The Islamic Vortex (Part 3a)
This series was preparing for the flight out from Cairo International Airport, to go WMD hunting in the Crescent, when a call arrived – from Fotrkd (on this thread) – turning our plans back around. It was hard to pick out the exact message from the stream of excited babble, but it was basically: “You’re not going to believe what Kerry just said to the Pakistani’s …” (who, we have to remember, are next in line for A New Beginning®.)
I’m guessing you’ve already heard it – since it’s all over the media. The Israelis string it together well (notice the encrypted message to Kerry in the URL: Ufu02Kzk2-k (!)):
“The military was asked to intervene by millions and millions of people, all of whom were afraid of descendance into chaos, into violence,” Kerry was quoted as having told Geo.
“And the military did not take over, to the best of our judgment – so far. To run the country, there’s a civilian government. In effect, they were restoring democracy,” he added.
The interviewer questioned him over allegations that Egyptian troops have shot dead people in the streets.
“Oh, no. That’s not restoring democracy, and we’re very, very concerned… I’ve been in touch with all of the players there. And we have made it clear that that is absolutely unacceptable, it cannot happen,” Kerry said, according to AFP.
If history is being studied in human languages a thousand years from now, these words will still be reverberating. They need to be carved on a pyramid, or something. This is one of those rare moments in which everything changes, and we have to catch up with it.
It’s all about democracy, obviously, but the improvised card-sharping makes it easy to miss the way the trick plays out. The first important thing to note — and the assumed context of the Geo interview — is that the initial reference to democracy, as crudely, procedurally, and up to this point pointedly understood, is scrubbed out and replaced. When the interview question begins, we all know that what is being talking about is the abrupt termination of Egypt’s brief and pitiful experiment in Cathedral-inspired democracy. After Kerry’s initial words, all that has already been shrouded. The topic has somehow slipped into “descendance into chaos, into violence” — and we’re not supposed to register that these words are translating exactly the same thing that ‘democracy’ previously named, because ‘democracy’ is about to mean something else.
A lot of people (and they’re the people who matter) were asking the military to intervene to shut down
democracy the descendance into chaos, into violence, and a deal was quickly and efficiently done. The people who the military listen to got to borrow the military, and the military got to borrow a civilian face. The intimacy of this arrangement — and its deep neoreactionary sanity — has nothing at all to do with democratic legitimacy in its previously accepted (and now effaced) sense. Kerry clearly doesn’t think that anyone will care about that. The right people took over, how could that possibly be a problem? (It’s not as if anyone ever complained about that Pinochet business.) But just in case some awkward memory of what we were supposed to believe last week is still hanging around, we now get the most exquisite political formula of the age: In effect, they were restoring democracy.
These words are too perfect. Sobbing with ecstasy could be embarrassing, so I’ll quote a little WRM while getting it together:
Let’s get the obvious parts out of the way: No, the Egyptian military is not restoring democracy in Egypt. You can’t “restore” something that never existed … […] The army wasn’t trying to build democracy, either; it was restoring order and protecting the deep state, more or less in accordance with the will of a large number of middle class and urban Egyptians. That’s the beginning and end of it. Americans desperately want somebody to be the pro-democracy good guys. But right now at least, democracy doesn’t seem to be on the menu at the Egypt café.
The structure of realization seems to go roughly like this:
(a) Democracy is the supreme Good, engraved eternally and universally in the human heart, but
(b) When an attempt is made to implement it almost anywhere on earth it immediately manifests as a descendance into chaos, into violence, and
(c) This existentially threatens the demographic which might be actually capable of sustaining a functional democracy, so
(d) In effect, the truly crucial step is the immediate cessation of
democracy what was previously known as democracy, which therefore counts as
(e) A restoration of democracy.
We need to remember that John Kerry might have been President of the United States, and the Muslim Brotherhood helpfully work with us in thinking that through:
Supporters of Egypt’s ousted president Mohamed Mursi today slammed US Secretary of State John Kerry after he said the military was “restoring democracy” by deposing the Islamist leader.
“Is it the job of the army to restore democracy?” asked Gehad al-Haddad, a spokesman for Mursi’s Muslim Brotherhood in a statement.
“Does Secretary Kerry accept Defence Secretary (Chuck) Hagel to step in and remove (US President Barack) Obama if large protests take place in America?
“Will the US army freeze the constitution and dismantle Congress and (the) Senate? Can they appoint a president that they solely choose?”
Gehad al-Hadad still isn’t quite getting it. When invited by the right people, whatever the army has to do in overthrowing the government now defines the ‘restoration of democracy’.
Once we get to the stage where the Middle East is re-exporting Kerryist democratic restoration, things could get extraordinarily interesting. At the present rate of Cathedralist ideological implosion, however, there might not be time for that.
Who’s going to print up the T-shirts? We demand democratic restoration now!