The views on Egypt

So neoconservatives are supporting the uprising in Egypt as evidence of the universal yearning for democratic values.  Pro-Israel conservatives, though, are hoping Mubarak holds on to power, since a democratic government might turn against Israel and support jihadi terrorists.  Paleo-conservatives are thinking the revolution doesn’t concern us one way or the other.  Most mainstream Republicans are supporting the President, in the name of that once-honored principle of politics stopping at the border and the need to show a united front in international affairs.

And the President is. . . .let’s see.  It’s hard to tell.  He’s supporting the protesters in their desire for freedom, but he is not saying Mubarak must go.  That may be the best course for now, since events really are out of our control.  But it’s hard to see the philosophy behind the policy.

Do Democrats and liberals in general have a foreign policy policy that shapes their position on what is going on in Egypt?  I could find the different conservative takes–confirming what I have often say about how conservatives, far from being a monolithic faction, actually have more ideological diversity in their ranks than liberals do.  But I can’t find a distinct liberal position on this.  Can any liberals in the audience help me?  Or is there the same ambivalence and range of positions that the conservatives have?

In backing change in Egypt, U.S. neoconservatives split with Israeli allies.

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About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.

  • Tom Hering

    See those F-16s flying over Cairo? And those M1A1 Abrams tanks on the streets of Cairo? The Egyptian military depends on us to keep their equipment upgraded – to keep their forces on par with other forces in the region. So they’re not going to do anything that might upset us, like crushing the protests, or attacking Israel (a move that would quickly degrade Egypt’s forces if we responded by cutting them off). We’ve turned the Egyptian military into a force for both internal and regional stability (U.S. interests) through our arms sales. So my liberal policy would be to keep talking with their generals through all this – pressuring them to support a transition to democracy (a pro-U.S. democracy). The Egyptian military will have the final word in Egypt anyways.

  • Tom Hering

    See those F-16s flying over Cairo? And those M1A1 Abrams tanks on the streets of Cairo? The Egyptian military depends on us to keep their equipment upgraded – to keep their forces on par with other forces in the region. So they’re not going to do anything that might upset us, like crushing the protests, or attacking Israel (a move that would quickly degrade Egypt’s forces if we responded by cutting them off). We’ve turned the Egyptian military into a force for both internal and regional stability (U.S. interests) through our arms sales. So my liberal policy would be to keep talking with their generals through all this – pressuring them to support a transition to democracy (a pro-U.S. democracy). The Egyptian military will have the final word in Egypt anyways.

  • SKPeterson

    What is this fixation on “stability”? We keep seeking stability, which seems to be the policy equivalent of putting a lid on a boiling pot, saying “Aha! Now we have Stability!” and then expressing surprise when it boils over or congeals into an unrecognizable mess.

  • SKPeterson

    What is this fixation on “stability”? We keep seeking stability, which seems to be the policy equivalent of putting a lid on a boiling pot, saying “Aha! Now we have Stability!” and then expressing surprise when it boils over or congeals into an unrecognizable mess.

  • kerner

    I agree that the Egyptian Military is unlikely to attack Israel directly. What they may be more likely to do is quietly open the border to Gaza.

  • kerner

    I agree that the Egyptian Military is unlikely to attack Israel directly. What they may be more likely to do is quietly open the border to Gaza.

  • http://www.bikebubba.blogspot.com Bike Bubba

    Tom’s got a good point; maybe if we stop arming these folks, it will not matter as much what happens with their government. Even if the Russians or Chinese decided to arm them, it’s a benefit–the Israelis would much rather be facing MIGs than F-16s, to put it mildly.

  • http://www.bikebubba.blogspot.com Bike Bubba

    Tom’s got a good point; maybe if we stop arming these folks, it will not matter as much what happens with their government. Even if the Russians or Chinese decided to arm them, it’s a benefit–the Israelis would much rather be facing MIGs than F-16s, to put it mildly.

  • Joe

    Tom – a good point about keeping the General’s close but then you slip into the pro-democracy default position. I understand that you are saying a pro-US democracy, but there is really no way to ensure that Egypt will be pro-US and democratic.

  • Joe

    Tom – a good point about keeping the General’s close but then you slip into the pro-democracy default position. I understand that you are saying a pro-US democracy, but there is really no way to ensure that Egypt will be pro-US and democratic.

  • Porcell

    Conservatives that support democracy in the region are, nevertheless, concerned about the Muslim Brotherhood being the best organized opposition in Egypt.

    The Egyptian Army is, also, concerned that the Muslim Btotherhood could be one of those one election powers radical Islamic powers. The best option at this point would be for the Egyptian Army to take the real central power in order to eventually lay the ground work for a free and fair election. The Egyptian Army, under American influence, is both able militarily and inclined toward a stable, non radical Islamic democracy .

