Egypt and the limits of US power

Few relationships better demonstrate the limits of American power or the frustration conundrums of Realpolitikbetter than our alliance with Egypt.
It is one of our most reliable partners in the fight against Islamic terrorists, but its autocratic police state bred one of the best-known pro-terror organizations, the Muslim Brotherhood. Its treaty with Israel has helped to keep the lid on explosive relations between Israel and its Arab neighbors, but its sclerotic and corrupt regime frustrates its youthful population. That keeps the pot simmering.
Protests which erupted in Tunisia have now spread to other Middle Eastern police states, including Egypt. From The New York Times:

After days of protests in the Arab world that have toppled one president and shaken many others, demonstrators calling for the ouster of President Hosni Mubarak poured from mosques in Cairo after noon prayers on Friday, clashing with police who fired tear-gas and water-cannons, according to news reports and images broadcast on television.

Protests were also reported in the cities of Suez, Alexandria and several others, including Al Arish in northern Sinai.

According to The Associated Press, police doused one of the most prominent opposition figures, Mohammed ElBaradei, with a water-cannon and beat supporters who tried to shield him. Mr. ElBaradei, the former head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, returned to Cairo on Thursday, promising to join the largely leaderless protests that have so far been propelled by young people.

Earlier, Internet and cellphone connections were closed or restricted in Cairo, Alexandria and other places. Riot police took to the streets of Cairo before the Friday noon prayers that in many parts of the Islamic world have been a prelude to unrest as worshippers pour onto the streets.

The protests have underscored the blistering pace of events that have transformed the visage of the Arab world, particularly among regimes that have traditionally enjoyed the support of successive administrations in Washington.

130 comments Add your comment

Thulsa Doom

January 28th, 2011
1:22 pm

Kam,

I knew at some point today you would make me laugh. It came quicker than I thought. You still haven’t corrected my typos yet.

Kamchak

January 28th, 2011
1:25 pm

Thulsa-poo

I hear you knockin’, but you can’t come in.

HDB

January 28th, 2011
1:28 pm

Thulsa Doom
January 28th, 2011
1:17 pm

“So what you’re telling me is that Bush 2 was regarded as weak although he was the one man who took a stand against Saddam and against Bin Laden in Afghanistan and we all know what happened then.”

Let’s see…if Shrub wasn’t weak, why DID he go into Iraq simply for retribution when DADDY Bush stopped Colin Powell from marching into Baghdad?? Reason: Daddy Bush KNEW that Saddam kept the Iranians at bay!! A strong person would admit to the errors he makes; Shrub didn’t!! …and we DO know what happened next, don’t we??

We ALL know that Ronald Reagan armed the mujahaddin aganst the Russians to get them out of Afghanistan…created Osama bin Laden…and now, we’re fighting against our own weapons that were given to the Afghans!!

Better check things out!!

Kamchak….THANKS for the proof!!

Keep up the good fight!

January 28th, 2011
1:29 pm

Kam…theme music for your photo….Jay & the Americans…”This magic moment, with his lips so close to mine..

HDB

January 28th, 2011
1:31 pm

Keep up the good fight!
January 28th, 2011
1:29 pm

GOOD ONE!!! How about “Then He Kissed Me” by the Crystals!!

Kamchak

January 28th, 2011
1:33 pm

Kamchak….THANKS for the proof!!

Anytime, HDB.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Keep — Damn, I wish I had thought of that!

Thulsa Doom

January 28th, 2011
1:35 pm

Kam,

You will always be my court jester. My personal fool. Someone put on earth for my sole amusement.

Kamchak

January 28th, 2011
1:35 pm

HDB

January 28th, 2011
1:38 pm

“Kissed From a Rose” (Bush) – by Seal

Thulsa Doom

January 28th, 2011
1:41 pm

HDB,

Your logic is atrocious. You’re such a simpleton that you think Bush started a whole war for the simple human emotion of wanting some retribution? The reason you think that is because that’s the way Dems think and you just assume that other’s think in the same emotional vein as you do. No ma’am. We’re somewhat more logical than that.

