Sunday Reads Chaos in the streets….

*Update* The situation is escalating in Egypt, so here are some updated links:

US set to evacuate citizens from Egypt | euronews, world news

The United States on Sunday said it will evacuate any of its citizens who want to leave Egypt. In a statement on its website, the US embassy in Cairo said flights would depart from various locations across the country on Monday.

Egypt shuts down al-Jazeera operations | World news | The Guardian

Egypt today shut down the operations of the Arabic satellite TV channel al-Jazeera, blaming it for encouraging the country’s uprising – and demonstrating that the repressive powers of central government are still functioning.

Robert Fisk: Egypt: Death throes of a dictatorship – Robert Fisk, Commentators – The Independent

Mubarak’s allegation that these demonstrations and arson – this combination was a theme of his speech refusing to leave Egypt – were part of a “sinister plan” is clearly at the centre of his claim to continued world recognition. Indeed, Obama’s own response – about the need for reforms and an end to such violence – was an exact copy of all the lies Mubarak has been using to defend his regime for three decades. It was deeply amusing to Egyptians that Obama – in Cairo itself, after his election – had urged Arabs to grasp freedom and democracy. These aspirations disappeared entirely when he gave his tacit if uncomfortable support to the Egyptian president on Friday. The problem is the usual one: the lines of power and the lines of morality in Washington fail to intersect when US presidents have to deal with the Middle East. Moral leadership in America ceases to exist when the Arab and Israeli worlds have to be confronted.

Why is it every puzzle I do, reminds me of our pug "Cosmo"...

Good Sunday Morning, what a week it has been! So much going on in the news, so many Middle Eastern countries,  in upheaval. Egypt reportedly has over 100 dead in the protest, and Australia is urging its citizens to leave. I had to take a break from it all yesterday, so I started a new puzzle. There is something about the chaos of those puzzle pieces, you have some control and can put the pieces together. You get a sense of completion and wholeness. Well, is that a bit over the top? Then truth be told, I just enjoy to do those suckers. Although, I am not as obsessed about working puzzles as Marion Davies, they sure are fun. Anyway, on with the show…Al Jazeera English has been doing some amazing coverage on the revolt in Egypt. The first three links are from that news organization.

Pressure builds on Mubarak – Middle East – Al Jazeera English

Washington told Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak on Saturday it was not enough simply to “reshuffle the deck” with a shake-up of his government and pressed him to make good on his promise of genuine reform.

“The Egyptian government can’t reshuffle the deck and then stand pat,” State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley said in a message on Twitter.com after Mubarak fired his government but made clear he had no intention of stepping down.

Egypt not trending in China – Asia-Pacific – Al Jazeera English

China has blocked the word “Egypt” from the country’s wildly popular Twitter-like service, while coverage of the political turmoil has been tightly restricted in state media.

China’s ruling Communist Party is sensitive to any potential source of social unrest.

A search for “Egypt” on the Sina microblogging service brings up a message saying, “According to relevant laws, regulations and policies, the search results are not shown”.

Egypt’s military in a quandary – Middle East – Al Jazeera English

As the revolt continues to expand and gain momentum in major Egyptian cities and protestors demand no less than the removal of his regime, it’s now the military’s choice to allow for the change to be peaceful or violent.

So far, it has opted for merely policing the streets without confronting the demonstrators, whether this will turn into a Tiananmen scenario of tough crackdown or not, will be decided in the next few hours or days.

[…]

The Egyptian military could follow the Tunisian military by refusing orders to shoot at demonstrators or impose the curfew.

The military can replace Mubarak with a temporary emergency governing council or leave it for civilian opposition groups to form government in consultation with the military.

This depends on the cost and benefits of keeping Mubarak who’s long been the military man at the helm of the regime. Appointing intelligence chief Omar Suleiman as his vice president, and hence ending his son’s chances for succession, will make little difference on the long term.

There is direct correlation between continued momentum of the uprising and the need to remove Mubarak, his family and his political leadership from the helm. Also, the military will make its calculation on the basis of delicate balancing act that insures its own influence and privileges while not allowing the country to descend into chaos.

