Egyptians lack ‘basic mental ingredients’ necessary for democracy, says ‘NYT’ columnist

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Update: David Brooks is getting hammered for his outright bigotry re Egypt and Islam today. 

Robert Wright @robertwrighter 1h

David Brooks says Islamists “lack the mental equipment to govern.” Too bad they can’t be as smart as neocons and advocate disastrous wars. Retweeted 112 times

Stephen Walt @StephenWalt 1h

David Brooks lets veil slip on his bigotry, and David Sirota lets him have it. …

Original post: A few days ago the New York Times’s public editor broke her own policy of granting columnists leeway and woodshedded David Brooks for his use of the term “mutts” to describe the offspring of mixed marriages–

a column by David Brooks, titled “A Nation of Mutts,” has offended so many people that I thought it would be worthwhile to ask Mr. Brooks to respond.

The treatment has evidently rankled Brooks, who has now hurled his body into racial/ethnic waters once again in a pique-filled column that says Egyptians are too stupid to have democracy. Egypt, he concludes, “seems to lack even the basic mental ingredients” for a “democratic transition.”

Several friends have sent me the neoconservative’s piece, which defends Morsi’s ouster by repeatedly smearing the mental powers of Islamists: they lack the “intellectual DNA,” and “mental equipment” necessary to run a modern country. 

In fairness, many folks on our site slam the ratiocinative powers of Zionists; but notice how Brooks’s smears blur into his concluding pox on Egyptians’ minds altogether.

Brooks seems to be itching for a showdown with the forces of political correctness. Can we anticipate a blaze of glory? As you read excerpts below, remember that Brooks once stated, “As an American Jew, I was taught to go all gooey-eyed at the thought of Israel.” And he has visited the country a dozen times. Double standard?

“I think one of his main goals here is to connect Iran in with ‘radical Islam,'” Scott McConnell writes. “Iran unfortunately for Brooks  has done all too well running a modern government.”

Brooks excerpts:

It has become clear — in Egypt, Turkey, Iran, Gaza and elsewhere — that radical Islamists are incapable of running a modern government. Many have absolutist, apocalyptic mind-sets. They have a strange fascination with a culture of death….

…Islamists might be determined enough to run effective opposition movements and committed enough to provide street-level social services. But they lack the mental equipment to govern. Once in office, they are always going to centralize power and undermine the democracy that elevated them….

It’s no use lamenting Morsi’s bungling because incompetence is built into the intellectual DNA of radical Islam. We’ve seen that in Algeria, Iran, Palestine and Egypt: real-world, practical ineptitude that leads to the implosion of the governing apparatus…

It’s not that Egypt doesn’t have a recipe for a democratic transition. It seems to lack even the basic mental ingredients.

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