At least one pundit doesn’t particularly care how long the
runs the show. In today’s Washington Post, Charles Krauthammer lays out the terms of his
for the newly un-tyrannized people of the Middle East. It is modeled, according to Krauthammer, on the process by which the United States successfully protected freedom and democracy in postwar Western Europe from the threat of Communist takeover:
The communists were not just the most organized and disciplined. In France, they rose to largest postwar party; in Italy, to second largest. Under the Truman Doctrine, U.S. presidents used every instrument available, including massive assistance - covert and overt, financial and diplomatic - to democratic parties to keep the communists out of power.
” is a
way of putting it, and Krauthammer does a deft little shimmy to get from talking about how the Truman Doctrine worked in “allies at the periphery, such as Greece and Turkey” to talking about the practice of anticommunism in the more robust and central European democracies.
As it happened, the way it did work on the periphery was that we encouraged our allies to outlaw the Communist Party, then to smash the Communists for being outlaws. In Greece, that eventually meant supporting a military coup and a right-wing junta, a
This was necessary, you see, because anything—terror, torture, military crackdowns—was better than allowing Communist influence to spread. The Communists were a pernicious, totalitarian, foreign-influenced movement, in thrall to the monstrous Soviet regime. Islamism today is much the same, Krauthammer explains:
As in Soviet days, the threat is both internal and external. Iran, a mini-version of the old Soviet Union, has its own allies and satellites - Syria, Lebanon and Gaza - and its own Comintern, with agents operating throughout the region to extend Islamist influence and undermine pro-Western secular states. That’s precisely why in this revolutionary moment, Iran boasts of an Islamist wave sweeping the Arab world.
Now, Krauthammer supports Egyptian democracy. That is the very first point of his four-point Freedom Doctrine plan. Point number two, however, clarifies that democracy “is more than just elections,” and that any democratic transition “must allow time” for appropriate political institutions to develop.
Meanwhile, it will be necessary to suppress inappropriate political institutions. Point three is that the United States must protect Egypt “against totalitarians, foreign and domestic.” Therefore, by analogy to the Truman Doctrine, point four says:
[I]t will be U.S. policy to oppose the inclusion of totalitarian parties—the Muslim Brotherhood or, for that matter, communists—in any government, whether provisional or elected, in newly liberated Arab states.
In short: Egypt should be democratic, but only in due time, after it has been stabilized. And the Muslim Brotherhood must be kept in check. Wasn’t someone else
on Al Jazeera a little while ago?
The trouble with Krauthammer’s plan to do the Egyptians like we used to do the Greeks—besides that it’s corrupt, evil, and counterproductive—is that we already did it. That’s what just got overthrown.