Friday, July 12, 2013

America and the C word

Don't worry your grace (@His_Grace) I haven't gone all Channel 4 on everyone, read on.

If we are to believe Edward Snowden, any thoughts we commit to all kinds of electronic communication are being monitored and then read by the NSA in America.  I guess that one of the goals of a blogger is to get their message out to the widest possible audience, so that everyone can bask in their sagacity (haha!) so maybe because this has that edgy use of the C word (trust me, don't worry) in the title and mentions the NSA and America, perhaps this post won't bomb!

So, the C word.  The word that President Obama and his advisers have banished from their vocabulary.  The word of course is coup as in a military  coup d'├ętat  and the Obama administration is tying itself into all sorts of knots because it doesn't want to be seen to be supporting a military C word but thinks that the military C word in Egypt is a good thing because it rid America of a fractious government in the Middle East.  The administration doesn't want to use the C word because to do so, would call into question the continued giving of aid to Egypt.  Heavens, it might even mean that those F-14 fighters may need to have their delivery delayed!

It is to America's shame that Obama and his administration are conniving in the deposing of a democratically elected leader.  Having touted the benefits of 'democracy' for so long, they support the overthrow of the democratic result, simply because the answer given by the Egyptian people, was not to America's liking.

This reminds me so much of how Europe and the EU operates.   Referendums are conducted and when the people vote the 'wrong way',then the relevant government is told to go away and ask again until they get the 'right' answer!  Incidentally it is  also to the shame of the EU for their tacit support of the C word but Europe is pretty much irrelevant on the World's stage, these days, so let's not make too big a thing of it.

What is happening in Egypt is a coup - there I said it!  Pure and simple.  My view of the initial uprising in Egypt was that this too was a coup but the military needed to mask their actions with the cloak of 'democracy'.  Well that cloak has well and truly slipped!

Make no mistake.  I am no fan of Morsi or the Muslim Brotherhood.  By all accounts he and  they have demonstrated economic incompetence on a grand scale (but then not many governments would be safe if that was a criteria for overthrow) and perhaps more worryingly, their is strong evidence that they have promoted anti-Christian activities against the Coptic Church and other Christians.

However, he was democratically elected.  He has now been deposed and replaced by a military-appointed puppet, who is promising new elections, 'soon'.  What happens if these elections again produce the 'wrong' result?

The 'problem' with Egypt and so many of these new 'democracies' isn't so much about representative participation or however you define democracy, it is about a lack of capitalism.  People really don't care too much about votes - it comes down to basics - food on the table and  a roof over the head.  Socialism in all its forms doesn't deliver that.  Democracy doesn't deliver that.  Capitalism is the only system that will deliver that.  Democracy is a 'nice to have' that comes afterwards. 

That said, if you push democracy, and America and the West does, then you have to stand by the outcomes.  However odious the new government may be, they shouldn't be overthrown by the military.  Yes, I know that Adolph Hitler was democratically elected and yes , I still wouldn't advocate overthrowing his regime.

And so to Syria.  Not a bastion of democracy but somewhere else where America and Europe believe that their own special brand of interference will produce positive results.  How are they going to interfere  Well the talk now is providing arms to the 'right' insurgent/rebel groups.  Who was it said that madness is doing the same thing and expecting different results.  The absolute last thing that the Middle East needs right now, is more weapons (indeed this is something that they haven't needed for a very long time).  The West's track record of picking 'winners' is very poor (can you think of a right choice?  Libya wouldn't be a good answer!), so why would anyone think that suddenly these governments are going to get it right.

Maybe America and Europe should consider that perhaps the reasons that they are so loathed in much of the Middle East is precisely because of their hypocrisy (democracy but only if it gives the  right type of government) and their trying to make countries in their own image (picking winners).  Maybe it is time for America and Europe to back-off and let the Middle East sort themselves out.  Yes it will be bloody and many people will die but having done such a great job in Iraq and Afghanistan does the West have any kind of template that they can hold up to show the success of 'democracy'?

Is the new policy on Syria some kind of surrogate for the abject failure of Obama's policy on Iran.  All that 'positive engagement' and 'open hand' doesn't seem to have slowed down their nuclear arms development, one bit.  So, try to put a 'friendly' in charge in Syria and take away an Iranian ally?  If that is the strategic aim it presupposes that the Syrian disaster will produce something that will be to the West's liking.  I have the strongest possible doubts, that it will.



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