Sunday, April 01, 2012

Hillary Clinton says US will hold Egyptian politicians accountable

Not much to say here. Clinton never held the rulers of the effective US colonies in Saudi Arabia, UAE, Jordan, Kuwait and others, including Egypt's Mubarak accountable.
"We will watch what all the political actors do and hold them accountable for their actions," she added when asked about the Brotherhood changing plans and announcing a candidate for the May 23-24 presidential vote.


"We want to see Egypt move forward in a democratic transition, and what that means is you do not and cannot discriminate against religious minorities, women, political opponents," said Clinton, who did not mention the Brotherhood by name.

"There has to be a process starting in an election that lays down certain principles that will be followed by whoever wins the election. That is what we hope for the Egyptian people."

She added that she "really" hoped the Egyptian people got what they staged their uprising for, "which is the kind of open, inclusive, pluralistic democracy that really respects the rights and dignity of every single Egyptian."
The United States, on behalf of Israel, is probably today the most vigorously anti-democratic force in the world. But if Hillary Clinton respected the rights or dignity of any Egyptians, the United States would have had a different relationship with Egypt's dictatorship as soon as the Barack Obama administration came into office.


12tomered said...

the United States would have had a different relationship with Egypt's dictatorship as soon as the Barack Obama administration came into office."

What would you have done differently, and would you have applied these policies elsewhere to other undemocratic nations, such iran, saudi arabia, cuba and syria? 

N. Friedman said...

 Arnold writes:

"The United States, on behalf of Israel, is probably today the most vigorously anti-democratic force in the world."

Do you have any evidence for the proposition that the US is doing this for Israel, not for the US? Is it in the interest of the US to have a group in power which has leaders who have stated they aim to destroy the US? Could that hatred of the US have anything at all to do with US policy? Or, is it always Israel for you, even where there are better explanations?

If this is being done for Israel, not for the US, why are the Israelis so ticked off at the Obama administration's position on Egypt?

Lastly, the Islamist group coming to power in Egypt oppose, on principle, human rights as it is understood in the US. Mubarrak was only indifferent to human rights. Why is the circumstances attendant to the rise of the Islamists in Egypt not a situation like the coming to power of the the Ayatollahs, where the US had previously supported a tyrannical power, which was replaced by a far worse violator of human rights - one which opposed human rights on principle, one which put its socialist, anti-colonialist, communist, liberal, etc., fellow revolutionaries in jail and, in due course, killed most of them?

I think your entire theory is contrary to the most simple analysis. No country does anything for any other country that the former finds not to be in its own interest. To suggest otherwise is really to be a quack.

12tomered said...


Arnold Evans said...

What I would have done differently:

First, I would not do whatever it takes to ensure Israel is militarily dominant over its region.  Because "whatever it takes" means both supporting dictatorship and imposing misery on non-Jews in the form of sanctions and war when they are not ruled by pro-US dictatorships.

A US president for whom that is a priority, as Obama says it is, cannot have better policies in the Middle East than Obama does.

Also see a more recent poll pointed to by Lidia in the comments of that post:

So if I adopted Barack Obama's premises, I would not have done anything differently, and the US under me would be as hostile to democracy as it is under Obama.

If I did not adopt those premises, then I'd have no problem with, for example, Saudi Arabia, which spends about twice as much on weapons as Iran and Israel put together, being having a government that reflected its people's view that Israel is its primary threat rather than Israel's view that Iran is its primary threat.  In other words, I would not oppose in Saudi Arabia government accountability to the people ruled.

The pressure the US applies on Saudi Arabia to coerce it to undertake policies that are supported by less than a third of its population (see Lidia's poll), I instead would apply on Saudi Arabia to coerce it to become accountable to those governed.  Same for Egypt, long before the first protest.

The presence of an activist and resourceful United States that values Israel over representative government also worsens the civil liberties situations of countries that are not US colonies.  Iran has to manage the fact that Barack Obama, if he could, would recreate the events of 1953 to establish a pro-US dictatorship there to rule along with the pro-US colonial dictatorships of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Jordan, UAE, Egypt and others.  Iran's reactions to protests in that country have to take that into account in a way that they would not if the US was not ruled by an administration that adopts Obama's premises.

Cuba is a separate issue, but US policy is aimed more at punishing and starving the people of Cuba than encouraging democracy.  As US president I'd also follow a much different course than Obama there.

Arnold Evans said...

It is absurd to claim that US policy is not altered from pure calculations of its own interest.  That could only be true if either Israel has no lobbying apparatus in the US, or that lobbying apparatus has no impact on policy.

N. Friedman said...

Consider, Arnold ... It is difficult to imagine any circumstance where supporting the coming to power of the Muslim Brotherhood could be in the interest of the United States. It is difficult enough to think how any Egyptians, other than morons, think it to be in the interest of Egypt. What, pray tell, could make you imagine that US interests are manipulated by the Israelis away from supporting the coming to power of the Brotherhood? What, pray tell, could make you imagine that Israel is even more than a minor concern to the US government? I think you are so obsessed by Israel that it has blinded you.

Now, perhaps, the US should stay out of the way of whatever the Egyptians decide. Maybe so - and it is certainly arguable. But, why should the US give any aid to Egypt, if the US should stay out of the way? Again: if, under the circumstances that all of this is none of the business of the US, the Muslim Brotherhood comes to power, who, other than an Arab Muslim lobby, would support giving aid.

Thinking of that last point. There is, in fact, a powerful lobby in the US that does, at times, have considerable influence over US policy. That lobby, which has innumerable paid agents - paid more handsomely than Israel's lobby can afford to pay - in the US supports Arab causes. Whether or not it is as strong as the lobby which favors Israel is unknown, since, unlike the Arab side, most Americans favor Israel, which already creates a built in advantage to Israel.