    Should elBaredai, a strong supporter of the MB, take power and organize a quick election that would favor MB interests, Egypt could easily go the way of Iran, which would be a disaster for American and Israeli interests.

    Seeking stability in the Middle East is always a difficult process, though without such stability the region could easily become a conflagration of warring powers. While the way is difficult, it is well worth striving for a democratic Middle East.

    Pres Bush in November 2003 raised the following salient question:

    Are the peoples of the Middle East somehow beyond the reach of liberty? Are millions of men and women and children condemned by history or culture to live in despotism? Are they alone never to know freedom and never even to have a choice in the matter?

  • Porcell

    Conservatives that support democracy in the region are, nevertheless, concerned about the Muslim Brotherhood being the best organized opposition in Egypt.

    The Egyptian Army is, also, concerned that the Muslim Btotherhood could be one of those one election powers radical Islamic powers. The best option at this point would be for the Egyptian Army to take the real central power in order to eventually lay the ground work for a free and fair election. The Egyptian Army, under American influence, is both able militarily and inclined toward a stable, non radical Islamic democracy .

    Should elBaredai, a strong supporter of the MB, take power and organize a quick election that would favor MB interests, Egypt could easily go the way of Iran, which would be a disaster for American and Israeli interests.

    Seeking stability in the Middle East is always a difficult process, though without such stability the region could easily become a conflagration of warring powers. While the way is difficult, it is well worth striving for a democratic Middle East.

    Pres Bush in November 2003 raised the following salient question:

    Are the peoples of the Middle East somehow beyond the reach of liberty? Are millions of men and women and children condemned by history or culture to live in despotism? Are they alone never to know freedom and never even to have a choice in the matter?

  • Tom Hering

    “… the Israelis would much rather be facing MIGs than F-16s .,.”

    Or, potentially – if the Chinese step in to fill the void we leave behind – the new Chinese stealth fighter? Then we’d have to upgrade Israel’s air power. An arms race is not a desirable outcome for any of the parties involved. But by staying involved with both Egypt and Israel, and providing them both with F-16s (F-35s eventually), we keep both powers in balance. Neither feels superior enough to start a war with the other.

  • Tom Hering

    “… the Israelis would much rather be facing MIGs than F-16s .,.”

    Or, potentially – if the Chinese step in to fill the void we leave behind – the new Chinese stealth fighter? Then we’d have to upgrade Israel’s air power. An arms race is not a desirable outcome for any of the parties involved. But by staying involved with both Egypt and Israel, and providing them both with F-16s (F-35s eventually), we keep both powers in balance. Neither feels superior enough to start a war with the other.

  • utahrainbow

    SK @ 2,
    It seems to me that we always should want to seek stability. From the international to the family level, it is a desirable goal for everyone involved. When there is relative stability, the arts and learning flourish. Look at any country (or, for that matter, family) where there is long term instability: disfunction and cycles of violence consume all the energy of those involved.

    That being said, there are obviously times when there is injustice and oppression that must be spoken against, and that act will cause instability. Governments and the elite set the kindling themselves. One of the big reasons that comes to mind seems to be a big gap in incomes, when there are very rich and very poor. That scenario seems to play out over and over. And that is why governments ought to be concerned with whether their people eat.

    But revolution is a scary thing, you just never know what way the wind will blow. In this world, finding stability is always like putting a lid on a pot. Sometimes it boils over again right away, other times it is a long time of peace before another mess. But that is also government’s charge: to contain chaos.

    tODD linked to a column the other day on the Sudan thread that I thought was one of the best bits I’ve read lately. At least in a humble sense, not in actually providing answers.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/31/opinion/31douthat.html?_r=1

  • utahrainbow

    SK @ 2,
    It seems to me that we always should want to seek stability. From the international to the family level, it is a desirable goal for everyone involved. When there is relative stability, the arts and learning flourish. Look at any country (or, for that matter, family) where there is long term instability: disfunction and cycles of violence consume all the energy of those involved.

    That being said, there are obviously times when there is injustice and oppression that must be spoken against, and that act will cause instability. Governments and the elite set the kindling themselves. One of the big reasons that comes to mind seems to be a big gap in incomes, when there are very rich and very poor. That scenario seems to play out over and over. And that is why governments ought to be concerned with whether their people eat.

    But revolution is a scary thing, you just never know what way the wind will blow. In this world, finding stability is always like putting a lid on a pot. Sometimes it boils over again right away, other times it is a long time of peace before another mess. But that is also government’s charge: to contain chaos.

    tODD linked to a column the other day on the Sudan thread that I thought was one of the best bits I’ve read lately. At least in a humble sense, not in actually providing answers.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/31/opinion/31douthat.html?_r=1

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Veith said “And the President is. . . .let’s see. It’s hard to tell. He’s supporting the protesters in their desire for freedom, but he is not saying Mubarak must go.”

