January 30, 2011

Egypt...

... some links... in lieu of having something useful to say.

200 comments:

Hagar said...

Obama votes "present."

Lincolntf said...

With all the competing interests still vying for control of the protesters, anything can happen. Will some figure (Suleiman, el Baradei, etc.) give a speech that quells/co-opts the street movement? Will the MB accept anything other than an armed coup and transformation into a fully Islamic state? Will Mubarak defy the odds and remain in power by brute force? Does the Army get split up by regional loyalties/political expediency? Do people just get hungry and tired and go home?
Observing the process continues to be a fascinating front row seat at the likely creation of a new Mideast government.

AllenS said...

in lieu of having something useful to say.

A wise statement.

Fred4Pres said...

This image sums it up well.

Florida said...

I think a useful thing to say would be that it is a bad day to be a dictator.

High unemployment and a corrupt government is a volatile mix. A few matches, some bottles and rags and it all comes tumbling down. Barack Obama should take note of the foreshadowing moment he is witnessing in Egypt and remember that it's unlikely that US soldiers would act any differently than Egypt's troops ... who've decided they aren't going to fire on their own countrymen.

Barack Obama simply can't come out of this looking good politically:

1) If he supports Mubarak, then he's (rightly) a villain for propping up a dictator.

2) If he supports the revolution he's the villain for meddling in the affairs of a sovereign state - ala the hated Bush. He won't get too many dinner dates at the UN amongst his Socialist Network friends-list if he takes this route.

The left has Barack Obama boxed in. He can't maneuver either way and please his base at all. And that's what's wrong with the left in this country.

So, as always, he'll vote present ... urge civility. He'll say one thing ... and do precisely the opposite while urging the media not to report the facts since that would damage "their" re-election prospects.

And the media will only gladly oblige.

edutcher said...

Think of this line, from Richard Fernandez at Pajamas, "Unrest within, and therefore the loss of Saudi Arabia to the West, is now a thinkable proposition.", when next you pass a gas station.

The House of Saud deserves none of our tears, but politics in this country may soon revolve around the phrase, "Drill, baby, drill".

PS Florida nails it.

Paco Wové said...

"If he supports the revolution he's the villain for meddling in the affairs of a sovereign state - ala the hated Bush."

No. It was bad when Bush did it. But it would be good for Obama to do it, because... well, just because.

The best thing for the U.S. Government to do right now is keep its mouth shut, at least publicly.

Sixty Grit said...

So some uppity muzzie chick slaps a dude in Tunisia and now we will have to do without gasoline. Whatever.

At least this won't reflect well on our effeminate president.

Freder Frederson said...

If he supports the revolution he's the villain for meddling in the affairs of a sovereign state - ala the hated Bush. He won't get too many dinner dates at the UN amongst his Socialist Network friends-list if he takes this route.

The left has Barack Obama boxed in. He can't maneuver either way and please his base at all. And that's what's wrong with the left in this country.


In what fantasy bizarro world do you live in where the "left" and the "socialists" support the Mubarek government. Other than hearing it from the monkeys flying out of your ass, what makes you think that this is an accurate description of the left's view of this situation?

And when exactly did you expect Obama to call out U.S. troops to put down protests by Americans. Did the monkeys tell you about the 82nd Airborne firing on a tea party rally too?

Lincolntf said...

Per Twitter, El Baradei has joined the protesters at Tahrir Square. Possible turning point? Possible incitement?

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

. . . in lieu of having something useful to say

Please let's not pull an Obama here and simply sit back and passively watch the situtation, essentially voting "present." Do that, and it is quite possible, if not likely, that the whole thing will blow up in our faces like a nuclear bomb.

There are basically three or four groups vying for power here -- (1) Mubarak (who may or may not have (2) the military on his side). Now, there are some (including Hillary from the reports I've heard) who would have us all believe that everyone out in the street (3) seeks freedom and democracy for Egypt. But not everyone is. There are also (4) the Islamicists who would destroy freedom and bring misery to Egypt.

Doing nothing, in lieu of having something useful to say or do, increases the likelihood of (4) the Islamicists coming to power, if only because we did nothing to stop them, and instead encouraged it with our Mubarak-out statements, a la the anti-Shah statements of those glorious Carter years.

Instead, we must zealously continue (re-start) the policy started under Bush of freedom for the Muslim world. We must get our agents in there to support (3) those in Egypt who are genuine freedom-lovers, and take the necessary steps to stop (4) the anti-freedom forces from succeeding.

To be sure, if (4) the Islamicists take power in Egypt, and hence take control of the Suez Canal, as well as full support for Hamas, then a MAJOR war between Israel and Egypt is on the horizon. So much for that "Middle East peace process."

Florida said...

"In what fantasy bizarro (sic) world do you live in where the "left" and the "socialists" support the Mubarek government."

Gee, maybe it's the left's support of the dictator in Cuba.

Or maybe it's the left's support of the dictator in Venezuela.

Maybe it's all those Che T-shirts the left is so fond of and their oh-so-chic Keffiyeh scarves signifying their support for terrorists in the Middle East.

Maybe it was those things.

Maybe it was the official Democrat Party position - two weeks ago - to support an Egyptian dictator by sending him $2 billion of our fucking tax money.

Maybe it was that.

Gee, I wonder where I got the idea that the left supports Mubarak?

Florida said...

"And when exactly did you expect Obama to call out U.S. troops to put down protests by Americans."

When the unemployment rate gets up to around 20% - that's about the time I expect Barack Obama to order US troops to put down unrest in the United States.

And that's about the time I expect he'll get a rude fucking awakening when they refuse to follow his order to murder their countrymen.

lemondog said...

So, as always, he'll vote present ... urge civility...

What happens to 'civility' when US oil interests are disrupted?

edutcher said...

Freder Frederson said...

If he supports the revolution he's the villain for meddling in the affairs of a sovereign state - ala the hated Bush. He won't get too many dinner dates at the UN amongst his Socialist Network friends-list if he takes this route.

The left has Barack Obama boxed in. He can't maneuver either way and please his base at all. And that's what's wrong with the left in this country.


In what fantasy bizarro world do you live in where the "left" and the "socialists" support the Mubarek government.


Perhaps something Vice President Gravitas said a day or so ago.

WV "unsiz" What happens to the guy after the girl has taken the measure of him.

NotYourTypicalNewYorker said...

Americas weak horse is now having a global effect.

AllenS said...

PBS Newshour --

“Mubarak has been an ally of ours in a number of things. And he’s been very responsible on, relative to geopolitical interest in the region, the Middle East peace efforts; the actions Egypt has taken relative to normalizing relationship with – with Israel. … I would not refer to him as a dictator.” -- Joe Biden

rhhardin said...

Look for Rome to step in.

It's their former colony.

Florida said...

“Mubarak has been an ally of ours in a number of things. And he’s been very responsible on, relative to geopolitical interest in the region, the Middle East peace efforts; the actions Egypt has taken relative to normalizing relationship with – with Israel. … I would not refer to him as a dictator.” -- Joe Biden"

Gee, I wonder in what bizarro world I live in where I might have gotten the idea that the left in the United States supports dictatorships in general and Mubarak in the specific?

Hmmm?

But don't direct quotes get in the way of your twisted fucking world view, dude.

You're on the left and you're getting your eyes opened for you.

Maybe you should think about switching teams while you still have a soul.

Florida said...

Here is Barack Obama's 2011 foreign aid request, which includes $1.5 billion in US hard-earned taxpayer dollars to prop up Egyptian Dictator For Life Hosni Mubarak.

http://www.foreignassistance.gov/dataview.aspx?search_string=egypt&image.x=16&image.y=7

HT said...

2) If he supports the revolution he's the villain for meddling in the affairs of a sovereign state - ala the hated Bush. He won't get too many dinner dates at the UN amongst his Socialist Network friends-list if he takes this route.

___________
hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha

But this is the real hilarious one


"The left has Barack Obama boxed in. He can't maneuver either way and please his base at all.'


Freder, some are desperate and grabbing at straws.

Fen said...

that's about the time I expect Barack Obama to order US troops to put down unrest in the United States.

I hope we form up near the NYTs building.

NotYourTypicalNewYorker said...

As the UN chief nuclear watchdog,El Baradei did all that he could to undermine American middle east efforts. No good will come from this mans ascension in Egypt.

Florida said...