In this case, though, I find it difficult to imagine what you are thinking. The US interest with Egypt is to have some influence and maintain peace in the region. That is the interest of the US - an interest that only incidentally relates to Israel, since Egypt has a treaty with Israel, one which was put in place by a government which, lest we recall, was not in the pocket of the US government. Now, a group of religious fanatics - i.e. the Muslim Brotherhood - who want to rid the region of an infidel state and want to boot the US out of the region as well, is coming to power. What is in it for the US to support changing the status quo by making a change that puts a warlike group of people with an anachronistic religio-political program in place? Please explain it, Arnold. You can't because, in this case, it is objectively in the interest of the US to keep the peace, something that the Brotherhood does not ultimately want to do.

Now, it is true that the US does favor Israel. The US has things in common, politically and socially and in most other ways with Israel; moreover, the form of Christianity that is dominant in the US, from the time of its founding, views the existence of Israel as being of some importance. At the same time, the US does not always do things for Israel, notwithstanding the existence of a lobby in the US that favors assisting Israel. In fact, it is not unusual for the US to do things that actually harm Israel's interests (e.g., when Bush II pressured Israel to pull out of Gaza, something which created a war between Israel and Hamas) and, at the very least, are thought by the Israelis to harm its interests.  One can go through a long list of things the Israelis wanted in the US but which, notwithstanding lobbying heavily on behalf of Israel's preferences, the US did not follow what the lobby for Israel prefers.

Your thesis is, objectively speaking, an impossibility. Again: the US interest does not align with assisting the Muslim Brotherhood. No amount of rationalization changes that fact. No amount of rationalization changes the fact that the US interest is to keep the peace in the region, which means demanding that governments abide by their international treaties. That includes Egypt, whether you like the treaty or not and whether the Egyptians like it or not. It is something that is, objectively speaking, in the interest of the US.

Arnold Evans said...

My thesis that Israeli lobbying efforts impact US policy is an impossibility? If that's what you're saying, it is too stupid for a response.  Which thesis are you talking about?

A post-Zionist "Israel" could keep the peace with Egypt much more easily than Israel as a Zionist state can.  Without Zionism, the US would also be able to drop its opposition to democracy in its other colonies of Jordan, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Kuwait and others totaling over 100 million people.

Zionism is by no stretch of the imagination objectively in the interest of the United States.  The US has a sentimental attachment to Zionism that is related to the fact that its single most wealthy ethnic group strongly identifies with it as an ethno-political movement.

Egypt can do a lot to make Israel more difficult to sustain as an enforced Jewish majority state without breaking the formal terms of its peace treaty.  An Egyptian democracy, even if it did not break the treaty would make it even more expensive for the US to bribe and coerce Egypt's policies to align with Israel.

The US opposes that.   On Israel's behalf. 

If not for Israel, the US needs nothing from Egypt that it could not easily buy with cash.  The same for Saudi Arabia.  The US does not need dictatorships to trade with these countries.  If it was not for Israel, the US would not need dictatorships to maintain close military relations with these governments, such as its relationships with popularly accountable governments in Germany, Japan and South Korea.   The US cannot have such relations with accountable governments in the Middle East because of its relationship with Israel.

The United States opposes democracy in Israel's region because of Israel.  The governments of the US' allies pursue policies that are unpopular with their people, and that could not be sustained if those governments were accountable because the people of the region do not accept Zionist Israel as a legitimate state any more than Black Africans accepted Apartheid South Africa as a legitimate state.  For the same reasons, and equally correctly.

12tomered said...

Arnold, please properly answer the question posed to you, what actions would you have taken with egypt and would you have taken the same actions towards other undemocratic governments.

For example, iran, cuba and egypt are ruled by oppressive governments, if you were to apply sanctions on one would you apply  them on the others? 

If you wouldnt, why not?

"Iran has to manage the fact that Barack Obama, if he could, would recreate the events of 1953 to establish a pro-US dictatorship there to rule along with the pro-US colonial dictatorships of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Jordan, UAE, Egypt and others"

This is shocking, when did obama say that he would do such a thing?

N. Friedman said...

 No. My thesis is not that the Israel's lobby is without influence. My thesis is that supporting the Brotherhood is antithetical to the interest of any sane human being. And, my thesis is that the Brotherhood, as it has stated repeatedly, is opposed to democracy. And, my thesis is that, all things considered, Israel's lobby plays only a small role in what the US government does in the Middle East and, when the US helps Israel, it does it for one reason: it is believed by those involved to be in the interest of the US. The same when it does things to help Arabs or Indians or Greeks or English or French, all of which have strong lobbies in the US.

I do not understand your opposition to Israel or Zionism. You seem to see colonialism when those involved were stateless people. I rather think you are blinded by an obsession, the one which makes you think that Jews control US policy and that Jews are the richest ethnic group - which is objectively false.

I think you have a serious bias problem in your thinking; I might note that your association of Jews with wealth may say something about how you think. Maybe you noticed that Abraham Lincoln was a supporter of the restoration of Israel (and Jews had no influence on him at all). As were a great many presidents in the 19th century and early 20th century. As was Cotton Mather. FDR's position was that the Arabs should be moved out of the country entirely so that it would be better for Jews to restore their state and, frankly, he was not controlled by wealthy Jews - Jews not being all that rich at the time and not as rich as you believe they are today.

In any event, what does the wealth of Jews have to do with any of this? People who hate Jews always claim that Jews are rich and have undue influence over politics. That is the standard line of a bigot and it is objectively false. Why do you speak the language of bigots? Please tell me how I should read your comment as anything other than old fashioned bigotry, Arnold? I can quote you exactly the same line taken during the 1930's, when the Jew haters said that Jews were preventing the US from having peaceful relations with the Germans. All the US needed to do was turn away from friendliness towards Jews and all would be well.

I do not mind you opposing Israel. I do mind your logic, which is straight out of the play book of those who see nefarious doings by Jews. I would think that a smart fellow like you would feel some shame for using the same line used in the 1930's about Jews controlling the US government. That BS line has not become more true with age. If you want to ban me, go ahead. Your comment speaks for itself. It is classic.

In the meanwhile, you have not explained how it is possible for it to be in the US to support the Muslim Brotherhood and, at the same time, support democracy. Again, you miss the point entirely: the Muslim Brotherhood and democracy are antithetical.  The Brotherhood mindset, as STATED in their credo: "Allah is our objective; the Quran is our constitution, the Prophet is our leader; Jihad is our way; and death for the sake of God is the highest of our aspirations." NO ONE WHO BELIEVES THAT CREDO COULD EVER BE IN FAVOR OF DEMOCRACY. THE TWO ARE OPPOSITES.

