Monday, September 1, 2014

People’s Forum: Morsi is the Michele Bachmann of Egypt

Posted on July 6, 2013 at 1:00 a.m. | Updated on July 6, 2013 at 4:24 p.m.


Mohamed Morsi is the Michele Bachmann of Egypt

Like many people, I’ve been trying to understand the latest crisis in Egypt. Here are some observations:

It appears that Egypt’s Mohamed Morsi did not learn the lessons that Nelson Mandela learned and implemented in South Africa soon after his election in 1994 — namely, that the aggrieved and defeated whites needed a few olive branches (such as Mandela’s initially peculiar embrace of rugby, largely a white man’s sport), not literal or figurative billy clubs, in order to join forces with blacks and try to move the country forward together.

Juan Cole in “Nation of Change,” an online news service, writes: “Morsi, from the Muslim Brotherhood, represents the equivalent of the American tea party in Egyptian politics — captive to the religious right, invested in austerity and smaller government and contemptuous of workers and the political left.”

His Fourth of July op-ed piece was eye-catchingly titled “How Egypt’s Michele Bachmann Became President and Plunged the Country into Chaos.”

The best leaders find ways to reach out to their opponents and former foes, soon bringing them into the circle. Abraham Lincoln did it, Lyndon Johnson did it and (to cite just two examples) Barack Obama appointed Hillary Clinton as secretary of state and retained George W. Bush’s defense secretary, Robert Gates.

In Egypt it’s a cautionary tale about the dangers of overreaching, even if you were democratically elected. Indeed, “the people” ultimately have the final say.

Dan Shenk


 This undated image posted on Wednesday, Aug. 27, 2014, by the Raqqa Media Center of the Islamic State group, a Syrian opposition group, which has been verified and is consistent with other AP reporting, shows a fighter from the Islamic State group, armed with a knife and an automatic weapon, next to captured Syrian army soldiers and officers, following the battle for the Tabqa air base, in Raqqa, Syria. A U.N. commission accused the extremist Islamic State organization of committing crimes against humanity as pictures emerged of the extremists' bloody takeover of the air base.

Posted on Aug. 31, 2014 at 4:00 p.m.
 A man closes off an entrance to the Last Stop outdoor shooting range Wednesday, Aug. 27, 2014, in White Hills, Ariz. Gun range instructor Charles Vacca was accidentally killed Monday, Aug. 25, 2014 at the range by a 9-year-old with an Uzi submachine gun.

Posted on Aug. 31, 2014 at 3:00 p.m.
Back to top ^