Daily Rundown on Egypt Turmoil with Chuck Todd & Savannah Guthrie

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I suggest in this clip with Savannah Guthrie and Chuck Todd on MSNBC’s The Daily Rundown that the US government is more in reactive mode on what is happening in the growing zone of instability in the Middle East than in front of things.
We don’t have much of a strategy for dealing with political change in some of the teetering, long in the tooth semi-totalitarian states in the region, and we certainly have virtually no strategy to deal with the clearly emerging trend of a rising, democracy-hugging (at least rhetorically) network of political Islam.
— Steve Clemons

Comments

68 comments on “Daily Rundown on Egypt Turmoil with Chuck Todd & Savannah Guthrie

  1. rc says:

    Well the conversation has moved onto a more recent posting but I’d assume that a more democratic government in Egypt would have a different policy in respect to Gaza, Palestine and 1967 borders etc. Although $3b may still keep them passive and voiceless at the international level. A good opportunity for China with heaps of paper and need for a canal in the region.
    btw: I made some comments to your question about IDF defecation in Palestinian lounge rooms.
    http://www.thewashingtonnote.com/archives/2011/01/richard_falk_go/#comment-177822
    Given the house/home is the sacred feminine space for most Moslems then I’d say this behavior has some sexual signaling significance.

    Reply

  2. Carroll says:

    Netanyahu’s statement is so ridiculous it’s not worth addressing.
    I doubt any intelligent (non propagandist) would sya that a change of rule in Egypt would immediately result in Egypt going on a war footing with anyone.
    That won’t happen– but a more people representative government would drive much harder bargins in their own favor with the US.
    All the US aid to Egypt goes strictly to their military…the one that has served Mubarak. It wouldn’t mean much to the average Egyptian worker to see that cut off. And it’s not impossible that some other ME interest might take up that slack anyway.
    A people ruled government might be less accomdating to the US on it’s strong arming for Israel and use it to extract some quid pro quos.
    The US and Isr want the Gaza tunnels closed?…well then..we will close ‘one’ tunnel if you remove the US requirement that Israel gets a 10% slice of their cotton exports business for the Egyptian cotton imports to the US. That would create a few more jobs. You want us to let Israel maintain an embassy here?…well then, what are you offering us economically for that? There are dozens of other agreements of this type they could bargin on.
    Mubarak has been a total US pawn for his and his elites own enrichment…protected by the US financied military.
    I am betting he will be gone one way or another.

    Reply

  3. rc says:

    “”democracies do not initiate wars,” the minister said, “I’m not sure the time is right for the Arab region to go through the democratic process.””
    — perhaps I should have added:
    (a) what does this imply about GWBush’s U.S. ‘democratic’ attack on Iraq?
    (b) does Israel then prefer the higher risk of war that exists without democracy in Egypt?

    Reply

  4. rc says:

    8:44 pm – Time magazine’s Karl Vick pulls in the first reaction from Israel that’s not a “no comment.” A minister in Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s government tells Vick that Israel believes Egypt’s security forces will be able to suppress the protesters. “We believe that Egypt is going to overcome the current wave of demonstrations, but we have to look to the future,” he said. While it would be better if Egypt were a democracy, since “democracies do not initiate wars,” the minister said, “I’m not sure the time is right for the Arab region to go through the democratic process.”
    http://blogs.aljazeera.net/middle-east/2011/01/28/liveblog-egypts-protests-erupt
    Perhaps he’d like to suggest a date and time then?
    So what happens to the US’s $3billion p.a. Egyptian sit down money show now? Without Mubarak channeling it back to vested interests will it suddenly dry up?

    Reply

  5. Paul Norheim says:

    “Interesting to note that the Muslim Brotherhood supports
    the pro democracy leader Mohamed ElBaradei.”
    I agree. Given the dramatic facts on the ground, ElBaradei
    could become the compromise that both Egypt and “the
    international community” can accept.
    And as I said upthread, the fact that he was “soaked
    by water cannon and surrounded by police as he joined
    protesters on the streets of Cairo” (BBC), probably heightens
    his creds among the protesters, and could perhaps increase
    his chances of becoming a political leader of the revolt.

    Reply

  6. Carroll says:

    Interesting to note that the Muslim Brotherhood supports the pro democracy leader Mohamed ElBaradei.

    Reply

  7. Paul Norheim says:

    “1831: Sultan al-Qassemi tweets: “Protestors have stormed
    Egyptian TV building&have destroyed some equipment.
    Helicopter is arriving. #Jan25.”” (BBC)

    Reply

  8. non-hater says:

    jk – the Saudi regime is much more repressive and undemocratic than the Egyptian one. I doubt this unrest will have any effect on the Gulf monarchies, if it even spreads to them.

    Reply

  9. Paul Norheim says:

    “1808: Amoona tweets: “The entire staff of the Israeli Embassy in
    Cairo has been evacuated by helicopters.”” (from BBC)
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-12307698

    Reply

  10. JohnH says:

    The revolution will not be blogged?
    I can’t help thinking about Steve’s breathless coverage of the Iranian elections (June 2009), when he posted several dozen blow by blow accounts of the protests.
    Now there is virtual silence, a post here and a post there. Yet the Jasmine Revolution and its successor in Egypt are arguably much more significant than the fizzled protests of what turned out to be supported mostly by the affluent minority in Iran.
    What gives? When people’s outrage against US lackeys gets too hot, do foreign policy insiders go into the deep freeze? Is democracy important only for US enemies?