So, frankly, if you really think this is about democracy, you are living in a dreamland that thinks that Jews control the US because some of them are very rich. And, no, Arnold, Jews are not the richest ethnic group in the US. However, there are a great many rich Jews in the US. But richest? That's BS. You confuse richest minority with richest group. And, you might do a bit of reading; in fact, Indian Americans (i.e. people with ethnic origins in India) are the wealthiest American ethnic group.

Arnold Evans said...


Let's look at the statement that set off this outburst:

The US has a sentimental attachment to Zionism that is related to the
fact that its single most wealthy ethnic group strongly identifies with
it as an ethno-political movement.

I wrote single most wealthy ethnic group because I remember reading, from a source I considered reputable - maybe Forbes, or the New York Times or Time Magazine, a mainstream source - that Jewish Americans are the US' single most wealthy ethnic group. 

Either way, that sentence would be just as true and persuasive with whatever statistic you'd rather I replace it with.

Let's say I remember wrong.  Let's say Jewish Americans are its second most wealthy ethnic group, or third, or just a particularly wealthy ethnic group.

Now you're claiming I'm an anti-Semite because I remember wrong, if I did remember wrong?

I've written over 600 posts here over the last six year.s. I've also written hundreds of comments. I've probably mentioned that statistic four, maybe six times. Certainly fewer than one percent of my writings here.  You think I'm obsessed with that statistic?

No you don't.  You're not being honest. Even reading that comment, it was just an off-hand statistic. No argument hinged on it.  However wealthy you think US Jewish people are, feel free to alter that sentence accordingly and you'll notice that the argument remains.

You passionately support Zionism.  This blog opposes Zionism.  When you get frustrated or flustered, you call me anti-Semite.  I don't think you honestly believe I harbor animosity against Jewish people or the Jewish religion or Jews as an ethnic group.

I favor Egypt's voters controlling Egypt's policy.  You don't.  You think it is more important for Israel's fewer than six million Jewish people avoid the fate of White South Africans by losing their enforced political majority than for Egypt's more than 85 million people to have a government that is accountable to them.

The same goes for over 200 million non-Jews in Israel's region who either live under pro-US dictatorships or are subject to sanctions and warfare to minimize the threat they otherwise would pose to Israel as an enforced political majority Jewish ethnic state.

I asked you the question directly whether to you fewer than six million Jewish people outweigh over 85 million Egyptians.  You didn't answer directly but the only reasonable interpretation of your answer was yes.

You are a real bigot. An open bigot. I tolerate you the way I tolerate other open bigots who post here from time to time - mostly so other readers who may not be familiar with your motivations can see your own words rather than mine.

Your bigotry is inherent in Zionism, just as bigotry is inherent in the Apartheid project of maintaining a White political majority state in Southern Africa.

Arnold Evans said...

1) Other than sanctions, the United States has a tremendous amount of leverage over Egypt's government, but does not use that leverage to pressure Egypt to become accountable to the people of Egypt.  The US cannot because as Obama says, the US will do whatever it takes to ensure that Israel is dominant over any potential adversary.

If you claim the US does not have leverage over Egypt's pro-US dictatorship or that the US' only means of pressuring the governments of Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, UAE, Kuwait and others is sanctions then I won't bother engage you.

For example, the US would, if it prioritized popular accountability in government over cooperation with Israel, refuse to train and equip a force of 35,000 troops tasked with defending Saudi Arabia's pro-US dictatorship unless that government relinquished power to a popularly accountable political body.

2) Establishing pro-US dictatorships is what "do whatever it takes" means, when spoken by the leader of a country that maintains a string of colonial-style dictatorships in the region. I have no idea why you're shocked. The US opposes policies of the Iranian government that have strong consensus support of Iran's population according to polls.

Obama has continued George W. Bush's programs of destabilizing the Iranian government - not to establish a different government that would pursue these Iranian consensus policies, but in hopes of empowering a government whose policies will be consistent with Barack Obama's values rather than those of the Iranian people, A government like that of Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Egypt, Kuwait or UAE - a government like that of the Shah.

Are you honestly shocked? I think not.

Arnold Evans said...

I never used the word control.  But there are connections between wealth and power and between wealth and influence.

Again, you have a weird definition of bigotry - a definition, like that of anti-Semitism, that you still have yet to provide - if you consider what I wrote above, or anything I've written in this website bigoted (or anti-Semitic).

I don't think you honestly believe I'm anti-Semitic but it is uncomfortable for you to see Zionism attacked, and this is you lashing out.

I don't think anti-Semitism has an actual definition for you.  It's just something you call people when you get angry.  It's just what you say when you have nothing else to say.

N. Friedman said...


I wrote an entire argument about why I disagree with your opinion. You, however, focus on one thing, viz., that I called what you wrote bigoted. So, how is that lashing out?

How about answering the questions I posed to you? Your answers - since what I wrote has some factual basis to it (i.e., that Jews have never been treated as equals in any Muslim country and, since this involves Arab and Jews, in any Arab country, as a matter of principle, that democracy and the views of the Muslim Brotherhood are in contradiction, that the Egyptians, in voting for the Brotherhood, did not vote for democracy and are not forming a democracy, that the US is not the reason for the lack of democracy in the region, as evidence of Syria, being typical of the governing approach taken where the US lacks influence, etc.).

Whether I continue to view you as a bigot - which I think you are, by the way - will depend if you have answers to my questions which are not bigoted. It is your choice whether to answer. Your silence will be understood. However, you, not I, support a one state solution. As a supporter, you have something to explain how it will be that Jews, under Arab rule, have any chance of being treated as equals when, in fact, the Arab side has, when it governed Jews, never treated Jews as equals. Please tell me what you are to do about that problem. And, please acknowledge - since you claim not to be a bigot - that the ideology that Jews are inferior, one held by the vast majority of Arabs is a problem in resolving the dispute.

