Now What Happens Next?
The comedian Paul Mooney invented a character called “Negrodamous;” a prescient black man who can predict the future. I am beginning to feel more and more like that guy…except my stories ain’t funny. Alas, it is now apparent that my predictions on both the Occupy Wall Street Movement and the Egyptian upheaval were right on the money.
My prediction that the apolitical character of the Occupy Wall Street movement would insure they would end up like Jack the Bear, making tracks but getting nowhere in terms of diminishing the power of the Plutocrats has certainly come true. One part of the segmented leadership of OWS has announced that the only solution to American Problems is “world Revolution,” and another has decided that challenging the seat of progressive Democratic Congresswoman Lydia Valesquez is what they should be about.
Although the Egyptian upheaval, which served as their model, is a far more complex political phenomenon; I managed to get that right too. From the outset I warned that we should be wary of uncritically embracing the popular resistance movement, because it contained dangerous elements that could be propelled to power. This is because like all mass social movements, the Egyptian leadership was polycepalous and segmented; which means they have many leaders representing different factions.
While they all agree that overthrowing the Mubarak government was a vital necessity; any basis for unity between secular liberals and conservative Islamist stopped there. Although all factions said they wanted an end to tyranny the Devil lurked in the details. I suspected they were sleeping in the same bed but dreaming different dreams.
Some thought me cynical when I pointed out the naiveté of a young female doctor in a miniskirt interviewed by the New York Times, who gushed over how helpful members of the Muslim Brotherhood were in supporting the idealistic youths who thought they were ushering in a western style liberal /secular democracy.
Other’s thought me a reactionary when I sympathized with the middle class Egyptian women who came out in support of President Honsi Mubarak and the military, against the “revolutionaries” who advocated popular democracy. As highly educated women they foresaw the danger of an Islamic takeover in a popular election and they knew the horrors that befell women, especially modern women like them, everywhere Islamic fundamentalists take power.
The military men understand it too, that’s why they have steadfastly kept Islamists from taking power ever since Egypt’s first President, Abdel Gamal Nasser, a military man trained at Britain’s elite Sandhurst military academy, hung the theologian Syyid Qutb, the ideological leader of the Muslim Brotherhood, in 1966. What we are witnessing in Egypt is a reflection of the FLN’s policy in Algeria, where the military overturned a popular election that chose an Islamic party, and took control. And as I have written repeatedly: The only impediment to an Islamist takeover in all of these Muslim countries is the secular military caste.
Hence with a victory by Muhamed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood, who claimed to have won by a million votes on Monday, and Ahmed Shafiq, former President Hosni Mubarak’s last appointed Prime Minister, Claiming to have won on Tuesday, we shall soon see if Morsi becomes the first Islamist President that’s allowed to take power by the military strongmen in a Sunni Muslim country.
With the announcement by the Military elite that they will be the architects of the new Egyptian Constituition, in order to keep it a secular document and prevent the institution of Sharia law, and that only the military high command can remove a military commander…it looks like de ja vu all over again with a faceoff by the theocrats and military secularists that marked the beginning of modern Egyptian politics.
This conflict presents President Obama with a dilemma: shall he support the results of Egypt’s first democratic election….or cast his fate with the military strongmen; exactly where America’s support has been for the last half century. We shall see.
Where the Real Power Resides
The Nemisis of the Islamist
Harlem, New York
June 20, 2012