Rude Pundit Vacation Rerun #4: Being Right and Wrong About Egypt:
Yeah, he's still in the land of free health care and ridiculously nice people, in a place so beautiful that it cracks your stony heart right open. So another rerun that is ludicrously still relevant.
Back in the heady days of early 2011, the Rude Pundit was cautiously optimistic about the coming revolution in Egypt. But realistic. He said, "In the end, there's gonna be either be an election, a vicious crackdown, or a coup." He didn't think there'd be all three.
Regarding Egypt:The Devil You Know Is Still the Devil:
Look, the Rude Pundit is not gonna play the part of every fucking commentator on every fucking news show on every fucking channel. He's not gonna sit here and pretend that he has anything more than a little bit of knowledge about what's going on in Egypt. He's not gonna quote the few pieces he's read in the last couple of days that would seem to indicate a depth of understanding he does not possess. Would that your Fox "news" Sundays or your Meet the Presseses roundtables o' awesome brains have such an ability for self-reflection and admission of shortcomings.
But since this is one of those situations that Everyone You Know has to have an opinion, the Rude Pundit'll make a stab at it:
You hear constantly discussion about What Might Happen if the protesters have their way and Mubarak steps down. You hear that the devil you know is better than the devil you don't. You hear that he may be a bastard, but at least he's our bastard. That's realpolitick, you're told. That's the way the world operates, they say: sometimes you have to play hide the diplomatic salami in bed with dictators and tyrants. Oh, you're naive to believe otherwise. You don't get it.
Except for this simple question: has there ever been a case of the United States hopping in the sack with the anti-democratic forces in a nation that didn't end up causing us one big ass case of national syph? Because, see, the Rude Pundit's wracked his brain on this one, and he can't come up with a single one. Central America? Iraq? Iran? The Philippines? Various African nations? And, indeed, when some of the nations eventually threw off the shackles of the U.S.-supported dictatorship, they not only flourished, but they became strong allies of what was allegedly a more enlightened America, like, for instance, Chile. Or they became Iran. Or Iraq. Or Panama. You get the idea.
See, the people in the streets in Egypt aren't thinking about the stability that peace with Israel has brought their nation. They aren't thinking that Egypt is a strategic ally of the U.S. in the fight against terrorists. And why should they? Fuck all that when your government is so deeply corrupt that arrests, torture, and rape by the not-so-secret police are part of your daily life. When the president sells off public works for a fraction of their worth to businesses run by his sons. When elections are a sham to keep in power the very people who are ruining the nation. Jesus, corruption is so endemic that you'll fucking agree with a good chunk of an editorial from nutzoid conservative Human Events on crony capitalism in Egypt.
Yeah, it's understandable to an extent that the White House is playing this down the middle. At the very least, we can say that it doesn't seem like President Obama has sent in the CIA to fuck with the uprising. Or used the agents that are already there overseeing the rendition program where Egyptians got their hands dirty torturing our prisoners. But events shift the context of things, man. In the end, there's gonna be either be an election, a vicious crackdown, or a coup. And we better not be on the side of the devil again.