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Author Topic: Egypt And The Success Of Obama's Reasoned Approach  (Read 15196 times)
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« Reply #25 on: February 15, 2011, 12:41:35 AM »

The thing I found most idiotic and perplexing was the threat to stop thier foriegn aid if they continued to fire at protesters. What are these people smoking? I just cant believe they actually said that. This Egypt sitiuation is another example of Obama's pathetic lack of management skills. If America re-elects this guy I will be thourougly pissed.
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« Reply #26 on: February 15, 2011, 12:58:04 AM »

Do you guys think that we can get a sizable amount of Democrats to atleast admit that they nominated the wrong person in the Democrat Primary? Im sure theyre still too pridefull to admit that McCain would have been better. But I think atleast 50% of them would say they should have nominated Hillary. I miss George W. Bush more than I ever thought I would have, and its a sad day when I am fantasizing about a having a President John McCain in the White House.
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« Reply #27 on: February 15, 2011, 03:10:06 AM »

these are opinion pieces..do you believe everything you read???..if so then believe the pro-Obama articles as well

I don't need an opinion piece to comprehend the stupidity and wild contradictions that originate from someones mouth. I have eyes and ears and was able to finish the 5th grade before I turned 23. Anyone who shares similar traits would be able to reach the same conclusion as the authors of those articles. It seems that in your situation you have poor hearing, bad eyesight and haven't figured out how to tie your shoes despite being almost thirty years of age.
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« Reply #28 on: February 27, 2011, 05:33:38 AM »

Obama Is Helping Iran
How Washington's awkward handling of Middle East uprisings is playing into the hands of the Islamic Republic.
BY FLYNT AND HILLARY MANN LEVERETT | FEBRUARY 23, 2011


http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2011/02/23/obama_is_helping_iran?print=yes&hidecomments=yes&page=full



We take billionaire financier George Soros up on the bet he proffered to CNN's Fareed Zakaria this week that "the Iranian regime will not be there in a year's time." In fact, we want to up the ante and wager that not only will the Islamic Republic still be Iran's government in a year's time, but that a year from now, the balance of influence and power in the Middle East will be tilted more decisively in Iran's favor than it ever has been.

COMMENTS (76) SHARE: Twitter  Reddit  Buzz   More...

Just a decade ago, on the eve of the 9/11 attacks, the United States had cultivated what American policymakers like to call a strong "moderate" camp in the region, encompassing states reasonably well-disposed toward a negotiated peace with Israel and strategic cooperation with Washington: Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and the other Persian Gulf states, as well as Morocco, Tunisia, and Turkey. On the other side, the Islamic Republic had an alliance of some standing with Syria, as well as ties to relatively weak militant groups like Hamas and Hezbollah. Other "radical" states like Saddam Hussein's Iraq and Muammar al-Qaddafi's Libya were even more isolated.

Fast-forward to the eve of Barack Obama's inauguration as president of the United States, in January 2009. As a result of the Iraq war, the collapse of the Arab-Israeli peace process, and some fairly astute diplomacy by Iran and its regional allies, the balance of influence and power across the Middle East had shifted significantly against the United States. Scenarios for "weaning" Syria away from Iran were becoming ever more fanciful as relations between Damascus and Tehran became increasingly strategic in quality. Turkey, under the Justice and Development Party (AKP), was charting a genuinely independent foreign policy, including strategically consequential partnerships with Iran and Syria. Hamas and Hezbollah, legitimated by electoral successes, had emerged as decisively important political actors in Palestine and Lebanon. It was looking progressively less likely that post-Saddam Iraq would be a meaningful strategic asset for Washington and ever more likely that Baghdad's most important relationships would be with Iran, Syria, and Turkey. And, increasingly, U.S. allies like Oman and Qatar were aligning themselves with the Islamic Republic and other members of the Middle East's "resistance bloc" on high-profile issues in the Arab-Israeli arena -- as when the Qatari emir flew to Beirut a week after the 2006 Lebanon war to pledge massive reconstruction assistance to Hezbollah strongholds in the south and publicly defended Hezbollah's retention of its military capabilities.

On Obama's watch, the regional balance of influence and power has shifted even further away from the United States and toward Iran and its allies. The Islamic Republic has continued to deepen its alliances with Syria and Turkey and expand its influence in Iraq, Lebanon, and Palestine. Public opinion polls, for example, continue to show that the key leaders in the Middle East's resistance bloc -- Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Syrian President Bashar Assad, Lebanon's Hassan Nasrallah, Hamas's Khaled Mishaal, and Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan -- are all vastly more popular across the region than their counterparts in closely U.S.-aligned and supported regimes in Jordan, the Palestinian Authority, and Saudi Arabia.

And, now, the Obama administration stands by helplessly as new openings for Tehran to reset the regional balance in its favor emerge in Bahrain, Egypt, Tunisia, Yemen, and perhaps elsewhere. If these "pro-American" Arab political orders currently being challenged or upended by significant protest movements become at all more representative of their populations, they will no doubt become less enthusiastic about strategic cooperation with the United States. And, if these "pro-American" regimes are not replaced by salafi-dominated Islamist orders, the Arab governments that emerge from the present turmoil are likely to be at least somewhat receptive to Iran's message of "resistance" and independence from Israel and the West.

