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28 January 2011

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Patrick Lang

Jake et al

There is a theme emerging here that I think correct. That is the fact that the MB is not the major issue in the crisis. what matters is the general sentiment of the masses. That sentiment will ultimately govern post Mubarak developments in the government. Will the MB itsels as on of a number of Islamic factors play a role? Certainly, but probably more imporatn will be other Islamic group centered on mosque preachers and Sufi orders just as examples. The issue was raised here of factions in the Egyptian Army. these are certainly important and the Islamists among them are significant in spite of repeated and persistent purges of such people. pl

Jake

RP,

The problem with the GOE have been very long in the making. In my opinion, we helped make them. However, saying that, right now we need to stay the hell out of it. Yes we need to make sure that Mubarak does not make the same mistake the Shah did and try and use overwhelming force. That would be a loser. Other than that we need to shut up right now and work the back doors.

I totally disagree with you on the point that it should be up to the people of Egypt even if that means the entrance of the Muslin Brotherhood. As far as I am concerned that would be unexceptionable and not in the security or foreign policy (what ever that is these days) interest of the United States.

We continually fund, train and arm (Kosovo for example) the same folk who come back and bite us harder down the road. If the Muslim Brotherhood takes over the GOE this will have far reaching ripples all over the ME and in the long run not in our best interest either..

Jake

"The issue was raised here of factions in the Egyptian Army. these are certainly important and the Islamists among them are significant in spite of repeated and persistent purges of such people."

Colonel,

I am in total agreement and very concerned. Not just for the security of the ME but for ours. One really bad political mistake here and the implications are devastating. But I have to question who is advising State and the WH to be making some really bonehead statements in public?

Right now with the situation so very active and fluid making any predictions as to the outcome is hap-hazard. But in my opinion, right now the last thing we need to do is sing the "American Freedom" song to the Egyptians.

Phil Giraldi

J - The United States does have actual allies. It's called NATO. If they are attacked we come to their assistance and vice versa. The role of NATO has unfortunately been muddied in the Balkans and Afghanistan.

The IRI (National Endowment for Democracy) involvement in all of this reported by Jake is very disturbing. They have been involved in all the agitation in Eastern Europe and seem to pop up here and there with a mandate to spread democracy, whatever that means. As far as I can tell they have little in the way of adult supervision with John McCain chairman of the board in charge of the Republican half (IRI) and Madeleine Albright in a similar role for the Dems (NDI).

JohnH

I don't think it's over. Obama delegitimized the Honduran coup by calling it a coup...before he went silent and covertly started supporting the coup.

Once the Zionist crowd freaks out enough, which it is now starting to do, Obama will have one is his usual, clueless epiphanies.

steve

I wonder if Israel will seize on the unrest on its borders as a pretext for some final solution for the Palestinians, particularly if the unrest spreads to Israeli and Palestinian Arabs. Perhaps along the lines of Arab demonstrations in solidarity with the Egyptians or a third intifada.

The "unthinkable", e.g., expulsions of Israeli Arabs has already been broached as considered policy.

With the peace process scam having run its course, and with jitters about Lebanon, perhaps, the Likudniks may feel the time is right.

Lysander

Prof Kiracofe,

Regarding Egypt "switching to China."

Sounds like a good idea for Egypt but what's in it for China? They aren't the Soviet Union (or the US) and don't seem to be looking for expensive global dependencies. Pakistan and North Korea are all they really need.

While I am Egyptian and proud of it, for Super Powers, Egypt has been a bad investment. The USSR sunk billions into Egypt and what do they have to show for it now?

And it looks like the US just did the same thing.

Fred

Jake,

Interesting link. Note IRI's board of directors is chaired by U.S. Senator John McCain...

Note their history and president's bio:http://www.iri.org/learn-more-about-iri/iri-leadership/lorne-w-craner-president

If there history is accurate this would be one of many Captain Dunsel moments - Ukraine, Belarus, Afghanistan....the neocons don't seem to learn from their mistakes; unless in this case they are only trying to take credit for something they didn't start and certainly can't control. Perhaps they should stop deifying Reagan and relying on 'political science.

RP, interesting but I don't think the masses (sorry to use the term) of Egyptians, with a reported $2/day income, are either computer literate or have such access, although many other Egyptians do.

Once the immediate chaos has passed and some government is in place the general economic conditions are going to remain. If things don't improve relatively quickly I think the backlash is going to get targeted to foreigners, if not the USA specifically then certainly groups like IRI that Jake noted above, from a general feeling that Egyptians were 'played' by these organizations.

