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February 10, 2011

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Porchlight

Well, they have us tense about the future, if that helps.

A TM instant classic.

Melinda Romanoff

From The Corner-

AJ's Egypt Watch.

Shamelessly swiped, once again.

clarice

It certainly is so is " 'Now' is so yesterday"

narciso

This comes from a former staffer, for John Kerry, but regardless it seems a good primer, in the LUN

MarkO

I’m still feeling a little pluperfect subjunctive as tenses go.

Rick Ballard

Does that mean we're scrod?

narciso

Talk about a WTF example, he was trained as an Arabist, but the Times sent him to cover
economics, then China, in the LUN

clarice

Hey--they assigned their restaurant reviewer, Johnny Apple, to cover Iraq.

This is a step up.

By the way, this might explain Kristof's affinity for wilson and Plame.

Ranger

Suleiman seems to have been running all the talks with the opposition, and making all the public statements for the last 10 days or so. It is odd timing for this though.

Melinda Romanoff

Need we bring up the CV of the illustrated Mr. Rich?

Danube of Thought

Henninger has an interesting--and pessimistic--assessment of Egypt's future.

Captain Hate

Does anybody find it strange that this comes almost immediately after the Saudi offer of help in propping up Mubarak?

Frau Steingehirn

While the Code Pink "dogs" are in Egypt, I'm watching to see if they will support Mubarak's wife in her campaign *against* female genital mutilation. With 90 percent of Egyptian women victims of the mutilation, the last ten percent must be concerned.

Barry's bungled it again. He should stick to Date Night and his parties.

narciso

This link works better, in the LUN

Jim Rhoads a/k/a vjnjagvet

For some reason all of those links require a log in. At least for me.

narciso

Google Henninger, and find the link,

Danube of Thought

Apologies for linking to a subscriber site.

Extraneus

Does anybody find it strange that this comes almost immediately after the Saudi offer of help in propping up Mubarak?

Didn't that happen on Day 4 of what's now 17? Who leaked that, anyway?

Porchlight

Yes, the call was reported to have happened Saturday January 29, almost two weeks ago. Incidentally January 30 was the day Obama called for "an orderly transition" of power.

narciso

It really shows they had no clue, and they haven't gotten any better since,

glasater

Thanks for observing that Porch. Had read that info last night.

An Egyptian was just on a phone call from Egypt to Power Lunch on CNBC and he said the banks there seem to be doing well--as in no big runs and in fact many people were making deposits--at least he said he was.

Extraneus
America's closest ally in the Gulf made clear that the Egyptian president must be allowed to stay on to oversee the transition towards peaceful democracy and then leave with dignity.

"Mubarak and King Abdullah are not just allies, they are close friends, and the King is not about to see his friend cast aside and humiliated," a senior source in the Saudi capital told The [London] Times.

Two sources confirmed details of the King's call, made four days after the people of Egypt took to the streets.

Rocco

Uh huh. Team Obama could offer a weathervane as a symbol but it would take them months of polling and focus-grouping to figure out what the weather vane ought to look like.

You don't need a weathervane to know which way our prez blows!

Jane (sit on the couch or save your country)

Rush is saying that CNN is denying that Mubarek will step down.

Melinda Romanoff

glasater-

The overnight rates are saying not quite the same thing, but there is a flight to quality, of sorts.

narciso

this reminds of this passage from Doug Adams;

The Encyclopedia Galactica defines the Marketing Division of the Cirius Cybernetics Corporation as: "A bunch of mindless jerks who'll be the first against the wall when the revolution comes."

Interestingly enough, an edition of the Encyclopedia Galactica that fell through a time-warp from 200 years in the future defines the Marketing Division of the Cirius Cybernetics Corporation as: "A bunch of mindless jerks who were the first against the wall when the revolution came."

Jim Rhoads a/k/a vjnjagvet

Thanks for the hint, N. I got it.

Captain Hate

Thanks for the correction, Porch; anything the makes McFly look like more of a destabilizing bumbler is fine with me.

qrstuv


Thanks for the correction, Porch; anything the makes McFly look like more of a destabilizing bumbler is fine with me.

Posted by: Captain Hate | February 10, 2011 at 01:48 PM

I really hope you dont mean that. I can imagine quite a few scenarios that would make Ear Leader look bad, and theyre not for the country.

rse

LUN is a copy of the Henninger post.

