Trending Topics:

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

on 43 Comments

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.

About Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is Founder and Co-Editor of

Other posts by .

Posted In:

43 Responses

  1. Justpassingby
    July 5, 2013, 11:45 am

    Racist nonsense.

    Malaysia, Bahrain, Iran, Qatar, Saudiarabia, Turkey are all proof that muslim led societies work. All have relativy high GDP.

    Imagine if a muslim writer said something alike about jews in Nytimes..


    Mursi was elected and hes unseated so in a way alot of Egyptians it seems arent ready for democracy.

  2. talknic
    July 5, 2013, 11:52 am

    The last sentence is blatant bigotry. That the NY Times allows it is a disgrace.

    Were I Egyptian I’d pack a sandal and pay for a ticket to whichever rock he lives under in order to pay my respects.

  3. belewlaw
    July 5, 2013, 12:10 pm

    This is astonishing. He is clearly saying that Muslims are genetically incapable of democracy.

  4. Peter in SF
    Peter in SF
    July 5, 2013, 12:23 pm

    I wonder what kinds of responses the NYT will print.

    Islamists never had the chance to run the government in Algeria. Simple fact.

    And even those who don’t like the authoritarianism of Turkey’s current Islamist government acknowledge that it has shown itself to be far more competent than its immediate non-Islamist predecessors.

  5. Krauss
    July 5, 2013, 12:32 pm

    If Mr. Brooks was non-Jewish he would be writing among the same people who view Dr. Jason Richwine as a hero.

    But neoconservative(which is really just Zionism by a longer name, but with American appeal to ensure military might) racism is acceptable to the established media.

    The New York Times could hire a different token Republican, perhaps one who comes from the same tradition as the libertarians? You know, anti-intervention, pro-freedom(like no NSA-fetishism, no racist “war on drugs” and so on) Republican.
    They exist but they had been chased out by the neocons, in part because their views on I/P didn’t suit those in power and their views on intervention didn’t suit anyone.

    The post-Edward Snowden saga should reveal the level of sycopanthy and militarism even most “liberal” journalists are willing to accept.

    Would the NYT be able to fire Brooks and hire someone who isn’t molded in that kind of dirty mud? Just look at the American Conservative publication, for instance.

    But that is naive. They won’t. Instead Brooks get to continue his racism unabated.
    The targets are soft and fit the prejudices of the media class.

  6. Obsidian
    July 5, 2013, 12:50 pm

    Uneducated illiterates with a fervent religious faith will tend to choose authoritarians over liberal democrats.

    • Woody Tanaka
      Woody Tanaka
      July 5, 2013, 1:13 pm

      Than what’s the excuse for you people? Israel Jews tend to be overwhelmingly literate and secular and vote for governments that are exceedingly authoritarian when it comes to the Palestinians.

      • Krauss
        July 5, 2013, 5:54 pm

        Woody you’re just too much win lately.
        Calm down.

    • seafoid
      July 5, 2013, 1:38 pm

      I hate the way you talk about the Haredim, Obsidian

      • Obsidian
        July 5, 2013, 3:33 pm

        Haredim have a very high literacy rate.

      • seafoid
        July 5, 2013, 4:30 pm

        They are essentially uneducated. Have you ever worked in the shatnez business?

      • Citizen
        July 5, 2013, 6:05 pm

        @ Obsidian
        Well, the Haredim are highly literate in Jewish texts. Is that sufficient literacy to deal justly and effectively with the problems discussed on MW?

      • seafoid
        July 6, 2013, 1:03 pm

        Most Haredim are unemployable in the Israeli economy. It’s all very well knowing Hatorah backwards but it usually won’t put food on the table.

