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Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Obama and Egypt

I suppose it’s necessary to know who you are dealing with when you hear people say that Obama failed in Egypt. For the most part these are people who energetically supported every move made by former president GW Bush and don’t consider anything in his dreadful legacy to have been a failure.  These are folks who, contrary to the vast consensus of the world’s climate scientists, refuse to believe that the human race is in any way capable of adversely affecting the environment. A great many of them think that evolution is some sort of liberal hoax. So to hear them say that Obama failed in Egypt is in no way any more foolish than the other tenets of their wacky conservative faith.

Just what Obama should have done few on the right ventured to put forth—that would have been too much of a risk had their advice actually been followed by the President. No, the conservative attack model is just to criticize whatever Obama does no matter what the outcome. And a better outcome for the Egypt issue would be hard to imagine. The ouster of Mubarak was done without violence (or what little violence there was came from his minions). The revolution—as the one earlier in Tunisia—had absolutely nothing to do with Islam, whether militant or otherwise. Just what happens next will be a trickier matter for the U.S. but what we need to do if to assure the Egyptian people that they have choices that include a secular and democratic future.

What were Obama’s alternatives to basically just sitting back and being a witness to the process? Military intervention? That would have probably been the Bush Administration’s first choice. Or he could have thrown his full support behind the protesters which would have seemed like meddling on our part (and of course it would have been meddling). Most of the chimps criticizing Obama just can’t imagine any foreign policy problem that doesn’t have a military solution, and we have two on-going wars to prove it—not that we have solved a damn thing with either of them.

For the first time in the last 30 years there has been a vast public uprising in the Middle East without the United States being used as the bad guy. That in itself is an enormous victory, if not for Obama then for the country. So fuck all of the dissenters, all of the know-nothing idiots who would have us follow in the footprints of Bush son and father who used was as the only tool of diplomacy. The charges of Obama’s inexperience ring very hollow coming from people who were cheerleading us into two disastrous Middle East conflicts during the Bush years.

Next on my wish list of shitty little regimes to fall would be Saudi Arabia where at least half of the population (women) are basically political prisoners with very limited human rights. Like Egypt and Iran, the vast majority of young people in Saudi Arabia despise the country’s leadership. Iran would have fallen years ago had we not invaded Iraq and given the Mullahs a bit of help in their campaign to portray the West as everything that is wrong with the universe. Of course Saudi Arabia is another staunch US “ally” but with allies like them who needs enemies? 

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