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

Nothing Is Free

January 28th, 2011
3:33 pm

Tom Middleton

Their idea of freedom is the freedom to worship how they want which means Sharia Law.

Now let’s see if you can control those emotions long enough to give a civil reply.

Thulsa Doom

January 28th, 2011
3:34 pm

“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!)”-HDB

Sorry but it seems to me that you and Cynthia and a lot of black people see race not only in everything but are especially protective of Obama for one thing- because he is black. And that’s a shame.

Not sure I believe you about things being better off now then they were 2-3 years ago either under Bush. Unemployment was dramatically lower under Bush then in the 2 yrs under Obama- I give Obama a pass for the first 6-9 months though because the economy was in recession when he came into office. The problem is that he dramatically compounded the problem.

Overall unemployment is substantially higher now and that is not in dispute so people are not in fact better off- especially here in Georgia where we shattered the record for unemployment a few months ago at 10.3%- highest since the depression.

I also could have sworn just a few months ago that you yourself said you were laid off under Bush and that you still can’t find a job. I know for a fact you’ve said that in the last 6 months which would mean you were unemployed for at least 1 1/2 years under Obama.

Kamchak

January 28th, 2011
3:36 pm

Now let’s see if you can control those emotions long enough to give a civil reply.

Oh, the irony.

Nothing Is Free

January 28th, 2011
3:37 pm

Paddy O

You can disagree all you want, but note your grocery bill the next time you go and then note it in April.

Then tell me that’s because of Tarp.

HDB

January 28th, 2011
3:37 pm

Nothing Is Free
January 28th, 2011
3:29 pm
“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.”

Beg to differ…the printing of the dollar was a DIRECT result of two wars, off-the-books spending…and TARP! The only entity that could rapidly inject capital into the national economic system IS the government!! Financial failure and major US corporations failing was NOT an option!!

“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.”

More people I know are more POSITIVE about their economic outlook than they were when Bush was in charge….particularly my black contemporaries!! Income stability is increasing; volatility is decreasing….and positions for advancement are arising!!

I’m ALWAYS wanting better things for those I know…and those I don’t! I see things getting better for everyone…..I’m more optimistic than I was in 2001!!!

Tom Middleton

January 28th, 2011
3:45 pm

The governments of the world have been warned repeatedly to get on the right side of history or face the consequences.

Well, guess what’s happening in Tunisia and Egypt? That’s right, it’s the consequences. Finally, we’ve foreign policy the right way for a change!

Nothing Is Free

January 28th, 2011
3:48 pm

HDB

I don’t want to be mean here, but I really don’t give a damn about the people you know. I do, however give a damn about the millions that have lost their jobs since Pelosi and Reid took over.

Wars, as always pump money back into the economy. We didn’t print that money to buy arms. We use arms and armament made in the US.

Please read up on why unsupported money is printed. It was done so the dollar would lose value, making our domestically produced materials be more affordable to the world market. It lowers the price on our own goods, making them more attractive to foreign countries. The intentions may have been good, but they went way too far.

But 900 billion was about ten times too much and it has caused the dollar to lose too much value and since we buy the vast majority of products from offshore, we are seeing unprecedented inflation.

HDB

January 28th, 2011
3:48 pm

Thulsa Doom
January 28th, 2011
3:34 pm

“Sorry but it seems to me that you and Cynthia and a lot of black people see race not only in everything but are especially protective of Obama for one thing- because he is black.”

When objectively looking at what is going on, it is QUITE evident that a preponderance of the negatives about Obama HAVE been racially based!! Where was this level of animus when the nation was getting BUSHwhacked!!?? Where was the Tea Party?? I know that many were railing against Bush…but not at THIS level!! For those who are policy-driven….we have NO issue as to the disagreements….but many aren’t like that!! When the racist vantagepoint is called out by those who it IS evident (and it’s not JUST black people who notice it!)…the howls of denial speak volumes!! Old saying: Hit dogs holler!!

“Not sure I believe you about things being better off now then they were 2-3 years ago either under Bush.” For me…and many of my contemporaries — MUCH BETTER! To explain in MY case further: I was employed by UNITED AIRLINES (70K) prior to 9/11….immediately afterwards…I was unemployed for over TWO YEARS!! Had to come back home in 2005 to care for my parent with Alzheimers…..couldn’t find a job for another TWO YEARS!! Had to settle for a job @ $10/hr in 2007. Lost a job paying $10/hr in December, 2008….found another job in March, 2009…and got a BETTER job paying almost %50K in MAY, 2009!! Still working now!! Which vantagepoint is BETTER!!!!??

