No One Has Learned Anything

I’m reading what all the wingnut blogs have to say about Egypt, from National Review to Instapundit, and no one has learned anything. It’s all freedom porn, with the occasional wet kiss to George Bush, followed by an immediate attack on Obama for failing to do, well, whatever nonsense the author can come up with at the moment.

No one on the right has learned anything from Iraq. No one. The underpants gnomes are still in charge:

1.) Act manly and belligerent on the world stage, always support every rebellion everywhere.
2.)….
3.) PROFIT!

It’s depressing. They simply can not look at any issue unless it is through the lens of their immediate domestic political desires.






279 replies
  1. 1
    GregB says:

    How do you say wolverines in Arabic?

  2. 2

    They seem a little desperate to me.

    There is vastly, vastly more democratic reform and revolution breaking out in the Middle East after two years of No Drama Obama than in eight years of neocon Strategery. So, they’re trying to spin it away, to get ahead of the media cycle.

    This is “the best defense is a good offense” version of attack politics.

  3. 3
    dr. bloor says:

    It’s not even a political desire. Their narcissistic entitlement and rage twists every thing they see and every decision they make, down to chocolate v. vanilla.

  4. 4
    Tattoosydney says:

    Al Jazeera’s live stream, however, has been both riveting and cogent from what I have seen in the last few hours.

    ETA: Although the current interviewer is not as good as the previous one. She’s a little wordy.

  5. 5
    nitpicker says:

    Well, it’s not just that they didn’t learn anything from Iraq. It’s that they learn the exact same lesson despite the outcome. Iraq’s not really a very good corollary here–but Bush’s idiocy that left Gaza in charge of Hamas is.

  6. 6
    MattF says:

    I’m not going to read that stuff, it makes me ill. In any event, don’t forget the Straussian Undercurrent– distract the masses with wars and excitement so that the Wise Ones can do the dirty (but profitable!) work of governing.

  7. 7

    Watching these tools on TV reminds me of when Hamas won the election after the Bush gang fully supported democratic elections and they all stood around looking at each other wondering WTF just happened.

  8. 8
    jfxgillis says:

    John:

    What’s even more staggering is how the righty freedom porn is also so directly contradictory to interests they otherwise vehemently demand be protected.

    First they do the freedom porn, then they complain about Hamas winning in Gaza, Hezbollah winning in Lebanon, and now, presumably, the Muslim Brotherhood winning in Egypt. Which is not bad for Israel, it’s terrible.

  9. 9
    Joey Maloney says:

    Al Jazeera English is definitely the best source, but even they are running out of things to say. Their commentators have a notable, and for a consumer of US media unusual, lack of batshit insanity, but no one really knows what’s going to happen. So all we’re getting now – in quiet, measured tones – is, “well, maybe this but on the other hand maybe that, but on the gripping hand…”

  10. 10
    Mark S. says:

    @jfxgillis:

    Which is not bad for Israel, it’s terrible.

    Well, it has dawned on some bloggers.

  11. 11
    Jeffrey Kramer says:

    I’m going to take a guess: they’re all insisting that the best way to advance the cause of freedom in Egypt is to veto the UN resolution calling for a halt to Israeli settlements.

    I can’t conceive of the chain of reasoning which would end with this conclusion, but I have faith they’ll find it somehow.

  12. 12

    Or maybe they want us to give the protesters lip service like we did with the Kurds then sit back and watch them get crushed.

  13. 13
    curtis says:

    I was actually curious what Bill Kristol would have to say about this. He was one of the biggest promoters of the notion that democracy in the middle east would solve all our problems, but he’s also a big defender of Israel, and there’s no doubt that a new government in Egypt would be less of an ally for Israel and the U.S. than Mubarak has been. Maybe the wingnuts don’t realize this, but surely someone at AIPAC has figured that out.

  14. 14
    matoko_chan says:

    Egypt is a field lab for the Epic Fail of Conservative Strongman Theory.
    Like all anti-empirical conservative doctrine, conservitards and glibertarians are unable to admit failure in the face of empirical data.
    Strongman theory just creates radical islamic states, by allowing the radical islamists like Hizb’, Hamas, the MB, and the Khomenei revolutionaries to frame themselves as the party of social justice and citizen rights.
    Never mind that once they take power they will be even more oppressive than the dispossessed Western Puppet-tyrant.
    How many times have we seen this happen?
    Conservatism– where even the smart people are retards.

  15. 15
    Cat Lady says:

    Today is the kind of day when really, all you can do is imagine the parallel universe clown show of Grumpy and Snowbilli Snooki issuing competing press releases and announcing we’re going to be bombing South Ossetia, and thank the FSM the economy crashed when it did.

  16. 16
    Svensker says:

    always support every rebellion everywhere.

    Unless it is Palestinian rebellion. Of course Gellar, Bolton, Mark Levin, et al have come out strongly against the Egyptian revolt.

    What makes me laugh is the idiots like the NRO folks praising Bush for making democracy happen in the ME. To the extent that the Egyptian populace was even more disgusted with Mubarak for going along with the invasion of Iraq, yes, Bush helped.

  17. 17
    Mark S. says:

    2001–America has the support of nearly the entire world after 9/11

    2003–America is hated by most of the world because of the invasion of Iraq

    2009–Barack Obama is awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for the achievement of not being George Bush

    Neoconservatism–the shittiest foreign policy ever invented

  18. 18
    Violet says:

    @GregB:

    How do you say wolverines in Arabic?

    According to Google translate it’s:
    حيوانات الولفيرين

    I have no idea if that’s going to work, but I’m going to hit “Submit” and see if it posts.
    Edit: Holy cow! It worked!

  19. 19
    Tattoosydney says:

    @Cat Lady:

    Today is the kind of day when really, all you can do is imagine the parallel universe clown show of Grumpy and Snowbilli Snooki issuing competing press releases and announcing we’re going to be bombing South Ossetia, and thank the FSM the economy crashed when it did.

    Amen.

  20. 20
    Damned at Random says:

    The commenters at Free Republic are afraid of the impact on the price of oil. They blame Obama for failing to “drill, baby, drill”

    I realize FR is the fetid swamp of extreme teabaggery – but it is where the real crazies hang out and eventually they drag the Malkins and Gohmerts (their leaders) behind them

  21. 21
    matoko_chan says:

    @Mark S.: yup. no one is sayin this (except me) but the Blockade is over.
    unless the US military airdrops into Cairo and saves Mubaraks ass by making the army do tiennamen, the Gaza blockade is done. Egyptians fucking hate Israel, and the MB is going to be convoying supplies and arms across the border as soon as possible.
    i wouldnt be surprised if it has already started.

  22. 22
    Mike in NC says:

    Have any of the neocon pundits demanded yet that Obama invade Egypt right away for the salvation of Israel? Krauthammer would lead the charge, with Kristol close behind.

    In any case, count on John McCain popping up on TV tomorrow morning to blast Obama and share his deep thoughts with the Village Idiots.

  23. 23
    Violet says:

    @jfxgillis:

    Which is not bad for Israel, it’s terrible.

    No kidding. And by extension, it’s bad for the US, at least in the short term, because we’re so supportive of Israel. It’s going to be interesting to see how this plays out.

    If you’re a End Times Christianist, this is all good stuff. Remember, it all starts with clashes and crises in the Middle East.

  24. 24
    batgirl says:

    CNN is blowing Bush right now. I feel like I’m watching FOX.

  25. 25
    Violet says:

    Did you hear about this?

    Looters broke into the Egyptian Museum during anti-government protests late on Friday and destroyed two Pharaonic mummies, Egypt’s top archaeologist told state television.
    __
    The museum in central Cairo, which has the world’s biggest collection of Pharaonic antiquities, is adjacent to the headquarters of the ruling National Democratic Party that protesters had earlier set ablaze. Flames were seen still pouring out of the party headquarters early on Saturday.
    __
    “I felt deeply sorry today when I came this morning to the Egyptian Museum and found that some had tried to raid the museum by force last night,” Zahi Hawass, chairman of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, said on Saturday.
    __
    “Egyptian citizens tried to prevent them and were joined by the tourism police, but some (looters) managed to enter from above and they destroyed two of the mummies,” he said.

    That sucks. It’s irreplaceable and such a symbol of their history.

    If Egypt’s tourist industry is seriously impacted by this uprising, that’s going to be a big problem for them.

  26. 26
    matoko_chan says:

    @Svensker:

    the idiots like the NRO folks praising Bush for making democracy happen in the ME.

    this is actually true. its just that it is Islamic democracy, not judeoxian democracy.
    Stupid Bush….when muslims are democratically empowered to vote, they vote for more islam, not less, and NEVER for westernstyle/judeoxian democracy.
    Defense against proselytization is the most successful CSS (culturally stable strategy) on the planet right now.

  27. 27
    de stijl says:

    @GregB:

    How do you say wolverines in Arabic?

    Anubis? Anubises? Anubisi? A pride of Anubisi?

  28. 28
  29. 29
    calipygian says:

    Algeria even had it’s own 9-11 style, “fly and airplane into a building moment” in the 1990s, just to compound the neo-con’s failure to learn from history.

  30. 30
    JGabriel says:

    joe from Lowell:

    There is vastly, vastly more democratic reform and revolution breaking out in the Middle East …

    I hope it’s democratic. We don’t know how it’s going to turn out yet. Certainly, the early part of the revolts in Egypt were largely secular and demanding greater democracy, but now that the Muslim Brotherhood is joining the protests, we don’t know how it will evolve. I don’t think Egypt’s MB is particularly terroristic — I’ve read elsewhere that they’ve denounced violence as a tactic (though not from a familiar source, so take it with a grain of salt) — but that doesn’t make them a friend of democracy.

    .

