Neoconservatives have been visibly torn over how to respond to the rapidly developing situation in Egypt. On one hand, a popular uprising is calling for democratic reforms and threatens the authoritarian rule of an Arab dictator. But the Muslim Brotherhood’s likely role in whatever government comes after Hosni Mubarak seems a democratic threat to most neoconservatives. After all, there’s no guarantee that a democratically elected government in Egypt will be as cooperative in maintaining the siege on Gaza or continue diplomatic relations with Israel.
But the Clarion Fund, along with the Florida Security Council, appears to have taken their stand against the democratic uprising. An email from the Security Council’s Tom Trento hints at Iranian interference in Egypt’s anti-Mubarak uprising and warns, “America Do Not Be Fooled…”
It’s unclear whether the Clarion Fund was directly involved in this email but the email states that it is an invitation to an “Iranium” (see our review on Tehran Bureau) screening on behalf of the Florida Security Council and the Clarion Fund.
Of course this is an interesting position for Clarion to take (or associate themselves with), seeing as how “Iranium”–a documentary recently produced by Clarion– gives lip service to the Iranian Green Movement and to a democratic uprising in Iran. Are we to assume that Clarion and the Florida Security Council will oppose a democratic uprising in Iran that includes any Islamists? If so, perhaps it’s time they clarify their position on democratic movements in the Middle East and which variety will receive their stamp of approval.
An excerpt from the email reads:
The Florida Security Council and the Clarion Fund
Obviously, Israel and its perceived interests are what Clarion and the FSC are all about. The propaganda put out by these groups is about as good as Iran’s, but here in the West we actually have millions of people who buy into it.
If I were an Israeli, I would be worried by current events, though not as much as I’d be worried about the long term demographic trend. The Western World (and to me Israel is like Japan — that is, not really part of the West) is not going to go under because of Islam. Islam has the oil weapon, and terrorism, and that’s it. Islam, or rather Islamism of the radical, anti-Western variety, is an irritant, not an existential threat. Islamic civilization has been largely a joke for centuries. It will remain a backward area caught between the Western and Sinic spheres far into the future — possibly forever. There may be hope for the Iranians, but any progress they make will be despite Islam, not because of it.
“After all, there’s no guarantee that a democratically elected government in Egypt will be as cooperative in maintaining the siege on Gaza or continue diplomatic relations with Israel.”
This is poorly written and misleading, though I don’t think that was your intention. You’ve hedged and mealymouthed yourself into making a regrettable claim. You should state that a Democratically elected gov’t would never cooperate or maintain a politically unpopular siege in Gaza; what you wrote suggests that hey, what’s a little hypocrisy in gov’t, they don’t need to abide the wishes of their people. This is bigger than just a poorly written statement, and upon reflection I suspect you might agree.
“Islamic civilization has been largely a joke for centuries. ” Jon, you need to measure your claims. I know this is the Western narrative, but that rot is more like a couple of centuries. Before that, even though we trumpet the mighty English Navy, no Western Navy could enter the Eastern Med without paying tribute. “Western expertise has been a joke for centuries.”
So Clifton is not only misleading and a poor writer, he’s a mealy-mouthed hedger as well!
Perhaps you could read the first paragraph of the piece more closely. Clifton was giving us his take on the thought process of the neoconservatives, rather than stating his own views. I think that’s pretty clear. I also think you owe him an apology.
The Mediterranean has been a Western lake since Lepanto. The Barbary pirates remained a nuisance, but then Stephen Decatur showed up with a few ships of the line and ended the problem.
The Muslim world has been in decline for centuries. 14th Century Granada was still ahead of Western Europe culturally, but since then . . . ?
The Renaissance, the Enlightenment, every technical and economic advance of the past 500 years has come out of the West or the Sinic sphere. Name one great technical, economic, political or culture achievement that the Muslim world has produced since 1500 C.E.
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