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Bloodshed And Crisis In Egypt

Egypt in crisis.  We look at the latest news and the deep implications for the region and the United States.

A son of the late Ammar Badie prays during his father's funeral in al-Hamed mosque in Cairo's Katameya district on Sunday, Aug. 18, 2013. Badie, the son of Muslim Brotherhood's spiritual leader Mohammed Badie, was killed by Egyptian security forces Friday during clashes in Cairo's Ramses Square. (AP)

A son of the late Ammar Badie prays during his father’s funeral in al-Hamed mosque in Cairo’s Katameya district on Sunday, Aug. 18, 2013. Badie, the son of Muslim Brotherhood’s spiritual leader Mohammed Badie, was killed by Egyptian security forces Friday during clashes in Cairo’s Ramses Square. (AP)

More than a thousand dead now in the last week in Egypt.  And today, the greatest irony yet.  The country’s elected president, the Muslim Brotherhood’s Mohammed Morsi, sits in jail – while a court has now ordered the country’s longtime dictator Hosni Mubarak to be freed.

Egyptians in the streets have driven waves of change since the Arab Spring and Tahrir Square.  But now, the military is once again in charge.  Cracking down.  Washington looks sidelined.  Some fear another Syria in the making.

This hour, On Point:  Egypt in crisis.

- Tom Ashbrook


Shadi Hamid, director of research for the Brookings Doha Center. (@shadihamid)

Mona Eltahawy, columnist and public speaker on Arab and Muslim issues. (@monaeltahawy)

Jackson Diehl, deputy editorial page editor at the Washington Post. (@jacksondiehl)

From Tom’s Reading List

CBS News: Egypt bloodletting rages with Islamic militants killing 25 police in Sinai Peninsula – “Islamic militants on Monday ambushed two mini-buses carrying off-duty policemen in the northern region of Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula, killing 25 of them execution-style in a brazen daylight attack that deepens the turmoil roiling the country and underscores the volatility of the strategic region.”

The New York Times: Leaving Military Aid Intact, U.S. Takes Steps to Halt Economic Help to Egypt – “The Obama administration has taken preliminary steps to withhold financial aid to the Egyptian government, officials said on Sunday, though it is curtailing economic assistance, not the much larger military aid on which Egypt’s generals depend.”

USA Today: Egypt’s ex-president Mubarak may be freed soon – “Former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak, who ruled Egypt for three decades before his ouster in 2011, could be released from prison this week, according to his lawyer and judicial sources.”

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  • Fiscally_Responsible

    Interestingly, way back in the Book Of Genesis (Genesis 16:12), God tells Abraham that his son, Ishmael “will be a wild donkey of a man, His hand will be against everyone, And everyone’s hand will be against him.” When one looks at much of the political turmoil in the world, it takes place in the Middle East involving the descendants of Ishmael, just as God said it would.

    Interestingly, in Genesis 18:20, just two chapters later, God comments that :“The outcry of Sodom and Gomorrah is indeed great, and their sin is exceedingly grave.” In other words, God was deeply grieved by the homosexual perversion that characterized these two cities, destroying them with fire and brimstone because of their refusal to repent for their abominable immoral acts. God explains in Jude 7, “just as Sodom and Gomorrah and the cities around them, since they in the same way as these indulged in gross immorality and went after strange flesh, are exhibited as an example in undergoing the punishment of eternal fire.”

    Just as the first prophecy proved true, and just as God destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah because of their refusal to repent and turn from their gross immorality, we ignore God’s wisdom and moral code at our own peril.

    • Ray in VT

      How does your first “prophecy” stand up historically? For instance,
      does it matter that the Middle East was generally a far more settled,
      civilized and peaceful place throughout much of the Middle Ages than was
      that unsophisticated backwater that was Europe? Also, why would something powerful enough to create the universe care if two dudes got it on, yet stand by while millions died in the Holocaust?

      • Fiscally_Responsible

        The Middle East is certainly a very unsettled place today, the source of much of the tension not only in that part of the world, but in Europe as well.

        God clearly says not to engage in homosexual behavior. But He gives us free will to reject His very sound advice. Ten million years from now, when those who have rejected His moral authority have spent a nanosecond of eternity being punished for their sin in the eternal flame, they will realize how foolish they were and that they were without any viable excuse for rejecting the way of escape that He provided, namely accepting His Son as their Savior in humble confession and repentance. Smart alec comments such as yours will offer no solace.

        • Ray in VT

          That is true today, but I was asking about historically.

          Because I said so is not an answer that satisfies even a child. Also, what other “sound advice” from the Old Testament should we follow? Is your shirt made out of more than two fabrics? If so, then you had better literally watch out for stones. I am willing to take the risk that I am wrong about religion rather than live according to the narrowly constructed rigid social and legal rules recorded over two thousand years ago but some bunch of guys in the Near East. In ten million years, when you have long passed through the system of the worms in the ground, your sneering, holier than thou self-righteousness will be of no concern to whomever or whatever is ruling this rock upon which we currently live.

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

            Now Ray, don’t forget the important questions, such as:

            Do I live close enough to Vermont to kidnap your children and sell them into slavery?

