From Nicholas Kristof’s column today, entitled “Democracy Is Messy”:
Westerners have mostly worried that Egypt might plunge into Iran-style Islamic fundamentalism — and, to me, that seems a reflection of our own hobgoblins more than Egypt’s. Indeed, it seems increasingly likely that Egypt won’t change as much as many had expected. Moreover, the biggest losers of the revolution are likely to be violent Islamic extremist groups that lose steam when the more moderate Muslim Brotherhood joins the system.
Sort of reminds me of when the NYT published an op-ed by Richard Falk in February 1979 entitled “Trusting Khomeini”:
… the depiction of him [Khomeini] as fanatical, reactionary, and the bearer of crude prejudices seems certainly and happily false. What is also encouraging is that his entourage of close advisers is composed of moderate, progressive individuals…Having created a new model of popular revolution based, for the most part, on non-violent tactics, Iran may provide us with the desperately-needed model of humane governance for a third-world country.
So much for the optimism.