Someone once observed that a liberal's life consists of confronting one unexpected suprise after another. I think it is safe to say that the same can be said of the typical Ivy League foreign policy wonk, to the extent they are different groups of people.
A lot of people of all political persuasions were excited by the "Jasmin" revolution that started in Tunisia and spread, near instantly, to Egypt and resulted in the toppling of President Hosni Mubarak. Just like the situation in Libya, no one took the time to ask what we knew about the demonstrators before we cast our lot with them.
The average citizen can be excused. The stripey pants set in Foggy Bottom, not so much.
From today's NY Times, who are also shocked, shocked at the happenings:
In post-revolutionary Egypt, where hope and confusion collide in the daily struggle to build a new nation, religion has emerged as a powerful political force, following an uprising that was based on secular ideals. The Muslim Brotherhood, an Islamist group once banned by the state, is at the forefront, transformed into a tacit partner with the military government that many fear will thwart fundamental changes.
It is also clear that the young, educated secular activists who initially propelled the nonideological revolution are no longer the driving political force — at least not at the moment.
“We are all worried,” said Amr Koura, 55, a television producer, reflecting the opinions of the secular minority. “The young people have no control of the revolution anymore. It was evident in the last few weeks when you saw a lot of bearded people taking charge. The youth are gone.”
Hmmm. Committed, ruthless, professional subversives have managed to push aside the Egyptian equivalent of the contributors at dKos. Who would have thought this could come to pass?
And we're seeing an immediate result of this:
Cairo: Women arrested by Egyptian military personnel during protests at Cairo's Tahrir Square were subjected to "virginity tests" and other forms of humiliation, claims an Amnesty International report.
Eighteen demonstrators were detained by army officers on March 9 at the end of weeks of protest.
The Amnesty report revealed that the women protesters were beaten, given electric shocks, subjected to strip searches and photographed by male soldiers.
Women were then given 'virginity checks' and threatened with prostitution charges if the medics ruled they had had sex, said the report.
Amnesty has called on the Egyptian authorities to investigate this alleged abuse, which it described as 'utterly unacceptable.'
'The purpose is to degrade women because they are women", "All women of the medical profession must refuse to take part in such so-called 'tests'," The Daily Mail quoted an Amnesty spokesman, as saying.
The spokesman said one woman who had told the military she was a virgin and then failed the 'test' was beaten and given electric shocks.
The only thing left to make this a rousing success for the Obama Doctrine is the inevitable "one man, one vote, one time."