February 20, 2011

ANDREW SULLIVAN THINKS IT’S ODD that many on the right don’t share his enthusiasm for the revolutions in the mideast, but rather worry that they will turn out like Iran in 1979. Well, as I’ve said before, I think the United States squandered its momentum in 2005, and that now we look like the weak horse, and the Islamists look stronger. Of course, we can hope that the forces of bourgeois moderation win out, and I do, but is that how to bet? “Google executive Wael Ghonim, who emerged as a leading voice in Egypt’s uprising, was barred from the stage in Tahrir Square on Friday by security guards, an AFP photographer said. Ghonim tried to take the stage in Tahrir, the epicentre of anti-regime protests that toppled President Hosni Mubarak, but men who appeared to be guarding influential Muslim cleric Yusuf al-Qaradawi barred him from doing so. Ghonim, who was angered by the episode, then left the square with his face hidden by an Egyptian flag.” And certainly the ineptitude of our government’s response hasn’t helped.

UPDATE: Reader Bob Ayers quotes Vince Lombardi: “There are three things that can happen when you put the ball into the air, and only one of them is good.” I thought that was Bear Bryant, but yeah.

ANOTHER UPDATE: Ayers emails that he was invoking Lombardi, but not quoting him. And several readers say it was Woody Hayes, while other coaches get credit from some, too, but so far no authoritative souces. The truth of the statement, however, is indisputable.

MORE: Reader Alan Herrington says it was Darrell Royal, and he sends a link. Prof. Stephen Clark says it started with Gen. Robert Neyland, but doesn’t send a link. Which is too bad, because I’d like it to be Neyland.

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