  31. 31
    Dave L says:

    @ Violet:

    “According to Google translate it’s:
    حيوانات الولفيرين

    – Hmmm; that’s some translation. Literally, “Wolverine animals” (spelled phonetically in Arabic characters).

    No surprise, though, because I’m pretty sure there are no wolverines within 5,000 miles of any Arab country.

    On the other hand, when I was studying Arabic we were often told, as an example of its profuse vocabulary, that Arabic has eight words for tiger, an animal that has never been found in any Arab country. And I’m sure that the people you see now on the streets of Cairo would be happy to come up with some additional synonyms for the political sense of wolverine.

  32. 32
    Violet says:

    @Dave L:
    That’s so interesting. I have zero knowledge of Arabic, so had no idea if what Google Translate had translated was correct, or what it said. “Wolverine animals.” That’s excellent.

  33. 33
    Jack says:

    From the Australian college sketch by Monty Python (IIRC):

    .
    .
    .
    RULE 5 – NO pooftas!

    RULE 6 – THERE IS NO RULE 6

    In other words, THERE IS NO STEP 2!

    Which is why the right-wing all have underpants on their pointy little heads (they call them “hoods” at the KKK rallies, oops, I mean “concerned citizens community meetings”)

  34. 34
    jon says:

    Whenever I hear conservatives talk about how wonderful this country is and how great our constitution is, I remember that when we took over a country in the Middle East we let them devise their own constitution and allow for Islam to be a huge part of it. After we took over Japan, we wrote theirs. Does anyone think Iraq’s constitution will last longer than one written in less than a week under the direction of General MacArthur?

    We took over a country to make it free, but their constitution makes Islam the state religion. Fuck conservatives and the horse we bought for them to ride in on.

  35. 35
    matoko_chan says:

    @Dave L: arabic has 77 words for different kinds of love. its an incredibly flexible and supple language. its also the hardest i think.
    because its an oral tradition language, meaning is not just contextual, but also depends on inflexion.

    that is why the Qu’ran is like a snowcrash script….it operates directly and aurally on the amygdala through recitation.
    ;)

  36. 36
    matoko_chan says:

    @JGabriel: it makes them a friend of ISLAMIC democracy. just not a friend of judeoxian democracy.
    :)

  37. 37
    Mino says:

    One of the Israeli politicians (sorry, can’t remember if it was the PM) more or less instructed Mubarak to loose the army on the demonstrators.
    Of course it wasn’t couched that baldly. More…. has faith in the security apparatus of its most formidable Arab neighbor, Egypt, to suppress the street demonstrations that threaten the dictatorial rule of President Mubarak.
    I wonder if his head was spinning.

  38. 38
    Punchy says:

    I understand the Powell Doctrine of “you break it, you own it”, but……it would be SO FUCKING COOL to own the pyramids! Can our 101st SF parachute in tonite?

  39. 39
    General Stuck says:

    Long as the Egyptian military doesn’t start massacring it’s own citizens, and lets this play out politically, then we might end up with a mostly non extreme successor to Mubarek. Obama and Clinton are doing it right just putting out basic platitudes of non violence, and not overtly taking sides.

  40. 40
    Svensker says:

    @jon:

    We took over a country to make it free,

    I have a lovely bridge just filled with ponies and chocolate for you.

  41. 41
    matoko_chan says:

    @jon: very true.

    in japan, we decimated the population, invaded, occupied, and reconstructed.
    when muslims are DEMOCRATICALLY empowered to vote, they vote for more Islam, not less, and NEVER for westernstyle/judeocristian democracy.
    Majority muslim nations are EGT immune to proselytization in situ.
    Egypt is 90% muslim, Iraq is 97% muslim, A-stan is 99% muslim.
    Defense against proselytization is the most successful CSS on the planet right now.
    in 20 years one out of four humans will be muslim.

  42. 42
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @matoko_chan:I am not sure that you understand the concept of democracy. It is actually rather amusing, because it puts you in the same boat with the neocons and Christian conservatives that you hate. Democracy is democracy regardless of the religious affiliation of its citizens. The legislation that results from a democratic government may differ due to the characteristics of the voters, but that is a different kettle of fish.

  43. 43
    SteveinSC says:

    @matoko_chan: The Bush “democratic wave” bullshit occurred right after they didn’t find any WMD, kind of bait and switch although many people were on to them by then. Their second success right after “inked-fingers-in-Eyerak” was the election of Hamas in the Palestinian territory. It was/is transparent bullshit. By the way I saw they had the neocon Steve Hadley on CNN for his opinion. These gangsters have something rational to say on the subject?

  44. 44
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    No one on the right has learned anything from Iraq. No one.

    Feature, not a bug.

  45. 45
    cleek says:

    They simply can not look at any issue unless it is through the lens of their immediate domestic political desires.

    they are not paid to do otherwise.

  46. 46
    matoko_chan says:

    @Svensker: not exactly….we took over Iraq to make a tame brown clone America in the ME.
    Epic Fail.
    making them free was just the EDK et al glibertarian cover for the usual Big White Christian Capitalist Bwana exercise…. it goes like this.

    We are going to rape you, kill you, and steal your stuff, but its for your own good, because we are saving your souls for Jeebus.

  47. 47
  48. 48
    Jay in Oregon says:

    @GregB:

    How do you say wolverines in Arabic?

    “Allahu Akbar”?

  49. 49
    burnspbesq says:

    The MB is eventually going to be in government, so we might as well start building a relationship with it now. A couple of billion in reconstruction assistance for Gaza would be a good start.

  50. 50
    matoko_chan says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: democracy means representation of the people by the people. consent of the governed means MENA democracies will be islamic.
    Are you denying Iraq is a democracy?
    they vote.
    Are you denying Iraq is islamic?
    they have shariah in their constitution.
    which is it?

  51. 51
    matoko_chan says:

    @burnspbesq: wow …..i am gobsmacked.
    i approve this message.
    bravo, burnsy!
    do you agree the Blockade is over?

  52. 52
    Svensker says:

    @matoko_chan:

    You make it extremely difficult to maintain a Quakerly non-violent perspective.

  53. 53
    matoko_chan says:

    @Jay in Oregon: allahu akbar means god is greatest.
    its what the iranians called from their rooftops during the overthrow of the shah and the attempted overthrow of the tyrant Khameini.
    its what the egyptians greeted their military forces with.

  54. 54
    matoko_chan says:

    @Svensker: why? im just speaking truth.

  55. 55
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @matoko_chan: Are you utterly incapable of reading comprehension?

  56. 56
    de stijl says:

    @matoko_chan:

    Where do you get your text – Turing test failure logs?

  57. 57
    matoko_chan says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: just answer the question. i phrased it very simply.
    Are you denying Iraq is a democracy?
    they vote.
    Are you denying Iraq is islamic?
    they have shariah in their constitution.
    which is it?

  58. 58
    13th Generation says:

    How can we overthrow matoko_chan?

  59. 59
    Ash Can says:

    @13th Generation: A good start would be to just scroll past her posts.

  60. 60
    General Stuck says:

    @Ash Can:

    Yup

  61. 61
    matoko_chan says:

    @Ash Can: or pie me.
    preserve your 20th century info-cocoon at all costs.

  62. 62
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @matoko_chan: Did you read what I wrote above? The laws that result from a democratic form of government will reflect the people who vote. A largely Christian population will have laws with a largely Christian flavor, ditto with largely secular, largely Buddhist, and largely Moslem populations. This is a reflection of the population; it is not different forms of democracy. Nothing that I have said denies that Iraq is either democratic or Islamic. A person with no more than a third grade reading ability would be capable of grokking this. What is your excuse?

  63. 63
    Lysana says:

    Sheesh, we start discussing Egypt and now we get pie.

    Truth to tell, I’m on Chrome so the Greasemonkey extension does nothing for me, but certain names remind me of pie without fail.

  64. 64
    scav says:

    m_c and wingnuts still clueless, all is as expected in the world. Have a good day all.

  65. 65
    matoko_chan says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: so we agree?
    Iraq has an islamic democracy, as opposed to the US which has a judeoxian democracy.
    cool.

  66. 66
    Irving says:

    It’s really swell for the conservatives out there to cheer for the revolution, but the protesters aren’t awfully fond of us. The cans of tear gas being lobbed at them all have “Made in the U.S.A.” stamped on them, and that sort of thing tends to annoy a body…

    If the protesters end up in power, one of the first thing we’d have to do as apologize to them for giving Mubarak the poison that got chucked at their heads a week ago. From what I can see, conservatives have issues with apologizing…

  67. 67
    matoko_chan says:

    @Irving: yup. being conservative means never having to say you’re sorry.
    look at EDK.

  68. 68
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @matoko_chan: No, we don’t agree, but your programming probably does not allow you to understand why. It really is my fault for even attempting to wrestle the pig.

  69. 69
    burnspbesq says:

    Blockade over if the Mubarak government goes down? High probability. But Hamas needs a reality check: tossing rockets into Israel does nothing to improve the lives of ordinary Gazans. Ordinary Gazans need a functioning economy more than anything else, so their basic needs can be attended to.

  70. 70
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    The thing is, an actual democratic revolt frightens them immensely, because it means that the people of that country are taking control for their own needs, not the needs of US based megacorporations.

    This is also the problem with guys like Saddam actually working for the benefit of their own people, not the US megacorporations.

  71. 71
    mgloraine says:

    We have no way of knowing what kind of government will result from this uprising; It could be worse than Mubarak’s for the people in the street.

    Even so, anyone who ever felt the gentle caress of the police baton or inhaled the delicate fragrance of tear gas cannot help but cheer for the demonstrators.

    “The whole world’s watching! The whole world’s watching!”

