Patterico's Pontifications

1/28/2011

Open Source: Egyptian Riots

Filed under: General — Aaron Worthing @ 2:09 pm



[Guest post by Aaron Worthing; if you have tips, please send them here.]

Update: Mubarak asks his cabinet to resign. Yeah, that will solve it.

I am going to be honest, I have no idea what to make of what is happening in Egypt.  Of course as a general principle I am opposed to all dictators.  But are the rebels seeking freedom?  Will they follow the Iraq model when the dust settles, or the Iran model?

Only time can tell.  I guess I have to support the protesters.  Sic semper tyrannis and all that (it is the state motto, after all).  [UPDATE BY PATTERICO: I guess we have a difference of opinion on that, as the protestors are Islamists. As I understand it, they would end the quasi-peace with Israel and allow weapons to be smuggled into Gaza. So I have to disagree with Aaron here.] Still here are a ton of links on what is going on.  I am sure there are much, much more.  And please, post any links you like in the comments.

With Muslim Brotherhood Set to Join Egypt Protests, Religion’s Role May Grow.

Egypt sicks the military on its citizens. Rueters covers.  So does the AP/Al JazeeraPeople cheer… the armyAl Arabiya says some police removed uniforms and joined protesters.

Video of violence in Egypt.

Cell phone service cut off.  (Would be terrorists are safe from splodyspam, I guess.)

Internet cut off.  (Mmm, you would tend to think they would at least give them access to porn and gaming sites, to keep them, ahem, occupied.)

Via Hot Air: Gibbs struggles to say nothing.  And big announcement coming?  Also generalized thread on the events.

Like I said, I have no clear idea what the heck is happening.  We might be about to see a revolution and in a good way, hopefully as bloodless a revolution as possible.

And exit question.  This seems to have spread from Tunisia.  Is there any chance of it spreading further?

Anyway, in a real open-source sort of way, sound off in the comments and let’s see if we can sort this thing out.

[Posted and authored by Aaron Worthing.]

187 Responses to “Open Source: Egyptian Riots”

  1. As for spreading further: there’s also been smaller-scale rioting in Yemen and Albania, and I imagine that if Mubarak falls, it will embolden protests elsewhere … Mubarak is a *much* bigger fish than the Tunisian government was.

    Right now everything seems to be hanging on which side the army takes.

    aphrael (e0cdc9)

  2. Muslim Brotherhood…gahh. IIRC they started the Muslim revival that’s led to all the extremism. Yeah power abhors a vacuum.

    I wonder if O will have a “fuck the Shah” moment.

    carol (5a5d33)

  3. I think that the official White House stance might be something less than pro-democracy / pro-freedom.

    Then again, Joe Biden stance that Mubarak is not a dictator and that he shouldn’t step down is not necessarily the same stance of Obama.

    Newtons.Bit (d4b383)

  4. The WH is in a tough spot, and would be no matter who was president.

    On the one hand, the Egyptian government is one of our closest allies in the region (if not the world); we give it an enormous amount of money. This has been true for decades.

    On the other hand, they government is a sclerotic autocratic dictatorship. This has also been true for decades.

    Publically, at least, the best option is to say nothing. We can’t exactly condemn our friends; neither should we be praising them.

    Behind the scenes, of course, I hope we’re leaning on Mubarak with all our might to go.

    aphrael (e0cdc9)

  5. Mubarak on TV now.

    The protests could only happen because the Egyptian people have freedom. There’s a fine line between Freedom and Chaos. We should be careful to learn from the Chaos in our neighbors and not reproduce it here.

    *sigh*

    aphrael (e0cdc9)

  6. Mubarak *has* ordered the government to step down and a new one to be appointed tomorrow.

    aphrael (e0cdc9)

  7. So, the King has decided he needs new advisors. BFD. The longer he hangs on, the more radical the result will be. We can have the Iranian model, but there is also the Marcos/Aquino model. If we are going to make a mistake, I sure hope we err on the side of Democracy rather than Tiananmen.

    Kevin M (73dcc9)

  8. We can’t exactly condemn our friends; neither should we be praising them.

    While this might have some merit, it is not consistent with this administration’s actions: Obama did not comment, either in support or condemnation of Iranian protesters during the protests after the election last year until 10 days after it had begun – and that was after waiting both houses of Congress voted overwhelmingly to condemn the actions by the Iranian government against demonstrators.

    Clearly with Obama, condemning friends nor praising them is not his standard. Iran is an enemy, no question. And yet he could not, would not come out in full support of those protesting. I suggest there he also lacks the will and confidence to push back with friends…and sadly, enemies. Of course his very definition of enemy and friend varies from some of us here.

    Dana (8ba2fb)

  9. For far too much of his first two years in office, President Obama has been on the side of the thugs and jailers — Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Hu Jintao, Vladimir Putin, and Hosni Mubarak to name just a few. It is time for him to place the moral weight of his office fully behind those fighting for their freedom.

    Dana (8ba2fb)

  10. Obama’s basic position on Egypt is…………….

    Well, there you have it. He is currently on TV calling for the Egyptian government to work with the protestors. Funny, he never adopted that position with the rioters in Iran, when their government were killing them.

    I also remember that Obama sided with the Chavez wannabe in Honduras, trying to force Honduras to reinstate their criminal president. He failed, and tiny Honduras had free elections to replace the Chaves wannabe.

    Now, Obama is talking about the Egyptian “people”. Obama will chastise the government of Egypt, telling them they have an obligation to respond to their citizens, but he never said a damn thing like that to Iran last year.

    Perhaps Obama will find the funds in his 2012 campaign coffers to buy a spine.

    retire05 (63d9af)

  11. It doesn’t matter what Obama or his lackeys say at this point – they’ve lost all credibility after their fecklessness regarding the Green Revolution. Absolutely cowardly, and as mentioned above, Honduras and kissing Chavez’s behind has only furthered their mission creep downward.

    One thing, though – if they somehow screw another pooch here, this could be Obama’s true Jimmy Carter moment regarding failure in foreign policy eventually sinking his entire presidency. He’s been able to vote present up till now with minimal consequences, this one will bring too many chickens home to roost if Egypt goes into a Turkey – style Islamicist binge.

    Dmac (498ece)

  12. Sure, we can dream that a bunch of pro-Western types will take over and usher in a new age of peace and understanding… sorry, just woke up and realized that ain’t happening. As we saw in Iran thirty years ago and as with Pakistan and Egypt, the Arab/Muslim ‘street’ ain’t fans of ours (or our allies), they’re far more supportive of Islamic fundamentalism and terrorism.

    While Mubarak is a dictator, he has been and would continue to be more supportive of America and American interests than whomever would likely take over. I’d stick with him, the downside of having the crazies take over is just too high.

    Democracy is fine, just so long as it doesn’t lead to the nuts taking over (which, coincidentally and noting the irony, is just what the liberals in America say about the masses who voted them out in November).

    steve (254463)

  13. So, the King has decided he needs new advisors. BFD

    Kevin, yeah, that was about my reaction. I cannot imagine anyone who was angry enough to march today being mollified by this.

    Maybe the tanks will scare them. But that’s about it.

    aphrael (e0cdc9)

  14. Dana, at 7: in this particular case, I think it’s fair to cut the administration some slack, because they face a serious problem caused by decades of bad foreign policy: we’re close friends with a tyrant, and there isn’t a political consensus in this country for changing that.

    aphrael (e0cdc9)

  15. Mubarak’s time is running out – his age guarantees that. So the question appears to be whether his son can take the scepter.

    Brother Bradley J. Fikes, C.O.R. (a18ddc)

  16. Steve: on some level, I fundamentally don’t care if the Arab street are fans of ours. The people of the Arab world have the same fundamental right to freedom, and to democracy (if they want it), as we do.

    There was a point today where it seemed possible that Egypt would follow Tunisia out of the cold and into the light. It hasn’t happened. It may happen tomorrow. It will be a good thing if it happens … even if it means the resultant government is less friendly to us. Because in the end, more freedom for more people will be in everyone’s interest.

    aphrael (e0cdc9)

  17. Mubarak *has* ordered the government to step down and a new one to be appointed tomorrow.

    He doesn’t seem to grasp that the protesters are calling for *him* to be ousted. A new government will not change anything if the head is still the same. Mubarak is who they want out. Clean house from the top down, not the other way around. The protesters are not stupid.

    Dana (8ba2fb)

  18. So, things are pretty crazy in Egypt now, I tell ya, they’re crazy!
    Audience: How crazy are they?
    Things are so crazy, the Palestinians won’t let the Egyptians cross the border!{s_canned laughter}

    Anybody remember back to 1.5 million Palestinians bumrushing their way into Egpyt, thanks to Hamas doing what they do best? (hint:KA-BOOM!) I wonder if this is part of the street unrest, or maybe the 1.5 million returned peaceably and Egyptians have somehow lost their manners./sarc off

    TimesDisliker (5c8142)

  19. I agree with Aphrael. It’s not like Obama is saving the situation, but it’s also not like he created it. I think the actions he’s taken behind the scenes are likely pretty typical.

    I hope he can figure out some miraculous solution, but the truth is that his job is practically impossible sometimes, which is why it’s unfortunate we elected someone with little experience (and an important lesson for the GOP come 2012).

    I’ll give him some slack in this case, and hope things don’t go from bad to worse.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  20. He doesn’t seem to grasp that the protesters are calling for *him* to be ousted. A new government will not change anything if the head is still the same. Mubarak is who they want out. Clean house from the top down, not the other way around. The protesters are not stupid.

    Yes.

    I watched the speech live on AJE this afternoon. Mubarak clearly doesn’t have a clue.

    aphrael (e0cdc9)

  21. Clearly this is way more complex than it having a neat and clean fix.

    But it’s interesting to read that between military and economic aid, the U.S. has given over $50 billion dollars since the mid-1970’s. We’ve literally given them an economy. What better reason for Mubarak to be supportive of America and American policies as Steve mentions in #11?

    Considering that, then how about the president suggesting cutting back a significant amount of that aid if peaceful protest is not permitted or if electronic communication to the outside is not restored, and specific reforms put in place?

    It would seem that a significant amount of aid to Egypt has not helped them to speed up reforms but might instead have given them a way to delay it: prior U.S. Ambassador to Egypt, Edward Walker observed, “Aid offers an easy way out for Egypt to avoid reform”.

    Dana (8ba2fb)

  22. Obama is an awful president. But there are no good options in the entirety of the Middle East-kleptocrat strong men like Mubarak or Muslim nuts like Iran. And the “conservatives” holding up Iraq and Afghanistan have lost it.A conservative must see the world as it is, not how we might want it to be..Our recent presidents of both parties refuse to acknowledge nor even deign to discuss this. Islamic countries can never be truly reformed as long as Islam is a factor. Our elites and diplomats in both parties refuse to discuss nor deal with this reality. While Obama is an embarrassment the constant refrain to blame him or demand he do something here or any where(like Iran) seems pointless. What ever comes after Mubarak or the mullahs in Iran or what ever hack is in charge of Yemen will be no better and probably worse. There is little he can do, nor should do.We are not going to have another war anyplace no matter how much some may think it’s advisable. And it is not; it would be craziness. There is no public support for the current wars.

    If the GOP and conservatives continue down this interventionist road, it will only lead to ruin. Senator Rubio’s ramblings about his groovy trip to Afghanistan in NRO yesterday were disturbing. What is conservative about thinking against all objective evidence we can change such places into Western-style democracies? We must stop.

    We have troops on the ground in Iraq for almost a decade, Afghanistan over a decade. The nation building exercise is a failure, unless you are atop the Karzai heroin cartel or part of what ever collection of kleptocrats are running Iraq at any given time. These wars no matter how well-intentioned have not changed the cultural problems in both (very different) places because they are still culturally Islamic. And this is true of the entirety of north Africa and the Middle East (spare Israel, obviously).

    Bugg (4e0dda)

  23. Very good points, Dana.

    The first part is probably obvious enough, but I think you’re onto something very interesting with the point that aid actually cultivates a certain lack of reform.

    We need to learn something from all of this, but I bet we don’t. In fact, we might even up the aid to an Egypt run by crazier people.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  24. one time I looked up about Nile River cruises a really good week-long one can set you back maybe $4000 if you do all your eating on the ship … but that was before the dollar got all bernanked up

    happyfeet (ab5779)

  25. they’ve lost all credibility after their fecklessness regarding the Green Revolution. Absolutely cowardly, and as mentioned above, Honduras and kissing Chavez’s behind has only furthered their mission creep downward.

    Yes, Chavez brings up a good example of why Obama’s silence regarding Iran was a good idea.
    You may remember that early on in the Bush administration there was an coup attempt which, in the first twenty four hours, seemed successful. The US came out very strongly in support of the coup.
    Then Chavez managed to suppress the coup, and from then could cite the US response to the coup as evidence of Yanqui interventionism and US hate of his regime–to the benefit of Chavez and no one else.

    Sometimes the best policy is to walk softly and pretend you don’t have a big stick.

    kishnevi (79d43f)

  26. Just for fun:

    Time can do many things, not just tell.

    It can heal wounds and wound heels. It can fly, drag on, crawl, and limp in a petty pace from day to day. It can demand a stitch today or nine tomorrow. It has teeth and deeps and sands.

    Will Aaron edit his piece to reflect the correct saying?

    “Only time will tell.”

    Mork (f8a7c6)

  27. Dustin,

    Economist Dambisa Moya makes the case re Africa that an excess of well-intentioned aid can have(and in their case, has) the unintended consequences of eroding capital, labor and productivity – the three key ingredients that drive economic growth. (Of course, with regard to Egypt it’s a bit different re their military and having an ally in that part of the region), but still, there’s a across the board principle at work.

    Dana (8ba2fb)

  28. Wow, Dana. googling that economist has been very enlightening. I think he’s got a point. Societies need to be able to stand on their own. For one thing, the USA is broke. A people relying on our money is inherently screwed.

    You’re right… we need Egypt for reasons beyond their own self interest, but still, very interesting aspect to this mess.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  29. mork

    i stand by my phrasing. :-)

    Aaron Worthing (73a7ea)

  30. In light of Bugg’s comment in #21, I offer the following two POVs i read elswhere, albeit at the same blog:

    #1

    My read on the news is that there is now unrest in Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Egypt, Yemen, Jordan, Lebanon, and Albania, with maybe more to follow. I’ll diverge from the typical analysis and look at the longer picture. While most of these countries have an autocrat type government, I’m not sure that’s the worst thing that might befall them. Most of them have very few resources or industries or exportable commodities within the countries. In other words, most of them have next to nothing to offer the rest of the world. All of them have huge populations, given their resource base, and all of them are expanding very rapidly. I checked the populations of Egypt and Yemen today versus what they were when I was born in 1947. Egypt has grown from 19 million to 82 million (1947 and 2009 estimates) while Yemen has grown from 4 million to 24 million in the same period. Egypt also has exported millions of people as witnessed by our cab drivers in the U.S. Egypt would be more populous than 82 million if they hadn’t exported a good number of their people. While Mrs. Clinton might decry government by autocrats, I rather doubt that the alternative would be better. Do we really think that those who will follow can actually make these countries function? If international investments dry up and tourists go elsewhere, the countries will be worse off under whatever type of government replaces what they have now (I’m guessing the new won’t resemble Vermont town meetings all that much). These countries do not even remotely grow enough food for their populations.
    So, if the “street” manages to overthrow the current rulers, I’d expect the situation will get worse, not better.

    My worry is that these countries total more than 200 million in human population. There is a huge industry in the U.S. and other Western, European countries, that lives off of the refugees and asylum seekers (Refugees, Inc.). I hate to imagine how many of these 200 million might make a claim to move to Europe or the U.S. as a refugee or asylee. And it will grow worse if their economies collapse and they have no money to import the over 50 percent of the basic foodstuffs they need to keep their populations alive.

    I’ll repeat. Egypt alone has 82 million people living off of a piece of land (it’s a river running through a desert) that might support fewer than 10 million if left to its own. Yemen has 24 million people living off a desert and some oil that will soon run dry up no matter who is in charge.

    The future will not be pretty. I fear that our homegrown goody-two-shoes types will import their problems and make our situation only the worse.

    #2

    I have been thinking about this Egypt uproar. I almost see it as an equivalent to the election of Obama, insofar as it would be beneficial to conservatism in the long run. As bad as the scenario of a Muslim Brotherhood takeover of Egypt would be to us and especially Israel, it could be a net positive for the global counter jihad in the long run. This is just my personal spin on what the future could hold. Oil will go through the roof, other Arab States my tumble and go totally Islamic, Iran will be a major player and the danger to Israel will be immense. Add to this the fact that the huge numbers of Muslims in Europe will feel emboldened and may really start to cause serious problems (think Beslan as a monthly occurrence) that even the press and government spin doctors can’t perpetuate the “Big Lie” anymore. In short this could be the catalyst that really makes people see this for what it is. A life or death battle for the very survival of Western civilization against Islam. Not radical Islam, Islamofascism, or some other ridiculous term. But Islam itself.

    Horatio (55069c)

  31. It doesn’t matter what Obama or his lackeys say

    Right.

    This isn’t about us. This is about the Egyptian people, and their government, and their military.

    We’re at best off-screen outsiders.

    aphrael (e0cdc9)

  32. While Mrs. Clinton might decry government by autocrats, I rather doubt that the alternative would be better.

    So, the author of this post doesn’t believe in the doctrine that the fundamental problem in the Arab world is the lack of freedom? Wasn’t that one of the primary underpinnings of US policy in Iraq? :)

    aphrael (e0cdc9)

  33. Fjordman: Why Islam Must Be Expelled From The West

    Fjordman’s latest essay has been published at Winds of Jihad, and also at Europe News. Some excerpts are below:

    On the 11th of December 2010, the first-ever suicide bombing in Scandinavia occurred when Taimour Abdulwahab, an Iraqi-born Muslim and Swedish citizen with a wife and children in Luton, Britain, was carrying explosives and mistakenly set off an explosion near a busy Christmas shopping street in Stockholm just before he could murder dozens of people.

    Foreign Minister Carl Bildt, who is a passionate promoter of having Turkey as a full member of the European Union and Islam as an established part of European culture, stated that “We were extremely lucky… I mean minutes and just a couple of hundred metres from where it would have been very catastrophic.” Sweden’s intelligence agency and a news agency received an email with audio files in which a man called on “all hidden mujahedeen [Islamic holy warriors] in Europe, and especially in Sweden, it is now the time to fight back.” He criticized Sweden for its military presence in Afghanistan and its acceptance of the artist Lars Vilks, who had made some cartoons mocking Muhammad. The message warned that “now your children, daughters and sisters die like our brothers’ and sisters’ children die.”

    We’ve been told for years that suicide bombers who blow themselves up in civilian areas in Israel are “freedom fighters struggling against Israeli occupation.” Does that mean that this Muslim blew himself up to protest against the Swedish occupation of Stockholm?

    Sweden has no colonial history, at least not outside of northern Europe. It is a self-appointed champion of Third World countries and has virtually surrendered its third-largest city to immigrant mobs and substantial chunks of other cities, too. Swedish authorities are using the most extreme methods imaginable to suppress any dissent among the native people, who are being ethnically cleansed from their own land. The authorities always side with immigrants against the natives in the case of conflict. Muslims in Sweden can harass the natives as much as they want to and have access to all kinds of welfare goodies and a much higher standard of living than they would have in their own countries. In short, they have no imaginable, rational reason to complain, yet they still blow themselves up.

    In Sweden, all the traditional excuses employed by Multiculturalists and Leftists throughout the Western world, fail. This leaves just one possible explanation, the only one never mentioned in Western mainstream media: That Muslims and their culture are fundamentally incompatible with our values and societies.

    Horatio (55069c)

  34. Egypt is not an ally. We just have a few common interests. There is a difference.

    Jay Stevens (6ac69b)

  35. I think he’s got a point.

    She, Dustin, she.

    Dana (8ba2fb)

  36. Jay: given that the Egyptian government is one of the largest recipients of US government financial assistance, I’d call them an ally.

    Almost certainly an ally-of-convenience, or perhaps an ally-by-virtue-of-bribery, but still.

    aphrael (e0cdc9)

  37. Dana, mea culpa!

    I swear I’m not as much a misogynist as I seem!

    perhaps an ally-by-virtue-of-bribery,

    heh

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  38. This isn’t about us. This is about the Egyptian people, and their government, and their military.

    One on hand, yes. However, do you think that as it is our country providing them with not only an economy but military aid, that it is to some lesser degree, about us as well? Should we have any say in the matter?

    I always find it interesting how willing countries are to receive our gifts of aid, whether military or humanitarian, and yet never seem able or perhaps, willing to put two and two together and understand the very reasons why *we* are in the position to give monetary aid in the first place and they are in the position of relying upon our aid….

    Dana (8ba2fb)

  39. Well the US government has more than a little to do with how this Government came to be, now there was a subsequent influence of Soviet
    practices,(ie; Mubarak was trained at Frunze) but before that;

    http://books.google.com/books?id=1zxOruujp_IC&pg=PA230&lpg=PA230&dq=eichelberger/copeland&source=bl&ots=mK9nLl0EVR&sig=ITm-l7nJGQ5sgQsX9hBsu97EsSU&hl=en&ei=AnRDTYvpII-RgQfh-O3pAQ&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=5&ved=0CC0Q6AEwBA#v=onepage&q&f=false

    narciso (e888ae)

  40. Dana: understand that i’m starting from the premise that we shouldn’t be in the business of telling other country’s governments not to respect the will of their people. so, in that sense, no, we shouldn’t have a say in the matter: if the people want their government gone, we should respect that.

    but my point above, that you are quoting, was more that: what Obama says today, what Clinton says today, what Biden says today (at least in public) are irrelevant. The people of Egypt, and the Egyptian army, are going to decide this issue, and they aren’t listening to our public pronouncements. Our government’s public statements on the issue are for internal propaganda purposes, and for the historical record … and, as such, are really utterly irrelevant.

    That said, I think it’s possible that the Egyptian army and our government are talking behind the scenes, and I hope our government is leaning on them to respect the popular will, whatever it is.

    aphrael (e0cdc9)

  41. aphrael: my enthusiasm for another people’s rights to democracy and freedom is inversely related to the likelihood that they’ll use their freedoms to try to kill me… and if I can’t be sure they’re friendly, I would as soon maintain the status quo.

    And while I agree with you on most of #39, I think there’s some element of Obama trying to show the protesters that he at least somewhat is on their side.

    steve (254463)

  42. I’m not sure we share the goals of the protesters or even that the protesters have a common goal. Some protesters may genuinely want democratic reforms but others may be using these protests as a vehicle to impose an Islamic government, like Iran. I support the former but not the latter.

    DRJ (fdd243)

  43. I tell you I am shocked, shocked that the U.S. tries to protect it’s interests in the Mideast. Madison should be hanged.

    Ag80 (e03e7a)

  44. One may assert that no nation strongly influenced by Islam could ever be a liberal democracy.
    However, in Iraq and Afghanistan, we have experiments which, if we fail, prove the Muslims like them some nasty theocracies and it takes a murderous psychopath to keep them from being their potty little selves.
    I hope we succeed. There are decent people there who deserve not to be oppressed. But we may fail. Then the assertion mentioned at the opening will be supported empirically and arguments one way or another will have some real-world data.

    Richard Aubrey (59fa91)

  45. Claire Berlinski (Turkey) and Judith Levy (Israel) did a great podcast today offering their close-to-the-scene insights and observations to the unfolding events in Egypt. It’s particularly interesting of course because of their locales.

    Both see the regime behaving in desperation and without a serious belief that the United States would ever pull the plug.

    Berlinski believes that Egypt needs us more than we need them. The problem is our administration has forgotten that – as well as Mubarak himself.

    Worth the listen.

    Dana (8ba2fb)

  46. Richard – Turkey is a liberal democracy, more or less. Indonesia, in the last decade or so, as well.

    aphrael (e0cdc9)

  47. Well Aphrael, under the Welfare Party and the AKP, Turkey has become increasingly less so, and one is right to be cautious about Kifaya;

    http://bigpeace.com/cglick/2011/01/28/egypt-israel-the-pragmatic-fantasy/

    narciso (e888ae)

  48. aphrael,

    Thanks for your clarification at #39. What I am pondering is more along the lines of, if a country is being kept afloat by another country, if that providing country does not have a direct say in which form of government they should have or whether they need to do x,y, or z in a time of upheaval, is there not at least some amount of leverage to be had or wielded because of said provision? I tend to think there is, but then it’s so complicated – would that cause total chaos, civil war, etc?

    Dana (8ba2fb)

  49. Yes, Chavez brings up a good example of why Obama’s silence regarding Iran was a good idea.

    I disagree with your conclusion, obviously. Obama made it abundantly clear with his silence that he preferred to deal with the Mullahs in Iran, and to hell with the protestors. Ask yourself this one question – what would Reagan have said? Would he have meekly stood by, offering no comment whatsoever while Iranian citizens were being massacred in the streets?

    You already know the answer, and that’s precisely why you’re wrong – actions and words from the POTUS have consequences, despite what fevered speculation about the evergreen “backdoor conversations” entail. When the critical moment arrives, the President has to either put up or shut up – and this one punted on the issue entirely. Perhaps he was confused and thought he was voting “present” on it.

    BTW, citing the Chavez machinations doesn’t prove your point, because:

    – he already had the military in his pocket
    – he already had blamed the US for everything from the sun going down to his oil rigs blowing up for years at that point, so what difference does it make to put one more log on that fire?

    Dmac (498ece)

  50. Richard – Turkey is a liberal democracy, more or less. Indonesia, in the last decade or so, as well.

    Hmmm – define the term “liberal democracy” in this instance. I don’t think the Turkey of Ataruk exists at all anymore – women are threatened if they’re not covering themselves, something that never was countenanced even ten years ago.

    Dmac (498ece)

  51. I heard a little tonight from sources knowledgeable about the region, including a Coptic Orthodox priest.

    It was said there has been a lot of unrest in Jordan the last few days that has gone unreported, as well as other countries as Horatio reported at #29. It seems unclear what and how the forces are aligning in Egypt. It appears there is a significant push for democratic reforms from an authoritarian government not necessarily coupled with Islam at all, but then there are Islamist factions that will try to take advantage of the situation.

    I’m not sure how one decides to support “the will of the people”, if one can fathom it. Revolutions are notoriously poor ways to install a government that rules in accordance with the will or assent of the people. It is more the convulsion of a society that no longer accepts the status quo. Even if there seems to be a leading person or faction, often that is only an illusion or a reality that is very brief. The only exceptions I can think of is the US revolution, and “revolutions” which really are reversals of previous. The uprisings in The Ukraine and the Soviet satellites were more the undoings of revolutions imposed upon the people. Revolution in Uganda was against a dictator (Amin) who had previously usurped power, hence again a return to a previous societal structure. If the US can exert pressure to promote moderating forces that is probably a good proxy in general, but if forces from within a country can not fully control the direction of developments, it is dangerous for the US to think that it can from afar.

    IMO (however educated or uneducated about the situation) Afghanistan does not need “western-style nation building”. It can use help to rid itself of outside influences inflitrating, and a general peace strong enough for traditional self-government to flourish. In other words, it is a region that does not have a strong national identity to obey a central government. It is much more a group of regional societies that may or may not be able to work as federation or as a nation with very strong regional control, like the US where the states are much more powerful and the federal government much less the prevailing authority. I think this is part of the ‘Counter-insurgency’ strategy of Petraeus in Iraq and now Afghanistan; “community organizing” to bring self-governance, not whinning about the feds.

    If I have put forth naive and uneducated mumblings, sorry.

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  52. However, in Iraq and Afghanistan, we have experiments which, if we fail, prove the Muslims like them some nasty theocracies and it takes a murderous psychopath to keep them from being their potty little selves.
    I hope we succeed.

    The moment we agreed to allow Sharia law to be written into their Constitutions, we lost both wars, and we will fail. We should have adopted the model used after WW 2 with Japan, and imposed our will upon them. – No Sharia, separation of Islam and the State.

    Horatio (55069c)

  53. I don’t think the Turkey of Ataruk exists at all anymore – women are threatened if they’re not covering themselves, something that never was countenanced even ten years ago.

    Actually, Turkey in the 1920s/30s was a decidedly secular state that discouraged religion, but it was (at least compared to modern Turkey) an authoritarian, not very democratic state as well.

    I heard a little tonight from sources knowledgeable about the region, including a Coptic Orthodox priest.
    As a general piece of advice, keep on an eye on the Daily Dish and the other Atlantic blogs. They seem to be fairly good aggregators to keep track of what’s going on, sometimes on a minute by minute basis. For instance, here’s an account of the demonstrations in Jordan MD referred to.
    – he already had the military in his pocket
    – he already had blamed the US for everything from the sun going down to his oil rigs blowing up for years at that point, so what difference does it make to put one more log on that fire?

    You describe Chavez, but explain to me how that doesn’t equally describe the Iranian mullahs?

    kishnevi (79d43f)

  54. Can a true democratic society exist where the foundation of society is Fundamental Islamic Culture, particularly of the Salafist variety?

    AD-RtR/OS! (d31b37)

  55. Like in Iran, this revolutio is in stage one, stage two will be the dwindling middle class against the brotherhoods teeming masses of desperately poor people.

    EricPWJohnson (601e3b)

  56. That is an open question, AD, it wasn’t always so Salafi, but it has become so over the last thirty
    years or so, btw, where has the ‘good imam’ Rauf
    been hiding himself, he’s quiet as a church mouse

    narciso (e888ae)

  57. I’ve been following this closely, my wife is Egyptian Christian and we attend Coptic and Lutheran services here in LA. Thankfully most of her family is in the US now. A couple of points –

    A lot of the people protesting aren’t longing for Jeffersonian Democracy, they are longing for food. The economy in Egypt has deteriorated to the point that basic food staples like beans are getting too expensive for poor people to buy. They don’t sell eggs by the dozen any more, they sell them individually. That’s how bad its gotten. That said, its likely that the Brotherhood of God has people in the protests and are part of the protests, though we haven’t seen evidence of it.

    In terms of who runs the country, National Review had an article titled something like “Mubarak must go, but not yet”. I couldn’t agree more. There are three courses in this Feces Buffet. One is Mubarak staying in power (hopefully weakened). Another is the Muslim Brotherhood running the country, which means they will eventually attack Israel, but only after they finish killing every Christian in the country the way the Turks killed the Armenians in Turkey 100 years ago. Option three is some feckless idiot like AlBaradei running a weak government that can’t stop the Muslim Brotherhood for doing option two regardless.

    Like most crappy choices in Middle East politics, keeping Mubarak (or hopefully accelerating the transition to his son Gamal, who is at least a Westernized guy with an understanding of economics) is the best of a really bad set of choices. I’m not going to criticize Obama (yet) because we don’t know what’s going on behind the scenes and that is obviously the majority of the effort. But I’m not filled with confidence that they will act competently this time.

    Kaisersoze (c86eb0)

  58. It’s certainly a confluence of events, the food prices, the wikileaks hemorrhage, the stolen election, the corruption of the Mubarak regime, all are kindling for this raging fire

    narciso (e888ae)

  59. Narciso – very true, its a lot of things and I don’t mean to minimize the other factors. The Egyptian Government is totally corrupt and ineffective, there are plenty of reasons for the average person there to want a better government.

    Kaisersoze (c86eb0)

  60. Faith is especially appealing in lands where despots rule.

    Faith is ridiculed where people rule.

    Faith is a powerful force when all options run out. When people realize that their government can no longer feed their children nor provide for simple services and subject their people to suppression, it is only understandable they turn to their cultural supreme being for intervention. It is also understandable that they may not realize the cure may be as bad as the disease.

    There is a reason that republican democracies work with all of their faults. Culture is important, but culture also carries a heavy responsibility in being true to basic human values.

    Ag80 (e03e7a)

  61. ______________________________________

    Gibbs struggles to say nothing.

    After the case of Honduras in 2009 and the underhanded way that its former ultra-liberal president Manuel Zelaya tried to stay in power, and the way that Obama played footsies with that guy, I wouldn’t trust a damn thing out of the current White House. When it comes to good judgment, the person now in the Oval Office is almost certifiable (ie, just about retarded).

    Mark (411533)

  62. The Iraq model? Didn’t like, 48 people get killed in Baghdad today?

    The Iraq model wasn’t ‘democracy’ as we understand it — it was us paying off a bunch of local ‘notables’ — strongmen — to line up on our side. No dishonor in that, the Brits did it successfully in various 3rd world hellholes for centuries. But it ain’t democracy.

    stari_momak (d5f987)

  63. Aaron and all Patterico’s Pontifications chums, groupies, and hangers-on…

    You’re all invited over to Big Lizards, where I’m running a Mubarak Regime Dead Pool. Just leave a comment indicating:

    What specific date you’re picking for the fall of Hosni Mubarak in Egypt. (It is acceptable to say “never,” meaning he isn’t going to be ousted at all over this; but of course, as it’s a pool, only one participant gets to make that pick!)

    What will happen to Mubarak himself: arrested, executed, or escapes? Any number of people can pick the same answer in questions (2) and (3).

    What will the succeeding government look like: a democracy, Arab-style? Or an Islamist theocracy under the control of the Muslim Brotherhood and/or Egyptian Islamic Jihad?

    On what date — pool again: one date per participant, one participant per date — on what date will President Barack H. Obama claim he was responsible for the whole thing? (So far, he is only saying he has been counseling Mubarak; I mean, when will he take complete credit for the Luxor Revolution, or whatever they decide to call it?)

    The winner receives “super-ultimate bragging rights (or rites);” at least that’s what the idiot who wrote the post claims. Such a prize… who could resist?

    Dafydd

    Dafydd the Exploiter of Other People's Tragedies (632d00)

  64. It would be great if Mubarak were deposed.

    Of course, he could be replaced by an Egyptian Ayatollah Khomeni

    careful what we wish for

    Jones (72b0ed)

  65. Well Jones, you perhaps have the nail struck on the head.
    Let’s ask ourselves a question, what happened last time a sad faced, left wing, piece of lying trash, fool, named Carter, occupied the White House ?
    Yes, that’s what happened.
    Other news, Lebanon has “fallen to Hezzbollah”, Yemen was under pressure with fears of crumbling after the co-op and wikileak games brought more attention to that – a hard base of Osama’s and his cohorts for some time, less mentioned.
    Then we have even the left wing CNN bleating out here and there, the reports that the Islamists are the power money behind it all.
    Well, if it’s not them it’s OBAMA and the CIA, right ?
    Isn’t that the lying whine we have heard for decades concerning Iran from the left, the clueless wonders that they are.
    So, even though I’m fully aware the Islamists will suck up the vacuumed space, and have plenty of reason to back this whole thing 100%, meaning they are, period, I’d prefer to scream forever that Obama and his dark forces black ops secretly are running the overthrow behind the scenes, and that Obama is an international meddling imperial border crossing war criminal, instead.
    I wouldn’t want the libtards not owning that for another few decades, (as they blame Bush 41, Cheney and their dark forces O failed to get rid of… because they no doubt will)
    Yes, it’s wonderful our new Carter is on the job, isn’t it.
    BTW – for the fools who haven’t a clue – it took a LOT of our soldiers how many years to produce a “voting democracy” in Iraq… still precarious, perhaps…
    Anyone who expects the outcome of an overthrow to be a democratic voting republic akin to Iraq is a COMPLETE FOOL.
    I mean, total and absolute FOOL.
    Don’t worry, nearly all of you will fit that, won’t you.

    SiliconDoc (7ba52b)

  66. Lots of folks were excited about the fall of the Shah to mobs in 1979, too, all in the name of “democracy.”

    How’s that working out for ya so far?

    Estragon (ec6a4b)

  67. Horatio
    You may be right about Iraq and Sharia and the resulting impossibility of what we might call success.
    Which would certainly be a data point, wouldn’t it?
    We gave them all this opportunity at such a cost and their world view as expressed in Sharia took them back to the seventh century.
    A more liberal, feel-good, culturally relative view of Islam and civilization would then merely be wishful thinking, proven false.

    Richard Aubrey (59fa91)

  68. Dr. Andrew Bostom – Vox Populi in Egypt—Caliphate Dreams and Strict Sharia

    ++++++++

    A sobering reminder—based upon hard data—from an essay of mine published in April, 2007:

    In a rigorously conducted face-to-face University of Maryland/ WorldPublicOpinion.org interview survey of 1000 Egyptian Muslims conducted between December 9, 2006 and February 15, 2007, 67% of those interviewed-more than 2/3, hardly a “fringe minority”-desired this outcome (i.e., “To unify all Islamic countries into a single Islamic state or Caliphate”). The internal validity of these data about the present longing for a Caliphate is strongly suggested by a concordant result: 74% of this Muslim sample approved the proposition “To require a strict [emphasis added] application of Shari’a law in every Islamic country.”

    Horatio (55069c)

  69. HT – Debbie Schlussel

    “Anyone who knows about Islam knows that stoning is in the Koran, and that it is Islamic law. There are people who call it inhuman – but in doing so they insult the Prophet. They want to bring foreign thinking to this country.”

    Taliban spokesman on the stoning to death of a 19-year-old girl, after she ran away from an arranged marriage.

    Next up on the News at 10, we’ll hear from the Muslim Brotherhood leaders in charge of the Islamic republic of Egypt where a 14 year old…

    By all means, let’s support the “People” in their quest for freedom…

    Horatio (55069c)

  70. Islam’s Latest Contributions to Peace

    “He who fights that Islam should be superior fights in Allah’s cause” – Muhammad, prophet of Islam

    2011.01.29 (Pattani, Thailand) – A Buddhist monk and three others are injured by a Mujahideen bomb blast while collecting alms.

    2011.01.28 (Kabul, Afghanistan) – A child is among fifteen innocents slaughtered at a supermarket by a Shahid suicide bomber.

    2011.01.27 (Baghdad, Iraq) – In the aptly named Jihad neighborhood, a bomb left on a bus kills two passengers.

    2011.01.27 (Baghdad, Iraq) – Dedicated Sunni suicide bombers take down fifty Shiite mourners at a funeral.

    2011.01.27 (Khasavyurt, Dagestan) – Four people sitting at a cafe bleed out following an Islamist car bomb blast.

    2011.01.26 (Maiduguri, Nigeria) – Boko Haram extremists fire on a school, killing a guard.

    (Links to each citation at the above site.)

    Horatio (55069c)

  71. Note to Patterico – as you can see the whole subject of Islam, and what I and many others view as it’s incompatibility with Western Civilization, gets me rather worked up. I apologize if you think I’ve gone overboard on your blog.

