Quotes of the day

posted at 9:00 pm on January 29, 2011 by Allahpundit

“For three days straight, as the Cairo crisis gathered momentum, they had hardly left their desks. Now, huddled in the big office of their boss—one of the administration policy-makers trying to calibrate the U.S. response to the unfolding drama—the advisers watched Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak’s first statement. Two television sets were running, one showing CNN and the other a satellite feed from Al Jazeera. Someone had popped popcorn in a microwave. In the old days, their boss reflected, he would have ordered in pizza, but since 9/11 the ever-expanding security precautions had shut down deliveries of take-out…

“Had there been an office pool, the boss thought, the favored bet would have been that Mubarak was about to ‘do an LBJ’ and repeat what President Lyndon Johnson did in 1968 in the face of a wave of protests: announce he would not stand in the upcoming presidential election. Certainly, Mubarak’s departure would present the U.S. with a new set of daunting challenges, but at least it would quiet the Egyptian streets and buy some time for mediation.

“But as the Egyptian president spoke—a couple of the Arabic speakers in the room providing translation—the optimism died. Mubarak announced he was dismissing his government; he talked of reforms. But he also made clear his determination to stay on. There were groans, shaking of heads. This wasn’t going to be enough to halt the tumult in half of Egypt’s cities, and, more disconcertingly, Mubarak’s assertion that the demonstrations were ‘part of a bigger plot to shake the stability’ of Egypt sounded ominous. The Egyptian president had called out the Army on Friday; now his speech sounded as if he was preparing to use it. President Obama’s Middle East advisers believed that if Egyptian security forces opened fire on demonstrators, the country would likely explode. As Mubarak ended his address, someone in the room voiced the thought on everyone’s mind: ‘Well, what do we do now?’”

***
“After President Obama spoke last night about the situation in Egypt, my Twitter feed and inbox filled up with angry denunciations, with lots of people complaining bitterly that he had endorsed Mubarak’s grim struggle to hold on to power, missed an historic opportunity, and risked sparking a wave of anti-Americanism. Once I actually read the transcript of his remarks, though, I felt much better. I think the instant analysis badly misread his comments and the thrust of the administration’s policy. His speech was actually pretty good, as is the rapidly evolving American policy. The administration, it seems to me, is trying hard to protect the protestors from an escalation of violent repression, giving Mubarak just enough rope to hang himself, while carefully preparing to ensure that a transition will go in the direction of a more democratic successor…

“The administration’s public statements and private actions have to be understood as not only offering moral and rhetorical support to the protestors, or as throwing bones to the Washington echo chamber, but as working pragmatically to deliver a positive ending to a still extremely tense and fluid situation.

“I completely understand why activists and those who desperately want the protestors to succeed would be frustrated — anything short of Obama gripping the podium and shouting ‘Down With Mubarak!’ probably would have disappointed them. But that wasn’t going to happen, and shouldn’t have. If Obama had abandoned a major ally of the United States such as Hosni Mubarak without even making a phone call, it would have been irresponsible and would have sent a very dangerous message to every other U.S. ally. That doesn’t mean, as some would have it, that Obama has to stick with Mubarak over the long term — or even the weekend — but he simply had to make a show of trying to give a long-term ally one last chance to change.”

***
“According to senior administration officials at the meeting, Mr. Obama warned that any overt effort by the United States to insert itself into easing Mr. Mubarak out, or easing a successor in, could backfire. ‘He said several times that the outcome has to be decided by the Egyptian people, and the U.S. cannot be in a position of dictating events,’ said a senior administration official, who like others, would not speak for attribution because of the delicacy of the discussions…

“‘Clearly Mubarak’s time has run out,’ said one of Mr. Obama’s advisers. ‘But whether that means he allows a real political process to develop, with many voices, or whether he steps out of the way — that’s something the Egyptians need to decide. We don’t get a vote.’…

“Obama administration officials would like to see a moderate and secular government emerge from the ashes of the Egyptian crisis. But in large part because Mr. Mubarak stifled so much political debate and marginalized any opposition — there is no middle ground in Egypt’s politics, no credible secular party that grew up in opposition to Mr. Mubarak’s government. Instead, there is the army, which has long supported Mr. Mubarak’s government, and on the other end of the spectrum, the Islamist Muslim Brotherhood…

“‘We should not press for early elections,’ Stephen J. Hadley, the national security adviser to President Bush, said in an interview. ‘We should give the Egyptian people time to develop non-Islamic parties. The point is to gain time so that civil societies can develop, so when they have an election, they can have real choices.’”

***
Via Mediaite.


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To:

Cindy Cooper on January 29, 2011 at 11:45 PM

Here’s what I replied to you on the other thread re the NYT article you quoted:

Cindy Cooper on January 29, 2011 at 11:28 PM

Yes, Cindy. I wonder which “American officials” say this? Would they be part of Barry’s administration, pray tell?

I know one thing clearly: whatever the NYT and LSM tout is anathema to our well-being. El Baradei is no ‘outsider’ – he’s an insider, an Iranian shield re nukes, who suddenly popped up in the streets of Cairo.

The LSM is doing the biddings of Barry, Soros and their Islamist buddies.

I had always wondered whether Barry was a Sunni or Shiite. Now I know.

What will Saudi Arabia do?

Opinionator on January 30, 2011 at 12:42 AM

Opinionator on January 30, 2011 at 1:12 AM

I had always wondered whether Barry was a Sunni or Shiite. Now I know.

I don’t think there was ever any question about where his preference was.

Connie on January 30, 2011 at 1:16 AM

We have wasted incalcuable blood and treasure propping up a stone-age, pedophile infested, heroin sh*t-hole called Afghanistan.

tigerlily on January 30, 2011 at 1:09 AM

Admittedly, that is true.

Iraq might be different, if it doesn’t lose its mind.

Kini on January 30, 2011 at 1:16 AM

Connie on January 30, 2011 at 1:16 AM

Interesting. . . But he bowed his lowest to the prince. Was it a taqiyya bow? ;)

Opinionator on January 30, 2011 at 1:21 AM

We have wasted incalcuable blood and treasure propping up a stone-age, pedophile infested, heroin sh*t-hole called Afghanistan.

tigerlily on January 30, 2011 at 1:09 AM

Admittedly, that is true.

Iraq might be different, if it doesn’t lose its mind.

Kini on January 30, 2011 at 1:16 AM

If the dominoes fall, Iraq is toast, I think. Fist bumps all around.

tigerlily on January 30, 2011 at 1:23 AM

Iraq might be different, if it doesn’t lose its mind.

Kini on January 30, 2011 at 1:16 AM

They just allowed Mookie back from his hidey hole in Iran and made him part of the political process. That tell you where it’s going?

a capella on January 30, 2011 at 1:24 AM

You are the President of the United States…

… You see political unrest in the populations across the area of the world that due to your policies, your country is dependent on foreign oil.

The increase in price will devastate the middle class and the poor who are hanging on by their finger nails due to the result of your party’s failed social engineering political agenda…

… Do you declare a national emergency and open up all of our energy resources for production even though it is against your environmentalism ideology…?

Of course not…

Seven Percent Solution on January 30, 2011 at 1:34 AM

Hey Lynch- The Øbama administration has never handled anything ‘pretty well’. This is friggin Carter and Iran all over again.

2ipa on January 30, 2011 at 2:05 AM

Seriously folks…

If this situation in the middle East goes sour, and the world’s energy supply is compromised and Obowma does nothing to harvest our own so we can survive and maybe even pay down Trillions of debt…

… Don’t you think it would be time to have a “change” in our own government?

Seven Percent Solution on January 30, 2011 at 2:20 AM

Kristen made a big mistake. She claimed that (paraphrasing) “I didn’t see or hear George W. Bush call for democracy in Egypt.”

FALSE!!!!

George W. Bush DID call for a change to a more democratically free populace and government in Egypt and elsewhere. Condaleezza Rice gave a speech at American University in Egypt speaking on this very topic.

I am so sock of Kirsen Powers and her ilk, like Alan Colmes, and others who put forth lies and distortions, making false claims based on their on-the-spot assertions and uninfurmed, and false, claims.

To be honest, after listening to Colmes, Matthews, Madow, Olberman, Schultz, Sharpton, Jackson, Garofolo, Maher, and a gazillion others, I think it is reasonable to claim that I can do just as bad a job as they do, and I can possibly do a better job than they do in their spots on Cable television.

In other words, give me a change to do what they are doing. They don’t do so well, and they are clearly not only extremely close minded and biased toward the left, they are underinformed, or totally minsinformed, yet make claims as if true, and they are also unpleasantly snobbish and arrogant in their faleshood.

William2006 on January 30, 2011 at 2:57 AM

It’s 3 AM, and I hear a phone off in the distance. Be safe out there – one and all.

abobo on January 30, 2011 at 3:31 AM

William2006 on January 30, 2011 at 2:57 AM

You gotta just laugh at how absurd they all are, man. Really.
They crave approval from their little groups so they can still be invited to all the right parties.
That’s all they care about.

They’ll all full of crap. Always have been always will be. You gotta just let it go or you’ll stress out over some meaningless moron on cable news tv.