In regards to Reagan arming the Afghans at that point in time we were in the cold war and fighting Soviet expansionism- or is that too difficult for you to understand. My friend is the enemy of my enemy- every heard that one? Its a popular middle eastern saying.

As for the Afghans using our own weapons against us don’t be absurd. The batteries on the stinger missiles we gave them died long ago. The weapons they use are Soviet and Chinese made AK-47s and mostly old Russian anti-aircraft guns and the like. Not too many M-16s being used over there. What a foolish statement.

Thulsa Doom

January 28th, 2011
1:43 pm

HDB, my court jester Kam,

I’ll be back later. Got to get some work done so that I can make some money to pay taxes to pay for your unemployment check and your social security check. Kam- I’ll be expecting some amusement from my jester when I return. Amuse me kam.

james

January 28th, 2011
1:43 pm

Supreme Court: Emanuel on Chicago mayor ballot

much like the US SCourt gave the Presidency to Bush. We shall await the hue and outcry from the left.

Keep up the good fight!

January 28th, 2011
1:44 pm

Watch out Kam…just like most righties, Doom Doom is expecting you to work for free.

Kamchak

January 28th, 2011
1:49 pm

Keep

Whether she is amused or not — makes no difference to me.

But I will smack her nose with a wet newspaper when she humps my leg.

HDB

January 28th, 2011
1:50 pm

Thulsa Doom
January 28th, 2011
1:41 pm

Question: why did Daddy Bush tell Colin Powell to STOP…and why did Shrub proceed if there was not other logical reason?? Daddy said that to bring down Saddam would generate a domino effect that the US may not be able to handle. There was no reason to go after Saddam (at that point)…but numerous reasons to go after the Iranians. Other than retribution, why were we in Iraq??

Remember THIS saying: Afghanistan is the place where empires go to DIE!!! Every military power in history has gone into Afghanistan…from Genghis Khan to present……and has been defeated!! Reagan FORGOT that historical template….and look where that got us! We pulled our support, left the Afghans, generated hostility…and look where we are now!!

Batteries can be recharged…other weapons can be obtained! The Afghans STARTED with our own weapons…then obtained more…..check the time line!!

Those that forget their history are doomed to repeat it!!

Not Democratic or Republican thought processes…a HISTORICAL thought process…..!!

Kamchak

January 28th, 2011
1:53 pm

Supreme Court: Emanuel on Chicago mayor ballot

much like the US SCourt gave the Presidency to Bush. We shall await the hue and outcry from the left.

Yeah, because putting someone on the ballot in a Mayoral race is exactly like installing a president.

Teh stoopid, it burns. Oi.

OMG

January 28th, 2011
2:01 pm

Nice Guy

January 28th, 2011
2:05 pm

“much like the US SCourt gave the Presidency to Bush”

You’re right, Kam. The stoopid does burn.

cato kalin project

January 28th, 2011
2:06 pm

remain calm, all is well

HDB

January 28th, 2011
2:11 pm

Thulsa Doom
January 28th, 2011
1:41 pm

BTW: Here’s the show that you’re wrong:

Wikileaks: Taliban used missiles supplied by US to shoot down US helicopters
Last Updated: Jul 26, 2010

Taliban insurgents appear to have used portable heat-seeking surface-to-air missiles to shoot down US helicopters that were supplied to Afghan mujaheddin by the US in the 1980s to help drive out the Soviet Union, according to documents released by the organisation Wikileaks. Thousands of classified documents related to the Afghan war, released without authorisation by Wikileaks reveal in often excruciating detail the struggles faced by U.S. troops as they battle an increasingly potent Taliban force and also try to work with Pakistani allies who often appear to be helping the Taliban.

The more than 92,000 classified documents. most of which consist of low-level field reports, represent one of the largest single disclosures of such information in US history. Wikileaks gave the documents to the New York Times, the British newspaper The Guardian and the German magazine Der Spiegel several weeks ago on the condition that they not be published prior to Sunday night, when the group released them publicly.

