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Hillary vs Obama on Egypt: Will the left ever get it??

Hillary calls unrest a "perfect storm"

So, apparently, Obama has backtracked on urging Mubarek to leave.

At the same Munich meeting on Saturday, Frank G. Wisner, the former ambassadorPresident Obama sent to Cairo to negotiate with Mr. Mubarak, suggested that the United States should not rush to push Mr. Mubarak out the door. He said Mr. Mubarak had a “critical” role to play through the end of his presidential term in September.

“You need to get a national consensus around the preconditions of the next step forward, and the president must stay in office in order to steer those changes through,” Mr. Wisner said of Mr. Mubarak. “I therefore believe that President Mubarak’s continued leadership is critical — it’s his opportunity to write his own legacy.”

A senior administration official quickly sought to distance the White House from Mr. Wisner’s comments. American officials have said that they are seeking privately to nudge Mr. Mubarak out of his executive role ahead of September elections, though they have also said that they do not view his departure as an essential first step toward a transition to a new democratic system in the country.

Why am I not surprised?

So, the Egyptians are disrupting their country and economy and destabilizing the region because they really REALLY don’t like the Supreme Dictator and (apparently) President for Life and his brutally, repressive goons and they are willing to die and risk torture to get rid of him and what does Obama do?  He says Mubarek should stay.  Is that how I’m supposed to interpret this?  Or should I conclude that there is disagreement in the administration over how to handle Egypt and it is sending mixed messages to the world and to the Egyptians themselves, who it may be leaving high and dry?

This is stupid.

It’s not only stupid but it’s not very strategic.  Yes, we can expect some instability if Mubarek leaves but the alternative is probably worse.  If he stays, that will only energize the more radical elements in Egyptian society meaning that the next time the Egyptians try to revolt, they may very well have a charismatic religious figure to lead them and voile!  Son of Iran.   Short term thinking is at work here and Obama is nothing if not an exceptional short term thinker.

Contrast with Hillary Clinton, who is busy in Munich trying to convince Angela Merkel that helping Egypt make a swift transition is the best option for stabilizing the country and improving its economic condition, which is in part driving the explosion of unrest in the middle east.

“The region is being battered by a perfect storm of powerful trends,” Clinton said.

“This is what has driven demonstrators into the streets of Tunis, Cairo, and cities throughout the region.”

Clinton said that Washington was backing Egypt’s drive to craft orderly reforms to allow democratic elections.

“It is important to support the transition process announced by the Egyptian government actually headed by now-vice president Omar Suleiman,” she said.

“The principles are very clear, the operational details are very challenging.”

The secretary of state urged leaders across the Middle East to embrace democratic reforms in response to the growing unrest in the region, despite the risk of short-term instability in countries like Egypt, Tunisia and Yemen.

She said change is a “strategic necessity” that will make Arab nations stronger and their people more prosperous and less susceptible to extremist ideologies.

Addressing events in Egypt, Merkel said: “Early elections at the beginning of the democratisation process is probably the wrong approach.”

However, Cameron said a delay would produce an unstable country that the West would not welcome.

“There is no stability in Egypt. We need change, reform and transition to get stability,” he said at the conference

For completeness, it’s important that we read the transcript of Hillary’s remarks but this seems very consistent with what she has said before all hell broke loose in Tunisia.  It also seems to be the interpretation of several other news orgs like the Indian Times and Euronews.

Once again, it looks like Hillary is doing the heavy lifting, lobbying for a principled democratization of Egypt and other countries in the middle east while Barry can’t make up his mind.  (That blockquote is from an Al Jazeera link of all places.  Go figure.  Check out the picture of Merkel and Clinton.  I’m guessing they’re using the same stylist.)

This is yet another of the many reasons why you star struck lefties should have gone with the girl.

He’s not the messiah.  He doesn’t know how to play chess, let alone the 11 dimensional kind and he’s not going to become the boyfriend you hoped he would be when you jumped into bed with him.

