The world behind the curtain

I’m going to assume that the government of my country is not telling the level truth to the Sunday morning hosts about what we’re doing, planning, and saying in Egypt.

17 responses to “The world behind the curtain

  1. I have a feeling that the U.S. government is very busy behind the scenes right now, but we won’t know the details until after the dust settles in Egypt (if ever).

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    • It’s all hard to grasp right now – Egypt, Tunesia, Yemen and now Algeria and Jordan (not as big but still) . . . Lebanon up in the air again – and we have to count last year’s uprising in Iran as well. Things are moving so fast – we’ll be seeing a different middle east in a few years – I hope it’s for the better.

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  2. Somebody mentioned that these little “student uprisings” tend to replace secular or semi-secular governments with insane theocracies.

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    • Always a danger. But it’s moving so fast right now I’ve no idea what will happen. Iraq was no student uprising, but the end result is it’s increasingly religious. So who knows. I hope not!

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  3. It’s one of the things I took out from the lame-duck.. that the WH is unpredictable and secretive – with a shut-up-and-trust-us attitude. Without any earned trust so far.
    But I’m pretty sure the same “say nice things” tactics are used in foreign policy – to same no avail..

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    • Heard some ambassadors this morning saying WH is getting is just right now – bad start but okay now. So dicey; they point out that if we abandon Mubarak, other dictators might say what the hell and just quash the protestors in their countries.

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    • U know, I’m impressed with Hillary. She is strong, calm and confident, she’s loyal to her boss, and she absorbes the guiding lines given and formulates things with her own words. Even when she doesn’t agree, she defends it. Good on her.
      But her boss,
      I’m just seeing a little boy in a big arm-chair. So light-weight. So full of rainbows and himself.
      And I’m also seeing someone who’s doing the oldest trick in the world when your job is too complitcated or frightening – you keep your back safe. Do nothing you could be arrested for. Talk in a spread – but NEVER do risky decisions or exposure to real failure. Keep a bag of excuses ready at all times.

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      • Mac, it looks like you have well and good moved on from Obama. There is some truth in what you say, at least some perceived truth. I’m not there yet – his presidency, despite my own disappointments, is still somemwhat reactionary, dealing with the sheer size of the mess left him consumed the first year at least and probably a good part of the second. I think he made a lot of mistakes on small things (beer summit? please!) he didn’t even need to get involved with, but I think he’s learning on the job. They all do after all. And then, there’s the alternative . . .

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      • One more thing – I think he’s chosen some poor advisors too -Emmanuel, Summers, a few more. At least those two are gone.

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      • Hm.. I wish I hadn’t moved on, but you’re right. There’s no confidence left that he’s able to handle the economic problems or skew back money’s grip on washington. His two “big” reforms of health care and wall street do nothing to address the larger abuse by those industries, and were done by congress anyways. Foreign policy is all “non-policy” – which by coincidence could prove helpful. But the Palestine/Israel talks were embarrassing, blocked after a few weeks by more settlements.
        The whole idea of saying smart things, laying out a smart plan – and then expect people to follow is hopeless.
        Problem is, you feel better after listening to him, because the language is so well done. But it’s often beside/avoiding the point.
        And he’s a likeable guy.

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        • If there’s an indictment of the administration so far, it’s the – even with two years of a Democratic congress – those banks are actually bigger than they were.

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  4. We don’t know who is behind these “spontaneous” uprisings. Could be people genuinely frustrated by the lack of freedoms; could be “friendly” governments; could as easily be the organizations we call terrorists. I sure do hope the WH is talking to people who are there and have a better fix on what’s going on.

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    • I think there will be some level of radical involvementt, but I think they’re piggy backing on genuine revolutions (like Poland etc). We’ll see won’t we.

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  5. Ms. Holland,

    There are parallels between 1979 Iran and 2011 Egypt. In both cases the Islamic radicals are and were the best organized and committed of the opposition groups to a despot. The Shah hung around for 13 months after street demonstrations started . By the time he left the street chaos had gotten far beyond what the army could handle. The mullahs were able to become the dominant power of the revolution.

    In Egypt the army still has some control and respect. If the Obama Administration can privately get Mubarek to leave sooner rather than later, the army may be able to appoint a transition government and in 6 months have open elections that the other opposition groups can gain some political power. The Americans can’t openly push Mubarek out, but they can grease the chute that he slides out on.

    The longer Mubarek stays the more dangerous for American interests everything becomes.

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  6. Ms. Holland,

    I respectfully disagree. In Poland and East Berlin we had mere Communists to deal with. Mere Atheists. When you have dangerous people who believe in an after life they are more eager to sacrifice themselves than those who do not . The Muslim Brotherhood and related groups, I say again are more committed and organized to take advantage of chaos than the rest of the opposition.

    Mubarek is finished, but like the Shah he may hang on long enough to cause real long term damage.

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    • In Poland and east Berlin, when the revolutions began, no one fought back. In Eqypt at least up to now, there has been NO military resistance and the policel, after first trying to stop the crowds, stepped back. Basically, the crowds are free to gather and protest. I have heard that fewer than 100 have died – that’s in 8 days, multiples cities and at least a million in the street.

      Sure the MB and others are organizing around events and trying to take advantage of them. That’s to be expected. They’re a social factor in any case and, as you say, already have a structure, an oorganization. But hte unions are another huge group and they’re organized too.

      This is a civil uprising. We’ll see what it ends up being.

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