The Republican talking point is, of course, that Bush's war in Iraq is the touchstone for this Arab generation, and started it all. Obama's speech in Cairo, and his late but very welcome remarks on Mubarak, are just, you know, coddling terrorists.

It would be nice if Democrats were smart enough to counter that lying message. Don't get your hopes up.

Every other Arab leader, indeed every dictator everywhere, is quaking in his boots today. Egypt, unlike Tunisia, is a Big Deal.
The US, much less the Obama administration, gets ZERO credit for this. None. Nada. Zilch. They didn't see this coming and have been in reactive mode along with the rest of the world.

The fact that they have no plan, and don't know what is going on, is proof that "intelligent, multi-tiered outreach" has NOTHING to do with what is happening in Egypt.

What this will cost the United States is yet to be determined.
It's like teaching a mule to sing: you'll only waste your time & piss off the mule.
@2 right on. I mean, that kind of narrow-minded egomania could only be dreamed up by the Republican right. The Egyptians threw out Mubarak IN SPITE of American backing, not because of it.
I like you, paul constant.
I said it then and it's worth repeating- this changes everything.
Thank God we have a sane Christian President now.
Obama really had next to nothing to do with this, but Reagan also had next to nothing to do with the fall of the Berlin wall. It's just that the GOP mythmaking machine is much better than the Democratic one. I'd prefer we punctured all of the myths rather than try to prop up new ones.
I'd prefer we punctured all of the myths rather than try to prop up new ones.

This is why the Republicans win elections.
One area where Dem administrations will ALWAYS excel over Rep admins is in the delicacy & subtlety required for effective foriegn relations.

Obama, even if it's just by his name alone, has gone a good ways to repairing America's GWB-trashed reputation in the Middle East.
Let's wait to see whether this devolves as goatfuck or garden party, shall we?
And I totally agree with 1-10.
That's why the shitheads on the right have been spouting their insane bullshit about caliphates and the Muslim Brotherhood. Obviously if we haven't spent billions on forcibly replacing the government, it's going to become a terrorist state.

Hopefully the US starts to take a long term approach and advocate for more real democracy in the world, as opposed to what it has almost always done, which is support dictators for reasons of short term goals (the economy, anti-communism, etc etc)

If we did start doing that, it certainly helps that Obama is in office. If, for no other reason, as a person with Kenyan heritage, he looks better than the usual president with European (ie colonial) heritage. People can more relate to him. He is descended from their continent, after all.
Your colleague Charles is already way ahead of you on this, Paul. It's nice that you are willing to openly admit that this is just empty propaganda in the service of internal U.S. political strugles, though.
@2- "The fact that they have no plan, and don't know what is going on, is proof that "intelligent, multi-tiered outreach" has NOTHING to do with what is happening in Egypt."

Except part of an intelligent, multi-tiered foreign policy is letting the horse have it's head when it's heading the right way. It also means understanding that it is impossible and undesirable for the USA to dictate the course of events in foreign countries.
Which foreign policy seems more effective? Does this...…

...count as "intelligent, multitiered outreach?" I understand it feels good to "claim as your own" this positive development, which happened despite the current administration. And I understand that we're not maiming and killing poor Americans with bombs. But unless you also "claim as your own" the regular and predictable massacres occurring in Afghanistan, you're being as honest as the Reagan worshiping right.

What @8 said.

Reagan was simply the guy in office when it (ussr collapse) happened, just like Obama is simply the guy in office when this happened.
Jesus, that's naive.

Obama has been a Mubarak supporter since day one, and supported him as long as it was feasible, and then transferred his support to Suleiman, Mubarak's hand-picked successor and former director of the murderous state police force, as well as the CIA's point man for extraordinary rendition. All these facts are well known.

Obama continued providing Egypt under Mubarak with more military aid than any other nation except Israel right through last December, when he signed a budget that greenlighted direct tax-funded military aid to only five countries, two of which were Tunisia and Egypt.

And you're saying Obama is somehow responsible for this transition, because he offered bland, non-committal, and lukewarm general support for the will of the people while backing transition to rule by another autocrat who is as hated by the Egyptians as Mubarak?

You should read a little more.
@16 they are not "letting the horse have it's head when it's heading the right way". They are trying not to get trampled because the herd has broken down the barn doors and is running....nobody knows where.

As much as the protests are an inspiring sight, there's nothing that could prevent the Egyptian Army from using the same tactics as the Iranians. The US is a spectator in this, which is appalling given the critical strategic importance of Egypt in all of our relationships in the Mid-East.
It would be dangerous to take credit for this before we know where it's going to land. That could turn out to be a "mission accomplished" moment.
really, this is Jimmy Carter's victory. Pushing the Camp David Accords brought peace between Egypt and Isreal and billions of dollars a year tot eh Egyptian military to remain peaceful. Mubarak did use this to hold power for many years, but the realization that peace was worthwile was the real seed here. The people peacefully demonstrated. They have never called for the destruction of isreal because over the last 30 years they have seen how little it would have brought them. A military that was propped up by our money knew it could never go against this peaceful demonstration...