Let's see ... Barack Obama is requesting US taxpayers to give Hosni Mubarack:

* $10 million this year for Mubarak's private police force which is now working to quell freedom

* $10 million for his Agriculture Department

* $50 million for "economic opportunity" (whatever the fuck that means)

* Plus, $91 million for "education"

Did you get $91 million from the US government to fund your education? I didn't think so.

Yet, Barack Obama wants to send your hard-earned money so that Dictator for Life Hosni Mubaraak can send his cronies through Cairo University at your expense.

I wonder how much of this money was shipped directly to London, where Mubarak's family is fleeing with the help of the United States government.

Paco Wové said...

"Freder, some are desperate and grabbing at straws."

I think a more accurate summation would be "some are garrulous blowhards and will come up with any justification to blame things on their perceived domestic political enemies".

Which probably covers most commenters on the Internet.

William said...

When hairy young men in the Middle East take to the streets, one doubts that their ultimate goal is peace and democracy. In the Philippines and S. Korea, authoritarian regimes were replaced by democracies as a result of street demonstrations. So maybe it can happen. But the Middle East is not famous for its happy endings......However this plays out, Obama and the US will be bit players in the drama. Perhaps Obama really is doing the right thing by voting present....My argument with the left is that they always think that there is more to hope from the mob than from the ancien regime. What could possibly be worse than the Bourbons, the Romanovs, the Weimar Republic, Lon Nol, the Shah and so on.....The left always claim to believe in evolution, but they dismiss the possibility of adaptive behavior in governments. Perhaps Mubarak or his replacement can grow opposable thumbs and allow a measure of democracy. That would be the best option. Worst option: a popular swell that sweeps aways everything and everyone that has gone before it.

Freder Frederson said...

Maybe it was the official Democrat Party position - two weeks ago - to support an Egyptian dictator by sending him $2 billion of our fucking tax money.

It has been the policy of the U.S. government for the last thirty years--whether the president was Republican or Democrat, to support Mubarak--and Sadat before him. This isn't anything new.

To pretend that foreign aide to Egypt is some "left-wing" or "socialist" policy demonstrates that you don't know the first thing about the complex nature of U.s. foreign policy in that part of the world.

woof said...

Don't feed the trolls.

peter hoh said...

Significant monetary support for Egypt's regime has been part of US foreign policy since Carter. It's part of the deal we made with them to make peace with Israel.

Florida, of course, would have you believe that it just started under Obama.

The choice is to support democracy with the risk that the Muslim Brotherhood assumes power or to oppose democracy.

Pick a side. And if you think that the White House should say something different, tell me what you think they should say.

Pam Geller: "But knowing Obama, he will throw another ally under the bus."

I suppose that Florida will claim that Geller is a leftist.

Maguro said...

Florida is just fucking with you people, don't you know that?

bagoh20 said...

"The left has Barack Obama boxed in. He can't maneuver either way and please his base at all. And that's what's wrong with the left in this country."

They always make it impossible to do the right thing. Having the left pissed at you tells you absolutely nothing about how righteous your path is. Disapproval is their addiction.

edutcher said...

Florida said...

Here is Barack Obama's 2011 foreign aid request, which includes $1.5 billion in US hard-earned taxpayer dollars to prop up Egyptian Dictator For Life Hosni Mubarak.

Rand Paul and his spending plans are looking better all the time.

HT said...

hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha

But this is the real hilarious one


"The left has Barack Obama boxed in. He can't maneuver either way and please his base at all.'


Freder, some are desperate and grabbing at straws.


Ever notice when some Lefty types in "Haha", the joke always ends up being on them?

The adults will try to make President Present do something responsible (Gitmo ring a bell?) and the KosKidz will go berserk.

And Florida's point about meddling in the affairs of a sovereign state is the clincher. That was supposed to be the big takeaway from 'Nam, according to the Lefties.

William said...

When hairy young men in the Middle East take to the streets, one doubts that their ultimate goal is peace and democracy. In the Philippines and S. Korea, authoritarian regimes were replaced by democracies as a result of street demonstrations.

In both places, heavy US presence, as well as influence. That's a big difference.

Freder Frederson said...

It has been the policy of the U.S. government for the last thirty years--whether the president was Republican or Democrat, to support Mubarak--and Sadat before him. This isn't anything new.

To pretend that foreign aide to Egypt is some "left-wing" or "socialist" policy demonstrates that you don't know the first thing about the complex nature of U.s. foreign policy in that part of the world.


Yes, but the hated, stupid Bush pushed for free governments in the Middle East. This was the arrogant policy all the Lefties were going to replace with "Smart Diplomacy", complete with Reset buttons that actually said "overcharged" and China hands that don't know an insult when they're slapped in the face.

Florida said...

Here is the Top 10 list of the dictators that Barack Obama personally advocates on behalf of in front of the United States Congress (and the amount of your tax dollars he will send to his friends the dictators in 2011):

Hu Jin Tao - China $13 million
Omar al-Bashir - Sudan $493 million
Than Shwe, Burma -$37 million
Robert Mugabe, Zimbabwe - $100 million
Islam Karimov, Uzbekistan - $12.1 million
Abdullah, Saudi Arabia - the world's richest King gets $370,000 of your tax dollars.
Saparmurat Niyazov, Turkmenistan - $13.3 million
Teodoro Obiang Nguema, Equatorial Guinea - $40,000
Fidel Castro, Cuba - $20 million
Hugo Chavez, Venezuala - $5.5 million

So there you have it ... Barack Obama personally advocates on behalf 10 of the world's most brutal dictators and ships them millions of dollars of your money each year. That's on top of the $1.5 billion he's sending this year to prop up Mubarak.

Has he helped you with your mortgage? Has he created an environment where you're likely to find a good job?

No?

Well, you can rest easy that this money was instead used to prop up the world's most brutal dictators and the next time you see Barack Obama you can thank him on their behalf.

Florida said...

@Freder

"To pretend that foreign aide to Egypt is some "left-wing" or "socialist" policy demonstrates that you don't know the first thing about the complex nature of U.s. foreign policy in that part of the world."

Foreign aid to dictators is absolutely left-wing political policy. I'm not pretending it. I'm stating it as a fucking fact. The S State Department is manned virtually entirely by Democrats.

Dude, you asked which bizarro world I live in that suggests that Barack Obama supports Mubarak, and I responded that it's the same world where he ships the guy $1.5 billion of my fucking money every year at Hillary Clinton's request.

I don't care if anybody else did it. I care about who is doing it today. I care if Democrats are doing it.

The official policy of Barack Obama is to advocate in front of the US Congress on behalf of his friend, Hosni "Dictator For Life" Mubarak.

That's the bizarro world your fucking president lives in. And Mubarak is not the only dictator that Barack Obama advocates on behalf of.

So, I only noted with some interest that the left supports dictators worldwide, to which you replied with incredulity but presented no facts to support your argument.

I presented well known facts and quoted the Vice President of the United States claiming that Mubarak isn't even a dictator to support my argument.

So, of the two of us, I think it's you who lives in the bizarro world, dude.

Florida said...

"Florida is just fucking with you people, don't you know that?"

No, Florida is merely pointing out a set of facts. That - once again - Barack Obama has been on the wrong side of history.

Two weeks ago, Barack Obama was supporting Mubarak and propping him up with US cash that we desperately need to stave off foreclosures in the United States and to pay unemployment checks with.

Instead, Barak Obama is spending that money ... not helping Americans ... but instead enriching Hosni Mubarak.

Four days ago, the Vice President was lending Mubarak his support telling PBS what a great job the guy has done and how he's not really a "dictator dictator." How he's not really "rape raping" the Egyptian people. He's been on our "team." By agreeing not to fucking be a terrorist - or something.

It has been plain for all Americans to see which side of freedom Barack Obama and Joe Biden have been on all along: The wrong side.

vza said...

Democrat and Republican administrations have supported Mubarak and a host of other thugs and dictators. It is silly to turn this into a partisan blame game.

Florida said...

"Democrat and Republican administrations have supported Mubarak and a host of other thugs and dictators. It is silly to turn this into a partisan blame game."

No it's not silly. Otherwise, how are we going to fucking stop it?

Barack Obama is the president and head of the Democrat Party. If he's shipping $1.5 billion in fun money to Hosni Mubarack then he is propping up a dictator and we should be criticizing the president for doing so.

And besides that, Biden revealed what the Administration really thinks about Mubarak. They support the guy even and have never supported free elections in any Arab state.

