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Posted at 10:49 AM ET, 02/ 2/2011

Egyptian protesters clash

By Adam Serwer

While Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak promised not to seek reelection, the protests are continuing, and seem to have taken a turn for the worse since pro-Mubarak demonstrators came on the scene. with pro- and anti-Mubarak sides clashing. There are some indications that some of the pro-Mubarak demonstrators are deliberate provocateurs. The New York Times reports:

Signs that the pro-Mubarak forces were organized and possibly professional were rife. When the melee broke out, a group of them tried to corner a couple of journalists in an alley to halt their reporting.

Many in the crowd said they had been offered 50 Egyptian pounds -- less than $10 -- and a meal to express support for the government in the square. "Fifty pounds for my country?" one woman said, in apparent disbelief.

Spencer Ackerman at Wired reports that the anti-Mubarak protesters believe that the violence is a deliberate effort to discredit those calling for Mubarak's removal. As Ackerman notes, the internet was also mysteriously restored in time to show the world that Mubarak actually had some supporters left. 

During the protests in Iran last year, the Obama administration had reasons to mute its support for the Green Movement, lest the regime use his words to discredit the reformers. The situation is different in Egypt though, because it is the second largest recipient of U.S. aid, which means the U.S. has a lot more influence over how it reacts.

Mubarak's apparent decision to try and preserve his rule by cracking down in spite of the administration's calls for transition to representative government to being now puts the White House in a difficult position, since while it certainly has more influence over Mubarak than it did over the Iranian regime, it still isn't in a position to simply impose its will, and if Mubarak manages to prevail, the administration will still have to work with him. The sort of outcome faced by the Bush administration, where strident calls for change ultimately gave way to awkward "congratulations" to Mubarak for winning rigged elections, seems more likely than it did yesterday. 

But the use of force against the protesters following such an immense popular outcry against Mubarak will make such an outcome far more embarrassing for the current administration than it was for the last one. 

By Adam Serwer  | February 2, 2011; 10:49 AM ET
Categories:  Foreign policy and national security  
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Next: Please inform your readers

Comments

"During the protests in Iran last year, the Obama administration had reasons to mute its support for the Green Movement, lest the regime use his words to discredit the reformers. The situation is different in Egypt though"
=======================================

Shorter: whatever Obama does is automatically the right thing to do.

Adam's pieces are struggling to make double digits in comments, so I'm doing my part.

Posted by: Brigade | February 2, 2011 10:57 AM | Report abuse

Which other journ-O-lists? Anderson Cooper was punched 10 in head by mob in Egypt. No wonder Katie Couric doesn't want to go there.

Posted by: clawrence12 | February 2, 2011 10:59 AM | Report abuse

I was wondering if the Egyptian leadership was going to take a page from how Iran handled their large protests.

It looks like they are going to follow the Iranian blue print, and have now send out their thugs to launch violent assaults on the gatherings of protesters.

This was the method that the Iranian regime used to erode the size of the turnouts, until finally the protests faded away.

Mubarak said he is not going to run again, but his regime have no intention of going away.

Watch for the violence to escalate, and for Mubarak's goons to keep on attacking protesters, just like The Ayatollahs' goons did to the protesters in Tehran.

Despite all the media and political hype about how effective such large protests are; the recent record in other countries shows the exact opposite:

In repressive countries run as police states, such as Burma and Iran, the protesters have gotten crushed. It looks like we may be witnessing the beginning of the same outcome in Egypt.

Tunisia is probably not a good model to apply to the bigger nations with large brutal repression forces already in place, and it is far too soon to say that everything is finally settled, even in Tunisia.

Look at how ephemeral the protest driven changes in Ukraine and Lebanon turned out to be.

Posted by: Liam-still | February 2, 2011 11:00 AM | Report abuse

It is interesting to note that Mr Serwer accuses the government of manipulating the internet to suit its own purposes.

given the liberals' fondness for regulation in general and "net Neutrality" in specific it is a wonder that Mr Serwer would mention this at all. After all if Mr Genachowski has his way the FCC will have complete control of the entire thing.

We are supposed to believe that those people who seek power in America are different from those people who seek power in any other place on the planet. Our power mongers are good, honest, just people who only want what is best for the proletariat. Human nature simply does not apply to the fine folks Obama appointed. Yeah, right. Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Let's watch how hard the feds work to keep their grip on our lives.

It will be interesting to watch Obama in the coming days. The liberal apologists will seek to cover over his failure with the uprising in Iran but the paralells between this and Carter's waterloo are already being made (cf, VDH at NRO)

What will also be interesting to watch is the American reaction to yet another long hard glimpse of the dysfunctional arab/mulsim culture. Will we come to accept the reality of this dysfunction this time around?

