Mubarak’s ouster looks more and more likely; but what then?

As of this morning, I don’t think the Mubarak regime lasts out the week.

The protests continue, with major demonstrations apparently scheduled for Tuesday. The army does not seem inclined to act violently against its own people. The police and security apparatus, while still loyal to Mubarak, behaves as if it anticipates a change at the top and is not willing to stick its own neck out too far on his behalf. And perhaps most importantly, the spell that fear once cast over the Egyptian people has been broken.

All of that could be wrong, of course. It is possible, if not likely, that the whole uprising could be broken in a matter of hours by a brutal crackdown. But we’ve reached a point when such a reaction, if it was coming, would have come by now. It hasn’t, and you have to suspect the Egyptian people recognize that fact as well.

If you read between the lines, you see evidence that the Obama administration may have reached a similar conclusion. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is now publicly counseling “an orderly transition” in Egypt, which is a diplomatic way of suggesting Mubarak’s departure.

But transition to what? Nobody knows the answer to that one. Even if free and open elections are held, it’s impossible to predict what the outcome would be.

The ramifications of Mubarak’s ouster would be enormous. What happened in Tunisia had great symbolic power, but what happens in Egypt has consequence. Other Arab regimes have to be terrified, particularly if the transition comes peacefully and an actual working democracy emerges. Tellingly, the Chinese government has banned Internet searches of “Egypt,” a sign that it too feels threatened by people power on the other half of the globe.

Israel also has cause to fear. According to the newspaper Haaretz, government leaders “called on the United States and a number of European countries over the weekend to curb their criticism of President Hosni Mubarak to preserve stability in the region.” And while the Israeli press is covering the turmoil, columnists and pundits have gone largely quiet on the issue. As a headline in the Jerusalem Post put it, “Silence is golden: We should be saying as little as possible in this country about the events in the region.”

In Jerusalem, a visiting Mike Huckabee — who has now made more than a dozen trips to Israel – warns that the situation in Egypt “could threaten the world and all those who seek peace and security. The real threat to Israelis is not the bomb but the people behind it, not weapons but the madmen behind them.”

Huckabee also embraced continued construction of Jewish settlements in Palestine. “I don’t see why bedrooms for their children built by Jews on a hilltop in Samaria pose a threat to world peace,” Huckabee said. “It’s the lack of construction that is irrational, not the opposite.” (Mitt Romney had visited Israel earlier this month — is Israel the new Iowa for GOP presidential contenders?)

But Caroline Glick, also in the Jerusalem Post, does venture to point out that if the Mubarak regime falls, “all of its possible secular and Islamist successors either reject outright Egypt’s peace treaty with Israel or will owe their political power to the support of those who reject the peace with the Jewish state. So whether the Egyptian regime falls next week or next year or five years from now, the peace treaty is doomed.”

And that, of course, is why silence is so golden. The more openly Israel roots for Mubarak’s political survival, the less likely it becomes. – Jay Bookman

82 comments Add your comment

Call it like it is

January 31st, 2011
8:57 am

Okay, I give up, was there any point to the whole article? I mean you threw in a little jab at the right, which is par for the course, you have stated Obama is being quiet about it. Wow really showing his clout there. I wonder if Bush were this quiet would you be behind him?? I think not. So Jay your an opinion writer, give us an opinion. What should America do?

jt

January 31st, 2011
8:58 am

Tunisia, Lebanon, Yemen, and Egypt. Agin an authoritarian government.

If peace broke out, Huckabee would squash by God.

Doggone/GA

January 31st, 2011
8:58 am

“give us an opinion”

I guess you didn’t bother to read the very FIRST line in Jay’s piece.

buck@gon

January 31st, 2011
9:00 am

“In Jerusalem, a visiting Mike Huckabee — making his 13th trip to Israel – warns that the situation in Egypt “could threaten the world and all those who seek peace and security. The real threat to Israelis is not the bomb but the people behind it, not weapons but the madmen behind them.”

Huckabee also embraced continued construction of Jewish settlements in Palestine. “I don’t see why bedrooms for their children built by Jews on a hilltop in Samaria pose a threat to world peace,” Huckabee said. “It’s the lack of construction that is irrational, not the opposite.” (Mitt Romney had visited Israel earlier this month — is Israel the new Iowa for GOP presidential contenders?)”

The first paragraph, but much more so the second, have no business in this article of yours. I don’t know what you’re trying to accomplish here, Jay. A misguided piece of writing? Is it done to make Huckabee look stupid by doing what the Jerusalem Post shouldn’t be done? Of course, one expects the usual bashing of conservatives, but as a conservative, I’m left to believe that it’s anyone’s guess what you mean by blogging about Republicans in Iowa in a piece about Egypt, Mubarak and foreign policy.

See about that therapy.

jt

January 31st, 2011
9:00 am

If we don’t prevail agin those muslim brotherhoods,

the ban on Alcohol will be on Sundays AND Fridays.