It's wrong when Democrats do it. It's wrong when Republicans do it.

But right now ... Democrats are doing it and right now is what matters.

Mutnodjmet said...

I am an amateur Egyptologist, who has the privilege of dialoging with professionals through a special forum; my blog has been compiling reports on the looting and damage to museums and tourist spots.

Images from the Cairo Museum show that at least 2 objects (gold statues) from King Tut's tomb) have been destroyed.

DR. ZAHI HAWASS -- THE FACE OF GRIEF

I often joke about the effervescent Dr. Zahi Hawass, who is usually hamming it up in front of the cameras during the periodic ancient Egypt specials I watch. I think the heartbreaking devastation and grief seen on his face, as he realizes the dimensions of the destruction to rare and irreplaceable antiquities, is one of the most compelling images of the Egyptian crisis I have seen. This tells me the loss to Egyptology is worse than we can possibly imagine.

Lincolntf said...

I wonder if Dr. Hawass sees a silver lining to the recent refusal of Germany to return that priceless bust of Nefertiti?

virgil xenophon said...

The wife of an F-16 pilot ("Liz") perhaps summed it all up best over at the milblog "Neptunus Lex" (run bu a retired Navy Captain fighter-pilot) when she posted:

""Wrong side of history?" Is there a better option than the current Egyptian government?" It was mentioned above that "Egypt doesn't have the stomach for a fight with Israel." They haven't had "the stomach for it" since we started paying them not to fight with Israel. In military equipment and aid. If this is history, it mirrors Iran more closely than the others. Today the population of Egypt is becoming increasingly more religiously radical, whereas the government has a grip on reality. That reality will go the way of the passenger pigeon if the current government is overthrown. Iran voted itself into a religious dictatorship. Democracy means nothing.

There's a reason ALL Muslim societies are divided more or less into caste systems based on their various interpretations of faith and ethnicity. And each and every Muslim society is ruled by a (often corrupt) elite.....Either the people actually desire to be dominated by an authoritarian state, or their divisions are so significant they are unable to capitulate and come to any workable, longstanding agreement as a people. This is an implosion, not "progress."

edutcher said...

FWIW, two points about who's been propping up what.

There was a small fund established by the last Administration (you know, the stupid arrogant one) to encourage the growth of democracy in Egypt. It was killed this past July.

By way of John Bolton, the bulk of the money given to Egypt is the result of the Camp David Accords and mostly goes to the military.

So one can place the blame where one wishes.

PS The Chicago spinmeisters are trying to present The Zero's '09 speech to the Arab world in Cairo as some kind of call for human rights in Egypt.

The decision to place it in Cairo has mostly been viewed, however, as a pat on the back for Mubarak

Leland said...

Agree with the sentiment of a lack of something useful to say. All I really can say is that I hope Obama doesn't blow this situation the way Carter did Iran. That's not to say he will, just that we shouldn't make that same mistake.

peter hoh said...

I realize that Carter's handling of Iran ended up badly, but what do people think Carter should have done instead?

Assassinate Khomeini while he was still in France?

Synova said...

"Significant monetary support for Egypt's regime has been part of US foreign policy since Carter. It's part of the deal we made with them to make peace with Israel.

Florida, of course, would have you believe that it just started under Obama.
"

Well... I'm not certain that laying it on Carter actually supports the non-leftist argument, despite following presidents continuing the policy.

One thing that Bush did in relation to foreign policy was to reverse somewhat our unfortunate habits of picking the least offensive tyrant to support while we turned a blind eye to essential injustice for the hope that our chosen tyrant would keep his domestic depredations low-key enough that we could call it "peace."

Bush also spoke with a clarity (as did Reagan) about the human spirit and desire for liberty. Obama says near the same things but he intellectualizes it and muddies the concept because when all is said and done it is uncomfortable for many to be too bold, too unrefined, too *pushy* about declaring truths about human freedom and human yearning.

America is supposed to be the light on the hill, the advocate for freedom and liberty and participatory government in the world, for the dignity and equality of every individual, for neo-liberal economics. Our president is supposed to be promoting the benefits of our grand experiment in the emancipation and dignity of even the lowliest person.

Instead we have... this.

We can't advocate liberty because so many want only to look at our dire failures, to each instance where we fail to live up to the impossible standard, and then to fuss that *those* people are not *like us* and... what?.. maybe they are just fine with injustice and bondage?

peter hoh said...

I'm not here to defend Carter -- I just think that what happened in Iran was not that much within his power to control.

In similar terms, I'm not sure that the Obama administration has a lot of power to affect what's happening in Egypt right now.

I doubt that anyone has any clear idea that doing X would result in Y. A statement supportive of Baradei, for instance, might help his stature in the eyes of the protesters, or it might make the protesters turn on him.

AllenS said...

I agree with you, Peter.

Paco Wové said...

"A statement supportive of Baradei, for instance, might help his stature in the eyes of the protesters, or it might make the protesters turn on him."

One thing's for certain, though; if it turns out badly, it will be all our fault.

Paco Wové said...

"Florida is just fucking with you people, don't you know that?"

America's Wang certainly likes his F-words, no doubt about that. But:

"AlphaLiberal is ust fucking with you people, don't you know that?"

"Downtownlad is ust fucking with you people, don't you know that?"

"Jeremy is ust fucking with you people, don't you know that?"

Trolls is trolls.

edutcher said...

peter hoh said...

I'm not here to defend Carter -- I just think that what happened in Iran was not that much within his power to control.

Bucketmouth did everything in his power to dump the Shah and replace him with the communists (Bani-Sadr, etc.). He thought the mullahs could be swept aside.

As usual, he was wrong.

David said...

The overthrow of the Shaw of Iran was not in Carter's control. But what happened after the Fundamentalists took power was entirely in his control, and he screwed it up. It cost him the Presidency, as well it should have.

The same will be true for Obama. He has only tiny influence on where this goes in the next days and weeks. Where it goes after that will be more strongly influenced by the United States. Obama will not be able to vote present on that one.

Chip Ahoy said...

Tell me more about the flying monkeys. Are they wearing vests?

Synova said...

Peter, I don't think that it's even a good idea for us to think that we ought to *solve* the problems of other nations, but it seems that we do a lot to perpetuate them. Heck, maybe it's like not wanting GM to fail so we prop it up. I don't know that Carter could have done anything to keep the Shah in power, but the question is probably really one of, did our policies *keep* him there longer than he should have been? And if he'd known that he had no choice but to maintain the support of his own people, would *he* have made different choices?

I don't know if Mubarak is a bad guy. He didn't really seem to be. But how is it that he held on to power without the support of the people? And how much did we prop him up so that he wouldn't attack Israel? Might it not have been a better idea to use a stick rather than a carrot in this case? Because the carrot removed a portion of the *need* that any ruler has to rule by the will of his own people. So now we have this?

Is pushing off the crisis to the future any better an idea for a nation than it is for a mega-corporation? I think it might not be.

Maguro said...

I realize that Carter's handling of Iran ended up badly, but what do people think Carter should have done instead?

Well, he might have listened to Brezinski and urged the Shah to declare martial law and crack down on the protestors. That was a realistic option, but it conflicted with his human rights moralizing.

Alternately, he might have taken Vance's advice to dump the Shah and try to make nice with Khomeni while he was still in Paris.

Who knows if either of those plans would have worked out?

As it was, he was completely irresolute and ended up trying to steer a middle course between those two options, which definitely didn't work out.

Finally, he didn't have to let the Shah into the US for medical treatment, which is the event actually kicked off the hostage crisis.

In any case, my feeling is that the US had a lot more influence over the Shah in 1979 than we do over Mubarak now. So about the only thing Obama can do right now is sit tight and see how things play out.

peter hoh said...

Synove: but the question is probably really one of, did our policies *keep* him there longer than he should have been?

Our policies put him there in the first place.

PaulV said...

It seems we are all neocons now, except Rand Paul

Synova said...

"Our policies put him there in the first place."

Well there you go.

Maguro said...

Our policies put him there in the first place.

Actually, the British and the Russians put him there during WWII. We had nothing to do with it.

Paco Wové said...

Like I said, it's always our fault.

David said...

"I knew the Shaw of Iran. The Shaw of Iran was a friend of mine. Believe me, Hosni Mubarak, you are no Shaw of Iran."

free_technology said...

