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Egyptians rally in DC for General Sisi, rattling off conspiracy theories recycled from Islamophobes

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on 46 Comments

On August 22, several hundred Egyptians and Egyptian-Americans hit the streets of Washington DC to show their support for General Abdel Fatah Al-Sisi and the regime that overthrew the elected President Mohamed Morsi in a military coup on July 3.

Sisi rally

After surrounding the offices of the Washington Post to demand that the paper cover the attacks on Coptic churches (the paper has covered the subject extensively), the demonstrators converged at the Egyptian embassy. There, the rally took on a festive atmosphere, with about 100 demonstrators singing along to nationalistic songs, hailing Sisi as their hero, and chanting against the “terrorist” Muslim Brotherhood and the man simultaneously funding them and receiving their millions: Barack Obama.

Under the heavy influence of ultra-nationalist Egyptian media outlets like CBC and OnTV, which recently rebroadcast a long Fox News segment featuring the right-wing militarist Ralph Peters railing against the Muslim Brotherhood, the demonstrators rattled off a series of conspiracy theories recycled from right-wing American Islamophobes.

Sisi rally

After explaining to me that the hundreds of supporters of deposed President Mohamed Morsi killed by Egyptian security forces in the past week were actually shot in the back by Muslim Brotherhood gangs that also use children for human shields (like Hamas in Gaza, I was told), I was informed that the White House is infested with a Muslim Brotherhood sleeper cell.

“There is 6 Brotherhoods in the White House, six members of the Brotherhood in the White House,” a thirty something man told me. “So that’s where Obama’s getting his ideas. That’s like the filter of the ideas that come to Obama. When he gets the memos, they come through these people.”

The sleeper cell conspiracy theory originated on the pages of the Egyptian magazine Rose al-Yousef and was enthusiastically promoted by the anti-Muslim writer Steve Emerson’s Investigative Project. Pamela Geller, the professional Islamophobe, has also sought to advance the notion that the Muslim Brotherhood has “penetrated” the White House.

Sisi rally

Finally, I learned that the Muslim Brotherhood was behind Anthony Weiner’s sexting scandal. Working through the Hillary Clinton aide Huma Abedin, who has been named by fringe Islamophobes like Walid Shoebat as a secret Muslim Brotherhood operative, the Brotherhood has attempted to bring down the Clinton machine, manufacturing an embarrassing scandal that somehow forced Weiner to transform into Carlos Danger.

Sisi rally

Many of the demonstrators were members of a Coptic community that has been a target of demonization and violent attacks back in Egypt, especially in recent weeks. Churches have been burned and vandalized around the country in a coordinated fashion, with Christians blaming Islamist mobs for the violence. Meanwhile, Coptic Patriarch Ibrahim Isaac Sadrak and several Egyptian bishops praised the Egyptian army and police after they massacred over 600 pro-Morsi protesters at the Rabaa sit-in.

As sectarianism deepens and conspiracism rises, Egypt continues down a dark path that seems to have no end. And many are celebrating the strongman leading the way.

About Max Blumenthal

Max Blumenthal is an award-winning journalist and bestselling author.

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46 Responses

  1. seanmcbride
    August 23, 2013, 11:46 am


    Thanks so much for writing this article!

    The current Egyptian government is in the same ideological territory as extreme neoconservatives — Pamela Geller, even. Crazy territory. The Israeli government must be chortling.

    It blew my mind when a few Mondoweiss commenters applauded the Sisi coup — completely failing to understand its significance on the grand chessboard.

    Compared to the Sisi regime, Netanyahu and Likud are almost palatable.

    • Taxi
      August 23, 2013, 3:54 pm

      It’s a coup to aliens like you. It’s a revolution to the majority of Egyptians. It’s their country, it’s not yours. They have the final say, you don’t. So there, live with that “crazy” “chessboard”, oh master of “significance”.

