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Egypt unrest a dilemma for Obama

Mark Mardell | 00:43 UK time, Friday, 28 January 2011

egypt.jpgUS President Barack Obama has urged both sides in Egypt not to use violence but has thrown his weight behind change.

"There are certain core values that we believe in as Americans that we believe are universal: freedom of speech, freedom of expression, people being able to use any social networking or any other mechanisms to communicate with each other and express their concerns. That is no less true in the Arab world than it is here in the US," the president said.

But he faces a dilemma - one other presidents have faced in South America, Asia and indeed the Arab world. Which are more important: timeless principles or reliable allies?

Egypt is important for the US. It is the guardian of the still critical Suez Canal and is the most populous country in the region. It was the first country in that part of the globe to make peace with Israel and, from the perspective of US policy makers, a force for moderation and reason.

It gets $1.5bn (£942m) in aid from the US, just behind Israel, Pakistan and Afghanistan. When Mr Obama wanted to send a message about a new beginning with the Muslim world, he chose to make his speech in Cairo.

There are those who think the administration's reaction to the street demonstrations is muddled, flimsy and uncertain. No doubt there is still a lot of internal debate.

But there is a response emerging, even if it is characterized by trepidation and wishful thinking. While Mr Obama's spokesman Robert Gibbs has said that Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak is a close and important partner, he has also said that President Obama has continually pressed for "political discourse".

Over at the US State Department, spokesman PJ Crowley said: "Reform is needed, no question about it". But what was really interesting was the analysis that followed.

"There's a regional dynamic... across the region from the Middle East to North Africa, countries do face similar demographic challenges - young populations, highly educated, very motivated, looking for jobs, looking for opportunities and quite honestly frustrated by, depending on the country, what they see as a lack of opportunity," Mr Crowley added.

So the State Department at least believes a wind of change is blowing through the top of Africa, and they don't want to be on the wrong side of history or indeed the wrong side of new rulers, who might turn out to be good friends if handled correctly. Clearly they are not going to be rude to an old ally, but nor are they going to place all their bets on the reforming instincts of an 83-year-old man, one who has resisted change for three decades.

But that brings us back to one of America's oldest problems. From the founding fathers onwards, there have always been Americans who hope their country's example would inspire others around the world to kick out tyrants and dictators and embrace democracy. And there have long been other Americans who think democracy is fine and dandy if it wasn't for pesky foreign voters going and choosing the wrong sort of people, who may not have the best interests of US policy makers in mind.

It used to be the communists they worried about, now it's the Islamists. The Center for American Security's Robert Kaplan pushes the case for realpolitik, explaining that "in terms of American interests and regional peace, there is plenty of peril in democracy".

"It was not democrats, but Arab autocrats, Anwar Sadat of Egypt and King Hussein of Jordan, who made peace with Israel. An autocrat firmly in charge can make concessions more easily than can a weak, elected leader. Just witness the fragility of Mahmoud Abbas's West Bank government. And it was democracy that brought the extremists of Hamas to power in Gaza," Mr Kaplan said.

After all, in Egypt, the best organised, biggest opposition movement is - despite being banned from open political activity - the Muslim Brotherhood. Some say they would easily win any free election in Egypt and they wouldn't exactly be the cosiest partner for Mr Obama and the US.

The National Review's summary may be close to the administration's view, if expressed in the rather more blunt language.

Mubarak is supposed to be "our SOB", but in distorting Egypt's political landscape to make the choice him or the Islamists, he's just been an SOB. We should want him to exit the scene - but not quite yet.

Obama, on this occasion, may wish not so much for change we can believe in but change he can live with.

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  • 1. At 02:31am on 28 Jan 2011, Interestedforeigner wrote:

    If you would have justice, you must do justice.

    America can serve its own long term interests, and the interests of the people of Egypt, by standing true to the values that lie at the core of America: free and open government, by and for the people.

    Stay true to your principles.

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  • 2. At 03:23am on 28 Jan 2011, davis wrote:

    Pretty words from Obama as usual. Is he talking about the same America where the government leans on private companies to try and bully an organization like Wikileaks even though it hasn't been charged with any crime? There is only one "core value" at play here and that's the interests of the USA.

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  • 3. At 03:31am on 28 Jan 2011, Isaac wrote:

    So now the unrest has begun, Obama suddenly insists he repeatedly pressed for "political discourse". Wow. I find it difficult to recall any time when unrest has occurred in a foreign country and the US has not in some way condoned the unrest.

    Kosovo. Iraq. Afghanistan. Former USSR republics. South America. Central America. Even in Iran, when it happened to their crony the Shah, they did nothing and members of the administration approved of it. And the Shah was only there because they'd also approved of the overthrow of the previous democratically-elected, civilian leader.

    Great friends. If you want to be stabbed in the back.

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  • 4. At 03:42am on 28 Jan 2011, Llareggub_2 wrote:

    America will get a great awakening when they realise that the democratic world does not agree with them. They are getting so far out of line that they need pulling back. Climate change is one case in point.
    The more that they promote democracy the more that they will see that their views are a minority.

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  • 5. At 03:55am on 28 Jan 2011, mabelwhite wrote:

    #4 I see - climate change is causing unrest in egypt. Brilliant! What did the US do about the student tuition riots in the UK - I can't recollect...scoff?

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  • 6. At 04:08am on 28 Jan 2011, Munim Chowdhury wrote:

    How long Hosne Mubarak is good enough to continue as western ally at the expense of democracy? 30 years is not good enough? Perhaps 80 million Egyptian can offer .an ALTERNATIVE.
    Munim Chowdhury
    New York

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  • 7. At 04:12am on 28 Jan 2011, BienvenueEnLouisiana wrote:

    America has been divided on what to say and do about foreign revolutions since the French Revolution in the 1780s, and every revolution in history has come with risks and opportunities. I don't think the Egyptian government is going to fall, but I say let the cards fall where they may.

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  • 8. At 04:29am on 28 Jan 2011, Isaac wrote:

    Maybe, just maybe, America (and indeed all countries) should stop wondering how to respond to foreign revolutions, by actually NOT responding to foreign revolutions.

    The track record of countries interfering in each other's politics would make one of the ugliest books in history.

    This revolution may well have its merits and I agree with the protesters that it's time they had more.

    What I'm tired of is the idea that anyone but the sovereign country should have a say in the matter.