    I don’t think that statement was even accurate yesterday when it was posted. Here’s a paragraph from a February 2 New York Times article:

    Separately, in an interview, a senior Egyptian government official took aim at President Obama’s call on Tuesday night for a political transition to begin “now” — a call that infuriated Cairo.

    But the White House was not backing down. “I want to be clear,” said Robert Gibbs, the press secretary. “ ‘Now’ started yesterday.”

    Guess it all depends on how you read “political transition” and “must go”.

    “Or is there the same ambivalence and range of positions that the conservatives have?” Doesn’t it seem obvious that the answer is: yes? Some liberals, focusing on the problems of autocracy, will support the protesters, as autocrats do not contribute to freedom. Other liberals worry about the possibility of a radical-Muslim-led Egypt as being even less given to freedom for Egyptians, especially its women and minority groups. Of course, in the most literal sense, support for rebellion is the liberal stance, and supporting Mubarak would be the conservative approach.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Veith said “And the President is. . . .let’s see. It’s hard to tell. He’s supporting the protesters in their desire for freedom, but he is not saying Mubarak must go.”

    I don’t think that statement was even accurate yesterday when it was posted. Here’s a paragraph from a February 2 New York Times article:

    Separately, in an interview, a senior Egyptian government official took aim at President Obama’s call on Tuesday night for a political transition to begin “now” — a call that infuriated Cairo.

    But the White House was not backing down. “I want to be clear,” said Robert Gibbs, the press secretary. “ ‘Now’ started yesterday.”

    Guess it all depends on how you read “political transition” and “must go”.

    “Or is there the same ambivalence and range of positions that the conservatives have?” Doesn’t it seem obvious that the answer is: yes? Some liberals, focusing on the problems of autocracy, will support the protesters, as autocrats do not contribute to freedom. Other liberals worry about the possibility of a radical-Muslim-led Egypt as being even less given to freedom for Egyptians, especially its women and minority groups. Of course, in the most literal sense, support for rebellion is the liberal stance, and supporting Mubarak would be the conservative approach.

  • Porcell

    Todd, truth to be told, the Obama administration wished to distinguish itself from Bush’s measured interest in a freedom agenda for the Middle East; that’s why Obama sought to “engage” both Ahmadinejad and Mubarak and to downplay any freedom agenda.

    The autocrats in the Middle East have until very recently found Obama to be an easy match, while they feared or were at best wary of Bush. Note that Khadaffy during the Bush years gave up a well advanced nuclear weapons project. Mubarak was furious with Bush’s promotion of freedom in the Middle East. The Iranian Green Party continues to view Obama as rather anxious to engage the intransigent Ahmadinejad.

  • Porcell

    Todd, truth to be told, the Obama administration wished to distinguish itself from Bush’s measured interest in a freedom agenda for the Middle East; that’s why Obama sought to “engage” both Ahmadinejad and Mubarak and to downplay any freedom agenda.

    The autocrats in the Middle East have until very recently found Obama to be an easy match, while they feared or were at best wary of Bush. Note that Khadaffy during the Bush years gave up a well advanced nuclear weapons project. Mubarak was furious with Bush’s promotion of freedom in the Middle East. The Iranian Green Party continues to view Obama as rather anxious to engage the intransigent Ahmadinejad.

  • Carl Vehse

    The NewsBusters article, “Chris Matthews Rips Obama’s Handling of Egypt Crisis,” shows leftist Chris “thrill running up my leg” Matthews describing Hillary:

    “I watched Secretary Clinton today. I don’t get anything. I don’t see anything other than two and two are four. I keep waiting for five. Show me you’ve done your jobs over there.”

    and about Barry Dunham, Matthews noted:

    ” I feel ashamed as an American, the way we’re doing this. I know he has to change. I know we’re for democracy, but the way we’ve handled it is not the way a friend handles a matter. We’re not handling as Americans should handle a matter like this. I don’t feel right about it. And Barack Obama, as much I support him in many ways, there is a transitional quality to the guy that is chilling.”

    Oh, Chrissy, how’s that thrill workin’ out for ya now?!

  • Carl Vehse

    The NewsBusters article, “Chris Matthews Rips Obama’s Handling of Egypt Crisis,” shows leftist Chris “thrill running up my leg” Matthews describing Hillary:

    “I watched Secretary Clinton today. I don’t get anything. I don’t see anything other than two and two are four. I keep waiting for five. Show me you’ve done your jobs over there.”

    and about Barry Dunham, Matthews noted:

    ” I feel ashamed as an American, the way we’re doing this. I know he has to change. I know we’re for democracy, but the way we’ve handled it is not the way a friend handles a matter. We’re not handling as Americans should handle a matter like this. I don’t feel right about it. And Barack Obama, as much I support him in many ways, there is a transitional quality to the guy that is chilling.”