    Reply

  11. Paul Norheim says:

    Here is a short article about the Wikileaks cables revealed
    by Norwegian paper Aftenposten that I referred to in
    several posts above on this thread earlier today:
    “US poured millions in pro-democracy groups in Egypt,
    Wikileaks
    REUTERS/Tim Chong
    By RFI
    The United States has funnelled tens of millions of euros
    into pro-democracy movements in Egypt, diplomatic
    cables obtained by WikiLeaks reveal, just as Egypt

    Reply

  12. Paul Norheim says:

    Protesters have stormed the Foreign Ministry building in
    Cairo, according to AP.

    Reply

  13. Paul Norheim says:

    Right now, Hilary Clinton gives instructions to the Egyptian
    government and protesters.
    She defines Egypt (“the government and the people”) as “a
    partner”.
    Leaders should regard their civil societies “as a partner, not
    a threat”…
    Behind the public words, I’m sure the Obama administration
    is putting pressure on the government in Cairo right now.

    Reply

  14. jk says:

    When will Saudi Arabia start seeing protests like this; given the fact that the Saudi government is every bit as repressive and undemocratic as the Egyptian government?

    Reply

  15. Paul Norheim says:

    “Police reportedly refused orders to throw tear gas at protesters in
    Alexandria.” (Al Masry Al Youm)

    Reply

  16. Paul Norheim says:

    “Reports say Egyptian opposition figure Mohamed ElBaradei
    has been placed under house arrest. Earlier, he was soaked
    by water cannon and surrounded by police as he joined
    protesters on the streets of Cairo.” (BBC)
    This fact probably heightens his credibility among the
    protesters, and could perhaps increase his chances of
    becoming a political leader of the revolt.

    Reply

  17. Paul Norheim says:

    They are burning down the headquarter of the ruling party
    in Cairo right now, 40 minutes after curfew. Heavy gunfire
    and explosions are heard around the TV- and radio
    buildings in the capital. All according to the English version
    of Al Jazeera.

    Reply

  18. PissedOffAmerican says:

    I wonder how long it will be before the protestors raise the issue of the Egyptian border policies, and the complicity Mubarek has exercised in depriving the Palestinians in Gaza of basic needs.
    So much for the “irrelevency” that the jackass Wiggie attributed to “the Arab Street”, eh? Seems they ain’t so “docile” as Wiggie would have us believe, either.
    How long did Israel think they could maintain the status quo, and keep their knee on the throats of the Palestinians? Israel is unraveling, seriously damaged by its own actions and policies. Frantic now, it is trying to legislate and mandate the self-defeating racial hatreds that have driven its policies for decades now. If it can’t erase the Arab Israelis with threats and suppression, it will attempt to do so by legislative mandate, effectively outlawing everyone in Israel that is not a Jew.
    Are these fucking bigots steering the Israeli ship of state really so fanatical that they think a nation can survive by alienating and nurturing the hatred of the billions of Muslims that surround them?
    Yes, they can murder, maim, starve, and imprison a few million….
    ….but billions???
    Doubtful. Even with the willing complicity of the scum in DC.

    Reply

  19. samuelburke says:

    this is the take from Phil Weiss that i meant to post.
    “Now in Tunisia and Egypt, the Arab street has taken the
    neocons at their word and said, Yes we want democracy on
    our own terms, and we will get it. It has taken facebook and
    twitter on its terms and said we want free speech and social
    freedom.
    And when they get it– if not this year then within ten years,
    the internet is too dynamic a force, along with Assange and Al
    Jazeera– when they get it, they will expose the power of the
    Israel lobby so that even Chris Matthews will have to address
    the contradictions. For we will be seen to have only one
    policy, the preservation of a Jewish state, even if that means
    Jim Crow and apartheid and stamping out democratic
    movements everywhere and tolerating a prison for 1.5 million
    innocent people in Gaza. I waffle about the two state-solution
    more than anyone, I actually imagined that partition might
    preserve tranquility, but when democracy comes to Cairo the
    pressure on Jerusalem to allow equal rights for all citizens will
    be massive. And the claim that Israel is the only democracy in
    the Middle East will have completely dissolved.
    You see the pressure on Jerusalem beginning in earnest now,
    from new quarters. You see it in Admiral Mullen’s awareness
    that Americans will come home in wheelchairs until
    Palestinians have freedom, in Senator Rand Paul’s call for cuts
    in military aid to Israel.
    That pressure must come to bear soon on the Democratic
    Party. It is the natural home for the recognition of minority
    rights and the self-determination of formerly-oppressed
    people. How sad that even Russ Feingold can scarcely talk
    about Obama’s war when he speaks out to a progressive
    audience, and can’t even talk about Palestine. Pathetic.
    A year or so back a Jewish friend said to me that if Jews could
    take on the Israel lobby and reform American foreign policy it
    would be a model for human rights leadership across the
    world. And I agreed; and we are working at it.
    But how ironic that the real leadership is coming not from any
    American movement in our imperfect democracy, no, we are
    the most conservative country in the world right now; it is
    coming from the streets in Tunisia and Egypt.”
    http://mondoweiss.net/2011/01/the-road-to-jerusalem-
    leads-through-tunis-and-cairo.html#more-34556