Certainly, any government in Cairo that is even mildly more representative than Hosni Mubarak's regime will not be willing to keep collaborating with Israel to enforce the siege of Gaza or to continue participating in the CIA's rendition program to bring Egyptians back to Egypt to be tortured. Likewise, any political order in Bahrain that respected the reality of that country's Shiite-majority population would be firmly opposed to the use of its territory as a platform for U.S. military action against Iranian interests.

Over the next year, all these developments will shift the regional balance even more against the United States and in favor of Iran. If Jordan -- a loyal U.S. client state -- were to come into play during this period, that would tilt things even further in Iran's direction.

Against this, Soros, other American elites, the media, and the Obama administration all assert that the wave of popular unrest that is taking down one U.S. ally in the Middle East after another will now bring down the Islamic Republic -- and perhaps the Assad government in Syria, too. This is truly a triumph of wishful thinking over thoughtful analysis.

Many of these same actors, of course, worked themselves up into quite a frenzy after the Islamic Republic's June 2009 presidential election. For months, we were subjected to utterly unsubstantiated claims that the election had been stolen and that the Green Movement would sweep aside the Iranian "regime." Like Soros today, many pundits who predicted the Islamic Republic's demise in 2009 or 2010 put various time frames on their predictions -- all of which, to the best of our knowledge, have passed without the Iranian system imploding. (But don't worry about the devastating impact of such egregious malpractice on the careers of those who proved themselves so manifestly incompetent at Iran analysis. In today's accountability-free America, every one of the Iran "experts" who were so wrong about the Green Movement in 2009 and 2010 is back at it again.)

From literally the day after Iran's 2009 presidential election, we pointed out that the Green Movement could not succeed in bringing down the Islamic Republic, for two basic reasons: The movement did not represent anything close to a majority of Iranian society, and a majority of Iranians still support the idea of an Islamic Republic. Two additional factors are in play today, which make it even less likely that those who organized and participated in scattered demonstrations in Iran over the past week will be able to catalyze "regime change" there.

First, what is left of the Green Movement represents an even smaller portion of Iranian society than it did during the summer and fall of 2009. The failures of defeated presidential candidates Mir Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi to convincingly document their assertions of electoral fraud and the Green Movement's pivotal role in the West's progressive demonization of the Islamic Republic since June 2009 have not played well with most Iranians inside Iran. That's why, for example, former President Mohammad Khatami has quietly distanced himself from what is left of the Green Movement -- as has every reformist politician who wants to have a political future in the Islamic Republic. As a result of these highly consequential miscalculations by the opposition's ostensible leaders, those who want to try again to organize a mass movement against the Islamic Republic have a much smaller pool of troops that they might potentially be able to mobilize. This is not a winning hand, even in an era of Facebook and Twitter.

Second, the effort to restart protests in Iran is taking place at a moment of real strategic opportunity for Tehran in the Middle East. The regional balance is shifting, in potentially decisive ways, in favor of the Islamic Republic and against its American adversary. In this context, for Mousavi and Karroubi to call their supporters into the streets on Feb. 14 -- just three days after the Obama administration had started issuing its own exhortations for Iranians to revolt against their government and as Obama and his national security team reeled from the loss of Mubarak, America's longtime ally in Egypt -- was an extraordinary blunder.

The Iranian people are not likely to recognize as their political champions those whom they increasingly perceive as working against the national interest. Two of Ahmadinejad's most prominent conservative opponents -- former President Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani and former Revolutionary Guard commander and presidential candidate Mohsen Rezai -- have publicly and severely criticized Mousavi and Karroubi over their recent actions and statements. Parliament speaker Ali Larijani, another Ahmadinejad opponent, told his colleagues last week, "The parliament condemns the Zionists, American, anti-revolutionary, and anti-national action of the misled seditionists," accusing the two Green Movement leaders of falling into "the orchestrated trap of America."

U.S. attempts to intervene in the Islamic Republic's internal politics are typically maladroit and often backfire. But the Obama administration's performance is setting new standards in this regard. Among other consequences, the administration's latest initiative to stir up unrest in Iran will put what is left of the reform camp in Iranian politics at an even bigger disadvantage heading into parliamentary elections next year and the Islamic Republic's next presidential election in 2013, because reformists are now in danger of being associated with an increasingly marginalized and discredited opposition movement that is, effectively, doing America's bidding.

At a more strategic level, the Obama administration's post-Ben Ali, post-Mubarak approach to Iran is putting important U.S. interests in serious jeopardy. It is putting at risk, first of all, the possibility of dealing constructively with an increasingly influential Islamic Republic in Iran. More broadly, at precisely the time when the United States needs to figure out how to deal with legitimate, genuinely independent Islamist movements and political orders, which are the most likely replacements for "pro-American" autocracies across the Middle East, the Obama administration's approach to Iran is taking U.S. policy in exactly the opposition direction.

The United States faces serious challenges in the Middle East. Its strategic position in this vital part of the world is eroding before our eyes. Indulging in fantasies about regime change in Iran will only make the situation worse.

Save big when you subscribe to FP. ATTA KENARE/AFP/Getty Images

 Flynt Leverett teaches international affairs at Pennsylvania State University and is a senior research fellow at the New America Foundation. Hillary Mann Leverett teaches international affairs at Yale and American University. Together, they write www.RaceForIran.com.