            The Old Testament will tell me if that’s my right.

          • Ray in VT

            No need, TF. I have decided to sell my daughter, as, I believe, the Old Testament allows. I just need to settle upon a decent price. If the government does not allow me to do that, then they are persecuting me.

        • J__o__h__n

          While I would love to spend eternity amusing myself with my smart alec comments, the reality is that I’ll just be dead. Even if there were an afterlife, any god that would punish someone eternally for disbelief is not a god worth worshiping.

      • John_in_Amherst

        psssst! Ray! you are trying to talk sense to someone who has a tenuous grasp on reality!

        • Ray in VT

          Tenuous grasp on reality? Maybe or maybe not. Portraying religious faith or dogma as hard fact? Seemingly so.

    • hypocracy1

      The Gays.

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

        You’re forgetting the Space Pope.

        Of course, this is from a thousand years in the future, but still…

      • AC

        lol. my mom says ‘the gays’…..

    • John_in_Amherst

      The problems stem from the fact that the Abrahamic religions all include “real estate broker” in God’s job description. The problem Is Not gays.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

      Is there a single Libertarian out there anywhere who’s a real goddamned athiest, or at least a “bicurious” agnostic?

      • Ray in VT

        I don’t know. There seem to be a lot of libertarians who say that they are agnostic, but who crow about just about every whacked out evangelical politician or religiously-backed “scientific” organization that opposes climate science.

    • nj_v2

      Ed, dat you?

    • J__o__h__n

      I thought he destroyed them because they wanted to go to the Olympics.

  • Ed75

    The Muslim Brotherhood and the military probably can’t co-exist. (Perhaps co-exit.) But the Muslim Brotherhood is like a nation within a nation, like the Communists within a country. They can’t survive in a country unless they are in power.
    Meanwhile, the Christian communities are the scapegoat and Christians are being killed and churches burned. Christians are persecuted throughout the Middle East (is there a country where Muslims are persecuted by Christians because of their faith?) Our government says nothing since it’s anti-Christian.
    The Vatican had a synod two years ago to discuss the Churches in the Middle East. They exhorted Catholics to stay in these countries for the good of these countries, as a stabilizing force, and because these are ancient Churches, and it concluded ‘If one is called to martyrdom, one has to trust in the Lord’. Quite a sobering conclusion.

    • Ray in VT

      I think that your assertion about the ability of the Brotherhood’s inability to exist without holding power is likely untrue, just as your statement about communists is blatantly untrue. It is hard to say how they would have behaved had the party narrowly lost the election last year, but we have certainly seen how some have reacted to having their elected leader deposed by the Egyptian military. They may not see any use in participating in the democratic process based upon recent events.

      The President has condemned the attacks on the churches, and I’m not sure what else we can do. Also, I was not aware that our government is anti-Christian. I was always under the impression that our government does not take a stance for or against any particular faith.

      • Ed75

        Do you disagree with everything I said?? That’s OK. About the government, 13 or so Catholic dioceses and another 40-50 Christian organizations are suing the federal government over the health care law.

        • Ray in VT

          No, I do not disagree with everything that you said. The Copts in Egypt are being scapegoated and attacked, and that is quite terrible, although they have yet, and hopefully will not, to face the sort of violence that engulfed the Iraqi Christian community.

          What Catholics in the region do in the region and what the Pope has to say about it is rather their business, although I do not think that the abandonment of such ancient communities would be a good idea, historically and culturally.

          Also, I think that some religious organizations being opposed to having to comply with a particular law is a poor case for claiming that the government is opposed to a particular religion. Is our government also anti-Mormon or anti-Islamic, seeing as how, both historically and currently, followers of those faiths are not able to practice their faiths exactly as their holy books would call for?

          • John_in_Amherst

            and there is also the issue of non-believers being able to practice their lack of belief in God…

          • Ray in VT

            Thankfully that is pretty easy for me here in Vermont, the least religious state, although I experienced some less than kind treatment as a non-believer when I was a kid. The dad of one of my friends told my friend that I, as an atheist, worshiped the devil. That one always puzzled me.

        • J__o__h__n

          How does requiring church affiliated organizations that aren’t religious institutions to provide health insurance for their employees have anything to do with churches being burned in another country?

          • Ed75

            The government is trying to redefine religion as what happens inside church buildings only, when religion says it includes its work in healthcare and education that flow from its beliefs. It is a matter of scale, but both are Christian persecution and we’ll see more of it.

    • John_in_Amherst

      First, repression of muslims in Europe is pretty routine, if not literally incendiary. Even in my quaint New England town, the primary reason no mosque has been burnt is probably that they have such a tough time being built in the first place.
      Second, religious persecution runs in cycles, and meshes with history. We are in a different era now vis-a-vis the evolution of Christianity and Islam. Up until a century ago, and for hundreds of years prior to that time, Christians poured out of Europe intent on converting the “heathens” of the world to the doctrine of “the prince of peace”, often at the point of a gun, or worse.

