Copyright 2011-3011 By Chase Kyla Hunter, All Rights Reserved.
Stephen Yates: “It’s morally repugnant to side with these regimes.”
But that is exactly what our own government’s foreign policy has been doing, either tacitly or overtly, for more than 40 years in the Mideast. I literally grew up watching successive U.S. administrations coddle, negotiate with, and finally finance the make-believe government of Palestinian terrorist Yasser Arafat. I have watched all my life as an inane, self righteous “creeping political correctness” in Washington D. C. replaced fundamental political common sense as to how our leaders have handled the swelling powder-keg of radical Islam.
In numerology 11 is considered an unstable number. Sometimes the most arcane knowledge turns out to be remarkably “right on target”.
It would appear that 2011 will be remembered as the year that the the hand of Divine Providence finally swept through the Mideast. What began as a civic brushfire is now a regional wildfire raging out of control. Politicians seem uniformly caught off guard by all of it, their commentary ponderous, their reactions all calculated, tragically ineffective, terminally insincere.
By the end of 2011 there will be millions of families in the Mideast who will mark the year as the moment that someone in their biological family was either killed or maimed for life trying to wrest their government from the hands of an appointed dictator and into the hands of the people.
The sight of Egypt‘s people ousting Hosni Mubarak after 30 years has set the hearts and soul’s of their neighbors on fire to do the same in their own countries. In Yemen, Libya and Bahrain, protesters are confronting repressive and authoritarian governments with visceral courage and the willingness to die to achieve their freedom.
Our colonial ancestors were doing that very thing on this continent back in 1776. We have lived with fundamental constitutional freedoms in America for generations, and we often forget that in three quarters of the world people have lived for the last 200 years without those God given freedoms, especially women. Most women in the world are still routinely treated not much better than cattle in Mideast countries who live under the more authoritarian slope of Sharia Law. The general rule of thumb I have observed is that the more repressive and authoritarian any ruling regime is, whether apparently excused by false piety and religious pretense or not, the less actual fundamental human rights and civil rights it’s women are allowed to exercise.
So the present sight of tens of thousands of young Mideast women standing side by side in the streets with the men, fearlessly facing down government soldiers, many still teenagers, who are clamoring to be free or literally die trying, is enough to silence any American now petulant with our own freedoms. We who are born here are granted those freedoms by birth, and we have certainly taken them for granted for most of our lives. Only those who have travelled or lived overseas can appreciate what we have here; only an American soldier returning from Iraq can bend to kiss the ground in America and thank his God in Heaven he is home.
I do not have any living relatives who have recently “died to procure and maintain my American freedoms” but thousands of other American families do have relatives who died in the Iraqi war. They are the truly heroic Americans who have suffered, are suffering and will continue to suffer the loss of their family members on some level for the rest of their lives.
Were these American soldiers’ lives actually given in Iraq that we might witness the rising tsunami of the human heart cry out for freedom throughout the Mideast? Had anyone imagined that as the seven year Iraq war finally wound down, that the hunger for democracy throughout the Mideast would rise like a phoenix in direct proportion to the historic misery of families living generationally under successive US appointed and supported dictatorships?
I wonder what passes through the mind of George W. Bush as he watches the daily news. Most all Americans know, if they read at all, that we went to war in Iraq for the procuring of oil fields and the lucrative Halliburton rebuilding contracts more than the Bush administration actually cared about the quality of life for the average Iraqi citizen. What a strange turn in the road it must be, for people like Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Colin Powell, Condoleeza Rice and Paul Wolfowitz, to witness this sheer political pole shift, an unexpected outcome of their ugly little pre-planned Mideast war.
The sudden riveting sight of nation after nation rising up against their US backed dictators has left many Americans nearly speechless. The apparent suddenness of all of it, the explosive domino effect which is now taking place, and observing the Barack Obama White House stutter, falter and stammer over it daily gives one great pause.
It’s funny how God always has the last laugh. “Hope and Change” is coming alright, but it’s coming in all the countries where Barack Obama never ran for high office, never bowed to the Oil Princes and Sheiks of political pretense. He had bowed deeply to the Saudis when he visited, and otherwise was fairly dismissive toward the smaller nations surrounding the Oil Oligarchy’s empire. Beyond bowing, Barack Obama was too busy fighting to keep his own unpopular Presidency afloat back in the states in 2009 and 2010.
