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28 June 2012


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..."Well, maybe that is understandable"... Good one Colonel.

Patrick D

Some of the most well-educated, articulate, and out-spoken Muslim women I've met wore the hijab. I'm not saying Mursi's wife is any of those things but the hijab doesn't necessarily mean anything.

In fact, some of the most vapid, deferential babblers I've met were daughters of the Westernized elite attending AUC in the latest European fashions but I wouldn't assume Mubarak's wife is any of those things either.


Patrick D

Don't you just love the Middle East! Isn't it a wonderful place! if only the nasty colonialists had left them alone in their earthly paradise practising their charming folk customs, sheltered by high illiteracy rates and not having to bother with things like western medicine, sewer systems, a secular state and all the other burdens of westernism. Just look at Suzanne Mubarak! Think how much happer she would be if she had been "adjusted" sexually and could have been a "covered" wife like Naglaa. pl


It sounds like a whole lot of Egyptians are in for a rude 'awakening'. The rest are going to get, to qoute the times article: "regular people in power".

N M salamon

I am sure that MSM prefers a first lady such as the last one in Frnce, for the beauty of her numerous nude pictures all over the internet.


NM Salomon

Do you have a link to the nude photos of Suzanne Mubarak? pl

Babak Makkinejad

F. Engels(1848 )on French Annexation of Algeria:

"[T]hough the manner in which brutal soldiers, like Bugeaud, have carried on the war is highly blamable, the conquest of Algeria is an important and fortunate fact for the progress of civilisation.[...] And if we may regret that the liberty of the Bedouins of the desert has been destroyed, we must not forget that these same Bedouins were a nation of robbers.[...] All these nations of free barbarians look very proud, noble and glorious at a distance, but only come near them and you will find that they, as well as the more civilised nations, are ruled by the lust of gain, and only employ ruder and more cruel means. And after all, the modern bourgeois, with civilisation, industry, order, and at least relative enlightenment following him, is preferable to the feudal lord or the marauding robber, with the barbarian state of society to which they belong."


Maybe that IS understandable! Ha! A good one, Colonel; I've always found real sadness in the way a naturally beautiful place, a North American Mediterranean, was turned into contemporary LA. Future centuries will stand in amazement at the folly of it (did I mention there's really no water?).

rjj du Nord

mirth !

Patrick D

The Middle East is freakin’ amazing! So much opportunity to further vital U.S. interests. Liberating all the females in Dar al-Islam ranks up there with protecting the profound, Westernizing influence of Israel on the region. The potential is mind-boggling and easy to realize if the U.S. could just muster the political will! After a couple more wars all the women will be in tube tops, the men will be in board shorts, and Naglaa can finally use the sewer system.

The possibilities in the region made me euphoric but the daily adrenaline rushes were too much so I departed the Middle East a long time ago.

Never say never, though. I’m ready for the next reconstruction with a proposal to send all Arab teenagers to a kibbutz for a year. Sure, the Christians may not get as much out of it as the Muslims but everybody has something to learn and the kibbutzim could use the cash these days. In business it is called a “win-win”.

Snark works both ways, colonel. Not sure what you were attacking, but it wasn’t my worldview.

And, what happens to the “hard-hearted empath” when this topic comes up?

Paul Escobar

Mr. Lang,

Consider that they experienced "a secular state and all the other burdens of westernism" for decades...and rejected it at the first opportunity.

Who did they turn to? According to you, a backwards movement that approves of "earthly folk customs" and rejects "western medicine, sewer systems".

What did the "colonialists" get for all the spent treasure & spilled blood? Apparently, nothing but the feeling of self-satisfaction.

If anything, this decades-long experiment proves Ron Paul & Dennis Kucinich right. The only thing we should offer the world is our example and history.



Thanks for reminding me of these estimable questions. As a simple minded soldier I missed all that in my thirty years of work on and in the Middle East. Yes, the British grew wealthy on the backs of the exploited felahiin of Egypt just as they did on the backs of countless other folk. Perfidious Albion! Where do you teach? Let me guess, Poly Sci./IR. pl


Patrick D.

I guess you don't like the "hard-hearted" part. I don't do "snark." I do sarcasm, irony and outright ridicule (in the most polite way I can manage. I leave "snark" to young people like you.

I have lived and worked with very acculturated Muslims, primitive Muslims, and Muslims living under Islamist rule. IMO, Islamism is a dead end for those who choose that path. Down that road lies economic, military and cultural weakness of the kind that the Dar al-Islam has experienced since the Muslim tide began to ebb at Vienna.

But, if they, and you want it, go for it. Don't expect me to applaud. pl

Patrick D

I'm not clapping.

Patrick D

"IMO, Islamism is a dead end for those who choose that path. Down that road lies economic, military and cultural weakness of the kind that the Dar al-Islam has experienced since the Muslim tide began to ebb at Vienna."

For what it is worth, I agree.

Putting aside the actual concerns about a capable Islamic army camped outside Vienna again, what do you want to do? You can't give Egypt an Ataturk and, as you have pointed out, even his wave has receded in Turkey.


Patrick D.

Fair enough. I think that the bleeding heart faction in the US foreign affairs establishment should stop trying to push all these peoples in the direction of "authentic" and inevitably failing Islamist regimes. pl

Patrick D

Agreed. I just wish I could be optimistic about a scenario in which the marginalization of the neo-Wilsonians and neo-cons that wasn't the result of catastrophe.

Paul Escobar

Mr. Lang,

I accepted all that you said: that some form of secular state was brought into existence, and that the population was turning away from it.

My post should be read in that context.

I teach highschool math/physics in Mississauga. And I don't underestimate anyone in this forum. Once, during an email exchange about some Belgian film...Mr. Farrell thanked me for choosing this lowly profession. I will always remember that kindness.



Alan is a kindly man. I have been accused of that as well, but I try to live it down as Aurelio Zen does his unfair and slanderous reputation for integrity. I do not believe that all cultures are equally beneficial for the welfare of man and woman kind. IMO the secular model is best for ordinary people but if they want to do this to themselves, it is their right. pl

N M salamon

did not link to either", if any, just read the "news item


"Islamism is a dead end for those who choose that path"

I would say the rabid Judeo zios, the Christian fundies and half a dozen other groups of relig-ideolog whack jobs are right up there and some even crazier.
But then I think all extremely religious people have a mental disorder anyway.



Do you think it liekly that a "Christian fundie" would be eected president of the US? I think not.pl


What will the Egyptians say about us in future when we have President James Buchanan and First Lady Rufus? Will an elegantly appointed table soften their judgement of us?


Re: "islamism is a dead end"


Je suis d'accord.

Like a deer that charges (instinctively, but foolishly) headlong into a speeding car when blinded by the headlights.

That's what many of these nations are doing....



RE: "I would say the rabid Judeo zios, the Christian fundies and half a dozen other groups of relig-ideolog whack jobs are right up there"

Yeah well, it's always a paradox how nutjobs resemble the very same fanatical nutjobs that they intensely hate at times.

When you stare into the abyss long enough....

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