A Moving Letter from Salim Mansur


Salim Mansur sent me the link to his latest column about Egypt. It is excellent, but what struck me even more was the note he sent me with it. I asked his permission to publish it, which he kindly granted me. 

Dear Claire:

Below is my column from today on Egypt. Since I do not have an opportunity to write in public more than one column per week, I am limited to what I can say. Extremely distressed by the crew in Washington, and in most European capitals. Media is so corrupted by left-leaning thinking that there is not much of an analysis to be expected in the media that is now competing with facebook, twitters, etc. The dumbing down of thinking is itself a huge problem the West is facing now as it tries pathetically to undertstand/explain politics and history of other cultures when it no longer has faith in its own civilizational values. I despair, and so I follow Samuel Pepys who confined himself to his diaries while London burned and I am trying to devote my time to reading and writing of my own (that of course I might not be able to publish, and even if published few will read).

I am more convinced now, as I wasn’t when Paul Kennedy wrote about the rise and fall of great powers, that the West has gone over the tipping point in its terminal decline. That intelligent people, or people who claim to be intelligent, (I have in mind the talking heads in the U.S. media such as Chris Matthews or Fareed Zakaria) cannot make the difference between the sham of the Muslim Brotherhood talking about freedom and democracy and the generic thirst in man to be free. These are the people who have like the Bourbons learned nothing and forgotten nothing. They are glibly about to put the Lenins of our time into trains heading for Moscows of our time, they find nothing odd that they are pushing for the Muslim Brotherhood to be taken into governing when everything needs to be done to keep the Muslim Brotherhood out even as one carefully negotiate the long historic transition of Arab societies from tribal autorcracy and military dictatorships to representative rule and constitutionally limited government. I read you when I can, and I wish that you and others like you were closer to the main media control in the West, or in government.

Take care, and God bless.


For what it’s worth, my response:

Dear Salim:

We’ve entered into advanced insanity now. It’s casually noted by the endlessly babbling talking heads that yes, the Muslim Brotherhood’s leadership has said it would tear up the peace treaty with Israel, but really, worrying about that just shows that all one cares about is Israel. Does it occur to no one that in an Israeli-Egyptian war (my God, just typing that is so horrible), it is not just Jews who would die? And that indeed, the very logic of the anti-Israeli propaganda so often advanced — that casualties in such violence fall disproportionately upon Israel’s adversaries — suggest what this would mean for the very Egyptian people these nitwits claim to care about so deeply?

I do Muay Thai as a hobby, and my gym is full of young Turkish boys of about draft age. Lovable kids, full of themselves and bravado and youth and life and good health. Muslims all, of course. Cheerfully accommodating the middle-aged Jewish American woman in their midst who unaccountably seems eager to do such an unlikely sport. It’s Egyptian boys of about the same age, all young and just as full of sweet puppyish life, who would be sent to fight a war that the Ikhwan is now loudly telling the world it craves. They would die in the tens of thousands before ever having a chance to go to school, fall in love, raise a family. Like young boys have always died in wars these wicked old fools somehow always survive. To point this out is now Ikwhanophobic, in the newly-coined term, and I did not imagine that a word could annoy me even more than “Islamophobic,” but I suppose life always has the capacity to surprise us. 



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  1. Profile Photo Inactive

    This Canadian loves Salim Mansur’s writing, and I thank you for making Ricochet readers aware of it.

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    I share his concern.

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    It would be profoundly ironic if the steady decline of values and moral standards, accompanied by the invention of various phobias, would lead to acceptance of the Muslim Brotherhood, in the name of that exact same political correctness, accompanied by its own unique disease, i.e. Islamophobia.

    I say “ironic” because the MB is the antithesis of said Western decline.

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    While I agree that there are plenty of things to be worried about I just think this defeatist [expletive] does not help — I know it pisses me off. Influential people have platforms. Some of you all that are listed as contributors here are influential people with real persuausive power.

    Dammit, use that power to sell some optimism regarding liberty and liberalization. Use your intellect to counter these treands that you/we do not like. Fight the left-leaning authoritarians by mocking their ideas where they need a good mocking…through parodies and pointing out their absurdities if you must. Spend the energies there!

    We cannot do anything about the preferences of the people in the Middle East until our house is right. Can’t we work on limiting government, here, first? I don’t watch MSNBC and I’m always sending clips, articles, etcetera to my Facebook wall so that my friends can see it. I don’t think my FB friends are watching Matthews either. Why would you and your pen pal worry about the reach of the old media? The real audience is in the blogosphere, precisely where you posted this comment.

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    One should always keep a hand on one’s knife when talking to the Muslim Brotherhood. Still, the question is not whether cranky old Islamonuts want to fight a war with Israel, but rather whether the Egyptian people, and particularly the Egyptian military, are keen to mix it up with the Israelis. I haven’t seen much evidence that they are.

    Among the militaries in the region, the Egyptian Army is more Western-oriented than most, owing to its long-standing relationship with America’s armed forces. In this crisis, they have shown a willingness to cautiously buck the government rather than follow it blindly into oblivion. A war with Israel would be ruinous, and the Egyptian generals know it.

    The primary impetus of the Egyptian people’s anger toward Mubarak, meanwhile, is economic. War with Israel won’t create a single job or buy a single loaf of bread, and I think they know that, too.

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    We need more Andrew Breitbarts.

    Also, keep in mind that America declined for over ten years, the late 60s to the early 80s. Yet, somehow we reversed it. For that matter, one of the men doing that reversing is on this site. Man is Peter Robinson awesome (I still get goosebumps listening the Berlin Wall speech; unlike popular myth, plenty of us young people remember all the drama among adults in the early 90s when the Soviet Union collapsed, and had plenty of education in the anti-Soviet TV and film that lasted into the decade).

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    Douglas Pologe: I say “ironic” because the MB is the antithesis of said Western decline. ยท Feb 6 at 8:07am

    The Muslim Brotherhood is every sneaky thing that is against humanity. The West first needs to identify it as what it essentially and truly is.

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    It’s Egyptian boys of about the same age, all young and just as full of sweet puppyish life, who would be sent to fight a war that the Ikhwan is now loudly telling the world it craves. They would die in the tens of thousands before ever having a chance to go to school, fall in love, raise a family. Like young boys have always died in wars these wicked old fools somehow always survive.

    Thank you for that. I think it’s also worth pointing out that those “wicked old fools” are not merely among the Ikhwan and their ilk, but among those who enable and excuse their wickedness, who endeavor to convince those who have real influence in these matters that they are not wicked at all.

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    It’s like the people who feel so liberal and enlightened about open borders, but ignore the tens of thousands of Mexicans who die every year in the drug wars.

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    Indeed, Joseph. When I watch Janet Napolitano crow about how the U.S.-Mexican border is supposedly safer than it’s ever been, it takes an enormous amount of willpower not to throw dinnerware at my television. I’d love for that fool to come down to Texas and live in Laredo for a year and then try peddling that load of bull with a straight face.

    The Obama administration is a three ring circus, but the real clowns are those who voted them into office in the first place.

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    It IS insanity – but it can be explained. The issue is the Left and the Right use two different belief systems. One is based on forcing everything to be “equal” (the Left) and the other (the Right) is based on working to make things better.

    The reason everything is screwed up is because of this. Once you understand what the implications are of forcing everything to be “equal”, you can see that society suffers.

    As a primer, watch the talk “How Modern Liberals Think” at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eaE98w1KZ-c. It’s by a guy named Evan Sayet who used to be a writer for Bill Maher. His explanation is very good. Find some quiet time to watch it.

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