The always interesting Michael Scheuer, former head of the CIA’s Osama bin Laden unit and author of Imperial Hubris: Why the West Is Losing the War on Terror, Marching Toward Hell: America and Islam After Iraq, and Osama bin Laden, has published a useful summary of recent events in the Muslim world. A sample:
The revolt in Egypt perhaps provides the finest example of America’s educational disaster. For 18 days we in America and the West watched the activities of 200,000 Egyptians in Tahrir Square. Over the course of those days, CNN, ABC, NPR, and FOX reporters interviewed a few score young, educated, well-groomed, English-speaking, middle-class, and professional Egyptians who spoke the lingo of democracy. The journalists then read the pro-democracy emanations of these young people on FACEBOOK and TWITTER and decided, in their always superior wisdom, that this small sample proved that the nearly 90 million Islamically devout, Arabic-only-speaking, and mostly illiterate Egyptians — living under a pervasive faith that brooks no separation between church and state — were thirsting for and capable of secular democracy. The reporters, in short, exchanged their journalistic credentials for those of cheerleaders in Egypt, and then they did the same in Libya where they portrayed the birth of secular democracy via the activities of a resistance movement whose military power depended exclusively on the combat skills of former mujahedin and U.S. and NATO air forces directed by their political leaders to intervene and bomb yet another Muslim population whose country possesses impressive oil reserves.
Now, no one can ever lose money by betting on the jejune, superficial, and arrogant reporting of Western journalists, or on their willingness to report as hard fact the views of people who say what they want to hear, and their performance and commentary in Egypt and Libya were more or less par for the course. The shock comes, however, when we hear Barack Obama, John McCain, Nicholas Sarkozy, Lindsey Graham, David Cameron, Steven Harper, Susan Rice, and Hillary Clinton all jump on the journalists’ ass-backward, democracy-mongering band wagon and predict in certain and glowing terms the beginning of secular democracies across the Arab world. Products of Harvard, Yale, Oxford, and Annapolis, in other words, attested to the ludicrous and genuinely demented idea that the Egyptians in Tahrir Square accomplished in 18 days what America, Britain, and Canada have been working on since the events the culminated in Magna Charta in June, 1215, nearly 800 years ago.
Read the whole thing. (Thanks to John Frahm.)