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  • 9. At 04:31am on 28 Jan 2011, Isaac wrote:

    Let me clarify that by the above I also include supporting an existing regime as interference in a sovereign country. If the aid the US is giving Egypt is in any way being used to maintain Mubarak's regime, it should be withdrawn. And let's be frank, it probably is.

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  • 10. At 04:32am on 28 Jan 2011, U14752247 wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 11. At 04:37am on 28 Jan 2011, JunkkMale wrote:

    '...but has thrown his weight behind change.'

    Well, that is so clear, and has worked so well before, one can see why it needs no more than to be stated.

    Some hope.

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  • 12. At 05:15am on 28 Jan 2011, Dan wrote:

    USA is bad for active involvment in moments of change, and crises. USA is bad for not acting strongly enough. Ok, got it. Where is the editorial feature highlighting the foreign policy of the EU, China in this matter? The first is not worth mentioning, the second is best not contemplated I suppose.

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  • 13. At 05:15am on 28 Jan 2011, Isaac wrote:

    What is breathtaking here is the two-facedness of the US response. Call it duplicity, call it disingenuousness, call it incurable posturing. As per usual, you've supported and preserved an autocrat for decades as your ally for your political interests. Also as per usual, you are paying lip service to protestors seeking freedom from the very regime you perpetuate.

    Talk about having your cake and eating it. When are people going to listen to history instead of overused platitudes about change?

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  • 14. At 05:23am on 28 Jan 2011, Adam wrote:

    "Pretty words from Obama as usual. Is he talking about the same America where the government leans on private companies to try and bully an organization like Wikileaks even though it hasn't been charged with any crime? There is only one "core value" at play here and that's the interests of the USA."

    Because I mean it couldn't possibly be that a company doesn't want to get involved in political issues?

    I would also like to see your proof of US government leaning. A letter from a senator isn't a whole a government either.

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  • 15. At 05:34am on 28 Jan 2011, Bob Ezergailis wrote:

    The political situation across the muslim dominated region of the world are more connected than it might seem on the surface. Wikileaks revelations which all too clearly defined the political position of the government of Saudi Arabia in contrast to Iran are not irrelevant to the rising tide of new events. The rise of Hezbollah in Lebanon, a campaign for sharia law in Pakistan, attacks on Christians in Iraq and Egypt, the strengthening of the Taliban, and even the increased tension between shia and sunni muslims, is all part of the same trend that is sweeping across the muslim world, towards Islamic fundamentalism. While more liberal parties and non fundamentalist factions can be seen to readily join in into protests on bread and butter issues, it is a bandwagon dominated by the fundamentalist cause, and clearly indicative of the immense covert power of its supporters across the region. Western intelligence is severely lagging behind in terms of understanding these trends and their implications. What is likely to happen is the growing power and entrenchment of Islamic fundamentalism in all affected areas, with specific rewards on bread and butter issues meted out to solidify what will likely become a fundamentalist stranglehold threatening to involve areas far beyond the immediate borders where contentions have surfaced into the political arena. The key items of fundamentalist ideology may readily be repressed from political expression for a while, but once the opportunity is seized and solidified on other issues, it will be steadfast in its move towards its own long term soico-political agenda, which has not changed in more than a thousand years.

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  • 16. At 05:43am on 28 Jan 2011, Steve wrote:

    Tacit support for a dictator is bad enough, but massive material support to the tune of billions of dollars is quite another. The very least the US could do to help the Egyptian people is to stop actively helping their oppressor. Amongst all the arms exports to Egypt, the US supplies small arms. This is important to note since protesters are now being shot dead by Egyptian security forces.

    If the Egyptian people do achieve democracy it will be no thanks to the US, a country which has spent decades helping to shore up the oppressive security apparatus there.

    On another point, it's quite fascinating to see the contrast in reporting on these protests and those in Iran in 2009. Iran of course is an official enemy so the BBC reports have a quite different tone. Do you know the names of any Egyptian protesters who have been killed? Of course not. This is in stark contrast to the Iranian protests where the killing of Neda became world news. Her family was even interviewed.

    Egypt is an ally and the reporting rules are different (so much for the BBC's much lauded impartiality). A few hours ago some graphic footage emerged of an Egyptian protester being shot dead in the street. We hear the shot and see him collapse. Keep an eye on the mainstream media news about this. Unlike Neda, his name will not be massively publicised.

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  • 17. At 05:50am on 28 Jan 2011, Isaac wrote:

    #14 "I would also like to see your proof of US government leaning [on companies to undermine Wikileaks]. A letter from a senator isn't a whole a government either."

    Proof: Amazon servers were hosting Wikileaks content. Within 24 hours of Joe Lieberman requesting their shutdown - in his governmental capacity as Senate Homeland Security Chair - they were shutdown.

    Around the same time, Tableau Software stopped hosting Wikileaks data citing very similar reasons to those which Amazon provided at the time.

    Bear in mind also that Clinton has denounced Wikileaks - in her governmental capacity as Secretary of State and Peter King has painted them as a "foreign terrorist organisation" - in his governmental capacity as House of Representatives Homeland Security Committee Chair. These are a few prime examples; the rest can easily be located in the archives of any major media outlet, if you have the inclination to look.

    With all of that evidence, to come to the conclusion that the US government has not engaged in leaning is unfounded.

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  • 18. At 06:42am on 28 Jan 2011, BienvenueEnLouisiana wrote:

    Steve: "Tacit support for a dictator is bad enough, but massive material support to the tune of billions of dollars is quite another. The very least the US could do to help the Egyptian people is to stop actively helping their oppressor. If the Egyptian people do achieve democracy it will be no thanks to the US."

    Theres an old saying in the US that I don't think could pass the mods here, but it fits this situation: [blanked] if ya do, [blanked] if ya don't. It's their attempted revolution, not ours; sit back and watch the show.

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  • 19. At 07:06am on 28 Jan 2011, Isaac wrote:

    It's just lazy to say "damned if we do, damned if we don't". The "do" is interfering in foreign countries. The "don't" is not interfering in foreign countries. Funding Mubarak is "do". Supporting a revolution is "do". It's not really that difficult to understand. In recent history, as you doubtless are aware, most of the world's complaining has been about the "do" part, so let's not pretend you have no choice.

    (Defending countries against foreign interference is another matter, so there's no use pointing to World War II as an example of why you must "do".)