    Oh, Chrissy, how’s that thrill workin’ out for ya now?!

  • Dust

    Carl…guess you could say the “thrill” has become a “chill” up his leg? Well, at least he can still (rhymes with thrill) tell the difference…so let’s not be too hard on the guy :)

  • Dust

    Carl…guess you could say the “thrill” has become a “chill” up his leg? Well, at least he can still (rhymes with thrill) tell the difference…so let’s not be too hard on the guy :)

  • Carl Vehse

    Not only does Chrissy has a chill running down his back, but now, according to The Telegraph news story, “WikiLeaks cables: US agrees to tell Russia Britain’s nuclear secrets,” information about every Trident missile the US supplies to Great Britain will be given to Russia as part of an arms control deal signed by Barry Dunham next week.

  • Carl Vehse

    Not only does Chrissy has a chill running down his back, but now, according to The Telegraph news story, “WikiLeaks cables: US agrees to tell Russia Britain’s nuclear secrets,” information about every Trident missile the US supplies to Great Britain will be given to Russia as part of an arms control deal signed by Barry Dunham next week.

  • John C

    I wonder what would now be happening in Iraq if Saddam Hussein was still in power?

  • John C

    I wonder what would now be happening in Iraq if Saddam Hussein was still in power?

  • Dust

    John C…you may also wish to wonder would this be happening in Egypt if SH were still in power? Something tells me no way perhaps?

  • Dust

    John C…you may also wish to wonder would this be happening in Egypt if SH were still in power? Something tells me no way perhaps?

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Dust (@15), and what argument would you make along those lines?

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Dust (@15), and what argument would you make along those lines?

  • Dust

    well am not actually making this up myself, it’s stuff one hears on the radio and tv, but here’s one idea:

    the bush plan to topple saddam and begin some kind of democracy in iraq has given others in the middle east the desire for it too (am not saying ’tis true, but that’s what some honest folks are saying). in that case, this thing in egypt could have been inspired by what folks see in iraq? So, if saddam were still in power, then this may not have been as likely to occur, as there would be nothing else in the region to inspire them? another reason it seems to me that it would have had a less likely to occur, is that with saddam still in power, others would see that we (our government anyway) still supports strong authoritarian rulers, such as the egypt guy and the citizens would be much less likely to protest, given there is much less likely a chance for change, given the us would support the person in charge, etc. etc..

    so, in this case, you can credit pres. bush at least in part for the events going on in egypt?

    am sure it’s much more complicated but am willing to give you a penny for your 2 cents worth :)

  • Dust

    well am not actually making this up myself, it’s stuff one hears on the radio and tv, but here’s one idea:

    the bush plan to topple saddam and begin some kind of democracy in iraq has given others in the middle east the desire for it too (am not saying ’tis true, but that’s what some honest folks are saying). in that case, this thing in egypt could have been inspired by what folks see in iraq? So, if saddam were still in power, then this may not have been as likely to occur, as there would be nothing else in the region to inspire them? another reason it seems to me that it would have had a less likely to occur, is that with saddam still in power, others would see that we (our government anyway) still supports strong authoritarian rulers, such as the egypt guy and the citizens would be much less likely to protest, given there is much less likely a chance for change, given the us would support the person in charge, etc. etc..

    so, in this case, you can credit pres. bush at least in part for the events going on in egypt?

    am sure it’s much more complicated but am willing to give you a penny for your 2 cents worth :)

  • trotk

    Dust, that view doesn’t account for the revolution in Iran, which happened long before our removal of Hussein. People have revolted throughout history in lots of cultures.

    I also don’t think (and this has been a common statement here) that we can assume that people always want democracy. History is full of examples of revolts where people installed an autocratic government.

  • trotk

    Dust, that view doesn’t account for the revolution in Iran, which happened long before our removal of Hussein. People have revolted throughout history in lots of cultures.

    I also don’t think (and this has been a common statement here) that we can assume that people always want democracy. History is full of examples of revolts where people installed an autocratic government.

