by Srdja Trifkovic
February 7th, 2011 • Related • Filed Under
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The image of the “democratic revolution” in Egypt, as constructed by the mainstream media in North America and Europe over the past two weeks, evokes the collapse of communism in Eastern Europe in 1989. The BBC World Service, NPR and other Western media outlets bring us young, articulate, lightly-accented demonstrators who talk of democracy, freedom, human rights and the rule of law. Hosni Mubarak is presented as a latter-day Erich Honecker, heading a corrupt and sclerotic regime on the wrong side of history.
The image is attractive but inaccurate. The unrest may be brought under control by Mubarak’s loyalists working in tandem with the military, or it may lead to one free election resulting in the establishment of an Islamic republic, but it will not produce a Western-style democracy. Political Islam, embodied in the Muslim Brotherhood, is the only well organized force capable of supplanting the regime and the only group with deep popular roots. The Brotherhood has let the secular reformists take the lead in the streets, confident that it will reap the benefits.
President Obama begs to differ. “The Egyptian people want freedom, they want free and fair elections, they want a representative government,” he told Bill O’Reilly in an interview just ahead of the Super Bowl. Downplaying concerns that the Brotherhood could take power and install a government hostile to U.S. interests, Obama described it as “one faction in Egypt” devoid of majority support: