January 29, 2011

"The American government secretly backed leading figures behind the Egyptian uprising who have been planning 'regime change' for the past three years."

Reports the UK Telegraph, looking at a WikiLeaked document:
In a secret diplomatic dispatch, sent on December 30 2008, Margaret Scobey, the US Ambassador to Cairo, recorded that opposition groups had allegedly drawn up secret plans for “regime change” to take place before elections, scheduled for September this year...
Ambassador Scobey questioned whether such an “unrealistic” plot could work, or ever even existed. However, the documents showed that the activist had been approached by US diplomats and received extensive support for his pro-democracy campaign from officials in Washington. The embassy helped the campaigner attend a “summit” for youth activists in New York, which was organised by the US State Department.
That's 2008 — pre-Obama. And here's Elliott Abrams in the Washington Post: "Egypt protests show George W. Bush was right about freedom in the Arab world."
[The developments in Egypt, Tunisia, and Yemen] seem to come as a surprise to the Obama administration, which dismissed Bush's "freedom agenda" as overly ideological and meant essentially to defend the invasion of Iraq. But as Bush's support for the Cedar Revolution in Lebanon and for a democratic Palestinian state showed, he was defending self-government, not the use of force. Consider what Bush said in that 2003 speech, which marked the 20th anniversary of the National Endowment for Democracy, an institution established by President Ronald Reagan precisely to support the expansion of freedom.

"Sixty years of Western nations excusing and accommodating the lack of freedom in the Middle East did nothing to make us safe - because in the long run, stability cannot be purchased at the expense of liberty," Bush said. "As long as the Middle East remains a place where freedom does not flourish, it will remain a place of stagnation, resentment and violence ready for export."

54 comments:

prairie wind said...

I miss Bush. I'll bet the people of Egypt, Tunisia, and Yemen will, too.

HT said...

Revolution under Bush = good

Revolution under Obama = bad

Got it.

Thanks for the update.

William T. Sherman said...

Ah, this should get the BDS crowd up and about on a Saturday morning.

You think Obama really *cares* about freedom and democracy in Egypt? Or is he just weighing the pros and cons of how such a revolution would impact his status and reelection?

Crimso said...

And The Telegraph won't name the ringleader of this conspiracy because he has already been arrested. They're assuming the Egyptian authorities don't know of his connection to the U.S. The Egyptians aren't idiots anymore than any other group of people could be fairly said to be (conservatives are assumed by many to be exceptions to the rule), I think it likely that they acted on Assange's information. Got another scalp there, Julian! Nice work! What a way to stick it to The Man! WikiLeaks' motto: "Got a dissident problem? We can help you solve it!"

Crimso said...

And remember: it's Sarah Palin and Rush Limbaugh who are getting people killed.

Leo Ladenson said...

Like other revolutions in the Middle East--e.g., Algeria, Libya, and Iran--this will not end well.

But in this case we have an openly homosexual American soldier to thank. Now with the repeal of DADT, they'll really be able to set the world on fire.

ironrailsironweights said...

If these events were happening ten years ago you wouldn't see all this gloom and doom in America. Today, however, everyone's a panty piddling paranoid schizophrenic living in complete dread of Islam - they're going to Conquer the World! - and we're utterly incapable of logical thought whenever the Middle East is involved.

The United States of America in 2011: 300 million sniveling cowards.

Peter

Quayle said...

The White House releases a statement saying that "as we monitor the situation in Egypt, we urge all parties to refrain from using violence...."

In other words Francis Fox Piven's vision of what is good for Greek and American citizens isn't good for Egyptian citizens, according to the White House.

Another example of the hypocrisy of the American left.

Lucien said...

One can see how tolerating repressive governments in Arab countries is the real politik version of the soft bigotry of lowered expectations.

It also contrasts the idealism concerning democracy that was part of the neoconservative movement with the more pragmatic approach taken by many mainline Democrats.

franglo said...

I was hoping this blog would provide some idea of how the right was going to both 1)take credit for all the good things in the world and 2)blame the left for all the bad things in the world, got it, thanks.

For once, it's not about us, for shit's sake. Can something not be about the US? Can you get your politics and your ego out of it and leave the moment to the brave young people?

dbp said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
dbp said...

Ah, the new lefty trope: Write something untrue, followed by "Got it."

wv: icastrat -- new Apple app for angry feminists.

Crimso said...

"Can something not be about the US?"

My idea for making gnocchi from sweet potatoes?

