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15 February 2011

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LeaNder

I saw papers prepared by the state security service detailing an alleged plan to repeat the Iranian revolution.

Interesting, if true. This seems to be a scenario with the hawks among the allies in mind. I didn't like Suleiman's allegations, admittedly. As I have to admit that when Mubarak choose him, it felt he choose him for exactly these kind of activities. Obviously, I don't know much about Egypt and the possible actors that besides him could be behind such a scheme.

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On the contrary: they [Mubarak's successors] will listen to Arab public opinion, which opposes a preemptive war against Iran. Israel will find it difficult to take action far to the east when it cannot rely on the tacit agreement to its actions on its western border. Without Mubarak there is no Israeli attack on Iran. His replacement will be concerned about the rage of the masses, if they see him as a collaborator in such operation.

Whoever is opposed to a strike, or fear its consequences - even though they appear to be in favor, like Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak - now have the ultimate excuse. We wanted to strike Iran, they will write in their memoirs but we could not because of the revolution in Egypt. Like Ehud Olmert says that he nearly made peace, they will say that they nearly made war. In his departure Mubarak prevented a preemptive Israeli war. This appears to have been his last contribution to regional stability.

Who, Mubarak or the people of Egypt?

Aluf Benn in Haaretz:
http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/news/mubarak-s-departure-thwarted-israeli-strike-on-iran-1.343012

Patrick Lang

LeaNder

"As I have to admit that when Mubarak choose him, it felt he choose him for exactly these kind of activities. Obviously, I don't know much about Egypt and the possible actors that besides him could be behind such a scheme."

Then, why say it? pl

LeaNder

you are correct again, of course. I expected a much harsher repuke. ;)

But why do you think he talked about foreign influence? Did he only follow Mubarak's lead?

And apart from speculation, what did this argument feel like to you?

Clifford Kiracofe

Yes, Turkish Model with Egyptian characteristics?

Could work and be a way to obtain national consensus in Egypt for the way forward.

Americans need to be familiar with the views of the Turkish government. Turkey is a major factor in the region and it is not going away.

Rather than reading an Israel-centric "news analysis" in the pro-Israel US press, why not, for example, just listen to the Turkish foreign minister explain Turkey's present perspective on Egypt and the region? No need for an pro-Israel interpretation or editing of the FM's words:

http://english.aljazeera.net/programmes/talktojazeera/2011/02/201121575542266481.html

After viewing the entire interview, one question to ask is how long and at what cost wan the US continue its Israel-centric Middle East policy?

Jonathan Wright

Are you sure you didn't mishear "Silmiya, silmiya" (peaceful, peaceful), which was a common chant? I never heard "Islamiya, Islamiya", and I spent hours among the protest movement.

Patrick Lang

Jonathan Wright

You don't seem able to read English. Yusuf said that you were right. Too busy and important to read carefully? pl

Patrick Lang

LeaNder

Leaving aside the issue of whether or not you think that the outcome was for the best, do you not think the foreign media and the WH played a role in pumping up the revolution? Anderson Cooper was very close to tears in talking about it last night. pl

The beaver

@ Kiracofe

Have you seen this:

http://thecable.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2011/02/15/congress_prepares_middle_east_stability_funding_package

Back in the House, there is plenty of support for funding Israel aid, which totals about $3 billion per year, but some Republicans are looking to restrict aid to other Middle East countries, such as Egypt. House Foreign Affairs Chairwoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) has argued that further funding should be withheld from Egypt unless they exclude Islamist groups such as the the Muslim Brotherhood, from participating in the new government.

walrus

From the Beavers link:

"Berman supports increased funding for U.S.-based organizations that promote civil society in Egypt, such as the National Democratic Institute, the International Republican Institute, the National Endowment for Democracy, and the State Department's Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor.

"We need to educate [moderate Egyptian political groups] on how to communicate, how to build a political party, how to organize. There's a way to do that without choosing who you want but giving the secular parties some skills and some resources to get going," Berman said. "

Words fail me. I would have thought that assistance to reform and restructure the economy would offer better and more long lasting dividends.