Jeeeesh.

Scout

January 31st, 2011
9:01 am

We all better pray it doesn’t turn into an Islamic State on Israel’s border and in control of the Suez Canal.

That’s stuff you go to war over.

buck@gon

January 31st, 2011
9:02 am

If it’s unclear what’s going to happen, why isn’t Obama at least strongly and rhetorically encouraging democracy and elections?

Guy Incognito

January 31st, 2011
9:02 am

I think I saw this movie in ‘79-’80. It was called the Iranian Revolution. It started out as a middle class revolt which was co-opted by the Islamo-Fascists. The Mulim Brotherhood says, “We’ll give you peace and security for the low, low price of complete submission, and all women dropped to a social status below the family dog.”

Normal

January 31st, 2011
9:04 am

Paul,
your last below…I cuncur and I apologize for being a little snippy. I tend to think only of the combat vereran when I rave like I did. I, for one, don’t use tricare anymore and I left VA care to the warrior’s who have most of their life ahead of them and need the care. I will have Medicare when the time comes for me to retire and that’s good enough…and yes, Medicare will still be around for the rest of my lfe, the “Boomers” still have a lot of clout, voting wise… :)

Jay

January 31st, 2011
9:05 am

Call it, I don’t think the United States should — or even can — do much of anything. The decision is not in our hands. We can’t save Mubarak, and we can’t be seen as forcing him out. The fallacy that all the world is America’s plaything, to be steered from Washington to suit our needs, is dangerous.

TaxPayer

January 31st, 2011
9:05 am

Perhaps Israel should annex Egypt.

stands for decibels

January 31st, 2011
9:10 am

In Jerusalem, a visiting Mike Huckabee — making his 13th trip to Israel

The punchlines just write themselves, don’t they?

@@

January 31st, 2011
9:10 am

Other Arab regimes have to be terrified, particularly if the transition comes peacefully and an actual working democracy emerges.

Well Syria’s not worried. Assad said all that’s required is economic and political reform with a little anti-Israel sentiment thrown in. According to him, that’s what it takes to remain stable.

Jordan’s already throwing money at their dissidents to keep them happy.

Left wing management

January 31st, 2011
9:12 am

“Israel also has cause to fear. According to the newspaper Haaretz, government leaders “called on the United States and a number of European countries over the weekend to curb their criticism of President Hosni Mubarak to preserve stability in the region.”

You know you’re dealing with what could potentially be a truly revolutionary moment – a true break in history – when old alliances and rudely awakened out of their slumber and forced to issue confusing and conflicting messages.

Isn’t it exciting?

The unpredictable nature of it is precisely the measure of the true revolutionary potential here. And it’s truly breathtaking.

We should welcome it.

@@

January 31st, 2011
9:16 am

Not only do we have to concern ourselves with the Suez Canal…we also have to be concerned about the intelligence Egypt has gathered against radical islamists. Wouldn’t want THAT to fall into the wrong hands. Suleiman holds the key to THAT.

Call it like it is

January 31st, 2011
9:17 am

I have mixed feelings about it, no I dont really want to see America get involved again with another middle east issue, but do we really have any choice. We have stuck our nose in there time and time again going back to Tripoli. So its our understanding they want a democracy, do we owe those citizens any help to get this done? Are we not the very symbol of democracy? Leave no doubt one way or another if this goes sour we will get involved. America will not allow the Suez Canal to be compromised. And yes its about the oil.

stands for decibels

January 31st, 2011
9:17 am

Ok, Jay, I just read your linked article, it claims this is actually Huckabee’s 15th trip to Israel, not 13th. might want to fix that.