There are multiple interests in Egypt from various countries not only US. It is impossible for Mubarak to leave. He is a clean leader for several countries.

Conservatives 4 Better Dental Hygiene said...

When has not having something useful to say stopped you before?

Conservatives 4 Better Dental Hygiene said...

It's S-H-A-H you retard.

Conservatives 4 Better Dental Hygiene said...

The overthrow of the Shaw of Iran was not in Carter's control. But what happened after the Fundamentalists took power was entirely in his control, and he screwed it up. It cost him the Presidency, as well it should have.

The same will be true for Obama.


Ummm.... except for the part about captured American hostages being held by agents of the new government in the embassy, you historically ignorant numbnuts.

Paco Wové said...

Oh, dear... now Ritmo is reduced to the role of scruffy bearded man in urine-soaked trousers shouting incoherently from the gutter.

Conservatives 4 Better Dental Hygiene said...

If we try hard enough guys, we can find a way to make America (as long as it's during Obama's tenure) responsible for a crocodile snapping a bird in its jaws along the Nile.

Synova said...

Okay, the British and Russians. I take it that he was part of that map-drawing "thing" that has been causing us problems ever since.

And maybe "our fault" isn't all that unreasonable a conclusion at the end of it.

I hate to see us going backward though. George Bush seemed to have a statesman's understanding that what we had been doing for so long in the middle east involved an essential error. For once we had someone advocating the need for justice and freedom instead of finding a strong-man to prop. You'd think that would have been something that liberals could support. Justice, or at least an improvement, freedom, equality and self-determination... the vote.

But sending money to someone who is our "friend" so that the apparatus necessary to support a dictatorship might be maintained in the interest of stability -- that is so much less *messy*.

Conservatives 4 Better Dental Hygiene said...

I always knew your level of respect for knowledge and facts was very low, Paco. What else is new?

Maguro said...

Oh, dear... now Ritmo is reduced to the role of scruffy bearded man in urine-soaked trousers shouting incoherently from the gutter.

Same as it ever was...

Old Dad said...

Ah,Rstmo's typical threefer: offensive, boring and wrong.

Conservatives 4 Better Dental Hygiene said...

Here comes Synova, ready to throw down the one-two punch.

Just so long as no one reminds her that money to Egypt was based on the treaty they signed with Israel.

I guess Republicans are now going to have to rethink their plans for how they go about ushering in the apocalypse. I guess now the Jews aren't really our friends. Pat Robertson, are you listening!?

Conservatives 4 Better Dental Hygiene said...

What did I say that was wrong, Old Dick?

Conservatives 4 Better Dental Hygiene said...

Oh, that's right. Nothing.

Conservatives 4 Better Dental Hygiene said...

To Old Dick and Maguro, facts and reason are offensive and boring.

Old Dad said...

Ratmo,

Focus on "retard."

Conservatives 4 Better Dental Hygiene said...

I patiently await Old Dad, Maguro, Synova and/or Dave's correction of my "wrong" facts and conclusions with more exciting ones!

I guess I'll be waiting a long time.

(Hums Jeopardy tune).

(...)

(...)

(...)

Maybe you guys aren't so far from boring yourselves.

Conservatives 4 Better Dental Hygiene said...

Focus on...

Oh pardon! Excusez-moi for believing that someone opining on how to decide foreign policy in the Middle East, from the comfortable vantage point of his armchair in Middle America, might at least be knowledgeable enough to be able to correctly spell the title of the region's leaders.

As for your bastardization of my own title, well, I guess that's just more of your "Do as I say, not as I do" attitude that you nonetheless think is so wrong in American foreign policy.

Paco Wové said...

I'm sorry. I shouldn't have poked Ritmo. That was a mean and counterproductive thing to do. (Stands in corner)

Florida said...

"It is impossible for Mubarak to leave."

He can either leave or he will be dragged through the streets.

Either way, Mubarak is no longer in control of Egypt - whose citizens are demanding a democratically elected government.

It's time for Barack Obama to come out for freedom and against dictators for once.

MadisonMan said...

The only thing useful to say: Dump your gas guzzling cars. I don't see how unrest in the Middle East can do anything but amp up gas prices.

I think there's very little the US can do. Advocating for human rights and freedoms is useful, as is economic support for individuals or small groups. I think economic support for a Govt just encourages corruption.

Conservatives 4 Better Dental Hygiene said...

Florida's right.

What this revolution really needs is moral sanctioning from the American president. The Egyptian army and people are waiting to get things going and set up a new and more legitimate government, but how can they if some guy across the ocean doesn't give his explicit blessing to the project?

Everyone knows that everyone around the world decides to live and die by our condoning it.

You guys really need to listen to this "Florida" guy more often.

Old Dad said...

Ratmo,

I didn't know that a blog moniker constituted a title. So...

Lord Ratmo the Bastard, Offender of the Handicapped...

Better?

Anglelyne said...

Synova: America is supposed to be the light on the hill, the advocate for freedom and liberty and participatory government in the world, for the dignity and equality of every individual, for neo-liberal economics.

It's not all about us.

And arguably it's our crackpot "neo-liberal" economics that lit the spark in the first place. (Link predates the Egyptian upheavel, but you get the idea.)

Is pushing off the crisis to the future any better an idea for a nation than it is for a mega-corporation? I think it might not be.

Whatever "we" have done or not done to precipitate this crisis is water under the bridge. The crisis is no longer ours to push off. The enormous tragedy of the United States, for Americans, is that our governing class has been running around playing at empire and "shining city" for the last several decades, while the interests of actual flesh-and-blood ordinary Americans have been relegated to the "of no importance whatsoever" bin.

George Bush seemed to have a statesman's understanding that what we had been doing for so long in the middle east involved an essential error.

The "essential error" was hubris, and George Bush's policies were no different in that respect from his predecessors. That the Zero hasn't "done something" is one point (probably the only point) that I'll ever grant in his favor.

Conservatives 4 Better Dental Hygiene said...

Better?

You give fatherhood a bad name, Old Dick.

Whatever happened to that part about being wise, decent and, you know, experienced?

Florida said...

Here's what happens when you put Democrats in charge of things:

"The U.S. Embassy has been closed indefinitely, according to embassy spokeswoman Elizabeth Coulton. PBS travel-show host Regina Fraser, currently in Egypt filming an episode of her show "Grannies on Safari," has been frustrated by the lack of information.

"I'm going to tell you briefly that I contacted the embassy here two or three days ago, and no one answered. No one answered," said Fraser. "The phone just kept ringing."

That's right. The Democrat Party morons who are running the U.S. State Department aren't answering the fucking telephones in Egypt.

It's 3am and Hillary isn't answering that phone.

traditionalguy said...

Egypt wants a Pharaoh and they will get themselves a Pharaoh. Elections have not been their style for 10,000 years. The USA needs to be ready for what an enemy can do, and not rely on what we think an enemy will do...which means we must drill everywhere for oil and gas and coal ASAP. If Obama and Soros fail us chosing to delude us with a Clean Energy Hoax that is not real, then we know that they are on the side of our enemy.

Roger J. said...

I have absolutely no idea what is the proper course of action--I think AllenS said it succinctly yesterday: there does not appear to be any good outcomes in Egypt. The best the US can do is figure out a reasonable damage mitigation strategy, and I dont see the twits in the NCA capable of doing that.

Conservatives 4 Better Dental Hygiene said...

I guess we'll have to wait until Florida properly re-arranges the meds in his 7-day pill container to inform him that all internet traffic into and out of Egypt is down and that embassy staff might be a bit busy should they not be disposed of making sure that a revolution doesn't come inside.

Conservatives 4 Better Dental Hygiene said...

I don't know about you, but the first thing I do when there's a violent revolution and political upheaval in another country is to berate the U.S. embassy staff there for not taking charge of the immediate situation.

And then I blame the party in power at the White House and one house of Congress as well. Just for good measure.

AllenS said...

Thank you, Roger. Expect a military dictatorship form of government, or an Islamic one.

Old Dad said...

Lord Rat said,

"You give fatherhood a bad name, Old Dick."

Duly chastened--I humbly recognize your perfect cyber-emulation of a boring, offensive, ignorant bastard.

It is an emulation, right?

Conservatives 4 Better Dental Hygiene said...

American Citizens in Egypt:

President Obama hereby informs you that he intends to part the Red Sea in order to arrange for your safe departure from the country.