Patrick Lang

walrus

Ah! But you do not understand. They are like children (irony alert). As an "exceptional" people we must instruct the world so that they reflect (however dimly) the glory of the "city on a hill," Thanks to my wife's research I now realize that my ancestors participated in the creation of that diabolical nonsense. pl

Jake

"The consensus of the population now, and the overwhelming majority of the youth demand a Parliamentary Republic a la Turkish model."

This would not be a bad thing.

However, interesting enough is the "Iranian Revolution" type of documents found on Egyptian Police Officers. Was this a "Operation Fortitude" type of deal or are the undercurrents and/or is the Jerusalem Force active?

PS: Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, makes Rufus T. Firefly look like a experienced, polished diplomat.

Clifford Kiracofe

1. So, just what is the so-called "Opposition" and what is it up to?


"A major meeting of opposition leaders and protesters on Monday quickly devolved into arguments and diatribes, underscoring how difficult it will be for the diverse, leaderless revolutionary movement to coalesce around a political platform before elections that Egypt's military caretakers have pledged to hold...

"The two-hour gathering at the offices of the Democratic Front party in a middle-class section of western Cairo was one of several such meetings that have been held by various opposition groupings over the past three days. It was called to nominate committees to open negotiations with the military — which the military hasn't explicitly asked for — but instead it demonstrated Egypt's polyglot opposition scene at its most disjointed and chaotic."...

"That rift is perhaps not surprising. The protest movement was largely organized via Facebook and other social media by middle-class Egyptians, while the less privileged masses formed the vast majority of people in Tahrir Square and other protest sites.

"The labor movement, which is expected to defy the military and return to striking Tuesday, also has little in common with people such as Ghonim, and their demands for better pay and working conditions weren't addressed by Mubarak's resignation."
http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2011/02/14/108730/egypts-opposition-fights-itself.html


2. On "exceptionalism"...this is a technical term among historians and there is a wide range of definitions and perspectives.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_exceptionalism

Prof. Michael Kammen, a cultural historian, wrote a useful article on US exceptionalism some years back.

I am not aware that the old New Englanders in the 17th century preached spreading "Americanism" whatever that might be around the world and launched any crusades so to do.

John Adams, reflecting sober views of the Founding Fathers certainly rejected foreign crusades to spread "Americanism" and to slay various monsters. The image in that day was of the US as a lighthouse or beacon to which those who wished might sail (learn some lessons from etc.).

In the latter 19th century a combination of jingoism and certain Christian fundamentalist strains can be identified. This brings us to, for example, spreading "Americanism" to the Philippines to our "little brown brothers" and all that.

The delusional Woodrow Wilson etal. following up on this wanted to spread "Americanism."

While "exceptionalism" in the way the term is used at SST was present in the latter 19th century and forward, I have not noted that condition in old New England. The old Yankees from what I can tell were interested in their own communities' well being here in the New World, period.

The ideological crusades of the latter 19th century till today are a different matter altogether.

I would suggest that the term "jingoism" has more relevance than the term "exceptionalism" in the foriegn policy area.

"Jingoism is defined in the Oxford English Dictionary as "extreme patriotism in the form of aggressive foreign policy".[1] In practice, it refers to the advocation of the use of threats or actual force against other countries in order to safeguard what they perceive as their country's national interests, and colloquially to excessive bias in judging one's own country as superior to others – an extreme type of nationalism.

The term originated in Britain, expressing a pugnacious attitude towards Russia in the 1870s. During the 19th century in the United States, journalists called this attitude spread-eagleism. "Jingoism" did not enter the U.S. vernacular until near the turn of the 20th century."
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jingoism

Clifford Kiracofe

Beaver,

Yes I heard about that thanks for link. You are on top of this crew I can see from your postings.

Being realistic, it is not possible, at this juncture in our history, for these United States to have a foreign policy toward the Middle East in our national interest. We are in a mutual suicide pact with our "strategic ally"/marcher state, Israel.

