The Egyptian revolution threatens an American-imposed order of Arabophobia and false choices

on 179 Comments

I’m thrilled by what I see in the Cairo streets, but when I turn on American television I see only grim faces. Robert Gibbs looked frightened during his long-delayed press briefing yesterday afternoon, he stumbled and didn’t know what to say. Obama’s comments last night were equivocal and opaque: I’m with Mubarak, for now. This feels like Obama’s 9/11– the day Arabs blindsided a president.

I’d thought this is what he wanted for the Arab world: democracy! But the market dropped, and the cable shows teem with mistrust of the Arab street. The talking heads can’t stop going about the Islamists. Chris Matthews cried out against the Muslim Brotherhood and shouted, Who is our guy here?– as if the U.S. has a role to play on the streets. While his guest Marc Ginsberg, a former ambassador to Morocco whose work seems to be dedicated to finding the few good Arabs out there, said that forces outside Egypt are funding the revolt– an insulting statement, given the homegrown flavor of everything we’ve seen; and when Matthews pressed him, Ginsberg said, Hamas… Iran.

Matthews’s other interpreter was Howard Fineman. Why aren’t there more Arab-Americans on US television? I give PBS credit for gathering Mary-Jane Deeb and Samer Shehata (along with the inevitable Steven Cook of CFR) to speak of the real political demands of the protesters (and not galloping Islamism!)– but when CNN aired Mona Eltahawy saying that the protesters are not violent, the moderator stomped on her and said, what about those burning vehicles?

As if eastern Europe changed without similar destruction. 

So racism against Arabs is shutting down the American mind once again. And my friends turn to Al Jazeera English to get the soul of the story: these events are electrifying to Arabs everywhere, a heroic mobilization. And not only to Arabs. When ElBaradei says, I salute the youth for overturning a pharaonic power, lovers of human freedom everywhere must be thrilled. We are seeing a dictator dissolve before our eyes. These are the events we cherished in history books and Shakespeare; so let us embrace the Egyptian movement.

Why is America so afraid?

Because we are seeing a leap in Arab power, in which the people of the largest Arab nation demand that they be allowed to fulfill their potential. This change portends a shift in the balance of power in the region. For the U.S. has played only a negative role in the Egyptian advance, supplying the teargas, and it seems inevitable that Egypt will cease to be a client state to the U.S. And thereby threaten the order of the last 30 years.

Whatever government replaces the current one in Egypt, it will not serve American interests, which have been largely defined by Israel, the American-Israeli “imperium,” as Helena Cobban put it. Since the 1970s (as Joel Beinin shows here), Egypt has been the lynchpin of a US strategy of supporting Israel. The special relationship with Israel has steered our foreign policy, encouraged the destruction and occupation of Iraq, and even fed American Islamophobia. Key to preserving this order has been our ironclad support for the Arab dictatorships in Jordan, Egypt, Tunisia and elsewhere– by providing out policy with a “moderate Arab” seal. Look: Egypt was a bulwark against the Islamists, and Egypt was crucial to the peace process, as the correspondents tell us over and over on American TV.

The danger to America and Israel is that the Egyptian revolution will destroy this false choice of secular dictator-or-crazy Islamists by showing that Arabs are smart articulate people who can handle real democracy if they get to make it themselves. And when they get it, they are likely to strip the mask off the peace process. On Al Jazeera English, they don’t mind talking about the Palestinians. One commentator said that the “humiliation” of the Palestinians is feeding the Egyptian revolt. I know; I will never forget how Egyptian construction workers put down their tools to stand and applaud the Code Pink buses as we left El Arish for Gaza in June 2009. And in his beautiful statement calling on Mubarak to serve his country by leaving it, ElBaradei said a government responsive to the will of the people would turn soon to the Palestinian issue.

This is the great fear, in Israel and in Washington, too: that revolution in Egypt will reveal the despotism of the existing order for the Palestinian people, who have seen their rights and properties and security and water taken from them during an endless peace process that Egypt has helped sustain. 

The grimness on the faces of American Establishment figures reflects the greatest threat to any authority, the crumbling of the existing order. Support for Israel has defined order in this region for decades and required us to support dictators. Ever since Truman defied the State Department in 1947-48, we have been committed to maintaining a Jewish state in the Middle East despite local opposition. This has required great American expenditure, and probably cost Bobby Kennedy his life, but it has been an order. That order has meant frequent lip service to Arab democracy, but hey, Mubarak is better than those Islamists.

Now that true Arab democracy is finally coming on stage, the moral structure falls apart. I say morals, because support for Israel has always had a moral rationale. The American establishment could feel good about supporting Israel because it seemed like the right thing: We had helped to solve the age-old Jewish Question of Europe. We had ended Jewish persecution. Israel was the answer to Never again! If you doubt that this is the moral calculus of our policy, step into the Center for Jewish History in New York this month. There must be four or five exhibits that touch on Jewish persecution in the Middle East and Europe. The destruction of Italian Jews. The destruction of Berlin businesses that provided the finest linens, photography, interiors… The persecution of Moroccan Jews. It never ends, along with an exhibit dedicated to the “miracle” of Israel’s creation with American Jewish support. 

Thus the Jewish community has hunkered down in an anachronistic identity of victimization– secure in the completely-contradictory knowledge that the American power structure will support Israel.

All this is changing in Egypt. An Arab liberation story is forcing itself into world consciousness. “The vast, vast majority of protesters are peaceful people, mostly middle class, and they are showing great solidarity. People are still defending the Egyptian Museum,” Issandr El-Amrani reports, inspiringly. There is bound to be great suffering in Egypt, we pray for a smooth transition, but if the Egyptians are only left to handle their own affairs, who doubts that the polity that will emerge from this chaos will be more responsive to human rights, and will strike a blow against the fetters of anti-Arab racism that have chained the American mind.

179 Responses

  1. Kathleen
    January 29, 2011, 3:07 pm

    Chris Matthews has yet to break down and have Juan Cole (saw him on CNN last night) or Flynt Leverett, or you folks on his program. Still keeps going to David “axis of evil” Frum, Gaffney and other warmongers for analysis. He does have David Corn and Joan Walsh on. But they barely whisper about the I/P conflict.

    Greenwald is the only one who goes there on the MSM. Dylan Ratigan has had him on. Bet he got busted for it.

    • pabelmont
      January 29, 2011, 3:48 pm

      Exactly. Phil asks, but it’s the wrong question, “Why is America so afraid?” He should ask, “Why is the USA Establishment and their media thugs (sorry, representatives, sorry, talking heads) so afraid?” and “Why do they seek to make Americans afraid?”

      And never let us — on MondoWeiss of all places — forget which STRAND of the USA ESTABLISHMENT is directing all this Mishegas.

      • Psychopathic god
        January 29, 2011, 7:18 pm

        another part of the story — you have to wonder why Hillary Clinton sent Jeff Feltman to Tunisia.
        Michel Chussodovsky supplies some information to point to an answer:

        “Dictators” do not Dictate, They Obey Orders

        “Actual decisions are taken in Washington DC, at the US State Department, at the Pentagon, at Langley, headquarters of the CIA. at H Street NW, the headquarters of the World Bank and the IMF.

        The relationship of “the dictator” to foreign interests must be addressed. Unseat the political puppets but do not forget to target the “real dictators”.

        The protest movement should focus on the real seat of political authority; it should target the US embassy, the delegation of the European Union, the national missions of the IMF and the World Bank.

        Meaningful political change can only be ensured if the neoliberal economic policy agenda is thrown out. “

        read the rest, then listen to John Perkins discuss, “Confessions of an Economic Hitman.” link to

        fast forward to 28 minutes to hear Perkins talk about the west’s fear of Islam.

  2. Kathleen
    January 29, 2011, 3:12 pm

    Just read Emptywheel’s (Marcy Wheeler at Firedoglake) piece about Robert Gibbs/Whitehouse demanding Mubarak open up access to Internet and other communication networks. Too bad we did not hear this out of them when the Israeli government shut down all communication outlets to those on the Mavi Marmara and the other boats involved with the Palestinian humanitarian effort. Israel has shut down the communication outlets numerous times to Palestinian protest.

    Amazing how much coverage the so called progressive media and other media outlets are giving these protest. For decades and until this day they will not give any coverage to Palestinian protest. Zip Zero Nada. Barely gave any coverage to the anti invasion protest before or after the invasion. Rachel Maddow will not even get close Palestinian protesters or any other issue having to do with the middle east. Real progressive. But of course she will hammer on Iran and cover the protesters there. Fair and balanced (choke)

    This morning on Washington Journal callers were bringing up Israel and the connection to Egypt. The host was really shutting them down. Something is up at CSpan. During a take the MEK off the terrorist list conference last week CSpan had the conference listed as NUCLEAR WEAPONS IN IRAN as if it has been proven that Iran has nuclear weapons. Twisted and heavily influenced at CSPan the last couple of years

    Amazing that Rep Ros Lehtinen keeps getting away with calling for free speech, protesting etc in Egypt. She has done everything in her power to shut down any effort of the Palestinians. In fact did everything to undermine their free and fair elections and the results. What hypocrisy.

    • seafoid
      January 29, 2011, 4:40 pm

      “Amazing how much coverage the so called progressive media and other media outlets are giving these protest. For decades and until this day they will not give any coverage to Palestinian protest. Zip Zero Nada”

      Yes. I was expecting a mail from the Progressive….They are so good on so many topics.
      Still waiting

      The New York Review has Robert Malley FFS/

    • pineywoodslim
      January 29, 2011, 6:13 pm

      Firedoglake’s piece on that is found at

      link to

      Not sure why so many here beat up on firedoglake. Israel-Palestine is certainly not the focus of the blog like it is here, but at least on occasion they address the issue in a fair and honest fashion, and pull few punches.

      To lump FDL in with the likes of Maddow and the rest of the so-called progressive media is inaccurate.

      • pineywoodslim
        January 29, 2011, 6:31 pm

        Search for diarist Siun at FDL. She is their resident I-P diarist.

