Sometimes I think he writes his columns just to hear himself speak. Well, and to earn some money from the coffers of All The News That's Fit To Print.
It’s no use lamenting Morsi’s bungling because incompetence is built into the intellectual DNA of radical Islam.Reason magazine, not known for being particularly friendly to liberals, reported an estimate two years ago that said that the US had spent $1 trillion since 2001 on counter-terrorism. Not including the cost of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, even.
If they're so incompetent, why are we spending so much money to stop them?
For that matter, what happened to his previous assessment in 2005?
We have learned a lot about the jihadists, from Osama bin Laden down to the Europeans who attacked the London subways last month. We know, thanks to a database gathered by Marc Sageman, formerly of the C.I.A., that about 75 percent of anti-Western terrorists come from middle-class or upper-middle-class homes. An amazing 65 percent have gone to college, and three-quarters have professional or semiprofessional jobs, particularly in engineering and science.These do not sound like incompetent people. Those are better numbers than the average US citizen.
Look. If you want to understand why things didn't work out in Egypt under the leadership of the Muslim Brotherhood, just remember this: Egypt is a diverse country with multiple denominations of Islam, the old Coptic Christian sect, a smattering of people with other religious backgrounds, and a more cosmopolitan viewpoint than many Americans might think possible there. Their people hold beliefs across the whole political spectrum. Morsi, who came to power with promises to keep a big open tent, instead made a power grab. It's little wonder that so many Egyptians wanted him out--he broke his word to them and was attempting to make Egypt into his state instead of everybody's state.
The interesting development was the military acting with popular support, only after popular support was given to them, and quickly handing the reins of power over to a public official who was as apolitical as they could figure on.
I am not saying it's the way we do it in the US. It manifestly isn't. However, at this point it seems like Egypt's military is effectively an unofficial check and balance on governmental excesses in the country. No, I'm not sure I'd want it here*--or that I'd want it written into a constitution either*--but the important thing is that, unofficial as it is, it works and seems to be functional for them. Democracies come in many shapes and sizes, and most of them are different from ours.
I do hope the Muslim Brotherhood does not get hounded underground, if nothing else because that could further radicalize them and turn them toward terrorist acts. We'll see how well they do if they head back into the political arena.
As for David Brooks: with reasoning that flawed, why does he still write his Times column?
*OK, I definitely wouldn't want it