But more fun and games to come.
When I posted to blogs and Facebook my caveats on the Egyptian Revolution I was called a mean spirited pessimist.
The rise of the Brotherhood, something never in doubt, the increasing visibility of salfis, and the sweeping of the remnants of the face book crowd from Tharir square by hundreds of thousands shouting for a sharia state a couple of weeks ago, the ongoing persecution and killings of Copts , Death to Israel chants from the very beginning, the loss of control of the Sinai border – would , I should think at least give pause to optimists.
I am mean spirited towards tyranny, but as in Egypt, the happy multitudes in Green Square have my best wishes, but my doubts as to their future remain. The Arab history of tyranny and the deeply seated grip of Islam on ts adherents will, I fear, bring not freedom as we in the West define it, but more repression, a repression that will be embraced by many, if not most of those celebrating now.
Now, for a confession.
When Ghadaffi first took over, I sort of liked the guy. Its hard to picture now, when for decades he has cavorted on the world scene as a bloated and highly eccentric dictator with a rather odd taste in dress, a praetorian guard of multi-ethinc amazons, and has been a murderer of his own people and Innocent westerners, but he was once a slim, good looking young man. He had overthrown the US puppet king Idris, and modestly retained his rank of Colonel. Being, at the time, in a mildly lefty third world romantic phase, I thought he was kinda cool.
Age may dim vision, but experience should dispel illusion.
We may not see another strong man in Libya, but committees can run enduring tyrannies, as Iran demonstrates. Look for religious leadership taking a strong role in the new government, and civil society organizations being sidelined.
And worse, as in the case of Mubarak, a bad guy who kept the lid on departs and things get worse, Sources as disparate as the NYT, WSJ, and Rolling Stone have reported on experienced Al Qaeda fighters, native to Eastern Libya, returning for Iraq to join the fight,
This is not only an opening to radicalism, but also a strategic possibility for al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, and in time more pressure on the Algerian generals.
One thing I can predict with fair certainty will be calls from The US and EU to fund reconstruction aid. This would be a slap in the face to the recession( Never mind what the economists say, feels like a recession to me) bound. populations of these countries, but I have no doubt the coffers will be opened, Brussels has no accountability at all to those it rules; Cameron saw fit to cut UK higher education(real cuts – not baseline budgeting malarkey) while forking over billions of quid for education in Pakistan, and I expect Obama very shortly to use executive fiat to send some “humanitarian” cash to Libya. He has shown no hesitance in using this power in regards to war making and immigration,
Par for the course, but still a monstrous insult to the electorates of the West. The decades of failure in aid trnasfers, and trhe recent disclosures on millions transferred to enemy organizations and individuals in Afghhanistan should be lessons enough. the MarshallPlan was essentially a family affair, but outside the West, aid has never produced prosperity, let alone gratitude..
Libya has oil. Let them pay their own bills, We should send an accounting for NATO’s role as well.
What do I know?
I’m not expert, but I can read, and remember, and learn.
More than the governing elites can manage.