        “The numbers on Haredi employment and education point to exactly what the downside is. We can examine them through the lens of a typical kollel student who has decided to take the big step.
        Our young man has reason to be encouraged. True, the social stigma in their communities on men having jobs and the anathemas pronounced by rabbis on those who don’t devote their life to Torah study are strong disincentives, but the fact is a lot of his friends and relatives have taken jobs. The Bank of Israel, crunching numbers from the Central Bureau of Statistics, estimated earlier this year that the rate of employment among Haredi males had risen from 38.7% in 2009 to 45.6% in 2011 (among those who graduated from a higher yeshiva) or from 30.7% to 38.3% (men belonging to households in which there are “continuing” yeshiva graduates, the core of the Haredi population).

        Now, bear in mind that while these figures do represent some growth in the Haredi labor force participation rate, there’s still a long way to go. Among non-Haredi Jews, the rate last year was 81.4%. Moreover, non-Haredi Jews worked more hours per week (46 versus no more than 39.5 for Haredim).
        But our neophyte job seeker has probably never heard of the Bank of Israel or the Central Bureau of Statistics. He’s also unlikely to have learned very much math during his school years.
        According to the Council for Higher Education, the number of ultra-Orthodox students in study programs geared to the ultra-Orthodox sector rose from around 2,000 in 2005 to around 5,000 in 2010, with most of the growth occurring among men. But those numbers are tiny compared to the numbers of students who are not getting any modern education at all.

        Don’t know no history

        Another Central Bureau of Statistics survey asked what subjects were taught in the various educational streams – secular Jewish, state religious, Arab and Haredi. Without even addressing the quality of teaching, the study found that 83% of Haredi elementary schools taught math (versus 100% in all the other streams), with the rate falling to 41% in post-elementary education.

        The same kind of statistics occur in other core subjects, leading to absurdities such as Hebrew being taught in more Israeli-Arab high schools (66.8%) than in Haredi equivalents (42.3%).

        Worse still, these subjects are probably being taught poorly in the Haredi schools. A Haaretz analysis published last week of the nationwide Meitzav examination of school achievement found that 54% of Haredi elementary school students tested in the bottom two deciles. Admittedly, only a small percentage of schools gave the test at all, but given the absence of teaching to begin with it is hard to imagine that the other schools as a group would perform any better.

        But our jobseeker doesn’t know any of this. After all, almost no one else he knows has ever applied for a job and he never got a taste of the bottom rungs of the labor market by working as a waiter or call service drone while a student. He goes from employer to employer with a CV highlighting his lack of experience and education, fails a battery of job tests, refuses to shake hands with his female interviewer and looks at her curiously when she makes a passing reference to some bit of popular culture.

        So our job seeker fails, which would not surprise him if he had seen and understood the statistics.
        The unemployment rate among Haredi men is similar to the rest of the uneducated population. A study by the Taub Center for Social Policy Studies tracked a steady decline in employment rates for men between 35 and 54, with four years of education or less, from 1979 to 2011. The line shows a steady descent for them and Haredi males to less than 50%. The reason, of course, is that neither group has the qualifications to work in a modern economy. Whereas three or four decades ago, you could learn your skills on the job, working today requires a skill set that takes years of preparation in and out of school. The uneducated simply don’t obtain it.
        But all is not lost. His friends and family have found out our young man is looking for a job. By whispers, the word reaches his rabbi about his financial struggles and his desperate attempt to solve them by finding a job. And so strings are pulled and soon the young man finds himself working in the Haredi public sector as a male mikve attendant or shatnes inspector at a concrete plant. He’s collecting a salary of sorts and enters the statistics as a gainfully employed Haredi male.

        In doing so he joins the great majority of Haredim who are working in the public sector. Among non-Haredi Jews, 68.8 percent worked in the business sector, while among Haredim the numbers were no more than 25 percent. The high rate of public sector employment among Haredim suggests there is a lot of make-up work going on.

        There may be fewer Haredim crowding into the workplace today than there were Russians 20 years ago, and Israel’s economy today is undoubtedly much larger. But the Russians came with the professional and social skills a modern labor market demands; the Haredim won’t find it nearly as easy.”