Not everything is about colonialism and imperialism. Some things are about people and their ideas and prejudices. The Arab world is not exactly lining up to treat non-Muslims as equals. Ask the Copts about it. You can even read the same view about non-Muslims in the Hamas Covenant, where it says that non-Muslims can live under the wing of Islam. Jews are not willing to be dhimmis or whatever modern version that places Muslims over others.

Again: Arnold, if you do not want to be thought of as a bigot - and, I can assure you, that a great many people see your writings that way -, have an explanation which is not so obviously devoid of tried and true formulas normally used by bigots.

Arnold Evans said...

You are crazy.  I've written over 600 articles.  Nothing I've written in any one of these articles was an expression of bigotry, I don't have to do anything more to prove I'm not a bigot.  I'm not a bigot unless proven otherwise.

I have no idea who your great many other people are, but if they're like you, calling me bigot because they are upset to see Zionism attacked, then I welcome all of your perceptions of me as a bigot.

And what exactly is your definition of bigot, what is your definition of anti-Semite?

I'm asking at this point more to demonstrate that you don't have a coherent one than anything else.

N. Friedman said...


I already answered this question. However, I'll try again. Antisemitism is hatred of Jews.

The issue is how one recognizes an Antisemite since few people, at least in the West, wish to be accused of holding prejudices. Hence, there are various markers and statements which, historically, have been held by people who hate Jews. Among them, that Jews are a rich people who attempt to control the politics of governments in which they live. That is not my marker but one which was taken up, since that allegation was one used in the 1930's, by those who argued that FDR was in the bag for the Jews. It was also one held by Hitler.

Now, I cannot read the mind of what is in your head. I can, however, go by noting what, historically speaking, has a long history of being seen, even by Antisemites, as a marker of Antisemitism.


Arnold Evans said...

Note to N. Friedman:

It looks like you're saying that a person who says Jewish Americans are a wealthy ethnic group hates Jews and is therefore anti-Semitic.

I don't hate Jews and I'm not anti-Semitic, but my understanding is that Jewish Americans are a wealthy ethnic group.

If that's enough for you to call me a bigot, then I'm done with you.  I don't need you posting here.  Further posts from you will be deleted.

N. Friedman said...

 You did not read what I wrote. I said that the argument made against Jews is that they are rich and use their influence to control the governments of the states where they live.

Ban me for saying that but, frankly, such is ae view held by Antisemites.

Sineva said...

Well said as always Arnold.For me the one sentence that said more and spoke far more truthfully than all of N. Friedmans many postings on this site was this simple one "they can all screw themselves, for all I care."
As for his accusations of bigotry or anti-Semitism,I`m always reminded of the 1978 remake of Invasion of the body snatchers,theres a scene near the end were veronica cartwright approaches Donald Sutherland thinking he might still be human he turns and looks at her,his face twists into an inhuman expression as he opens his mouth and emits an utterly inhuman shriek while pointing at her,this has always made me think of zionists screaming "anti-semite" or "holocaust denier" at their opponents when they have no other arguments left.So I guess the lesson is clear watch out for screaming pod people and screaming zionists... well they`re the same thing actually.

George Carty said...

Might not a Muslim Brotherhood government help Egypt by reducing corruption and statism?  One of Egypt's biggest economic problems is that it is saddled with a huge corrupt bureaucracy.  This is a legacy of the way in which Egyptian culture was warped by British colonial rule.

Because Egyptians yearned to replace the British in governing positions during colonial rule, their aspirations focused on achieving such positions, at the expense of capitalist entrepreneurship.  Most Egyptian parents aspired for their children to become civil servants when they grow up, as that was how their culture defined "success".

The tdaxp blog was pro-Iraq-War and is pro-Israel, but still views the Muslim Brotherhood as preferable to secular Arab Nationalists:

Lidia said...

I wonder what is to blame for not so great shape of UK economy now - after all, it cannot be something else but capitalism itself, after all, Thatcher's TINA means that capitalism is the only game in the town, but if so, it is capitalism fault, is it not?

Lidia said...

Arnold, whena  Zionist is out of arguments (hasbara), a Zionist starts to cry Anti-Semitism. Do not worry, it is a typical case.

George Carty said...

The main problem with the UK economy is greedy homeowners, who put enormous pressure on governments to keep house prices high at the expense of the actual productive economy.

Land Value Tax would be the solution.

Lidia said...

I really envy you (and UK economy) - everything is so simple and could be healed so easyly :)

On the other hand it seems that UK problems are more or less the same that of other capitalist metropolitan states - i.e. the banks first speculating like crazy, then being saved by government money, then government getting the money back NOT from the bank and the rich speculators, but from the population, not mentioning others. So, I suppose, it could be something common in the reasons of the economic problems, and it sure looks like capitalism is to blame :( 

Nassar Omar Bakr said...

The reality in my country is that the Ikwan and the military oppose democracy. Mr. Friedman called you on that fact and, in reply, you speak about the wealth and power of Jews favoring Israel. You clearly know nothing about my country. And, worse than that, even a Muslim like me knows when someone uses Antisemitic slurs, like you did. I have no use for Israel but that is not an excuse to blame everything on the Jews - which is the be all and end all of your comment.

Arnold Evans said...

If you don't like the Ikwan, and your side is not able to get more votes than it is, then either you accept either you accept policy set by the Ikwan despite your misgivings, or you oppose democracy.

There are tendencies that can be considered anti-democratic in maybe all political parties, but Americans, Israelis like Friedman, or even opponents of parties that might have majority support like yourself can no more validly prevent a majority from setting policy than Egyptians, Russians or supporters of minority US parties can prevent Democrats or Republicans from setting US policy.

The side that structurally opposes majority rule is the side that opposes democracy.  Mr. Friedman openly opposes democracy in Egypt.  The military openly opposes democracy in Egypt.  The United States openly opposes democracy in Egypt. I support democracy in Egypt.

Possibly the future will show us anti-democratic practices on the part of the Ikwan.  Possibly.  Until then, we cannot count it as an opponent of democracy.