He will also cast a spell on all the crocodiles in the Nile, so that you can more safely enjoy your vacation should you decide to stay.

All further communication with U.S. channels will take place via magic signals placed by The Almighty in the sky, pending repair of that internet thing and re-establishment of Egyptian telecommunications services.

That is all.

Conservatives 4 Better Dental Hygiene said...

You keep staying on topic there, Old Dick.

Roger J. said...

Damn Allen S--if you can wear an orange pants suit you'd make a great SecState!

Your right--there is a remote possiblity that there might emerge a democratic popular government; unlikely imo--more probably, I think--mubarak/military doubles down and quashes the revolt a la tienamen square--will work for a while--worst case? again imo, the MB takes power and becomes something akin to the taliban west.

I do hope our government is considering strategies to deal with some (possibly) very unpleasant outcomes in the ME.

DJ6ual said...

People need to understand that this will be the streets of America one day. Egypt is for us like the previews at the movie theater. We are the superpower and when we fall we will be the main event for the rest of the world. We can stop it, but only if people wake up, learn to sacrifice, and truly change themselves for the better.

~ DJ6ual

Tear Gas Causes Anti American Sentiment in Egypt

[http://dj6ual.viviti.com/entries/news/the-tear-gas-smoke-bombs-used-against-egyptian-protesters-were-also-used-at-g-20]

The Tear Gas (Smoke Bombs) Used Against Egyptian Protesters were also Used at G-20

Old Dad said...

Rat said,

"You keep staying on topic there, Old Dick."

Golly, I thought the topic was not having anything useful to say about Egypt? And you don't--congratulations.

What could be more on topic than calling out a boring, ignorant, offensive troll?

Roger J. said...

some more immediate issues irrespective of who emerges in Egypt--The saudis appear to have staked their survival on Murbarek's survival--if HM goes down what will our policy be with respect to the Saudis?

if a militant regime emerges in Egypt and closes the Suez canal (which, Chris Matthew's nothinwstanding says, in really in Egypt)--do we try to keep it open?

The Israelis? they can take care of themselves and again imo would not hesistate to pop the cap on nukes to ensure their survival, and the arabs know that--so as long as we convey assurances to the Israelis we should take care of that issue.

The Europeans stand to lose the most from a cut off of mid east oil thru suez--the US gets only 20 percent of its oil from the ME so we dont have a problem--the Europeans? not so much.

Interesting times ahead.

edutcher said...

Conservatives 4 Better Dental Hygiene said...

I guess we'll have to wait until Florida properly re-arranges the meds in his 7-day pill container to inform him that all internet traffic into and out of Egypt is down and that embassy staff might be a bit busy should they not be disposed of making sure that a revolution doesn't come inside.

Apparently, Big Gov't Trickling Down His Leg never heard that, if the revolution comes to the door, it will surely come inside.

He apparently never heard of cables, short-wave radios, or telephone landlines, either.

Florida said...

"all internet traffic into and out of Egypt is down and that embassy staff might be a bit busy should they not be disposed of making sure that a revolution doesn't come inside."

Really, Ritmo? The internet is down, and so naturally Hillary Clinton has closed the US Embassy in Cairo at a time when Americans need it the most?

Porn purveyors the world over just cried a little bit.

It is 3am.

Something is happening in the world.

This is Hillary Clinton's moment to prove that she would be there to answer that phone and guess what? Nobody is answering that phone at the U.S. Embassy.

The U.S. Embassy is the United States when moments of unrest occur throughout the world. It's entire design and purpose is to be a resource for Americans abroad in times of crisis.

That's it's entire purpose.

It is a national shame that Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama have permanently closed the United States presence in Cairo during the time when Americans there need them the most.

A national shame.

Have these people no decency? Is there no crisis that they won't run and hide from?

Conservatives 4 Better Dental Hygiene said...

What could be more on topic...

Um, having something to say about the topic of the post. Which of course you never, ever do.

But I'm just inoffensive enough to be open to correction. I'm sure that you'll very shortly provide me a link to all the comments you've actually made about the topic of an Althouse post or the substance debated in it.

But if you don't, just let me know. And while you're figuring things out, I can hum the Jeopardy tune for much longer than it takes for you to change oxygen canisters on your assisted breathing device.

Roger J. said...

Ritmo--as others have suggested, diplomatic/military communication is hardly dependent on the internet--let me add to the list you were provided--sat phones and couriers.

Fen said...

Lets all take a moment to remember Ritmo's admission that he only posts here to troll the readers.

*pause*

Okay then. One round of Pina Colodas on the house please. Thank you Ann.

*tips*

[and nice skirt.]

Conservatives 4 Better Dental Hygiene said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Old Dad said...

Rat,

You magnificent boring, offensive, ignorant bastard of a troll.

You proved my point.

Conservatives 4 Better Dental Hygiene said...

Ritmo--as others have suggested, diplomatic/military communication is hardly dependent on the internet--let me add to the list you were provided--sat phones and couriers.

That's fine. None of which justifies some old coot's insistence that the American government is making a deliberate decision not to help American citizens in Egypt.

Also, I doubt that Egypt's attempts to block communication haven't had any effect on the embassy. It's ludicrous to assume that. As it is ludicrous to assume that one woman's inability to get through shows signs of incompetence of malfeasance. You get the picture, Roger.

Conservatives 4 Better Dental Hygiene said...

Still looking for all those topical comments of yours, Old Dad. On this thread or any other.

Bender said...

I think there's very little the US can do. Advocating for human rights and freedoms is useful, as is economic support for individuals or small groups.

Well, I hope that Leon Panetta's people are doing more than that (and sending stuff to Wikileaks).

Egypt wants a Pharaoh and they will get themselves a Pharaoh.

Better a Pharaoh than a son of Mohammed. In that same light, I would hope that Egyptians would see themselves as Egyptians first before they see themselves as "Arabs."

As it is, it looks like it quite likely to be either a True Believer or a shill for Iran.

Either way, how you like that reset button now? How you like that smart diplomacy?

Conservatives 4 Better Dental Hygiene said...

Also, I think not being able to get internet access might affect an embassy's workload and its ability to respond to a single phone call from some lady at CNN, but maybe that's just me. I guess unlike John McCain, I recognize that this device has become a pretty indispensable feature of most workplaces, including embassies.

Of course, I could be wrong. The staff could just be scheduling tea and crumpets with revolutionary leaders and deciding that they have nothing better to do.

Roger J. said...

Ritmo-I assure you I get the picture; I think its safe to assume the embassy is closed for the normal minor shit that embassies do--but I think its safe to assume they are in communication with the DOS for the on the ground intel and assessments that diplomats normally provide. And all the means of communication are available to them.

this actually seems to be an irrelevant issue, but in situations like these, irrelevancy is the normal response.

Florida said...

More Democrat Party incompetence:

"We do encourage U.S. citizens living and residing abroad to sign up with us at www.travel.state.gov," the U.S. State Department said in a statement. "This not only allows us to make more accurate plans in the event of a crisis in country, but enables us to provide those U.S. citizens with information and to reach them, should an emergency occur."

Precisely how are people supposed to sign up with the US State Department online when the Obama supported Mubarak dictatorship has flipped the internet kill switch in Egypt?

Where did we find such buffoons?

Barack Obama, it should be pointed out, wants the power to shut down the internet in the United States ... you know, just in case freedom starts to break out here one day he can shut us down.

Roger J. said...

Ritmo--you seem to have this hang up on internet--all of our diplomatic and military out posts have communication techniques that obviate the internet.

Beau said...

It's wrong when Democrats do it. It's wrong when Republicans do it.

To the rest of the world it's the US doing it and wishing just once, you'd keep the fuck out of it.

Florida said...

"I think not being able to get internet access might affect an embassy's workload ... "

Ritmo read the fucking linked story.

An embassy official has announced that the U.S. Embassy in Cairo has been indefinitely closed to Americans.

That is why the telephones are not being answered.

Nobody is there.

The U.S. Embassy run by Hillary Clinton is bugging out - leaving 50,000 expats to fend for themselves in a moment of international crisis.

This is pure Democrat Party cowardice that is impossible to parody.

MayBee said...

In similar terms, I'm not sure that the Obama administration has a lot of power to affect what's happening in Egypt right now.
=======

Nor do I.
I just bristle at their attempts now to act as if what is happening today is part of their grand plan, and they will tell you more about their intended result sometime after it all plays out.