        I should add–titles of some recent FDL articles on Israel:

        The Palestine Papers – In Which We Learn No One Speaks for the Palestinians

        Israel Exonerates Itself – Shooting 9 Unarmed Civilians Was Self-Defense

        WikiLeaks: Keeping Gaza on the Brink

        $3 Billion in Planes for Ninety Days’ Worth of Settlement Freeze

        Eric Cantor (R-VA) Should Be Impeached

      • MRW
        January 29, 2011, 9:01 pm

        To lump FDL in with the likes of Maddow and the rest of the so-called progressive media is inaccurate.

        So what? They still deserve opprobrium.

      • pineywoodslim
        January 29, 2011, 11:03 pm

        For what?

        For writing articles condemning Israel’s murder on the high seas? For condemning the sham peace process? For condemning the prison of Gaza? For saying Cantor should be impeached for treason?

        That’s what those diaries I listed state. Why do you say that should be met with opprobrium?

        Your take seems more than bizarre to me.

      • James
        January 30, 2011, 2:06 am

        why? emptywheel is awesome coverage that can’t be found anywhere else.. i think you are crazy..

    • munro
      January 29, 2011, 6:34 pm

      Maddow did a scary slide show of the 3 phases of the Iranian Revolution:
      The Shah > The Ayatollah Khomeini > Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
      Matthews reverently spoke with a guy from WINEP, Marc Ginsburg and Irshad Manji are on CNN. Bill Maher opened his HBO show last night with “The Arabs are revolting”. I can already hear the sigh of relief once Mubarek’s police have provided the Islamist violence that will keep him in power and justify our support.

      • annie
        January 29, 2011, 6:39 pm

        I can already hear the sigh of relief once Mubarek’s police have provided the Islamist violence that will keep him in power and justify our support.

        i’m thinking/hoping egyptians are not going to fall for that. what’s the point of making a revolution just to fall for the same ol same ol? why not just keep protesting?

      • munro
        January 29, 2011, 6:47 pm

        The violence would be orchestrated for US consumption.

  3. aparisian
    January 29, 2011, 3:36 pm

    Great piece. Thanks
    Long live Egypt!

  4. Psychopathic god
    January 29, 2011, 3:42 pm

    I consider C Span the Colin Powell of internationally televised journalism: it has NO corporate sponsors and does not need to make profits to satisfy shareholders; daily, it receives the lauds of its callers who claim it the most fair news in the US.
    But in this snippet, a caller from Columbia, SC got the facts right, and the Washington, DC-based professional host/journalist and an expert in democracy building who just returned from Tunisia, were not able to frame the question WHY, but contented themselves with diagnosing the symptoms while remaining blind to the causes.

    Topic: What should be the US response to Egypt?
    Moderator: Rob Harleson
    Guest: Thomas Garrett, Vice President, International Republican Institute, a branch of a democracy-implementing agency Ron Reagan created)
    Caller comment (From ‘Jimmy,’ a black male from Columbia, SC):
    “We have enslaved the entire A-rab world — 80 million in Egypt alone — so that a handful of Jews — 5 or 6 million Jews, can maintain their occupation of Palestinian land. I am elated this morning because this is the first step toward the destruction of Israel. Maybe the Jews should —“

    Moderator interrupts: “I don’t see any connection between Israel and what is going on in Egypt. Can you make that call for me?”

    Jimmy: “Yes, certainly. The 2 to 3 billion dollars given to Egypt every year were for their peace with Israel . . .Mubarak has denied the Palestinians food . . . coming from Egypt because of Israel.–”

    Moderator: “We’ll leave it at that. Tom Garrett?”

    Garrett: “I would just say that in Washington a lot of important policies are being considered now as regards to Egypt.
    “But if you look at the people in Egypt right now, they’re not speaking about the Arab-Israeli peace process, they’re not speaking about Islamists coming to office, they’re speaking about the fact that they don’t have food, they don’t have freedoms, they’re being beaten by police in the streets with impunity. This is not about those greater geopolitical issues in the region, this is about Egypt yearning for freedom.”

    my closing thought: If the people will lead, the leaders will follow.

    • Citizen
      January 29, 2011, 7:07 pm

      PG, I noticed the same thing in the last year or more; CSPAN has been cracking down and cutting off any callers who criticize Israel.

    • Sumud
      January 30, 2011, 1:12 am

      I rarely watch C-Span (for no particular reason), but my favourite US news source is Democracy Now, which has done a tremendous job in the last few months w/ wikileaks. One of their producers/reporters Sharif Abdel Kouddous has Egyptian family, flew into Cairo yesterday, and has managed to get around Mubarak internet cut so is updating tweets from the ground – his feed:

      link to

      DN should be *great* this week.

  5. eee
    January 29, 2011, 3:46 pm

    The Iranian people were left to their own devices and we know what the result was. Where does your confidence come from that the result will be different in Egypt? It is just wishful thinking. You can’t build a democracy out of thin air.

    As for making the situation of the Palestinians better, when Nasser aligned himself with the Soviet Union, did that help the Palestinians? The more the Egyptians reject the US, the more their influence on the Palestinian issue will diminish. Yes, the Egyptians can open the border with Gaza, giving Israel the best excuse to cut relations with Gaza completely. And then what?

    • seafoid
      January 29, 2011, 3:56 pm

      Let’s see what happens Israeli bond yields on Monday, eee. Let’s see what the markets think.

    • Cliff
      January 29, 2011, 3:57 pm

      Shut up eee. You’re no one to lecture the Iranian people, nor the Egyptians about democracy. They’re finding their way. Zionists want Arabs yearning for a better life to continue living under the thumb of dictators and tyrants.

      Whatever is good for your colonial Jewish State? Racist.

    • Psychopathic god
      January 29, 2011, 4:15 pm

      “The Iranian people were left to their own devices and we know what the result was. ”

      The result was the Iranian people elected a person with a majority of the vote, who is wildly popular on the Arab street and in numerous appearances throughout Iran; who is part of a government that has implemented long-needed but politically difficult economic reforms THAT THE PEOPLE ENDORSE.

      The “result is” an economy with a future, with very little debt — unlike much of the west including Israel; that is independent of reliance on most other nations for most of its vital needs; that has strong and growing trade and diplomatic relationships with the up-and-coming nations in its hemisphere.

      Your point, eee?

      • seafoid
        January 29, 2011, 4:41 pm

        And HSBC are predicting that by 2050 Iran will be in the top 15 of global economies.
        Where will Israel be? Will Israel be?

      • yonira
        January 29, 2011, 5:15 pm

        Mubarak also won an election, both were frauds, what is your point PG? Don’t talk about Iranian ‘democracy’ either, the Mullahs control that country, everyone knows that.

        If Iran was aligned w/ the US, you’d have the exact same opinion of them as you have for Egypt. The hypocrisy shines through.

      • aparisian
        January 29, 2011, 5:41 pm

        Guys just ignore the Hasbarists, they lost a big fish. I can understand they are nervous.

        and for yonira:
        Well you know yonira Iranians will have to follow the Arab revolt if they wish. Can we concentrate on the Arab revolt now?

    • annie
      January 29, 2011, 4:50 pm

      giving Israel the best excuse to cut relations with Gaza completely. And then what?

      you mean the relation to impose a brutal blockade? what ‘relations’ are you referencing?

      • yonira
        January 29, 2011, 5:16 pm

        Annie, everything Gaza gets, they get from Israel. They have a surplus right now and are exporting that to the Sinai through the tunnels.

      • annie
        January 29, 2011, 5:33 pm

        everything Gaza gets, they get from Israel

        yonira, you must know israel doesn’t pay for that. but they sure as heck make a nice profit storing it and delivering it and dumping their surplus on it (using UN and other outside funds to pay for it, natch) the occupation is a big money maker for israel.

        don’t forget that.

      • annie
        January 29, 2011, 5:34 pm

        have a surplus right now and are exporting that to the Sinai


      • James
        January 30, 2011, 2:12 am

        you are crazier then i give you credit for… so the wardens of the prison camp called gaza give everything to the gaza prison camp too hey? well wooptie doo.. you can thank uncle sam for that too, which isn’t really saying a lot of either the usa or israel, other then that they love building and holding everyone prisoner…

    • Citizen
      January 29, 2011, 4:57 pm

      I see eee is worried because the dominos all roll towards Israel. The decades of misery of the Arab Main Street across the whole Middle East means nothing to him; he’s all about Is It Good For The Jews in their dinky ally there. Here’s the scoop on eee’s thinking, as applied to Wolf Blitzer: link to

      Note what eee and Blitzer both leave out of their POV.

      • Taxi
        January 29, 2011, 5:40 pm

        Honestly what smart adult would ever think that all you needed for peace was the friendship of a single dictator instead of the friendship of 80 million citizens.

        You’d better believe the ‘peace treaty with israel’ is gonna be on the table for review by the ‘liberated’ Egyptians.

      • yonira
        January 29, 2011, 8:16 pm

        I think a truly democratic Egypt and their reaction to Israel in the region would be a good way to measure the sincerity of a one-state solution. If the Egyptian people decide to live along side a Israel in peace, I’d have a much better feeling about a one-state solution.

      • Avi
        January 30, 2011, 12:58 am

        yonira January 29, 2011 at 8:16 pm

        I think a truly democratic Egypt and their reaction to Israel in the region would be a good way to measure the sincerity of a one-state solution. If the Egyptian people decide to live along side a Israel in peace, I’d have a much better feeling about a one-state solution.

        And that only goes to prove that you are a racist, a bigot and an idiot. So, Arabs everywhere are all the same, eh? Thanks for showing your true colors once again.

        By the way, no one cares about your feelings or whether you can sleep better at night, secure in the knowledge that a people you’ve never met or known, some 8000 miles from your midwestern town, will welcome you any time your nextdoor neighbors look at you the wrong way.

        I often wonder why I bother with mental midgets like you.

      • Taxi
        January 30, 2011, 8:17 am

        I often wonder the same, Avi.

      • yonira
        January 29, 2011, 8:04 pm

        I don’t see how this can be bad for Israel. Israel has peace with Egypt are you guys hoping that a new government would declare war on Israel?

        Taxi you are a sick war-monger, every post on here is about some sort of action against the Israelis. Seems that I have more hope and more belief in the Egyptian people than you guys do.