All those little nations that have been ignored and overlooked by the big boys in foreign policy for decades are now on fire with civil unrest, as waves of furious young people roar for their needs to be met, fundamental basic human needs that have not been addressed properly in decades of rule by their own insular self occupied leaders. Most of these leaders have been tacitly propped up by the murkier motives within the US foreign policy agenda, no matter which US president was sitting in the White House.
For the time being our own country’s present foreign policy may be in shambles over all of it. It would seem rather late to make a flurry of trips to the Mideast to douse the latest firestorm in world events. Many Americans, like me, are now wondering just exactly how more than 40 years of incessant, secretive US meddling in the Mideast has come to such a sudden conflagration that the coming blowback may affect our own people in yet unimagined ways, for years to come.
I am quite sure that late late at night, when he is alone with his thoughts, President Barack Obama now wishes he would have paid more attention to foreign affairs of state in 2009 and 2010, instead of ramming Obamacare down the national gullet against our will. This is a live action experience Mr. Obama. When you are the president of the United States you do not get a “do-over.”
My soul senses the opening refrain of World War Three in all of this, but I don’t want to admit it. Who would want to look and see what no one wants to witness?
Chase Kyla Hunter 2.21.2011
Related article cited:
Watching Protesters Risk It All
Published: February 20, 2011
Damon Winter/The New York Times
Nicholas D. Kristof
Times Topic: Bahrain News — The Protests (2011)
Amid Standoff, Opposition Seeks Dissolution of Bahraini Government (February 21, 2011)
As democracy protests spread across the Middle East, we as journalists struggle to convey the sights and sounds, the religion and politics. But there’s one central element that we can’t even begin to capture: the raw courage of men and women — some of them just teenagers — who risk torture, beatings and even death because they want freedoms that we take for granted.
Here in Bahrain on Saturday, I felt almost physically ill as I watched a column of pro-democracy marchers approach the Pearl Roundabout, the spiritual center of their movement. One day earlier, troops had opened fire on marchers there, with live ammunition and without any warning. So I flinched and braced myself to watch them die.
Yet, astonishingly, they didn’t. The royal family called off the use of lethal force, perhaps because of American pressure. The police fired tear gas and rubber bullets, but the protesters marched on anyway, and the police fled.
The protesters fell on the ground of the roundabout and kissed the soil. They embraced each other. They screamed. They danced. Some wept.
“We are calling it ‘Martyrs’ Roundabout’ now,” Layla, a 19-year-old university student, told me in that moment of stunned excitement. “One way or another, freedom has to come,” she said. “It’s not something given by anybody. It’s a right of the people.”
Zaki, a computer expert, added: “If Egypt can do it, then we can do it even better.”
(I’m withholding family names. Many people were willing for their full names to be published, but at a hospital I was shaken after I interviewed one young man who had spoken publicly about seeing the police kill protesters — and then, he said, the police kidnapped him off the street and beat him badly.)
To me, this feels like the Arab version of 1776. And don’t buy into the pernicious whisper campaign from dictators that a more democratic Middle East will be fundamentalist, anti-American or anti-women. For starters, there have been plenty of women on the streets demanding change (incredibly strong women, too!).
For decades, the United States embraced corrupt and repressive autocracies across the Middle East, turning a blind eye to torture and repression in part because of fear that the “democratic rabble” might be hostile to us. Far too often, we were both myopic and just plain on the wrong side.
Here in Bahrain, we have been in bed with a minority Sunni elite that has presided over a tolerant, open and economically dynamic country — but it’s an elite that is also steeped in corruption, repression and profound discrimination toward the Shia population. If you parachute into a neighborhood in Bahrain, you can tell at once whether it is Sunni or Shia: if it has good roads and sewers and is well maintained, it is Sunni; otherwise, it is Shia.