They don't know what to do except position themselves politically here at home.

Pastafarian said...

Fen, make mine a tequila sunrise, thx.

To get off of the topic of how much more sophisticated Ritzy is than the rest of us, just for a moment:

We need to do everything we can right now to support pro-democracy forces there. This is a huge opportunity and a tipping point.

Deferring and hemming and hawing til we know who's going to win...Jesus Christ, how did we end up with this pack of cowards and ninnies in the White House?

I'm no international diplomat, but how's this: We tell the Egyptian people that we're opening up every spigot we have -- offshore drilling, oil shale, the works, fuck the snail darters and sea lions. We tell them that if they go full hardon Muslim fanatic dictatorship, then we'll not just embargo their oil, we'll blockade their coast and blow their wells and destroy their fucking economy.

And if they adopt a democracy, we'll make them one of our biggest trading partners, trade technology with them...hell, we'll send Ritzy over their to suck their dicks, if they're into that sort of thing. Not that there's anything wrong with that.

traditionalguy said...

Bender...The Mubarak Pharaoh term appears to be up at age 83 with a heart condition...and everyone in Egypt wants to install a new Pharaoh that will give them a shot at a channel to submit to him for promotion in life. No Egyptian really wants a Muslim Brotherhood take over killing off the educated and smart Coptics and starting a new war with Israel. Egyptians are not dumb like the Arabs are.

HT said...

Is Egypt really a big oil producer? (Or maybe we rely on them disproportionately?)

Almost Ali said...

Where did we find such buffoons?

Essentially, in the voting booth.

The world stage has become the wild west - with Barney Fife the lone lawman.

Pastafarian said...

HT, if oil isn't a big factor, then whatever it is (tourism, textiles, food) we should use it to put the screws to them.

peter hoh said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Roger J. said...

HT--the egyptians are not significant oil producers--they do however sit aside the suez canal-

us dependency on mid eastern oil is just that bullshit: we get our oil from canada, mexico, and some north sea states--only about 20 percent of our oil comes from the mid east--now the euros? they are screwed.

these assertions of mine can be googled--I dont usually make shit up (but I do sometimes)

Pastafarian said...

Roger and peter, I still think opening up offshore drilling and oil shale exploitation here would have a negative impact on Egypt's economy.

It would drive the price per barrel down, and Egypt's middle east trading partners would have less money to buy their food and natural gas.

So we could use that as a stick. And I'm pretty sure that we're one of their biggest trading partners, and they sell us textiles and food, so we have some pretty big carrots available too.

I don't see a majority of Egyptians clamoring for a combination of sharia law and abject poverty. If they know that poverty will come with fundamentalism, this might have some impact.

Or we can just hide our head in the sand and wait til the shooting's over.

peter hoh said...

According to this page, and this one, Egypt produces a few thousand barrels of oil more than it consumed in 2007 (on a daily basis). Egypt is not an OPEC member.

The real problem, Pastafarian, is that Egypt could well end up with a democracy controlled by the Muslim Brotherhood. Then where are you?

We can threaten embargo all we want, but they can make life difficult for our European allies (and cause delays for our naval vessels) by closing the canal.

peter hoh said...

If we wanted to ramp up our production of oil shale and offshore drilling, we'd have to pay more for oil than we currently pay, or we'd have to subsidize that production.

The demand for oil in the rest of the world would largely go unaffected.

Roger J. said...

Pasta--excellent point--if we open up the Bakkan oil shale in North Dakota we are sitting on a tremendous amount of crude--if the US decides to get back in the oil business we will vitiate these third world assholes . Not to mention other forms of energy available to us--we do not need the ragheads--but we apparently lack the will to take the requisite action.

shame on us.

Fen said...

Deferring and hemming and hawing til we know who's going to win...Jesus Christ, how did we end up with this pack of cowards and ninnies in the White House?

"Positioning" has always been Obama's leadership style. At this moment in the Oval, the greatest concern is "whatever happens, how do we spin it to make Obama look competent".

If America doesn't recognize the danger of re-electing such a Narcissist, then we deserve to fall.

David said...

We kept the embassy in Tehran open during the demonstrations there in 1979 and that did not work out too well.

Seems to me that closing the embassy is not a bad idea.

But . . . .

Could they not have an arrangement with (say) the Swiss to take calls and gather information? And leave a message on the voicemail to that effect?

Closing, si!

Ending all communication, No!

AllenS said...

When you call the embassy, do you have to press one for English, and two for Spanish?

woof said...

According to Wikipedia, Egypt is a net importer of oil. Their oil production peaked in 1993.

The total production from ANWR would be between 0.4 and 1.2 percent of total world oil consumption in 2030. Consequently, ANWR oil production is not projected to have a large impact on world oil prices.

Roger J. said...

Peter--oil production will be more expensive--dont know about you but I would rather subsidize american production than third world kelptocracies--your choice may vary of course.

Whatever the case we are probably headed for higher oil costs--to whom we should pay the bill is, IMO, the crucial question.

Big Mike said...

Carter, Reagan, Clinton, both Bushes, and Obama all propped up Mubarak for fear that worse could take over. Perhaps they were right, but that strategy could not succeed forever and the payment is about to come due.

The first order of business ought to be the safety of US citizens caught in the country. Can they be evacuated by air? If so, then from where can we stage the airlift? Italy? Israel? Saudi Arabia? I assume we have a carrier group on station in the Mediterranean; is there anything it can do?

@Pastafarian, if Muslim fundamentalists take over, which I fear is likely, then the West will have little in the way of economic leverage. The 12th century is the natural home of Muslim fundamentalists, and all we would be doing is helping them get there.

peter hoh said...

That's part of the point of ex-pats registering with the State Department well in advance of trouble. I'm fairly certain that -- as much as possible -- the US Embassy in Egypt has friends in other embassies ready to help Americans in need and have done their best to communicate this.

peter hoh said...

That last comment was in response to David, at 4:13

MayBee said...

Fen- exactly. And here, via Jake Tapper, is the administration's attempt at positioning today:

“We felt the U.S. push for democracy in the region had become -- rightly or wrongly, fairly or not -- associated with US attempts to dictate political outcomes in countries,” the official said. “We wanted to change the conversation to support for a universal set of rights,” and not be seen as pushing for any specific desired outcome.

This helps explain why the U.S. is not calling for Mubarak to step down, the official said: the argument is that the U.S. shouldn’t pick the leaders of other countries, the Egyptian people should. It’s the flip side of the doctrine that President Obama doesn’t push for specific leaders in other countries to be elected but rather expresses his desire for free and fair elections -- sometimes that may be seen as tacit support for incumbent dictators.


The last sentence is a doozy.

traditionalguy said...

Egypt is not an oil producer, except for a few fields developed by Israel before they returned the Sinai in the peace treaty. Egypt is all about the canal and free passage through it. It is a long narrow country that can be conquered by cutting off the upper Nile from the lower Nile. Air Power is the key to its defense from a land invasion over the Sinai or a sea invasion. Historically the riches of Egyptian agriculture (based upon Nile floods and not on the on again and off again rains) attracted conquerors from Syria and Iraq who would eat up Judah and Jerusalem as a snack along their way to conquer Egypt. Mubarak and Sadat knew that preserving Israel as a buffer state was actually in Egypt's best interest.Egyptians do not love the Jews and are very jealous of them. But Egypt still knows that to survive its neighbors it must remain a unique African land separate from the more oriental Irag and Syrian cultures.

AllenS said...

Hillary needs to explain the benefits of our form of government to the Egyptians. If they followed our lead, they too could have homosexuals serving openly in their army. Oh, and if there are any black people in Egypt, they could be affirmative actioned into good jobs in front of everyone else.

peter hoh said...

My guess is that the military leaders in Egypt don't want mullahs in charge.

Roger, do you want to pay $2.00 per gallon more for gas?

Roger J. said...

Peter--whats your alternative--I have aleady told you that US crude does not come from the mid east--you can look that up--google US crude oil suppliers--now I would suggest if the idiot EPA regs on shale sands oil production were sacked we could have the oil at no significant cost increase--IT IS THE POLICIES OF THE US GOV THAT ADD TO THE COST OF OIL PRODUCTION

Did I make myself clear?

Roger J. said...

And Peter--I am already paying a dollar more a gallon than i was paying last year= whats your point

Conservatives 4 Better Dental Hygiene said...

