Friday, January 28, 2011

The Egyptian Rebellion - A Tale Of Two Speeches

Two world leaders addressed the turmoil in Egypt today, and you can read between the lines and figure out a great deal about what's going on.

Egypt's 'President' Hosni Mubrak ( and yes,someone inform the clueless Joe Biden, Mubarak really is a dictator)went on state television to address the nation today saying that he is "on the side of the people" will take steps to guarantee the rights and freedom of Egyptians, develop job opportunities and "stand by the poor."

He said he had asked his entire cabinet to resign, including interior minister Habib al-Adly, who was a major target of the protesters because he runs the hated security services. He made no mention himself of leaving.

Mubarak said there was a fine line "between freedom and chaos" and that he would work to secure both freedom and security in Egypt.

"I am absolutely on the side of the freedom of each citizen and at the same time I am on the side of the security of Egypt, and I would not let anything dangerous happen that would threaten the peace and the law and the future of the country." he also blamed recent protests on a "conspiracy with ulterior motives."

Mubarak is hanging on by his fingernails, if that.

The Egyptian Army is already deployed in Cairo and Egypt's other cities, and they are going to be the deciding factor in how things go. In spite of being in place, the army has yet to crack down significantly on the protests. Behind the scenes, Mubarak is obviously still trying to convince the army to go his way, reminding them that if the Muslim Brotherhood takes over, their own futures are forfeit.

The army may very well be thinking that Mubarak is finished, and it might be time for them to join in the revolution and preserve their prerogatives. Of course, when the Shah's generals did that in Iran, many of them ended up being slaughtered by the regime once Khomeini took over.

One key factor that is going to weigh in on how the Egyptian Army jumps is what the US and President Obama does, and having just heard the president's statement speak, I don't imagine it bodes well.

President Obama is not a man who likes to make decisions, and here he was faced with an unpleasant one. His annoyance was fairly evident.

On the one hand, Obama has always been all about mouthing platitudes about democracy and freedom, which is exactly what his Cairo speech was about. On the other hand,here he was faced with a probable radical takeover of Egypt and other regimes, and some old US clients who needed assurance on which way the US was going to jump.

Being Obama, he went for slogans and platitudes over substance. President Obama has essentially cut Mubarak loose. He is even going to have David Axelrod make the round of the talk shows doing damage control and explaining how Obama 'confronted' Mubarak for the past 2 years 'to get ahead of this'.

The administration may even have done more than that, if you believe the report in today's Telegraph that the Obama Administration has encouraged anti-government forces covertly for quite some time.

If Egypt does morph into a Muslim Brotherhood run Islamist state, I wonder if Obama will claim credit for it?

It's obvious that Egyptian Chief of Staff Field Marshal Mohamed Hussein Tantawi went home from Washington empty handed, and he no doubt has informed his military colleagues. This is a bigger deal than it seems, as US allies and enemies throughout the region are taking notice of what American alliance is worth.

As a Turkish General once famously said, the problem with being an ally of America is that you never know when they're going to stab themselves in the back.

Muslim Brotherhood Islamist state or military dictatorship, the same place Mubarak and all of Egypt's rulers have come from for the past sixty years. We'll know within 48 hours.

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B.Poster said...

" "Muslim brotherhood state" or "military dictatorship...." Whether it is a "military dictatorship" or a "muslim brotherhood" state it will be an enemy of America, as the Mubarak regime is/was. At least with a Muslim Brotherhood state, perhaps it will be out in the open.

Perhaps the actions of the Americans that the Turkish general spoke of are the result of America never knowing when it will be stabbed in the back. These people seem to think America operates in a vacum. As an American, its most frustrating. We simply MUST do a better job getting our message out.

I have a novel approach regarding the Egypt problem for team Obama, the American government, and the talking head media pundits. STAY OUT OF IT!! IT ISN'T ANY OF YOUR BUSINESS!!

A good speech for the President to have made here is something on the lines of: "The situation in Egypt is the business of the people of Egypt. This is not a matter for America to decide. Furthermore, I've been in discussion with my aides and members of Congress on the matter of foreign aid to all nations who currently receive it. We've reached the decision that all foreign aid to everyone must be suspended immediately for a minimum of five years. This includes aid to Egypt and this is the case regardless who governs Egypt. We simply cannot afford foreign aid right now and a top down review must be conducted of all aid to determine what best supports the needs of the American people and what is realistic based upon our economic and budget restraints. Given our massive national debt, struggling economy, and worn down military we need to focus our energies on things that will address these problems and not on issues in other nations, far from our borders, whose conflicts aren't our business. Furthermore we would ask other nations to afford us the same dignity and stay out of affairs where it is none of their business." He could expand upon the speech after this opening but this is essentially the gist of what should be happening.

Finally, there might be a need to intervene militarily in the affairs of Egypt, if the government, whomever it may be, were to try and shut down the Suez Canal and otherwise act to cut off oil shipments to America. This is of vital interest to us, as it could further damage our already precarious economic situation.

Unfortunately we don't have the available forces or military assets to intervene militarily in such a situation. It looks like we are going to have to make due and try as best we can to get through such a thing. Had we spent the last few years developing our own oil and gas reserves and built more refineries we could have mitigated the effects of such a catasphore as a disruption in foreign oil supplies but NO we HAD to let envirowackos set our environmental policies. Now we're reaping the bitter fruits of that decision.

Now IF Team Obama knew about this for two years, why did they waste time trying to confront "Mr. Mubarak" for two years? Wouldn't that time have been much better spent building up our own domestic oil and gas industries to be better able to handle a shut down of the Suez Canal than wasting time in such a fruitless endeavor?

While I may detest the Obama policies, I certainly don't envy him here. He is in a VERY tough situation without any real good solutions. I pray for him and for America.

Anonymous said...

Obama showed how much he cares about democracy when he chose Cairo for his speech. If this is not an approval what is ?

Anonymous said...

Just heard on BBC Radio 4 (national news) this morning at about 0810: Jeremy Bowen, their "Middle East correspondent" talking from Cairo, was pronouncing the Muslim Brotherhood to be MODERATES.

IF the world is a great big conspiracy theory, then it seems that "the powers that be" have decreed that a Muslim Brotherhood government is next for Egypt, that there is "nothing to fear from it", and it is now just a matter of achieving it.

Whatever happens next, Egypt's Christians are in for an even rougher time than they have been having recently.