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« Reply #29 on: February 28, 2011, 03:00:00 PM »

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d_Z5KZ42GXw" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d_Z5KZ42GXw</a>
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« Reply #30 on: February 28, 2011, 07:28:35 PM »



END OF THREAD.

- TODAYS NY POST

Untested & unready
O, Hill both inept on Mideast
Last Updated: 12:37 AM, February 28, 2011



Read more: http://www.nypost.com/p/news/opinion/opedcolumnists/untested_unready_duALvtfHBTM2z5VPKHnx1J#ixzz1FJLMcNil

By Michael A. Walsh
Remember the ad Hillary Clinton ran against Barack Obama during the 2008 campaign?

"It's 3 a.m. and your children are safe and asleep," it began. "But there's a phone in the White House and it's ringing. Something's happening in the world.

"Your vote will decide who answers that call. Whether it's someone who already knows the world's leaders, knows the military, someone tested and ready to lead in a dangerous world . . . Who do you want answering the phone?"

Now we know the answer: neither of the above.

Since the winds -- and fires -- of change began to sweep North Africa two months ago, first in Tunisia, then in Egypt and now in Libya, the Obama administration has distinguished itself by its utter ineptitude in dealing with what is both a crisis and a historic opportunity to change the governments and the culture of the Arab world.


She said it: Clinton warned in '08 that O couldn't handle a foreign crisis -- but she's bombing, too.
The intelligence community failed to see the revolutions coming. The president adopted a strangely dispassionate, disinterested stance -- hanging his spokesmen, both in the White House and at the State Department, out to dry.

"The president puts out statements on paper sometimes," said new White House Press Secretary Jay Carney last week, in reply to a reporter's question about what was taking Obama so long to weigh in on Libya. Carney also blamed a "scheduling issue" for the lack of a rapid response.

Meanwhile, Hillary Clinton -- "someone tested and ready to lead in a dangerous world" -- came off like she'd literally woken up at 3 a.m. and stumbled out to face the cameras armed only with a mouthful of platitudes. Sounding more like a grief counselor than secretary of state, she said:

"The world is watching the situation in Libya with alarm. We join the international community in strongly condemning the violence in Libya. Our thoughts and prayers are with those whose lives have been lost, and with their loved ones . . . We are working urgently with friends and partners around the world to convey this message to the Libyan government."

The Maria Dolores, a US chartered ferry hired to evacuate American citizens from Tripoli to Malta, was too small to sail in rough seas and had to delay its departure. To add insult to injury, the White House even misspelled the name of the country as "Lybia" on Twitter.

And UN ambassador Susan Rice? She blew off a Security Council meeting on the Libyan crisis in order to attend a UN panel discussion on "global sustainability" in South Africa. The Roxy had better amateur nights than this.

Once again, President "Present" has signally failed to lead, preferring instead to hide behind a fog of "consultations with allies." True, on Saturday he finally -- in a phone call to German Chancellor Angela Merkel -- called for Khadafy to step down, and also took diplomatic action against the beleaguered regime, issuing an executive order that blocks property and other transactions.

Insiders say that Obama hesitated to take a public stand against the doomed dictator for fear that US diplomats might be taken hostage. But a great power can't conduct a robust foreign policy in fear; that way lies the path of Jimmy Carter, whom Obama is coming more and more to resemble. As Christopher Hitchens pointed out recently, America is starting to look like Switzerland in its international irrelevance. Is that what Obama meant by "fundamental change"?

There are only two explanations. Either the White House, Langley and Foggy Bottom really are staffed by blithering incompetents, hopelessly out of their depth and unable to deal with the rapid pace of developments, or Obama is doing exactly what he wants to do -- which is basically nothing.

So now we know where Obama is at 3 a.m. A pretty speech here, a basketball game there, another round of golf, another costly vacation and the endless whirl of White House parties take a lot out of a guy.

After Mao defeated Chiang Kai-Shek in 1949, the cry went up: "Who lost China?" Scholars are still arguing about that one, but when the question arises, "Who lost North Africa?" we'll all know exactly where to look.

Michael Walsh, a former Time as sociate editor, is the author (writing as David Kahane) of "Rules for Radical Conservatives."



Read more: http://www.nypost.com/p/news/opinion/opedcolumnists/untested_unready_duALvtfHBTM2z5VPKHnx1J#ixzz1FJL0nSAx
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« Reply #31 on: February 28, 2011, 07:32:14 PM »

 Wink


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« Reply #32 on: June 04, 2011, 10:08:44 AM »



Benny, awesome post....makes me want to cry... since you never see  a reasonable and well thought-out post like this showing Obama being a leader and showing his responsible leadership in the area. Cry

Do you still want to cry?   
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« Reply #33 on: June 04, 2011, 02:22:08 PM »

The thing I found most idiotic and perplexing was the threat to stop thier foriegn aid if they continued to fire at protesters. What are these people smoking? I just cant believe they actually said that. This Egypt sitiuation is another example of Obama's pathetic lack of management skills. If America re-elects this guy I will be thourougly pissed.

The US had to do this or else we would be accused of condoning murder...it was the best thing to do..all of this is Mubarak's fault because he never tried to reform in the 30 years he was in power...

