Sunday 30 January 2011

Thoughts on the Revolution in Egypt, time for a female Caliph

I doubt if any Arab country is ready for representative government or democracy in the true sense. I hope I am wrong. Of course I feel full of hope and excitement but our chief concern should be British interests and peace in the region. It is difficult not to get swept up in euphoria about what is happening but the mob is not an attractive thing and young men are being killed like in Romania so that the first tier can be replaced by the second tier of the political class. Or worse by the Muslim Brotherhood. All the clever men tell us the Brotherhood are not a big factor but but this is not so. They won 20% of the vote in the recent rigged elections. The clever men (deliberate use of non-inclusive language) all pooh poohed the possibility of Egypt repeating Tunisia. Two very important points. Aid from the USA sustained the regime. Should we abolish foreign aid as Peter Bauer argued? And Tunisians aged between 15 and 24 made up 21 percent of the population in 2005.

The Telegraph has evidence that the Americans were working to achieve regime change. Like the USSR was in Romania in 1989. Whether true or not they may be punished for their public support of Mubarak.

All this is the result of the Liberals' decision to prefer Russia to Turkey as an ally before 1914. Disraeli was right to favour the Ottoman Empire (he would have had no truck with an ethical foreign policy) and its demise is cause of half the problems in the world today. The Russian Hapsburg and British Empires are also tragic losses. If a British Minister were advising a Khedive would things be better for Egyptians?

A shame the British allowed the Caliphate to come to an end. HM the Queen is a descendant of the Prophet. Caliph would make an excellent one of her subsidiary titles along with Defender of the Faith and Queen of France

1 comment:

  1. > I doubt if any Arab country is ready for representative government or democracy in the true sense. I hope I am wrong.

    Unfortunately, I'm afraid you're right. As we hope for democracy and liberalism to gain ground, we really should not underestimate the Muslim Brotherhood-type of forces. They are now "in the cards" (VP Suleiman has invited the banned but tolerated MB to meet the new government as part of a national dialogue with all parties, a move that would have been unthinkable before protests erupted two weeks ago).

    And while the US and EU should continue to put pressure on Mubarak for his resignation, they should only resort to diplomacy and should try to refrain from any form of intervention (on the other hand, Catherine Ashton's reaction seems very late). Even if we know that liberty and constitutional government should be the norm for all, no one has the right to impose a particular political order on others (Iraq and Afghanistan should teach lessons about intervention). "Non-intervention must be a core principle of international affairs" -- John Stuart Mill's words written more than 150 years ago are more than true today.

    I'm watching the Al Jazeera's live stream now and it seems the situation has changed a bit. There are tens of thousands gathered in Tahrir Square (and much more waiting to pass the Army ID controls -- finally, the Army is establishing some sort of order) waiting to take part in a "Day of Departure" today. But there is no more violence, and the people look all hopeful and happy. And journalists are no longer threatened and hunted, on the contrary, they are welcomed.

    A change is gonna come...