The huge trove of documents covers the period from January 2004 through to December 2009. when the Obama administration began to push more than 30,000 troops into Afghanistan and announced a new strategy. The documents provide new insights into a period in which the Taliban was gaining strength, Afghan civilians were growing increasingly disillusioned with their government, and US troops in the field often expressed frustration at having to fight a war without sufficient resources.

One report from the spring of 2007 refers to witnesses who saw what appeared to be a heat-seeking missile destroy a CH-47 transport helicopter. The New York Times first unearthed the document in its review of the files. The Chinook crash killed five Americans, a British citizen and a Canadian.

carlosgvv

January 28th, 2011
2:11 pm

This is a test. This is only a test.

carlosgvv

January 28th, 2011
2:12 pm

What will happen when Muslim fundamentalists overthrow the Egyptian Government and promptly close the Suez Canal?

HDB

January 28th, 2011
2:22 pm

carlosgvv
January 28th, 2011
2:12 pm

Question should be this: How far will this SPREAD!!

Remember: Tunisia is at the entrance to the Meditteranean Sea; Egypt controls the Suez…..and a preponderance of the oil flow! If tankers have to divert around Africa, guess THEN how much gasoline will go up??

Thanks, Shrub….look at what you’ve caused!!!

Tommy Maddox

January 28th, 2011
2:27 pm

Bush’s fault?

Tommy Maddox

January 28th, 2011
2:27 pm

Tommy Maddox

January 28th, 2011
2:29 pm

I’m still waiting on y’all to give us a Palin connection to all this. I’m certain it’s coming.

Nothing Is Free

January 28th, 2011
2:37 pm

HDB

Russia was an Axis Power before it was a member of the Axis, the opposite was true for Italy. Countries have switched sides since the beginning of civilization. Reagan’s actions stopped the slaughter of Afghan citizens by the unopposed USSR air force. But of course the reality is that 1980s era Surface to air, shoulder mounted missiles can MAYBE knock down a us helicopter if it holds still long enough.

Most of the modern weapons used by the Taliban were sold to them by one of the many sub-serface companies owned by the darling of Obama, George Soros.

The increase in the cost of gas at this point has little to do with the increase in the cost of a barrel of oil, but instead it is simply a mater of inflation caused by the printing of 900 billion in US Currency that was unsupported, without a doubt, the largest printing in history

Take a look at your grocery bill. Notice anything different? I’m seeing about a 30% increase since November.

So your problem is how to blame that idiotic act of printing so much worthless money on Bush and the Republicans when there wasn’t a Republican with power in existence when the money was printed.

I’ll ask again, when will Obama’s incompetence be more important to you than the color of his skin?

Alatsea

January 28th, 2011
2:40 pm

CT I think you should include Israel in a reliable enemy. Just read where 5 Hawaiian dems want to pass a law that would allow anyone to view BO’s birth record, for 100 bucks, anything for a buck. And fighting against our own weapons in Afghanistan because of GOP greed, once again anything for a buck. Kammy why don’t you and your butt buddy start your own website or go on a date. Your banter with each other is so cute. And you two are the only ones that agree with the spewing garbage that CT writes. Have a normal day.

ODDOWL

January 28th, 2011
2:41 pm

Non rich Republicans who post in the ajc blog sites are perpetual political junkies. They politicize each and every thought in their feebled little brains. The young Arabs and other people in Africa and Afro-Asia want the same Democracy and freedom that we Americans enjoy. The freedom fighters are demanding freedom of speech, freedom of expression, secularism, the freedom to text and tweet with everybody on the planet. They want the freedom to open an account with the ajc and post in their blog sites. The repressive Islamic Dictators and despots must be toppled and democratic free elections must be held immediately. American freedom lovers must support the young, secular Arab freedom fighters.

lucy

January 28th, 2011
2:41 pm

muslim brotherhood and christian conservatives, two peas in the same pod.

