Obama Tells Mubarak to Go Sooner

"We've already said good-bye...Go now"

President Obama called Egypt President Hosni Mubarak after his announcement today to tell him the transition to a new government needs to begin now:

He said he told Mubarak of "my belief that an orderly transition must be meaningful, it must be peaceful, and it must begin now."

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    I don't hear him telling Mubarak to (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by ruffian on Tue Feb 01, 2011 at 06:38:40 PM EST
    go sooner. I hear the transition should begin now, but no desire on when it should end. Not that it matters - as Obama said, it is up to the Egyptian people, and I doubt they are going to allow Mubarak to stay until September.

    Well...he also said (none / 0) (#3)
    by christinep on Tue Feb 01, 2011 at 06:59:08 PM EST
    more than once that the Egyptian people's will must be the determinor. Frankly--unless we like the Iraq example of forceable eviction (and unless we like the US telling/commanding the MideEast in terms of what to do), I believe the tone matched what should be said from a foreign government, like the US or any western government, at this point.

    Think about what may be clouding your interpretation? Is it clear? Or does your domestic political position get in the way of this obvious inexorable move to the final act?
    In saying this, I am reminded that we as the US can and must push and support the Egyptian people, but to up-the-ante to much really contradicts what so many of us said in earlier US intervention situations (esp. Iraq.)

    In my estimation, this is playing out to be a matter of days.


    I agree - I said he said it is up to the (5.00 / 1) (#29)
    by ruffian on Tue Feb 01, 2011 at 08:26:19 PM EST
    Egyptian people.  And I think he struck the right tone. I just don't agree he urged the speeding along of events, in that statement at least. And that is fine - it is not his place as a foreign leader.

    I also strongly applaud the lack of fear mongering. I like that he put it in a historical, 'in the course of human events' context.


    according to the Post (none / 0) (#17)
    by Jeralyn on Tue Feb 01, 2011 at 07:37:34 PM EST
    In public statements since Sunday, the administration has called for an "orderly transition" in Egypt, defined by officials as the immediate establishment of a representative, interim government that would enact reforms and prepare for an open election. (my emphasis)

    Although officials have said the administration was not opposed to Mubarak's remaining in office through a transition period if that were acceptable to the Egyptian people, several indicated in recent days that they did not see how that would satisfy the vast throngs who have taken to the streets to demand his ouster.

    No one is talking about him leaving Egypt, just giving up power. I think that's what "go sooner" means -- give up power sooner than the elections even if he retains a nominal title. I could be wrong, but that's how I take it.


    I think the president's statement (5.00 / 4) (#2)
    by KeysDan on Tue Feb 01, 2011 at 06:53:12 PM EST
    was a very good one.  The "transition should begin now" coupled with the obvious pressure applied to obtain Mubarak's agreement not to run again provides diplomatic room for the complexities involved. And, importantly, the constructive public statement  should remove, in large measure, perceptions that may exist that the Administration is sitting on the fence.  

    I took it as his first definite stand on (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by jeffinalabama on Tue Feb 01, 2011 at 07:08:37 PM EST
    well, just about anything. Let's get Mr. Mubarak packed and headed to Bahrain, and see some democratic institutions developed, and some elections.

    He's sending Frank Wisner (none / 0) (#5)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Feb 01, 2011 at 07:12:15 PM EST
    I think protecting corporate elite interests is the top priority now....or it would seem so to me with this pick.

    That will happen until (none / 0) (#6)
    by jeffinalabama on Tue Feb 01, 2011 at 07:17:02 PM EST
    the real will of the people gets expressed. I don't think the current elites in Egypt will be quite as powerful after Egypt changes... provided it gets to.

    this may sound 'out there,' (none / 0) (#7)
    by jeffinalabama on Tue Feb 01, 2011 at 07:18:58 PM EST
    but I'd like to see Odierno on any transition-building-aid team. He has tremendous credibility in the Arab world. He's also just, and a constitutionalist.

    Plus, after herding and poking sticks (none / 0) (#9)
    by jeffinalabama on Tue Feb 01, 2011 at 07:21:31 PM EST
    at cats in Iraq, his language and culture skills should be well polished. Different accents, but similarities abound.

    Egypt-- pride, dignity, humility, desire to share...same as the iraqi people.