In Israel, it looks like the pressure is starting to show. Obama will go down in history as the president who lost Egypt – Haaretz Daily Newspaper | Israel News

Jimmy Carter will go down in American history as “the president who lost Iran,” which during his term went from being a major strategic ally of the United States to being the revolutionary Islamic Republic. Barack Obama will be remembered as the president who “lost” Turkey, Lebanon and Egypt, and during whose tenure America’s alliances in the Middle East crumbled.

The superficial circumstances are similar. In both cases, a United States in financial crisis and after failed wars loses global influence under a leftist president whose good intentions are interpreted abroad as expressions of weakness. The results are reflected in the fall of regimes that were dependent on their relationship with Washington for survival, or in a change in their orientation, as with Ankara.

Ouch, that is some tough criticism. I honestly would be scared to death if I lived in Israel. One of the only buffers (Egypt) is going down in flames, and the other (Jordan) seems to be just heating up. I won’t get into a debate about Aluf Benn’s, the article’s author, choice of words regarding a “leftist” president.

Here is a couple more links about the response from Obama, and how the Egyptian People feel about his “stand back and wait” or should I say, let Hillary take all the heat on the Sunday Morning news shows.  (Wonk mentioned yesterday that she is going on all the Sunday talk shows.)

More Egyptian protesters demand that White House condemn Mubarak

Obama Presses Egypt for Change – NYTimes.com

If you have missed the coverage that Dakinikat has done on this crisis in Egypt, I urge you to check out her live blog post. She has really been on top of things. Wonk also posted about a young girl’s message to Mubarak. I tell you, the Sky Dancing Blog has been cooking lately. I am so proud to be part of this team.

Speaking of which, I have to give some props to Front Pagers Boston Boomer and Zaladonis and Sima. Give these links a look-see! Each of them wrote a very good blog post this weekend, you might have missed them with all the activity over in Northern Africa. Here are a few  other interesting links that might have gone unnoticed.

FT.com / Companies / Banks – Blankfein awarded $12.6m in shares – The first line of the article mentions that the US must have gotten over the big money paid to big bank executives. Yeah? I don’t know about that…most people probably don’t even know about the pay off, I mean bonus guys like Goldman Sachs’ Blankfein are getting. Check out the grin on his face in this link:  Blankfein Gets $13.2 Million for 2010 – NYTimes.com

Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission Report Lacks Analysis – NYTimes.com This story has really been lost in the shuffle. I guess it will at least give some time for people to review the massive report. I wonder if it will get any attention during the next news cycle.

Greg Mitchell: WikiLeaks Is Holding Me Hostage Well I don’t know about that. Grey Mitchell has a new book out, and it seems like “hostage” is a bit over the top…so the cables have been coming out a little at a time, I could make a crude connection to this and the massive “dump” at the beginning of the recent State Dept Cable leak…but I won’t.

This next link is for Dakinikat. She has joked about the fact that the recent disastrous events have not taken place in her own back yard. Well, she may very well know first hand about the emotional cost of dealing with a tragic situation. Weighing the costs of disaster

Disasters — both natural and humanmade — can strike anywhere and they often hit without warning, so they can be difficult to prepare for. But what happens afterward? How do people cope following disasters? In a new report in Psychological Science in the Public Interest, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science, George Bonanno, Chris R. Brewin, Krzysztof Kaniasty, and Annette M. La Greca review the psychological effects of disasters and why some individuals have a harder time recovering than do others.

[…]

But why do individuals respond to disasters so differently? There may be a number of factors that influence how people react following disasters, such as age and socioeconomic status. For example, children react to disasters differently than do adults: Initially they tend to show more extreme psychological distress than do adult disaster survivors, but as with adults, such severe psychological problems are often only temporary. At the other end of the age spectrum, older adults tend to overcome disasters with fewer psychological costs than do younger adults. Economic resources may also play a role in people’s outcomes to disasters. Low socioeconomic status is consistently identified as a predictor of PTSD. Economically underdeveloped areas’ lack of infrastructure hampers the ability of emergency response teams to provide aid and death tolls tend to be larger in poorer nations than in wealthier nations following natural disasters.