A 20-year-old medical student, Ghadeer, told me that her Sunni classmates all get government scholarships and public-sector jobs; the Shiites pay their own way and can’t find work in the public sector. Likewise, Shiites are overwhelmingly excluded from the police and armed forces, which instead rely on mercenaries from Sunni countries. We give aid to these oligarchs to outfit their police forces to keep the Shiites down; we should follow Britain’s example and immediately suspend such transfers until it is clear that the government will not again attack peaceful, unarmed protesters.
We were late to side with “people power” in Tunisia and Egypt, but Bahrainis are thrilled that President Obama called the king after he began shooting his people — and they note that the shooting subsequently stopped (at least for now). The upshot is real gratitude toward the United States.
The determination of protesters — in Bahrain, in Iran, in Libya, in Yemen — is such that change is a certainty. At one hospital, I met a paraplegic who is confined to a wheelchair. He had been hit by two rubber bullets and was planning to return to the democracy protests for more.
And on the roundabout on Sunday, I met Ali, a 24-year-old on crutches, his legs swathed in bandages, limping painfully along. A policeman had fired on him from 15 feet away, he said, and he was still carrying 30 shotgun pellets that would eventually be removed when surgeons weren’t so busy with other injuries. Ali flinched each time he moved — but he said he would camp at the roundabout until democracy arrived, or die trying.
In the 1700s, a similar kind of grit won independence for the United States from Britain. A democratic Arab world will be a flawed and messy place, just as a democratic America has been — but it’s still time to align ourselves with the democrats of the Arab world and not the George III’s.
A version of this op-ed appeared in print on February 21, 2011, on page
File this post under “end times phenomenon, last days human behaviors”
Copyright 2.17.2011 By Chase Kyla Hunter, All Rights Reserved.
Last friday while the world watched and pondered what consequences may come, on the day that Hosni Mubarak finally stepped down, one American woman who had been sent by CBS to do the job of reporting on events in Cairo was made the brunt of someone’s unhinged primal rage and nearly lost her life.
Lara Logan was in Tahrir Square with a team of CBS news reporters, and became separated from her peers during the melee. She was photographed seconds before the assault began. The photograph below captures the fear and dread on this beautiful woman’s face as her soul suddenly recognizes the dire danger that she is in.
There is no freedom for the human spirit when an innocent American reporter has to be beaten nearly to death, and savaged repeatedly, for no other reason than the sheer barbarism of surrounding men who either could not or would not exercise simple personal self control. Since when does exaltation necessarily descend into depravity on a moment’s notice? And what does such a moment indicate about the true status a species of sentient beings?
There should be an international outcry about what happened to Lara Logan. She is one of more than 140 international correspondents who have been either injured or killed while trying to report on events in the 2011 Egyptian uprising.
Just as in the Gabrielle Giffords tragedy, once again we see certain depraved big media moments, and the “sinking to abject new lows which were formerly inconceivable”as a reporter for the LA Weekly tried to make reference to Lara’s looks as having something to do with why she was raped. It’s a stomach turning fact to realize that in 2011, in the 21st century, when we carry little handheld supercomputers and roll machines across the surface of Mars, that many so called reporters hold such backward and uneducated notions about rape, violence against women and the routine brutality of the male species around the world.
Lara: if I had to more read posts like the one I just noted in LA Weekly on a regular basis, I would blow my brains out too. Note to self: Never ever log on to the LA Weekly ever again, and make note of one more useless, snarky, urban west coast publication that does not live in American actuality.
Making matters worse still, media pundit Jim Hoft stooped just as low, and actually blamed Lara for what happened to her.
While Lara’s female peers in journalism cry out in compassion about the sheer heartbreak of what she endured while simply trying to report a story, Jim Hoft will go down in history as the most uncouth, medieval and insensitive American male in modern times for his barbaric commentary. He needs to be black-balled from journalism for it, permanently.
Rape has nothing whatsoever to do with politics, political correctness, or liberal vs. conservative issues. It is a crime of outrageous rage, aggression, hatred and violence against the woman who is subjected to it, and anyone who believes anything else is not living in cosmic actuality. Egyptian men who celebrated their freedom by raping an innocent reporter speaks volumes about just how far back in the stone age most men really live, and how little they actually care about the half of the species that brings life into the world, nurtures it and sustains the family.