  • Dust

    trotk…you’re right, but was asked to comment on just the link to saddam.

    also is the reason for my comment as it being much more complicated…and am not pretending to understand or have solutions, but one thing is clear, none of this would matter too much if we didn’t depend on the oil from that region…and even that is just half of it…what a mess for such a long, long time :(

    as per what happened in iran, who really knows? have heard that it started out as a true revolution for democracy, albeit with an iranian twist which would include the religious rulers, but then certain folks were double crossed by the religious rulers (who were supposed to share power) and they turned into a very authoritarian theocracy, not at all what was hoped for by the original protestors?

    the whole modern history (since wwii and before…actually since oil?) of the middle east is full of revolutions and counter revolutions, assassinations and coups, deals with dictators and clashes between royalty and religion, wow! am not a historian at all but did read just a little today on wikipedia in response to an article about nasser (early egyptian president before sadat and many today are holding up his picture) and it got into things like the muslim brotherhood and israel and a few wars and the camp david accord and blah, blah blah….serious stuff, full of intrigue and drama, who can really know the truth? frankly, wish we could just leave it alone…but we do enjoy our lifestyle made possible by their oil, right?

    in any case, interesting times…how lucky to live in them ;)

  • Dust

    trotk…you’re right, but was asked to comment on just the link to saddam.

    also is the reason for my comment as it being much more complicated…and am not pretending to understand or have solutions, but one thing is clear, none of this would matter too much if we didn’t depend on the oil from that region…and even that is just half of it…what a mess for such a long, long time :(

    as per what happened in iran, who really knows? have heard that it started out as a true revolution for democracy, albeit with an iranian twist which would include the religious rulers, but then certain folks were double crossed by the religious rulers (who were supposed to share power) and they turned into a very authoritarian theocracy, not at all what was hoped for by the original protestors?

    the whole modern history (since wwii and before…actually since oil?) of the middle east is full of revolutions and counter revolutions, assassinations and coups, deals with dictators and clashes between royalty and religion, wow! am not a historian at all but did read just a little today on wikipedia in response to an article about nasser (early egyptian president before sadat and many today are holding up his picture) and it got into things like the muslim brotherhood and israel and a few wars and the camp david accord and blah, blah blah….serious stuff, full of intrigue and drama, who can really know the truth? frankly, wish we could just leave it alone…but we do enjoy our lifestyle made possible by their oil, right?

    in any case, interesting times…how lucky to live in them ;)

  • John C

    Hundreds of thousands of people killed during the invasion and in its aftermath is hardly an inspiration. Remember, this was a war that was meant to rid the country of weapons of mass destruction: only later, when no weapons were found, did Bush, Blair and the Australian PM Howard, justify the invasion as a battle for democracy in Iraq.
    The astonishing thing about the uprising on the streets of Cairo is that it is happening despite the risk of a brutal response from the state, as in Iran or the threat of sectarian violence that occured in Iraq.
    A final thought: The role of Al Jazeera may be far more important in this uprising than anything that Bush did or says he did in the Middle East.

  • John C

    Hundreds of thousands of people killed during the invasion and in its aftermath is hardly an inspiration. Remember, this was a war that was meant to rid the country of weapons of mass destruction: only later, when no weapons were found, did Bush, Blair and the Australian PM Howard, justify the invasion as a battle for democracy in Iraq.
    The astonishing thing about the uprising on the streets of Cairo is that it is happening despite the risk of a brutal response from the state, as in Iran or the threat of sectarian violence that occured in Iraq.
    A final thought: The role of Al Jazeera may be far more important in this uprising than anything that Bush did or says he did in the Middle East.

  • Dust

    ok John C, seems you agree it’s very complicated, and who really knows? in any case, what do you think would be happening in Iraq right now if Sadam were still in power? Do you think what is going on in Egypt would be happening if Sadam were still in power? Same deal as tODD…a penny for your 2 cents worth :)

  • Dust

    ok John C, seems you agree it’s very complicated, and who really knows? in any case, what do you think would be happening in Iraq right now if Sadam were still in power? Do you think what is going on in Egypt would be happening if Sadam were still in power? Same deal as tODD…a penny for your 2 cents worth :)

  • John C

    I don’t know Dust.
    If the army and police can remain neutral or intervene on the side of the democracy movement then anything is possible — consider the USSR . Russian democracy at the moment may resemble Tombstone more than Westminster but it is a step in the right direction.

  • John C

    I don’t know Dust.
    If the army and police can remain neutral or intervene on the side of the democracy movement then anything is possible — consider the USSR . Russian democracy at the moment may resemble Tombstone more than Westminster but it is a step in the right direction.

  • Dust

    Yes, we can agree that we don’t know, amen John C! The more we watch this “revolution” and other modern ones, the more amazed at the one that produced our Nation. So many variables when you play that game, so many permutations with respect to how things will turn out, so many possibilities and forces at play…so many events that can turn on a moments notice and change the outcome 180 degrees. Would get into what helps bring about a victorious ending, but what’s the point? Do agree with your statement on Russia….would be happy if something similar happens in Egypt!