From Minx’s Missing Link File: It has been 25 years since another disaster, the Challenger explosion…can you believe 25 years? I was a Sophomore in High School, we saw the explosion live. Our little group of 12 “gifted” students in Mr. Brooks class got to see it first hand. It had one effect on me, I would never watch a shuttle take off or land live again. Well, save for one time in 2003. The first time I would watch a shuttle landing since 1986, the Columbia landing. Anyway, give this link a read…I find it interesting cause it is written by a guy from my generation. Jim Noles: Twenty-Five Years Ago, We Lost More Than a Space Shuttle

Easy Like Sunday Morning Link: Appalachian History >> I won’t take a picture unless the moon is right, to say nothing of the sunlight and shadow

Born on January 15, 1864 in Grafton, WV, Frances Benjamin Johnston transcended both regional and national notions about women’s place in the 19th century to become a pioneer in American photography and photojournalism, and a crusader with her camera for the historic preservation of the Old South. Through her active encouragement of women who wised to enter her chosen profession, she helped to transform women’s sphere. The photographic record she compiled in over than fifty years as a working photographer continues to serve as a guide to the American past and to document her wide-ranging interest and achievements.

[…]

In an interview with Maud O’Bryan Ronstrom from the New Orleans ‘Times-Picayune’ in 1947, Johnston, then 83 years old, talked about her achievements. Typically, she looked ahead to her completion of works in progress (such as the restoration of her house on Bourbon Street in the French Quarter and a book on ‘The Early Architecture of the Lower Mississippi Valley’) rather than to her retirement. Johnston’s sense of humor emerges in this interview in her description of the lengths to which she sometimes had gone to capture a photograph.

This is such a cool post. Give this blog a read, it is called: Appalachian History. Living in this historic area of the US is a wonderful, even if I tend to joke about living in banjoland…with the sounds of squealing pigs in the distance.

And just one more…My Aunt called me late last night to alert me to my Cousin’s 15 minutes of fame. Seems Loren was walking his puppy Bonnie and came across a 15 foot, 200 pound Burmese Python. Dang, that could eat a small child…or at least a happy go lucky midget out for a stroll in the FLA woods…oops, I mean one of those happy go lucky “short people.” 😉

So what are you reading today? Lets have it loud and proud!


84 Comments on “Sunday Reads Chaos in the streets….”

  1. I did this Fazzino puzzle last week:bollywood

    • Minkoff Minx says:

      Oh I love it Wonk, that is beautiful!

      • mjames says:

        “There is something about the chaos of those puzzle pieces, you have some control and can put the pieces together. You get a sense of completion and wholeness. Well, is that a bit over the top?”

        No, no, no. I had no idea there were others here who found respite in putting a puzzle together. I don’t often do such glorious puzzles, as those here, but I have found working a puzzle calms me down and allows me to organize my thoughts. It’s like using a different part of my brain and giving my usual part a big rest.

        That’s as far as I’ve gotten in today’s report, so back to reading for me.

      • Sima says:

        I do puzzles too! I do them online at jigzone. When we have family vacations my father and I usually do at least one puzzle. It’s more than a tradition, it’s a ritual.

  2. Minkoff Minx says:

    Fouad Ajami: Rebellion in the Land of the Pharaohs – WSJ.com

    Hosni Mubarak, the military officer who became Pharaoh in his own right, is well over 80. His is the third-longest reign since Ramses, who ruled for 67 years. The second-longest had belonged to a remarkable soldier of fortune, Muhammad Ali, an Albanian by birth and the creator of modern Egypt, who conquered the country in the opening years of the 19th century and ruled for five decades. His dynasty was to govern Egypt until the middle years of the 20th century.

    • zaladonis says:

      Interesting, from that same piece:

      It is hard to know with precision when Hosni Mubarak, the son of middle peasantry, lost the warrant of his people. It had started out well for this most cautious of men. He had been there on the reviewing stand on Oct. 6, 1981 when a small band of young men from the army struck down Sadat as the flamboyant ruler was reviewing his troops and celebrating the eighth anniversary of the October War of 1973.

      The new man had risen by grace of his predecessor’s will. He had had no political past. The people of Egypt had not known of him. He was the antidote to two great and ambitious figures—Nasser and Sadat. His promise was modesty. He would tranquilize the realm after three decades of tumult and wars and heartbreaking bids to re-make the country.

      Rings familiar.

  3. Minkoff Minx says:

    This happened in my hometown, so I just wanted to put it up…Friends can’t reconcile images of mom accused of killing kids

    The woman bought the gun 5 days before she killed her kids.

