U.S. handling of Egypt protests now alienating pretty much everyone

posted at 7:42 pm on February 8, 2011 by Allahpundit

It’s a testament to what a giant shinola sandwich this crisis is that Obama continues to be praised by most prominent Republicans for his management of it despite shifting tactics, oh, say, every six hours or so. There are no good options, so why dump on him for reluctantly choosing bad ones? For instance, remember a few days ago when Gibbs was asked how soon a meaningful transition should begin and he said “‘now’ means ‘yesterday’”? Well, change of plans:

The Obama administration has reconciled itself to gradual political reform in Egypt, an approach that reflects its goal of maintaining stability in the Middle East but is at odds with demands of the protest movement in Cairo that President Hosni Mubarak relinquish power immediately.

A week after the Obama administration demanded a swift transition to a post-Mubarak era, it has dampened the sense of urgency and aligned itself with power-brokers such as new Vice President Omar Suleiman, who are urging a more stable, if much slower, move to real democracy.

But U.S. officials privately acknowledged that there is no guarantee that Suleiman, a former intelligence chief closely aligned with the military, is committed to substantial reforms…

In that vein, the administration now appears satisfied to have Mubarak remain as a figurehead as long as talks with the opposition continue. His resignation would trigger a constitutional requirement for elections in 60 days, and State Department officials warned that opposition parties may not be ready that quickly.

The new timeline for a transition, according to a senior administration official, is … “over the medium term,” whatever that means. So what happens when you go from calling the regime “stable” while protesters are in the streets, then demanding an immediate transition while Mubarak vows to serve out the rest of his term, then falling back to “gradual” transition language when your new would-be client, i.e. Omar Suleiman, proves uncooperative? Well, this happens:

[T]he improvisational — critics say closer to schizophrenic — nature of U.S. diplomacy during the crisis leaves the administration in the unwelcome position of having to make amends with whichever side emerges from the Egyptian tumult as the governing power. The anti-Mubarak forces clearly will wonder whether the White House ever had their back — but Mubarak and those close to him also will question whether Washington was ready to throw him over the side…

“These guys are going to be very unhappy that they carried our water for 30 years, much to their political detriment, and at their moment of truth we basically dumped them,” said Cook, adding that avoiding a final break with Mubarak “must be in the back of [the administration’s] mind.”…

But the impulses toward an embrace of the street have been mitigated by two factors: a belief, shaped by the invasion of Iraq, that American intervention would do more harm than good, and second by a need to hedge against the possibility that Mubarak will survive. Some administration critics viewed that as playing into Mubarak’s hands.

The regime’s tactic “is to oscillate between brutality and apparent compromise — using the protesters as hostages,” said Robert Kagan of the Brookings Institution. “It’s a brilliant strategy of manipulation aimed both at Egyptians and Washington.”

The U.S. is still resisting protesters’ demands that Mubarak must resign, but if you think the matter is now settled and that we’ll be sticking to a go-slow regime-friendly approach from here on out, think again. After protests in Tahrir Square started fizzling yesterday afternoon, the crowd swelled anew today in celebration of the release of Wael Ghonim, an Egyptian Google executive who’d been in prison for 12 days for anti-regime activities online. With momentum shifting back to the protesters, who knows what tomorrow’s White House talking points will bring? “‘Now’ means ‘soon’”? “‘Now’ means ‘soon-ish‘”? There has to be someone left in this mess whom we can still alienate!

Here’s today’s trainwreck clip, in which Gibbsy is forced to gently scold new U.S. ally Omar Suleiman for refusing to make any meaningful concessions, including and especially the lifting of the country’s dictator-enabling emergency law. Biden even called Suleiman personally and asked him to rescind the emergency law “immediately.” No dice as of this writing, and no wonder: With the Muslim Brotherhood more of a threat than ever, there’s no chance the U.S. will risk destabilizing Mubarak and Suleiman by yanking the military aid we give them. There’s no leverage left here. We’re going to have to swallow this shinola sandwich no matter which side ends up serving it.


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America’s Wrecking Ball working hard on relations with Allies in the Middle East (to get them to join a America hating Caliphate).

GO WRECKING BALL GO!!!!

PappyD61 on February 8, 2011 at 7:43 PM

We’re going to have to swallow this shinola sandwich however we can.

We should have never gotten involved int he first place. So WE (as in the citizend of the U.S.) shouldn’t be eating anything and should make Obama and crew take one for the “team”!

upinak on February 8, 2011 at 7:44 PM

Adults….
Supervisory positions….
Stir…..

hawkdriver on February 8, 2011 at 7:45 PM

OK, where is the graphic of that giant shinola sandwich?

The policy of an air head … Such lightweight. Unfortunately we get to find out what no experience means, thanks to the Bush hate media.

tarpon on February 8, 2011 at 7:45 PM

Adults….
Supervisory positions….
Stir…..

hawkdriver on February 8, 2011 at 7:45 PM

is this a baked or no baked recipe?

upinak on February 8, 2011 at 7:46 PM

BHO blinked…once again.

d1carter on February 8, 2011 at 7:48 PM

Where the hell is Hillary? They stuff her in a closet? Gag her? Send her on a wild goose chase to some Brooklyn dry cleaners?

Shouldn’t she be handing out the public face of U.S. policy on this?

Limerick on February 8, 2011 at 7:50 PM

is this a baked or no baked recipe?

upinak on February 8, 2011 at 7:46 PM

If Obama’s involved, I’d go with half-baked.

Patrick S on February 8, 2011 at 7:51 PM

Good grief. Are there any grown ups in charge?

powerpro on February 8, 2011 at 7:51 PM

This is long. Really long. But it’s an interesting read and pertinent even though it was written in 1979. Guess who it’s about?

Cindy Munford on February 8, 2011 at 7:52 PM

Forgot the link. Sorry.

http://www.commentarymagazine.com/viewarticle.cfm/dictatorships–double-standards-6189

Cindy Munford on February 8, 2011 at 7:52 PM

Cindy Munford on February 8, 2011 at 7:52 PM

The simulatities in the first pharagraph are frightening!

upinak on February 8, 2011 at 7:55 PM

Good grief. Are there any grown ups in charge?

powerpro on February 8, 2011 at 7:51 PM

No..You might as well have getalife in the White House!..:)

Dire Straits on February 8, 2011 at 7:56 PM

“For that nine months, yes,” he said. “I mean, I don’t– I’m trying not– I don’t want to be flip. I mean, I don’t– I think the president would be the first one to tell you that it’s a struggle.”

Gibbs, on Obama’s smoking.

It also describes best the Obama-Egypt-policy.

How could Obama ever get rid of Gibbs, such and adept press guru?

Schadenfreude on February 8, 2011 at 7:56 PM

Cindy Munford on February 8, 2011 at 7:52 PM

Have you seen Canopfor today?..:)

Dire Straits on February 8, 2011 at 7:56 PM

Yum, shinola.

Mason on February 8, 2011 at 7:58 PM

“We are the ones we have been waiting for!!”

-President Barrack H “WTF” Obama, 2008

portlandon on February 8, 2011 at 7:59 PM

Musta come as a real shock to the Barryites that Egypt has a constitution.

Limerick on February 8, 2011 at 7:59 PM

Winning The Fail

portlandon on February 8, 2011 at 8:00 PM

Smart power at work.

Grunt on February 8, 2011 at 8:00 PM

If I remember correctly, Palin pretty much nailed the Egypt thing last Friday during her interview with CBN.

“Is it going to be the Muslim Brotherhood?,” she asked. ” We should not stand for that, or with that or by that.”

“We need to find out who was behind all of the turmoil and the revolt and the protests so that good decisions can be made in terms of who we will stand by and support,” she added.

Also, Palin said that’s where the Obama administration hasn’t been forthcoming with information.

“This is that 3 a.m. White House phone call and it seems for many of us trying to get that information from our leader in the White House,” Palin said. “It seems that call went right to the answering machine. And nobody has explained to the American public what they know.”

NoNails on February 8, 2011 at 8:00 PM

Dire Straits on February 8, 2011 at 7:56 PM

I don’t believe so. Not that I would count on my awareness. I’ll go look around, I am sure you have done that already.

