Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Understanding the Eye of the Needle, Continued

Here's a fine analysis of a particular feature of the Obama Administration's current effort to deal with the crisis in Egypt.

There are still clear distinctions between a Democratic Administration and a Republican one, when it comes to dealing with events afar which are at the very least beyond our control, and at worst, frightening and dangerous in their implications to the very entangled and complex network of power relationships which we have woven and encouraged since--pick a date?--1947 or so.   The previous administration clearly believed that the United States was capable of decisive, direct military action which would in reasonably short order bring the world "to order."  Acting on that belief, the previous administration embarked on two wars.  Now, in 2011, both wars have lasted longer than our involvement in World War II, and whether either have actually accomplished the basic if vague goal of bringing these states, Iraq and Afganistan, "to order," is as yet unknown.  (On the other hand, I think we knew within a year or two that both Germany and Japan had been fundamentally altered as states and were no longer threats to either the US or the world generally.)

So, in this example, Mrs. Clinton has sent as an enabling envoy a lobbyist who is actually still in the employ of the Mubarak Administration in Egypt, and as well, seems to view Mr. Sulieman, who has long term and cozy relationships with the CIA, as a suitable replacement for Mr. Mubarak.

And I offer this example as an obvious indication that while the Obama Administration is not laboring under the illusions of the old Shock and Awe people, this Administration still wears rose-colored glasses, and does not seem to grasp the liberating possibilities contained in the Egyptian situation at present.  Or possibly they believe, being cautious and sensible, that the risks of deeper change in Egypt are just too great for the general cat's cradle of diplomatic relationships in the Middle East which currently obtain.  There is no doubt that the strings are taut to the breaking point, and sing with the slightest touch.  One wonders if in the end the fundamentals of nuclear deterrence psychology will be the deciding factor in the flow of history in the Middle East--as in fact they were in the flow of history with regard to the United States and the Soviet Union.  The clock has been wound tight; its awful ticking fills the darkened corridors of midnight.

Update:  My conservative critic resorts to prejudice and stereotype far too typical of the current right-wing "analysis" of the Middle East events.  

Anyway, muslims are incompetent at almost every thing, which in many ways is good news for the rest of the world. However, if they are going to succeed at becoming democratic, they will need guidance from experienced people. 

Mr. Mubarak has left.  This is a fact.  That his departure was caused by a direct expression of millions of Egyptian citizens is beyond argument.  There are other facts to note.  One is that Iranian government leaders are apparently quite concerned that this Egyptian model will be noted by its own citizenry.  (One would think Iran would be rejoicing if the fear-based rantings of Mr. Beck are in fact connected to Middle Eastern realities.)  Yes, it's true that the Egyptian Army holds many cards, and plays its hand.  One would imagine that our government will certainly be discussing things with the Egyptian Army.  Other players, such as the Muslim Brotherhood, labor unions, university and business leaders, even the significant Christian component of the Egyptian culture, will also be at the table should such a conversation bring positive results.  A real, good-faith conversation amongst all the power-bases in Egypt will be the best foundation for further democratic developments.  What America should do is encourage this conversation.  Period.  I hope that is what we are doing.  From what can be seen from the living room couch, this is what we are doing.  The arrogant and racist attitude of the American right can be of no benefit to either us or the Middle East.  And let it be noted that the last significant Middle East diplomatic achievement which the US had a hand in was the original Eqyptian/Israeli Accord brokered by Democratic President Jimmy Carter.  Then came Reagan.  Q.E.D. 

(I considered simply deleting the comment, but thought that noting its arrogant tone was worth the space, as it exhibits in a nutshell what's wrong with right wing punditry sui genris.  Mr. Hannity runs along these same rails daily with his diatribes against the muslim faith.  It used to be that unadulterated bigotry and hate-mongering would not be tolerated on our publicly-owned air waves.  Now Mr. Ailes has brought Lord Haw Haw to every podunk in the land.)

For a more realistic view of Mr. Reagan, here's a nice piece I just discovered this morning thanks to Doghouse:


  1. Egypt has now undergone a military coup. Mubarak is out and the generals are in. Will they take the steps toward democracy? Maybe. But history suggests they will hang on to their new power as long as possible, and at least as long as it takes to collect some of the big money they saw flowing to Mubarak. And our muslim-in-chief president is just the guy to send them some money and ask them to please hold legitimate elections some day soon.

    Meanwhile, in the economy of the world Egypt is tiny bit-player. Egypt's GDP is $220 billion. Walmart is bigger.

    On the other hand, Egypt is an Islamic nation, and revolutions in one Islamic nation are always of interest to the poor muslims being abused in some other Islamic nation.

    Thus, if Obama was telling the truth last year when he addressed the 80 million citiazens of Egypt -- that the US was their friend -- he had better put some heat on those Egyptian generals to ensure legitimate elections happen very very soon.

    By the way, Bush did not go willy-nilly into war in Afghanistan and Iraq. There was the issue of 9/11 that resulted in our invasions of both countries. Wioth respect to Egypt, it has taken until today for the wacky liberal members of the news media to suggest that maybe jump-starting a democracy in Iraq gave the Egyptians a few ideas about getting a democracy of their own.

    After the speech Obama gave today, it's obvious he sees it that way.

    Anyway, muslims are incompetent at almost every thing, which in many ways is good news for the rest of the world. However, if they are going to succeed at becoming democratic, they will need guidance from experienced people. That's us.

  2. Regarding comment #1:hahahahahahahahahahahahahaha

    I would love to take you back in time and hear your comments on the American Revolution. Bet you ten bucks you'd be shilling for George #3.