November 23, 2012

"An absolute presidential tyranny."

"Egypt is facing a horrifying coup against legitimacy and the rule of law and a complete assassination of the democratic transition."

158 comments:

CWJ said...

One man one vote one time. It's a classic.

Though I'm sure our own president is envious and taking notes.

AprilApple said...

Egypt points a gun at Israel. (well, more than point, actually shot missiles) We ask Egypt to put the gun down. (Hey! we'll throw in a few million American tax payer dollars too.) Egypt puts the gun down. Back-slapping ensues.

Smart diplomacy.

I'm sure radical Islamists in charge will only lead to an Arab Spring.

BDNYC said...

Forward.

El Camino Real said...

And who would be surprised over this? Springtime for Wannabe Hitlers.

Chip S. said...

What a bunch of whiners.

He won. Get over it.

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

It is a tyranny and Obama probably admires it. All liberals dislike democracy because you have to deal with so many people to get something done. That's why they like dealing with dictators. How many times do we have to see liberals trying to protect some positions of power in our own government from elections? The Independent Payment Advisory Board, that person who is supposed to protect consumers in the Dodd-Frank bill to name a couple. Positions free from meddling by the electorate.

steve said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kansas City said...

I don't understand why our country should devote significant time, money or effort to the question of how the how the Egyptions are ruled. I can understand how individuals with connection to Egypt might care, but our country needs to realize that we have little to no conrol over the issue and, at this point, the ruling of Egypt is of little significance to our country. The Egyptians have not been a significant miliary force for many centuries. They pose no threat to us. We need to do what is necessary to support and protect Israel, but to what extent is Egypt really a threat to Israel. If it is, what is there that we can do to significantly change it? I have some sympathy for the poor Egyptians who seem destined for more suffering, and I have zero confidence in Morsi, but we do not have a significant interest in the issue of how Egypt is ruled.

We have enough trouble trying to put capable people in our own highest offices, without worrying about how the Egyptians are doing finding their leaders.

Lydia said...

BBC:
Mr Mursi was praised as a pragmatist by the Americans after he negotiated the ceasefire between Israel and Hamas. But Egyptians who didn't vote for him - almost half the people who turned out in June's election - believe he has taken the new, sweeping powers to ram through an Islamist agenda.

The New Republic:
Eight Ways Obama Can Jam Through His Agenda Without Congress: The unilateralist manifesto

McTriumph said...

SURPRISE! SURPRISE! SURPRISE!

EGYPT?

CULTURE?

MUSLIM?

NO PROBLEM! FORWARD!

Maguro said...

Perhaps the least surprising development ever.

From Inwood said...

Who knew?

edutcher said...

Sounds like what we have here.

rhhardin said...

Dictators are richer than presidents.

It's a stable form of organization, just not one that gives the nation the highest standard of living.

Dictators have to pay off the necessary number of supporters to keep them from turning on them, but no more. The supporters need to get enough so that they can't do better elsewhere.

There you have it. The state maintains that order.

Obama may go for it too.

Maguro said...

Remember when the Wisconsin pro-union demonstrators were comparing themselves to the Arab Spring demonstrators? Good times.

damikesc said...

Man, overthrowing Mubarak was SUCH a great idea. Well played, Obama. Don't want a dictatorship there or anything.

Kansas City said...

Mubarak was awful. This guy is awful. Mubarak is an old man. Someone had to replace him. What difference does it make to us who?

Big Mike said...

One dictatorship is replaced by another. This surprised whom?

Cedarford said...

Kansas City said...
I don't understand why our country should devote significant time, money or effort to the question of how the how the Egyptions are ruled.


Unlike Israel, Jordan that have no strategic value to the US, or other shitty little nations we only care about due to oil and oil wealth (KSA, UAE, Kuwait, Libya) -both Turkey and Egypt have great geostrategic importance to us and the rest of NATO.

Lem said...

... and used his new authority to order the retrial of Hosni Mubarak.

It worked for Obama.

bpm4532 said...

Might I point out to you that we've had a few incursions into this type of thing here in the good old U.S. of A.

1. IPAB part of Obamacare
2. CFPB

both of which are exempt from judicial review and have high hurdles imposed to remove them.

3. Examine some of the actions of the Justice Department during the past four years.

4. A party (democrat variety) that apparently doesn't believe in upholding their constitutional duty as it pertains to presenting, discussing, and passing budgets.

Totalitarianism creeps up on you until it crushes your spirit and snuffs the life out of you.

phx said...

I supported the Egyptian revolution and the United States role once they at last came off the fence and committed. I also figured it was going to go in this direction. It will probably get even worse. And I still think we did the right thing.

phx said...

I also still want to see Assad go, even though the winners in that war are likely to be even worse than the Egyptian Brotherhood.

And good job to the EB for brokering the cease fire. I don't expect it to last 24 hrs. but good job nevertheless.

AllenS said...

Who actually gives a fuck about a bunch of Egyptians?

Mr. President Affirmative Action, plus Mrs. BJ Clinton, plus Mz. Affirmative Action Susan Rice instituted this regime change. Why should anyone doubt their knowledge of how the world works?

Methadras said...

Muslims are fucking nuts. It's an entire religion of fucking wackjobs. The whole lot of it. The brotherhood is the modern day nazi party. No doubt about it.