Posted by: skipsailing28 | February 2, 2011 11:02 AM | Report abuse

It cracks me up watching freedom loving "patriots" here and at Fox defending a dictatorship.

And Shorter Brigade: whatever justification is given of Obama actions isn't the truth unless I heard it on Fox, because Fox is fair and balanced and has a bunch of ditzy blonds that are fun to look at.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | February 2, 2011 11:03 AM | Report abuse

skip, how exactly do the "Net Neutrality" rules benefit the Obama administration?


"Carter's waterloo" Which one is that? The bungled prisoner grab? How are demonstrations in Egypt equal to that?

Or maybe you mean the Camp David accords signed under Carter between Egypt and Isreal that resulted in over 30 years of peace between the two that all political parties in the U.S. are interested in maintaining.

I'm all ears.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | February 2, 2011 11:09 AM | Report abuse

pcow

I am so astonished for see of Egypt's people politic policy. Mubarak is a founder of Egypt's politics and also a developer to increasing the economy of Egypt's. Now they are staying Anti-Mubarak in state. But it's so shy for those people.
http://bit.ly/ePS6Rq
Go to the link and see more exclusive video footage.

Posted by: webcontent2011 | February 2, 2011 11:12 AM | Report abuse

Oh never mind, I get it skip.

You wanted Obama to be loud and belligerent about the Iranian protests since that would have made all the difference.

I get it. Since he wasn't belligerent, he's just like Jimmy Carter.

That makes sense now. Thanks!

Posted by: mikefromArlington | February 2, 2011 11:16 AM | Report abuse

And Shorter Brigade: whatever justification is given of Obama actions isn't the truth unless I heard it on Fox, because Fox is fair and balanced and has a bunch of ditzy blonds that are fun to look at.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | February 2, 2011 11:03 AM
=======================================

Put your pants back on. Now we know why all you libs are so familiar with what's being said on FOX.

Posted by: Brigade | February 2, 2011 11:17 AM | Report abuse

I'm all ears.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | February 2, 2011 11:09 AM
====================================

More so than Ross Perot?

Posted by: Brigade | February 2, 2011 11:18 AM | Report abuse

"Now we know why all you libs are so familiar with what's being said on FOX."

John Stewart and Steven Colbert break down the idiocy for us all. Thank God for them we don't have to watch it.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | February 2, 2011 11:20 AM | Report abuse

Since he wasn't belligerent, he's just like Jimmy Carter.

That makes sense now. Thanks!

Posted by: mikefromArlington | February 2, 2011 11:16 AM
=====================================

What he has in common with Carter is total incompetence. That Nobel prize was a little premature, dontcha think?

Posted by: Brigade | February 2, 2011 11:20 AM | Report abuse

"Now we know why all you libs are so familiar with what's being said on FOX."

John Stewart and Steven Colbert break down the idiocy for us all. Thank God for them we don't have to watch it.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | February 2, 2011 11:20 AM
=====================================

Right. Comedy Central is your news source.

Posted by: Brigade | February 2, 2011 11:22 AM | Report abuse

Brigade, what does an organization awarding Obama a Nobel prize have to do with anything?

Maybe we should talk about how Obama not liking mustard proves he knows nothing about nuclear proliferation.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | February 2, 2011 11:24 AM | Report abuse

This is just too funny. RUK is pontificating on the prior thread about behavior:
========
Pointing out somebody's boorish behavior towards G.W. Bush does not justify boorish behavior towards Obama..or the next President or the next President.
===================

Yeah, right. This from a guy who called me an "effing moron". Nothing like a temperance lecture from a drunk.

And RUK is completely wrong. Thanks to the ten year temper tantrum the left threw over MR Bush, boorish behavior is now the norm. Calls for an end to our use of their tactics are tantamount to an admission that they can dish it out but can't take it.

Ain't that too bad? It must just be sooo tough for you guys on the left to now be on the receiving end of the same nastiness you used for the entire Bush admin. And that nastiness worked too. By the end of his second term Bush had record low approval ratings. That made it difficult for him to lead.

There is absolutely no reason why we on the right shouldn't simply adopt the left's grand strategy now that Obama is in the oval office. Since we've already been told we're "racists" for having the nerve to disagree with the annointed one, we might as well push on and use the entire range of techniques that the left perfected just a few short years ago.

Man up RUK, you on the left made this bed, have the decency to lie in it in silence.

Posted by: skipsailing28 | February 2, 2011 11:24 AM | Report abuse

"Right. Comedy Central is your news source."

No. Just my source to see what the other comedy channels are up to.