    • MRW
      July 6, 2013, 1:10 am

      Uneducated illiterates?

      I don’t recall Jews creating a university 1,000 years ago that still stands today (or the 20,000 student university in Timbuktu in the Middle Ages). Or inventing algebra, chemistry, and the steam engine before Europe heard of them. Or building ships like this, 317 for a maiden voyage in 1405 with waterproof compartments and advanced navigation and maritime technology. Or optics. Or astronomical advances and the clock. In fact, Jewish surgeons in NYC today use the exact same Islamic medical science tools in the operating room that were invented over 1,000 years ago. Ibn-Sina’s The Canon was a vast medical compendium of diagnoses that is still in use. Al-Haytham, the 11th C astronomer and philosopher of science invented the scientific method that Einstein and Feynman followed. The huge, expansive Rashidun Caliphate (circa 650 AD) was one of the earliest democratic states before the Sunni-Shia split.

      Neither Jews nor Christians have this legacy. It was the Muslims and Chinese who had the brains long before Christians and Jews displayed any on a global scale.

  7. just
    July 5, 2013, 1:21 pm

    Read that this morning and seethed, Phil. Seething now once again. Millions of Egyptians and multi millions of Muslims everywhere have every right to be offended.

    btw Brooks– Neither Israel’s nor our ‘democracies’ have much to be terribly proud of.

    Apartheid Israel least of all.

    (not true Obsidian– ALL people yearn to be free– nice slam though.)

    • Obsidian
      July 5, 2013, 3:36 pm

      Submission and obedience to religious dogma and authority seems the opposite of freedom.

      • Shingo
        July 5, 2013, 6:57 pm

        That’s why a Jewish state can never be free.

  8. American
    July 5, 2013, 1:31 pm

    Let’s just exchange Brooks’s radical Islam or Islam for radical Judaism.
    They could get their ‘radical + Islam’ ploy turned on them if people started using ‘radical Judaism’ for Zionism. In fact ‘radical Judaism’ used as a description for Zionism might be just the bomb that could blow Zionism out of US Judaism.
    It would definitely start a hullabaloo within Judaism if this substitution ever appeared in the NYT….

    ”It has become clear — in the US and Israel and elsewhere — that radical Judaism is incapable of running a modern government. Many have absolutist, apocalyptic mind-sets. They have a strange fascination with a culture of death….

    …they might be determined enough to run effective opposition movements and committed enough to provide street-level Jewish 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 Netanyahu’s bungling because incompetence is built into the intellectual DNA of radical Judaism . We’ve seen that in America, Palestine, Iran, Syria; real-world, practical ineptitude that leads to the implosion of governing apparatus…

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

    • Citizen
      July 5, 2013, 6:19 pm

      @ American
      Yours is a brilliant analogy. I’ve never heard or read it before. It sure takes the wind out of the sails of US politicians and AIPAC supporters. “Radical Judaism=Radical Islam and visa-versa. If the implementation of Zionism as represented by the state of Israel and its policy and conduct is not radical, what is? Both types of radicalism assume a zero sum game. I’d like to see your term used more, so the attention can be drawn to the zealotry religious card regarding the Jews, not just the Muslims. They share the quality that neither has a pope; every mullah and rabbi can claim to speak for their respective flock. Obviously, the Christian Zionists are another form of radical, radical Christianity.

  9. mijj
    July 5, 2013, 1:38 pm

    1. Morsi elected on promises of serving Egyptian society.
    2. Morsi serves US corporate-government mafia interests and ignores Egyptian social priorities.
    3. Egyptians become pissed and kick him out.

    Seems reasonable.

    .. hopefully, the pattern will be continuous revolt. Each time a government emerges, the US will find a way to reconnect puppet controls into the institutions. And each time democracy is subverted this way, then the people *should* – have a duty to – revolt.

