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Author Topic: Egypt And The Success Of Obama's Reasoned Approach  (Read 17168 times)
andreisdaman
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« Reply #200 on: August 13, 2012, 09:56:11 AM »

Only in America are people interested in spreading democracy around the world, but only when the outcome suits them.

I don't agree with the majority vote of an admitted extremist group, but that is the way the people voted. I would hope going forward that a more secular Egypt can exist. However, any time democracy is exercised over dictatorships that is a step in the right direction.

excellent post...you said it better than I could....Obama has brought democracy to the middle east....that is always a positive step in the right direction....what they choose to do with it is there concern...but now there can't be any more chants of "blame America"...they are chosing their own destiny right now.....That the gift that america gave them.  The Neo-cons want to paint this as an Obama failure.....this is actually Obama's greatest success...he was able to help remove stagnant dictatorships and replace them with more reasonable governments
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« Reply #201 on: August 13, 2012, 09:57:12 AM »

excellent post...you said it better than I could....Obama has brought democracy to the middle east....that is always a positive step in the right direction....what they choose to do with it is there concern...but now there can't be any more chants of "blame America"...they are chosing their own destiny right now.....That the gift that america gave them.  The Neo-cons want to paint this as an Obama failure.....this is actually Obama's greatest success...he was able to help remove stagnant dictatorships and replace them with more reasonable governments


Muslim Brotherhood is more reasonable? 

Are you in the Choom Bus w obama? 
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« Reply #202 on: August 16, 2012, 03:05:39 AM »

Clampdown on Egypt’s media raises fears
By Heba Saleh in Cairo
Human rights groups in Egypt have condemned a recent clampdown on media critical of the ruling Muslim Brotherhood amid concerns the new Islamist government is starting to imitate the practices of Hosni Mubarak, the dictator ousted by a popular uprising last year.
Al-Faraeen, a television channel owned and largely hosted by Tawfik Okasha, was taken off air for 45 days and warned it could be closed permanently. The authorities also temporarily stopped production of al-Dostour newspaper and slapped a travel ban on its editor-in-chief, Islam Afifi, as well as on Mr Okasha.
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On Monday, the state prosecutor referred both men to trial in a criminal court on charges including insulting Mohamed Morsi the president, spreading false rumours and inciting violence.
“We note that these attacks have come at the same time as statements from the president’s office and from leaders of the Freedom and Justice party [the political arm of the Brotherhood] which have warned against criticising the president. These statements implicitly give a green light to attacks against media freedom using legal and security methods,” 18 human rights groups said in a joint statement.
A maverick who appeared out of nowhere as a TV host, Mr Okasha’s shrill and vitriolic attacks have outraged almost everyone across the political spectrum – from the military to the Muslim Brotherhood. Al-Dostour is also virulently hostile to the Islamists and given to sensational headlines warning of impending catastrophe as a result of the Brotherhood’s political dominance.
Even so, journalists and press freedom advocates have been alarmed by the tough curbs, fearing the new authorities will revive the repressive methods of Mr Mubarak, especially now that the recently appointed information minister comes from the Brotherhood.
Concerns about attempts to intimidate the press have also been fuelled by last week’s mob attack on Khaled Salah, the editor of al-Youm al-Sabei, a newspaper critical of the Islamists. Mr Salah said he was assaulted by Muslim Brotherhood supporters protesting against programmes critical of the president outside television studios on the outskirts of Cairo. The Brotherhood has denied it was behind the violence.
“We have nothing to do with the moves against the press,” said Mohsen Rady, a Brotherhood official. “Members of the public have filed complaints against a libellous channel and newspaper and the prosecutor took action. We are opposed to closure and confiscation even if a media outlet is hostile to us, but we support holding accountable those who make mistakes.”
Many Egyptian journalists have also been infuriated in recent days by changes in the senior editorial staff of some 55 media organisations owned by the state. The Islamist-dominated upper chamber of parliament made the appointments despite opposition to its choices from the journalists’ union that contested the professional credentials of the new editors-in-chief.
Sayed Mahmoud, the literary editor of the online portal of al-Ahram, the main state-owned daily, said one of the first actions of the newspaper’s new editor-in-chief was to shelve a series tracking Mr Morsi’s progress in his first 100 days in office. The coverage, said Mr Mahmoud, was unflattering to Mr Morsi because it showed that little was being achieved.
“They are following in Mubarak’s footsteps and trying to buy loyalty,” Mr Mahmoud said.
Traditionally, the state press in Egypt has functioned as the mouthpiece for whoever is in power. Although some criticism of the ruling establishment, if not of Mr Mubarak himself, was in the past tolerated in government newspapers, editors had to demonstrate their loyalty by writing pieces praising the president’s decisions
“The difference is that under Mubarak, a degree of professional and administrative ability was required, and then loyalty was bought after the appointment was made,” Mr Mahmoud said.
There has also been outrage following the banning of an opinion piece criticising the Brotherhood in Al-Akhbar, another state-owned paper. Abla al-Ruweini, a senior writer, said her Friday column did not run after she refused to soften her criticism and remove a reference to “the Brotherisation of the press”.
“The state press was run by people who made billions from corruption, and restructuring it should have been a priority in this transitional period,” said Khaled al-Sirgany, a journalist who heads the National Coalition for Media Freedom, a lobbying group. “If using it to influence public opinion was going to work, it would have done so under Mubarak. All that happened was that it lost its credibility.”
Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2012. You may share using our article tools.
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Reportjimpeel | August 16 9:14am | Permalink This will be Mubarak on steroids with a radical Islamist theocracy thrown in for good measure. They deserve the government they voted for and it will bite them in the nether regions.
ReportKhalid | August 16 8:08am | Permalink
LOL -- the leftists and the socialists were forewarned that this WILL happen, and they still decided to go in bed with the MB, and against SCAF.

So now we have an Islamist coup, and its first victims will be the leftists and socialists.

They have no one to blame but themselves.

They were so jealous of those 1000 families who had fancy cars and homes, that they were willing to trade away their freedoms and get the Islamists in power, only to learn the hard way that Islamists are neither socialist nor liberal. Nobody more historically illiterate than the leftists and socialists.
ReportOldOllie | August 16 12:31am | Permalink
Why is anyone surprised by this? The Muslim Brother never pretended to be anything but fascists.
Reportmitch77 | August 15 11:51pm | Permalink
What I REALLY like to see from the 'main stream media' and even here is the acknowledgement of how Glenn Beck and others before him warned from the days after the fruit sellers self-immolation in Tunisia, that this muslim unrest would indeed spread all over the arab world. And how they SPECIFICALLY predicted that the muslim brotherhood were going to steal it from those seeking more freedom and use it for suppression and to further their CLEARLY and OFTEN PUBLICLY stated goal of creating the next caliphate.
Beck et al stated this well BEFORE the 1st short was fired in Egypt.

The MSM and hence the public have little recollection of this type truth because the MSM makes a habit of refusing to tell the truth about those they hate. Beck is on the air about 25 hrs pr week and yet there are almost n o clips of him being wrong. How is it possible in culture that posts every error made by most famous ppl that Beck is over looked? How is it when NPR got a grant from Soros JUST to catch Beck out they could not?

Why is it when you ask about Sarah Palin almost no one knows that every story accusing her of wrongdoing, or some other failure has been proved false?

This story is factual, as far as it goes, but really late news.
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« Reply #203 on: August 17, 2012, 08:28:53 PM »

Arab Spring run amok: 'Brotherhood' starts crucifixions Opponents of Egypt's Muslim president
WND ^ | 8/16/12 | Michael Carl
Posted on August 17, 2012 9:54:27 PM EDT by Nachum

The Arab Spring takeover of Egypt by the Muslim Brotherhood has run amok, with reports from several different media agencies that the radical Muslims have begun crucifying opponents of newly installed President Mohammed Morsi.

Middle East media confirm that during a recent rampage, Muslim Brotherhood operatives, “crucified those opposing Egyptian President Muhammad Morsi naked on trees in front of the presidential palace while abusing others.”

(Excerpt) Read more at wnd.com ...
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« Reply #204 on: August 18, 2012, 05:57:01 AM »

NATIONAL REVIEW ONLINE          www.nationalreview.com           PRINT

Egypt’s Military and the Arab Spring


By Andrew C. McCarthy

August 18, 2012 12:00 A.M.


 




Earlier this week, I wrote about Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi. He is a Muslim Brotherhood adherent who rose to the rank of general in Egypt’s military — the armed forces he has just been tapped to command by Mohammed Morsi, the Muslim Brotherhood eminence who was elected president of Egypt a few weeks back. My column was prompted by the Wall Street Journal’s coverage of Sissi’s appointment, which strained to put a positive spin on an unfolding catastrophe.
 
The Journal has been “all in” on the “Arab Spring” fairy tale from the get-go, joining the bipartisan Beltway chorus in presenting the rise of Islamist totalitarianism as a spontaneous eruption of freedom fervor. Even so, it was jarring to find the paper burying General Sissi’s Brotherhood sympathies at the bottom of a lengthy profile. The thud came only after paragraph upon sunny paragraph of conceit that Sissi’s decades of exposure to American military counterparts and his high standing in the eyes of Obama-administration officials boded well for future Amercan-Egyptian relations and Israeli security.
 
The mainstream media, it seems, have their template: We’ve spent 30 years and about $45 billion cultivating the Egyptian military, so rest assured it is not going to stand by and let Egypt fall under the yoke of Islamist rule. Pretty soon, though, they’ll have to fire up Story Line B: Islamist rule is actually quite moderate and perfectly compatible with democracy . . .  On Friday, the New York Times reported on yet another key Islamist military appointment in the Brotherhood’s new Egypt: General Sedky Sobhi, who was just named army chief of staff. 
 