Kansas City said...

Cedarford,

What does "great geostrategic importance to us and the rest of NATO" mean with respect to Egypt? I'm not saying it is necessarily false, but what does it mean? And, assuming it is true at least to some extent, what realistically can we do to control events in Egypt to any significant degree.

McTriumph said...

I have to agree. A Muslim Brotherhood dictator connected to Hamas is far more in the USA's interest and middle east stability than a secular dictator. WTF?

Pastafarian said...

phx: "And I still think we did the right thing."

Based on what?

Was Mubarak really that bad? For 30 years Egypt was ruled by someone who resisted Muslim extremists who would have turned it into another haven for jihadists. Egypt often actually supported Israel diplomatically in confrontations with Hamas.

He wasn't perfect; he certainly used the tactics of our own Democratic party to maintain his grip on power longer than the populace would have preferred. But from the perspective of the US and our allies, I can't think of a better leader of a Muslim country (other than maybe his predecessor, Sadat. And no, I don't buy the theory that Mubarak had Sadat killed with a burp gun while he sat next to him. And even if he did, I don't know how that changes anything I've said.)

And so now the deck gets shuffled and we hope to be dealt a hand half as good as the last. I really don't see any upside to this at all, phx.

AllenS said...

Wow, just imagine four more years of the Obama foreign policy of choosing winners and losers in the Muslim world.

No doubt, those Muslims just like themselves some totalitarian rulers.

Titus said...

Some of them r fucking hot & pissed, yum.

tits.

Love how they r poor & fucked but love designer knockoffs. The dichotomy give me erection.

Pastafarian said...

phx, out of curiosity, did you support the removal of Saddam Hussein? Because if you're in favor of Mubarak's ouster, but not Saddam...I'll not accuse you of logical inconsistency, but rather of a consistent support for the wrong side.

Of Mubarak and Saddam, only one of those two had vats of acid that they'd lower political prisoners into; the same guy that used rape as a weapon against women; and conducted a genocidal war against the Kurds, arguably our best friends in the Muslim world.

So that would be crazy, wouldn't it? Supporting the removal of Mubarak, but not Saddam. I'll just assume you're a big GWB proponent, and you have a "miss me yet?" poster on your bedroom wall.

Lydia said...

phx: I supported the Egyptian revolution and the United States role once they at last came off the fence and committed.

To my recollection, it was a matter of only a few days before Obama made it very clear to Mubarak that he must go.

Perhaps you're confusing this with the 2009 Green Revolution in Iran, when Obama voted "present".

Baron Zemo said...

Arab Spring?

Ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha!

YoungHegelian said...

@Pastafarian,

I really don't see any upside to this at all, phx.

There may be an upside in the all the "moderates" who didn't vote for Morsi and, by extension, the "moderates" in the Arab world, now know that the Islamic Parties cannot be trusted as members of a political coalition.

Moderates around the world, because they are moderates, have trouble with the idea that they have two choices in dealing with their more extreme political opponents 1) murder the extremists or 2) get murdered by the extremists.

Morsi's coup may be a wake up call, albeit one that came too late for the forces of moderation in Egypt.

McTriumph said...

Mubarak and Saddam were both secular dictators, but that is where the comparison ends.

Hagar said...

Stand by for further bulletins.
The upheaval in Egypt is not over yet.

Pastafarian said...

YoungHegelian, I'd say that's akin to finding an upside in third-degree burns: Well, at least now we know that fire is hot.

And I'd say that the bigger message here is: If you're a strong-arm leader of a Muslim country, sitting on that powder-keg and preventing it from exploding against the West, when the shit hits the fan, you can count on your Western allies to...call for your resignation and sit idly by while you rot in prison awaiting your trial in a kangaroo court.

McTriumph said...

It will be interesting just how bad it gets economically on the ground before the next Egyptian military coup. History repeats itself.

Baron Zemo said...

Prince Feisal said....
"There's nothing in the desert. No man needs nothing. Or is it that you think we are something you can play with? Because we are little people; a silly people; greedy, and barbarous, and cruel."

CWJ said...

@Kansas City 3:28

Two words - Suez Canal

Paul said...

Ah... a country after one of Obama's dreams! President has absolute authority! If only Obama could have it that way to!

But then Egypt's problems stem for Libya's problems which stem from Obama's idea of intervention/non-intervention (formally called making a power vacuum!)

No hope for change till 2016.

rhhardin said...

Belmont Club

[T]he [Obama] administration’s policy has been foolishness on a scale matched only by its vanity.

YoungHegelian said...

I'd say that's akin to finding an upside in third-degree burns: Well, at least now we know that fire is hot.

No, I think that it's a little more nuanced than that.

I think the huge Muslim population of these countries puts tremendous pressure on the moderates to co-operate with the Islamic parties. But, now, maybe the moderates will see it's a waste of time, and work to build other ways to ameliorate the influence of Islamic extremism through political & religious education, the building of relationships with external states that support their cause (historically, an Arab specialty), and, last but not least, well applied political violence.

Cedarford said...