Cindy Munford on February 8, 2011 at 8:01 PM

Cindy Munford on February 8, 2011 at 7:52 PM
=========================
Have you seen Canopfor today?..:)

Dire Straits on February 8, 2011 at 7:56 PM

Dire Straits:I’ve been MIA,haha:)

canopfor on February 8, 2011 at 8:01 PM

Good grief. Are there any grown ups in charge?

powerpro on February 8, 2011 at 7:51 PM

No..You might as well have getalife in the White House!..:)

Dire Straits on February 8, 2011 at 7:56 PM

Bwaaaaaah. Good one DS.

Geochelone on February 8, 2011 at 8:02 PM

“The administration continues to push for ‘lasting change‘–” What kind of nonsense, oxymoronic babble is that? Only CNN could think up such drivel.

leftnomore on February 8, 2011 at 8:03 PM

Dire Straits:I’ve been MIA,haha:)

canopfor on February 8, 2011 at 8:01 PM

Great to see you back in prime time hours my friend!..:)

Dire Straits on February 8, 2011 at 8:06 PM

canopfor on February 8, 2011 at 8:01 PM

I thought maybe the wife had made you play in the real world today.

Cindy Munford on February 8, 2011 at 8:07 PM

We’re going to have to swallow this shinola sandwich no matter which side ends up serving it.

I am pretty dang full after the last 10 I have had to eat!

bluemarlin on February 8, 2011 at 8:09 PM

Where the hell is Hillary? They stuff her in a closet? Gag her? Send her on a wild goose chase to some Brooklyn dry cleaners?

Shouldn’t she be handing out the public face of U.S. policy on this?

Limerick on February 8, 2011 at 7:50 PM

NMA’s guess is as good as anyones:

http://www.nma.tv/chelsea-clinton-divorce-marc-mezvinsky/

pedestrian on February 8, 2011 at 8:10 PM

No..You might as well have getalife in the White House!..:)

Dire Straits on February 8, 2011 at 7:56 PM

Hahahahaha!

Bwaaaaaah. Good one DS.

Geochelone on February 8, 2011 at 8:02 PM

Indeed.

Sigh.

powerpro on February 8, 2011 at 8:10 PM

bluemarlin on February 8, 2011 at 8:09 PM

Good to see you back in the Prime Time hours..:)

Dire Straits on February 8, 2011 at 8:11 PM

U.S. handling of Egypt protests now alienating pretty much everyone
======================================================

Yup,Hopeys Trickel-Down Foreign Policy is on a roll!

So…um..again,Serendipity or by Design,and what shortage
will lead to unrest in what next Middle Esatern Country,
that will riot,er,protest for Freedom under da ruse of a Jihady takeover!!
============================================================

Tuesday 8 February 2011 10.43 GMT
Egypt unrest cuts fuel lifeline to GazaGaza is facing acute fuel shortages as smuggled diesel and petrol supplies from

Egypt are rapidly running out
——————————–

Gaza is facing acute fuel shortages as a result of the unrest in neighbouring Egypt, which has caused supplies of petrol and diesel smuggled through tunnels to almost dry up.

Although some fuel is imported into the Gaza Strip from Israel, it costs three times as much as diesel and petrol smuggled in from Egypt. Gazans depend on diesel for generators during power cuts of about eight hours a day.

Bridges and roads leading to the border had been closed, he said, although early this week the supply route reopened. A dealer on the phone from Egypt told him clashes in the Sinai between security forces and Bedouin Arabs, the Gazans’ main smuggling partners, were contributing to the difficulties.

BAbu Youssef (none of the tunnel operators were willing to give their real names) said his business of importing ceramics for use in construction had been suspended. “Now we are smuggling scrap metal out of Gaza into Egypt.”

The price of a 1 ton bag of smuggled cement had increased from 550 shekels (£92) to 800 since the unrest began, said Atala. In his view, the Egyptian protesters were “crazy”.

“They don’t appreciate the benefit of Mubarak.

Who you know is better than who you don’t know. We had change here, and we got shit as a result.”

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/feb/08/egypt-unrest-cuts-gaza-fuel

canopfor on February 8, 2011 at 8:12 PM

Geochelone on February 8, 2011 at 8:02 PM

powerpro on February 8, 2011 at 8:10 PM

..:)

Dire Straits on February 8, 2011 at 8:13 PM

We’re going to have to swallow this shinola sandwich no matter which side ends up serving it.

Does it at least come with tots?