      You know NOTHING about the “current Egyptian government” – not even a single name of any of the interim parliamentarians, I bet!! (yeah go look it up now doushow!)

      • yrn
        August 24, 2013, 1:32 pm

        Taxi Is right.
        Same goes for Israel, You know nothing about Israel too.

      • Taxi
        August 25, 2013, 4:37 pm


        It’s you who knows nothing about the REAL israel. But you sure as heck are an expert on the Disney remake.

      • yrn
        August 27, 2013, 2:17 pm

        Tell me about it Taxi the wondering expert of the ME, I was just born in Israel and lived here all my life
        what about you American Taxi, who spent a few month in the ME and thinks she is the ME expert of a life time.

      • Danaa
        August 24, 2013, 4:37 pm

        Taxi, there are many valid interpretations of the events in Egypt. You may see it one way but others, including people like me who admittedly know few egyptians, may see things differently. Not because we presume to speak on behalf of real Egyptians, and god knows they have and are suffering great deprivations, of a scale we cannot even process, living here in the land of “plenty”. But we – outsiders – CAN and Should – make our interpretations based on what we know about history.

        I brought up Argentina for example. During the times of Peron and successors (including Eva the wife) we – out in the world – were utterly confounded. Little did we know of the interference run by our own empire, which effectively changed and distorted what was and could have been. others brought up the take over in Chile by Pinochet +generals, overthrowing an elected government that was not to the US ‘s liking and was not welcome by the ruling classes in Chile. Allende too, like Morsi, failed to deliver – in record time – the economic improvement sought by the Chilean people. But as we have seen from the example of Cuba that, given a bit more time, the socialist experiment could have worked – if not for the side meddling by the powerful neighbor to the North. In fact, Cuba itself would be economically far more thriving has it not been for the effective blockade by its potentially largest market – a boycott meant to deprive socialism of economic success.

        The parallels with Morsi’s government are there – almost eerily so. The MB also was not given much of a chance. One and half years is not enough for any country to improve. yes, like Allende’s version of communism, the MB version of islam has its dark authoritarian side. But there are ways a population can push back on those, through various means, even as the military could play a positive role by tamping down any attempt by the elected islamists to go overboard.

        Democracy is not a magic bullet to anything and perhaps those who thought the revolution ended with the overthrow of Mubarak had erred by going home too early. The secularists and progressives and moderate muslims and christians of Egypt had failed to unite fast enough to field winning candidates during the first election. Their PR to the people was disjoint. not surprising given how little time there was for real movements to coalesce around candidates, parties and platforms. Clearly that’s a sign to go back to ground zero and try again to forge an alternative coalition. But that’s hard and doesn’t happen overnight – not just in an Egyptian context. Just look at the US – where most of us feel we have no party to represent our interests.

        What I am trying to say is that I don’t think the situation in Egypt is all that different than say, what happened in latin America. What I lament in this miltary coup (and a coup it was, if you look at the definition of “coup”) is that Egypt now runs the risk of settling into the kind of dark decades that countries like Argentina, Chile and Equador have experienced. The decades of the rule of the generals, and the persecution of the islamists. All encouraged and manipulated by outside interests (US and Israel) that have not the slightest concern for the true well being of Egyptians.

        I don’t know egypt well, that’s true. But one doesn’t need to know lots of Egyptians to feel concern about the fate of their country, given the lessons of history. Which are open to us all to learn from and interpret.

      • Taxi
        August 26, 2013, 3:20 am

        Thanks Danaa.

        “The MB also was not given much of a chance. ”

        You’re saying this because you haven’t had to live under their governance. With all due respect, your POV is abstracted. I have a feeling though that if the MB were YOUR rulers, fiddling with the constitution whilst in power, you would be thinking very differently about it all. If Morsi was running America and living in the White House, doing to Americans what he was doing to Egyptians, I bet most people around here would be taking to the streets of their cities and protesting against him after a year too (a year is too long to be bedraggled by incompetent islamists, especially if you’ve been craving democracy for 5 decades and many of your countrymen and women had died in the name of national political freedom). And what do you think our security forces would do to a yanki President Morsi threatening the nation with “rivers of blood” and sectarianism every time a mass protest broke out, sending out his agitators and arsonists to the streets? Would security forces’ bosses and American citizenry allow him to remain in power for a whole FOUR YEARS? Somehow, I think not.