Gender based misogyny and the hatred of women still exists and we see it everywhere. It exists in every culture, advanced [so called ] and primitive. It exists in Islamic culture to a horrific extreme, and it exists in America as well.
This species level intrinsic misogyny occurs in precise proportion to the amount of regressed anti-spiritual, violent, primitive, unlearned psychology of any culture, in the east or west, that routinely turns a blind eye to it.
In Egypt the males celebrated by raping an innocent woman and beating her. That’s stone age behavior. In America, many male reporters and journalists reacted to the rape by blaming the woman, castigating her beauty, and disrespecting her repeatedly in their commentary. That, too, is stone age behavior. There is no difference. The American men re-raped Lara Logan with every insensitive and vulgar verbal attack, multiplying the crime ten-fold in so doing. At some point in their souls’ existence, at some moment somewhere, they will now have to experience just exactly what it feels like to be the victim of a violent crime, and then to be blamed for it. That’s the law of karma, and it is meted out precisely by Universal Law.
The primitive spiritually dysfunctional vacuous male exists in vast numbers on both sides of the Atlantic ocean. If every woman on the planet disappeared completely for 3 days from the face of the earth, the world would go to all-out war, to the death, within hours, and there would not be a man alive at the end of week one.
When the males of the human species begin to truly venerate women, to finally acknowledge and respect their unique spiritual and intuitive skills, which are hard wired at birth by the Holy Spirit for the protection of the entire human species, then possibly, the species might have hope for a future and survival into the 22nd, 23rd and 24th centuries. Until that time, every time a woman is raped, the hope for the survival of the human species falls into territory which is a little bit more precarious, a little bit more doubtful.
We, as a species, have no hope of ever attaining such grand designs that we might sail forth to colonize Mars or beyond, when we have not learned the kindergarten lessons of how to treat the females of the human species here at home.
As for the males everywhere who blame the woman, they belong back in the early American colonial era, where their thinking still exists. Perhaps college courses at the freshman level which teach and educate as to the long term destructive results of rape on the psyche, the soul, and the mind / body / spirit aggregate need to become mandatory for male journalists before they should be allowed to write about rape. Apparently many men are just as stupid on this subject as they were in junior high school and have progressed little since that time.
Lara was saved from death by a group of women aided by Egyptian police officers. God bless that group of people. At least we can thank those brave people who pulled her free before she was killed pulled to pieces and dragged through the streets. That would have come next.
Suddenly I find myself exceedingly uninterested in ever reporting on what happens next in Egypt, politically speaking, ever again. I find I really no longer care.
But just the same I also find myself suddenly keenly interested instead in following all news that reports updating on the proper justice being served on the men who raped and beat Lara Logan, nearly killing her. If this crime goes unpunished, then we all know how doomed women are to achieve any justice in the world for the many daily atrocities that are perpetrated against them.
I believe in karma, and I believe karma is calling the men who perpetrated this heinous and cruel act against Lara Logan. They all know who they are.
May Jim Hoft, and all the men who agree with him be born a woman, and may they be raped by men just like the ones who raped Lara, for their own own wicked “piling on,”adding additional insult to the injury and assault on Lara Logan’s person, soul, her future and her dignity.
She will be recovering from her injuries, on some level, for the rest of her life.
I hope Jim Hoft’s career ends over his comments. As I understand it, Nir Rosen’s career has now taken a turn for the worse over his vicious comments about the assault as well.
I will watch in weeks and months ahead to see if a real outcry against the Lara Logan rape andthe continued raping of Lara Logan made by such vitriolic male commentary is ended by legal or other public means.
If not, we have a real 21st century barometer, a low water mark, indicating the depth of depravity which emerges from men during the global Kali Yuga “end times” period..
Rape is Rape is Rape. It’s Time to Stop Blaming the Victim.