LASue on February 8, 2011 at 8:14 PM

There are no good options, so why dump on him for reluctantly choosing bad ones?

Reluctant? Geez, I’m glad our resident Eeyore can read minds. In case you haven’t noticed AP, our entire foreign policy has gone down the toilet with this administration from day 1. It’s Iran redux.

gryphon202 on February 8, 2011 at 8:14 PM

Where the hell is Hillary? They stuff her in a closet? Gag her? Send her on a wild goose chase to some Brooklyn dry cleaners?

Shouldn’t she be handing out the public face of U.S. policy on this?

Limerick on February 8, 2011 at 7:50 PM

The last I read, she stated something like, “Obama is the most pro-Israel president evah!” Or some sort of total b.s.

betsyz on February 8, 2011 at 8:16 PM

Oh crap,correcto,Gaza is not a country,oops!!

canopfor on February 8, 2011 at 8:16 PM

bluemarlin on February 8, 2011 at 8:09 PM
Good to see you back in the Prime Time hours..:)

Dire Straits on February 8, 2011 at 8:11 PM

Thanks!

bluemarlin on February 8, 2011 at 8:16 PM

There are no good options, so why dump on him for reluctantly choosing bad ones?

Isn’t he actually choosing all of them?

Cindy Munford on February 8, 2011 at 8:18 PM

If only we had a giant reset button prop we could send to Egypt, have Hillary and Mubarak smile and pretend to be old pals while jointly holding the button. Man, that would be just super.

Bishop on February 8, 2011 at 8:18 PM

Saving helpless hapless hopeless little brown folks is hard. Harder when you don’t know what your doing.

BL@KBIRD on February 8, 2011 at 8:19 PM

Honestly AP, I’ve never seen anything like this. This administration is, well; I no longer have a word to describe this. The fact that the media is still providing cover for this administration must be addressed.

Keemo on February 8, 2011 at 8:19 PM

Adults….
Supervisory positions….
Stir…..

hawkdriver on February 8, 2011 at 7:45 PM

hawkdriver:Me thinks stirring should be moved up to
pivoting on sumpin thats pointy,oops,sorry
thats Uncivil Rhetric Hate Speech,hehe!:)

canopfor on February 8, 2011 at 8:20 PM

Isn’t he actually choosing all of them?

Cindy Munford on February 8, 2011 at 8:18 PM

LOL..That is what I thought he was doing also..:)

Dire Straits on February 8, 2011 at 8:20 PM

Bishop on February 8, 2011 at 8:18 PM

Maybe the Russians will let Hillary borrow the one she gave them..:)

Dire Straits on February 8, 2011 at 8:21 PM

We now know neither Obama nor Clinton was ready for the call from Egypt. Whatever the clock says, it’s still amateur hour in this White House.

Schadenfreude on February 8, 2011 at 8:21 PM

If only we had a giant reset button prop we could send to Egypt, have Hillary and Mubarak smile and pretend to be old pals while jointly holding the button. Man, that would be just super.

Bishop on February 8, 2011 at 8:18 PM

She would just screw up spelling “reset” in Arabic I am sure. I am guessing that somehow it would come out “we surrender”

bluemarlin on February 8, 2011 at 8:23 PM

canopfor on February 8, 2011 at 8:01 PM
======================================
I thought maybe the wife had made you play in the real world today.

Cindy Munford on February 8, 2011 at 8:07 PM

Cindy Munford:Oh gawd,that was funny,yes,she enjoys dragging
me around on her daily excursions.Finally got
home a little while ago!!:)

canopfor on February 8, 2011 at 8:24 PM

Meanwhile we do not need to forget about the war we are fighting..

Dire Straits on February 8, 2011 at 8:24 PM

Dire Straits on February 8, 2011 at 8:11 PM
=========
Thanks!

bluemarlin on February 8, 2011 at 8:16 PM

bluemarlin:Me toooooooooo!:)

canopfor on February 8, 2011 at 8:26 PM

To find one surprised by this, one has to travel to Burkina Faso.

BobMbx on February 8, 2011 at 8:29 PM

canopfor on February 8, 2011 at 8:26 PM

..:)

Dire Straits on February 8, 2011 at 8:30 PM

If I remember correctly, Palin pretty much nailed the Egypt thing last Friday during her interview with CBN.