For me, employment – thy name is DEMOCRAT!!

Tom Middleton

January 28th, 2011
3:52 pm

NIF@3:33pm

Dude, don’t you get tired of being wrong all the time? We’ve finally got our foreign policy out of the hands of the paranoid and self-serving, and there’s no way on earth we’re going to let you take it back over again. Was that civil enough for you? LOL

P.S. Busy as usual, I see – doing nothing good! ROFL

HDB

January 28th, 2011
3:53 pm

Nothing Is Free
January 28th, 2011
3:48 pm

Not taking you as being mean…..but one looks at what’s happening CLOSER to himself forst…then expanding outward!! For as many that are lamenting what’s going on…there are just as many that are recovering….or better yet, PROSPERING under these conditions!!

The two wars didn’t pump money back into the economy; if so…why were so many people adversely affected from 2002-2008? Over 5M people were unemployed (I was one!)and the nation DIDN’T absorb that job loss!!

HDB

January 28th, 2011
3:54 pm

Back in 1.5 hrs….later!!

Tom Middleton

January 28th, 2011
4:23 pm

NIF

Don’t you get it yet? If we can’t bring the world’s tired, poor, hungry, and oppressed here to help better their lives (and we can’t), then we’re going to have to do it RIGHT WHERE THEY ARE.

If you really believed in our Founder’s dream for us and followed it with you heart, instead of just your bank account, you would know what we have that the world wants – freedom – and get with the program.

Your way doesn’t work, and it never will, no matter how many times you and yours try it!

P.S. Now tell me again, what is it that’s wrong with bowing?

Liberal Pariah

January 28th, 2011
4:26 pm

HDB, the Liberals are the ones who keep the race bait going. The vitriol towards Bush from the Left was much worse than from the Right towards Obama. It is a fact that one of the main reasons Obama is the President is because black people voted for him simply because of the color of his skin, certainly not the content of his character. The Tea Party is about $$$$, not race. The MSM has done it’s dead level best to take the fringe of this movement and paint it as the center but it clearly is not a racist movement at its roots. I would love to vote for a black, Asian, or even purple person if he/she shared my ideology.

Paddy O

January 28th, 2011
4:34 pm

Tom – you are a doofus. You can not spoon feed people a republic. They must create it on their own without foreign interference. However, if the Rebels appear to be on the verge of victory, then the established nations can “recognize” that rebel effort as the bonafide operating government of that country – just as France recognized the US & the Confederates strove to be recognized by the French & British. The US should not interfer & allow those countries to stew in their own juices.

Paddy O

January 28th, 2011
4:39 pm

HDB – timeline on the TARP: At what point did it happen in Bushes administration? The TARP combined with the feckless Obama STIMULUS is what prompted the TEA party – irresponsible & gutless elected officials. If the Repubs do NOT decrease spending by at least $100 billion per year over the next 2 years, they will find a new party supplanting them. I don’t give a rats ass about Obamas skin color – his neophyte & embarassing actions, domestically and in foreign affairs, coupled with his utopianistic narcissism is what makes me disgusted with the guy. Both of his state of the unions appeared to be written by a guy with ADHD – short on details and skipping around like a flat stone across a calm lake. He also talks tough on subjects but utterly fails to deliver.

Paddy O

January 28th, 2011
4:40 pm

Tom – it is also NOT the governments responsiblity to improve their individual lives – unless of course you are a dedicated liberal in Utopianville.

Paddy O

January 28th, 2011
4:43 pm

HDB drinks a super size glass of pollyanna every day. Helps rejuvenate the sheen on his rose colored glasses (standard issue in Utopianville).

Sand Pebbles

January 28th, 2011
5:26 pm

“…police doused one of the most prominent opposition figures, Mohammed ElBaradei, with a water-cannon…”

Probably the first bath he had in a week.

