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28 June 2013


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"only bailouts from Qatar and Libya have kept Egypt from exhausting its reserves of hard currency. "

I thought Libya had its own financial troubles. How could they afford to bail out Morsi's government? What does that imply for Libya's government?


I concur, tick, tick, tick.

David Habakkuk

It may not be entirely off topic to quote a favourite poem of mine, in which Herman Melville reflected on the draft riots in New York City in 1863. The riots, and also the background to them, feature in the Colonel’s Civil War trilogy.

A Night Piece. (July, 1863.)

No sleep. The sultriness pervades the air
And binds the brain—a dense oppression, such
As tawny tigers feel in matted shades,
Vexing their blood and making apt for ravage.
Beneath the stars the roofy desert spreads
Vacant as Libya. All is hushed near by.
Yet fitfully from far breaks a mixed surf
Of muffled sound, the Atheist roar of riot.
Yonder, where parching Sirius set in drought,
Balefully glares red Arson—there—and there.
The Town is taken by its rats—ship-rats.
And rats of the wharves. All civil charms
And priestly spells which late held hearts in awe—
Fear-bound, subjected to a better sway
Than sway of self; these like a dream dissolve,
And man rebounds whole æons back in nature.
Hail to the low dull rumble, dull and dead,
And ponderous drag that shakes the wall.
Wise Draco comes, deep in the midnight roll
Of black artillery; he comes, though late;
In code corroborating Calvin's creed
And cynic tyrannies of honest kings;
He comes, nor parlies; and the Town redeemed,
Give thanks devout; nor, being thankful, heeds
The grimy slur on the Republic's faith implied,
Which holds that Man is naturally good,
And—more—is Nature's Roman, never to be scourged.


Wow, an Egyptian civil war! With the population so densely packed in the Nile Valley, that would truly be a chainsaw fight in a phone booth. This would be unbelievably nasty brutish and probably decisively short. The toll on non-combatants through disclocation, disease and famine would be epic. The Egyptian military has to have thought this through. I smell martial law/govt. on the very near horizon.


“ I think it is just a matter of time until civil war develops in Egypt “

“Addressing a gathering of Sunni Muslim clerics in Cairo, the Islamist head of state said: "We decided today to entirely break off relations with Syria and with the current Syrian regime." Morsi said he had decided to close down Syrian Embassy in Cairo. …....“

seems like Morsi too in anticipation of a fight uttered the above, perhaps with the hope of gathering all the support he can get from the salafis, wahabis and all the extremist along with the saudi, et al to help keep him in power.. he has certainly made every effort in dividing his own country!! This will likely carry a price tag..

Dan Gackle

This failure of liberal intellectuals and policy-makers to grasp the darker forces that drive conflicts (such as in the Middle East) is a theme that everyone who follows Col. Lang's writings and the discourse on this site will recognize. I just read a short essay of 1941 by George Orwell (linked to by Paul Krugman, of all people) that covers similar ground and which I think the community here would appreciate. In it, Orwell demolishes the liberal utopianism of H.G. Wells in a way that reminded me of Col. Lang's critique of "graduate school seminarians".

Orwell: "The energy that actually shapes the world springs from emotions — racial pride, leader-worship, religious belief, love of war — which liberal intellectuals mechanically write off as anachronisms, and which they have usually destroyed so completely in themselves as to have lost all power of action." Few sentences could be more at home on this site, so I thought I'd better quote it here.

The essay is at http://orwell.ru/library/reviews/wells/english/e_whws, and I recommend it. It has that combination of lucidity and gut-punch impact that is so distinctive of Orwell. (One warning: the first sentence is improperly formatted; it looks like Orwell's when in fact it is the first part of the H.G. Wells quotation that Orwell is about to rip apart.)


Sounds like Algeria 1991. Islamists vs. the military. The difference is that in Algeria the military was the government. That conflict resulted in 44-200,000 deaths in a country with one quarter the population of Egypt today.

I wonder if Israel will take advantage of the chaos to secure the Suez Canal. You know, R2P-OS (Responsibility to Protect the Oil Supply.) Who would stop them?

The Twisted Genius

If a civil war develops in Egypt, perhaps it will siphon off a lot of the professional jihadis now fighting in Syria. Seems like they're always looking for the next best thing.