Speaking of "about the US," let's toss out some possibilities here about Assange.

1) He's antiwar, and that's his motivation. Okay, where are the leaks from the Taliban? Or am I to believe they are the first ever airtight organization? Even the Greatest Secret Ever Kept (the Manhattan Project), wasn't (Klaus Fuchs). And what did the leak about the Egyptian have to do with the wars? I discount this possibility.

2) He doesn't believe governments should keep any secrets. So why didn't he leak the tweets from the Icelandic MP unless he has no principles? How about some juicy tidbits about Russia? He's probably afraid to do that, since he'll wind up eating a bowl of soup laced with some exotic isotope. So maybe he does really have principles, but abandons them when it suits his purposes. I'll leave possibility #2 in play, though if it is the case, it doesn't reflect well on someone who is supposedly a hero.

3) He's hoping the enemies of the U.S. win. Occam's Razor.

Other possibilities? And I don't consider this a threadjack, Althouse, since one of the leaders of the unrest just might die because of Assange. But if you delete this because it'll throw things too far off, I'll understand. I also must go for the rest of the day, so if I get any responses it might look like I've run away. That's because I have.

edutcher said...

That headline is not good to see.

Takes me back to Jimmy Carter and his role in toppling American allies of whom he didn't approve - Somoza, the Shah, and Ferdinand Marcos.

That worked out so well.

Looks like all those Zero-Bucketmouth comparisons are about to take on vast new dimensions.

Roger J. said...

It will be fascinating to see how all this plays out--I happen to believe that the the bush administration may have missed its major window of opportunity after overthrowing Sadam--given the neocons in the bush white house, it seems plausible that these sub rosa operations might take place. That said, I simply do not know what the outcome on this upheaval may be. I have no confidence that arab states "yearn for democracy." But time will tell.

I would be curious as to what the other key arab state is doing--I suspect the saudis have their gutrahs in a twist and looking very nervously at events in Egypt.

Finally it remains to be seen how the Obama administration handles this--I am thinking not well, but we shall see. Here's my rationale: if in fact we were supporting regime change sub rosa, we should have been prepared to take a position early in the onset of demonstrations--but, that implies more strategic planning capability than I am willing to give this administration credit for.

We can deploy our ultimate WMD: Ms Clinton in her orange pants suit.

AllenS said...

When this finally ends, there will be no democracy in Egypt.

Quayle said...

For once, it's not about us.... Can something not be about the US? Can you get your politics and your ego out of it and leave the moment to the brave young people?

It isn't ego to ask what one should have done, and what one should do.

The young people have to now be brave because for decades America has sided with stability rather than freedom - administrations of both political parties have - and now we're seeing a people tired of waiting for the change we, in large part, helped forestall.

It is not ego to ask what we should be doing.

And as for the "leaving the moment to the brave young people": what is this in Egypt, performance art?

Roger J. said...

I think AlanS is on the money--Taliban west I believe is the most likely outcome.

Rialby said...

"When this finally ends, there will be no democracy in Egypt."

I fear you are correct. Liberal Democrats will not defeat angry Islamists. That's what is at stake here.

AllenS said...

Why you ask? Because Islam is, and has been, on the march, and they are winning.

madAsHell said...

In the future....All failures of government will be blamed on WikiLeaks.

Another tool clouding the distinction between conspiracy and stupidity.

From the Outer Limits "It's a cookbook!!"

madAsHell said...

there will be no democracy in Egypt.

Doesn't that presume that there is a democracy in Egypt?

I don't see that much difference between Mubarak, and Saddam Hussein, except Hussein kept kicking sand in our face.

I'm sure that Mubarak has held elections, and 98% of the people voted for him. Of course, the useful idiot Jimmy Carter was there, and validated the elections.

William said...

If Mubarak survives, his despotic regime will exist because of American support. If the revolution takes power and then, as nearly all revolutions do, goes sour, this also will be because of American support for the dissidents.....Can someone posit a theory where Egyptians are responsible for their fate, and Americans are, at best, bit players in the drama that is unfolding. Egypt has existed for thousand of years without American involvement and without ever being for the common man a particularly happy place to live.

PaulV said...

Via Instapundit: Condi Rice in 2005
video at American University in Cairo:

http://www.verumserum.com/?p=20976

WV: glish Obama has made a glish of it.

edutcher said...

AllenS said...

When this finally ends, there will be no democracy in Egypt.

Why would you think this Administration cares anything about democracy anywhere?