  10. seafoid
    July 5, 2013, 1:40 pm

    Too stupid.. it is all political economy. Guess what new yorkers used to say about the Galucian Jews who arrived in the late 1800s…

  11. geofgray
    July 5, 2013, 1:57 pm

    Wow–this is way over the line, flat our racism. Friedman is better at hiding his contempt for Arabs–he basically focuses on their pathological culture, not the people themselves. But for Brooks to say that Egyptians “seem(s) to lack even the basic mental ingredients” for democracy–hell, he sounds like George Wallace circa 1963.

  12. Reds
    July 5, 2013, 3:06 pm

    Non-europeans “Mutts” and now this?

    But this was bound to happen and will be promted even more by the xenophobes. They will say the only way egypt or muslims countries can have democracy is by force of the secular military.

    Neo-Cons will have a field day with the overthrow of the Morsi government.

  13. adele
    July 5, 2013, 4:17 pm

    Did anyone see this beauty from the June 12, 2013 “conversation” op-ed that Brooks does with Gail Collins occasionally, re: US intervention in Syria:

    Brooks: Then there is the pure realpolitik reason to do something. We should be trying to turn the Syrian civil war into Iran’s Vietnam. We should make them waste money and effort trying to back their client.For all these reasons, I’m thinking that maybe it’s time for a more active U.S. role.

    I was so repulsed that he so casually advocated for slaughter on such a massive scale. The “mental ingredients” that run through this man’s head is beyond scary.

    If you ever see him doing his pontificating pundit job on pbs the smirk on his face says it all….he is just so pleased with himself for coming up with brain dumps such as these. The man is sad actually. My (our) only consolation is that hundreds of years from now he will regarded (if he will be regarded at all) as a bumbling idiot compared to the likes of the Chris Hedges, Noam Chomskys, and Edward Saids of our time (and so many other contemporary writers of course who speak humanely but these quickly came to mind).

  14. surewin
    July 5, 2013, 6:15 pm

    Egypt has a population of 85 million. Far from having defective mental equipment or intellectual DNA, the Egyptian people are by and large very worldly. For at least the last 32 years, Egypt has represented one of the world’s most appalling wastes of human potential. Why couldn’t Egypt compete with India as a high-tech economy? It could, but we all know why it hasn’t.

    Every word that David Brooks writes or speaks is meant to influence events. Although he throws some of his stuff on Iran and other Muslim countries in this piece, I think his priority is that Egypt continue to be ruled by a dictator who will keep the 85 million Egyptians completely stunted. The notion of all those people being allowed to develop themselves, their political culture, and their skills and prosperity, makes Brooks and his ilk shudder.

  15. American
    July 5, 2013, 8:29 pm

    ”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.”

    Yes I slam the mental illogic of zionist all the time…. but I dont see anyone saying Jewish zionist are stupid because of DNA that comes from Judaism.
    have they?….havent seen that.

  16. talknic
    July 5, 2013, 9:41 pm

    What’s really disturbing is the fact that so many people do not recognize glaring bigotry when it leaps off the page. Least of all the editorial staff of the NY Times, who have apparently completely lost their moral compass.

  17. DICKERSON3870
    July 5, 2013, 9:46 pm

    RE: David Brooks says Islamists “lack the mental equipment to govern.” ~ Robert Wright

    MY COMMENT: Then I wonder why the CIA has supported them for so long. I have read that The CIA supported the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt (and Chabad in the Soviet Union) back during the Cold War in an effort to counter Soviet influence in Egypt (and to destabilize the Soviet Union in the case of Chabad).