It’s not too late to dump the dude for 2012.


55 Responses

  1. Hillary 2012

  2. This is totally off topic. But, I’ve got to learn something about Macs. I’ll be getting a new one – with whatever software I need. But, I’ve always used PCs.

    So, I’m trying to learn the language of Macs. I do a lot with websites and photographs. I haven’t decided if I’ll try to do my statistical programming on the Mac.

    Any advise? I’m so confused, I’m almost dizzy.

    • Yes.

      I hate Macs.

      Run while you can.

      • I have barely even ever seen one …. What’s so horrible?

        • First off, RD’s reaction is probably more typical of a Mac user. I know people who love the damn things and swear by them.

          Me, I swear at them because I find them extremely user-unfriendly, rather like the new versions of Microsoft’s Office/Windows 7, and for some of the same reasons–commands hard to find, lots of icons instead of straightforward menus, things that are simple in Windows XP complicated beyond all reason. . … I spent a summer volunteering at a friend’s regional journal some years back, and stll hadn’t mastered the damn Mac when August and the new semester came round again. I’ve continued to write for her, but I do it at home on my trusty if aged HP.

          • Don’t listen to him, Kbird. He exaggerates.
            I have to use a PC at work. I hate it. Damn hard to configure. If I wanted to tinker with my mac, I could get into the console and use regular unix commands. But the thing is, I don’t ever have to. The damn thing is really reliable.
            It’s true that the Microsoft Office suite products look different on a Mac but I’m expected to learn new software all the time so I just adjust. No biggie. If you want a computer that is hard to crash and does all your basic stuff effortlessly, you can’t beat a Mac.
            I’m not being a snob. I’ve had exposure to all three OS’s. I just prefer my mac.
            Along the same lines, my mom has an ipad. It took her all of about 5 minutes to figure out how to use it. The operating system is different than on a standard mac but that’s the beauty of an apple product. They don’t generally come with instructions because they don’t need to. You just pick it up and start fiddling with it. You don’t need to be an expert. I used to spend hours trying to troubleshoot my mom’s PC laptop. It was always screwed up in some way. Since she got the ipad, she doesn’t use her PC anymore and she doesn’t need any help.

          • If the above is in reference to me, riverdaughter, I’m a her, not a him.

            And no, I do not exaggerate. I’ve pointed out that most people I know who use Macs like them. I don’t, for exactly the reasons stated.

    • I love my macs. I also love Linux.
      Windows? Spaghetti. A complete mystery.
      What is the nature of your problem?

      • Which to get & what to put on it. Where to find reviews. Any info would be great!

        • The BFF would likely recommend a 15″ MacBook Pro.

          • Why a 15″ & not 17″ ? and do you know if you can hook it to a KVM switch — I might want to 1) Switch between it and my desktop PC and 2) use it with my regular keyboard and monitor when I’m at home.

          • My guess is that if you have a USB port, you should be able to get the mac to recognize a KVM but I haven’t actually tried it myself. You might want to drop a line to Dandy Tiger on it.
            The BFF is sitting next to me. I have a 13″ Macbook, he has a 15″ MacBook Pro. I dunno, I guess you could go with a 17″ but it just seems like overkill to me. My 13″ is plenty big. I could go a little bit bigger but I don’t think I’d want to lug around a 17″. Just get yourself a big monitor for when you’re at home.

          • Good point — I’ve got a great 22″ monitor so if a KVM switch would work then I wouldn’t have any reason for a 17″ laptop.

            And — A Ha!! you can use the KVM switch!!

            Good deal! Thanks.

          • Whoa, that was scary.

          • ¿qué? What is scary? And asking DT about the software is a great idea.

          • Sometimes, I listen to This Week in Tech and I understand all the geekspeak. Then I wonder how that snuck in when I wasn’t looking.
            Not enough to be employable but enough to make me nervous.

          • Someone call?