  • HonestDebate1
    • Ray in VT


      So he predicted a military overthrow of a democratically elected government in Egypt and the massacre of hundreds of people in the streets by the military? Wow. He’s good.

      • HonestDebate1

        Not really, any ignoramus could have seen it coming. Obama obviously did not.

        • Ray in VT

          I like how Beck said that the Arab Spring or the uprising in Egypt in 2011 was some sort of conspiracy between communists and Islamists to destroy capitalism. That was hilarious.

          Just like any ignoramus should have seen that kicking the lid off of Iraq would unleash a wave of religious and sectarian violence?

          No one thought that this was all going to be quick and easy. Democracy, if it succeeds in places like Egypt, needs time and trials to take root and grow, given how long it has taken the West to get to where is it, and ultimately, even if something like democracy does survive, then it will likely look rather different than what we have.

          Maybe, as you have previously suggested, we just should have kept pumping Mubarek with military aid and given him the go ahead to machine gun his people in the street, because that was the only way that he was going to hang on.

          • HonestDebate1

            Point taken, maybe Obama did know and was just lying.

            Does everything come back to Iraq with you? Okay. Your quote about Democracy in the, if you will, geographical base of the Middle East, sounds a lot like Cheney on Iraq.

          • Ray in VT

            Got it. Obama always lies, but Bush and other conservatives never do. I keep forgetting that. I guess that I need to hang out over at Rush, Glenn, etc to get the real facts, like about the coming caliphate.

            Well, Iraq was the most monumental blunder of my lifetime. Maybe a trillion spent (mostly borrowed). Nearly 4,500 dead. A country in the throes of mass bloodshed following a crackdown on Sunnis. How can this all be, though? We sprinkled some liberty on them. My vision regarding democracy in Egypt, compared to that of Cheney’s perhaps, did not require an hyped up American invasion based upon faulty, false and incomplete information sold to the American public.

          • HonestDebate1

            Not exactly, Obama has lied, Bush did not lie. There’s a difference. I would not recommend you listen to Rush or Beck, your head might explode. Just stick to letting others like Media Matters tell you what to think.

            We disagree about Iraq, IMHO it was unavoidable and I thank my lucky stars we don’t have an emboldened Hussein in the middle of all of this now. Think what you want but you really should lose the Obama can do no wrong position. It’s dangerous.

          • Ray in VT

            Oh, that’s right. I also forgot your massively different standards for lying for Democrats versus Republicans, as well as your redefinition of lie in order to make it fit your view.

            My head would likely explode. I don’t know if I could handle so much lies, false premises and b.s. Some days it is hard enough to listen to it from you second hand.

            Who said Obama can do no wrong? Certainly not I. I am more concerned with those who think that he can do no right, like those who go about crowing out the lawless Obama, ruling by decree, etc., etc. It is dangerous.

          • HonestDebate1

            My standard it the same. No one lied about WMD in Iraq. You say Bush lied but the Democrats didn’t. Look in the mirror.

            Has Obama ever lied? You cannot answer that as no and have any credibility whatsoever especially if you use your definition that intent to deceive need not be a factor.

            You defend Obama at all cost, every time.

          • Ray in VT

            Sure I do. I never criticize him or his policies. What an ideological stooge am I. If only I had some guide who is right a mere 99.6% of the time to guide me to some proper thinking, then I could turn away from all of those dweebs with their books.

            “if you use your definition that intent to deceive need not be a factor.”

            That is not my definition. That is a dictionary definition. It is not as though I seek to spread the falsehood that it is the only definition, as some do.

          • HonestDebate1

            And another thing, you wrote:

            “I am more concerned with those who think that he can do no right, like those who go about crowing out the lawless Obama, ruling by decree, etc., etc. It is dangerous.”

            Leaving aside the mountains of examples of his ruling by decree. Did you think that out? which dynamic defeats tyranny? Which dynamic results in cults like Manson and Jim Jones? You didn’t mean that but you wrote it.

          • Ray in VT

            Perhaps you can forgive me for crediting you with holding the position that the President can do no right, considering your daily parade of nonsense from the right-wing media entertainment complex, although I do think that you do occasionally make some valid points, although you seem to pretty freely throw around the term liar when it applies to Obama, but go to any length in order to avoid putting that label on former President Bush.

            It certainly would be a concern if the President was lawlessly ruling by decree, as some would like to allege, but I do not think that it is the case. For instance, your allegation that the delaying of the employer mandate, which you have described, I think, as variously lawless, unilateral and unprecedented, despite examples of previous uses of the same part of the IRS code for delaying the implementation of other regulations.

            I know that you think that maybe Bush or Super Reagan could have defied the laws or physics and somehow brought forces to bear in Benghazi, and you’ll cite Fox’s anonymous “eyewitness”, but I do not see the evidence. I guess that sh*t only happens when a Democrat is in the Oval Office.

            I lack credibility? Let me check gemworld to see how that is defined so that I may properly defined, and then let me check in with the creationists to see what they think about the science behind that. Considering your rather poor track record with facts, quotes and valid sources, I don’t think that you are in any position to question anyone’s credibility here.