    A LITTLE OF THAT INFAMOUS “CIA BLOWBACK”: “The CIA and The Muslim Brotherhood: How the CIA Set The Stage for September 11” (Martin A. Lee – Razor Magazine 2004)

    [EXCERPTS] The CIA often works in mysterious ways – and so it was with this little-known cloak-and-dagger caper that set the stage for extensive collaboration between US intelligence and Islamic extremists. The genesis of this ill-starred alliance dates back to Egypt in the mid-1950s, when the CIA made discrete overtures to the Muslim Brotherhood, the influential Sunni fundamentalist movement that fostered Islamic militancy throughout the Middle East. What started as a quiet American flirtation with political Islam became a Cold War love affair on the sly – an affair that would turn out disastrously for the United States. Nearly all of today’s radical Islamic groups, including al-Qaeda, trace their lineage to the Brotherhood. . .
    . . . For many years, the American espionage establishment had operated on the assumption that Islam was inherently anti-communist and therefore could be harnessed to facilitate US objectives. American officials viewed the Muslim Brotherhood as “a secret weapon” in the shadow war against the Soviet Union and it’s Arab allies, according to Robert Baer, a retired CIA case officer who was right in the thick of things in the Middle East and Central Asia during his 21 year career as a spy. In “Sleeping with the Devil”, a book he wrote after quitting the CIA Baer explains how the United States “made common cause with the Brothers” and used them “to do our dirty work in Yemen, Afghanistan and plenty of other places”.
    This covert relationship; unraveled when the Cold War ended, whereupon an Islamic Frankenstein named Osama bin Laden lurched into existence. . .

    SOURCE –

    • DICKERSON3870
      July 5, 2013, 10:08 pm

      ALSO, AS TO THE U.K. HAVING SUPPORTED THE MUSLIM BROTHERHOOD, SEE: “Secret Affairs”, By Mark Curtis, Reviewed by Kim Sengupta, The Independent, 7/30/10

      [EXCERPTS] For years, violent Islamist groups were allowed to settle in Britain, using the country as a base to carry out attacks abroad. This was tolerated in the belief that they would not bomb the country where they lived and that, as long as they are here, the security service would be able to infiltrate them. At the same time mosque after mosque was taken over through intimidation by the fundamentalists. Police and others in authority refused pleas from moderate Muslims with the excuse that they did not want to interfere.
      There was even a name for this amoral accommodation: the “covenant of security”. We now know that jihadists will indeed blow up their home country and that the security agencies signally failed to infiltrate the terrorist cells while they had the chance.
      The part played by officials in the growth of terrorism in Britain is a relatively small-scale affair compared to what went on abroad. Successive UK governments had nurtured and promoted extremists for reasons of realpolitik often at a terrible cost to the population of those countries. Mark Curtis, in his book on “Britain’s collusion with radical Islam”, charts this liaison. He points out how reactionary and violent Muslim groups were used against secular nationalists at the time of empire and continued afterwards to back UK and Western interests.
      The price for this is now being paid at home and abroad. I am writing this review in Helmand, where a few days ago I went on an operation with British and Afghan troops against insurgents whose paymasters, across the border in Pakistan, have been the beneficiaries of US and British largesse.
      Curtis points out that two of the most active Islamist commanders carrying out attacks in Afghanistan, Gulbuddin Hekmatyar and Jalalludin Haqqani, had particularly close contacts with the UK in the past. Hekmatyar met Margaret Thatcher in Downing Street when he was a favourite of MI6 and the CIA in the war against the Russians. Haqqani, while not the “Taliban’s overall military commander fighting the British” as Curtis says (he runs his own network parallel to the Taliban), was viewed as a highly useful tool in that conflict.
      The Western use of the Mujaheddin as proxy fighters is well documented. It resulted in the spawning of al-Qa’ida, the spread of international terrorism, and the empowering of ISI, the Pakistani secret police, who became their sponsors. Curtis examines the lesser known by-products of this jihad: the dispatch of Afghan Islamist veterans, with the connivance of Britain and the US, to the wars in the Balkans and the former Soviet republics in central Asia [e.g., Chechnya] , and ethnic Muslim areas of China e.g., the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region. Vast sums of money from the West’s great ally, Saudi Arabia, helped fund the Reagan administration’s clandestine war in support of repressive military juntas in Latin America while, at the same time, buttressing the aggressive Wahabi faith embraced by many terrorist groups.
      The use of hardline Islam by the West was particularly prevalent at the time of the Cold War. In many instances, however, the targets for destabilisation were not Communist regimes but leaders who had adopted left-wing policies deemed to pose a threat to Western influence and interests.
      The UK attempted to combat “virus of Arab nationalism”, after Gamal Abdel Nasser came to power in Egypt and nationalised the Suez Canal, by forging links with the Muslim Brotherhood, an organisation involved in terrorism. The nationalisation of the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company by the democratically elected Iranian government of Mohammed Mossadeq led to a British-American organised coup which was facilitated by Ayatollah Seyyed Kashani, one of whose followers was the young Ruhollah Khomeini. In Indonesia, the removal of Ahmed Sukarno in another military coup by the UK-US was carried out with the help of Darul Islam. Its followers went on to massacre socialists and trade unionists.
      In each of these cases the clandestine backing of Britain and the US strengthened Islamist groups at the expense of secular bodies and moderate Muslims. These groups then went to form terrorist groups whom the West would later have to confront in the “War on Terror”. . .