    Reply

  20. samuelburke says:

    Phil has been prescient for years now and seems to have a
    knack for this sort of stuff.
    from Phil Weiss at mondoweiss dot net.
    “The hole in the bottom of the world here is the fear that
    Arabs have not accepted Israel’s existence. They didn’t accept
    it in 1947 in New York, and they didn’t accept it in 1967 in
    Khartoum. They always warned that its presence would create
    instability in the region, and the State Department said it
    would radicalize Israel’s neighbors, and 60 years on this is
    more true than ever. The Arab Peace initiative of 2002 was a
    great gesture of realism: the Arab states did accept Israel’s
    existence, on the ’67 lines. But nothing has come of this
    incredible shift, and Brian Baird tells us that leading American
    congressmen, tucked in at night by the Israel lobby, didn’t
    even know about the Arab Peace Initiative, and Israel scoffed
    at the offer because it had American power behind it.”
    http://mondoweiss.net/2011/01/the-road-to-jerusalem-
    leads-through-tunis-and-cairo.html#more-34556

    Reply

  21. Cee says:

    The following was writen by the clown (Joshua Muravchik) who advocated the neo-con plan to break up the entire Middle East:
    This week, dozens of Egyptian Christians at worship were slaughtered and scores injured in the bombing of an Alexandria church (only days after a similar attack on Iraqi Christians). Many Muslims in Egypt and elsewhere decried this atrocity. Hussein Ibish and Ziad Asali, leaders of the American Task Force on Palestine, denounced not only the violence but more courageously and more to the point, the culture behind it.
    But the response of Egypt

    Reply

  22. rc says:

    I suspect it will look a bit more like the abdication of Suharto in Indonesia.

    Reply

  23. Dan Kervick says:

    Muhammad al-Baradei is also participating in the demonstrations today.

    Reply

  24. rc says:

    This link works (‘l’ was missing above)
    Egypt’s MB joining protest tomorrow. End of US-Israel imperium in ME?
    Posted by Helena Cobban
    January 27, 2011 1:49 PM EST
    http://www.justworldnews.org/archives/004132.html

    Reply

  25. Paul Norheim says:

    Standard humanitarian relief? Almost everything contained
    in the excerpt I quoted at 2.37 AM (related to the largest
    amount of money) is of a political, and not a humanitarian
    nature – see for example point 4, 5, and 6.

    Reply

  26. nadine says:

    “1) The protests in the Arab streets in several Egyptian
    cities and towns right now have their roots in domestic
    politics, but are influenced by US financial support,
    training, and encouragement during recent years” (Norheim)
    That seems rather a leap. Most of the document you quote is talking about standard humanitarian relief, nothing political. It’s not at all clear that the US money did anything significant to help organize a democratic opposition, and even less clear that the democratic opposition is responsible for the protests or even influencing them in any way. Before that street vendor set himself on fire on Dec 17, nobody would have thought there would be a revolution in Tunisia. This really seems like a grassroots 1848 type moment.

    Reply

  27. Paul Norheim says:

    And then there is a NYT article based on Wikileaks cables – not related to the financial
    support for the Egyptian opposition movements, but rather describing the US-Egyptian
    relationship on other levels (the public versus the private level) during the Obama
    administration:
    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/28/world/middleeast/28diplo.html?_r=1&hp

    Reply

  28. Paul Norheim says:

    And here is an interesting excerpt from October 2008,
    quoting Gamal Mubarak, the son of the President.
    According to this note, the US support for opposition
    groups may have started in 2003, the year the US invaded
    Iraq:
    “I hope that the next president and administration reviews
    the past eight years, and draws some lessons.” Gamal also
    asserted that in 2003, he had urged then-Ambassador to
    Egypt David Welch to “tread carefully” when beginning to
    directly support Egyptian NGO

    Reply

  29. Paul Norheim says:

    What are the implications of the revelations from
    Aftenposten (and the documents quoted above)?
    The following points seem obvious:
    1) The protests in the Arab streets in several Egyptian
    cities and towns right now have their roots in domestic
    politics, but are influenced by US financial support,
    training, and encouragement during recent years.
    2) The Cairo speech may have inspired the Arab streets,
    but they were soon disappointed. The financial support
    may have been much more important – and here there is a
    continuation between the Bush administration and the
    Obama administration, and not a radical change in policy.
    Both administrations seem to have both supported
    Mubarak’s military and, simultaneously, the groups who
    oppose his regime.
    Then the question is: If this is partly a result of US
    encouragement – why is there not – if Steve Clemons’
    statement at MSNBS yesterday is correct – a Plan B in the
    White House?

