Trending Topics:

‘US had as much a hand in Egypt as in Chile’ — leftwing perspectives on the massacre

Israel/Palestine
on 150 Comments

Here are some leftwing responses to the military crushing of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt in the last week.

At Alternet, Chris Hedges says that massacre is a precursor of resource wars between the elites and the masses. He notes the fierce prejudices of the Islamists but is more concerned with the egoism of the elites. Hedges offers a chiliastic populism:   

The belief systems the oppressed embrace can be intolerant, but these belief systems are a response to the injustice, state violence and cruelty inflicted on them by the global elites. Our enemy is not radical Islam. It is global capitalism. It is a world where the wretched of the Earth are forced to bow before the dictates of the marketplace, where children go hungry so global corporate elites siphon away the world’s wealth and natural resources and where our troops and U.S.-backed militaries carry out massacres on city streets. Egypt offers a window into the coming dystopia. The wars of survival will mark the final stage of human habitation of the planet.”

Also at Alternet, Pepe Escobar says the new axis of evil is the Pentagon, the Saudis, and Israel, complicit in the crackdown:

The winners, as it stands, are the House of Saud/Israel/ Pentagon axis. How did they pull it off? 

Tel Aviv is totally at ease with Sisi’s Army and the flush Saudi supporters of the military junta. The only thing that matters to Israel is that Sisi’s Army will uphold the Camp David agreements. The MB, on the other hand, might entertain other ideas in the near future…

Only two days before the bloodbath that is not a bloodbath, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Martin Dempsey was in Israel getting cozy with General Benny Gantz and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, discussing the proverbial “threats that could emanate out of the region – globally and to the homeland – and how we can continue to work together to make both of our countries more secure”. It’s unthinkable they did not discuss how they would profit from the imminent bloodbath that is not a bloodbath. 

At the same time, Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon bombastically announced a new ” axis of evil“; Iran, Syria and Lebanon.

Juan Cole’s list of the ten reasons that US aid won’t be cut off also cites Israel prominently, and Saudi Arabia too:

5. The aid was given as a bribe to the Egyptian elite to make nice with Israel. Given the chaos in Sinai, and Egypt’s instability, Congress is more worried about that issue than at any time in 40 years.

6. The Israelis asked the US not to suspend the aid.

7. Congress even structured the economic aid to require some of it help joint Israeli-Egyptian enterprises in Egypt, so some of the aid to Egypt actually goes to . . . Israel.

8. It is not generally recognized, but the Egyptian military provides a security umbrella to Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the UAE against Iran (and sometimes Iraq). The Gulf oil states also have powerful Washington lobbies and want Egypt to continue as a Gurkha force. Children, can you say oil?

Colin Wright, a friend of our site, points out that Obama has been morally absent on the massacre:

Obama family hits the beach on last vacation day (AP)”

The man…

(a) incited the Muslim world to seek democracy

(b) failed to decisively support and engage with that democracy

(c) at least condoned a coup to overthrow that democracy

(d) is sitting around at the frigging beach whilst the slaughter unfolds.

He has a clear moral responsibility here.  What side he should come
down on is perhaps debatable — but he can’t just sit there.  That’s
right out.

Well over a thousand have now died.  It’s doubtful if many of them
would have died if we’d resolutely stuck to ANY position.  Morally,
Obama’s choice is the worst one possible.

When I suggested to another (anonymous) friend that events in Egypt are being made in Egypt, he responded.

We’ve had as much a hand in events in Egypt as in Chile [under Allende/Pinochet].

We had 30 years of propping up Mubarak, but we were unhappy with the family’s dynastic ambitions and wanted a more neo-liberal economy than nespotic capitalism (which usually does not end well). 
 
We had a hand in throwing Mubarak under the bus, giving a green light to the military.
 
We tried to place our CIA tool Suleiman in charge, but could not pull it off as he and his Security State were too hated.
 
Had no choice then but to go along with the elections and hope for the best. We did not want to see the MB win, but we had no alternative candidate to back. (Actually it would be interesting to know how much we funded to the old regime candidate in the Presidential election.)
 
As long as MB kept Camp David agreement and accepted IMF overlordship, MB government was not an immediate threat. We were okay with the MB as long as they did not threaten military’s role in the new Constitution and in the state, and kept secular forces that wanted to curtail military and security state in check (our short-term policy with respect to Arab Spring). Probably were OK with Morsi’s cleaning out of old hands at the top of command. They needed to go, but we might have been unsure of replacements.
 
During the entire two years of upheaval and after, we made sure that the Army maintained its power and veto role. Our #1 concern was to keep out biggest asset – the military – in their controlling and determining role.
 
At some early point in the Arab Spring, we decided to either not oppose Saudi’s attempt at counter-revolution or actually agreed or even co-authored with Saudi policy. Saudi Arabia is our most important ally in the region.
 
The return of Bandar to lead the Saudi offensive cannot be an accident. We at a minimum gave the Saudis a green light for their strategy or actually secretly developed it with them.
 
Saudi and Gulf States did everything in their power to thwart MB government in Egypt. (This is right out of Chile playbook.) They cut off aid and worked to destabilize economy. (Medium-term strategy: make the MB government very unpopular as economy sinks.) They then flooded the country with aid as soon as the coup occurred. Gasoline and other shortages mysteriously disappeared.
 
We did not stop the Saudis from escalating attacks against Assad and arming Islamists there. Allowed Saudis to crush Shia revolt in Bahrain and to escalate repression. Beefed up Jordan monarchy. We sided with Saudis against Qatar (which was backing MB), which means we backed counter-revolution as opposed to evolutionary reform.
 
So I don’t think we have been on our back foot at all.
 
US Military (which Obama rarely opposes) clearly is on side of Egyptian military. You should have heard Gen. Jacobs (Pentagon mouthpiece if there ever was one) on MSNBC defending US policy, stressing importance of Egypt to US military, and opposing cut-off of military aid. Jacobs was rolled out too quickly to not have been organized.
 
Optics are bad for US, which calls for a nuanced PR strategy, but I am quite sure US is not rudderless and does know what it is doing. It probably prefers a more conciliatory approach to MB as it looks better on TV news, but they are not going to stop the Egyptian military except on the fringes. The US will want a credible civilian front to the government as soon as possible. But if necessary we will support an Algerian solution, which has turned out to be stable from our perspective.
 
If the MB goes underground and/or sparks a Civil War, that will not be our favored outcome. But as a worst case scenario, we can live with it. After all, divide-and-conquer has at a minimum allowed us to maintain hegemony over the ME since the end of WW2. It is the guiding policy of Israel, and being on the same page as the Israelis at least reduces the domestic blowback that comes with trying a more positive FP in the ME.  
 
The stability of the Saudi Arabia – Israel – US axis is something to behold, an achievement many of us would have thought impossible during Obama’s Hope and Change crusade and the Arab Spring.
 
philweiss
About Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is Founder and Co-Editor of Mondoweiss.net.

Other posts by .


Posted In:

150 Responses

  1. MHughes976
    MHughes976
    August 19, 2013, 9:56 am

    That it should be Obama who subverts the rule of law in his own country in the intervals of playing golf! Change you can believe in.
    The Egyptian liberals decided that they couldn’t stand any more of the military clique of which Mubarak was the front man. They have now decided that they can stand the religion-directed rural majority even less. Where can they now go except become careerists and apologists for the restored military oligarchy? All this is a terrible disaster, implying that liberalism and democracy and all that cannot be adapted to the non-Western world, further implying that long-term imperial rule is the only real option.

  2. Dan Crowther
    Dan Crowther
    August 19, 2013, 11:11 am

    If Colin Wright’s a left winger, we might as well forget the whole friggin thing.

    Your anonymous friend’s seems to know what’s going on.

    • seafoid
      seafoid
      August 19, 2013, 4:42 pm

      The friend is on the ball. Handicapping the economy (FT was moaning about economic performance for months) and then going in for the kill.

      I’d put the Axis as the Great Satan, Saudi , the little Satan and the Gulf Countries.

      And it is all tied up with the financial crisis and resource allocation.

  3. annie
    annie
    August 19, 2013, 12:08 pm

    At the same time, Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon bombastically announced a new ” axis of evil”; Iran, Syria and Lebanon.

    but god forbid anyone so much as suggest, as the president of lebanon did last thursday after an explosion ripped thru a beirut neighborhood killing 29 people, that US/israel would take any action to destabilize lebanon.

    from escobar’s link:

    Aug. 14, 2013 – 07:35PM

    NEW YORK — Warning of protracted, destabilizing conflict in Syria, Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon urged the visiting chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff to prevent Iran and its Lebanon-based Hezbollah proxies from prevailing on behalf of embattled Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad.

    In the most publicly direct appeal to date for US support of anti-Assad rebels, Ya’alon told Gen. Martin Dempsey, “It is forbidden to allow the axis of evil — Tehran-Damascus-Beirut — to win this conflict.”

    According to a statement released after Ya’alon’s Aug. 13 meeting with the senior-ranking US military officer, the Israeli defense minister said the two countries must be prepared for “a long conflict” within Syria.

    Ya’alon flagged Iran as the source of much of the region’s instability, insisting “the Iranian regime … is involved in every conflict in this region.”

    A day earlier, on an Aug. 12 tour of Israel’s northern border, Ya’alon said Assad still controls some 40 percent of the country. The bloodbath that has claimed more than 100,000 Syrian lives could continue indefinitely, the Israeli said.

    Dempsey has repeatedly expressed concerns over the costs, benefits and risks associated with US military intervention on behalf of the loosely coordinated, disparate rebel groups battling to oust Assad and his Alawite minority rule of the country.

    • dimadok
      dimadok
      August 19, 2013, 12:47 pm

      @Annie. Here we go at it again. It’s Israel covert actions that allowed Hizballah to go and fight in Syria, killing numerous Sunnies and calling them infidels. It’s Israel fault that both Shia and Sunni hostages were killed and towns were cleansed. And of course don’t forget Israel involvement in Burgas bombing, and other plots in Africa, Asia and Europe. Aren’t you tired of parroting ?

      • annie
        annie
        August 19, 2013, 1:07 pm

        dim, how come you left out the US from your critique? maybe you didn’t read either the escobar’s link or my comment clearly enough. i have no idea who was responsible for the explosion, but i think it’s notable what the president of lebanon thinks and says.

        and yes, we (US) definitely act (and fund) to destabilize regimes we don’t like. that sort of goes without saying.

        it’s my understanding we’re funding (along w/qatar/SA) the sunni forces in opposition to assad/hezbollah/iran. or would you disagree with that observation?

      • annie
        annie
        August 19, 2013, 1:21 pm

        and while were at it:

        Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon urged the visiting chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff to prevent Iran and its Lebanon-based Hezbollah proxies from prevailing on behalf of embattled Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad.

        that’s from http://www.defensenews.com/article/20130814/DEFREG04/308140014/Israeli-DM-Urges-US-Action-Syria-Warns-Axis-Evil-

        not exactly a tin hat operation. so, just out of curiosity..do you think the source was lying “Ya’alon urged the visiting chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff to prevent Iran and its Lebanon-based Hezbollah proxies from prevailing on behalf of embattled Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad.”? assuming you do not, then exactly how, pray tell, do you think the US Joint Chiefs of Staff might go about preventing Iran and Hezbollah from prevailing on behalf of Assad, at the behest of ya’alon?

        in the future that is. send them perfumed letters of appeal perhaps? what kind of actions do you think we would participate in? nothing shady/covert, of course, (how appalling, we’re too moral for that) just please spell it out for us how we might operate against hezbollah or iran.

      • dimadok
        dimadok
        August 19, 2013, 8:23 pm

        @Annie.
        While I do agree with you that US/Israel/Saudis/Jordan/Egypt/Bahrein/Qatar and EU do whatever they can to stop the Iranians/Hizbollah from gaining more power at the Middle East, I reject completely your assumption that the explosions were directed by Israel or US for that purpose. Drone strikes and targeted bombings are one thing, blowing up the car is another. Haven’t you heard that they’ve arrested some people, including Palestinians, with the connection to the car bomb?
        And another thing-the president of Lebanon is a moron, spewing words of no meaning to anyone. Real powers are always quite there.
        It is as funny and sad as those idiots in Egypt blaming Jews for organizing MB and Army-perpetrated killing in the same time!

      • Citizen
        Citizen
        August 19, 2013, 9:25 pm

        @ Annie
        Yep, Frum’s Zionist axis of evil, updated for next generation of Dick and Jane Dufus.

      • annie
        annie
        August 20, 2013, 1:32 pm

        dim, i already stated ” i have no idea who was responsible for the explosion” so why are your referencing some assumption on my part that doesn’t exist? strawman a little?

      • James Canning
        James Canning
        August 20, 2013, 2:44 pm

        Didn’t another foolish neocon supply the actual foolish phrase used by G W Bush, in his imbecilic State of the Union address in early 2003?

      • dimadok
        dimadok
        August 20, 2013, 4:52 pm

        @Annie:
        HOw else you’d understand your phrase :” but god forbid anyone so much as suggest, as the president of lebanon did last thursday after an explosion ripped thru a beirut neighborhood killing 29 people, that US/israel would take any action to destabilize lebanon.”
        Straw man or none, your intent is clear, also based on your record of “analyzing” previous events at Middle East.

      • annie
        annie
        August 21, 2013, 10:45 am

        the way to understand my phrase dim, is that while one might report israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon’s bombastic announcement that lebanon has been added to the axis of evil, unlike jpost, haaretz, the daily star and all the reports from the region, the western press didn’t report it. you will not be reading anywhere in the western press about what the president of lebanon or the residents in the neighborhood said about the blast after it happened, nor ya’alon’s denials.

        and i did intend to suggest we sometimes are responsible for ugly violent deadly events in the “evil” regions as a means of destabilizing regimes we do not like. however, the nature of covert activity is you can’t identify who carried out specific actions, by design. but even suggesting we participate in these actions, as the prez of lebanon did, is silenced. whereas, had for example pm netanyahu blamed iran for a blast in tel aviv, it would have made the press here.

      • hophmi
        hophmi
        August 21, 2013, 11:07 am

        “you will not be reading anywhere in the western press about what the president of lebanon or the residents in the neighborhood said about the blast after it happened”

        And again, you’re just dead wrong.

        This article from the Times has two paragraphs devoted to the opinion of a Lebanese political analyst and residents on the ground who blame Israel. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/08/16/world/middleeast/beirut-bombing.html?_r=0

      • Justpassingby
        Justpassingby
        August 20, 2013, 5:05 am

        Yes it is, west fight Syria to make Israel happy. Of course pro-israelis want to deny that and putting Israel as the victim.

      • dimadok
        dimadok
        August 20, 2013, 4:54 pm

        @Just…
        West doesn’t fight Syria to make Israel happy, we are making ourselves “happy” for 65 years, thank you very much. West is going nuts, facing the choice between Syrian dictatorship or the Al-Qaeda fanatics. They are trying to go between the drops, which will backfire onto them either way.

  4. American
    American
    August 19, 2013, 12:14 pm

    ”At Alternet, Chris Hedges says that massacre is a precursor of resource wars between the elites and the masses. He notes the fierce prejudices of the Islamists but is more concerned with the egoism of the elites. ”

    I read Hedges’s article the other day and agree. I’ve been paying attention lately to more countries and regions than just Israel and the ME, and elite capitalist domination and mass discontent with the poverty and/or inequality and repression it causes is wide spread in populations thruout the world.
    I think we see that the fact that among depressed populations there is rarely a organized group *that is in agreement* on one political outcome or solution in a revolt against the elites is why those movements break down and splinter and result in the groups warring against each other and then the elites win because they are in agreement on *one goal* unhampered by any other ideology or considerations –simply maintaining their own wealth and/or domination.

    So called democracies evolve into the elite domination stage the same way….instead of a mass voting movement with the single goal of removing the corruption in a elite controlled government, the voting masses splinter out on dozens of other personal ideologies….none of which cure any problems because the ideology that wins in one election can be overturned in the next election. So as long as the politcal corruption remains constant so does the elite and power holders domination that causes the inequality, unfairness and repression.
    Dont know what it will take to ever make widely diverse populations in countries ever understand this and *act together* on it. Maybe they never will. Maybe we will see us and them totter along until we break down into something like what has happened in ME, Africa and many others.

    • Citizen
      Citizen
      August 19, 2013, 9:29 pm

      Yep, little people can only imagine their own little white lies, not the Big ones trumpeted by the 1%. Mein Kampf aptly wrote about this. M Rothschild did too, in literal currency terms.

  5. Walid
    Walid
    August 19, 2013, 12:40 pm

    “A day earlier, on an Aug. 12 tour of Israel’s northern border, Ya’alon said Assad still controls some 40 percent of the country. The bloodbath that has claimed more than 100,000 Syrian lives could continue indefinitely, the Israeli said.”

    The actual number of dead is closer to 200,000. Israel must be most pleased.

  6. Tuyzentfloot
    Tuyzentfloot
    August 19, 2013, 2:17 pm

    The US is not rudderless no, and it’s been involved, but it’s not in control. It decided could do business with the MB and stability was preferable to a coup that goes bad. And this is a coup that goes bad. No way the US would condone freeing Mubarak (which is reportedly about to happen). The Saudis have a much larger share in the events. They’re also providing a lot more money than the US is. I think the Egyptian military-economic powers have decided the US hasn’t put up strong enough counterarguments to stop them from doing what they feel like doing, and for which they have Saudi and Israeli backing. So the US isn’t leading, but it isn’t too hard to get them to accept things as long as things calm down quickly.

    I think there’s a leftist tendency to endow the US with too much power. I think the US is also failing to control the oil monarchies who are funding the rebels in Syria. It was fine as long as they didn’t empower the extremists too much, but when that did happen after all, the US couldn’t stop it.

    On the other hand the US doesn’t talk with one voice. Some will be very conscious of the damage the current coup can do to the US, others don’t care. Hagel would be careful enough. The Pentagon is full of people who don’t care. And the pro-Israel officials won’t care.

    [note- i made a post a few days ago in the JJ Goldberg thread that’s related but it went down the memory hole].

  7. Keith
    Keith
    August 19, 2013, 4:50 pm

    PHIL- Chris Hedges, Pepe Escobar, and a well-informed anonymous friend? Who would have thought? Jeez, I feel a little less lonely now.

    “Egypt offers a window into the coming dystopia.” (Hedges)

    Yes, the elites intend to implement neoliberalism and will try to crush all resistance. The situation in Egypt is truly grim, and may well presage what we will soon face at home.

    “The wars of survival will mark the final stage of human habitation of the planet.” (Hedges)

    I am not quite that grim, but close.

    “The winners, as it stands, are the House of Saud/Israel/ Pentagon axis.” (Escobar)

    Hard to disagree.

    “We’ve had as much a hand in events in Egypt as in Chile [under Allende/Pinochet].” (anonymous)

    For gosh sake, pay more attention to your anonymous friend. His analysis is spot on.

