WSJ: What Egypt Needs is Its Pinochet

♠ Posted by Emmanuel in at 7/05/2013 05:39:00 PM
I do not need convincing that Hosni Mubarak was a better compromise for an Egyptian leader than any of the buffoons that followed him. Witness the total bankruptcy of ideas demonstrated by the Muslim Brotherhood "leadership." While I was amused by their total lack of political sophistication and economic understanding--remember those interest- and conditionality-free IMF loans--things have been quite miserable for the Egyptian people.

What remedy, then, do the WSJ op-ed pages offer post-Mursi? Assuming that military rule is inevitable in such a tumultuous nation, they are looking for [gasp!] an Egyptian General Augusto Pinochet:
Egyptians would be lucky if their new ruling generals turn out to be in the mold of Chile's Augusto Pinochet, who took power amid chaos but hired free-market reformers and midwifed a transition to democracy. If General Sisi merely tries to restore the old Mubarak order, he will eventually suffer Mr. Morsi's fate.
I cannot make up something so distasteful or positively portray such an appalling figure: Isn't Pinochet the same guy who divided a nation over extrajudicial executions, disappearances and torture?
A Chilean commission investigating human rights abuses under the former military leader Gen Augusto Pinochet says there are many more victims than previously documented. Commission director Maria Luisa Sepulveda said they had identified another 9,800 people who had been held as political prisoners and tortured. The new figures bring the total of recognised victims to 40,018.
I fail to see what's so "democratic" about these practices, but then again, the WSJ op-ed folks--erstwhile champions of democracy--have been longstanding fans of Guantanamo Bay as a shining American example of it.

By drawing a comparison with Pinochet, what we can deduce is that the WSJ op-ed writers believe Mubarak didn't kill and maim enough to be a successful leader. What further "insights" can be gleaned I cannot fathom since those pages remain one of America's few remaining bastions of neoconservatism--an obscure faith if there ever was one.