    Reply

  30. Paul Norheim says:

    And here is an excerpt from another note, from February
    2009, underlining the financial double role the US has
    played recently – and the negative Egyptian reactions:
    “Classified by Ambassador Margaret Scobey for reason 1.4
    (d).
    1. (S) Summary and Key points:
    –A robust economic assistance program for Egypt serves
    long-term U.S. interests: it balances a relationship
    otherwise defined solely on security grounds, it
    demonstrates U.S. interest in the welfare of average
    Egyptians, and it creates a bridge to assure access to
    future potential leaders.
    –Resolution of the current impasse over FY 2009 ESF
    should not be a prelude to picking up where we left off.
    We should take advantage of the change in the
    Administration and assistance levels to renew the U.S.-
    Egypt partnership around common goals, aimed at
    tackling chronic problems retarding social and economic
    development.
    –We should consider a bold approach — possibly an
    initiative endorsed by both presidents — that focuses
    resources on a single key sector, such as education.
    –Resolution of the impasse will require consideration of
    future assistance levels, evaluating new delivery
    mechanisms such as an endowment, and finding a way
    forward on democratization programs that allows the U.S.
    to continue to support civil society in a manner less likely
    to undermine cooperation on other matters.
    Why This Matters
    —————-
    2. (S) Egypt has changed dramatically over the past three
    decades and USAID can take credit for many
    improvements. Almost all Egyptians have access to
    electricity, clean water and health care. Maternal and child
    mortality have plummeted. Polio has been eradicated.
    More Egyptians, especially women, are literate. With an
    economic growth rate of seven percent, Egypt appears
    poised to integrate successfully into the world economy.
    Yet all is not well. The global economic downturn is hitting
    Egypt hard and may undo much of the progress made over
    the past few years of high economic growth. Population
    growth projections are shocking for a country with limited
    water and chronic unemployment. This is especially true in
    Upper Egypt, which has 25% of Egypt

    Reply

  31. Paul Norheim says:

    In the “very interesting” department:
    The Norwegian newspaper Aftenposten has access to some
    cables from Wikileaks that reveal (in today’s paper) that the US
    has given substantial financial support to democratic
    movements opposing the Mubarak regime, at the same time as
    the US openly gave money to the Egyptian military.
    Apparently this secret financial support has been going on
    during the “last years”, i.e. both under Bush, and under Obama.
    Here is a long excerpt from a US Embassy note from Cairo,
    written in 2007:
    “Summary
    ——
    1. (C) Our fundamental reform goal in Egypt remains
    democratic transformation, including the expansion of political
    freedom and democratic pluralism, respect for human rights,
    and a stable, democratic and legitimate transition to the post-
    Mubarak era. While our programs in the areas of judicial reform
    and decentralization are well-conceived and have had some
    notable successes, we propose to expand our support for civil
    society, especially through offshore programming. During the
    spring of 2007, Embassy Cairo, coordinating closely with
    Washington colleagues via shared draft papers and secure DVC
    discussions, drafted the following document which currently
    serves as the basis for our democracy promotion efforts in
    Egypt. End summary.
    —————————————
    Total Proposed Democracy and Governance Spending FY 2008
    and 2009
    —————————————
    2. (SBU) The total proposed D and G spending for FY2008 will
    be USD 65-75 million with USD 11-13 million for off-shore
    programming and USD 54-62 million for ongoing and new on-
    shore programming. Total spending for FY2009 will be USD 75
    million with USD 25 million for off-shore programming and
    USD 50 million for ongoing and new on-shore programming.
    ———————
    Off-Shore Programming
    ———————
    3. (C) Due to on-going GOE interference with U.S. democracy
    and human rights assistance programs, the Deputies
    Committee decided on April 10 to proceed with offshore
    programming as appropriate. Per this guidance, the
    interagency agreed to release USD 5 million in FY2007, USD
    11-13 million in FY2008, and USD 25 million in FY2009. State
    will determine the administration of the programming funds.
    Decisions will be project-driven with a focus on competitive
    grants and low administrative overhead.
    4. (SBU) FY2007: USD 5 million, to include support of:
    (a) International Republican Institute (IRI): Workshops, strategic
    planning, and capacity building to assist in developing
    emerging leaders in all political parties. Focus is on current and
    emerging party leadership and reform-minded NGOs in
    preparation for the 2010 parliamentary elections and 2011
    presidential election.
    (b) National Democratic Institute (NDI): Train municipal
    candidates and campaign managers (with an emphasis on
    women) in advance of 2008 municipal elections, including a
    mix of in-country consultations and offshore training and
    exchanges. Build capacity of civil society organizations in
    election and governance monitoring, networking, and
    information sharing with counterparts.
    (c) Freedom House: Fund off-shore human rights activities that
    may include training for bloggers, assistance to human rights
    lawyers, international coalition building with civil society, and
    off-shore civic education.
    (d) IFES (formerly International Foundation for Election
    Systems): Work with reform-minded Egyptian NGOs and civic
    leaders to promote electoral reform and increase voter
    awareness, education, and registration, particularly among
    women and youth. Offshore and onshore programming will be
    included to increase knowledge of international standards for
    free, fair, and transparent elections; media regulation, and
    election administration. Technical assistance and training will
    be offered to the Supreme Elections Commission leading up to
    the 2008 municipal elections.
    5. (SBU) FY 2008: USD 11-13 million: The above programs will
    continue and new programs will be added to include the
    following:
    (a) MEPI-funded conference on the role of Islamist groups,
    including the Muslim Brotherhood, in democratic politics:
    Meridian House to organize a conference for American
    academics and policy makers
    (b) Expanding training of domestic and international election
    monitors. This could include work with the Ibn Khaldun Center
    and others.
    (c) Training civil society and think tanks in public opinion
    polling.
    (d) Strengthening advocacy skills of civil society and promoting
    exchanges, especially those focused on coalition building,
    youth and women, including small grants to be administered by
    the implementing NGO.
    (e) Supporting programs aimed at advocacy for women,s rights
    and expanding the capacity of individuals and groups seeking
    to safeguard women,s rights and increase their political
    participation. This would also include a focus on trafficking in
    person.
    (f) Providing onshore and offshore support and training for
    indigenous human rights efforts, including those focused on
    minorities, religious freedom, freedom speech, and youth.
    (g) Providing training for independent media, internet-centered
    media, and increased public diplomacy.
    6. (SBU) FY 2009: USD 25 million: Expanding the above
    programs and adding new programs to adapt to the new
    political environment, including efforts to prepare for the 2010
    parliamentary elections and the 2011 presidential election.
    ————————————-
    Breakdown of Ongoing and New On-Shore Programming:
    FY2008 and FY2009
    ————————————-
    7. (C) President Mubarak is deeply skeptical of the U.S. role in
    democracy promotion. Nonetheless, USG programs are helping
    to establish democratic institutions and strengthen individual
    voices for change in Egypt. This change is often incremental
    and painstaking, but will also have enduring impact. We will
    sustain successful programs and create additional on-shore
    initiatives to optimize American influence through the looming
    leadership succession.”
    More here:
    http://www.aftenposten.no/spesial/wikileaksdokumenter/articl
    e4008796.ece