  8. Hostage
    Hostage
    August 19, 2013, 5:22 pm

    The thinking here is way out of date. The Saudis and the Gulf States are not taking any marching orders from the US and haven’t for a long time.

    In fact, they are the reason that the Egyptian Generals can afford to give Obama and the EU the middle finger and continue their crackdown:

    Saudi Arabia said on Monday that Arab and Islamic countries will step in to help Egypt if Western nations cut aid packages to Cairo over its deadly crackdown on Islamist protesters.

    “To those who have announced they are cutting their aid to Egypt, or threatening to do that, (we say that) Arab and Muslim nations are rich… and will not hesitate to help Egypt,” Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal said in a statement carried by the kingdom’s SPA state news agency.

    There were Republicans and Democrats, including John McCain, all over the news talk shows on Sunday explaining that there is no doubt that the US will cutoff its aid to Egypt after the crackdown.

    • American
      American
      August 19, 2013, 11:29 pm

      Hostage says:
      August 19, 2013 at 5:22 pm

      The thinking here is way out of date. The Saudis and the Gulf States are not taking any marching orders from the US and haven’t for a long time.
      >>>>

      I agree. The US has supported/enforced ‘their policies’ in the ME — they havent enforced ours….we’ve havent had any US policy ….just whatever policy Isr and the sheiks wanted.

      • Taxi
        Taxi
        August 20, 2013, 2:34 pm

        American,

        The key words in Hostage’s post are the words “out of date”. Much, much, much outdated assumptions about the mideast are peddled in the western media, by both left and right.

        Remember this, my friend?
        “So far what this rev-coup has produced is a return of the old guard to control thru enforcement by the military.” American.

        Can I ask you here what do you mean by the “old guard”? Cuz if you mean the Mubarak crew, please present specific NAMES of Egyptian players and the “old guard” POLCIES that they are currently successfully re-instating in the new equation/interim government. No point in just stating a generalized opinion and hoping for the best. Let us see some real and specific evidence of “old guard control”. Hand on heart, I will accept your deductions willingly if you can do this. Otherwise, it’s pure generalized speculation on your part.

        “I also think it’s become clearer and clearer that the Israelis and the Egyptian Generals are in collusion against Hamas, Gaza, Palestine” -American.

        Maybe you haven’t been following the fluctuating fortunes of Hamas since Morsi’s downfall – the whole uninterrupted reel, not just snippets of info here and there, turned propaganda.

        Briefly, within the inner circle of Hamas, a small right-wing and islamist Khalifa ideology exists. At the onset of the Morsi debacle, this handful of hamas extremists offered Egyptian Brotherhood members military training in the Sinia, to help them fight the rebellion against Morsi. This project was activated but did not last long, two weeks or so, before the Egyptian army caught whiff of it and slammed its fists down on them in Sinai – closing the Rafah crossing between Egypt and Palestine, for internal security reasons; as well as engaging Morsi fighters in deadly military combat. If the Egyptian army had not done this, israel was threatening to moved more of its army units into the Sinia, for its own precious “security reasons” too, citing its need to neutralize “islamist terrorists in Sinai” (never mind their convenient and dastardly support of takfirism in Syria and the house of Morsi). ANY additional israeli forces in Sinia is something that the Egyptian army is utterly loathed to see happen, as it would mean more shackles on their own powers and freedom of movement on their sovereign land (Sinia). It’s a little more complex that just calling it a “collusion”, American. It’s geopolitical strategic maneuvering. And strategies change.

        Meanwhile, qatar, Hamas’s new patron, was fast losing face and influence in Syria, in Egypt and in the OT/Gaza, and so the right-wing branch of Hamas found itself alone and politically isolated with Morsi’s ouster and the closing of the Rafah. Then two weeks ago or so, Hizbollah’s leader made a speech inviting Hamas back into the ‘resistance fold’, saving them face, and putting them back solely on the liberation of Palestine track. Since then, Hamas have not interfered in the Egyptian crisis. That you would call the Egyptian army’s confrontations against the moslem brotherhood branch of Hamas, a “collusion with israel against [all] Palestinians”, is false, sensationalist and un-nuanced. Egypt will keep opening and closing the Rafah Crossing according to the dictates of its security needs while the political crisis continues in Egypt. This is to be expected. Important to note here too that hundreds of thousands of Egyptian soldiers have lost their lives in the name of liberating Palestine – the Palestinian cause has never died for the Egyptian people or its army. And unless you can present a statement by the Egyptian army that they are now anti “Palestine”, that they are now FOREVER closing the Rafah border and evicting all Palestinians from Egyptian soil – openly declaring war on Palestinians – then, again, your assessment remains in the realm of speculation and superficial analysis. What the Egyptian army is doing in Sinia is for Egypt’s security, and in essence, is limited to specifically that part of Egypt – and of course, the nervous israelis will make propaganda hay out of it, so as to create suspicion and fissures in Arab support for Palestine. And the Egyptian media, angry at Hamas’s interference in their internal affairs, will of course be slagging off Hamas here and there. But they too are mistaken in their analysis if they don’t specify that it’s Hamas’s small circle of islmist zealots that they are angry with.

        “Is that you actually dont really see the current reality… OR ….you believe there is something *wating in the wings* that is going to surface and turn the current reality on it’s head” – American.

        LOL! Okay, American, let’s together look at the geopolitical power games being played here by usa/israel/saudi arabaia.

        Israel’s game: do whatever is necessary to create divisions and sectarian strife in surrounding Arab countries. They even have a plan to divide Egypt into three sections if they’re unable to instill a Mubarak-like or MB-like brown-noser in power. This is an obvious one. Will their plan work? I really don’t think so. The interim Egyptian government has publicly declared that it is currently studying the terms of the Camp David Accord, and would be putting some of its clauses on a public referendum, closer to the time of the new elections. The undesirable clauses in the Accords are to do with the Egyptian army now needing to take total control and sovereignty over the Sinai desert, instead of being subservient to israel’s singular strategy there. You and I will have to wait and see what happens on that front in a few months. To me, the Egyptian army, strategically speaking, is behaving like it is blocking Israel from increasing it’s forces in the Sinia, which the paranoid and defensive israel is overtly and covertly attempting to do – so untrusting of the Egypt developments they are in tel aviv. Egypt doesn’t care to cover israel’s back anymore, and it doesn’t care whether they get USA aid or not either, which brings us to:

        USA’s game: very embarrassing, this one: we got no clear direction, no game of our own in Egypt anymore. The Egypt people and its army have defied the usa’s orders/wishes and Obama is utterly lost like a leaf in the blowing winds of Egypt. We were in control of Mubarak, in control of the MB, but certainly not in control of the current interim government, as can be demonstrated by the utter failures of the American ambassador to Egypt, Anne Patterson, to stop the Egyptian army or the protestors from ousting Morsi. Also, McCain and Graham were summarily dismissed from Egypt last month, returning to D.C. empty handed and raging at the Egyptian army and the interim government’s utter refusal to ‘cooperate’ with them on ANYTHING. Egyptians have compared Obama’s Cairo speech during his first year of the presidency with his deeds in the middle east for the past 5-6 years and they don’t trust him one single bit – they ain’t playing along no more. Too much American focus on israeli interests instead of American or Egyptian interests in Egypt, has done irreparable damage to usa’s influence there, which has been waning anyway since 2003, with their failures in both Iraq and Afghanistan. The WH doesn’t even have clear verbiage on their policies in Egypt: one day they say this, the next day they say that. All their activities in Egypt right now are to help only Israel, and to cover America’s glaring weakened powers of influence there. America is not in control of Egypt at this moment. Sad state of affairs, really, which brings us to:

        The Saudi game:
        First, you cannot talk about the Saudi game in Egypt without talking about the Turkish game in Egypt, as well as in Syria. Simplified: Saudi encouraged the Turks to interfere in Syria, with the sole purpose of chipping at Iranian hegemony in the Levant. Then the Saudi started to get nervous when Morsi was elected, fearing the large number of influential Turkish MB’s would dominate Egypt’s regional foreign policy, instead of Saudi Wahabism dominating. Not forgetting here, Saudi’s recent insecurities with American loss of hegemony, therefore loss of ‘protection’ of regional Saudi interests. Both Turkey and Saudi Arabia have been vying for leadership roles in the middle east since the beginning of the 20th century.

        Saudi rushing to pour money into Egypt after the ouster of Morsi, is no surprise to me at all – they don’t want the MB’s of the region calling the shots, they want Wahabis calling the shots in the Arab world. But here begs the specific question: What does Saudi money buy in Egypt, post Morsi? The answer is two fold:
        1- Because the money was used to prop up the dying Egyptian economy and not filtered straight into Egyptian army generals’ Swiss bank accounts (no one has proof that Egyptian army members are on ‘private’ Saudi payroll), we can factually say that that Saudi money actually stopped existing large Saudi investments in Egypt from tanking after Morsi, as well as, overall, it gave the Egyptian ‘Bursa’ (Egyptian stock market) a much needed dose of oxygen. Here we can deduce that the Saudi funds were equally of mutual benefit to both Saudi and Egypt. It doesn’t mean that a few Saudi billions bought the whole country of Egypt and its future.
        2- All Arab countries, including Saudi Arabia, have historically always seen Egypt as the heart of the Arab world, its cultural guide, and its giant protector as a whole. (Note here that we speak of the heart of the ‘Arab’ world and not the heart of the ‘islamic’ world – the latter title belongs to Saudi Arabia, unfortunately for islam). This view of Egypt as the ‘great’ Arab country that all Arabs look up to, still exists, despite President Sadat having castrated Egypt in the 1970’s with the dictatorial enforcement of the Camp David Accords upon unwilling Egyptians (just so he can sit in elegant western political salons and smoke his ‘peace’ pipe, sprinkled lightly with hashish – but that’s another story ;-)).

        Anyway, back to the question of the reach of Saudi money in Egypt ,post Morsi… Saudi Arabia can no longer rely solely on USA for regional protection, and so it is now looking to its ‘traditional and historic’ protector: Egypt.

        Today, as things stand, American, the movers and shakers of what you cutely called the ‘rev-coup’, have the upper hand in their country’s decision making. Saudi Arabia, is coming to them with money, and asking for extended friendship and protection. Egypt is not going to Saudi with begging bowl in hand. Saudi Arabia needs Egypt more than Egypt needs Saudi Arabia – mindful here that Russia too is standing behind Egypt with key to its healthy Roubel coffers in hand.

        Considering the determined mindset of the movers and shakers of the ‘rev-coup’, regarding their numerous public statements of “freedom from foreign influence both internally and externally”, and because there is no evidence to prove that Saudi money is funneling into the rev-coup leaders’ private bank accounts, we can also say that, at best, Saudi would ask for the reasonable position of friendly ‘consultant’ in Egypt’s affairs – at max, they will be allowed to play the role of consultant because of their monetary contributions. With the intensely prevailing atmosphere of ‘no more foreign intervention in Egypt’s affairs – full stop!’, it would be counter-productive for Saudi Arabia to impose itself on Egypt at such a delicate and fired up time in Egypt’s history. Should they pressure the new interim government into any form of political submission, they will get the cold shoulder from Egypt, the same cold shoulder Egypt gave the USA not too long ago. If Egypt could defy America, it can most certainly defy Saudi Arabia. Here I have to say that the Saudis played the Egypt game in a much smarter way than our American State Department. There is no utter revulsion at Saudi Arabia at the moment in Egypt, but there is wide spread utter loathing and deep suspicion of anything American.

        Dear American, I have been accused by you and others of ‘losing it’, of being a ‘fascist’, even of, laughably, being a ‘zionist’ (minus the crypto). I’m sure the good people here on mw, will at some stage review this knee-jerk reaction to my posts. I’m not here for the sake of popularity anyway. I am here to share my POV, which I feel is useful insider information, well, some of it at least.

        I do not see the Egypt situation through a localized lens, or through media headlines (what the f*ck do they know?!), I see it as a chess piece in a regional, geopolitical, multi-tiered chess game, continuously evolving. I’ve been observing this evolutionary continuum for over four decades. Very rarely do I sit in front of a TV set, or even search for articles on the net – I usually scan headlines and mostly go straight to the comments section to measure the pulse. But I do spend much time talking about the middle east and collecting information directly from people in the know. I speak with both western and Arab experts on the middle east: historians, intelligentsia, journalists, activists, writers, current intelligence people, ex-intelligence people, politicians, retired army generals from several countries, political science academics, and sometimes I even get the opportunity to speak directly to movers and shakers (in social gatherings). I have access to all the above because I’ve inherited the above world from my father, who spent his whole life studying/analyzing/writing/consulting on all things middle east.

        There is really much more to say on the continuously fluid and simultaneous upheavals in the middle east – the ‘big picture’ and the hands that are taking stabs at drawing it. But that’s another topic for another discussion.

        I will continue to collect my information from my sources, the way I have done so for decades. Whether I end up writing about it on mw or not, really depends on whether I feel that I’m wasting my time here having to defend my ‘morality’ instead of putting out analysis/information and debating “the war of ideas”.

        I’m sure shingo will now jump on my above post and dissect and diss every word and punctuation, just to prove that he has a more informed and sober POV, a higher intelligence and a purer morality than I do.

        The middle east is a very vast, complex and darkly integrated political arena. Even after four decades of studious observation, I’m still learning about the fascinating power games being played underneath the surface. This is what interests me. Not media headlines, and not debating the micro with another person, without their full understanding of its context and place within the macro. It takes years to get there, to the macro, believe me. Even twenty years ago, I thought I knew much about the middle east. Now I realize how little I knew then. And so it keeps going.

        Finally, Egypt, in my opinion, would fare better to address its internal economic problems before doing anything drastic, foreign policy wise. It would be good for Egypt to choose therefore an autocratic president at the next election, and not a firebrand ‘revolutionary’, who would move towards too much ‘change’ too quickly. I’m following developments, and I’m encouraging Egyptians to tread carefully, slowly, and powerfully : if their aim is to make the 21st century, their freedom and development century. Rebuild Egypt like the pyramids were built: first, lay down some strong immovable foundational stones, before working on the next level.

      • seanmcbride
        seanmcbride
        August 21, 2013, 2:40 am

        Taxi,

        I think you are being taken to the cleaners by Israel and the Israel lobby regarding the Egyptian military coup — totally outplayed. I know you will strongly disagree, but that is my honest take on the situation.

        I am beginning to grasp why it is that the Arab world is always on its heels in its dealings with Israel, never in control — always losing, always falling ever farther behind, never quite figuring out what is going on.

        Americans and Europeans appear to be in the same boat — believe me, I am not gloating about this or adopting a tone of superiority. Israel is outplaying everyone in global politics in ways that to me are incomprehensible. Whatever Israel wants, Israel usually gets, regardless of the costs to everyone else in the world.

      • Taxi
        Taxi
        August 21, 2013, 5:06 am

        Thanks sean,

        With all due respect, you over estimate the regional and global powers of the israelis.

        You’ve swallowed their opportune propaganda on Egypt, like most of the western world has.

        Politics is not maths. In high politics, one plus one does not equal two, it equals two plus multiple shadows. And this is where the israeli propaganda machine has raked it in, knowing smart people like you, analyze using the basic method of one plus one.

        Your argument can go both ways, sean.

        Plus, you give an opinion, not any evidence that would prove that the israelis are “in control” of global political affairs. What an absurd statement. But they sure as hell want you to think this way of them: this is the WHOLE point of their propaganda: to make everyone think that they are invincible, untouchable – just like a pufferfish balloons itself to trick its predator into thinking it’s too big a fish to attack. Remember the israeli motto: “By way of decption, thou shalt make war”. Therefore, you’re the one who has being “taken to the cleaners”, without even feeling the heat of the steam-iron.

        The only gains for israel currently is that it can use the turmoil in its neighboring countries to hide behind, while it builds more illegal settlements. The turmoil itself, however, presents israel with an approaching security crisis – which it will have to deal with sooner than later. When the dust settles some in both Syria and Egypt in the next few months, what do you think israel will be faced with? To begin with, turmoil in the Golan and mass enmity in the Sinai.

        Israel wanted a piece of Lebanon and didn’t get it. It wanted to smash the Lebanese resistance and it couldn’t – it still can’t. Even this little example should make you think twice about making such false and sweeping statements like: Arabs are “always losing, always falling ever farther behind, never quite figuring out what is going on.”

      • Walid
        Walid
        August 21, 2013, 9:06 am

        “Israel is outplaying everyone in global politics in ways that to me are incomprehensible. ”

        Not hard to understand. Sean; everything Israel does is in function of its planning ahead 20, 50 or 100 years into the future. Arabs do it too but for only 20 minutes into the future.

      • American
        American
        August 21, 2013, 11:12 am

        @ Taxi

        Whew! Thats a long one.
        But first, I think you have confused me wth some others–I havent said or implied you were anything like a zionist or ‘losing it’. What I did say is you may be ‘seeing what you want to see”—because you are emotionally invested in this. And I said that mostly because from ‘what I see’ I dont think the Egyptian Military leadership is quite as simeon pure about the Egyptian ‘people’s will” or ‘whatever’ kind of democracy or government the people actually want as you think they are.
        You ask why I say or think the old guard is back and ask for names (you know I am bad wth Egyptian names) so I will just give one example that says to me they are reverting back to the ‘old way’ and old guard and that would be how Sisi has appointed military generals as governors of areas— a governing ‘perk’ for the higher up military members—same practice as during the old regime.

        The whole geopoltcal aspect of this is way too much for me to get into –anything I have ‘rumminated” on about this has been my own *theorizing and speculating based on ACTUAL EVENTS* –CAUSE I cant read the minds of the people/parties involved. I can only observe and try to think of all the possible reasons for dfferent parties positions or actions.

        Now if you go back and read all my comments on this you will see that from the git go I said that, IMO, this rev-coup was mainly “about Egypt”. Meaning that I dont believe the US and Isr planned or pulled this off.
        I DO think *that the results* show that the ‘old guard’ was—1) laying tracks behind the scenes –and/or— 2) took control after the army took control.
        I also DO think that Saudi had some prior imput and contact with at least the army coup part of the rev-coup for those geopoltcal reasons that benefit them.

        Yes it is ‘complex’…BUT….when you get down to the nitty gritty there are only *’so many practical/ real reasons or goals* for any given action by any given party . And speculating on those reasons is allowed as far as I know so thats what I do.

        Where I think your argument wth me is
        —-(wthout going into each separate example like Hamas, ect.) —is that you appear to or do believe that all the things being done around Egypt are some kind of harbinger or lead up to the ME countries throwng off the shackles of outside powers, inside dictators, oppressive kngdoms, religious radicals and etc. and the ME people ascendng to somethng that represents them and their honor.
        I am not interpreting whats happenng in Egypt that way. I have allowed in my opinon/theorizing that ‘some thng else ” could surface or come along. But –if we use the Egypt event as a example—then I dont see where it’s gonna come from in light of what the ME powerholders and vested interest powers, themselves, wthin countries are determined to maintain—-as it looks lke to me they have done in Egypt by reversng their first and real revoluton.
        You want me to beleve that what has happened and what is being done was the ONLY way to *save* Egypt’ ……I dont really thnk that was the ONLY way.
        Anyway all this is just my opinion and my opinion is always subject to change as thngs happen or change.