He could have given the [people something and still remained in power...his own arrogance did him in
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« Reply #34 on: June 04, 2011, 02:26:10 PM »

I don't need an opinion piece to comprehend the stupidity and wild contradictions that originate from someones mouth. I have eyes and ears and was able to finish the 5th grade before I turned 23. Anyone who shares similar traits would be able to reach the same conclusion as the authors of those articles. It seems that in your situation you have poor hearing, bad eyesight and haven't figured out how to tie your shoes despite being almost thirty years of age.

I seriously doubt this quote
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« Reply #35 on: June 04, 2011, 02:26:49 PM »

Do you still want to cry?   

Bump. 

Andre did you cry or not? 
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« Reply #36 on: June 04, 2011, 02:29:55 PM »

Bump. 

Andre did you cry or not? 

Benny posted an awesome article.....for reasonable people
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« Reply #37 on: June 04, 2011, 02:31:23 PM »

Benny posted an awesome article.....for reasonable people

Did it bring you to tears?   
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« Reply #38 on: June 04, 2011, 02:33:04 PM »

Did it bring you to tears?   

it brought you to tears because it destroyed your nonsense
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« Reply #39 on: June 04, 2011, 02:35:00 PM »

it brought you to tears because it destroyed your nonsense

The Christians whose churches have been pillaged disagree.   
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« Reply #40 on: August 04, 2011, 09:09:07 AM »



Benny, awesome post....makes me want to cry... since you never see  a reasonable and well thought-out post like this showing Obama being a leader and showing his responsible leadership in the area. Cry


Do you still want to cry in joy for what obama did douchebag? 
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« Reply #41 on: September 21, 2011, 06:23:59 AM »

Editorials
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U.S. Influence in Middle East Hits New Low Under Obama: View
By the Editors Sep 20, 2011 8:00 PM ET 1 Comment Q.



One reason the U.S. is scrambling to find a compromise that would spare it the need to veto Palestinian membership in the United Nations is the fear of sparking a new round of anti-Americanism in the Middle East.

Great powers wield influence in the world as a result of being admired, respected or feared. The U.S. is now suffering from an unprecedented loss of influence in this important region because all three indicators are at an all-time low.

In truth, the U.S. has never been wildly popular in the Middle East. But distrust hit new highs during the George W. Bush administration, largely because of the invasion of Iraq; the decision during Bush’s first term to ignore the Israeli- Palestinian issue; the illegal treatment of detainees; and the unfair perceptions that the war on terrorism was really a war on Islam and that Bush’s policies were incompatible with Arab aspirations. Taken together, polls by Zogby International (July, 2011) and the Pew Research Center (May, 2011) indicate that in 2008 less than 25 percent of respondents in a broad range of Arab countries had a favorable view of the U.S.

The hope was that the election of Barack Obama would change all that. And from the beginning of his administration, Obama made reconciliation with the Muslim world one of his highest foreign policy priorities. In his June 4, 2009, speech at Cairo University, he called for “a new beginning between the United States and Muslims around the world” based on common interests, respect and principles.

Given those sentiments, it is troubling in the extreme that, some 2 1/2 years later, the U.S. is actually more unpopular in the Middle East than it was in the last year of the Bush administration. According to the Pew poll, the U.S.’s favorability rating in Egypt dropped to 20 percent in 2011 from 22 percent in 2008, and in Jordan, in that same period, fell to 13 percent from 19 percent. The Zogby poll had similar results.

Views of Obama personally are also starkly negative. In the Pew poll, only 35 percent of Egyptians and 28 percent of Jordanians expressed confidence in him, and majorities disapproved of his handling of issues they care about, such as political change in the Middle East, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and Afghanistan. Zogby found that in five of six Arab countries surveyed, at most 11 percent of respondents said that Obama has met the expectations he set in the Cairo speech.

Even worse, Obama’s unpopularity has been accompanied by a sense that the U.S. can be defied with impunity, as doing so will have no negative consequences. The most recent example is Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’s decision to ignore U.S. objections and proceed with a UN Security Council resolution recognizing a Palestinian state -- even though the U.S. threatens to veto it, and even though such a veto would endanger Obama’s ability to promote Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations.

But Abbas is not alone. While Obama has called on Syria’s Bashar al-Assad to step down, Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al- Maliki, who owes his survival and that of his government to the U.S., received Assad’s emissaries and publically urged Syrian demonstrators to not “sabotage” their country.

On Aug. 18, al-Maliki went even further, stating in a speech that “Zionists and Israel are the first and biggest beneficiaries” of the democratic revolutions threatening autocracies throughout the Arab world. This mimicked Iranian statements on Syria. Although there are some indications that al-Maliki is changing his position, until now, when faced with a choice of saying nothing, siding with the Americans or agreeing with Iran, it seems he felt that heeding Tehran was the safest course.

Administration officials have asserted that recent polls still reflect region-wide opposition to the Bush administration, not Obama. It is fair to point out that Bush left his successor with a deep hole to climb out of, but that is not the whole story. Although we don’t accept the idea that simple polling can reflect the complicated emotions U.S. policy generates in the region, polling data is a significant indicator.

In our view, there are three main reasons for the drop in support for the U.S. First and foremost, Arab commentators generated unrealistic expectations after Obama’s election for what any president can do for the Middle East.

