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Letters by a modern St. Ferdinand III about cults

Plenty of cults exist - every cult has its 'religious dogma', its idols, its 'prophets', its 'science', its 'proof' and its intolerant liturgy of demands.  Cults everywhere:  Islam, the State, the cult of Gay and Queer, Marxism, Darwin and Evolution, 'Science', Globaloneywarming, Changing Climate, Abortion....a nice variety for the human-hater, amoral, anti-rationalist to choose from.  It is so much fun mocking them isn't it ?

Tempus Fugit Memento Mori - Time Flies Remember Death 

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Friday, January 28, 2011

The Middle East erupts. A chance for the Arab world to embrace moderation and new ideas.

Or will we see a repetition of 1917 and 1979 ? Let's hope not.

by StFerdIII

 

 

From Tunisia to Yemen the Arab world is changing.  The general uprisings in Egypt and Tunisia are replays of 1917 Russia and 1979 Iran. In Tunisia and Egypt, the former strongmen are now either deposed or forced to liquidate their cabinets and realign their despotism to meet a general, and quite uncontrollable revolt. It appears that en-masse non-ideological citizens have risen up and demanded an end to autocracy, divine rule, corruption and social, political and economic stagnation. These protestors, like they were in Iran in 2009, are mostly young, educated, jobless or frustrated, and desirous of freedoms that are taken for granted and shrinking in the West, including freedom of speech, freedom from government diktat, freedom of economic opportunity and freedom to pursue life and liberty. Good for them. Unlike the Iranian upheaval in 2009, these Tunisians and Egyptians, fighting in the main to remove anachronistic and brutal governments, must be supported by the West with aid, money and moral clarity on the rightness of their cause.

But there is a problem within the tumult we are witnessing across the region. Consider this.

In 1917 a minority rump, militant, brutal, fascistic and well managed took advantage of the chaos in Russian society after the Czar's deposition, to impose itself on a largely agrarian and war-weary country, riven socially and economically. In 1979, in the aftermath of the Shah's removal, another minority party, intolerant, fascistic and fusing church with the state, took power installing Khomeini and the theocracy of Mullah totalitarianism. That defining moment in history has had enormous impacts across the Middle East and around the world. It heralded the beginning of the modern Muslim Jihad. It is clear that in both 1917 and 1979 the power vacuum was filled with the best organized and most ruthless of totalitarian theological movements.

Will the same happen in Tunisia and Egypt ? Will the claims and desires of the average man and woman, who are most likely non-ideologically inclined, be usurped by the Muslim Brotherhood, Al Qaeda and radical Muslim groups who want Iranian-style theocracy ? If the 'moderates' to use the media euphemism, within these countries lose control of the situation, than to fill the power vacuum, organizations as ruthless, domineering and totalitarian as Hizbollah which now governs Lebanon, and Hamas which controls Gaza and the West Bank, could easily assert themselves. If this happens the world will have become much more dangerous. The US must ensure that 1979 is not repeated. We need stable partners which reflect a general will of a democratic or pluralist society, one not riven by Islamic fundamentalism. Surely Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is right when she states, that the U.S. 'wants to partner with the Egyptian people.' This partnership must be more than words. Aid, money and moral clarity that despotic governance does not work, must be issued. As well there has to be a declaration that a fundamentalist Islamic regime is not in anyone's best interests – including for the people of Tunisia and Egypt. As the media in general are reporting:

"People in the Middle East, like people everywhere, are seeking a chance to contribute and have a role in decisions that will shape their lives," Mrs. Clinton said at the State Department on Friday. "Leaders need to respond...The Egyptian government needs to understand that violence will not make these grievances go away."

Friday's demonstrations were planned by a loose grouping of opposition parties that had planned rallies on Tuesday, largely by spreading word by social-networking sites to Internet-savvy young Egyptians who turned out in the tens of thousands, Egypt's largest demonstration in decades. These people were joined more broadly on Friday, observers said, by a broader slice of Egyptian society.

The country's Muslim Brotherhood, an officially banned but influential opposition force, said on its website Friday that it would call its full numbers onto the streets. That was a marked change from Tuesday, when the Brotherhood endorsed the goal of the protests but refrained from urging its members to join in.

So now the Muslim Brotherhood and other 'radical' Islamic gangs see an opportunity. It is unclear to anyone I think, what tenor the uprising can take if it actually succeeds in supplanting the existing kleptocracies in the region. Consider the importance for example of Egypt. What will happen if Mubarak is eliminated? Will Egypt still work with the US on the war against Islamic terrorism or fascism? Will it abide by its peace agreement with Israel? Will it close the Suez canal and the 65 % of oil imports upon which Europe depends? Will Copts and Christians be persecuted even more openly with more dead and wounded? Will the economy become autarchic erasing an 800% gain in the markets over 10 years and selective economic liberalisation?

Both Tunisia and Egypt have a chance at beginning to establish ideologically neutral, modern states based on the Western ideals of equality in laws, opportunity, free speech and opportunities to pursue personal, business and social life, free from state despotism. Let's hope that the good people succeed and that the extremists are beaten back. We don't need a repeat of Iran 1979.

[Excellent slide show on the Egyptian uprising here]

 

 


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