. . .
We are dealing with a movement that decades ago was illegalized by the Egyptian government. But the Muslim Brotherhood persisted and in the parliamentary election last fall showed their gathering strength. Accordingly, on the same weekend in which Hamas faced economic ostracism, Mubarak announced a postponement by two years of scheduled local elections. This was a visible sign of fright, that democracy was on the move, and that a religious organization which has engaged in violent activities, and is banned, threatens the plans of Mubarak, which were to hand Egypt over to his son. Observers with minimal liberal sensibilities welcome most moves against Mubarak, but not any move against him, because he has stayed outside the clutches of the Islamic totalists and because his country was the first Mideast power to acknowledge and to respect Israeli independence. The prospect of the Muslim Brotherhood overwhelming Egypt and collaborating with the mullahs' Iran reminds us of the risks that democracy can bring.
It is a bitter pill to swallow, to see the United States and Israel forthrightly attempting to subvert democracy in Palestine. But the first law in this sermon is that democracy's fruits sometimes need either to be stillborn or else to be resisted.
Literature, said Ezra Pound, is news that stays news. I have met few people better informed about public affairs than Bill Buckley. But his mastery of the day's ephemera was only a prelude to his embrace of the principles that underlay the controversies.
So it would seem.