1. Suez. It is shut down, be prepared to pay 6-7 dollars at the pump if Europe is cut off from Gulf oil. Huge problem for trade outside oil if Asia, India are cut off from Europe and the former Soviet Empire Black Sea ports.
2. Ability to project power unto Syria, and the Arabian Peninsula, where Egypt has historically engaged. Most recently in the Yemen War.
3. Historical Arab World leadership role for good and bad.

What do we do?
Well, I will be the 1st to say it is more Europe, Russia, China, and Indias problem than ours -other than the 6-7 a gallon oil that would happen by Europe raiding the US Midwest and Eastern seaboard for all available oil supply at premium contract bids..

But one nice thing is if we had to, and could dispense with Geneva and the simpering human rights sort that moan and blubbler when war goes past the imagined perfect and antiseptic variety, few nations on the planet are easier for us to fuck up and bring down than Egypt.
With no need for the stupid stunt of "Heroes with Boots on the ground" serving as cannon and IED fodder for packs of angry Jihadis that believe they and their families are safe and free to kill "The Heroes" - by present ROE.

Egypt cannot feed it's fast-breeding population. 40% of food, nearly all cooking oil, must be imported. 95% of Egyptians live within 20 kilometers of the Nile, its Delta, irrigation canals and man-made lakes. Oil and other fuel is largely imported through only 3 ports, which is where the food Egypt needs to survive also comes in.
Their power grid is a mess - too much concentrated in small, bombable critical nodes...or power plants the Egyptian military cannot defend.

Europe, Russia, Israel are not stupid. They know how vunerable Egypt is.
I'd prefer us stay out of it. Too many expensive, Vietnam-like Neocon Wars of adventure that we lost or will soon lose.

Simply - mine the ports, cut off food and fuel. Put 80% of Egypt in electricity-less darkness with 40 cruise missiles.
If that isn't enough, if it was them or us, and that is not the situation...you could wipe out 10s of millions and destroy half of Egypts infrastructure by collapsing the Aswan Dam.

Pastafarian said...

McTriumph, I don't foresee their tourism industry rebounding any time soon.

But maybe phx will take the wife and kids there next summer, just to more closely admire the handiwork of his sooper-smart-diplomacy President.

McTriumph said...

Sometimes in the geopolitical world of American interests we have no real control. Sometimes we take it up the ass. That is the advantage of having Obama at the helm, he both supplies the K-Y and is a fluffer.
FORWARD!

Pastafarian said...

YoungHegelian, I don't know of many more Muslim countries where this message (that the extremists can't be relied upon to form a coalition) will matter.

In Egypt, moderates are nearly a majority. And as others have pointed out, Egypt is a strategically important country; and it's about to go from being pro-West, pro-Israel, to the opposite. And once a Muslim Brotherhood dictatorship takes hold, it will take tanks (American or Israeli or both) to get rid of it.

What other country is there that has a significant number of moderates (because if they don't your message is useless), is strategically important, and is now (or could be turned to being) as pro-West as Egypt has been?

I think my third-degree-burns analogy, while crude, is apt.

McTriumph said...

Pastafarian
Never apologize for crude analogies. You make me look bad, they are all I got.

AllenS said...

The new regime in Egypt could make some very fast money by selling off all of the mumified bodies and coffins. Also, all that old pharoah jewelry could bring some big time money to bring prosperity, however brief to support the Muslim takeover. Add the TV revenue by having the listings on the popular TV show the Pawn Stars, and you're talking major money.

If they took apart, block by block from the pyramids, and sold them on Ebay, how much money would that bring?

They could be Hollywood rich for a brief amount of time.

AllenS said...

Another option for the Obama administration would be to just give them billions of dollars. Every year, or month, whatever. WTH, it's not like we can't print more money. What's the problem?

AllenS said...

How much did this latest Hillary/obama peace initiative cost this country?

YoungHegelian said...

@Pastafarian,

What other country is there that has a significant number of moderates

Turkey
Morocco
Tunisia
Egypt
Libya
Syria
Indonesia
Iraq
Algeria
India (more Muslims than Pakistan)
and, yes, even Iran, where much of the population, as opposed to the government is strongly pro-Western.

Iran is a perfect example of where the moderates refused to have the good sense to murder the Khomeinites after the fall of the Shah.

Chef Mojo said...

Shutting down the Suez Canal is a non-starter, and the Egyptians know it. The transit fees (over $5.2 billion in revenue in 2011) are a huge part of their life blood, and it would throw a sgnificant chunk of their population out of work. They would see an arc of fire from Alexandria to Port Said as the whole Nile Delta explodes, not from foreign intervention, but from riots that would make Arab Spring look like a piss in a puddle.

Baron Zemo said...


"What other country is there that has a significant number of moderates (because if they don't your message is useless), is strategically important, and is now (or could be turned to being) as pro-West as Egypt has been?"

That would have been Iran back when Jimmy Carter was President. Obama is just trying to recreate everything that Jimmy ever did.

Gas lines and rationing is on the way to a gas station near you.

Enjoy!

jr565 said...

Kansas City wrote:
Mubarak was awful. This guy is awful. Mubarak is an old man. Someone had to replace him. What difference does it make to us who?

Do you work for the Obama administration?

jr565 said...

Kansas City for a start, Egypt under Mubarak wasnt run by the Muslim Brotherhood and was largely neutral when it came to Israel.

jr565 said...

