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04 August 2013


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Peter C

It appears that the U.S. State Department's only effective thing it does these days is issue visas and burn lots of Aviation fuel.


The U.S. media is no help either. Last week, General al-Sisi, at Egypt's West Point graduation, made an address that was broadcast nation-wide. The Egyptian Army, he stated, depends on the will of the people. He asked the people of Egypt to demonstrate positively the next day if they agreed with what the Army did and was doing. The next day, over 30 million people marched in the streets in support of the Army's action. The NY Times, as well as the rest of the media here, virtually ignored this, and even mocked the action. The Egyptian Army, according to officers that I know, saw this as a positive affirmation and were elated at the response.


Hillary Clinton is proven right. It is a multipolar world after the 9/11 attacks. She said so in some of her speeches. She has to form coalitions before doing anything, like the Libyan warfront and the Iranian sanctions. She managed to urge both Russia and China to abstain from the two issues.


At this point what does Sisi want from the US?

Bill H

Depends on your definition of "effective."



I think he wants us to accept the world as it is. pl

Nancy K

From a US point of view, is it foolish or intelligent to accept the world as it is? I ask this question in seriousness. I feel we should accept it as it is but I realize when it comes to national security I am horribly naïve.



"There are many players of which the US is only one. There are many sources of funding for Sisi's armed forces."

My understanding is that the Egyptian armed forces are heavily dependent on US equipment and maintenance. Replacing that with hardware/services from another patron would be a serious challenge for them, would it not?


I was afraid of that. It would be easier if he just asked for money from us.


30 million? Did they count people shopping, going to work, to school and to cafes?

Crowd inflation seems to be the rage these days in Egypt.



Yes, but it might be worth it. they did not pay for all that anyway. pl


Nancy K

IMO we would be safer if we restricted ourselves to real threats rather than "crusading" for revolution. pl


It seems the US has in modern times considered religion as an ally (except maybe for the theology of liberation). During the cold war one always heard of the fight against godless communism. Islam was seen as an ally in that fight. But it seems that Egypt is more adopting Islamic culture (in distancing itself from the West) rather than wishing central control by an Islamic authority. Maybe the US is not distinguishing between the two.

Hank Foresman

It would seem that Edmund Burke got it right when he surmised the French Revolution was not what it seemed. Apparently our understanding of history is either naive or non-existent.


Hank Foresman

"Apparently our understanding of history is either naive or non-existent." Mine is pretty good. I called this. BTW, the Syrian rebels are also dangerous fanatics. pl



You wrote “United States has come to be seen as a naive and ineffective…”

America’s policies have not changed significantly since 9/11. Western governments have established forward operating bases (lily pads and/or drone airfields) and spread war from Mali to the Philippines. It is not a coincidence that this is also the boundaries of Islam.

The intent is to turn Muslims into 21st century scapegoats. “Kill them all and let Allah sort them out.”

The big problem is that the underlying neoliberal ideology “Greed is good. Government is evil” is incompatible with the mass mobilization and sacrifice needed to win wars. The USA is now run by plutocrats who have no intention of winning. Tax the rich to pay for the wars will never happen. Death is a profit creator.

There will be blow back. Over thousand Jihadists broke of jail in Iraq, Libya, and Pakistan last week.

This all makes one wish for the days of containment and the bright shining light on the hill.



1- You are talking tactics and equipment. We can beat them there but they are beating us at the strategic level. We refuse to engage the jihadi menace at the strategic level by contesting their ideology. Instead we support Islamic fanatics in places like Egypt and Syria by thinking that our values attract them. They do not. They have all the time in the world and believe God is on their side. 2- Fanatic Muslims as a group had not engaged the US since the early days in the Phillippines. Now they believe they are our enemy, an enemy that we refuse to acknowledge and instead spout vacuous talk about "terrorists," "extremists," etc. We are not using them as scapegoats. We don't seem to understand that the Islamists perceive us as an existential enemy no matter what we do. The anti-Mursi crowd are mostly Muslims as well. what is the matter with them as allies? pl

Hank Foresman

You did call it. I was using "our" in the collective sense of the national leadership.



If this period of radical jihadism we are in has historical aspects then are we still on the upslope or the downslope of the curve. I grant you that only King Solomon could provide us an accurate answer but it certainly would be appreciated if you could give us your thoughts.



I do not disagree with you.

Jihadists pose a threat; but, clearly not enough of one to raise the income tax on the wealthy to the Reagan Era rate or reinstating the draft in order to defeat them. In fact, America has supported Jihadists more often than they have fought them; i.e. the aid given to the Mujahedeen and Free Syrian Army verses the battle against al-Qaeda in Iraq.

I agree it is a fallacy to expect a true believer to turn into a moderate once elected to office. Uncertainity and chaos are the Jihadist breeding ground. They swim in the ocean of war. Every death by drone missile radicalizes the living relatives.

Instead of war, the true believers have to be quarantined. Over a thousand Somalis pirates are in jails across the world and a ship hasn’t been hijacked in a year in Somali waters.

Finally, new generations have to be sold on the benefits of modernity, equality, peace, and the rule of law across the world and at home.

Peter C

Colonel, you touched on the one aspect that I have sensed since the Marines were taken out by the truck bomb in Lebanon. The time aspect "They have all the time in the world". Because of the nature of the industrialized world to measure by the quarter and schedule, coupled with counting money in the red or black, can make it difficult to understand this concept.


Put the WASPs back in power.

Charles I

omg barring a Revelation over here this is MAD - mutual assured delusions.

Charles I

Say, is the Suez the prize it was in 1956? i.e., ""worth it"?


VV: Well, at least Sisi hasn't asked for the US Generals to submit to "re-education" or be monitored by Political Officers. See http://forward.com/articles/181559/do-us-generals-have-pro-arab-slant/?p=1

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