        Are you forgetting here that islamists (and MB is the godfather of islamists) are abusers and not users of democracy?

        If the Egyptian army wanted to be the pharaohs of Egypt, they wouldn’t have allowed an election after Mubarak’s fall in the first place. As it stands, the citizens are conducting state affairs and the army is enforcing law and order on the streets. This is what often happens in the initial stages after a revolution.

        Let’s quickly recap: Millions and millions of people protested against Morsi and demanded his resignation. Morsi rejected this demand and threatened his people with “rivers of blood” if they didn’t return home. The army stepped in and took the side of the protestors. It was not the army that protested and demanded the ouster of Morsi, which is why it’s not a coup. It was the people of Egypt who initiated the protests, which is why it’s a people’s revolt, backed by the army.

        Really, Danaa, I understand the roles and relationships between the Egyptian people and their army and I see no signs whatsoever that Sisi has any designs on being Egyptian head of state. I’m by far more concerned with the spread of Islamism and sectarian ideology across the middle east, supported by the west and israel, than I am by the Egyptian army asserting its presence on the streets of Egypt between now and their next election.

        The simplified regional picture: more and more people in the middle east want democracy. The west doesn’t want them to have democracy. They’ve controlled them using dictators but that ain’t working no more. So now the west is swapping dictator for islamist ruler to be sure that democracy would not flourish in the middle east.

        It’s a distraction from the dastardly plan by usa/israel/gulfies to even be arguing coup versus revolution. Personally, I keep my eye on the geopolicial picture and I keep my allegiances consistent accordingly: absolute rejection of zionism, islamism and imperialism in the mideast. I cannot be against the takfiris in Syria but for them in Egypt. I’m against them everywhere. Full stop.

        After 50 years of political dictatorships, democracy will not manifest in its loftiest forms overnight. Democracy is not instant coffee, but a slow brew. I’ve asked folks around here several times to just be patient with Egypt before a final judgment. The Egyptian revolution remains, to date, a work in progress.

    • Danaa
      August 23, 2013, 6:21 pm

      Sean, read Marc Ellis’ take on the military takeover. i know he is not always clear but I found his take useful. Specifically he takes to task the power of magical thinking – as it was in latin America, and seemingly as it is now taken up by some who are applauding an otherwise cut and dry military coup. I think that in this context we may be looking at a modern version of the Peronites of Argentina. it certainly would help if some people were willing to check and see who is behind the curtain.

      • mcohen
        August 25, 2013, 5:33 am

        Danaa says:
        August 23, 2013 at 6:21 pm

        “see who is behind the curtain.”

        Movie Name: Being There (1979)
        Quote: President “Bobby”: Mr. Gardner, do you agree with Ben, or do you
        think that we can stimulate growth through temporary incentives?
        [Long pause]
        Chance the Gardener: As long as the roots are not severed, all is
        well. And all will be well in the garden.
        President “Bobby”: In the garden.
        Chance the Gardener: Yes. In the garden, growth has it seasons. First
        comes spring and summer, but then we have fall and winter. And then
        we get spring and summer again.
        President “Bobby”: Spring and summer.
        Chance the Gardener: Yes.
        President “Bobby”: Then fall and winter.
        Chance the Gardener: Yes.
        Benjamin Rand: I think what our insightful young friend is saying is
        that we welcome the inevitable seasons of nature, but were upset
        by the seasons of our economy.
        Chance the Gardener: Yes! There will be growth in the spring!
        Benjamin Rand: Hmm!
        Chance the Gardener: Hmm!
        President “Bobby”: Hm. Well, Mr. Gardner, I must admit that is one of
        the most refreshing and optimistic statements Ive heard in a very,
        very long time.
        [Benjamin Rand applauds]
        President “Bobby”: I admire your good, solid sense. Thats precisely
        what we lack on Capitol Hill.