/nitpicker

Imam Nadim Ali

January 31st, 2011
9:20 am

Opinion: Give Salaam A Chance by Imam Nadim Ali*
The United States and other western oriented powers want to view themselves as stalwarts of democracy. This group while promoting the concept of democracy continue to come up short in respecting the reality of democracy. If the west is to be viewed as a legitimate partner in world events the following concrete steps need to be taken.
- In Gaza: Work to lift the embargo on the people.
- In Egypt: Respect the outcome of the present movement, and begin dialogue with members of the Muslim Brotherhood.
When in !991 The Islamic Salvation Front won the first round of elections in Algeria, and the army intervened and banned all political parties, the west was deftly silent on these matters. Yet when a similar event occurred in Haiti that year, the west became actively involved in re-installing Aristide. Islamic groups around the planet observed this hypocracy and took note. If the Algerian election was upheld, and the peoples right to self determination were honored would we have the carnage that resulted in the elections aftermath or Al-Qaida today?
In 1982 when the Russians were forced out of Afghanistan by the Muslim forces the west did not stay behind to help rebuild the country. They were reveling in the demise of communism, and neglected this economically, spiritually, and emotionally traumatized country to its own devices. If the west had been actively involved in reconstruction of Afghanistan after the Soviet tragedy would we have the Taliban today?
The United States has had a relationship with countries that has had aspects of Islamic governance since its founding. In fact the first Nation to recognize the new United States of America was Morocco, and stands as the USA’s oldest non-broken treaty partner. It also enjoys good relationships with Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and other Muslim dominated countries.
In Turkey the fear of Muslim governance was unfounded when Prime Minister
Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s Muslim dominated AKP was elected in 2007 with 47% of the vote. They have demonstrated governance from the center, and have made a concerted effort to address the needs of all of the Turkish people
Raymond William Baker in his book “ Islam Without Fear” stated: “ The new Islamist actions embody the promise of the Islamic Wassatteryya(Centrist Islamic Mainstream), and the generous heart of moderate Islam that reaches out to centrists in Egypt, and around the globe, to cooperate in building a better Egypt, and a more just human future.”
I predict that the governing model that will take root in the Middle East will be more in line with Turkey than Iran. The days of bandying the specter of the Islamist boogeyman are over, and the West has to allow the people of all regions to determine their own direction.
We have to note that the location of President Obama’s June 4, 2009, New Beginning speech to the Muslim world was Cairo, and a little more than a year later the cry for free and fair elections prevail. If his words are to be taken seriously, then action must follow them.
In his speech he said: “America does not presume to know what is best for everyone”, “I do have an unyielding belief that all people yearn for certain things: the ability to speak your mind and have a say in how you are governed; confidence in the rule of law and the equal administration of justice; government that is transparent and doesn’t steal from the people; the freedom to live as you choose.” He called such freedoms “human rights”.
The great majority of Muslims are peace loving people who only want stability, and the cry that you hear from Cairo is Give Salaam(Peace) a Chance.
* Imam Nadim Ali is the Imam of the Community Masjid of Atlanta.

Doggone/GA

January 31st, 2011
9:20 am

“do we owe those citizens any help to get this done?”

Do we owe them? No, I don’t think we do…but if their call for change works, and they want our help I think we should be prepared to assist them.

Redneck Convert (R--and proud of it)

January 31st, 2011
9:21 am

Well, what I want to know is, is it time for a war here? Can’t they find some WMDs or something in Egypt? Time’s running out in Iraq, and long as we got all the troops trained so good and over there, well . . .

And I’m with the Rev. Huckabee. Let the Jews keep building the settlements. Might as well run a sharp stick into the Towelheads eyes. At least we got one preacher canadate for President that seems to understand why the Jews don’t get along with the Towelheads.

Have a good day everybody. Huckabee-Sarah, 2012: What you don’t know won’t never hurt you.

Jay

January 31st, 2011
9:23 am

sfd, various outlets in Israeli press are reporting it either as the 13th or 15th. I’ll change it to more than a dozen.

Left wing management

January 31st, 2011
9:24 am

By the way, Jay, I disagree in part with your cautionary words about America’s role in this.

How do you explain the protesters’ direct appeals to America for support and for a break with Mubarek?

In seeking support and legitimacy in the crucial hour of their revolt, who is it that the protesters in the streets of Egypt call on? Is it the EU? Or China? No, it’s the United States, with its leader who hails from a formerly oppressed part of its people, no less. You cannot underestimate the power of this symbolically for them.

You’re falling prey to a fallacy here of thinking that just because the United States and factions within it – e.g. the neo-cons – wish to exploit this for its own ends and that this is unjustified that ergo it follows that this is not about us.

The problem is – it is about us and yet we are still unable to control ultimately what happens. It does not necessarily follow that just because our power to control events is limited that we have no stake in the events in the minds of those in the middle of it or even that we are not the crucial external reference point for all those embroiled in it.

TaxPayer

January 31st, 2011
9:28 am

What concerns me more is the the possibility that the Tea Partyers will somehow gain access to Al Jazeera and become energized by what they have seen others around the world do and, well… the thoughts… it’s ghastly. Can you just imagine the people taking back their country from the likes of the Koch Brothers and… I feel a tingle myself.

Jay

January 31st, 2011
9:29 am

Left wing, we could, I suppose, cut off all aid to Egypt. That would hasten Mubarak’s fall, but again, without any real idea of what would replace him. In addition to raising the risk for Israel, that would also send a message about American loyalty to other regimes in the region with whom we’ve reached understandings.

I don’t know whether an Islamic fundamentalist regime would replace Mubarak. I do know that the odds of that are lower in Egypt than in many other places, such as Saudi Arabia.

jt

January 31st, 2011
9:30 am

I read somewhere, where there have been a rash of UNLICENSED food vendors operating in Cairo.

It is F-ing chaos.

If we don’t stop it, the muslim brotherhood of unlicensed plumbers will hit our shores.

Oh………the humanity.

TaxPayer

January 31st, 2011
9:31 am

How do you explain the protesters’ direct appeals to America for support and for a break with Mubarek?