I could be wrong, TG, but I highly doubt Egypt's comparative grain production is what is was during antiquity.

Conservatives 4 Better Dental Hygiene said...

i.e. when it was one of Rome's vassal states.

peter hoh said...

Roger, when the price of oil rises, it becomes more cost-effective to drill for domestic oil. We don't have a ready supply of easily-accessible oil.

Oil is a commodity in demand across the globe. No matter where we get our oil, there will still be plenty of demand for Middle East oil.

Big Mike said...

@peter hoh, projections I have seen suggest that we'll be paying $2.00 more for gas anyway within the next 18 months.

As a candidate, Barack Obama was on record as saying that high gasoline prices was a good thing, except that if they went up too abruptly then the resulting economic shock would be a serious problem.

WV: labladen - Osama bin Laden's black dog.

Roger J. said...

Yes Peter--I agree entirely--but I disagree with your premise--we have a HUGE supply of available oil which will require the development of of extraction techniques unrelated to drilling. We are talking about extraction of crude thru oil sands. Your point is valid if you do not consider the alternatives--I am suggesting the alternatives obviate your point

Conservatives 4 Better Dental Hygiene said...

IAEA inspector El Baradei is the most popular leader to oppose the regime. He is not an Islamist. The Muslim Brotherhood has been an accepted part of the legitimate (read: established) opposition for years, tainting its claim to outright leadership of the revolution.

All facts are provisional, especially when caught in the momentum of a movement as large as 80 million people violently demanding their right to political reform. But I think it might be a good idea to be mindful of these facts before jumping on a tangent as to what will or will not occur in Egypt, insofar as it affects our interests or for its own sake.

HT said...

Roger J. said...

HT--the egyptians are not significant oil producers--they do however sit aside the suez canal-

___

Got it. I forgot about the Suez Canal. Thanks.

Florida said...

"We kept the embassy in Tehran open during the demonstrations there in 1979 and that did not work out too well. Seems to me that closing the embassy is not a bad idea."

This is an uninformed statement.

Embassies are the lifeline for American's abroad during times of political strife.

Embassies serve both as places where Americans can go and expect to be safe (they are guarded by US Marines) and where Americans go to get vital information on the recommendations being put forth by our government officials.

They are our last outposts.

They are never to be closed unless they are overrun and the way that you keep them from being overrun is that you properly secure them from attack just as you would the U.S. homeland. The US Embassy is American soil - no different than the soil the White House sits on.

It is the responsibility of the President and the Secretary of State to keep the Embassy open until it is overrun. That occurred in Iran because Carter did not secure the embassy. And while unfortunate ... the purpose of the Embassy is to stand as the last refuge for Americans abroad.

This President, and this Secretary of State, however, appear to be bugging out. They have closed the Embassy to protect their own. Leaving 50,000 American ex-patriots ... our countrymen ... in harms way.

That is a fucking cowardly act and it is a pity that we find ourselves today led by such cowardly men and women.

MayBee said...

Embassies serve both as places where Americans can go and expect to be safe (they are guarded by US Marines)

Untrue. Americans in foreign countries are reminded repeatedly that the Marines are there to protect the embassy personnel, and the embassy has no responsibility to physically protect Americans in a crisis. You are told NOT to go there.

JAL said...

President Obama doesn’t push for specific leaders in other countries to be elected but rather expresses his desire for free and fair elections -- sometimes that may be seen as tacit support for incumbent dictators.

As someone else pointed out -- he sure meddled in Honduras.

Thanks be he was smacked down.

What we need to do is drill baby drill, shale away, and get to work in the Gulf.

Enough of this avoidable drama
re our oil supply. Our politicians are just plain stupid.

The less we have to lose the stronger our position is. And ultimately the outcome will be better for the people.

Some of those people who are out demonstrating in the streets really do not want Egypt to be the next Iran. I am afraid they are going to be disappointed if they don't figure out that in this case the enemy of my enemy is not my friend.

Or maybe they are demonstrating for one dictator to be replaced by a punitive hardline Muslim theocracy??

The democracy demonstrators need to sort out the Muslim Brotherhood'
s designs for this chaos.

Maybe the Muslim people who stood guard around the church at Coptic Easter services and those who guarded the National Museum against looters will prevail.

That would be good.

Roger J. said...

Life intervenes and I have other things to do-I thought this was a very good thread and a host of thoughtful comments--I may not agree with some but I appreciate the reasoned comments--thanks to all for your effort and I genuinely appreciated your thought and input.

I can only hope the larger issue ends well for the egyptian people.

have a great sunday evening

MayBee said...

Higher oil prices are a plus for President Obama's domestic agenda. He won't drill baby drill, he'll invest baby invest.

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

More incompetence from Hillary Clinton ... who is not even at her desk in Washington D.C. as events deteriorate in Cairo.

Rather than tending to the needs of the 50,000 expats she's abandoned in Cairo, Hillary is too busy deciding who will and who will not be allowed to run for President in Haiti - which last time I checked was a sovereign country that should be allowed to select its own leaders.

Hillary isn't in Washington D.C. tonight.

No, she's in Port Au Prince.

Fen said...

Traditional Guy: Mubarak and Sadat knew that preserving Israel as a buffer state was actually in Egypt's best interest.

Thank you. I could't put my finger on it till now - the West is about to lose a buffer state to Islam.

Trooper York said...

You know these guys should all just take a walk.

Conservatives 4 Better Dental Hygiene said...

Traditional Guy: "Mubarak and Sadat knew that preserving Israel as a buffer state was actually in Egypt's best interest."

Thank you. I could't put my finger on it till now - the West is about to lose a buffer state to Islam.


Are my eyes deceiving me? I appreciate Roger's call to civility and reason, but it appears Fen believes the revolution occurring right now is taking place in Israel. Sorry to be a jerk, but I just had to mention that this idea seems a bit ill-considered.

Trooper York said...

When I hear all this breast beating and wailing all I can say is tut-tut.

Cedarford said...

Bender - "we must zealously continue (re-start) the policy started under Bush of freedom for the Muslim world. We must get our agents in there to support (3) those in Egypt who are genuine freedom-lovers, and take the necessary steps to stop (4) the anti-freedom forces (Islamicists) from succeeding."

The problem of Bush and the ignorant neocons is that their definition of "Freedom!!" was quite different than the definition and vision of "Freedom!!" in the eyes of the natives they tried pushing the ideas of a right-wing Soviet-Israeli Jew (Sharansky) on.
The natives saw "Freedom!!" as an end to corruption by the Ruling Elites, an end to perverting culture and ideas of the West. Democracy and elections helped legitimate Hamas, Hezbollah, the Iranian Revolutionary Party, and the nasty Shiite extremists beholden to Iran now in charge of Bush's "noble purple-fingered freedom lovers" in Iraq. And after 32,000 casualties and 800 billion of American treasure we didn't have that we borrowed from China - was pissed away.

Freedom and Democracy, as applied by Muslims - has also meant the growing Islamization of Turkey. And Pakistan. And Albania. And Kosovo. And Bosnia.

We departed from that with Afghanistan where we used sham Sharanskyite democracy to install a strongman, Karzai, that exceed Mubarak by leaps andbounds of corruption.

Best we can do is stay on the sidelines and be in a position to support whoever emerges in charge.

======================
PaulV said...
It seems we are all neocons now, except Rand Paul


Recycling that trite old Edward R Murrow phrase "We are all Londoners" for the thousanth time in different "collective solidarity" declarations doesn't make us Neocons.

Anymore than declarations "We are all Haitians now!!!" after the earthquake struck that squalid nest of overbreeders made Americans into Haitians.

Conservatives 4 Better Dental Hygiene said...

Thanks for reminding me of The Bangles in all this, Trooper.

I can still see Susannah Hoffs' humongous eyes beckoning me from side to side as she sang that on SNL in the 1980s, with Danny DeVito hosting.

I really need a clip of that specific performance.

wv: commi. If you're not with the Egyptians you're with the commis.

Trooper York said...

If we can't think about Bangles then the terrorists have won.

Conservatives 4 Better Dental Hygiene said...

At least the employment situation in the states will be good enough to allow for a manic Monday.

Conservatives 4 Better Dental Hygiene said...

The Bangles were funny. On that clip, I can't remember another female performer trying so hard to maintain a lady-like composure while going for an almost rock and roll sound.

It's almost like she's worried you're going to look up her skirt or something.