      • Shingo
        January 29, 2011, 8:35 pm

        We’ve all hoping that Egypt woudl open the border with Gaza, and provide relief to the Palestinians.

        Taxi you are a sick war-monger, every post on here is about some sort of action against the Israelis.

        No, but it’s hard not to smile t the thuoght of Israelis shaking in the booths at the though of a non friendly regime (armed with F16’s for example) being able to gove them a taste of their own madcine.

      • yonira
        January 29, 2011, 9:14 pm


        Well you guys are all proving what the ‘end game’ would be in regards to a one-state solution. These Arab revolutions will give Israel and the world a good idea about the possibilities of Jews living in a peaceful ME.

      • Shingo
        January 29, 2011, 10:12 pm

        The last 60 years have alredy given us a good idea about the possibilities of Jews living in a peaceful ME. After all, Israel has rejected the arab pece initiatve at least 3 times.

    • Shingo
      January 29, 2011, 5:23 pm

      The more the Egyptians reject the US, the more their influence on the Palestinian issue will diminish.

      Past tense eee . America is in secline. Rand Paul has called for ending aid to Israel and 75% of the public agree.

    • Potsherd2
      January 29, 2011, 5:47 pm

      The termites are scurrying around in the IDF, looking for a safe new rotting log to hide under, eeevil. Sweating a little? I hope so.

    • braciole
      January 29, 2011, 8:43 pm

      eee – the interesting thing I see at the moment is that the two Arab states that look most secure at the moment are Syria and Lebanon. Let’s face it, Jordan , Saudi Arabia, Libya, Algeria, etc. are all looking very dodgy at the moment. And what is it that they all have in common? The heads of their rulers are firmly stuck up Israel’s and America’s arses. So do you feel really lucky once their rulers are gone bearing in mind that back in 2006 the IDF couldn’t defeat a few hundred teachers, shop keepers, farmers and mechanics? I really hope you have hung on to your other passport.

      • yonira
        January 29, 2011, 9:05 pm

        This warmongering is getting sickening. If these newly founded Arab democracies decide to declare on Israel, it won’t be an easy fight.

      • Shingo
        January 29, 2011, 10:20 pm

        If these newly founded Arab democracies decide to declare on Israel, it won’t be an easy fight.

        Indeed it won’t. Israel will have to face an enemy that’s well armed for a change, rather than home made rockets.

      • Richard Witty
        January 29, 2011, 10:31 pm

        And, it will then hunker down in an active state of war.

      • Shingo
        January 29, 2011, 10:37 pm

        And, it will then hunker down in an active state of war.

        In other words, it will continue doing what it has always done.

      • wondering jew
        January 29, 2011, 10:37 pm

        Egypt is not about to declare war on Israel. They will call their ambassador home and the chaos in Gaza will be problem enough. There will be no war fought in the short term against Israel.

      • braciole
        January 29, 2011, 10:40 pm

        yonira – like all zionists you have it arse about tit – it is the Israel which craves war to demonstrate to its neighbours its supposed superiority and to Americans how essential it is to the American empire. Normally it does that while hiding behind America’s skirts, but as Lebanon 2006 demonstrated it is no longer capable of doing what America expects of it, and there is nothing Americans like less than a loser. How much longer will Israel be allowed to hide behind America’s skirts?

  6. RepStones
    January 29, 2011, 3:47 pm

    You make a good point about the paucity of arab or arab-american analysts on US coverage. But that is simply indicative of the larger problem in the US. The fact that the ‘arabists’ are nowhere to be seen in the State Department. Those tasked with liaising with Arab states and formulating US policy for the middle, must, it seems be zionist in outlook. Where is the logic in populating the part of your government responsible for dealing with the arab world, with people who have a narrow outlook, concerned simply with the wants and desires of the one small but heavily armed and quite aggressive, non-arab state in the region?

    • seafoid
      January 29, 2011, 4:02 pm

      “Where is the logic in populating the part of your government responsible for dealing with the arab world, with people who have a narrow outlook, concerned simply with the wants and desires of the one small but heavily armed and quite aggressive, non-arab state in the region”

      This is the American disease. All eggs in one basket. It was the same with the financial crisis. All bets one way. Goldman Sachs present at all relevant levels of the administration and in regulation. The smartest economic gurus the world has ever seen.
      Nothing could ever possibly go wrong.
      And then when subprime exploded, how could anyone have seen it coming?

      • Shingo
        January 29, 2011, 5:28 pm

        This is the American disease. All eggs in one basket. It was the same with the financial crisis. All bets one way. Goldman Sachs present at all relevant levels of the administration and in regulation. The smartest economic gurus the world has ever seen.
        Nothing could ever possibly go wrong.
        And then when subprime exploded, how could anyone have seen it coming?

        It’s called denial.

        Logic and common sense would suggest that all good things come to and end, but the Washington’s approach to solving a crisis is more of the same.

  7. SeaEtch
    January 29, 2011, 3:48 pm

    a great piece, indeed, Phil.
    Agree with you on every count of insight and tone.

    just posted this elsewhere:

    appointing Suleiman is like Mubarak clutching at straws.
    Omar Suleiman is too closely identified with the current, discredited regime about to be swept into the dustbins of history.
    The obviously stop-gap measure is DOA.
    It seems to have been contrived in Washington & Israel to provide for a continuity of Israeli-US security objectives. That is the primary reason it’ll fail.

    The fact is that the Arab-Street has had it with the humiliation, the racism, the paternalism from the West. They’re mad as hell, and will not take it any more. If the West (including their colonial outpost Israel) insists on playing deaf and blind to the realities on the ground they’ve another thing coming; ad it won’t just end with the “revolution” in Grand Old Misr.

    • seafoid
      January 29, 2011, 3:57 pm

      it won’t just end with the “revolution” in Grand Old Misr.

      Saudi …

      • SeaEtch
        January 29, 2011, 4:22 pm

        exactly, you can hear the FEAR in their quick support for Mubarak, calling people in the street “infiltrators” !! …that’s desperate!
        Hey, you think that’d appeal to those in the delta? after all who is he speaking to?

  8. yourstruly
    January 29, 2011, 3:49 pm

    what underlies mainstream media’s fears about these upheavals

    there but for

    and then what’ll happen to me




  9. Jim Haygood
    January 29, 2011, 3:51 pm

    Chris Matthews cried out against the Muslim Brotherhood and shouted, ‘Who is our guy here?’

    Ha ha! Perfect example of a brainwashed MSM mouthpiece. That’s the obsolete thinking — ‘who is our guy’ — which created this debacle.

    As the US economy enters its senescent sunset years, it’s starting to dawn on us that the privilege of nominating ‘our guy’ to run other peoples’ countries is over. Imperial decline is a bitch — and we wasted the last thirty years before it hit full-force on a bankrupt, Israel-centric policy complete with useless neocon-fomented wars.

    No way to recover that malinvestment now, but we could least stop digging the hole deeper by aiding rich OECD countries (Israel) and tyrannical dictators in the middle east.

  10. seafoid
    January 29, 2011, 3:55 pm

    Why is America so afraid?

    The masses are force fed the memes so it isn’t their fault.
    The elite has spent the last 63 years backing the wrong horse. To the point
    where US politics are just as sclerotic as Egypt’s.

    They have painted themselves into a corner. Freedom and Democracy are incompatible with Zionist ethnocracy. Every single Egyptian knows what Israel is doing in Gaza. Gaza is the picture to Israel as Dorian Gray.

    I hear the sound of disappearing leverage.

    The decline since “mission accomplished” is shocking. One quarter of US government spending is military and it couldn’t even buy a stable next door neighbour of Israel. Tsk tsk.

    • Jim Haygood
      January 29, 2011, 6:32 pm

      ‘To the point where US politics are just as sclerotic as Egypt’s. Freedom and Democracy are incompatible with Zionist ethnocracy.’

      Bingo! A masters-level course in geopolitics in two sentences.

      A destabilization of sclerotic US politics — the ossified 150-year-old duopoly sold out to an anti-democratic, anti-freedom special interest — is the unexpected long-tail implication of the pan-Arabian revolution.

      This theme of political perestroika will enter the US consciousness in the election year of 2012. By 2020, a US political landscape frozen into bipolar stasis since the mid 19th century may once again blossom with (whisper it, comrade!) … ACTUAL CHOICES!

      Of course, like the Soviets after three generations under the dead hand of communism, most Americans will find it quite disorienting to emerge from the comforting, reductive sandbox of two symbiotic partisan mastodons into the bright light of having to formulate their own opinions — oh my!

      Let’s hope it’s not too late for our long-petrified political culture to shake off the zionist chloroform and make the daunting transition to intellectual freedom.

      • Citizen
        January 29, 2011, 7:14 pm

        Wonder what the Christian Zionists like Hagee are telling their troops in their chintzy little or overblown churches across the land? Isn’t there too many Jews still left in the USA to start blustering about the End Times are near–look at the Middle East in flames?

  11. Max Ajl
    January 29, 2011, 3:59 pm

    Perhaps, Phil, you could finish citing the Beinin interview that you selectively quote from, which does not provide support for the assertion that “American interests…have been largely defined by Israel.”

    So what about the treaty with Israel; is that really the key to the whole U.S.-Egypt relationship?

    I would say it’s not more important than the other things. The three leaders — the two King Abdullahs and Mubarak — they are America’s most important allies in the eastern Arab world. That’s very important because that’s the defense of oil, it’s the defense against the vast popular anger in the Arab and Muslim world against the United States — for its positions vis-à-vis Palestine-Israel, for invading Iraq, having imposed sanctions on Iraq for the decade before, which led to the unnecessary deaths of untold Iraqi children. These guys are with America no matter what, though against their people and against Iran, Hezbollah and all the other regional forces that are less than thrilled with the role the United States plays in the region.