  72. 72
    Uloborus says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:
    Her excuse is that she’s desperate to prove that she’s smarter than the rest of us. By telling us stuff that we already know, but oversimplifying it so that she can claim that they are great revelations and rules that only she is wise enough to understand. It’s gotten incredibly tiresome. I’ve RAISED children, and this was a stage of the process I did not enjoy.

  73. 73
    Ash Can says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: I have a hard time believing that Saddam was working for anyone other than his Sunni minority in Iraq, but point taken.

  74. 74
    matoko_chan says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: then please explain. it seems to me that we agree. Iraq has an islamic democracy, America has a judeoxian democracy. Consent of the governed, majority rule.

    @burnspbesq: the MB is big into social justice boot-strapping. do you think they will go that route, or be revanchists?

  75. 75
    Amir_Khalid says:

    @matoko_chan: You’ve suggested, more than once, that Muslims are somehow immune to proselytizing by other faith. (You leave out that in many Muslim-majority countries, converting out of the faith is punishable by law — not something either you or I, as Muslims, should be proud of.)

    Where they have the freedom to convert, I am not aware that this is really so. You quote from stories that say by 2030 a quarter of all humans will be Muslims. But as I recall, these stories also mention that Islam gains roughly as many converts as it loses to other faiths.

  76. 76
    JPL says:

    Mubarak’s economy was strong. The Egyptians uprising proves that they are just not appreciative of all they have. Anyone check to see if they have granite counter tops? Long live trickle down economic systems. Yeah for free enterprise.

  77. 77
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @mgloraine: it is the kind of moment where one perceives that change is possible. It could be change of the better, it could be change for the worse, or the whole thing could sputter out. From here, we can do little more than watch and hope for the best.

  78. 78
    slag says:

    No One Has Learned Anything

    Everything. From our economic situation to our environment to our foreign relations approach can pretty much be summed up with this phrase. Nothing new to see here.

  79. 79

    so when do we start bombing?

  80. 80
    New Yorker says:

    I really need to go into the wingnut media business, since I knew exactly what the reaction would be to the events in Egypt

    1) Bush’s catastrophic invasion of Iraq is “vindicated” because Egypt is on the verge of overthrowing its corrupt rulers. This is sort of like claiming the invasion of Grenada was the key event in the collapse of the Soviet Union.

    2) Uneasy silence from neoconservative publications like “Commentary”, to whom the term “democracy” means “a government who will stoop to kiss the ring of Avigdor Lieberman”. They know that they won’t get that from a change in Egypt, no matter how secular and open the new government might be.

  81. 81
    maye says:

    So, when the dust settles in Egypt, we will have a new Arab-Israeli war, and all the people at Lockheed will get bonuses and thereby be able to pay their kids’ tuition at Stanford and Yale?

    Do I have that right?

  82. 82
    matoko_chan says:

    @Uloborus: read this comment again.

    matoko_chan – January 29, 2011 | 10:30 am · Link
    __
    @Dave L: arabic has 77 words for different kinds of love. its an incredibly flexible and supple language. its also the hardest i think.
    because its an oral tradition language, meaning is not just contextual, but also depends on inflexion.
    __
    that is why the Qu’ran is like a snowcrash script….it operates directly and aurally on the amygdala through recitation.
    ;)

    i am capable of guerilla thought. i am paying you the supreme compliment of thinking you can also engage in guerilla thought.
    you guys dont even get treated to my extreme scientific cogitation. that goes on my group physics blog.

  83. 83
    New Yorker says:

    Also, I’m thoroughly enjoying the photos of tear gas grenades with “made in the USA” on the side (and M-60 tanks on the streets of Cairo). We’ve outsourced pretty much all our manufacturing to low-wage countries, but at least we still make weapons for corrupt autocrats to hold onto power. USA! USA! USA!

  84. 84
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Ash Can:

    I see your point as well. Of course, one of the things that precipitated the war of aggression was that Saddam announced that he was going to switch to the Euro from the Dollar for oil payments. He was no longer “our son of a bitch” as he was back in the 80’s when von Rumsfailed was personally escorting chemical weapons shipments for delivery to Saddam.

  85. 85
    matoko_chan says:

    @Amir_Khalid:

    Muslims are somehow immune to proselytizing

    in situ, in the ME.
    Defense against proselytization is the most successful CSS on the planet right now. that is not a story. it is Math.

  86. 86
    New Yorker says:

    @matoko_chan:

    Are you denying Iraq is a democracy?

    I’ll sure as hell deny that Iraq is a democracy:

    http://www.freedomhouse.org/te.....untry=7843

    This right-leaning think tank considers it a “not free” country with poor scores in both political and civil liberties.

    Meanwhile, the right’s boogeyman in Latin America, Venezuela, has better scores than Iraq and is listed as “partly free”.

    http://www.freedomhouse.org/te.....untry=7948

  87. 87
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @matoko_chan: The semantic difference matters. You seem to be conflating the nature of the laws and the religious affiliation of the population with the form of government. A democratic form of government is simply one which enacts its laws in a certain way. The religious adjective that you attach to it does not change that. I will just note as well that I would disagree with you the the US has a Judeo-Christian cast to its democracy and suggest that it is largely secular. I am not going to argue this bit, because it truly is open to differences of opinion.

  88. 88

    @matoko_chan:

    you guys dont even get treated to my extreme scientific cogitation. that goes on my group physics blog.

    For some things we are *extremely* grateful.

  89. 89

    @matoko_chan:

    that is not a story. it is Math projection.

    fixed that for you.

  90. 90
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    Well, one of the things the Islamic world does not have going for it is an Enlightenment that cast off the most of the religious trappings from the state and embraced secularism. Not that there aren’t a lot of people in the “Eurosphere”, if you will, who aren’t desperately trying to reverse what the Enlightenment wrought.

  91. 91
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Uloborus: You are probably right.

  92. 92
    Stillwater says:

    @mgloraine: We have no way of knowing what kind of government will result from this uprising; It could be worse than Mubarak’s for the people in the street.

    How could it be worse for the people in the street? Do you know something they don’t? And why should our (yours and mine) opinions, lobbed from the comfort of our computer rooms, matter in the slightest? Isn’t it presumptuous to assume that we (you and me) could possibly know what constitutes a good outcome here?

    This type of concern-trolling without any skin in the game is truly infuriating.

    ETA: Maybe I misread you’re point. If so, then the above comment applies to some other unnamed random, but inevitable, concern troller.

  93. 93
    matoko_chan says:

    @arguingwithsignposts: how is a PEW survey projection? just because you dont like the results empirical data?
    Statistics is how we model natural processes, like population genetics.
    sry, its Math.

  94. 94
    polyorchnid octopunch says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: No, you don’t understand democracy. Democracy means that the majority of people decide what happens. Full stop. We don’t live in democracies. We live in constitutionally limited representative democratic parliaments/republics.

    If you want to see how an actual democracy works, read Thucydides on what happened to Athens under a very pure form of democracy.

    Matoko Chan is actually reasonably correct in her interpretation, though she’s not quite right about one thing; we started to get decent government about the time that we started to throw off judeochristian principles in our governments (the Magna Carta put limits on the divine right of kings to rule as they saw fit).

    In the case of Afghanistan, the problem that happened there was that the US under Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld did it on the cheap. If they had truly hoped that they would be able to instill a democratic polity in Afghanistan, they would have followed the template set forth at the end of the Second World War: completely take over the joint, run it for a decade along broadly parliamentary/republican principles (limited state with order maintenance), spent that decade building civic infrastructure, and then handed it over to the people saying “we’ve built you a better life; it’s up to you whether you keep it.” And they would have never even considered invading Iraq.

  95. 95
    El Cid says:

    Egypt is not a recipient of the 4th largest chunk of US foreign aid (Iraq & Afghanistan being 1 & 2, Israel far behind, and far ahead of Egypt) of which nearly all is military aid because the US simply likes Mubarak.

    Egypt is funded so it can do largely what the US wants. For example, blocking any large scale regional Arab challenges to Israel, or controlling the Southern border with Israel so that Palestinians cannot cross back & forth from the Gaza sealed up shit-hole.

    The notion that the US is going to rush out and indiscriminately back some unpredictable challenge to their hired regime is pretty ridiculous.

    A client state can be replaced — should that happen, or should the government be seriously and or fatally weakened — by forces not as easily controlled by the US.

    Too nationalist, or too much influenced by a variety of fundamentalist Islamic forces.

    Imperial conservatives don’t want this either.

    The US foreign policy establishment might prefer that in an ideal world Saudi Arabia would be governed by a normal electoral democratic republic, but mainly it’s interested in Saudi Arabia doing things which are close to what the US wants.

    Regimes like Egypt under Mubarak are unstable in their own ways, and many people had anticipated some sort of breaking point might be reached by Egypt’s frustrated population.

    Presumably some figure, perhaps El Baradei or similar, would rise to prominence and maybe to the head of the government, in which case the US would likely prefer a transition to a fairly standard US-allied moderate reformer who maintains the US relationship pretty much identically, or maybe entirely identically.

    But right now they don’t want to rush out and back completely unpredicted outcome, mainly because they don’t want to see a government arise which challenges Egypt’s role as a favored client, but almost equally because what could potentially arise which is directly opposed to US interests in the region.

  96. 96
    benjoya says:

    @jfxgillis:

    presumably, the Muslim Brotherhood winning in Egypt.

    why would you presume that? the MB hasn’t been instrumental in these protests. also, the MB long ago renounced violence. but go on with your ill-informed muslim bashing.

  97. 97

    @matoko_chan: If you’re so smart, why are you the only person the thread who can’t figure out what Omni is saying?

    I wonder, does Sweden have Protestant democracy, Poland a Catholic democracy, Greece and Orthodox democracy, and Japan a Buddhist/Shinto democracy?

  98. 98
    kdaug says:

    @matoko_chan:

    you guys dont even get treated to my extreme scientific cogitation

    Let me guess – it has to do with cows.