    Horatio (55069c)

  72. #32:
    In addition to the above, Pajamas Media has this:

    In Norway, an Awakening to the Islamist Danger

    ====================================================================================================

    In addition, Wolf Howling has several excellent pieces to provide background on the Egyptian element of this topic:

    Egypt’s El Baradie Not An Option

    Egypt Update I

    A 3AM Phone Call From Egypt

    Check back with him regularly — if his coverage of the Iranian student riots in 2009 are any indication, he should likely be a good source for background info on this subject as well as a source for the latest information.

    IgotBupkis, President, United Anarchist Society (c9dcd8)

  73. Iran looks to cash in, says NYT:

    “Hopeful that the protests sweeping Arab lands may create an opening for hard-line Islamic forces, conservatives in Iran are taking deep satisfaction in the events in Tunisia, Egypt and Yemen, where secular leaders have faced large-scale uprisings.”

    Muhammad Bomb Head Pedophile Prophet cartoonist brigade to the fore! Piss be upon him.

    Mork (3a9e11)

  74. #62 and #63 Both comments mirror my concern with all of this. If Iran’s “media” (nothing more than a staterun mouthpiece for ‘Ach!MyDinnerJacket’) hails this ‘revolution’ in Egypt as good, one has to wonder.

    http://cnsnews.com/news/article/iran-sees-revolution-its-rival-egypt

    LeonidasOfSparta (c9c010)

  75. #68 Don’t sugarcoat it, Horatio, tells us how you really feel 😉

    LeonidasOfSparta (c9c010)

  76. #68 Don’t sugarcoat it, Horatio, tells us how you really feel

    If Patterico had no objections I’d really cut loose…

    Horatio (55069c)

  77. So the head of the Mukharabat, Soleiman, is now VP, and as such the real designated successor

    narciso (e888ae)

  78. Fjordman: Why Islam Must Be Expelled From The West

    In addition to the above, Pajamas Media has this:

    In Norway, an Awakening to the Islamist Danger

    ====================================================================================================

    In addition, Wolf Howling has several excellent pieces to provide background on the Egyptian element of this topic:

    Egypt’s El Baradie Not An Option

    Egypt Update I

    A 3AM Phone Call From Egypt

    Check back with him regularly — if his coverage of the Iranian riots in 2009 are any indication, he should likely be a good source for background info on this subject as well as a source for the latest information.

    IgotBupkis, President, United Anarchist Society (c9dcd8)

  79. Doh! Sorry for the duplicate post.

    IgotBupkis, President, United Anarchist Society (c9dcd8)

  80. Horatio

    cut loose, remember, no hand puppets

    EricPWJohnson (601e3b)

  81. Looters destroy mummies during Egypt protests

    … I’ve seen this “bad” movie before.

    Obama seems to be reliving everything a previous President did (or was perceived to do) wrong.

    Neo (03e5c2)

  82. I am sick of seeing “sic” spelled “sick” (sic) – I believe the correct spelling of “sicks” (sic) is “sics”, not “sicks” (sic).

    sherlock (62f2cf)

  83. Sherlock:

    Did you know that the Sics Sic Sheiks Sicth Sic Sheep’s Sic?

    😀

    IgotBupkis, President, United Anarchist Society (c9dcd8)

  84. [UPDATE BY PATTERICO: I guess we have a difference of opinion on that, as the protestors are Islamists. As I understand it, they would end the quasi-peace with Israel and allow weapons to be smuggled into Gaza. So I have to disagree with Aaron here.]

    Patterico (e4a907)

  85. Why wouldn’t the Muslim Brotherhood and other jihadists take full advantage of the opportunity presented? What or who would stop them from pouring into the country as we speak?

    Great interview with John Bolton on the situation. (Ignore the interviewer). Bolton also firmly believes Obama is way over his head in this.

    Dana (8ba2fb)

  86. (Ignore the interviewer)

    Heh

    Bolton/Ryan 2012 !!!!!!!!

    Reminds me a lot of Iran. I didn’t like the Shah, and he was replaced by a government who makes the Shah look like Thomas Jefferson.

    Dealing with bastards and impossible calls is part of Obama’s job description.

    We are getting played, just like Carter did with the Shah. We will wind up with egg on our faces, and Bush’s freedom principles in Iraq contrasted against Obama’s tepid ‘reform’ language for Egypt. That’s why Obama’s trying to take both sides of this issue. He’s voting present.

    How is the next Egyptian government going to placate the angry masses? War with Israel is my guess.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  87. Dana,

    I agree. This is not a simple situation.

    Patterico (e4a907)

  88. There’s a continuum from Nasser, to Sadat, to Mubarak and now Suleiman, the rule of the strongmen, which tends to validate the indignation
    that AQ feeds off

    narciso (e888ae)

  89. 81.Why wouldn’t the Muslim Brotherhood and other jihadists take full advantage of the opportunity presented? What or who would stop them from pouring into the country as we speak?
    Dana, this ‘uprising’ occurred on the third anniversary of the Egypt/Gaza border wall being demolished by Hamas explosives. UN estimates that 1/2 of the 1.5 million Palestinians in Gaza crossed into Egypt. How many stayed? Could the Egyptians be as inept with deporting their unwanted illegals as the U.S.?

    Great link, thanks for the interview. I’m seeing very bad things happening, “reform” doesn’t always mean what the US wants it to mean.

    TimesDisliker (0c9ce8)

  90. meanwhile in Russia they’re bravely expanding the frontiers of oil exploration

    meanwhile in America our cowardly president and his media whine that oil is too scary

    happyfeet (ab5779)

  91. Yes, it went the way of the Ixtoc spill, even faster, but remember never ‘let a crisis go to waste’

    narciso (e888ae)

  92. John Hinderaker at Powerline wrote, “Is this the beginning of the explosion of the Arab world that many have been predicting for decades? It’s only a guess, but I think it is–which is not to say that the climax will come overnight.”

    I’m not sure what explosion predictions he’s referring to – or what sort of explosion. A general rebellion against the authoritarian governments there? A Muslim rebellion to get greater control and more Sharia? (that would seem redundant)

    If some people have been expecting or predicting this sort of earthquake, it would be interesting to know why… in order to guess where this may lead. A firmer grasp of the “mood of the people” might go further than guesses about how much power the Muslim Brotherhood has.

    Of course, if the mood of the people and the ascendancy of the MB is synonymous, then that’s bad news all around, isn’t it? But who knows? Who’s even asking?

    Gesundheit (cfa313)

  93. We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights,[72] that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

    Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.

    Kevin M (298030)

  94. I predict, should Democracy becomes the norm in the Arab world, that the pundits will say that it was inevitable and that Bush’s intervention in Iraq had nothing to do with it.

    Kevin M (298030)

  95. #90:

    Piss off, you fapping commie maroon.

    Mork (431d14)

  96. I predict, should Democracy fail to take root in the Arab world, that the pundits will blame George W. Bush for spreading a bad image of it, and they’ll blame Sarah Palin for egging him on with a climate of hate.

    Gesundheit (cfa313)

  97. Palin can certainly understand what it’s like to be driven from office

    happyfeet (ab5779)

  98. I predict, should Populism become the norm in the Arab world, that the first major event will be a regionwide massacre of Christians and whatever stray Jews can be scared up, plus a run on six-year-old child brides and potable camel urine. Rasulullah commands it!

    Mork (431d14)

  99. There are other examples of falling allies like Mubarek. Not everything goes the way of the Shah (and that was largely the result of Jimmy Carter thinking he could manage Khomeini when he couldn’t manage lunch).

    Ferdinand Marcos was a much closer ally than Mubarek, in a country that had a long history as an ally. Yet, when his opponent Aquino (who had asylum in the US) flew back at a time of crisis and was murdered on landing, we dropped Marcos like a hot potato.

    I still remember watching the Brinkley show right after the Aquino murder; their guest was Ferdinand Marcos. And Brinkley, Donaldson and Will all openly called Marcos’s “lone assassin” story a lie, and asked him what he was going to do to restore US trust. Marcos said “I’ll hold a snap election!” and he then lost that to Aquino’s widow. He tried to renege but the US wasn’t buying, treating him at that point like a week-old fish.

    It wasn’t the end of the world, and the Philippines remains a US ally. In short, don’t panic and let it shake out as it will. The worst thing that we can do is prop up a dictator. If we do that then Iraq WAS a dead loss. Even Islamists would be a better outcome, although not a good one.

    Kevin M (298030)

  100. Some see this as a reason to give the Bush Administration credit for inspiring Arab democracy. I don’t know enough about Middle Eastern politics or sentiment to know if that’s true, but I wouldn’t be surprised if radical Middle East Muslims frame this as the popular response to “American meddling” and a reason to install Muslim governments and Sharia law.

    I don’t know if this argument will resonate with Egyptians but I’m worried it will appeal to the Obama Administration if Mubarak is deposed. It would be a tempting political move with dangerous foreign policy implications.

    DRJ (fdd243)

  101. The Bush administration, did some, but not enough, to turn away from the ‘carte blanche’ support of
    Arab despots, something Obama has pretty much reversed.

    narciso (e888ae)

  102. DRJ – I don’t know if it’s fair to give credit to the Bush administration, because I really don’t have a sense for how much the experience of Iraq has influenced the people on the ground in Tunisia and Egypt.

    That said, I think that it was pretty clearly the Bush administration’s intent that democracy spread through the Arab world, and that the dictatorships of the present be replaced with democracies of the future. I thus find it somewhat odd when people who supported the Iraq war express fear or concern that if Mubarak goes as the people of Egypt clearly want, the outcome might be bad, and therefore we should support Mubarak.