    Do you think you understand imperial interests better than imperial managers and corporate executives do? No one is arguing that the way American interests have been both defined and pursued in the region is separable from Israel or the Lobby. That would be odd, since Israel was founded, in the words of Herzl, as a “bulwark” against “Asia” and as an outpost for imperialism in the region. Absent Israel, foreign policy would have been pursued differently, which is not explanation but tautology. But that doesn’t change reality: the Iraq War was fought to punch up oil prices, to benefit arms manufacturers and the MIC, which have made a killing, and to benefit Israeli capital, which has likewise made a killing. Those facts are readily accessible, as are the campaign donations from oil, gas, and weapons manufacturers to the Bush campaigns; the former from any listing of stock prices over the last decade, the latter from Opensecrets.

    At some point, ignoring these arguments, and dealing with the atheoretical Chomsky as the avatar for all materialist arguments stops being a difference of opinion and starts being dishonest. Long live Egypt, yes, and yaskoot not just Mubarak but el-Baradei, too, who my socialist friends there fear as another Obama, full of platitudes about democracy while the poor remain stuck in misery.

    • annie
      January 29, 2011, 5:06 pm

      max, you said the three leaders, America’s most important allies in the eastern Arab world were the defense against the vast popular anger in the Arab and Muslim world against the United States .

      it seems to me america’s support of those leaders has acted to stifle those voices of anger and discontent thereby increasing the very anger you claim the leaders provide a defense against. petraues made the point (others too) our relationship w/israel was damaging to our relationship w/the populaces all across the ME. i fail to see how getting between the citizens and their leaders acts as a defense against their anger.

      i credit the people there with not blaming all the american people with the decisions of our government. we’re the best defense against anger against america. the voices of american people who are not islamophobes.

    • thankgodimatheist
      January 30, 2011, 7:38 am

      “Long live Egypt, yes, and yaskoot not just Mubarak ”

      Max, not arguing any of your points, just nitpicking on (Arabic) vocabulary.
      I see that you use ‘yaskoot’ to mean ‘down with’ when it really means ‘shut up or remain silent’. The word you want is yasqot (down with ) . K and Q have slightly different sounds in Arabic. I’ve been seeing this quite often recently, the reason I thought this common mistake should be corrected.

  12. yourstruly
    January 29, 2011, 4:04 pm

    there is nothing so precious as freedom and independence*

    can’t be bought

    can’t be imposed uoon a people

    self-determination is what it takes

    plus a people united in pursuit of a better world

    *ho chi minh

  13. ish
    January 29, 2011, 4:12 pm

    Well said!

    And no matter what happens, no matter how this all resolved, the U.S. is eternally on record as choosing the side of the dictatorships first. People will remember that.

    link to

  14. Lydda Four Eight
    January 29, 2011, 4:34 pm

    If anyone wants to join Anne Rice’s, the author about vampires I believe, discussion on her facebook page, she has 170,000 FB friends/ likes. Anyhow, her entire page is about what is going on in Egypt, she is “Very impressed” with Al-Jazeera reporting.

    You’ll have to like her page to comment, she seems to be open to having a serious discussion about the Middle East/ Egypt politics, etc. She is quite a celebrity author as well.

    • Scott
      January 29, 2011, 4:51 pm

      Thanks, very interesting, helpful comment. I don’t FB, so I’ll leave it to others, but many high talent Americans are receptive to going beyond the hasbara version of American-Muslim relations.

    • MRW
      January 29, 2011, 9:05 pm

      she is “Very impressed” with Al-Jazeera reporting.

      So am I. Unbelievably good reporting. That British female interviewer is superb.

      Al-Jazeera is leaving US broadcasting in the dust.

      • Sumud
        January 30, 2011, 1:54 am

        So am I. Unbelievably good reporting. That British female interviewer is superb.

        Al-Jazeera is leaving US broadcasting in the dust.

        AJ recounted yesterday they were getting 40x the normal amount of streaming traffic and 45% of it was coming from the US. They’ve also released huge amount of material under a creative commons licence so it can be used by other news organisations royalty free.

        I watched their stream all through the Friday protests until just after midnight Cairo time when Mubarak gave his “I have heard your revolution” speech – totally wiped out my Saturday but oh well, history in the making etc…

        AJ did an extraordinary job and I hope this is the moment when they break into the consciousness of ordinary Americans. It feels a little over the top to say it but I can’t think of a better news organisation operating today.

      • tree
        January 30, 2011, 6:11 am

        It feels a little over the top to say it but I can’t think of a better news organisation operating today.

        Sad to say, but that really isn’t saying much. Most of the competition is incredibly lame.

  15. yourstruly
    January 29, 2011, 4:36 pm

    re: chris mathew’s “who is our guy here?”

    our as in empire’s guy?

    how nice that the esteemed pundit shows his true colors

    some confession for a self-declared man of the people

  16. Citizen
    January 29, 2011, 4:37 pm

    On Fox News now, the talking head is telling us why Israel is concerned–complete with a color map. “Violence In Egypt Could Impact Peace Treaty With Israel” is the headline. Israel’s first three wars were fought against Egypt, so there’s historical memory there. CFR talking head interviewed gives his best case scenario for Israel: Have the new VP maintain the former status quo. Worst case: Violent overthrow and perhaps radical Islamists come to power and take over the military, and this new regime feeds Islam fever across the region. Could inspire HAMAS, linking with Brotherhood. HAMAS trying to overthrow PA. Why is Israel silent? A shrewd move by Israel because it’s a popular uprising against Egypt’s own government. Not against Israel or USA.

    • SeaEtch
      January 29, 2011, 5:11 pm

      “Could inspire HAMAS, linking with Brotherhood. HAMAS trying to overthrow PA. Why is Israel silent? A shrewd move by Israel because it’s a popular uprising against Egypt’s own government. Not against Israel or USA.”

      Only up until now…for the past four-five days they’ve been reduced to being ‘spectators’ — so shell-shocked they are. Phil rightly weighs it with 9/11, it’s of that magnitude in my prognosis.
      At least as spectators they were limited in the amount of damage they could/would cause…now that they are forced to act to protect their ‘invetments’ (in all senses of the word), I’d be willing a hefty wager that their actions will likely succeed in turning the popular uprising against both Israel and the US.

      • seafoid
        January 29, 2011, 5:19 pm

        It was the response of the US to 9/11 that lead to where we are today.
        Ever weaker. What a sad waste of global sympathy. The financial crash was just the icing on the cake.

      • Potsherd2
        January 29, 2011, 7:17 pm

        I’m quite sure that Israel is moving behind the scenes to keep Mubarak in place or keep the regime in place under Suleiman.

      • MRW
        January 29, 2011, 9:07 pm

        You’re right, Potsherd2.

        But the jerk-asses in Israel never thought this could happen. They thought they were the captains of industry and the world. Surprise!

      • Taxi
        January 29, 2011, 10:28 pm

        Jack-in-the-box goes boing!

    • Potsherd2
      January 29, 2011, 5:50 pm

      Fox and the rest of the Islamophobic establishment are going to be playing this event to whip up more phobias at home.

      • SeaEtch
        January 29, 2011, 6:00 pm

        “What a sad waste of global sympathy.”
        = story of israel.

    • Sumud
      January 30, 2011, 1:56 am

      Ha Ha, Fox News and maps, check this out – Fox News thinks Iraq is Egypt:

      link to

  17. tommy
    January 29, 2011, 4:51 pm

    Mainstream media’s mandate is to promote US hegemony. That is why the national news casts are filled with the word friend to describe Mubarak and why the pundits openly worry about an Iranian repeat of a puppet nation restoring its self determination. Unfortunately, the talking heads do not use the word puppet.

  18. Dan Crowther
    January 29, 2011, 4:56 pm

    My message is in the chorus to this song – it goes out to Barry and the O’s, Bibi and Co. and all the other Serious People:

    link to

  19. Jim Haygood
    January 29, 2011, 5:02 pm

    Now for a diversionary brushfire from the neocon right … Eliot Abrams in the WaPo, writing under the irredentist banner ‘Bush was right about freedom in the Arab world,’ concedes the need for middle eastern democracy:

    The massive and violent demonstrations underway in Egypt, the smaller ones in Jordan and Yemen, and the recent revolt in Tunisia that inspired those events …. are exploding, once and for all, the myth of Arab exceptionalism. Arab nations, too, yearn to throw off the secret police, to read a newspaper that the Ministry of Information has not censored and to vote in free elections.

    Sounds promising! But as his subsequent comment on Gaza suggests, what Abrams really favors is managed democracy:

    Sometimes the results of a first free election will find the moderates so poorly organized that extreme groups can eke out a victory, as Hamas did when it gained a 44-to-41 percent margin in the Palestinian election of 2006. But we do know for sure that regimes that make moderate politics impossible make extremism far more likely. Rule by emergency decree long enough, and you end up creating a genuine emergency. And Egypt has one now.

    Amazingly, other than one tangential reference to the recent I/P peace talks, Abrams completes his survey of the Arab world’s deficit of democracy without a single reference to Israel’s disfiguring influence on U.S. policy. Having painted its toenails red, Abrams thinks the nine-ton Israeli elephant hiding in the foreign policy strawberry patch has been rendered invisible.

    His parting shot is stirring:

    We cannot deliver democracy to the Arab states, but we can make our principles and our policies clear. Now is the time to say that the peoples of the Middle East are not “beyond the reach of liberty” and that we will assist any peaceful effort to achieve it – and oppose and condemn efforts to suppress it.

    Bravo! But Abrams is a sharp lawyer. Note that ‘Arab states’ does not include Palestine, since it isn’t officially a state. Slick, huh — how one can lie with linguistics, while superficially posing as a liberal-democratic universalist.

    Unlike other political operatives naively blurting out the truth in the heat of the moment — that it was all about Israel — Abrams has put his index finger to the shifting winds, and realized that Israel needs to be skillfully airbrushed out of the picture to avoid a backlash. ‘Nobody here but us innocent zionist bystanders,’ as it were. Cute.

    link to

    • Shingo
      January 29, 2011, 5:50 pm

      Where do you begin with Abrahms? I mean, this convicted Zionist criminal is seriously out to lunch.

      I don’t recall ever hearing reference to Arab exceptionalism. I also have to laugh at his suggestion the the Palestinian elections were a consequence of “the moderates”(probably the first time he’s ever referred to the existence of moderate Palestinians) being…disorganized.