Perhaps they’re asking that we quit shipping tear gas grenades to Mubarak.

Call it like it is

January 31st, 2011
9:34 am

Not to get off topic, but I wonder how this will affect Egypt’s quest to get all of the worlds museums to return artifacts that were taken out of the country. I am amazed at the pictures coming from the Cairo museum of priceless artifacts destroyed. Can you imagine Americans breaking into the Smithsonian and destroying the Wright brothers plane? Makes one glad that the Rosetta stone and the bust of Nefertiti are safe away in London and Berlin. The thoughts of Old Europe has always been to treat the middle east as a child, and they are not stable enough to keep the worlds treasures safe. It would appear they are right.

ty webb

January 31st, 2011
9:34 am

So the citizen protesters want democracy? me thinks they’re merely pawns. The old addage of being “careful what you wish for” comes to mind. This part of the world cannot handle a democratic society. I on the other hand, in the true spirit of capitalism, will be selling “viva la revolucion”(anyone have the arabic translation?) t-shirts. I only need to find a photo of elbaradei in a beret to screen print. Said T-shirts will be available for purchase at Apparelforlosers.org.

Left wing management

January 31st, 2011
9:38 am

Jay:

I completely agree that there is every risk that this will spin in the wrong direction and be brutally co-opted by the most repressive forces. But that’s only natural. It’s the very nature of a revolutionary moment because by definition that’s the time where for just a moment quite literally everything is at stake.

I don’t know whether an Islamic fundamentalist regime would replace Mubarak. I do know that the odds of that are lower in Egypt than in many other places, such as Saudi Arabia.

Every reason to think you’re right and if so, that’s all the more reason we must try to encourage the

It’s possible we’re seeing something entirely new in history emerge: the Arab world’s storming of the Bastille. We owe our existence to that moment. We mustn’t betray that by siding with the wrong side for reasons of Realpolitik.

Hey, why not, let’s go ahead and call the neo-cons bluff and say: this is precisely the moment when we must redeem George W. Bush’s promise and bravely, courageously advance liberty in the Middle East.

Keep up the good fight!

January 31st, 2011
9:40 am

My gyro sandwich yesterday did not have enough sauce…..let’s pray that it does not continue. That is the stuff you go to war over.

TaxPayer

January 31st, 2011
9:42 am

I’m buying stock in solar panels and electric cars and coal-fired power plants.

Left wing management

January 31st, 2011
9:43 am

ty webb: “So the citizen protesters want democracy? me thinks they’re merely pawns. The old addage of being “careful what you wish for” comes to mind. This part of the world cannot handle a democratic society.”

This is the very essence of racism and the trap that must be avoided at all costs.

By the way, has the supposedly advanced West proven once and for all that it can handle democracy? Is that question settled once and for all?

ty webb

January 31st, 2011
9:47 am

ah yes, the old “racism” cry. Didn’t you get memo? With me being a conservative, I believe my racistismness has already been established. Thanks for playing… and try to get some new material.

Curious Observer

January 31st, 2011
9:47 am

By all means, let’s sit back and express astonishment and utter dismay when this “people’s revolution” resolves to an Islamist dictatorship, in much the same way we watched dispassionately as the Shah was replaced by the Ayatollah and his even-worse thugs. We can’t get in the way of people’s yearning for democracy and settling for crushing oppression. That’ll show ‘em we mean what we say. Who needs friends in the Middle East? Besides, we don’t want to wind up on the wrong side.

Jay

January 31st, 2011
9:47 am

The Bastille example is interesting and appropriate, Left wing. It confirms your point that revolution is unpredictable and uncontrollable.

In the French case, it was followed by the Reign of Terror, then by Napoleon’s crowning himself dictator, then Napoleon trying to conquer most of the known world.

Jefferson

January 31st, 2011
9:47 am

What then ? Must have test for coolness.

Del

January 31st, 2011
9:48 am

Given the chaos, the likely hood that Mubarak is out along with opposition players like the M.B and ELBaradei the likely outcome looks potentially more unfavorable than favorable. Hopefully, we will see a movement toward a real democracy but I think it’s doubtful.

carlosgvv

January 31st, 2011
9:49 am

Maybe the real question is what will the outcome of this uprising be on our recession and it’s recovery. We all hope for the best but if our economy is not influenced for the worse because of this, I will be very supprised. It is possible we all need to brace ourselves for a very rough ride.

Normal

January 31st, 2011
9:52 am

Curious Observer

January 31st, 2011
9:53 am

We all hope for the best but if our economy is not influenced for the worse because of this, I will be very supprised. It is possible we all need to brace ourselves for a very rough ride.

Exactly! Making money and having the material things we crave is much more important than petty stuff like peace and stability.

stands for decibels

January 31st, 2011
10:02 am

This is the very essence of racism and the trap that must be avoided at all costs.