    I think – regardless of whether the Bush administration deserves partial credit or not – the people of an autocracy throwing off the chains of their oppressor is always a good thing. Maybe it will lead to the development of a new tyranny; maybe it won’t. But the people of Egypt, or any other country, have a moral right to make that choice for themselves.

    aphrael (9802d6)

  103. Kevin M – I must say, it’s somewhat odd to have found an issue in which you and I are (a) both arguing from an idealistic, anti-realpolitik position, and (b) in agreement with one another.

    aphrael (9802d6)

  104. Comment by aphrael — 1/29/2011 @ 1:20 pm

    And thus are begun the end of days. :)

    Scott Jacobs (d027b8)

  105. the CIA once again looks ridiculous and ineffective and surely we spend way way too much money on these losers

    how truly embarrassing this is for America to be so caught off guard and bewildered

    happyfeet (ab5779)

  106. aphrael–

    Actually in this case I think the Realpolitik answer is that Mubarek goes. He has served his purpose and his last usefulness is as object lesson.

    Yes it is risky, but Democracy always has risks. Sometimes you get a statesman, sometimes an idiot, sometimes a thief. But the alternative systems are ALL worse. The long-game win is democracy, and it seems possible right now. If not now, when?

    Kevin M (298030)

  107. Democracy ought to be reserved for people who refuse to believe that the Invisible Sky Buddy only loves people who wiggle their asses to him five times a day while facing towards a moon rock in the Magic Kingdom of Saud.

    Mork (a213f5)

  108. _____________________________________________

    Egypt’s El Baradie Not An Option

    Comment by IgotBupkis, President, United Anarchist Society — 1/29/2011 @ 7:44 am

    Your link went to an interesting overview of what Egypt may now be facing. Not sure if Egypt 2011 will be analogous to Iran 1979. But the current guy in the Oval Office — whose judgment was so reliable in Honduras’ tussle with its ultra-liberal ex-president Manuel Zelayo — sure is analogous to 1979’s Jimmy Carter.

    It’s peculiar how various liberals throughout the Western World — with their do-gooder approach to immigration of Islamic peoples/culture and belief that Israel is a big, imperialist meanie while Palestine is a sad, sympathetic underdog — are either purposefully or inadvertently furthering the establishment of Islamic ultra-rightism.

    One of the two must perceive the other as being a “useful idiot.”

    wolfhowling.blogspot.com

    The largest opposition group in Egypt is the Muslim Brotherhood. Founded by Hassan al-Banna in Egypt in 1928, its motto is:

    Allah is our objective.
    The Prophet is our leader.
    The Qur’an is our law.
    Jihad is our way.
    Dying in the way of Allah is our highest hope.

    The Muslim Brotherhood is a radical organization that differs from al Qaeda – one of its offshoots – only in tactics. Its ideology is and has always been virulently anti-Western and, more particularly, anti-American….Its goals, to achieve political dominance and create Islamic states ruled by Sharia law, have never changed.

    To gain traction amongst the populace of Egypt, the Brotherhood has followed the tactics of Hamas, developing an extensive social services network at the local level. It has made the Brotherhood extremely popular.

    In the 2005 parliamentary elections, the Brotherhood’s candidates, who can only stand as independents, won 88 seats (20% of the total) to form the largest opposition bloc, despite many violations of the electoral process, including the arrest of hundreds of Brotherhood members. Meanwhile, the legally approved opposition parties won only 14 seats. . . .

    …So in short, should the Muslim Brotherhood attain power in Egypt, one could reasonably expect that they would try to create something akin to Iran’s theocracy and that they would take an aggressive, military posture against Israel. It would be a disaster.

    Mark (411533)

  109. 13 aphrael: in this particular case, I think it’s fair to cut the administration some slack, because they face a serious problem caused by decades of bad foreign policy…

    Except that they made the situation even worse.

    Under Bush, the U.S. had a fund to support democratic reformers in Egypt. Obama cut it off. And ended on-going contacts with important opposition figures. And basically abandoned any real pressure on Mubarak for reform. Now they have no position at all.

    See The Obama Administration Wings It On Egypt at The American Spectator.

    Rich Rostrom (95afb3)

  110. It surprises me to see you call this a CIA failure, happyfeet. Given the Obama Administration’s apparent decision to unconditionally support Mubarak, what could the CIA have done to prevent these protests or any Middle East protests? Instead, the CIA should be ready to predict, analyze and respond to events like this — and we don’t know if that happened — and perhaps encourage Mubarak to name Egypt’s spy chief as the new VP. The new VP’s strong ties to the Egyptian military and his relationship with the CIA may save Egypt from becoming an Iranian-Russian satellite.

    DRJ (fdd243)

  111. Democracy ought to be reserved for people who refuse to believe that the Invisible Sky Buddy only loves people who wiggle their asses to him five times a day while facing towards a moon rock in the Magic Kingdom of Saud.

    Comment by Mork

    I strongly disagree. For one thing, I think this particularly nasty strain of Islam that is killing our people preys on human misery. Relieving as much misery in that part of the world as possible will pull the rug out from under the leaders of islamofascism.

    Things like a political process (even as clumsy as Iraq’s of Chicago’s) and the ability to have a wife and kids (something most men in polygamist societies can’t) would make a huge difference in that part of the world.

    And it’s not like the USA made it to democracy on her own. France blockaded Yorktown.

    I wish we had the power to somehow just ram democracy down the throats of every society on Earth. Not just as a matter of human rights, but also one of self preservation. Sadly that win-win is a fantasy.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  112. 80.Sherlock:Did you know that the Sics Sic Sheiks Sicth Sic Sheep’s Sic? Comment by IgotBupkis, President, United Anarchist Society — 1/29/2011 @ 9:48 am

    The same sick sheiks that shopped for six slacks in black slick sacks from Saks?

    TimesDisliker (0c9ce8)

  113. Democracy – if it means majority rule – is not healthy for non-Muslims in a Muslim country.

    Mork (a213f5)

  114. it’s certainly not a CIA win is it?… No. What is it those losers do with all the money we give them I wonder… but the point is that it’s quite evident that bumble and his whole administration were caught off guard shocked surprised and dismayed by the turn of events in Egypt… so it’s clear that lots and lots of the inept losers in our incompetent and highly expensive intelligence services dropped the ball as far as giving America’s leaders a head’s up and a menu of clear policy options and responses

    We’ve seen a deeply unimpressive performance from Team America these past few days. Way to side with child-killing tyrants you losers.

    happyfeet (ab5779)

  115. I think the real issue with the CIA is that it was serverely de – fanged by both Carter and then later on Clinton. They both changed the CIA’s MO from one of dealing with whomever is the enemy of their enemy and instead going with some kind of quasi – upstanding morals and unicorns folks. Unrealistic, and the results have proven that out. Remember when Bush tried to get rid of all the dead wood at both State and the CIA? They leaked the crap out of him, so he had to reluctantly back off. They’re both firmly entrenched places, and our current POTUS will never attempt to restaff them.

    Dmac (498ece)

  116. that sounds about right Mr. Dmac

    happyfeet (ab5779)

  117. The CIA could do little to prevent these riots ( and there is a report out of the UK that we were funding some of the protest organizers … ).

    However, the CIA has never successfully warned us of these kinds of events in the past.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  118. Ah. The CIA can get a Middle Eastern country (that currently is not a problem for the US)to riot and civil order implode, but can’t do the same thing for Iran, Syria, N. Korea, Venezuela, Cuba, or any other country that hates US. I only hope to God the CIA doesn’t get interested in Mexico.

    TimesDisliker (0c9ce8)

  119. … as far as giving America’s leaders a head’s up and a menu of clear policy options and responses

    At this point, we don’t know if the CIA provided the Obama Administration with accurate analyses regarding Egypt, but it’s the Administration’s job to set policy and any response. Furthermore, if the CIA was involved in these protests, it was at the Obama Administration’s behest.

    DRJ (fdd243)

  120. at the very least I think it’s fair to say that we can and should expect better for our tax monies than the dismal performance of America’s ruling apparatus thus far

    happyfeet (ab5779)

  121. that we can and should expect better for our tax monies

    Alternatively, we should expect less, and perhaps keep that in mind when funding the government for anything.

    That’s not to say we shouldn’t have a well funded intelligence and military setup, but they can’t do as much as our leaders might want us to think they can. the government is never going to be able to do most things very well.

    If the CIA is involved in these protests, I hope to hell there are good oversight hearings. This doesn’t seem like a situation with much upside.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  122. I doubt the CIA was involved in fomenting the protests. That would be an enormous effort for people who mostly spend their days watching gay porn and eating twizzlers.

    But they shoulda had a menu of clear and strategic responses at hand for Obama, and it looks likely that they either dropped the ball on that or were unable to communicate the urgency of the matter effectively to our silly little president man.

    happyfeet (ab5779)

  123. DRJ

    The Muslim brotherhood only source of power has been its food distribution program. They have been the only party to ris prison to actually run for office.

    Assumptions that a north Pakistanian stone throwing restrictive Talabanic culture would be instaled anytime a revolution happens in the Arab World (which Eqypt is not actively a part of)are problematic. Egypt is educated, hard working but without any natural resources – therein has always been the problem.

