Egyptian police battled thousands of protesters outside President Mohamed Mursi’s palace in Cairo on Tuesday, prompting the Islamist leader to leave the building, presidency sources said.
Officers fired teargas at up to 10,000 demonstrators angered by Mursi’s drive to hold a referendum on a new constitution on December 15. Some broke through police lines around his palace and protested next to the perimeter wall.
Not to nitpick or anything, but perhaps part of the problem here is that Morsi (or Mursi, or whatever transcription method you use) is part of a system that requires that you have a Presidential Palace. I’m not actually being sarcastic: I’d like to figure out how to get various countries to stop thinking in terms of unelected kings. Or even elected ones*.
*Be nice; the poor SOB that we’ve got hasn’t been really told yet that his second term is going to be an epic exercise in frustration… for him.
Glenn Reynolds, reacting to the news that Egypt’s ‘democracy’ is turning into ‘one man, one vote, one time:’
If you’re a fan of liberal democracy in Egypt, it’s probably time to start shooting people. If you’re not up to that, you might as well leave.
It always comes as a surprise to some people that democracy will go away, if you let it. Or if you support the people who want to speed it along on its journey.
Moe Lane Continue reading QotD, No, Glenn Is Being Deadly Serious Edition.
You know, when GEORGE W. BUSH propped up a puppet strongman…
…then by GOD that strongman stayed both propped up and a puppet. There was none of this nonsense where the strongman would go off in a wild tangent with the sudden emergency powers and the apologetics for terrorist attacks against an ally and the counter-rioting/nascent revolutions. No, the understanding was simple. Keep the country stable; don’t shoot down people in the street and don’t lock up the non-violent opposition; and don’t embarrass that nice Uncle Sugar – and his even nicer no-limit credit card. Do that, and the not-kings got to keep their not-thrones*.
Honestly, rocket science this is not. If you had told me, back in 2007, that even a Democratic President would be unable to pass Realpolitik 101 in 2012, then I would have… well, honestly, first I would have wondered if Hillary Clinton had had a stroke or something. But I’d still would have been incredulous at the idea that such simple concepts as the above could have been so thoroughly mucked up. I sometimes wonder what infuriates the American Left** more: that their self-anointed Messiah Barack Obama doesn’t seem to have a foreign policy more sophisticated than Do whatever Bush did, or that Obama’s so incredibly bad at even that…
Continue reading Obama’s would-be Egyptian puppet Mohammed Morsi is… not working out.
Let’s connect the dots:
One. This is from the official Tumblr of the Obama re-election campaign (click it fast, because it won’t be there soon): [UPDATE: Well, that was fast.]
Two. We are giving aid to Egypt. Which is to say, we are giving Egypt $450 million of your tax money.
Three. Egypt, of course, is run by the Muslim Brotherhood. This is what the Muslim Brotherhood thinks of Female Genital Mutilation:
- “Saad El Katatny, the leader of the Muslim Brotherhood bloc in parliament, says his movement is not opposed to the child law as a whole, rather “just those provisions that run counter to the norms, customs, and nature of the Egyptian people.” Aspects of the law that he takes issue with include articles that make it illegal to try children as adults, permit birth certificates for the children of unwed mothers, restrict corporal punishment, raise the marriage age to 18 years, and reinforce a standing ban on female circumcision.” (2008)
- “Female Advisor to Egyptian President: Girls Not Circumcised “Lacking in Faith” Earlier this week, Egypt’s Tahrir News conducted an interview with Dr. Amina Kamal, advisor to President Morsi on Women’s Affairs, a member of the Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice party, and a member of the Constituent Assembly.” (2012)
- “A number of Egyptian human rights groups have submitted a communication to the Attorney General Abdel Meguid Mahmoud against the Muslim Brotherhood`s political arm, the Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) to investigate the complaints of people in the village of Abu Aziz in the Minya governorate, south of Cairo, over the existence of a large medical convoy organized by the party that wanders streets and does medical examination on people, including female circumcision, or female genital mutilation, in violation of Egyptian law, conventions and treaties signed by Egypt.” (2012)
- “Muslim Brotherhood (MB) MP Mohamed el-Omda objected to the criminalization of female circumcision in the presence of his three daughters and his mother.” (2012)
- “For those wondering why on earth (in spite of the many rebuttals from Islamic clerics that FGM is distinctly un-Islamic) the Muslim Brotherhood have decided to virtually campaign on their support of it? Perhaps a view down the lens of social currency is helpful. Certainly we are not unfamiliar here in the UK with the idea of politicians aligning themselves with moral currencies such as marriage and sexuality in the face of the rapid decline of monetary capital. The Muslim Brotherhood also find that taking the [dubious] moral high-ground of chastity and honour avails them the opportunity to triumphantly reach into the heart of the vast majority of economically deprived Egyptians without offering any actual policies to relieve their hardship.” (2008)
Four. Let’s look at that Tumblr again, shall we?