I’m fine with calling out actual racism, but this bit fairly reeks of Commander Codpiece’s earlier warblings.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/3248119.stm

@@

January 31st, 2011
10:06 am

I wonder if anyone can recall the Bush administration’s actions during Egypt’s 2005 elections. They were very vocal in opposing Mubarak’s attempted rigging of same. Representatives were immediately sent to express their disapproval…even threatened to withdraw supplmental aid and dangled investment opportunities in front of them. When the opposition candidate was later jailed, they suspended talks on a pending free trade agreement.

I haven’t seem anything like that coming out of the Obama administration. I don’t know what the heck they’ve been doing during the last two years other than addressing Obamacare.

It’s the difference of being ahead of the curve and behind the curve. The Obama administration has been behind the curve. Given the media’s adulation of all things Obama, he assumed all that was necessary was an appearance in Cairo.

Obama’s adoring media did him no favors. Like a lamb to the slaughter, he believed their hype.

jewcowboy

January 31st, 2011
10:09 am

@@

January 31st, 2011
10:10 am

One more thing. I think Obama lied when he said he could multi-task. I’ve seen no evidence that he’s capable of doing that. His has tunnel vision and in his tunnel, the light don’t shine.

RW-(the original)

January 31st, 2011
10:10 am

If we’re going to go so far as to say we want a peaceful transition we could at least say that we would like to see a peaceful transition to a free democracy and claim that’s what the people of Egypt are asking for. A peaceful transition to a radical Islamist state is certainly not in most people’s best interest.

An aside that occurs to me. It seems that any time we’re involved in some action or it looks like action could be on the horizon there is no limit to what the left tells us will be accomplished by more talk, but when action is less obvious we’re warned by the left that the best course of action is to shut up.

/drive by

Left wing management

January 31st, 2011
10:14 am

ty webb:

You made a statement that claimed “this part of the world” – meaning the Arab world – could not handle democracy. This kind of categorical statement is the very essence of racist condescension and that’s why I called it out.

stands for decibels:

However cynical and whatever the bad faith of the Bush administration’s calls for democracy in the Middle East, there was a kernel of truth in it. And I think we should be loyal to that, even if we can’t do anything concrete in military terms.

I basically agree with this blog here (http://mondoweiss.net/2011/01/the-egyptian-revolution-threatens-an-american-imposed-arabophobic-order.html#more-34664) that the most important thing now is that the US has had its “bluff called” and can no longer neurotically maintain a contradictory policy of propping of authoritarian regimes while paying lip service to liberty:

The danger to America and Israel is that the Egyptian revolution will destroy this false choice of secular dictator-or-crazy Islamists by showing that Arabs are smart articulate people who can handle real democracy if they get to make it themselves. And when they get it, they are likely to strip the mask off the peace process. On Al Jazeera English, they don’t mind talking about the Palestinians. One commentator said that the “humiliation” of the Palestinians is feeding the Egyptian revolt. I know; I will never forget how Egyptian construction workers put down their tools to stand and applaud the Code Pink buses as we left El Arish for Gaza in June 2009. And in his beautiful statement calling on Mubarak to serve his country by leaving it, ElBaradei said a government responsive to the will of the people would turn soon to the Palestinian issue. …

Jay

January 31st, 2011
10:16 am

Oh please, @@.

Those 2005 elections were clearly and obviously rigged. And in response the Bush administration did what exactly?

“President Bush offered his congratulations to the Egyptian people and government for that nation’s first multi-candidate presidential elections held on September 7.

In a statement from Scott McClellan, presidential press secretary, the White House said September 10 that the election “represents an important step toward holding fully free and fair competitive multiparty elections.”

Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak received nearly 89 percent of the vote in the election. The president called Mubarak on September 10 to congratulate him and to say he looks forward to continuing to work with him, according to the White House statement.”

Three months later, the second-place finished was sentenced to five years in prison after being brutally interrogated.

Russ555

January 31st, 2011
10:16 am

About the only thing we can do is sit back and see what happens. This could play out in several different ways. But don’t see how we could be of much influence or control even if we tried.

Ragnar Danneskjöld

January 31st, 2011
10:17 am

Good morning all. Good analysis, Mr. Bookman; you lay out nicely what we know, and what we don’t. I’ll stick in an opinion, even though your fair and balanced essay does not solicit one.

I have been wholly-unfavorably impressed by our current president. I tell everyone who will listen that President Carter – the worst of the previous 100 years – got three and 1/2 things right – initiatives – in his administration. I give Chauncey 1/2 point to date, for the surge in Afghanistan; that would normally merit a full point, but I cut his grade because he took three months to make a no-brainer.

Should Chauncey be able to avoid an 1979-Iran-like outcome, he will merit a full point for performance here, thus leaving him only two points short of tying the worst presidential performance in recent history. The default is that he will screw it up, as Carter did Iran, and zero points. (We do not assign negative points – otherwise ObamaCare would seal his fate as the worst.)