  99. 99

    @matoko_chan:

    how is a PEW survey projection? just because you dont like the results empirical data?
    Statistics is how we model natural processes, like population genetics.
    sry, its Math.

    ummm, because it’s *projecting* into the future, when we don’t know wtf will happen? just spitballing here. but global warming, major bloodshed, etc. could change the numbers?

  100. 100
    matoko_chan says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: it may be “largely” secular, but it is the non-secular part of “westernstyle” democracy that prevents it from taking hold in MENA. Islam is EGT immune to proselytization in situ.
    There is simply no substrate to support judeoxian/”largely” secular/westernstyle democracy in MENA. there are very few secular unis or law schools. the rule of law means rule of islamic law.

  101. 101
    dslak says:

    @Stillwater: Yeah, I don’t think he was concern-trolling, but simply stating a fact. Case in point: The common person living in post-Islamic Revolution Iran was worse off than they were under the Shah. Under the latter, they had many of their freedoms heavily curtailed and were subject to regular invasions of privacy. Under the former, there was all that, plus requirements to adhere to certain, reactionary religious standards.

  102. 102
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @matoko_chan: Of course, your math assumes current trends continue unabated. If you looked that the rate of expansion of the Islamic world in the 12th century, you might have predicted that the the whole planet would be Islamic by the 14th century. If you looked the trends with the stock market in 1999, the Dow would likely be north of 100000 by now.

  103. 103
    El Cid says:

    @New Yorker: Robert Fisk was pretty hated when he would track down the munitions shells and origins which Israel fired upon Lebanese or Palestinian civilians.

  104. 104
    matoko_chan says:

    @arguingwithsignposts: conservative thinking, AWS, ie rejection of empirical data.
    disagree? make your own model.

  105. 105
    Amir_Khalid says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: Well, it has been said that we had our Enlightenment during the Golden Age of Islam, and we lost its gains to the forces of intellectual and political reaction.

  106. 106
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    All that aid to Egypt has been, since the days of Jimmy Carter, the bribe to make peace with Israel. To be fair, the Egyptians needed it, as making peace with Israel pissed off all the other regimes (particularly the Bandit House of Saud) who use the Palestinians as decoys to distract their own restless masses from the reality of their despotism.

  107. 107
    matoko_chan says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: ITS NOT MY MATH.
    its a fucking PEW survey, that conforms to the mathematical principles of scientific data analysis.

  108. 108
    polyorchnid octopunch says:

    @burnspbesq: It’s Israeli policy to prevent a viable economy from happening there. That policy predates the rocketry by a long time. Given that Israel uses its military superiority to prevent a viable market from happening in Gaza, making it as expensive as possible for Israel to maintain that policy is completely rational. It’s called asymmetric warfare. Seeing as Israel has been treating the West Bank and Gaza Strip as bantustans for decades, this particular war wasn’t even started by the Palestinians: remember that the Intifada only started about a decade ago.

  109. 109
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Amir_Khalid:

    Fair enough. So much of what the west sees as “Islam” is really not Islam at all, but ancient tribal customs given a religious cast to sustain them.

  110. 110

    @matoko_chan:

    rejection of empirical data.

    Listen, cudlip, rejection of a projection doesn’t equal rejecting empirical data. hey, Dow 32,000! idiot.

    a *projection* IS NOT empirical nor is it data.

  111. 111
    Redshift says:

    Nate Silver on Twitter:

    Whatever is happening in Egypt obviously reaffirms my partisan views about American politics!

  112. 112
    matoko_chan says:

    @Amir_Khalid: did you know that Arabi and Ghazali postulated Many Worlds theory as a response to Aristotle 400 years before the christians tried to burn Galileo?

  113. 113
    Joseph Nobles says:

    What I heard Obama say yesterday:

    All right, Mubarak, you’re determined to hold onto power? Fine. The longer you put off dealing with the real concerns of your people, the worse it will be for you. Best to take your medicine now, don’t you think?

    Imagine that. Actually standing up for our professed national values, values we claim to be universal one? Of course the Human Rights For Me, But Not For Thee crowd fell all over themselves running to support Mubarak.

  114. 114
    matoko_chan says:

    @arguingwithsignposts: again, it is a statistical model conforming to the principles of scientific data analysis.
    im sorry you find statistical analysis so threatening.

  115. 115
    polyorchnid octopunch says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: Actually, it did, but it was nearly a thousand years ago. It was destroyed by the Crusades.

  116. 116
    BR says:

    @polyorchnid octopunch:

    If you want to see how an actual democracy works, read Thucydides on what happened to Athens under a very pure form of democracy.

    Did everyone, including women and minorites, get to vote then? I wonder if there ever has been a real democracy anywhere at any scale.

  117. 117

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    All that aid to Egypt has been, since the days of Jimmy Carter, the bribe to make peace with Israel.

    Thank you!

    It gets damn irritating to listen to sophomores who just read about Yankee Imperialism for the first time and decided that Evil Empire-Builder Jimmy Carter started giving aid to Egypt in order to oppress The People, Man.

  118. 118
    dslak says:

    @joe from Lowell: But how is that possible? Jimmy Carter hates Israel!

  119. 119
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @polyorchnid octopunch: Fair enough on the fact that we live in “constitutionally limited representative democratic parliaments/republics.” I was using democracy as it is used in a colloquial sense. For the rest, I was pointing out that there is a difference between the form of government and the laws that the government enacts. A “constitutionally limited representative democratic parliaments/republic” can enact secular laws, religious laws, or both. It can enact good laws or bad laws. There is not a Judeo-Christian form of “constitutionally limited representative democratic parliaments/republic” or an Islamic form of “constitutionally limited representative democratic parliaments/republic.”

  120. 120
    matoko_chan says:

    @polyorchnid octopunch: yes, the blockade is an attempt to make the palestinian population reject their freely elected leadership, Hamas, by starving them into submission and blaming them for doing it to themselves.

  121. 121
    kdaug says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    Yurp, that’s about it.

    And if Egypt goes down, the House of Saud might not be far behind.

    And then – [FREEDOM! DEMOCRACY! WOLVERINES!]?

    Dunno, but I’d bet on higher gas prices.

  122. 122

    @matoko_chan:
    why don’t you address my criticisms instead of accusing me of finding statistics threatening? Oh, wait – because you can’t.

  123. 123
    dslak says:

    @arguingwithsignposts: You’re essentially trying to explain the Problem of Induction to her. Good luck with that.

  124. 124

    @matoko_chan:

    again, it is a statistical model conforming to the principles of scientific data analysis.

    So was “Dow 36,000.”

    Statistical projections are great for telling us what will happen if current trends continue unchanged.

    The problem is, I’ve read stories about this and that ballplayer being on track to hit .400 every single year of my life.

  125. 125
    matoko_chan says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    there is not…an Islamic form of “constitutionally limited representative democratic parliaments/republic.”

    but there is shariah written into the constitution in Iraq. and ensoulment (a religious doctrine) is part of the republican party platform. DOMA is a LAW that trumps gay citizen rights in favor of christian doctrine.

  126. 126
    El Cid says:

    It wasn’t just about non-aggression against Israel. Once you hire them, there’s all sorts of tasks the US wanted Egypt to do.

  127. 127
    Mnemosyne says:

    @matoko_chan:

    I see you have a problem differentiating between actual facts and your interpretation of the facts.

    Believe it or not, you can’t point to a set of facts and insist that their very existence proves that your interpretation of them is correct. You have to actually prove that your interpretation is correct, not just that the facts exist so therefore you’re right.

    You’d think a purported scientist would understand the difference between compiling data and proving a theory, but apparently not.

  128. 128
    NobodySpecial says:

    Matoko_Chan’s intellectual masturbation is beside the point. We all know she thinks she’s the smartest person in the room while she doodles with crayons in the corner.

    As a person who thought a long time ago that we fucked up the first time we ditched the Shia for ‘safe’ Christian and Sunni allies and refused to deal with local forces like Hezbollah and the Brotherhood, I’m interested to see if people inside the State Department finally get a clue and start treating with them or at least pushing Obama towards treating with them.

  129. 129
    jfxgillis says:

    John:

    Forgot to mention. Dunno if the allusion in the title is deliberate, but it fits (Talleyrand’s?) bon mot about the ancien regime: They have forgotten nothing, and learned nothing.

  130. 130

    @matoko_chan:

    but there is shariah written into the constitution in Iraq. and ensoulment (a religious doctrine) is part of the republican party platform. DOMA is a LAW that trumps gay citizen rights in favor of christian doctrine.

    And there is a peanut butter core inside a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup. That doesn’t make the chocolate into peanut butter, and it doesn’t make the peanut butter into chocolate.

    Nor does the incorporation of religious principles into (some) American politics mean that the democracy principles are religious. It means that the system contains both democratic and religious principles.

  131. 131
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @matoko_chan: Okay, you understand that there is a difference between substantive and procedural law, right? Democracy or a “constitutionally limited representative democratic parliaments/republic” is a procedure by which substantive laws get enacted. The substantive laws can have a variety of flavors depending on populations. Does this help you to understand the distinction I am trying to make?

  132. 132
    fuzed says:

    They love to see muslins killing each other, + they are brown.

  133. 133
    polyorchnid octopunch says:

    @BR: You’re confusing democracy with the franchise. The key feature of democracy is not who is enfranchised; it’s that the enfranchised have complete control over policy with no limits. It’s why we have limited constitutional representative democracies: pure democracies destroy themselves when the enfranchised use the power of the state to commit injustices.

  134. 134
    de stijl says:

    @joe from Lowell:

    I’ve read stories about this and that ballplayer being on track to hit .400 every single year of my life.

    Projections show that Joe Mauer is Muslim.

    Or, he’s overdue for a double.