      But the real corner is this comment:

      We cannot deliver democracy to the Arab states, but we can make our principles and our policies clear

      I think we can safely agree that  America’s  principles and our policies have been made abundantly clear.

      • Citizen
        January 29, 2011, 7:25 pm

        It’s 7:30 PM EST here; on Fox, they are showing the Americans in the street across the USA with their fellow Egyptian Americans, calling for Murabek out!
        There are 200,000 Egyptian Americans, Fox says. Looks to me like there’s an opening at last to get Americans interested in where there foreign aid money goes overseas–Rand Paul may have struck the opening bell?

        Fox talking head is now saying there are only two states supportive of Israel in the Middle East, Egypt and Jordan. Noting Egypt fought Israel 4 times since Israel’s birth.

      • Shingo
        January 29, 2011, 7:30 pm

        No mention of course, of the other 20 states that have signed a peace initiative to reocngize Israel and normalize relations, which Israel has repeatedly rejected.

        Those Israelis never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity.

        The Israelis have spent six decades making enemies, and now it is time to pay the price. They are the authors of their own misfortune.

      • Citizen
        January 29, 2011, 7:30 pm

        Think about the Suez Canal being out of service for even a few days–it’s a water pipeline for oil to EU and USA. Can you say $5.00 gas at the pump overnight? Remember the gas lines in 1973 due to the Arab oil embargo set against the US saving Israel? Americans never made the connection back then–but now we have Facebook, Twitter, the internet, etc. Gonna be increasingly hard for the PTB to keep their duping control over all of us, from Main St to Cairo St. I guess that’s why Senator Lieberman wants a blackout switch on the internet just like Murabek has.

      • yonira
        January 29, 2011, 8:08 pm


        Can’t the Egyptian people have the spotlight for a while without bringing Israel into it?

      • Shingo
        January 29, 2011, 8:14 pm

        Yes, that’s the kind fo childish and imamture response we’ve come to expect from Israel Yonira.

      • pineywoodslim
        January 29, 2011, 9:13 pm

        Yep, remember when gas got up to, oh what was it, 69 cents a gallon up from 33?

      • yonira
        January 29, 2011, 9:21 pm

        I am not the one talking about war Shingo, you guys are.

      • Shingo
        January 29, 2011, 10:13 pm

        You’re not the one talking about war Yonira, Israel has, for 60 years.

      • Citizen
        January 30, 2011, 8:07 am

        uggghh, not when Egypt’s US tax dollars is second only to Israel’s, and actually conditional on Egypt kissing Israel; that, together, is by far the biggest chunk of welfare in the total we US taxpayers are forced to give in total foreign aid. Some of us don’t like paying for our own demise, yonira. End all foreign aid to Israel and Egypt.

  20. Potsherd2
    January 29, 2011, 5:03 pm

    First thing I heard after the unrest was starting to spread to Egypt was the vile Larry Kudlow on his investment program, fearmongering about the Muslim Brotherhood.

    Then the odious Bolton on Fox – the Muslim Brotherhood.

    Neocon political cartoonists with the same fearmongering line as eeevil posts at this site: link to

    In the county where I live, over the last year three zoning applications have been made to build new mosques, and every one of them turned down after neighbors came pouring out, their minds filled with this Islamophobic shit. Is it driven by Zionism? Yes, a lot of it is. But it’s grown larger than that.

    • seafoid
      January 29, 2011, 5:24 pm

      It is also driven by Hindu fundamentalism. And recession. The Muslim replaces the Jew as the bogeyman. Which is why it was so nice to have the guardian report

      “No one has the right to control you but God,” was the message of one sermon relayed by loudspeaker. “You have the right to speak out, only do it peacefully.”

      Islamophobia is bollocks . Islam is coming America. Get ready.

    • Jim Haygood
      January 29, 2011, 7:12 pm

      Let’s see Kudlow and Bolton try to spin this fellow — Waseem Wagdi, interviewed in front of the Egyptian embassy in London — as an Islamofascist:

      link to

      His tears of gratitude are what thirty years under the boot of martial law and secret police torturers will do to you, when the endless nightmare of oppression suddenly lifts.

      The video runs 3:34 and is worth every second to watch.

      • Citizen
        January 29, 2011, 7:39 pm

        Ich bin ein Egyptian.
        Kadlow & Bolton R Zionists.

      • Sumud
        January 30, 2011, 2:08 am

        I saw it Jim, and you can’t help but cry with him.

        Roqayah Chamseddine (twitter: @iRevolt), who has written a few articles for Mondoweiss before tweeted the video out when only a few hundred people had watched it, her tweets:

        @iRevolt: “I am proud of the Egyptians who are cleansing Egypt of the dirt and the criminals oppressing us” link to #Jan25
        @iRevolt: “I am proud to be Egyptian today.” – Waseem Wagdi, Egyptian living in London #Jan25
        @iRevolt: Last video I tweeted still has me crying. This Revolution means more to the people of the Middle East than the world will ever know. #Jan25

        Adam also tweeted it out on the Mondoweiss account, and lots of people are seeing it. Until the last few days I hadn’t fully understood how hopeless especially young people across the ME have been feeling, and the feeling that there’s something fundamentally wrong w/ arabs because they’ve been unable to get rid of their tyrants. No doubt the toxic representation of arab by Hollywood has played a part in that and also the hostility to arabs/muslims in the west which has been especially pronounced since 2001. Time & time again I am hearing people speaking about their new pride and the evaporation of fear. It’s a new dawn across the Middle East.

        Roqayah: I guess it’s never going to be as big for people outside the ME but lots of us understand & share your joy!!!

      • Sumud
        January 30, 2011, 8:09 am

        Oh marvellous, I see Rachel Maddow tweeted it out also, and she has more than 1.7 million followers. Shame none of them will be the Fox zombies – they might actually have their mind prised open and began to think of Mid-Easterners as human.

        I just read a great article by Egyptian Mona Eltahawy and I’ll quote the first paragraph – but go read it anyway – it’s in the same territory as what I wrote about above (the rebirth of arab pride, and what was before):

        My birth at the end of July 1967 makes me a child of the naksa, or setback, as the Arab defeat during the June 1967 war with Israel is euphemistically known in Arabic. My parents’ generation grew up high on the Arab nationalism that Egyptian president Gamal Abdel Nasser brandished in the 1950s. But we “Children of the Naksa”, hemmed in by humiliation, have spent so much of our lives uncomfortably stepping into pride’s large, empty shoes.
        We’ve waited for this revolution for years. Other despots should quail

    • MRW
      January 29, 2011, 9:11 pm

      Then the odious Bolton on Fox – the Muslim Brotherhood.

      Let them vent. They will lose dollars.

  21. Methuselah Now
    January 29, 2011, 5:11 pm


    Guy’s there’s a forboding feeling of jumping the gun.

    There’s also an awareness, that a swathe of participants are of the same ilk that would have been on the N.american side in the more recent events of elections/coup attempts in South America, the people who already are privileged and connected, unlike the really poor and genuinely disenfranchised.

    However, going by modern history, the greatest worry should be “Heads I win, Tails you lose”. If Egypt falls, where do you think the people who write any new constitution are going to come from – whether direct members of the American/EU diplomatic corp. or just those who’ve been coonditioned and gone through their institutions.

    If either side wanted to show their potential/true colours, they’d remove (or not) the restrictions effecting Palestine……..

    Yours kindly,


    • annie
      January 29, 2011, 5:42 pm

      If Egypt falls, where do you think the people who write any new constitution are going to come from – whether direct members of the American/EU diplomatic corp. or just those who’ve been coonditioned and gone through their institutions.

      because……no one else is educated in egypt?

      • Methuselah Now
        January 29, 2011, 6:07 pm

        Hi Annie,

        I hope you don’t think that’s what I think.

        I was going as far as my young history informs me, of American interests and their cohorts, always getting their grubby little paws on anything that doesn’t fit their desires or narrative.

        If the “wrong” sort of governance, in structure and leadership, gains position, how long before we hear a different version of events told to “us”, we just have to see how the MSM now handles Afghanistan, Iran, Pakistan, East Timo0r, et al.

        Too many of the worlds institutions are alligned with what Wahington wants, and those that aren’t, more often than not, can simply be bribed; we just have to see the wikileaks and Palestine papers for recent, sometimes trivial, examples.

        Tails You lose, Heads I win…………….

        Yours kindly,


      • annie
        January 29, 2011, 6:17 pm

        thanks MN, i’m often confused by people’s meaning. i’ve already been warned once today to turn up my irony meter. ;)

      • Citizen
        January 29, 2011, 7:42 pm

        MN, you are right–I hope now maybe some more everyday Americans will get a clue. Seems like our ivy league is lost to careerism which is enmeshed with Zionism.

    • Potsherd2
      January 29, 2011, 7:15 pm

      If either side wanted to show their potential/true colours, they’d remove (or not) the restrictions effecting Palestine……..

      This is probably tactically wise. There’s enough talk about “Muslim extremists” as it is, without adding Hamas fearmongering into the mix. Time to normalize relations later, under a new regime.

      If they get one.

      • Methuselah Now
        January 29, 2011, 9:07 pm


        I completely agree.

        However, my great worry is that something will happen between Mubarak falling (if,) and any new settled Government.

        The words of support currently being spoken to “the people” are as disingenuous as the words were to the Kurds in the early-90’s, and as much for domestic (western) consumption while the twitterati are on the cool-aid of believing what they’re told, in an eco-chamber.

        What are the potential machinations of China wrt Egypt/the region and what’s happening in Palestine.
        After the release of the various recent leaks, and with the geographically-spread freedom-movements, i think the Palestinians standing up right now would have so much power, both to collapse the corrupt treasonous PA and actually give greater force to the Arab world – without Palestine, the potential is greater for everything we are seeing to be contained, but imagine the potential of an uprising now in palestine in the context of the current post-Tunisian narrative, and the effect on all the other countries.

        While all these uprisings are happening at once, it’s harder for the “great powers” to differentiate one liberation movement against another, but it might be if they can be individually staggered and framed to suit specific narratives depending on the pro-washington stance of those currently in power/situ.