Kansas City wrote:
And, assuming it is true at least to some extent, what realistically can we do to control events in Egypt to any significant degre

Except why did Obama stand front and center demadning Mubarack step down? (And why did he vote present when it came to Iran or Syria). Of the three which one posed the least danger to us?

McTriumph said...

jr565
Obama's Sec State wasn't neutral on Assad of Syria, Hillary assured us he was a reformer last year.

Hagar said...

"May you live in interesting times!"

Kansas City said...

I read all these comments and still don't understand why which dictator rules Egypt (or for that matter, how Egypt is ruled) should matter to us and, if it does, how we could exercise control over it anyway.

The Suez Canal still has some importance, but why would Egypt shut it down under any circumstances?

My view is that if we have dictators helping us, we help them. I guess that applied to Mubarak. It applied to the Shah, and Carter fumbled that one to the detriment of the rest of the world for the last 35 years. Otherwise, who rules Egypt, Afghanistan or any other place does not interest me, unless they pose some security risk to us or Israel (or some other true ally).

phx said...

And so now the deck gets shuffled and we hope to be dealt a hand half as good as the last. I really don't see any upside to this at all, phx.

@Pastafarian I did support the removal of Sadam Hussein. The upside that I see, and it wouldn't surprise me if it turned much worse before it got better, is that the United States is getting out of the business of supporting dictators. I know we still have a long way to go, but every step in that direction is most certainly a net gain in the long wrong. I hope so anyway.

phx said...

"May you live in interesting times!"

Heh. You got it kid.

Kansas City said...

On the security of Israel, it would be nice if Egypt was supportive, I don't think Egypt poses any significant threat to Israel.

Lydia said...

Kansas City said: I read all these comments and still don't understand why which dictator rules Egypt (or for that matter, how Egypt is ruled) should matter to us

and

who rules Egypt, Afghanistan or any other place does not interest me, unless they pose some security risk to us or Israel (or some other true ally)

Two words: Muslim Brotherhood

Yesterday:

The top leader of Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood denounced peace efforts with Israel and urged holy war to liberate Palestinian territories on Thursday — one day after the country's president, who hails from the movement, mediated a cease-fire between Israelis and Palestinians to end eight days of fierce fighting.

Richard said...

LOL You just HAVE to love it.

Kansas City said...

Lydia,

Okay. The Muslin Brotherhood is bad. And it is bad that their guy runs Egypt. Therefore, what?

I don't see how that means there is a threat that seriously jeopardizes the future of Israel.

And, I don't see how we can change who rules Egypt.

And, why is who rules Egypt of great significance to our intersts? And, if it is, who do we change it?

edutcher said...

phx said...

I supported the Egyptian revolution and the United States role once they at last came off the fence and committed. I also figured it was going to go in this direction. It will probably get even worse. And I still think we did the right thing.

Because having a bunch of crazies in charge who think it's OK to gang rape women is always the right thing.

YoungHegelian said...

@KC,

The often unnamed player in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is Iran which seeks not only to destroy Israel (and had said so publicly many times), but also seeks to expand its influence back to the glory days of the Persian Empire.

Iran could only supply Hamas in Gaza in bits and pieces because Egypt made some attempt under Mubarak to keep the border under control. If the Muslim Brotherhood opens the Egyptian/Gaza border to Iranian arms, Israel has a north (Hezbollah) & south (Hamas) simultaneous border war orchestrated by Iranian proxies.

phx said...

Because having a bunch of crazies in charge who think it's OK to gang rape women is always the right thing.

Try to use your head edutcher. You're not making a scintilla of sense here.

Try to think of an argument that has a conclusion and supporting prepositions. If you dare that is.

Ned said...

what?!? But obama said...but he's COOL!

Mogget said...

No sane/logical Egyptian leader would shut down the Suez Canal. However, when dealing with Islamists sanity should not be taken for granted. Moreover, it wouldn't take much to sabotage the Suez Canal if the right folks aren't carefully eat hi g the wrong folks. So let's hope everybody is keepi g their eye on the right ball...

frank said...

Hmmm, Jews prefer in cutting off the foreskin, Muslims prefer cutting off the clitoris, Americans prefer cutting off the unborn. I'm supposed to decide which is the 'preferred' culture? Nah--moral equivilence tells me don't worry--be happy.

edutcher said...

phx said...

Because having a bunch of crazies in charge who think it's OK to gang rape women is always the right thing.

Try to use your head edutcher. You're not making a scintilla of sense here.

Try to think of an argument that has a conclusion and supporting prepositions. If you dare that is.


No need to get nasty.

You support your guy, fine.

But you have to be able to deal with these little bumps in the road and saying, "You're not making a scintilla of sense here.", doesn't explain why you think it's still the right thing.

Methadras said...

Just from a show of hands here and let's be plain about this, sound off for any of you that support the Muslim Brotherhood.

Titus said...

I bet they do the downlow in their huts which is hot.

Lydia said...

Kansas City said: And, why is who rules Egypt of great significance to our intersts? And, if it is, who do we change it?

If you agree that Israel is our ally, then for that reason alone, Egypt is of great significance to our interests.

Sobering to realize that of all the Arab states, only Egypt and Jordan even recognize Israel, and if Egypt withdraws that recognition, well...

