The Islamist project is dying. The MB can take comfort that while their own people have rejected them they enjoy support from western liberals whom the brotherhood would love to gut in public. Salon published an article that should live in infamy titled "They still hate us: No one wants to be America, anymore." Sinking ships stick together which makes salon and Egyptian MB thugs a fail armada, you won't find treasure aboard those garbage stows.
The author Patrick Smith opens with the words "forget the standard lunacy that emerging nations "hate our freedoms." They just don't want to be Westernized." No one has ever claimed to that emerging countries "hate our" liberties that was used solely to describe the motives of 911 attackers. Smith has defined the non-western world as synonymous with al-qaeda, something so rancid that it speaks for itself.
Smith does not define 'westernization' or what 'western' is is any sense. Those words have been very arbitrary for most of history western European Greece was defined as outside the 'west' during its Byzantine period because of religion. We think of the Balkans as outside the west despite that they're only a short distance from Italy. Austria is distinctly eastern yet we see as western because it was under NATO's umbrella instead of falling prey to Soviet enslavement. Pol Pat does not provide any evidence to support his claim that 'they' don't want to westernized, whatever that means.
Anyone with an internet connection has spent the 21st century's dawn shuddering through articles whining about 'othering' the 'clash of civilizations.' Yet Smith defines the world as 'west' and the rest, us and 'them' which might as well separate species. He frames the world as two hermetically sealed monoliths without individualism and cultural transmission, what a dehumanizing and false world view which leads him to defend the Islamist project instead of standing with the democrats of emerging countries. The POV is made even worse by salon's miserable design: pop ups leap out like genital wagging exhibitionists, two spots beg for facebook likes. I miss meatspace harassment, apparently dignity is an imperialist hegemonic construct.
Pat informs us that MENA "discord matters to all of us." Of course discord is important as the former ruler of equestria oh wait not that discord. He argues that "what we witness in the Middle East now is going to tell us a lot about what kind of century we have on our hands." To be sure much can be learned but to claim that world shaping events are taking place in the middle east is hyperbole. The early 20th century featured the Arab revolts which certainly didn't shape the rest of the world. Indigenous dictatorship replaced Ottoman rule without shaping that harsh century unless you count Valentino flicks.
He writes that "becoming modern is the project of our time. And too few of us are ready to accept it as such." No evidence therefore its null and void.
Smith asks readers if they "ever wondered why so many non-Western people harbor such visceral dislike of Western nations, and almost always the United States more than any other? The standard answer, never more clearly articulated than after the Sept. 11 attacks, is that these people envy us. “They hate our freedoms,” George W. Bush advised. " Smith again synomyizes "emerging nations" with Al-Qaeda! No one has claimed that Zimbabweans or Karen people hate us for our freedoms, Bush only use those words to describe people who cited American tolerance for homosexuality, gambling and secularism as reasons to kill 3,000 people.
He describes those "utterances such as these are versions of what the scholars used to call “modernization theory,” an ideological swamp it is best not to wade far into." Translation: 'I'm not going to offer evidence or actual definitions thats for credible people.' He argues that "the thesis is that to modernize one must Westernize" certainly countries should adopt western models that doesn't mean that culture has to be abandoned. Of course in diatribes like Smith's screed culture is a synonym for race.
Smith writes that "modernization theory was a Cold War construct, and it held for a time. Postwar Japan is a noted example, which is why Japan today is so wrenchingly confused as to what it is and what it is supposed to do. Some of Europe’s former colonies, achieving independence in the Cold War decades, tried it on, too — usually to no brilliant result." He only proved his historical illiteracy Japan did not achieve its current status: its democracy, womens rights and other such things were bestowed on it by the American presence not any Japanese effort.
Pat writes that his "candidate for the greatest distinction of our time is that people will be able to become modern while keeping their own cultures, traditions, histories, values and so on." No one has argued that any peoples must give those things as evidenced by his example of Japan. The western powers have a distinctly cultural relativist outlook. Obama accepted Morsi and the MB as the Eygptian people's rightful representative apart from the obvious ethical problems it can have realpolitik consequences since such policies have made Obama more hated than Bush in Egypt.