Sobhi, it turns out, is author of an academic paper that sharply rebukes American foreign policy as both insufficiently deferential to sharia (Islamic law) and too one-sided in favor of Israel. He’s on record calling for “the permanent withdrawal of United States military forces from the Middle East and the Gulf.”
 
Feel better now?
 
To its credit, the Times does not repeat the Journal’s sleight of hand. Rather than being obscured, General Sobhi’s sympathies are, for the most part, fronted. We quickly learn that he has forcefully argued against our military presence in the region, claiming that the U.S. has itself to blame for being (as the Times phrases it) “mir[ed] . . . in an unwinnable global war with Islamist militants.”
 
Still, while one can guess why the general feels this way, the Times is elliptical about his Islamist convictions and rationalizations until we come to the end of the story. Only then do we hear of Sobhi’s complaint about (as the Times puts it) U.S. “hostility toward the role of Islamic law” (if only!) and his objection to the American characterization of al-Qaeda and other Islamic militants as “irrational terrorist organizations” (Sobhi’s words).
 
Sobhi was no doubt correct about the latter charge, though not for the reason he offers. The general posited the vapid (albeit commonly voiced) Islamist talking point that America created global terrorism by adopting policies that inevitably resulted in “popular grievances,” which al-Qaeda and other militants “tapped into.”
 
Obviously, there has to be a reason U.S. national-security policies gave rise to “popular grievances” in the Muslim Middle East — that’s the elephant in the parlor that no one cares to notice. The pursuit of American interests and promotion of American principles are unpopular because they collide with classical sharia doctrine. Yes, as the general says, the jihadists are rational actors, not wanton killers — they are acting on the commands of a coherent doctrine. But that doctrine is also ardently anti-Western. Any policy we would adopt to further our ends is bound to be unpopular in an environment where the presence of a Western army is deemed to trigger a duty to expel that army by violent jihad. Any policy we would adopt to shore up Israel’s security is bound to be unpopular in an environment where the Jewish state’s destruction is unapologetically proclaimed to be an Islamic duty.
 
Withal, the Times report is very enlightening. As NR readers know, I’ve been arguing for the better part of a decade that the Islamic democracy project is a fool’s errand because Islamist ideology, far from being an outlier, is the mainstream Islam of the Middle East. I even wrote a book, The Grand Jihad, that both explains Islamic supremacism and illustrates that this ideology’s chief proponent — the Muslim Brotherhood, backed by deep Saudi pockets — rightly perceives itself as the avant-garde of a dynamic mass movement. Other than a few appearances on the bestseller list, which I’m sure must have pained the Gray Lady, the book was studiously ignored by the Times. Elsewhere, it was pooh-poohed as Islamophobic tripe. Imagine my surprise, then, to find that my theory, virtually overnight, has gone from an object of ridicule to a truth so undeniable it warrants judicial notice.
 
Now, the Times tells us:
 

Samer Shehata, a professor of Arab politics at Georgetown University, said American policy makers would be naïve to think that the positions held by Mr. Morsi and the Brotherhood — including criticisms of the United States and strong support for the Palestinians — represented fringe thinking.

On those issues, “the Brotherhood is the Egyptian Kansas,” said Professor Shehata. Their positions on foreign policy “reflect rather than oppose what the Egyptian center is thinking,” he said.
 
Well, I’ll be darned. I thought it was hysterical “Islamophobia” to believe that such thinking represented “the Egyptian Kansas.”
 
Also remarkable is the paper’s matter-of-fact mention of the source of General Sobhi’s anti-American broadside. Turns out he wrote it seven years ago, when he was a student at the United States Army War College in Pennsylvania.
 
Think about that. As we’ve illustrated here time and time again, it is delusional to assume the Egyptian military is pro-American and thus a reliable bulwark against the advance of Islamic supremacism. Cairo’s armed forces reflect the broader society, whose able-bodied men are required to serve — and, as even the Times now concedes, the Egyptian mainstream is Islamist. Plus, the Egyptian army has always had Islamists (including violent jihadists) in its ranks. Its historical tendency, moreover, has not been to lead; it has been to follow the shifting political programs of whatever dictator happened to be running the show.
 
Nonetheless, you’ve spent nearly two years being told not to worry: Bet the farm on these generals we’ve been training and funding. Yet, now we see that our government is not only well aware of the Egyptian army’s Islamist streak (or shall we say swath?); Egyptian officers, who often study in the U.S., actually submit sharia-driven “get out of Dar al-Islam” term papers to their American military professors. And I’m betting he got an “A.”
 
Finally, the military promotions are not occurring in a vacuum. Things are going very badly in Egypt, and the reporting ought not be so vested in a rose-tinted narrative that it evades this unhappy bottom line. Contemporaneous with ousting the pro-American Mubarak remnants, President Morsi assumed dictatorial powers. He indicated that he would unilaterally oversee the drafting of a new constitution. There is not much mystery about what it will say: During the campaign, he vowed that Egyptian law would be “the sharia, then the sharia, and finally, the sharia.”
 
Meanwhile, dissenters and journalists are already being imprisoned and beaten — if not worse. (There are unconfirmed reports that crucifixion is making a comeback.) Terrorist leaders have been sprung from the prisons. The Sinai has become a jihadist haven. Women are attacked in the street if they fail to don the veil. A fatwa that prohibited eating during Ramadan was issued. Christians are fleeing in droves, their churches torched behind them. And the emirs of Hamas are warmly received as brotherly dignitaries.
 
No amount of whistling can obscure the graveyard. Things are bad, and they are going to get worse.
 
— Andrew C. McCarthy is the author, most recently, of The Grand Jihad: How Islam and the Left Sabotage America.
 
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© National Review Online 2012. All Rights Reserved.
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« Reply #205 on: August 19, 2012, 06:12:32 AM »

Who Lost Egypt?
By Caroline Glick - August 19, 2012

 
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In 1949, the Communist takeover of China rattled the US foreign policy establishment to its core. China’s fall to Communism was correctly perceived as a massive strategic defeat for the US. The triumphant Mao Zedong placed China firmly in the Soviet camp and implemented foreign policies antithetical to US interests.

For the American foreign policy establishment, China’s fall forced a reconsideration of basic axioms of US foreign policy. Until China went Red, the view resonant among foreign policy specialists was that it was possible for the US to peacefully coexist and even be strategic allies with Communists.


 
With Mao’s embrace of Stalin this position was discredited. The US’s subsequent recognition that it was impossible for America to reach an accommodation with Communists served as the intellectual architecture of many of the strategies the US adopted for fighting the Cold War in the years that followed.

Today the main aspect of America’s response to China’s Communist revolution that is remembered is the vindictive political hunt for scapegoats. Foreign Service officers and journalists who had advised the US government to support Mao and the Communists against Chiang Kai Shek and the Nationalists were attacked as traitors.

But while the “Red Scare” is what is most remembered about that period, the most significant consequence of the rise of Communist China was the impact it had on the US’s understanding of the nature of Communist forces. Even Theodore White, perhaps the most prominent journalist who championed Mao and the Communists, later acknowledged that he had been duped by their propaganda machine into believing that Mao and his comrades were interested in an alliance with the US.

As Joyce Hoffmann exposed in her book Theodore White and Journalism as Illusion, White acknowledged that his wartime report from Mao’s headquarters in Yenan praising the Communists as willing allies of the US who sought friendship, “not as a beggar seeks charity, but seeks aid in furthering a joint cause,” was completely false.

As he wrote, the report was “winged with hope and passion that were entirely unreal.”

What he had been shown in Yenan, Hoffmann quotes White as having written, was “the showcase of democratic art pieces they (the Communists) staged for us American correspondents [and] was literally, only showcase stuff.”

Contrast the US’s acceptance of failure in China in 1949, and its willingness to learn the lessons of its loss of China, with the US’s denial of its failure and loss of Egypt today.

On Sunday, new president Mohamed Morsy completed Egypt’s transformation into an Islamist state. In the space of one week, Morsy sacked the commanders of the Egyptian military and replaced them with Muslim Brotherhood loyalists, and fired all the editors of the state-owned media and replaced them with Muslim Brotherhood loyalists.

He also implemented a policy of intimidation, censorship and closure of independently owned media organizations that dare to publish criticism of him.

Morsy revoked the military’s constitutional role in setting the foreign and military policies of Egypt. But he maintained the junta’s court-backed decision to disband the parliament. In so doing, Morsy gave himself full control over the writing of Egypt’s new constitution.

As former ambassador to Egypt Zvi Mazel wrote Tuesday in The Jerusalem Post, Morsy’s moves mean that he “now holds dictatorial powers surpassing by far those of erstwhile president Hosni Mubarak.”

In other words, Morsy’s actions have transformed Egypt from a military dictatorship into an Islamist dictatorship.

The impact on Egypt’s foreign policy of Morsy’s seizure of power is already becoming clear. On Monday, Al-Masri al-Youm quoted Mohamed Gadallah, Morsy’s legal adviser, saying that Morsy is considering revising the peace accord with Israel. Gadallah explained that Morsy intends to “ensure Egypt’s full sovereignty and control over every inch of Sinai.”

In other words, Morsy intends to remilitarize Sinai and so render the Egyptian military a clear and present threat to Israel’s security. Indeed, according to Haaretz, Egypt has already breached the peace accord and deployed forces and heavy weaponry to Sinai without Israeli permission.

The rapidity of Morsy’s moves has surprised most observers. But more surprising than his moves is the US response to his moves.

Obama administrations officials have behaved as though nothing has happened, or even as though Morsy’s moves are positive developments.

