« General Amnesty | Main | Bakhtiar: a reminiscence - Richard Sale »

28 January 2011


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

The beaver


What do you think about those two stories:

1. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/29/world/middleeast/29military-egypt.html?src=twrhp
Senior Egyptian military commanders cut short a visit to the Pentagon on Friday and were headed back home Friday,

2. This one sounds a bit like a propaganda:

Egypt protests: America's secret backing for rebel leaders behind uprising

I thought Husni Mubarak is welcomed according to Joe Biden - I guess so long Israel is protected.


Delegitimized in the eyes of whom? I don't think the U.S. President has the power to delegitimize Mubarak in the eyes of the Egyptian people. If he wrapped Mubarak in a tight embrace, I think that would hurt Mubarak even more.

Personally I think Mubarak has dealt himself a mortal wound. Firing his entire government excepting himself simply reinforces the idea that he holds all power in Egypt while simultaneously claiming to be out of touch. The only thing that will hold him in power is if the Army backs him with a massacre in the streets. This is and should be a redline for the U.S. government.


Mubarak has fired his Government in an attempt to save himself.

I don't think that is going to work.

I would guess that Egyptians would believe that the Leopard won't change his spots and if Mubarak remains, he will quietly go after the ring leaders of this attempted coup and pick them off one by one. El Baradie is under house arrest and at least 500 Muslim brotherhood leaders are reportedly in custody.

Patrick Lang


Think what you like. Mubarak will be gone shortly. pl


I just read Obama's statement and am surprised at how after only, what 3 or 4 days, he has made the first clear attempt to separate American policy from the Mubarak regime!

I'm no fan of autocrats, but I think the US has to be very careful with this situation or another pivotal US ally in the region could potentially realign contrary to Washington's interests.

What is being said in Tel Aviv and Tehran tonight?


Anybody who doesn't shoot at us is not an ally.

William R. Cumming

Agree with PL!

Patrick Lang


I agree. Ally is an over worked word. pl


Walter Tevis's futuristic novel, Mockingbird, written in the 80s, depicts a listless America where everyone is fed at Burger King, the food is laced with Sopors and a contraceptive and self immolation is frequent because it is the last form of resistance of an aimless people.
Expect to see people setting themselves on fire in the U.S. as people realize they are not included in the jobless recovery.


Egypt was going to explode/implode at some point as a result of the growing frustration over Mubarak and his autocratic rule and his thug security forces enforcing his emergency laws for ~ 30 years. No one group, no one leader is responsible for this uprising other than Mubarak himself and the inspiration of the Tunisians as well. The question is with whom will the army identify -- the people or the regime?


Of course we de-legitimized/sold out Mubarak, but my question is why?

Free and fair elections will probably produce a government not friendly towards our interest nor Israels.

So, which Arab nation is next?

Christopher Tingus

While our beloved Republic has been besieged by so many from within - special interest groups and the big boys on Wall Street, the corporate thieves and the "politicians" espusing "change" and taking no responsibility for a partisan, gridlocked Congressional demise and an executive branch with background in "community service" ops only, We unfortunately have no Winston Churchill among us and let's not forget AQ and the Taliban all seeking our demise as well!

Egypt will be led by a Nobel winning fundamentalist and this with Turkey and its transformation to a more fundamentalist governing body and ready and willing organizations who prfer more "fundamentalist" preoccupation will mean tough challenges and the need in the west to make some tough decisions! I wonder here in the west whether We can make such decisions...

The "Brutes of Tehran" and the "KGB Putinites" which are my reference to those we have failed to address especially those in Tehran who have bloody hands of nt only the "rich" Persian blood they willingly spilled on the streets of Tehran, but hands bloodied with Tehran's direct involvement in teh death of many of our precious American youth willing to serve this wondrful country and most charitable people!

Long time ago, Tehran's leaders should have bene dealt with and now with "trigger in place" and all the - backroom door" meetings that have taken place, soon they will have the means to unleach their own "shock and awe" upon the UAE, Qatar, Saudi territory and without doubt "conflagration" in the Middle East which will now spread quickly will bring in the German led EU, soon to be comprised of only ten nations and as I have reiterated many times, it will be the EU with its fast deployment armies and with all the support of the Vatican which the "fundamentalists" should fear for the mighty and inherent strength found throughout history of the German will be the sorrow for those who believe they will prevail.