            As to my quote, I was specifically referring to the near-mindless boobs who hang on the every word of AM’s right-wing bloviators, with their reality-challenged world view and allies within the American religious fundamentalist community as being more of a danger than those who will stand behind the President no matter what, as I think that there are far more of the former.

            As to your many open-ended questions, I do think that I have made my criticisms clear throughout my history here, so feel free to take my basic lesson in how to use the search box and take a gander.

          • jimino

            “No one lied about WMD in Iraq.” Au contraire:


          • Ray in VT

            C’mon Jimino. Are you really gonna believe all them facts from the Democrat party? Belief triumphs all, don’tcha know?

          • jimino

            How did a majority of Americans, all of whom would identify with your points of view, come to the conclusion that 9-11, al-quada and Iraq were linked? Is everyone who agrees with you just stupid?

          • jimino

            It takes a while to read and review all the lies told by Bush and his administration’s officials regarding Iraq and Saddam Hussein, but here it is if you want to take the time:


          • Ray in VT
          • HonestDebate1

            You would think that Wacky Waxman could cite one single lie with all those words. He did not. It’s no wonder the site is called the echo chamber because it sounds just like every Democrat on the planet in 2002.

          • jimino

            You’re right. He didn’t cite one single lie. He cited over 200. Or are you still clinging to the “they believed what they said so it’s not lying” defense (more accurately termed the stupidity defense)?

        • jimino

          C’mon Gregg, give credit where credit’s due. Listen to what Condi says::

          The demise of repressive governments in Tunisia, Egypt and elsewhere
          during this year’s “Arab spring,” she says, stemmed in part from Bush’s
          “freedom agenda,” which promoted democracy in the Middle East. “The
          change in the conversation about the Middle East, where people now
          routinely talk about democratization is something that I’m very grateful
          for and I think we had a role in that,”

          • alsordi

            Regarding Bush et al, you should replace the word “democracy” for “destabilization”.

          • HonestDebate1

            She was absolutely right. Keep in mind that quote was from her book which was written long before the Muslim Brotherhood came to power.

          • jimino

            You mean before the Brotherhood’s candidate was democratically elected as a result of Bush’s “freedom agenda”, don’t you?

    • hypocracy1

      Glenn Beck: instability in Egypt? Buy Gold!

    • nj_v2

      Hahahaha! Glen Beck. Hahahahaha!!

    • John_in_Amherst

      hey! HD! if you are trying to win a logical argument, you might rethink the strategy of opening with “Glenn Beck was right”. A broken clock is right two times a day.

    • jimino

      Read the comments to your link. They are your compatriots. And they are paranoid, delusional fools.

  • alsordi

    I wonder if the suburban white-picket fence General Dynamics employees ponder the fact that they are the direct recipients of Egyptian “AID”, and are complicit in thousands of innocent deaths, while they sit their ample sized butts down to partake in Sunday brunch at Applebees.

    Egypt evidently has hundreds of tanks made by these skilled American workers, and particularly even hundreds more armored vehicles, which are the choice of repressive military regimes led by medal laden western-picked coup-leading generals, that seem to always hide their pernicious intentions behind the stereotypical dark sunglasses.

    • Fiscally_Responsible

      Your comment about the size of General Dynamics’ employees derrieres is hate speech. Your attempt to inflame class warfare is also reprehensible.

      • John_in_Amherst

        if the current income distribution in the US and most of the rest of the world doesn’t inflame class warfare, a few comments aren’t gonna make a bit of difference

      • alsordi

        I’m not a religious person, but if there is a Saint Peter, General Dynamics employees have a lot of explaining to do at the Pearly Gates.

  • John Cedar

    This is the best you can hope to get, in a country where the dominate culture is the religion of pieces.

    • Ray in VT

      No it is not. Turkey is a Muslim country, and they have worked things out to a much better degree.

  • Coastghost

    What? You mean Egyptians have not memorized and are not reciting amidst the present unrest US President Barack Obama’s sub-Messianic “New Beginnings” speechifying from June 2009? Did he not ably sketch out the path of development and peaceful coexistence that the Arab Spring helped give birth to? I mean, it sounds from recent reporting as if NO ONE in Egypt is paying Barack Obama any attention whatsoever, his Nobel credentials notwithstanding. And our Secretary of State remains permanently occupied with other pressing business: no doubt, like preparing for Samantha Power’s planned invasion of Syria.

  • Ray in VT

    It would seem that if both sides are unwilling to yield or to compromise, then a peaceful way forward is not possible.

  • northeaster17

    I seem to remember that when the Muslim Brotherhood won the last elections the right was after Obama for backing a America hating terrorist group. Now that they are out he is in trouble by the same groups for not controlling the situation. Hippocracy at its finest.

    • Coastghost

      And Obama is hypocrisy-free? this President who has helped stifle African American voting in South Carolina? When not teaching introductory surveys of Constitutional law, Obama could write his own monograph on finessed hypocrisy, except he’d try to fictionalize it the way he did his “autobiographies”.

      • northeaster17


  • MadMarkTheCodeWarrior

    This is a terrible tragedy. Are some Egyptians supporting the military out of shear fear of sectarian violence that may result from extremist sectarian power struggles?

