The disjunct between the forget Mubarak, it's the Islamists you've gotta watch rant of The Australian's foreign editor and Zionist Bruvver, Greg (Jerusalem Prize) Sheridan, and the reporting of its chastened man on the ground in Cairo, John Lyons, is simply hilarious:
Bruvver Sheridan opines sagely that "the longer Mubarak stays, the longer it seems likely he will stay. Which may not be altogether a bad thing"* because it'll allow for "thorough renovation of the constitution" and head off a "populist and lawless revolution," which will, of course, expose Egypt (and Western Civilization As We Know It?) to the tender mercies of the smiling, scimitar-waving, sharia-abiding hordes of the Muslim Brotherhood. (There's a scimitar behind the smile, 10/2/11)
[* Oh dear, I notice The Australian's mini-me, The Australian Jewish News, is contradicting Sheridan with this: "The longer Mubarak holds on, the more opportunity it gives to groups like the Muslim Brotherhood to take advantage of the situation, Rudd's former foreign policy adviser and national security adviser [Peter Khalil] said." (Australian expert warns of Muslim Brotherhood threat, 11/2/11) Will the dissonance never stop?]
Bruvver Sheridan goes on in scimitar to scorn those he claims present the Muslim Brotherhood "as a sort of slightly old-fashioned Baden-Powell Boy Scouts movement with a Country Women's League branch" and complains that "the correspondents in Cairo, understandably caught up in the emotion of the revolt,... desperately determined that the alternative to Mubarak is something nice, have simply closed their eyes to all the evidence about the Muslim Brotherhood."
And how right he is about those purblind correspondents. Why, even his colleague John Lyons, having hitched a ride with Mubarak's boy scouts, candidly admits he's blind(folded) to Sheridan's sinister, smiling, waiting-in-the-wings scimitar-wavers:
"When you're sitting in an army vehicle blindfolded and handcuffed and the man in front of you is being bashed, the word 'welcome' sounds hollow...A second Egyptian man joined us. From his screams, it sounded as if he was going mad... Once we arrived, my fear was we would be separated and tortured. A Spanish journalist detained the day before watched Egyptians have electrodes attached to their necks and chests... Every so often the Egyptian in front of us would let out a crazed sound - and appeared to be hit for it. When we could remove the blindfolds, we saw cuts on his forehead... While the ordeal had been unpleasant for us foreigners, for the apparently deranged Egyption it would get worse. The bus took a side street that was blocked by vigilantes... One soldier grabbed the Egyptian man and took him from the bus. He was still blindfolded and hunched as well. The soldier pushed him into the mob. One of the mob put a kick into him. They then took him around the corner. Unlike us, he had no embassy or newspaper to call on. Mobs roam Cairo looking for something to do - this man was their new entertainment. This is today's Cairo." (Lost, blindfolded, cuffed & questioned in chaotic Cairo, 8/2/11)
Fans of Sheridan will, of course, not have missed his forum column in The Weekend Australian of 5 February on the subject of didacticism in art. In it he writes, "But a novelist or filmmaker who really doesn't know anything of substance about politics, which certainly includes the great bulk of Australian novelists and filmmakers, who hitches their story on to the prevailing political sentiments of the day... will commonly fall into several traps. They will subordinate their insights into character to dogmatic cliches about issues. They will distort story and character in obvious ways to contrast the goodies with the baddies. They will coarsen their product because in the end, politically, they deal in cliches, where as artistically they need to deal in nuance. This is especially so in a small, grant-dependent literary and film world such as Australia, where grants, prizes and university fellowships form a big part of a writer's income, and the pressure to political orthodoxy, if not downright group-think, is strong."
Hm... why do I get the idea that Sheridan's really writing about himself?
PS: I'm rapt! The last recorded instance I'm aware of, of Sheridan referring to Hamas as a "terrorist death cult" was on February 5, 2009. I'm pleased to say that this catchy little number has made a reappearance in his 'scimitar' column. Enjoy!: "But Hamas, the terrorist death cult that rules the Gaza Strip, is a branch of the Muslim Brotherhood." For his earlier iterations, see my 21/5/09 post Repeat After Me.