I use DrudgeReport for news just like everyone else.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | February 2, 2011 11:27 AM | Report abuse

Brigade, what does an organization awarding Obama a Nobel prize have to do with anything?

Maybe we should talk about how Obama not liking mustard proves he knows nothing about nuclear proliferation.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | February 2, 2011 11:24 AM
========================================

Logic much? Has peace broken out anywhere in the world as a result of Obama's leadership?

Posted by: Brigade | February 2, 2011 11:27 AM | Report abuse

skipsailing28, I for one will at least stop short of calling for Obama's assassination (unlike those who did against GWB, as I've pointed out to sbvpav on a prior thread).

Posted by: clawrence12 | February 2, 2011 11:34 AM | Report abuse

You are hot today mr. brigade ... really adding to the discussion and using all them smarts of yours to help us understand stuff. I'm sure I'm not the only one here that appreciates that you use your obviously very valuable time to troll on here with us and share with us all your wisdom and smarts.

You and mr.skipsailing28 along with mr. rainforestrising make the discussions here so smart and worthwhile for everyone with all your really smart and wise and thoughtful posts and your decency, yeah, your decency. We need more of that because that will really help us all to learn so much about stuff.

Posted by: pragmaticagain | February 2, 2011 11:34 AM | Report abuse

Hey so skip, are you saying since Obama wasn't loud and belligerent about the Iranian protests he's just like Jimmy Carter?

And Brigade, at the time the Nobel was premature and a little bit silly considering he wasn't even in office yet imho but hey, it's their decision and if they felt Obama once again presented the world with a country that respects other nations and gave a general sense of common cause for a greater good, then that's their choice.

Will he be deserving of it? That proves to be seen.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | February 2, 2011 11:38 AM | Report abuse

"There is absolutely no reason why we on the right shouldn't simply adopt the left's grand strategy now that Obama is in the oval office."

No reason at all, other than it's the strategy of schoolboys.

Posted by: tao9 | February 2, 2011 11:39 AM | Report abuse

OBAMA IS TALKING WITH THE MUSLIM BROTHERHOOD

You have no reason to trust Obama isn't implementing his "Muslim Agenda"

Another "Bait and Switch."

Posted by: RainForestRising | February 2, 2011 11:40 AM | Report abuse

[clawrence12 "Anderson Cooper was punched 10 in head by mob in Egypt."]

For once I'm with you.

WTF did CNBC send sweet-Polly-purebred Erin Burnett into Cairo to interview street butchers.
http://www.cnbc.com/id/15840232?video=1775837124&play=1

CNBC contact page is here.
https://register.cnbc.com/email/EmailSupport.jsp

Sweet Ganesha's trunk, get her out of there!

Posted by: KaddafiDelendaEst | February 2, 2011 11:41 AM | Report abuse

Obama doesn't like mustard? He probably puts ketchup on a corn dog.

When I first heard this morning about pro-government protesters my first thought was - wtf? Where did they find pro-govt protesters? They must be police dressed as civilians.

It took a few days but Obama and crew finally got it right and called for democracy in Egypt. They need to keep up the pressure and get Mubarak to leave soon in an orderly way. A caretaker govt that has the support of the military needs to be put in place. But they need to delay elections until effective opposition parties can be organized and presented to the people - else the crazies step into the void.

Posted by: sbj3 | February 2, 2011 11:42 AM | Report abuse

skip's argument for being disgusting and dishonest: But but, you did it first!

Next he'll fall back on the 'I know you are but what am I' which we all know basically wins the Internetz.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | February 2, 2011 11:43 AM | Report abuse

It is sad for you that your grasp of the obvious is weakening.
========
skip, how exactly do the "Net Neutrality" rules benefit the Obama administration?
===============

any intrusion by the federal government into the internet sets it up to do what Mubarak has done. Once the Feds convince themselves taht the internet requires "regulation" a kill switch won't be far behind. It is just a matter of conditioning people to accept yet another loss of freedom for the sake of liberal shibboleths (ht Barney fricking Frank)

The Lieberman bill was ill timed to say the least and many already believe that the president can shut down the internet with the authority he already has.

So my point remains: the behavior of the government in Egypt should be a warning to freedom loving people in this country.

Posted by: skipsailing28 | February 2, 2011 11:45 AM | Report abuse

"It took a few days but Obama and crew finally got it right and called for democracy in Egypt."

Wow, the entire right wing isn't plugged into Rush Limbaugh's backside and repeat like zombies staring into the abyss.

There's hope for you still.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | February 2, 2011 11:45 AM | Report abuse

[clawrence12 "Anderson Cooper was punched 10 in head by mob in Egypt."]