  • Potter

    Mona sounds right to me– a pox on both their houses! – the Brotherhood and the military. Would you please ask her to define what she means by fascist. Let’s have a definition from her if she is using that word.

    • John_in_Amherst

      Fascism: a governmental system led by a dictator having complete power, forcibly suppressing opposition and criticism, regimenting all industry, commerce, etc., and emphasizing an aggressive nationalism and often racism.

      • Potter

        thanks– it fits I suppose sort of

      • Ray in VT

        That’s fairly decent, and it sort of describes Mubarek’s hold and the role of the military in Egypt’s economy.

  • Coastghost

    Hapless Jimmy Carter “lost Iran”, hapless Barack Obama “loses Egypt”: the never-ending story of idealism blinding good will.

    • John_in_Amherst

      they were ours to lose?

      • Coastghost

        No, they were erstwhile allies to abandon.

        • John_in_Amherst

          translation: they had juntas that did our bidding, until they didn’t.

      • CindyC Barnard

        relationships yes are always ours to nurture or not. How that relationship interacts is more the question.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

      “Lost Iran”?

      Uh, that happened when the CIA overthrew their elected leader, way before I was born.


    • MrWakiki

      Hapless Ron Reagan manipulated Iran and the contras and we blame it on Carter.


    • Ray in VT

      and Truman lost China or something. Puh-lease.

    • northeaster17

      I remember the Shah. Our man in the Gulf. Just a murderess criminal doing America’s business.
      Too bad he couldn’t hang on till Reagan got elected. That would have changed everything.

    • anamaria23

      You might try reading ” America Has No Leverage in the Middle East”, Steven Simon, NY Times, and the ensuing comments of both persuasions, Aug 19,2013 for a broader view of the discussion. There is much to think about including the insight that Egypt’s current crisis was born decades ago and through many American Presidents and long before Barack Obama.
      I cite this understanding that such and all insights do not feed your ego fed and obsessive NEED to heap contempt on this President regardless of the real complexities of the challenge presented.

      • Coastghost

        Barack Obama EARNED the poor opinion I have of him, even without his present demonstration that “the real complexities of the challenge presented” continue to elude him.
        Sorry, I’m a mere provincial, I don’t read the Times, but then, who needs to, since its authority is so commonly consulted and advertised by NPR.

        • jimino

          Did Disqus somehow eat all of the parts of your ridiculously convoluted verbose posts that propose what should have been done? Or do you just not have any actual ideas?

          • anamaria23

            My question also. One poster suggests that maybe Glenn Beck should be consulted, having figured it all out early on.

          • Coastghost

            With the prospect now that Mubarak will emerge from prison before Morsi can, Obama’s giving Mubarak the cold shoulder at the first sneezes of the Arab Spring begins to look woefully premature, does it not? For all I know, though, Obama thinks (or thought) that he himself was responsible for unleashing the Arab Spring.

            Obama’s Administration has undermined its own credibility with Egypt’s military without my assistance and it looks a bit late to undo the damage, at least with this sorry President..

          • anamaria23

            John McCain was the first in the U.S. government to urge Mubarek to step down.
            Was it not the Egyptian people who, by the millions, demanded Mubarek leave?
            You think that against the desires of the Egyptian people, the President should have encouraged Mubarek to stay on amidst the carnage?

          • Coastghost

            (McCain is foil to Obama because they ran against each other in 2008: the decisive decision remained Obama’s to make.)
            As in the days of Mubarak, so today: the Egyptian military is the ONLY institution capable of policing all of Egypt, with whatever ease, difficulty, or ruthlessness. Had Mubarak stayed in (to whatever extent he retained support of the Egyptian military) and had he been resolutely supported by Obama, IT IS POSSIBLE that whatever carnage erupted in 2011 could (conceivably) have been some less than what the past week has begun to show. Many the same generals and colonels today as in 2011, I assume.
            Obama is not ahead of his game just now. This Nobel Peace laureate seems to have no end of trouble overseeing episodes of carnage and bloodletting: with whatever good intention he seems to’ve helped inflame Luo-Kikuyu relations on his trip to Kenya years back, a thousand died. What will he think of next? (After Kerry makes peace between Israel and the Palestinians, he might have to negotiate a new peace between Israel and Egypt, the way our President is going.)

      • HonestDebate1

        There are many legitimate reasons to regard the Obama presidency as a disaster. You are not the only one (even today) to dismiss those reasons and conclude the Conservative logic is “just because”.

        • anamaria23

          You must be delighted. Wasn’t that the plan contrived on Inaugeration ’09 night by the conservative elites?
          “unyielding opposition’ to any of President Obama economic initiatives.?

          • HonestDebate1

            I am not delighted at all at the fundamental transformation of America.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

    It was a good idea of having someone from the WaPo editorial page come on at 42 minutes into the hour. Just because someone has a Rolodex and is connected in the Beltway doesn’t make him an expert.

    Now if we could just delay that until 57 minutes into the hour.

    The WaPo editorial page has gotten very little right in the realm of foreign relations towards the near and middle east since 9/11, and Diehl might be made to answer for it.