The simple fact is that the pro-Israel Lobby dominates Congress and the White House. The MSM is pro-Israel and thus reinforces an Israel-centric foreign policy in the Middle East.

Only the most naive or delusional would think otherwise.

To alter our policy, we would have to alter our national politics in such a manner as to liberate Congress and the White House from the domination of the pro-Israel Lobby.

This would require a national revulsion of the pro-Israel Lobby. Unfortunately, such a change in national psychology would likely involve anti-semitism with attendant effects. There are historical examples in the past.

We can recall Edward 1. His policy was reversed when Cromwell needed loans.

I do not expect such a change in the relatively few years left to me on this earth.

LeaNder

you think that the outcome was for the best, do you not think the foreign media and the WH played a role in pumping up the revolution? Anderson Cooper was very close to tears in talking about it last night.

This took some time to check. Cooper claims to have been attacked by anti-Mubarak supporters. What rumors did circulate? And he talks about expensive media equipment on Tahrir square, which suggests either wealthy supporters or media connections of the anti-Mubarak supporters, that he left open. Ultimately you can arrange such things. I am not an experienced protester but I have media connections too. ... He almost cried? I heard a female voice that night. It haunted me. They couldn't leave the place, you could hear she was terrified, knowing people died around her.

I thought a lot about something you wrote. No concessions. Meaning that could have stopped it? Maybe, maybe not. And Omar Suleiman would have engineered a smooth transition.

But I guess, I wouldn't have trusted him either, from what he said. Let's wait for the constitution.

Fred

Someone should ask Ileana Ros-Lehtinen how that embargo of Cuba is working out in changing Castro's government? It's only been 48 years now.

Peter Principle

I saw papers prepared by the state security service detailing an alleged plan to repeat the Iranian revolution.

Apparently, someone in the Interior Ministry was thumbing through his copy of "Counter Revolution for Dummies"

Clifford Kiracofe

Keeping a focus on the politics of the situation:

""The military are talking to one or two 'faces of the revolution' that have no actual negotiating experience and have not been mandated by anyone to speak on the people's behalf," claimed one person involved with the new coalition. "It's all very well for them to be apparently implementing our demands, but why are we being given no say in the process?

"They are talking about constitutional amendments, but most people here want a completely new constitution that limits the power of the presidency. They are talking about elections in a few months, and yet our political culture is still full of division and corruption.

"Many of us are now realising that a very well thought-out plan is unfolding step by step from the military, who of course have done very well out of the political and economic status quo. These guys are expert strategic planners after all, and with the help of some elements of the old regime and some small elements of the co-opted opposition, they're trying to develop a system that looks vaguely democratic but in reality just entrenches their own privileges."
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/feb/15/egyptian-army-hijacking-revolution-fear

Will there be a transition to a civilian government? Another general in a suit? Or just what?

1. While the old opposition has party structures, the youth opposition leadership in a half dozen groups are just small handfuls of enthusiastic young people with cell phones and laptops.

Are they going to organize their own political parties and mount serious election campaigns? Will they even be allowed to? Will they just join in various old parties?

Elections are said (at this time) to be coming in September. If they do indeed come in September, then there are about 8 months to organize for them. What are the handfuls of youth opposition leaders doing now in practical terms organizing with a view toward these elections?

2. And on the labor front, the regime is cracking down on labor and strikers demanding better wages, conditions, and removal of official labor "leaders" from their shops.

The working class played a major role on the streets during the rising. Just watching video feed from Egypt indicated that.

rjj

CK, Jingoism calls to mind corsetry, celluloid collars, and Colonel Blimp.

Exceptionalism as the bastard brain child of The Elect and The Chosen is (seems to me) excellently well named.

Clifford Kiracofe

rjj,

As I indicated there is considerable diversity among historians about what so-called "exceptionalism" is and the term is loosely used to mean many things.

That is why I suggested the Wiki link to indicate the range of meanings.

Not sure what you mean by the "Elect and Chosen" and thus your own personal definition of the term.

The Oxford Dictionary citation for "jingoism" to me reflects what SST usage has seemed to imply.

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