        One thing such a strategy would provide is public awareness of the rank hypocracy that so many are still unaware of, where the message can’t be carefully massaged when there’s so many events happening at once.

        All of the above is just one possible strategy, and a clean focused egypt-only liberation has the clearest potential, but my worry is always of losing rare windows of opportunity.

        Plus ca change………..

        Yours kindly,


        CNN is so bad

  22. Richard Witty
    January 29, 2011, 5:20 pm

    link to

    Nancy Youssef is Egyptian.

    “With violent protests erupting across Egypt, Nancy Youssef of McClatchy Newspapers, reports on the struggle on the street, the reaction of the Obama administration and President Mubarak’s future. Also, analysis of Barack Obama’s State of the Union Speech with John Dickerson of Slate Magazine and CBS News, Jackie Calmes of The New York Times, Susan Davis of National Journal.”

  23. Richard Witty
    January 29, 2011, 5:25 pm

    Is this 1917 (with Russia pulling out of WW1), which was one GREAT changer relative to the Ottoman Empire is WW1. Sikes-Picot dissolved, creating a power vacuum that Great Britain filled.

    Or, is this 1968, “a sugar rush”, another “days of rage”, that changed baby boomers (bulging youth culture), but not institutions.

    Or, 1979, in which Islamicists took over in Iran and purged the left.

    • Donald
      January 29, 2011, 6:28 pm

      It might turn out badly, Richard, but your worst nightmare is the one you don’t mention–what if a secular democracy comes to power in Egypt and they don’t like what Israel does to Palestinians? That would be hard to spin. But cheer up–hard to spin doesn’t mean impossible.

      It’s also possible a moderate Islamist government could come to power via elections, and in that case you’re slightly better off, because we all know how easily the US media would spread the story that they were dangerous fanatics. The US helped overturn the results of the 2006 Palestinian elections by instigating a civil war and our role was barely even reported here.

      • Shingo
        January 29, 2011, 7:23 pm

        Very well put Donald.

        Witty has been very noticeable by his absence these last few days. I suspect he ran to ground, as he did after the flotilla massacre, to test the winds before rearing his head.

    • Surcouf
      January 29, 2011, 8:00 pm

      You missed one Richard.
      There is no need to be that pessimistic.
      It could be 1989, and this is the Arab world Berlin wall moment.
      Signs are sure pointing in that direction.

      • bijou
        January 29, 2011, 8:55 pm


      • Richard Witty
        January 29, 2011, 10:14 pm

        Well I am honestly fearful of the theme of “we’ve got them on the run” as a threat to Israeli liberty.

        That you guys sought to condemn me for being busy working and for deferring to what rolls out in Egypt before making a judgement of any kind, confirms for me that my fears are reasonable.

        I hope its 1989, and the parties land on sober feet. I forgot about 1989, thanks for the reminder.

        I’m not sure. I got a “sugar rush” from 1968 (for me it was in 70 and 71). And, when my colleagues turned over and burned cars in DC on Mayday 71, I learned of the excess of heat. (I did the right thing. I sat in a street “meditating”, until I was hit in the ribs by riot police and jailed.)

      • Shingo
        January 29, 2011, 10:24 pm

        Well I am honestly fearful of the theme of “we’ve got them on the run” as a threat to Israeli liberty.

        Seeing as Israel had defacated on Palestinian liberty for 60 years (while you applaud) , maybe it’s a good thing.

      • Shingo
        January 29, 2011, 10:30 pm

        impressive quotes richard/not

        Yeah, he made them up all by himself.

      • Surcouf
        January 30, 2011, 7:00 am

        I believe it depends on how you define ”Israeli liberty”
        If you define it as the liberty for Israel to continue unhindered in its treatment of Palestinians, both Palestinian Israelis and OT Palestinians, just like it has for the last 30 years, thanks among other things to the peace treaty with Egypt, then yes that liberty is about to be restrained in a big way. But don’t you think it’s a good thing? Don’t you think that this is the wake-up call that could save Israel from its doom?

      • Richard Witty
        January 30, 2011, 7:39 am

        I am a liberal Zionist. Zionist in the sense that I believe that Israel did, does, and will have the right to exist as the site of self-governance of the Jewish people; liberal in the sense that rejects Israeli expansionism, and affords equal rights within Israel and all areas under its jurisdiction (full equal rights) to all however defined.

        I am a supporter of a two-state solution that results in a viable, independant, healthy Palestine that is a good neighbor to a viable, independant, healthy Israel. Hopefully evolving to a status of trust that allows for open borders, residence, trade, cultural interchange.

        As the PA subscribes to that view as well, as indicated in the Palestine Papers, gives me hope and prospectively realizes “live AND let live”.

        MANY Palestinian solidarity here and elsewhere desire that Israel not exist as Israel, that Jews are not a distinct nation in any sense, and are just a religious minority in a greater Arab or Islamic region.

        The early 1960’s period of pan-Arab nationalism that defined Israel as surrounded, mirrors what is proposed by some pan-Arab nationalists relative to Israel, with the hope that it will dissolve (with “help”).

        That vision temporarily and reluctantly recognizes that Israel exists, but only as an obstacle, not as an accepted self-governing community.

        But, the surrounding, the threatening, is and expresses itself as aggressive, and compels Israel to maintain a defensive posture, which it can’t relax.

        So, I urge two things. One, that Israel reform its policies towards those it occupies, towards ANY expansion, and towards minorities within.

        Two, that opponents of Israel ACCEPT Israel as Israel, even if they severely disagree with its policies, to limit their criticism to policies and practices.

        I stated earlier that I thought that if the Palestine Papers were the only thing that happened this week, that Israel would be forced to reform, “saving it from its doom”.

        That there is now a pan-Arab revolution in process with an undertone of anti-Israel sentiment expressed by mostly external dissenters threatens its doom, and then the defensive strategems would become more relevant, protection from doom.

        From what I read, the movements in Tunisia, Egypt, Yemen, are internally motivated, and anti-Israel statements are not a primary component.

        Phil invokes that Israel is a primary component of the movements, and thereby opens a Pandora’s box, that may or may not be there in fact.

      • Surcouf
        January 30, 2011, 12:15 pm

        Richard – I’ll defer to others on this site to judge your liberal Zionist credentials based on your posting history.

        But on the question of Israel being a primary components of the movements we are witnessing it is nil at this stage of the game in my opinion, i.e. it is not the motivator.

        Having said that, and where the connection with Israel is evident for anyone to see, is that a dictatorial regime was maintained in place for 30 years for the benefit of Israel and Pax Americana. You cannot escape the fact that this twisted relationship was not for the benefit of the Egyptian people and the popular discontent we see is proof of that. What Egyptians do know is that throughout this period many of them have been tortured, exiled, imprisoned and killed for no other reasons than maintaining a status quo richly rewarded by American taxpayers at the behest of AIPAC and Israel. I’ll leave it to you to ponder on the moral implications of that.

        Now, would this in itself be sufficient to generate ill feelings towards Israel? I’m afraid it could. But if you add to this the fact that the Mubarak regime has been an enabler and willing participant in the illegal blockage of Gaza and stood silently has the IAF pounded Gaza resulting in the death of 400 children, then I would say that any future Egyptian popular government is bound to change its relationship with Israel. At the end of the day Richard, we are all, both individually and collectively, responsible for our actions. And this is what Israel is about to find out!

  24. gingershot
    January 29, 2011, 5:34 pm

    Why are Americans afraid?

    Because of the decades long hasbara of the Israel Lobby and Neocons to manufacture such consent

    Then – to make sure gin up a few wars so Americans get as used to killing Arabs as Israelis kill Palestinians

    It’s so immensely sickening

    • pineywoodslim
      January 29, 2011, 9:17 pm

      I don’t think the average American is afraid at all. If anything this sort of thing I believe increases the average person’s desire to get the heck out of the empire business and take care of our domestic needs.

  25. radii
    January 29, 2011, 5:45 pm

    brilliant use of economical language, Phil – the title of the post says it all

  26. Lydda Four Eight
    January 29, 2011, 5:49 pm

    Not saying this is true or not, thought it might be word mentioning:

    “Egypt protests: secret US document discloses support for protesters
    Here is the secret document sent from the US Embassy in Cairo to Washington disclosing the extent of American support for the protesters behind the Egypt uprising.”

    link to

    • annie
      January 29, 2011, 6:22 pm

      hahaha. yes..

      Mubarak sent his children and their families to London. It seems Washington told him to get ready to step down if needed and, if he has to step down, to hand his military dictatorship over to Washington’s selected officers. Washington may then later find or not find a better solution.

      everybody’s repositioning.

  27. boulos
    January 29, 2011, 5:50 pm

    the response of our government to the revolution in egypt has been shameful, to say the least. the american media’s coverage of the events have been, at very best, painfully mediocre, uninspired, and lacking any insight or intelligence. i walked by t.v’s playing in the window of a shop last night which had cable news coverage of what is going on and i just winced when i saw sean hannity’s face and images of egypt on the same screen. i had a private moment of gratitude that i couldn’t hear what was actually being said and felt sympathy and perhaps derision for anyone who was listening to such a popinjay speak about the middle east and hoping to actually learn something that corresponded to reality. the best coverage to be found in english is on al-jazeera english, which one cannot even get on cable in this country, save in a handful of places, because the perspectives it presents are perceived as being threatening to the american political discourse. or something like that. what is especially sad is that it is on something like al-jazeera english that one can actually get a view for how people in the middle east think, apart from the refracting prism of american middle east ‘experts,’ many of whose zionism is scarcely even hidden.

    there are 80 million people in egypt. it is perverse to me that their lives, their political freedom, their economic futures are and have been held hostage for decades to whether their leadership is willing to be friends with israel; it sickens me that we have been supportive of a brutal, rapacious regime and helped to keep it in power because it is willing to make nice(ish) with the Jewish State. it is sort of like a spoiled rich kid nobody likes whose dad buys him friends. this game got old a long time ago. tunisia fell. egypt is falling. i can only hope and pray that the hashemites of jordan go next along with the house of saud and every other autocratic arab regime soon thereafter.

    at what point will we say that egyptian needs for security, freedom from fear, freedom from torture, freedom from terror, are as important as those of any israeli? when will the US and when will our pundits acknowledge that arabs are people, too? i mean, at the end of the day, that’s what this whole conflict, going back to the balfour declaration has been about. the refusal of arabs to admit that jewish anxieties, jewish dreams, jewish aspirations, jewish claims on real estate, are somehow more real, true, value, valid, legitimate, than those of the arabs. zionists who supported the democratic uprising in iran last year but who have said nothing in support of the people of egypt because mubarak is a good oriental (i.e., he does what the US and israel want) have once again exposed the staggering hypocrisy of their allegedly moral position.

    how about evaluating the upheaval in egypt in terms of whether it is good for egyptians and the egyptian people rather than in terms of whether it is good for israel?