Has anyone read much Jean-Francois Revel? Am reading Last Exit to Utopia and wishing I had known of his work before.

Ranger

Well, it appears to be total confusion at the moment. Some sources saying the VP will take over. Others are saying it is going to be the Higher Council of the Armed Forces. Others are saying that Mubarak is just handing over power so he can take medical leave in Germany for treatment.

Captain Hate

bumbler == ineffectual

Honduras survived his ineptness and hopefully Egypt will too. Yes it hurts the country's image but so does just about everything the State Dept dips its fingers in over the last 20+ years. If it serves to wake up enough of the 52% into starting to act like responsible adults then maybe it will be worth it in the long run.

narciso

General Clapper seems to be deep into the cherry koolaid, with the Moslem Brotherhood,
'largely secular', SNAFUBAR

Extraneus

Yeah, Rush is flogging that mercilessly. Well deserved.

Captain Hate

narc Orwell's body must've set a new RPM record on that howler

narciso

Here's the LUN, this is the same tripe they had Admiral Blair repeating after the Christmas bombing

NK

For those of us of a certain age this is looking more and more like February 1979. Not good. The only good thing about 1979 was that 1980 followed and the country wisely chose Ronald Reagan over Jimmuh. Will the country correct its mistake in 2012?

NK

Narciso-- thanks for the link. I threw up a bit in my mouth. The only thing worse than Clapper saying this is him actually believing it.

Rocco

Here's an article for all you Michelle fashionistas.

Michelle Obama's fabulous $35 frock

What do I know...I'm a flannel shirt kinda guy!

narciso

Maybe he misunderstood the question, referring to the protesters at large, there's no way, this could apply to the IM,

Captain Hate

narc it's a treasure trove of stoopid at Weaselzippers; after Clapper there's Trandrea and Crazy Larry. I could only make it that far before losing faith in just about everything.

daddy

Bolton on Meghan Kelly this second commenting about "The Muslim Brotherhood being largely secular".

Bolton response: "The single most foolish thing any senior intelligence official ever said."

"A very dangerous organization...A real threat..."

We will see video of his response many, many times later today.

MayBee

Rocco- it's a cute enough dress, but I'm tired of Michelle Obama wearing cheap and cheerful to national interviews, and wearing high end designer in the garden.

It's so manipulative.

(ps. I'm also not convinced we need to see the First Lady's under thigh)

NK

Clapper= IT'S REALLY STARTING TO LOOK LIKE 1979. Back then it was Carter's Iran ambassador who claimed Khomeini's return was no threat because Khomeini was --you know -- "like Ghandhi". Pray God, and hope he preserves us and deliver us from these fools.

narciso

Well it's a little different, this is more like the scenario that Gen. Huyser was sent to shortcircuit, back in '78, but it's a lot
like the Old song from the Who "Won't Get Fooled Again"

The Obama Administration

The Muslim Brotherhood is just a group in my neighborhood. Our kids go to school together.

daveinboca

I studied Arabic for a year in Beirut and attest that there is no future tense in Arabic and that the present is denoted by using various versions of the past tense. They, of course, colloquially have ways to indicate futurity, but this is a vast culture rooted in a deep past whose religious roots seem to make a leap to modernity difficult, if not impossible. Two UN studies in 1991 & 2007 have pondered the problem of Arab backwardness, and I think it's rooted in an essential linguistic and cultural conservatism unwilling to make small compromises with its own firmly-believed principles, many of them medieval and counter-intuitive.

With that out of the way, Wisner was a good friend and has the right read, but the Army calls ALL the shots in Egypt. They have several million well-armed members and enough economic clout and slush-fund money to assuage the pain of those who are malleable.

However, any diehards may do precisely that in the streets of Cairo if an attempt at an insurrection is made in Cairo. A broken society is broken once again. The story repeats itself endlessly across the history of the Arab world.

Rocco

Maybee

As one of the comments notes...$35 dress and french designed $540 Lanvin sneakers. How thrifty.

daveinboca

@Danube of Thought

I blogged early this AM on the Henninger article which I found outside the subscriber wall. The main body of Dan's piece is in my blog with my half-sleepy comments intersplicing the rich insights Henninger has, especially about the wider ramifications:

http://daveinboca.blogspot.com/2011/02/is-egypt-hopeless.html#links

clarice

Aren;t you glad we consolidated all the intel into one giant service? Now we can effect a one stop cut off of funds and a start up new OSI of about 100 people all exempt from civil service and AA rules.

