Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Egypt: Lessons from history

On the 14th July, it will be exactly 80 years since Hitler's Nazis were officially declared the only legal political party in Germany, thus a previously functioning democracy finally became a one party state.

By then, it was too late for military or judicial intervention, as the apparatus of state had already been twisted and cajoled and subverted so that there was no escaping the inevitable.

Hitler had been made Chancellor only six months earlier.

So, should the mere act of casting a vote then exclude a population from participation and scrutiny of it's elected leaders? Can the simple fact of gaining the odd percentage point over their rivals mean that governments are then free to oppress and harass religious minorities and political opponents with impunity?

Since when was democracy an event which only took place once every four years?

While the overthrow of Morsi must be viewed with caution, the alternative might be much worse, and far less democratic.

As with many things in International Affairs, the devil really is in the detail, and Edward Snowden's revelation that Germany takes highest priority for American surveillance in Europe has understandably caused quite a kerfuffle.

Those who might otherwise shrug and accept that 'This sort of thing goes on all the time' are now asking serious questions, from the conspiracy theorists who see it as evidence of a US-Zionist plot to exact revenge for the actions of the aforementioned Adolf & Co, or who see government sponsored industrial espionage on a monumental scale, to those who just conclude that, for Europe's dominant nation, it is nothing more or less than should be expected.

But if you add these acts to their execution of drone warfare and their support of terrorist forces and tyrannical regimes, then perhaps the time has come to challenge our North American cousins with a little more vigour, because, as Germany's own history shows, appeasement is no answer when a nation decides that it's own elitist interests place it above and beyond International Law and the consensus of human dignity.

If we cannot bring ourselves to ask such awkward questions of America, then we should at least ask ourselves, if this is the way they behave when led by an African American Democrat, what on earth can we expect when a full-on Rednecked Republican takes the helm?