NoNails on February 8, 2011 at 8:00 PM

Don’t you mean President-in-Exile Sarah Palin?

The retrospective video posted here this morning in the comments about her Mamma Grizzly video was pretty impressive.

It’s not what happens in the fog of war in the moment, its what is left when the dust has settled that is important.

By that measure, we have ourselves a CONTENDER, ladies and gentlemen!

turfmann on February 8, 2011 at 8:33 PM

Here’s today’s trainwreck clip, in which Gibbsy is forced to gently scold new U.S. ally Omar Suleiman for refusing to make any meaningful concessions, including and especially the lifting of the country’s dictator-enabling emergency law. Biden even called Suleiman personally and asked him to rescind the emergency law “immediately.” No dice as of this writing, and no wonder: With the Muslim Brotherhood more of a threat than ever, there’s no chance the U.S. will risk destabilizing Mubarak and Suleiman by yanking the military aid we give them. There’s no leverage left here.

Honestly, I’m just shocked that Biden didn’t call Suleiman and ask how the 14 children are doing…

jon1979 on February 8, 2011 at 8:34 PM

Honestly, I’m just shocked that Biden didn’t call Suleiman and ask how the 14 children are doing…

jon1979 on February 8, 2011 at 8:34 PM

ROFL..Classic!..:)

Dire Straits on February 8, 2011 at 8:36 PM

At least Politico put it in a nice neat little box for us: it’s Bush’s fault.

Could HotAir please stop linking Politico as the standard-bearer for all-things Obama?

BKeyser on February 8, 2011 at 8:37 PM

Is it going to be the Muslim Brotherhood?

NoNails on February 8, 2011 at 8:00 PM

NoNails:What is so madening,and nuts,about Obama’s over
concern,and never ending Social Justice talk’n
points on why it is soooo important for him to
have all Eyptian Opposition groups in this so
called new government crap in Egypt,

and why and the sam h*ll is the Muslim Brother
hood getting priority status over the concerns
of United States own Security by a sitting Pres
ident is beyond me!!!!!!!:)

canopfor on February 8, 2011 at 8:37 PM

canopfor on February 8, 2011 at 8:37 PM

There is a great article on the Muslim Brotherhood on Theo Spark (aka The Hotty Totty site)..:)

Dire Straits on February 8, 2011 at 8:40 PM

Meanwhile we do not need to forget about the war we are fighting..

Dire Straits on February 8, 2011 at 8:24 PM

Dire Straits:Seen that Dire,not bad,I was starting to get
a bit nervous in the beginning,….WTH was the
Air Support!!!:)

canopfor on February 8, 2011 at 8:40 PM

The Working Group on Egypt has been working against Sulieman and promoting ElBaradei’s influence. They have been lobbying the administration relentlessly. Look who makes up the Working Group on Egypt. They are a bunch of Leftist groups.
The Working Group on Egypt
Thomas Carothers
Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

Elliott Abrams
Council on Foreign Relations

Brian Katulis
Center for American Progress

Tom Malinowski
Human Rights Watch

Michele Dunne
Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

Robert Kagan
Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

Scott Carpenter
Washington Institute for Near East Policy

Ellen Bork
Foreign Policy Initiative

Daniel Calingaert
Freedom House

Go to David Horowitz’s “Discover the Networks” to see the nexus of Leftist influence and ties that these groups have.

onlineanalyst on February 8, 2011 at 8:42 PM

I’d call Obama a clown, and his White House a circus, but alas, I have first hand knowledge of circuses and clowns. They are highly organized and very, very competent at their craft.

Obama’s White House? Not so much…

turfmann on February 8, 2011 at 8:42 PM

canopfor on February 8, 2011 at 8:40 PM

I saw the Helicopter(s) but I did not see nor hear the planes..Maybe someone in the know can help us figure it out..:)

Dire Straits on February 8, 2011 at 8:43 PM

canopfor on February 8, 2011 at 8:37 PM
=======================
There is a great article on the Muslim Brotherhood on Theo Spark (aka The Hotty Totty site)..:)

Dire Straits on February 8, 2011 at 8:40 PM

Dire Strait:I’ll check it out,i had to make a new freaggin
Eyptian file,with the links!!!:)
==============================================

The Global Muslim Brotherhood Daily Report

http://globalmbreport.org/
================================

Muslim Brotherhoods English website

http://www.ikhwanweb.com/
============================

Egyptian Opposition Groups From Stratfor Intelligence
downloaded onto Scribd!

