The U.S. And Egypt Day 12 – Any Questions?

The U.S. watches Tahrir Square in Egypt burn on cable and talks about Twitter. Believing that our chatter can effect change on Egyptian ground.


  1. Comment says

    The stuff he catches Tweety saying is just so stupid – It’s usually some freshman leftist that learns to his surprise the true history of the slavery compromises in the constitution. But here you have Tweety taunting Bachman night after night while being wrong and making Bachman look good. None of Tweety’s staff pull him aside and whisper a correction in his balloon head.

  2. Dr Leo Strauss says

    Saw that piece and laughed out loud for real, thinking that you’ve been making this precise point for over a year.

  3. Comment says

    “And nobody yet has, nobody yet has explained to the American public what they know, and surely they know more than the rest of us know who it is who will be taking the place of Mubarak and no, not, not real enthused about what it is that that’s being done on a national level and from DC in regards to understanding all the situation there in Egypt. And, in these areas that are so volatile right now, because obviously it’s not just Egypt but the other countries too where we are seeing uprisings, we know that now more than ever, we need strength and sound mind there in the White House. We need to know what it is that America stands for so we know who it is that America will stand with. And, we do not have all that information yet.”
    ~Sarah Palin

  4. Comment says

    We were annoyed when we saw him testify to Congress and basically undermine everything that we agreed with him because he seemed to hold weird views.
    He kept bragging to Delahunt that he just did not care what kind of torture the Egyptians did or if the people were innocent or not – saying he only cared about keep in his own American family safe – As if these were totally separate issues.
    Delahunt was like, “Who is this freak?”

  5. Comment says

    @Dr Leo Strauss He is not nearly as smart as Bolton. He was totally unqualified for that job because he really knew nothing. It would be like having me review Opera – I’ve heard a few Operas, but really do not know what most of the words mean or how to describe the music – a good amateur singer sounds roughly the same as pro to me.
    Scheuer lacked basic knowledge of the geography – not to mention the languages.
    But we took note of his comment because we know he is insecure about his intellectual qualifications by the way we saw him react to neoconish criticism of him along these lines. He could not mask his anger and became very defensive. Since then , he often calls opponents uneducated. He likes to say he was “educated by the Jesuits” – to conjure up images of being schooled in the classics etc. Yeah whatever.

  6. Dr Leo Strauss says

    Scheuer first of all was just an analyst. With mostly female seconded analysts who were more or less excess overhead elsewhere. (We only note the gender because of the derision it caused within CIA itself, not that we endorse or agree with that lowest form of bureaucratic sniping). Let’s get all that straight.

    Tenet put an untrained analyst in charge of wholly notional station. (He also put a congressional liaison in charge of a real station but that’s another story).

    All of which we’ve all noted together here for years. What’s new is that Scheuer finally has learned to hear some of the dog whistles required for meme warfare and a media gig. It only took him, what? 7 years? More or less.

    Of course, he also has a personal interest in keeping the Egyptian archives from being opened. If Bush has to cross off Geneva from his quick search list, he’s safe in Texas. Scheuer knows he’s not got that kind of teflon and a war crimes subpoena has to give him pause. If he was smart like Bolton he could turn it into a lifetime annuity but he lacks the necessary cunning.

  7. Dr Leo Strauss says

    Gotta wonder about $80 billion on ‘intelligence’ while Panetta opines in Hill testimony that Mubarak will be gone by end of the day. After Mubarak’s later speech indicating he will remain nominal president until September Panetta shrugs it off, saying he was relying on press reports. Perhaps he’s right, no one really is accountable for anything anymore.

  8. Comment says

    Gergen is struggling for a correct narrative — worried about his pals in leadership, but now putting out flags and arbitraging btw – army vs. leaders vs. protesters

  9. Dr Leo Strauss says

    Thought of your post listening to panel discussion on the Brotherhood while stuck in Beltway traffic. The ‘experts’ resembled the comments in your link, all over the place re their actual numbers and percent of the protestors.

    Your epiphany about events unfolding struck a chord here, too. A shame more people can’t be honest and just turn to Blitzer et al. and tell the truth – ‘we don’t know’.

    Holism is a wonderfully useful term to use here. The constitutional design for such a system would be the easiest to do, but as you note, successfully creating an accepting broader society non trivial given the necessary interconnection. It may be as Anon mentioned in another thread, the long road perhaps over decades and even then with uncertain outcome.

  10. latte says

    Ian Johnson’s piece on the Muslim Brotherhood:

    I found it pretty boring until I got to the comments. The debate over their actual numbers proportionate to the rest of the population generally and the protest movement in particular underscores for me just how little I know of the relevant demographic & cultural material.
    The debate over the political agenda motivating the piece also pretty interesting. Again, I lack access to the relevant data; not really my fault; I live in the US and am limited to filtered media, free mediocre wikipedia entries, overpriced mediocre books, etc.

    My week: in the excitement came running after and through a bunch of conjectures I came at last to the canonical “I don’t know” epiphany. It’s up in the air.

    Also found myself projecting America’s political problems onto Egypts potential problems post-transition: mass media dominated circus simulacra show with a ‘narrative’, catering to a somewhat fascist median/lowest-common-denominator psychology, transcended by the sleaze/access/nepotism dimension on which real power, projects and governance actually take form; modern ‘democracy’ iow. Only now realizing this is not necessarily ‘unstable’.

    Accordingly found myself projecting aspirations onto the Egyptian movement; something vaguely democratic but possibly limited to a sealed political class of the rationality-capable, secular-capable, literate, educated components of the population–in principle quite distinct as a grouping from the nepostic elite apparat you mentioned–even though on a person-by-person basis it can be not quite clear who you are dealing with, much as in the West. The constitutional design on that, and the concomitant societal design, not trivial or even isolatable problems at all.
    (hence the recurring holism)

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