  2. American
    August 23, 2013, 12:29 pm

    Wonderful! Another protest group inspired and aided no doubt by the Isr and Islamphobe and anti Obama club.
    I’ve lost track of them all –the Free Iraq club, the Free Iran club, the take the MEK off the terrier list club, …some more I am sure I’ve forgotten.

    I sort of like it…I want the ‘foreign interest’ cats to keep swiping at and toying with the ‘cant never win anyway’ US mole till it runs into it’s hole and wont come out again.
    All the better for building a more isolationist attitude in the US public and policy for the US.

    • Theo
      August 23, 2013, 1:16 pm

      I am with you 100%!!
      It is time we close up shop all over the world, bring our troops home and use all those billions of nice green dollars to rebuild the USA.
      The only persons who like us are the paid off politicians, military officers and a fine selection of bloody dictators and despots.
      50 years ago I was proud to tell anyplace that I am an american, today it is not advisable to advertise such information.
      We lost all respect of the world and the common, subjugated peoples have no love left for the once great liberator.

      • Taxi
        August 23, 2013, 3:59 pm

        Yes, yes, yes, Theo! I’m all for feeding and growing our economy on productivity and innovation, not the industrial military complex projects. Enough! We’ve effed up every foreign country we’ve touched – well, molested, really.

      • Daniel Rich
        Daniel Rich
        August 23, 2013, 6:05 pm

        @ Theo,

        Q: 50 years ago I was proud to tell anyplace that I am an american, today it is not advisable to advertise such information.

        R: It’s a little bit b4 my time, but that doesn’t diminish the fact that being an American was good enough to be invited into homes, get food, cigars and wine. Unfortunately, as of late, those bottles will be hurled at you. Some expats here [Japan] are now ‘Canadians.’

        In hindsight, the US isn’t a liberator, because it conquers and sets its policies as a role model to follow.

        In that sense Binding China to new superpower rules might be of interest.

      • Theo
        August 25, 2013, 1:14 pm

        In the 1970s and 80s I regularly went behind the iron curtain and witnessed the adoration the USA had, people waited for us to free them from the soviet subjugation. Anything american was great, american movies were sold out weeks ahead.
        During my latest visit a few years ago I noticed the change, the young still loves the western music, but not our policy. For many we replaced the SU as the ugliest nation of this world.
        In Marocco we had a few bad moments, this shortly after the start of Iraq war, where we though we may be arrested in the hotel, the secret police made a few, not very kind remarks about the americans.
        We blew it in less than 50 years, other empires lasted for centuries, we may make one, if we don´t start another major war.

  3. MRW
    August 23, 2013, 12:59 pm

    You’re making American associations, Max, you’re not making Egyptian ones. The situation is far more complex than these simplistic silos.

  4. Tuyzentfloot
    August 23, 2013, 2:18 pm

    It’s clear that these people are actually undercover Muslim Brotherhood people who infiltrated Pro-military demonstrators in DC in order to say stupid things and make them look silly ( ) .

    Now that I think about it, this site is also full of undercover antisemitic antizionists who masquerade as sociopathic zionists in order to make Israel look bad.

    To be a bit more fair… I’m sure there’s plenty of stupid convictions to go around on all sides , and I’m not really tempted to judge people on it. But one can observe.

  5. Tuyzentfloot
    August 23, 2013, 2:42 pm

    with Christians blaming Islamist mobs for the violence.

    Well that is pretty well plausible. No need to set up black flag operations there.
    I haven’t read about any of the remaining MB leadership trying to stop or of the army protecting the Copts. But it might happen.