A Breakdown of Egyptian Opposition Groups
=========================================

http://www.scribd.com/doc/48130759/A-Breakdown-of-Egyptian-Opposition-Groups

canopfor on February 8, 2011 at 8:49 PM

To quote Palin:

WTF FTW!

profitsbeard on February 8, 2011 at 8:50 PM

and why and the sam h*ll is the Muslim Brother
hood getting priority status over the concerns
of United States own Security by a sitting Pres
ident is beyond me!!!!!!!:)

canopfor on February 8, 2011 at 8:37 PM

Is it really surprising after keeping quiet on Iran, siding against the Honduran Supreme court, and giving Russia the moral equivalence when they invaded Georgia?

bluemarlin on February 8, 2011 at 8:51 PM

canopfor on February 8, 2011 at 8:49 PM

Just for your info..Double Tapper has a great article on Egypt and the Muslim Brotherhood..:)

Dire Straits on February 8, 2011 at 8:54 PM

Amateur Hour in the WH has been like Ground Hog Day, the movie. It keeps happening over and over again, and never ends.

Oh, and by the way, Glenn Beck mopped the floor with his critics on Egypt tonight. Hands down.

petefrt on February 8, 2011 at 9:02 PM

but Mubarak and those close to him also will question whether Washington was ready to throw him over the side…

Obama ran out of room under the bus…now they just throw um over the side.

tinkerthinker on February 8, 2011 at 9:33 PM

canopfor on February 8, 2011 at 8:37 PM
========
Is it really surprising after keeping quiet on Iran, siding against the Honduran Supreme court, and giving Russia the moral equivalence when they invaded Georgia?

bluemarlin on February 8, 2011 at 8:51 PM

bluemarlin:All gtreat point,and so far,he has a pattern,
of leaning towards the Jihadys!:)

canopfor on February 8, 2011 at 9:37 PM

canopfor on February 8, 2011 at 8:49 PM
==========
Just for your info..Double Tapper has a great article on Egypt and the Muslim Brotherhood..:)

Dire Straits on February 8, 2011 at 8:54 PM

Dire Straits:Haven’t been there,thanks!

On the firefight thingy,ya,one lonely
Air Attack Helicopter:)

canopfor on February 8, 2011 at 9:39 PM

To quote Palin:

WTF FTW!

profitsbeard on February 8, 2011 at 8:50 PM

profitsbeard:Lol,yup!:)

canopfor on February 8, 2011 at 9:40 PM

Hmm weird the trolls like Crr and PR avoid this thread. Wonder why/

CWforFreedom on February 8, 2011 at 10:12 PM

With the Muslim Brotherhood more of a threat than ever, there’s no chance the U.S. will risk destabilizing Mubarak and Suleiman by yanking the military aid we give them.

Never say never. The mere fact that it is physically possible means that we are not at all precluded from vertently or inadvertently handing over everything to the Brotherhood.

Voyager on February 8, 2011 at 10:34 PM

How can this drive be so insistent over there when we can’t even get 300,000 people to a DC march without a massive talk radio campaign? Someone is stirring this. I mean their internet was shut off for goodness sakes. Or should I say for Googleness sakes?

johnnyU on February 9, 2011 at 4:12 AM

Given the timing, the impact on the U.S. and its interests, and who is sitting in the WhiteHouse right now, this is too coincidental.

johnnyU on February 9, 2011 at 4:13 AM

Our President and his advisors are in over their heads and our country is being irreparably harmed by their incompetence.

zoyclem on February 9, 2011 at 7:41 AM

We should say this and say it repeatedly:

We support efforts toward a peaceful, constitutional government, but will cut off humanitarian and military aid to Egypt if the emerging leadership is the Muslim Brotherhood or other group with a past of similar violent rhetoric and action. While it is not the role of the United States to direct the affairs of Egypt, first hand, we will not support the efforts of truculent radicals to gain or maintain power.

pugwriter on February 9, 2011 at 8:30 AM

Dictators of a feather, MUST stick together. *sigh*

capejasmine on February 9, 2011 at 12:45 PM