  135. 135
    GregB says:

    Crowds in Cairo a reportedly chanting: Spud Nuts, Spud Nuts, Spud Nuts.

    Freedom has arrived.

  136. 136
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @kdaug:

    The problem with these sorts of revolutions, as always, is that yeah, they’re getting rid of a tyrant, but what happens next?

    The example of the French always comes to mind. 10 years after they ditched Louis XVI, they got another tyrant, who put them into a different bind than before.

  137. 137
    kdaug says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    You’d think a purported scientist would understand the difference between compiling data and proving a theory, but apparently not

    You’d also think they could spell and use grammar and punctuation correctly.

    Apparently not.

  138. 138

    @NobodySpecial:

    As a person who thought a long time ago that we fucked up the first time we ditched the Shia for ‘safe’ Christian and Sunni allies and refused to deal with local forces like Hezbollah and the Brotherhood, I’m interested to see if people inside the State Department finally get a clue and start treating with them or at least pushing Obama towards treating with them.

    I like your thinking about the Shiites.

    We’d better get used to it. The strategic logic of an American-Iranian alliance (actually, American-Indian-Iranian) in the 21st century is too powerful to ignore. We – and I mean both sides here – need to get past old grudges.

  139. 139
    Stillwater says:

    @Joseph Nobles: Yeah, it is refreshing. Yesterday Gibbs said that Mubarak has to pay attention to the “legitimate grievances” of the protestors. I thought that language alone was a shockingly good change from the way previous administrations would have discussed it.

  140. 140
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @Lysana: Greasemonkey scripts can be made to run on Chrome, via Tampermonkey. You do have to cut and paste the pie script into a Tampermonkey box, so it’s slightly more complicated, but slightly.

    Pie, like an idea whose time has come, cannot be stopped.

  141. 141
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Stillwater:

    I don’t think it’s completely unreasonable to worry about the government that might emerge in Egypt. The revolution in Iran was supported by a lot of secular groups but was taken over by Shi’a fundamentalists. Given that the Egyptian people are probably pretty pissed off that we’ve been propping Mubarek up for all of these years, I don’t think it’s unreasonable to worry that a new government would be hostile to the US as the Iranians were pissed off that we imposed the Shah on them and propped him up for years.

    I do at least trust our secretary of state and president to act like rational people and not stomp in with US troops spreading peeance and freeance, so that’s something in the plus column. Hopefully they’re holding our allies back as well, though I’m sure the rulers of Saudi Arabia are very nervous right now.

  142. 142
    jurassicpork says:

    It’s not just the right wing pundits but also the mainstream media. Last Sunday, Fareed Zacharia had David Frum on a CNN panel and they were trying to make Bush relevant again by appearing to give him credit for the events in the Middle East… over 2 years after he slithered out of office. But the plain fact is, a few rock throwers in Tunis did more in a few days for Middle East democracy than Bush could do with our DoD in eight years.

    Anyway, on the domestic front, I just realized this morning that yesterday was my 6th blogoversary. So I thought a retrospective was in order, including the opening words, and a link to, my very first entry 3000 blog posts ago.

  143. 143
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @NobodySpecial: I feel bad in a way for the lifers at State, alternately pasted for being a bunch of heartless, calculating Realpoliticians, then for being insufficiently calculating One-World Dreamers, depending.

    What ‘the national interest’ is, like what ‘the constitution says’, depends on who won, is winning, in the polls.

  144. 144
    Mnemosyne says:

    @kdaug:

    No, no, you see, she’s invented her own language that we’re just too dumb to understand, which is yet another of the things that makes me assume that m_c is about 14 or 15. Most of us grow out of the “secret language” phase by the time we graduate from high school.

  145. 145
    El Cid says:

    @joe from Lowell: There really are a lot of interests in common. Particularly if by “US interests” you include things that might actually help us ordinary people, rather than exclusively those things which a foreign policy establishment desires.

  146. 146
    eemom says:

    anyone ever been in a room where there was a group of adults gathered for the ostensible purpose of conversing with each other….in which a single, attention-sucking toddler was allowed to run wild?

    The toddler always wins.

  147. 147
    matoko_chan says:

    @kdaug: that i s what a lot of ME analysists are wondering….could the Tunisia uprising spread…to all the arab autocracies?
    to Egypt, to Saud, to Jordan, to the UAE?

  148. 148
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Mnemosyne: I was writing parodies of Wordsworth at that age.

  149. 149
    comrade scott's agenda of rage says:

    @matoko_chan:

    Conservatism—where even the smart people are retards.

    I’m soooo stealing this.

  150. 150
    losingtehplot says:

    Please! Don’t let Faux et al spin this into a ‘Egypt’s full of Muslim Brotherhood Islamofascists’ revolution! Or at least don’t believe it. Egypt has many millions of people who are proud to be Egyptian, i.e. nationalist, AND Muslim. BBC, Guardian etc. are reporting stories of Egyptian citizens persuading cops, even some army, to lay down their arms and change sides, and some of them ARE. Can you imagine that happening in the good old USA? Evah?

  151. 151
    polyorchnid octopunch says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Here’s the problem: the colloquial sense changes depending on where you are and where you came from. A democracy in an arab muslim country will use the state to punish apostasy. A limited representative democracy will not. The question is… how does one inculcate the concept of a limited democracy in the culture as it exists now in the ME?

    Terms are important, esp. in a context where the same terms can mean different things to different people. It’s important to be precise when you’re talking about this stuff.

  152. 152
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    I’ve always been a pop culture baby, so I was writing comedic short stories for my friends that starred the members of Duran Duran.

    Don’t blame me, it was the 80s.

  153. 153
    polyorchnid octopunch says:

    @matoko_chan: No, he’s right. He’s talking about forms, you’re talking about instances… classes vs. objects, as it were. All those things you mention are about the tension between democracy and liberalism, and attempts to subvert or destroy those limits on the part of groups that hope to use the power of the state against other groups within the polity.

  154. 154
    rachel says:

    @kdaug: Cows with pseudo-Japanese names.

  155. 155
    de stijl says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    I was writing parodies of Wordsworth at that age.

    I was masturbating whilst writing parodies of Wordsworth.

    Well, maybe not so much of the Wordsworth.

    PS – who’s Wordsworth?

  156. 156
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @polyorchnid octopunch: I copped to the imprecision. I say that having corrected it, my original point on the difference between process and result stands. Finally, to answer your question, I really have no idea so I would hesitate to make any suggestion.

    ETA @ poly octo at 153. That really has been the point I have been trying to make all along. Thank you for the clear and simple restatement.

  157. 157
    NobodySpecial says:

    @joe from Lowell: The most irritating part is that under Poppy Bush and Clinton, we were ALMOST there! Reciprocal visits of cultural exhibitions, wrestling teams, diplomatic exchanges, a decidedly thawing relationship! It took two years of the C-Plus Augustus to fuck it all up and throw it all away.

    This is one more reason why Israel firsters and neocon shills should be shot in the streets. Thanks to them we’re stuck between the twin poles of Likud and Wahabbist Islam and the majority of the Arab world, both religious and secular, has been ignored or trampled on.

  158. 158
    PIGL says:

    @Dave L: BZZT: in fact, Wolverine were found in much of Sweden at the time of the Arabic conquest of Iberia. Therefor and thusly, wolverines existed within less than 2,000 miles of an Arabic speaking country. Western boreal Siberia is also just about 2,000 miles from Jordan and Iraq, but I think the cultural transmission from nordic peoples may have been higher in the western mediterranean, what with Vikings and all.

    A better translation to the Arabic might be based on the idea of “gigantic ice-weasel” .

  159. 159
    Ruckus says:

    and no one has learned anything

    To learn anything people have to be both capable and willing. Most conservatives fail on both points, all fail on one or the other.

  160. 160
    Mnemosyne says:

    @losingtehplot:

    BBC, Guardian etc. are reporting stories of Egyptian citizens persuading cops, even some army, to lay down their arms and change sides, and some of them ARE.

    I’ve seen those reports, but I don’t know how much confirmation they have. One of them said that protesters were attacking police wearing riot gear but would leave them alone if they were merely uniformed.

    If that’s really happening, Mubarek had better get his jet fueled and ready to leave for Switzerland, because his days are done.

  161. 161
    matoko_chan says:

    @NobodySpecial: epic falsehood.

    As a person who thought a long time ago that we fucked up the first time we ditched the Shia for ‘safe’ Christian and Sunni allies

    the Iraqi gov is shi’ia.
    Sayeed Ayatollah Sistani is the titular head of all the shi’ia. Remember him?
    The US has always tried to play sects against each other in the Global War on Islam. its a Big White Christian Bwana tradition.
    right now the US is trying to use the barlevi sufi against the deobandi sufi and the talibs in Pak.
    its not working.

    it just gets them killed.

  162. 162
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @de stijl: I don’t intend to go into all the details of what I was doing at the age, but thank you for sharing.

  163. 163
    NobodySpecial says:

    @matoko_chan: Reading. Is. Fundamental. Let me help you.

    As a person who thought a long time ago that we fucked up the first time we ditched the Shia for ‘safe’ Christian and Sunni allies

    Note that phrase, ‘the first time’. That’s before Sistani, that’s before the joke that is the Iraqi government. That’s about 30 years BEFORE we invaded Iraq. Are you out of crayons yet?

  164. 164
    PIGL says:

    @burnspbesq: So which is more dangerous to Israel as a result of an end to the blockade. The arms or the supplies which may be brought in? On your account, it’s probably the supplies that are the most dangerous, as they would allow for more economic activity, not so much starving and misery and all. Hence bad for Israel.

  165. 165
    gbear says:

    No one on the right has learned anything from Iraq.

    I am thankful that the rest of us learned enough to keep John McCain away from the presidency. Even if the right demands that no lessons be learned, the rest of us managed to move forward just enough to save ourselves.