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  • 20. At 07:07am on 28 Jan 2011, egyptianmummy wrote:

    I am a Christian Egyptian (Copt) don't you see?? the fall of Hosni and the emergence of the Muslim brotherhood will mean the end of all Copts in Egypt. There will be no America to help us!! America has to keep Hosni in for the benefit of the majority and influence his decision in making change to help the poor and unemployed. Egypt has always been a linchpin in controlling the apparent peace in the middle east. We can't have a change of government unless El Baradi takes over with reforming views.

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  • 21. At 07:09am on 28 Jan 2011, psy_warrior wrote:

    "When Mr Obama wanted to send a message about a new beginning with the Muslim world, he chose to make his speech in Cairo."

    Sadly Mr Mardell _ you forgot to mention that during the entire speech Cairo's citizens were placed under curfew for more of Mubarak's 'reasons of security' _ i am certain you'll agree that this unnecessary and draconian move made a mockery not just of the event itself but of the entire content of Mr Obama's speech about new beginnings!

    (& as to the actual details of that content _ don't get me started!) >: (

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  • 22. At 07:21am on 28 Jan 2011, George Holmer wrote:

    This is the way to stop terrorism. This is the only way. Yes, clearly people in Egypt or Tunisia or whereever might elect Islamists and extremist to government but I very much suspect that they would not last long either. The man on the street does not want to blow up people, he want's a job, a family, he want's to know that his children can go to school, have healthcare and peace and freedom. He wants to know that when he applies for a job, the best man or woman will get it and not the one with the right name or the most money to bride the employer. Democracy takes years to build, let us fortunate enough to live in democracies give the people of the Middle East, Asia and Africa time to develop democracies, and most important of all, let us show them what democracy is really about and not think that warships and SAS soldiers solve problems and deliver democracy. Go after thugs by all means, dictators and mass-murderes but remember the ordinary people on the streets of Cairo, Tunis and Baghdad. They are very much like the people of London, Paris and Berlin and essentially want the same things.

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  • 23. At 07:25am on 28 Jan 2011, Oldloadr wrote:

    There are several Arab countries with functioning monarchies where the vast majority of the people are opposed to change. Why is this? Some interpret the Koran as endorsing monarchy as an instrument of theocracy. After all, it’s hard to run a theocracy and a democracy at the same time, although the Iranians seemed to have succeeded until recently. Some examples:
    1. The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is a federation of benevolent dictatorships. None of the 7 Emirs (rulers) have security details. All can be approached by their subjects on the street and be challenged on any subject at any time (that is their social contract) and they all seem to think this is better than a democracy where anybody could end up in charge and upset the social contract.

    2. Qatar is an absolute monarchy moving towards constitutional monarchy. The current king overthrew his father. Once again, the people have shown no interest in insurrection.

    3. Bahrain: Up until the late 90s, Bahrain was an absolute monarchy ruled by an Emir. Bahrain has a Sunni upper class and a Shia majority underclass. When the old Emir (Sheik Isa) died, his son, Sheik Hammed declared a constitutional monarchy with an elected parliament. Of course, the first laws the new parliament passed had to do with restricting the availability of alcohol and pork, but hey, it’s their country, right? There has only been one instant of unrest since parliament was established.

    Now, these aforementioned rulers all call themselves rulers (the Emir of Abu Dhabi is also the president of the UAE, but that is understood that he “presides over” the other 6 emirs). When you have dictators calling themselves president (as in Egypt, Tunisia and Yemen) and holding sham elections, it’s only a matter of time, in any culture, before the fertilizer hits the ventilator.

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  • 24. At 07:39am on 28 Jan 2011, Oldloadr wrote:

    20. At 07:07am on 28 Jan 2011, egyptianmummy wrote:
    I am a Christian Egyptian (Copt) don't you see?? the fall of Hosni and the emergence of the Muslim brotherhood will mean the end of all Copts in Egypt.
    ____________________________________________________________
    Sadly, you are right. I saw it myself in Iraq with the fall of Saddam, the persecution of the Christian community began and thousands have fled. However, I have to tell you, and if you have been on this blog long, you will know that, as I see it, the majority in the EU don't care if Christian are persecuted or killed, as long as the Muslims are protected. You see, they don't really like us, but then the established order in 30 AD didn't care much for Christ either. And when the Muslim Brotherhood does take over, good luck getting asylum from any EU country and don’t even think about refugee status from the UN, the Arab block and the Iranians will fight it tooth and nail.

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  • 25. At 08:08am on 28 Jan 2011, Glenn wrote:

    Ahmadinejad, Hamas, Hezbollah, Mugabe, Chavez, Putin.

    Just a short list of those elected (at least the first time) by democratic means, whether perfect or imperfect.

    Remember the Islamists themselves say it: One man. One vote. Once. Do not expect Islamists (or Chavistas or Putinists or Ahmedinejadists), despite any failures to govern effectively, to honorably leave office or become the "loyal opposition" due to something as trivial as future unfavorable election results. El Baradei may seem to be the most moderate and respectable choice (and certainly safest from a US perspective) but I doubt he will stir the rabble-rousers who are sniffing blood and are looking for a "Party of God".

    Real democracy is messy, and can even be dangerous as well for those countries with immature and frequently violated government systems. Ask Pakistan.

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  • 26. At 08:23am on 28 Jan 2011, Tinkersdamn wrote:

    Changes in global commodity values- food in particular- may force us to believe in change for decades to come. It puts people in circumstances with little left to lose and frees them of fear of even dictatorial governments in a world of nations of often unprecedented economic disparity. Exactly what approaches of governance may achieve more equitable/stable results remains to be proven, but any "greed is good" mentality is too false to be supported.

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  • 27. At 08:46am on 28 Jan 2011, worcesterjim wrote:

    I wonder if one of you good souls would help me with making a link from a previous thread because it has a direct connection with this discussion about American attitudes and foreign policy.

    Can you get up points 168 and 169 of the thread supposedly about Obama and the space race...and re-print them onto this thread?

    When the Europeans left Egypt you CIA took over control....as they have in large parts of the world.

    Their first act was to open torture chambers for the re-education of Egyptians who didn`t see things Wall Street and Washington`s and Israel`s way.You reap what you sow...now who said that?

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  • 28. At 09:01am on 28 Jan 2011, Orthodoxcaveman wrote:

    We were told that one of reasons Britain and the US invaded Iraq and Afghanistan was to bring democracy to the region, the death toll and destruction was just a means to an end.