But even beyond that, Egypt under Mubarak was a very close ally of the U.S. in fighting terrorism, while the leader of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt says he looks upon Hamas as a role model.

Don't know what we can now do to influence an Egypt run by Mursi and the Muslim Brotherhood. But we most certainly should not have rushed to oust Mubarak as we did.

Michael Haz said...

This Morsi fellow is starting to look like he has what it takes to run for mayor of Chicago. Or Dane County circuit court judge.

Kansas City said...

I also don't understand the focus on Mubarak He was old and sick and almost certainly not "running" Egypt in any real sense.

Sure, it would be better if an anti-Israel Muslin Brotherhood was not running Israel. But they do.

I am skeptical about us being able to "influence" them in any significant or lasting way. To me, we live with it. There probably will be a coup before too long. Then maybe we can take another look at whether the situation provides an opportunity for us. But we have to accept what we cannot change or, more accurately, what we are unwilling (wisely) to spend the blood and treasure to try to change.

Insufficiently Sensitive said...

WHAT democratic tradition???

Turkish colony under Sultan.
Independent under Muhammad Ali.
English protectorate under Muhammad Ali dynasty.
Military dictatorship under Nasser, Sadat & Mubarak.
ARAB SPRING! New dictatorship, with actors playing powerless legislative and judicial branches,
Obama administration approves.

Fr Martin Fox said...

Pastafarian:

What is your basis for saying moderates are nearly a majority in Egypt? I'm not challenging your statement, but merely asking what you base it on.

phx said...

But you have to be able to deal with these little bumps in the road and saying, "You're not making a scintilla of sense here.", doesn't explain why you think it's still the right thing.

I said I thought getting out of the support-your-dictator game was wise for the United States. We're entering a new era and I think there's a silent majority of people throughout the world who are going to be looking to see who represents that which is just and moral.

It's a long-term investment rather than a short-term one but I believe it redound to our benefit.

You think I'm a naive idiot?

McTriumph said...

"I think there's a silent majority of people throughout the world who are going to be looking to see who represents that which is just and moral."

1) They are silent because they don't want to be butchered.

or

2) They believe Jihad is just and moral.

Greg Hlatky said...

At least he isn't a Republican.

Nathan Alexander said...

@Kansas City,
When a terrorist group runs, or has close cooperation with, a national government, you get State-sponsored terrorism.

That means the terrorist group gets political cover, funding, rest/recovery locations, access to better intelligence on targets, etc.

The United States, as the #1 target of terrorism, has its national interests damaged by the increase of State-sponsored terrorists.

The world-wide terrorism situation is worse than it has been since 1998, thanks to Obama's fecklessness.

This is the result of Obama giving up fighting against terrorism.

Too bad the press thought binders of women were a more important topic, and never thought it was important enough to discuss (unlike asking Palin about a non-existent "Bush Doctrine").

phx said...

1 and 2 both have truth in them, no doubt. I also believe that there's a democratic, secular population open to liberal humanist values, or western values. Not a wholesale acceptance of those values but willing to pick and choose and coexist. Those people are worth cultivating. They are the ones George Bush called "the future leaders of your free countries."

XRay said...

"...-both Turkey and Egypt have great geostrategic importance to us and the rest of NATO."

Haven't read the thread so perhaps there was further discussion... but have to ask, if Turkey, which wasn't being discussed, is removed from that equation what exact geostrategic importance does Egypt hold over the US. The Suez, sure, but not an insurmountable hurdle. Sinai as a dagger into Israel, again sure, but I think that no longer such a large worry for Israel.

Ah... tourism. That is, or at least once was of some value to the world. No longer.

Baron Zemo said...

phox said...
You think I'm a naive idiot?"

That's a ten four good buddy.

Baron Zemo said...

Sorry I was just watching "Convoy."

Kansas City said...

Nathan Alexander,

Your points make sense, but where do they lead in terms of what the United States should do, or what it should have done?

It is perhaps an agument for trying to keep friendly dictators in power (which I agree with, if it is practical), but are you saying we should have tried to do that withan old and done Mubarak? And now that we have Morsi, what do we do?

I'm more inclined to tell the Morsi's of the world if there is any terrorist attack on U.S. with linkage to the Egyptian government, then he dies - quickly. Simpler, cleaner, cheaper and more effective than tying to diplomatically or politically influence him.

Michael K said...

" I also believe that there's a democratic, secular population open to liberal humanist values, or western values. Not a wholesale acceptance of those values but willing to pick and choose and coexist. Those people are worth cultivating. They are the ones George Bush called "the future leaders of your free countries."

Yes, and they constitute about 10% of that population. The good news is that they are about 40% of the US Muslim population.

Whoopee !

edutcher said...

phx said...

But you have to be able to deal with these little bumps in the road and saying, "You're not making a scintilla of sense here.", doesn't explain why you think it's still the right thing.

I said I thought getting out of the support-your-dictator game was wise for the United States. We're entering a new era and I think there's a silent majority of people throughout the world who are going to be looking to see who represents that which is just and moral.

It's a long-term investment rather than a short-term one but I believe it redound to our benefit.

You think I'm a naive idiot?


I will leave phx to his introspection, but I'd like to point out that fostering democratic governments in Moslem countries was Dubya's thing (one of the reasons we went to Iraq).