  • CindyC Barnard

    Has anyone answered the question of how the Muslim Brotherhood was able to win the elections? Were they simply more organized than the majority? Is it inherent within a Muslim controlled government, however elected, to lean towards a theocracy rather than a democracy? Does any government have power w/o a military?

    • John_in_Amherst

      believe they only had to win a plurality, and in a field of a few candidates, the winner may be despised by the majority of voters. More organized? seems so. The historic trajectory of Islam, the stress and hardships of being a poor people in the modern world, etc. makes it easy for people lusting for power to employ religion as a means to an end. In difficult times, people look for simple solutions that fervent belief provides. as for the military: “Political power grows out of the barrel of a gun.” – Mao Tse-tung

  • Potter

    Diehl! He’s back into the US being able controlling the world.

    We are damned if we do and damned if we don’t.

  • J__o__h__n

    Why the uproar over whether or not to call it a coup? When was the last time one of our military actions was officially a war?

    • Coastghost

      But Obama has advertised himself for years as Mr Transparency: what’s with all this lawyerly sophistry? It looks as pathetic as it sounds.

      • J__o__h__n

        If there are legal consequences of it being labeled a coup, legal sophistry is an appropriate part of the analysis.

        • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

          Now John, you’re dealing with the same crowd who says “Why doesn’t someone testifying before Congress just tell them everything they know?” rather than protect themselves in the slightest, and then considers a Congressional hearing the same thing as testifying in a trial.

  • MrWakiki

    Here is what I don’t get: Who is the military?

    Is it a room of generals, is it one or two people..

  • stephenreal

    The US Navy needs the Suez canal.

    • jefe68

      So does Europe, a lot of the Middle East oil they use comes through it.

    • Labropotes

      Wow. Yesterday I replied to this comment, glibly stating that the US was putting access to the canal, access to Egyptian air space (drones) and containment of Gaza ahead of actual Egyptians. Clearly the comment failed standards in some way. I wonder how.

  • CindyC Barnard

    Arresting those who are violent is the way to go. No one can understand or condone the killing in the street, whoever started the violence.

    At the same time, if the people and current interim government can prove the recently overthrown leadership did not intend to provide equal representation in this newly formed democracy, the people had a right to “impeach”, and if that wasn’t possible, to remove the leadership.

    Does anyone remember our bloody, tumultuous start?

    George Washington was one of a few rare people who understood what it meant to lead the way to democracy, who began the process of our democracy. Was Morsi such a man?

    We need to continue our relationship with Egypt, to continue sending representatives to help us understand their actions, or to help re-route these actions. To remove ourselves until then is too soon.

    • brettearle

      Given the history of our relationship with the Egyptian military, how do you know whom to believe?

      • CindyC Barnard

        Right, agreed. And my statement does not presume believing the military but more towards diplomacy with those in power to try again to influence democracy. Egypt knows we don’t want to remove support, I hope it doesn’t go that far, not to say it shouldn’t.

        • brettearle

          Obvious or not, to say this:


          • Ray in VT

            For much of the Middle East for much of the past century the baseline has often been SNAFU.

          • brettearle

            Is it any wonder that the Christian Fundamentalists, among us, see Armageddon beginning in the Middle East?

            Messianic vision or not, they may have an ironic point.

  • Geheran1958

    When, in the course of reporting the Egyptian crisis, will the “Gold Standard” of broadcast journalism have the courage to probe the real essence of the Muslim Brotherhood? Absent a famliarity and understanding of the MB charter, motto, mission statement and fiendishly clever plans for the defeat of Europe and N. America “from within”, there is virtually no hope of having an intelligent,and informed discussion of the current crisis.

    • brettearle

      If we contemplate every movement and decision–in the Middle East, in Africa, and in Central Asia–based on a belief that any Islamic-backed government seeks a “new Millennium Caliphate” , then we do ourselves a disservice.

      We do ourselves a disservice, in terms of political flexibility; meeting any regime half way; and dismissing a government in power– simply because we THINK “they’re gonna do something”.

      • HonestDebate1

        But we are not doing that. Are you suggesting we dismiss the Islamic Caliphate altogether? Egypt is a big deal. The camp David Accords largely held for over 30 years. Mubarek was bad but this is far worse. Geheran alluded to the MB charter and motto above.

        Here is the motto: ‘Allah is our objective; the Prophet is our leader; the Quran is our law; Jihad is our way; dying in the way of Allah is our highest hope.”

        • jefe68

          Islamic Caliphate?

        • brettearle

          I defy anyone to designate which is the lesser of 2 Evils.

          We need to tread carefully. Very carefully.

          A military dictatorship may be just as bad.

          And yet, we and other countries–including the Saudis–need to stay out of it….as best as we can.

          We shouldn’t have a hand in controlling the political destiny in a country–even if it’s a strategic one, with significant geopolitical implications.

          And yet, I can understand why the US may be forced to intercede.

          It’s reasonably untenable.

          • HonestDebate1

            I agree there are no good options but I disagree that we should not stand against the evil that is radical Islam.

          • brettearle

            You see Islam like people saw the Red Scare.