Second, in the one case where the West could have provided unique assistance to the Arab Spring -- that is, air power to help the rebels in Libya defeat Muammar Qaddafi -- the Obama administration limited its involvement in favor of supporting Britain and France. And third, with respect to both the Israeli- Palestinian issue and the Arab Spring, the U.S. president has generally made grand policy announcements but provided little follow-through.

There is no magic solution that will restore U.S. influence in this volatile region. One thing is certain: Promising more than you can deliver is no way to start. As Abbas has noted, it was Obama who first mentioned the goal of Palestine becoming a member of the UN by September 2011. Rather, it is the accumulation of small successes over a considerable time that will have the best chance of restoring U.S. standing.

To contact the Bloomberg View editorial board: view@bloomberg.net.
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« Reply #42 on: September 21, 2011, 07:14:38 AM »

I guess CNN's Nic Robertson wasn't able to convince enough of them of how great Obama is.

Couple that with Obama's saying next-to-nothing when one of our reporters gets gang-raped and nearly killed, and there you have it.
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« Reply #43 on: October 30, 2011, 06:23:12 AM »


Published on The New Republic (http://www.tnr.com)

For Young Women, a Horrifying Consequence of Mubarak’s Overthrow
Betwa Sharma October 29, 2011 | 12:00 am

Cairo—Ali, a 34-year-old Cairo businessman who asked that his real name not be used, is weighing whether or not to circumcise his 12-year-old daughter. Female circumcision, or female genital mutilation (FGM), as it also known, involves removing part or the entire clitoris. In more severe forms of the procedure, the labia minora is removed and the vaginal opening is stitched up. Ali’s wife has told him about her own experience; describing her story to me, he said, “It is her most terrible memory.” He has heard discussions on television of potential harm the procedure can cause, but he feels a responsibility to protect the chastity of his daughter until she is married. Three thousand years of tradition instruct him that circumcision is the best means to this end. And, in the post-Mubarak Egypt, there are fewer and fewer voices offering an alternative view. The decades-long movement to stop FGM has become a casualty of the power struggle in Egypt.

The campaign to end FGM in Egypt was fighting an uphill battle before the revolution. Although FGM was outlawed in 2007 after a 12-year-old girl died from the procedure, the practice is still widespread. Despite efforts to reduce it, the number of girls aged 15 to 17 who underwent FGM only dropped from 77 percent in 2005 to 74 percent in 2008, according to the 2008 Egypt Demographic and Health Survey (EDHS). EDHS also showed that 91 percent of all women in Egypt between the ages of 15 and 49 have undergone FGM. The practice is common not only among Muslims, but also in the Christian community, which constitutes 10 percent of the Egyptian population. A sanitized version of FGM has gained increased prevalence in recent years, presenting additional challenges. In 1995, only 45 percent of all FGM operations were conducted by doctors; by 2008, the percentage had risen to 72 percent. A young woman working as a maid and living in Cairo, who asked to be referred to only as Ayesha, did not even know that FGM is illegal. Her mother had put her through the procedure, and she told me that she would do the same. (Experts have found that the practice is mostly perpetuated by mothers making decisions for their daughters.) “Unless someone can show me what is wrong with it I don’t think there is any reason to change,” she said.

Since the revolution, international support for this fight has significantly waned. Political instability has led to a 75 percent cut in Egypt’s FGM-related donor funds to the United Nations since January, according to Marta Agosti, the head of the anti-FGM program for the U.N.Changeover among government ministers has also slowed official work. The National Council for Childhood and Motherhood, the government body charged with addressing the problem, was shuttered after the revolution, and there is concern among activists that the capacity of the Council will shrink in its new home under the Ministry of Health. Instability and a lack of funds have curtailed the day-to-day work of NGOs; less field work and fewer workshops are taking place, according to Agosti.

In addition to the general shrinking of U.N. and NGO funds and efforts, the rise of the Muslim Brotherhood as one of the strongest political forces attempting to fill the void left by Mubarak’s departure presents potential obstacles to the campaign to end FGM. While the Muslim Brotherhood does not have an official position on FGM, the group has, in the past, opposed a complete ban on the practice. “Nothing in Islam forbids circumcision,” said Saad El Katani, the leader of the Brotherhood in parliament in 2008. Some members of the Brotherhood have argued that opposition to a complete ban does not indicate support of the practice, but they generally don’t speak out against it.

For instance, Manal Abul-Hassan, a female leader of the Muslim Brotherhood who plans to run for parliamentary elections in November, told me that FGMis “not halal (permissible) and it’s not a haram (forbidden).” She does not favor its complete ban and disagrees with the U.N. characterization of FGM as a human rights violation. (Many parents share Hassan’s view and reject the word “mutilation”—especially for procedures like removing the excess skin around the clitoris. Young women argue that certain kinds of circumcisions are no different from plastic surgery in the West.) Like others in the Muslim Brotherhood, Hassan sees the campaign against FGM as stealth promotion by NGOs of a Western agenda. Activists fear that the more traditionalist elements in the group pose a threat to their work—that attitudes like the one expressed by Hassan might harden to condone the procedure.

