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.

Salim

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. 

Warmly,

Claire