    Also, I’m not naive enough to believe that the Palestinians are not currently smuggling in weapons in the quantities that they desire under Mubarek – and that there is going to be a change with a regime change – in the Arab world there is a saying – when the leaders change – so does the price

    EricPWJohnson (601e3b)

  124. For the most part, I agree with happyfeet’s 123. For the most part.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  125. Dustin,

    The Arab oil states, the Chinese, and the Indians have the most to lose if the MB decides to destroy the canal, which is a very real possibility

    EricPWJohnson (601e3b)

  126. That would be a disaster for a lot of people. It wouldn’t make anyone’s life any better, EPWJ.

    Of course, you can’t reason like that with the MB.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  127. Dustin

    Yep but they blame the canal for keeping foreign influence in their politics and dictators in power

    Plus they will receive 100’s of billions in aide from the Chinese to rebuild it and then the Chinese will have more influence in Africa as that is their long term strategic objective

    To in the twited logic of the ‘Hood – they solidify their power with the people by destroying s symbol of western hegemony and then rebuild it with the aide of a godless state and give a period of a decade or two of relative prosperity to the region

    EricPWJohnson (601e3b)

  128. See the Libyians and the Sudanese absorbed ito the New Egypt in the next decade as well

    Jordan and Syria are also about to fall ad will probably combine

    EricPWJohnson (601e3b)

  129. Jordan and Syria combine? That’s pretty unlikely.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  130. SPQR

    Jordan’s a fake country with a large percentage of Syrians making up its business class, Palestinians are also predominate there as well, absorbed into the culture

    The Business class wants democracy, both dictators have been seen as weak and beholden to outsiders.

    The restrictions on trade and investment greatly reduce the availablity for merchants to make more money and since the merchant class in these countries employ the vast majority of the population, its inda similar to the French revolution – no clear spokesperson but a large unhappy class dependent on a type of elitet class – which is not the government

    EricPWJohnson (601e3b)

  131. Eric:

    Assumptions that a north Pakistanian stone throwing restrictive Talabanic culture would be instaled anytime a revolution happens in the Arab World (which Eqypt is not actively a part of)are problematic. Egypt is educated, hard working but without any natural resources – therein has always been the problem.

    How sure are you that Egyptians aren’t radical or willing to be radicalized?

    But what do Egyptians really think? According to a recent Pew poll, they are extremely radical even in comparison to Jordan or Lebanon. When asked whether they preferred “Islamists” or “modernizers,” the score was 59% to 27% in favor of the Islamists. In addition, 20 percent said they liked al-Qaeda; 30 percent, Hezbollah; 49 percent, Hamas. And this was at a time that their government daily propagandized against these groups.

    How about religious views? Egyptian Muslims said the following: 82 percent want adulterers punished with stoning; 77 percent want robbers to be whipped and have their hands amputated; 84 percent favor the death penalty for any Muslim who changes his religion.

    Please feel free to rebut this, but I need more than your opinion.

    DRJ (fdd243)

  132. happyfeet:

    I doubt the CIA was involved in fomenting the protests. That would be an enormous effort for people who mostly spend their days watching gay porn and eating twizzlers.

    That’s cruel, and it says more about you than it does the CIA.

    DRJ (fdd243)

  133. I spent time today reading Egyptian human rights activist and founder of Arabs for Israel, Nonie Darwish, and found it very interesting to note that a women’s movement was able to proceed in Egypt around 1920, due to several specific reasons, the last mentioned being very interesting in light of today’s Egypt:

    The most important reason the movement could occur was because of the presence of the British. They kept the peace and protected rights of minorities and maintained equal rights between genders.

    Also, the Egyptian king was not an extremists but rather a moderate who wanted to see modernity in Egypt as well as a more Westernized Egypt.

    And finally and most telling, the Muslim Brotherhood was not yet in existence.

    The movement ended in the early 50’s because what was mentioned above changed and was no longer so.

    Dana (8ba2fb)

  134. Seeing as the Hashemites were once the custodians of Mecca and Medina, stranger things could happen,
    but unlikely, Syrians and Jordanians don’t even really have the same tribal ties, the Muslim Bros
    have the mosques and the madrassas as their source of influence.

    As for the CIA, do you really need to remind me of their shortcomings, considering where I come from, there are certainly people who rise to the top ranks like Riedel, who thinks the MB should be part of the government, and Brennan, who thinks
    the same of Hezbollah, and refers to Al Quds rather than Jerusalem, but I’m sure there are plenty of hardworking men and woman, in the field

    narciso (e888ae)

  135. __________________________________

    How sure are you that Egyptians aren’t radical or willing to be radicalized?

    That’s quite an eye opener and very important to be aware of.

    So while there is an abundance of nonsensical, vindictive leftist sentiment in the Western World, there is too much of the opposite (ie, primitive, vindictive rightist sentiment) in the Middle East.

    Meanwhile, Israel is trapped in the middle, to be exploited by various forces in both the industrialized world and Middle East. An unholy alliance of Islamo-fascists, Euro-fascists, greedy amoralists and ivory-tower liberal intellectuals.

    Not sure if this is a story that will — or can — end well.

    Mark (411533)

  136. To be fair, Mark, “Euro-fascists” and “ivory-tower liberal intellectuals” are the pretty much the same thing…

    Scott Jacobs (d027b8)

  137. when I think CIA I think of that Pflame hoochie and all her many many CIA pals what tried to sabotage America’s efforts in Iraq.

    And then people tried to reform that sad little organization and what happened? Not 6 months later the gay CIA mafia had reasserted control.

    The CIA is corrupt and useless and very very expensive, and America’s utter unpreparedness for political instability in Egypt is a testament to that I think.

    happyfeet (ab5779)

  138. The MB began under Hassan Al Banna in 1928, but really didn’t get underway till the post war
    era, notably with the conflict between Al Banna
    and Nagrashi Pasha (sic) both who were assasinated
    in 1948, it really grew again under Said Ramadan,
    who established contacts with the US Govt, (yes the father of Tariq) and Syed Qutb

    narciso (e888ae)

  139. Yes, the folks who back stabbed Porter, Sulick and Kappes, were rewarded with chief of operations, and
    deputy director, the last eventually reached his peter principle, and was dismissed after the FUBAR
    on the Pakistani border,

    narciso (e888ae)

  140. happyfeet,

    There are legitimate reasons to be concerned about the CIA’s ability to run operations and analyze what’s happening in the world. You’re clever, funny, and I like your comments but I submit you undercut your message if you take the riposte too far.

    DRJ (fdd243)

  141. Patterico, where do you get that “the protesters are Islamists”? I see lots of reports that the protesters are students and other young people totally pissed off about there being no jobs in Mubarek’s klepto-state. Are you sources better than the folks who claimed that the Tea Party was all just a bunch of racists?

    ElBaradei would not have gone back if he thought it was about establishing Sharia and killing the Infidels. I have to assume he has better sources that we do.

    Kevin M (298030)

  142. Well Kifaya ‘Enough’ in Arabic, is a hodgepodge of everyone from classical liberals, to Islamist, and everyone in between. Most likely though, for reasons elaborated earlier, the MB would likely fill the vaccuum, but it is unfair to brand them all as Islamists

    narciso (e888ae)

  143. well let’s leave it for now and keep an eye on it

    I’m inclined to think this smack of intelligence failure, but maybe I’ll defer to the more smarter people after they weigh in, them being smarter and all.

    happyfeet (ab5779)

  144. twizzlers?

    those are cost effective if you get them at costco.

    I hear Joe Wilson went through cases of them while he was searching for poundcake and dodging Bush operatives in Niger

    SteveG (cc5dc9)

  145. oh. I mean like the pundits and intelligence experts on the tv and such.

    happyfeet (ab5779)

  146. DRJ

    Egyptians are the most Western of All the Arab countries, they have the largest european communities, they have strong western ties, I’m not talking about the government I’m talking about the people.

    In extreme poverty, you are correct, any msg can take hold. but I doubt it will be radical islam, he avg Egyptian is suspicious of religion and women are the majority of the intellectuals in the country and are by far the most educated.

    The reforms are that people want democracy they see it on cable TV they see the western culture and life and demand equal rights. This is starting everywhere, in Qatar, Yemen, Oman, Abu Dhabi, Kuwait, people just dont accept dictators and ruling families anymore.

    And as far as women’s rights – every country has a deficit, much more so in the Arab world, India and China, but we still have very few Women leaders in our government considering they are 51% of the population.

    EricPWJohnson (601e3b)

  147. happyfeet,

    Here’s a look at decision-marking at times like this. Nevertheless, I understand you’re dismissing me and it’s good timing since my departure is long past due.

    Eric,

    Still pontificating, I see.

    DRJ (fdd243)

  148. DRJ, indeed at the moment there are appear to be few good directions for the Obama admin to go, but they appear to be going down one of the worst.

    And I don’t know why you would not find absoluting compelling EPWJ’s argument that since we don’t have women as 51% of our government leaders we shouldn’t condemn Egyptian treatment of women …

    SPQR (26be8b)

  149. not dismissing just I was annoying you and I wanted to stop

    happyfeet (ab5779)

  150. i don’t do that for just anybody you know

    happyfeet (ab5779)

  151. Also a note, Iran would probably score extremely high on that Pew research poll. However for so radicalized a country supposedly, it’s internal security budget and forces eclipse their Army. Find that interesting.

    EricPWJohnson (601e3b)

  152. SPQR

    I was agreeing with her on many points

    EricPWJohnson (601e3b)

  153. DRJ

    Likewise I see, Pajama media is a much quoted resource in the top foreign service academies around the world :)

    EricPWJohnson (601e3b)

  154. And here I was rooting for you to post four comments in a row, EPWJ.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  155. #152 speaking of internal security, what has become of Obama’s visionary idea of civilian brown shirts agency? Could he just create new department through executive order? I wonder how all those religious zealots/rifle-toting miscreants in red country will take to that? I guess I’ll never understand liberals and their penchant for idolizing Obama.

    Calypso Louie Farrakhan (798aba)

  156. Could he just create new department through executive order?

    His agenda is dead now, for the most part. Such a department can’t get funding without the GOP saying OK. I suppose I underestimate the guy who circumvented Senate approval by going nuts naming czars.

    I don’t know why he even made that promise. It’s disturbing, and it’s not like the left was clamoring for a domestic force ‘equal in power to the US Military’ (or however he put it).

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  157. You gotta love Obama. He said he told Mubarak to get his act together so hey, he was on top of it all along.