Hey Coop. Next time, bring a Gurka!
http://www.logiccool.com/blog/591281-lone-nepali-soldier-defends-potential-rape-victim-against-40-men/

Posted by: KaddafiDelendaEst | February 2, 2011 11:46 AM | Report abuse

"any intrusion by the federal government into the internet sets it up to do what Mubarak has done. Once the Feds convince themselves taht the internet requires "regulation" a kill switch won't be far behind. "

Ummm, preventing what should be a free system from private companies killing other competition by limiting their services is not equal to shutting down the internet.

There has been a system with phone companies in place for years that was similar. If phone companies had the space in their facilities, and a competing company wanted to provide service, to encourage competition, they were required to provide space for the competitors equipment.

This prevents monopolies and enables small business to compete and thrive.

Monopolies = bad.

Fair competition = good.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | February 2, 2011 11:50 AM | Report abuse

OK. Time for food. see ya's

Posted by: mikefromArlington | February 2, 2011 11:51 AM | Report abuse

hey mikey, as I suggested go read VDH's essay at NRO. It savages Carter (rightly so) and makes apt comparisons to Obama.

sine open mindedness is not a trait I've found to be common among lefties, I doubt you'll visit the dreaded heart of your enemy. Soooooo, here's some snippets:

"In short, hypocrisy and sanctimonious bullying soon replaced the promised unbending principle and moral courage. Carter seemed to be harder on our friends than on our rivals and enemies, especially odd since an aggressive war was more likely to come from North Korea than from South Korea, from the radical Arab world than from Iran or Israel, from the Soviet Union’s proxies than from our own, and from China rather than from Taiwan."

Perhaps you were still in swaddling clothes when Carter screwed up everything he touched. I wasn't. I was in a line waiting to buy gas.

here's another:
"Nor are we likely to hear any more mythohistory like the Cairo speech, in which Islam was praised for contributions that it simply did not make. Formerly snubbed allies — Britain, Germany, Israel, India, Colombia — will probably not be similarly snubbed in the future. I don’t think there will be any more grand concessions to Russia in the hopes that Putin will reciprocate by pressuring Iran or reaching out to Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Republics. Likewise, Obama is keeping mum about the tottering Mubarak regime and hopes that the Muslim Brotherhood does not quote back to him his Cairo speech or Al-Arabiya interview. For now we dread the emergence of ElBaradei in the role of Banisadr, assuring us that there is no threat from a new Egyptian Khomeini, and post facto blaming us for our past support of a stable strongman. What is missing from this self-described humane administration — in its clumsy and public calibration of the varying cliques vying for power in Cairo — was an early and consistent explanation of why the United States supports those who embrace constitutional government."

There is a line from an old Rod Stewart song that fits Obama's pickle to a tee:
"Look how wrong you can be"

Posted by: skipsailing28 | February 2, 2011 11:56 AM | Report abuse

A high level of reading comprehension doesn't seem to be a requirement for those who join the leftist in America.

the kids here are missing my point about political discourse. Let me make in one more time (with feeling):

The right will adopt the left's strategy because it worked. Period. Paragraph.

It must be just too difficult to understand for the lefties here today. Maybe it is the winter weather, who can tell?

The left used everything at its disposal to weaken Bush. And Bush was weakened. Since we don't want Obama to shove us any further to the left we need him to be weakened as well.

so using the tools and techiniques of the left simply makes sense.

Those who now criticize me for suggesting this should post, from their archives, comments, emails, letters to the editor, etc, etc, demonstrating their intense disapproval of the behavior of Bush's critics. Absent that they should recognize that sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander.

Turnabout, my liberal chickadees, is fair play.

Posted by: skipsailing28 | February 2, 2011 12:02 PM | Report abuse

The brilliant and beautiful Esperanza Spalding.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6I6hVnTdnWU

I hear Billy Holiday, Sarah Vaughan, Dinah Washington, Nancy Wilson, Cassandra Wilson, and Ella Fitzgerald influences in her Jazz singing .

A great performance from Tony Bennett is also on the same clip.

Give it a listen. It will make your day.

Posted by: Liam-still | February 2, 2011 12:03 PM | Report abuse

@Mike

That's some seriously funny snark you're tossing out there today.

@Tao "No reason at all, other than it's the strategy of schoolboys."

Finally...someone who understands two wrongs don't make it right. Now you knucklehead dig out those snowshoes and get ready for an awesome time. I am soooo freaking envious of you Tao!!!!
BTW Tao...given your knowledge of Sam Huff I have to assume you're an old f6rt like me. Have you been doing any training or conditioning for your wonderful weekend?