Smith finishes his one man show of Mel Brooks' history of the world and launches into Muslim brotherhood apologetics. Pat rewrites history by arguing that the Egyptian "people now embrace the army because it removed from office a properly elected president who happens to be Islamic." The people removed the president, protesters numbers dwarfed those who elected him making it an act of popular impeachment and rendering any talk of ousted a "properly elected" prez majoritan imbecility. Winning elections is not enough one must also govern democratically and Morsi was not doing that. He bemoans that the new cabinet does not have a single Islamist in it!
Pat previously asked people if they understand anti-Western hatred after showing a photo of Egyptians burning the American flag. Smith is actually ignorant of the hatred he writes about most anti-American protesters in Egypt have been to demonstrate against Obama's support for Morsi's government. Smith shouldn't feel too embarrassed though its not the first the time self loathing westerners projected their own views onto Egyptians protesting against Islamism.
Smith further discredits himself by entertaining "the concept of Islamic democracy" there is no such thing since only secularism can provide the equality required to be a democracy. He apparently thinks that populist majoritans movements who use the ballot box in attempts to destroy the possibility of an open society are democratic movements, westernization is vital for certain westerners. In Turkey talk of "moderate" Muslim democracy has given Turks a government that blames protests on Jewish conspiracies, telekinesis and halal medicines that use only Turkish plasma.
He praises the "Chinese have started down the road, Communist Party rule notwithstanding" the PRC is one of the worst tyrannies ever to exist, with three to five million in its Laogai camps it stands out as one of history's greatest slave states. None of that bothers Pat unlike Indians "caving to the West’s neoliberal enticements" he seems to think that the PRC is benign compared to 'neoliberalism' a fair example of the deranged mania over the spectacle of opposition to 'neoliberalism.' He lauds Latin Americans for throwing off "the long-borne yoke and the model and the influence of the norteamericanos." Which is absurd since those states play hegemonic games with each other, Cuban influence in Venezuela as been described as 'colonization.' He rambles on about 'western dominance' and attributing Filipino ills solely to American misdeeds in the 19th century without mention of Axis Japan's occupation!
Next he describes how he met an Iranian woman who was "no friend of the clerics" but "had no impulse to dump over the side all that had happened in post-Shah Iran." Smith uses language to trivialize and dismiss Khomeinist atrocities, he intends for his audience to share his view that 20,000 to 40,000 murdered progressives and 100,000 Kurds butchered in a holy war were just 'things' though their killers saw them as 'things,' Criticism of that is presented as "dumping" as if people shouldn't complain and instead focus on the real monsters: people who disagree with Pat Smith.
According to him the woman said that " Iran was simply becoming Iran, she told me, and this would take a long time. And then something memorable: “We want to be modern, but we want to be modern Iranians.”" What the dickens does that mean? How can something take a long time to change into something that it already is? She seems to be making a cultural relativist defense but that doesn't work for the Iranian question. Since 1979 those said clerics mentioned in passing have sought to replace Iran's culture with the views of a infant raping fraud. Certainly Iranians can be modern and practice their culture which the state has spent decades repressing, though we both know that that isn't Smith's point don't we dear reader?
He becomes even more incomprehensible by writing that that nameless accessory gave him "the key to much that has happened in the many years since we met. She showed me the river that runs beneath our world and time." What the fudge does that even mean? It sounds like Paulo Coelho fanfiction written after huffing ketamine laced glue. Pat's depravity is very clearly, if unintentionally, communicated. He visited a great land under a dictatorship worse than Pinochet or Salazar and he manages to make it all about him and not actual victims or democrats. A woman is reduced to a character like the Black guy from the Green Mile; a magic Persian who exists to pop up and spout a few words o' wisdom to Smith: a legend in his own mind.
Its appropriate the Smith wrote an article in defense of an evil project without offering any evidence; the very thing fanaticism rejects with bestial fury. In any legitimate outlet Pat's rant would be a humiliating blow to its content but for salon something so vile is typical. This is the outlet that defended publication of a 911 twoof article by arguing that they missed because they're too incompetent to actually edit their own paper but they know how other people, Egyptians especially, should live their lives.