For instance, in an interview with The Wall Street Journal, one administration official dismissed the significance of Morsy’s purge of the military brass, saying, “What I think this is, frankly, is Morsy looking for a generational change in military leadership.”

The Journal reported that Egypt’s new defense minister, Gen. Abdul-Fattah el-Sissi, is known as a Muslim Brotherhood sympathizer. But the Obama administration quickly dismissed the reports as mere rumors with no significance. Sissi, administration sources told the Journal, ate dinner with US President Barack Obama’s chief counterterrorism adviser John Brennan during Brennan’s visit to Cairo last October. Aside from that, they say, people are always claiming that Morsy’s appointments have ties to Morsy’s Muslim Brotherhood.

A slightly less rose-colored assessment came from Steven Cook in Foreign Affairs. According to Cook, at worst, Morsy’s move was probably nothing more than a present-day reenactment of Gamal Abel Nasser’s decision to move Egypt away from the West and into the Soviet camp in 1954.

Most likely, Cook argued, Morsy was simply doing what Sadat did when in 1971 he fired other generals with whom he had been forced to share power when he first succeeded Nasser in 1969.

Certainly the Nasser and Sadat analogies are pertinent. But while properly citing them, Cook failed to explain what those analogies tell us about the significance of Morsy’s actions. He drew the dots but failed to see the shape they make.

Morsy’s Islamism, like Mao’s Communism, is inherently hostile to the US and its allies and interests in the Middle East. Consequently, Morsy’s strategic repositioning of Egypt as an Islamist country means that Egypt – which has served as the anchor of the US alliance system in the Arab world for 30 years – is setting aside its alliance with the US and looking toward reassuming the role of regional bully.

Egypt is on the fast track to reinstating its war against Israel and threatening international shipping in the Suez Canal. And as an Islamist state, Egypt will certainly seek to export its Islamic revolution to other countries. No doubt fear of this prospect is what prompted Saudi Arabia to begin showering Egypt with billions of dollars in aid.

It should be recalled that the Saudis so feared the rise of a Muslim Brotherhood-ruled Egypt that in February 2011, when US President Barack Obama was publicly ordering then-president Hosni Mubarak to abdicate power immediately, Saudi leaders were beseeching him to defy Obama. They promised Mubarak unlimited financial support for Egypt if he agreed to cling to power.

The US’s astounding sanguinity in the face of Morsy’s completion of the Islamization of Egypt is an illustration of everything that is wrong and dangerous about US Middle East policy today.

Take US policy toward Syria.

Syria is in possession of one of the largest arsenals of chemical and biological weapons in the world. The barbarism with which the regime is murdering its opponents is a daily reminder – indeed a flashing neon warning sign – that Syria’s nonconventional arsenal constitutes a clear and present danger to international security. And yet, the Obama administration insists on viewing Syrian President Bashar Assad’s murderous behavior as if it were a garden variety human rights crisis.

During her visit with Turkey’s Islamist Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu last Saturday, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton didn’t even mention the issue of Syria’s chemical and biological weapons. Instead she continued to back Turkey’s sponsorship of the Islamist-dominated opposition and said that the US would be working with Turkey to put together new ways to help the Islamist opposition overthrow Assad’s regime.

Among other things, she did not rule out the imposition of a no-fly zone over Syria.

The party most likely to be harmed from such a move would be Israel, which would lose its ability to bomb Syrian weapons of mass destruction sites from the air.

Then of course, there is Iran and its openly genocidal nuclear weapons program. This week The New York Times reported a new twist in the Obama administration’s strategy for managing this threat. It is trying to convince the Persian Gulf states to accept advanced missile defense systems from the US.

This new policy makes clear that the Obama administration has no intention of preventing Iran from becoming a nuclear power. Its actions on the ground are aimed instead at accomplishing one goal: convincing Iran’s Arab neighbors to accept Iran as a nuclear power and preventing Israel from acting militarily to prevent Iran from becoming a nuclear power. The missile shields are aspects of a policy of containment, not prevention. And the US’s attempts to sabotage Israel’s ability to strike Iran’s nuclear sites through leaks, political pressure and efforts to weaken the Netanyahu government make clear that as far as the US is concerned, Iran acquiring nuclear weapons is not the problem.

The prospect of Israel preventing Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons is the problem.

Several American commentators argue that the Obama administration’s policies are the rational consequence of the divergence of US and Israeli assessments of the threats posed by regional developments. For instance, writing in the Tablet online magazine this week, Lee Smith argued that the US does not view the developments in Egypt, Iran and Syria as threatening US interests. From Washington’s perspective, the prospect of an Israeli strike on Iran is more threatening than a nuclear-armed Iran, because an Israeli strike would immediately destabilize the region.

The problem with this assessment is that it is nonsense. It is true that Israel is first on Iran’s target list, and that Egypt is placing Israel, not the US in its crosshairs. So, too, Syria and its rogue allies will use their chemical weapons against Israel first.

But that doesn’t mean the US will be safe. The likely beneficiaries of Syrian chemical weapons – Sunni and Shi’ite terrorist organizations – have attacked the US in the past. Iran has a history of attacking US shipping without a nuclear umbrella.

Surely it would be more aggressive in the Persian Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz after defying Washington in illegally developing a nuclear arsenal. The US is far more vulnerable to interruptions in the shipping lanes in the Suez Canal than Israel is.

The reason Israel and the US are allies is that Israel is the US’s first line of defense in the region.

If regional events weren’t moving so quickly, the question of who lost Egypt would probably have had its moment in the spotlight in Washington.

But as is clear from the US’s denial of the significance of Morsy’s rapid completion of Egypt’s Islamic transformation; its blindness to the dangers of Syrian chemical and biological weapons; and its complacency toward Iran’s nuclear weapons program, by the time the US foreign policy establishment realizes it lost Egypt, the question it will be asking is not who lost Egypt. It will be asking who lost the Middle East. 


caroline@carolineglick.com

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« Reply #206 on: August 22, 2012, 07:47:32 PM »

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Ailing Egypt seeks $4.8 billion IMF loan
Yahoo! News ^ | 8/22/12 | Maggie Michael - ap
Posted on August 22, 2012 9:22:26 PM EDT by NormsRevenge

CAIRO (AP) — Egypt formally asked the International Monetary Fund for a $4.8 billion loan on Wednesday, seeking a desperately needed rescue package for its faltering economy but raising the possibility of painful restructuring in a country still reeling since its revolution more than 18 months ago.

The loan deal, which Egypt says it will reach by the end of the year, presents a major test to the Muslim Brotherhood-rooted president, Mohammed Morsi, the country's first ever freely elected leader, brought to power after the fall of Hosni Mubarak.

The IMF has avoided making specific conditions for a loan but it seeks a cohesive government plan for restarting economic growth and reducing a deficit that has grown to $23.6 billion, some 8.7 percent of gross domestic product.

A key part of that will likely be reducing subsidies that suck up a third of the government budget every year. Touching those subsidies, however, could bring social upheaval, since they keep commodities like fuel and bread cheap for a population of around 82 million, some 40 percent of whom live near or below the poverty line.

"The government will have to take urgent measures, at the top of them cutting energy subsidies," said Mohammed Abu Basha, a Cairo-based economist at investment bank EFG-Hermes Holding SAE. The biggest subsidies are those on fuel — including gasoline and cooking gas — costing the government some $16 billion a year.

Egypt's upheaval since the 18-day uprising that led to Mubarak's ouster on Feb. 11, 2011, has pushed its economy toward the brink. Amid near constant instability since, foreign investment has dried up. Revenues from tourism — one of the country's biggest money makers and employers — fell 30 percent to $9 billion in 2011 and the industry is only making a meager recovery.

(Excerpt) Read more at news.yahoo.com ...
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« Reply #207 on: August 24, 2012, 09:36:08 AM »

Analysis: Brotherhood taking total control of Egypt

By ZVI MAZEL

08/23/2012 03:24




With rise of Morsy, a new dictatorship may be replacing the old while world persists in looking for signs of pragmatism.
Photo: Mohamed Abd el-Ghany/Reuters

While the world persists in looking for signs of pragmatism in the Egyptian president, Mohamed Morsy is quietly taking over all the power bases in the country.

Having gotten rid of the army old guard, he replaced them with his own men – officers belonging to the Muslim Brotherhood or known sympathizers. Then he turned his attention to the media, replacing 50 editors working for the government’s extensive and influential press empire – including Al- Ahram, Al-Akhbar, Al-Gomhuria. He is now busy appointing new governors to the 27 regions of the country.

 Related: •
 'Egypt's tanks are in Sinai for fighting terrorism'


 US urges Egypt to retake control of Sinai


Hosni Mubarak used to choose retired generals he could depend on for these sensitive posts; Morsy is hand picking party faithful. At the same time upper echelons in government ministries and economic and cultural organizations are methodically being replaced. The Muslim Brotherhood is fast assuming total control. For many observers, the deployment of army units is Sinai is more about proclaiming Egyptian sovereignty in the face of Israel than actually fighting Islamic terrorism.

Drafting the new constitution is their next objective. Brothers and Salafis make up an absolute majority in the Constituent Assembly. Liberal and secular forces are boycotting its sessions, and the Supreme Constitutional Court is examining a request to have it dissolved since it does not conform to the constitution because of its overly Islamic composition; a decision is expected in September.