      • hophmi
        hophmi
        August 21, 2013, 12:31 pm

        ” Israel is outplaying everyone in global politics in ways that to me are incomprehensible. ”

        Because you think it’s a big conspiracy. It’s a country advocating for what it perceives as its national interest, and here, its interests align with those in the West. Its national interest dictates that it’s best to stability on its borders. Israel’s national interest aligns with that of the US and the West, who have long favored stability in the Middle East over messy democracy. If Mohamed Morsi had presided over a stable Egypt governing as a democrat, they would have been fine with him too.

        You can talk down Israel all you want, but at the end of the day, it’s the only country in the region that is guaranteed to be around come tomorrow, and it is a democracy, albeit flawed as every other democracy is. Until you recognize that, you’ll continue to scratch your heads and wonder how Israel is “outplaying” everyone, and so on.

      • seanmcbride
        seanmcbride
        August 21, 2013, 12:33 pm

        Walid,

        Not hard to understand. Sean; everything Israel does is in function of its planning ahead 20, 50 or 100 years into the future. Arabs do it too but for only 20 minutes into the future.

        Often it seems to me that Israel is playing chess and everyone else (not just Arabs) is playing checkers or tic-tac-toe.

        My problem is, I can easily figure out Israel’s long-term strategy by reading a few documents published openly by Israeli and neoconservative strategic thinkers and planners. I sometimes feel like I am the only one (among critics of Israel) who is reading them, understanding them and taking them seriously.

        From my perspective, Arab or pro-Arab activists like Taxi are being pushed around like pawns on a chessboard — they don’t comprehend the larger invisible forces that are inexorably grinding them down.

        There is no law that prohibits one political player from being smarter than another.

        Review the “analysis” of leading members of Congress who pushed the United States into the Iraq War — their minds operate at the level of mediocre high school students — they were unable to think one move ahead, never mind three or four. Everything for them is about the heated passions of the moment and wildly lashing out — they don’t do strategic calculations, gaming, the exploration of multiple scenarios, cost-benefit analysis, etc. They just need an immediate emotional release.

        (Think of James Caan (Sonny Corleone) rushing to his death in The Godfather — like taking candy from a baby.)

        But one should keep an old Italian proverb in mind: After the game, the king and the pawn go into the same box.

      • hophmi
        hophmi
        August 21, 2013, 1:03 pm

        “Often it seems to me that Israel is playing chess and everyone else (not just Arabs) is playing checkers or tic-tac-toe.”

        I think everyone is playing chess, but Israel is a better player because its process of decision making is better. There are benefits to democracy. Decision-making is borne out of a consultative process of debate and discussion, rather than out of one guy’s will. The ranks are better-educated and more professionalized.

        “My problem is, I can easily figure out Israel’s long-term strategy by reading a few documents published openly by Israeli and neoconservative strategic thinkers and planners. ”

        I can figure it out by reading a one sentence definition of the term Realpolitik.

        ” they don’t do strategic calculations, gaming, the exploration of multiple scenarios, cost-benefit analysis, etc.”

        Why is it that everybody else is always dumb except for Sean McBride? I’m sure the Pentagon and the intelligence agencies did all of this.

        “(Think of James Caan (Sonny Corleone) rushing to his death in The Godfather — like taking candy from a baby.)”

        There is a lesson there. The lesson is to make decisions dispassionately and rationally. Sonny was a hot-head, didn’t think, and got killed. Dictators often reach their positions by being brutal and violent, and thus, hotheads like Sonny. Actually, there’s another lesson that is probably even better. The other lesson is that when there’s no one around that you trust to give you good advice, bad things happen. The Godfather was indisposed, and Sonny was in charge. The Godfather would not have made such a stupid mistake, and would not have allowed Sonny to make such a mistake. That’s the best lesson to apply to the dictatorships. They have few dissenters in their ranks; they make poor decisions.

      • seanmcbride
        seanmcbride
        August 21, 2013, 1:20 pm

        Taxi,

        Sometimes I think some Arabs are living in a dream world in which they are perpetually mesmerized by their brave fantasies about what they intend to do to Israel, not what they can actually do.

        Let’s take stock of the situation:

        1. Arafat removed from the board. The Palestinian movement is weaker now than ever.

        2. Saddam removed from the board; Iraq shattered by American military power.

        3. Gaddafi removed from the board; the Libyan government overthrown.

        4. Assad’s back is against the wall, with Syrian Arabs slaughtering other Syrian Arabs in huge numbers.

        5. Morsi removed from the board, with an Israel-friendly military regime (possibly dictatorship) in power in Egypt.

        6. Iran is being squeezed to death by economic sanctions.

        7. Israel has acquired total control of the US Congress; near total control over the White House and the Defense Department.

        8. Israel’s economy is booming; the economies of most Arab nations are in ruinous condition. The Arab oil oligarchies could disappear overnight — they are incredibly fragile things, being circled by powerful predators who could crush them with a flick of the finger.

        9. Israel is continuing to expand Jewish settlements into Greater Israel.

        10. Islam has been successfully demonized in much of the Western world — with Arabs in general being tarred by the same brush.

        Arabs are in a weaker position now than they have been ever been during their entire conflict with Israel over seven or eight decades, and it looks to me like Israel is in end game mode, closing in on checkmate.

        This is how a realist views the current strategic picture.

        And it also appears to me that the impact of Mondoweiss-style activism will have zero effect on influencing the drift of events.

      • eljay
        eljay
        August 21, 2013, 1:24 pm

        >> I think everyone is playing chess, but Israel is a better player because …

        … for over 60 years, its Zio-supremacist leaders have had to figure out how to:
        – steal and colonize land;
        – terrorize, ethnically cleanse, oppress, torture and/or kill the indigenous population; and
        – establish, maintain and expand an oppressive, colonialist, expansionist and supremacist state,
        …all while:
        – dodging accountability for their (war) crimes;
        – ignoring Israel’s responsibilities under international law;
        – avoiding sincere negotiations for a just and mutually-beneficial peace; and
        – portraying themselves as victims.

        That level of intentional aggressor-victimhood, injustice and immorality requires some serious skill.

      • talknic
        talknic
        August 21, 2013, 1:24 pm

        hophmi “I think everyone is playing chess, but Israel is a better player because its process of decision making is better. There are benefits to democracy. Decision-making is borne out of a consultative process of debate and discussion, rather than out of one guy’s will. The ranks are better-educated and more professionalized. “

        Care to explain why Israel chose to create illegal facts on the ground in breach of International Law?

      • Taxi
        Taxi
        August 21, 2013, 1:26 pm

        Thanks American. Yes I think that was my longest post on MW – I streamed it out speedily in about thirty minutes, between tending to my organic veggie garden and a once-a-week literacy class I give to a Senegalese lady, my Lebanese neighbor’s housekeeper.

        My irk re Egypt is really with too much MW blogger speculation and conspiracy theorizing, before the dust has settled for both eyes to clearly see. Also, with much MW lack of understanding of the Egyptian psyche, a lack of empathy for their long and enduring hardships, and for the Herculean task still ahead before them.

        All countries that have been victimized by israel, and Egypt is one of them, I feel a strong allegiance for: morally, intellectually, and yes, emotionally. This is the depth and breadth of my loyalty, my friend. Can it occasionally infect me with a blind-spot or two? Sure (I am human after all). Am I self-honest and self-reflective enough to eventually see my blind-spot and concede? Yes. Take for instance the reported imminent release of Mubarak. Okay. I wrote on a couple of threads that this won’t happen. But it may very well happen now. He may very well be released – on a technicality, no less. I’ve no problem conceding that my calculations were wrong – I didn’t expect the court to dismiss the two other pending charges against Mubarak. But this is a purely legal decision, arrived at by an independent judiciary who endeavored to uphold the letter of the law, even for an infamous and wicked dictator. And I just know that others on MW will see it as a ‘Mubarak is still the Pharaoh of Egypt’ conspiracy blah blah. I know that it’s all gonna be about dissing the revolution and dissing the Egyptian people – theorizing this and speculating that. It just seems that Egyptians can never do right – not even when they respect and apply the letter of the law. If Mubarak is released, all that would happen to him anyway is that he’ll be transferred to a military hospital to continue with his medical treatments and observation – physically protected also from any possible security breach against his person. He’s 86(?) and in bad health. Not that much physical difference between being bedridden in a hospital bed with waiting guards, or a prison bed with waiting guards. His release, if it happens, and it looks like it will, does not put him back on the throne of Egypt. The interim government is the administrator of the nation’s affairs and they certainly won’t be giving him a swanky office on the top floor.

        The good people of Egypt really want to do things right – they’ve been waiting decades to things right AND in their own way. I personally have no problem giving them time and space to get ahold of the bull’s horns and wrestle it, barehanded, into submission.

      • seanmcbride
        seanmcbride
        August 21, 2013, 1:43 pm

        talknic,

        Care to explain why Israel chose to create illegal facts on the ground in breach of International Law?

        I think I can answer that question, in the context of Israel’s formidable abilities at chess playing and strategic planning.

        They have had a strategic objective in mind from the very beginning — to build Eretz Yisrael — and they have relentlessly pursued that goal with considerable success to the present day.

        They are not worried about international law: all they need to do is maneuver “the West” into a generalized cultural and military war against the Muslim and Arab worlds, and international law on this issue will be forgotten. They are getting close to checkmate.

        Notice how many liberal Democrats have gone along with most of the neocon program — the resistance to Israeli forward movement in pursuit of its objectives has been feeble to non-existent.

        We all know that Obama and Kerry (Democrats) are going to put no serious pressure on Israel to stop the expansion of settlements. Israel has an ace up its sleeve: billionaire donors to the Democratic Party.

        Further down the line, Western military attacks on Iran and Saudi Arabia are plausible scenarios. Certainly Israeli strategic thinkers have had those moves plotted out in their playbook for decades.

        Most of the opposition to this political juggernaut strikes me as pathetic. The opposition is being crushed by superior thinking, discipline and the allocation and application of immense resources in every conceivable dimension.

      • Taxi
        Taxi
        August 21, 2013, 1:48 pm

        Sean,

        Your points numbered 4, 6, and 8 are simply not true. Some of the others too are only half-true (sorry no time to get into it).

        Your intro and outro show a total lack of understanding of the current balance of terror between israel and its neighbors.

        Just because you know how to spell “realist” doesn’t make you one. Your list is also NOT a “strategic picture”, but an inaccurate list.

        I’ll remind you here of the Algerians’ eventually victory over the French colonialists. A people can lose a hundred battles and still win the war.

      • James Canning
        James Canning
        August 21, 2013, 2:02 pm

        And Arafat conceded privately 40 years ago that the Palestinians would have to accept Israel w/in 1967 borders.

      • seanmcbride
        seanmcbride
        August 21, 2013, 2:20 pm

        Taxi,

        Jon Lee Anderson in the New Yorker on current events in Egypt:

        The generals, meanwhile, are justifying an ever-widening bloody crackdown on the constituents of the former ruling party, the Muslim Brotherhood, by accusing them all of being terrorists. Immediately after last Wednesday’s sickening killing of more than six hundred Egyptians, including many civilian supporters of the ousted Morsi, the Army spokesman, Ahmed Ali, said, “When dealing with terrorism, the consideration of civil and human rights is not applicable.” The Interior Ministry announced that the Army and the police would be allowed to use “live ammunition” to deal with the people who it was anticipated would gather on Cairo’s streets in Friday’s Day of Rage. The protesters, the cabinet added in a separate statement, had committed acts of “terrorism and vandalism.” At least a hundred people died that day, many of them in the Al Fatah mosque, where members of the Muslim Brotherhood had taken refuge, and from which some fired back at the security forces. Many more died on Saturday. So far, three leaders of the party that, until a month ago, was in power have lost family members. On Tuesday, the military announced that it had captured Mohammed Badie, the spiritual guide of the Muslim Brotherhood, and it exhibited him to television cameras like a kind of war trophy, or, perhaps, a member of an actual terrorist organization, like Al Qaeda. Indeed, that was the suggestion, and in response some of Egypt’s media crowed jubilantly over Badie’s arrest.

        http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/comment/2013/08/in-egypt-echoes-of-latin-america.html

        For most Americans these are sickening, not inspiring, images.

      • seanmcbride
        seanmcbride
        August 21, 2013, 2:28 pm

        Taxi,

        More from Jon Lee Anderson:

        The no-holds-barred military terror in Egypt, and the language the military is employing to justify it, is reminiscent of the worst of human legacies. These are the sort of statements made not by ordinary armies but by armies that have embraced ideological convictions that make it easy to shoot down people in the streets, even civilians, if you believe that they are with the terrorists—or whatever it is you decide to call them. There are many Egyptians who are going along with the Army’s violence, supporting it with their own paramilitary gangs.

        Egypt’s image is being severely damaged in Western public opinion — no more giddy celebrations of the “Arab Spring.”

        Neocons will push the propaganda line that Arabs are incapable of democratic self-governance, and may acquire some major traction.

      • American
        American
        August 21, 2013, 2:35 pm

        No one is playing chess in the ME except the Persians.

        Everyone else is playing ‘by deception” (and poor ones at that) and ‘quid pro quo’ and ‘black and grey poltcal mail’ and ”he who has the gold makes the rules” and the ”booga booga radical terrier game.”

        The US appears to be currently not in the games except on I/P

      • Walid
        Walid
        August 21, 2013, 2:53 pm

        “Arabs are in a weaker position now than they have been ever been during their entire conflict with Israel over seven or eight decades, and it looks to me like Israel is in end game mode, closing in on checkmate.”

        Excellent 10-point assessment, Sean. Arabs with all their nostalgic mumbo-jumbo continue living the past and feeding on past glories while Israel forges ahead through careful calculations, lies and disinformation about the Arabs. The US and Israel have successfully neutered all the powerful Arab armies; only Hizbullah is left standing.

      • Hostage
        Hostage
        August 21, 2013, 3:00 pm

        It’s a country advocating for what it perceives as its national interest, and here, its interests align with those in the West. Its national interest dictates that it’s best to stability on its borders. Israel’s national interest aligns with that of the US and the West, who have long favored stability in the Middle East over messy democracy.

        Sure they align with US interests. Lol! If that were the case, then there wouldn’t be any need for so many major Jewish and Israeli organizations to be registered as lobbying organizations too – or for Zionists like Adelson, Sabin, Steinhardt, and Moskowitz to fund and conduct so many political and propaganda campaigns that indoctrinate or outright brainwash Americans in Hebrew Charter schools, Birthright programs, and so-called charities that underwrite the costs of the illegal Israeli settlement enterprise.

        Here’s an example of the Jewish Federations of North America acting as a fifth column and swinging into action on so-called Jewish needs:

        William Daroff, vice president for public policy and director of the Washington office of Jewish Federations of North America and a registered lobbyist, and Joyce Garver Keller, Columbus-based lobbyist and executive director of Ohio Jewish Communities, highlighted state and federal elections at a Jewish Federation of Cleveland event for the Campaign for Jewish Needs.

        In a question following the speeches, Stephen H. Hoffman, Federation president, asked about using support for Israel as a wedge issue in the presidential campaign, a strategy Dennis Ross, a Middle East adviser to Republican and Democratic presidents who recently spoke in Cleveland, has deplored.

        “The Republicans are saying (President Barack) Obama is not good on Israel,” responded Daroff, former deputy executive director of the Republican Jewish Coalition. “The mantra from the Democrats is, ‘Yes, there are differences on Israel, but our candidate is good enough and surrounded by good people like Dennis Ross. Congress is where we want them to be. Let’s go to social issues, more traditional liberal issues.’

        “The tactic is to remind Jews that Israel is number one, but it’s not the only issue,” continued Daroff. “It’s been the Democratic argument for a long time.”

        The agenda of JFNA’s Washington office is to “wave the banner” of the Jewish community and to plant seeds with lawmakers in both parties, so “people know where we stand,” he said. “So after the election, we can bring our issues then.” These include child services, autism, Medicare, Medicaid, and stopping Iran’s nuclear capacity, he said.

        — William Daroff and Other Jewish Lobbyists Outline 2012 Federal and State Elections http://jpupdates.com/2012/05/03/william-daroff-and-other-jewish-lobbyists-outline-2012-federal-and-state-elections/

      • eljay
        eljay
        August 21, 2013, 3:15 pm

        >> 10. Islam has been successfully demonized in much of the Western world — with Arabs in general being tarred by the same brush.

        I’ve recently noticed how news reports on TV and radio frequently use the term “the Muslim world” when referring to the region which has, for decades(?), been called “the Arab world”.

      • American
        American
        August 21, 2013, 3:28 pm

        “The tactic is to remind Jews that Israel is number one, but it’s not the only issue,” continued Daroff. “It’s been the Democratic argument for a long time.”

        The agenda of JFNA’s Washington office is to “wave the banner” of the Jewish community and to plant seeds with lawmakers in both parties, so “people know where we stand,” “”>>>

        Great idea!…Israel First!…..how can we encourage them to do this?…LOL

      • Woody Tanaka
        Woody Tanaka
        August 21, 2013, 3:33 pm

        “I think everyone is playing chess, but Israel is a better player because its process of decision making is better. ”

        LMAO. No, israel simply has been able to get the goon with the guns who control who gets to move what pieces when (i.e., the US) to favor it. They have a vast population of fifth columnists, traitors, religious nuts and people who have a greater allegiance to an alien state, and have been able to turn that into political, economic and media leverage in its favor. Nothing about decision-making about it.

      • hophmi
        hophmi
        August 21, 2013, 3:37 pm

        “Sure they align with US interests.”

        Yes, it’s quite clear that they do. The US was not crazy about having the Muslim Brotherhood in power. I think pretty much everyone can agree that most of the West was hoping that a more secular candidate would win the election and that if the MB won, it would at least govern pluralistically, rather than as a sectarian force. But the MB was not effective, and now what the West wants is stability, which ever way it comes.

        “If that were the case, then there wouldn’t be any need for so many major Jewish and Israeli organizations to be registered as lobbying organizations too ”

        Sorry, but this line of garbage doesn’t work anymore, certainly not in the Egypt context, certainly not in a world where the Saudi and Emiratis, both major US allies, are pumping money into Egypt’s central bank. It is quite clear that the West is not interested in having a dysfunctional Egypt under the rule of the Muslim Brotherhood. The mistake you keep making is that you think it’s all just a matter of lobbying. We have quite a few people lobbying for gun control in this country, and a large majority of Americans supporting common sense measures. Still no assault weapons ban. So it’s not only lobbying. It’s lobbying, it’s public opinion, it’s the alignment of geo-political interests. You’re a smart guy, Hostage, but sometimes you have a very simple way of thinking about these issues because you insist on refracting them through an ideological political prism.