In addition, activists are also fighting the shadow of Suzanne Mubarak, who, for all her husband’s transgressions, was a force behind the campaign to end FGM. As the former dictator’s wife,Mubarak gave speeches and organized conferences opposing the practice, making her one of the most recognizable faces in the international fight against FGM. She played a key role in getting Christian and Muslim religious leaders to forbid the procedure, which had a far greater impact than the legal ban. After declaring their position, the fatwa office in Cairo—the office of the Grand Mufti of Egypt—set up a hotline; several anecdotes emerged about women changing their decision to go ahead with the practice based on advice they received from this hotline. Activists assert that their efforts to eliminate FGM were well underway before Suzanne Mubarak demonstrated interest in the issue. “We didn’t wait for Madame Mubarak to talk about FGM,” Sidhom Magdi, head of the Egyptian Association for Comprehensive Development, told me. But they do not deny that her involvement gave the movement political momentum that it had previously lacked.

Now, however, anything attached to the Mubaraks’ legacy is, if not explicitly tainted, an easy target. Civil society groups characterize Mubarak’s efforts as self-promoting. “She was devoid of a feminist vision or a socialist vision,” said Nihad Abu Kumsan, a lawyer and head of the Egyptian Centre for Women’s Rights. Hassan insists that FGM-related figures were exaggerated by the Egyptian government so that the former first lady could pocket international funds. “Suzanne Mubarak used these numbers to make money and steal money,” she told me. While most activists were not Mubarak supporters, the backlash troubles them. Agosti worries that Suzanne Mubarak’s previous involvement will “become an excuse to undo all the past work.”

For years, activists combating FGM in Egypt have described their fight as “painfully slow.” In the post-revolution Egypt, the process has become glacial. “We have no leader and we have no strategy,” said Kumsan. The U.N., aware of that the issue is a minefield, is also keeping a low profile for the time being. “We have to be very careful right now as we don’t want the issue to be captured by the ultra-orthodox,” said Agosti, expressing a fear that the U.N. will be characterized as an agency promoting the Western agenda or worse, Mubarak’s legacy.

Ali, the Cairo businessman, and his wife ultimately decided against FGM for their daughter. “We don’t want to change what God has created,” he told me. In making this decision, Ali is already among the minority of parents who reject FGM. This minority is in danger of shrinking further in the new Egypt.

Betwa Sharma is a New York-based journalist who covers human rights. Her work can be found at www.betwasharma.com.

Source URL: http://www.tnr.com/article/world/96555/egypt-genital-mutilation-fgm-muslim-brotherhood
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« Reply #44 on: December 30, 2011, 04:09:07 PM »

Egypt: "Dozens of Muslims" burn Christian houses over rumor of "cartoons mocking Islam" on Facebook
jihadwatch.org ^ | 12-30-11 | robert spencer





What is your first thought when you see something offensive? It's probably not to get together with a few dozen of your closest friends and burn stuff. As has been the case in similar incidents, the ease of the transition to violence here all but suggests a rampage waiting for an excuse.

Then comes the collective punishment. "Muslim villagers burn houses of Christian family Upper Egypt," from Al Masry Al Youm, December 30:

Dozens of residents of the village of Baheeg in Assiut, Upper Egypt, burnt three houses owned by a Christian family after a Christian villager allegedly published cartoons mocking Islam on his Facebook account.

Cartoon alleged to offend Islam = three houses on fire. This mindset threatens a future of poverty and instability for Egypt, as no one is going to invest in a country where assets can be destroyed in a fit of rage at the drop of a hat.

There can be no prosperous society without stability, and no stability without a sense of priorities and self control on the individual, familial, and societal level. Stable self-government, as Egypt is said to want, depends on the government of the self.

A number of Muslim students attacked their Coptic classmate for posting the cartoons, a Muslim student told Al-Masry Al-Youm.

The Muslim students attacked the Coptic student on Thursday at Monqebad Secondary School in Assiut. Eyewitnesses said the military intervened to break up the fight and escorted the Coptic youth and his family away from the village. Later, Muslim villagers set fire to the family’s houses.

Firefighters extinguished the blaze and armed forces and police imposed a security cordon around the site of the incident.

Major General Mohamed Ibrahim, director of security in Assiut, said security forces are attempting to coordinate with Muslim clerics to calm citizens and contain the situation....

The fact that it takes this much to settle the situation speaks volumes.



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« Reply #45 on: December 30, 2011, 04:11:50 PM »



Benny, awesome post....makes me want to cry... since you never see  a reasonable and well thought-out post like this showing Obama being a leader and showing his responsible leadership in the area. Cry

Do you still feel like crying Andre? 
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« Reply #46 on: December 30, 2011, 05:27:48 PM »

Foot meet mouth.
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« Reply #47 on: January 01, 2012, 09:10:17 AM »

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Muslim Brotherhood Plans to Cancel Peace Pact with Israel
Arutz Sheva ^ | 1/1/2012 | Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu
Posted on January 1, 2012 8:43:39 AM EST by Never A Dull Moment

The Muslim Brotherhood comes up with a neat trick to break the peace treaty with Israel without formally doing so. Egypt’s next likely ruling party says it simply will hold a plebiscite and let the people do it.

Rashad Bayoumi, deputy Supreme Leader of the Brotherhood, told the London-based newspaper Al-Hayat on Sunday it respects international treaties and will leave the issue of the peace treaty in the hands of the people. The pact was signed by then-Egyptian president Anwar Sadat and Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin, but a "cold peace" has set in over the past several years.