So I'm a little puzzled at why he isn't a big Dubya fan, too.

XRay said...

"It will probably get even worse. And I still think we did the right thing."

I'm certain this has been addressed, but really, this is one of the most absurd things I've ever read.

I mean, I can see how one might dream that moderate forces would/will prevail, but with Muslims involved, well, that dream is truly a fantasy.

Or, perhaps, this is an attempt to gain a position with the State Department.

SomeoneHasToSayIt said...


Why are we insulting the Arab countries by forcing them to deal with un-veiled females in our top State Department post, and at the UN?

frank said...

phx said...
You think I'm a naive idiot?

No--not 'naive'--just an idiot.

Baron Zemo said...

edutcher said...
"So I'm a little puzzled at why he isn't a big Dubya fan, too."

Because like all Obama fans he is a hypocrite. All the stuff they hated about W is A-OK when the Jug Eared Jesus does it. You know. Drones. Gitmo. Wiretaps. The whole caboodle.

Like all of the Obama fans on this board he is rooting for the laundry not the policies.

phx said...

this is one of the most absurd things I've ever read.

Tiresome hyperbole noted. It's a signal that something very insightful is to follow, I'm sure.

I can see how one might dream that moderate forces would/will prevail, but with Muslims involved, well, that dream is truly a fantasy.

I indicated pretty clearly the short run prospects for MENA moderates were not very good. So what is it that makes you think believing long-term prospects are better is "truly a fantasy" and "absurd"?


phx said...

No--not 'naive'--just an idiot.

Well good, I'm glad you are getting out there and putting your opinions on the line. That shows real bravery, showing us how your brain works and what your thinking process is.

phx said...

but I'd like to point out that fostering democratic governments in Moslem countries

I was completely supportive of Bush's handling of Iraq up until the point it was clear he was leaving its execution to the neo-Cons and thus had little to no chance of success. Subsequent evens in Iraq bore that out.

XRay said...

"So what is it that makes you think believing long-term prospects are better is "truly a fantasy" and "absurd"?"

Islam.

Baron Zemo said...

Neo-cons equals Jews.

That's the ballgame right there sports fans.

Now back to your regularly scheduled programing.

phx said...

Fundamentalist Islam's influence will begin to wane as globalization proceeds apace.

XRay said...

And let me add, I'm okay with this new born caliphate. Yeah, it's kinda messy now, but pretty soon we will have some clearly delineated borders, regions, areas. So that when it comes the free fire range will be nicely outlined, and everything within will be a target. That is what is will come to, given (a large assumption) that the West hasn't already surrendered.

phx said...

Not that it isn't capable of doing enormous damage on its way down. But there's little else to be done.

XRay said...

"Not that it isn't capable of doing enormous damage on its way down. But there's little else to be done."

There's lots else to be done. But the first step would be for our politicians (all of them) to be honest.

Now, that's dreaming, you know, if you're one to dream an all that.

phx said...

What are you saying they would have to be honest about?

XRay said...

"1. Suez. It is shut down, be prepared to pay 6-7 dollars at the pump if Europe is cut off from Gulf oil. Huge problem for trade outside oil if Asia, India are cut off from Europe and the former Soviet Empire Black Sea ports."

I don't mind this, if it lessens Islamic influence, starves them into the reality that it isn't the 7th century anymore.


2. Ability to project power unto Syria, and the Arabian Peninsula, where Egypt has historically engaged. Most recently in the Yemen War.

Sorry, as I may not be well read here. But from my cursory reading Egypt hasn't really projected power for two or three thousand years.

3. Historical Arab World leadership role for good and bad.

Perhaps, in the past. Long gone.

edutcher said...

phx said...

but I'd like to point out that fostering democratic governments in Moslem countries

I was completely supportive of Bush's handling of Iraq up until the point it was clear he was leaving its execution to the neo-Cons and thus had little to no chance of success. Subsequent evens in Iraq bore that out.


OK, what makes you think this will turn out any better?

If not, in fact, worse?

Other than Barry has no use for Jews?

XRay said...

"What are you saying they would have to be honest about?"

Yep, left myself wide open for that one.

So the short and simple answer is... anything.

Being as my trust in our government, its politicians, its bureaucracy, sits right now at zilch.

Though, I did have a good experience at the DMV a few weeks ago. They were all very nice and helpful.

phx said...

So you had nothing to say then.

phx said...

Except you wanted to make sure it was understood you thought I was a fool.

XRay said...

No, I did have something to say. Your inability to discern such is not my problem.

phx said...

Yeah, I did catch a little dribble there. Nice effort.

DADvocate said...

Elections have consequences. Many times not good ones.

All liberals dislike democracy because you have to deal with so many people to get something done.

It's horrible. Not just dealing with people, but so many think they should be free and have real choices rather than follow the dogma of the left.

phx said...

Let's see, to summarize, you think the government cannot be trusted, except you had a pretty good experience at the DMV, and that all somehow explains your thinking on the prospects for 21st c. Islam.

Palladian said...

phx, did you recently lose a job or something? You're on here like 18 hours a day.

Sad, really...

XRay said...

"I did catch a little dribble there"

About all it takes.

phx said...

And, I know I know, phx's thinking is absurd.

phx said...