    I don't really care for him (none / 0) (#12)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Feb 01, 2011 at 07:25:38 PM EST
    off the cuff.  But Jesus, at least he isn't a damned crook and up to his neck in Wall Street's ripoff of the whole fricken world now.  If he has the credibility with the people I could stomach it.  At least I know his head would be in the right place, he's about saving lives...not corporations.

    Hmmm. A lot of the folks I know (5.00 / 1) (#13)
    by jeffinalabama on Tue Feb 01, 2011 at 07:29:08 PM EST
    either can't stand him but know he'll perform his duty, or love him and would lead the columns to the gates of perdition.

    I take it as a vote of confidence, actually, MT, that you say what you do.

    Odierno didn't leave with a whole lot of friends, but he did leave with a lot of respect, I think.


    It is the same from what I hear too (none / 0) (#16)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Feb 01, 2011 at 07:34:05 PM EST
    We had a friend who was one of his aides....and it just chapped me that Odierno has to eat off of silver service everyday even in a war zone.  For some reason that just fries my butt :)

    Yeah, that Caesar stuff (5.00 / 1) (#19)
    by jeffinalabama on Tue Feb 01, 2011 at 07:39:47 PM EST
    bothers me, also. But I was a snake eater, and he's field artillery. He's probably gone to the field with a bunk in a trailer since he was a butterbar.

    Snake eater? (none / 0) (#46)
    by MKS on Wed Feb 02, 2011 at 12:35:17 PM EST
    What is that?

    Artillery as MOS does have its rivals...

    Butterbar?  2nd Lt.?


    Its all goofy stuff (5.00 / 1) (#54)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Feb 02, 2011 at 02:04:43 PM EST
    When someone is a new officer and 2nd Lt, their rank insignia is one golden bar.  I think they call them butter bars cuz they are soft and melt easy under heat :)  A snake eater is someone out of special forces.

    There is a lot of ribbing in the military for new officers.  My husband says that hearing three things should strike terror in any soldiers heart and those are a Lt. telling you that they have a great idea, a Captain shouting, "Follow Me Men!", and a Warrant Officer saying, "Hey, Watch This!".


    He would just piss off American corporate (5.00 / 2) (#14)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Feb 01, 2011 at 07:31:57 PM EST
    interests though Jeff.  Remember the military officers here recently and the attempted selling of the Harvard Business School's model of creating successful organization, and a military officer standing up and asking why he would want to follow such a model after what it had done to our economy :)?

    Do you mean he's (none / 0) (#18)
    by jeffinalabama on Tue Feb 01, 2011 at 07:38:14 PM EST
    'not diplomatic in comportment?"  Ray-Ray's never been known for that! ;-) Never met him during my time in, but I've had a few old comrades compare his comportment to Joe Stilwell. Sounds like a good match for this as-yet unmade mission.

    I'm sure that Wisner's biggest (none / 0) (#24)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Feb 01, 2011 at 07:49:55 PM EST
    concern is going to be that canal and what happens with that canal every day.  Not so sure Odierno is going to start his day every day with that, pretty sure that won't be his main focus after he is served coffee :)  Not sure how he would break that to those running Washington at this time though and the first ones who made a beeline for the President's office today sobbing hysterically.

    Let's hope this helps (5.00 / 1) (#8)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Tue Feb 01, 2011 at 07:20:31 PM EST
    but Obama is reacting rather than leading.  Not very good.

    Just what kind of leading is Obama supposed (5.00 / 3) (#10)
    by tigercourse on Tue Feb 01, 2011 at 07:22:17 PM EST
    to do in the internal affairs of a foreign nation? There is only so much he can or should do.

    Promoting democracy and human rights (none / 0) (#32)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Tue Feb 01, 2011 at 10:41:53 PM EST
    I agree Obama should make (none / 0) (#47)
    by MKS on Wed Feb 02, 2011 at 12:37:22 PM EST
    sure Mubarak leaves now, and democracy is established in Egypt--without any violence, and without appearing to dictate to the Egyptian people that the U.S. is calling the shots.

    Yes, he should do that.


    Sounds good, but... (none / 0) (#49)
    by christinep on Wed Feb 02, 2011 at 01:22:53 PM EST
    would that require some direct intervention by the US, a foreign government, to "make sure" of the immediate leaving <that we would all like to see>? Certainly, there is room for more stepped up pressure--economically/drawing down aid, etc. There is also room for repetition--by the State Dept--of President Obama's stated position that the transition "begin now."