        • My son is a genius (Works at the Apple store) — He has a MacBook Air. He loves it: well under 3 pounds with solid state drive it boots leally quickly. And they are really sexy looking IMHO.

    • If you decide to do statistical work on your new Mac, look into R if you haven’t already heard of it. It’s an open-source statistical programming/analysis application.

      Here’s a GUI for it.

    • Take the class that is offered at the retail store where you buy your MAC. Its worth every second to get the most out of your machine.

  3. […] Hillary vs Obama on Egypt: Will the left ever get it?? – The Confluence […]

  4. Egypt should be more wiser now since most figures who wanted power will definitely grab these moment to “sympathize” with the people to make them believe that they are “with” the people but the truth is, they are after their own ambition and would only do harm more to the people of Egypt.

  5. Obama told reporters that in two conversations with Mubarak since mass protests against the Egyptian leader’s 30-year rule began 11 days ago he stressed the need for an orderly transition to democracy in the country, long a cornerstone of US Middle East strategy.

    “Having made that psychological break, that decision that he will not be running again, I think the most important thing for him to ask himself … is how do we make that transition effective and lasting and legitimate,” Obama said.

    “The key question he should be asking himself is: ‘how do I leave a legacy behind in which Egypt is able to get through this transformative period?’ And my hope is … that he will end up making the right decision.”

    Does anyone else think this guy uses the English language very poorly?f It’s all gibberish that sounds good unless you want him to actually say something.

    Okay here is me giving Obama the benefit of the doubt:
    maybe he is just doing what he did during the 2008 primaries, trying to stand on both sides of every issue so he can claim to be right no matter what happens.

    • As English isn’t my first language there are many nuances I don’t detect the way “first languagers” do. But still I can’t believe he is praised so over the top for his eloquence and speechyfying. I get goosebumps listening to MLK! Talk about rousing speech and eloquence! But Obama? He effing reads everything … and not even that well! And sans teleprompter he is just rambling.

      One of the things that really annoyes me listening to him – and again, maybe Americans hear it differently? – is the way he sort of snubs the ending of many words, and “bundles” others together. To me it sounds … sloppy. Insincere. What his fans see and hear as “cool” I always saw and heard as “dispassionate”. And when they don’t understand what he means either, they call it “11 dim. chess” while I call it “clueless”.

      And FWIW I do agree that he uses the English language poorly. Both re mastering the vocabulary and the pronunciation. But as we know, repeating a lie endlessly, it will at one point take on the character of being the truth. Sadly so!

      • Let me add: I get goosebumps just reading MLK’s words!

      • He uses the “preacher techniqe”, heard in AA churches and revivals all across America. It rallies folks to speak in tongues and cry and writh on the floor. Then they go home and make dinner. He’s not that good at it though but good enough to make people think he’s somethin’.

        • It rallies folks to speak in tongues and cry and writh on the floor. Then they go home and make dinner.


          And “somethin'”. Lol, that’s it. Exactly! The funny – or maybe more like tragic – thing is, that even MLK who actually was a preacher didn’t sound like that.

          I’m a sucker for eloquence and it wasn’t until after I posted my comment that I realized that the two men share skin colour, and that to some, mentioning two black men in the same context is somehow … “raçist” [rolls eyes]. It’s just that to me MLK sort of personifies “eloquent”, no matter his gender, age, raçe … time or place. And to me it diminishes the worth of “eloquence” to in any way connect it with Obama.

  6. Agree w/ you whoeheartedly,Riverdaughter. Am not surprised as to why BO again decided to prop up Mubarak.

    This is always his MO:

    He always make promises that will mollify the opposition and then after the opposition has subsided enough, he then will begin breaking those promises.

    That has happened to every bill that he has endorsed and that is what he will do to any of his undertaking.

    So what do you think of this observation?

    • I can only make conclusions based on the data available. And here is my conclusion: he does not lead based on principle.
      That’s all you need to know about Obama. It explains everything.
      If that’s ok with you, fine. But don’t try to pass yourself as some kind of enlightened, smarter-than-thou, lefty type. Obama has always been a glittery brand without a chewy nougat.