HDB

January 28th, 2011
5:41 pm

Liberal Pariah
January 28th, 2011
4:26 pm

“It is a fact that one of the main reasons Obama is the President is because black people voted for him simply because of the color of his skin, certainly not the content of his character. The Tea Party is about $$$$, not race. ”

To state that the preponderance of voters voted for Obama solely for his race is simplistic!!The nation needed a change from the Bush policies!! How many people went to the unemployment line under Bush and have YET to recover! (At one time, I was one of those!)

From what I’ve experienced about the Tea Party…it is predominantly about RACE!! Where was the Tea Party when the nation was BUSHwhacked?? Tea Party was non-existent!! Note the level of vitriol since Obama became President; did anyone DARE to bring loaded weapons to a Presidential visit?? Like ESPN says: C’MON, man!!

Paddy O

January 28th, 2011
4:43 pm

“HDB drinks a super size glass of pollyanna every day. Helps rejuvenate the sheen on his rose colored glasses (standard issue in Utopianville).”

Remember this famous quote: “Some see things as they are and ask ‘Why”; I see things as they SHOULD BE…and ask ‘Why NOT?”

It’s not utopia…but what’s RIGHT! Political conservatism ISN’T the totally right way to go; it’s a hybrid of progressive and conservative ideology…….social conservatism is racist in its intent….fiscal conservatism is sometimes warranted…….and we need to know the difference!!

HDB

January 28th, 2011
5:47 pm

Paddy O
January 28th, 2011
4:39 pm

Initial TARP outlay was October, 2008……one month BEFORE the elections!! Like I said…started under BUSH!!

“TARP allows the United States Department of the Treasury to purchase or insure up to $700 Billion of “troubled assets”, defined as “(A) residential or commercial mortgages and any securities, obligations, or other instruments that are based on or related to such mortgages, that in each case was originated or issued on or before March 14, 2008….”

$700B allocated in October, 2008 by Bush’s SecTreasury, Henry Paulson……

That’s the BEGINNING…and the Tea Party didn’t raise its ugly head!!! That’s when the money began to be printed…….

Put the blame where it needs to be……

Paddy O

January 28th, 2011
6:05 pm

HDB – you prove my point. In your rose colored universe, you conclude that the TEA party should have galvanized in 90 days & began protesting this squandering of taxpayer funds and the interference by the government in the market? REALLY? REALLY?

Thulsa Doom

January 28th, 2011
6:11 pm

“When objectively looking at what is going on, it is QUITE evident that a preponderance of the negatives about Obama HAVE been racially based!! Where was this level of animus when the nation was getting BUSHwhacked!!?? Where was the Tea Party?? I know that many were railing against Bush…but not at THIS level!!”-HDB

Wrong again HDB. Its just your perception that the Tea Party is mad at Obama cause he’s black. The reality is that the tea party is fed up with not just Obama but Pelosi and Harry Reid. Are they black too?

And the reason for the anger and rise of the Tea party isn’t Obama. You just don’t get it. Its about having another enormous boondoggle of a govt program in the health care law shoved down our throats despite overwhelming opposition to it.

Its about record shattering deficit spending-Obama tripled the deficit in his first year.

Its about stimulus money- one massive waste of money that has to be repaid.

Did Bush run deficits? Of course he did and that’s why McCain and the Republicans took a beating in the previous elections.

But you just don’t get it. Obama has added nearly 5 TRILLION in debt including 1.5 TRILLION in debt for fiscal 2011.

You’re right. There is more anger directed at Obama. And that anger is justified because the amount of deficit spending in just 2 short years and the projected 1.5 TRILLION for 2011 is nothing short of astounding. When it comes to spending Obama makes Bush 2 look like a rookie.

And despite the shocking, mind numbing deficit numbers that Obama has run up in just 3 short years people like you still think its all about race. What a copout.