Extraneus

Hey, Dave, great blog. Never checked it out before.

Captain Hate

Yeah nice blog Dave; do you ever talk music there?

glasater

Mubarack isn't going anywhere. And takes a few shots at the O man.

I was hoping that not having a run on the banks as was predicted elsewhere was a good sign Mel.
Just like a lot of people trying to find some good in all of this mess in Egypt.

Captain Hate

Who has looked worse in this whole Egyptian thing: Bammy, Muffer or the MFM?

 centralcal

Listened to Mubarak's speech on the radio - the crowd sounded angry. I have an ominous feeling about the situation now.

Did you all see that Gov. Jan Brewer is suing the Federal government?

Interesting times we live in.

Jim Rhoads a/k/a vjnjagvet

I've got your blog bookmarked, Dave.

Were you in the Foreign Service during the Iran unpleasantness in the late 70's? What's your take on the similarities and differences between that disaster and the one in Egypt today?

The Obama Administration

Via Jake Tapper:

Jamie Smith, director of the office of public affairs for the Office of the Director of National Intelligence later said in a statement to ABC News:

To clarify Director Clapper’s point - in Egypt the Muslim Brotherhood makes efforts to work through a political system that has been, under Mubarak’s rule, one that is largely secular in its orientation – he is well aware that the Muslim Brotherhood is not a secular organization.”

MayBee

Oy.

Extraneus

How about that Panetta, huh? Rather than wait things out, he goes down to testify before Congress that "strong likelihood" that Mubarak would step down tonight.

Is that similar to the Muslim Brotherhood being "largely secular"?

What a bunch of clowns.

daddy

For Republicans its always "What did he know and when did he know it."

For Dem's its always "What did he not know and does he have the slightest clue that it might be important to quit being an ignorant moron and get educated?"

Mike Huggins

My head hurts as this all reminds me of the movie, "Mars Attacks."

Muslim Brotherhood: "Ack-Ack."

Rick Ballard

I find Panetta's words to be perfectly consonant with the administration's adoption of WTF? practice with regard to all policy issues. As the President has always said, "[INSERT] is the basis for my actions today and as surely as night follows day, [INSERT] will guide me tomorrow.

Now, who can argue with that?

clarice

MayBee, Triple OY Vey!!!!

 centralcal

Rocco - about "Michelle Wows in $35 Dress" nonsense all over the MFM today - I could just throw up! The dress is a sheer fabric, black background, white dots - each of which are shadowed by periwinkle blue dots, worn with a humongous orange leather boob belt, and accessorized with chartreuse heels.

Yeah, she "wows" alright!

NK

Re the TOA and Extraneous Comments:

OMG!!! -- what next? AF One pulls up and clowns come tumbling out? The Obamaniacs are a bigger joke than the harshest JOMer critics say about. This is a frikkin' nightmare. We are lost.

Janet

It doesn't appear that the monkey god charm or the chants to the rhubarb gods have done much good for this administration.

Ranger

So, Mubarak isn't going anywhere, and the government's position is the same as its been for the last week. The process for reforms in place is right now is the process, and the demonstrators need to go home and let life return to normal.

So was all this just to smoke out potential weak links in the government and military?

Porchlight

So was all this just to smoke out potential weak links in the government and military?

To see who leaked the story that Mubarak was stepping down? Interesting.

NK

Oh Ranger you have gone to a dark and cynical place.

I prefer to think that the House of Saud wrote a bigger check. But....

daveinboca

@extraneus/Capt.Hate/JimRhoadesAKA

Thanx. I only blog on The Who & Led Z re music. I was in Saudi next door during the very beginning of the Iranian cock-ups and then in the IO Front Office as Bill Maynes Special Asst. in Foggy Bottom where I learned that Pat Derian, Asst. Sec'y in the Human Rights had VETOED the sale of rubber bullets to the Shah's police. Six months later, the police fired live hot ammo at the students demonstrating killing 400 of them and making the bazaari Middle Class lose confidence in the Shah & switcheroo to the despised Mullahs. Thanks, Pat D, who got her job because she was the spouse of Hodding Carter III, the Princeton Preppie spokesman back in the day. Thanks for singlehandedly probably being the tipping point toward the Mullahs who stone women to death & make them wear the veil. I wonder if Pat D. has a functioning conscience or if she suffers from 'no fault on the left' brain death. She actually by herself vetoed DoD, CIA, & other bureaus at State because she had the ear of the C-in-Chief Peanut Farmer & had used, according to Bill Maynes, her lipstick to scrawl "NO" in giant red caps across the entire Action Memorandum. [Bill told me this seriously and Bill was FOR the rubber bullets, even though a dyed-in-the-wool liberal.]

