Posts Tagged ‘Egyptian Revolution’

It Hurts To Laugh!

February 18, 2011

 It Hurts To Laugh!

chuck asay
Wed, Feb 9, 2011
bob gorrell
  • Wed, Feb 9, 2011
    michael ramirez
  • Mon, Feb 7, 2011
    michael ramirez 
  • Fri, Feb 11, 2011

    chip bok
    All of these cartoons are from  I recommend you visit there often.
    VTM,         2/18/11

    Obama Administration’s Failure–Plain To See

    February 17, 2011

    Obama Administration’s Failure–Plain To See

    Niall Ferguson (February 21, 2011) wrote a stunning article for Newsweek Magazine in which he wrote:

    ” There is no more damning indictment of the administration’s strategic thinking than this: it never once considered a scenario in which Mubarak faced a popular revolt.”

    As a result, America was caught with its pants down, floundering and giving inconsistent advice to Egypt as the revolution unfolded.

    Obama’s administration is feckless in America’s social and economic domains.  Mr. Ferguson proves his commensurate incompetence in our international affairs as well.

    This should not come as a surprise to anyone who is paying attention to such matters; it will surprise only the oblivious.

    In his article, Ferguson quotes President Obama from his speech in Cairo in January, 2009:

    “America and Islam are not exclusive and need not be in competition. Instead, they overlap, and share common principles of justice and progress; tolerance and dignity for all human beings.” 

    Mr. Ferguson also warns us that the Obama administration also has no good strategies for countering the spread of Islam, limiting Iran’s aggressive actions, dealing with Chinese economic competition, or a possible Russian resurgence of power in Europe.

    To these concerns, I will add those of our continuing loss of freedom and liberty through the ruinous binge of our government’s borrowing and spending, its ever-increasing size and scope,  and the expansion of its powers over all of our lives.

    Obama’s legacy of incompetence and failure, at home and abroad, is plain to see.

    V. Thomas Mawhinney, Ph.D.


    America’s Decline Is Elsewhere

    February 12, 2011

    America’s Decline Is Elsewhere

    This article is one worthy of our attention. It is written by Michael Gerson and appears on

    Gerson concludes that events in Egypt are not evidence of American decline. I think he is right.

    The evidence of America’s decline is elsewhere. It is in the loss of our moral compass, our  own poor self-governance, our population’s deteriorating quality of behavior, and the resulting social and economic problems that we now see unfolding.

    V. Thomas Mawhinney, Ph.D.

    The following is Gerson’s article.

    WASHINGTON — For those who are prone to be prone to such things, recent events in Egypt are further evidence of declining American global influence. President Hosni Mubarak, having taken a lot of American aid, now seems immune to both American advice and pressure. The protesters, one article complained, didn’t even bother to burn our flag. We are seeing, according to some observers, a “post-American Middle East.”

    Never mind that the protesters are using Western technology to demand individual rights. Or that many of the young, secular bloggers who laid the groundwork for the revolution alternate between Arabic and English and have visited or studied in America. Lay aside the fact that Egyptians in the streets have focused their demands on only two actors, the Egyptian regime and the American government — not the United Nations or the Arab League or China. In fact, China’s response was to remove the word “Egypt” from its Internet search engines and lay low, hoping the storm passes.

    Such considerations should not be allowed to detract from our sense of impotence — a paradoxical tribute to our ambitions. People in Holland or Costa Rica do not celebrate or decry their lack of sway in Egyptian politics. Only Americans feel vindication or guilt at the limits of their power.

    Those limits are obvious along the Nile. The outcome of the current confused struggle in Egypt matters greatly to American interests. The emergence of a Sunni version of Iran in Egypt would be a major blow. A democratic transition, even a messy and partial one, might eventually isolate or domesticate the extremists and defuse hatred for America. But the course of events in Egypt is determined by an internal balance of nationalism and religion, fear and hope, that America can only influence on the margins. That is frustrating, but hardly new.

    And the limits of a certain American policy approach in the Middle East have never been more obvious. Decades of aiding a military dictator, who presides over a corrupt, unresponsive government, who has managed his economy into stagnation and scarcity, and who has driven most legitimate opposition toward the radical mosque, have not produced stability. There’s a reason shahs are sometimes followed by mullahs — because religious extremism is the opiate of a humiliated people. Who can seriously argue that the denouement in Egypt will be better because Mubarak cannot seem to take a hint and board a plane?

    But it is a tricky thing to extrapolate these limits into a theory of American decline. Decline compared to what? Compared to the heady, unipolar moment immediately following the collapse of the Soviet Union? Or compared to the coldest days of the Cold War, when the Soviet Union sent military aid and advisers to Syria, Egypt, Libya and Iraq, attempting to block American actions at every turn?

    The scholar Joseph Nye describes a layer cake of American influence. On the first level, military power, America remains unchallenged. On the second, economic influence, the world has been multipolar for a while now. On a third level — a transnational realm of bankers and terrorists, Facebook and hackers — power is diffused to a wide range of actors, both good and bad, who now have the ability to sponsor Sept. 11, 2001 or Jan. 25, 2011.

    In the complex determination of national influence, those with the best story, the most compelling narrative, have an advantage. In the Middle East, does the old dictator speaking on Egyptian state television, talking of past glories, really seem the wave of the future? Does Iranian theocracy, which in reaction to democratic protests has collapsed into military control, seem worthy of emulation? These systems may be imposed at the barrel of a gun. But on the streets of Cairo, self-government is the hope. It seems the system most likely to result in progress, social vitality and national achievement. And it seems that way because it is.