    • aparisian
      January 29, 2011, 6:12 pm

      Applauds! my admiration. We have the same mediocre TV coverage in France. They call the Egyptian revolution ‘RIOTS’, can you imagine that? They arrested 100 of the Egyptians protesting in front of the Egyptian embassy today in Paris to check their papers, can you imagine that? The France2 channel today project a documentary about the persecution of copts of Egypt and nothing about the Egyptian people power, can you understand my desperation?
      The Zionist pseudo intellectuals keep playing the islamists card, how pathetic they are… Everything is ok to defend the colonialism of Palestine…

      • annie
        January 29, 2011, 6:15 pm

        They call the Egyptian revolution ‘RIOTS’

        i heard that here today also, i thought ‘riots’? hmmmm

      • aparisian
        January 29, 2011, 6:19 pm

        Yes last month the shameful french foreign affairs minister wanted to send police skills to back Ben Ali in the oppression of his people…
        For them its no way Arabs become Free, its pathetic…..

      • pineywoodslim
        January 29, 2011, 6:42 pm

        Both France and the US have a long history of beating up on brown-skinned people in the 3rd world.

      • Jim Haygood
        January 29, 2011, 6:49 pm

        ‘They arrested 100 of the Egyptians protesting in front of the Egyptian embassy today in Paris to check their papers, can you imagine that?’

        Under Sarkozy? Oui — lamentablement!

      • Citizen
        January 29, 2011, 8:20 pm

        Born Again Huckabee in on Fox now, instilling fear of The Brotherhood cum Jihadism into his audience. Now he’s got a black Florida representative echoing him. If one Egyptian is caught on camera burning an American or Israeli flag Huckabee will be delighted. It’s disgusting. Generally the cable TV news/entertainment shows are all spreading fear about The Brotherhood. Now Huckabee has Michael Youssef, Evangelical Anglican Church Of The Apostles yakking about all the good things Mubarek has done, e.g., privatized the banks and created the Egyptisn middle class. “There are hands working behind those young protesters”–the hands of the Muslim Brotherhood, which is “just like HAMAS.” Iran is joining them to “stir the pot” to “tighten the noose around Israel.” Youssef is saying if the system falls, there will be a free4all & the Muslim Brotherhood will use the secular-educated Egyptians to gain power, and they will screw them, just as has happened so many times before. “Once Israel, the Little Satan falls, the USA, the big satan, will be next–this is the goal of the third jihad.” This is the propaganda the American masses are being fed.

      • bijou
        January 29, 2011, 9:04 pm

        Earlier this evening while in the gym I was horrified to watch a CNN newscaster named Don introduce this same guest, Michael Youssef, as “a Christian”!!! He didn’t even identify him as an Egyptian!!! I almost fell over. And then when Youssef referred to having “escaped” from Egypt under Nasser to come to the US (decades ago,) this “Don” repeated that language! “He escaped from Egypt…” I mean, what the hell??? Egypt was not Eastern Germany or the Soviet Union preventing its citizens from leaving…

        Did anyone else see that? I dont usually ever watch CNN so I don’t know who “Don” is… I couldn’t see the screen well enough to read his name because it was blurry. But he was a youngish lightist African American guy.

        Also I noticed that Wolf Blitzer had on the Egyptian Ambassador for quite some time, which is progress, although the latter was a master at diplomatically avoiding answering Wolf’s questions. You know, the lawyerly “non-answer answer.” And Blitzer had a co-presenter who appeared to be some kind of Arab or Indian of British descent named “Ayesha” and I thought hmmm, is Al-Jazeera English giving you a run for your money? Do you finally, finally, have to allow some “third world voices” to be heard?

      • Citizen
        January 30, 2011, 8:17 am

        Blitzer’s questions were all couched in the usual diplomatic fashion, abstractly and ostensibly reasonable, and the Egyptian Ambassador answered in the same way–completely useless Q & A. What a giant waste of time! They were both playing the game. Hide the football.

  28. Taxi
    January 29, 2011, 5:54 pm

    They’re afraid that the American tax-paying voter is finally gonna be putting two and two together and coming up with: We’re being fleeced by aipac in the name and interest of foreign nation.

    • Citizen
      January 29, 2011, 8:36 pm

      I doubt it. Every 15 minutes 24/7 I see John Bolton being inverviewed as the expert on what’s happening in the Middle East. Obviously, despite all the unearthed fraud and machinations of the neocons, PNAC is alive and well. Facts don’t deter them in the least.

      • pineywoodslim
        January 29, 2011, 9:19 pm

        I disagree.

        I think poll after poll shows Americans want out of the empire business–reflected in overwhelming support for getting out of our foreign wars, cutting the defense budget, and eliminating foreign aid.

      • Citizen
        January 30, 2011, 8:22 am

        Yeah, well, good luck with those polls. None of the root problems will be cut; it will be handled same as health care and banking issues, regardless of what Americans want. Fear of Islam will enlist those same Americans; that pot is being stirred daily on the the TV news mass America watches.

      • pineywoodslim
        January 30, 2011, 1:24 pm

        I agree with you that the US public’s disenchantment with empire will have little impact on US policy.

        My disagreement with you stems from your apparent belief that the US public is not, in fact, disenchanted. I also don’t think that the acceptance by the public of “Muslim-bashing” as framed by the MSM translates into an acceptance by the public of US empire building.

        But I think we both agree—the public be damned.

      • RoHa
        January 29, 2011, 10:28 pm

        “Facts don’t deter them in the least.”

        Facts? We don’t care about no facts. We don’t need no facts. I don’t have to deal with any stinking facts!

  29. Taxi
    January 29, 2011, 5:56 pm

    Oh yeah and they’re also afraid because suddenly chances are 50/50 that the American people too will want to rise up against their corrupt and degrading corpocratic government.

    • Sumud
      January 30, 2011, 2:29 am

      Well we can only hope Taxi. I’ve been watching various State Departments twitter accounts and they’ve been just hopeless, same for Gibbs and Obama. They just don’t seem to get that they lie continuously and EVERYBODY – including more and more Americans – know that. Certainly the rest of the world does. But they think they’re being “innovative” and reaching Middle Easterners (Twitter Diplomacy) by tweeting in arabic – which is only likely to fuel anti-US sentiment even more. Lie to them in English, OK, lie to them in Arabic and a whole lot more people see – and people hate to be lied to.

      I’m wondering when the penny is going to drop that eventually a variation of what is occurring in Egypt is going to happen in the US, especially as the economy atrophies as it inevitably will in the coming two decades…

      • Citizen
        January 30, 2011, 8:23 am

        I hope so.

  30. virtual lab
    January 29, 2011, 7:11 pm

    Essential is that al-jazeera English stays banned forever, lest anyone gets an impression how people think.

    Surprising but informative to the rest of the world is that American mainstream media seems to be void of any such process

  31. braciole
    January 29, 2011, 7:16 pm

    I dunno about the US, but I strongly suspect that certain European governments – those that “might have to make some hard choices” about welfare provisions, etc, such as Ireland, Portugal, Spain, Italy and the United Kingdom might be re-thinking their plans in the coming weeks.
    For instance, under Margaret Thatcher, it took several years for her government to become widely disliked, Cameron had done it in several months and many of the policies he is pushing to benefit his banker buddies are already causing opposition groups to appear. While saving the National Health Service, the Forestry Commission, etc. might not be as important as the political freedoms the Egyptians are demanding, they are certainly causing the British middle class to get organized.

  32. Sin Nombre
    January 29, 2011, 7:19 pm

    There’s no doubt that some of our officialdom and others are afraid because what’s happening strikes at the heart of the lie that the U.S. has any vital national interest in Israel’s fate.

    On the other hand I think many are also afraid—including some of our officialdom who are caught in the reality that lie has created, such as, perhaps, Obama—because of what to me at least all this stuff could all too easily mean.

    Lebanon appears tilting heavily if not falling pretty entirely into Hizbullah hands, which in any event with Iranian help (not to mention rockets) seems to anyway control the southern portion of that country; Egypt falls into fundamentalist hands or otherwise turns significantly hostile to Israel, and then this strengthens Hamas; Israel, already in the grip of a paranoidish, ready-to-launch-perceived-pre-emptive-wars zeitgeist, does something stupid, and with Iranian and probably other arab support Hizbullah and Egypt and then very possibly Syria pile in; and what does anyone here think that the U.S. will do given its current, dominant, Israeli-corrupted political sensibility?

    A combination of the ’67 war and the ’73 war together, except this time very possibly much worse, with the U.S. almost no doubt stupidly but inevitably weighing in very heavily on Israel’s side—perhaps even with air power if not feet on the ground. And the U.S. presence in all the rest of the arab world such as in Iraq and Afghanistan and Pakistan and Saudi Arabia and God-knows where-else suddenly being the very nice and not very defensible target of mass arab rage.

    Not to mention the then fortunes of the price of oil and the impact on our already feeble economy….

    Yeah, there’s some reason for fear it seems to me.

    • Jim Haygood
      January 29, 2011, 8:26 pm

      ‘ … strikes at the heart of the lie that the U.S. has any vital national interest in Israel’s fate.’

      Oh-oh, you’ve gone too far now! Then you had to pile it on:

      ‘ … the U.S. presence in … Pakistan and Saudi Arabia and God-knows where-else suddenly being the … target of mass … rage.’