My successor in Saudi, John Limbert, was sent to Tehran a week before the Embassy was taken over and as the guy with the PhD in Farsi from Harvard, was presumed by Ahmedinejad and the other ignorant savages holding the protesters to be the SUPERSPY CHIEF HONCHO. John & I are still friends, and he despises every single Iranian govt. member today, and calls the Ayatollah "evil." Aside from that, he's an Obama supporter...! Go figure.

 centralcal

From a Jake Tapper tweet:

Obama Advisor Delivered Presidential Threat To Pakistan Over Detained American

Ooooooh, scary, a "Presidential threat."

:eyeroll:

daveinboca

Muta'assifi I meant Ahmedinejad and the other ignorant savages holding the EMBASSY PERSONNEL in my comment. My friend Mary Beth Koob was one of the women under the personal supervision of the young Ahmedinejad, who was a nasty stickler for not leaving the female hostages let their arms be uncovered even on days over 100 degrees Fahrenheit. She's in the book "Guests of the Ayatollah" and has positively identified the rodent with absolute certainty as the now-President of the Islamic Republic.

Dave (in MA)

daveinboca,

... I only blog on The Who & Led Z re music.

Have you ever seen http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=whuwbyBtwqY>this? It must have been an off night.

Rick Ballard

"So was all this just to smoke out potential weak links in the government and military?"

It may be but it may also be a check to see which mullahs remain deserving of their army stipend, based upon the level of rage boy rhetoric used in tomorrow's sermons.

I'm not sure why the army would want to tighten its grip at the moment. The food situation is going to worsen rather dramatically over the next six months and a faux hand off today would allow the army some respite in responsibility and the opportunity to step right back in as the economic crisis heightens and then passes.

daveinboca

Extraneus:

Here's my two bits on the Muslim Brotherhood:

Even in the event that some sort of peaceful denouement might be engendered with or without Mubarak or his VP still in the picture, the Everest-sized obstacle to the US 's acceptance of the Ikhwan's legitimacy remains its rejection to this day of the Camp David Accords. As noted above, other long-standing MB positions based on religious rather than political beliefs are significant speed bumps, as in Muslim Brotherhood’s intolerant policies toward the Coptic Christians, women’s rights, its application of shari’a in a constitutional context and which school of shari’a thought might prevail.

And what about international conventions Egypt has signed concerning racial discrimination [1967], discrimination against women [1981], civil and political rights [1982], economic, social and cultural rights [1982], elimination of torture and other cruel and degrading treatment [1986], rights of the child [1990]. Of course, the current Mubarak regime often fails to observe many of these conventions, but the MB would be examined much more closely, perhaps, for infractions than Mubarak.

In the words of an old British saw, accepting the Ikhwan would be like swallowing a camel while rejecting Mubarak might be straining at a gnat.

Danube of Thought

Why on earth did Panetta feel he had to venture a guess one way or another? Have these fools ever considered just shutting up?

Their problem with all of them, and most particularly their boss, is that they have yet to entertain an unspoken thought.

Danube of Thought

Just had the honor of making my first post at AoS. Clapper #129.

Sorry...

Porchlight

Why on earth did Panetta feel he had to venture a guess one way or another?

I know you know this, DoT, but Panetta's boss doesn't really care about any of this except as it affects his political fortunes. Obama has such limited knowledge of the situation and such a limited understanding of the executive that he has no idea when to get out in front of a situation, and when to shut the hell up.

Ranger

Ok, here's another possibility... A deliberate effort to spark an over-reaction by the demonstrators to justify a massive crack down and put an end to things.

NK

Ranger--

I am still betting it was a big check from Abdullah to Mubarak.

Rocco

I thought about that too Ranger but isn't tomorrow supposed to be "a day of confrontation?"

