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Not by bread alone: US leaders as clueless as Mubarak in confronting real cause of unrest

A few hours ago, universally-loathed Egyptian President-for-Life Hosni Mubarak delivered his non-resignation speech: a masterpiece of cluelessness. Seeking to blame anyone but himself, Mubarak fired his cabinet and said he would hire another one tomorrow. This did not exactly dispel the impression that Mubarak is a pompous, egotistical dictator who is completely out of touch with the fact that his people all hate his guts a lot more than his cabinet’s.

Rivaling Mubarak in the cluelessness category was Joe Biden, piping in: “Mubarak is no dictator and should not step down.”

Upping the ante in the cluelessness sweepstakes was Hilary Clinton, who presciently announced that the Mubarak regime was “stable.”

John Kerry, another Mubarak supporter, made his bid for world cluelessness champion by saying that the dump-Mubarak movement “isn’t about one person.”

Israel’s Netanyahu – who, as Sharon suggested, is the real ruler of America – vied for king of cluelessness by urging Mubarak to “exercise force, power in the street” and predicting Mubarak would survive. (Does he really think the Egyptian people will put up with Mubarak taking orders to slaughter them from an extremist Israeli PM?!)

But of all the amazingly clueless responses to the Egyptian revolution, perhaps the most subtly clueless of all was the apparently sensible one we heard from just about all the American commentators, from Kerry to Barack Obama: It’s about democracy and economic opportunity and the internet and facebook and consumer goods and mcdonalds and…and…and…

Sometimes a half-truth can be worse than an outright lie. Please bear with me while I explain.

A few days ago, I stumbled upon a copy of Neil Postman’s The End of Education at my local library – one of the few Postman books I hadn’t read – and on returning home, discovered Murad Hoffman’s Islam: The Alternative in the mailbox. Reading them together, I decided they might as well be re-issued in a single volume.

Postman’s book argues that the US educational system is falling apart because “For school to make sense, the young, their parents, and their teachers must have a god to serve, or, even better, several gods. If they have none, school is pointless. Nietzsche’s famous aphorism is relevant here: ‘He who has a why can bear with almost any how.’ This applies as much to learning as to living.” (4)

Postman goes on to point out that all the old, familiar gods have failed. These include: science, technology, progress, fascism, communism, America as moral ideal, consumership, economic utility, and on and on. (He also alludes to the decline of Judaism and Christianity, which left the field open for these new gods.)

Postman then proposes some newer, shinier gods: spaceship earth, man as fallen angel, the American experiment, the law of diversity, and word weavers/world makers. Frankly, I find his post-mortem of the old, dead gods more convincing than his praise of the new ones he has invented.

This is where Murad Hoffman comes in.  The former German Ambassador to Algeria (1987-90) and Morocco (1990-94), and a convert to Islam since 1980, Hoffman wrote Islam: The Alternative in two months:

In 1991, while I was in the lush Moroccan oasis of Taroudant, just south of the High Atlas mountains, the idea suddenly struck me that Francis Fukuyama’s notion of the imminent “end of history” was crying out for a strong reply – historically sound, scientifically honest, problem-conscious, and free from apologetics – a reply pointing out that there is an alternative to cultural monotony: Islam – not only as a viable option, but as the only alternative to an Occident that is increasingly troubled by social and ideological crises. Two months later, this book was ready. (vii)

Hoffman is right. We – and Egypt – don’t need more false gods. We need God. And Islam is the best-preserved and straightest, simplest, and most universal approach to the one God. As Hoffman says, he wrote his book for the postmodern Western world “where in the coming century, without a doubt, Islam will become the most vital religion.” (ix) In the end, the revolution in Egypt is about replacing the rule of a man – a modern Pharoah – with the rule of God as laid out in the Islamic tradition.

The revolution in Egypt may involve many lesser gods – economic justice, Palestine, anti-corruption, and the mass loathing of the neo-pharoah Hosni Mubarak. But at the end of the day, it will be an Islamic revolution – one that restores a reason for living and learning to a society wrecked by imperialism and Zionism – or no real revolution at all.

8 Thoughts to “Not by bread alone: US leaders as clueless as Mubarak in confronting real cause of unrest”

  1. off topic but FYI
    he details about this 2009 article are here, but it's PDF and you have to pay for the actual document.

    The story goes into a little detail about how Security Partners Ltd., the ICTS Europe subsidiary in Russia was going to assist with 'security' at Domodedovo airport.

    The SAME ICTS that on 9/11 helped those MOSSAD agents, made up to look like Arabs, onto several flights.

  2. Kevin… good this one is more difficult to manage and anticipate… as consequences can be devastating for zionism in the region… but it is a win win strategy … if israel leave the power they will want to divide egypt take the sinai and then after provoke dislocation in saudi arabia and north africa… which was their 1980s agenda… so that people will be cut off from their own resources… question iss do they have the military power to do it ?

    Temporarily yes, but in the long term this will turn like afghanistan, iraq, somalia
    how many years gained 5 years at the maximum if the agenda is successful which may be not as what is currently unfolding in Egypt

  3. Kevin, confirmation of this morning intel on the ground, Israel is preparing to invade all the Sinai with the help of Suleiman

  4. Haven't seen this confirmed anywhere else yet. Wouldn't this be a stupid move by the Zionists? Wouldn't it turn Egypt and the whole world definitively against them?

  5. reports of massacres in the egyptian prisons, first in the sinai now everywhere… secret police is massacring political opponents in jails

  6. do you see how the are embedding the thing… chaos is the excuse… and suleiman is generating it, american troops in the sinai…

    what we do hope will happen a massice rebellion of young soldiers and others paara military forces who understood the plan.

    Israel has now two excuses, arab countries opposing her and the chaos…so they are creating buffer military zone… like they did in the Palestine at the very first time, now they will finish their ethnical cleansing and occupy what they could not do by wars previously… american troops are not already dying in Iraq… so they will in the Sinai… and this Erezt Yisrael is taking real shape , isn't it !

    Kevin, check al aqsa TV and alhiwar tv as well, they confiremd what I had from bribes of informations duringg the week end…

    wa Allah 'alam

  7. Maybe it's not bread alone, but bread does have something to do with it.

    "The Egyptian Tinderbox: How Banks and Investors Are Starving the Third World"

  8. Israel want to divide Egypt and take control of the Sinai and the canal of Suez… this is seen as a strategic goal to achieve and a chance… yesterday all the police stations and prisons deserted by police, today border sealed by army who redeploy at the border with Gaza and even sharm el sheykh, bizarre that it takes 48 hours to do so… this is very strange and not good ! Israel since novemebr 2010 had raised her number of tropps in the south simulating a new invasion in Gaza, we have to look at this carefully Kevin ! It looks that the Israel is playing choas to enter in the Sinai now today reports of massacres in all the prisons in the sinai of egyptian politcal dissidents, palestinains all freed and some already back in Gaza.

    Israel will take advantage of the chaos she is engineering with direct or indirect Suleiman to split up the country… this way they won'y care to much about who is in power ! this is the mood in the ground Kevin not my analysis. Suez had benn completely abandonned for days and now the amry is suddenly back after reports were syaing Israel is taking it ? !!!!

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