    When does push become shove, so to speak? That is, I'm assuming most do not want US military interaction of any sort or any public show of crossing a certain understood line; and, with that assumption, is it at all possible or advisable to "push" beyond the sovereign state line in this day & age after all that has happened? And, based on our experiences, is there agreement that most covert attempts at toppling have a way of becoming overt?

    My own take for some days now has been that the turning point has passed...that we are only seeing real disputes over the "when" of the leaving.


    Excuse me MKS (none / 0) (#50)
    by christinep on Wed Feb 02, 2011 at 01:25:26 PM EST
    On second look, I see that my response should have been made directly to the individual describing the immediate attainment of the ideal. Oops.

    It is a confusing and quickly changing (none / 0) (#53)
    by MKS on Wed Feb 02, 2011 at 01:54:10 PM EST

    Hard to judge right now....


    There's a pew (none / 0) (#11)
    by Ga6thDem on Tue Feb 01, 2011 at 07:23:20 PM EST
    poll over at Huffington Post that says that only 17% of Egyptians have a positive view of Obama and the US. I hope this doesn't mean that fundamentalist radicals can get a hold of the leadership in Egypt.

    And we can compare and contrast... (5.00 / 1) (#31)
    by EL seattle on Tue Feb 01, 2011 at 09:18:08 PM EST
    ..to a recent BBC World Service poll.

    NYT: Nate Silver's Five Thirty Eight - 1/31/2011

    The story is by Nate Silver.  I don't know of he (or the BBC) are reliable/respectable sources or not.  I've kinda lost track of that stuff lately.


    I don't see how Obama's low numbers (none / 0) (#15)
    by tigercourse on Tue Feb 01, 2011 at 07:33:38 PM EST
    in Egypt would lead to a radical government.

    However, Pew also says this -

    "95% of Egyptian muslims want more "religion" in politics.
    54% support gender separation in the workplace.
    82% support the stoning of adulterers.
    77% support amputations and whipping of thieves.
    84% support the death sentence for apostasy. Etc, etc


    I would say that data makes a fundamentalist government a strong possibility.


    Well (none / 0) (#20)
    by Ga6thDem on Tue Feb 01, 2011 at 07:39:52 PM EST
    you never know but gosh, those numbers are even worse. Sigh. Do you know what percentage of Egyptians are Muslims? The few Egyptians that I've known here in the US basically had no religious beliefs.

    Roughly 85 percent, (5.00 / 1) (#21)
    by jeffinalabama on Tue Feb 01, 2011 at 07:44:21 PM EST
    maybe a little bit less. the rest are Christians, Coptic, Orthodox, and Catholic. Insignificant number of protestants.

    But Egypt won't be another Iran. conservative, yes. But no Ayatollahs in Sunni Islam.

    The country probably will be no more conservative than it is now.


    Well (none / 0) (#22)
    by Ga6thDem on Tue Feb 01, 2011 at 07:47:21 PM EST
    I hope you are right. Personally, I don't care what government they choose for themselves but another fundamentalist Islam country would give the neocons another hammer to wield to start yet another war in the Middle East.

    Wikipedia says it's about 90%. (none / 0) (#23)
    by tigercourse on Tue Feb 01, 2011 at 07:47:22 PM EST
    Problem is, we don't know the ratio of (none / 0) (#25)
    by jeffinalabama on Tue Feb 01, 2011 at 07:50:57 PM EST
    'nominal' to 'deeply religious.'

    90 wouldn't surprise me. I guess the Christian identifying population isn't keeping up with birth rates.


    I'm sure they (none / 0) (#26)
    by Ga6thDem on Tue Feb 01, 2011 at 07:53:29 PM EST
    aren't since Christians can only have one spouse.

    If that 84% support for the death penalty (none / 0) (#27)
    by tigercourse on Tue Feb 01, 2011 at 07:54:54 PM EST
    for apostasy is close to correct, I'd say that a large number are deeply religious

    Perhaps most importantly... (none / 0) (#34)
    by EL seattle on Wed Feb 02, 2011 at 05:25:18 AM EST
    ... according to the Wikipedia entry on Religion in Egypt:

    The vast majority of Muslims in Egypt are part of the Sunni Islam. A significant number of Muslim Egyptians also follow native Sufi orders, and there is a minority of Shi'a numbering a few thousands.