China looks to the west with all this religious strife and disregard for humamity in the charge of "religion" and even in its darkness when it comes to "human rights" - nothing like the dysfunctional generations who continue this "cold blooded murder" in the name of religius crusade!

Hunanity itself should be quite anxious in the scenes depicted on global screen whether in Tunesia or Cairo and soon throughout Turkey and other Arab nations for despite the Quran and its Loving embrace of respect towards another, lust in power and greed will pose as in history, much strife and burden to civilization in this wondrous 21st century where our Creatr has Blessed us with so much technological innovation and bright promise for mankind and despite all the astute, enlightened individuals, so much will be compromised and so many will be affected by the shroud of evil which lurks and with Bible and Quran in hand, clasp in mutual respect for ne another and with all knowing that God watches and sees little repentence, rather anger, hostility and disrespect for each of us who are all His children and each to be given dignity and respect, no matter differences.

Mankind thrughout history has always been first to pick up the sword and lash out, rather than understand that every man-made government or organziation has failed since Babylon and in acknowledging our differences, truly sitting down and finding ways to not necessarily embrace one another, but to first respect Life and then make every attempt to understand that differences in perspective are always a part of us and We should respect one another and Not impose our respective values on others -

Listen, unlike Tehran who we bash and its wonderful and so well educated population have the mst freedom of any Arab nation, if the world had put a damper on the "Brutes of Tehran" and their ambitions to posture itself into a Middle east power broker with their "gold coffers" send to the east to be protected...the world would not be in the position of conflagration and it is not the US or the EU or the "KGB Putinites' nor anyne else who should get involved with the good people of Egypt, a nation where I have walked the streets and have met s many wonderful people... but this unrest in Egypt must be dealt with by the Egyptian people who have been here for many, many generations and are quite capable of determining the future it prefers -

Let us with our best to the people of the Middle East and Egypt and let's hope that enlightenment and hope will prevail, not more hopelessness and government(s) oppressing human spirit and God's Blessings give to each if us, God's children -

Whether Quran in hand or reading Biblical verse, God, our Creator sheds further tears as he sees such evil intent and others maing judgements n another which are only for our Creator's judgement!

God Bless us all! Let us restrain from such harmful and dastardly deed upon fellow humans, all children of the Lord!

Chris)topher Tingus


An Egyptian joke:

George W. Bush and Mubarak die in the same plane crash. They are greeted in Hell by the Devil who grants each of them one request. Both wish to call their families to say goodbye. The Devil agrees but insists they pay for the call.

Bush calls Laura, says a few words, and hangs up. The Devil says, "That will be $500,000." Bush loses his temper, but agrees to pay.

Mubarak calls his sons, and they argue for an hour over the succession. Finally, Mubarak hangs up. The Devil says, "That will be five Qirush."

Bush goes ballistic and demands to know why he paid so much and Mubarak had to pay next to nothing.

The Devil replies, "It was a local call."


I don't think it's really a comment to give a URL, but this one so perfectly captures the complete emptiness of the Obama Presidency that I offer it.



Col Lang,

No dictator can survive if all his people turn against him, but a Coptic-American friend of mine said that the key 'battle' is actually an internal one within the Egyptian military, between Islamists of various stripes (i.e. not just MB) and their opponents (some secularists, some cronies, but many others who are simply against the inevitable chaos a revolution would bring). That this is the deciding factor, not the protests.

Unfortunately I know very little about internal Egyptian politics, so my questions: Does sound right to you? Is this the key battle? Or will/has the future of Mubarak be decided on the streets?