      • DICKERSON3870
        July 6, 2013, 1:00 pm

        P.S. RE: “Curtis examines the lesser known by-products of this jihad: the dispatch of Afghan Islamist veterans, with the connivance of Britain and the US, to the wars in the Balkans and the former Soviet republics in central Asia [e.g., Chechnya] , and ethnic Muslim areas of China e.g., the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region.” ~ from above

        CLARIFICATION/ELABORATION: . . . Curtis examines the lesser known by-products of this jihad: the dispatch of Afghan Islamist veterans, with the connivance of Britain and the US, to the wars in the Balkans and the former Soviet republics in central Asia [e.g., Chechnya (think Boston Marathon bombings) ~ J.L.D.] , and ethnic Muslim areas of China [e.g., the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (see this commentary, and see this article) – J.L.D.]. . .

  18. wondering jew
    wondering jew
    July 5, 2013, 11:13 pm

    If MW would have been constant in its vigilance regarding democracy or even vigilant in its coverage of protests of liberals against Morsi’s constitution, then its criticism of David Brooks would have a context of concern regarding the Egyptian situation. But in fact, look back to last November and December when the liberals were opposed to the constitution and taking to the streets. Did Mondoweiss have anything to say. Anything? Not really. It’s not our beat, seemed to be the reply. We only cover Palestine. Egypt and Syria are not the stuff where MW has taken any real stand. So David Brooks is a bigot. Well, MW is ignorant, ignoring events on Egypt until it makes a good headline. Really not interested, only interested in poking holes in neo conservatives, but not in the day to day on the ground events in either place. Two countries bordering Israel in turmoil or civil war and Mondoweiss really has nothing intelligent to say on either Syria or Egypt. (When Obama or Brooks comment on Syria or Egypt then MW has something to say, otherwise, hush.)

  19. Walid
    July 6, 2013, 6:44 am

    “We only cover Palestine.”

    …and Israel. I regret having to agree with Yonah on this. The war of ideas here is limited mostly to Israel and Palestine whose combined population is less than a third of the ME’s total. The Middle East includes Egypt, Turkey, Iran, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Jordan, Oman, Bahrain, Syria, UAE, Lebanon, Kuwait, Qatar and Cyprus. Maybe Israel being the navel of the world has something to do with it.

  20. just
    July 6, 2013, 7:17 am

    Whoa, yonah– newsflash! You have issues.

    Calling out bigotry/racism is what this article is about. If you want to find blogs and articles about Syria and Egypt– there are plenty out there for your indulgence. Or are you just someone who likes to point your finger elsewhere to deflect attention away from that which makes you uncomfortable and that you might be party to?

    • wondering jew
      wondering jew
      July 6, 2013, 11:09 pm

      just- the post implies that Mondoweiss is concerned about democracy and would use other analyses than Brook’s racist ones to assess the Morsi “experiment” and the current “coup”. But Mondoweiss is not concerned about democracy, or else it would have weighed in at the time of the constitution vote. Mondoweiss stood at the sidelines then and now weighs in against Brooks who is racist in his analysis.