Five. I think that I do agree with the Tumblr, after all: American women should vote to protect lady-parts. Which is to say, they should be voting for Romney-Ryan.
Moe Lane (crosspost)
You may have noticed a little while back that the US Embassy in Cairo called out the Egyptian government/Muslim Brotherhood for saying one thing in English (read: Western foreign consumption) and another in Arabic (read: domestic/regional consumption). Which is all to the good… so why did the President do the same thing this week?
The View: “In an interview with ABC’s “The View,” Obama — who is in New York to address the United Nations General Assembly — was asked if the Benghazi assault was indeed terrorism. “There’s no doubt that the kind of weapons that were used, the ongoing assault, that it wasn’t just a mob action,” Obama said.”
Obama’s UN speech: “In every country, there are those who find different religious beliefs threatening; in every culture, those who love freedom for themselves must ask how much they are willing to tolerate freedom for others. That is what we saw play out the last two weeks, as a crude and disgusting video sparked outrage throughout the Muslim world. I have made it clear that the United States government had nothing to do with this video, and I believe its message must be rejected by all who respect our common humanity.”
…Annnnd that’s pretty much everything that the President had to say at the UN as to why we are having ongoing riots in the Middle East in the first place: it’s all because of that video. Oh, sure, the President admitted that Iran funds terrorist groups; but he knows, you know, and I know that the Benghazi attack (and probably the triggering riots*) were started up by an al-Qaeda affiliate (read: Sunni), while Iran prefers to work through groups like Hezbollah (read: Shi’ite). Which most of the people at the UN know, too – so yeah, they’re getting a message loud and clear, and it’s this: Barack Obama doesn’t want to look too closely at existing terror networks in the Middle East. Continue reading Barack Obama takes a page from the Muslim Brotherhood.
Before we get started:
NO. DO NOT DO THIS.
OK, wanted to get that out of the way.
[UPDATE: Full background here.]
Continue reading Is Barack Obama REALLY thinking about releasing the Blind Sheik? REALLY?
Barack Obama, 2012:
Egypt is neither an ally nor an enemy of the United States, President Barack Obama said Wednesday in the wake of a violent protest at the US embassy in Cairo.
“I don’t think that we would consider them an ally, but we don’t consider them an enemy,” Obama said in excerpts of an interview with Telemundo aired by MSNBC.
Barack Obama, 2011:
Sunlen Miller and Kirit Radia report: President Obama today reiterated that Egypt is an ally of the United States and that the he’s “always said” to President Hosni Mubarak that reform, both politically and economically, is essential for Egypt.
“Egypt’s been an ally of ours on a lot of critical issues,” Obama said from the White House this afternoon, “President Mubarak has been very helpful on a range of tough issues in the Middle East. But I’ve always said to him that making sure that they are moving forward on reform — political reform, economic reform — is absolutely critical to the long-term well being of Egypt.”
Continue reading Obama vs. Obama on whether Egypt is an ally.
The rumor going around on the internets that Egyptian strongman Hosni Mubarak already has left Egypt; but CNN and other groups are reporting instead that he’ll be addressing Egypt shortly. Stay, as they say, tuned.
There’s a bunch of stuff I agree with in this Harsanyi article about Egypt – and a bunch that I don’t – but the thing that I like most about it is that the author is freely admitting that both he and most of his professional colleagues do not have any more of a clue about Egypt and the Middle East than the rest of us do. This is actually very useful: when you don’t know much about a situation, and you know that you don’t know much about a situation – this is what Donald Rumsfeld would call a “known unknown” – you tend to defer to ostensible experts, because, hey, isn’t this why we keep experts around? The problem in this strategy is, of course, implied in the use of the word ‘ostensible:’ a lot of people opining on the problems in the Middle East are very confident, very expressive… and very, very much without a clue.
All of which leads up to the observation that if the only reason you disagree with this notion:
Rather than abandoning allies who share our principles and face growing threats from nations like Iran, why not use Israel’s political and capitalistic system as a benchmark. You’re welcome to our aid if you can match Israel’s political and economic freedoms. How many countries would qualify?
…is because some guy in a suit on Sunday television has just solemnly told you that this is impractical, well, you may want to get a second opinion on that. Preferably, your own.
Darned if I know who to root for, in this one: the government’s corrupt and the revolutionaries aren’t really our friends. I guess my opinion pretty much can be summed up by this spreadsheet (all data from the CIA World Factbook):
Guess which countries are the peaceful, multiparty, free market democracies? And which country is the corrupt, strongman kleptocracy? There’s a lesson there, hopefully.