        Is it really your position that the US policy on Egypt is a result of lobbying by pro-Israel organizations? The West’s position? Francois Hollande of France is holding hands with the Saudi Foreign Minister because of the pro-Israel lobby?

        “Here’s an example of the Jewish Federations of North America acting as a fifth column and swinging into action on so-called Jewish needs:”

        Read the article again. Daroff’s comments are about the Democratic Party, not the Jewish community. The Democratic Party’s argument to the Jewish community is that there are other issues besides Israel, even though Israel is important. The GOP’s tactic was to make the whole election about Israel. This is the parties acting this way. And not for nothing, but Daroff’s comments are ridiculous from the standpoint of what public polling shows. Israel is far down the list of voting priorities for most Jews in the United States. So either he’s wrong, or there’s another audience.

        If advocating for “child services, autism, Medicare, Medicaid” and for containing Iran, a pain in the ass for the West and for everyone else in the Gulf, if that makes the JFNA a fifth column, so be it. I think people who make accusations like this are the real fifth column.

      • MHughes976
        MHughes976
        August 21, 2013, 4:22 pm

        I have sometimes echoed James Thurber’s ‘the night is dark and getting darker, the road is long and getting longer’ but I still think that lamps are being lit by Mondoweiss-style activism – that’s why there is this huge effort to pay people to argue an indefensible case in the universities. And for all the complicated structures of power that are being erected the Palestinians are still obstinately there. While they have life they have hope.

      • Tuyzentfloot
        Tuyzentfloot
        August 21, 2013, 4:55 pm

        And Arafat conceded privately 40 years ago that the Palestinians would have to accept Israel w/in 1967 borders.

        Privately? It was formalized in 88 I think, which usually means it’s informally accepted many years earlier

      • piotr
        piotr
        August 21, 2013, 6:18 pm

        I am not sure in Israel is “outplaying everyone”. For example, their ideal is to be able to do whatever [expletive deleted] with impunity, but lo and behold: even little hiking trips have to be planned with care lest they stray into Lebanon. Hezbollah is not outplayed.

        If fact, the “axis of the good guys” looks increasingly erratic and it is loosing its “goodly image” at a good clip.

      • RoHa
        RoHa
        August 21, 2013, 8:38 pm

        ” Iran, a pain in the ass for the West ”

        What is Iran doing to the West?

      • seanmcbride
        seanmcbride
        August 21, 2013, 8:44 pm

        Taxi,

        I hope you are right and that my take on the current power balance between Israel and its Arab neighbors is utterly nonsensical, but your reply didn’t convince me.

        For quite some time I’ve been expecting things to turn around with regard to Israel’s ever-increasing forward momentum towards dominating the region, but it never does — and at this point I think I’ve grown weary of expecting things to happen that don’t and won’t.

        From my perspective, Israel has rolled over all its opposition with amazing effectiveness and force. Nothing lasts forever, of course — eventually all historical trends shift direction or reverse themselves. But within this current era of history, Israel, with the help of the United States and Europe, seems to be close to administering the coup de grace (or checkmate) to its Arab and Muslim enemies.

        American and European dissidents regarding Israeli policies have been easily marginalized by the Israel lobby — their influence on real world policy and politics is non-existent.

        A big factor here is that Americans love winners, success, strength, etc. and dislike losers, failure and weakness — they hate to back losing causes. Arab nations for the last several decades have displayed much more weakness in their conflicts with Israel than most of us would have expected. They don’t command respect. They seem weak, disorganized, all big talk and no meaningful action — pushovers.

        This a brutally Darwinian way to look at the world, and it is not my view of the world, but I think I know how most of my fellow Americans think.

        That famous remark by Osama bin Laden captures the attitude: “When people see a strong horse and a weak horse, by nature they will like the strong horse.” In the eyes of most Americans, Israel is the strong horse in the Israeli/Arab, Israeli/Palestinian and Israeli/Muslim conflicts. They have clawed and bullied their way to top in the region — a very American kind of success story.

        If at any point during this struggle the Israelis had displayed weakness of resolve or major failures in their project, Americans would have dropped them immediately — but they didn’t.

        Perhaps Israelis want what they want more fiercely than Arabs want what they want.

      • RoHa
        RoHa
        August 21, 2013, 9:33 pm

        “Neocons will push the propaganda line that Arabs are incapable of democratic self-governance,”

        I don’t think the Arabs in general are capable of democratic self-governance. But I think they only way they will become capable is by trying it, and making the social and intellectual adjustments needed for it to work.

        The current democracies did not spring, fully formed, from the brow of a revolution. Some of them (e.g. Australia, USA, Canada, India) were colonies of countries which had already developed some democratic patterns of thought and behaviour. The rest went through long, painful, processes of developing such habits. (There may be an exception to this, but I can’t think of one.) The process is still going on.

        It is naïve to think that Egypt can leap from dictatorship to Arab Norway in one move.

      • Danaa
        Danaa
        August 21, 2013, 11:46 pm

        Alas, Sean, I fear I must agree with your 10 points. Which, as you have noticed, adds up to a plan, one in according to which the israeli side has been steadfastedly moving all these years. Through different coalitions and different US administrations. The plan has clarity – the purpose is obviously to weaken all the surrounding countries, one by one. However that is accomplished is fine by israel – be it through an inept dictator, a downward heading economy, conquest by the US, or just promoting chaos, however that is accomplished – sectarian wars are made-to-order.

        Walid is right too – the Israeli plan is for 20-50 years hence. A few bumps along the road like a little “Arab Spring” is merely a temporary set-back, one which can be dealt with by calling up a Plan B. Somewhere along the way, Israel figured out that an alliance with saudi Arabia fits the bill perfectly. I think that was always in the cards.

        I also agree with much of what American says. Alas, Taxi really seems to be overtaken by the kind of wishful thinking that’s been the Arabs’ Achiles’ heel all along. Since the dawn of the 20th century. It’s easy to be waylaid into pat arguments such as “chaos is not in israel’s best interests”. Or that “Israel is worried about having jihadis on its borders”. That’s just silly stuff though, make-believe arguments for the consumption of the naive population of the west. truth is more complicated. Israel has long ago figured out that chaos IS in its best interests because disunited Arabs fighting each other, leaving it as the “only villa in the jungle” is just fine by them. As for a few salafits, israel considers them to be at worst annoying pests, devoid of strategy and poor on tactics, that can be swatted down at a moment’s notice.

        Only the hysterical west, dominated by well-oiled zionist/neocon propaganda machines is worried about some salafi-jihadi types. the israeli political and military thinkers just figure that at most these fanatics may cost them a peon or two, preferably of the American kind.

        So, is it all hopeless? if not taxi’s rosy-colored visions of eventual hezbollah triumph, are most of us here viewing the world only through dark-tinted glasse? have we become so much the realists that we are paralyzed from too much despondency?

        Not quite, I think. And that’s where I differ with Sean. there are many significant moves to play before the “end game”is upon us. For one, there’s Snowden – that, despite some conspiratorial voices, was a potential game changing event. not in the sense that it’ll cause NSA to reform, but in the sense of increasing doubts about the internet itself (that’s a tangential thought I have; won’t elaborate here). For another, there’s Putin. Just look at how the plan is unraveling in Syria, with Assad roaring back with gusto. That’s obviously the case, to judge by the very hapless False Flag of those ‘chemical weapons” today. And then there is the capitalist economic system, which has been exposed as much less durable than we thought.

        For myself, I’m just trying to figure out what Israel’s grand plan is with regard to Russia, which must clearly be weakened for the rest of the plan to move forward. Have some ideas. Will share another time – this post is way too long already (Taxi’s fault – she set the pace…).

      • Hostage
        Hostage
        August 22, 2013, 12:21 am

        “Sure they align with US interests.”

        Yes, it’s quite clear that they do. The US was not crazy about having the Muslim Brotherhood in power.

        Netanyahu wasn’t crazy about the idea of a second Obama term either. He and his pal Adelson were campaigning for Romney and demanding that the Us establish red lines for Iran that were not in our interest – and Obama said as much.

        Sorry, but this line of garbage doesn’t work anymore, certainly not in the Egypt context, certainly not in a world where the Saudi and Emiratis, both major US allies, are pumping money into Egypt’s central bank.

        We are talking about the money the Israel Lobby is spending here in the USA Hophmi, They don’t need to do that if our interests are already aligned. BTW, the US would like for the Saudis and the Emirates to be major allies, but they have officially remained members of the Non-aligned Movement. http://www.nam.gov.za/media/040802b.htm

        Is it really your position that the US policy on Egypt is a result of lobbying by pro-Israel organizations?

        No, I’ve already commented that the Pentagon and defense sector got the coup provisions waived in the immediate aftermath of the overthrow of Mubarak. But it really is my position that the Israeli Lobby is the next most important factor in determining our policy towards Egypt and that a variety of news reports say Netanyahu and AIPAC are operating in high gear behind the scenes right now. I tend to believe those reports more than the garbage you post.

      • Taxi
        Taxi
        August 22, 2013, 12:47 am

        Walid: still the glum Arab, I see. You know I’ve met Arab beggars with missing limbs on the streets of Beirut who are happier than you are – you who lives out there in verdant, cheerful Canada. What’s your agenda now? You used to give a balanced and accurate view of Arabs: both negative and positive – lately it’s just all negative – what happened? Did you have all your hopes pinned on the Moslem Brotherhood ruling the region?

        @Sean, when you throw a kid off the roof of a building cuz they don’t support Morsi, then I guess you’re NOT a terrorist – yeah right – you and your ridiculous propagandist cut&pastes!

        You’ve said so many racist things about Arabs, and with glee too – stereotype after negative stereotype. Why don’t you go round your neighborhood with megafone and shout: “jews are smart, Arabs are stupid – it’s all in the DNA!” What a doushow!

        Why don’t you go and correct your fancy-shamncy list above – or you happy to just spread stupidity and racism using MW?

      • seanmcbride
        seanmcbride
        August 22, 2013, 11:43 am

        Taxi,

        A update on the bloody war against “terrorism” in Egypt:

        “Egypt Targets ‘Terrorists’ in Ongoing Violence”

        http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2013/08/20/egypt-targets-terrorists-in-ongoing-violence.html

        Bodies too disfigured to identify. Executions in the Sinai. As the death toll nears 1,000, Sophia Jones reports on the continuing violence in Egypt.

        “The world is declaring a war against Egypt,” said a guest on state-owned Nile TV on Sunday night, citing U.S. Marines near the Mediterranean, Israeli “enemies,” Islamists, and Western media. “CNN is working with the CIA, of course,” he said emphatically. Following the discussion, the news channel played nationalistic songs with the banner “Egypt Fighting Terrorism.”

        Ever since Gen. Abdel Fattah al-Sisi’s call for the Egyptian people to give him a mandate to fight terrorism, the word “terrorist” has become a common word. It is heard in official speeches addressing the nation, whispered in cafés in downtown Cairo, and blasted from taxi radios. Press packets given out to foreign journalists at press conferences have been titled “Egypt Fighting Terrorism.”

        Are you still on board?

      • annie
        annie
        August 22, 2013, 7:44 pm

        From my perspective, Israel has rolled over all its opposition with amazing effectiveness and force. Nothing lasts forever, of course — eventually all historical trends shift direction or reverse themselves. But within this current era of history, Israel, with the help of the United States and Europe, seems to be close to administering the coup de grace (or checkmate) to its Arab and Muslim enemies.

        American and European dissidents regarding Israeli policies have been easily marginalized by the Israel lobby — their influence on real world policy and politics is non-existent.

        A big factor here is that Americans love winners, success, strength, etc. and dislike losers, failure and weakness — they hate to back losing causes. Arab nations for the last several decades have displayed much more weakness in their conflicts with Israel than most of us would have expected. They don’t command respect. They seem weak, disorganized, all big talk and no meaningful action — pushovers.

        This a brutally Darwinian way to look at the world, and it is not my view of the world, but I think I know how most of my fellow Americans think.

        sean, can you parse out the brutally Darwinian sections where you’re speaking for most americans from the part you say is your perspective up there?

        Neocons will push the propaganda line that Arabs are incapable of democratic self-governance, and may acquire some major traction.

        they do not seem to be the only ones pushing that view.

      • seanmcbride
        seanmcbride
        August 22, 2013, 7:52 pm

        Danaa,

        You get my vote for being the most developed and nuanced strategic thinker on Mondoweiss, as well as the author of the most elegant and engaging prose. Seriously. Great comment, with much to think about.

      • RoHa
        RoHa
        August 22, 2013, 7:53 pm

        “You’ve said so many racist things about Arabs, and with glee too – stereotype after negative stereotype. Why don’t you go round your neighborhood with megafone and shout: “jews are smart, Arabs are stupid – it’s all in the DNA!” What a doushow!”

        I haven’t noticed much glee in Sean’s posts, and I haven’t seen any racism or claims that “it’s all in the DNA”. He just seems to be pointing out the reality as he sees it. And at the moment it certainly seems that the Israelis have been playing the game a lot better than the Arabs have. They have managed to get the Americans to give them unconditional support and fight wars for them.

        As I said above, I think that the Arabs need to make a lot more radical changes to their culture and society* in order to become strong democracies. If this is “negative stereotyping”, tough. Remember that stereotypes start from observation of reality.

        (*Far Eastern countries managed it, but the biggies – Japan, China, Korea – had a lot less history of Western imperialist interference.)

      • seanmcbride
        seanmcbride
        August 22, 2013, 8:03 pm

        Taxi,

        I seem to have a struck a nerve. (Actually, I was counting down for the blowup — 4, 3, 2, 1 — we have ignition.)

        Since Israel has consistently outplayed and overpowered the Arab world since Israel’s founding until the present day, one is motivated to look for explanations. One is also motivated to look for explanations for why the Israel lobby has so handily acquired near dictatorial control over the US Congress.

        I think certain talents and a particular skill set are in play. Success on this level merits study — perhaps even emulation, at least to some degree, with some editing.

        Whenever I am consistently crushed by superior chess players, I attempt to learn from them. I respect their abilities. I admire strong opponents and am bored by weak opponents.

        When someone can consistently outplay and dominate you at any activity it’s best to deal with it straight up — acknowledge reality.

      • seanmcbride
        seanmcbride
        August 22, 2013, 8:17 pm

        Annie,

        sean, can you parse out the brutally Darwinian sections where you’re speaking for most americans from the part you say is your perspective up there?

        I am not entirely sure what you mean by “parse” in this context.

        I think that American foreign policy should be made with universal human rights firmly in mind and at the forefront at all times. I am clearly in a minority in this view among my fellow citizens.

        Most Americans view global politics as a competition (usually a vicious competition), in which we need to cultivate the strongest possible allies to help us prevail against our competitors and enemies.

        Americans tend not to be fond of nations and cultures which display signs of weakness or confusion in terms of supporting American strategic objectives — or in defending themselves.

        If Israel had stumbled and fallen in its conflicts with its Arab neighbors, we would be looking at a very different world now in terms of American attitudes towards Israel. But that’s not what happened — whatever one thinks about Israel, it has displayed amazing resolve and backbone in its political and military battles with population groups that vastly outnumber it. A good deal of mainstream American sympathy for Israel is based on those successes.

      • American
        American
        August 22, 2013, 10:22 pm

        @ Danaa

        “” the purpose is obviously to weaken all the surrounding countries, one by one.
        “” the Israeli plan is for 20-50 years hence.””

        Yes.
        IMO the Israeli plan, after succeeding in getting their Israel, was always to dominate ‘the important to the world ME ‘and be the world power they believe is ”their natural right”.
        The US to date has served their purpose by letting Israel be the ‘Junior Hegemon’ of the ME on the wings of US power. IOW, no one would go too far against Israel simply because of the US threat.
        I am one who believes that US influence is waning and I think that Israel sees that too.
        And Europe and even Germany are ‘growing weary’ of Israel and it’s demands and Israel knows this also.
        What Israel will do is continue the same cons on the US and Europe— but also try to lay tracks to fresh blood like China, Russia, and temporary alliances with Saud and others in the ME on ‘certain things”, and use ‘certain mutual issues’ to try to become a ‘full fledged member’ of the ruling ME club with an eye to being President of the Club.

        I don’t want to go into volumes of detail on what I think will happen eventually in the Israel plan and why. Maybe I’ll outline those details in another post when I have more time to explain them fully..
        But I don’t think it’s going to work in the long term.

        Some people want to say that Israel has been brilliant at it’s strategy–when the truth is Isr’s strategy has been simple from day one—the Victim-Holocaust usage, Germany and guilt , the US lobby to make the super power subservient, and open it’s bank account and be world bully on it’s behalf.
        The ZOA and Lobby wasn’t ever particular brilliant, those tactics of infiltration and propaganda have been around forever, even before the Nazi used them so well, they are as ancient as Rome.

        If had to give just a short reason for how I think the Isr plan ends and what Isr will eventually be it would be this—-The powers and alliances Isr ‘will need to cultivate ‘ to continue it’s plan are very ,very different than the US.
        What worked for Israel on the US and Europe will not work on China, Russia, Asia, Arabs, etc.. Israel will have to ‘serve a purpose’ for them and give them something concrete in return. Israel wont want to do that.
        At best what Israel would want to offer a partner is ‘double teaming’ up on any mutual agenda to get US or world support for it.
        All of this would work, for a while except for one thing — because Isr’s ‘thinks it is smarter’, based on their success with Europe and the US, they will try to be the same ‘manipulator ‘ and ‘agenda creator in any relationship and deal—–and that is where they will eventually run into big trouble. They wont ever be able to replicate the one way street relationship they have had with the US and Europe with other powers.
        Also if and as Isr cultivates other power and even economic alliances it will also be creating ‘complications” in support from US because the US will no longer look at Isr as a lone entity, it would have to also look at Isr’s
        ‘partners” and the US ‘s own relatonship, atttude toward those Isr alliances and partners.
        From my pov this would be good for the US–we might get burned once or twice by Isr and some of it’s new alliances in the beginning but I believe it
        would lead to finally distancing the US from Isr.

      • Taxi
        Taxi
        August 23, 2013, 12:02 am

        Dana et all,

        Here’s a quick conversation I had yesterday with an ex-CIA:

        Taxi: What the heck’s going on, Bob?
        Bob: Everything and the kitchen sink.
        Taxi: Can anyone stop it?
        Bob: Nope. Look at Syria. Egypt. It’s all gonna explode. Everywhere.
        Taxi: Where does that leave israel?
        Bob: (ironic chuckle) They’re pretending, but they don’t know what to do. They think they can live in a soap bubble in the middle of an inferno.
        Taxi: That’s big. Can it take the heat and smoke.
        Bob: Look, if three-quarters of Egypt is completely destroyed, Egypt will still live. If half of Syria is completely destroyed, Syria will still live. If a quarter of israel is destroyed, it will die.
        Taxi: Wow. When do you think it’s all gonna go down.
        Bob: Let’s just say that the fuse has already been lit.
        Taxi: How long is the fuse?
        Bob: Not short, not long either.
        Taxi: Shit! Maybe I should pack my bags and dog and leave the middle east.
        Bob: Good idea. You wouldn’t want to leave your dog behind.