  6. Andreas Schlueter
    Andreas Schlueter
    August 23, 2013, 3:14 pm

    It is tragic that the majority of the Egyptians doesn´t realize being the victims of a Proxy War between the two main fractions of the US American Power Elite:
    Andreas Schlüter
    Berlin, Germany

  7. Taxi
    August 23, 2013, 3:36 pm

    Oh dear, Mr. Blumenthal; are you slyly saying the protestors are “islamophobes”? Seriously dude, the moslem brotherhood are as much practitioners of islam as the kahanists are fine examples of the practice of judaism. You think people who slam kahanists for their extremism are antisemites?

    Who do you think is funding the sudden and speedy resurgence of operative takfirism? Why don’t you go film that and bring it over here to MW? I mean I appreciate hearing the opinions of the minions, but it would be kinda nice to get an interview about Egypt and the wider middle east with a substance name here on MW.

    What is alqaida but the Rock Star of takfiris with the Moslem Brotherhood as its Svenali record producer? Two years ago we were told that alquaida has become practically non-existent, defeated, disorganized, broke, demoralized, rapidly deflating in numbers, unable to recruit, unable to buy arms – thanks of course to our great successes in our ‘War On Terror’ (NOT!). Then along comes their violence again, en mass this time, in Libya, then Iraq, followed by Syria, and now Egypt and Lebanon and Yemen – I mean good grief! Where the heck are they all coming from? And who the heck is transporting them around? (Mostly through Turkey in fancy trains, no less, I hear).

    Are you suffering from Amnesia, Max? Have you forgotten what the moslem brotherhood and its adepts are all about? You think these people want democracy, or you think these people are hijackers of democracy? You think these people are capable of treating even other moslems with equality and felicity? You know, your video would have been better journalism if you’d also interviewed Moslem Brotherhood members too. No? Why aren’t we hearing what they have to say too in broken English? You really think that filming Egyptians who can’t speak good English and who are full of half-truths and half-propaganda is an ‘Egypt Scoop’? Your standards are failing abysmally here.

    Or maybe this article is all about your vendetta against Mona Eltahawy.

  8. Dan Crowther
    Dan Crowther
    August 23, 2013, 4:07 pm

    Thanks for coming out, everyone! No, seriously, thank you – thank you so very much.

    – Barack Obama

    • ToivoS
      August 23, 2013, 5:09 pm

      There are so many good reasons to criticize Obama. These totally inane attacks along with Tea Party ravings are eagerly endorsed by the Obama love crowd. I check out TPM now and then — that site is filled with articles describing the irrational Obama haters. When the Snowden story broke, the Obamabots were out in force denouncing Snowden and Greenwald because of their criticisms of his policy.

      This is sort of working for Obama. Except that his base is shrinking and what is being left behind are the Obama love fanatics. In a real demonstration of cognitive dissonance his followers’ support is becoming even more fanatical with every new NSA revelation.

      • DavidK
        August 23, 2013, 8:06 pm

        Was this rally sponsored by AIPAC?

    • seafoid
      August 26, 2013, 7:19 am


      I just found this Obama keeper

      “Governor Romney is a very talented salesman,” he said. “He has tried as hard as he can to repackage his old policies and offer them as change”

  9. American
    August 23, 2013, 4:48 pm

    In case no one is noticing, there is a big ‘counter revolution’ going on against Obama here, ..and by both foreign and domestic elements, both libs and thugs, some of who actually want something ‘worse than’ Obama in the next election.
    Next election going to be a very very dangerous one if goes wrong way….

  10. Justpassingby
    August 23, 2013, 5:55 pm

    Was Taxi there?

  11. Kathleen
    August 23, 2013, 6:47 pm

    Max another classic. “only 50 people died” Obama is supplying them with millions or was it billions of dollars. That would be right in regard to the Egyptian military who slaughtered over 600 people. Healthy to show the biases of people.