Cedarford said...

Big Mike - "The first order of business ought to be the safety of US citizens caught in the country. Can they be evacuated by air? If so, then from where can we stage the airlift? Italy? Israel? Saudi Arabia?"

1. Most foreigners appear to be in no danger. The 1st priority is ensuring they are safe....but not necessarily by a panicked mass evacuation of hundreds of thousands from Embassy rooftops - of Westerners and Muslim Egyptians eager for refugee benefits in the West.

2. The last thing we want to do is evacuate people, if that becomes necessary, to Israel. That would label all Westerners,, pro-West Egyptians so evacuated as "Zionist agents".
Anywhere BUT Israel.

Almost Ali said...

Welcome home:

The leader of Tunisia's main Islamist movement has returned home after 22 years in exile following the ousting of President Ben Ali earlier this month.

PaulV said...

woof, the price/demand curve is highly inexlastic. Translated a small increase in supply causes much larger decrease in price. You that Americans do not need jobs. It is not easy to maintain the oil cartel. If the price goes down they cheat and prices are harder to maintain.
Cedarford, are you unaware that neocons are not a place like London and Haiti? I am saying that the Bush Deranged are pushing the spread of democracy. Irony.

edutcher said...

MayBee said...

Higher oil prices are a plus for President Obama's domestic agenda. He won't drill baby drill, he'll invest baby invest.

And when inflation hits double digits, he'll be thrown out, baby, thrown out.

Florida said...

More incompetence from Hillary Clinton ... who is not even at her desk in Washington D.C. as events deteriorate in Cairo.

Rather than tending to the needs of the 50,000 expats she's abandoned in Cairo, Hillary is too busy deciding who will and who will not be allowed to run for President in Haiti - which last time I checked was a sovereign country that should be allowed to select its own leaders.

Hillary isn't in Washington D.C. tonight.

No, she's in Port Au Prince.


And The Zero is having all kinds of fun.

If Keith Olbermann isn't here to say, "Shut. the Hell. Up.", who will?

Big Mike said...

@Cedarford, a very well-reasoned rebuttal. However according to this news report you're a bit behind the reality curve.

But I think you're right when you say "anywhere but Israel."

Fen said...

Ritmo: but it appears Fen believes the revolution occurring right now is taking place in Israel.

No Libtard. Maybe one day you'll be able to comprehend what you read.

traditionalguy said...

Conserv4dentalhealth...After regime change when the wealthy, but suddenly out of favor Egyptians immigrate here, will they officially have African status? If so, then the GOP can recruit them to raise its African membership bragging rights. I hear that they build real good pyramids and other buildings too.

sunsong said...

Oil vs clean, cheap, artificial fuel

Conservatives 4 Better Dental Hygiene said...

I did read what you wrote, RetroTard. You said that we were about to "lose a buffer state to Islam", in reference to TG's quote that ISRAEL was being "preserved as a buffer state".

In case you weren't aware, RetroTard, Israel is a separate country from Egypt and its political status is not determined by events taking place there.

So maybe you might want to write more carefully. Or think more carefully. If you're capable of either.

Florida said...

El Baradei: U.S. losing Credibility Propping Up Mubarak

Smart diplomacy in action: "The United States is "losing credibility by the day" in calling for democracy in Egypt while continuing to support President Hosni Mubarak, leading dissident Mohamed ElBaradei said Sunday.

"You are losing credibility by the day. On one hand you're talking about democracy, rule of law and human rights, and on the other hand you're lending still your support to a dictator that continues to oppress his people," ElBaradei told US network CBS from Cairo.

This is from the London Telegraph ... which actually has reporters on the scene in Cairo, rather than the New York Times, which is staking out the Chick-Fil-A looking for any sign of homos eating there.

Conservatives 4 Better Dental Hygiene said...

Nah. Egyptians are just light enough in complexion for the GOP to consider them Hispanic or somesuch. Or maybe Sharon Angle might say something about them looking Asian. Nyuk nyuk.

HT said...

I thought the Middle East was a part of Asia. You have South Asia, the Far East (Asia) and the Middle East - seemingly to describe where in Asia the countries are.

JAL said...

@Cedarford 5:17
Seen the picture of Cairo airport on Drudge?

Conservatives 4 Better Dental Hygiene said...

Egypt is clearly a part of Africa.

sunsong said...

Oil vs cheap,clean alternative fuel

Big Mike said...

@sunsong, gaseous dihydrogen monoxide (water vapor) is actually a far worse greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide.

And when the article says "current methods of storing hydrogen are expensive and not very safe," they are taking British understatement to an extreme degree (c.f., The Hindenburg).

edutcher said...

HT said...

I thought the Middle East was a part of Asia. You have South Asia, the Far East (Asia) and the Middle East - seemingly to describe where in Asia the countries are.

It is. The Balkans are the Near East, the Middle East is east of the Dardanelles, and the Far East is east of the Khyber Pass.

Egypt is part of the Western Desert.

Conservatives 4 Better Dental Hygiene said...

Nah. Egyptians are just light enough in complexion for the GOP to consider them Hispanic or somesuch. Or maybe Sharon Angle might say something about them looking Asian. Nyuk nyuk.

Trickling Down His Leg reminds us who the Fourth Stooge is.

sunsong said...

BigMike,

And when the article says "current methods of storing hydrogen are expensive and not very safe," they are taking British understatement to an extreme degree (c.f., The Hindenburg).

From the article:

"To get round this, scientists from the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, near Oxford, University College London and Oxford University have found a way of densely packing hydrogen into tiny beads that can be poured or pumped like a liquid."

Big Mike said...

@sunsong, yes, I read that. I'm not much impressed that the beads will cover all contingencies. It doesn't take much to make the H2 molecule go "BOOM."

You do, however, get points for gullibility.

Conservatives 4 Better Dental Hygiene said...

Geez Ed. You sound more obsessed with me than usual tonight. You really should do something about that mancrush of yours.

Rialby said...

Ummm... aren't Hispanics of majority Native American descent technically Asian?

HT said...

Yeah, but Conservative is right, too. Egypt is a part of Africa. D'oh.

Hmmm...Maybe it's Iran, Iraq, etc..Don't they play in the Asian Cup?

So many questions today. I think I should probably just go to bed.

PaulV said...

I am looking forward to the von Hindenburg chain of gas stations selling safe hydrogen gas

BJM said...

It's 3:00 AM and the phones at the WH & State are going to voicemail.

Standby people, Tunisia and Egypt are just the warm up for KSA.

Fen said...

Ritmo: Egypt is clearly a part of Africa.

Grats Ritmo. Next you'll be telling us France is clearly part of Europe.

Maybe you should get your geography down before you discuss foreign policy.

Ritmo: Egypt is clearly a foreign country

Just brilliant.

Conservatives 4 Better Dental Hygiene said...

You sure seem to like butting into conversations that don't concern you, Fennie. Did you do that when you were a little boy, too? Did you feel left out? Do you want a lollipop?

Don't sulk in the corner for too long, Fen. I know you must feel really lonely but it only makes you more anti-social to nurse your hurt. Put a smile on that little face of yours, face the world, and then people might actually like you and choose to interact with you! Wouldn't that be swell!

Fen said...

*yawn*

Conservatives 4 Better Dental Hygiene said...

Fen always feels sleepy after he has his lollipop. It reminds him of his pacifier.

sunsong said...

BigMike,

You do, however, get points for gullibility.

What an unimpressive comment :-) Time will tell, of course, Mike. Three years is not very long. God bless you, and may you choose to receive it.

Conservatives 4 Better Dental Hygiene said...

Hydrogen can be stored in solid state form as metal hydrides. Many to choose from. Don't listen to the downers.

sunsong said...

Don't listen to the downers.

It's alright. Thanks for saying that, though. As I say, time will tell. If not this, there will be something else. It's not like the *only* possibility that will ever be is oil :-)

Have a good night.

HT said...

So what's the deal? When are we getting our people out of there? What the frick is the hold up? Why is there ANY hesitation?

I don't understand.

Does the admin think that the situation will stabilize and improve soon? (honest question)

Gary Rosen said...

Yep, C-fudd still the obsessed Jew-baiter, whacking off in his flophouse room. Gettin' an extra-big hard-on at thought of the MB taking over, big boy?

East Africa News said...

Egypt clash broke out watch al jazeera video http://ecadforum.com/ethiopian-news/5541

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