        * * * * *

        I dunno, MW folks, maybe you guys are living in a soap bubble too.

      • Sibiriak
        Sibiriak
        August 23, 2013, 4:11 am

        Taxi:

        If a quarter of israel is destroyed, it will die.

        Just how might a quarter of Israel might be destroyed?

      • seanmcbride
        seanmcbride
        August 23, 2013, 4:33 am

        Taxi,

        These kinds of overheated fantasies about Israel’s imminent destruction have been pervasive in the Arab world for many decades now — but Arab nations keep losing ground while Israel keeps gaining ground. Fantasies are no substitute for effective action.

        Success in politics requires being as well-grounded in reality and as pragmatic as possible — otherwise one keeps making one mistake after another on the basis of wrong assumptions about the world.

        I don’t assume that any minute now American foreign policy realists are going to overpower the Israel lobby, neoconservatives and neoliberals. It’s not going to happen. The Israel lobby is much better financed, much better organized, and much more highly motivated than its critics and opponents.

        It helps to be a sober adult on these matters — unless you want to lose everything.

      • ziusudra
        ziusudra
        August 23, 2013, 4:56 am

        Greetings,
        Your post left no Name for me to address.
        ….. The Egyptian military’s game……….
        Are they taking a lesson from Ataturk that
        the Military is the only guarantee against
        any kind of hijacking & that only they can
        support lasting balance in Egypt, as in
        Ataturk’s Turkey?
        ziusudra
        PS Ergenikan was set up to go against Erdogan
        thinking that he would stear Turkey to a Sharia
        State. The Military lost this time.
        PPS It seems that even our US constitution has
        finally been hijacked.

      • RoHa
        RoHa
        August 23, 2013, 5:06 am

        “I dunno, MW folks, maybe you guys are living in a soap bubble too.”

        That’s all right. I live in Australia, and I’ve got a cat, not a dog.

      • annie
        annie
        August 23, 2013, 5:11 am

        i guess i’m not that impressed or interested in your views about what ‘most americans think’, since what seems obvious to me is some of our ‘strongest possible allies’ are our competitors.

        and the only reason israel has shown ‘amazing resolve and backbone in its political and military battles with population groups that vastly outnumber it’ is because of US backing. and that US backing is not as a result of most americans supporting it. if most americans supported it there would be no need for the lobby, a lobby who keep telling us most americans support israel.

        you think you know how most of your fellow Americans think, but that’s not unusual, most people think their opinions are right, including me. and lots of people think their ideas are noble and many even believe American foreign policy is made with universal human rights firmly in mind.

        but let’s get back to your perspective. you said, from your perspective, Israel has rolled over all its opposition with amazing effectiveness and force (and i’d agree had they done it themselves and i don’t find it very amazing under the circumstances). according to you Israel will administer the coup de grace to Arab and Muslim enemies who are weak, disorganized, all big talk pushovers. i was just confused by the ‘brutal Darwinian’ part not being your perspective. it all sounds rather darwinian to me.

        I think that American foreign policy should be made with universal human rights firmly in mind and at the forefront at all times. I am clearly in a minority in this view among my fellow citizens.

        not really. lots of americans already hold this view, they just believe that’s what america already does.

      • Walid
        Walid
        August 23, 2013, 5:14 am

        Taxi, that ex-Cia guy sounds like an American that’s a current Israeli agent. Lebanon has been destroyed many times and continues to live. Stick around but don’t buy into these Israeli scare tactics.

      • Taxi
        Taxi
        August 23, 2013, 5:44 am

        Sibiriak,
        “Just how might a quarter of Israel might be destroyed?”

        You tell us, Sib – and if you don’t know, then go and ask a CIA dude, like I did. Believe me, you’ll get laughed at with your question. I mean what do you think humans use to destroy objects/people/places? Candy floss on a stick waved furiously at an enemy?

        Ridiculous question!

      • Taxi
        Taxi
        August 23, 2013, 6:29 am

        “” the Israeli plan is for 20-50 years hence.””

        ALL countries formulate policies in that same range of years. Israel is NOT the exception. Arabs and Persians do that too. Often, spanners get thrown into the works and plans are delayed. But plans remain on the table nevertheless.

        I agree with American regarding the diminishing powers of israel and USA.

        @sean,
        You sound like a zionist when you diss the Arabs and you sound like an antisemite when you diss the zionists. What’s your agenda here on MW?

      • just
        just
        August 23, 2013, 6:59 am

        Well said Annie.

        I hold the probably unpopular view that the 2 youngest, most warring nations and the ones that are hell- bent on regional hegemony (the US and Israel) will prove to be the ultimate losers in this “chess game”.

        We’re quickly losing whatever “high ground” we ever claimed. Our disgusting and eternal hypocrisy and crying wolf over “Muslim terrorists” have already eroded our ability to be brokers for peace and stability. I advocate a separation, if not outright divorce, from the erstwhile and destructive alliance with Apartheid Israel. An amicable relationship could/ should be preserved, but we should never walk in lockstep with any regime.

        As long as Israel continues to nurture their eternal victimhood and create enemies and we continue to enable them, those “enemies” become ours– our unconditional support is a threat to our own national security. We’ve done much harm and caused much mayhem in the region.

        (jmo)

      • Citizen
        Citizen
        August 23, 2013, 7:12 am

        @ Woody Tanaka
        There’s, what 6 million Jewish Americans? They are one of the most educated and wealthy groups of Americans. Although not all of them operate as single top issue types, 5th column types, most appear to go along with the message put out by the vast matrix of Jewish Establishment organizations singing AIPAC’s song. I need only name Adelson and Soros to indicate the bipartisan power at the disposal of the 5th column. This web site has discussed this subject at length. Who here has not read Mearsheimer and Walt The Israel Lobby?

        Compare, in terms of population numbers, values, top priorities, and decision-making, a few facts gathered from Wikipedia regarding Arab & Persian Americans:

        Arab Americans:
        3.5 million Arab-Americans. As of 2002, 63% were Christians.
        As of 2000 Census, Arab Americans are more wealthy and better educated than the average American.
        88% work in the private sector. Specifically, 73% work in managerial, professional, technical, sales, or administrative field.

        Iranian/Persian Americans:
        According to extrapolated U.S. Census data and other independent surveys done by Iranian-Americans themselves in 2009, there are an estimated one million Iranian-Americans living in the U.S. OTH, Data on Iranian ancestry from the annual ACS is available on the Census Bureau’s American Factfinder website.: In 2010, the number of self-identified Iranian Americans in the US was 448,722.
        Iranian-Americans are amongst the highest educated people in the United States; Iranian-Americans have historically excelled in business, academia, the sciences, arts and entertainment – but have traditionally shied away from participating in American politics or other civic activities. Many are not religious. Almost one in three Iranian American households have annual incomes of more than $100K (compared to one in five for the overall U.S. population). According to a study carried out by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Iranian scientists and engineers in the US own or control around $880 billion. According to the latest census data available, more than one in four Iranian-Americans holds a master’s or doctoral degree, the highest rate among 67 ethnic groups studied.

      • eljay
        eljay
        August 23, 2013, 7:21 am

        >> Bob: Look, if three-quarters of Egypt is completely destroyed, Egypt will still live. If half of Syria is completely destroyed, Syria will still live. If a quarter of israel is destroyed, it will die.

        1. Which quarter (population? infrastructure? other?)?
        2. Why is Israel that much less hardy than Syria or Egypt?

      • ritzl
        ritzl
        August 23, 2013, 8:03 am

        … It is naïve to think that Egypt can leap from dictatorship to Arab Norway in one move.

        Great comment, RoHa.

      • seafoid
        seafoid
        August 23, 2013, 8:55 am

        “Israel has long ago figured out that chaos IS in its best interests because disunited Arabs fighting each other, leaving it as the “only villa in the jungle” is just fine by them. ”

        I think that greatly overestimates Israel’s capacity to think strategically long term. They couldn’t manage in Lebanon in 82. Israelis don’t like to see any nice Jewish boys dying in pointless wars outside Shangri la, for all that they revere their war dead in their Spartan culture.

        They have a history of miscalculating strategically especially concerning grand sweeping plans to redraw the Middle East and impose their own clients + satraps such as Bashir Jumayyal ,for example.

        It is very easy to start a war but hideously difficult to control a war. Israel has a whole load of political problems bubbling under the radar and there’s the occupation that consumes so much IDF time.

        Even if the Saudis allied with them they could just as easily betray them. That is the jungle around the villa, the “arab nature”…..

        And they don’t have the capacity for a long war of attrition because they have limited reserves and they like their consumer comforts.

      • seanmcbride
        seanmcbride
        August 23, 2013, 8:58 am

        Annie,

        I am asking Mondoweissers to answer a few simple but important questions:

        Why have the fortunes of Israel and the Israel lobby continued to improve for decades now while its opposition has continued to grow ever weaker and more ineffectual?

        Do Mondoweissers expect any changes in these trends in the immediate future? On what grounds?

        What exactly have Israel and the Israel lobby been doing to achieve their successes? What exactly have the opponents and critics of Israel and the Israel lobby been doing to guarantee their failures?

        My answers to these questions revolve around two key concepts:

        1. Pro-Israel Jews have acquired much more intellectual, academic, cultural, financial, social and political capital than their opponents.

        2. Pro-Israel Jews have been been much more far-seeing, determined, resourceful, daring, risk-taking, visionary, self-starting and self-disciplined than their opponents.

        Acquiring total control over the US Congress and over much of the American cultural and political system (including both leading political parties) is quite an accomplishment — not an endeavor for slackers or impractical dreamers.

        Others here may disagree and have other explanations for the extraordinary success of the Zionist project to date. I’d love to hear them.

      • seanmcbride
        seanmcbride
        August 23, 2013, 9:42 am

        Annie,

        if most americans supported it there would be no need for the lobby, a lobby who keep telling us most americans support israel.

        What is stopping other groups from forming lobbies to oppose the Israel lobby? To out-organize it and overpower it? That’s the American way — we live in a highly competitive society in which the spoils go to the victor.

        The Israel lobby has crushed its competition in the same way that Israel has crushed its hostile neighbors.

        Americans worship at the altar of success — this is a stock theme among most scholars of American intellectual and cultural history — just look around you — at all the images that dominate American popular culture — and you will see this is true.

        Again, in the words of Osama bin Laden: “When people see a strong horse and a weak horse, by nature they will like the strong horse.” Israel so far has been a strong horse compared to its competitors — that is why it is so worried about Iran at the moment.

      • Sibiriak
        Sibiriak
        August 23, 2013, 10:35 am

        Taxi:

        Ridiculous question!

        Translation: “I have no answer.”

      • Sibiriak
        Sibiriak
        August 23, 2013, 10:40 am

        Taxi:

        I merely tried to explain to the community the unique relationship between Egyptians and their army

        Egyptians and “their army”? Right.

      • hophmi
        hophmi
        August 23, 2013, 10:40 am

        “Although not all of them operate as single top issue types, 5th column types, ”

        Virtually none of them “operate” that way.

        “most appear to go along with the message put out by the vast matrix of Jewish Establishment organizations singing AIPAC’s song.”

        Most don’t care much one way or the other, like most Americans. Most AMERICANS support AIPAC’s POV, which is strong US support for Israel.

        ” I need only name Adelson and Soros to indicate the bipartisan power at the disposal of the 5th column.”

        George Soros is a big Zionist now? That’s news to me. But I guess, Citizen, you’re figuring that since Soros is Jewish and has money, he must think a certain way.

      • hophmi
        hophmi
        August 23, 2013, 10:44 am

        “Look, if three-quarters of Egypt is completely destroyed, Egypt will still live. If half of Syria is completely destroyed, Syria will still live. If a quarter of israel is destroyed, it will die.”

        What does this statement mean? Is it a reference to population? Yes, Egypt has about 85 million people and Syria has around 22 million. Israel has around 7 million. It’s a much smaller country.

        Syria ain’t surviving very well right now, people. I don’t know if you noticed.

      • seanmcbride
        seanmcbride
        August 23, 2013, 10:56 am

        Taxi,

        You sound like a zionist when you diss the Arabs and you sound like an antisemite when you diss the zionists. What’s your agenda here on MW?

        I’ve made my agenda perfectly clear hundreds of times: I care most about the American interest and modern Western democratic values, and strongly oppose Americans getting entangled in nasty and interminable wars among ethnic and religious nationalists of all types — no matter what the ethnic group or religion.

        Angry and endless arguments among ethnic and religious nationalists bore me to tears — and in my experience most Americans feel the same way. Over here, we are doing our best to all get along across ethnic and religious divides.

        I must tell you: that massacre of hundreds of civilians by a “secularist” and “democratic” Egyptian government — one which you passionately support, apparently, along with Israel — has strongly impacted my views towards Egypt.

        Certainly Egypt as this point has no basis on which to lecture Israel on morality, ethics or any other subject. Most Americans have felt intense revulsion about the latest events in Egypt. We don’t murder our fellow Americans en masse over political and religious issues.

      • seanmcbride
        seanmcbride
        August 23, 2013, 11:08 am

        Taxi,

        If you are unable to admit that Arab nations and Arabs in general haven’t suffered one setback after another in their confrontations over decades with Israel and the Israel lobby, you are living in a serious state of denial — in fantasyland. Pointing out some obvious and irrefutable facts about the real world does not make one a “racist” — it makes one a realist and a truth teller.

        People who live in fantasyland can’t perform successfully in real world politics.

        Arab Americans could have created a lobby in the United States to compete successfully against the Israel lobby — but it has never happened and at this point probably never will.

        The pace of the Arab collapse before Israeli power seems to have accelerated in recent years. Israel is the strong horse in the Middle East — but Iran is a serious contender. No wonder Israel has been working so hard to try to push the United States into attacking Iran.

      • hophmi
        hophmi
        August 23, 2013, 11:20 am

        “And they don’t have the capacity for a long war of attrition because they have limited reserves and they like their consumer comforts. ”

        Just watch.

        Seafoid, people like you have been wrong for about 70 years now.

      • seanmcbride
        seanmcbride
        August 23, 2013, 11:20 am

        Annie,

        Americans worship success, wealth, celebrity, titanic competition, etc. Consider:

        1. Academy Awards
        2. American imperialism
        3. celebrity magazines
        4. Emmy Awards
        5. Forbes billionaires lists
        6. Great Gatsby
        7. Hollywood box office
        8. Internet industry
        9. Ivy League universities
        10. NBA Finals
        11. Olympics
        12. presidential elections
        13. SAT scores
        14. stock market
        15. Super Bowl
        16. venture capitalism
        17. World Series
        18. World War I
        19. World War II

        These attitudes and values permeate American culture, and always have, from its founding. This is simply American History 101.

        Israel has been a major beneficiary of this culture because it shares the same values, and because it has been successful vis-a-vis its neighbors.

        Everything in mainstream American culture is a “horse race” (to take us back to the bin Laden quote). Americans are always keeping score of which horses are winning which races. They want to be winners, not losers. Obviously there are many problems with this mindset — but that’s the way it is.

      • Taxi
        Taxi
        August 23, 2013, 12:01 pm

        Walid,

        You think I should believe a random hack over someone I’ve known all my life? I know they have to work together, but do you think the CIA is fond of the mosad? You checked their love-pulse ever?

        My old friend said a lot more that I didn’t post up. Stuff that would cause a riot here on MW. But I decided to leave it out till events manifest – can’t be bothered to to-and-fro with conspiracy-theory addicts around here.

        And don’t worry, I’m sticking around for a while, actually I’m thinking of extending my visit here to your beautiful country. Why not? I’m living through history instead of being a beach bum in California.

        The takfiris are tryna shake up your country too: two big explosions in Tripoli today. You wanna call the Lebanese army ‘fascist’ too for dealing them a heavy hand, which they will? You wanna zealot takfiri state one side of your country (in Syria) and a lunatic zionist state the other end – with your country in the middle blighted with a ‘Fitna’? If not, why do you slam your Arab brethren and in the same breath unduly praise the zionists and defend the takfiris in Egypt? I don’t get you. You’re the kind of Arab who is party to the division in the region, then you go complaining that Arabs are too dumb to be united.

        If the ‘enemy’ is not clear to you, Walid, let me list them here (again!): takfiris, zionists and western imperialism. And please don’t tell me that Arab countries need to ‘clean their own house first’ – this is indeed a true observation, but how the hell is one going to ‘clean house’ when one is being fired at? You need to stop your attackers from killing you before you can ‘clean house’. It’s in that order, Walid. Not the other way round.

      • seanmcbride
        seanmcbride
        August 23, 2013, 12:18 pm

        Edit:

        If you are unable to admit that Arab nations and Arabs in general >>HAVE<< suffered one setback after another in their confrontations over decades with Israel and the Israel lobby, you are living in a serious state of denial — in fantasyland.

      • seanmcbride
        seanmcbride
        August 23, 2013, 1:01 pm

        Taxi,

        See Marc Ellis on the Egyptian military coup and the massacre of Egyptian civilians:

        Does this mean that the demands for social change should be held in abeyance because the future might be more of the same? Not at all. It means that progressives who align themselves with the repressive forces of society, in Egypt’s case, the military, commit a mistake of epic proportions.

        Once that mistake is made there’s no going back.

        Magical realism is a distorted view of reality – always. It’s comfort food for the affluent and the powerful. Like religion served on political platter, it’s a matter of belief disguised as truth.

        http://mondoweiss.net/2013/08/egypts-revolution-was-an-exercise-in-magical-realism.html

        Magical thinking usually produces political mistakes of epic proportions — that’s the historical pattern.

      • Danaa
        Danaa
        August 23, 2013, 2:07 pm

        @American, @Seafoid

        i don’t disagree with your take when it comes to israeli miscalculations and will be glad to up you one:

        From its very inception – and actually, from the beginning of the zionist enterprise, Israelis (even before they were called such) had a tendency to over play their hand. heck, if they didn’t they wouldn’t be so isolated now, would they?

        So yes, israel HAS a plan with both strategic and tactical components. And no, it is not particularly brilliant but is quite simple in its general outlines. I look at it as i would any puzzle.

        – First, be clear about the goal, ie. what does “winning” mean. And to israel it means getting to keep the West bank with minimal number of Palestinians.
        – If, in order to achieve that, hegemony in the ME is required then it’ll become part of the side objectives, though more as a tactic than a strategy.
        – To accomplish that, the Arab states around it must be kept in a “weakened” state – on every level, militarily, economically and morally.
        – how to get there without endangering it’s own security? why – it’s simple – help keep the sectarian flames burning. Muslim on Christian, Muslim on Muslim, persian on muslim and kurds on everyone else.
        -Obviously israel can’t do it alone – so it’ll get in cahoots with others – Salafist camps, saudi Arabia, Quatar, Jordan monarch butterfly, Egyptian military, Arab ruling classes, sections of the Kurds (they had the Turks** lined up but that didn’t seem to work out so they were jilted), and the upper class of the palestinians.