Chase Kyla Hunter
If you don’t know very much about the Muslim Brotherhood, which is now forming a political party in post-Mubarak Egypt, you must read this report:
- Egypt Army Saves CBS News’ Lara Logan after Rape and Beating by Egypt’s Freedom Loving Protesters (atlasshrugs2000.typepad.com)
- CBS Reporter Lara Logan Recovering From Vicious Attack In Egypt [Video] (realestateradiousa.com)
- CBS Correspondent Lara Logan Suffered ‘Brutal’ Assault in Egypt (politicsdaily.com)
- Lara Logan Released From Hospital in “Remarkably Good Spirits” (eonline.com)
- Lara Logan Being Released From Hospital (huffingtonpost.com)
- CBS News’ Lara Logan Assaulted in Egypt (littlegreenfootballs.com)
- Lara Logan, CBS News Correspondent, Sexually Assaulted in Egypt (thehollywoodgossip.com)
- Why Lara Logan Went Back to Egypt (newser.com)
- CBS News Reporter Lara Logan Sexually Assaulted by Freedom Loving Egyptian Mob (jammiewearingfool.blogspot.com)
- Did CBS Coverup The Lara Logan News? (lukeford.net)
- Egyptian Men Celebrate Their Freedom By Raping a CBS News Correspondent: Lara Logan Update (alligatorfarm.wordpress.com)
Copyright 2011-3011 By Chase Kyla Hunter, All Rights Reserved.
You know it’s bad when the new world order “White House” directed mass media agencies begin to tell the truth about the cluelessness, insulated narcissism and inept foreign policy of the Obama administration.
Imagine: everything that tea party blogs and truth researchers have been screaming on the internet for five years now about this man, this calculatedly aloof and inept President, who pretended he was America’s new political Messiah four years ago, is finally, four years too late, being discussed in “official” American media outlets. I could just shake the men and women at Newsweek, clanking their heads together.
Where was all this truthful reporting with “eyes wide open” when we needed it four years ago? I personally hope Newsweek goes out of business in karmic retribution for their absolute and purposed failing to vet and investigate this man four years ago when he came out of far left field, [where he lives], to run for national office, three years after admitting to reporters he did not have the experience to do so.
The mass media numbskulls who elected this man now have the sad and silly karmic duty of reporting on his collapsing presidency to the nation, as if we didn’t already know. We were all three to four years ahead of you, Newsweek. You are so fired.
NEWSWEEK’s new columnist on Obama’s Egypt debacle and the vacuum it exposes.
“The statesman can only wait and listen until he hears the footsteps of God resounding through events; then he must jump up and grasp the hem of His coat, that is all.” Thus Otto von Bismarck, the great Prussian statesman who united Germany and thereby reshaped Europe’s balance of power nearly a century and a half ago.
Last week, for the second time in his presidency, Barack Obama heard those footsteps, jumped up to grasp a historic opportunity … and missed it completely.
In Bismarck’s case it was not so much God’s coattails he caught as the revolutionary wave of mid-19th-century German nationalism. And he did more than catch it; he managed to surf it in a direction of his own choosing. The wave Obama just missed—again—is the revolutionary wave of Middle Eastern democracy. It has surged through the region twice since he was elected: once in Iran in the summer of 2009, the second time right across North Africa, from Tunisia all the way down the Red Sea to Yemen. But the swell has been biggest in Egypt, the Middle East’s most populous country.
In each case, the president faced stark alternatives. He could try to catch the wave, Bismarck style, by lending his support to the youthful revolutionaries and trying to ride it in a direction advantageous to American interests. Or he could do nothing and let the forces of reaction prevail. In the case of Iran, he did nothing, and the thugs of the Islamic Republic ruthlessly crushed the demonstrations. This time around, in Egypt, it was worse. He did both—some days exhorting Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak to leave, other days drawing back and recommending an “orderly transition.”
The result has been a foreign-policy debacle. The president has alienated everybody: not only Mubarak’s cronies in the military, but also the youthful crowds in the streets of Cairo. Whoever ultimately wins, Obama loses. And the alienation doesn’t end there. America’s two closest friends in the region—Israel and Saudi Arabia—are both disgusted. The Saudis, who dread all manifestations of revolution, are appalled at Washington’s failure to resolutely prop up Mubarak. The Israelis, meanwhile, are dismayed by the administration’s apparent cluelessness.