  12. just
    August 23, 2013, 7:37 pm


    The usual suspects are at it again– rabble rousing successfully far from the stench of death of people (murdered because they had a different political pov) and rotten- to- the- core Islamophobia. Who really burned churches and killed Copts? Who really deployed “chemical weapons” in Syria? It’s all suspect, afaiac. Give me some war trials and tribunals– maybe we will find the “truth”. We can start right here at home…….

    Just seeing the names of Geller, Shoebat and Emerson linked together gives me hope that the game is soon up. Rabid opportunists, Islamophobes, fervid Zionists and liars of all stripes are all coalescing. Thank goodness for the internet– they cannot hide among us anymore.

  13. bilal a
    bilal a
    August 23, 2013, 9:03 pm

    Max B. is not connecting the dots here. The Egyptian counter revolution has a major sectarian dimension ; the Copts in Egypt are an important part of the Egyptian middle and upper class, and historically have aligned themselves with colonial interests, though of course this doesnt justify the alleged MB burnings of Coptic churches. In the US, Egyptian Christians are an important part of the Israeli linked Islamaphobia program:

    from MW:

    Coptic Christian leader of organization that produced anti-Muslim film spoke at Pamela Geller’s anti-mosque rally

    from Geller:

    Egypt’s Coptic Church announces support for army, police as Muslim Brotherhood attacks more churches today, Saturday, August 17, 2013, Atlas Shrugged.

  14. gingershot
    August 23, 2013, 11:23 pm

    I’ll wait to be corrected but the Egyptian Copts I’ve seen ‘from afar’ seem deeply in cahoots with the Neocons in the US –

    ‘Coptic Christian’ Robert Spencer (Pamela Geller and David Horowitz’s friend) is as thick as thieves with the whole Neocon agenda and actively promotes anti-Islamic racism, as did that ‘Copt’ ‘Innocence of Muslims’ producer ‘Nakoula Basseley’

    Something’s rotten in Cairo and perhaps it was the Christian Copts support of Mubarak/the Egyptian Military that had something to do with the Muslim Brotherhood having had it with them

    Anyone who is a friend of the Neocons/Israeli Lobby is high on my undesirable list – and the Neocons are really beating the ‘they’re burning Christian churches’ drums as a way of whipping up the Christian Zionists against the Muslim Brotherhood (as if they needed any whipping)

    The Pro-Israel propaganda has been hitting the ‘they’re burning the Christian churches’ VERY HEAVILY – people who know nothing about the situation DO KNOW ‘the evil MB’ is burning Christian Churches because they are such animals

    What a surprise the Pro-Mubarak/Egyptian Military Coup rally is hitting this theme …

    Here’s the Pro-Mubarak Crowd: Shimon Peres, Netanyahu and the Neocons/Israeli Lobby, Saudi Arabia, UAE, and the ‘Coptic Christians’

    • richb
      August 24, 2013, 10:52 am

      The following is being tweeted by Egyptians today.

      • MHughes976
        August 24, 2013, 2:09 pm

        When I tried to see the Egyptian tweet I found it had been removed. What did it say?

      • richb
        August 25, 2013, 9:13 pm
      • seafoid
        August 26, 2013, 7:29 am

        Christ. The Keystone pipeline.

        I wonder what Fox is going to say when climate breaks down totally.

      • MRW
        August 26, 2013, 10:48 am

        What are you going to say when it doesn’t?

  15. seafoid
    August 24, 2013, 2:02 am

    One of the features of political organisation in the Levant is the awkward role of minorities in repressive regimes. Alawis, Jews, Maronites/Other Lebanese Christians and Copts all have higher than average income compared to Sunni Muslims in whatever country , be it Lebanon, Syria, Egypt or Israel.

    The Israeli state puts security above all other considerations (including democracy) and over time the neighbours have followed suit. Even a weak state such as Lebanon has privatised security with Hezbollah in the south, for example.