@Liam Whoa dude...posting on topic..what concept :-) And IMO you are dead on with the "paid goons" and the Iranian analogy. Richard Engel also reported that many of the "anti" Mubarak movement believed that it was in Mubarak's best interest to let the chaos build as a way of illustrating to the populace..."Ok you don't like me but I am the only one who can guarantee you stability and personal safety."
The more looting that takes place the better it is for Mubarak and it places the protestors in a bad light.

Posted by: rukidding7 | February 2, 2011 12:09 PM | Report abuse

Looks like the NYT is letting Mitch McConnell get away with claiming that health law repeal is supported by "majority" of Americans:

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/plum-line/2011/02/please_inform_your_readers.html

Posted by: Greg Sargent | February 2, 2011 12:12 PM | Report abuse

@Mike

Wow, the entire right wing isn't plugged into Rush Limbaugh's backside and repeat like zombies staring into the abyss.

There's hope for you still."

There's always hope for SBJ. :-)
I don't really consider him a "right winger" he's more of a genuine conservative...alas for SBJ he suffers from the same thing we progressives do...his party has left him...I hope it's only temporary for BOTH of our sides.

Posted by: rukidding7 | February 2, 2011 12:14 PM | Report abuse

So RUK, in response to this:
===============
Finally...someone who understands two wrongs don't make it right
==================

show the fine folks here the reams of correspondence you generated decrying the endless assaults on Obama's predecessor. Print a copy of your letter to the editor stating that the movie based on Bush's assasination was wrong. Show us where you publically reproved Cindy Sheehan and Code Pink for their demonstrations in front of military hospitals.

If "Maimed for a lie" made sense to you pal, you have forsaken your right to complain now.

I sincerely doubt you can. So this is what the lefties are saying:

"What we did was wrong, so the right can't use our tools and techniques because, well, that would be wrong and we won't approve."

so what? This is from a guy who had no compunctions about calling me an "effing moron". Of course the use of language such as that, and the refusal to apologize, makes RUK completely qualified to be the left's absolute arbiter of right and wrong in American poltical discourse.

yeah, right.

Here's a more current example: the great calumny orgy the left just enjoyed in the aftermath of the Tucson shootings. People capable of that kind of lying still believe that everyone must respect their opinions. I hardly think so.

Wear this shoe my pals, it fits perfectly.

In a way the consistency of the leftists is comforting. We've come to expect that liberals are whining hypocrites.Thank you RUK et al for providing proof this characterization remains valid.

Posted by: skipsailing28 | February 2, 2011 12:35 PM | Report abuse

"The Egyptian foreign ministry has rejected calls from Western powers for an immediate start to a political transition in Egypt. The ministry released a statement Wednesday saying the aim of the calls from "foreign parties" has been to "incite the internal situation in Egypt." "

http://www.voanews.com/english/news/middle-east/World-Leaders-Call-for-Orderly-Transition-in-Egypt-115100514.html

This is rapidly going off the rails. Mubarak is telling the U.S. and the West to f off, not to mention his own people. As soon as the Mubarak goons start beating the protesters the U.S. should immediately cut Egypt's aid or take some other measure showing that Obama is serious about Mubarak getting out now. It is nearing time for Obama to take sides definitely.

Posted by: wbgonne | February 2, 2011 12:39 PM | Report abuse

And it has already begun:

"500 injured in Cairo violence - reports"

http://www.rte.ie/news/2011/0202/egypt.html

Posted by: wbgonne | February 2, 2011 12:41 PM | Report abuse

"definitively"

Posted by: wbgonne | February 2, 2011 12:43 PM | Report abuse

Mubarak is no doubt being encouraged by our right wing neocons in this country along with Israel that they've got his back to crush the rebellion at all costs.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | February 2, 2011 12:48 PM | Report abuse

I have been watching the violence escalate since 8 or 9 pm last night, and it's afternoon today - and I have not heard word ONE from Mr. Obama. Hardly two hours after he responded to Mr. Mubarak's WAAAY inadequate response they unleashed the brown shirts, and our President has nothing to say as yet. I have always thought that Mr. Obama's rhetoric exceeded his real commitment, but this is a disgrace, even for him. Can we at least have some US troops to protect the Doctors Without Borders' health workers?

Posted by: Brownell1 | February 2, 2011 12:54 PM | Report abuse

Mubarak should be hanged like Mussolini.