  4. Anthony Shadid, NYT:

    For the first time in a generation, it is not religion, nor the adventures of a single leader, nor wars with Israel that have energized the region. Across Egypt and the Middle East, a somewhat nostalgic notion of a common Arab identity, intersecting with a visceral sense of what amounts to a decent life, is driving protests that have bound the region in a sense of a shared destiny.

    “The experience of Tunisia will remain the guiding light for Egypt and may be so for people in Yemen, Sudan and the rest of the Arab world looking for change, with a readiness to accept risk, especially given that even the worst possibilities are better than the status quo,” Talal Salman, the editor of Al Safir, wrote on Friday.

    A chant in Egypt put it more bluntly, playing on the longstanding chants of Islamists that “Islam is the solution.” “Tunisia,” they shouted, “is the solution.”

  5. Minkoff Minx says:

    From the Fisk article:

    An al-Jazeera television crew found 23 bodies in the Alexandria mortuary, apparently shot by the police. Several had horrifically mutilated faces. Eleven more bodies were discovered in a Cairo mortuary, relatives gathering around their bloody remains and screaming for retaliation against the police.

    The lack of news regarding the causalities makes me worry. I have heard that 100 protesters have been killed. (that number is from the Australian news link above) It’s horrible that the revolt has to go this far to get Murabak out… I wonder what SOS Clinton will say today. It really seems that the US response is not working..no surprise there.


    Oh, and one more thing. The link up top from Euronews mentions the US Embassy in Cairo having a statement on their website regarding evacuations. I looked and there was no statement I could find.

    Click the link here and then click on the image to enlarge…

  6. Tweet:

    matthew_weaver Compare and contrast IoS and Telegraph front pages on #Egypt http://yfrog.com/h2m94oyj http://yfrog.com/h5blkmrj

  7. From @parvezsharma’s interview of his friend giving his account of the protests:

    Y: and ya today you know I felt Muslim Brotherhood presence for first time—these are what we call the beards you know—they made their way to the front of the protest near me where students were leading—and this elderly man in his 60’s was holding up a flag–he started chanting Allahu Akbar— and the students started
    “Muslameen Mesiheen Kolina Masreen” you know… “Muslims Christians we are all Egyptians”

    Me: I cant believe it—everyone is saying that the Copts have been looking after the backs of the Muslims when they are praying in mosques man…its just fucking unbelievable especially after all that drama a few weeks ago…

  8. Minkoff Minx says:

    Egypt’s Class Conflict | Informed Comment

    Why has the Egyptian state lost its legitimacy? Max Weber distinguished between power and authority. Power flows from the barrel of a gun, and the Egyptian state still has plenty of those. But Weber defines authority as the likelihood that a command will be obeyed. Leaders who have authority do not have to shoot people. The Mubarak regime has had to shoot over 100 people in the past few days, and wound more. Literally hundreds of thousands of people have ignored Mubarak’s command that they observe night time curfews. He has lost his authority.

  9. Uppity Woman says:

    If I saw that Python, I would have a freaking stroke.

    What do you all think is going to happen today? I get a sense the military doesn’t want to harm these people. Mubarak, he’s just plain got to go. I’m hearing about the Al Jazeera block all over the place, and that means he’s either going to do an Iran and give the order to mow people down……or he’s giving up. FOX, for what they’re worth, just had video of tanks filling up a square. I just don’t trust our press at all. I have this sinking feeling I have been manipulated since the day I was born by the press. Anyways,I have FOX on because Hillary is supposed to talk to Wallace in a few. Or at least that’s what I think I heard.

  10. RT @blogsofwar: Funny isn’t it? Obama is like a deer in headlights in the face of true hope & change – #Jan25 #Egypt

  11. joshtuck RT @shadihamid: #Egypt contact calls me telling me fighter jets & helicopters flying over Tahrir making noises, scaring people #jan25 25 seconds ago

    Bidaar RT @AlhusseinA: ALjazeera: A squadron of F16s just flew over the 150 thousands protesters in #tahrir square #Egypt #jan25 curfew in 10 mins

  12. from AJ live blog:

    12:47 pm: Death toll rises. Al Jazeera reports 150 protesters killed since Friday in Egypt’s demonstrations

  13. Minkoff Minx says:

    Egypt shuts down Al Jazeera bureau – Middle East – Al Jazeera English

    From AJ:

    In a statement, Al Jazeera said it strongly denounces and condemns the closure of its bureau in Cairo by the Egyptian government. The network received notification from the Egyptian authorities on Sunday morning.