      • Obama’s statements re Mubarak are exactly in line with Hillary’s – the only one who went astray is Wisner, who Hillary recommended to go to Egypt to talk to Mubarek. You seem to adjust anything Obama or Hillary says to fit your agenda – you hate Obama and worship Hillary.
        and hillary + Merkel all agreed that this is a delicate situation and should not be rushed based on the protesters’ demands. I don’t know where you get your information from, it sure isn’t what I have read.

        • Taliag, where do you get your information? I am curious because I have weeping obot friends who never seem to read what I have read. Are the mybarakobama sites still operative?
          It could clear up a lot for everyone to get this figured out.

        • – the only one who went astray is Wisner, who Hillary recommended to go to Egypt to talk to Mubarek.

          So in your view he answers only to Hillary Clinton? She’s responsible for his utterings? She and not Obama is his CiC? With all due respect I think you got that one wrong. 😉

      • Spot on, RD. The man Obama has a political history of voting ‘present’ on the important, controversial, you’re-gonna-take-the-heat-with-your-stand issues.

        And he’s doing the same frigging thing from the WH. Where was the ‘principle’ to steer healthcare reform? Where was the principle to take the ‘too big to fails’ to task after the financial collapse and the continuing insanity we’re witnessing now? And here we are on the international stage with a crisis in Egypt and what is he doing? The Washington Waffle. This is all about to bending to the wind, propping those favorability numbers up and the ultimate endpoint in 2012.

        The man was not ready for primetime in 2008. He’s simply shuffled once again to drive that point home. How any Administration can be so fragmented, have members give a half dozen different views and be taken seriously is beyond me. But there you go. With the exception of Hillary Clinton, this Administration is absolutely rudderless. Thank God we have Clinton at State. She’s one of the few who understand that the words you publicly express count on the world stage. It’s part of what’s called “Leadership.”

      • Well, the way H44 puts it is, ‘Obama cannot be trusted. He cannot be trusted by his friends. He cannot be trusted by his enemies. etc etc’

  7. Suleiman, of course, does have the info on who was rendered to Egypt by the US, how they were treated and tortured, and where the bodies are.

    Is that why we are supporting him? Is the US being told support Suleiman or there will be leaks, with documentation and photos and video, that make WikiLeaks cables look like watercooler gossip? Or does the empire need its Suleimans and their torture regimens?


    The protesters, if this “transition” stretches on for eight months, will be in mortal danger. I fear there will be large scale arrests, disappearances, imprisonments, torture, deaths. And, then, near elections, the goons and thugs will be unleashed to make the populace fearful, while Mubarek’s crew will be telling them the only means to safety is to continue Mubarek-type rule.

    But I do not know; this is speculation based on some knowledge of how Mubarek has ruled in the past.

    • Why not get it out there? Purge. Catharsis.

      I’m guessing that the reason they are supporting Suleiman has something to do with the fact that there is no central leadership for the uprising. No Lech Walesa type guy. They want Mubarek out and the momentum of the revolution seems to pivot around whether or not Mubarek leaves. Suleiman is certainly unsavory but the dude is 74 years old. Come on, doesn’t anyone in Egypt retire?? Maybe the west is trying to come up with an offer he can’t refuse.
      I know one thing for sure, if it were left up to Obama, we would see quick capitulation to the Mubarek faction with some kind of mouth noise about incremental change. Give in now with a hope to improve things next year. yep, that’s what it looks like to me. If I were Clinton, I wouldn’t stand for it.

  8. I’m guessing they’re using the same stylist.

    Heheh. My thoughts exactly when I saw pictures from the meeting of Hillary Clinton and … EU foreign minister Catherine Ashton.