Posted by: thomasmc1957 | February 2, 2011 12:57 PM | Report abuse

Mubarak is no doubt being encouraged by our right wing neocons in this country along with Israel that they've got his back to crush the rebellion at all costs.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | February 2, 2011 12:48 PM | Report abuse

I don't doubt that. And Mubarak must have a mountain of dirt on the U.S. after all these years as our puppet. But I think Obama should consider making a definitive statement against Mubarak. He's the president, not the Neocons. I understood Obama being quiet until last night but now that Mubarak is declaring himself Obama must do the same. I hope to god the U.S. is NOT encouraging Mubarak to stay on in the interest of "stability" or some other such misguided nonsense. The Egyptian people want freedom and democracy. They should have it. They will be eternally grateful to the Unites States and that will be an enormously valuable reservoir of good will. I also think things will improve all around if ElBaradei replaces Mubarak quickly and orderly.

Posted by: wbgonne | February 2, 2011 12:59 PM | Report abuse

Mubarak should be hanged like Mussolini and Saddam Hussein.

Posted by: thomasmc1957 | February 2, 2011 1:04 PM | Report abuse

What I forgot to add: But if Mubarak stays I think the United States ay well end up getting blamed as usual, whether we deserve it or not. It is time to get on the right side of history. Pull the aid money to Egypt: that makes the point.

Posted by: wbgonne | February 2, 2011 1:05 PM | Report abuse

Long before this article I was convinced that the party of NO had NO intentions ever, of doing anything meaningful about healthcare. It not that many portions of the bill are necessary and cost effective, Its simply that its not theirs. Every inch of the way over the past two years the GOP blindly said no to EVERYTHING in the bill and refused to listen to any discussions to sway their position.Now they are preaching, the sky will fall and the bill will kill people and all sorts of wrong mindless accusations to destroy the current version.and do nothing to compromise.I see no chance of any alternative bill proposals ever being introduced in the house. And to add to the hyproracy, the GOP is suggesting that they intend to introduce a new bill to replace the current version. Yeah-right! I see the chance of happening to be a big 0. As indicated in your article the GOP either believes the American voters are blind, stupid or they will go along with anything they want because they are so far superior in intlect than the voters and know what the public needs are.The GOP rode back into congressional power, Not for any of those reasons or any spacific platform it was their commitment to repeal healthcare and some out of the universe promice to cut spending and reduce the deficit. Well now we all will see..Additionally; a large portion of their success is credited to the Tea party influence whom it appears they are trying to shrug off. Ill credit one positive to the GOP platform; They are blindly loyal to their Leadership his,cause and their total loyalty to he special interest groups and lobbysts who. REALLY elected them

Posted by: cliffc1 | February 2, 2011 1:13 PM | Report abuse

Mubarak came to power when Ronald Reagan was in the White House, and for the next twelve years, Reagan, followed by Bush the elder, were the one's who propped him up, and entrenched his regime. Hell, Bush The Elder even included forces from Mubarak in the campaign to drive Saddam out of Kuwait, but leave in charge of Iraq, and allow him to put down the Shiites.

Now people want to lay the blame for all that on Obama, who is the first President to go to Cairo and openly call for the establishment of Democracy in Egypt.

Posted by: Liam-still | February 2, 2011 1:17 PM | Report abuse

"Freedom is A Spiritual Asset --The reason for the corrupt politics and the selfish, ambitious planning of so many who wield power in positions of responsibility can be found in the fact that spiritually minded men and women have not assumed, as their spiritual duty and responsibility, the leadership of the people. They have left the power in the wrong hands and permitted the selfish and the undesirable to lead. The word "spiritual" does not belong only to the churches or to the world religions. The churches are themselves in some cases great capitalistic systems and sometimes show little evidence of "the mind that was in Christ." That is truly spiritual which properly relates us one to another and to God, and which demonstrates in a better world and the expression of the--

"Four Freedoms" throughout the planet.

Freedom of speech and expression - everywhere in the world.

Freedom of every person to worship God in his own way - everywhere in the world.

Freedom from want - which, translated into world terms, means economic understandings which will secure to every nation a healthy peacetime life for its inhabitants - everywhere in the world.

Freedom from fear - which, translated into world terms, means a worldwide reduction of armaments to such a point and in such a thorough fashion that no nation will be in a position to commit an act of physical aggression against any neighbour - anywhere in the world.

It is no longer possible to separate human affairs from spiritual reality and selfless living. The changing of the old order, the awakening of humanity to new possibilities and the purification of the political and economic arena, are today the factors of the greatest spiritual value."

http://www.lucistrust.org/en/service_activities/world_goodwill/world_goodwill_literature_on_line/the_challenge_of_international_unity

Posted by: wdsoulplane | February 2, 2011 1:17 PM | Report abuse

Mikey is warming up for the calumny Olympics:
===============
Mubarak is no doubt being encouraged by our right wing neocons in this country along with Israel that they've got his back to crush the rebellion at all costs.
=====================

got any proof?