The assembly, however, is not waiting. According to various leaks it is putting the final touch to a constitution where all laws have to conform to the Shari’a and special committees will supervise the media and forbid any criticism of Islam and of the Prophet. In the wings is the creation of a Committee of Islamic Sages supervising the law-making process and in effect voiding of substance the parliament elected by the people, though it is not clear yet if, when and how it will work. What is clear is that a parliament made of flesh and blood individuals is against the very nature of the Shari’a, where all laws are based on the Koran and the hadiths. This is a far cry from the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Morsy has been careful to speak about creating “a civil society”; it is now obvious that what he meant was a society not ruled by the army, and not a secular society. Indeed he had promised to appoint a woman and a Copt as vice presidents, but chose Mohamed Maki, a Sunni known for his sympathy for the Brotherhood and incidentally or not the brother of the new minister of justice, Prof. Ahmed Maki, known for his independent stands and opposition to Mubarak, but who had carefully concealed his support for the Brothers.

It is worth stressing that the Brotherhood is still operating under conditions of utmost secrecy, as it had been doing during the decades of persecution. How it is getting its funds, who are its members and how they are recruited is not known, nor is its decision-taking process. The movement has no legal existence since Gamal Abdel Nasser officially disbanded it in 1954.

That state of affairs was not changed while the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces ruled the country, since apparently the movement did not apply for recognition, fearing perhaps it would have to reveal some of its secrets. Now that it has created its own political party, that the members of that party make up nearly 50 percent of the parliament and that one of their own has been elected president, can the movement remain in the shadows?

Morsy did announce that he was resigning from the Brotherhood, but there is no doubt that he will remain true to the tenets and the commands of its leaders. This is making people increasingly uneasy. They had other expectations of the revolution.

Opposition to an Islamic regime is growing, though it is far from being united. The three small liberal parties that had had very little success in the parliamentary elections have now set up a new front, The Third Way, to fight the Brotherhood’s takeover. Hamdeen Sabahi, leader of the nationalistic Karama (Dignity) Party, who had garnered 18% of the votes in the first round of the presidential election, has launched “The Popular Current” promoting the old Nasserist pan-Arab ideology.

Some of the nongovernmental media are vocal in their criticism of Morsy, though it can be costly: Private television station Al- Pharaein – “the Pharaohs” – was shut down after it called to get rid of Morsy; its owner, Tawfik Okasha, well known for his hostility to the Brothers (and to Israel) and who called for a massive demonstration this Friday, was put under house arrest, as was the editor of the daily Al-Dostour that had criticized the president. The editors of two other dailies – Al-Fajer and Saut el-Umma – were questioned. Other papers such as Al-Akhbar stopped publishing opinion pieces from their regular collaborators known for their opposition to the Brothers; well-known publicists left their page blank in a gesture of solidarity for their colleagues.

Morsy knows that his takeover will strengthen the opposition. He has not forgotten that he barely mustered 25% of the votes in the first round of the presidential election – down from the nearly 50% who voted for his party’s candidates in the parliamentary elections. He also knows that the people are no longer afraid to take to the streets to protest – and that it is now said that a new dictatorship is replacing the old – the only difference being that the new ruler has a beard....

However, for now he is devoting all his energy to his fight with the judiciary, long known for its independent stands. The Supreme Constitutional Court is being asked to rule the Brotherhood Movement illegal, and therefore to proclaim that the Liberty and Justice party it created – and which won 50% of the seats in the parliament – is illegal as well, and therefore to invalidate the election of Morsy, candidate of a movement and a party that are both illegal. Morsy sent his new justice minister to browbeat the court, but the judges refused to back down. The president is now working to limit the prerogatives of the court in the new constitution and will start “retiring” senior justices appointed by Mubarak.

Friday’s demonstration will be the first real test for the Brotherhood. It is taking no chances and security forces will be deployed around its institutions throughout the country. A cleric at Al-Azhar issued a fatwa calling for the killing of whoever protests against the rule of the Brotherhood; the resulting uproar was such that he was disavowed by some of the leaders of the movement. However, whatever happens Friday will not deter them from their goal – a thoroughly Islamist Egypt.

The writer is a former ambassador to Egypt.
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« Reply #208 on: August 28, 2012, 11:01:23 AM »

http://www.worldnewstribune.com/2012/08/27/egypt-allows-iranian-warship-through-suez-despite-u-s-objection


Monday, August 27th, 2012 | Posted by WorldTribune.com
Egypt allows Iranian warship through Suez despite U.S. objection



CAIRO — Egypt has again allowed an Iranian Navy ship to pass the Suez
Canal toward Syria.

A senior official said the Egyptian Navy approved the passage of an
Iranian ship loaded with weapons to move from the Red Sea to the
Mediterranean Sea




The Iranian Navy frigate IS Alvand passes through the Suez Canal at Ismailia, Egypt, on Feb. 22. The frigate, accompanied by the replenishment ship IS Kharg, entered the Suez Canal en route to Syria. /AP

The official said Egypt dismissed a request by the United
States to stop the Iranian ship at the canal.

“The Egyptian Navy refused a U.S. request to strike an Iranian ship
loaded with weapons that was on its way to Syria through the Suez Canal,” Mohab Mamish, chairman of the Suez Canal Authority, said.


In an Aug. 26 interview with an Egyptian television station, Al Hayat,
Mamish, replaced as Egyptian Navy commander earlier this month, did not say when the Iranian weapons ship traveled through the canal.


Mamish, a former member of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, said he was authorized to make all decisions on the canal, a leading earner of revenue for Egypt.


Mamish, whose remarks were also reported by Egypt’s official daily Al
Ahram, said the Egyptian military objected to deployment of U.S. Navy ships at the southern entrance of the canal in January 2011. At the time, President Hosni Mubarak faced massive unrest, which led to his ouster by the military 18 days later.


In the interview, Mamish said the Egyptian Navy has maintained tight
control over the canal. The retired vice admiral said no foreign navy could
conduct operations in the narrow waterway without Egypt’s approval.

 
   
   
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« Reply #209 on: September 03, 2012, 06:08:08 PM »


 
September 3, 2012
U.S. Is Near Pact to Cut $1 Billion From Egypt’s Debt
By STEVEN LEE MYERS
WASHINGTON — Nearly 16 months after first pledging to help Egypt’s failing economy, the Obama administration is nearing an agreement with the country’s new government to relieve $1 billion of its debt as part of an American and international assistance package intended to bolster its transition to democracy, administration officials said.

The administration’s efforts, delayed by Egypt’s political turmoil and by wariness in Washington about new leaders emerging from its first free elections, gained new urgency in recent weeks, even as the United States risks losing influence and investment opportunities to countries like China. President Mohamed Morsi chose China for his first official visit outside of the Middle East.

In addition to the debt assistance, the administration has thrown its support behind a $4.8 billion loan being negotiated between Egypt and the International Monetary Fund. Last week, it dispatched the first of two delegations to work out details of the proposed debt assistance, as well as $375 million in financing and loan guarantees for American financiers who invest in Egypt and a $60 million investment fund for Egyptian businesses.

The assistance underscores the importance of shoring up Egypt at a time of turmoil and change across the Middle East, including the relatively peaceful uprisings in Egypt and Tunisia, the still-unfinished transition in Libya, the showdown over Iran’s nuclear program and the war in Syria.

Given Egypt’s influence in the Arab world, the officials said, its economic recovery and political stability could have a profound influence on other nations in transition and ease wariness in Israel about the tumultuous political changes under way.

The administration’s revived push came after Mr. Morsi won the presidency in June and overcame a constitutional showdown with the country’s military rulers.

Mr. Morsi and his party, the Muslim Brotherhood, have since made it clear that the struggling economy is their most urgent priority, brushing aside reservations about American and international assistance and outright opposition to it from other Islamic factions.

In fact, American officials say they have been surprised by how open Mr. Morsi and his advisers have been to economic changes, with a sharp focus on creating jobs.

“They sound like Republicans half the time,” one administration official said, referring to leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood, the Islamic movement turned political party that was long barred from office under the former president, Hosni Mubarak, a close American ally.

Hoping to capitalize on what they see as a ripening investment climate, the State Department and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce will take executives from nearly 50 American companies, like Caterpillar and Xerox, to Cairo beginning Saturday as part of one of the largest trade delegations ever organized. The officials and executives will urge the government to make changes in taxation, bankruptcy and labor laws to improve the investment climate.

“It’s important for the U.S. to give Egypt a reason to look to the West, as well as the East,” said Lionel Johnson, the chamber’s vice president for the Middle East and North Africa.

From the start of the popular uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt in 2011, President Obama and others argued that the United States and the rest of the world needed to address the poverty and joblessness that fueled popular anger and ultimately opposition to authoritarian governments in the region.

The assistance that Mr. Obama first pledged in a speech at the State Department in May 2011 has been slow in coming, however, because of the political turmoil and street unrest in Egypt, the sluggish bureaucracy in Washington and anger in Congress over the prosecution by Egypt of American nongovernmental organizations that promote democracy.

The delay has frustrated officials who fear that the United States has risked missing an opportunity to reshape a relationship that for decades was focused more on arms sales and security than on economic prosperity for a broad group of Egyptians.

“Our goal is to send a very strong message to Egypt that the government understands it’s not just about assistance,” Deputy Secretary of State Thomas R. Nides, who will travel with the Chamber of Commerce delegation, said in an interview. “It’s about growth and business.”

Egypt’s economy is increasingly precarious, with dwindling foreign-exchange reserves and nagging unemployment. The instability that followed the toppling of Mr. Mubarak devastated tourism, one of the country’s greatest sources of foreign currency.

Saudi Arabia and Qatar have stepped in to provide emergency infusions totaling $3 billion, while China offered Mr. Morsi a $200 million loan for Egypt and signed investment contracts in agriculture and telecommunications.

The director of the International Monetary Fund, Christine Lagarde, took the unusual step of attending the opening negotiations for its $4.8 billion loan, underscoring the urgency of Egypt’s crisis and the international community’s determination to help. A year ago, when the military leaders dominated the transitional government, Egypt refused to even discuss a loan.

