Friday, November 25, 2011

Dangling modifier

Hope and change come in fitful bursts, followed by reaction and retrenchment. As it is with Occupy Wall Street, so it is in Bahrain:

Of all the uprisings in the Arab world, Bahrain managed to end the unrest, largely by using coercive force. Tensions between Sunnis and Shiites flared, and a country that was once one of the region’s most cosmopolitan is now one of its most divided.
and in Egypt:
[T]he military council began spelling out plans to carve out permanent political powers and protection from civilian oversight under the next constitution. Those efforts exploded after the government used force to clear a small protest camp from Tahrir Square last Saturday, amid mounting unrest across the country.
A few observations, not too taxing for those of you just in or headed for another tryptophan coma:
  • Our reporters know to cheer for the Arab spring protesters and against the Occupiers. Why is that?
  • Go back three centuries and substitute Protestant and Catholic for Sunni and Shiite, and you get Christian Europe with all it sectarian conflict - and the motivation for our separation of church and state.
  • A despotism's power grows out of the barrel of a gun - or the nozzle of a can of pepper spray.
  • Monarchy is never legitimate.
  • I'm a liberal, so it's not nearly as easy to scare me as your average Fox-watching conservamaton, but Islamist co-option of the legitimate democratic aspirations of the Arab spring scares me.

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