I didn't think so. This is just so illustrative of the closed mindedness of the American left.
That's some insightful analysis you got there Mikey. did you make this up all by yourself did Mr Positive, wbgone, help ya?

Mikey, are you hoping to carry the flag for the liberal team and the calumny olympics? If so you'll have to wrest it from the clutches of Adam Serwer and Jenn of Ark.

Posted by: skipsailing28 | February 2, 2011 1:19 PM | Report abuse

"It took a few days but Obama and crew finally got it right and called for democracy in Egypt."

=============================

It's called following---as opposed to getting out front.

Posted by: Brigade | February 2, 2011 1:42 PM | Report abuse

Skippy,

Mike Huckabee openly called for President Obama to prop up Mubarak.

So did John Bolton.

You know that all ready, so don't come in here trying to play your old Big Lie game.

Posted by: Liam-still | February 2, 2011 1:46 PM | Report abuse

"President Obama wants to see change in Egypt’s government, but his press secretary on Monday stopped short of calling for the ouster of embattled President Hosni Mubarak.

White House press secretary Robert Gibbs repeated Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's weekend call for an “orderly transition” to a more open and inclusive government decided by the Egyptian people. But Gibbs was adamant that the U.S. will not put its thumb on the scales either way.

“It is not up to us to determine when the grievances of the Egyptian people are met by the Egyptian government,” Gibbs said at his daily briefing. “We’re not picking between those in the street and those in the government.”"

I think it is a mistake not to side with the Egyptian people. We are holding back history and we will pay for it. It is bad policy for the United States. Very bad policy. I hope Obama changes course, if that is indeed his position.

Posted by: wbgonne | February 2, 2011 1:52 PM | Report abuse

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/plum-line/2011/02/egyptian_protesters_clash.html

Posted by: wbgonne | February 2, 2011 1:54 PM | Report abuse

@Mike

"Mubarak is no doubt being encouraged by our right wing neocons in this country along with Israel that they've got his back to crush the rebellion at all costs."

Well as Liam has just pointed out, Bolton and others HAVE done that in very public fashion and so indeed "no doubt"

@wdsoulplane.

Wow what an interesting post at 1:17PM. Good luck getting a rise from a post on spirituality or "doing the right thing" on this blog. I've tried...God knows how many innocent lives these two foolish foreign invasions and interminable wars have cost..and again for no provable reason, nobody can state with certainty that these foreign military adventures have made us safer...indeed there is a growing school of thought they've simply made us weaker..both politically in the world..and economically at home.

But to your points soulplane...whatever happened to the sanctity of human life.
We spent last night's thread arguing when life begins...and I get that is a sanctity of life question for the religious and non religious alike when it comes to abortion....what I don't get is how a simple zygote became more valuable than living breathing human lives...and no that's not a straw man...we DO have a choice when it comes to invading other nations or dropping bombs on them. And so how valuable is human life?

Posted by: rukidding7 | February 2, 2011 2:04 PM | Report abuse

"Hassan warned that if Mubarak represses the pro-democracy movement or fails to carry out a democratic transition, both Egyptians and Arabs around the region will blame the Obama administration. "Rightly of wrongly, the Egyptian people think the United States is still supporting Mubarak," he said. Rightly or wrongly, they think the United States has unlimited power to push Mubarak to respond positively. If he doesn't respond that way, that means the United States didn't push or agrees with how he handles the situation."

In other words, if Obama does not want to be known as the American president who facilitated the ugly violence Mubarak has unleashed in Cairo, he will have to act forcefully, publicly -- and quickly."

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/postpartisan/2011/02/mubarak_unleashes_chaos.html

Posted by: wbgonne | February 2, 2011 2:14 PM | Report abuse

Got a quote from either source that supports your interpretation of their words?

did Mr Huckabee say "Mubarak, crush the rebellion at all costs"? How about Mr Bolton?

I thought you lefties were all about "nuance". Let's define "nuance" As "Putting words in other people's mouths"
You see the problem for the left is that their lies have caught up with them.

Neither man mentioned by that nasty piece of work RUK said anything like "crush the rebellion at all costs" That is just another leftie lie.

Honestly, don't you guys have any shame at all?

Wait, I forgot for just a second there that I was addressing my question to liberals. I don't expect shame or decency from them any longer. Tucson proved that they are incapable of either.

Wear the shoe lefties, it fits just so well.