    Reply

  32. Ajaz Haque says:

    Steve
    Through your blog, I would like draw attention to another Middle Eastern hotpoint. Thanks Ajaz Haque
    Failure of U.S. Policy in Lebanon – Hezbollah in the Driving Seat
    On February 14, 2005, one of the most dynamic Middle Eastern leaders, Mr. Rafik Hariri was assassinated in a car bomb in Beirut. Neocons in Bush Administration blamed Syria for the heinous act. The Western and US media (as if on a cue), launched a barrage of accusations against Syria – such investigative journalists that they are.
    Lebanon saw massive uprising and anti-Syrian demonstrations resulting in pull out of Syrian troops from Lebanon. Until then Syria had maintained a large troop presence in Lebanon under one pretext or another. Syria should have withdrawn its troops several years earlier as they had no reason to stay on Lebanese soil for this length of time.
    Regardless of the noise and media blitz, there were some in Lebanon who pointed a finger at Israel for Hariri’s murder, however implausible though it appeared at the time. Regardless of whoever was responsible, it turned out to be a diplomatic victory for US & Israel.
    The UN formed an ‘Independent Commission’ to investigate the assassination. Enormous pressure was applied on the commission to find Syria guilty. However, despite the evidence paraded by media at the time, no solid link was found. Also, in the meantime political winds had changed and Syria and US had broken bread together. The ‘independent’ commission was then pressured to focus its attention on Hezbollah.
    Like the John F Kennedy murder, the truth may never be known. The assassination could be the work of Hezbollah, Syria, Israel, the US or even a local opponent of Mr. Hariri. Unfortunately, the commission has been comprised by lack of transparency and by allowing itself to be pressured by stakeholders in the Middle East. However accurate its findings, they lack credibility.
    Move the clock forward to 2011 and Hezbollah is in the driving seat in Lebanon with their nominee Mr. Najib Mikati for Prime Minister. They even appear to have the support of Christian party of Mr. Michel Aoun and the Druz leader Mr. Walid Jumbalat.
    It seems that Bush Administration’s neocon driven policies of declaring Hamas and Hezbollah as terrorist organizations has helped increase their political footprint tremendously.
    If Hezbollah is successful in forming a broad based coalition Government – which it seems likely to at this time (though things can change overnight in the Arab world), it will be a major foreign policy failure for the United States.
    US must seriously review and redirect its diplomatic policy in the Middle East. This failure is mainly the result of blindly following Israel’s lead and not having an independent policy. At a time when Israel is blatantly building settlements in East Jerusalem and refusing to listen to Obama Administration. US must find an independent course of action in that part of the world or risk becoming a mere spectator on the sidelines.

    Reply

  33. Carroll says:

    Excellent article by Helen Corbban..in depth…and about the MB joining the protest tomorrow.
    http://justworldnews.org/archives/004132.htm
    And Egypt has shut down their internet. BUT this group below is setting up servers to keep twitter going. Recommended by mondo and site info appeared legit to me. You can donate a few dollars if so inclined. I did, partly to see if I can get on the State Department’s terrier list..LOL…they keep ignoring me.
    https://www.accessnow.org/page/s/help-egypt

    Reply

  34. JohnH says:

    Israeli observers have a more measured response than Chicken Little Nadine’s the sky is falling hype: “Even if the Muslim Brotherhood, who have criticized ‘illegal ties with Israel,’ came to power, the army and the Egyptian security services would oppose it with all their might,” claimed Yoram Meital, a Middle East specialist at Beersheva University in southern Israel. “Even if the opposition is very hostile to Israel, if they refuse any form of normalization (with Israel), it is not ready to renounce the ‘cold peace’ between the two countries and take the risk of a new war.”