Bosch

January 31st, 2011
10:20 am

“but do we really have any choice.”

We are already involved — don’t be obtuse — we are the most powerful nation on Earth and to think that Obama and the military leaders aren’t involved is just being willfully stupid…it’s the manner of which we are involved: do we openly go in an provide help for Mumbarek ( a shock and awe kind of deal) or do we do like Sec. Clinton said over the weekend call for democracy and work from behind the scenes.

jm

January 31st, 2011
10:23 am

I’d be interested to know the head count of the protesters. I haven’t seen any. In a country of 80 million people, a few hundred thousand (if that is what it is) hardly constitutes a majority.

We have “million man marches” in the US all the time. When’s the last time someone demanded the US president step down because of a few protests?

Just playing devils advocate here. I don’t like Mubarek, or more particular, I don’t like dictatorships. But I’d like to know how large these protests are before judging them to be a mandate for Mubarek to step down. Although he’ll probably be gone anyway, but maybe not within the week.

Soothsayer

January 31st, 2011
10:24 am

Gosh! Jay, maybe they’ll wind with a corporatocracy like what we have here in the Good Ole US of A. After all, we’re the envy of the entire World.

Doggone/GA

January 31st, 2011
10:27 am

“But I’d like to know how large these protests are before judging them to be a mandate for Mubarek to step down”

If they’re large enough to get him to leave…they’re large enough.

Disgusted

January 31st, 2011
10:32 am

Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood eyes unity gov’t without Mubarak, will meet with Mohammed ElBaradei—Haaretz.com

Ah! So the wolves are going to meet with the sheep to decide what’s for dinner.

Shamus O'Hannity

January 31st, 2011
10:34 am

I have found that if you take enough copies of a group of people and paste them together, you can create an entire voting bloc consisting of millions, even billions.

ty webb

January 31st, 2011
10:37 am

“…and that’s why I called it out.”

no, you “called it out”, because basically that’s all you have. And it really is such an easy and effective technique.

Left wing management

January 31st, 2011
10:38 am

@@:

Do you really think or do you just blindly subscribe to the Fox News conservative theme park version of reality?

Look, George W. Bush talked a good game about Democracy in the Middle East, but what was he really interested in? Was he not really more interested in propping up a repressive regime that trampled on the principle of democracy in practice because it maintained a status quo that served the interests of US Realpolitik?

But my point above was that, even if we admit that Bush was utterly acting in bad faith with regard to democracy in the Middle East, we can in fact take his actual words in the literal sense and actually carry them out, thereby turning the cynical and neurotic US Realpolitik on its head.

And just what would that mean? Maybe it means allowing the house of cards of repressive regimes in the region to collapse, come what may?

@@

January 31st, 2011
10:43 am

Oh please, @@

O.K., jay.

Schweid, Barry. “Egypt Says Bush Backs Political Reforms.” The Associated
Press. 18 May 2005.
This article basically states President Bush advocates political reform in both
Egypt and to a greater extent, the Middle East. It is slanted towards Egypt in
that it states that the President does not have any doubts about the
Egyptian’s willingness to strive towards democracy. The article reinforces
Bush’s support of Egyptian free elections

“Egypt’s government in tight spot between USA, political forces at home.” BBC
Monitoring Middle East. 3 June 2004.
In this article, Bush firmly states the essential nature of free elections in
Egypt after Black Wednesday. Bush expressed his intolerance towards
interference with the election process. The article also notes the surprise of
the Egyptian government at the hard line view of the American government.

I was talking before the fact. McClellan (who I thought was an idiot) offered his comments after the fact. Bush called for free elections before the fact. McClellan, who I thought was an idiot, addressed the realities after. Had to play the cards we were dealt.

Then there was Condoleeza Rice, who in 2005 said this:

In her speech, delivered to 1,000 invited attendees, Rice said she visited Cairo “not to talk about the past, but to look to the future, to a future that Egyptians can lead and define.”

“Throughout the Middle East, the fear of free choices can no longer justify the denial of liberty,” she said. “It is time to abandon the excuses that are made to avoid the hard work of democracy.”

After the speech, Rice was to meet with civil society activists and opposition leader Ayman Nur, leader of the Ghad party. In March, Rice canceled a trip to Egypt after Nur was jailed.

You’re welcome.

@@

January 31st, 2011
10:46 am

Oops! Can’t emphasize enough what an idiot McClellan was. More than twice even.

I’ve gotta go shopping for a birthday gift.

Jay

January 31st, 2011
10:47 am

From the horse’s mouth, @@. The inside story of Bush’s craven collapse:

“http://www.thedailybeast.com/blogs-and-stories/2011-01-30/president-bush-pulled-his-punches-on-egypts-mubarak-too/2/

Jefferson

January 31st, 2011
10:48 am

In reality, this is what happens in a country when the haves stop caring about the have-nots. When people have money to spend and a decent living, having a King (or whatever) is not a big deal.