Posted by: skipsailing28 | February 2, 2011 2:31 PM | Report abuse

@wbgonne

Agreed, the time for waffling is over. It is time for boldness. Not for sending in the troops, but certainly cutting of aid IMMEDIATELY, and for Obama to use his bully pulpit.

WTF happened to the U.N.? Just curious as to where their responsibilities lie and whether there shouldn't be some kind of emergency meeting set up so the ENTIRE world can weigh in...as in trying to form a consensus without the ENTIRE burden falling on the U.S..

Posted by: rukidding7 | February 2, 2011 2:31 PM | Report abuse

rukidding

Nothing ever goes right in the ME. That place must be cursed.

Posted by: wbgonne | February 2, 2011 2:47 PM | Report abuse

@wb:

I think that it is important to keep Egypt "stable" in the period between now and free elections. The people need time to organize political parties, develop platforms, and debate before they vote. If Egypt moves too fast the people might end up voting in some of the interests (Army, Islamists) that have some degree of power right now.

I'm afraid that no matter what the US govt says right now, the Egyptians will NOT be eternally grateful to the US. We have too much of a history of supporting a despot (perhaps for good reason?) for that to ever happen. The US will only regain trust and respect over time. The best we can hope for now is that reason prevails and the people of Egypt do not freely choose to vote themselves back into the stone age.

ElBaradei may not be the best choice to replace Mubarak in the interim. He has been absent from Egypt for long periods and he does appear to be capitalizing on his name recognition to grab power. He may have the best of intentions, but it is far from clear that he should be the interim ruler in that he best represents the people.

Posted by: sbj3 | February 2, 2011 2:48 PM | Report abuse

sbj3, there is another dynamic at work as well. the US has been the handy dandy scape goat for ME regimes for decades now. Just as Jeremaih Wright blames the failure of his flock on white Americans, ME despots blame the failure of their economies and the lack of freedom on America.

We've been demonized in the region for as long as I can remember. No matter what happens next, America will be blamed for some portion of it.

If a power vacuum develops it will be filled by whatever group is the best organized. While the arabs might want a greater measure of freedom there is much evidence that they are unprepared to abandon some of the less savory precepts of islam.

During the Iraq war much was said about the fact that the regions dominated by Islam were several centuries behind us in terms of political, social and economic development. Some of that is sadly true. And those who see the strengthening of strict Islam as a means to insure power and riches will gladly step in to "lead" the ummah. Unfortunately what they will really do is continue to stultifying imposition of islamic codes. This will guarantee that the people will remain mired in the past while the rest of the world moves forward.

Posted by: skipsailing28 | February 2, 2011 2:59 PM | Report abuse

@skip: I agree with much of what you say. The US has sometime been unfairly demonized, but we have also been rightly blamed. While we may have made some poor decisions in the past, and while we may still be making some poor decisions, I think we have done so and continue to do so with good intentions. Self interest, sometimes unfortunately, *has* to play a role in all of this.

My hope is that what we are seeing in Egypt is an uprising of the "middle class". The use of social media to spread the word means that might be true. If it is, I think that the people will recognize that it would not be in their self interest to embrace the "less savory precepts of islam".

I believe that most people would not freely choose to live in a manner I consider to be backwards (theocracies, oppression of women, and so on). The US govt can do intelligent things to enable the Egyptian people to make wise choices going forward.

Posted by: sbj3 | February 2, 2011 3:20 PM | Report abuse

Then and Now:

August 2008. "Today we are all Georgians" John McCain

Now;

"Today we are Mubaraks" John McCain

Posted by: Liam-still | February 2, 2011 3:25 PM | Report abuse

sbj:

You make good points.

"ElBaradei may not be the best choice to replace Mubarak in the interim. He has been absent from Egypt for long periods and he does appear to be capitalizing on his name recognition to grab power. He may have the best of intentions, but it is far from clear that he should be the interim ruler in that he best represents the people."

If not El Baradei then who should be interim leader? Mubarak's new VP, the Head of Intelligence who helped us with our torture and rendition program? The Egyptian People will never stand for that.

Here is my concern: we don't like ElBaradei or we're afraid of the Muslim Brotherhood or whatever so we conclude that letting Mubarak stay in power in better than not. Nothing changes in Egyptian power except Mubarak retires as planned. The Egyptian People and much of the rest of the Arab World seethe. The U.S. comes down -- yet again -- on the side of the ME dictators. And in the name of our self-interest we -- yet again -- make ourselves more despised. It's dumb. Besides, I thought we stood for freedom and democracy not dictatorships.

This isn't Iran. We aren't ineffectual observers here. We are the main supporters of the Mubarak regime and have been for 30 years.

Posted by: wbgonne | February 2, 2011 4:37 PM | Report abuse

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