Egypt’s new prime minister, Hesham Qandil, said he hoped the loan would be completed by the end of the year. Officials from this week’s delegation have remained in Egypt to hammer out the details of the American debt assistance, which they said would be completed in conjunction with the International Monetary Fund program.

Egypt’s debt to the United States exceeds $3 billion, most of it from a program called Food for Peace that offered loans to buy American agricultural products after the Camp David peace accords with Israel during the Carter administration. The $1 billion in debt relief proposed by Mr. Obama has been cobbled together from money from assistance programs that has not been spent over the last few years.

The administration is negotiating whether to waive some debt payments altogether or allow “debt swaps,” in which the money that would otherwise pay down the American debt instead is spent on training and infrastructure projects in Egypt intended to attract private investment and create jobs. Congress has attached conditions to American assistance in Egypt, requiring Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton to certify, among other things, that the country continues to abide by its treaty with Israel.

American and Israeli officials, including Michael B. Oren, Israel’s ambassador to the United States, have sought to assure members of Congress that assistance should proceed, despite reservations about the Muslim Brotherhood’s political rise, the officials said.

They have argued that persistently high unemployment, especially among women and young people, could undermine Mr. Morsi’s government, causing further instability in Egypt and beyond. Robert D. Hormats, the under secretary of state for economic affairs,   who led last week’s delegation, lavished praised on Mr. Morsi’s early stewardship. “The groundwork has been set with a new political leadership, a new level of energy and new opportunities to reform,” he said in Cairo on Wednesday.

Egypt also had some requests for the United States. Mr. Qandil, the new prime minister, raised the State Department’s longstanding travel warning for Egypt, which warned of “the continuing possibility of sporadic unrest.”

Mr. Qandil asked Mr. Hormats to emphasize that disruptions were limited to small parts of the country.

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« Reply #210 on: September 04, 2012, 12:37:03 PM »

http://www.timesofisrael.com/egyptian-cleric-advises-men-beat-your-wife-so-she-will-mend-her-ways


Sweet! 
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« Reply #211 on: September 10, 2012, 12:52:56 PM »

Obama aids Egypt as it tries to buy U-boats,
 Daily Caller ^ | Septembe 10, 2012 | Neil Munro

Posted on Monday, September 10, 2012 3:44:18 PM by opentalk

President Barack Obama’s deputies are negotiating a $1 billion aid package with Egypt’s new Islamist government, even as Egypt’s cash-strapped military revealed that it is trying to buy $1 billion worth of German submarines that could threat Israel’s fast-growing offshore energy projects.

The Germans government has pointedly declined to deny the incendiary revelation about Egypt’s request to buy the two submarines. Instead, the German government offered vague support for Israel, which is facing renewed threats from Iran’s nuclear program and the Muslim Brotherhood’s rise to power in Egypt.


(Excerpt) Read more at dailycaller.com ...
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« Reply #212 on: September 11, 2012, 11:54:30 AM »

CNN Breaking News @ 14:06 EDST, from Egypt
 http://www.cnn.com/ | September 11, 2012 | CNN

Posted on Tuesday, September 11, 2012 2:29:40 PM by


Angry protesters climbed the walls of the U.S. Embassy in Cairo today and hauled down its U.S. flags, replacing them with black flags with Islamic emblems.
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« Reply #213 on: September 11, 2012, 11:59:26 AM »

http://www.chron.com/news/article/Egyptian-protesters-scale-US-Embassy-wall-in-Cairo-3856652.php


Real success huh Benny you ghetto piece of shit? 
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« Reply #214 on: September 11, 2012, 04:30:46 PM »


Hey 3333,,,any good bars up in Woodlawn?.....seeing an Irish gal now and want to take her to a nice bar with good drinks....we've been going to the Mexican bar, Montezumas, on University and Kingsbridge Road......any place you can recommend?
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« Reply #215 on: September 11, 2012, 04:52:46 PM »

Hey 3333,,,any good bars up in Woodlawn?.....seeing an Irish gal now and want to take her to a nice bar with good drinks....we've been going to the Mexican bar, Montezumas, on University and Kingsbridge Road......any place you can recommend?

They wont like that up on McLean Ave. or Katanoh Ave. 
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« Reply #216 on: September 12, 2012, 04:52:11 AM »

Egypt's economy dealt another blow
 
12 September 2012, 7:17 GMT | By Aaron Greenwood




Current account and balance of payments deficits rose significantly in last financial year
 

Investor confidence in Egypt’s troubled economy has been dealt another blow, with central bank data revealing the country’s balance of payments deficit rose to $11.3 billion in the 2011-12 financial year, up 14 per cent year-on-year.

Preliminary figures show the country’s current account deficit rose 23 per cent year-on-year to $7.9bn, while its trade deficit increased by $4.6bn to $31.7bn.

Foreign investors have fled Egypt in the wake of Hosni Mubarak’s ousting in February 2011. Despite the election of Islamist president Mohamed Mursi in June, political instability has continued to impact the economy.

In a bid to restore confidence and kickstart its economy, the government has requested a $4.8bn loan from the Washington-headquartered IMF. Egypt has already received $2bn and $1bn cash injections from Qatar and Saudi Arabia respectively.
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« Reply #217 on: September 12, 2012, 05:26:28 AM »

How Obama Engineered Mideast Radicalization


Posted 07/19/2012 06:46 PM ET




The Obama Record
 
The Obama Record: After angry Egyptians pelted her motorcade with shoes, chanting "Leave!," Secretary of State Clinton insisted the U.S. wasn't there to take sides. Too late.
 
'I want to be clear that the United States is not in the business, in Egypt, of choosing winners and losers, even if we could, which of course we cannot," Hillary Clinton intoned earlier this week.
 
Of course, the administration could, and it did, picking and even colluding with the Muslim Brotherhood. And one of its hard-liners, Mohammed Morsi, now sits in the presidential palace, where he refused to shake unveiled Clinton's hand.
 
This administration favored Islamists over secularists and helped them overthrow Hosni Mubarak, the reliable U.S. ally who had outlawed the terrorist Brotherhood and honored the peace pact with Israel for three decades. The Brotherhood, in contrast, has backed Hamas and called for the destruction of Israel.
 
Now the administration is dealing with the consequences of its misguided king-making. Officials fear the new regime could invite al-Qaida, now run by an Egyptian exile, back into Egypt and open up a front with Israel along the Sinai. Result: more terrorists and higher gas prices.
 
In fact, it was Hillary's own department that helped train Brotherhood leaders for the Egyptian elections. Behind the scenes, she and the White House made a calculated decision, and took step-by-step actions, to effectively sell out Israel and U.S. interests in the Mideast to the Islamists.
 
The untold story of the "Arab Spring" is that the Obama administration secretly helped bring Islamofascists to power. Consider this timeline:
 

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2009: The Brotherhood's spiritual leader — Sheikh Yusuf Qaradawi — writes an open letter to Obama arguing terrorism is a direct response to U.S. foreign policy.
 
2009: Obama travels to Cairo to deliver apologetic speech to Muslims, and infuriates the Mubarak regime by inviting banned Brotherhood leaders to attend. Obama deliberately snubs Mubarak, who was neither present nor mentioned. He also snubs Israel during the Mideast trip.
 
2009: Obama appoints a Brotherhood-tied Islamist — Rashad Hussain — as U.S. envoy to the Organization of the Islamic Conference, which supports the Brotherhood.
 
2010: State Department lifts visa ban on Tariq Ramadan, suspected terrorist and Egyptian-born grandson of Brotherhood founder Hassan al-Banna.
 
2010: Hussain meets with Ramadan at American-sponsored conference attended by U.S. and Brotherhood officials.
 
2010: Hussain meets with the Brotherhood's grand mufti in Egypt.
 
2010: Obama meets one-on-one with Egypt's foreign minister, Ahmed Aboul Gheit, who later remarks on Nile TV: "The American president told me in confidence that he is a Muslim."
 
2010: The Brotherhood's supreme guide calls for jihad against the U.S.
 
2011: Qaradawi calls for "days of rage" against Mubarak and other pro-Western regimes throughout Mideast.
 
2011: Riots erupt in Cairo's Tahrir Square. Crowds organized by the Brotherhood demand Mubarak's ouster, storm buildings.
 
2011: The White House fails to back longtime ally Mubarak, who flees Cairo.
 
2011: White House sends intelligence czar James Clapper to Capitol Hill to whitewash the Brotherhood's extremism. Clapper testifies the group is moderate, "largely secular."
 
2011: Qaradawi, exiled from Egypt for 30 years, is given a hero's welcome in Tahrir Square, where he raises the banner of jihad.
 
2011: Through his State Department office, William Taylor — Clinton's special coordinator for Middle East transitions and a longtime associate of Brotherhood apologists —gives Brotherhood and other Egyptian Islamists special training to prepare for the post-Mubarak elections.
 
2011: The Brotherhood wins control of Egyptian parliament, vows to tear up Egypt's 30-year peace treaty with Israel and reestablishes ties with Hamas, Hezbollah.
 
2011: Obama gives Mideast speech demanding Israel relinquish land to Palestinians, while still refusing to visit Israel.
 
2011: Justice Department pulls plug on further prosecution of U.S.-based Brotherhood front groups identified as collaborators in conspiracy to funnel millions to Hamas.
 
2011: In a shocking first, the State Department formalizes ties with Egypt's Brotherhood, letting diplomats deal directly with Brotherhood party officials in Cairo.
 
April 2012: The administration quietly releases $1.5 billion in foreign aid to the new Egyptian regime.
 