Rick Ballard

NK,

It may have been a check plus assurances from both Abdullahs plus Bibi that restoring order would have no negative consequences in the neighborhood.

Ranger

I thought about that too Ranger but isn't tomorrow supposed to be "a day of confrontation?"

Posted by: Rocco | February 10, 2011 at 05:59 PM

Yes, but perhapse the idea was to spark a confrontation tonight, before the mass crowds could gather tomorrow.

RichatUF

So Mubarak is sticking around and the administration has egg on their face again (going so far as to have DCI go to Capitol Hill and blab about the latest rumnit)?

Are there any adults in the administration that could tell Obama and his clown crew to shut up.

Captain Hate

ust had the honor of making my first post at AoS

Welcome to the party

clarice

I can't imagine why we are troubling our pretty little heads about this. (a) It's clear the appropriate agencies are being kept well abreast on the happenings there, and (b) anything we need to know we'll find out from AJ or the local Reuters/AP/AFP stringers there.

daveinboca

First I think Mubarak got the cashier's check from Abdullah and then a phone call from Bibi, then decided, what the hell, what's under the river card? More here:

http://daveinboca.blogspot.com/2011/02/as-cairo-turns-its-back-on-future.html#links

NK

RickB-- the Abdullahs and Bibi all PUBLICLY said they had Mubarak's back and I'm sure privately they assured Mubarack nothing but good things would happened if he stuck it out. The check... that was the consideration paid to stick it to the Won. The CINC and his whole crew are pitiful, just pitiful.

Rocco

Ranger...that does make sense

NK

DaveinBoca-- I think you're spot on. The Obamaniacs are pitiful, just pitiful.

Ranger

Yes, it does appear there is a powerful local tripartite alliance developing in the region to replace the American power vacume. Saudi money, Egyptian manpower, and the Israeli bomb all co-operating to counter Iran.

Extraneus

Are you largely able to walk and chew gum at the same time?

daveinboca

NK After I left the State Dept, I worked for Amoco which is the single largest corporation in Egypt except the Suez Canal Authority. I was the Political Risk guy there as well as Israel, which I also visited and got a 3-hour one-on-one lunch with Shimon Peres, who was foreign minister at the time and wanted Egypt's fresh water in a pipeline---Amoco built the best pipelines in the world. I was POL officer in the US Embassy in Saudi for three years plus POL/MIL there for a while.

Obama has driven the three of them together and away from Washington, and the damage may be permanent, because even GWB occasionally riled the Arab allies and of course Clinton was distrusted by all of them. Obama is now REVILED in those three countries plus probably Jordan, though I've no first-hand evidence of the Amman POV recently.

If Obama wants to be the hero of the rabble-rousers on the streets, then he's welcome to be Carter-REDUX.

Sara (Pal2Pal)

I didn't realize Amoco was still around. They used to have the most beautiful billboards and ads.

Ranger

Ok, best headline of the day goes to Kathryn Jean Lopez at The Corner:

Mubarak: I Am an Arab Warrior, Not a Community Organizer

http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/259517/mubarak-i-am-arab-warrior-not-community-organizer-kathryn-jean-lopez>A follow-up check-in with Barry Rubin

His final observation:

...Mubarak and the army knew that this would inflame the crowd. The army would not have agreed to this unless it was willing to deal with the consequences.

Jim Miller

I long ago accepted that I would sometimes hope that a government official is lying to me.

But I do wish that I did have that hope as often as I have since Obama took office. Almost every day, I find myself thinking that I hope he (or one of his minions) doesn't really believe what they said.

The Clapper remark is what made me think, again, of that little problem.

But then there was Obama's claim to O'Reilly that he hadn't raised any taxes. I am really, really hoping that he was lying to us, because if he believes that we are in even deeper trouble than I thought.

Ranger

Poor Obama must be steaming in the White House. He was all prepared to go on camera and take a victory lap tonight. Now he looks like a fool.

NK

DaveIB--

again I think you are spot on. funny about your ultimate take, I've been teling my right wing pals at the office here today that it's february 1979 all over again. I never thought I'd live to see the day the US would have a more incompetent CINC than Jimmy Carter. It's scary.

Captain Hate

Jim, I accepted Clinton lying about how long the troops would be in Bosnia. Everything else he lied about (ie everything), not so much.

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