It certainly doesn't care about democracy (or what we really are, which is a federal republic) here.

It doesn't fit in with the Chicago Way.

PS franglo didn't stop by the geopolitics desk when he was picking up his talking points at Kos before he came here. He doesn't realize that Egypt is one of the crossroads of the world and, as such, is a strategic and economic chokepoint.

The crazies taking power there (it is the home of Ayman Al-Zawahiri, after all) would be a very bad thing for the world.

E.M. Davis said...

Salon tweet: Egypt upshot? Most conservatives are "islamofearists"

So Salon would be looking forward to a Hamas-esque government in Egypt because it would make conservatives squirm?

Do they give a shit about Egyptians?

AllenS said...

madAsHell said...
"there will be no democracy in Egypt." -- my quote

Doesn't that presume that there is a democracy in Egypt?

No, and nothing I said should indicate that.

edutcher said...
"When this finally ends, there will be no democracy in Egypt." -- my quote.

Why would you think this Administration cares anything about democracy anywhere?

I said nothing about this administration. Only the facts as I see them.

Roger J. said...

William asks some good questions--and my position would be that the US is not going to be able to influence events in Egypt.

That said--Egypts role in the mid east: astride the suez canal, not an overt Israel enemy, large population, all of which suggests to me that from a real politik standpoint the US has an interest in maintaining a stable Egyptian state--granted our options are limited but a stable egypt seems to me to be the best the US can hope for; should Egypt become a terrorist haven their proximity to
Europe and the Med augur ill. --I would suggest the chances of seeing a stable Egypt emerge in the next two years are at this point are about 3 in 10.

edutcher said...

E.M. Davis said...

Salon tweet: Egypt upshot? Most conservatives are "islamofearists"

So Salon would be looking forward to a Hamas-esque government in Egypt because it would make conservatives squirm?

Do they give a shit about Egyptians?


Or Americans? There are quite a few over there right now.

traditionalguy said...

Blame Natan Sharanski whose book was read by the illiterate W. and then put into action every chance the doofus W got to do it. If you haven't read that book, then you are behind W in the learning curve. A tyranny will always fails for fear of the people at the time for succession. For example, in Egypt a Mercedes S-500 costs a million dollars. The few super wealth are given the contracts. That is the fascist way that Obama obviously plans to make our way of life in the USA, unless a Jacksonian straight shooter says WTF loud enough and soon enough. Sorry Karl Rove, we cannot wait on Jeb Bush to take his anointed turn 6 years from now.

Roger J. said...

Trad Guy--I am sorry but I could not make heads nor tails of your post--really

can you provide the cliff notes version for this poor knave?

thanks (and really, no snark intended--your post was at least to me incoherent)

HT said...

Me too. I was wondering if someone hijacked his username.

Trooper York said...

That is not how traditionalguy traditonally talks.

Somethings up.

Please advise?

edutcher said...

I think Troop may be on to something. Every once in a while, somebody here says something totally out of character and the possibility of an ID being hijacked rears its ugly head.

HT said...

cept that wasn't troop.

The Crack Emcee said...

Come on, Tg, mention Jesus so they know it's you! (kidding)

I see this as Bush's victory, once again, over the naysayers (who are still saying nay) claiming people don't want freedom and democracy because they hate us, or love Islam, too much. Everyone, almost, laughed or pooh-poohed his "what a leader does" talk, leaving him out there all alone - where a real leader, bravely, has to be - plotting a future of (real) hope for billions.

I sincerely think those who stood against this great man when he needed you have been (and in some cases still are) the true problem in the world. You don't recognize greatness - and even slam anyone attempting to get there as exhibiting "false masculinity" or some other crap - and are so without ethics you don't even admit it when it's discovered you're wrong.

But you're wrong.

The Middle East will be democratic. And Bush's head will be on Mount Rushmore - right along with all the under misunderstood and underestimated giants this country has chosen to lead - but who actually took up the mantle.

If I'm wrong, we'll know soon enough, and I'll admit it. But, Jesus Christ, for once can those poor bastards over there hear that it's true - that the American people are rooting for them - and not resigning ourselves to the Muslim Brotherhood?

It would probably do a lot of good.

traditionalguy said...

Sorry Trooper ...That comment was my poor attempt at snark. My saying W was an illiterate doofus was an attempt to make fun of the Media's agreed storyline. Reading The Case for Democracy is a deep intellectual pursuit. It will only attracts those interested in Freedom. Also Sharanky's Defending Identity is well worth the reading.

