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14 September 2012


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Well said, and an obviously necessary explanation.

I guess it should also be said that "ally" and "friend" are not synonymous. Sometimes it's not personal, it's just business (I get all my diplomatic skills from Michael Corleone).


I'm inclined towards your position, but the state department and Jimmy Carter disagree:


Regardless, BHO's Middle East is in ruins"


Babak Makkinejad

Mubarak did the same thing that the Shah of Iran did; he destroyed any and all credible opposition to his regime that was not religious. He left the Egyptian people with no alternative than the Mosque to express their dis-satisfaction with his hard dictaorship.

Sadat, the Algerian generals, the Joranian Monarchy, the Syrian regime, the Central Asian republics are all following on the same path with almost certainly the same outcome.

There is little that the United States can do now to stop the Rise of Islamic Mass Politics. In certain key countries, such as Egypt or Iran, she had enormous leverage that she declined to use to advance the cause of non-Islamic (but not necessarily anti-Islamic) political parties.

In most Muslim countries, for one hundred years, the secularist failed to deliver the goods of Good Governance and Representative Government and the Rule of Law.

I guess the people are choosing to give a chance to the Islamic parties.



I was around at the time and remember that a plentitude of secular parties arose immediately after the
shah's departure. they were crushed by the mullahs. pl


As I understand it, the $2 billion dollars Egypt gets saves the US money as it would have to spend five times that in "donating" to Israels defence of the Egyptian border. Is this incorrect?

Babak Makkinejad

Excepting the Tudeh Party (the traditional communists) none of the others were a political party; they were expressions of this or that individual's opinions and thoughts.

But that is a mere quibble.

Between the Coup of 1953 to the Revolutiion of 1979, there was no political life in Iran based on party politics.

The Shah of Iran destroyed and elminated that political space and there was thus no history of a party-based political life when the Revolution of 1979 took place.

Even Franco or East European Communist states were not like that.

By the time of the Revolution, there was no credible non-religious political parties or leaders; the Shah had made sure of that.

The only person who had survived to oppose the Shah and his policies was Ayatollah Khomeini - who lived in Iraq (irong alert!).


Why would the US want allies in the ME? For the oil business?
Congress may be more than reluctant to fund any aid to the region, except unfortunately, to Israel. Let's see what the ME countries are willing to do for continued aid. Basic American values as expressed in our first amendment are being denigrated by the mobs. Time to back away and let them destroy themselves.



And you can add the Israelis to that list of the "self destructing." pl



Nah. they are perfectly capably of doing that with their existing capabilities. pl



I think that we should be cautious about sweeping generalizations. The Islamic trend is real, but there are 2 big BUTs.

1. The term Islamic really doesn't tell us very much. Under that label you have a large variety of groups which differ by objective, by degree and type of fundamentalism, by readiness to use vioence, by attitude toward non-believers, by attitude toward non-Muslim countries.

2. A trend does not develop uniformly independent of a country's culture, history, socio-economics, leadership, location in the world etc.

There was a Christain trend in Europe in the 16th century. The outcomes were diverse to say the least.

Let's try to avoid the Washington mentality where we are battling against a undefined Islamic fundamentalism across the globe regardless of cirsumstance and meaning for American interests. All we do is manage to encourage fundamentalism in its most hostile forms. That attitude also leads you to bash people who aren't even Muslims: that Congo thug somewhere in the bush of central Africa; drug dealers in the jungles of Honduras; and - at the end of the day - Americans who oppose vocally this insanity.



"expressions of this or that individual's opinions and thoughts" Yes. that is a quibble. what you have described is the general run of political parties in the Arab World. pl

Babak Makkinejad

Thank you for your comments.

By education and temperment, I am inclined towards generalizations.

Yes, there is a lot of diversity in Islamic trend but they share a fundamental trait - the rejection of secular politics.

This is owed, in my opinion, to a large extent to the historical experience: secular orders have been all - without exception - been dictatorial.

Yes, I know, there were short-lived non-religious deomcratic periods: in Iraq and in Egypt under British tuetelage, in Syria, in Iran on 2 different occasions, in Pakistan on several occasions.

But they have all been unstable and were replaced by hard dictatorships.