One Nation Under educated

January 31st, 2011
10:51 am

“…will Obama…let the Muslim brotherhood…..”

79 times I counted – At this writing, I’ve heard some version of this stupid phrase 79 times on the right wing echo chamber – since 6am. Well, at least we know what their bobblehead, regurgitated talkin point is today. Repeat that about a hundred more times to the average Fox/AM radio viewer drooling on themselves, and they might think Mr Obama is – wait – in the muslin brotherhood. Oh, and be sure & put a question mark at the end for the cherry on top.

Left wing management

January 31st, 2011
10:58 am

@@:

And if you were to venture outside that Fox News conservative theme park reality for just a moment and really look at what’s going on, what might you find?

You might discover the following:

Egypt: a textbook case of disaster brought on by decades of neoliberal economic policy. (see below)

And that would cause cognitive dissonance and a mental crisis for you, your entire world being predicated on the claim that George W Bush and Barack Obama represent opposite poles on an ideological spectrum. Which means you’re ultimately unprepared when hit with the fact that in fact Obama – in most areas that really count – represents a loyal continuation of Bush and NOT an alternative to it.

—–
“Egypt’s experiment with neo-liberal economics has resulted in soaring inflation, steadily increasing unemployment rates and a reduction of the average citizen’s purchasing power,” Hamdi Abdelazim, economist and former president of the Sadat Academy for Administrative Sciences in Cairo, told IPS.

The experiment first began in the late 1970s, when president Anwar Sadat forsook the socialist orientations of his predecessor, Gamal Abdel Nasser, by launching his “infitah,” or “open-door” economic policy. The new strategy aimed to “liberalise” the economy by opening it up to imports from abroad and welcoming foreign investment in the country’s development.

The trend was reinforced with the 1991 collapse of the Soviet Union, when Egypt embarked on a programme of “structural readjustment” engineered by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank. The programme included a stringent package of reforms, the stated aims of which were to “stabilise” the macroeconomic environment, correct the balance of payments and implement fiscal and monetary reforms. ..

from http://ipsnews.net/news.asp?idnews=50015

getalife

January 31st, 2011
10:59 am

Our policy of welfare for a dictator while pimping democracy should be the first cut.

Their battle with the police was won by the people and their love and respect for their military is a very smart move.

A global movement to remove corruption is needed in most countries and Egypt is showing the world the way to get it done.

jconservative

January 31st, 2011
11:02 am

Interesting discussion.

The US Egyptian policy and the Israeli-Egyptian Treaty have been endorsed by 6 straight presidents going back to pre-Mubarak Egypt. The US policy has been executed exactly the same by 6 straight US presidents. Six straight presidents have done exactly the same thing on Egypt. Say “this” in public and “that” in private.

And this has been the cornerstone of US foreign policy since the start of WW II; take care of our “friends and supporters”. And for 30 years Mubarak has been a friend and supporter.

Is the US involved in the current demand for elections by the demonstrators? Of course. As the leading democracy in the world any people aspiring to democracy will call on the US for help.

Will we send in US troops to overthrow the head of state of a Muslim nation? I trust not. The Egyptian military has a close relationship with the US military. Remember, Egyptian generals were in meetings at the Pentagon when this all started. They returned home over the weekend.

Will we support the government elected by the people of Egypt, if they are given the opportunity to vote? I trust we will.

Will we like the government the Egyptian people elect to office? Maybe, maybe not.

If we endorse the right of peoples to elect their own government, we must also be ready to endorse the outcome of the election.

What is the old saying – when a door closes, another door opens.

Doggone/GA

January 31st, 2011
11:04 am

“If we endorse the right of peoples to elect their own government, we must also be ready to endorse the outcome of the election”

I don’t entirely agree. If we endorse their right to elect their own government we must ACCEPT their choice. We don’t have to endorse it.

getalife

January 31st, 2011
11:06 am

fox is playing the muslim brotherhood fear card non stop since the start of the protests.

So, the cons will post this fear over and over like good little sheep.

larry

January 31st, 2011
11:07 am

Repeat that about a hundred more times to the average Fox/AM radio viewer drooling on themselves, and they might think Mr Obama is – wait – in the muslin brotherhood. Oh, and be sure & put a question mark at the end for the cherry on top.

And then they will ask a hundred more times about the 48 page long form birth certificate that he is supposed to have.

Matti

January 31st, 2011
11:09 am

What we think about this doesn’t matter one iota. I never cease to be amazed at the arrogance of Americans who think the world revolves around our opinions of everybody else. YOUR OWN CONGRESSMAN doesn’t even give a flip what you think (unless you’re a campaign-donating multi-national conglomerate), and he actually receives a paycheck and cushy benefits to care. Our government’s support of this leader or that group has nothing whatsoever to do with what we think. You want to be relevant today? Fix your OWN life.

