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15 June 2012


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Nobody seems to like "Liberals"!


Pat, as always you have presented very insightful analysis of what is happening in Egypt. I would only add, that the Generals will have a very limited window in which to stage a coup. Several years ago I was in Egypt for Bright Star; throughout the exercise, the prayer tent was in regular use during daily prayers mostly used by younger officers. An American observer, who had been at every Bright Star this was a new development that in previous exercise the prayer tent was never used. There are indications that the junior officer corps is more devout and perhaps fundamentalists; if that is the case they may not follow the generals lead.


We must be dangerous!


Great analysis, but respectfully, this has the makings of a bloodbath. What's your analysis of the NCO's following orders against the "will of the people."


Very difficult situation for US foreign policy. On the one hand, it's hard for any American to support a military dictatorship, on the other it's just as hard to support a theocracy (at least as far as our stated beliefs have been). It's also very difficult to make the case that some countries can "handle" democracy and others can't. Given the cultural and religious background of Egypt I'm not sure if we can hope for anything more than some sort of holding action to minimize the damage of either outcome.

Babak Makkinejad


The Egyptian people have a right to be wrong.

They can elect the Ikwan, the Nur, or whomever and live through the consequences; however undesirable.

You cannot live their history for them; be it lead them to a dead-end.



That's true but I reserve my right to comment on their stupidity just as I do with regard to my own people. pl


HankP: " It's also very difficult to make the case that some countries can "handle" democracy and others can't."

What does this mean? Democracy and "western economic policies" are not synonymous.



IMO the essential cultural requirement for democracy as we have sometimes known it in the US is the ability to see your opponents as other than evil and therefore people with whom you are willing to compromise. Few people in the Islamic World have those characteristics, certainly not the Egyptians. We are rapidly losing those abilities in the US. What this means for the future of democracy is worrisome. pl

William R. Cumming

PL! No rush but could you again review the political parties in Egypt?

I keep wondering if the absence of a strong third or fourth party in America is good or bad for our democracy! There are differences between some DEMs and some Republicans but many appear to end up with the same goal--self dealing while in office and corrupted by donations. The INCUMBENCY party in the USA like the GENERALS in Egypt seems to have staying power!

My solution would be federal law for all federal elections. Let the STATES and their local governments control their own elections.

And perhaps strangely I support strongly voter ID!


What I mean is that our founding documents make clear that our political beliefs are that there are "God given" rights inherent to all people. I wasn't talking about Egypt's economic situation, but their cultural, religious and political history - specifically that of being ruled by a military dictatorship for decades.

Overall though, I have to agree with Babak. Outside intervention in these matters do not have a good track record.

N M salamon

I am not sure that with the present IT systems and Government survailances that it would be adventageous for all sitizens to have federal ID cards, a la what was done in Hungary during my childhood.

As an aside neither my ister nor I, nor anyother child had her/his ID booklet, we were appended in our parents'books, which also were used to follow the home addresses, work etc.


After Obama's silence on events in Egypt and Clinton's mealy mouthed words, could we finally be seeing the end to any US credibility in the area democracy promotion? Could the demise of the Arab Spring be the final nail in the coffin of the US' phony support of democratization?

IMHO that would be a good thing. Democracy promotion and the responsibility to protect have gotten the US into all sorts of unsavory military entanglements, where neither the national interest nor the interests of the target peoples were well served.

It's long past time for politicians to come clean on what's really at stake in its foreign entanglements. After the constant stream of BS regarding Iraq, Afghanistan, and Libya, honest assessment and proper responses would be nothing short of revolutionary.

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