    So as I understand it, unlike Iraq, Egypt doesn't have much of a Sunni/Shi'a power struggle.  And it doesn't have anything quite like the Kurdish issue to resolve at some point. And even if he's a dictator, Mubarak isn't exactly a monster like Sadam was.  So I think that Egypt should be in a better position for regime change than other countries in the area.

    Does anyone know if Boutros Boutros-Ghali has come out with a statement on all of the recent developments?


    Sufis--that could be a good sign (none / 0) (#48)
    by MKS on Wed Feb 02, 2011 at 12:42:59 PM EST
    Sunnis--Al Qaeda is Sunni.  The Ayatollahs in Iran, Shia.....

    Moderates in each sect--that is the key...


    I dunno (none / 0) (#35)
    by lilburro on Wed Feb 02, 2011 at 08:18:16 AM EST
    polls are polls.  You could ask the people of Egypt if they supported Sharia law as a whole and the answer could be entirely different.  If they want to incorporate Muslim beliefs into their laws, they are free to do so.

    Also, take this statistic for example:

    Many Muslims see a struggle between those who want to modernize their country and Islamic fundamentalists.  Only in Jordan and Egypt do majorities say there is no such struggle in their countries (72% and 61%, respectively).

    Egyptians from what I can tell and what little I know generally practice a rather moderate, kind of modern version of Islam.  So if that's what Islam is to them, it's not a surprise, or necessarily worrying to us, that they would see it as a positive influence on politics.  Our concept of separation of church and state isn't even particularly strong in our country.

    I just don't believe that Egypt harbors some dark secret we don't know about.  They want democracy, they want Mubarak gone, and presumably more US aid.  I don't see them suddenly radicalizing.  I could be wrong but that's my 2 cents.


    That's a very good statement (none / 0) (#28)
    by andgarden on Tue Feb 01, 2011 at 07:57:22 PM EST
    I can't think of anything I wish he had said or not said (except a variation on his trademark "let me be clear").

    Hannity (none / 0) (#30)
    by lilburro on Tue Feb 01, 2011 at 09:04:12 PM EST
    wants us to protect American interests above all.  "Shouldn't the President as a moral issue take a stand against the Muslim Brotherhood?"  Now to hear what Larry the Cable Guy has to say on the issue.

    Democracy for me, but not for thee.

    Also this:

    HANNITY: You seem to be very much at peace with the idea that -- that history will write about the Bush presidency.
    BUSH: Yes.
    HANNITY: And that chapter hasn't been written. That -- that book hasn't been written --
    BUSH: And it can't be written for a while.
    HANNITY: Well, why --
    BUSH: Because -- because historians who live the moment have got their prejudices. And there needs to be a time to be able to fully analyze the consequences of the decision to not only liberate Iraq but to then help the Iraqis develop their own democracy.
    HANNITY: And what happened after? What happened 10 years later?
    BUSH: Exactly.
    HANNITY: What happened 20 years later?
    BUSH: Right. And the effect of a free Iraq if in fact the democracy succeeds like I think it will on other countries.
    HANNITY: You think history will judge you fairly?
    BUSH: Yes.

    Actually, Larry appears to have little to say about Egypt, he is just upset he is being frisked by the TSA when he is white.  

    I mean, I know Republicans are hypocrites, but my god.  We lost how many lives, spent how much in Iraq, and they have the gall to discredit all the lies and intentions they had when invading it in the first place?

    Anderson Cooper just attacked by pro-Mubarak mob (none / 0) (#36)
    by ruffian on Wed Feb 02, 2011 at 08:36:37 AM EST
    Punched about ten times in the head, according to CNN.

    Maybe it's time for now to mean NOW.

    I mean sooner to mean now (none / 0) (#37)
    by ruffian on Wed Feb 02, 2011 at 08:43:05 AM EST
    His thugs are going to be causing trouble until he is gone.

    I just saw on a news crawler (none / 0) (#41)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Feb 02, 2011 at 10:55:03 AM EST
    the "pro Mubarak" groups on horses and camels running through the people being called "rent a crowd"

    Wow (none / 0) (#38)
    by lilburro on Wed Feb 02, 2011 at 08:43:25 AM EST
    too many people are accessing Al Jazeera for me to be able to so I am following the day's events over at the NYT liveblog.  I hope the Coop is okay.  Anyway the stuff posted by Sandmonkey there is interesting.

