The little piece on Egypt I scribbled out and I posted the other day could have been put up any time since the beginning of the Cairo protests, planned, supported, and subsidized by the US Department of State. If I can find a moment, I'll revise and expand, but for now, I am just going to repeat myself, which is the right of any vindicated prophet.
"Am I a prophet?" he said weeping. Creon in the Fitts and Fitgerald version of Sophocles' Antigone.
Or, what is more likely in this case, laughing.
It is almost as if Mohammed Morsi has been reading Chronicles--or at least studying Egyptian history. (And if he fails--as I hope he does--to take decisive action, he will soon be an unimportant piece of that history.) Nightmares like Egypt can be ruled in only one of two ways: either by a fanatical religious tyranny or by a tough but disciplined military dictatorship. The liberal idiots who believed in the democratistic platitudes of Hilary and her president took to the streets to swell the ranks of a coalition dominated by the Muslim Brotherhood. Now, it turns out, they don't like the entirely predictable results. If they are really lucky, the Egyptian military is going to find a somewhat more brutal replacement for Hosni Mubarak. The alternative will be civil war.
History note: Egypt, since the Persian conquest, has alternated between the sometimes stable rule of foreign conquerors (the Persians, the Greeks, the Romans, the Arabs, et alii) and temporary fits of mob rule that I am tempted to call democracy Egyptian style. Bring back King Farouk. Even an Albanian playboy beats an Arab thug. Besides, he was a monarchist with a sense of humor. He is reported to have observed, as one by own the crowned heads lost their crowns,
Farouk is also reported as having said " Soon there will be only five Kings left: the King of England, the King of Spades, the King of Clubs, the King of Hearts, and the King of Diamonds." A gambler, he even one once and a while, though he lost his throne in 1952 in an officer's coup supported by the CIA. Plus ça change etc.
Thomas Fleming is the former editor of Chronicles: A Magazine of American Culture. He is the author of The Politics of Human Nature, Montenegro: The Divided Land, and The Morality of Everyday Life, named Editors' Choice in philosophy by Booklist in 2005. He is the coauthor of The Conservative Movement and the editor of Immigration and the American Identity. He holds a Ph.D. in classics from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. Before joining the Rockford Institute, he taught classics at the University of Miami of Ohio, served as an advisor to the U.S. Department of Education, and was headmaster at the Archibald Rutledge Academy. He has been published in, among others, The Spectator (London), Independent on Sunday (London), Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, USA Today, Chicago Sun-Times, National Review, Classical Journal, Telos, and Modern Age. He and his wife, Gail, have four children and four grandchildren.