An Illusive Democracy
Please visit our sponsor.
Do we sincerely want bona fide, democratically elected leaders in control across the Middle East?
Could this be our true desire for the Middle East?
For anyone who for the past 40+ years has not had their heads stuck further in the sand than yet-to-be-discovered Egyptian desert artifacts when it comes to Arab and Middle Eastern politics, and has even an iota of knowledge in these regards, the only thing surprising about this "headline news", is its seeming tardiness. That this was going to eventually happen ' in some form or another ' was a mere formality from the moment General al-Sisi emerged as the man behind the machine after the ouster of the 30 June 2011 democratically elected President Mohamed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood.
However, while the question of who has ruled Egypt for decades ' The Generals ' is not up for debate, there will be something slightly different this time around if General Abdul-Fattah al-Sisi himself does actually run for and become Egypt's President.
The Military Generals have been in control of Egypt for decades, but they have always chosen to rule through the face and figurehead of another man. While they have guided Egypt in nearly all aspects for decades, they have always exerted their control and rule through the face of the President. Up until the Arab Spring began in 2011, this figurehead the top military Generals chose to rule Egypt through for more than 30 years was the now-deposed Hosni Mubarak. Yet now, what we are seeing in the making is the country's top military commander himself, General Abdul-Fattah al-Sisi, moving towards the idea that The Generals ruling Egypt through their chosen public figurehead, is no longer necessary. What we are seeing is the man currently controlling the machine ' General Abdul-Fattah al-Sisi himself ' indicating that he will become that man, ultimately meaning that the man and the machine who rule Egypt would be one and the same.
And while this does not seem to indicate a move towards American style democracy in Egypt, and our country's elected officials will likely make a few public statements to indicate our ongoing desire and commitment for true political freedom and a free and fair democratic election process to take place in Egypt, in all honestly, that is actually not what we truly want.
Free and fair, democratic style elections placed Hamas in power in the Gaza Strip in 2007. Free and fair, democratic style elections placed fundamental Islamists in power in Tunisia after the so-called Arab Spring in 2011. Free and fair, democratic style elections placed Mohamed Morsi and his Muslim Brotherhood in power in Egypt after the toppling of Hosni Mubarak in 2011. Some have even gone so far now as to call the "Arab Spring" the "Islamic Spring" given the fact that it was overwhelmingly fundamental Islamists who were placed in power through the "free and fair, democratic style elections" that took place in the aftermath of the toppling of the dictatorial style Arab governments during the uprisings that swept the Arab World beginning in 2011.
We may preach ' and to a certain extent even worship ' American style democracy. But if most Americans are brutally honest with themselves, when it comes to the Arab World, we want anything other than democracy. We want there to be democratic style elections, as long as they produce a leader who will keep the radical Islamist groups threatening world peace and stability ' and U.S. national interests ' under control. We want the people to have the right to choose, as long as their choice produces a leader who will (either publicly or in private) be a "friend and ally of Israel". We want there to be free and fair election processes, as long as the outcomes produce a leader who will in whatever way is necessary keep the multitudes of different religious and ethnic factions and sects currently living side-by-side in several different Middle Eastern countries from entering into full-blown civil war with one another: wars which could potentially destabilize the entire region as a whole, such as we are currently witnessing in Syria, and to a certain extent in Iraq.
Whether we publicly say so or not ' which we most likely never will, due to it being so politically incorrect ' that is the type of democracy we want for the Arab World as a whole.
Do we sincerely want bona fide, democratically elected leaders in control across most of North Africa and the Middle East? I don't think so. We do, however, want there to be the illusion of free and fair, democratic elections which give rise to leaders who will keep U.S. national interests both at-home and abroad safe, will be a friend of Israel, and can and will do what is necessary to keep the Arab World from truly exploding into a full-blown regional (and eventually world) war like we have never seen before, and undoubtedly do not want to see in the future.
Although most of us would never speak so bluntly, and are more tactful and too politically correct to say the above in such a way, that is the "democracy" most Americans actually desire at this day-and-time in the Middle East.
Jeff d. Patterson, Middle East Specialist: While the ashes were beginning to settle in New York City with the setting of the sun on 9/11, Jeff D. Patterson was unpacking his bags far, far away from American shores; far, far away from his family and friends; far, far away from his homeland. He was starting a new phase of life in a region of the world he would call ‘home’ for most of the next decade. Jeff was taking his first breaths of Middle Eastern air, thinking of the world becoming a better place… In contrast to most... (more...)