    • Btw, when I see footage of Hillary Clinton from the meeting in Munich, she looks … grim. She doesn’t have the same spark that usually lightens up the room and loosens the atmosphere when she meets with her foreign colleagues. She must be so exhausted! Drained physi- as well as psychically.

  9. I bet Hillary’s workin as hard as she can and it must be tough when the boss is so confused. Look at what happened with Obama’s envoy. He let the White House policy out of the bag, “Murabak stays”. Hillary knows the consequences of losing the faith of the Egyptian people if we prop up the guy they want out. At the moment they’ll take anybody but Murabak just so they know the transition has begun. They don’t want the Status Quo, even as a temporary promise. They want to see movement. But the economy there is going to come to a halt. People need food, clothing and shelter. They need to work. The tourists are fleeing. Thats their bread and butter. Where’s the money for the country gonna come from. If it aint us or the EU, its gonna be from somebody we don’t get along with and we’re gonna pay dearly for that. I think Hillary is knows that and Obama isn’t helping. Damn, she knows she woulda been better. Its got to be frustrating.

    • “The tourists are fleeing. Thats their bread and butter.”

      Yes, the protest is killing the goose which laid the golden egg. And it will require a period of stability before they come back. In the meantime, some in Egypt might face starvation.

      Much of Egypt’s trouble and discontent comes from the high price of food and its high population. It does not have the arable land needed to support it population, so it must import. The high price of food is a result of commodities trading (I blame GS) and bad harvests from climate change. If we had the leader we deserve, she would withdraw GS’s exemption which allowed them to get into food commodities.

      Whoever is the executive put in charge of Egypt is going to have a terrible task.

      “It’s not too late to dump the dude for 2012.” A Democratic primary challenge would be a beautiful thing.


      • Well, Professor Krugman puts the blame for the rise in food prices first and foremost on the bad harvests (which may have been affected by climate change):


        I am still not sure GS is off the hook and I still do not like their exemption. It is just legalized gambling and can’t be helping. But I always respect the Professor’s graphs and commentary.


      • Actually it’s not so much tourists fleeing as it is their governments telling them to get back/stay home.

        Egypt is a very popular tourist goal for Europeans: relatively close, pleasant climate and cheap – due to the low wages. So people don’t appreciate this ‘intervention’ and want to go ahead with their holiday plans, claiming that there are no riots in f.ex. the extremely popular Sharm el-Sheikh (or Sharm el-Shark as it was sardonically referred to recently!).

  10. Wonder what this … turn of opinion (if that’s what it is?) will do to John Kerry’s reputation? Probably nothing, is my guess. :crooked smile:

  11. […] Hillary vs Obama on Egypt: Will the left ever get it?? « The … Contrast with Hillary Clinton, who is busy in Munich trying to convince Angela Merkel that helping Egypt make a swift transition is the best option for stabilizing the country and improving its economic condition, which is in part driving the katiebird, on February 5, 2011 at 10:51 pm said: Good point — I've got a great 22″ monitor so if a KVM switch would work then I wouldn't have any reason for a 17″ laptop. And — A Ha! you can use the KVM switch! Good deal […]

  12. Either you are joking or you are delusional. Hillary considers the Mubaraks friends. P.S. The ‘left’ gave up on the Ds quite awhile ago.

    • Mubaraks’ wife suzie is very involved in developing jobs for the poor and helping the women and girls in Egypt. Would you turn your back on those efforts?

      • Of course it would. That’s an obot misogynist, standard breed.

        par4–Lefty women have given up, with a few exceptions, on lefty men as well as D’s and R’s.

    • Pft! Words, just words. But would a picture lie to you?

  13. When Hillary became Secretary of State she went around the Middle East telling the dictators of the region that they should give their people the democracy that they are yearning for because what was happening was not sustainable. As late as three weeks ago Hillary told them that if they don’t transform their governments they woul “sink in the sand”.. A week later Tunisia had riots and overthrew their dictator and now Egypt. She knew, she warned, but they ignored her warning. So whos fault is it. Not Hillary’s

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