    Now that our closest allies are under threat (Saudi Arabia is our most valued partner in the region, just look at the arms sales) we hear from the State Department "they are not ready for democracy" or in the case of Glenn above "these countries are too immature". Be prepared for plenty of hypocrisy and doublespeak from politicians and the media.

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  • 29. At 09:26am on 28 Jan 2011, BienvenueEnLouisiana wrote:

    worcesterjim: "[The CIA's] first act was to open torture chambers for the re-education of Egyptians who didn`t see things Wall Street and Washington`s and Israel`s way.You reap what you sow."

    Excuse me; that is an outrageous accusation that only inflames hatred toward Americans. I ask that you give proof in quotations, articles, or pictures, or take that accusation back; you reap what you sow indeed, Jim.

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  • 30. At 09:33am on 28 Jan 2011, worcesterjim wrote:

    28 Yes Orthodoxcaveman.....I am realising how "unready for democracy" I am too...so perhaps it`s just as well that the UK and USA are run by global financiers and their cronies....otherwise the power of real freedom and democracy might go to our heads.....and we might stop overworking and buying rubbish and gobbling ourselves into a corpulent early death.....and ask what it`s all about!

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  • 31. At 09:34am on 28 Jan 2011, MagicKirin wrote:

    It should scare people that the Moslem brotherhood who support Hamas and the appeaser El Bareerdi are joining forces.

    Both of them would support the terrorism ideology of Iran.

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  • 32. At 09:40am on 28 Jan 2011, Gary Hay wrote:

    We don't need Wikileaks to illustrate the duplicity and double standards of American foreign policy. All we have to do is listen to Barack "Change" Obama.

    Before Obama's opening his pie-hole about this, the USG must be in no doubt that Egypt will follow in exactly the same fashion that Tunisia went.

    Bye-Bye autocracy, hello great unknown.

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  • 33. At 09:54am on 28 Jan 2011, worcesterjim wrote:

    29 Good point ....And you have me struggling on the ropes on that one BEL.

    About ten years ago I watched a documentary on UK television about the treatment of dissidents in Egypt which shocked me into viewing the CIA in a very different way than I had before.

    Since then I have been watching the behaviour of George Soros and the CIA with a more sceptical eye and let`s just say it doesn`t make nice comforting reading....any more than the prehistoric retaliation of some Islamists does either!

    Having said that I thank goodness that the the USA finally took over complete control of Britain after 9/11...because Londonistan`s antics looked like causing world war three!

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  • 34. At 09:54am on 28 Jan 2011, Oldloadr wrote:

    29. At 09:26am on 28 Jan 2011, BienvenueEnLouisiana wrote:

    worcesterjim: "[The CIA's] first act was to open torture chambers for the re-education of Egyptians who didn`t see things Wall Street and Washington`s and Israel`s way.You reap what you sow."

    Excuse me; that is an outrageous accusation that only inflames hatred toward Americans. I ask that you give proof in quotations, articles, or pictures, or take that accusation back; you reap what you sow indeed, Jim.
    _____________________________________________________________
    Funny how the moderators see nothing wrong with vile, anti-American lies and propaganda isn't it? No, I won’t complain about the original post. It’s better to leave it there so everyone can see the POV expressed by worcesterjim. You know he can’t back it up because if he could, he would have cited a source.

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  • 35. At 10:15am on 28 Jan 2011, worcesterjim wrote:

    34 You can run Oldloader...and waterboard the truth into silence for a time....but eventually...however you hide your own eyes and cover your own ears ...the truth shall set thee free ...to see the world as it is!

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  • 36. At 10:19am on 28 Jan 2011, Rob wrote:

    Shame on the US, shame on Europe and shame on all western countries priding themselves of promoting democracy and human rights.
    The lame response from the west towards the authoritarian regimes in the Arab world is nothing less than outrageous. For far too many decades has the tacit consensus been that we in the West don't give a toss about the wellbeing of arab citizens because:
    1) Their dictators de-facto peace agreement with Israel is far more important to us.
    2) The population in Arab countries don't appreciate humnan rights or democratic governance in the first place so why care about promoting the wests lofty ideals towards them.
    If there ever was a meaning of the word hypocrisy and double standards by the west the current state of affair illustrates it starkly. Egypt just held a rigged election where Mubarak was 'elected' for the umpteenth time. None of the countries in the West filed an official protest (apart from diplomatic platitude grumblings). Had such an election happened inside an EU country there would have been an outgry and serious repercussions against such an EU member from the other EU countries.
    Why does the West hold Arab countries to a lower standard than themselves? Israel has 5 million people, Egypt has 70 million. Does the well-being of 5 million matter more than the well-being of 70 million?
    The rhetorical answer is again "our strategic intersts matter more than being friends with citizens in Arab countries". However, as long as the prevailing sentiment is the outdated 20th century notion that states don't have friends; they only have interests, then not only is the West betraying it's democratic and human rights ideals (which aren't lofty at all). The West is also forfeiting it's long-term interests in becoming genuine friends with citizens of the Arab countries.
    Is it any wonder so many in the Arab countries hates the West?

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  • 37. At 11:18am on 28 Jan 2011, U14752247 wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 38. At 11:32am on 28 Jan 2011, mohammed yaseen wrote:

    I am very much convince that whatever happening in Middle East, it has the blessing of USA. The USA wants to redraft its policies in Middle East. For this very purpose they want to change the old guards. The USA have gained the maximum advantage from these puppets. Now they are of no use and need to be bin.

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  • 39. At 11:33am on 28 Jan 2011, worcesterjim wrote:

    36 While I entirely agree with you I want to beg the Arab world to find the love of Allah in their hearts and to demonstate his grace and generosity at this time when so much repressed anger is being released.

    The truth is that a few powerful people have always run the world and perhaps always shall until we ordinary human beings demonstrate our maturity and love and understanding of each other.

    The Israelis are a persecuted people ...who like all semites have been abused and used and scapegoated by the pirates of the western world....who were themselves just victims of a very unjust world.

    The way forward is for ALL of us is not to do the dirty work of the powerful and attack each other but to ask for a global truth and reconciliation process to begin to examine where global usury and debt and this very unequal world is taking ALL of us.