(Excerpt) Read more at israelnationalnews.com ...
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« Reply #48 on: January 01, 2012, 09:39:41 AM »

The Year We Lost Afghanistan, Iraq, Egypt, Turkey, Tunisia and Most of the Middle East
Sultan Knish ^ | Saturday, December 31, 2011 | Daniel Greenfield
Posted on January 1, 2012 7:28:48 AM EST by expat1000

About the only people having a Happy New Year in the Muslim world aren't the Christians who are huddling and waiting out the storm, but the Islamists who use a different calendar but are having the best time of their lives since the last Caliphate.

The news that the Obama Administration has brought in genocidal Muslim Brotherhood honcho Yusuf Al-Qaradawi to discuss terms of surrender for the transfer of Afghanistan to the Taliban caps a year in which the Brotherhood and the Salafists are looking up carve up Egypt, the Islamists won Tunisia's elections, Turkey's Islamist AKP Party purged the last bastions of the secular opposition and Libya's future as an Islamist state was secured by American, British and French jets and special forces.

Time Magazine declared that 2011 was the Year of the Protester, they might have more honestly called it the Year of the Islamist. In 2010 the Taliban were still hiding in caves. In 2012 they are set to be in power from Tunisia to Afghanistan and from Egypt to Yemen. They won't go by that name of course. Most of them will have elaborate names with the words "Justice" or "Community" in them, but they will for the most part be minor variations on the Muslim Brotherhood theme.

2011 will indeed be remembered, but not because of any Arab Spring or OWS nonsense. It will be a pivotal year in the rise of the next Caliphate. A rise disguised by angry protesters waving cell phones and flags. And clueless media coverage that treated Tahrir Square as the new fall of the Berlin Wall.

This was the year that Obama helped topple several regimes that served as the obstacles to Islamist takeovers. The biggest fish that Ibn Hussein speared out of the sea for Al-Qaradawi was Egypt, a prize that the Islamists had wanted for the longest time, but had never managed to catch. That is until the Caliph-in-Chief got it for them. Egyptian Democracy splits the take between the Brotherhood and the Salafists, whom the media is already quick to describe as moderates. First up against the wall are the Christians. Second up against the wall are the Jews. Third up is all that military equipment we provided to the Egyptian military which will shortly be finding its way to various "moderate militants" who want to discuss our foreign policy with us.

But there's no reason to sell the fall of Tunisia short or the transition in Yemen. And when mob protests didn't work, NATO sent in the jets to pound Libya until Al-Qaeda got its way there. Turkey's fate had been written some time ago, but 2011 was the year that the AKP completed its death grip on the country with a final crackdown on the military, which has now ceased to be a force for stability.

Left out of the picture is Somalia. Liberals fulminated when Bush helped drive out Al-Shaab and its jolly Muslim lads with a habit of beheading people who didn't grow beards or watched too much soccer. Any number of editorials complained that we had destabilized the country and that the Islamic Courts Union were really a bunch of moderates in disguise.

Sadly Obama has not been able to salvage the position of Al-Shabab which is low on money and has turned to forcing 12 year old girls into prostitution and torturing and murdering those who refuse. They're also forcing the elderly to join its militias. But there is good news. Like every terrorist group, Al-Shabab has gotten itself a Twitter account and when O finds 5 minutes in between vacations and golf tournaments, the White House will order neighboring African countries to withdraw their armies and send in Al-Qaradawi to negotiate.

But even if the Islamists don't get Somalia, they've got a nice chunk of North Africa to chew over, not to mention a few more slices of the Middle-Eastern pie, and Afghanistan will be back in their hands as soon as they manage to outmaneuver Karzai, which given his paranoia and cunning may admittedly take a while. But the Taliban are not big on maneuvers, they have the manpower, which means it's only a matter of time until they do what the Mujaheddin did to the puppet Soviet regime. A history that everyone in the region is quite familiar with.

The ugliest part of this story isn't what Obama did. It's when he did it. If he really had no interest in winning Afghanistan, and if as he had said, the Taliban are not our enemy, then why did we stay for so long and lose so many lives fighting a war that the White House had no intention of winning? The ugly conclusion that must be drawn from the timing of the Iraq and Afghanistan withdrawals is that the wars were being played out to draw down around the time of the next election.

What that means is Obama sacrificed the thousands of Americans killed and wounded in the conflict as an election strategy. The idea that American soldiers were fighting and dying for no reason until the time when maximum political advantage could be gained from pulling them out is horrifying, it's a crime beyond redemption, an act worse than treason-- and yet there is no other rational conclusion to be drawn from the timetable.

If the Taliban were not our enemy, then the war should have ended shortly after the election. Instead Obama threw more soldiers into the mix while tying their hands with Rules of Engagement that prevented them from defending themselves or aggressively going after the Taliban. Casualties among US soldiers and Afghan civilians increased. Now the Taliban are no longer our enemy and we are negotiating a withdrawal.

There are only two possible explanations. Either we lost the war or Obama never intended to win it and was allowing the Taliban to murder American soldiers until the next election. If so we're not just looking at a bad man at the teleprompter, we are looking into the face of an evil so amoral that it defies description.

But whatever motives we may attribute to the Obama Administration the outcome of its policies in backing the Arab Spring with influence, training and even weapons is indisputable. What Carter did to Persia, Obama has done to Egypt, Tunisia, Libya, Yemen, Afghanistan and that's not the whole of the list.

