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Posted at 7:45 AM ET, 02/ 3/2011

Morning Bits

By Jennifer Rubin

Sens. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) slammed the door on a pro-democracy resolution on Egypt last year, Josh Rogin reports. "Last fall, a bipartisan group of senators led a months-long drive to pass a resolution calling for greater freedom and democracy in Egypt. The resolution died last December due to a fatal mix of divided loyalties, lobbying influence, and secret Senate holds."

A former White House press secretary slams the "most transparent administration in history." "Does anyone else see the irony of the president last night calling on a country in the middle of a political crisis to allow for open access to information and a free media ... and then today holding a stills-only event in the Oval Office for a bill signing? A bill signing?! And for a treaty that they called a major signature foreign-policy achievement? C'mon."

The New York Times conjures up memories of all who slammed Bush's freedom agenda and the notion that secular democracy could flourish in the Middle East. "The word 'traitor' rang out Wednesday. The insult was directed at Mr. Mubarak, and it echoed the sentiment heard in so many parts of the Arab world these days -- governments of an American-backed order in most of the region have lost their legitimacy, built on the idea that people would surrender their rights for the prospect of security and stability. In the square on Wednesday, protesters offered an alternative, their empowerment standing as possibly the most remarkable legacy of a people who often lamented their apathy."

Over 22,000 members of Christians United for Israel slam Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) for proposing a cut off of aid to Israel. Now there's some conviction politics.

Jeffrey Goldberg slams the "Walt and Mearsheimer-style conspiracy theories about Israeli influence on American politics," writing: "The neoconservative (or liberal interventionist) wing of American Jewish political thought (not that all neocons are Jewish, God forbid anyone should think that!) is cheering on the revolution in Egypt, while the Israeli government, and much of Israel's pundit class, is seeing the apocalypse in Mubarak's apparent downfall." I wonder how Walt and Mearsheimer deal with the fact the largest pro-Israel group in America is Christians United for Israel.

Sen. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) provides a useful primer on the Muslim Brotherhood and slams the notion that we have no stake in the composition of the next Egyptian government. "We have seen this movie before - in Iran, in Lebanon and in Gaza. To prevent a strategic reversal on the scale of what happened in Iran, the United States and her allies should do all it can to support Egypt's army and secular leaders, ensuring no future for the Muslim Brotherhood. . . . Decisive action and influence now will benefit the national security and economy of the United States later. The defeat of the Muslim Brotherhood and victory for Egyptian secular nationalists will be the best way to avoid war and restore economic confidence to the Middle East and wider world."

After being slammed for a weak performance on Egypt, Obama dumps the envoy who was cozy with Mubarak. "The Obama White House's short-notice Egypt troubleshooter, former U.S. Amb. to Egypt Frank G. Wisner, is headed back to Washington from Cairo, State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley said Wednesday."

By Jennifer Rubin  | February 3, 2011; 7:45 AM ET
 
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Next: Obama dissed, Mubarak cracks down

Comments

LMao! BUSH AND DEMOCRACY.. he was one of the biggest supporters of the Egyptian dictator EVER

Posted by: newagent99 | February 3, 2011 8:15 AM | Report abuse

"Sen. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) provides a useful primer on the Muslim Brotherhood and slams the notion that we have no stake in the composition of the next Egyptian government. "We have seen this movie before - in Iran, in Lebanon and in Gaza. To prevent a strategic reversal on the scale of what happened in Iran, the United States and her allies should do all it can to support Egypt's army and secular leaders, ensuring no future for the Muslim Brotherhood. . . ."

Man, there are a LOT of confused Republicans out there right now!

So let me see if I have this straight, we should support the Bush Freedom Agenda, WITHOUT the somewhat messy actual Bush Freedom results of democratic elections in Gaza and Lebanon!

As I understand you, the FIRST step in moving to democracy in Egypt should be to ban what is by all accounts the largest political party in Egypt.

That should work!

Posted by: johnmarshall5446 | February 3, 2011 10:32 AM | Report abuse

"The neoconservative (or liberal interventionist) wing of American Jewish political thought (not that all neocons are Jewish, God forbid anyone should think that!) is cheering on the revolution in Egypt"

Psst Jennifer, he's talking about you! Of course it COULD be just a coincidence that it took you a week to find even one Egyptian to talk about Egypt, AND that 100% of your quoted experts were American Jews, BUT I'm sure that was just kismet.

Although to be fair to you, you did talk ABOUT an Egyptian, the supposed current leading opposition figure El-Baradei, but since it was only to call him an opportunist, I'm not sure that should count.

BTW Jennifer, you don't want the MB, nor El-Baradei, but you've never said exactly who you DO want in Egypt. Got a list of acceptable candidates?

Posted by: johnmarshall5446 | February 3, 2011 10:45 AM | Report abuse

Democracy is not simply a matter of holding one election. It requires constitutional limits on government power, a recognition of basic personal liberties, respect for the rule of law, and a willingness to relinquish power as the result of future elections. A party, however large, that does not accept these principles is not a democratic institution. Gaza is not "democratic" even though they had an election, and an Egypt dominated by the MB would probably fall into the same category.

Posted by: Mahon1 | February 3, 2011 11:22 AM | Report abuse

Mahon:

I agree with the theoretical part of your post. The problem is, that if you don't let the people choose who to elect you can't call it a democracy. That's what makes democracy so ugly and messy a process, . . . choices.

BTW the reason that Jennifer and Elliott Abrams are wrong is that all of the requirements you wrote about in your first two sentences are an anathema to Islamic societies.

Posted by: johnmarshall5446 | February 3, 2011 11:39 AM | Report abuse

The White House has removed the Warren Zevon rocker 'Send the Envoy' from the approved Nautilus iPod playlist. Under the bus!

Posted by: aardunza | February 3, 2011 2:36 PM | Report abuse

If anyone's beaten me to the punch with that silly obvious reference, didn't see it. I'm no plagiarist -- you talkin' to me?

Posted by: aardunza | February 3, 2011 2:52 PM | Report abuse

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