Middle name is Goober

January 28th, 2011
2:41 pm

CT I think you should include Israel in a reliable enemy. Just read where 5 Hawaiian dems want to pass a law that would allow anyone to view BO’s birth record, for 100 bucks, anything for a buck. And fighting against our own weapons in Afghanistan because of GOP greed, once again anything for a buck. Kammy why don’t you and your butt buddy start your own website or go on a date. Your banter with each other is so cute. And you two are the only ones that agree with the spewing garbage that CT writes. Have a normal day.

Nothing Is Free

January 28th, 2011
2:43 pm

lucy

Ran out of meds again?

Please ask the doctor to give you prescriptions for more than two weeks. Or just stop doubling up of the dosage.

Nothing Is Free

January 28th, 2011
2:46 pm

ODDOWL

So you believe that the young people (men, women aren’t allowed to pray with the men)
who poured out of Mosques after the noon prayers and rioted against a US backed government is doing it to promote Democracy?

Hello!?!?!

Is anybody home?!?!?

Have you actually read a newspaper since the Carter Administration?

Nothing Is Free

January 28th, 2011
2:47 pm

HDB

Should have said:

Russia was an Axis Power before it was a member of the Allies,

Thulsa Doom

January 28th, 2011
2:49 pm

“But I will smack her nose with a wet newspaper when she humps my leg”.- Kam

Have to admit I’m rolling looking at the leg humping routine. So you gonna smack me on the nose with a wet newspaper huh? Name the time and the place and I’ll be there to see if you can really administer this smacking. I think it was Larry Holmes who once said ” Well, how big a boy are ya?”. Well. Let’s find out just how tough a guy you are when you’re not hiding behind a keyboard.

Thulsa Doom

January 28th, 2011
2:52 pm

“The young Arabs and other people in Africa and Afro-Asia want the same Democracy and freedom that we Americans enjoy.”- oddowl.

That is the most naive yet funniest post of the day. This fool thinks they want democracy. Uh. no. Try again- more like theocracy and sharia law.

Oddowl, you probably think they want equal rights for women too and equal rights for other religions in their country too don’t you? Some fools never learn.

Keep it up CT until their heads explode

January 28th, 2011
2:56 pm

And you two are the only ones that agree with the spewing garbage that CT writes.
——————————————–

and here I thought I was all alone

cato kalin project

January 28th, 2011
2:57 pm

Lucy,

I concur. Religion is the root of all evil.

Nothing Is Free

January 28th, 2011
3:00 pm

Thulsa Doom

Kammy is what is known as internet tough.

The middle east is erupting with pro-muslim extremists and nobody in the American press has the stones to print the real story. Look at the pictures: almost all young muslim radicals, the very few women participating are all wearing scarfs over their heads, it is all about radical islam, but the PC Police is keeping the story from being told.

Just s few weeks ago, we heard about Christian churches that were being attacked in Egypt and Christians being slaughtered, and now this, and loons like ODDOWL think they are fighting for US style democracy.

We are so screwed.

Nothing Is Free

January 28th, 2011
3:03 pm

cato kalin project

We should all be more like atheist and never help the poor, the needy, the disadvantaged.

We should work for a Godless government like we saw with Stalin and Pol Pot.

Sorry Charlie. Religious bigotry is just as ugly from you as it was from Stalin or Pol Pot.

Thulsa Doom

January 28th, 2011
3:07 pm

HDB,

Let me help you out with your many errors.

1)Batteries can be recharged…-HDB

Um. Its not that simple. HDB, these are specialized batterized that die out within a certain time frame and so the leftover stingers were useless by the time shrub invaded. These aint duracells ma’am

2)Reagan FORGOT that historical template….and look where that got us! We pulled our support, left the Afghans, generated hostility…and look where we are now!!- HDB

Your lack of history here is nothing short of appalling and clearly you misunderstand things. You imply that Reagan invaded Afgh which he never did. He simply supplied the muj in their fight against the Soviets for which they were grateful. But it didn’t make us friends with them. We simply had a common enemy. That’s it. You’re thinking like an American and not like an Aghan.

And we pulled our CIA support out after the war which is what the Afghans wanted. They didn’t want us there and we didn’t want to be there. They only wanted us there to help defeat the Russians who are simpler the bigger of the 2 evils in their mind vis a vis the U.S.

