Sunday, January 14, 2007

Hiding from the Bad Men in Dark Glasses

From what we can see through the opaque windows of our secret Nile-side location, it seems that every bully in the playground is taking it out on the Brothers this week. And not in a nice way either.

Consider the cast:

1) The Presidency. King Toad belched out some bellicosity over the weekend that the Brotherhood is a "threat to Egypt's security."

Rumble Rumble Rumble. There's the mud-slinging. "Security" means nothing, apart from a bureaucratic segue to "More Oppression - Because We Need it."

2) Ministry of Fear. A well-Timed Round-up of MB'ers this morning. Nothing to unusual there, mind you.

3) The Council for False Teeth also got in on the action, the doddery old heads at the Shura Council managing to pull their tarbouches up over their eyes just long enough to nod assent to the 34 constitutional amendments that the Presidency slipped in just before Eid. Here comes a party-list voting system. Goodbye Brotherhood "Independents."

(4) The Justice System (cue canned laughter). Last week 12 or so political parties, most of them jokes, but with one serious one - the Wasat - had their applications to be licensed turned down again. If the regime were canny, they'd have licensed the Wasat to divide-and-rule the Islamist vote. But they're not, so they didn't. They're preparing the ground so they can get heavy on everything with a beard and short trousers, including Cat Stevens.

And finally, (5) The US State Department. Condi's something of a backroom bully, but her inaction is what really packs a punch in this playground. She's in the vicinity this week, ready to roll out the deafening silence when it comes to opposition parties and human rights in Egypt.

Seems simple. I wish I'd thought of it. Put your only political opposition through the wringer for a while, physically, to soften him up. Then slip through a truck-load of punitive legislation trussed up as a "democratic breakthrough." Watch as nobody cares. Retire to a safe distance. Write last will and testament. Have some more plastic surgery.

I would do something about it all, but I can't leave our secret location. And there's another Kahlua on the way.