Jewish World Review Feb. 2, 2011 / 28 Shevat, 5771
Hope Amid the Chaos in Cairo
By Jonah Goldberg
History is lurching in the
Consequently, some see the newly minted revolution in
Color me hopeful.
Obviously, things can -- and probably will -- get worse before they get better. In one or more countries, we could have a modernized replay of the Iranian revolution, in which justified popular discontent with an authoritarian ruler was exploited by Islamists who ultimately imposed an even crueler brand of tyranny.
Also, the Muslim Brotherhood serves as the Islamist equivalent of the Comintern, the old Soviet headquarters that coordinated, fomented and supported communist movements around the world. Al-Qaeda is something of a Brotherhood spinoff, even though relations between the two groups are reportedly frayed these days because the Brotherhood has gone too mainstream for
A takeover of
Nobody knows how far the contagion could spread, how dire the consequences could be.
For the Obama administration, the stakes are enormous. "
A more prosaic concern for President Obama:
Meanwhile, the stakes for
These are all valid reasons to watch the news from the
And yet, I remain cheered by the news. This is a moment in which political decency and, eventually, freedom and democracy at least have a shot. That wasn't true a month ago.
U.S. support of dictators is always shameful, even when it is occasionally necessary. But it is unforgivable when necessity gives way to mere complacency. We passed that point with
Unlike many pundits who've miraculously become Egyptologists overnight, I don't pretend to know what will happen next. But I do know that you can't get where we need to go without going through moments like this.
Moreover, it's worth noting that chaos cuts both ways. The Muslim Brotherhood sees this as its moment too. But that doesn't mean the path for it is clear. Many Egyptians joined the Brotherhood because it seemed like the only conduit for their justified hatred of Mubarak's regime. The days when the Brotherhood was the only game in town are over as well. Tomorrow remains a blank page. That alone is hopeful news.
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