Right wingers and Israelis are saying that Obama has lost Egypt, as well as Lebanon, like Carter lost Iran, they claim. They are soooo wrong
This is a crock. Carter didn't lose Iran. Iran was lost when the CIA overthrew a Democratically elected leader to install the Shah.
Obama may lose Egypt if he doesn't get his act together and support the demonstrators. Israel is worried that Egypt will revoke it's peace treaty. So, what do the right wing Sarah Palin clone idiots do there? They support Mubarak-- the dictator, instead of supporting democracy and freedom. Their Karma is being established. They will blame Obama and others when they have had the opportunity to build good will instead, they have exacerbated things and set themselves up to be the enemy. Unbelievably stupid.
Jason Brownlee, a fellow at the Woodrow Wilson Center, working on a book on U.S-Egyptian relation, said today:
"Despite the talk of an ambiguous and fluid situation in Cairo, reports from demonstrators paint a vivid picture -- of a plain-clothed government crackdown abetted by a loyalist, U.S.-funded military. Hundreds of thousands of demonstrators have defied Mubarak's violence, though, vowing to hold Liberation Square until Egypt is liberated.
"If U.S. officials don't want Egypt to be Iran 1979 [the Iranian revolution], they should prevent an Iran 1953 [when the U.S. re-installed the Shah and deposed the democratically elected Mohammad Mosaddegh]. All it would take is cutting their client-military loose and supporting indigenous democratization.
"Rather than embracing the demonstrators and Egypt's democratic awakening, Obama seems to be trying to salvage as much as possible of Mubarak's brutal security apparatus."
And Ervand Abrahamian, who was born in Iran, and is a distinguished professor of history at City University of New York, said
"Those who warn that if the U.S. eases out Mubarak the outcome will be another Iran may unwittingly bring about a self-fulfilling prophecy. In Iran there could have been a bloodless transfer of power to the moderate opposition -- [Ayatollah Mohammad] Shariatmadari, [Prime Minister Mehdi] Bazargan and the National Front -- if the U.S. had not hung onto the Shah until it was too late. The massacre in September 1978 -- known as Bloody or Black Friday -- undercut the moderates and brought to the fore [Ayatollah Ruhollah] Khomeini. After Bloody Friday, moderates did not want to be in any way associated with the Shah. We are now facing the same situation. If Liberation Square becomes Martyrs Square, there will be few moderates left in Egypt."
We now know, from the leaked Palestine Papers published by Al Jazeera, that Israel has been negotiating in bad faith, lying to the world, to American Jews, accusing the Palestinians of not being willing to negotiate. The truth is, the Palestinians bent over backwards and the Israelis lied massively, pretending to be interested in negotiations and peace. Bibi Netanyahu is a liar with zero integrity. Avigdor Lieberman, the head of Israel's state department, is a rabid Israeli version of Sarah Palin-- an ignorant, bellowing buffoon. If the Israelis continue to elect and support such contemptible leaders, Israeli WILL fall, because of its own hubris, greed and arrogance. That doesn't have to happen.
It seems so clear. Help the protesters now or suffer their enmity later. Israeli peace activist Uri Avnery says,
"When Egypt moves, the Arab world follows. Whatever transpires in the immediate future in Egypt-- democracy or an army dictatorship-- It is only a matter of (a short) time before the dictators fall all over the Arab world, and the masses will shape a new reality, without the generals.
Everything the Israeli leadership has done in the last 44 years of occupation or 63 years of its existence is becoming obsolete. We are facing a new reality. We can ignore it-- insisting that we are "a villa in the jungle", as Ehud Barak famously put it -- or find our proper place in the new reality.
Peace with the Palestinians is no longer a luxury. It is an absolute necessity. Peace now, peace quickly. Peace with the Palestinians, and then peace with the democratic masses all over the Arab world, peace with the reasonable Islamic forces (like Hamas and the Muslim Brothers, who are quite different from al Qaeda), peace with the leaders who are about to emerge in Egypt and everywhere.
Obama and his circle have been weak and indecisive so far, caught by surprise due to the CIA's failure to prepare him for this. Or maybe the CIA was on the ball and the president is just doing Egypt the way he did the BP Gulf oil spill-- too slowly, indecisive, delegating decisions that he should be making.
And the decision should be to cut off funding to Egypt until Mubarak steps down and a genuine democratic election process is put into place. Allowing Mubaraks appointment of the Egyptian spy chief with an ugly record of torture and aiding and abetting the USA's clandestine, illegal renditions of shadow prisoners is totally unacceptable.
It's still not too late. Israel and Obama could get behind the protesters. They could help them to make Egypt a true democracy. Sadly, that is not likely. The right wing-- American or Israeli-- likes dictators. They like fascism and authoritarian regimes. Sadly, it is likely that the will get what they want, an authoritarian regime with a dictator, but not the one they want. Their failure to help true democracy flourish will produce in Egypt what they produced in Iran. I hope they fail. The eighty million Egyptian people deserve a real shot at Democracy. The American people deserve to have leaders who support democracy over fascist dictatorships.
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