    Reply

  35. JohnH says:

    Chicken Little Nadine squawks again: the sky is falling, the sky is falling: “If the revolt succeeds, the Muslim Brotherhood will take over, and impose an Islamist tyranny.” Uh-huh.
    If it’s not crying wolf, it’s a squawking Chicken Little. Nadine and her ilk are so predictable.
    But can she name one time that her calamitous predictions have proven right? Oh yeah, three years ago, Iran would have nukes within three years and immediately nuke Israel. Right! Now, three years later, it’s still, “in three years Iran will have nukes…”
    BTW Zionists had a choice. They didn’t have to choose such a dangerous neighborhood in which to forcibly take over, evict the residents, and offend everyone.

    Reply

  36. non-hater says:

    al-Masry al-Youm seems to be hosted in the UK.

    Reply

  37. Dan Kervick says:

    l-Masry al-Youm still online, in both Arabic and English.
    http://www.almasryalyoum.com/en

    Reply

  38. Dan Kervick says:

    Just tried to access Al-Ahram and received a “server not found” error. Same with Akhbar al-Yom.

    Reply

  39. Dan Kervick says:

    Apparently the Egyptian government has completely shut down the internet. All of Egypt’s internet addresses are now unreachable. 3,500 individual BGP routes have been withdrawn.
    This is an extremely dumb move. People are addicted to the internet. Trying to calm an angry young population by turning off the internet is like trying to calm the country’s junkies by shutting down all heroin trade.
    Every young unemployed guy who was spending a lot of time on the net now has nothing to do with his time besides go to the street.

    Reply

  40. nadine says:

    “He believes that Israel is better off with a Lebanon formally controlled by Hizbullah,

    Reply

  41. questions says:

    And this:
    “Egypt has not known such violent and determined mass demonstrations since the bread riots of 1977, which forced president Anwar Sadat to cancel an increase in the price of bread and other basics. But the economic situation is far worse today. Poverty is everywhere.
    An estimated 40% of the population earns less than $2 a day.
    Official figures put unemployment at 10%; the truth is probably twice as bad. Twelve percent of the people suffer from malaria and hepatitis C. Corruption is pervasive among the ruling elites.
    Mubarak did enact muchneeded economic and financial reforms, but only the richest benefited. Nothing was done to improve the lot of the masses.
    And in today

    Reply

  42. questions says:

    Interesting read:
    “Casting his eye on Lebanon, Giora said the recent confrontation between the pro-Western March 8 alliance and the Hizbullah-led March 14 bloc was not as severe as met the eye.

    Reply

  43. JohnH says:

    Funny. Nadine is the only one here that has written about “blaming America and Israel for everything that is wrong with the Middle East.” And that is an exact quote.
    But seriously, Nadine has shown herself over and over again to project her feelings onto others. And she constantly blames Obama for “not being tough enough.” But Obama’s policies are indistinguishable from Bush’s–to the point where Dick Cheney praised them.
    So it must be that Nadine is blaming America for everything that is wrong in the Middle East.

    Reply

  44. nadine says:

    “Nadine gets her wish–the Muslim Brotherhood will join the mass protests in Egypt tomorrow. The MB had stayed out of this, though the neo-conmen claimed that they were leading the charge.”
    Do you not even understand events just demonstrated that the neocons were right and you, as usual, were clueless?
    Most of the demonstrators may want liberalization. But it won’t matter. If the revolt succeeds, the Muslim Brotherhood will take over, and impose an Islamist tyranny. There will be bloodbath as they take revenge on Pharaoh and troops.
    The soi-disant human rights crowd in the West will avert their eyes.

    Reply

  45. nadine says:

    “Don’t have time for that right now. I’m writing an article where
    I deny that Holocaust ever happened – deadline tomorrow,
    have to get the work done! After that, there is this column
    congratulating Hizbollah for the victory in Lebanon, an
    encouraging piece about the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt,
    and finally a pro-Hamas piece about the factions among the
    Palestinians.” (Norheim)
    No need to write original material, you can just plagerize. “Moderate” Palestnian President Abbas’ dissertation denies the Holocaust. Other commentators have already congratulated Hizbullah on its democratic acquisition of power, and lots of “realists” will be cheering the Muslim Brotherhood now that it’s joined the Egyptian demonstrations. As for the pro-Hamas piece, the Guardian has written all you will need, for whose benefit do you thing the Palestine Papers were edited and published?
    See, fifteen minutes work and your task is done.

