Another Analogy


TPM Reader DZ suggests another analogy for Egypt …

I worked and lived in SE Asia a few years after Princeton so actually believe the parallel to watch re:Egypt may be Indonesia, the most populous Muslim one. We propped up Suharto from 1965 on but when he collapsed, there was a shift to a nominal democracy which continues under President SBY, following Gus Dur and Sukarnoputri.

There are many parallels, inc. presence of a strong minority religion (Copts in Egypt, Hindus in Indonesia).

I did a long study of the Ikhwan il-Muslimeem (Muslim Brotherhood) for [redacted] decades ago; there is not such a parallel in Indonesia although there are some very backward Muslims there who’ve long enjoyed funding from Tripoli and Riyadh.

I sure hope Egypt tips Indonesia’s way!

These are obviously much more pleasant analogies for the US than the Iran analogy. And we shouldn’t discount that one. But it also shows just how much the catastrophic end result in Iran colors American views of these situations when there are other historical examples that are at least plausible.


Josh Marshall is editor and publisher of