    “Al Jazeera has received widespread global acclaim for their coverage on the ground across the length and breadth of Egypt,” the statement said.

    An Al Jazeera spokesman said that the company would continue its strong coverage regardless.

  14. Sophie says:

    Hillary on CNN now

  15. zaladonis says:

    Now Hillary’s on ABC’s This Week

  16. Minkoff Minx says:

    Dammit, every channel has commercials or splattering Bush video…anyone have what SOS said?

  17. Minkoff Minx says:

    Clinton: Egypt must transition to democracy  | ajc.com

    Clinton tells “Fox News Sunday” that the situation in Egypt is volatile and complex, as protestors continue to swarm into the streets.

    While noting that President Hosni Mubarak has finally appointed a vice president, she says the U.S. also does not want to see a takeover of the government in Egypt that would lead to oppression.

  18. zaladonis says:

    She’s basically saying the same thing: the leadership in Egypt has to make concrete Democratic and economic reforms, should deal with these protests peacefully and listen and respond to the grievances of the people.

    • Minkoff Minx says:

      She has not changed her response…I am disappointed with this…What about you?

      • I’d say I was disappointed with this Administration except that it is meeting my lowest of low expectations of Obama & co.

      • Minkoff Minx says:

        You got that right Wonk. I think Obama is just proving once again what an empty suit in office looks like. Do you think he is hiding out in the bathroom like he did when he was in the Senate? ( Sorry, but it is really frustrating.)

      • Obama’s no longer LeBron baby (not that he ever was)… what a fracking pathetic state of affairs.

      • zaladonis says:

        I’m not disappointed, explained why earlier today. This is a complicated and volatile situation, and the US needs to use its power judiciously or it’ll be diluted.

        What do you and Wonk want her to say that she’s not saying?

      • Hillary, O, Biden, and the rest calling for “free and fair” elections on their own would have been a good start. Hillary wouldn’t answer David Gregory on Meet the Press right now on whether she’ll call the Egypt gov’t stable today. He finally asked her about free and fair election and her answer was that “we’ve been calling for free and fair elections for years.”

      • Minkoff Minx says:

        Sorry bout the delay in answering your question Zal, I had to make some coffee, if I waited any longer my head would have explode.

        I know that they can’t come out and demand Mubarak to resign, but I would like them to get the message out that they suggest he step down, and move toward a legitimate election of a new government. The longer Mubarak is there, the more violent and desperate the people will get. The people want him out.

      • zaladonis says:

        Minx — and let the VP that Mubarak just appointed stand in as acting President? Or if not him, then who?

        • Minkoff Minx says:

          The people want a fair election, I think that that is the important thing. If there is some move toward this it would ease the tension. The longer Mubarak is in power, the more angry the people will get.

  19. Minkoff Minx says:

    Okay, frustrated about the US cable news coverage of this…Judith Miller on Fox (“”we didn’t see this coming”) Ugh…CNN has people talking about Bush, and MSNBC is pumping the commercials.

  20. zaladonis says:

    I came in while she was in the middle of a sentence but SoS was also suggesting the government should bring to the table leaders who are known to the people for having called for reforms so the people feel their concerns are being heard and being given the weight they deserve.

    • Minkoff Minx says:

      I guess that is a dig at Mubarak’s choice of VP…

      • zaladonis says:

        No I didn’t hear it that way, though she did smile in an almost smirky way when responding to the question is appointing a VP enough. No it’s not enough, she said and her expression was more like Hell No it’s not enough, it’s barely a baby step. But she didn’t indicate it was a bad move, just that it’s a tiny move when bold moves are required.

        I liked what I heard of her suggestion because I think the biggest problem right now is that this uprising came out of online social networking and there’s no leader — so Hillary’s suggesting leaders be identified and sit down with the government to map out reforms. It’s fine to say we’re mad as hell and we’re not going to take it anymore but if you want to go from bad to better you have to have a plan and leader.