  166. 166
    matoko_chan says:

    @polyorchnid octopunch: sure, whatev. im trying to explain why judeoxian STYLE democracy can never take root in islamic countries.
    look at the empirical data.
    you guys are trying to deny that islamic democracy exists?
    you are saying tht democracy is the sole property of western civilization?
    WTF is going on in Egypt?
    you belong on the flying-unicorns-that-poop-freedom planet with the conservitards and the gibertarians.

  167. 167
    matoko_chan says:

    @NobodySpecial: what was the first time then?
    operation ajax?
    we ditched the shi’ia for the Puppet-tyrant Shah, not for the sunnis.

  168. 168
    Peter says:

    @matoko_chan: Oh shit, not extreme scientific cogitation! Do you lay down phat beats with samples of whale song, and start fires with your mad rhymes about Heisenberg?

  169. 169
    Dave L says:

    The real story today is growing fear of lawlessness and looting; the middle class will wind up accept their new (same old) rulers, now more securocratic than ever, because the government is letting them know that the alternative will be anarchy.

    Unbelievably cynical, but that’s how an entrenched, corrupt elite holds on to power.

  170. 170
    matoko_chan says:

    @Peter: you will never know.
    i nevah cross the beams.
    ;)

  171. 171
    TOP123 says:

    @Dave L: Yes, I think you might get a more accurate, if less literal, translation from Cairenes!

    On the other hand, when I was studying Arabic we were often told, as an example of its profuse vocabulary, that Arabic has eight words for tiger, an animal that has never been found in any Arab country.

    In fairness, I don’t think there have ever been particularly large tiger populations in England or North America, but, along with a lot of British merchants, sailors, soldiers, and administrators, there were in India, Myanmar, Indonesia, and Malaysia, where historically one could also find the Arabic speaking merchants, sailors, soldiers and administrators of the Islamicate world! Eight words for tiger, though, that’s cool. How many do you remember?

  172. 172
    de stijl says:

    I am capable of gorilla thought.

  173. 173
    matoko_chan says:

    @Dave L: that is why the MB is hittin’ the streets now for neighborhood protection. they held back in the beginning. the muslim brothers are going to protect the middle class from the looters and win their loyalty forever.
    Mubarak is toast. it might take a bit of time, but hes going down.
    Hillary signalled the generals in her speech that the US wont support a tienammen.

  174. 174
    polyorchnid octopunch says:

    @Mnemosyne: It’s not a secret language; you just don’t know it.

  175. 175
    NobodySpecial says:

    @PIGL: Yep, supplies are infinitely more dangerous for Israel. A self-sufficient Palestinian state on either side of them is the best argument against their policy that can be made.

  176. 176
    polyorchnid octopunch says:

    @El Cid: Yes!

  177. 177
    matoko_chan says:

    @de stijl: i dont doubt that. :)

  178. 178
    NobodySpecial says:

    @matoko_chan: Lebanon. Do you think I added the word ‘Christians’ to describe Iran?

    Whatever education you received, I want my tax money back. It was wasted on you.

  179. 179
    Mnemosyne says:

    @polyorchnid octopunch:

    I don’t know Esperanto, either. That sure was a roaring success, wasn’t it?

  180. 180
    Davis X. Machina says:

    A better translation to the Arabic might be based on the idea of “gigantic ice-weasel”.

    Hey, that was my nickname in college!

  181. 181
    polyorchnid octopunch says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Yeah, it is the sticking point, isn’t it? The only real example we have of how it was accomplished was the aftermath to WWII: completely dominate them, and spend a lot of resources and time building a real polity and a tremendous amount of things to lose (i.e. infrastructure that makes their lives better). People become a lot more orderly when they have something to lose.

    Personally, I think if they’d marshall planned Afghanistan after the military victory and had completely ignored Iraq we would’ve seen a tremendously different outcome here nearly ten years on.

  182. 182
    matoko_chan says:

    @polyorchnid octopunch: im not up for a discussion of the Theory of Forms, dude. Im just saying its IMPOSSIBLE to implant westernstyle/judeoxian/jeebus democracy in +90% muslim states.
    no substrate.
    if we tried to implant ISLAMIC democracy, it would work, and have been much less expensive in blood and treasure. like support the MB, support Hamas, support the peoples choice.
    and we would got the same result in Iraq.
    Iraq is an islamic democracy. huff and puff all you want, but you cant blow that down.

  183. 183
    matoko_chan says:

    @NobodySpecial:

    Whatever education you received, I want my tax money back. It was wasted on you.

    i went to private school. sukk rocks.
    ;)

  184. 184
    polyorchnid octopunch says:

    @matoko_chan: One: You are grossly oversimplifying my statement. Further, you’re then extrapolating that oversimplification to attribute beliefs to me that I most definitely don’t hold.

    Two: You’re spending a lot of time playing in the shit yourself, and doing so in an unclear way. Is everyone who publically disagrees in any detail an enemy? If so, you are exactly what you’re preaching against; in other words, a raging hypocrite.

    But go burn that wickerman if it makes you feel better about yourself.

  185. 185
    Stillwater says:

    @polyorchnid octopunch: Personally, I think if they’d marshall planned Afghanistan after the military victory and had completely ignored Iraq we would’ve seen a tremendously different outcome here nearly ten years on.

    That was Powell’s suggestion at the time. Remember how it was received?

  186. 186

    @matoko_chan:
    explains why some private schools suck, doesn’t it cudlip?

  187. 187
    de stijl says:

    @matoko_chan:

    I never knew you were this funny. Keep it up!

  188. 188
    TOP123 says:

    @PIGL: That’s good… could you work on parsing that in Arabic for us? I can think of a prominent figure from the far Northwest for whom ‘gigantic ice weasel’ would be a great term…

  189. 189
    polyorchnid octopunch says:

    @matoko_chan: When did I ever say it wasn’t? What I did say (if you’d been paying attention) was that it wasn’t a liberal democracy.

  190. 190
    polyorchnid octopunch says:

    @Stillwater: Yeah, I do. He should’ve resigned when it became clear to him that they were going the Imperial route instead of the democratic route. It would’ve saved his reputation.

  191. 191

    @matoko_chan: which explains why private schools suck, doesn’t it?

  192. 192
    matoko_chan says:

    @polyorchnid octopunch: ONE MORE TIME.
    when muslims are DEMOCRATICALLY EMPOWERED to vote, they vote for more islam in their government, not less, and they NEVER VOTE for westernstyle/secular/judeoxian/jeebus democracy.
    whatever you want to call it, a form or an instance.

  193. 193
    Davis X. Machina says:

    Robert Farley of Lawyers, Guns and Money has a good piece — Tank Man and Tank Commander — that originally came out near the anniversary of Tienanmen Square, and the unrest in Iran last year.

    The thing is, Tank Commander is far more dangerous than Tank Man. Tank Man can simply be shot; most seem to believe that Tank Man was later executed, far out of sight of the international media. The regime survives if Tank Man dies, even if the death of Tank Man isn’t the optimal outcome. The regime dies, however, if Tank Commander refuses to run over Tank Man

  194. 194
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @polyorchnid octopunch:

    Personally, I think if they’d marshall planned Afghanistan after the military victory and had completely ignored Iraq we would’ve seen a tremendously different outcome here nearly ten years on.

    Probably, but with the people who were in charge then, I do not think it was ever a possibility.

    @matoko_chan: It is not a discussion of the theory of forms. It was a discussion of how laws are made as opposed to what the laws say. No one is disputing that Iraq’s laws have a foundation in Islamic law. This is a very large straw windmill that you have built. If it pleases you to battle it, pray continue.

  195. 195
    suzanne says:

    @matoko_chan:

    i went to private school.

    Ahhh, yes. Another trust-fund revolutionary. My surprise could dance on the head of a pin.

  196. 196
    GregB says:

    So when did linking to Al Jazeera become acceptable for the Drudge Report?

  197. 197
    matoko_chan says:

    @suzanne: i was a teenage anarchist.
    weren’t you?
    NO WAR BUT THE CLASS WAR!

  198. 198
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @suzanne:

    My surprise could dance on the head of a pin.

    The real question here is how many other surprises could dance with it?

  199. 199
    rachel says:

    @suzanne: Now, now. She didn’t say it was college prep. There are all kinds of private schools.

  200. 200
    Peter says:

    @matoko_chan:

    You’re solving binomial equations,
    like a weak fifth grader,
    I’m introducing new sensations,
    With my exponential flavor.
    You’re hiding like you’re on the lam,
    you know I’m gonna catch ya,
    Cause if you see where I am,
    you can’t tell how fast I’m coming atcha.

  201. 201
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @GregB: If they can somehow have their reportage deployed to the detriment of the sitting administration, the Drudge Report will link to it, be it Two Girls, One Cup.

    Websites have no permanent friends and no permanent enemies. Only permanent interests.

  202. 202
    kdaug says:

    @rachel:

    True.

    Are there private asylums?

  203. 203
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Davis X. Machina: Websites are Great Britain?

  204. 204
    Persia says:

    @Joey Maloney: Which is better than NPR was last night, where they had a bunch of people reassuring us all would be back to normal any time now. I had to run an errand and turned the radio on, and it was like dropping into a completely different world.

  205. 205
    Mnemosyne says:

    @matoko_chan:

    when muslims are DEMOCRATICALLY EMPOWERED to vote, they vote for more islam in their government, not less, and they NEVER VOTE for westernstyle/secular/judeoxian/jeebus democracy.
    whatever you want to call it, a form or an instance.

    Well, except for Indonesia.

    Of course, they’re merely the most populous Muslim country in the world, so I can see how they would slip your mind.