And you can relax.  I have not written any anti-Semitic slurs. Not only do I not hate Jews, but nothing I've written here reasonably expresses or indicates hatred of Jews.

Zionism is by no stretch of the imagination objectively in the interest
of the United States.  The US has a sentimental attachment to Zionism
that is related to the fact that its single most wealthy ethnic group
strongly identifies with it as an ethno-political movement.

Possibly Jews are not the US' single most wealthy ethnic group, possibly they are.  Somebody is.  Whoever is, I don't hate them.  Wealth is an asset in influencing policy.  It is simply not an anti-Semitic slur to write that.  Friedman would have dropped that accusation if he thought he could make a persuasive argument without it, but he could not.

He brought up some other issues that ranged from irrelevant to bizarre, but he didn't have confidence in them himself.  I wasn't going to address them as I was being falsely, unreasonably and actually crazily being accused of hating Jews.

Nassar Omar Bakr said...

Mr. Arnold Evans,

I am a graduate from Harvard. My family is from Egypt but we were expelled during Nasser's time because we favored democracy. The US did not have good relations with Egypt at that time. 

I know nonsense when I read it. Mr. Friedman, whether or not you like his invective manner, spoke the truth. Israel, bad as it is, has nothing at all to do with why there is no democracy in Egypt. The US does not do Israel's bidding when it deals with Egypt. Keeping the peace between Israel and Egypt is not to help Israel; it is to help the US. When the US helps Israel, it is primarily to help the US.

I hate to tell you but, frankly, Friedman was correct in pretty much everything he wrote. Yes. He is pro-Israel. Yes. He does not care about Egypt. But, nonetheless, he is spot on when he explains the reasons why the US is acting as it has and why it has to do with the US, not Israel.

Turning the problems of my homeland into one about Israel is really disingenuous. It really misses the point entirely. How about dealing with the world as it is.

Nassar Omar Bakr said...

Oh, I forgot... Friedman is also correct about the history of Antisemitism and the reasonable assumption that one speaks of Jewish wealth and lobbying success is talking the language of Antisemitism. You might really give this some thought because, to any reasonable observer, he was spot on.

Arnold Evans said...

Do you favor democracy today? Because it looks like people who agree with me have a lot more popular support than people who agree with Friedman or Barack Obama.

Barack Obama's and Friedman's solution to that problem is to prevent people who agree with me from taking power.  Instead power should remain in the hands of the pro-US dictatorship that has ruled for over 30 years and which as, whether you like it or not, pursued drastically more pro-Israel policies than an accountable government could have.

If you agree with Friedman and Obama then you oppose democracy, regardless of if you have Egyptians in your family.

If you disagree with me, and Egypt's voters do not, then either you support democracy and believe despite your disagreement people who agree with me should take power - or you oppose democracy and think under one pretext or another people who agree with you should set policy despite having fewer votes.

Arnold Evans said...

Nope.  No reasonable reader thinks I hate Jews. That's a crazy idea.

Nassar Omar Bakr said...

"Do you favor democracy today?" Yes.

Democracy is not just about elections. The Ikwan won an election. So did the Nazis but that did not make the results legitimate. The Ikwan hates democracy; and on principle. The US is right to make demands that Egypt embrace actual democracy, not the sham which you think it should support.

I also care about Egypt. I do not want to see it create new wars. The Ikwan, since its program is insane, will have to resort to being bellicose to survive. It will create a war. 

If you cared one iota about Egypt - rather than the anti-imperial nonsense and anti-Israel nonsense -, you would deal with the problems of Egypt: illiteracy, too much religion in public life, corruption, militarism, etc., etc. Israel is not Egypt's real problem; that most Egyptians are brainwashed by their leaders - in an attempt to deflect them from thinking about what is wrong with their own country - to think that the issue is Israel does not make it a reasonable statement. 

There are reasons to oppose Israel. Yours, however, are really poorly considered. One might complain about the West Bank or Jerusalem. One might complain that Israel has done insufficient things to deal with the refugees created when Israel won its war in 1948. One might complain reasonably about a lot of things. But, about how the Arab world is governed. Only a fool does that. One has to think Jews are magical beings to think what you think. Hence, the talk by Friedman about your comments about money and lobbying make a lot of sense. I say this as a Muslim.

I pose Friedman's question: if the problem is the US doing Israel's bidding, how is it that there the places like Egypt, where Israel has no impact and the US has no impact, have no democracy? How is it that the entire Muslim world, whether places having US influence or not, have little in the way of democracy? How is it that places where the US has a lot of influence - e.g., Israel, South Korea, Japan, etc. - have democracy?

I studied history in college, particularly the history of the Arab world. I can tell you that, in fact, what you are writing is the opposite of reality.

Nassar Omar Bakr said...

I correct myself. I meant to say Syria, not Egypt in the sentence that reads: "if the problem is the US doing Israel's bidding, how is it that there the places like Egypt, where Israel has no impact and the US has no impact, have no democracy?" Please note the error

Nassar Omar Bakr said...

You are saying that I am not reasonable. Me, an Egyptian with a Ph.D in the history of the region, you are calling unreasonable. How dare you!!! Perhaps, the correct label is idiot.

12tomered said...

Why cant you answer a simple question posed to you.
Again "what actions would you have taken with egypt and would you have taken the same actions towards other undemocratic governments.
For example, iran, cuba and egypt are ruled by oppressive governments, if you were to apply sanctions on one would you apply  them on the others? 
If you wouldnt, why not?"
"Are you honestly shocked? I think not."
Again you have failed to show where obama stated that he would like to overthrow the iranian government and bring in another dictatorship to replace it.

12tomered said...

You really shouldnt silence someone just because they are saying things not to your liking.

George Carty said...

Isn't one problem that democracy requires a certain level of wealth to be sustainable?  Democracy is vulnerable to coups and civil wars in countries where GDP per capita is below $6,000 and pretty much doomed if GDP per capita is less than $3,000.

George Carty said...

Imposing Land Value Tax wouldn't be easy as far too many people still believe that house price inflation is a good thing.

And didn't most of the banks that got into trouble do so by speculating on real estate?

Nassar Omar Bakr said...