    No blaming or scapegoating...just to come together and grow up ...and prove that the dire warnings of the end of the world in our religious texts can wait a while longer to be expressed?

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  • 40. At 11:39am on 28 Jan 2011, Isaac wrote:

    Clearly some people are still clinging to the notion that America has a shred of moral authority remaining in the Middle East - and are equally unwilling to believe their actions are largely guided not by democracy but by national interest.

    If this remains your way of thinking, this totally explains why the anti-American hatred confuses you; you always think it's just loons and irrational behaviour. But even you know that the populations at large hate America, not just the leaders, and this is verifiable by their political choices, whether they can vote or not: You unquestioningly support Israel, then Hamas were elected in Palestine. The Islamic Brotherhood are illegal yet would certainly win a genuine election in Egypt - a country which Israel fought and defeated in two wars using your money. When you overthrew Saddam - whom you supported in a bloody war against Iran - you found that the new democratically-elected government was simply a Shia friend of Iran. And as for Iran itself, decades of CIA interference, the American-backed coup remove their leader in 1953, and support for Iraq against them mean that despite the despotism of Ahmadinejad, the populace have no intention of looking to you as their saviour.

    Why is this? The answers lie right there in that sorry mess. How they express their anger (9/11, 7/7, 3/11) is horrific. But it's no use pretending the anger is either minority or inexplicable.

    It really is hard to believe that anyone can read the bloody and undemocratic history of interventionism in the Middle East - and conclude what we need is more of it. To not understand the interventionism aggravates the problem is as fundamental an oversight as believing that blood-letting made patients better, not worse.

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  • 41. At 11:41am on 28 Jan 2011, nash wrote:

    This same democracy seems to be promoted when its in the best interest of the big guys and when it is other way round they bleach it.

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  • 42. At 11:42am on 28 Jan 2011, powermeerkat wrote:

    MagicKirin wrote:
    It should scare people that the Moslem brotherhood who support Hamas and the appeaser El Bareerdi are joining forces.

    Both of them would support the terrorism ideology of Iran.






    Considering how long El Baradei and the outfit he ran kept quiet an irrefutable evidence of Islamic Republic of Iran's fanatical leaders lying about their regime's secret nuclear program- you might have a point.



    And to those who belieeve that even Islamists were initally elected in countries like Egypt and Tunisia they'd be shortly afterwards removed from power...

    Look no further than to LEBANON, a country in yet another deep crisis caused By Iran through its terrorist arm - Hezbollah.

    Which basically has been running the show in Lebanon for many years.

    And that's why I seriously doubt former prem. Rafik Hariri's assassination will ever be properly investigated.

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  • 43. At 11:46am on 28 Jan 2011, U14752247 wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 44. At 11:46am on 28 Jan 2011, John_From_Dublin wrote:

    24 Oldloadr wrote:

    “However, I have to tell you, and if you have been on this blog long, you will know that, as I see it, the majority in the EU don't care if Christian are persecuted or killed, as long as the Muslims are protected. “

    Perhaps you would be so good as to clarify exactly what evidence you have, if any, that

    (a) The majority of posters here from the EU ‘don't care if Christians are persecuted or killed, as long as the Muslims are protected. “
    (b) “ the majority in the EU don't care if Christians are persecuted or killed, as long as the Muslims are protected.“?

    (Even if (a) were true, which I doubt, I don’t see how the views of a few people can be taken to represent some half a billion people in the EU, any more than I assume Oldloadr speaks for the whole of the USA.)

    Oldloadr at # 34

    “Funny how the moderators see nothing wrong with vile, anti-American lies and propaganda isn't it? No, I won’t complain about the original post. It’s better to leave it there so everyone can see the POV expressed by worcesterjim. You know he can’t back it up because if he could, he would have cited a source.”

    Or perhaps ““Funny how the moderators see nothing wrong with vile, anti-European lies and propaganda isn't it? No, I won’t complain about the original post. It’s better to leave it there so everyone can see the POV expressed by Oldloadr. You know he can’t back it up because if he could, he would have cited a source.”

    Isn’t there something in your divinely-inspired book about not bearing false witness?

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  • 45. At 11:47am on 28 Jan 2011, U14752247 wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 46. At 11:49am on 28 Jan 2011, PeteyWeety wrote:

    I don't understand what this has to do with the United States. Global cohesion is for the United Nations, not America.

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  • 47. At 11:51am on 28 Jan 2011, John_From_Dublin wrote:

    When New Labour took office in ’97 they clamed they would operate an ‘Ethical Foreign Policy’. Someone rather cynically defined it as follows

    Standard Foreign Policy – ‘he may be an SOB but he's our SOB’

    Ethical Foreign Policy – ‘he may be our SOB - but he's an SOB!’

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  • 48. At 11:55am on 28 Jan 2011, John_From_Dublin wrote:

    # 36 ConsumerJunkie

    “The rhetorical answer is again "our strategic intersts matter more than being friends with citizens in Arab countries". However, as long as the prevailing sentiment is the outdated 20th century notion that states don't have friends; they only have interests, then not only is the West betraying it's democratic and human rights ideals (which aren't lofty at all). The West is also forfeiting it's long-term interests in becoming genuine friends with citizens of the Arab countries.”

    I am unclear why it is an ‘outdated 20th century notion’ that ‘states don't have friends; they only have interests’.

    Just one example – in WW2 the UK and US allied themselves with a monstrous dictatorship – Stalin’s USSR – to defeat an arguably even more monstrous dictatorship – Hitler’s Germany. Were they wrong?

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  • 49. At 12:00pm on 28 Jan 2011, HabitualHero wrote:

    " But he faces a dilemma - one other presidents have faced in South America, Asia and indeed the Arab world. Which are more important: timeless principles or reliable allies?"

    The latter obviously. America has never been reluctant to support despotic but useful regimes. Neither has Britain.

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  • 50. At 12:26pm on 28 Jan 2011, U14752247 wrote:

    USA = Hypocrites
    Politics = Hypocrites
    Democracy = Hypocrites
    Freedom of Speech = Hypocrites

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  • 51. At 12:48pm on 28 Jan 2011, powermeerkat wrote:

    Re #49

    Which major countries have been supporting/arming homicidal regimes and despotic dictators in Burma, Cambodia, Cuba, Islamic Republic of Iran, Congo, Rwanda, Sudan, Syria, Uganda, Venezuela, Zimbabwe...?