The Crack Emcee said...

Tg,

Attaboy!

traditionalguy said...

Crack... If the Muslims in Iran, with allied regimes in Syria, Lebanon, Turkey, Jordan, Gaza and now mighty Egypt decide to take Jerusalem by force under a UN guise, then fulfillment of the scriptures are set up. Zacharia the Prophet in Chapter 14 describes the Day when Jerusalem will be under attack from all surrounding nations, but he also says that Day is a the Day of Messiah's return to enter the fight with his boots on the ground of the Mt of Olives and give his People complete victory. That is the same scripture from which the Jews will accuse Christians of wishing destruction upon them. Stay tuned.

Belkys said...

For once, it's not about us.... Can something not be about the US?
Sir, it is ever about the USA. In every single country they put banners in english for CNN. People demonstrating walk in Nikes and with , it could not be worse ( GD) NY Yankees caps.
Like in Nostromo the government will accuse the people of being a cover operation of CIA and opposition will call even the mad man of Iran of being a USA puppet. Some wackos here accuse Chávez of being "a neoliberal applying the Washington consensus". It comes with the territory , the wind only blow against the high hills. And there is only one hill( China it is a third world country with mud feet).
USA will be blame for all the failures of the 200 children that call themselves countries.
In Latiamerica, the blame Bush for not taking care of La( No matters if he signed free trade treaties with most countries, some lier here attributed them to Clinton). The rascal Lula( he was a parasite on venezuelan resources) lamented that Obama continues forgetting LA. But if the USA do something they will shout: yankee go home.

Invisible Man said...

So, while on Bush's watch in 2008 some things happened that may have kind of, sort of resulted in an uprising in 2011, so we have to give Bush credit and take away any credit from Obama because he didn't start it. But, on Bush's watch in 2008 some recession'y things happened that definitely resulted in a full blown recession that lasted into 2010, so we have to give Obama all of the blame and take away any blame from Bush cause he's not President

Got It!

rogerz said...

Bush, Abrams and the Neo-Cons are wrong about this: the Arab countries do not need democracy - they need freedom and individual rights. If they vote themselves into Islamic theocracy, they will be worse off than they are now, ruled by despotic autocrats.

And neither is particularly better for the U.S. Indeed, you could argue that the autocrats breed terrorists clandestinely, whereas the Islamists due it out in the open, and it is usually better to know that your enemy is so.

Cedarford said...

rogerz - "Bush, Abrams and the Neo-Cons are wrong about this: the Arab countries do not need democracy - they need freedom and individual rights. If they vote themselves into Islamic theocracy, they will be worse off than they are now."

----------------
Democracy without stable institutions broadly arrayed leads the masses to go for guidance to the few stable things left if government falls. For Arabs, that is the tribes, long-existing hatred of the Others, families, and mosques.

Just Lurking said...

I'm with those who believe that if this revolution goes titsup, the US will be blamed; if it becomes a stable democracy it will be seen as a victory for the Egyptian people, with the US getting little to no credit.

Truth can be found in both sentiments, but only an objective analysis of details reveals the whole story. But most don't want to slog through all the details, when it is much easier to choose a side, and pick facts to shore up a pet theory. Easier still to just read the Reader's Digest version of events.

Which is a just a fancy way to say I don't have a freaking thing to add to this discussion.

The Crack Emcee said...

Tg,

Crack... If the Muslims in Iran, with allied regimes in Syria, Lebanon, Turkey, Jordan, Gaza and now mighty Egypt decide to take Jerusalem by force under a UN guise, then fulfillment of the scriptures are set up.

Or the surrounding country's are - you ever seen an angry Jew? My last roommate was and he'd scare anybody, except for me, of course (he loves me). I'll put my money on Israel in that fight. They ain't no pushovers and, like America in this politically correct present, haven't really been fighting to kill. The Arabs will find themselves utterly destroyed - if not eliminated - once they decide to play with that tiger's tail.

Zacharia the Prophet in Chapter 14 describes the Day when Jerusalem will be under attack from all surrounding nations, but he also says that Day is a the Day of Messiah's return to enter the fight with his boots on the ground of the Mt of Olives and give his People complete victory.

That calls for a quote from Elvis Costello's "Waiting For The End Of The World":

"Dear Lord, I sincerely hope you're comin' 'cause ya done really started something!

That is the same scripture from which the Jews will accuse Christians of wishing destruction upon them. Stay tuned.