    Reply

  46. Paul Norheim says:

    “Very clever Paul. You can now return to your normal habit of
    blaming America and Israel for everything that is wrong with
    the Middle East.”
    Don’t have time for that right now. I’m writing an article where
    I deny that Holocaust ever happened – deadline tomorrow,
    have to get the work done! After that, there is this column
    congratulating Hizbollah for the victory in Lebanon, an
    encouraging piece about the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt,
    and finally a pro-Hamas piece about the factions among the
    Palestinians.
    Oh, I nearly forgot the half-written article where I make an
    attempt to demonize Albert Einstein and Marc Chagall (both
    were Jews). Life is too short.
    For terrorist-supporters and Jew- haters like me, this is a very
    busy week!

    Reply

  47. Bill Pearlman says:

    Is Barack Hussein Obama not his name. But I digress. Will you intellects explain to me why Israel should risk an Iranian backed hamas military presence along the west bank ridge line. Especially when you consider that Hezbollah just engineered a takeover in Lebanon. Hamas ( the lets throw the other guys off the roof boys ) and Egypt is now hanging in the balance.
    Whats your reasoning.

    Reply

  48. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Judging from the shit talk escaping from DC, violent suppression of dissent is only OK if you are Israeli. Funny how these fucking scumbags in DC are so selective in their support of protest and the people’s right to dissent, eh?
    How’s it feel knowing that our State Department is more concerned for Egyptian and Iranian protestors than they are for American citizens engaged in peaceful protest? Don’t believe me? Well, just ask Tristan Anderson or Emily Henochowicz.

    Reply

  49. JohnH says:

    Nadine gets her wish–the Muslim Brotherhood will join the mass protests in Egypt tomorrow. The MB had stayed out of this, though the neo-conmen claimed that they were leading the charge.
    But Nadine drops a whopper–“Maybe if Obama had continued Bush’s pressure for liberalization we wouldn’t be seeing the present situation.” What political liberalization did Bush ever exert on the Arab world? Everything was security, security, security, which supported repressive Arab tyrants and stifled any opposition at all cost.
    “Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.” –JFK

    Reply

  50. nadine says:

    “Suddenly Nadine blames America for “the present situation”.(Norheim)
    Very clever Paul. You can now return to your normal habit of blaming America and Israel for everything that is wrong with the Middle East.
    At the end of the day, the Arabs have no one but themselves to blame for lurching from one Perfectly Stupid Idea to the next for the last 80 years.
    Adroit influence might have lead to a better result than the bloodbath that is likely to follow Mubarak’s downfall; but it wasn’t there. And certainly won’t be a hallmark of the Amateur Hour that is the Obama administration’s foreign policy bench. The only heavyweight they had was Holbrooke, and he’s gone.

    Reply

  51. nadine says:

    “In the short run, the regimes may well manage to survive.
    Oil prices are tolerably high, security forces are loyal, foreign aid is available in abundance, elections have been manipulated and Islamists have been repressed. Nor would it necessarily serve the interests of national and regional stability for these authoritarian regimes, many of them allies of America, to be suddenly deposed.
    In Tunisia, for instance, it is still unclear what sort of political leadership will fill the vacuum created by Ben Ali

    Reply

  52. DonS says:

    Barack HUSSEIN Obama. You’ve got to follow nadine’s line of ‘reasoning’ more closely. Is he really an American, or an other other?

    Reply

  53. Paul Norheim says:

    Suddenly Nadine blames America for “the present situation”.
    It’s always America’s fault, isn’t it? Mubarak is The Other, and
    there are always excuses for the barbaric Other when you
    can blame America!
    How dare you be so anti-American, Nadine.

    Reply

  54. DonS says:

    “Maybe if Obama had continued Bush’s pressure for liberalization we wouldn’t be seeing the present situation”
    And if frogs had wings they wouldn’t bump their ass.
    Is their no fairy tale a neocon can’t tell with a straight face?

    Reply

  55. nadine says:

    Paul, Wigwag never said Obama created anything in Egypt with a speech. I said that Obama created a perception of American weakness with his flattery of the Arab world, combined with his total disinterest in democratic reform.
    So Mubarak stopped the minor liberalization that he had been doing before then under pressure from President Bush.
    Maybe if Obama had continued Bush’s pressure for liberalization we wouldn’t be seeing the present situation. We’ll never know.

    Reply

  56. DonS says:

    Wig wag, as usual, assumes the mantle of elder statesperson, and proclaims the truth. (without my permission, by the way). Thus, we are all supposed to nod approvingly and make low, audible assenting noises, especially since she anoints deputy nadine with an even greater prescience in this instance.
    That’s all well and good, and I might be tempted to consider bowing to Wig’s immaculate understanding until she opens her mouth and utters this: “it does prove that the government that the United States helped birth in Iraq has more legitimacy and amazingly more stability, than most other Arab states.”
    A singularly more clueless statement would be hard to formulate. I suppose one could say that a nation whose government and government officials gain their ‘stability’ from perhaps 1000 armed US soldiers per official has a sort of legitimacy. But not with a straight face. And that’s before even reckoning with the constant bomb attacks that have, just the other day, killed about 70 ‘stability providers’ in training.