        Of course, while the ME oil snakism is going, the US policies must be kept pliant and its population as ignorant as possible of the goings on. Again, not very complicated. As for Europe – that’s a longer story, but guilt was a great tool. For a while at least.

        I agree with you American that israel will – eventually – badly overplay its hand. Why? because they really think they know everything. And they not only think of themselves as the ‘smartest kids in the room”, they share that perception with everyone else. we have seen that country and its representatives make no end of bad moves that clearly detract from its end goal. To paraphrase – a shorter Sean Mcbride is: they smell “victory”. but they are as prone as anyone to get carried away with wishful thinking, and are bound to jump the shark.

        So my own reading of the situation going forward is that while israel does have some strategic thinkers, it also has more than its share of messianic and other assorted idiots. No one can call Lieberman brilliant, can they? or Ayalon? or livni? In fact, the larger population in israel is very far cry from all that “smart” – generally they each live in their own bubble, and those bubbles hardly coalesce to a whole. I am ultimately counting on the general demographic trend in israel to make the bad moves more frequent. Hopefully, things will not explode for others before Israel is brought to a state of sensibility (were such a thing even possible), partly through their own misbegotten machinations, partly thanks to changes in the geopolitical world and the weakening of its American Empire mentor.

        My main worry at the moment? everyone says the “peace” processing talks are doomed but the israelis will absolutely try to pull a rabbit out of the hat but having Abbas sign on the dotted line, using the US as a cudgel. I have a bad feeling about what’s going on there – Abbas is way too weak and easy to roll. And the Americans – kerey and obama are way too keen on “accomplishing” something. Anything as long as it can be packaged as “success” or as “peace”. so I am avoiding predictions on that front – for the moment.

        ** on Turkey: strange stuff was going on there. One day =3-4 years ago they were on top – reaching out to allies in the ME, including Iran and Syria, having given up on the EU. Economy was humming along – so much so they could diss israel, make any number of overtures to the palestinians, gazans included. then, strangely, as if in less than 6 months – a turn around. Turkey supporting crazy “rebels” in Syria, badly miscalculating; turning away from Iran and messing up the Russian connection; back to pleading with EU to pretty please let it in; the economy, still OK but the trajectory looks less promising; demonstrations in the street by the middle class young – something about a park. Bingo! in less than 4 years, Turkey’s great promise has dark patches on it, its hand geopolitically greatly weakened. What exactly happened in the space of such a short time? just asking of course.

      • annie
        annie
        August 26, 2013, 12:46 am

        These attitudes and values permeate American culture, and always have, from its founding. This is simply American History 101.

        they certainly permeate the media. but imho most americans value other things more, in terms of their own success values. for example, love, health and happiness are not on your list. and i do not worship anything on your list. perhaps you should start reconsidering what the media tells us is most valuable sean, and start thinking about what most normal people value most.

    • Keith
      Keith
      August 20, 2013, 3:20 pm

      HOSTAGE- “The thinking here is way out of date.”

      Perhaps you would be so kind as to quote anything Chris Hedges, Pepe Escobar or (particularly) the anonymous friend said which you feel “is way out of date?” I am in more-or-less complete agreement with anonymous and would be pleased to discuss the issue with you, assuming, of course, that the moderators become less restrictive on my comments.

      “The Saudis and the Gulf States are not taking any marching orders from the US and haven’t for a long time.”

      Perhaps you would be so kind as to quote any of the people Phil quoted as saying that the Saudis and Gulf States took “marching orders” from the US? The phrase “marching orders” implies a direct chain of command relationship which has never existed and which is, in effect, a straw man. The relationship between the imperial center with the periphery is more akin to a mafia type relationship centered on the bottom line.

      Allow me to quote from anonymous and comment further.

      “We had 30 years of propping up Mubarak, but we were unhappy with the family’s dynastic ambitions and wanted a more neo-liberal economy than nespotic capitalism (which usually does not end well)….We had a hand in throwing Mubarak under the bus, giving a green light to the military.”

      Absolutely true. The US, including many neocons, supported Mubarak as long as possible, then when things started to get out of hand, abandoned Mubarak while working to maintain military control, similar to what transpired in the Philippines under Marcos, and elsewhere.

      “We tried to place our CIA tool Suleiman in charge, but could not pull it off as he and his Security State were too hated.”

      You disagree?

      “Had no choice then but to go along with the elections and hope for the best. We did not want to see the MB win, but we had no alternative candidate to back….As long as MB kept Camp David agreement and accepted IMF overlordship, MB government was not an immediate threat. We were okay with the MB as long as they did not threaten military’s role in the new Constitution and in the state, and kept secular forces that wanted to curtail military and security state in check (our short-term policy with respect to Arab Spring).”

      Once again, spot on.

      “Saudi and Gulf States did everything in their power to thwart MB government in Egypt. (This is right out of Chile playbook.) They cut off aid and worked to destabilize economy. (Medium-term strategy: make the MB government very unpopular as economy sinks.) They then flooded the country with aid as soon as the coup occurred. Gasoline and other shortages mysteriously disappeared.”

      This thinking is way out of date?

      “US Military (which Obama rarely opposes) clearly is on side of Egyptian military. You should have heard Gen. Jacobs (Pentagon mouthpiece if there ever was one) on MSNBC defending US policy, stressing importance of Egypt to US military, and opposing cut-off of military aid. Jacobs was rolled out too quickly to not have been organized.”

      Perhaps this is why Pepe Escobar says that “The winners, as it stands, are the House of Saud/Israel/ Pentagon axis.”

      What does Hostage say? “In fact, they are the reason that the Egyptian Generals can afford to give Obama and the EU the middle finger and continue their crackdown:”

      Say what? Empire wants the Egyptian military in control and to that end provides funding. If it is convenient for the US to arrange for Saudi funding to replace US/IMF funding as part of a “good cop vs. bad cop” scenario, that hardly represents a schism between the US and the Egyptian military, or that the Saudis are defying empire. When General Suharto overthrew Sukarno in Indonesia, the US encouraged and supported the murderous destruction of the Indonesian communist party, the only mass-based organization. I suspect that empire would be pleased to see the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood crushed (the only mass-based organization and potential rival to military control), but that Uncle Sam wishes to distance himself from the carnage which is being deferred to regional capos.

      The bottom line: things have worked out exceptionally well for empire. Mubarak became an embarrassment and an impediment to complete neoliberal control and has been eliminated, the Muslim Brotherhood has been discredited and is being crushed, the uprising in Egypt has been contained, turned against itself, and has been sufficiently weakened to no longer threaten neoliberal domination. This has been a huge victory for empire, and a significant defeat for the resistance to neoliberal globalization. At this stage of the game, Egypt is so dependent upon foreign economic assistance that the events in Egypt are significantly influenced by outside forces. And you better believe that CENTCOM is heavily involved.

      • Hostage
        Hostage
        August 20, 2013, 6:31 pm

        Perhaps you would be so kind as to quote anything Chris Hedges, Pepe Escobar or (particularly) the anonymous friend said which you feel “is way out of date?”

        I already did. I pointed out that Egypt is an example of a country where the US doesn’t have a military presence and doesn’t back the military attacks on the civilian population or its decrees. The reason General Tantawi went into retirement last year was because our Congressional Chairmen said they wouldn’t grant Secretary Clinton anymore waivers. Gen. Sisi would be facing the same situation right now, if it weren’t for the Saudis stepping in and funding their vendetta against the Muslim Brotherhood. They don’t need any encouragement from Global Capitalism or Obama to pursue that policy.

        “We tried to place our CIA tool Suleiman in charge, but could not pull it off as he and his Security State were too hated.”

        You disagree?

        It’s typical conspiracy theory fodder. There’s no evidence Suleiman needed any CIA assistance or prodding to pursue his ambitions. The CIA did not bring Nasser, Sadat, or Mubarak to power and Suleiman didn’t get to be Mubarak’s Intelligence Chief or Vice President by being a stooge for the CIA.

        I don’t really think your rants about CENTCOM involvement are based on any personal knowledge and your comments about Empire offer no new insights or information.

      • ToivoS
        ToivoS
        August 20, 2013, 6:44 pm

        I have to agree mostly with Hostage in this debate but with one caveat: the evidence that we, the common people have, does not support a deep conspiracy whereby the US and Israel are pulling the strings of puppet Sisi. I think Hostage is overly assertive that there is not a conspiracy.

        On the surface it appears that the simplest explanation for events is that both are responding to one circumstance and crises after another. No witting conspirator would run things this chaotically. The fact that AIPAC is leaning on the Senate to not cut aid to the Egyptian military is NOT evidence for any deep conspiracy.

      • Hostage
        Hostage
        August 20, 2013, 7:27 pm

        I have to agree mostly with Hostage in this debate but with one caveat: the evidence that we, the common people have, does not support a deep conspiracy whereby the US and Israel are pulling the strings of puppet Sisi. I think Hostage is overly assertive that there is not a conspiracy.

        I haven’t asserted there is no conspiracy, I’ve said exactly the same thing you have here. There is no good evidence that one exists yet and much more plausible explanations in the meantime. But there are commenters here who are complaining because I haven’t jumped to the conclusion that a conspiracy necessarily must exist, e.g. http://mondoweiss.net/2013/08/us-aid-to-egypt-is-not-for-egypt-but-israel-jj-goldberg-explains.html#comment-585164

        i just find it difficult to say that I know something one way or another at this point, when none of us really does.

      • Keith
        Keith
        August 20, 2013, 8:37 pm

        HOSTAGE- “I already did. I pointed out that Egypt is an example of a country where the US doesn’t have a military presence and doesn’t back the military attacks on the civilian population or its decrees.”

        The statement that an analysis “is way out of date” implies that there has been some significant change which renders the analysis no longer valid. Otherwise, you would have simply disagreed with the analysis. I am unaware that the US ever had a permanent military presence in Egypt, hence, no change. Your opinion that the US doesn’t back the attacks on civilians is, I assume, based upon self-serving public statements which are completely inconsistent with past military support and coordination/cooperation between the US and Egypt. I suspect that the Egyptian generals are still on the US payroll, which indicates support of a substantive nature.

        “It’s typical conspiracy theory fodder. There’s no evidence Suleiman needed any CIA assistance or prodding to pursue his ambitions.”

        The notion that General Suleiman, head of the Egyptian General Intelligence Service, had CIA backing is a conspiracy theory? Gosh, who would dare suggest that the CIA would play favorites or interfere in another country’s affairs. Here is a money quote from Wikipedia: “Diplomatic cables released by Wikileaks suggested Suleiman enjoyed a strong relationship with the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). “Our intelligence collaboration with Omar Suleiman is now probably the most successful element of the relationship” with Egypt, said a 2006 U.S. diplomatic cable that used an alternative transliteration of his name, which also described Suleiman as Mubarak’s consigliere on foreign policy.
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Omar_Suleiman

        “I don’t really think your rants about CENTCOM involvement are based on any personal knowledge and your comments about Empire offer no new insights or information.”

        A one sentence rant? My, my, aren’t you sensitive. My opinion and comment was based upon information contained in “The Sorrows of Empire,” by Chalmers Johnson. He indicates that the “in 1997, responsibility for shaping key foreign political and military strategies was officially given to the regional commanders….Over time, the CINCs have become more influential in their regions than ambassadors….A CINC reports directly to the president and secretary of defense, avoiding the service chiefs and the normal chain of command.” (p124, 125) He states that “Everything is done very quietly with virtually no political oversight.” (p124) The point being that CENTCOM is intimately involved in events in Egypt, however, their actions are not normally visible to outsiders.

        As for my reference to empire, the events in Egypt cannot properly be understood without reference to empire, global political economy, and imperial geostrategy. It is your dismissive comment which offers no new insights or information, rather, it is a continuation of your attempt to defend the military, your former employer, and to minimize US culpability for the events in Egypt.

      • Hostage
        Hostage
        August 21, 2013, 11:36 pm

        The statement that an analysis “is way out of date” implies that there has been some significant change which renders the analysis no longer valid.

        Yes, the US did have a military presence in Egypt at Wadi Kena, but that was a couple of decades ago. I spent six months there myself.

      • Hostage
        Hostage
        August 21, 2013, 11:49 pm

        Hostage: “It’s typical conspiracy theory fodder. There’s no evidence Suleiman needed any CIA assistance or prodding to pursue his ambitions.”

        Keith: The notion that General Suleiman, head of the Egyptian General Intelligence Service, had CIA backing is a conspiracy theory? Gosh,

        Nice try on re-framing the conversation. Phil’s anonymous friend didn’t say Suleiman had CIA backing, he claimed the CIA tried to put him in charge, i.e.:

        We tried to place our CIA tool Suleiman in charge, but could not pull it off as he and his Security State were too hated.

        You’re engaging in artless ankle biting. If you want to discuss what I actually have to say feel free, but I’m not going to waste any more time on your rants.

      • Keith
        Keith
        August 22, 2013, 11:02 am

        HOSTAGE- “If you want to discuss what I actually have to say feel free….”

        Hostage said: “Suleiman didn’t get to be Mubarak’s Intelligence Chief or Vice President by being a stooge for the CIA.”

        Stooge? Talk about intentionally distorting a comment! As Phil remembers his conversation with anonymous, Suleiman is referred to as a “tool” not a “stooge.” Now, one can quibble about the term tool, however, in view of Suleiman’s close working relationship with the CIA, his demonstrated support for US goals in the region, his support and cooperation in the CIA’s extraordinary rendition program, it is hardly a stretch to consider him a tool, and to infer CIA support for him. As the NYT obituary notes:

        “That he died in the United States was, to his Egyptian critics, emblematic of his close ties with the C.I.A., which he had helped as it established the practice of extraordinary rendition: sending terrorism suspects to foreign countries to be interrogated and, its critics say, tortured.”
        http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/20/world/middleeast/omar-suleiman-ex-egyptian-vice-president-dies-reports-say.html?_r=0

        As for Suleiman being Uncle Sam’s initially preferred candidate, Noam Chomsky concludes: “It may be under way in the case of Hosni Mubarak, along with routine efforts to try to ensure a successor regime will not veer far from the approved path. The current hope appears to be Mubarak loyalist General Omar Suleiman, just named Egypt’s vice-president. Suleiman, the longtime head of the intelligence services, is despised by the rebelling public almost as much as the dictator himself.”
        http://www.chomsky.info/articles/20110204.htm

        The notion that the Egyptian military is acting independently, with no significant outside influences, is ludicrous. Egypt is absolutely dependent upon foreign loans for survival, all of which will come with strings attached. As I said at the time of the initial uprising, Egypt lacks the wherewithal to break free from the global matrix of financial control. As far as I can tell, nothing has changed except, perhaps, that organized resistance to neoliberal globalization has been crushed. Made in Egypt? Get real.

        Finally, “Yes, the US did have a military presence in Egypt at Wadi Kena, but that was a couple of decades ago. I spent six months there myself.” (Hostage)

        Is this your way of admitting that CENTCOM is deeply involved with the Egyptian military? And that you were personally involved in achieving imperial objectives as a career militarist? Once Smedley Butler retired from the Marines, he was able to look back and see that “War is a Racket.” Pity that seem incapable of doing likewise.

      • Sibiriak
        Sibiriak
        August 23, 2013, 4:28 am

        Keith:

        the events in Egypt cannot properly be understood without reference to empire, global political economy, and imperial geostrategy.

        Absolutely. And that requires an overall geoeconomic/geopolitical theory.

      • Sibiriak
        Sibiriak
        August 23, 2013, 4:32 am

        Keith:

        As for Suleiman being Uncle Sam’s initially preferred candidate, Noam Chomsky concludes: “It may be under way in the case of Hosni Mubarak, along with routine efforts to try to ensure a successor regime will not veer far from the approved path. The current hope appears to be Mubarak loyalist General Omar Suleiman, just named Egypt’s vice-president. Suleiman, the longtime head of the intelligence services, is despised by the rebelling public almost as much as the dictator himself.”

        I wonder: what is the ideological motivation for some people here to deny this?

      • Hostage
        Hostage
        August 24, 2013, 3:11 am

        As for Suleiman being Uncle Sam’s initially preferred candidate, . . . I wonder: what is the ideological motivation for some people here to deny this?

        I don’t deny any of that. There is no one here, except you and Keith who are still suggesting that I ever did.

        So one more time: Chomsky does NOT say that “We tried to place our CIA tool Suleiman in charge”, like the anonymous friend Phil quoted in the article. There is a world of difference between preferring a candidate and trying to place him in charge.

        There’s also a world of difference between evidence that the CIA was taking an active role in the formation of the new Egyptian government and unsupported assertions that they did.

        I wonder where you guys learned to read?

      • Sibiriak
        Sibiriak
        August 24, 2013, 3:34 am

        Hostage:

        “As for Suleiman being Uncle Sam’s initially preferred candidate […]” I don’t deny any of that.

        So you are saying that Suleiman WAS the U.S./CIA -preferred candidate, but the U.S./CIA, for some reason, made no efforts at all to have their preference realized? You admit that U.S./CIA “backed” Suleiman, but contend that, in this case, they did nothing to help get him put in charge?

        Hostage: Chomsky does NOT say that “We tried to place our CIA tool Suleiman in charge”…

        But Chomsky said:

        It may be under way in the case of Hosni Mubarak, along with routine efforts to try to ensure a successor regime will not veer far from the approved path.

        What were these “efforts” then, if not efforts to get their preferred candidate put in charge?

        It seems like you are really splitting semantic hairs here, with all due respect.

        Hostage: There is a world of difference between preferring a candidate and trying to place him in charge.

        Only if you assume that the U.S. would do absolutely nothing to help their preferred candidate, a very strange assumption which strains credulity given the history of the U.S./CIA modus operandi.

      • Sibiriak
        Sibiriak
        August 23, 2013, 4:19 am

        Keith:

        The bottom line: things have worked out exceptionally well for empire. Mubarak became an embarrassment and an impediment to complete neoliberal control and has been eliminated, the Muslim Brotherhood has been discredited and is being crushed, the uprising in Egypt has been contained, turned against itself, and has been sufficiently weakened to no longer threaten neoliberal domination.

        Excellent post. Perhaps just a tad to categorical about a neoliberal capitalist victory and the MB’s demise–the massive economic problems/popular unrest still create an open-ended dynamic at this point.

      • Walid
        Walid
        August 23, 2013, 5:22 am

        ““Saudi and Gulf States did everything in their power to thwart MB government in Egypt. ”

        Morsi’s first international trip was to Saudia where he asked for a 4 billion loan and was turned down. Qatar immediately responded with a committment to provide the much needed cash. A year later and with Morsi ousted and the MB returned to the doghouse, Saudia, the UAE and Kuwait came through with a 12 billion aid package. The big loser was Qatar.