3) One report from the spring of 2007 refers to witnesses who saw what appeared to be a heat-seeking missile destroy a CH-47 transport helicopter. The New York Times first unearthed the document in its review of the files. The Chinook crash killed five Americans, a British citizen and a Canadian.-HDB

Shoulder fired heat seeking missiles are also made by the Russians, Chinese, and others. These were not US made stingers shooting down our own copters. You are simply mistaken, the Times is mistaken, and if any US advisers thought they were old stinger missiles they also were mistaken. If that was the case and the stingers still worked they would be shooting down US aircraft many times instead of 1 or 2 incidences where they probably had a russian or chinese made rocket launcher.

Nothing Is Free

January 28th, 2011
3:12 pm

Thulsa Doom

Remember the movie “Charlie Wilson’s war”?

It was about a Democrat that insisted over the complaints of Reagan that we should supply the Afghans with stingers.

You would think that a big Hollywood Movie with Tom Hanks and Julia Roberts would convince the democrats who made sure the stingers were sold to the Taliban, but they have their marching orders.

Thulsa Doom

January 28th, 2011
3:13 pm

Nothing is free,

60 minutes also did a piece on the few Christian churches in Iraq being brutally attacked on a daily basis. And yet we stand by and do nothing. Of course that’s fine and dandy with the left over here because they are Christians.

Oddowls assertions that these rioters want secularism is absurd not to mention naive beyond belief.

HDB

January 28th, 2011
3:15 pm

Nothing Is Free
January 28th, 2011
2:37 pm

1) Understood what you meant about Allies vs. Axis….WW2 to present!!

“So your problem is how to blame that idiotic act of printing so much worthless money on Bush and the Republicans when there wasn’t a Republican with power in existence when the money was printed.”

Try again….who OK’d TARP?? Who took two wars off-budget? Who send forward unfunded mandates (NCLB & Medicare Part D)…..??? That’s where the printing began!!!

“I’ll ask again, when will Obama’s incompetence be more important to you than the color of his skin?”

When Bush’s incompetence is acknowledged by all knowledgable people!! For me, it was NEVER an issue of color; Obama’s doing what he promised he’d do…and things are much better for me now than they were during the Bush Years!!! (…and I AM a taxpayer…EMPLOYED, that is!)

Thulsa Doom
January 28th, 2011
2:52 pm

Are you noting the AGE of the dissenters; they’re rebelling against a repressive government that is LIMITING their desires….the preponderance of the YOUNG people in the Middle East are pro-USA; it’s the mullahs and dictors that are generating the discord!! There’s a fine line that must be traveled……

Tom Middleton

January 28th, 2011
3:16 pm

Cynthia, with the vast majority of Egyptians – the young – behind this revolt, it’s doubtful they’ll settle for something more oppressive than what they’re discarding. The cries are for freedom, not more of the same or worse.

America needs a strategy for helping, not hindering these revolts as we go forward, especially since we’re supposed to be all about freedom.

There will be more of these things happening in the future for sure, and we should welcome them with open arms (and minds), not try to stand in the way, which we should know by now does NOT work. Remember the Golden Rule!

Thulsa Doom

January 28th, 2011
3:17 pm

Nothing is free,

Not only was that a great movie but 60 minutes also did several pieces on Charlie Wilson. In the last piece he recounted how after the war was over he met with Bin Laden. Bin Laden plainly told him that now that the war with USSR was over that the US was now their enemy. He told him that this would be the last time that they would speak and that if they met again he would be obliged to kill Wilson. People over here-especially liberals- just don’t get that mindset. Its like they live in this utopia where everybody has the same values, ideals, where we all want the same thing and everyone just wants to get along, etc. You can see it from the naive comments coming from people like oddowl on this board. Its nothing short of amazing.