    Let me guess - U.S. and UK? ;-)

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  • 52. At 1:01pm on 28 Jan 2011, kasper6034 wrote:

    M. Mandell's assessment is skalpel's sharp and succinct. What we witness is the dawn of awakening. I welcome it as progress. It is time for the populace to rebell as nothing else had worked in the past. The tyrants and old regimes cannot hardly be agents of change. In broad strokes the dilemma of the US is that for the sake of shortsighted crisis patching (some from the Communist era) it supported autocrats and corrupt regiemes (Middle East, Africa S., America). Now it finds it hard to walk on the tightrope not knowing what will happen next. On the wider horizon we all know that had the Palestinian-Israel question been taken up with foresight and vigor at the outset (of Israel) the whole Muslim fudamentalism and antagonism might not have arisen. As for me I welcome the uprisings. They are conducive to eventual onset of democracy. Yet, things will now be difficult for the US as it lost a lot of its political clout (to which G.W. Bush hadgreatly contributed).
    As to wishful flaunting democracy on some societies it may be futile as it first calls for education of masses - a long process.

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  • 53. At 1:21pm on 28 Jan 2011, andyoumayaskyourself wrote:

    "The Center for American Security's Robert Kaplan pushes the case for realpolitik, explaining that "in terms of American interests and regional peace, there is plenty of peril in democracy". "
    Well, Mr Kaplan, what caused the Islamists'rise in the first place - starting in Iran - if not your so-called 'realpolitik'?
    And please explain why the USA should have perceive its interests as identical to the interests of the state of Israel.

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  • 54. At 1:22pm on 28 Jan 2011, Edwin Cheddarfingers wrote:

    ""There are certain core values that we believe in as Americans that we believe are universal: freedom of speech, freedom of expression, people being able to use any social networking or any other mechanisms to communicate with each other and express their concerns. That is no less true in the Arab world than it is here in the US," the president said."

    Did Obama attach a disclaimer under this along the lines of:

    *Does not apply to Wikileaks

    Or was he simply suggesting that just like in the US, arab leaders should be free to try and shut down and censor what they don't agree with, whilst pretending they're all about free speech and stuff?

    The problem is, America can't realistically pretend it is about free speech anymore, so it has no real credibility amongst many when it makes such comments.

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  • 55. At 1:26pm on 28 Jan 2011, Stefan Stackhouse wrote:

    The US is going to end up being so hated by everyone throughout the Middle East that no American is going to be able to safely set foot in the region for the next 1000 years or more.

    It is so comforting to know that US foreign policy has been in the hands of such wise and competent elites. (/sarcasm)

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  • 56. At 1:39pm on 28 Jan 2011, escapedfromny wrote:

    Yes, the ONLY evil in the world comes from America and America alone.

    It was America that made the Bolsheviks, and forced Stalin to starve 20,000,000 people, as it was America that force Mao to launch the Cultural revolution, leading to the deaths of 60,000,000. No other philosophy or national interest has any impact on anything America does. America alone has caused all fanaticism in the world since 1776. Marx and Engels, Lenin, Mao, Mussolini and that other guy had no impact whatsoever, because only America is the root cause of all world problems.

    Whereas all Europeans are always pure at heart. Why, Europeans on their own stopped the Cambodian genocide in the 1970s and civil war in Yugoslavia in the 1990s and the genocide in Rwanda and every other evil that has befallen our world since 1914. Europeans have stopped North Korea and Iran from even tinkering with nuclear weapons.

    Well, I can hardly wait to see what other wonderful things those brilliant European leaders like Merkel and Sarkozy and Berlesconi will do in solving all the problems in Egypt.

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  • 57. At 1:42pm on 28 Jan 2011, Alert wrote:

    If one is GENUINELY committed to the principle of democratic rule, then one must respect it's decisions, whether or not one approves of the outcome. To do otherwise (e.g. US rejection of election of Hamas & consequent sanctions imposed upon its electorate) is manifestly hypocritical, and thus damages one's credibility, which is essential for the execution of effective foreign policy and diplomacy. That's why all - even moderate, "pro-American" leaders e.g. Jordan's monarch - have now abandoned the fallacious characterization of the US as an "honest broker" in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.

    Face it, the day MUST - and, based upon news from Tunisia, Egypt, Yemen and Jordan, apparently sooner than later, WILL COME - when Israel will be forced to make the admittedly painful concessions necessary to end its "endless" conflict with a just and reasonable World.

    PS- This will NOT necessitate its extinction, as its zealots fear.

    I concur wholeheartedly with the following:

    "4. At 03:42am on 28 Jan 2011, LLARGGUB_2 wrote:

    'America will get a great awakening when they realise that the democratic world does not agree with them. They are getting so far out of line that they need pulling back. Climate change is one case in point.
    The more that they promote democracy the more that they will see that their views are a minority.' "

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  • 58. At 1:48pm on 28 Jan 2011, Bro_Winky wrote:

    A US backed autocracy causes unrest, leaving an open opportunity for a radical political movement to gain power...where have I heard this before?

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  • 59. At 1:59pm on 28 Jan 2011, worcesterjim wrote:

    56 Yes EscapedfromNewYork...that`s fair comment...and before we throw this baby out with the bathwater let`s hear it for an fairly good attempt to tun the world by relatively SOFT political and economic means ...rather than marching across the world enslaving people and murdering everyone in their path......which many earlier civilisations did.

    I think it`s time we all drew breath and used ALL our talents and different political/religious and economic and social ideas to see if there`s a an even better way to run the world.....because moneylending and debt and the ever increasing power of the financial markets is far too unpredictable and unstable and unjust to be our model for the future.

    Perhaps the UN should move from the USA to an island somewhere ...to symbolise some necessary shift in the balance of power?

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  • 60. At 2:04pm on 28 Jan 2011, pleezthink wrote:

    Dear #4 above. In referring to the American "great awakening" you said ,,, "They are getting so far out of line that they need pulling back. Climate change is one case in point. The more that they promote democracy the more that they will see that their views are a minority."

    Surely you realize that a thought or idea is not necessarily true simply because it is held by a majority of people. The "climate change" non-sense is a left wing religion that is being proven false. The climate may be changing slightly but it always has and there is very little that we can do to make it change or to stop it from doing so. The solutions proposed are simply a mechanism to promote more leftist solutions. I'm all for cleaner air to breathe but lets not prevent a poor fellow on the street from getting a job in the U.K. or U.S. or where ever because we believe in a false religion that claims that the sky is falling.

