Showing posts with label Egypt. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Egypt. Show all posts

Thursday, July 04, 2013

Happy 4th of July!!!

I guess the spirit of freedom is alive and well all over the world today, especially in Egypt. 


Monday, July 01, 2013

Worldscope: Egypt

Over the next few days, I'm going to be highlighting areas of the world that have been bustling with activity-both good and bad. First up today is Egypt. Take a glance over in the news feeds to the right of this post and   take note of the latest events. In a nutshell, Egyptians are having buyer's remorse.

The people are not happy with the Muslim Brotherhood and have attacked and looted their headquarters. Eight people died in a night of fighting around the Brotherhood building, where guards fired on youths hurling rocks and fire bombs. A Brotherhood official said two of its members were injured. As of right now, the streets are quiet as another wave of protests gears up.

At issue is the leadership of President Mohamed Morsi. The opposition does not trust the head of the Islamist movement, which critics accuse of using a series of electoral victories to monopolize power. They want a total reset of the rules of a democracy imperfectly worked out over the past two years. Morsi became Egypt's first freely elected president a year ago when he won 51 percent of the vote. But Saad said Morsi has damaged Egypt so much in one year, that it was impossible to wait another three to vote him out of office. "They want to kill us," said another man when asked why he wanted to break into the headquarters. "They're choking us."

This shift towards theocracy is playing out in other areas of the world such as Turkey and the people are not happy about  it. The United States has urged Morsi and his supporters to share power with the secular opposition. Thus far, he has refused and Egypt is essentially right back where it was two years ago-a bloviating strong man wielding the power of the state.

One would think he would learn his lesson after what happened to Hosni Muburak but Morsi has adopted many of the same tactics and discourse. Keep an eye on the headlines over the next few days as the situation in Cairo will likely grow more destabilized.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

The Apology Canard Again

Yesterday, Mitt Romney illustrated once and for all that he is completely incapable of handling the foreign policy of this nation.

He accused the president of giving sympathy to the protesters in both Libya and Egypt. His basis for this was a memo sent out by the US consulate in Cairo BEFORE the protesters showed up. I thought he might soften his stance a little after US Ambassador to Libya Christopher Stevens was killed but, instead, he doubled down, falling back on the "Obama is always apologizing" meme.

I don't get it. It's enormously frustrating to discuss this because it's so far from the truth that I don't know whether to laugh or cry. Honestly, I'd like to do both because what Romney said was in such poor taste given four people had just been killed. Couple this with the omission, from his acceptance speech in Tampa, of the word "Afghanistan" or any sort of salute to the troops and it's very clear that he has no clue whatsoever in the international political realm.

The president's words and actions, however, demonstrate that he does know what he is doing and has certainly never apologized for this country. His entire life, for crying out loud, is a testament to American exceptionalism. In fact, it's exactly what the GOP want people to be like...come from nothing, work hard, pull yourself up by your bootstraps, and make a lot of money.

To show how ridiculous this accusation is, take a look at this, reprinted in its entirety here from the New Yorker.

4/4/09: Barack Obama: I believe in American exceptionalism, just as I suspect that the Brits believe in British exceptionalism and the Greeks believe in Greek exceptionalism. I’m enormously proud of my country and its role and history in the world.

8/20/10: Mike Huckabee: His worldview is dramatically different than any president, Republican or Democrat, we’ve had … To deny American exceptionalism is in ­essence to deny the heart and soul of this nation.

9/20/11: Obama: Michelle and I, we’re only here because somebody passed on this incredible notion, this exceptional American idea that it doesn’t matter where you come from, it doesn’t matter who you’re

10/8/11: Rick Perry: Those in the White House today don’t believe—they don’t believe in American exceptionalism. 1

1/12/11: Mitt Romney: We have a president right now who thinks America’s just ­another nation. America is an exceptional nation.

11/30/11: Obama: America is great not just because we’re powerful, but also because we have a set of values that the world ­admires … We don’t just think about what’s good for us, but we’re also thinking about what’s good for the world … That’s what makes us exceptional.

1/26/12: Newt Gingrich: If you are for ­American exceptionalism, you’re us. If you’re for European socialism and Saul Alinsky radicalism, you’re with Barack Obama.

3/8/12: Sarah Palin: Our president is not in this to unify America and to solidify our place as the exceptional nation in the world. He is trying to divide us.

3/31/12: Romney: Our president doesn’t have the same feelings about American ­exceptionalism that we do. 

4/2/12: Obama: My entire career has been a testimony to American exceptionalism.

4/30/12: John Sununu: It goes with ego. The man doesn’t understand that other ­presidents have made equally difficult decisions … He’s trying to make himself exceptional. Lou Dobbs: In embracing, if you will, ­American exceptionalism. Sununu: That is exactly right. That’s the last and only place he acknowledges it. 

5/23/12: Obama: The United States has been, and will always be, the one indispensable nation in world affairs. It’s one of the many examples of why America is exceptional.

5/27/12: John McCain: This has to do with a foreign policy led by a president who does not believe in American exceptionalism.

6/7/12: Obama: There are a set of values that make this country extraordinary, that make this country exceptional.

6/26/12: Condoleezza Rice: I’m pretty certain I don’t see that same level of willingness to assert this, that the United States is indeed exceptional.

7/14/12: Obama: What makes us exceptional—it’s not just how many skyscrapers we have; it’s not how powerful our military is. What makes us special is this idea that in this country, if you are willing to work hard, if you’re willing to take responsibility for your own life, then you can make it if you try.

7/17/12: Romney: I’m convinced he wants Americans to be ashamed of success. I want Americans to welcome and to celebrate success and to encourage people to reach as high as they can … It’s the people of America that make America the unique nation, the exceptional nation it is.

Seriously, what reality does these people live in?

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

An Awful Reminder

Yesterday, the ambassador to Libya, Christopher Stevens, was killed along with 3 other members of the US staff during an assault on the US Consulate in Bemghazi, Libya. Apparently, there was some sort of assault on the compound and, as Ambassador Stevens was trying to get people out of the building, he was killed from automatic weapon fire. The attacks here (and the violent protest in Egypt) was the result of a short documentary film made with the support of preacher Terry Jones, the man who wanted to burn Korans as a protest awhile back.

This terrible tragedy should serve as a reminder of how the forces of religious extremism can fly quickly out of control in an instant. This is particularly true in the modern age where a YouTube video can be seen as representative of an entire nation.

Further, this event is illustrative of just how far we have to go in that part of the world. Arab spring may be in bloom but there are clearly some who do not understand what it truly means to have freedom of speech. It's going to take a long time...perhaps an entire generation...for them to understand the concept of disagreeing with someone vehemently and yet still be willing to die for their right to say it.