Paddy O

January 28th, 2011
3:25 pm

Price of gas spike: I disagree with NIF, although the deflation of the value of the US $ plays a part. The primary cause is market manipulation, primarily from Goldman Sachs. If you recall, immediately after it appeared (and TARP was being negotiated) that AIG was not sufficiently capitalized to pay the insurance on a large # of failed derivatives sold by Goldman Sachs (thus threatening the liquidity of Goldman Sachs), the price of gas here in GA dropped all the way to a $1.54, maybe even $1.34 (low taxes by GA reduce the price even more than the rest of the nation). Once TARP was passed, and AIG paid Goldman Sachs $1 on the $1 for their derivative insurance, gas prices made their slow march back up to close to $3 a gallon.

Thulsa Doom

January 28th, 2011
3:27 pm

“Are you noting the AGE of the dissenters; they’re rebelling against a repressive government that is LIMITING their desires….the preponderance of the YOUNG people in the Middle East are pro-USA;”- HDB

So all these middle easterner are pro-USA. Just like all the middle easterners that they showed dancing in the streets all over the middle east when the twin towers fell? Are those all the pro-USA people in the middle east that you speak of?

BTW- how many violent revolutions result in moderate elements establishing a new govt? I can think of a handful of peaceful revolutions that resulted in moderate govts such as in Europe after the fall of communism, the Phillippines when Marcos abdicated but that’s about it.

Do you honestly think that if Mubarak gets overthrown that the result would be a moderat, pro western or at least neutral western govt? Do you honestly believe that given the history and culture of the Middle East? Seriously?

Nothing Is Free

January 28th, 2011
3:29 pm

HDB

- – Try again….who OK’d TARP?? Who took two wars off-budget? Who send forward unfunded mandates (NCLB & Medicare Part D)…..??? That’s where the printing began!!!- -

After Tarp, we didn’t have inflation, the war didn’t cause inflation. We have not had inflation for almost 40 years. Printing almost a trillion bucks has destroyed the US dollar so anything we buy offshore is going to cost much more.

Sorry. This inflation is a direct result of what the democrats with Obama at the helm did. They tried to destroy the economy but this was the knock-out punch. They have done what they set out to do.

- -and things are much better for me now than they were during the Bush Years!!- -

As long as you are doing OK, I guess it’s OK that 40-60% of Black Americans are out of work. It’s OK that more people are on welfare than ever in US history. More people have a negative outlook on America’s future than ever before.

I guess all that;’s OK as long as you are doing OK.

HDB

January 28th, 2011
3:30 pm

Thulsa Doom
January 28th, 2011
3:07 pm

“Reagan FORGOT that historical template….and look where that got us! We pulled our support, left the Afghans, generated hostility…and look where we are now!!”

I didn’t say that Reagan invaded Afghanistan….Reagan gave the muhajaddin the support…then LEFT!! Remember that Osama was at first GRATEFUL to the US…then he turned HOSTILE because the US left!! Thus…al Qaida!! BUSH (”Shrub”)invaded Afghanistan!!

“these are specialized batterized that die out within a certain time frame and so the leftover stingers were useless by the time shrub invaded”

Military tactics always taught me: NEVER UNDERESTIMATE your enemies’ capability! If you honestly think that adaptation couldn’t have been made to make the Stingers active….YOU’RE thinking like an American…not like an Afghan!! The WARHEADS weren’t rendered useless!! The rocket propellants weren’t rendered useless!!

Analyze this….please:

In mid-1979, about the same time as the Soviet Union deployed troops into Afghanistan, the United States began giving several hundred million dollars a year in aid to the Afghan Mujahideen insurgents fighting the Afghan Marxist government and the Soviet Army in Operation Cyclone. Along with native Afghan mujahideen were Muslim volunteers from other countries, popularly known as Afghan Arabs. The most famous of the Afghan Arabs was Osama bin Laden, known at the time as a wealthy and pious Saudi who provided his own money and helped raise millions from other wealthy Gulf Arabs.

As the war neared its end, bin Laden organized the al-Qaeda organization to carry on armed jihad in other venues, primarily against the United States — the country that had helped fund the mujahideen against the Soviets.

A number of commentators have described Al-Qaeda attacks as blowback or an unintended consequence of American aid to the mujahideen.