    The problem with this setup is that it isn’t sustainable . The “security” Weltanschauung generates paranoia and armies get their hands on cashflow and repression is the result. Very difficult for the local minority when the system breaks down.

    Iraq’s Christians know all about it.

    Very bad for Israel too. Judaism gets sucked into identifying with an unjust system. Over time it will be harder and harder for American Jews to drink the security Kool aid.

    Democracy would guarantee minority rights of course but reduce revenues….

    • Obsidian
      August 24, 2013, 3:17 am


      You live in a security State also. Britain has more CCTV cameras monitoring God knows than any other country in the world. She also listens to your phone calls and reads your emails but you haven’t noticed any of these things because your too busy with the I/P conflict.

      • seafoid
        August 24, 2013, 1:37 pm


        I don’t live in the UK. There are no checkpoints around London BTW keeping Jews out. No country in Europe runs a police state like Israel.

        I can fly to any country in Europe without being asked if I know any Jews or plan to meet any.

        Substitute Jews for Palestinians and you have the Israeli paranoid style.

  16. Kathleen
    August 24, 2013, 11:26 am

    Max “so people did not die, 600 people did not die” Man interviewed “no no no, there were about 50 people who died” Aye yi yi. Denial is not just a river in Egypt.

  17. just
    August 25, 2013, 9:09 am

    And, for our next serving of “please sir, I want some more”:

    “Prominent Israeli Cabinet ministers are calling for a U.S.-led response to an alleged chemical attack in Syria last week that the prime minister describes as a “terrible crime.”

    Benjamin Netanyahu told his Cabinet Sunday that “this situation cannot continue.” Justice Minister Tzipi Livni told Israel Radio that a U.S. response to the alleged poison gas attack would help discourage future chemical weapons use, but also have security implications for Israel.”

    Go it alone, Israel– if you are so ‘concerned’. We still don’t know who, what, where, how, etc. I, for one, am sick of doing your dirty work and being complicit in your agenda (s). The sad part for you is that you will never muster a meaningful coalition of your own for such ‘action’– the world is not entirely in your court anymore, and we are not your “soldiers”. Stop your belligerence. You might be surprised at the response you get.

    ps– both the US and Israel have massive arsenals of WMDs, and are apparently not averse to deploying them.

    I’m terribly disheartened about what is/has occurred in Syria/Egypt/Palestine and the entire region…… US military ‘intervention’ in Syria is NOT the answer, of that I am certain.

    • just
      August 25, 2013, 10:41 am

      Here we go:

      “DAMASCUS, Syria—Syria said Sunday it would allow United Nations inspectors currently present in Damascus immediate access to areas around the capital where the opposition accused the regime of using chemical weapons against fighters and civilians five days ago.

      But the U.S. rebuffed Syria’s decision, saying the offer came too late to be credible.

      “If the Syrian government had nothing to hide and wanted to prove to the world that it had not used chemical weapons in this incident, it would have ceased its attacks on the area and granted immediate access to the U.N.— five days ago,” a senior administration official said.

      “At this juncture, the belated decision by the regime to grant access to the U.N. team is too late to be credible, including because the evidence available has been significantly corrupted as a result of the regime’s persistent shelling and other intentional actions over the last five days,” the official added.”

      Who is this “senior administration official?” And who exactly is “corrupting” the truth?

      • Taxi
        August 25, 2013, 11:14 am

        It’s a bluff. Just ask Putin.

        You are witnessing how empire (reluctantly) withdraws from territory. Saber-rattle & roll… backwards.

    • American
      August 25, 2013, 12:52 pm

      “Prominent Israeli Cabinet ministers are calling for a U.S.-led response to an alleged chemical attack in Syria last week that the prime minister describes as a “terrible crime.”

