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14 January 2014


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Concur absolutely. Several years ago, my wife and I sponsored Egyptian officers at an Army school. My wife has also spent time in Egypt researching a book. The Egyptians love and respect their military- and most are wary of the MB. Frustrating that journalists and diplomats, especially from the U.S., cannot discern that fact.



From this and other comments I deduce that you are a retired officer? pl

William R. Cumming

PL! Thanks for this post! Any chance Egypt might be a major player in either MENA or world stage this century?

Saudi Arabia?

Could it be argued that only Iran and Turkey have psssed from tribal culture in MENA currently?

BTW some have begun to argue that that the basic cultural problem in the USA is its becoming more tribal!


Yes, Marine infantry and judge advocate- also FAO-Russian.

Babak Makkinejad

Yes, every country deserves the government it has.

Babak Makkinejad

Egypt is not a tribal country, has not been so for centuries.

Her problems are of an entirely different nature - they have found their center and are comfortable within that Black Hole.

William R. Cumming

Thanks Babak and understand Egypt not tribal!

BTW Aswan dam will be silted up by end of this Century!

different clue

Do the North Koreans really deserve the government they have?

different clue

That fast? That silt contains all the fertility which used to refertilize and remineralize the Lower Nile and Delta soil with every annual flood/retreat cycle. Perhaps they can find a way to dredge and pump that silt out to a Colorado River level of thickness and send it downstream on annual managed flood cycles to restore some rebuilding of the soil and the delta.
Especially with slow ocean rising eating away at the delta from the north.

Mark Logan

WRC, but I suspect they may have a more immediate problem. The Ethiopians plan to divert water from the Nile system for their own use. Heard about it before, but saw some of their TV on the Chinese network on basic cable yesterday really drilled it home. The entire half-hour news broadcast was on great their various programs for economic expansion will be, centered on the topic of water.

To me, it was plainly a deliberate effort instill expectation and a sense of entitlement for more water. A lot more.

Babak Makkinejad

All dams have that problem and they are dredged from time to time.

I think longer-term all dams have a finite lifetime and eventually have to be dismantled and replaced.

I wonder, for example, how the Hoover dam is to be decommissioned and replaced by another dam.

We need a specialist to comment on this topic.


Off topic, but still ME & military: does anyone have insights into Moshe Ya'alon and his complaint?


Not the personal jibe at Kerry (have at 'im), but the policy put-down:

Is it not? Or is Ya'alon a myopic wingnut? Or both? (or nuance?...)



IMO Yalon reflects the level of contempt in which the revisionist Zionist crowd hold the US. pl


Oops, goofed up the quote- Ya'alon said:

"The American plan for security arrangements that was shown to us isn't worth the paper it was written on,"

So if we can't judge the US plan by Ya'alon's assessment, per Col. Lang, do we have any hints if it is in fact a reasonably effective proposal?


But of course, they are still glad to accept US money and military gear.


it is a one way street to them. They grab what they can, but won't acept any conditions or limitations in return.

Indeed, Kerry's impertinent demands that the Israelis stop settling and make peace - outrageous, not worth the paper they're written on.

The US dealings with Israel are about the US paying and giving and Israel taking while returning ingratitude, and the fuzzy feeling that the US behave well when they give Israel what her rightwingers want. It's the Israeli variant of carrot and stick.

When Bibi goes to congress to say that Israel is the bestest ever friend of the US, and that Israel thus needs unconditonal support without questions asked in face of a perpetual state of 1939, what he does is to give Obama the finger and his supporters in congress a coddle.

But the thing is - allies restrain themselves and take into account mutual interests and pursue mutual aims.

Israel does neither.

They are unwilling to restrain themselves, for they want maximum freedom of action. They don't give a poop about US interests or aims.

The assertion that Israel's and America's interests are identical is nonsense, and the people who peddle that engage in deceit.

The Israelis have quite different goals than the US.

For people like Netanyahoo and Yalon territorial expansion is more important than peace with the Palestinians. They reject peace because a peace deal and expansion are inherently irreconcileable as they well understand.

They can live with the current situation well because Israel is the significantly stronger party and they don't feel compelled to comrpomise at all, be it by the Palestinians or the US.

That is what limits US leverage on them, that and their demonstrated ability to outflank administrations through AIPAC and their crowd in congress.

The latest installment in the series of AIPAC sponsored "let's bomb Iran already" bills was such a flanking maneuvre.

Babak Makkinejad

I think that the freely elected representatives of American people have - since 1948 - determined that "US & Israeli interests are identical".

Almost 70 years.


True, but it's a delusion nevertheless.

Babak Makkinejad

People have a right to be wrong; they are entitled to their delusions - as you say - and we cannot alter that.


"Freely elected" sounds funny these days, when the ante for federal election is about $1M. But it's tragic, when that cost is the mechanism by which AIPAC & other lobbying groups maintain their hold over our government.


Also, deluded people are not entitled to avoid the consequences. Somehow, however, many deluded people think that they have the right to have the cake (their delusions) and eat it too (avoid the consequences). Everyone is afraid to remind the deluded of this and so much effort in politics is in fact geared towards covering that up.

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