  21. zaladonis says:

    Does anybody know if Hillary’s scheduled to be on any other shows today?

    • She’s on all of them today:

      NBC Meet the Press
      ABC This Week
      CBS Face the Nation
      CNN State of the Union
      FOX News Sunday

      • zaladonis says:

        Thanks, Wonk.

        I’ll keep switching between them to catch her –

      • Boo Radly says:

        Seems Hillary is everywhere working while BO plays(we knew he was a “player” – wonder if the Obat’s notice)

        Per AP:

        WASHINGTON (AP) — Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton is flying to Haiti to mediate in a political crisis there while other administration officials are keeping watch on violent protests halfway across the world in Egypt.

        Clinton will meet Sunday with President Rene Preval and the three candidates vying to succeed him during her visit. She will also see a treatment center for the cholera epidemic that has killed almost 4,000 people.

        ********************************************************

        When does she sleep? Of course, if any of these crisis’ don’t work out – it’s Hillary’s fault.

  22. Pat Johnson says:

    I’d like to think that we are on the “brink of change” via this revolution but somehow I have a feeling that maybe we aren’t.

    When tyranny and religion collide it is difficult to predict the outcome. From what I have heard from reports, most of those in the streets are angry over rising food prices, a lack of jobs, a corrupt system that favors the rich, and an economy that is teetering on collapse.

    The select few are unwilling to give up the power and a fundamentalist movement lurks in the background waiting to seize control.

    Difficult to judge at the moment if we are witnessing a possible future based on democracy or a wide range effort to fully convert the mideast under complete Islamic control.

    If Hillary is parsing her responses it may be that the uncertainty of who will eventually emerge as victor plays a bigger role than an outright condemnation against the current tyrant who may yet manage to overcome this upset.

    • Sophie says:

      From what I have heard from reports, most of those in the streets are angry over rising food prices, a lack of jobs, a corrupt system that favors the rich, and an economy that is teetering on collapse.

      You ARE still talking about Egypt, right?

    • imho Hillary’s timidity on this as Obama’s SOS is a reflection of Obama and DC not knowing what to do and feeling out of control. I heard someone on one of the channel panels while I was flipping–wish I caught who–saying whoever gets picked “won’t be as good for Israel as we would like.” We can’t control who wins and this seems to scare the bejeebus out of the West.

      The protesters aren’t standing with the fundamentalists, they’re chanting “Muslims Christians we’re all Egyptians” and replacing the statement “Islam is the solution” with “Tunisia is the solution.”

      • zaladonis says:

        Wonk, who are they going to replace Mubarak with?

      • With who they pick in a free and fair election.

      • Pat Johnson says:

        My sympathies are with the people who have had to live under this yoke of tyranny but I distrust those in the background whose intent may not be as benign.

        Perhaps I remember all too well the Iranian uprising that pretty much mirrored the discontent felt by their own citizens that eventually ended up with the mullahs in charge driving a lot of modernity into the shadows.

      • zaladonis says:

        Exactly, Pat!

        Just because the cause of the people is just and good doesn’t mean those in the background who may rise to power will also be just and good. It’s just not that simple.

      • I think the idea that either it’s a dictator or fundamentalist who will rule is a false choice that Mubarak has used to stay in power for 30 years.

      • zaladonis says:

        I think you’re the only one I’ve heard saying that’s the choice. Certainly Hillary isn’t saying that, and I haven’t heard Obama suggest it either.

      • Zal, I didn’t say Obama or Hillary are explicitly saying that. But, i’m looking at the way the US reaction is coming across to the protesters, and it certainly seems there’s a lot of pessimism coming from our side. Nic Roberston on CNN just reported that the protesters are angry at Obama and see the US as siding with and protecting Mubarak.

      • Minkoff Minx says:

        Wonk, what do you think about the Military over in Egypt? Do you think they can play a role in getting those fair elections?

      • Minkoff Minx says:

        Damn, they just mentioned this on CNN…the army pushing toward a government reform.

      • zaladonis says:

        But Wonk, of course they’re mad at us — the only thing that’d make them happy is if Obama and Clinton said Mubarak has to go right now.