      Oy, just imagine if Pakistanis get tired of Obama’s executive-murder drone turkey shoots on their western border — as lethal videogamers in Virginia and Nevada blow up villages in Waziristan by remote control — and decide to ditch their US-collaborationist stooge government, cutting critical US supply lines into Afghanistan.

      This is the scenario that keeps Peace Laureate O’Bomber and his Joint Chiefs awake at night. US policy for the last three or four decades has been a colossal f***up, and the chickens are coming home to roost. Let it bleed …

      • Citizen
        January 29, 2011, 8:43 pm

        Heh. I hear Obama is moving his base back to Chicago in prep for his next cycle, following Rahm I, the Israeli who takes over from the Daly legacy; perhaps he should just move the WH to that bottomless pit of political thieves.

      • bijou
        January 29, 2011, 9:06 pm

        It doesn’t even necessarily have to turn “hostile” to Israel’s interests. It could just turn objective. Neutral. Or rather, it could just begin to act in its OWN national interest. That would be enough….

      • pineywoodslim
        January 29, 2011, 9:23 pm

        My fear is that the unrest on Israel’s borders will lead Israel to begin its final solution to the Israeli Arab and Palestinian “problem”. I say this particularly if that unrest spreads to Israel or the OTs, even if it’s only demonstrations in solidarity with Egyptians.

      • munro
        January 29, 2011, 10:25 pm

        “will lead Israel to begin its final solution to the Israeli Arab and Palestinian “problem”
        Of course. Brace yourself. Obama just has to negotiate how neutered he will appear. A false flag blamed on the Muslim Brotherhood (targeting Copts?) will soften Obama’s humiliation and I’m sure it’s in the works.

      • seafoid
        January 30, 2011, 11:16 am

        Aluf Benn says the PA and Jordan are Israel’s only allies in the Middle East.
        If Israel tries a final solution the Jews will be out of the region within a decade.

      • pineywoodslim
        January 30, 2011, 1:26 pm

        Well, few thinking people believe that the policies of Israel further the interests of Jews in the mideast. Israeli policy digs Israel deeper into a hole.

  33. virtual lab
    January 29, 2011, 7:21 pm

    3eee, trust your Moloch, your dealer of deception and shameless servant of repression, there must be…it must have another trick up it’s sleeve

  34. Potsherd2
    January 29, 2011, 7:25 pm

    From Andrew Sullivan’s page: link to

    Some guy named Larison at The American Conservative link to

    If the government is overthrown, it will probably have a good effect on reducing the suffering of the people in Gaza by ending the Egyptian part of the blockade, but it would make it easier for Hamas to operate. If the U.S. helps bring the regime down, the message will be that the U.S. pulled the plug on one of the only two Arab states to make peace with Israel. What are the odds that any other Arab state is going to see the benefits of formally recognizing Israel after that?

    So again we hear: “We can’t allow democracy in the mideast because democracy isn’t good for Israel.” Adding the Hamas bugaboo to make it scarier.

    Then we’ll have to hear “we have to support Israel because it’s the only democracy in the mideast.” Because we crush democracy when it appears anywhere else.

    • pineywoodslim
      January 29, 2011, 9:27 pm

      Don’t know who wrote that particular article, but every once in awhile that magazine will publish an article implying that it may not actually be in the Arab’s interests to make peace with Israel, and that the unrest in the middle east stems primarily from Israel intransigence.

  35. lobewyper
    January 29, 2011, 8:20 pm

    I would like to add my thanks to Phil for this great piece (honestly, I have no idea how he has the time to write this blog, help moderate the comments, etc., etc.).
    Al Jazeera’s coverage has been widely praised. Any chance they could get broadcast rights in the US? Then we might hear a great deal more of the truth. There might actually be a constructive dialogue on the issues. Remember, Obama said just the other day that he backs freedom of speech for Egyptians. How about for Americans? :)

    • Citizen
      January 29, 2011, 8:45 pm

      You Americans are only entitled to all da news gud fer yuze; I mean it ain’t like your country is based on the principle of informed consent, is it?

      • lobewyper
        January 29, 2011, 9:14 pm

        Informed consent? We don’t need no stinkin’ informed consent. This is da great US of A!

  36. bijou
    January 29, 2011, 9:08 pm

    Phil, thanks for another great piece — this and the one on “the road to Jerusalem lies through Tunis and Baghdad” were both superb. And so on target. Bravo.

    • Sumud
      January 30, 2011, 2:33 am


      Superb, singing, loud and clear. I almost feel like reading some Walt Whitman!

  37. NorthOfFortyNine
    January 29, 2011, 9:15 pm

    Phill gets this piece reprinted in Salon.

    link to

    Nice. Apparently, there was another one as well.

    Check the comment section out. Interesting.

    • annie
      January 29, 2011, 10:39 pm

      omg, i’m laughing so hard i’m afraid i’m gonna split a gut. there’s a guy on there who doesn’t like phil named “hissing golden’ (shouldn’t that be w/a ‘p’?). he says:

      Tell you what, Phil. Go resurrect the Symbionese Liberation Army and start killing Americans.

      lololol omg. i love how much phil drives them nuts.

      • Shingo
        January 29, 2011, 10:40 pm

        Yeah, and that dumb old coot that is accusing Phillip of….hate speech. Can you get any more disconnnected and paranoid.

      • annie
        January 29, 2011, 10:55 pm

        i think some of them start frothing at the mouth when they see his name in print.


  38. MRW
    January 29, 2011, 9:24 pm

    The Dems, Repubs, and Tea Partiers ought to pay attention. This could happen in the USA. The MoFos running this country are out of touch. The Israel-Firsters informing them are even stupider.

  39. wondering jew
    January 29, 2011, 9:40 pm

    Suleiman might be too identified with Mubarak, but the cry of the people is “the people and the army” of course only after the cry “Mubarak out”. Mubarak does not wish to leave the country in disgrace, but that seems like the only possible end to the crisis and then whoever is left in charge will have to get the army on his side to restore order. Suleiman is definitely better in the Egyptian people’s eyes than Mubarak’s son and if the army backs him, he might turn out to be the transitional leader.

    • Shingo
      January 29, 2011, 10:16 pm

      Suleiman is definitely better in the Egyptian people’s eyes than Mubarak’s son and if the army backs him, he might turn out to be the transitional leader.

      What you really mean is that Suleiman is definitely better in the Israel’s people’s eyes than the Muslim Brotherhood or even Al Abradei.

      Suleiman is just lipstick on the pig.

      • wondering jew
        January 29, 2011, 10:35 pm

        I don’t think Mubarak will leave the country without appointing someone. The “problem” of this revolution is that it is leaderless. It doesn’t seem that el Baradei has any popular support. Because of the people’s support for the army I suppose the highest general in the army would be the most logical choice.

      • Potsherd2
        January 29, 2011, 11:00 pm

        Mubarak appoints Suleiman, leaves Egypt, Suleiman takes over, calls on general to take command and form interim govt, leading to elections as scheduled.

      • Citizen
        January 30, 2011, 8:37 am

        Sounds about right, Potsy; Murbarak has what, a half a year at most before he would’ve passed his crown to his son? He’s 82; probably sick of dying his hair black; I heard he has cancer too. Probably looking for a way to slide out with his official reputation somewhat intact, which does not mean having the army shoot at the citizens–that would be a very counter-productive last sentence to his 30 paragraphs of “caring” rule.

  40. yourstruly
    January 29, 2011, 10:07 pm

    heroic egypt

    now that you are on your feet

    stay mobilized

    that you may fulfill your destiny

    free and independent

    yet as one with the arab nation


    so close to your heart

  41. Taxi
    January 29, 2011, 10:08 pm

    My Lebanese friend says that finally Egypt is returning to the Arab fold and embrace. He says most Arabs from his generation (he’s in his seventies) saw Egypt, the great Arab leader, get drugged by foreign money and kidnapped the day Sadat took power.

    • Shingo
      January 29, 2011, 10:27 pm

      My Lebanese friend says that finally Egypt is returning to the Arab fold and embrace.

      Interesting observation. Imagine if this events turns out to fulfill Nasser’s dream of pan Arabism?

      • Taxi
        January 29, 2011, 10:48 pm

        You better believe the west is more fearful of Pan-Arabism than it is of Alquaida.

  42. Todd
    January 29, 2011, 11:50 pm

    The only Americans who seem to be afraid are the media and government types who fear for Israel. The world could very well be headed towards disaster, and Egypt could be a warning. America could pull back. Israel can’t. Average Americans have nothing to fear in Egypt. We should fear the stupidity and allegiances of our ruling class.

    I watched an interview with William Cohen this morning where he was asked what America’s interests are in the situation in Egypt, and all he could talk about is Israel. Such people are delusional! It’s one thing to be so committed to Israel, and to express such sentiments behind closed doors. But to do so in front of cameras on national television without even realizing how far he is from the mainstream is breathtaking.

    Our media, political and economic elites have no more business making decisions for the citizens of the United States than the rulers in Egypt have/had making decisions for ordinary Egyptians. Our system is currently more stable than that of Egypt, but our rulers are just as clueless about the people they rule as the rulers of Egypt have been.

    I would say that the postergirl for the cluelessness of the American elites has to be Hillary Clinton when she addressed the people of Egypt on how to behave. Does that moron really believe that the Egyptian people care what she says? How many Americans view her as anything more than an ambitious token female government official and wife of an ex-president?

    • Citizen
      January 30, 2011, 8:40 am

      Next up for the status quo, Chelsea Clinton in her very own pantsuit?

  43. Lydda Four Eight
    January 30, 2011, 2:15 am

    Egyptian protesters chanting NO to Mubarak! NO to Sulayman!

    link to

  44. virtual lab
    January 30, 2011, 11:24 am

    Elites of today , like that pretentious pantsuit lady, appears to be not much more than somewhat mislaid white trash.

    Moreover it is now the name given to those who have no qualms shooting down defenseless people.

  45. Sumud
    January 30, 2011, 1:23 pm

    Well congrats Phil, your posting of this article at Salon is the most commented-on article on the site!

    link to

    *I wish they had put a link to Mondoweiss in your byline.

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