Monday, January 31, 2011

Hosni Antoinette

I suppose my most vivid memory of Hosni Mubarak will always be his
filing of a formal diplomat complaint with Israel over the comedy
shtick by Israeli super-comedian Eli Yatzpen. You can see Yatzpen
dressed as Mubarak here:
and in actionas Mubarak here at

[For those of you not familiar with the Great Yatzpen, here he is as
the Sheikh Yassin of the Hamas:

Here he is as the head of the Taliban:]

Of course, complaining about the Great Yatzpen was not the only
incident in which Hosni Mubarak showed his colors. For all intents
and purposes, Mubarak led a low-level surrogate war against Israel
during all the years of his regime. He did so through the Hamas.
Every single weapon, every bomb, every missile that reached the Hamas
and the Islamic Jihad in Gaza was sent there by Mubarak. Every
Israeli murdered by the Hamas was in fact a victim of Mubarak.

I find it intriguing that the entire "revolt" in the Arab world was
triggered by an attempt to remove bread subsidies. In Tunisia, and
then spreading, although Egypt has also had riots in the past when the
government attempted to reduce the subsidies (see .

The attempt to remove subsidies in the 1790s triggered the worst
excesses of the French Revolution; it created the Jacobin Terror and
brought Robespierre to power. And France back then did not even have
any Islamists to engage in terror, indeed the Revolution attempted to
suppress religion.

I am as troubled as the rest of us about the dangers of the Islamists
taking power in Egypt, Talibanizing it, and converting it into a
jihadist state. If this happens, I can imagine World War III
resulting from it. I also am aware that Egypt is the center for the
Arab enlightened, the leading society for science and literature and
education and cinema and music and philosophy in the Arab world. Of
course Germany was all those things in Europe.

While there are obviously many emotions and motives mixed in the
revolts in Egypt and Tunisia, the most common trigger seems to be
frustration with the economic situation, which really means the
consumer situation. Ironically, a necessary but not a sufficient
condition to elevate these countries out from their poverty is to free
markets and remove subsidies. But having subsidized so long, it now
appears politically suicidal to remove the subsidies, and fiscally
suicidal to leave them in tact. (Again, a very close repeat of the
French Revolution!) In the French revolution, crop failures triggered
the bread crisis. This year it is Russian cutbacks of wheat exports.
Let them eat cake. Mubarak's attempt to pull a North Korea and crown
his son as his own successor also did not help him.

Beware of those chanting that the solution is democracy, even
followers of Natan Sharansky. In the Arab world, democracy often
brings jihadists to power, much like democracy brought Hitler to power
in 1933. World War II was created by "democracy" in Germany. World
War III could be created by "democracy" in the Arab world.

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