It is distasteful when Western intellectuals, politicians, and journalists who pride themselves on their enlightened, humanitarian views watch people abroad fall subject to ruthless forces of dictatorship and dogma. When these same people actually cheer the new tyrannies, put their arms around the shoulders of those who despise them, and tell everyone else that there’s nothing to worry about, that’s actively disgusting.
Many in the West have so acted toward Egypt during the last year. They have also and previously done so for the Gaza Strip, Iran, Lebanon, Libya, Syria, Tunisia, and Turkey. Thomas Friedman has been one of them but perhaps no one else has been louder and more enthusiastic. In doing so, of course, he has echoed U.S. government policy.
Now, Friedman goes all-out to explain that the Muslim Brotherhood isn’t radical, isn’t a threat, in fact is a good thing, and will only become even more moderate once it is in power.
In a column titled “Watching Elephants Fly” — obviously a reference to seeing something impossible happen — Friedman writes,
Here is what was so striking: virtually all the women we interviewed after the voting — all of whom were veiled, some with only slits for their eyes — said that they had voted for either the Muslim Brotherhood or the Salafists. But almost none said they had voted that way for religious reasons.
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