    At least since Franklin Roosevelt, American leaders have viewed the appeal of democratic ideals as a source of national power. America now has less direct control, say, in Germany and Japan than it did in the 1950s. But both are monuments to American influence. Democracies do not always do our bidding, but in the long run they are both more stable and peaceful than countries ruled by the whims of a single man. Democratic transitions are difficult and uncertain, especially in places with shallow democratic roots. But it is strangely disconnected from American history and ideals to regard a popular revolt against an oppressive ruler as a sign of American decline.

    Michael Gerson

    Michael Gerson

    Michael Gerson writes a twice-weekly column for The Post on issues that include politics, global health, development, religion and foreign policy. Michael Gerson is the author of the book “Heroic Conservatism” and a contributor to Newsweek magazine.

    American Naivete’ and The Muslim Brotherhood

    February 11, 2011

     American naiveté and The Muslim brotherhood

    It is very hard to make predictions about what the outcome of the Egyptian revolution will be. While I will hope for a new democracy in the world, I am fearful of another Radical Muslim take-over.  The Muslim Brotherhood is a very sly monster that eats old-fashioned dictatorships and excretes a different brand of dictatorship named the Caliphate and Sharia Law.  It is no comfort that the Brotherhood has had great success at infiltrating and debilitating liberal democracies in France and England (and others) and is easily gaining a toe-hold in America. So why should there not be great concern when the Muslim Brotherhood sets its sights on an Egyptian dictatorship?

    The following is the first of several articles that I will post on this pivotal world development that reflect my concerns about this matter.

    This article is written by Oliver North and it appeared on


    WASHINGTON — On Thursday morning, the heads of America’s intelligence services went to Capitol Hill to testify before the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence on worldwide threats to the United States. We won’t know what was said in the committee’s closed sessions until it’s leaked by one of the participants. But to paraphrase former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, based on their public testimony, what we now know about what our intelligence services don’t know ought to alarm us.

    The director of national intelligence, retired Air Force Lt. Gen. James Clapper, stunned the committee by describing Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood — the organization that has co-opted pro-democracy protests in Cairo’s Tahrir Square — as “a very heterogeneous group, largely secular, which has eschewed violence and has decried al-Qaida as a perversion of Islam. … They have pursued social ends, a betterment of the political order in Egypt.”

    This statement was so at variance with reality that DNI spokeswoman Jamie Smith subsequently was compelled to issue an explanation: “To clarify Director Clapper’s point, in Egypt the Muslim Brotherhood makes efforts to work through a political system that has been, under (Hosni) Mubarak’s rule, one that is largely secular in its orientation. He is well aware that the Muslim brotherhood is not a secular organization.”

    Shortly after Clapper’s astounding claim, CIA Director Leon Panetta told the committee, “There is a strong likelihood that Mubarak may step down this evening.” He then went even further by noting that such a development “will be significant in terms of where the hopefully orderly transition in Egypt will take place.” It turns out he was dead wrong on both counts.

    In response to Rep. Sue Myrick’s question about the Muslim Brotherhood’s role in perpetrating violence against the U.S. and our allies, FBI Director Robert Mueller contradicted the DNI by observing, “Elements of the Muslim Brotherhood here and overseas have supported terrorism.” He then had the good sense to decline going further in public, offering instead to “provide further information” in closed session.

    Less than six hours after this drama unfolded in Washington, Mubarak went on government-controlled television to tell the world he isn’t going anywhere any time soon. The protesters in Tahrir Square were stunned. So was the Obama administration, thanks to yet another dramatic failure on the part of our intelligence services.

    Two hours after Mubarak’s televised announcement that he was transferring some power to his hand-picked vice president, Omar Suleiman — and staying in Cairo — the White House issued yet another statement urging that “the voices of the Egyptian people must be heard.” Now everyone is asking what’s next. The truth is that nobody knows.

    Good intelligence is essential, and poor intelligence is disastrous; it is a lesson American administrations have been relearning since Pearl Harbor. It was a problem that was supposed to get fixed after the U.S. Embassy was sacked in Tehran in 1979 — and again after the failure of Operation Eagle Claw in the Iranian desert in 1980. We were told it really would be cured by the massive reorganization of our intelligence community after the terror attacks of 9/11. It clearly hasn’t worked.

    Our intelligence services are beset with attention-deficit disorder. In the aftermath of 9/11, we were told our “intelligence problem” would go away if we tore down “information silos” and “firewalls,” created “fusion centers,” and “streamlined” the dissemination of information among agencies. As we now know, that just made it easier for organizations such as WikiLeaks — and foreign adversaries — to gain access to classified information.

    The Obama administration has compounded the problem by variously defining the major threats to U.S. national security as climate change, right-wing extremism, homegrown terrorists and economic collapse. Meanwhile, our risk-averse “intelligence managers” have all but eliminated the collection of human intelligence, the key to protecting U.S. troops fighting an insurgency in Afghanistan and anticipating events like the one we now see in Egypt.

    Those who testified before the committee this week defended their work by claiming to have warned “for years” about “potential adverse consequences” in Middle East autocracies that deny their people economic and political freedom. But the inability to forecast how the present unrest was spreading east from Tunisia — to Egypt, Jordan, Yemen and perhaps beyond — is a direct consequence of a profound failure in human intelligence collection.

    No matter what self-serving “leaders” now claim about forecasts of “Egyptian instability,” nobody saw this fire coming. The entire Egyptian military hierarchy was in Washington when the riots began in Cairo. Our numbness on the Nile is the consequence of not having enough “boots on the ground” to even know who loosed the violence — or the names, addresses and intentions of those who intend to take power. If it turns out to be the Muslim Brotherhood, we should be very alarmed indeed.

    Oliver North

    Oliver North

    Oliver North is the host of War Stories on the Fox News Channel, the author of American Heroes in Special Operations, and the founder and honorary chairman of Freedom Alliance.


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