Central Asia, North Africa are no exceptions.

Take your pick: Sunni Fundamentalist or the Generals.

Charles I

Do you see any sign of Congressional disaffection with Israel, or inclination to defund it, aside from Ron Paul? Indeed, the present circumstances will indicate more security assistance is imperative to ensure the only democracy in the middle east remains intractably so.

One notable Basic American value, common to many other western democracies must be the maintenance abyss between what Pew et al repeatedly tell us the hoi polloi desire and what is er, implemented by our legislators and executive, as well as the income gap and concentration of wealth, because all are defended against all comers by all parties. Norway excepted.


You "hard-hearted empath"......



Romney now says the US should be tougher with Egypt. He is correct and that is what Obama did. "the Muslim Brotherhood called off large demonstrations it had planned across the country today. Many saw the cancellation as an acknowledgement that the situation had been mishandled and angered the US, particularly with President Mohamed Morsi’s delay in condemning the Tuesday breach of the American embassy in Cairo on Wednesday." . pl


Respectfully, do you really believe the N.Y. Times? The Grey Old Lady can not cuddle BHO or HRC anymore, they screwed up as much as the Necons.



None of it matters. BHO will win. Have you seen Romney walk? He looks like Tim Gunn. Just that is enough to cook his goose. Women don't like that. Ask your whatever unless the name is Herman. pl


Fact is, Obama's 'gaffe' made Morsi think twice about his call for massive protests... (And he has downplayed them since)
The message wasn't 'you're on your own now' but it wasn't 'we'll keep supporting you no matter what' either...
I think the US administration has done a good job extending a helping hand without promising unconditional support (as they did with Mubarak). That's diplomacy.
Also did anyone see the diss at MB's tweets (being very ambiguous in english/arab tweets), saying: 'You know we read arab too'... priceless



The Romney-walk, with those little, tiny steps, really is something to behold. Strange to see him take three steps to every one of Anne's. Yes, the man is a weakling -- did you see how terrified he looked as he stepped in it re: Benghazi Wednesday morning? A guy from Liverpool and I were talking once, about avoiding fights with liquored-up sailors (or, in my case, the liquored-up denizens of certain pubs in South Boston). This fellow put it well: he said, "you've got to walk heavy." "Walk heavy" is the right term, and Romney does the opposite. I've spoken with a number of women who are put off by Romney's walk; one of them speculated that perhaps his special LDS underwear makes it harder to take long strides. Who can say? Either way, not a Presidential gait.


LMAO, now we know how to make decisions..:)

Regardless, Blue (neo-Wilsonian) or Red (Neocon), a Dragons is Still a Dragon.


I thought I might be the only one who noticed Romney's walk and found it strange. Actually, I wondered if he has a physical problem... and then I watched Condaleeza Rice walk across the stage at the Republican convention and was struck immediately that she and Romney walk exactly alike. Odd. Maybe they both have a physical problem?

Colonel, I don't think Romney walks like Tim Gunn. Tim walks o.k. It's clear enough that he is a gay man but his walk looks pretty normal to me. Romney's walk - not so much.



Rice is more masculine. pl

Charles I

well its true, we use 15% of our processing to make snap judgements emotionally cued to specific stimuli particular to the first five years of our lives that are very resistant to modification other than that occurring in our own consciousness each time we recall and deal with the matter


I never noticed the walk, so I tried to find video. This is the first and last one I found:


This made my day.


RE: international relationships among countries are not limited to manichaean dualities of "ally" and "enemy." Most countries in the world should properly be described as "out there," IOW neither friend nor foe.

In political international studies-speak, countries, "out there" are routinely described as "allies." How stupid this is.

Col. sir,

I recall an alte Jude who said [stoically] that "nations have no permanent friends or enemies, only permanent interests".

But in places like the mid-east or Balkans [which an Iron Chancellor once quipped was "not worth the bones of a single Pomeranian grenadier"] things can get pretty MESSY what with these elusive & 'inconvenient' shifts of ally/foe, or neither of which.

Ah well.

"Je weniger die Leute darüber wissen, wie Würste und Gesetze gemacht werden, desto besser schlafen sie nachts."

The lesser the people know about how sausages and laws are made, the better they sleep in the night.

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