Last week, while other commentators ran around Cairo’s Tahrir Square, hyperventilating about what they saw as an Arab 1989, I flew to Tel Aviv for the annual Herzliya security conference. The consensus among the assembled experts on the Middle East? A colossal failure of American foreign policy.
This failure was not the result of bad luck. It was the predictable consequence of the Obama administration’s lack of any kind of coherent grand strategy, a deficit about which more than a few veterans of U.S. foreign policy making have long worried. The president himself is not wholly to blame. Although cosmopolitan by both birth and upbringing, Obama was an unusually parochial politician prior to his election, judging by his scant public pronouncements on foreign-policy issues.
Yet no president can be expected to be omniscient. That is what advisers are for. The real responsibility for the current strategic vacuum lies not with Obama himself, but with the National Security Council, and in particular with the man who ran it until last October: retired Gen. James L. Jones. I suspected at the time of his appointment that General Jones was a poor choice. A big, bluff Marine, he once astonished me by recommending that Turkish troops might lend the United States support in Iraq. He seemed mildly surprised when I suggested the Iraqis might resent such a reminder of centuries of Ottoman Turkish rule.
The best national-security advisers have combined deep knowledge of international relations with an ability to play the Machiavellian Beltway game, which means competing for the president’s ear against the other would-be players in the policymaking process: not only the defense secretary but also the secretary of state and the head of the Central Intelligence Agency. No one has ever done this better than Henry Kissinger. But the crucial thing about Kissinger as national-security adviser was not the speed with which he learned the dark arts of interdepartmental turf warfare. It was the skill with which he, in partnership with Richard Nixon, forged a grand strategy for the United States at a time of alarming geopolitical instability.
The essence of that strategy was, first, to prioritize (for example, détente with the Soviets before human-rights issues within the U.S.S.R.) and then to exert pressure by deliberately linking key issues. In their hardest task—salvaging peace with honor in Indochina by preserving the independence of South Vietnam—Nixon and Kissinger ultimately could not succeed. But in the Middle East they were able to eject the Soviets from a position of influence and turn Egypt from a threat into a malleable ally. And their overtures to China exploited the divisions within the Communist bloc, helping to set Beijing on an epoch-making new course of economic openness.
The contrast between the foreign policy of the Nixon-Ford years and that of President Jimmy Carter is a stark reminder of how easily foreign policy can founder when there is a failure of strategic thinking. The Iranian Revolution of 1979, which took the Carter administration wholly by surprise, was a catastrophe far greater than the loss of South Vietnam.
Remind you of anything? “This is what happens when you get caught by surprise,” an anonymous American official told The New York Times last week. “We’ve had endless strategy sessions for the past two years on Mideast peace, on containing Iran. And how many of them factored in the possibility that Egypt moves from stability to turmoil? None.”
I can think of no more damning indictment of the administration’s strategic thinking than this: it never once considered a scenario in which Mubarak faced a popular revolt. Yet the very essence of rigorous strategic thinking is to devise such a scenario and to think through the best responses to them, preferably two or three moves ahead of actual or potential adversaries. It is only by doing these things—ranking priorities and gaming scenarios—that a coherent foreign policy can be made. The Israelis have been hard at work doing this. All the president and his NSC team seem to have done is to draft touchy-feely speeches like the one he delivered in Cairo early in his presidency.
These were his words back in June 2009:
America and Islam are not exclusive and need not be in competition. Instead, they overlap, and share common principles—principles of justice and progress; tolerance and the dignity of all human beings.
Those lines will come back to haunt Obama if, as cannot be ruled out, the ultimate beneficiary of his bungling in Egypt is the Muslim Brotherhood, which remains by far the best organized opposition force in the country—and wholly committed to the restoration of the caliphate and the strict application of Sharia. Would such an outcome advance “tolerance and the dignity of all human beings” in Egypt? Somehow, I don’t think so.