      Benjamin Netanyahu told his Cabinet Sunday that “this situation cannot continue.” Justice Minister Tzipi Livni told Israel Radio that a U.S. response to the alleged poison gas attack would help discourage future chemical weapons use, but also have security implications for Israel.”……..just

      The US needs an alliance/agreement with Russia on the ME.
      I am going to keep saying this although I know ev.e.r.y.o.n.e believes that is like saying the moon is made of cheese. Because everyone has their own ideas and wshes about specific countries; what they ‘should be’, what the problem is, who the bad guys are and etc..
      Let’s start by accepting the fact that most ‘outside’ countries interest in the ME is in preventing chaos that could disrupt oil supples because of ‘global economic dependency’, not even necessarily their own ‘individual’ dependency on it.
      The US and Russia do not absolutely ‘have to have’ ME oil to keep going, whereas most of Europe is more dependent on it.
      It is the ‘interdependent’ global economy that makes the ME oil a critical factor for everyone.
      For that reason it is foolish to think there will ever not be outside powers interested, taking actions and taking whatever position on conflicts that looks to be the best bet for their own country’s needs and global economic considerations.
      Then “within” the ME itself you have ‘self interested powers and countries’ that are going to pursue their own goals to perserve themselves or ensure their control—Egypt, Iran, Saudi, the UAE, Israel, Syria are good examples. …with Saudi and Israel being the best examples of the ME countries “that go out into the region’ with minipulatons and conflict creating to acheive their goals.
      Since it is highly improbable that the ME powers are ever going to do a ME style all inclusive “UN’ to settle competiton, perceived threats to individual powers and conflicts–whats the next best thing for the ME and the world?
      It’s got to be some kind of ‘umbrella’ –but not the ‘separate’ umbrellas’ we have now of a US umbrella for it’s of allies and another Russian umbrella for it’s allies.
      It needs to be a agreement by the two world powers most able to enforce some ‘ground rules’ on ‘everyone ‘ and lead arbitrations between ME countries that produce compromises on differences so as to prevent hot conflicts that create chaos.
      Would such an agreement be possible between the US and Russia, given that they would both want to protect their own individual interest…but also given that they both, and the rest of the world also, understands that the impact on our interdependent global economics from ME chaos is actually the biggest threat to us, them and everyone else.
      The US has the absolute ‘wrong allies’ for what is happening in the ME, it has the wrong allies for all the changes taking place in the world in general.

  18. American
    August 25, 2013, 1:54 pm

    Are U.S. Interests REALLY at Stake in Egypt, Syria, etc.?
    Posted By Stephen M. Walt


    ‘Though I have some reservations about Green’s second point — i.e., there is a lot of survey evidence suggesting that “what we do” does have a big impact on perceptions of the United States, especially in the Middle East — I thought his basic comment was brilliant. If something as momentous, turbulent, and bloody as the “Arab Spring” can erupt and fester for several years, and yet have hardly any observable impact on the life expectancy or economic well-being of the overwhelming majority of Americans, what does that tell you about the true scope of “vital U.S. interests?”
    Green’s closing comment is also well-worth pondering: if genuine “vital interests” (as opposed to our assorted preferences and discretionary desiderata) are few in number, why do so few people in the foreign policy establishment see it this way? Could it be that endlessly expanding the sphere of “vital interests” is just a good way for ambitious policy wonks to give themselves something to do? “>>>>

    Think about it.
    The only economic impact the ME has had on Americans welfare —aside from Bush’s GWOT in the ME and the Trillion $ Security from Terriers State it has created—– has come from diverting the annual US 7 Billion or so to the Isr-Egypt-Jordon deal…..and… the cost associated in whatever we have chosen ‘to interfer’ with in internal conflicts of ME countries and their ‘own’ conflicts with other ME neighbor countries.

    And yes, most of this is from policy wonks handed the huge ‘toy’ of US power to ‘play with’ ….as well as those involved in the ME policy making with personal ‘foreign’ interest such as Israel loyalist.

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