  206. 206
    xian says:

    @matoko_chan: there’s the matoko_chan l33t gibberish i was expecting. you were making too much sense! yes, arabic is machine code for the amygdala, of course it is.

  207. 207
    matoko_chan says:

    @xian: its all machine code, dude, just expressed as quanta.
    have you heard of the holographic multiverse?

  208. 208

    @El Cid:

    There really are a lot of interests in common. Particularly if by “US interests” you include things that might actually help us ordinary people, rather than exclusively those things which a foreign policy establishment desires.

    But even from a realpolitik, geo-political national interest perspective, it just makes so much sense.

    @NobodySpecial:

    Reciprocal visits of cultural exhibitions, wrestling teams, diplomatic exchanges, a decidedly thawing relationship!

    What, you don’t think it worked out a lot better to try to replicate our brilliantly successful anti-Castro policy instead?

    Ha! Ha ha. Ha. sob.

  209. 209
    Morbo says:

    @matoko_chan: That comment was just awesome; I got a literal LOL out of it, bravo.

  210. 210
    Mnemosyne says:

    @matoko_chan:

    Ah, yes. Yet another trust fund baby who’s decided to slum it with the common people.

  211. 211
    Peter says:

    @matoko_chan:
    @matoko_chan:

    Dude, I thought Snow Crash was pretty sweet too, but that doesn’t mean it’s an actual real thing that could actually happen.

  212. 212
    Todd Dugdale says:

    Just a reminder: this same thing happened in Iran when the Shah was overthrown, and it didn’t conclude with a Western-style democracy or a pro-Western government.

    Persians aren’t Arabs, of course. But by the same token, “freedom” in the Arab world is not necessarily synonymous with “democracy”. A dictatorship/theocracy that is not heavy-handed and corrupt is perfectly in line with Arab ideals of “freedom”. And there is nothing in any of this that leads one to believe that a closer alignment with the West is desired.

    The big loser here is Israel, which is fine with me, but it increases the odds that the U.S. will be drawn into conflict, most likely on a covert level.

  213. 213
    xian says:

    @matoko_chan: assuming a trend will continue unabated is the epitome of conservative thinking.

  214. 214
    Snarla says:

    How to say “wolverines” in Arabic? I’d go with the awesomely bad-ass honey badger, غرير العسل in Arabic.

    http://ar.wikipedia.org/wiki/%.....8%B3%D9%84

    Pronounced more or less gha-REER al-‘A-sel.

    (There are two sounds in there we don’t have in English, so you’ll just have to fake it)

  215. 215
    matoko_chan says:

    goodbye now, goodbye!
    write down all i said!
    tell tom dick an’ harry i rose from the dead
    whats bred in the bone cannot fail me to fly
    and buttermilks breezy
    goodbye now goodbye!

    crush crush shred shred

  216. 216

    @polyorchnid octopunch:

    Personally, I think if they’d marshall planned Afghanistan after the military victory and had completely ignored Iraq we would’ve seen a tremendously different outcome here nearly ten years on.

    Or even, if Bush had turned his eyes to Iraq, and used our influence to get the UN inspectors back in (which he successfully did, you might remember) and then allowed them to do their job, rather than using them as a pretext for the invasion he’d wanted all along.

    Think about that: it’s late 2003, and the U. S. is basking in the international support we got after 9/11, and the afterglow of two highly-successful overseas operations. Oh, and no freedom fries, no chocolate makers, no old Europe nonsense getting between us and our closest allies. He’d have had five more years of the U.S. in the strongest – in both hard and soft power – position that the U.S. had ever been in, including the period just after WW2.

    And he threw it all away, because he was just sure that he could knock over Iraq and install an obedient strongman, as if it was some Central American country in the 1950s.

  217. 217
    suzanne says:

    i was a teenage anarchist. weren’t you?

    No, I was a Young Democrat. That’s what happens when you grow up working class.

    I did, however, enjoy the Against Me! show I saw last year.

  218. 218
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Why yes, but even more powerful. Under Victoria, only a third of the world was British Red. But now, Drudge rules the whole thing.

  219. 219
    xian says:

    @PIGL: absolutely the supplies. arms would just trigger another invasion.

  220. 220
    Mnemosyne says:

    @joe from Lowell:

    Dude, you’re making me cry. The biggest thing I hold against W is that he had a chance to reconcile with Iran when they sent us official condolences after 9/11 and he pissed all over them.

  221. 221
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @joe from Lowell: The Iraq War was the Key to the Future. 9/11 was only a down-payment, but a successful war would have made it all possible. A Popular Wartime President® leading permanent majorities in both Houses for a generation — Democratic opposition Mulroney’d for as far as the eye could see, till mid-century anyways. Appointing every judge. Writing every regulation. The war meant they were finally going to get their FDR.

    They had to have the war.

  222. 222
    GregB says:

    If we invade Egypt maybe we will be greeted with flowers and Spud Nuts.

  223. 223
    MattR says:

    @Mnemosyne: I bet that is one of Joe Lieberman’s favorite things about W.

  224. 224
    Mnemosyne says:

    @matoko_chan:

    I guess it’s time for you to get dressed for the cotillion. Have fun!

  225. 225
    Liberty60 says:

    @Punchy:

    Can our 101st SF parachute in tonite?

    Oh sweet Jeebus, how I would love to drop the 101st Chairborne over the Pyramids tonight, and leave the Wolverines to face the Egyptian Army.

    The thought of Erick SonofErick, Bill Kristol, Jim Hoft, and maybe even Marc Thiessen facing the music gives me a woody.

  226. 226
    xian says:

    @matoko_chan: you keep restating your own private argumentative points without realizing that nobody is particularly disagreeing with or caring about what you are saying. guess what? your theories of judeoxianity are not compelling.

    you need to learn to distinguish when someone feels your point is irrelevant from when they disagree or even care what you are jabbering about.

  227. 227

    @Davis X. Machina: But they had their war; Afghanistan.

    I never got that. There were a lot of people who wanted a war to have a war. Why couldn’t the Taliban Suck. On. This? Why could Afghanistan be the shitty little country we threw up against the wall just to show we could? (Two famous justifications for the Iraq War from 2002).

    Was it Cheney feeling guilty about letting the Shiites get slaughtered by helicopters? Was it This man tried to kill my dad? Was it a desire for a nice, quick end to the containment efforts? I still don’t understand the compulsion to go into Iraq.

  228. 228
    Davis X. Machina says:

    The Afghan war wasn’t their war. It was international, it was UN sanctioned, it wasn’t a pure exercise in Will. It was — shudder — a police action. The GOP’s been allergic to those since Korea.

  229. 229
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @joe from Lowell: Why was Iraq necessary for that bunch? PNAC.

  230. 230
    Morbo says:

    @Snarla: Hell yes, the honey badger takes no shit from anyone. Deadly puff adder bite? Oh, I’ll just kill it anyway and sleep it off.

  231. 231
    Stillwater says:

    @joe from Lowell: I still don’t understand the compulsion to go into Iraq.

    Maybe cuz the rationale is hiding in plain sight? The architects of PNAC, who became the architects of the Bush Doctrine and the architects of his foreign policy made the argument for a war in Iraq clearly and unambiguously. I don’t understand how you don’t understand.

  232. 232
    Mnemosyne says:

    @joe from Lowell:

    Why could Afghanistan be the shitty little country we threw up against the wall just to show we could?

    Afghanistan was self-defense (at least in theory). You can’t look like a big macho tough guy if you’re only defending yourself.

    Or, what Davis X. Machina said.

  233. 233
    cmorenc says:

    @Violet :

    Looters broke into the Egyptian Museum during anti-government protests late on Friday and destroyed two Pharaonic mummies, Egypt’s top archaeologist told state television.

    It would not be surprising at all if this particular event is part of a deliberate strategy by Mubarak to demonstrate to the citizenry that the success of the rebellion in defying authority carries an extremely threatening dark underside of anarchy, criminal lawlessness, and looting, endangering everyone and everything from irreplaceable national treasures down to humble shopkeepers. Many among the municipal police in Cairo and Alexandria doubtless abandoned their stations and melted away in civilian clothes out of fear of being overwhelmed by the crowds, but the fact that the army has seemed content to allow the crowds to loot and burn most of the police stations and not make much of any attempt to take over ordinary protective functions (PARTICULARLY at the National Museum) indicates that Mubarak may be attempting to cleverly, cynically exploit weakness into strength. You want to overthrow authority? Fine! Permitting the street demonstrations get out of hand enough to threaten my government also permits the forces of criminality, anarchy, thievery, and indiscriminate hooliganism to run loose as well. Don’t you wish you didn’t have to organize 24-hour citizens patrols to protect your homes and shops, to keep you safe in your own homes?

    Another thing that wouldn’t surprise me at all about the two allegedly destroyed mummies: if it turned out that in the archaeological scheme of things, they were two of the less unique or valuable items among the national collection, more or less chosen to help make the point (the invasion of the National Museum/destruction of mummies did get big play on Egyptian State TV, so I understand).

  234. 234
    TOP123 says:

    @joe from Lowell: Amen to that, especially the sob.

  235. 235
    Persia says:

    @cmorenc: I don’t know, but there are definitely reports that the police, having nothing else to do at this point, are looting businesses and even homes.

  236. 236
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Stillwater:

    I think he means he doesn’t understand the same way Marge Gunderson didn’t understand in “Fargo”:

    So that was Mrs. Lundegaard on the floor in there. And I guess that was your accomplice in the wood chipper. And those three people in Brainerd. And for what? For a little bit of money. There’s more to life than a little money, you know. Don’tcha know that? And here ya are, and it’s a beautiful day. Well. I just don’t understand it.

  237. 237
    mgloraine says:

    @Stillwater (92)

    No reason to read “concern trolling” into fairly straightforward observations. (1) No one can predict with certainty the outcome of the present situation. It is still in flux. (2) Not all “revolutions” work out well for the ordinary citizens (remember the Khmer Rouge?).

