Friday, January 28, 2011

The Next Iran

the assassination of Anwar Sadat

Hey look, I'm no foreign policy expert, and although I do have a cousin who had a State Department career, I only hear from him now and then at Christmas, and we haven't talked about anything political since the time he mentioned, off hand, that in the halls of the Department, everyone said Bush was going into Iraq precisely because "he tried to shoot my dad," which was what Bush actually said in an off hand moment.  So, I certainly don't know anything much about Egypt.  I do know that bin Laden's "right hand man" is Egyptian, and was radicalized by Mubarek's brutal treatment of him and his family.  I read that in the New Yorker way back when.  So I expect it's probably more or less a factual thing.

But it does kinda look like Egypt might be the next Iran, doesn't it?  Precisely because we have not been looking critically at Egypt since Nassar was dismissed.  This was kinda the deal with Iran.  The Shah was a friendly, western-talking man who was happy to work with the United States in different ways, particularly with regard to his location on the Soviet Union's southern flank, and with regard to his location viz other regional powers, and with regard to his stash of oil.  We didn't really think much at State about the internal situation in Iran.  At least I don't think we did.  And so one day we were utterly shocked when the place blew up and took our Embassy hostage and tossed out the Shah, and we ended up with what we have now, namely a black box where we don't really know what Iran is up to, but we're pretty darn afraid it ain't good. 

Egypt right now feels pretty much like five minutes before the Embassy was captured.  At least from this old nail keg I like to rest my butt on, down at the Texaco.  Just sayin'. 

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