As an atheist who's worked in a number of synagogues (as the Shabbos) I'm glad I'm not in that fight. And, if it gets cosmically hairy, I'm sure the Jews will put in a good word for me with The Big Guy ("He's black, his wife left him and killed three people, he voted for Bush, and he's friends with Traditional Guy - cut him break: He tried!"). My advice for you Christians:

Get your stories straight - now.

The Crack Emcee said...

Invisible Man,

I'd answer you - and I could - but, considering how dumb your comment was, I'd prefer you stay invisible.

The Crack Emcee said...

Just Lurking,

I'm with those who believe that if this revolution goes titsup, the US will be blamed; if it becomes a stable democracy it will be seen as a victory for the Egyptian people, with the US getting little to no credit.

The ONLY thing that makes either of those outcomes possible is doing what we're doing right now - standing on the sidelines while turmoil occurs. We're doing NOTHING to define ourselves, or our position, in the people's eyes. They can think any wild-eyed thing in the world because we're saying nothing. Where is a statement of our values? Where is a statement of our support? Why do we let the Muslim Brotherhood put out a statement - about us - without us immediately, and forcefully, answering it? Just like we (almost) lost the Iraq War, because the politically correct crowd kept us from doing the right thing, we'll lose every encounter in the world from our timidity. You guys don't get it - this is kill or be killed time - and if you're going to get slammed, you might as well do it being yourself:

We need to be Americans again.

Invisible Man said...

We need to be Americans again.

Crackhead,

Considering that this was your closing comment (whatever that means), you shouldn't be insulting anyone.

Just Lurking said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Luther said...

"Considering that this was your closing comment (whatever that means), you shouldn't be insulting anyone."

Invisible Man.

Considering that this was your closing comment (whatever that means), you shouldn't be insulting anyone.

I mean, you got a problem with being a fucking American.

Just Lurking said...

@Crack MC

Please don't interpret what I said to mean that I think we should be doing nothing but sitting by the wayside.

The way I see it, getting blamed for the troubles in the world comes with having the most power. Anything we do has positive and negative impacts. And even doing nothing has an impact. So I think that we should therefore act in what we believe is our best interest.

But if Egyptians get a lasting democracy out of this, they deserve the credit, no matter what role we played. I mean, we can hand a democracy on a silver platter to people, but it is up to them to maintain it.

My comment was merely me mocking myself for attempting to write a thoughtful post, and ending up saying that everything is open to interpretation based on individual bias- which is not exactly an earth-shattering revelation.

The Crack Emcee said...

Luther,

Thanks for the assist. It's a thing of beauty.

Invisible Man,

If Egyptians get a lasting democracy out of this, they deserve the credit, no matter what role we played.

I'm not talking about America claiming credit, but, both, proudly protecting what they've started and even protecting ourselves:

If this thing crumbles and falls away from freedom and democracy, the people will be crushed and we'll get the blame. If it succeeds and the Islamists get the spoils, we'll eventually be attacked and get the blame, too, right? So it's time we defined ourselves.

If we're to be blamed for anything, or loved for anything, we should want it to be for what we say we stand for - not for what some tear gas canisters may mean, or what the Muslim Brotherhood or anyone else says - and what we stand for as Americans is Freedom and Democracy, with no ifs, ands, or buts about it. Let no one be confused in what has to be confusing times over there:

When the people look to us, they must see only an outreached hand, but - when the dictators and mullahs see us - they must be convinced of gazing upon (what they think of as) the wrath of God.

Old Testament, of course.

Just Lurking said...

@Crack MC

If Egyptians get a lasting democracy out of this, they deserve the credit, no matter what role we played.

That was me, the lurker, not the invisible guy. I can understand the mix up. ;)


If it succeeds and the Islamists get the spoils, we'll eventually be attacked and get the blame, too, right? So it's time we defined ourselves.

If we're to be blamed for anything, or loved for anything, we should want it to be for what we say we stand for -


I can't argue with that. I think some of the pessimism you see in comments is because people believe that, unlike the Bush, Clinton or Reagan administrations, our current administration doesn't know what America stands for. We know that a large majority of the elite in this country, including those in the Obama administration, are ashamed of America's past, and would prefer to just apologize, step aside and let someone else lead.

But you're right; as individuals we need to lend our vocal support to those who are demanding a true representative govt. , and urge our leaders to take steps to help make that happen. They need to do what it takes to make sure Egypt doesn't turn into another Iran crisis.

And I would suggest to our President that step one is to put a steel rod in his spine and stop bowing to everyone.

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