            There will ALWAYS be enemies.

            And some of those enemies exist now–and we don’t EVEN know who they are.

            And some of those Enemies will arrive in the future.

            The Republican Ethos, so often is:

            Where are our Enemies?
            Where are our Enemies?
            Where are our Enemies”

            I know that they are out there!
            I just know it!

            Quick, Honey, look under Andy’s Bed!

            Duck and Cover!

            The Bogeyman is Red under there!
            Wait a second, I AM WRONG!

            The Bogeyman is Muslim under there!

            Wait! Wait! I am wrong!

            Bin Laden and Putin are BOTH UNDER THERE!

            Oh my God! Oh my God!

            Get me Interpol quick!

            Hello, Hello MayDay! MayDay!

            “Yes, Yes! Can I help you?….Is this the Islamic or Communist Party to whom I’m speaking?”

          • HonestDebate1

            I didn’t say Islam, I said radical Islam. Civilization as we know it is at stake.

          • pete18

            Hard to believe I know, but there actually is real evil out there in the world. Ignore it at your own risk.

          • brettearle

            Oh no, there IS real evil.

            I agree.

            But if you want to transform our society into a police state or a fascist state in 10, 15, or 20 years–or even sooner–THAT IS what is going to happen…..if we continue to live in FEAR like people have done under…..


            Go ahead….be afraid…..Be Very Afraid

            Senator Joe McCarthy was a fear-mongering zealot who made EVERYTHING WORSE.

          • pete18

            And I agree that an over response at the cost of our liberties is always a danger that we must be wary of. No doubt you agree that the Obama administration’s handling of the NSA program is quite troubling and worthy of great concern.

            On the flip side, not having a vigorous and vigilant fear and concern about
            anti-semitism , fascism and communism in Russia, Poland, Germany, Italy and China in the 1920s, 30s and 50s was part of what allowed the dictators you listed to flourish.

            If your attitude is, “hey no worries we will get attacked no matter what, let’s ignore the radical Muslim movement that is anti-semitic, fascistic, doesn’t believe in rights for women, kills homosexuals, wants to impose a religious theocracy in all the places it gains power, uses the killing of innocent people as a regular

            tactic and has demonstrated a relentless drive to achieve an Islamic Caliphate all over the middle east,” I would say that is the more dangerous position than any McCarthy over reach that might happen here.

            However, I don’t yet see any McCarthy like tactics coming from the Republican side of the aisle, are there any that you can point out to us?

          • brettearle

            Look, you frame the argument fairly well.

            But it is a knee-jerk reaction for you to believe that I embrace a, “Hey no worries”, attitude.

            Indeed, Honest Debate and I agreed, a couple of months ago, for example, about the way DC has handled No. Korea–in the wake of the public threats by the new Head-of-State.

            I was quite concerned–as were elements within the Obama administration.

            From Bush I to Obama, all these Presidents are at fault.

            My beef with your viewpoint is that you, and others from the Right, stereotype Democratic Presidents and the Left–and you decide that we are doves, despite evidence to the contrary.

            President Obama is regarded by some to be especially hawkish, on several important items, agendas, and Fronts.

            It is fool-hardy, after 9/11, to believe that we don’t have our antennae up, more than ever, with regard to danger and security.

            The Overreach, by the NSA, is an excellent example.

            On the one hand, we worry and carp about the Caliphate; and on the other, we worry and carp about Big Brother.


            And, frankly, I don’t KNOW where that balance is–and I don’t think YOU do either.

            Very few of us know.

            The whole thing is crazy.

            If you would like, you can go ahead and say,

            “See? Brettearle can’t come up with examples to display the paranoia of the Right. That must mean that there are none. And Brett Earle is a paper tiger.”

            Well, guess what?

            I can name a few, generically, off the top of my head.

            But there are numerous and countless and a multitude of public comments by Republican public officials and by others who seek the spotlight and publicity who wail and wax on, falsely, about US foreign Policy, Islam, Islamic law, Islamic culture–both abroad and here in the US.

            Because I cannot take the time to do the necessary research–even if it would take me 15-20 minutes to list many incidents–DOES NOT MEAN THESE EXAMPLES DON’T EXIST.

            A glaring example of McCarthyism, for one–as far as I am concerned–is Bloomberg and the Manhattan Mosques.

          • pete18

            I agree with you about the need to strike a balance, no question about that. However, I do think it is telling that you can’t give us any examples of this horrible McCarthism on the right that was the basis of your other post. Yes, not doing so doesn’t mean they don’t exist but it would also be surreal to offer that absence as evidence of their reality. You are the one making the claim, without evidence of something concrete to back that up aren’t you just indulging in the same stereotyping that you are criticizing the right about?

            As to Bloomberg and the Mosques, I think it’s a stretch to see that as evidence of rampaging McCarthisim. While Bloomberg is surely right on the principle of the matter ( in America a mosque should have as much right there as a church) the debate is really one of sensitivity for the victims. This would be the same as if a memorial for the holocaust was set up in the states ten years after the end of the war and a German social club wanted to erect a building right next to it. Certainly they would have the right but I think it would be at least debatable as to whether it would have been wise or in good taste to allow it at that moment in time.