Iraq will likely fall to Iran in a bloody civil war, whether it will be parts of the country or the whole country depend on how much support we provide to the Kurds. Under the Obama Administration the level of support is likely to be none.

Once the Islamists firmly take power across North Africa they will begin squeezing the last states that have still not fallen. Last month the leader of the murderous Enhada Islamists who have taken power in Tunisia stopped by Algeria. Morocco has not yet come down, but at this rate it's only a matter of time.

Syria remains an open question. The Muslim Brotherhood is in a successor position there and would welcome our intervention against the Assad regime. The Assads are no prize and they're Iranian puppets, but shoving them out would give the Brotherhood yet another country and its sizable collection of weaponry.

All that is bound to make 2012 an ugly year in its own right, especially if the Obama Administration continues allowing the Muslim Brotherhood to control its foreign policy. For all that Time and other mainstream media outlets continue splashing the same protest pornography photos on every page, the region has become an indisputably worse place this year with the majority of moderate governments overthrown and replaced, or in the process of being replaced by Islamist thugs.

Carter can breathe a sigh of relief. In one year the Obama Administration has done far more damage than the bucktoothed buffoon did in his entire term. After 2011 we can look back with nostalgia on the days when all that an incompetent leftist in the White House did was lose one country, one canal and a bunch of hostages. Things have gotten so bad that we can safely say that Obama on a good day is worse than Jimmy Carter on a bad day.

Forget the usual end of the year roundups which focus on pop stars, dead celebrities and who wore what and when. None of that really matters. It didn't matter four years ago. It certainly doesn't matter now.

2011 was not the year that Steve Jobs died, it was the year that any hope that we were not headed for a violent collision of civilizations died as Western governments helped topple the few moderates and let the worst have their harvest of power.

Will that be considered a bad thing in the long run? It's hard to say. What Obama did was speed up the date of an inescapable conflict. A day when it will no longer be state-supported terrorists setting off bombs, but when much of the Muslim world will look like Iran and will openly declare that they are at war with us. That was almost certainly bound to happen anyway, but bringing the day forward by ten or twenty years means that we will be less weaker than we might have been when it happens.

Evil has a way of destroying itself, and in his own backward way, Barry Hussein may have helped save civilization. It will be a long time before we know for sure, but giving the Brotherhood what it wanted before they were ready for it, and before we are so completely crippled by the left's political correctness that we are left helpless, may be our best hope.

2011 was the year we lost Afghanistan, Egypt, Turkey, Tunisia and many others, but it should not be the year that we lose hope. For all that the bad guys have been gaining and domestic prospects don't look good, the bad guys have a way of destroying themselves. Give evil its head and it will kill millions, but it will also self-destruct in a spectacular way. Even when it seems as if we have run out of productive things to do, it is instructive to remember that there is a Higher Power in the destinies of men and that the aspirations of evil men to play at being gods eventually leads them to complete and utter ruin through their own arrogance.

But 2011 is also a reminder that the world cannot afford another year of Obama. That it cannot afford the appeasement, the destructive policies or the post-American politics that have made his regime the worst administration in this country's history. 2011 may be the year that we lost the Middle East, but let's work to make 2012 the year that this country loses one Barack Hussein Obama.

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« Reply #49 on: January 03, 2012, 10:00:36 AM »

Muslim Brotherhood vows not to recognize Israel
By JPOST.COM STAFF AND REUTERS
01/01/2012 11:42


Egyptian party's deputy leader tells 'al-Hayat' that they won't negotiate with Israel, will seek to cancel peace treaty.
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  Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood will not recognize Israel “under any circumstance,” the party’s deputy leader Dr. Rashad Bayoumi told Arabic daily al-Hayat in an interview published on Sunday.

In recent Egyptian elections the Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) won 36.3 percent of the list vote, while the ultra-conservative Salafi al-Nour Party took 28.8%.


When asked whether it is a requirement for the government in Egypt to recognize Israel, Bayoumi responded by saying: “This is not an option, whatever the circumstances, we do not recognize Israel at all. It’s an occupying criminal enemy.”

The deputy leader stressed during the interview that no Muslim Brotherhood members would ever meet with Israelis for negotiations.“I will not allow myself to sit down with criminals.”

Bayoumi went on to say that the Muslim Brotherhood would take legal procedures towards canceling the peace treaty between Egypt and Israel that was signed in 1979.

“The Brotherhood respects international conventions, but we will take legal action against the peace treaty with the Zionist entity,” he told the paper.

At the beginning of December, Egypt’s two leading Islamist parties won about two-thirds of votes for party lists in the second round of polling for a parliament that will help draft a new constitution after decades of autocratic rule.

The vote, staged over six weeks, is the first free election Egypt has held after the 30-year rule of president Hosni Mubarak, who routinely rigged polls before he was overthrown by a popular uprising in February.

The West long looked to Mubarak and other strongmen in the region to help combat Islamist militants, and has watched warily as Islamist parties have topped votes in Tunisia, Morocco and now Egypt.

The Egyptian Parliament’s prime job will be appointing a 100-man assembly to write a new constitution which will define the president’s powers and parliament’s clout in the new Egypt.








________________________ ________

Hey - lets focus on Newt crying and other "real issues" like Santorum being chased out of a bar.   Anything to avoid FailBama's disastrous record of incompentence, failure, and collapse right? 
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