Good question. India's  GDP PPP per capita is about $3,700 per year. India is too large a country to be the exception that makes the rule, don't you think?

Nassar Omar Bakr said...

Egypt, according to the CIA, has a per capita GDP PPP of about $6,500.

The real issue here is about the politics of Egypt, not the US and not Israel. And, people like Mr. Arnold Evans are living in a fantasy world, which sees Israelis and Jews as having magical power to influence that over which they have very little influence. In a country where a huge percentage of the population is illiterate, where the number of books read are even among those who can read, few (and note how few books are written in, much less translated to, Arabic), where religion dominates public life, where important, not just lunatic fringe, preachers sound cries of "Jihad" - and, imagine modern Christians calling for a real crusade -, etc., etc., the existence of Israel is so low on the list of Egypt's problems as to make it laughable that the owner of this website pushes that line.

In any event, the US is not trying to prevent anyone from coming to power. The US merely wants to make sure that those in power do not work to create problems for the US. Only a dope thinks that the US wants to keep peace in the region only to protect Israel.

Interestingly, Israeli commentators think the US is trying push the Islamists into power. They view that form of realism as being against Israel's interest. See, for example, Barry Rubin, who has blogged in detail about efforts by the US to help the Islamists. If that is true, it is the US - and only the US, not Israel - who is helping the Islamists, something which the Israelis do not favor, as such is objectively against Israel's interest. So, if Rubin is correct, Mr. Evans is not just passing gas here, but he is talking nonsense.

Lidia said...

Most banks were (and are) speculationg on anything which exist and even not exist :(
And why people "still believe that house price inflation is a good thing"?

Lidia said...

To lie means to pollute the blog, and I understand why Atnold lost patience with Zionist lies. Any interested in such sort of accusition "to speak about Zionist lobby and its importance is anti-Semitic" and so on could find a lot of it in other places.

Lidia said...

To say that USA/Israel have "no impact" on Syria means not seeing an elephant in the middle of the room. Exactly because of USA/Zionist attacks and bombings  the call for democracy in Syria is more problematic than without. The present problems of Syria are because USA and its local lackeys will not let Syrians alone to sort their problems, including the question of democracy. Everyone who calls for democracy in Syria could be  quite reasonably asked whether one is on USA/Saudi payroll, and it is sure does not help.

Lidia said...

Arnold, this NOB sounds very funny to me. I am not even sure that he is not one more "gay girl in Damascus", if you got what I meant :)

Lidia said...

Arnold, a very interesting analysis of aparteid SA hasbara

All tricks known to me (used by Zionists) were used by aparteid hasbara  as well, and, maybe even more :(

Lidia said...

And this one is as though specially written to GC, including why "only a strong Afrikaner state would prevent further massacres"


12tomered said...

He was given a view point, arnold could have just in response have given his, instead he is taking a pro censorship stance.

12tomered said...

If you are going to insult someone and make drastic claims at least have the decency to back up your accusation with some proper evidence.

Lidia said...

If 12t is going to call my post "incult" 12t is insulting me :(
 Could I ask for 12t being "decent", or is it only demanded from me?

12tomered said...

You mean insult.

Also you seem confused, im not insulting you, im critiquing you.

There is a difference

"ould I ask for 12t being "decent", or is it only demanded from me?"

Its demanded for all to do to the best of their abilities. Calling someone a nob with no provocation is a highly indecent action.

Also if you are going to make such a claim provide evidence to support it.

Lidia said...

12t is insulting me, calling me
"confused". Of course, 12t says I "seem" confused, but still it is an insult, because while I was using words like "I am not even sure", 12t still says that I was insulting someone

Really, I would not give a damn what 12t says about me, because 12t clearly  has nothing of substance to say, and if 12t think I am insulting him (?) so be it.

I wonder, why 12t is taking the role of the cop in this blog, was 12t appointed to do it :)

12tomered said...

Again lidia i am not insulting you, i critiqued you, look up the two definitions of the word and you will find a difference.

""I am not even sure", 12t still says that I was insulting someone"

Because you were, you referred to another person as a "nob". 

"because 12t clearly  has nothing of substance to say"

If you dont believe that having decency or backing up claims are of substance then you are making a serious error.

"and if 12t think I am insulting him (?) so be it."

You insulted nassar, not i.

"why 12t is taking the role of the cop in this blog"

A cop is someone who enforces the law, i am just someone giving an opinion which is my right to do.

If there is "a cop" here it should be the moderator. However the mod seems to take action when he feels that he is being insulted, yet when someone else is being insulted he seems to let it slide.

Arnold Evans said...

l2tomered and Bakr have written a lot more ban-worthy things than Lidia.

For now I won't ban either.  For now.

12tomered said...

Pleaserefer to something i said which is ban worthy or as insulting as lidias comment.

Sineva said...

NOB happens to be the posters initials not some insult,that would no doubt have been spelled KNOB with a [silent] "K",or perhaps you were thinking of NOOB with two "O"s.In future it might be wise of you to read the posts more carefully so you don`t jump to unwarranted conclusions and wind up looking like a,dare I say it,KNOB or just ignorant.

Lidia said...

Interesting that first a Zionist wanted me banned for "anti-semitism", then self-appointed moral judge wants me banned for not being sure that somebody is what he says he is.

Next time somebody would call for banning me for being a treat to USA national security :)

Lidia said...

aTHREAT , sorry for tipo

12tomered said...

Lidia, you seem to be making things up.

I never said you should be banned for believing that someone is not who he says he is, i merely critiqued you for insulting nasser with a crude term and then said that if you are going to make such claims implying that he is not who he says he is you should provide evidence to back up your assertion.

You have failed to do such a thing.

By allowing lidia to remain arnold himself seems to be allowing people on this site to refer to each other in such terms, i guess it is acceptable then.

George Carty said...

Because just as a flaw in Egyptian culture causes Egyptians to aspire for their children to be civil servants, a flaw in British culture causes Brits to aspire to be landlords.

12tomered said...

The current problems would be due to the violence between syrians themselves, particularly from assads forces.

Assad is the main problem and the main cause of the conflict.