  9. James Canning
    James Canning
    August 19, 2013, 6:18 pm

    The BBC reported that Egyptian generals did not want to end up on marble slabs at the morgue, the way so many generals did in Iran.

    • Justpassingby
      Justpassingby
      August 20, 2013, 5:03 am

      And you obviously buy it dont you James?

      • James Canning
        James Canning
        August 20, 2013, 1:58 pm

        @Just — Do I think the pro-Morsi demonstrations posed a danger to the Egyptian generals, that the government could end up controlled by people who would kill all generals and other senior officers connected to Mubarak? Not sure at this point.

        Gideon Rachman has a great piece in the Financial Times today touching on this.

  10. Tuyzentfloot
    Tuyzentfloot
    August 19, 2013, 6:20 pm

    This idea is a bit speculative but I think after the fall of the Soviet Union the US has gone overboard on the hegemony game. They took out Iraq and partly took out Iran and eliminated natural counterbalances for countries like Saudi Arabia, thinking the US could handle it all by themselves. And now they’ve got no control at all anymore and there are no countries that can keep the Saudis in check.

  11. Hostage
    Hostage
    August 19, 2013, 6:59 pm

    I think there’s a leftist tendency to endow the US with too much power.

    Of course. Right wing commentators can be just as unrealistic in their assessments of US influence.

    I tend to agree with Phil’s suggestion that “events in Egypt are being made in Egypt”. The US has just been reacting to events there since the Arab Spring and has no on-going control and little relative influence over the parties. The Gulf States have plenty of other customers that are lined-up to buy oil and gas at market prices and they are setting their own agendas. Many of them have saying for years that they are fed-up with US policies in the region and are ready to go their own way, e.g. See Saudi Arabia dangles lucrative arms deal in front of Russia in exchange for dropping Assad http://rt.com/news/bandar-putin-assad-saudi-188/

    The US really hasn’t been able to drive events in the region since the Bush Jr. era. Obama couldn’t even get our best “strategic ally” to pause construction in the settlements for a mere 90 days using a lot bigger military aid package than we’ve offered the Egyptians as an enticement. If there is any country where the US doesn’t have a military presence or isn’t backing troops that are shooting their own civilians in the streets, it has been Egypt. Obama told Mubarak it was time to go for doing that, and he’ll be forced to do the same again from the way things are playing out with the Congress.

    • Ellen
      Ellen
      August 19, 2013, 7:27 pm

      Interesting comment:
      The US really hasn’t been able to drive events in the region since the Bush Jr. era. Obama couldn’t even get our best “strategic ally” to pause construction in the settlements for a mere 90 days using a lot bigger military aid package than we’ve offered the Egyptians as an enticement.

      That signaled to the world that the US has really nothing to say, no influence, no clout especially in that region of the world. Israel undermined the US, with the aid of our elected officials who went along with it all like faithful foolish dogs and brought out the check book to try and buy influence and love. Sad.

    • philweiss
      philweiss
      August 20, 2013, 11:25 am

      Thanks Hostage, for noting my demurral. I agree with you here.

  12. James Canning
    James Canning
    August 19, 2013, 7:34 pm

    Good points, but one should note that Obama buckled under pressure from Israel lobby. Sadly. Dennis Ross apparently played key role in enabling Israel to continue growing the illegal colonies of Jews in WB.

    • Woody Tanaka
      Woody Tanaka
      August 20, 2013, 6:58 am

      “Dennis Ross apparently played key role in enabling Israel to continue growing the illegal colonies of Jews in WB.”

      Can’t say I am surprised. When you let swarms of zios into key positions in the US power structure, they will abuse those positions to further the apartheid state’s crimes. It’s well past time to burn out that cancer, but it may be too late.

  13. ToivoS
    ToivoS
    August 19, 2013, 8:19 pm

    I am not sure what a proper left wing reply to this tragedy in Egypt should be. Forty years ago there was a real left wing opposition in Egypt that came under the banner of panArab and/or socialism but that was pretty much marginalized then and seems to have evaporated since. I certainly have trouble identifying with any of the factions at this point.

    Muslim Brotherhood? I would rather chew on glass than support their Christian equivalent found in the US: i.e. petty bourgeoise, sexually oppressive, misogynist, antiunion fundamentalist. Military fascists? Need one say more. It might be easiest to root for Western oriented secular types who can communicate with me in English. Certainly, many outside leftists seem to have become engaged with these types. However, they are allying themselves with the military fascists, so what is there to support.

    So in the meantime I can just admire the incredible courage of those poor followers of the MB and mourn after they are massacred. There is a difference between the grass roots followers in the MB and their leadership. The former is drawn from the poor workers and peasants while the latter come from the merchant classes (actually there is a similar breakdown in the class composition of the southern evangelicals here in the US). The only political question that seems relevant for me is: Why is the US supporting military fascism?

    • Citizen
      Citizen
      August 19, 2013, 9:36 pm

      Why is the US supporting military fascism? LOL. This is not your grandparents’ USA.

      “The stability of the Saudi Arabia – Israel – US axis is something to behold.”

      Check out how your local police department has morphed into a para-military organization. It was really obvious in Boston, wasn’t it? One big Pearl Harbor–9/11 did the job; now it’s endless little ones.

      • RoHa
        RoHa
        August 19, 2013, 11:46 pm

        “Why is the US supporting military fascism? LOL. This is not your grandparents’ USA.”

        Huh? Are you suggesting that the USA hasn’t supported military fascists in the past?

      • American
        American
        August 20, 2013, 11:36 am

        RoHa says:
        August 19, 2013 at 11:46 pm

        “Why is the US supporting military fascism? LOL. This is not your grandparents’ USA.”

        Huh? Are you suggesting that the USA hasn’t supported military fascists in the past?>>>>>

        I doubt thats what he’s suggesting—more like it use to be a dirty little secret but now its pretty much accepted sop by we ‘mericans.

      • RoHa
        RoHa
        August 21, 2013, 9:13 pm

        ” it use to be a dirty little secret ”

        You mean “it useD to be a dirty little secret”.

        Maybe Americans didn’t know, but it was obvious to the rest of the world that the US would support any dictator, no matter how brutal and nasty, as long as that dictator proclaimed that he was anti-communist.

      • James Canning
        James Canning
        August 20, 2013, 2:46 pm

        @Citizen – – The threat from the Soviet Union caused the US to support Franco, fascist though he was. US needed bases in Spain.

  14. gingershot
    gingershot
    August 19, 2013, 9:05 pm

    From Silverstein’s Tikun Olam site:

    “My Israeli source tells me that the phones lines between Jerusalem and Cairo were humming:

    The Israelis, whose military had close ties to General Sisi from his former post as head of military intelligence, were supporting the takeover as well. Western diplomats say that General Sisi and his circle appeared to be in heavy communication with Israeli colleagues, and the diplomats believed the Israelis were also undercutting the Western message by reassuring the Egyptians not to worry about American threats to cut off aid.

    Israeli officials deny having reassured Egypt about the aid, but acknowledge having lobbied Washington to protect it.’

    http://www.richardsilverstein.com/

    • annie
      annie
      August 19, 2013, 10:04 pm

      ‘my israeli sources’? is that what the nyt’s is? ha! yeah, phil reported that earlier:

      http://mondoweiss.net/2013/08/israelis-assured-egyptian-military-thered-be-no-cutoff-in-us-aid-nyt-says-and-israel-denies.html

      as did b, even earlier @ moon of alabama:

      http://www.moonofalabama.org/2013/08/who-dictates-us-policies-on-egypt.html

      • ToivoS
        ToivoS
        August 20, 2013, 3:37 am

        annie just want to say thank you for bringing moonofalabama to my attention. It was a few years back but who ever b is, he or she is one very intelligent observer. His site has attracted some smart people but also some very dumb ones.

      • annie
        annie
        August 20, 2013, 1:47 pm

        you’re very welcome toivo,and my pleasure. b is a he, his name is bernhard, see here: http://www.moonofalabama.org/about.html

        b changed the way i looked at the world. i have a huge amount of respect for him. he hosted many of us at his home a few years ago. i wrote about it here http://www.moonofalabama.org/2007/01/langavulin_indu.html

        and yes his site is heavily trolled. let me know if you’ve never noticed the sitemeter available to readers. it’s striking how the traffic picks up from the locations of our military installations, like centcom, when he’s got a hot post. you can watch the traffic flood in.

      • ToivoS
        ToivoS
        August 20, 2013, 7:22 pm

        sitemeter?? What (I can guess) but where is it?

      • Danaa
        Danaa
        August 20, 2013, 7:30 pm

        I agree that Moonof Alabama is one good site – anlysis you won’t see almost anywhere else of events in the Middle east and other peripheries of the zato Empire. He has been right on point with regards to Syria and called the shift in Western opinion circles – and political influencers away from the so-called “rebels’ before anyone else that i saw. So-called “rebels’ because there are hardly any real Syrians left in the ranks of the actual fighters. the vast majority of those killed and identified these days (hundreds every week) are foreign jihadists, recruited and paid for by SA (and orginally Quatar). MoA laid out the conflict between Qatar and SA rather astutely too. And called Turkey out many times – with clarity that is rare to find anywhere else. of course, no one can be always right and Bernard is no exception. But he graciously admits it when a prediction doesn’t materialize.

        I get lots of additional good links from MoA commenters – pepe escobar’s articles among many others. And yes, unfortunately the site suffers a serious troll infestation along with probably paid misinformation agents. One just has to recognize the good ones and avoid getting sucked into any fruitless/fruity interchange.

        I just wish he had more time to comment on certain events more often. A true counter-empire, counter-propaganda voice (his commenters refer to it often as “zusa” and “zato”. Cute…)

      • annie
        annie
        August 21, 2013, 6:46 pm

        toivo, the link to the sitemeter is on the bottom left corner of every page. it is black font on dark blue background. if you cannot see it scroll over the area. click on it and it takes you to the sitemeter. when you’re there click on ‘who’s on’ in the left column.

      • Tuyzentfloot
        Tuyzentfloot
        August 21, 2013, 4:52 pm

        [Annie:] ‘my israeli sources’? is that what the nyt’s is? ha! yeah, phil reported that earlier:

        It sounds important but Bob Somersby from he Daily Howler used to write “my analists tell me” which is at least as good. I never got around to using it myself but I should.

  15. Krauss
    Krauss
    August 20, 2013, 12:37 am

    Chris Hedges is just atrociously wrong when he skips over the islamofacists – which is what they are – and tries to pin the blame on global capitalism.

    Sorry, but promoting the cattle-status of women, hanging gays and persecuting Christians isn’t forced on you by global capitalism. It’s a belief system/cultural choice that you embrace.

    It’s disappointing to see such a claptrap leftist analysis of the situation in Egypt.
    It reminds me of the bizarre analysis that Noam Chomsky has for Israel, that it is somehow Global Capitalism’s fault, and not a racist ideology with a fanatic following.

    This is the problem that Marx already has written about, the faulty ‘Economic Man’ analysis that tries to put everything in an economic context; everything can be forgiven by looking at someone’s socio-economic status(or lack thereof).
    Marx was scornful of this, and rightfully so, even if he understood that class has large implications otherwise for society.
    It’s disappointing to see people like Hedges or Chomsky simply not get this when it comes to the Middle East.

    • Hostage
      Hostage
      August 20, 2013, 1:03 pm

      It reminds me of the bizarre analysis that Noam Chomsky has for Israel, that it is somehow Global Capitalism’s fault, and not a racist ideology with a fanatic following.

      Which reminds us that you really don’t deal with the subtleties of Chomsky’s actual analysis of the subject. So you end up misrepresenting his stated views on the role played by the Lobby as a result. He never said Global Capitalism is entirely to blame. He said that everyone agrees that the Lobby is one of the factors that determines our foreign policy:

      M-W make as good a case as one can, I suppose, for the power of the Lobby, but I don’t think it provides any reason to modify what has always seemed to me a more plausible interpretation. Notice incidentally that what is at stake is a rather subtle matter: weighing the impact of several factors which (all agree) interact in determining state policy: in particular, (A) strategic-economic interests of concentrations of domestic power in the tight state-corporate linkage, and (B) the Lobby.

      http://www.chomsky.info/articles/20060328.htm

      The overthrow of Mubarak was a perfect example of that. Leahy initially authored a waiver to his own 1997 Leahy Law to provide Obama authority to continue the funding, because the real beneficiaries were American defense contractors, their suppliers, and their employees. That was the determining factor, not the Lobby. In the end, only the Pentagon advised that the funding should be continue after the Generals dissolved the Parliament. Here is a portion of a news report on that from 2012 and some other links:

      Leahy authored legislation for new conditions on the annual $1.3 billion in U.S. military aid to Egypt. In February, the administration of President Barack Obama, lobbied by the military and defense contractors, waived the aid cutoff and sent the entire allocation to Cairo.

      “I am closely following developments in Egypt. I have made clear to the
      State Department that, despite the earlier waiver of the conditions I
      authored, I would not want to see the U.S. government write checks for
      contracts with Egypt’s military under the present uncertain circumstances,”
      Leahy said on June 15.

      http://www.worldtribune.com/2012/06/18/senator-warns-against-writing-checks-to-egypts-military/
      http://security.blogs.cnn.com/2012/06/18/egypts-reforms-in-flux-u-s-options-in-question/

      There’s always a chance that the interests of the Lobby and Defense Industry will coincide and prevail again this time. Many news outlets are already applying spin to the effect that cutting off our supposedly small amount of aid won’t change anything and will only make Egyptian authorities less cooperative.

      • seanmcbride
        seanmcbride
        August 20, 2013, 1:26 pm

        Hostage,

        We’ve been over this ground about Chomsky and Israel many times before, and I don’t want to beat a dead horse.

        But in sum: I have attended several Chomsky talks in which his eyes glazed over concerning discussion about the Israel lobby and in which he tried to shift blame for bad American Mideast policies regarding Israel to a vague corporatocracy — Marxism Lite, one might call it. My eyes and ears did not deceive me.

        And I am also fully aware that the American foreign policy establishment — and the American power elite in general — has been riven with dissent about Israel from before Israel’s founding to the present day.

        Most Fortune 500 CEOs couldn’t care less about Israel or Mideast politics in general — they have more important problems and issues to worry about. American Mideast policy has largely been engineered and forced on the American government by the Israel lobby and its hundreds of component organizations.

        Passionate pro-Israel billionaires in American life — some of whom financially dominate the mainstream media and the Republican and Democratic Parties — greatly outnumber those billionaires who have compelling questions about Israel. I have never seen Noam Chomsky apply his keen intelligence to this issue. He strikes me as being in denial — for what reasons I don’t know. Might ethnic loyalties play some role?

      • Hostage
        Hostage
        August 22, 2013, 12:53 am

        We’ve been over this ground about Chomsky and Israel many times before, and I don’t want to beat a dead horse.

        But you are anyway.

        I have attended several Chomsky talks in which his eyes glazed over concerning discussion about the Israel lobby and in which he tried to shift blame for bad American Mideast policies regarding Israel to a vague corporatocracy — Marxism Lite, one might call it.

        The fact is that, when Mubarak was overthrown, the General’s seized power, dissolved the Parliament, tried to prevent Morsi from taking office and stripped him of powers; that it was the Pentagon and the defense contractors lobbyists who talked Sen Leahy into adopting a law that temporarily waived the provisions of the Leahy Law cutoff. The Pentagon just awarded GE a contract to upgrade Egypt’s older F16s. General Electric is not a vague corporatocracy. They own news and media networks and employ full time lobbyists on Capital Hill.

        My eyes glaze over when people won’t admit that the Israel Lobby doesn’t have enough clout to get Congress or the Pentagon to support their goal of going to war against Iran. For years GE and Halliburton were opposed, because they were doing business with post-revolutionary Iran.

        I’m pretty certain that, if the interests of the Defense and Oil Industry ever had coincided with the interests of AIPAC and friends, that the President would have started a war and let the Congress know afterwards in accordance with the War Powers Act.

      • Obsidian
        Obsidian
        August 22, 2013, 2:50 am

        And what about the billions of dollars that the Saudis and Gulf States have just promised to post-Morsi Egypt? I would guess that the Egyptian military is more beholden to the Saudis than to the US or Israel. Much more.

      • seanmcbride
        seanmcbride
        August 22, 2013, 9:23 am

        Hostage,

        Simple logic, Hostage — three statements can be true:

        1. The military-industrial complex and the oil industry have played an important role in forging American Mideast policy.

        2. The Jewish lobby within the Israel lobby has played an important role in forging American Mideast policy.

        3. Noam Chomsky has devoted little energy or effort to exploring the role of the Jewish lobby within the Israel lobby in forging American Mideast policy.

        The interesting question is, why.

        Two possibilities:

        1. He identifies psychologically and emotionally with the Jewish community and doesn’t want to risk stirring up anti-Jewish feelings.

        2. He understands that his academic career could have suffered if he had explored this topic in his public writings — or there could have been worse penalties and punishments.

        Text mining challenge: compile a collection of all the paragraphs from Noam Chomsky’s writings which discuss the Israel lobby. You won’t find much.

        (Overall I am a Chomsky fan and admire his total body of work on every subject he has turned his attention to.)

      • CitizenC
        CitizenC
        August 22, 2013, 9:59 am

        So much Zionism, so little time…

        For years GE and Halliburton were opposed, because they were doing business with post-revolutionary Iran.