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  • 61. At 2:06pm on 28 Jan 2011, PaulMasonIsSpotOn wrote:

    No-one is mature enough to be a democrat before one gets the chance. It's gradual and nations have made terrible mistakes along the way. The US republic itself took its time getting where it is: a civil war, acceptance of slavery, those who died and suffered for civil rights and on it goes.

    So, shouldn't the Egyptians be allowed to have a go unless they can prove beforehand they are mature enough to avoid mayhem? They will surely make mistakes.

    You cannot groom societies for democracy in the palm of your hand, then gently set them down and press "Play".

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  • 62. At 2:19pm on 28 Jan 2011, worcesterjim wrote:

    61...You of all people should know about democracy and the demos FMG...good to hear from you.

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  • 63. At 2:22pm on 28 Jan 2011, Arabian Knight wrote:

    There is a factual mistake in here. Mahmoud Abbas' government was not elected. It was re-instated by the Israelis and Americans following their rejection of Hamas who won the elections.

    Both new democracies in the area, in the Palestinian Territories and Lebanon were crushed by Israel at birth.

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  • 64. At 2:23pm on 28 Jan 2011, lacplesis37 wrote:

    #2 That's very well, but in many other parts of the world, anyone connected to Wikilieaks which the government could lay their hands on would be dead or in prison. The US may not be perfect, as are no western democracies, but in many countries your comments would have put you on "hit list" and when I say "hit", I mean it literally. Go and live in Russia or China for a few months & criticise the government there & see what happens to you...and if you get involved in leaking state documents, see what other joys follow. The USA is an easy target & its governments (of both parties) often unappealing, but it's a good deal less imperfect that many of the alternatives.

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  • 65. At 2:25pm on 28 Jan 2011, escapedfromny wrote:

    It really is a pity that education is so bad in so may parts of the "educated" world. So what if majority of democracies agree on something? Many envied Germany and Italy in the 1930s, and we should know how well that turned out.

    Many Americans think that Europeans hope that if they give enough away, they will be left alone by whoever threatens them. The reaction to many people in this posting seems to prove that point. Riots in Greece and Riots in Egypt - what's the difference? (yes I know there is some difference, but violence is used as a means to an end in both cases). The rioters in Greece managed to get the European Union to bribe them for a while, but if that collapses, then we will see more of it, along with France, Spain, etc.

    So what do you REALLY want in Egypt? Another Iran, working to develop missiles that can hit Rome and Athens and Berlin? Does anyone really expect a full-fledged democracy to come out of this, fully formed? Let's face it, even the most rabid liberals don't mind dictatorships as long as they keep the peace and hate America (or at least keep it at arms length). Chavez and Castro are fine examples of that.

    When Obama sees which way things are swinging, he will (I hope) react to support whatever stability he sees.

    But one should never assume total agreement is the best course in any endeavor.

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  • 66. At 2:40pm on 28 Jan 2011, blefuscu wrote:

    20. At 07:07am on 28 Jan 2011, egyptianmummy wrote:
    I am a Christian Egyptian (Copt) don't you see?? the fall of Hosni and the emergence of the Muslim brotherhood will mean the end of all Copts in Egypt.

    Absolutely right EM.

    This will open the door to hell if the chaos triumphs.

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  • 67. At 2:44pm on 28 Jan 2011, worcesterjim wrote:

    64 Absolutely right...and a fair comment...but would it seem unfair if I mentioned Bradley Manning in solitary confinement ...or the sudden disappearance of Wikkileaks from most conversations on the BBC and in the USA?

    My guess is that honest fair dealing folk have little to fear from the truth .....and no need to be hostile to whistle-blowers if they are just telling the truth?

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  • 68. At 2:50pm on 28 Jan 2011, powermeerkat wrote:

    " Well, Mr Kaplan, what caused the Islamists'rise in the first place - starting in Iran - if not your so-called 'realpolitik'?"







    And in turn, perhaps you, Jo, could explain to us what has caused young educated Persians to rebell against Iranian ayatollahs' regime.


    Was it just stoning women and raping men in jails?

    Or was it more to it?

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  • 69. At 2:52pm on 28 Jan 2011, worcesterjim wrote:

    65 Escapedfrom NY....My guess is that they want to be ASKED what THEY want by their OWN politicians....and by politicians that aren`t just PUPPETS of Europe or China or the USA .....or ...(far more likely)....WALL STREET-RUN GLOBAL CAPITALISM !

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  • 70. At 2:54pm on 28 Jan 2011, powermeerkat wrote:

    Stefan Stackhouse wrote:
    The US is going to end up being so hated by everyone throughout the Middle East that no American is going to be able to safely set foot in the region for the next 1000 years or more.






    Which would imply that America has been doing something right by trying to prevent an onslaught of Islamist fanatics bound on creating a global caliphate based on Sharia rule.

    [after killing all 'infidels' first, of course]

    BTW. It that what you're secretly hoping for?


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  • 71. At 2:57pm on 28 Jan 2011, powermeerkat wrote:

    Bro_Winky: "US backed autocracy causes unrest, leaving an open opportunity for a radical political movement to gain power...
    where have I heard this before?





    Let me make a wild guess: On Canadian TV?

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  • 72. At 3:00pm on 28 Jan 2011, powermeerkat wrote:

    FFfromGreece: "The US republic itself took its time getting where it is: a civil war, acceptance of slavery, those who died and suffered for civil rights and on it goes"





    Surprised you've forgot to mention imposing socialist governments on Greece, thus making that wretched country a present-day bankrupt.

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  • 73. At 3:05pm on 28 Jan 2011, powermeerkat wrote:

    "Marx and Engels, Lenin, Mao, Mussolini and that other guy had no impact whatsoever, because only America is the root cause of all world problems."






    Although this comment fully deserves to be removed as provocative defamatory and libellous BS - I'll beg BBC Moderators to let it stay, because it's so highly educative. :-)))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))

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  • 74. At 3:06pm on 28 Jan 2011, kaz wrote:

    The situation in Egypt remained me of 1979 Iranian revolution, when Jimmy Carter throw his weight behind Khomeini and made a mess of middle east and the whole world still suffering from his mistake. I don’t know why the American foreign policy makers never learn from the past. Now it seems like they are going to support their poppet ElBaradei to steer the Egypt their own way. This is a naive and stupid mistake to believe the Egyptians will accept ElBaradei as their new leader.

