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1 Bob Levin  Mon, Mar 21, 2011 2:09:07pm

I’m sorry, but I cannot agree with his analysis. I could only get about halfway through it. It is wrong on so many levels, there isn’t enough room here.

The Egyptian army is at odds with the Brotherhood, for one. Number two, this is a conflict, across the board, between one generation of Egyptians and another. Even in the Brotherhood, there is a fight between the youth and what they call the old guard, who they feel is out of touch (and they are).

Once again, he is scrambling to draw conclusions without sufficient data.

Nor does he understand the workings of the US government—there is nothing legally wrong with the President’s decision. That’s as far as I could read.

2 sliv_the_eli  Mon, Mar 21, 2011 2:22:14pm

re: #1 Bob Levin

I agree that his post is light on analysis. I find it useful and interesting more for the questions he posed, which are questions that should, in my view, be considered by the policy makers, policy advisors, pundits, analysts and students of the region.

As for the generational fight within the Muslim Brotherhood, that is not necessarily a good thing for the West. Whereas in largely secular circles, the younger generation tends to be more open-minded — think the sea change in attitudes in the U.S. on DADT — and rebels against the previous generation’s conservatism, in religious circles, the younger generation is often more conservative and extreme and is rebelling against what it sees as its elders’ failure to remain true to the faith.

3 Bob Levin  Mon, Mar 21, 2011 2:43:12pm

re: #2 sliv_the_eli

in religious circles, the younger generation is often more conservative and extreme and is rebelling against what it sees as its elders’ failure to remain true to the faith.

That isn’t the nature of the generational conflict. It’s really that the older generation doesn’t understand Facebook and Twitter.

I’m saying, we don’t know this right now, the younger may not be more radical. We can’t know. Mostly, because Egyptians themselves have to begin to understand how they feel about issues they never had to worry about before. It’s a huge leap from moving a sitting government out of office to wishing to declare war on the world.

Frankly, I don’t think they want to make that leap. I think they want a very modern society with all of the health and safety protections that the west has, they want real education, a steady food supply—things that are not compatible with the Luddite thread of religious misunderstanding (I’m purposefully not using the word ‘belief’).

The Iranian model does not fit here. The extremists gained momentum in Iran because the US diddled about for over about a year and a half and did not respond the a clear causus belli. If the US could have struck quickly and effectively, things might have been much different.

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