Grand strategy is all about the necessity of choice. Today, it means choosing between a daunting list of objectives: to resist the spread of radical Islam, to limit Iran’s ambition to become dominant in the Middle East, to contain the rise of China as an economic rival, to guard against a Russian “reconquista” of Eastern Europe—and so on. The defining characteristic of Obama’s foreign policy has been not just a failure to prioritize, but also a failure to recognize the need to do so. A succession of speeches saying, in essence, “I am not George W. Bush” is no substitute for a strategy.
Bismarck knew how to choose. He understood that riding the nationalist wave would enable Prussia to become the dominant force in Germany, but that thereafter the No. 1 objective must be to keep France and Russia from uniting against his new Reich. When asked for his opinion about colonizing Africa, Bismarck famously replied: “My map of Africa lies in Europe. Here lies Russia and here lies France, and we are in the middle. That is my map of Africa.”
Tragically, no one knows where Barack Obama’s map of the Middle East is. At best, it is in the heartland states of America, where the fate of his presidency will be decided next year, just as Jimmy Carter’s was back in 1980.
At worst, he has no map at all.
- Obama’s Egypt and Foreign Policy Failires – Newsweek (news.google.com)
- Obama’s Egypt and Foreign Policy Failires (newsweek.com)
- Niall Ferguson Blasts Obama’s Foreign Policy (thedailybeast.com)
- Mubarak in coma? (hotair.com)
- Newsweek Cheat Sheet: What’s in This Week’s Issue (thedailybeast.com)
- In U.S. Signals to Egypt, Obama Straddled a Rift (nytimes.com)
- In US Signals to Egypt, Obama Straddled a Rift – New York Times (news.google.com)
- Obama Team Looked Unsteady in Response to Egypt Protesters (businessweek.com)
- Obama’s strategy was to pressure Mubarak without intruding – Los Angeles Times (news.google.com)
- Obama Leadership Tested by Fast-Changing Egypt Crisis (businessweek.com)
- Foreign Policy: Why You Should Care About Egypt (npr.org)
Copyright 2011-3011 By Chase Kyla Hunter, All Rights Reserved.
Tags: yemen freedom protests 2011, mideast cry for freedom 2011, yemen civil unrest 2011
- Yemen’s anti-government protests continue to grow – CTV.ca (news.google.com)
- Yemen’s anti-government protests continue to grow (ctv.ca)
- “Thousands of Protesters in Yemen Head Toward Presidential Palace” and related posts (nymag.com)
- Video: In Yemen, pro-government, anti-government protesters clash (shortformblog.com)
- Troops in Yemen push back protesters (seattletimes.nwsource.com)
- More Anti-Government Protests in Yemen – Voice of America (news.google.com)
- Troops in Yemen push back protesters (sfgate.com)
- Thousands March to Oust President in Yemen (foxnews.com)
- Protesters In Yemen Seeks Regime Change, Clash With Police (huffingtonpost.com)
- Yemen protesters: ‘First Mubarak, now Ali’ (cnn.com)
Copyright 2.14.11 By CK Hunter, All Rights Reserved.
Repost courtesy of the Washington Post
Egypt’s generals impose martial law
Washington Post Foreign Service
Sunday, February 13, 2011; 11:00 PM
CAIRO – Egypt’s generals imposed martial law on Sunday, dissolving parliament and suspending the constitution, moves that many of the protesters who helped topple President Hosni Mubarak said were necessary to excise a rotten form of government.
The sweeping actions appeared to have their desired effect of calming the national mood. Under a celebratory facade, Egypt has remained on edge since Mubarak was forced to abdicate Friday, as uncertainty grew over the revolution’s next stages.
In a written communique, the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, led by Field Marshal Mohammed Tantawi, said the military rule was temporary and would last until elections are held, possibly as soon as six months from now. A new set of guiding laws will be drafted by an appointed committee and made subject to a referendum, the military chiefs said.
The parliament disbanded by the military had been a rubber-stamp body dominated by ruling-party members who prevailed in rigged November elections. The constitution had also been skewed heavily in favor of Mubarak’s regime.
Opposition figures praised the moves as important first steps toward free elections but urged further measures to sweep away the old guard. Some expressed alarm at an aborted effort by the military early Sunday to clear Cairo‘s Tahrir Square of remaining protesters. They also criticized a decision by the military rulers to leave Mubarak’s cabinet in place.