    Camels and Horses used by Pro Mubarak protesters to attack Anti-Mubarak protesters. This is becoming literally a circus.

    You can't even make up a movie that would equal this level of insanity.


    people are showing on TV holding police ID's from the protesters they just clashed with.

    Mubarak has proven to be smarter than all of us, he will not leave. Just watch.

    The aim of this is to evacuate the Tahrir square & justify never having protests there Friday, where 1 is scheduled, or ever again.

    Authoritarian regimes, watch Mubarak and learn from the master.... Ben Ali must be so jealous he didn't think of this psychotic brilliant plan.

    They don't trust that their dictator will leave, and who can blame them?  


    After watching Ahmadinijad brazen it out (none / 0) (#39)
    by ruffian on Wed Feb 02, 2011 at 09:56:39 AM EST
    I think the calculation is - who's gonna MAKE me leave?

    Given the level of violence that is (5.00 / 2) (#40)
    by Anne on Wed Feb 02, 2011 at 10:41:54 AM EST
    erupting between pro- and anti-government supporters, and the military's 180 in their treatment of the protestors, I'm starting to think that "transition" may be Mubarak-speak for "head fake," and that he may try one more time to put his boot on the neck of the Egyptian people in the name of "security."  

    From what I've been reading this morning, it appears that it was all the US could do to stay marginally ahead of the curve on this whole situation; this from the NYT was troubling:

    American officials had also been in close contact with Vice President Suleiman, who may be playing a particularly pivotal role in managing the transition of power. American and Egyptian officials who know him well describe him as both a cunning operator and Mr. Mubarak's closest aide. He is also considered the figure with the largest base of support in Egypt's security forces because his work as intelligence chief built him deep ties with the internal security police and the military.

    He is also the guy who helped us rendition people.  So, there's that.

    I wish I were getting a good feeling about all of this, but I'm not.


    I'm not getting a good feeling either (5.00 / 1) (#42)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Feb 02, 2011 at 11:02:30 AM EST
    The Mubarak regime keeps upping the ante.  Fake looters and fake protester violence done by his own thugs didn't work, giving the people a veiled threat yesterday didn't work either. Now the Mubarak regime is trying to rent their own crowd who is throwing molotov cocktails and beating up CNN, hoping to create a level of violence that will cause the world to ask for the military to step in.  The Mubarak regime obviously has no plans of leaving ever, no matter what that a-hole implied yesteray.

    And because Wikileaks is under (none / 0) (#43)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Feb 02, 2011 at 11:06:33 AM EST
    such attack, we will probably never get to see the leaked conversation between Frank Wisner and Suleiman where they decide that beating the crap out of Anderson Cooper might just do the trick in turning this all around :)  I have no faith that we mean anything good for Egypt at this point after discovering that we sent Frank Wisner there.

    Yeah I'm guessing (none / 0) (#44)
    by lilburro on Wed Feb 02, 2011 at 11:08:29 AM EST
    that the protest ending with the closest aide to the hated President (and the INTELLIGENCE CHIEF to boot) in power is probably not what the Egyptian people were going for.  I have to say that I hope that the Egyptian people are not satisfied with this, especially in light of the "pro-Mubarak" people terrorizing the protesters today.

    I also think it's weird that people seem to want the military to take over...in what democratic society is that the ideal outcome...

    Andy Worthington and Valtin are worth reading on the protests IMO.

    I dunno...


    Revolutions have all kinds of tendrils (2.00 / 0) (#51)
    by christinep on Wed Feb 02, 2011 at 01:45:02 PM EST
    Who takes over (and when) are the biggie tendrils. Depending on the movement, those webs could strangle or poison itself.  
    I'm optimistic...in view of how this has moved so far. But, if one hopes that everything will be above-board and easy in a MidEast revolution, it might make sense to review a bit of history. Really. For example: Groups of people/societies often turn to military rule in the absence of an obvious leader...in the case here, the matter of successor is still playing out. As we keep saying, it has to be up to the Egyptian people; we can't just say that we are in line with or exhilarated by the path to date and not recognize that lots of events transpire in any "transition." Myself, I so want the change to new government to happen as quickly as possible; and, I also find a military or junta holding action troublesome in the context of realizing an eventual democratic or democratic-like nation. Yet, it may be that a society chooses that in exercising its right of self-determination. I would think that the near-term outcome can be eased only somewhat by deft diplomacy.