Kirsten Powers is a good looking woman (as tv pundits go) so just pay attention to that.
They just gotta fil up time on their stupid shows acting like they know everything.

Nobody knows whats going to happen.
Anybody who says they know is bs’ing us.

Bush called for democracy to sweep across the middle east; too bad that since he’s left people demanding a strong voice to support them doesn’t exist here anymore.
I wish these people would wait for a POTUS who cared, really.

Like say, 2013 when O leaves.
The speeches Obama gives are boilerplate at best. Really dry and terrible.

These people will follow whoever is strongest. They don’t care who it is. If this country was stronger, we could maybe try to positively influence it, but….

B Man on January 30, 2011 at 3:41 AM

The Middle East has been without a bucolic for so long.

It has only been the total cessation of life processes, that eventually occurs in the causation of Freedom, once all the possible 72 options have expired.

One can only pray.

Kini on January 30, 2011 at 3:45 AM

… Don’t you think it would be time to have a “change” in our own government?

Seven Percent Solution on January 30, 2011 at 2:20 AM

YES

Kini on January 30, 2011 at 3:49 AM

That tell you where it’s going?

a capella on January 30, 2011 at 1:24 AM

Tourism is not on the list

Unless you’re a fan of Doctor Kevorkian

Kini on January 30, 2011 at 3:55 AM

Mr. Obama warned that any overt effort by the United States to insert itself into easing Mr. Mubarak out, or easing a successor in, could backfire. ‘He said several times that the outcome has to be decided by the Egyptian people, and the U.S. cannot be in a position of dictating events,

Honduras , anyone?

the_nile on January 30, 2011 at 4:43 AM

A piece worth reading when considering what the capabilities of Arab armies actually are is a piece by Norvell B. de Atkine: Why Arabs Lose Wars.

The telling reporting from Egypt on calling out the army was not that the NCO and below stood with the protestors, but the bit where a Captain goes with them, too. If that is a harbinger of what is to come and the Commissioned Officers are going to stand against the regime, then it will be all but over for Mubarak. Right now it is the army keeping the rioters and demonstrators from going after the police… thus the keys to power are not in the hands of the MB nor in that of Mubarak nor even in the police and security agencies, but the military.

And do remember, all the pretty military toys in the world don’t mean a thing if you can’t maintain them well and have the lowest ranks care for the equipment without direct supervision. If the conscripts aren’t willing to do a good job, then the infrastructure will not be maintained. That is the lesson of Arab societies and armies as the armies are a mere reflection of the society they come from.

ajacksonian on January 30, 2011 at 6:28 AM

i see all these angry US protesters on TV and thinking you want democracy in Egypt but were disgusted that we were creating democracy in Iraq? is it because who is in office now???

cmsinaz on January 30, 2011 at 8:25 AM

from Chris Matthews:

We’re looking at the map of the world right now and where Egypt sits in the world. It’s so strategically located. It has, of course, the Nile River. It has, of course, the Panama Canal.

J_Crater on January 30, 2011 at 8:45 AM

J_Crater on January 30, 2011 at 8:45 AM

heh

just saw that on NB

as he keeps bashing palin and bachmann as balloon heads

cmsinaz on January 30, 2011 at 8:50 AM

Did we really expect a bunch of Chicago politicians to know what to do when a foreign country explodes. They’ve been showing clips of the Cairo speech where Oblabla talks about people wanting a transparent govt, one that doesn’t steal from them. Yeah, we’d like one of those, too. He was passing out universal human right then as he does now. Those people have never had them and we’re losing ours. The regime saw how easy it was to kill the internet, bet they’ll figure out a way to cut cable news as well.

Kissmygrits on January 30, 2011 at 9:11 AM

Maybe someone has mentioned this, but the Muslim Brotherhood is behind this. There will not be scintilla of democracy left.

rlwo2008 on January 30, 2011 at 9:40 AM

Who could have guessed this would happen?/ ANSWER joins Protesters in D.C. with mass produced signs demanding end to war and racism.

Buy Danish on January 30, 2011 at 9:45 AM

Buy Danish on January 30, 2011 at 9:45 AM

ain’t that a coincidence….

cmsinaz on January 30, 2011 at 9:47 AM

Looks like this was a path to radicalize Egypt. Hope the people don’t fall for it… but alas…

http://gatewaypundit.rightnetwork.com/2011/01/stunner-muslim-brotherhood-announces-they-will-support-el-baradei/

katy on January 30, 2011 at 9:54 AM

katy on January 30, 2011 at 9:54 AM

*shudder*

cmsinaz on January 30, 2011 at 9:58 AM

And this past year, the Obama Adminstration had a sitdown with members of The Muslim Brotherhood.

kingsjester on January 30, 2011 at 9:58 AM

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