“By no means can they concentrate on fixing the problems and investigating what happened under the former regime, because they are the ones responsible,” said Alaa al Aswany, an Egyptian novelist and democracy activist.
It remains far from clear how quickly elections might be held in Egypt. The well-organized Muslim Brotherhood, officially banned under Mubarak, has pressed for speedy elections. Some democracy activists have said that it might take much longer than six months to prepare the ground for a fair contest.
Some unrest continued in Cairo, as about 500 police officers, demanding higher wages, marched through Tahrir Square and blocked the entrance to the Interior Ministry. Workers at state banks held sit-ins, forcing Egypt’s central bank to declare Monday a bank holiday. The antiquities-rich Egyptian Museum reported that two statues of King Tutankhamen and 16 other artworks had been looted.
“Our concern now is security, to bring security back to the Egyptian citizen,” Prime Minister Ahmed Shafiq said after presiding over a meeting of the caretaker cabinet. “That sense has been lost since the beginning of the events. It’s been coming back, but not as quickly as we hoped.”
Before the session, workers removed a huge portrait of Mubarak that had kept watch over the meeting room.
Unlike the police and other domestic security forces that Mubarak used to brutalize his political foes, the armed forces are seen by many Egyptians as their protectors and saviors. The military permitted the protests to unfold peacefully during the 18-day revolution. Many soldiers and officers made clear that their sympathies lay with the people.
For the near term, at least, the man running the country is Tantawi, 75, a close ally of Mubarak’s who served under him as defense minister and commander in chief of the armed forces. The military council’s communique said Tantawi would function as Egypt’s head of state in international relations.
Retired military officers and analysts described Tantawi as pragmatic and conservative, with no visible political aspirations. They said he has the support of other senior commanders, including Lt. Gen. Sami Enan, the armed forces’ chief of staff.
“Tantawi does not have ambitions to run for president. No one in the supreme council has that wish,” said Hosam Sowilam, a retired major general and former military college classmate of Tantawi’s. “We are military people. We don’t want to indulge in any political matters. We want to only participate in defending our territory and preserving the independence and stability of the country.”
Over the years, Tantawi has kept close ties with U.S. government and military officials. “He understands the importance of this relationship,” said Mohamed Kadry Said, a former major general who is an analyst at the Al-Ahram Center for Political and Strategic Studies in Cairo.
Tantawi is also seen as a reliable ally by Israel, which has feared greater instability with Mubarak’s departure. The Supreme Council of the Armed Forces has affirmed that Egypt will honor its international treaty obligations, including its peace accord with Israel.
But some military analysts said that despite protestations to the contrary, Tantawi and other generals might find that they enjoy ruling Egypt without any checks on their authority.
“In a few months, after they realize how powerful they are and if they believe they can control the country and restore stability, I am not sure they won’t fall in love with their huge influence,” said Giora Eiland, a retired Israeli major general who is an analyst at the Institute for National Security Studies in Tel Aviv. “Under certain circumstances, they can find excuses as to why an election cannot be held at the moment.”
Some demonstrators said they would continue to occupy Tahrir Square until the generals acceded to other demands, including the release of thousands of political prisoners and the repeal of Egypt’s state-of-emergency law, which Mubarak imposed almost 30 years ago as a tool to repress political opponents.
“How can there be freedom as long as the emergency law exists?” said Ram Ebead, 32, an unemployed chemist who has camped out in the plaza since protests erupted Jan. 25. “How can there be freedom without the release of political prisoners?”
Other organizers said they would leave Tahrir Square for now but would return every Friday to pressure the military to make good on its promises.
“The people will be frustrated if the military stays in power more than six months,” said Essam el-Erian, a leader of the Muslim Brotherhood. Analysts said the group stands to benefit from snap elections because it is Egypt’s best-organized political movement.
Erian urged the military to cancel the emergency law and to release the prisoners, many of them Brotherhood supporters. But he also praised the military for the measures it has taken.
“We’re on the right road,” Erian said. “Transitions from dictatorship to democracy are very difficult. It will take time.”
Special correspondent Samuel Sockol contributed to this report.