      My analysis is superficial. I feel that the Arab world stopped its real progress at the time of the Mongol invasion and has never caught up since. Turkey and Iran are totally different than the Arab world and their progress seems to demolish the argument that Islam (as the sole factor) is the problem. Islam is not without its problems: and the prolonged role of the army in Turkey and the arrogance of Erdogan (not my analysis, but the analysis of masses of Turks) might have something to do with Islam. Iran’s “experiment” with the Ayatollah’s has not been a success and that seems more to do with US interference in 1954 and the Shah’s cruelty, but Khomeini and his heirs are not a good proof of the democratic tendencies of Islamist peoples. But Iran is far advanced educationally and economically (or it certainly was in 1979) compared to the Arab countries.

      I have not studied enough to understand how economic improvement comes to some countries and not to others and how that interplays with democratic development. Japan was a one party nation for the longest time and South Korea was ruled by a dictator until a generation ago. Maybe the West’s thirst for oil and the moneys that accrue to oil have held the Arab nations back. I know Edward Said scoffed at those who denigrated Arab culture. Easy to scoff when you live in New York. I do believe that there is great potential in the Arab world and educationally it is backward. I have not read the graphs put out by the UN recently, but how many books are translated into Arabic? This is the type of raw information that seems to be a good way to judge educational development. But I certainly do not consider myself an expert and it could be the entire fault is colonialism. But the problem could be that the Arabs were “occupied” by the Ottoman empire for the longest time and that might have influenced their lack of progress.

      But I picked this article by Phil on the subject of Brooks to talk about the fact that Phil did not engage with the issue of Egyptian democracy back in November and December and thus he is a member of the peanut gallery (observer rather than a participating thinker or journalist) on the issue of Egyptian democracy.

  21. talknic
    July 6, 2013, 7:18 am

    Say.. who purposefully made it impossible for the democratically elected Government of Palestine to rule?

  22. Obsidian
    July 6, 2013, 7:35 am

    To the Egyptian man on the street, the ‘revolution’ deposed a US and Zionist puppet.,7340,L-4401389,00.html

    Good luck, Egypt.

    • Shingo
      July 6, 2013, 10:31 pm

      To the Egyptian man on the street, the ‘revolution’ deposed a US and Zionist puppet.

      Who could blame them? He closed the Rafah crossing after an attack on Egyptian troops in the Sinai, even though the identity of the attackers was never established. The only ones who stood to gain was Israel.Hamas had nothing to gain from perpetrating such an attack, yet they were the ones he punished.

  23. Walid
    July 6, 2013, 12:29 pm

    “… the ‘revolution’ deposed a US and Zionist puppet.”

    As in other ME countries, the US and the Zionists figured it was time for a change. Eventual replacement el-Baradei will be more of the same and in time he too will become redundant.

    • Walid
      July 6, 2013, 12:56 pm

      Just announced, tonight we’ll hear the appointment of el-Baradei as interim Prime Minister.

  24. gamal
    July 7, 2013, 1:28 pm

    clearly the writer is correct and the main mental ingredient lacking in Egyptians is gullibility, taking the case of America and the Obama, perhaps the necessary mental apparatus is more akin to suggestibility or mesmerism.

    anyway as to Obsidians comment the eminent Stephen Lendman seems to agree with Egyptian illiterates, the GCC et al are embarking on the destruction of the any political solutions to the Arab peoples needs, the options are Egypt or Tunisia or failing that Libya, Somalia, Yemen and the suppurating cherry on the cake of our politicide Syria and Iraq, Morsi’ removal, rather like those geometric permutations where you apparently “move” a vertex because it alone is remaining still while everything else moves, it is just apparent rather than “real”, is confirmation that nothing is changing.

    ,a href=”Business As Usual In Egypt”>

Leave a Reply