Was it a surprise to you that Egypt went Islamist? It wasn’t to me.
Was it a surprise to you that Libya went Islamist? It wasn’t to me.
Was it a surprise to you that Tunisia went Islamist? It wasn’t to me.
Has it been a surprise to you over the last decade that Iraq hasn’t bloomed into the Middle Eastern equivalent of small town America? It hasn’t been for me.
If any of the above surprised you, my guess is that you worked for the Bush administration or are working for the Obama administration. The first group naively believed that, if you gave people the vote, they would vote for freedom, not repression. As for the second group, I don’t know if they shared that same naiveté, or if they’re truly bad people.
Anyone who has been paying attention to the Middle East has understood that, for many citizens in those benighted nations, Islamist government promises purity in lieu of deep, violent corruption. The people there don’t understand the notion of freedom, but they’re very much alive to hypocrisy — and their Imams have been promising that this is the one thing they won’t get under an Islamist government. Islam will bring them the peace of total submission to God’s rules, rather than the instability and terror of individual tyranny.
For people who have spent decades on the receiving end of arbitrary and capricious pseudo-Western governments, all the while hearing that their faith will provide honesty and peace, the outcome of elections was a no-brainer. Lacking the one and a half centuries of self-governance that America had before she even embarked upon her Constitutional experiment, the notion of freedom and individual rights has no resonance. Sure, some understand it, but for most freedom simply means not being bossed around by a Mubarak or Saddam or Gaddafi.
Mark Steyn ranks with me as being one of the un-surprised — and he recognizes how our blindness abroad leads to threats at home.
I’ll add too that relentless PC multiculturalism, which lauds every culture but our own, is de-programming the love of freedom bred into American DNA, and is therefore probably the greatest internal threat we face.