It's Jimmy's because of what he started and Obama's because he didn't get in the way. No doubt GWB or Reagan would have insisted the protests be stamped down.

But really, it it the peoples.
@19 -Absolutely right. But to Paul and Eli, President Obama still walks on water and is beyond criticism. They are the stereotypical Democrats who whined about Bush for eight years then shut up when Obama pursues the exact same(or worse) policies.

Since this started, Obama and Clinton's only contribution has been delay and trying to push aside El-Baradei for torturer Sulemein.
You know what I see going on with these posts. The same nonsense about who is right and who is wrong on this Egyptian situation.
Can we not, as a democratic nation, for once, just sit back and enjoy the new freedom in that country and support an open and freely elected government. For Pete's sake, you sound worse that a bunch of kindergartners fighting over the last toy in the playroom. Group up and support the Egyptians and our own country.
Ol Dog, before we start partying, we might want to set down the beer and ask ourselves if freedom has really been won, and if so, from what. Power has been handed not to a civilian transitional government but to the military, Suleiman still has great clout, and revolutions have the capacity to go very wrong.

We might also do some soul searching before we start heaping congratulations on the same government - ours - which single-handedly enabled Mubarak to remain in power for nearly 30 years, simply because Obama offered some encouraging words once there was nothing to lose and nothing at stake.

Then we might ask if the US is really on the side of change, or if people have already gotten so swept up into an idealistic myth-making, fueled by the legitimate jubilation of the Egyptians of which we have no legitimate part, that we can no longer see the actual events that are unfolding before our very eyes. It's hypocrisy.

These people are celebrating their freedom from us. It is the US-backed brutal dictatorships and the US's unflinching support for Israel no matter what crimes they commit that the Egyptians are rejecting. I'll say again: Mubarak received more US military aid than any other country in the world except Israel.
I'll stick with Al Gore's reaction to Bush Sr's constant claims that he and Reagan were responsible for the collapse of the U.S. S.R.:
"โ€œGeorge Bush taking credit for the wall coming down is like the rooster taking credit for the sun rising.โ€
you can give Obama this much: he stayed the fuck out of Egypt's way as much as possible, given our 30 YEAR LONG policy of support for Mubarak in exchange for peace with Israel. he should take some credit because he's going to take the blame regardless.
What a stupid article. Obama's Cairo speech was reaching out a hand of friendship to the DICTATORS of the middle east, not the people. When a similar democratic uprising began in Iran, during his first year in office, Obama deliberately ignored it and refused to support the demonstrators, since he didn't want to anger Ahmadinejad whom he egotistically imagined he could turn from psycho monster to caring liberal good guy using nothing but his personal charm.

Obama's admin didn't see this coming and were completely flummoxed by it. Now that it's over, he goes on TV and tries to take credit for it. Reagan NEVER tried to take credit for the fall of communism in Russia and eastern Europe, though his record actually would have permitted to do so to some extent.
@28 - You're an idiot. If Obama had come out vocally in support of the Green Revolution, that would have kneecapped it even faster than the regime eventually did. That would have given legitimacy to the regime's claims that the protests were the result of "foreign influence." The protesters basically wanted Obama to keep his mouth shut, which is what he did. It was stumblefucks like John "Bomb, Bomb Iran" McCain, who have absolutely no grasp of subtlety, that were screaming for Obama to make a big show of support. Thank god he had the good fucking sense to ignore them.

democraps are geniuses at middle eastern policy.

remember, carter was president when the people of iran threw the shah out.

that turned out well.....
Russia built the Aswan High Dam in 1956, and the thinning impoverished Egyptian population rebounded with so much fecundity that Egypt now has 40 million cyber age generation of
a total of twice that. They rejuvenated the Muslim population (an unintended consequence) and now produced the crowd in the square (which may be OK or may eventually be a world catastrophe) which nobody in the Obama admin or Hillary's State Dept. knew anything about, or understands today, any more than you or I. The NSA should be war gaming likely scenarios but with the kind of appointees Obama makes (Holder, Napolitano, Clapper) they
probably have no such skills in their quiver.

The Polish Pope and Reagan on the other hand consciously influenced Solidarity in that country by their advance communications and then by coherent stands which emboldened the rest of the Soviet bloc we were with them, and the Berlin wall was the final victory. Sure the Post Putin Russia is a resurgent malignancy, proving that virtue in society is fleeting.
My point is, this country is on autopilot with no profound leadership anywhere to be seen.

30: And Eisenhower was president when the U.S. and Great Britain replaced the democratically elected government of Mossadegh with the Shah's regime, which did such a good job of crushing democratic resistance that by the time the inevitable revolution came, it was an Islamic revolution and not a secular one. Good job, Republican foreign policy geniuses!

Also, anybody who types "democraps" is mentally eight years old at best.

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