    I'm troubled by the brutal events of today (5.00 / 0) (#55)
    by lilburro on Wed Feb 02, 2011 at 03:12:43 PM EST
    It shows Mubarak learned nothing and will exercise his power until the election (perhaps to the point where behind the scenes whoever he likes wins election).  The police obviously have no credibility, and the military is so far relatively passive.  People are frustrated and asking for help.  People are being incredibly brave, Mubarak already said he wanted to go...we could be more supportive, IMO.  

    Completely agree with your sentiment (none / 0) (#56)
    by christinep on Wed Feb 02, 2011 at 07:04:50 PM EST
    I do ask (and ask Politalkix) what practical and defined steps==today--can we take to bring about the change quicker? (Again, I assume that we are not talking about using military power here or elsewhere in the MidEast.)

    Clarification (5.00 / 1) (#57)
    by christinep on Wed Feb 02, 2011 at 07:41:48 PM EST
    Sometimes, I can sound a bit harsh. Please know that I don't mean to suggest in any way that the Egyptian revolution should not occur. Of course it should. For me, the Slavic personality, in the course of moving forward, I always find it critical to look at all the unintended consequences (of a negative sense) that could be imagined and/or that historically occur. This tendency on my part can and has been misread. Example: My husband of 40+ years--I call him my mister blonde-haired-blue-eyed-believe-George-Washington-never-told-a-lie (and yet he has a doctorate in politcal science, election behavior)--from time to time wonders whether I really support a political personage when my vociferous self points out the several downsides and not-want-to-be-faced reality of a particular gambit.

    Having made my justification, I would like to emphasize my longstanding support of the Egyptian people. There has been a turning point, IMO. There is inevitable momentum. My comments, tho, typically tend to raise the obvious questions ONLY about timing, succession, and the short-term nasty struggle ahead (which we started to see today.) We should and must be strong; but, I believe that it is so important to appreciate that the experience of how real (not idealized) revolutions or overthrows play out usually differ from some of the romanticized versions that some (not you, lilliburro) would have it be. Looking sraight at something and not blinking is important; and, we all may have different ways of expressing the same aspirations.

    Even with my own hard-learned lessons, and yet with the fervor of youth, I say what I still truly believe: Power to the People!


    At the moment (none / 0) (#60)
    by lilburro on Thu Feb 03, 2011 at 09:11:17 AM EST
    we seem to be affirming the disillusionment the international community feels toward America.  Although most countries are behind the ball in this sitution.  I don't think they want our intervention or inside baseball, just our verbal support.  We need to be friends...esp. as at this point I think the secular nature of the protesting is very clear.

    We have enormous leverage (5.00 / 1) (#58)
    by Politalkix on Wed Feb 02, 2011 at 10:15:51 PM EST
    over Egypt's military. We should exercise it. Events are moving in a bloody direction now. A bloody and more drawn out fight will only strengthen the hands of the Egyptian military and minority Islamic forces in Egypt at the expense of moderate, secular and pro democracy demonstrators.
    America should not let the narrow minded interests of elites in Saudi Arabia, Israel and the UK determine our relationship with the people in Egypt. If we do, the results can haunt us for the next couple of generations.
    I am a clear eyed realist. As much as I was horrified and disgusted about how the pro-democracy movement in Iran was suppressed a year ago, I understood that America did not have any real leverage in that country (at that time). The situation in Egypt at this time is completely different. I believe that we are in a very good position to help the people in Egypt in a way we could not do in Iran. If Egypt transitions to a democracy with our help right now, it will improve our image in the Arab world enormously. It will only be a matter of time, then, before the people of Iran rids itself of the theocracy, Republican Guards and Basij militia.

    One suggestion (none / 0) (#61)
    by christinep on Thu Feb 03, 2011 at 11:21:00 AM EST
    Slow down or stop the flow of US $$$ into Egypt commensurate with how "now" is interpreted by the Mubarak regime. Without the $$$ in the days ahead--$$$ that appear to support primarily the regime--the power of the regime would take a major hit.