  • Dust

    Yes, we can agree that we don’t know, amen John C! The more we watch this “revolution” and other modern ones, the more amazed at the one that produced our Nation. So many variables when you play that game, so many permutations with respect to how things will turn out, so many possibilities and forces at play…so many events that can turn on a moments notice and change the outcome 180 degrees. Would get into what helps bring about a victorious ending, but what’s the point? Do agree with your statement on Russia….would be happy if something similar happens in Egypt!

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    the ny times had an editorial that I think got it right,

    we should encourage them to have a conservative revolution. what does that look like? respect for the constitutional structure that exists.

    it would mean the president staying on only long enough to dismiss parliament to hold parliamentary elections that would then have a constitutional convention to strip the president of powers he now has.

    so obama should not only encourage or push for a result, he should outline a means to that end that as much as possible (with a corrupt president and almost worthless constitution) to use the rule of law that exists to move towards a change that is not merely a reaction to what now exists….

    we americans are very results oriented. so we often neglect attention to the very great importance of proper and lawful means to a just end.

    this is where both liberals and conservatives lose their way on alot of stuff. this is what both liberals and conservatives have in common.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    the ny times had an editorial that I think got it right,

    we should encourage them to have a conservative revolution. what does that look like? respect for the constitutional structure that exists.

    it would mean the president staying on only long enough to dismiss parliament to hold parliamentary elections that would then have a constitutional convention to strip the president of powers he now has.

    so obama should not only encourage or push for a result, he should outline a means to that end that as much as possible (with a corrupt president and almost worthless constitution) to use the rule of law that exists to move towards a change that is not merely a reaction to what now exists….

    we americans are very results oriented. so we often neglect attention to the very great importance of proper and lawful means to a just end.

    this is where both liberals and conservatives lose their way on alot of stuff. this is what both liberals and conservatives have in common.

  • Tom Hering

    “so obama should not only encourage or push for a result, he should outline a means to that end …” – Frank @ 24.

    From what I’m hearing, Egyptians appreciate it when we Americans speak out against the oppression of the protesters. But they resent it when we opine about who should lead Egypt, how a change in leadership should come about, or what the government of Egypt should look like when the dust settles. We cross a line and ought to just shut up.

    Your coffee is in the mail, Frank. :-)

  • Tom Hering

    “so obama should not only encourage or push for a result, he should outline a means to that end …” – Frank @ 24.

    From what I’m hearing, Egyptians appreciate it when we Americans speak out against the oppression of the protesters. But they resent it when we opine about who should lead Egypt, how a change in leadership should come about, or what the government of Egypt should look like when the dust settles. We cross a line and ought to just shut up.

    Your coffee is in the mail, Frank. :-)

  • kerner

    John C @20

    “only later, when no weapons were found, did Bush…justify the invasion as a battle for democracy in Iraq.”

    This statement is simply untrue. Bush and his fellow neo-conservatives were pushing unilateral military action and support for democratic governments in from 2001-2003. (We invaded Iraq in March, 2003. I remember; 2 of my children participated in the invasion.)

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bush_Doctrine#Democratic_regime _change

    The “weapons of mass destruction” justification was only one of several for the invasion. That Saddam was violating the UN resolutions that were the basis for the end of the previous Iraq invasion was another.

    You can accurately say a lot of things about Georde Bush, but that “weapons of mass destruction” were the only reason to invade Iraq, is simply not one of them.

  • kerner

    John C @20

    “only later, when no weapons were found, did Bush…justify the invasion as a battle for democracy in Iraq.”

    This statement is simply untrue. Bush and his fellow neo-conservatives were pushing unilateral military action and support for democratic governments in from 2001-2003. (We invaded Iraq in March, 2003. I remember; 2 of my children participated in the invasion.)

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bush_Doctrine#Democratic_regime _change

    The “weapons of mass destruction” justification was only one of several for the invasion. That Saddam was violating the UN resolutions that were the basis for the end of the previous Iraq invasion was another.

    You can accurately say a lot of things about Georde Bush, but that “weapons of mass destruction” were the only reason to invade Iraq, is simply not one of them.

  • Tom Hering

    Heard it this morning:

    “On February 2nd, Mubarak emerged from the presidential palace and saw his shadow. Six more weeks of the Mubarak regime.”

  • Tom Hering

    Heard it this morning:

    “On February 2nd, Mubarak emerged from the presidential palace and saw his shadow. Six more weeks of the Mubarak regime.”

