Saturday, February 12, 2011

WSJ Quotes of the Day on Egypt and Iran

From today's WSJ:

1. Peggy Noonan -- "Social media is a revolutionary force. We know that, but we're still catching up with its implications. A leader of the Egyptian revolt was a Google executive. Could the future be any clearer? 

No takeable dictatorship will survive this era. The ones that do last will be so effectively totalitarian that their very brutishness will be their bulwark.

A Hollywood director once said that a great Western is defined by this dynamic: "The villain has arrived while the hero is evolving." Egypt itself is evolving. May its people be heroes and do great things." 

2.  Fouad Ajami --  "The Egyptians will be tested again as to their fidelity to democratic ways. But if this standoff that ended in the demise of the dictator is any guide, the Egyptians may give us a consoling tale of an Islamic people who rose to proclaim their fidelity to liberty, and who provided us with a reminder that tyranny is not fated for the Arabs." 

3. Melik Kaylan about the Iran's ban on Valentine's Day --"Theocratic regimes invariably suffer from the same besetting sin: As the world evolves, they must either revise their antiquated doctrines or try to hold the world rigidly in stasis. Iran's ruling mullahs keep choosing the latter option.

In the end, Iran's rulers face an impossible task. Their genesis myth of a society based on a codified schema of sacred laws looks neither codified nor sacred. It convinces no one. Instead, the regime seems dedicated above all to stamping out joy wherever it may accidentally ariseā€”a sour, paranoid struggle against irrepressible forces of nature, change, the seasons, music, romance and laughter. The Iranian people can take comfort: No earthly authority has won that particular contest for long."

11 Comments:

At 2/12/2011 6:21 PM, Blogger AIG said...

A lot of high hopes and hot air, while forgetting that "revolutions" of this sort are actually common and the norm in Arab countries. They are not new, and they almost never result in the democratic governments we envision.

 
At 2/12/2011 6:43 PM, Blogger Dr. T said...

Egypt's dictatorship has NOT been replaced by a more freedom-supporting government. Anyone who thinks that the ruling military council will evolve into a republic or a democracy is wearing rose-tinted glasses. Five years from now, the most likely government type will be a dictatorship (military, individual, or small group). The next most likely government type will be a Muslim theocracy.

I wouldn't take a thousand-to-one bet on Egypt having a republic or democracy by 2016.

 
At 2/12/2011 8:43 PM, Blogger randian said...

No earthly authority has won that particular contest for long

Islam has been winning that contest for 1300 years. Is that long enough?

 
At 2/13/2011 3:23 AM, Blogger juandos said...

Egypt right now seems to have the stench of Iran back in '79...

 
At 2/13/2011 7:12 AM, Blogger Jason said...

Juandos, Jim Cramer agrees with you:

Cramer's take

 
At 2/13/2011 8:51 AM, Blogger Jason said...

Also, I believe there will be substantial repercussions from this event. Watch Saudi Arabia and Iran for their response. The mullahs will NOT give up the scare pulpits of power without a fight.

China's response will be interesting as well.

 
At 2/13/2011 1:35 PM, Blogger juandos said...

"Watch Saudi Arabia and Iran for their response. The mullahs will NOT give up the scare pulpits of power without a fight"...

Yeah, let's just see how 'wahhabi like' the Saudis end up getting...

I guess its understandable that
Obama is uncomfortable with what's happening in Egypt...

 
At 2/13/2011 3:21 PM, Blogger AIG said...

"Watch Saudi Arabia and Iran for their response."

People don't generally tend to protest in countries where the government provides them with large sums of money, like in Saudi. Nothing is likely to happen there.

Iran already responded to Egypt, given that their "revolutions" coincided on the same Day: Feb 11.

 
At 2/13/2011 3:41 PM, Blogger Jason said...

AIG, I don't expect much of a response from the people in Saudi Arabia. I do from the crazy religious establishment to further restrict Twitter and Facebook. Some Mullah, after saying a burning school full of women should be left burning until women can arrive to protect the modesty of the students, will likely cite some passage from the Quran that implicitly bans social media.

I do expect some response from Iranians, and their nuts government as well.

 
At 2/13/2011 4:30 PM, Blogger AIG said...

I don't think "social media" was really such a big player in Egypt as its made out to be in the West. It may have been for getting info out to the west, but given the penetration of internet in Egypt, probably just hype. Whenever I hear accounts of what is happening in the middle east, I always think there is some "selection bias".

 
At 2/14/2011 12:03 PM, Blogger Che is dead said...

I, for one, hope that it all works out. Every time a man breathes free, if only for a moment, should be celebrated. Yes, everything could turn ugly, but we should always work to advance human liberty. It is our duty to God. Egypt has lived under tyranny long enough, it is time for it to transition to a freer more democratic society just as the Philippines, Taiwan, Chile and South Korea have. The Cold War is over and there is little evidence that these despotic middle eastern regimes are capable of eliminating Islamic extremism. Time for another direction.

 

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