    Well, if you were so great, how come nothing came out of your sage advice.

    Idiot.

    Arizona Bob (e8af2b)

  158. By the end of the 1990s, the Muslim Brotherhood and terrorist groups no longer posed an existential threat to the Egyptian and Jordanian regimes, since there was little chance of their seizing the government in the foreseeable future. Although they might succeed in toppling a head of state, it is unlikely that they would be able to establish an Islamic regime. At the same time, both regimes acknowledged that it was beyond their power to eradicate Islamic radicalism, and recognized that they would have to face its challenge for many years to come.

    -Nachman Tal

    Dr. Nachman Tal Research Fellow, Jaffee Center for Strategic Studies, Tel Aviv University. Served in the Israeli Security Agency (Shin Bet) for forty years in positions related to Arab affairs, including Head of the Gaza Strip and Sinai Area and Head of Arab Affairs Division. Participated in the Madrid Conference, and was a member of the Israeli delegations to the peace negotiations with the Palestinians and with Jordan. Author of Islamic Fundamentalism: The case of Egypt and Jordan and co-author of Hamas: Radical Islam in a National Struggle. Received a Ph.D. from the Land of Israel Studies Department, University of Haifa

    EricPWJohnson (601e3b)

  159. Or we could listen to….

    Pajamas media…

    EricPWJohnson (601e3b)

  160. SPQR

    I would have but I had to drive to the store to get milk :)

    EricPWJohnson (601e3b)

  161. How’s that “no longer a threat” looking today? Not that prescient.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  162. Michael Ladeen quotes his grandmother, who said, “Things are never so bad that they can’t get worse.”

    http://pajamasmedia.com/michaelledeen/2011/01/28/revolution-by-whom-for-what/

    Revolutions are like volcanoes, the forces under the surface suddenly explode with little warning and are largely uncontrollable. Sometimes you can get out of the way and be safe, and once it is over things are very different.

    Some take encouragement from Tunisia, some take encouragement from the uprisings in Iran, all people who want freedom instead of totalitarian rule. There are those who are organized who want an Islamic state, who may get help from Iran and others.

    Aphrael, I know you consider yourself an idealist and hope that the events in Egypt turn out that “the people of Egypt get what they decide” without the interference of the US, for one. At times there may be the establishment of a new government that is popular with the majority of the population, such as Corazon Aquino in the Philippines, but once violence in the streets is widespread, who can predict what will shake out of it?

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  163. This dispatch suggests that Cameron, Merkel and Sarkozy today took an approach very similar to Obama’s. Mubarak is hearing pretty much the same thing from the Americans, British, Germans and French.

    Angeleno (91c113)

  164. Some followup notes, my wife’s brother has been talking to relatives in Egypt and said that most people there are basically trapped in their homes. People tend to shop for groceries daily and all the shops have been closed for five days. Most people have locked themselves inside their apartment buildings and most of the food stores have been broken into and looted. The police have essentially disappeared and most city blocks are now “guarded” by young men who stand outside with sticks to discourage looters, which isn’t exactly comforting when you have roving gangs of armed thugs in these cities.

    IMO this is consistent with the idea that Mubarak is letting a certain amount of anarchy happen (if not instigating it) to put the average person in the position of either wanting the Military to step in to stop this or to at least acquiesce when they do. What the Egyptian Military does (or does not do) in the next 2 or 3 days will determine the outcome of all this IMO, I keep hoping all this will burn itself out but I really don’t see that happening.

    Kaisersoze (c86eb0)

  165. ________________________________________

    Egyptians are the most Western of All the Arab countries, they have the largest european communities, they have strong western ties, I’m not talking about the government I’m talking about the people.

    In some cases the people of a society are better than their government. In other instances it’s the other way around. And sometimes it’s 50/50.

    In the case of Egypt?

    When DRJ posted the following feedback from an opinion poll, I don’t know how you or anyone can express much confidence in a good percentage of the populace of Egypt.

    But what do Egyptians really think? According to a recent Pew poll, they are extremely radical even in comparison to Jordan or Lebanon. When asked whether they preferred “Islamists” or “modernizers,” the score was 59% to 27% in favor of the Islamists. In addition, 20 percent said they liked al-Qaeda; 30 percent, Hezbollah; 49 percent, Hamas. And this was at a time that their government daily propagandized against these groups.

    Egypt and its president may be like an extreme version of inner-city America. In the role of “city hall” is Hosni Mubarak and his cronies. They’re entrenched, comfortable, sassy, prone to corruption and always clinging to power. But city hall doesn’t look as bad as it really is ONLY because the people it presides over are severely lacking in common sense and prone to idiotic ideological fervor. Such a place, therefore, is always one step away from total dysfunction, including various forms of self-destructive idiocy—eg, sloppy leftism or weird Islamo rightism.

    Mark (411533)

  166. Have you read Al Aswaany’s ‘Yacoubian Building’, it is set back in the early 90s, but it describes the stultifying corruption of the NDP, who’s headquarters was burned down the other day,

    narciso (e888ae)

  167. EPWJ is correct on one point – the people of Egypt are literally starving, and when famine’s afoot anything can happen.

    ElBaradei would not have gone back if he thought it was about establishing Sharia and killing the Infidels

    If the West is counting on this doofus to take over, then Egypt is toast. He completely lost any and all credibility with his insidious kowtowing to Iran’s mullahs during his inept and corrupt “inspections” of their nuke facilities. If this guy is the alleged face of the reformers in Egypt, game over.

    Dmac (498ece)

  168. Some very dramatic pictures of events in Cairo from the LAT’s Carolyn Cole.

    Angeleno (91c113)

  169. Bad link, somehow. Sorry. Patterico, suggest deleting.

    Angeleno (91c113)

  170. Spelling correction: the second link provided (“Egypt sics the military on its citizens”) should be “sics”, not “sicks”.

    Milhouse (ea66e3)

  171. This would be funny if it weren’t so dangerous:
    http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/news/141165-carter-egyptian-president-will-have-to-leave?sms_ss=facebook&at_xt=4d4722757eb2f254%2C0

    Jimmy Carter whose ineptitude brought us “Ach!MyDinnerJacket” by ousting the Shah, now tells us “Mubarak has to go”. No, Jimmy, YOU have to go. Go away.

    LeonidasOfSparta (c9c010)

  172. happyfeet:

    the CIA once again looks ridiculous and ineffective and surely we spend way way too much money on these losers

    how truly embarrassing this is for America to be so caught off guard and bewildered

    From a Washington Post article on today’s Congressional hearing, it looks like Senator Feinstein agrees with you:

    Senior U.S. lawmakers questioned Thursday whether the CIA and other spy agencies failed to give President Obama adequate warning of the unfolding crisis in Egypt, using a Senate hearing to accuse American intelligence services of being slow to grasp a revolution that took root on the Internet.

    Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), chairman of the Intelligence Committee, said after the hearing that the intelligence community’s performance had been “lacking” despite the stakes surrounding a protest that threatens to “create a major maelstrom in the Middle East.”

    On the other hand, the article includes this response from the CIA:

    A senior CIA official testifying at the hearing defended the intelligence community’s performance, saying that the nation’s spy services had warned the Obama administration late last year that Egypt’s government could fall.

    “We warned of instability,” said Stephanie O’Sullivan, who has been nominated to become the nation’s No. 2 intelligence official. The hearing was on her nomination to be principal deputy director of the Office of Director of National Intelligence. But, she added, “we didn’t know what the triggering mechanism would be.”

    The CIA has analysts, not psychics, and it sounds like they provided reliable analysis. Nevertheless, I’d like to know how prominent the CIA warnings were and what the Obama Administration did in response.

    DRJ (fdd243)

  173. It’s almost inevitably true, specially in this administration, that there was plenty of information about a certain outcome, yet for one
    reason or another, they never act upon that information

    narciso (e888ae)

  174. I’m curious too – I saw the “intelligence failure” meme pop up in a couple three places today but I figured it was too early to see where it was gonna go

    surely there will be hearings, no? maybe?

    happyfeet (ab5779)

  175. There may be more hearings but there has already been one hearing — today — and it included testimony from a CIA official that the Administration was warned Egypt might fall late last year.

    DRJ (fdd243)

  176. It’s not like foreign relations have been a strong point of this administration. Even with notice, odds are they would either not been able to decide on a timely response or fumbled it.

    daleyrocks (479a30)

  177. oh, Got it. We’ll see I guess. It sure wasn’t an intelligence coup as these things go I wouldn’t guess.

    happyfeet (ab5779)

  178. I heard Egyptians were rioting because they wanted Palin to be their new dictator.

    a-nobody (df26a8)

  179. Well it’s not terribly reassuring that the chief of operations, was one who let an embassy we had i n Belgrade, be compromised during the Kosovo camopaign, ‘fish rots from the head’

    narciso (e888ae)

  180. It seems to be another example of President Obama instinctively doing the opposite of what should be done. He talks about how the US should not get involved in the affairs of other countries and keeps his advice when it comes to Iran and China, but not when it is Honduras or Egypt. It seemed things were incredibly peaceful for demonstrations in the 100,000’s for a new government and he could have kept his mouth shut if he wanted to stay true to form his word, but no, he stayed true to form.

    Anybody the US openly supports for a new government will be shunned by many automatically, but not so much so that we can advocate for the Muslim Brotherhood to take over and keep them out of the running. He could have supported democratic reform without telling Mubarek to leave ASAP, he could have supported democratic reform and applauded the peaceful persistant example of the demonstrators.

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  181. I heard a-nobody buggers syphlitic goats.

    JD (d56362)

  182. One recalls, that Carter sent General Huyser to Tehran, to tell the Shah’s people to stand down, to do the opposite of what Suleiman is doing,

    narciso (e888ae)

  183. Do they speak Austrian in Egypt?

    daleyrocks (479a30)


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