    Part of the problem is, apparently, (none / 0) (#66)
    by Anne on Thu Feb 03, 2011 at 03:25:27 PM EST
    that a lot of that aid comes right back to US defense contractors; it's a nice arrangement: we give Egypt money, it uses a lot of it to buy arms and other military hardware from US contractors.

    In other words, our tax dollars are - to some extent - paying for the Egyptian military!  And God knows what else around the world.  We can pay for this, no problem, but reproductive health services, birth control and abortion?  Oh, no, no, no.

    Seems like the appropriate response might be, "the American taxpayers will not make it possible for the Egyptian military to carry out the actions of a repressive leader," but then, it seems like that message and that decision should have been made a long, long time ago.


    Interesting point (none / 0) (#68)
    by christinep on Thu Feb 03, 2011 at 04:11:34 PM EST
    In calling relevant Senate offices today, one person with whom I spoke indicated that the $$ leverage issue had at least been broached for discussion in the context of these fast-moving incidents. As to anything further, he did not say. (Husband here believes, btw, that the taxpayer dollar aspect will be a focal point should the present trajectory continue.)

    Think of it as support for Israel. (none / 0) (#69)
    by oculus on Thu Feb 03, 2011 at 04:13:27 PM EST
    Do I have to? (none / 0) (#70)
    by Anne on Thu Feb 03, 2011 at 05:44:28 PM EST
    If you've been reading Juan Cole at all, he makes the point that Egypt is treating us exactly as Israel has: they do what they want, regardless of what we suggest they do, and we attach no strings to the aid we provde, at all; we just lecture.

    Seems we will turn a relatively blind eye to a whole lot of ugliness in the name of "stability."

    And I don't think it's helping us in the eyes of the people who suffer oppression at the hands of these so-called stable governments.


    I have returned to reading Juan Cole. (none / 0) (#71)
    by oculus on Thu Feb 03, 2011 at 06:13:06 PM EST
    Not sure what we can do re Israel and/or Egypt except w/hold our $$.  I do not favor invasion of either country!

    Obama's remarks were obviously (none / 0) (#45)
    by observed on Wed Feb 02, 2011 at 12:02:07 PM EST
    far too moderate.

    Hmmm. See comment immediately above. (none / 0) (#52)
    by christinep on Wed Feb 02, 2011 at 01:48:17 PM EST
    Stop spreading Obama-propaganda (none / 0) (#59)
    by Andreas on Thu Feb 03, 2011 at 03:54:44 AM EST
    There are no indications that Obama told "Mubarak to Go Sooner". What Obama really told Mubarak can now be seen on the ground in Cairo.

    Obama backs bloodbath in Egypt
    3 February 2011

    Come now, Andreas (none / 0) (#62)
    by christinep on Thu Feb 03, 2011 at 11:23:39 AM EST
    When one talks about "spread(ing) propaganda," a good place to start would be yourself. It is ok, you know, to say thing not in the various slanted articles that you have cited throughout this discussion. We don't have to give speeches; we could be intellectually honest.

    "intellectual honesty" (none / 0) (#64)
    by Andreas on Thu Feb 03, 2011 at 02:51:55 PM EST
    "we could be intellectually honest."

    Yes, "we" could be intellectually honest.

    The Mubarak regime is "advised" by hundreds of US military specialists. It is unthinkable that Obama was not aware that the regime was preparing a massacre. It is far more likely that at least parts of the plans for the massacre were and are designed by the Obama administration.


    Do you really believe Pres. Obama is (none / 0) (#65)
    by oculus on Thu Feb 03, 2011 at 03:15:39 PM EST
    micromanaging Mubarak and the Egyptian army's response to the anti-government protests?

    Micromanagement (none / 0) (#67)
    by Andreas on Thu Feb 03, 2011 at 03:46:24 PM EST
    I did not write that Obama personally "micromanages" such things. I wrote about his administration. It is possible (or likely) that US advisers are involved in such micromanagement.

    That includes "micromanaging" the torture of government opponents. The US and the regime in Egypt have collaborated in such things during the last years.


    am not a fan of later, proggy Moody Blues (none / 0) (#63)
    by tworivers on Thu Feb 03, 2011 at 01:42:33 PM EST
    But "Go Now" kinda slays me