Paddy O

January 28th, 2011
6:16 pm

I concur it was the beginning. The poorly executed STIMULUS, which was a huge shopping spree for federal agency wish list. The crux of the STIMULUS was “shovel ready projects” – there is not one small government (which comprises the vast majority of governments, communities & people) in GA that plans, designs and has everything done except, we have no $$ for construction. Obama the rookie has recently admitted his ineptitude. So, what happened to all that money? It did NOT stimulate the construction industry nation wide – only a few places where there were federal agency buildings which were receiving an infusion of cash. Guess who got to do those projects? Certified contractors (those who also participate in political patronage). I sent a letter to Obama telling him to effectively use that stimulus $$, give $5 million to each city & county in the US, with no strings attached (no DBE, no Bacon DAvis, no environmental studies, no archeology studies). That would have at least spread the money out and helped the local contractors who had their businesses shrivel with the destruction of the housing market. But was Obama knowledgable enough to know this? No, the “community organizer” in the ghetto of Chicago was not well versed in these types of macro economic affects. So, with his one gigantic bite of the apple, Obama blew his load with no effective impact – his primary domestic effort – to stave off the destructive affects of 10% unemployment failed – why? Because Mr. ADHD shifted his attention to the health care bill, so he could subsidize 15% of the population that is grossly inept, meanwhile destroying the 85% of the population that he desired to steal from to fund the inept 15%. After all this time, liberals still cling to the erroneous theory that people are poor due to disadvantaged & disenfranchisement – it is society’s fault. IT IS NOT. The chronic poverty sufferers (although they still have access to food & shelter in our very generous society) are this way because their poverty is self-induced.

Paddy O

January 28th, 2011
6:23 pm

Tom – was it YOU at the FBI who read the report from field offices about Muslim pilot trainees who did not want to learn to land & take off, just fly the plane? Was it you and your pollyanna manure who threw that report in the trash & did not take effective, precautionary measures to find out why young Muslim men would want to only learn how to fly, but not land or take off? Or would that kind of constructive thinking resemble paranoia in Utopianville?

Tom Middleton

January 28th, 2011
6:44 pm

Paddy O@4:40 pm: “Tom – it is also NOT the governments responsiblity to improve their individual lives – unless of course you are a dedicated liberal in Utopianville.”

Paddy O, it’s the government’s responsibility to be what WE THE People say it is; and since the last I looked, you weren’t in charge of everything, let’s allow our government to help us, if that indeed will strengthen us constitutionally, economically, and securitywise, Ok? I mean, is that alright with you? Sheeesh, you people are actually getting worse, not better.

P.S. I’m a moderate. I’m a patriot for the whole country – all of us – not just your radical-right (utopian) 20 percent.

P.P.S. You misspelled “responsibility.” Do you know what it means? Here, let me use it in a sentence: Our government is RESPONSIBLE for the well-being of our beloved America as a whole nation, not just an insignificant part of it!

Tom Middleton

January 28th, 2011
6:50 pm

Paddy O@6:23 pm

Nope, it wasn’t me. Must have been one of yours. Now who was in power then, Bush? Yup, it was one of yours!

Paddy O

January 28th, 2011
7:54 pm

Tom – you are not a moderate. Your assumption of being in the majority leads you to conclude might makes right. The Constitution was designed to prevent a tyranny of the majority, no matter how generous & pious that majority has convinced itself it is (with other peoples’ money). General welfare does not mean how you are applying, unless you like Clintons “it depends on the definition of is, is”. With the deficit we are running, we can no longer afford affable, paternalistic liberals. Balance the budget, then come back to me about caring for the worst off in society.

Paddy O

January 28th, 2011
7:58 pm

And Tom, what do you think led the Muslim terrorists to contemplate such a brazen attack on the US? Bill Clinton’s use of force when the WTC was bombed in 93? Or how he effectively destroyed the whole movement after they blew up 2 of our embassies? Lobbing a couple of cruise missiles was not an affective slap on the wrist. Also, I did not vote for Bush either time. I preferred a genuine conservative.

ODDOWL

January 28th, 2011
8:21 pm

People like Thusla Doom who keep re-posting the same comments are insecure. Mr. Doom is unsure of himself and he is aware of the fact that no one is listen to him or reading his posts. Thats why he keep re-posting the same comments. Well Mr. Doom, the reason no one read your posts is because you’re not saying anything rational, logical or relevant. Mr. Doom suffer from Palin-Bachmann disease. He has a severe case of diarrhea of the mouth without engaging the brain.

ODDOWL

January 28th, 2011
10:43 pm

@PADDY O…. You seem to be agitated about something. Why do you have your jack boot on the necks of disadvantaged people. ??? Most of them are victims of economic classism, an unfair tax code, trickle up income distribution and trickle down misery. The same problem exist in Egypt and other Arab Countries. The young freedom fighters have taken matters into their own hands and chosen to do something about their plight. Americans —- whine, whine, whine.