          • brettearle

            No, you’re wrong about my claim.

            It is NOT a false claim.

            Discussions can symbolize issues beyond claims, regardless of footnotes.

            You simply lack the flexibility to recognize that there are greater & unorthodox dimensions to discussions–because of your need to….

            WIN A DISCUSSION, rather to hold back on your self-righteous impulses.

            And, if I have the time, I will back it up.

            If someone tells someone else that Afghanistan has itself an entry in the Encyclopedia Britannica, but that someone doesn’t tell that someone else, what page it’s on, or what the content is….

            doesn’t mean that the ENTRY DOESN’T EXIST.

          • pete18

            Again, you’re the one making the claim. It is hardly inflexible, nor self-righteous to ask you for some evidence for it. We’re not talking about an agreed upon land mass, whose existence doesn’t need a line in the Encyclopedia to confirm, we’re talking about your negative factual claim about a political group, which I think is untrue.

          • HonestDebate1

            Breattearle, I will leave your flippant treatment of Communism aside and just say I believe the threat was real and when the world reached the tipping point to it’s great benefit, it tipped the right way. That was not an accident.

            My honest opinion is I believe we are at such a tipping point now. I believe the war has already begun and we can fight back or die. I do not believe this administration has been honest with us about the threat. When I criticize Obama on Benghazi it’s not because I don’t like him. Many have suggested I will oppose him no matter what, just because. Just because what, I have no idea. It’s really quite insane logic. When I defend GWB’s action in Iraq it’s because I truly believe changing the face of the Middle East is the only solution. It’s not because I agree with everything he did, I don’t. I assure you I am very concerned about an administration that is not honest about threats we face. I assure you I believe the threat is dire. You can disagree but I sincerely hope it’s not because Obama has lulled you into complacency.

          • brettearle

            It is irresponsible for you to believe that our President, or any President–especially what happened after the cherry-picked Intelligence before the Iraq War; and especially before 9/11 when hindsight was NOT necessarily 20/20 in what was ignored–would play down any credible threat.

            Sooner or later we will be attacked again.


            You want to live in Fear for the rest of your life, go ahead.

            Without a 9/11, things were possibly going to happen, in any case–at some point in the future.


            Of COURSE there’s a threat. There will ALWAYS be a threat.

            Right Wing Paranoia is making
            General Jack Rippers & Curtis LeMays of y’all.

            As Larry King would say to some of his troubled callers, on his old talk radio program:

            “Sir, have a good time.”

          • HonestDebate1

            I disagree with you about Iraq, that’s not what happened. I gave you my honest opinion. That’s all i can do.

      • Geheran1958

        If a “Global Caliphate” were the only component, you would be right. Unfortunately, this is not the case. Proof? Compare the MB Charter, Motto, Mission Statement and fiendishly clever plans for the defeat of Europe and N. America “from within” with their actions. Compare the preachings of MB Founder, Hassan al-Banna, and the revered MB ideologue, Sayyid Qutb, with contemporary MB activities. MB fellow traveler, Turkish PM Erdogan, put it best when, in a speech given in Cologne, Germany, in 2011, he plainly stated: “Democracy is like a train that takes you to your destination – then you get off”. Make no mistake, the MB is the most serious threat facing the West since Communism.

    • HonestDebate1

      We cannot rely on the press, it must start with the President.

  • marygrav

    The US could an end to what is happening in Egypt with the simple word, NO. But the US unlike the original European Colonizers wants things as they are. They want the Egyptian military to do its dirty work of exterminating the Islamist enemies of Israel.

    But here is the rub. Because the US feels it has nothing invested in Middle East history other than oil, it has has forgotten the lesson of Rome. Christianity was a minor sect in the Roman Empire and due to it persecution it went underground. Now the Roman Empire is deemed to the dustbin of history and Christianity rules in the Western world.

    The holocaust happening in Egypt in 2013 mirrors the one that occurred in Europe in the 1930s. The US, in spite of of claim of innocents, ignored it as 6 million Jew met their marker, and is willing to ignore it in Egypt as 6 million Arabs meet theirs.

    The Europeans, to their credit are trying to make a peace, but with the US, the bully of the world, focusing only on “what is best for Israel,” obstructs all collective efforts.

    If Egypt succeeds in kill all that it sees as Islamist, this will not make Israel safe because for every visible Brotherhood member murdered, 50 invisible ones will spring up.

    Realpolitik is called for here, and the US may not be up to it.

  • M M

    Shadi Hamid insidiously evades the fact that the popular overthrow has the backing of the majority and Egypt is in a phase of TRANSITION. Many egyptians are of the opinion that Shadi Hamid is a closet islamist and affiliates with the Muslim Brotherhood.It would suit Mr.Hamid to come clean about it.

  • Regular_Listener

    Ms. Eltahaway’s comments are somewhat ridiculous. How could BOTH sides in this struggle be fascists? I think what she means is that they both use fascist-like tactics. And while I can sympathize with her view that neither choice is attractive, who else is there?

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