@Palladian I'm independently wealthy.

You waiting until it's safe for you to come back?

XRay said...

"And, I know I know, phx's thinking is absurd."

Your thinking isn't completely absurd. When you allow yourself to be yourself you're fairly sensible. It is when you launch off into the 'talking points' that hurts your credibility.

To get back to your 'bro' comment, we are, all, of course.

But there is no Utopia here... nor will ever fucking be.

phx said...

First, stop refering to my thinking as "absurd" then, except when you have some justification for it that you're willing to make. Simply think of my points of view as competitors and I'll think of yours that way.

Second, you really should get away from that "talking points" meme when you are talking with me. By now you should know I DON'T speak in talking points. I actually believe what I say and at least a minimum of independent thought to it.

Finally you could be right about Utopia, I'm not actually looking for Utopia however. And I do believe all men and and women are brothers/sisters even if we don't acknowledge it. It doesn't mean you don't have to kill them sometimes if you are going to survive.

phx said...

Getting to the point where we don't have to kill them is the point, IMO.

phx said...

Now maybe we can understand and respect each other a little better.

Lydia said...

phx said: Fundamentalist Islam's influence will begin to wane as globalization proceeds apace.

But what if instead "Islamist movements are one of globalization's motors"?

Palladian said...

You waiting until it's safe for you to come back

Come back? I haven't gone anywhere. You just post so much shit that it's difficult and unrewarding for the rest of us to get a word in edgewise.

XRay said...

"By now you should know I DON'T speak in talking points."

A given, as you can't even see it.

"Getting to the point where we don't have to kill them is the point, IMO."

We are not going to be allowed a different choice when push comes to shove.

I respect you, would only ask for the same.

phx said...

You just post so much shit that it's difficult and unrewarding for the rest of us to get a word in edgewise.

Okay Boo Radley. Your shy ways are noted. We'll see if we can't accommodate your special needs.

phx said...

Go to a different thread if you can't compete, Palladian. Lydia just dropped an article that looks very interesting. XRay's actually doing all right here. He makes a very, very important point about respect. But if you're all skeery.

XRay said...

I was wrong. Sorry.

phx said...

I'm actually thinking about if I speak in talking points.

XRay said...

I was wrong in the sense of taking anything that comes out of the lefts mouth seriously.

I'm the naive one, looking for bridges when they've all been burnt.

phx said...

Well, you're young, you'll get over it.

XRay said...

No, I'm not young. I'll die not getting over it. Lamenting the country I grew up in as being the best hope of the world being lost, to jerks like you.

phx said...

Heh. Somehow I think your frustration is misplaced. But as I frequently say here, go ahead and blame me if it makes you feel better.

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

phx,

I know we still have a long way to go, but every step in that direction is most certainly a net gain in the long wrong. I hope so anyway.

In the annals of Freudian typos, I think that one will have a prominent place. At least, I hope so.

In the "long wrong," we are all dead, but Jews first.

XRay said...

You'll notice I said 'jerks like you', not just you, so climb down off that pedestal.

Their are millions of you, idiots all as far as I'm concered.

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

@XRay you sound just like Jimmy Stewart walking out of Mr. Potter's office, waving your cigar around. "And that goes for you, too!"

phx said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
reformed trucker said...

"That's a ten four good buddy."

"Sorry I was just watching 'Convoy'." - BZ

Yikes! You should have just said "That's a big 10-4" and dropped the "good buddy" part. A good buddy is someone who goes to town to get two blowjobs, and comes back to give you one. C.B lingo...

Ralph L said...

Kansas City, you answered your own question:
Carter fumbled that one to the detriment of the rest of the world for the last 35 years

Do you want another Iran (one much closer to Europe) supporting global terrorists?

Clyde said...

I doubt that Egypt has EVER respected the "rule of law" since they left the British Empire.

Rusty said...

phx said...
but I'd like to point out that fostering democratic governments in Moslem countries

I was completely supportive of Bush's handling of Iraq up until the point it was clear he was leaving its execution to the neo-Cons and thus had little to no chance of success. Subsequent evens in Iraq bore that out.

Then would I be right in assuming you condemn Obama's lack of support of Irans green movement?

Mian said...

It ain't over 'til it's over. Set the alarm for 2022: we should have a better idea of where it's heading by then.

In the meantime, book your cruises for the Danube instead of the Nile.

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

Then would I be right in assuming you condemn Obama's lack of support of Irans green movement?

Obama does support the Greens. The two countries two entirely different situations, requiring two different approaches. And though I supported Bush's effort, it failed.

Additionally, the populace of Iran has a different relationship to its government than does that of Sadam's Iraq. There was no "green movement" in Iraq. These nation-states in the ME aren't interchangeable.

Rusty said...

phx said...
Then would I be right in assuming you condemn Obama's lack of support of Irans green movement?

Obama does support the Greens.


That's an interesting statement. While the green revolution was in full swing he was strangely silent. Only after the organized, brutal repression began did he give his luke warm support. Thereby emboldening the ayatollahs.



Additionally, the populace of Iran has a different relationship to its government than does that of Sadam's Iraq. There was no "green movement" in Iraq. These nation-states in the ME aren't interchangeable.

