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Belmont Club

The Blind Leading the Blind

November 23rd, 2012 - 2:06 pm

Or the Deer in the Headlights. (note this is a composite video from two sources)

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As President Morsi attempts to face down opposition to his assumption of absolute power in Egypt the question is: what will he do to unite his recently divided constituency? Will he play the solid statesman, as so many pundits believe for some reason?  Or will he be tempted to turn a blind eye of Hamas’ reammunitioning? For nothing unites a divided Arab country so much as conflict with Israel. Moreover by allowing Hamas more ammo, he can force Washington policymakers to tread warily. Moreover, they can rationalize doing nothing to oppose Morsi’s putsch on the grounds that it will “drive him to extremism”.

Thus the stage is set for an even more dangerous chapter in the saga of the Arab Spring.

The question has to be asked: how is Morsi going to guarantee the Gaza ceasefire when Egypt itself is so badly riven and may soon need a ceasefire of its own? The Dream Train has just gotten derailed. Only 22 hours ago the Business Recorder reported: “Morsi receives praise from Obama, US commentators”

Just as she appeared to be enjoying a trip to Asia alongside US President Barack Obama on Air Force One, the president cast her into the morass of the Middle East….

When Wednesday’s cease-fire was announced in Cairo less than 20 hours after Clinton arrived in the region, she looked confident, dressed in a green suit – the same colour as in the Hamas flag – standing alongside Egyptian Foreign Minister Mohamed Kamel Amr.

She praised Egypt for its work in brokering the cease-fire, adding that she looked forward to working with Amr and Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi on the next steps toward “a comprehensive peace for all the people of the region.”

The New York Times was recounting Obama’s fulsome praise just hours ago. “The White House phone log tells part of the tale. Mr. Obama talked with Mr. Morsi three times within 24 hours and six times over the course of several days, an unusual amount of one-on-one time for a president. Mr. Obama told aides he was impressed with the Egyptian leader’s pragmatic confidence. He sensed an engineer’s precision with surprisingly little ideology. Most important, Mr. Obama told aides that he considered Mr. Morsi a straight shooter who delivered on what he promised and did not promise what he could not deliver.”

Yep. Straight shooter.
If history is any guide,  the next step solving the crisis in Egypt will probably be a tireless effort by Hillary Clinton and Susan Rice  to track down the YouTube video producer that caused this latest catastrophe, in partnership with Bill Clinton, who John McCain has recommended as an “honest broker” to help settle the issues. McCain “joked that Clinton would hate him for floating his name for the difficult task. But if he accepts, he could always rely on his wife for counsel.”

That he could. That he could.

But events in the Middle East now threaten to get away from the Obama administration. The Can, after being kicked an innumerable number of times down the road, now threatens to roll along of its own accord into uncharted territory.

Now is the real test of the Obama administration’s commitment to democracy. Are they prepared to sanction Morsi for arbitrarily seizing power? Is the Left prepared to treat Morsi like a fascist regime? What they have done if Netanyahu had done what Morsi just did? Would they continue to send aid to the “Netanyahu regime”?

Or is there one standard for Islamist regimes and another for the rest of us? And what does that say about the internal value system of the Obama administration?

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Bonus question: what famous film production used Lizst’s preludes as its theme?


The Three Conjectures at Amazon Kindle for $1.99
Storming the Castle at Amazon Kindle for $3.99
No Way In at Amazon Kindle $8.95, print $9.99

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