"A long-promised deal with the International Monetary Fund has never been completed, and only bailouts from Qatar and Libya have kept Egypt from exhausting its reserves of hard currency. "

Yea and it isn't going to materialize either as long as Egypt is regarded as 'unstable" ....and of course the riots create the instability.
And paranoid cynic that I am, I'm always looking for the rats in the wood pile lurking out of sight.
For that reason I don't discount the possibility that those who object to Islamist rule aren't the only ones behind the people's riots.
Breaking Egypt economically so it can be 'bought' again for the US and our juvenile delinquent wards in Israel would be very desirable to some.


Four years of foreign policy by the boy king:

Russia - embarrassingly self explanatory.
Libya - 4 Americans (including the Ambassador) murdered.
Egypt - American ally gone. Country on the brink of total breakdown.
Iran - Still enriching...and defiant.
Afghanistan - more dead Americans;country lurching backward.
Syria - WTF???
North Korea - still crazy after all these years.

Honestly, the messiah inherited some of these f-ups (Iran, Korea, Afghanistan), but he sure didn't make anything better.

And then there's the principal foreign policy agency - Hillary's State Dept. which turns out to be a corrupt incompetent disaster zone matching the IRS, stride for stride.

The beaver

On the French news, a 21 y.o American killed ( or murdered) by gun shot ( also stabbed with a knife) in Alexandria- 70 injured. The political bureau of the MB in that city is on fire


That's just his foreign 'accomplishments!' The Chosen One's domestic agenda is just as pathetic, with everything he touches turning to shit. Yet Chris Matthews gets a 'tingle' when he hears him talk. And that's supposed to be a grown man.

Dan Gackle

I guess Typepad doesn't like commas:


Alba Etie

Col Lang .
I have read various reports and accounts about the "Islamization " of the Egyptian military . Would you offer an opinion on whether the Egyptian Military would side with the 'other forces" against Morsi - or would they simple sit out the chaos , as one of the Brookings nabobs ( I forget which one - maybe O'Halon, it was on CSpan recently ) said they would in the coming unrest .


Dan, the link to that essay didn't work, at least not for me.

Would you mind checking it and reposting?



Lazy devil I am . . . . should have just googled it.

This link is to a different site, but it seems like the same essay:


Please correct me if I'm wrong, Dan.


Before 2011 I would have disagreed with the prognosis for civil war in Egypt. Since then the country has been flooded with weapons smuggled in from Libya. The margins of the country from the Libyan border to Sinai are now almost no-go zones for the government and villages in the Delta similarly full of small arms. There is also the legacy of the insurgency in Upper Egypt in the 1990s that was not well covered in the media. Lingering anti-military sentiment will play a strong factor in any conflict.



I would think they would initially try to sit it out but would inevitably be drawn in. pl


You left out the latest, his trip to South Africa to wait, as an SA commentator referred to it (speak of the many who are waiting), like a vulture waits for the chance to feed on a dead buffalo. Mandala is Obama's hero, of course. But he didn't find the time in the last half decade to invite him to the White House. But with public approval dropping like a rock and a a photo op available....

Peter C

The last 11 years of wild spending on Foreign adventures has drained the U.S. Treasury, increased the national debt beyond repair. In short the U.S. has blown its wad. Now we have a long term obligation to Vets that will only increase with time. 20 years down the road from now, when the Politicians, Generals, and Bureaucrats who conned the U.S. into these pipe dreams are no longer in power, how will the new crop of the same take the scarce and getting scarcer dollars to fund the moral obligation. The short answer is the obligation will not be lived up to.


You forgot to mention he got us out of Iraq

FB Ali

It is quite possible that, before civil war sets in, the military will intervene. They are unlikely to take over power, but they may well, in conjunction with the higher judiciary, impose an interim setup that would oversee the rewriting of a more balanced constitution and fresh elections under it.


I didn't forget Iraq.
Iraq was already an unfixable mess.
The boy king didn't do anything.
It didn't take much talent to just leave.


He's getting us out of Kyrgystan the same way:



If you can kick the can far enough down the road; you will be dead. And the dead truly do not give a rat's ass concerning the opinion of the living.
Just as long as the rest of the world accepts the promises of American politicians re the dollar; that is how long the USA will be able to fund its adventures and expenditures. The day the major trading powers smell real blood in the water is the day they stop supporting the dollar. So far Iraq, Libya, Afghanistan, Somalia, The Philippines, and all the other minor military expenditures have not amounted to anything in the minds of the people who buy the debt and support the dollar.

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