        Something very important is happening here and each element has its part to play. It’s right for Egyptians to protest and shout and call for the removal of Mubarak. And it’s also right for the United States President and SoS to have a measured response urging nonviolence, calling for the Egyptian government to listen and respond to its people’s grievances, and calling for a transition to a real Democratic election.

        I think Hillary’s response, given the totality of this complex situation, is spot-on. Did you watch her with David Gregory? I thought she was spectacular. It isn’t her job to make the Egyptian protesters happy or love her or the US, it’s her job to be smart about helping this situation evolve into real changes that are good for Egypt, which in turn will be good for us.

      • I did see her on David Gregory. I liked that the issue of free and fair election was finally addressed when he asked her. As I said last night, my beef has not been with Hillary but with the administration she has to speak on behalf of. I personally think there’s more to the frustration with the Obama Admin’s comments than the protesters playing their part and the O Admin playing theirs. Obama et al messed up at the beginning in reading this situation and their initial reactions, due to Obama being a “deer in the headlights” and basically hiding out while Hill does his job… and that initial misreading makes it difficult for what might otherwise be sufficient in the way of statements on their part subsequently to come across as convincing or enough in light of previous remarks like Biden saying Mubarak is not a dictator. So it’s not going to be easily undone by Hillary saying thing right now. That too will take time.

        Hillary herself was ahead_of_the_curve on all this when she was in Qatar earlier this month:

        The top U.S. diplomat said if leaders do not offer young people “meaningful ways to contribute,” then others are ready to fill the void.

        Clinton said extremists and terrorist groups “who would prey on desperation and poverty” are already appealing for influence.

        She also called for an end to corruption and for increased economic opportunities for women and minorities.

        Clinton said the “new and dynamic Middle East” needs a firmer foundation in order to grow.

        I’m not upset with Hillary at all–she’s still my gal-and I think she’s doing as well as anyone could in a Barack Obama Administration, better than anything but the exceptional top 2% of the bell curve could do. But, I think speaking more about the Administration than Hillary per se, we too have a role to play in putting pressure on our gov’t to keep evolvin gtheir rhetoric. The question at this stage doesn’t seem to be ‘if’ Mubarak will be gone but ‘when.’ The longer he stays, the more the situation devolves.

        • Minkoff Minx says:

          my beef has not been with Hillary but with the administration she has to speak on behalf of. I personally think there’s more to the frustration with the Obama Admin’s comments than the protesters playing their part and the O Admin playing theirs. Obama et al messed up at the beginning in reading this situation and their initial reactions, due to Obama being a “deer in the headlights” and basically hiding out while Hill does his job… and that initial misreading makes it difficult for what might otherwise be sufficient in the way of statements on their part subsequently to come across as convincing or enough in light of previous remarks like Biden saying Mubarak is not a dictator. So it’s not going to be easily undone by Hillary saying thing right now. That too will take time.

          Exactly, the remarks from Biden were a horrible way to start off the US response to Egyptian revolt.

          Hey, the bottom line is it is up to the Egyptian People.

          I realize that the US, Obama and by extension Clinton can’t come outright and demand Mubarak’s resignation. But the situation seems like there needs to be more support of the people in Egypt. And a move toward suggesting Mubarak has to announce his resignation and support the people in getting the fair election process going.

    • zaladonis says:

      Pat @ 8:43:

      That, and it’s not as simple as Mubarak is a tyrant. It just isn’t.

      It’s an unstable region, we have a national security stake in this, and Egypt has been our primary ally there – with Mubarak in place. It would be irresponsible for us to simply say oust Mubarak when the revolutionaries have no replacement for him. Who is going to take over and what will it mean?

      • Pat Johnson says:

        You made my point. We just don’t have a clue as yet to the outcome. Bad as Mubarak may be we could find ourselves dealing with something worse. It just remains to be seen.

        Those fractious fundamentalist organizations have been fomenting for years throughout the mideast and they have a like minded goal. Each country may have their own individual groups at work but they are united in their beliefs that Islam should be the primary focus in governance.

        This is what troubles me the most in this situation. And by no means am I condoning Mubarak. It’s more that old adage: the devil you know.

      • zaladonis says:

        Fundamentalists aren’t the only concern. In fact I think they’re, per se, a lesser concern.