June 2012: Morsi wins presidency amid widespread reports of electoral fraud and voter intimidation by gun-toting Brotherhood thugs — including blockades of entire streets to prevent Christians from going to the polls. The Obama administration turns a blind eye, recognizes Morsi as victor.
 
June 2012: In a victory speech, Morsi vows to instate Shariah law, turning Egypt into an Islamic theocracy, and also promises to free jailed terrorists. He also demands Obama free World Trade Center terrorist and Brotherhood leader Omar Abdel-Rahman, a.k.a. the Blind Sheik, from U.S. prison.
 
June 2012: State grants visa to banned Egyptian terrorist who joins a delegation of Brotherhood officials from Egypt. They're all invited to the White House to meet with Obama's deputy national security adviser, who listens to their demands for the release of the Blind Sheik.
 
July 2012: Obama invites Morsi to visit the White House this September.
 
The Muslim Brotherhood's sudden ascendancy in the Mideast didn't happen organically. It was helped along by a U.S. president sympathetic to its interests over those of Israel and his own country.
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« Reply #218 on: September 12, 2012, 07:30:44 AM »

Egyptian Father Kills Three Daughters with Snakes
Algemeiner ^ | 9-9-12 | Raymond Ibrahim

Posted on Wednesday, September 12, 2012 8:36:25 AM



The three dead sisters, killed by snakes from their father for being girls.

A tragic story concerning an Egyptian father who killed his three young daughters with snakes last April was largely missed in the West. According to Emirates24:



An Egyptian man killed his three young daughters aged 7, 5 and 3 by letting a poisonous snake bite them. According to ‘Al Youm Al Sabea’a’ newspaper, the three kids were found dead in their bed in Bani Mazar town of Al Minya governorate of upper Egypt. Forensic reports confirm the kids died due to snake poison. The man allegedly bought two cobras and let them bite the children while they were asleep so as not to be caught. He was divorced from their mother because he doubted her. He alleged that the children’s mother was in a relationship before marrying him and, therefore, denied that he fathered the kids. But she insisted he support the three daughters. However, when his second wife gave birth to a boy, he decided to do away with the children, he confessed to police under arrest.

While Emirates24 gives the story a Western spin—saying the man doubted his wife’s fidelity, the true parentage of his daughters, and did not want to pay child-support—the Egyptian show, Al Haqiqa (“the Truth”), which devoted an episode to this matter, never mentioned this angle, but rather portrayed him as killing his daughters simply because they were girls. Among the many people interviewed who verified this was the maternal grandmother, who said that, beginning with the birth of the first daughter, the man became hostile saying “I hate girls” and had to be placated to return to his wife. This scenario was repeated more dramatically with the birth of the second daughter. When he discovered his wife was pregnant with a third daughter, he tried to poison the pregnant woman but failed. He then spent a year plotting how to kill the girls without getting caught and had even tried with different snakes earlier, which proved ineffective, until he finally succeeded.

After stressing that the father was clearly not insane, but acted in a very deliberate manner, the host of Al Haqiqa, Wael Ibrashi, explained that “this matter deserves discussion, since these mentalities are present in Egyptian society. We never thought that these understandings that existed in pagan [jahiliyya] times concerning female infanticide would ever return, but they have returned.”

By “pagan times,” or jahiliyya, Ibrashi was alluding to a famous narrative: according to Muslim tradition, pre-Islamic Arabs used to bury their newborn infants alive, if they were daughters, but the prophet of Islam, Muhammad, outlawed female infanticide.

While this was a positive step, unfortunately, it is only half the picture. Indeed, this brutal filicide is a reminder of an often overlooked phenomenon of the Muslim world: oftentimes it is not the specific teachings of Islam that inform the actions of the average Muslim—many of whom are wholly unaware what the Koran teaches, let alone Sharia—but rather the general culture born of 14 centuries of Islam. Marshall Hodgson originally coined the term “Islamicate” to describe this phenomenon, which refers “not directly to the religion, Islam, itself, but to the social and cultural complex historically associated with Islam and the Muslims…” (The Venture of Islam, vol. 1, p.59).

Consider the issue of forced conversion. While the Koran states that “there is no coercion in religion”—even Koran 9:29, which is said to abrogate such verses, allows Christians and Jews to remain in their faiths—from the dawn of history till the present, forced conversions have been a normal aspect of Islam. Why? Because while the average Muslim may not know the letter of the law, based on Islamic culture, they know being an infidel is a terrible thing. Hence, “compelling” such hell-bound infidels to embrace Islam can be seen as an act of altruism.

As for the issue of female infanticide, while Islam certainly does not promote killing females simply because they are female, it does teach any number of things which dehumanize and devalue them in Muslim society, including the notion that women are deficient in intelligence (which even an Egyptian female political candidate agrees with); men are permitted to beat their wives; a woman’s testimony is worth half a man’s; and infidel women taken in jihad raids can be bought and sold as sex slaves (which even a Kuwaiti female political activist agrees with). Muhammad even likened women to dogs and devils, and said most of hell’s inhabitants would be women.

In this context, while Islam did not cause this man to murder his daughters, it certainly helped mold his low opinion of females, which was the seed of his misogynistic bloodlust.

Hence the great irony of Islam: it often matters less that Muhammad once said there is no coercion in religion or that female infanticide is wrong. His many other statements that characterized non-Muslim infidels and all women as “bad” have been more influential throughout the course of history, and seen any number of people forced to convert to Islam and any number of women abused and killed.
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« Reply #219 on: September 12, 2012, 07:35:03 AM »

Storming Embassies, Killing Ambassadors, and ‘Smart’ Diplomacy


By Victor Davis Hanson

September 12, 2012 8:31 A.M.

Comments
5



 




The attacks on the U.S. embassy yesterday in Cairo and the storming of the American consulate in Libya, where the U.S. ambassador was murdered along with three staff members — and the initial official American reaction to the mayhem — are all reprehensible, each in their own way. Let us sort out this terrible chain of events.
 
Timing: The assaults came exactly on the eleventh anniversary of bin Laden’s and al-Qaeda’s attack on America. If there was any doubt about the intent of the timing, the appearance of black al-Qaedist flags among the mobs removed it. The chanting of Osama bin Laden’s name made it doubly clear who were the heroes of the Egyptian mob. Why should we be surprised by the lackluster response of the Egyptian and Libyan “authorities” to protect diplomatic sanctuaries, given the nature of the “governments” in both countries? One of the Egyptian demonstration’s organizers was Mohamed al-Zawahiri, the brother of the top deputy to Osama bin Laden, and a planner of the 9/11 attacks, which were led by Mohamed Atta, an Egyptian citizen. In Libya, the sick violence is reminding the world that the problem in the Middle East is not dictators propped up by the U.S. — Qaddafi was an archenemy of the U.S. — but the proverbial Arab Street that can blame everything and everyone, from a cartoon to a video, for the wages of its own self-induced pathologies. So far, all the Arab Spring is accomplishing is removing the dictatorial props and authoritarian excuses for grass roots Middle East madness.
 
Ingratitude: Egypt is currently a beneficiary of more than $1 billion in annual American aid, and its new Muslim Brotherhood–led government is negotiating to have much of its sizable U.S. debt forgiven. Libya, remember, was the recipient of the Obama administration’s “lead from behind” intervention that led to the removal of Moammar Qaddafi — and apparently gave the present demonstrators the freedom to kill Americans. This is all called “smart” diplomacy.
 
Appeasement: Here are a few sentences from the statement issued by the Cairo embassy before it was attacked: “The Embassy of the United States in Cairo condemns the continuing efforts by misguided individuals to hurt the religious feelings of Muslims — as we condemn efforts to offend believers of all religions. . . .We firmly reject the actions by those who abuse the universal right of free speech to hurt the religious beliefs of others.”
 
The Problem? The embassy was condemning not those zealots who then stormed their own grounds, but some eccentric private citizens back home who made a movie.
 
One would have thought that the Obama administration had learned something from the Rushdie  fatwa and prophet cartoon incidents. This initial official American diplomatic reaction — to condemn the supposed excess of free speech in the United States, as if the government is responsible for the constitutionally-protected expression of a few private American citizens, while the Egyptian government is not responsible for a mass demonstration and violence against an embassy of the United States — is not just shameful, but absurd. The author of this American diplomatic statement should be fired immediately — as well as any diplomatic personnel who approved it. Obviously our official representatives overseas do not understand, or have not read, the U.S. Constitution. And if the administration claims the embassy that issued the appeasing statement did so without authority, then we have a larger problem with freelancing diplomats who across the globe weigh in with statements that supposedly do not reflect official policy. Note, however, that the initial diplomatic communiqué is the logical extension of this administration’s rhetoric (see below).
 
Shame: As gratitude for our overthrowing a cruel despot in Libya, Libyan extremists have murdered the American ambassador and his staffers. The Libyan government, such as it is there, either cannot or will not protect U.S. diplomatic personnel. And the world wonders why last year the U.S. bombed one group of Libyan cutthroats only to aid another.
 
The attacks in Egypt come a little over three years after the embarrassing Obama Cairo speech, in which the president created an entire mythology about the history of Islam, in vain hopes of appeasing his Egyptian hosts. The violence also follows ongoing comical efforts of the administration to assure us that the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt is not an extremist Islamic organization bent on turning Egypt into a theocratic state. And the attacks are simultaneous with President Obama’s ongoing and crude efforts to embarrass Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu.
 
The future. Expect more violence. The Libyan murderers are now empowered, and, like the infamous Iranian hostage-takers, feel their government either supports them or can’t stop them. The crowd in Egypt knew what it was doing when it chanted Obama’s name juxtaposed to Osama’s.
 