Lurker said...

 I think everyone here is overreacting a little.

Following this blog for a while, Lidia often uses abbreviations to refer to specific posters.  Dermot (who I haven't seen in a while, did Arnold ban him?) was DM, and you are 12t.  I believe Lidia is Russian, so I don't know if she knows that "nob" is a slang insult.  NOB was an abbreviation of Nasser's name.  It would probably be better to

That said, on 12tomered's side, I don't necessarly see anything done by him (her?) or Nasser that was ban-worthy.  While it does seem somewhat unlikely, its disturbing that Nasser was called out on for even claiming to be from Egypt.  I don't see the Muslim Brotherhood as much different from the Christian Right over here, and clearly Nasser is educated enough to post here.  I'm sure educated people such as Arnold feel the same over here.

As I already said, 12tomered was really just confused.  When you're on a site and everyone speaks the same language, its only natural to think everyone is from the same nation.

Lidia said...

Of course, I was abbreviating the name of Nasser - Lurker is right, I always do it. I admit I have not got myself what all the noise was about :(

Thanks to Lurker, but I was NOT "calling out" Nasser, and it was not just because he said he was from Egypt. I felt his posts were a bit odd, no more no less, and I stated my opinion in a very mild form, as far as I remember.

I also have not said anything about anyone's education. I do not think it is important, even though some knowlege of the important facts are preferrable

Lidia said...

We were told before than Saddam was the main problem in Iraq. USA were nice enough to out him, and sure, now Iraq has next to nothing problems, right?

Then we were told that Qaddafi was the main problem, with the same story played out.

In short, it is very short-sighted to single one man as the main problem no matter where. I would NOT call Obama or Netaniahu "the main problem", but the regimes and their class compositions are important. Then, violence in Syria is NOT just between Syrians, because so-called FSA are now officially on foreighn payroll and are having support of NATO/GCC all along. Just like in Lebanon, it was not about Lebanese only - USA, Israel and so on were palying important parts.

Of course, NATO/GCC propaganda  exactly tell  that it is all about Assad being  a "bad one", but I suppose some people could see beyond such propaganda.

Lidia said...

Last time I checked it was not about Brits's "culture", but about Thatcher ultra capitalist politics - she wanted to end welfare state, and to such goals she  privatised council  homestock or something like this.

This movie was just one of many used to turn capitalism being a bit tamed to capitalsm unleashed, the deregulation of banking was another.

Dermot Moloney said...

Dermot (who I haven't seen in a while, did Arnold ban him?)"


12tomered said...

Iraq does indeed have problems but this doesnt change the fact that assad is still the main one at fault in syria. 

Also gaddafi was indeed the main fault in libya and things are better now after his removal, if he behaved differently it all could have been avoided.

Regimes as a whole are the ones at fault and in the case of syria it is assads regime who are the main culprits.

This is reality, it is not propaganda, those who think otherwise are not looking at the evidence in proper fashion.

George Carty said...

The British obsession with owning real estate pre-dates Thatcher (it probably has its origins in the days when only property owners could vote) and was one of the reasons why Thatcherism was popular.

There was certainly an element of union-busting though in council house sales -- "Once they have a mortgage, they'll never strike again!"

George Carty said...

In a post-Zionist Middle East, is it not likely that the "Israel-Palestinian conflict" will become simply the "Palestinian conflict", with the Palestinians fighting the rest of the Arabs?

Palestinian nationalism wasn't born with the Nakba, but was in fact at least as old as Zionism.  1948 was in a sense the "Bar Kochba revolt" of the Palestinians -- a catastrophic defeat that led to a profound change in the sense of identity.

Egypt has coveted Palestine since the time of the Pharaohs, the Syrians longed to restore the unity of ash-Shams (including modern Lebanon, Jordan and Palestine) and the Hashemites wanted the richer lands to the west of the Jordan river.

The original PLO under Ahmed Shuqeiri was a puppet of those frontline Arab states, and it was only the defeat of those Arab states in 1967 that allowed Arafat with his genuine Palestinian nationalist agenda to gain the upper hand.

Lidia said...

"Iraq has problems" - a nice way to say Iraq now has  million+ Iraqis less, not mentioning other great crimes  of USA colonial war. Now, if one uses such words about the great disaster which was a direct result of USA singling Saddam as the main problem of Iraq and the aggressive war as a solution, I rest my case. I just cannot get why 12t wants to Syria be ruined the way Iraq and Libya were, no matter how bad was Qaddafi.

Imperialism aka "humantiarian intervention" is not something I could agree with, all righteous words from war criminals like Obama and Hillary are just this - words of a wolf looking for a  pretext to eat a lamb.  No matter the sins of the victim, the only one that matter is - the wolf is hungry and going to eat the victim.

Lidia said...

Of course, Thatcher was NOT the inventor of capitalism, and of course, she buld on the solid capitalist ideological foundation. Still, the question of homeownership is not the single reason of current problems with UK capitalism. It could be argued that Egyptians could be interested in looking for alteranative, after all, capitalism is not the eternal form of human society, and now capitalism looks much less appealing  

Lidia said...

In a post-Zionist Middle East there is a good chance of pan-Arabism taking leading role, exactly because Zionism and its Western supporters were and are the biggest foes of pan-Arabism. So, it could be that there would be something like Arab Union on the progressive basis, of course, first the Gulf royals and other USA/Zionist puppets should be taken care of, but it is given if one is looking into a post-Zionist Middle East

12tomered said...

 a nice way to say Iraq now has  million+ Iraqis less,"

I was never for the iraq war but lidia you are wrongto state that iraq has a million less, this is factually wrong.

" I rest my case."

You didnt, im against an interventionin syria but it still doesnt change the fact that assad is the main actor at fault.

"and Libya were, no matter how bad was Qaddafi."

Libya wasntruined.

"Imperialism aka "humantiarian intervention"

AKA is wrong, they are not always the same.

"war criminals like Obama and Hillary are just this"

How is obamaa war criminal, all the military actions are un approved are approved by the nations involved.

"the wolf is hungry and going to eat the victim."

It looks like that is exactly what assad is going to do.