I don't think that is in our countries best interest, or Egypt's either.

Patrick Lang

Lysander

I told you that he would be an interim figure. pl

optimax

Jake,
Did Garret say the IRI trained the Egyptian activist? The wikileaks cable didn't name the think tanks the activists met with.

WILL

Al-Jazeera reports "Egypt’s former air force chief and minister for civil aviation, Ahmed Shafiq, has been designated the new prime minister by Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak..."

The military will ease "the blessed one" a.k.a, the cow, out from Misr.

William R. Cumming

Again agree with PL!

Any good open source studies of factions in Egyptian military?

Any ATTATURKS?

DanM

Just on the NEDs (IRI and NDI) they've been training Egyptian activists/democracy promoters for years. (And deeply involved in teaching the afghans and iraqis and so on how to run "real" political parties).
Mubarak hated them -- had them banned briefly in 2006 (forget how/when it was worked out). But overall i would rank them in terms of relevance to what's happening in Egypt as "mostly harmless."

Jake

Fred,

I always said that if both Admiral McCain's were alive today, they would be kicking Junior.

Jake

The Tom Garrett interview...

http://www.c-span.org/Events/Washington-Journal-for-Saturday-Jan-29/10737419261-2/

Scary and yes, Optimax he said they trained many...

If this guy thinks that HM is off the wall then he is off the planet.

Robert C.

"I am in total agreement and very concerned. Not just for the security of the ME but for ours. One really bad political mistake here and the implications are devastating. But I have to question who is advising State and the WH to be making some really bonehead statements in public?

Right now with the situation so very active and fluid making any predictions as to the outcome is hap-hazard. But in my opinion, right now the last thing we need to do is sing the "American Freedom" song to the Egyptians. "

Agree.

A new gov't in Egypt will likely be cool to the US at best. How is this not blowback? Haven'
t we made a "bad political mistake" in the ME for years, by proping up dictators. I know that is simplicstic, but it is true.

RC

Patrick Lang

RobertC

Yes, it is very simplistic. Government to government relations are just that. what would you have us do, subvert government that we don't like? pl

fanto

It seems to me that the developments in North Africa are the beginning of a change in world politics, not only the ME context

Clifford Kiracofe

On the NED, it is an overt organization involved in "political warfare", what is now called supporting democracy and human rights.

In the old days much of this sort of thing was done covertly by various US government organizations and through various USG funded front organizations and US labor organizations as cover.

Its history is here:
http://www.ned.org/about/history

Its president is Carl Gershman, sort of a Neoconnish type. He comes out of the old Socialist networks and the "Social Democratic Party."
http://www.rightweb.irc-online.org/profile/Gershman_Carl

For background on political warfare see:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Political_warfare

CK

"what would you have us do, subvert government that we don't like? pl "
The USA would never subvert ( hush Mossadegh ), any ( quiet Arbenz), government ( Hugo don't wave ), it didn't like.

Patrick Lang

CK

Like most of the left wing people here you consistently focus on everything bad in US history? Were there any good things? pl

Retired (once-Serving)Patriot

@Jake,

Please tell me why you think MB involvement in a new Egyptian government is so bad? At least then, the Ikwan MUST rule and MUST rule in a way that keeps them legitimate to all of Egypt's citizens.

Egypt is a very old society and IMHO a very resilient society. In fact, its age, its European-Mediterranean orientation and its past/present as a leading Arab culture make me think it will not so easily succumb to a Qutbist-Islamist style reactionary state that is assumed would result from the Ikwan running the show. It's one thing to have theory and criticism; it's another thing completely to run the show, distribute the subsidies and keep everyone happy.

RP

CK

@PL:
"Were there any good things? pl "
I rather liked the original articles of confederation. The propositional nation went downhill after the coup de etat of 1787

Patrick Lang

CK

Ah. We are in agreement there. Perhaps that is why great, great, great grandsire Amos went to Maple Grove. pl

Bobo

I hope Obama has learned from this. The less said in public and the more said in private is the modus operandi in situations such as occurring in Eqypt.

Commentators mentioned today that the worst outcomes will be a government run by the Muslim Brotherhood or Mubarak continuing in power. Thus there is hope for something in the middle but nothing will occur until the Mob settles down and that will take time. In the interim the hatred will or is turning against the United States.

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