Post a Comment