PS, I just noticed this article after posting my question:

Two thoughts from the article:
First, that, as "an institution apart" the army would be jeopardizing its position of respect in Egyptian society if it fired on its own citizens. The article states that the army is generally well liked by the people, has its own social and economic resources distinct from the rest of the government, and represents one of the only avenues for poor Egyptians to climb the social ladder. As far as deciding whether to fire on protestors or remove Mubarak from power, these factors seem much more powerful as motivators than hidden Islamism. (But the extent of internal Islamist feeling will of course become extremely relevant if/when Mumbarak goes)

Second, just thinking that this shows another failing of the poli-sci approach - very little room for discussion of such internal, institutional politics in 'world events,' even though they are often the deciding factor.

Clifford Kiracofe

Well, perhaps it is better if China took over the account. This way, we would save the $1.5 billion a year we give Egypt on money we borrow from China.

I suppose the Egyptian military can "play" the situation in several ways:

1. Scenario 1 could be replace Mubarak with another military man, or even a trustworthy civilian, and stick with the US for the time being.

After a "decent interval" and internal political negotiations with various elites, shift away from the US and toward China.

2. Scenario 2 could be stick with Mubarak for a little while longer so as to allow him to resign for "health" reasons or whatever. Keep the US tie going during this phase.

Then, after this phase, choose: A)to stick with US or B) to shift toward China.

Perhaps the Egyptian military could consult with the Pak military to learn how best to fleece the US while being allied to China.


What the hell are we doing now? What am I not getting? I am sure the Muslin Brotherhood will become our best buddy (sic) after the coup. Sometimes the "mad, blind, despised, and dying king" is still the best deal we have.

The sign at Foggy Bottom and the WH should read. Can't fix stupid!

This will come back to bite us.


Well Col....I was wrong. Or, my thinking then is now 'inoperative'. The American Idol crowd is now attentive. It's become the new 'Reality Show'.

Now we'll see if, and how, the campaign finance boys react. Obama might just have a swing back to supporting the Old Man in him.

Retired (once-Serving)Patriot


As one who once lived in Cairo, I agree with your points. Tequila is not altogether wrong either, although by damning Mubarak, USA may retain credibility among the Egyptian masses. It's not like we've been saying for some time now that the Mubaraks have to open up political space (2005? Obama's 2009 speech?)

Best policy now is to stay out of it but support the people's right to decide for themselves. Even if it means the rise of a more Islamist govt (I'm not sold that more Islamist = any more reactionary in the Egyptian context). Worst thing to do is back Mubarak's play to the hilt. That is a total loser!


PS - I hope the post has real plans and COAs for these interesting times. When I left, I felt that everyone agreed it "could" happen but that any planning for "it" was a sign of bad faith with our host government...

PPS - @mac, Jerusalem is seeing its strategic depth shrink rapidly and Tehran watches with amusement (and awaits the chance to name another "Islambouli Street"

Phil Giraldi

Ally means something in international law. There must be an agreement that details reciprocal responsibilities. Egypt is not an ally. Israel is not an ally.

Patrick Lang

Phil et sl

Exactly. Neither is Saudi Arabia. pl


Someone please tell me that the this was not part of a "Captain Dunsel" moment for the IRI?

Tom Garrett, of the International Republican Institute was on Washington Journal this morning talking about Egypt. The IRI help train Egyptian activists?

Bright , really bright. We just do not learn. Kosovo, Afghanistan, Iraq....

Retired (once-Serving)Patriot

As an aside, these excerpts are very interesting. Very indicative of long term planning and fast adaptation by a smarter(?) class of revolutionary (or some may style as "Global Guerillas").

At least these instructions do not include suicide vests and car bomb plans.



Colonel, Phil,

So.....'who' is? I could see some saying Britain? I don't think so as the British Crown has tried every screw-job under the sun with U.S. 'colonies'? Some would say France, but with the attitudes in both D.C. and Paris political circles, me thinks that the answer to that one would be a no brainer.

What's that small Pacific Island that is always there when the U.S. needs them? Ah yes, Micronesia. Now Micronesia would fit the bill of reciprocal responsibilities --- perhaps?

The comments to this entry are closed.

My Photo

February 2021

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
  1 2 3 4 5 6
7 8 9 10 11 12 13
14 15 16 17 18 19 20
21 22 23 24 25 26 27
Blog powered by Typepad