  • kerner

    Oops. For some reason the whole link didn’t work. You will have to scroll down to Paragraph 2.4

  • kerner

    Oops. For some reason the whole link didn’t work. You will have to scroll down to Paragraph 2.4

  • kerner

    In December, 2002, the United States Institute of Peace, a Roman Catholic organization held a conference and issued a report about the then impending invasion of Iraq. It the report, several witers deal (somwe very critically) with the Bush administration’s justifications for going to war. One of the wtiters, Robert Royal, identified 4 such justifications. They were:

    1. That Iraq had, or might be seeking weapons of mass destruction.

    2. That Saddam Hussein had links to international terrorists

    3. Humanitarian grounds, i.e. Saddam was a cruel tyrant whose oppression of hias people had reached unacceptable levels, and

    4. That Iraq had committed multiple and flagrant violations of the UN terms of cease fire after the earlier invasion

    The Roman Catholic position, both prior to and after the invasion, was that the invasion was wrong. But at least they recognised, and addressed, the multiple justifications for the 2003 invasion advanced by the Bush administration.

  • kerner

    In December, 2002, the United States Institute of Peace, a Roman Catholic organization held a conference and issued a report about the then impending invasion of Iraq. It the report, several witers deal (somwe very critically) with the Bush administration’s justifications for going to war. One of the wtiters, Robert Royal, identified 4 such justifications. They were:

    1. That Iraq had, or might be seeking weapons of mass destruction.

    2. That Saddam Hussein had links to international terrorists

    3. Humanitarian grounds, i.e. Saddam was a cruel tyrant whose oppression of hias people had reached unacceptable levels, and

    4. That Iraq had committed multiple and flagrant violations of the UN terms of cease fire after the earlier invasion

    The Roman Catholic position, both prior to and after the invasion, was that the invasion was wrong. But at least they recognised, and addressed, the multiple justifications for the 2003 invasion advanced by the Bush administration.

  • Porcell

    Kerner, you’re quite right that any fair analysis of Bush’s decision to go to war in Iraq was influenced from the beginning both by the threat of WMD and the understanding that some form of Arab democracy could replace an exceedingly brutal dictatorship.

    Bush understood that in the long run the only hope for stability in the Middle East would come from some form of Arab democracy and that Iraq, with its background of ancient civilization and an identifiable middle-class.

    Of course, you’ll never convince the heartland isolationists and the coastal pacifists of this, as they tend to be passionately involved with the moral piety that Amerika is involved in some sortof perfidious empire.

    At any rate, go Packers!

  • Porcell

    Kerner, you’re quite right that any fair analysis of Bush’s decision to go to war in Iraq was influenced from the beginning both by the threat of WMD and the understanding that some form of Arab democracy could replace an exceedingly brutal dictatorship.

    Bush understood that in the long run the only hope for stability in the Middle East would come from some form of Arab democracy and that Iraq, with its background of ancient civilization and an identifiable middle-class.

    Of course, you’ll never convince the heartland isolationists and the coastal pacifists of this, as they tend to be passionately involved with the moral piety that Amerika is involved in some sortof perfidious empire.

    At any rate, go Packers!

  • Porcell

    In the above second para., last sentence, it ought to have been …middle class capable of democracy.

  • Porcell

    In the above second para., last sentence, it ought to have been …middle class capable of democracy.

  • John C

    There were a number of reasons advanced by Bush and Cheney to justify the invasion of Iraq — the case was so flimsy that some justification had to be found and it had to stick.
    But the war had to be sold to the American public. It was done by constantly repeating the lie that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction and Saddam had a connection to the terrorist attack on 9/11.
    To quote the Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz, “for reasons that have a lot to do with US government bureaucracy, we settled on the one issue that everyone could agree on which was weapons of mass destruction as the core reason.”
    This was also the justification used to rally the support of the American people.

  • John C

    There were a number of reasons advanced by Bush and Cheney to justify the invasion of Iraq — the case was so flimsy that some justification had to be found and it had to stick.
    But the war had to be sold to the American public. It was done by constantly repeating the lie that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction and Saddam had a connection to the terrorist attack on 9/11.
    To quote the Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz, “for reasons that have a lot to do with US government bureaucracy, we settled on the one issue that everyone could agree on which was weapons of mass destruction as the core reason.”
    This was also the justification used to rally the support of the American people.

  • Tom Hering

    Though multiple reasons were given for invading Iraq, and one (WMDs) was pushed as the main reason – to be replaced later by a different main reason (democracy) – none are likely the real reason. It’s like the naughty little boy who keeps changing his story in the hope of reducing consequences (in this case, preventing a loss of public support for the invasion and occupation).

  • Tom Hering

    Though multiple reasons were given for invading Iraq, and one (WMDs) was pushed as the main reason – to be replaced later by a different main reason (democracy) – none are likely the real reason. It’s like the naughty little boy who keeps changing his story in the hope of reducing consequences (in this case, preventing a loss of public support for the invasion and occupation).