Obama’s effort to appease Islam is an utter failure, as we see in various polls that show no change in anti-American attitudes in the Middle East — despite the president’s initial al Arabiya interview (“We sometimes make mistakes. We have not been perfect.”); the rantings of National Intelligence Director James Clapper (e.g., “The term ‘Muslim Brotherhood’ . . . is an umbrella term for a variety of movements, in the case of Egypt, a very heterogeneous group, largely secular, which has eschewed violence and has decried al-Qaeda as a perversion of Islam.”); and the absurdities of our NASA director (“When I became the NASA administrator . . . perhaps foremost, he [President Obama] wanted me to find a way to reach out to the Muslim world and engage much more with dominantly Muslim nations to help them feel good about their historic contribution to science.”) — to cite only a few examples from many.
 
At some point, someone in the administration is going to fathom that the more one seeks to appease radical Islam, the more the latter despises the appeaser.
 
These terrible attacks on the anniversary of 9/11 are extremely significant. They come right at a time when we are considering an aggregate $1 trillion cutback in defense over the next decade. They should give make us cautious about proposed intervention in Syria. They leave our Arab Spring policy in tatters, and the whole “reset” approach to the Middle East incoherent. They embarrass any who continue to contextualize radical Islamic violence. The juxtaposed chants of “Osama” and “Obama” in Egypt make a mockery of the recent “We killed Osama” spiking the football at the Democratic convention. And they remind us why 2012 is sadly looking a lot like 1980 — when in a similar election year, in a similarly minded administration, the proverbial chickens of four years of “smart” diplomacy tragically came home to roost.
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« Reply #220 on: September 12, 2012, 09:27:46 AM »

Government

U.S. Near Deal to Forgive $1 Billion in Egypt Debt: ‘It’s About Growth and Business’

Posted on September 3, 2012 at 10:30pm by Erica Ritz

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(Photo: AP)
 
The United States is finalizing a pact with Egypt’s newly-established Islamist government to forgive $1 billion in debt as part of an international assistance package intended to “bolster [the country's] transition to democracy,” in the words of the New York Times.
 
Apparently the matter is becoming increasingly urgent as Egypt turns to China and the East as its major allies instead of the United States, which gives the country $1.3 billion in military aid annually.
 
In his first international trip outside of the Middle East, for instance, Egypt’s President Mohammed Morsi chose to visit China over the U.S.
 
The New York Times adds:
 

In addition to the debt assistance, the administration has thrown its support behind a $4.8 billion loan being negotiated between Egypt and the International Monetary Fund. Last week, it dispatched the first of two delegations to work out details of the proposed debt assistance, as well as $375 million in financing and loan guarantees for American financiers who invest in Egypt and a $60 million investment fund for Egyptian businesses.
 
The assistance underscores the importance of shoring up Egypt at a time of turmoil and change across the Middle East, including the relatively peaceful uprisings in Egypt and Tunisia, the still-unfinished transition in Libya, the showdown over Iran’s nuclear program and the war in Syria.
 
Given Egypt’s influence in the Arab world, the officials said, its economic recovery and political stability could have a profound influence on other nations in transition and ease wariness in Israel about the tumultuous political changes under way.

 

.
 
“It’s important for the U.S. to give Egypt a reason to look to the West, as well as the East,” Lionel Johnson, the chamber’s vice president for the Middle East and North Africa, explained.
 
President Obama’s administration has faced significant resistance from Republicans, however, who note that the United States is in the middle of its own debt crisis and that Egypt’s new government may not be entirely trustworthy.
 
But, according to the New York Times, the Muslim Brotherhood has been incredibly open with the administration.
 
“They sound like Republicans half the time,” one administration official inexplicably said, according to the New York Times.
 
Deputy Secretary of State Thomas R. Nides, who will travel with the Chamber of Commerce delegation, added: “Our goal is to send a very strong message to Egypt that the government understands it’s not just about assistance…It’s about growth and business.”
 
The Wall Street Journal notes Morsi’s government has assumed nearly absolute control over the country, replacing the top military leaders who once provided a balance of power, censoring the media, and failing to control the Sinai Peninsula or the diminishing rights of women and Christians.
 

 
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« Reply #221 on: September 12, 2012, 10:47:35 AM »

Exclusive: No Record of Intel Briefings for Obama Week Before Embassy Attacks
 Big Peace ^ | Sept. 12, 2012 | Wynton Hall

Posted on Wednesday, September 12, 2012 1:14:16 PM by Free ThinkerNY

According to the White House calendar, there is no public record of President Barack Obama attending his daily intelligence briefing--known as the Presidential Daily Brief (PDB)--in the week leading up to the attacks on the U.S. embassy in Cairo and the murder of U.S. Libyan Ambassador Chris Stevens and three American members of his staff:

9/6/2012- http://www.whitehouse.gov/schedule/president/2012-09-06

9/7/2012- http://www.whitehouse.gov/schedule/president/2012-09-07

9/8/2012- http://www.whitehouse.gov/schedule/president/2012-09-08

9/9/2012- http://www.whitehouse.gov/schedule/president/2012-09-09

9/10/2012- http://www.whitehouse.gov/schedule/president/2012-09-10

9/11/2012- http://www.whitehouse.gov/schedule/president/2012-09-11

The last time prior to the slayings that the White House calendar publicly confirms Mr. Obama attending his daily intelligence briefing was September 5th. (The White House did not provide an official public calendar for September 8-10.) Mr. Obama and Vice President Joe Biden met with Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta at 5:00 p.m. yesterday.

According to a recent study by the Government Accountability Institute, Mr. Obama has only attended 43.8 percent of his Presidential Daily Briefs in the first 1,225 days of his Administration.


(Excerpt) Read more at breitbart.com ...
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« Reply #222 on: September 12, 2012, 11:02:35 AM »

http://weaselzippers.us/2012/09/12/occupy-graffiti-spray-painted-by-egyptian-protesters-on-u-s-embassy-walls


Great job right Benny you piece of ghetto slime? 
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« Reply #223 on: September 12, 2012, 07:26:58 PM »

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Disgrace, tragedy at US embassy in Cairo
Jerusalem Post ^ | 09/12/2012 | SETH J. FRANTZMAN
Posted on September 12, 2012 7:38:58 PM EDT by SJackson

Just because someone is offended does not mean freedom of speech has been “abused,” it certainly isn't “abused” by critiques of religion.

September 11, 2012, should go down in history as the day the American diplomatic corps officially attacked one of its country’s most cherished values, one that has set it apart from much of the world for the past 236 years of independence.

On that day, US Embassy grounds were invaded by an Egyptian mob of soccer hooligans and Islamist fanatics who tore down the US flag as it was flying at half-staff in commemoration of 9/11 and replaced it with a black flag encouraging the world to convert to Islam: “There is one God and Muhammad is his prophet.”

The US Cairo Embassy’s response? “We firmly reject the actions by those who abuse the universal right of free speech to hurt the religious beliefs of others.”

Ostensibly, the riot was brought on by Egyptian television and incitement by Salafist preachers who had spread a rumor that a movie was being shown in the US which insulted Islam. The film is unknown in the West and the US, as CNN reported, “it is not clear which film upset the protestors in Cairo.”

Fox News initially attributed promotion of the film to Egyptian Coptic Christian activists in the US, one of whom was named as Morris Sadek, who was promoting the movie on his website. The movie had been dubbed into Arabic by someone other than its creator. The BBC noted that it was primarily the protestors who alleged the film was offensive.

“The film which sparked the protest is said to have been produced by US pastor Terry Jones and co-produced by some Egyptian Copt expatriates.”

WHAT HAPPENED was that a few radical Islamist activists led by Salafist Wesam Abdel-Wareth, found a home-made movie online, dubbed it into Arabic and then began passing it off as a “film shown in the US.”

This galvanized the radical Egyptian media, which incited the public further. Egyptian Grand Mufti Ali Gomaa on Sunday the 9th added incitement and misinformation when he condemned “the actions undertaken by some extremist Copts who made a film offensive to the prophet.” Two days later Al- Ahram online reported, “angry demonstrators torch American flag to protest anti-Islam film made by USbased Coptic group.”

Egyptians of all stripes, from the spokesman of the Muslim Brotherhood to an engineer on the street, demanded that the filmaker be prosecuted, even though they had received false information about who made the film and how it came to be dubbed into Arabic.

No attempt was made, by the US Embassy or the Egyptian government, to explain that the movie was not a mainstream production, that it was not made by Coptic Christians, and that it was probably watched more in the Islamic world, pushed on people in order to offend them, than in the US.

This is very similar to an incident recently in Pakistan in which a Christian girl named Rimsa Masih, who is disabled, was accused of burning the Koran.

Mobs were whipped into a frenzy by an imam named Khalid Christi and the fanatics were told to destroy the Christian’s house and remove all the Christians from the area. The girl was arrested for “blasphemy.”

However on September 9, she was released when the police discovered that it was in fact the imam who had inserted pages of the Koran into some burned garbage at the girl’s house. He said it was “a way of getting rid of Christians.”

In Egypt the similar Elders of Zion-style fabrication was passed off with easy perfection. The US Embassy staff, it has been reported, were almost all sent home by security “after learning of the upcoming protest.”

The Egyptian police were noticeably unattentive and absent when the protesters attacked the embassy compound, scaled its walls, which are several meters high, and tore down the US flag. Later the police “negotiated” with the protesters to get them to leave.

Egyptians told reporters that “If [American] freedom of speech has no limits, may you accept our freedom of action.”No one has asked why the “rage” suddenly erupted on 9/11 of all days.

WHAT IS fascinating is that, as if in lock-step with the religious fanatics and hooligans, the US Embassy condemned not the violation of its diplomatic post or the incitement, but rather America. Yes, the US Embassy condemned America by blaming freedom of speech that “hurt religious feelings.”