George Carty said...

Isn't the Arabic name for the Muslim Brotherhood "Ikhwan" not "Ikwan"?

Lidia said...

1) 12t denies the results of  solid researches   about the number of victims in Iraq, becase, I guess, they are victims of USA colonial war, but I am sure 12t repeats like gospel numbers backed by NOTHING about the Syrian victims

2) 12t says that

"Libya wasntruined"- sure, being bombed by NATO  and run by assorted CIA assets and Al-Qaida militias is NOT something like ruination. Of course, 12t is keen for war criminal Obama to do the same to Syria.

And yes, he is a war criminal, because he is the ruler of the state which is bombing, kidnapping and torturing all over the world. Of course, assassinations and jailing without trial are lawful now in USA (Obama signed their criminal acts as laws), so,  I suppose, it is OK to 12t as well. 

As I said, I have nothing to argue about with such imperialist supporters, I just wonder that they still have a gall to pretend that they give a damn about lives of Arabs.

12tomered said...

In response to your comment down below:

1:Lidia the numbers you mentioned is not backed by solid evidence, making such a statement is an error on your part. Peer reviewed lit have shown the study which got the million figure to be flawed. If you have any other evidence for the million figure could you present it. 

2:Lidia, gaddafi was the one who clearly caused the most damage, this is backed up by reports from amnesty international and human rights watch.  Information also shows that most libyans see things as being better now than they were under gaddafi.

Also when did i say that i supported an intervention in syria, i dont.

Stop spreading misinformation.

Lidia, you are clearly the one who does not give a damn about arab lives, if something which the evidence shows has helped arabs occurs, you will go against if it clashes with your belief system.

This is shown with libya, things are better now but you wish to think otherwise, also if things went your way events would indeed be worse.

If you have evidence which shows most libyans preferred life under gaddafi present it, otherwise be quiet about a matter in which you lack facilities to form an honest, accurate and grounded post of the matter.

Lidia said...

So, there is one more friend of Arabs who wants NATO and GCC to liberate them by bombing and using payed "revolutionaries". Sure, who could be more qualified than them to save Arabs? And 12t is sure that 
1) NATO bombs are nothing to worry about, esp. if bombed are Libyans or Iraqis, and, I suppose, Syrians
2) everyone who is against NATO/GCC "liberation" - like me, for ex, not really cares  about Arabs, and is not telling a truth about NATO/GCC crimes against the same Arabs.
Why I am not surprised? A hint - this is a usual position of imperialists, or I would think that 12t were a reincarnation of DM :)

12tomered said...

"And 12t is sure that 
1) NATO bombs are nothing to worry about"I never claimed such a thing."everyone who is against NATO/GCC "liberation" - like me, for ex, not really cares  about Arabs"Due to the fact that you seem to support policies which would have caused certain arab groups great distress, this is an accurate belief. Lidia you didnt answer my question, you claimed that their is strong evidence for your claim, yet it turns out that the source of the million figure was shown to be flawed by peer researched literature.Do you have any actual strong evidence to support your million figure claim?

Lidia said...

I am not going to argue with 12t more, and I have said why. Just a little clarifying
1) ANYONE who states that NATO bombs were not the main source of Libya's ruination is not worth arguing with - to me, at least. Qaddafi was once accused of using planes against his foes, but without any proof. NATO's bombers are very well known for their treatment of people they bomb. Sirte was turned into ruins, very unlike Bengazi. 
2) Anyone who made the argument mentioned in 1) is not worth arguing about the value of Iraqis' death's tolls, because the numbers of very reputable sources, which were NOT challenged in other cases, when the murderers were not imperialists, were questioned (smeared) in cases of imperialist crimes. If somebody just questions all the numbers of the sources, or does not do it on the same breath with calling NATO bombs not the major source of death and destruction in Libya, I would be interested in arguments. But I have no spare time for imperialist apologists, even when they claim they are friends of Arabs (the same Arabs they want NATO to bomb even more)

Arnold Evans said...

 As you know, not everything everyone writes needs a response.

Lidia said...

of course, I know it :)

12tomered said...

 "to me, at least."
If that is the way you feel its the way you feel.

However human rights investigations have found that gaddafis forces were responsible for the majority of the damage to the libyan people. You have asserted otherwise but you have not backed it up, therefore one can merely take it as an assertion over the internet and nothing more

Its your right to believe otherwise, but saying that, it is not a belief founded on proper information.

In regards to your second point, you claimed that strong sources have shown that 1 million died, however this was shown not to be the case by peer reviewed lit, i then asked you for another source for your claim but you have failed to come up with anything, ill take it that you dont have any.

At the end you seem to be implying that i want nato to take action again in this current time period, this however is not the case. I stated this a number of times.

If you are unable to debate ( as in form and argument and provide evidence to back it up) i recommend that you move along.

Arnold Evans said...

 Well if "human rights investigations" say it, it must be true.

Lidia said...

Now I know why NATO is staunchly against any probe of  the results of their humanitarian bombing of Libya - who needs probe if  "human rights investigations" says something? I suppose it is the same "human rights investigations" that know better than Lancet and ORB about Iraqi death toll from the same humanitarian bombings and other humanitarian mass murders . After all, what is Lancet? Was it endorsed by the War Nobel Price winner? 

12tomered said...

Human rights watch and amnesty international found this, if you have any evidence to show otherwise please present it, otherwise you are making lidias error.

Making assertions and forming beliefs that are not supported by facts is something she seems to have fallen into, dont make this mistake yourself.

12tomered said...

Lidia, you said that you would stop "arguing", i see that you couldnt even get this right.

Again you stated strong evidence supported your claim, this turned out to be completely and factually wrong.

Peer reviewed literature has shown the lancet and orb studies to be wrong, those behind the lancet study had an opportunity to respond and they declined, not because they thought it was beneath them. But because they knew that their study was shown to be flawed.

Even one of those behind it was suspended from taking part in another survey for half a decade due to mistakes made and errors involving it.

So again lidia, i have to ask, where is your "strong" evidence for your assertion, as opposed to debunked surveys that even the authors dont bother to properly defend any more :)