  • Tom Hering

    Palin on Obama and Egypt, in an interview on the Christian Broadcasting Network, Saturday:

    Is it going to be the Muslim Brotherhood? We should not stand for that, or with that, or by that. Any radical Islamists. No, that is not who we should be supporting and standing by …

    What is she talking about? Who, other than Palin, seriously thinks there’s a chance we’re going to “stand by and support” a radical Islamist government in Egypt?

    We need to find out who was behind all of the turmoil and the revolt and the protests so that good decisions can be made in terms of who we will stand by and support …

    Is she suggesting the protests are a plot by the Muslim Brotherhood, and we’re wrong to call for Mubarak’s immediate resignation?

    Nobody yet has explained to the American people what they know, and surely they know more than the rest of us know, who it is who will be taking the place of Mubarak and I’m not real enthused about what it is that, that’s being done on a national level and from D.C. in regards to understanding all the situation there in Egypt …

    She’s not happy with what’s being done to understand the situation in Egypt. But she admits she doesn’t know as much as the President must know.

    The upshot of all her babble? I think she’s sending a message to Mubarak that he has a future as her running mate in 2012. :-D

  • Tom Hering

    Palin on Obama and Egypt, in an interview on the Christian Broadcasting Network, Saturday:

    Is it going to be the Muslim Brotherhood? We should not stand for that, or with that, or by that. Any radical Islamists. No, that is not who we should be supporting and standing by …

    What is she talking about? Who, other than Palin, seriously thinks there’s a chance we’re going to “stand by and support” a radical Islamist government in Egypt?

    We need to find out who was behind all of the turmoil and the revolt and the protests so that good decisions can be made in terms of who we will stand by and support …

    Is she suggesting the protests are a plot by the Muslim Brotherhood, and we’re wrong to call for Mubarak’s immediate resignation?

    Nobody yet has explained to the American people what they know, and surely they know more than the rest of us know, who it is who will be taking the place of Mubarak and I’m not real enthused about what it is that, that’s being done on a national level and from D.C. in regards to understanding all the situation there in Egypt …

    She’s not happy with what’s being done to understand the situation in Egypt. But she admits she doesn’t know as much as the President must know.

    The upshot of all her babble? I think she’s sending a message to Mubarak that he has a future as her running mate in 2012. :-D

  • Porcell

    Tom, don’t be distracted by Palin’s lack of knowledge of the subject. For an in depth analysis, see Reuel Marc Gerecht’s recent Weekly Standard piece Democracy in Egypt: Why the West should welcome a political upheaval in the Middle East.

    Gerecht is the former head of the CIA Middle East division who speaks Arabic and has wide knowledge of Middle East affairs.

    He thinks the Muslim Brotherhood in a democracy would be forced by moderate Egyptian opinion to moderates its views. I’m not sure about this, though one listens carefully to Gerecht.

  • Porcell

    Tom, don’t be distracted by Palin’s lack of knowledge of the subject. For an in depth analysis, see Reuel Marc Gerecht’s recent Weekly Standard piece Democracy in Egypt: Why the West should welcome a political upheaval in the Middle East.

    Gerecht is the former head of the CIA Middle East division who speaks Arabic and has wide knowledge of Middle East affairs.

    He thinks the Muslim Brotherhood in a democracy would be forced by moderate Egyptian opinion to moderates its views. I’m not sure about this, though one listens carefully to Gerecht.

  • Grace

    This will be on in just about 10 minutes!

    .

    Bill O’Reilly interview of Barack Obama could be victory for both

    By KEACH HAGEY | 2/6/11 7:39 AM EST

    With a classic showman’s swagger, Bill O’Reilly has declared that more people will see his live pre-game interview with President Barack Obama on Sunday at 4:45 p.m. than “any other interview that’s ever been done in the history of mankind.”

    http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0211/48913.html

  • Grace

    This will be on in just about 10 minutes!

    .

    Bill O’Reilly interview of Barack Obama could be victory for both

    By KEACH HAGEY | 2/6/11 7:39 AM EST

    With a classic showman’s swagger, Bill O’Reilly has declared that more people will see his live pre-game interview with President Barack Obama on Sunday at 4:45 p.m. than “any other interview that’s ever been done in the history of mankind.”

    http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0211/48913.html

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    God´s purpose in ruling the earthly kingdom is order. not exactly freedom.

    his purpose is to hav us each mind to our own business and stay out of the personal lives property and business of others so that we can enjoy our earthly blessings in peace.

    government serves as the means to this end. so democrazy is not necessarily good.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    God´s purpose in ruling the earthly kingdom is order. not exactly freedom.

    his purpose is to hav us each mind to our own business and stay out of the personal lives property and business of others so that we can enjoy our earthly blessings in peace.

    government serves as the means to this end. so democrazy is not necessarily good.


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