    Regardless of the uncertainty, I am inclined to cheer for the citizen demonstrators as they face off with the brutal tactics of the police, which are familiar to demonstrators everywhere. In what way does that constitute “concern trolling”?

  238. 238
    de stijl says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:
    @Stillwater:

    I can’t speak for joe from Lowell, but I thought he was talking about the psychology and not the politics.

  239. 239
    TOP123 says:

    @cmorenc: Just a little while ago, al Jazeera was breaking reports of ‘thugs’ in civilian clothes on motorbikes looting stores and smashing windows–and carrying government security service ID cards.

  240. 240

    @Davis X. Machina:

    The Afghan war wasn’t their war.

    @Mnemosyne:

    Afghanistan was self-defense (at least in theory). You can’t look like a big macho tough guy if you’re only defending yourself.

    Hey, I lived in this country in 2001-2002, and I can assure you: it sure was Bush’s war, it sure did make him look like a big tough guy. He was riding high, domestically and abroad. The UN and our allies joined in on what was very clearly Bush’s/America’s war.

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    Why was Iraq necessary for that bunch? PNAC.

    @Stillwater:

    The architects of PNAC, who became the architects of the Bush Doctrine and the architects of his foreign policy made the argument for a war in Iraq clearly and unambiguously.

    But that just pushes the question back: why the hardon for Iraq from PNAC?

  241. 241
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @de stijl: With the neo-cons, I believe that the psychology and the politics are indistinguishable. On the other hand, that probably doesn’t help to understand what was going on behind their beady little eyes.

  242. 242
    de stijl says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    You said it way better than I did.

  243. 243
    Stillwater says:

    @mgloraine: I think I misunderstood what you were saying.

  244. 244
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @de stijl: It is hard to argue with Marge Gunderson.

  245. 245
    Stillwater says:

    @de stijl: @Mnemosyne: OK, fair enough. I just didn’t get that from his comment.

    ETA: That’s to say, political and psychological considerations may lead one to believe that the war was not ‘understandable’, but the arguments made by the PNAC guys were purely strategic, and perfectly understandable. And of course completely delusional.

  246. 246

    Any minute now, my comment responding to your answers is going to come out of moderation, and DAMN, are you four going to be impressed.

    Yup. Any minute now.

    Any minute now.

  247. 247

    Seriously, make sure you’re sitting down.

    Cuz it’s like BLAM!

    Mad skeelz!

  248. 248
    Morbo says:

    @Mnemosyne: Contrary evidence doesn’t count.

  249. 249
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @joe from Lowell: So you are saying that this comment, when released from moderation, will once and for all show up everyone else as the WEC cudlips that they really are?

  250. 250

    So…who d’ya like next Sunday?

  251. 251
    de stijl says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    Marge Gunderson is the thinking person’s Chauncy Gardiner.

    A tabula rasa, don’t ya know?

  252. 252
  253. 253

    @kdaug: Seriously, daug, you’re gonna be like, “Oh, joe, your 99 Civic is so fly! It’s even lower than a regular 99 Civic, and you can barely see where the scratches are!”

    Just you wait.

    ;-)

  254. 254
    de stijl says:

    @joe from Lowell:

    Sir, you have no call to get snippy with me, I’m just doing my job here.

  255. 255
    kdaug says:

    @cmorenc: Just not the Oil Ministry.

  256. 256
    Svensker says:

    @Liberty60:

    The thought of Erick SonofErick, Bill Kristol, Jim Hoft, and maybe even Marc Thiessen facing the music gives me a woody.

    Me, too, and I’m a girl.

  257. 257
    TOP123 says:

    @Liberty60: Nice image. This beautiful scenario you paint happily reminds me of Senator Al Franken’s “Operation Chickenhawk”…

  258. 258
    Pharniel says:

    Mobile activation

  259. 259
    debbie says:

    Last night on the McLaughlin Report, Monica Crowley actually said this push for change in the Middle East was all thanks to George W. Bush’s “March Toward Democracy.”

  260. 260
    Yutsano says:

    @Svensker: Mmm…the image of the almighty conservative tough talkers actually having to fight their own battles has a nice level of appeal. Of course none of them can even hold a gun properly, much less have the wherewithal to use it.

  261. 261
    de stijl says:

    @Pharniel:

    Mobile deactivation

  262. 262
    Yutsano says:

    @debbie: The only reason to really rehabilitate Dubya at this point is to make Jeb’s name less political poison. This will get much more intense as we get closer to 2016.

  263. 263
    TOP123 says:

    @Yutsano: Yep. My favourite headline of the day, GW Bush says he’s done with politics. No, sir, they are done with you.

    Hopefully.

  264. 264
    debbie says:

    @Yutsano:

    Two years is not enough time for that kind of rehabilitation.

  265. 265
    jonas says:

    None of this looks good for Israel. Too bad they spent the past decade running roughshod over the Palestinians and counting on the US and surrounding strongmen to effectively squelch dissent on the Arab street. If Mubarak goes and the new government doesn’t police the Palestinian border like before, who knows what could happen. As several posters have already noted, it’s starting to dawn on some neocon observers that this can’t possibly end well for Israel and are really dialing back their support for the protesters. If you read Al Jazeera, what’s fueling this movement is the utter failure of these regimes to provide a viable future for their people either economically or politically. In that way, it’s a lot like eastern Europe ca. 1989. But in this case, if you read Al Jazeera some more, it’s the U.S. and Israel who are being cast as the Soviet Union this time around.

  266. 266
    Yutsano says:

    @TOP123: The really funny part is the more the right brings him up the more others can feel free to talk about him. And bring up the numerous negatives of the Bush presidency. And that will still be a millstone around Jeb’s neck no matter how much they try to revitalize the Bush family name. Plus Jeb has his own issues to worry about from Florida.

  267. 267
    polyorchnid octopunch says:

    @joe from Lowell: Because there’s a lot of oil there. Why else? It’s a resource war.

  268. 268
    TOP123 says:

    @Yutsano: Not to mention the backpedalling that will have to come thick and fast (and I suppose has already started) if changes in Egypt (Freedom! Democracy! New World Order!) lead to trouble on the Israel/Palestine border. Is that part of the mission GWB was hoping to effect in the Middle East, or not? Should be entertaining reading ahead.

  269. 269
    Citizen Alan says:

    @joe from Lowell:

    Was it Cheney feeling guilty about letting the Shiites get slaughtered by helicopters? Was it This man tried to kill my dad? Was it a desire for a nice, quick end to the containment efforts? I still don’t understand the compulsion to go into Iraq.

    I have always believed that the highlighted portion was the primary reason. I believe that the defining characteristic in George W. Bush’s personality is his overwhelming Oedipus complex. The eldest son of a prominent and influential man, he was expected to follow in Daddy’s footsteps. Instead, he was an absolute fuckup his whole life. When Daddy lost in 1992, it was seen in some circles that his failure to remove Saddam was part of the reason. Ergo, by taking out Saddam, he “succeeds” where Daddy failed. The fact that Daddy chose not to take out Saddam specifically to avoid the human rights catastrophe caused by Junior’s “success” was completely lost on him.

    Also, it is inconceivable to me that Dick Cheney ever felt guilty about anything in his whole miserable life.

  270. 270
    Davis X. Machina says:

    Hey, I lived in this country in 2001-2002, and I can assure you: it sure was Bush’s war, it sure did make him look like a big tough guy. He was riding high, domestically and abroad. The UN and our allies joined in on what was very clearly Bush’s/America’s war/

    Afghanistan had widespread support from mainstream liberals, who were already alarmed at things like the Taliban’s human rights record. It was Iraq, not Afghanistan, that put half-a-million into the streets of New York.

  271. 271
    de stijl says:

    @joe from Lowell:

    Contemplating some random person’s id is disconcerting; hell, contemplating my own id is off-putting. Contemplating the ids of Kagan, Kristol, Cheney, Podhoretz, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, etc. is something I really can’t even imagine.

    I don’t know what is in there, but I do know it is very, very scary.

  272. 272
    PeakVT says:

    @debbie: That’s a popular spin by neocon trolls in various foreign affairs blogs. It’s bullshit, of course, but Americas have short memories…

  273. 273
    asiangrrlMN says:

    @Lysana: If you see this, MikeJ has the Chrome pie filter update in his username link. It’s a godsend.

  274. 274
    jaleh says:

    I have seen the headline about crude oil prices going up.

    Egypt does not have any oil…now if this happens in Saudi Arabia, that would be fun to watch.

  275. 275

    @de stijl: I hear you, man. When you look into the abyss, and all of that.

    Also, Egypt is the world’s 27th largest oil producer.

  276. 276
    Stillwater says:

    @joe from Lowell: why the hardon for Iraq from PNAC?

    Late to get back to this, but for closure’s sake: if you mean the question psychologically, then I don’t – nor does anyone else – know why they had a hardon for Iraq, since the arguments are pretty unpersuasive. But if you wanna know why they say they had a hardon for Iraq, read The Grand Chessboard and other PNAC writings. They’re very clear about the perceived strategic importance of Iraq. It’s really not that complicated.

  277. 277
    Darkrose says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    I’ve always been a pop culture baby, so I was writing comedic short stories for my friends that starred the members of Duran Duran.

    Same here! Well, except that the short stories were mostly Mary-Sues with a 15-year-old’s idea of kinky sex thrown in.

    I am so glad the internet as we know it didn’t exist in the ’80’s.

  278. 278
    polyorchnid octopunch says:

    @suzanne: I like the term “trustafarian” myself.

  279. 279
    polyorchnid octopunch says:

    @Mnemosyne: Once again, it’s not a secret language. It is, however, a very small subculture.

Comments are closed.