        Egypt is in the middle of, as I keep saying, an unstable region. Egyptians, and we need Egypt to be our ally and we (Egyptians and us) need it to be governed by a leadership that’s in control. Tyranny is bad but you need to have a strong government, always, but especially in a region like that. So until the US has some inkling of who may take over it’s not really prudent to say Mubarak must go and, well, whomever’s next, any Mr. X, is okay with us and should be okay with you.

        Further, unless we’re prepared to back up statements like Mubarak must go with some muscle, we’ll just look weak if we say it and he doesn’t leave.

        I join in the frustration that Obama and Hillary aren’t taking a stand that will resolve this neatly and “be on the right side of history” ahead of events but some situations are not as simple as neat tidy bumpersticker slogans. Tweeting pithy comments is not the same as a nation like the US taking an official position in a situation as volatile and vital as this is to Egyptians, others in the region and ourselves.

  23. zaladonis says:

    AJ reporter on ABC’s This Week roundtable now.

  24. Sophie says:

    God she’s good. (Shut up David.)

  25. bostonboomer says:

    The problem is the usual one: the lines of power and the lines of morality in Washington fail to intersect when US presidents have to deal with the Middle East. Moral leadership in America ceases to exist when the Arab and Israeli worlds have to be confronted.

    I just love Robert Fisk!

  26. Pat Johnson says:

    We need to realize that there is not much the US can do in this situation. The people of Egypt are in control of the movement this uprising is taking.

    Other than threaten to cut off financial support to protect our interests there is little we can do beyond sitting on the sidelines while this plays itself out.

    • Pat Johnson says:

      And how can they do this? It would be an admission of decades old foreign policy that led to this revolt.

      Hillary is no dummy and she has to accept that should Mubarak overcome this crisis she will still have to look across the table at him sometime in the future.

      And whatever government succeeds him may be even more hostile to US interests so why bother to incite even more anger by cheering on the “wrong horse” today.

      The US is caught between a rock and a hard place when it comes to inserting their sympathies for either side. And they tiptoe lightly right now because of the allegiance to Israel who must be considered as well.

  27. Pat Johnson says:

    This may appear simplistic, but much of the problems facing this world is overpopulation, a reduction of resources, and the money in the hands of a select few. In years to come we are going to be faced with the damage that will be felt from ignoring climate change and where will be then?

    I was taken aback when one reporter said that there is 14 million people living in Cairo alone. Unless I heard this wrong, how does one control a population that large when feeding, housing and employing that number alone must be daunting even under the best of conditions? Mind boggling.

    • zaladonis says:

      And at the same time that population has increased, technology has made many jobs unnecessary, they’re just gone, and education and mobility has led people to believe they are qualified for better jobs that aren’t there.

      I thought Obama’s use of “competition” was especially interesting because in my view American workers today are already more competitive than they were 30 years ago, at least among each other, it can be really cut-throat. I mean they’re all super friendly and all that on the surface but competition for a job or promotion gets really subversively nasty sometimes. IMO we need to calm down with the competition and encourage more innovation and genuine imagination rather than copying and pasting. More authentic achievement and fewer unearned trophies would go a long way to creating a healthier economy — to say nothing of a healthier society.

      • Pat Johnson says:

        In my state alone, it has been reported that most applicants are “competing” with 6 others for just the chance at an interview, let alone the job itself.

        The sense of fairness should be built around urging these CEOs to bring those jobs currently sent overseas at a much reduced hourly rate and benefit package, to return or be sanctioned appropriately. Not everything should be conducted with “the bottom line” as an excuse to triple profits on the backs of American citizens as these fat cats get fatter at our expense.

        What happened to “the American Way”? It went overseas.

      • zaladonis says:

        I totally agree, Pat. Rather than boasting about bigger corporate profits like that’s some great achievement and going to make our economy healthy, Obama should be calling on corporations to figure out ways to do more hiring, even if it means some sacrifice. If Obama’s not going to do FDR style government programs to create jobs, call on private industry to do it. Jobs are not created by workers being more competitive and more productive.

        How about updating JFK’s ask not what your country can do for you with something along the lines of the old fashioned to whom much is given, much is required.

  28. Jadzia says:

    I think the Challenger explosion was the “where were you when JFK was shot” moment for Generation X. I was in 10th grade chemistry class in Waterville, Maine. The teacher had brought in a TV so that we could watch the launch.