    Reply

  57. Paul Norheim says:

    ” If Obama “created” democracy in Egypt with a speech, isn’t
    that infinitely more efficient than Bush spending a $1 trillion
    “creating” it in Iraq?”
    Well, exactly.
    If that was true, just imagine the judgement of future neocon
    historians: “Obama’s perhaps biggest foreign policy mistakes
    was that he inspired the democratic movements in the Middle
    East through a speech, instead of using the military.”

    Reply

  58. DonS says:

    I’m going to sue for royalties since just on the previous thread I predicted “First and foremost by the neocons, of course, will be the attempt to create a timeline of ‘error’ that begins with the inauguration of Barak Hussein Obama.”
    Who knew I was so influential. The only thing I forgot to predict was that boy Bush would turn out to be a savior.

    Reply

  59. Matthew says:

    Paul, what’s the harm? If Obama “created” democracy in Egypt with a speech, isn’t that infinitely more efficient than Bush spending a $1 trillion “creating” it in Iraq?
    As for Nadine and Wigag, the only question Mr. & Mrs. Blue-and-White care about is, “How will this affect Israel?”
    Negatively, I hope.

    Reply

  60. Paul Norheim says:

    Are you crediting Bush for creating democracy in Iraq through
    an invasion, while accusing Obama of creating democracy in
    Egypt through a speech?
    Sorry, but this is just incoherent, partisan and US-centric
    rubbish!

    Reply

  61. WigWag says:

    “The pressure on Mubarak should have come before this. Bush, to his credit, did pressure Mubarak for liberalization. But Obama chucked that effort and went for flattery instead, a la the Cairo Speech. That got him less than nothing. The Arab world read it (correctly imo) as weakness..” (Nadine)
    As ususal, Nadine is one of the few Washington Note commentators with a sophisticated understanding of the Middle East. One hopes in vain to read anything about the Middle East from other commentators that is in the least bit insightful.
    Amazingly, the most politically stable Arab nation right now may be Iraq; that’s because it has democracy of sorts that was delivered to it courtesty of George W. Bush.
    That’s not to suggest that the Iraq War was worth the expense in either blood or treasure, but it does prove that the government that the United States helped birth in Iraq has more legitimacy and amazingly more stability, than most other Arab states.
    As for all the yelps of joy at the prospect of Arab democracy, those hypocritical commentators would be wise to remember that the American who argued more forcefully for democracy in the Arab world than anyone else was President Bush. In this, he was urged on by the same neoconservatives criticized so vociferously by the denizens of the left. As for the realists, the propogation of democracy has never been a priority for that set. After all, practically by definition, realists are politically amoral.
    Now, all of a sudden the left is jumping on the bandwagon and calling for what President Bush called for almost a decade ago.
    Wasn’t it Steve’ favorite President, Richard Nixon who said, “We’re all Keynesians now?”
    From the looks of things, those advocating Arab democracy should be admitting,
    “We’re all neoconservatves now.”

    Reply

  62. nadine says:

    Just like Lebanon’s fall to Hizbullah control was so inexplicable and unexpected that the Obama administration hasn’t yet officially noticed it.

    Reply

  63. nadine says:

    Don’t worry charlie, if Mubarak falls, the Democrats will regard the timing as a complete fluke, just like they do the fall of the Shah and the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1979.
    It’s just some weird coincidence that such upheavals occur most frequently in the third year of a weak Democratic President who thinks moral preening is a good substitute for a rational, muscular foreign policy.
    It was all so completely unpredictable. Know what I mean?

    Reply

  64. charlie says:

    Interesting project:
    Top 10 things the US should plan for in sudden change of foreign countries:
    1. Cuba
    2. Egypt
    3. Islamic takeover of Saudi Arabai
    4. zimbabawe…
    Shows the general weakness of the foreign policy bench/

    Reply

  65. JohnH says:

    Steve’s reaction is telling. During rioting in Iran after elections (June 12, 2009), Steve wrote: “Legitimacy matters — even in Iran. Interesting days ahead.”
    But apparently, legitimacy in the “democracy-hugging” Arab world doesn’t matter.
    To all appearances, this is the usual Washington hypocrisy–demanding democracy of our enemies but coddling friendly dictators.
    And Washington wonders why its approval ratings in Latin America and the Arab world are abysmal? Give me a break!
    “Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.” –JFK

    Reply

  66. nadine says:

    I doubt there will be a right side of it, Dan.
    Pressing Mubarak to make reforms NOW is tantamount to putting the skids under him, but America has no good options left. Either support a bloody dictator in a bloody crackdown, or put the skids under him, to see him in all probability replaced by the Muslim Brotherhood and a bloodbath.
    The pressure on Mubarak should have come before this. Bush, to his credit, did pressure Mubarak for liberalization. But Obama chucked that effort and went for flattery instead, a la the Cairo Speech. That got him less than nothing. The Arab world read it (correctly imo) as weakness.

    Reply

  67. Carroll says:

    Well, it seems the DC circut is busy promoting the Egyptian revolt as “political Islam”.
    I think I prefer to go with what reporters are reporting and people on the street in Egypt are actually saying:
    Time noted:
    Everywhere, the message was the same:

    Reply

  68. Dan Kervick says:

    I’m not sure what the US can really do to get in front of it. We can just try to get on the right side of it.

    Reply

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