STEPHENS IS A CHARMING, ARTICULATE AND THOUGHTFUL JOURNALIST….BUT MIRED IN OPTIMISM ABOUT A TWO STATE SOLUTION WHICH HE RECENTLY FORECAST “IN THIRTY YEARS”….AND NOW AGAIN,
“The good news is that Egyptians may have a wider conception of freedom in 30 years or so, about the same amount of time it took Khomeinism to lose the masses in Iran. In 30 years, too, the Greeks may have a better appreciation of the notion of responsibility, both personal and political. As for what remains of the liberal democratic world, maybe the weekend elections will be a reminder of another famous political maxim: “A republic—if you can keep it.”……OH PULEEZ! RSK
Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all those other forms that have been tried from time to time. Everyone knows who said this, and everyone thinks it’s true. But is it, really?
After last weekend I’ve begun to have my doubts. In Egypt, the ruling military junta reacted to the apparent victory of Muslim Brotherhood presidential candidate Mohammed Morsi by stripping the presidential office of its powers. That came just days after Egypt’s top court dissolved the Islamist-dominated parliament, which had been freely elected only a few months ago.
How arbitrary. What an affront to the Egyptian people. Now let’s hope it works.
Then there’s Greece, which also had an election over the weekend. The Greeks are supposed to have made the “responsible” choice in the person of Antonis Samaras, the Amherst- and Harvard-educated leader of the center-right New Democracy party. Responsible in this case means trying to stay in the euro zone by again renegotiating the terms of a bailout that Greeks cannot possibly repay and will not likely honor.
Yet the more depressing fact about the election is that Mr. Samaras didn’t even get 30% of the vote. The rest was divided among the radical-left Syriza (27%), the socialist Pasok (12.3%), the anti-German Independent Greeks (7.5%), the neo-Nazi Golden Dawn (7%), the center-left Democratic Left (6.2%) and, finally, the good old Communist Party (4.5%).