Tommy Maddox

January 31st, 2011
11:09 am

Fear not: the President will appear and do the one thing that he has championed in his entire political career – vote “Present”.

carlosgvv

January 31st, 2011
11:10 am

Curious Observer

I was thinking about the little things in life. You know, like having a job, food on the table, gas at less that $5.00 per Gal., a roof over your head, all that sort of petty stuff.

AmVet

January 31st, 2011
11:13 am

Have those in the Party of Permanent War’s 101st Chairborne trotted out the African domino theory yet?

And the shameless Uppity Muslim without a Birth Certificate/Marxist Kenyan/Chauncey/Idiot Messiah has not even started up Egyptian shock & awe???

Must be one of those feel-good libs…

stands for decibels

January 31st, 2011
11:31 am

Say what you will of the administration’s current posturing (as opposed to that of the previous one since, naturally, that’s what’s bubbling up as the squabble on this comments page); it would appear that Egyptians themselves look upon us Americans a lot more favorably, of late, than they used to.

Per this:
http://fivethirtyeight.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/01/31/poll-egyptian-publics-views-toward-united-states-are-much-improved/#more-5761
and linked therein, this:
http://www.worldpublicopinion.org/pipa/pipa/pdf/apr10/BBCViews_Apr10_rpt.pdf

Paulo977

January 31st, 2011
11:38 am

Jay @9:36am ..
“The fallacy that all the world is America’s plaything, to be steered from Washington to suit our needs, is dangerous.” Oh very well put !

pat

January 31st, 2011
11:46 am

If the Muslim Brother hood sucessfully hi-jacks this thing there are going to be huge problems. The entire region will be destablized and perhaps Iran can finally carry out it’s wish to lay complete and total destruction upon Israel.

If you think the U.S. won’t be heavily invovled, you are on crack.

Midori

January 31st, 2011
12:00 pm

Fox News should be more concerned about its’ lack of knowledge re: geography: http://plixi.com/p/73294801

HDB

January 31st, 2011
12:16 pm

Midori

January 31st, 2011
12:00 pm

Midori

January 31st, 2011
12:00 pm

“Fox News should be more concerned about its’ lack of knowledge AND geography….”

There….fixed it for you!!!

@@

January 31st, 2011
12:16 pm

From the horse’s mouth, jay? Don’t you mean from the horse’s ass? That you would kiss the same lips that kissed Bush’s ass is very telling. A marriage of convenience perhaps? Do kiss and tell, won’t you.

Although an Egyptian human rights defender Saad Eddin Ibrahim may have lamented Bush’s pull back, he, at least gave credit for Bush’s early attempts.

“George W. Bush is missed by activists in Cairo and elsewhere who, despite possible misgivings about his policies in Iraq and Afghanistan, benefited from his firm stance of democratic progress. During the time he kept up pressure on dictators, there were openings for a democratic opposition to flourish. The current Obama policy seems weak and inconsistent by contrast.”

And there you have it! The contrast about which I spoke/typed.

Two years in office and what has Obama done to call out the Mubarak regime? Nothing. He was too damn busy with Obamacare, all the while ignoring the simmering fuse in Egypt.

I swear….Obama can’t walk and chew gum at the same time.

Bill Orvis White

January 31st, 2011
12:33 pm

What will happen is another Islamic Revolution because the current U.S. administration doesn’t have the guts to stare down jihadists wherever they may exist. Mark my words: We will see a much more unstable Egypt because of Hussein Obama’s inaction.

Why couldn’t Lil Hussein build a coalition with the US, UK and Israel and commence to targeted airstrikes followed by mandatory elections with Western-friendly candidates? This should already be happening, but no, Hussein Obama is sitting on the sidelines of history watching and waiting for his jihadist brothers to take over thus destabilizing the Middle East even more. We need a strong president who is willing to stand up to Islamo-fascism.

Amen,
Bill

pcBobby

January 31st, 2011
12:42 pm

@ @@ – …while you’re comparing GW to Obama, really? GW couldn’t watch TV and chew on a nacho at the same time. While you’re saying that GW was supposedly aggressive with dictators, where was he with Castro, Mugabe, the Dear Leader and other dictators? Furthermore, where was GW on the U.S. economy and Katrina? GW did a heckuva job destroying this country, eh @@? Oh yes, GW and Prime Minister Cheney were following their delusions about Saddam,the guy who had a bogus weapons of mass destruction program and was supposedly plotting to wipe out the world

Peter B.

January 31st, 2011
9:26 pm

I understand why people are nervous. In a word it is IRAN and what happened in 1979 and since. However, I doubt the Egyptian Military which is still whole would allow an Iran type regime to take power for two reasons. Egypt is dependant on tourism for it economy and the military is dependant on US aid. The military does not want to see that money disappear.

We Are the World

January 31st, 2011
11:24 pm

Jay your geopolitical insights are truly amazing. The State Department will probably be calling any time now to get your advice on how they should proceed in this situation.