Friday, July 12, 2013

Left Side of the Aisle #116 - Part 6

Laugh so as not to weep

There is a sort of footnote to this, an example of “I laugh for fear of crying” courtesy of New York Times columnist David Brooks.

In a column last week defending the coup, Brooks declared that “It’s not that Egypt doesn’t have a recipe for a democratic transition. It seems to lack even the basic mental ingredients.”

That’s right, according to David Brooks, Egypt’s difficulties in establishing a real democracy are not due to decades of repressive government, not due to inexperience in self-government, but because the people of Egypt don’t possess the cognitive capacity to handle it.

And it’s not just Egypt, he says; indeed, Islamists in general “lack the mental equipment to govern. ... Incompetence is built into their intellectual DNA.” They are, he said, “incapable of running a modern government.”

As evidence, he cites the cases of Egypt, Turkey, Iran, Gaza, Palestine, and Algeria. Okay, forget Egypt: You can’t cite as evidence the very thing you’re trying to prove, which is that the coup was justified by the failings of the Egyptians. What of the rest?

Well, Turkey and Iran have both shown dramatic economic improvements, including in the lives of the poor, over the past 10 years. You can condemn both the increasing authoritarianism of the government of Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and the repression by the mullahs in Iran but you can’t call them incompetent.

In Gaza, Hamas actually has a solid reputation for being very good at delivering social services - again, there is no need to approve of a government to recognize its competency.

Finally, neither Palestine nor Algeria has or ever has had an Islamist government.

As is all too often true, David Brooks has no idea what the heck he is talking about. The man is a complete jackass - and when I think he is a regular columnist for the New York Times, I laugh so I don’t cry.


No comments:

// I Support The Occupy Movement : banner and script by @jeffcouturer / (v1.2) document.write('
I support the OCCUPY movement
');function occupySwap(whichState){if(whichState==1){document.getElementById('occupyimg').src=""}else{document.getElementById('occupyimg').src=""}} document.write('');