        Yes, a powerful business lobby opposed the sanctions on Iran, but was no match for the Zionocracy. Here are Sasan Fayezmanesh’s paper on the politics of Iran sanctions

        http://zimmer.csufresno.edu/~sasanf/MES101Documents/ThePoliticsOfUSEconSanctionsEconLit.pdf

        and his book.

        http://www.routledge.com/books/details/9780415612692/

      • American
        American
        August 22, 2013, 10:46 am

        @ Hostage

        I am also tired of beatng the Chomsky dead horse .. BUT… the man’s attempt to ‘deflect’ from the Lobby wth the US Imperial Empire and US Weapons industry are ‘dishonest’ at core.
        Many,many arms industry insiders and anyalst have wrtten about ‘the cost to the US industry ‘ in the ‘sharng’ of their intellectual property by the pentagon wth Isr that adds to Israel ability to ‘compete’ wth their own sales in traditional markets like Italy and India. As I am sure you know that is a very competitve market in the ‘latest technology” and givng that tech to Isr as we do is not a win for the US industry.. And as I am also sure you know Isr ‘exports” more weapons of it’s own than it ‘imports” from us and others. Last year they exported 7 B—they bought wth free money, 2B from the US– if not for the free US 2 B Isr would have had to use their own weapons producton for their miltary needs thereby ‘reducing’ their’ weapons export sales and profit by around 30%.
        Somewhere there is a copy of the meetng between JINSA and the defense industry execs long ago in which bascally the US execs agreed ‘not to fight’ the military aid since congress was going to do regardless of any objectons—I am sure Grant Smith has it somewhere–cant swear but think thats where I first came across it.
        If someone wanted to put the best ‘of all possble spins ‘on it they should try to present it as ‘a wash’–because it has been proven ‘by the figures that it is not a ‘profit center’ for the US Arms industry.
        The arguement about Chomsky is his ‘personal’ motivation’ that makes him ‘dishonest’ in his deflection from the Lobby—not about whether or not the Lobby can force the US to do “everything’ it wants but what the Lobby ‘can force ‘the US to do. There are ‘some things’ it hasnt been able to force the US to do like attack Iran (in O’s adm –and so far) as you pointed out. It has been able to make Iran an ‘enemy ‘ of the US and enforce the ‘sanctions’ thru it’s US influence and make it another BIG complicaton for the US. and the ME.
        Chomsky is also not an argument about how the US is ‘not the bad guy’, we all know we are a bad guy nore times than not. The arguement is how Chomksy ‘uses’ Imperial US captalism for e.v.e.r.y.t.h.i.n.g and partculary for Israel.
        He ‘uses’ it , plain and simple, because it’s an easy fall guy and ‘some’ things he says are true.
        I personally cant respect the man even though he does criticze Israel becuase of that basic dishonesty in tryng to ‘mislead’ people wth a ‘simple story’ of a US great satan for the US-Isr scheme when that is not the ‘full’ and honest truth.
        Chomsky’s personal life, background, experience and identity as a Jew, past anti semitism, his never outgrowing, so to speak, his youthful sort of hippy socialist idea of zionism are why he does this—-he himself cant let himself be ‘totally’ honest because he wants to protect the Jews from ending up being blamed for too much of anything least anti semitism resurface in a big way. He just cant be ‘objective’.
        IMO, as I have said before, this is the ‘wrong way’ to go about protecting or shieldng the majority Jews as a group from blame or fallout. For one thing you will never separate in the general publics mind the Jewish interest connection and Israel, that has been too ingrained by decades of the Zionist propaganda. The right way and only sucessful way to do it imo is to ‘admit’ to the truth of Lobby and pin the blame on the Zionist cult ‘within’ who ‘are’ actually to blame. That is something people will accept and understand as a ‘bad element” ‘within’ some group just as wth many other groups.

      • American
        American
        August 22, 2013, 11:16 am

        This is Chomsky in Scotland at the Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign:

        ‘’If the US doesn’t want them (lsrael) to do something it tells them and they follow orders. We saw that with the pullout from Ramallah a couple of days ago. That same point extends to the power of the Jewish lobby and its backers – technically it’s not a Jewish lobby, it’s a pro-Israel lobby. A substantial part of the lobby happen to be Christian fundamentalists who in the US are a very important force’’

        Anyone who does not understand what Chomsky is doing wth his ‘deflections’ just plain doesnt want to understand it.
        Yep, Isr ‘always just follows’ US orders and the Israel Lobby isnt Jewish it’s
        American Christian fundementalist who are the political force.
        And all of us who have gone all the way into the bowels of US-Isr–and done it objectively—-know those are two deliberate lies right there—-and the purpose of the lies..

      • seanmcbride
        seanmcbride
        August 22, 2013, 11:25 am

        Hostage,

        The bigger issue being raised here (beyond Chomsky): to what degree has the progressive left shied away from a frank, open and detailed discussion of the structure and operations of the Israel lobby in American politics?

      • seanmcbride
        seanmcbride
        August 22, 2013, 8:25 pm

        American,

        You talking to me again? :) (I was never sure what exactly set you off some weeks ago.)

        Good points about Chomsky’s evasiveness and intellectual dishonesty with regard to the role of the Israel lobby in American politics, and the role of the Jewish lobby in the Israel lobby.

        I’m surprised that the usually astute Hostage has taken the position he has on this aspect of Chomsky — it’s not defensible.

        Chomsky has many virtues — dealing forthrightly with the power and makeup of the Israel lobby isn’t one of them.

      • Hostage
        Hostage
        August 22, 2013, 9:31 pm

        Anyone who does not understand what Chomsky is doing wth his ‘deflections’ just plain doesnt want to understand it.

        Geez, when he says that the Israel Lobby is one of the two top factors that determine US foreign policy and notes that the Christian (non-Jewish) component of the Israel Lobby is a very important force, that isn’t a deflection.

        What he is doing when he points out that the Lobby has to occasionally stay quiet or that it has lost some very historic battles only illustrates that it isn’t all powerful, not that it is insignificant.

        I still go to bed every night in a country that isn’t bombing Iran yet, and where Jonathan Pollard is still in jail.

      • Sibiriak
        Sibiriak
        August 22, 2013, 11:00 pm

        @American:

        Chomsky says:

        A substantial part of the lobby happen to be Christian fundamentalists who in the US are a very important force’’

        You then claim Chomsky said:

        …the Israel Lobby isnt Jewish it’sAmerican Christian fundementalist who are the political force.

        Reread Chomsky’s statement. He only said that Christian fundamentalists were a *substantial part* of the Lobby–which is true.

        Why distort his position?

        It would be impossible to understand the influence of the Lobby with out at least some reference to the force of Christian Zionism.

      • American
        American
        August 22, 2013, 11:19 pm

        @ Hostage

        I posted a full explanaton for why I say what I do about Chomsky up above that comment but it hasnt gotten out of the rabbit hole yet.
        You may like him and think his speakng against the I-occupation is enough.
        I dont hate the man, just dont respect him and would stake my life on the certainty of his “intentional misleading” on the facts. And I know why he does but that does not make it right or to be admired.
        You like myself I would imagine have been around the block enough to have had experence with how ‘mixing in a some truth’ —but not the whole truth or addng a small white lie ‘changes’ the story.
        Thats what he does., cant respect that.
        When people like MJRosenberg, Phil, the Jewish Forward, many others, who have as much interest in not seeing any fallout on Jews because of the Lobby and zio activites are honest enough to admit ‘Yes, it’s a 90% Jewish Lobby what would you have me think of dishonest Chomsky when he always tries to misrepresent the Lobby on that count? And that he lies on that particular count tells why he does.
        I have only two choices—-he’s ignorant or he’s lying for his purpose. I dont think he is ignorant.

    • Sibiriak
      Sibiriak
      August 21, 2013, 8:56 pm

      Krauss:

      promoting the cattle-status of women, hanging gays and persecuting Christians isn’t forced on you by global capitalism. It’s a belief system/cultural choice that you embrace.

      True, but the question remains: why have fundamentalist religious belief systems/cultural choices seen a dramatic rise–around the world– just as neoliberal capitalism became globally dominant?

      It’s hard not to see a causal connection there.

  16. CitizenC
    CitizenC
    August 20, 2013, 2:22 am

    The situation in Egypt is not remotely comparable to Chile.

    “Given the situation, a complete halt to US military support to Egypt is called for—but it will be useless, and it will likely backfire as happened in Pakistan after Washington broke with Islamabad over Pakistan’s nukes. Egypt’s military seems to know what it wants, and it won’t be deterred.”

    Is the US Powerless in the Egyptian Crisis?
    http://www.thenation.com/blog/175813/us-powerless-egyptian-crisis#axzz2cS7o4n1q

    WSJ seconds Dreyfus

    “Given the situation, a complete halt to US military support to Egypt is called for—but it will be useless, and it will likely backfire as happened in Pakistan after Washington broke with Islamabad over Pakistan’s nukes. Egypt’s military seems to know what it wants, and it won’t be deterred.”

    Egypt, U.S. on Collision Course
    Military-Led Government Says It is ‘Reviewing’ Relationship With U.S. Amid Criticism

    By
    MATT BRADLEY
    in Cairo and
    JAY SOLOMON
    in Washington

    Egypt’s military-led government said it was “reviewing” its strategic relationships with the U.S. and other Western governments critical of its crackdown on Islamists, deepening the divide between the Obama administration and Cairo.

    Egypt’s military-led government said it was “reviewing” its strategic relationships with the U.S. and other Western governments critical of its crackdown on Islamists. Meanwhile, deposed Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak could be freed from prison this week. Jerry Seib discusses. Photo: Getty Images.

    Amid expectations of more violence in coming days, the death toll rose on Sunday as dozens of Muslim Brotherhood supporters were killed in Cairo in what the government described as a prison-break attempt. The Islamist movement’s leaders called for continued defiance against Egypt’s generals, despite signs that their supporters were becoming limited in their ability to take to the streets.

    The weekend developments were the latest signs of the constrained ability of the administration of President Barack Obama to influence events in Egypt. The White House, while deciding Friday to postpone joint-military exercises with Egypt, has indicated it plans to continue sending $1.5 billion in military and economic aid to Egypt as a means to try to guide events there.

    Egypt’s military-led government said it was “reviewing” its strategic relationships with the U.S. and other Western governments critical of its crackdown on Islamists. Meanwhile, deposed Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak could be freed from prison this week. Jerry Seib discusses. Photo: Getty Images.

    But the announcement by Egypt’s foreign minister of the review of its ties to the U.S., and growing opposition on Capitol Hill to the aid, might make this impossible.

    “The attempts to internationalize the discussions about this event is something that Egypt rejects,” Egyptian Foreign Minister Nabil Fahmy said Sunday. “I ask the foreign ministry to review the foreign aid of the past and to see if those aids are used in an optimal way.”

    The comments from Mr. Fahmy hewed to a theme that has dominated Egypt’s airwaves and newspapers the past two months: disappointment and hostility toward criticism of Egypt’s security forces by Western governments. Interim-government officials have also complained of “biased” coverage in Western media.

    Criticism of the Egyptian military’s actions grew on Capitol Hill. A widening number of U.S. senators took to the Sunday news shows to challenge Mr. Obama’s Egypt policy.

    “I think the actions of the last week no doubt are going to cause us to suspend aid,” said Sen. Bob Corker (R., Tenn.) on ABC. He added that the U.S. should “recalibrate” its aid to Egypt while keeping open lines of communication with the Middle Eastern nation.

    The prisoner deaths book ended a bloody week of clashes that have spawned political violence unprecedented in modern Egypt. Egyptians are now looking at yet another week of potential flare-ups after supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood and ousted President Mohammed Morsi announced weeklong protests.

    The violence has hardened attitudes on both sides, strengthening the appetite for resistance among both Mr. Morsi’s supporters and his opponents. Leaders of the movement backing Mr. Morsi issued a call for further demonstrations on Saturday night, the same day that a police raid ended an armed overnight standoff at a Cairo mosque in which at least 173 people were killed. Egypt’s military spokesman said 120 soldiers died in the siege.

    “We believe that Egyptians are determined to get their freedom back peacefully,” said one senior Brotherhood official. “In history, all the revolutions were against very powerful regimes. They succeeded to overthrow them. And this is what we believe that the Egyptian people will do.”

    In speeches, political leaders in the military-backed government justified last week’s crackdowns and asked the public to remain steadfast in the face of what they describe as a terrorist threat posed by Mr. Morsi’s supporters.

    Senior government officials have defended the crackdowns, saying military and police have shown restraint.

    Cairo’s crowded capital made a tentative return to normal life on Sunday, even as a monthlong, all-night curfew first imposed last Wednesday remained in place. Businesses that had been shuttered on Saturday were open for the first day of the Egypt’s workweek, and the city’s familiar congestion once again returned.

    Egypt’s Interior Ministry called for an end to the so-called “popular committees” of local residents who have set up roadblocks during the curfew hours. The committees, which the ministry had encouraged for much of the past week, had been “abused” by local thugs, the ministry announced.

    Both General Abdel Fattah Al Sisi, Egypt’s minister of defense and the head of its armed forces, and Mr. Fahmy, the minister of foreign affairs, said that security forces were prepared to use force against pro-Morsi protesters if the former president’s supporters continued to use violence. Leaders in the Muslim Brotherhood, which backed Mr. Morsi’s presidency, have argued that their demonstrations are peaceful.

    “What we do is a reaction and not an action, and we exercise a great deal of self-restraint,” said Gen. Sisi in a televised address Sunday afternoon. “I am confirming that those who attack, however, we will face them strictly.”

    Mr. Fahmy’s announcement of a foreign-policy review was a thinly veiled swipe at U.S. criticism of Egypt’s recent crackdown on Pro-Morsi protesters. Many Egyptians believe the U.S. has taken the Brotherhood’s side.

    Some Egyptians have also expressed outrage at Mr. Obama’s announcement last week that U.S. forces wouldn’t participate in the biannual “BrightStar” military exercises scheduled for this fall. Mr. Obama said he was withdrawing from the exercises after at least 600 people died when the military forcefully dispersed a pro-Morsi protest camp last Wednesday.

    The U.S. has given Egypt $1.3 billion each year in military aid since the early 1980s.

    Though leaders in Mr. Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood have pledged to maintain their vigils, there were signs Sunday that continuing violence had put a dent in the group’s ability to organize supporters. In one sign of disorganization, the group canceled one of about a half-dozen marches originally planned for Sunday. But a separate march to the Supreme Constitutional Court in the Maadi neighborhood of Cairo didn’t materialize after conflicting reports from Brotherhood spokesmen over the cancellation of all demonstrations on Sunday.

    A small group, numbering some two dozen, held a rally about a mile from the courthouse. “Where are your big numbers now?” one passerby shouted mockingly at the group.
    —Leila Elmergawi, Tamer El-Ghobashy and Maria Abi Habib contributed to this article.

    Write to Matt Bradley at [email protected] and Jay Solomon at [email protected]

    A version of this article appeared August 19, 2013, on page A1 in the U.S. edition of The Wall Street Journal, with the headline: Egypt, U.S. on Collision Course.

  17. CitizenC
    CitizenC
    August 20, 2013, 11:05 am

    The situation in Egypt is not remotely comparable to Chile

    “Given the situation, a complete halt to US military support to Egypt is called for—but it will be useless, and it will likely backfire as happened in Pakistan after Washington broke with Islamabad over Pakistan’s nukes. Egypt’s military seems to know what it wants, and it won’t be deterred.”

    Is the US Powerless in the Egyptian Crisis?
    http://www.thenation.com/blog/175813/us-powerless-egyptian-crisis#axzz2cS7o4n1q

    WSJ seconds Dreyfus; I think talk of “collision course” is wrong; the US is the VW bug and Egypt and its forces the SUV in this collision; the US has lost control, while the WSJ editorial outlook interprets it as a clash of wills; but the facts are correct, the US has failed to get its way

    Allies Thwart America in Egypt
    Israel, Saudis and U.A.E. Support Military Moves

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887323423804579023213295900596.html?mod=WSJ_hps_LEFT
    TopStories

    Egypt, U.S. on Collision Course
    Military-Led Government Says It is ‘Reviewing’ Relationship With U.S. Amid Criticism

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887323608504579021331718729724.html

    • MRW
      MRW
      August 20, 2013, 5:42 pm

      Sisi has no intention of being the next Mubarek that the US buries in the sand.

      • Taxi
        Taxi
        August 23, 2013, 7:36 am

        MRW,
        Try telling that to shingo, sean and danaa and you’ll be accused of supporting ‘fascism’ and defending Sisi. And if you say that Sisi has made several public statements declaring his disinterest in becoming president of Egypt, they’ll accuse you of being naive and “deluded”. Tell them that the interim government is administering the affairs of the state till the new elections, they’ll tell you that Saudi Arabia has already bought the WHOLE of Egypt for a paltry 8 billion dollars. Ask them to wait for the dust to settle before making final judgement, and they’ll tell you that you’re just buying time for Sisi to kill some more ‘innocent’ takfiris.

        There’s no reasoning with blinkered obsessives.

  18. hophmi
    hophmi
    August 20, 2013, 4:08 pm

    I can hardly stand crap like this. It is childish.

    The US is not the only country supporting the junta. It is the entire EU, and all of that pales in comparison to what the Gulf Arabs are doing.

    We didn’t support (very belatedly) Mubarak’s ouster over neoliberal economics. We supported it because it was clear that he wasn’t going to make it, and it would have been stupid to continue supporting him under those circumstances.

    As with so many left-wing critiques, these deny the people in Egypt any agency for their own actions, which entailed a massive popular uprising that led first to Mubarak’s ouster, and then Morsi’s, for ruling as a sectarian and for signing over to himself wide constitutional powers that made people doubt his commitment to democracy.

  19. MRW
    MRW
    August 20, 2013, 5:12 pm

    Colonel Lang is highlighting an Asia Times article by Spengler that’s worth reading. Spengler is the British writer David Goldman, and comments below Lang’s article take him apart. Lang says Don’t Care, he’s right about this. Lang speaks Arabic; think he taught it at one of the military colleges, but don’t quote me. He was a Military Liaison in the ME/Israel for 10 years.
    http://turcopolier.typepad.com/sic_semper_tyrannis/2013/08/spengler-on-american-ineptitude-in-egypt.html

    World learns to manage without the US
    By Spengler

    The giant sucking sound you here [sic], I said on August 15 on CNBC’s The Kudlow Report, is the implosion of America’s influence in the Middle East. Vladimir Putin’s August 17 offer of Russian military assistance to the Egyptian army after US President Barack Obama cancelled joint exercises with the Egyptians denotes a post-Cold-War low point in America’s standing. Along with Russia, Saudi Arabia and China are collaborating to contain the damage left by American blundering. They have being doing this quietly for more than a year.

    The pipe-dream has popped of Egyptian democracy led by a Muslim Brotherhood weaned from its wicked past, but official Washington has not woken up. Egypt was on the verge of starvation when [the] military pushed out Mohammed Morsi. Most of the Egyptian poor had been living on nothing but state-subsidized bread for months, and even bread supplies were at risk. The military brought in US$12 billion of aid from the Gulf States, enough to avert a humanitarian catastrophe. That’s the reality. It’s the one thing that Russia, Saudi Arabia and Israel agree about.

    America’s whimsical attitude towards Egypt is not a blunder but rather a catastrophic institutional failure. President Obama has surrounded himself with a camarilla, with Susan Rice as National Security Advisor, flanked by Valerie Jarrett, the Iranian-born public housing millionaire. Compared to Obama’s team, Zbigniew Brzezinski was an intellectual colossus at Jimmy Carter’s NSC. These are amateurs, and it is anyone’s guess what they will do from one day to the next.

    By default, Republican policy is defined by Senator John McCain, whom the head of Egypt’s ruling National Salvation Party dismissed as a “senile old man” after the senator’s last visit to Cairo. McCain’s belief in Egyptian democracy is echoed by a few high-profile Republican pundits, for example, Reuel Marc Gerecht, Robert Kagan, and Max Boot. Most of the Republican foreign policy community disagrees, by my informal poll. Former defense secretary Donald Rumsfeld blasted Obama for undermining the Egyptian military’s ability to keep order, but his statement went unreported by major media. […]

Leave a Reply