Certainly they're not, but the desire for freedom is nearly universal. That's all the greens wanted. The small measure of liberty that is theirs by right.

phx said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kansas City said...

Ralph L said...
Kansas City, you answered your own question:
Carter fumbled that one to the detriment of the rest of the world for the last 35 years

Do you want another Iran (one much closer to Europe) supporting global terrorists?

MY ANSWER: That is an argument for strongly supporting Mubarak and his cronies, which would have been fine wiht me. We did not do that, so what now? The notion that we can significantly modify the leadership and form of government in Egypt seems naive to me. My approach, as stated before, is to tell Morsi he will quickly die if there is any terrorist attack on the U.S. linked to Egypt's government in any way.

phx said...

That's an interesting statement. While the green revolution was in full swing he was strangely silent. Only after the organized, brutal repression began did he give his luke warm support. Thereby emboldening the ayatollahs.

I think what would have emboldened the ayatollahs is to be able to point to bellicose words from the USA and feel even more free to crack down on the greens.

Which is one reason, and only one, that the greens have not asked for our support. It'd be foolish to come out with strong words from the greens only for the USA to be told to screw themselves and mind their own business.

You see this is a delicate balance that any president has to follow in Arab Spring countries. I'm not saying your position is indefensible, but I am saying in my judgement it's wrong, and the Iran question is one place where Romney (and all the GOP candidates) lost me.

Rusty said...

phx said...
That's an interesting statement. While the green revolution was in full swing he was strangely silent. Only after the organized, brutal repression began did he give his luke warm support. Thereby emboldening the ayatollahs.

I think what would have emboldened the ayatollahs is to be able to point to bellicose words from the USA and feel even more free to crack down on the greens.

You mean something worse than being randomly shot in the street, or arrested at gunpoint, tortured, raped, and killed?

Which is one reason, and only one, that the greens have not asked for our support.

They did.Repeatedly. Early on. This administration ignored them.

It'd be foolish to come out with strong words from the greens only for the USA to be told to screw themselves and mind their own business.

Now I would expect it.

You see this is a delicate balance that any president has to follow in Arab Spring countries.

I'm not saying your position is indefensible,

I'm just stating historical fact. Not my opinion.

My opinion is that Iranians are no less worthy of claiming their birthright than the Poles.


but I am saying in my judgement it's wrong, and the Iran question is one place where Romney (and all the GOP candidates) lost me.


What position was that?

phx said...

You mean something worse than being randomly shot in the street, or arrested at gunpoint, tortured, raped, and killed?

Yes. Oppression always comes in degrees. Just ask the Baha'i.

They did.Repeatedly. Early on. This administration ignored them.

What's your source on this rusty?

I'm just stating historical fact. Not my opinion.

Now's your chance to back up your "facts".

My opinion is that Iranians are no less worthy of claiming their birthright than the Poles.

I agree with you. Obama agrees with you. Everyone agrees with you. Getting there is more than just making a right-wing neocon wish.

What position was that?

The position the Republican candidates had that they all wanted to be much aggressive with Iran than Obama was but showed no plan or understanding of the strategic difficulties involved.

XRay said...

Chuckle... I did.

Rusty said...

phx said...
You mean something worse than being randomly shot in the street, or arrested at gunpoint, tortured, raped, and killed?

Yes. Oppression always comes in degrees. Just ask the Baha'i.


Death is pretty much an absolute.



They did.Repeatedly. Early on. This administration ignored them.

What's your source on this rusty?
NBC,CBS,FOX

I'm just stating historical fact. Not my opinion.

Now's your chance to back up your "facts".

See above.

My opinion is that Iranians are no less worthy of claiming their birthright than the Poles.

I agree with you.

Obama agrees with you. Everyone agrees with you.

Evidence to the contrary not withstanding?

Getting there is more than just making a right-wing neocon wish.

I don't know what a neocon is. I'm a classic liberal.


It would have been easier if Obama had expressed his solidarity with the green movement at it's inception rather than a couple of months later when it hardly mattered. Now the people of Iran won't believe us no matter what we do.

What position was that?

The position the Republican candidates had that they all wanted to be much aggressive with Iran than Obama was but showed no plan or understanding of the strategic difficulties involved.

Being agressive with tyrants is preferable than deferring to them. History has shown this to be true. I don't think you understand the strategic realities involved.

Ralph L said...

The notion that we can significantly modify the leadership and form of government in Egypt seems naive to me. My approach, as stated before, is to tell Morsi he will quickly die if there is any terrorist attack....
We got the blame for re-installing the Shah in 1953. We've been bribing the Egyptian government with several $B a year for over 30 years--that gives us some influence.

Leaders don't like to threaten other leaders personally--because it gives people ideas and tends to bite them on the ass. See JFK and Castro.

traditionalguy said...

Mubarack was sadat protege and undstaning their nature he suppressed the muslim Fundies and gave the Christian Copts a measure of protection from murder by the Muslim Fundies.

That lead to 40 years of peace.

Obama has restarted the Jihad Fundies hoping to get a Mother of all crisies ablaze in "Palestine" again.

Why do that???

DCS said...

Anybody surprised by this development probably believed the Benghazi attack was caused by anti-Muslim video trailer.

DCS said...

Anybody surprised by this development probably believed the Benghazi attack was caused by anti-Muslim video trailer.