Freedom of speech in America, especially as it pertains to religion, has always been held to be a fundamental principle of American law and culture. In one of the most famous Supreme Court cases, Cantwell v.

Connecticut (1940), Newton Cantwell and his two sons were arrested for distributing offensive religious literature to Catholics. They were charged with “inciting a common law breach of peace” because they had handed out pamphlets that condemned the pope and mocked organized religion.

The Cantwells were accused of “breach of peace” because their pamphlet led several Catholics to physically attack them.

In a unanimous decision the judges found in favor of the Cantwells: “Freedom of conscience and freedom to adhere to such religious organization or form of worship as the individual may choose cannot be restricted by law. On the other hand, it safeguards the free exercise of the chosen form of religion. Thus the [First] Amendment embraces two concepts – freedom to believe and freedom to act. The first is absolute but, in the nature of things, the second cannot be.”

Luckily, Cairo’s US State Department flunkies who trampled on the US Constitution so as not to offend religious “feelings” were never given the opportunity to sit on the bench of the Supreme Court. The US Embassy statement, titled “US condemns religious incitement,” claimed: “The Embassy of the United States in Cairo condemns the continuing efforts by misguided individuals to hurt the religious feelings of Muslims.”

Let’s understand the full implication of this. The US Embassy was aware that a riot would take place on 9/11. In order to be aware of the riot, it had to have been aware of its cause, namely a home-made movie.

Yet the embassy staff saw fit to condemn the “continuing efforts by misguided individuals to hurt the religious feelings of Muslims.”

What “continuing efforts”? Which “misguided individuals”? Rather than condemn the radical Egyptian preachers and misguided television hosts who dubbed the video and claimed it was an “American” and “Coptic” film, the US Embassy turned on its own country’s most cherished values.

In the Pakistan blasphemy case, a lie was created in order to stir up a mob. Why didn’t the US Embassy rush to join the mob there, too, and condemn the Christian girl for her “misguided” acts that “hurt the religious feelings of Muslims”? Perhaps the US Embassy would have felt strange standing with those persecuting someone for blasphemy.

We can only guess what the position of the the US Cairo embassy would have been had it been around during the Spanish Inquisition in the 16th century.

Would it have stood shoulder-to-shoulder with the inquisitors, demanding the heretics stop their “misguided...

abuse of free speech to hurt the religious feelings of others”? After all, the Catholic inquisitors’ feelings had been hurt by the rejection of the papacy; they had been deeply offended by those Jews and Muslims who faked their conversions. What will the Cairene branch of the State Department do about Egyptians’ “hurt feelings” regarding gay marriage? Will the US Embassy say that gay marriage will have to go, because those “misguided” gays have dared to hurt someone’s religious feelings? THE US government must immediately remove from their positions whoever penned this offensive condemnation of freedom of speech. Towards that end it appears the statement has been removed from the front of the website and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has condemned the embassy attack, which has now also cost the lives of US diplomats in Libya, but she nevertheles attacked those whose “intentional efforts denigrate the religious beliefs of others.”

Nevertheless, an investigation should be launched by the US Congress into why the State Department knew that a riot was going to occur and nevertheless left the US flag flying so it could be destroyed.

A separate line of investigation should examine why the Egyptian police abandoned their posts and why the Egyptian government did not protect sovereign US territory. A stern warning must be sent to Egypt that collaborating with fanatical mobs will not be rewarded.

But whatever actions are taken, the damage has already been done. Instead of using this as an opportunity to illustrate to Egyptians how they are being misled by radical incitement in their media, the Cairo embassy shamed itself by siding with a mob of fanatics acting on baseless claims, and condemned freedom of speech.

Just because someone is offended does not mean freedom of speech has been “abused,” and it certainly is not “abused” by critiques of religion. When we condemn every form of speech that “hurts feelings,” we will find that “hurt feelings” are used as an excuse for all sorts of thuggish behavior. Socrates, Galileo and Charles Darwin were all accused in their life of hurting religious feelings and denigrating beliefs. When we throw away our values because others claim to be “offended,” we surrender to mobs of intimidation, censorship and intolerance.

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« Reply #224 on: September 12, 2012, 07:29:23 PM »

Egypt’s Islamist president tells embassy to take legal action in U.S. against makers of Mohammed film; Update: I don’t consider Egypt an ally, says Obama
POSTED AT 9:16 PM ON SEPTEMBER 12, 2012 BY ALLAHPUNDIT

   
I wonder if he knows that there’s no legal action available to him (yet) and is simply grandstanding for the locals’ sake or if he actually thinks he can sue to shut this thing down. Silly Morsi: There won’t be a blasphemy exception added to the First Amendment for critiques of Islam for another, oh, 10-20 years at least, I figure. Although if the Pentagon pushes really hard on national-security grounds, who knows how fast change might come?

Morsi’s silence on the embassy mob is deafening:

WhiIe Egypt’s prime minister called Tuesday’s incident “regrettable” and unjustified, President Mohamed Morsy condemned the anti-Muslim film that incited the protesters.

Morsy made a reference to Egypt’s duty to protect diplomatic missions and its opposition to unlawful protesters, but did not mention or criticize those who stormed the embassy.

“The presidency condemns in the strongest terms the attempt of a group to insult the place of the Messenger, the Prophet Mohammed (PBUH) and condemns the people who have produced this radical work,” the president said in a statement posted on his Facebook page. “The Egyptian people, both Muslims and Christians, refuse such insults on sanctities.”

His statement went on to say that the Egyptian government respects the right to free expression, a common Orwellian flourish whenever Islamists call for cartoons or films or books insulting the faith to be banned. Marc Lynch frets that the Brotherhood’s silence is negligent insofar as it might alienate the U.S. government, and wonders if they’re caught in a political trap where they can’t apologize for the embassy mob or else the Salafists will demagogue them as being sellouts to the Great Satan. I think David Frum’s closer to the mark:

More serious is the exploitation by Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood president of the incident as support for anti-Islam blasphemy laws. It’s important to understand that Morsi is concerned with Egyptian, not American, laws. Morsi is taking a page from the 1979 Khomeini playbook, fabricating an international incident to mobilize religious passions as a weapon for his political grouping against more secular blocs in Egyptian society – the Egyptian military very much included.

Yeah, I think Morsi and his advisors are savvy enough to understand that, once you’re an official “ally” of the United States, the White House will let you get away with all sorts of Islamist nutbaggery. In fact, the nuttier you are, the more eager the White House is to retain you as an “ally”: Better to have you behaving horribly while inside our orbit, where we can theoretically exercise some sort of restraint on you, than let you spin entirely out of it and run wild across the region. (The ultimate example of that farcical reasoning is, of course, Pakistan.) So yeah, why not let a mob terrorize American diplomats on 9/11? And why bother apologizing? We’re not going to risk a new Egyptian/Israeli war by cutting off aid from Cairo entirely and Morsi knows it, so he feels fully entitled to tell us implicitly to kiss his ass. And meanwhile, as Lynch and Frum both note, Morsi earns cred with the swaths of Islamists in Egypt’s electorate. The Libyan government and even some Libyan citizens showed remorse today for the attack on the consulate in Benghazi, but Libya needs us more than we need it. Not so Egypt. That’s a key difference in the two countries’ reactions, I think.

Exit question: Which western nation will be the first to appease the rising Islamist bloc in the Middle East by reinstituting anti-blasphemy laws for Islam? It won’t be us, I think; despite the best intentions of cretinous academics, there are too many constitutional and ideological roadblocks to abridging free speech that dramatically in the U.S. A better bet would be Canada, but the “human rights” Star Chamber that’s tormented people like Mark Steyn and Ezra Levant has gotten enough bad press over the last few years that I’m thinking Canadians might now think twice about new restrictions. No, I’m going to put my money on the UK. They’ve got just the right mix, I think, of surveillance-state paranoia and sweaty multicultural dogmatism (replete with robust hate-crime prosecutions) to give an anti-blasphemy regime a go. I’ll leave you with this from today’s op-ed page of the Guardian, a leading light of British “progressivism”:

Some people will want to defend the [Mohammed] film as critical of an idea, or of a belief. But I don’t think that will do. No Muslim could think of Muhammad as he is portrayed in the film, and very few can suppose that Islam commands them to behave the way the Muslims in the film do. The beliefs criticised are entirely imaginary. If any other group but Muslims were the target this would be obvious at once.

This film is purely and simply an incitement to religious hatred. It stokes hatred in both of its intended audiences – Christians and Jews in the US, and Muslims in the wider world. If jihadi videos are banned in this country, and their distributors prosecuted, the same should be true of this film and for the same reasons.

Update: I was surprised yesterday when he snubbed Netanyahu, and now I’m surprised again — although I think there’s a common thread that explains both reactions.

 Anthony Terrell@AnthonyNBCNews

In an exclusive @BarackObama tells @jdbalart "I don't think that we would consider (Egypt) an ally" #

12 Sep 12 ReplyRetweetFavorite

Is The One throwing Egypt under the bus, and right after I made that nifty Pakistan comparison up top, too? Well, no. He’s putting some distance between himself and Morsi now because Americans are, understandably, righteously PO’d about what happened yesterday in Cairo and Benghazi, and no amount of media caterwauling about Romney’s gaffes is going to change that. O snubbed Bibi because a war with Iran could wreak havoc with his reelection bid; he’s snubbing Morsi now for the same reason, because he knows that Romney’s “apology tour” critique of Hopenchange could hurt him badly if it gains traction. And one way for it to gain traction would be to act chummy with Egypt at a moment when they still haven’t properly apologized for the Cairo embassy mob. Egypt will be an “ally” again once he’s safely reelected, rest assured.
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