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  • 75. At 3:14pm on 28 Jan 2011, Mish Toon wrote:

    No dilemma at all. Just support the wishes of the Egyptian people for a true change as the American people did in 2009. Also, support Mohamed ElBaradei, the opposition leader and Nobel prize-winning former UN official. President ElBaradei and his Egyptian/American fellows will rebuild Egypt into a real Democracy.

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  • 76. At 3:27pm on 28 Jan 2011, Oldloadr wrote:

    44. At 11:46am on 28 Jan 2011, John_From_Dublin wrote:
    Isn’t there something in your divinely-inspired book about not bearing false witness?
    __________________________________________________________
    You are right! There is! However, I will not confess to baring false witness, but I will confess to being lazy about researching a citation for my assertions; therefore I must confess to being a hypocrite towards worcesterjim; and for that, I apologize. My only excuse it’s the weekend her in the UAE and my teenage daughter needed to be taken to buy clothes and I got lazy and sloppy. However, I will start tomorrow researching my assertions and the next time the subject comes up (which it will), I will have the data for you to critique.

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  • 77. At 3:37pm on 28 Jan 2011, Oldloadr wrote:

    74. At 3:06pm on 28 Jan 2011, kaz wrote:
    The situation in Egypt remained me of 1979 Iranian revolution, when Jimmy Carter throw his weight behind Khomeini and made a mess of middle east and the whole world still suffering from his mistake.
    _____________________________________________________________
    The problem was, President Peanut had no weight to throw around. He had already proved himself week in both foreign and domestic policy so the Iranians knew they had a window of opportunity. I’ll say this about The One, he didn’t stick to the loony left’s timetable for ending the wars in Iraq and Af’stan, but he has not shown me a lot of good crisis leadership so I really won’t bet either way on what he’ll do. Of course what matters most (as in 1979) is what both sides in Egypt think he’ll do.

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  • 78. At 3:38pm on 28 Jan 2011, Isaac wrote:

    People say the USA's actions are under unfair scrutiny compared to Russia and China. Guess what the difference is? Russia and China don't claim to be the land of freedom and the source of good in the world. See, incredible as it may seem after all these decades of hypocrisy - read the list of countries the USA has bombed since WWII for a start (22) - a few people do actually take them at their word when they say these things. Unfortunately, then they look at what they do.

    Of course it is materially a good thing that they profess higher standards than their rivals. But the points are that:

    1) The USA benefits from its branding of itself as the "moral country".
    2) Its actions often are inconsistent with this branding, making a mockery of it.
    3) The USA is the superpower and thus its actions should obviously be under greater scrutiny.

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  • 79. At 3:42pm on 28 Jan 2011, Michael Phillips wrote:

    In view of the global strategic importance of the Suez Canal perhaps America may now come to regret the actions it took in 1956 against England, France and Israel.

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  • 80. At 3:47pm on 28 Jan 2011, iguanavi wrote:

    I am shocked! Shocked! Shocked that a country would act in its own national interest! The US has to make up its mind whether it is always in favor of people's freedom of choice in the world or only conditionally, as long as it doesn't negatively impact US national interests. The anger comes from US words saying one thing and US actions saying another.

    As an American, I was taught that "freedom of speech" means that it is also the freedom of the speech you hate. Democracy means that people are free to choose their own leaders whether or not we like them.

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  • 81. At 3:47pm on 28 Jan 2011, MisterGC wrote:

    #28
    "Real democracy is messy, and can even be dangerous as well for those countries with immature and frequently violated government systems. Ask Pakistan."

    Or England. Lets not forget our long road to democracy included a period of fundamentalist religous dictatorship.

    Hopefully this is similarly a step on the way to real reform in the Middle East, but only if the moderates can find a voice and deliver what the people want - jobs and security.
    As to what part (if any) foreign powers should play in making that happen - they have to tread very, very carefully...

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  • 82. At 3:48pm on 28 Jan 2011, powermeerkat wrote:

    kaz wrote:

    "The situation in Egypt remained me of 1979 Iranian revolution, when Jimmy Carter throw his weight behind Khomeini and made a mess of middle east and the whole world still suffering from his mistake."






    Actually The Peanut Farmer has done no such thing.


    He was simply caught by Iranian Islamic Revolution with his pants down (just like by the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan) and cowardly refused to support a stauch U.S. ally - progrssive, pro-West shah Reza Pahlavi.

    Only that. ;-)

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  • 83. At 3:52pm on 28 Jan 2011, Mark M Newdick wrote:

    Democracy only works if the electoral losers become the Loyal Opposition.

    In the established democracies, no matter how much we may deplore our current government (and express it even by demonstrating and screaming from the rooftops), the overwhelming majority of the electorate will see it through until the next election. The point is, the taxpaying middle class (the majority of our peoples)have a fundamental belief in the system itself.

    Unfortunately, imposing a democratic regime in developing countries with no institutional respect for the rights of the individual, or a thriving middle class to pay for it, can be a disaster.

    That is the dilemma.

    So, do we support them as they go through the painful growing pains, with death and destruction on the streets and an unpredictable outcome? The outcome could be another Iran or Afghanistan. There are no examples I can think of that ended well ... in the short term anyway.

    Or do we support the regime that creates the greatest "stability" for their peoples and the region? A "benign dictatorship" in other words, though these are usually corrupt and quickly go off-mission.

    Tough one. I have no answers, but it makes you think about hailing "freedom and democracy" too loudly!

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  • 84. At 3:55pm on 28 Jan 2011, powermeerkat wrote:

    Re #56" Marx and Engels, Lenin, Mao, Mussolini and that other guy had no impact whatsoever, because only America is the root cause of all world problems."




    Actually those other six guys:

    Hitler, Stalin, Pol Pot, Kim Il-sung, Mengistu Haile Mariam.

    Ah, I almost forgot: and Ahmadinnerjacket. :-)


    [Castro Bros. are a small peanuts in comparison; just like Hugo Chavez]

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  • 85. At 3:58pm on 28 Jan 2011, U14749465 wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 86. At 4:01pm on 28 Jan 2011, John_From_Dublin wrote:

    # 76. At 3:27pm on 28 Jan 2011, Oldloadr wrote:
    “You are right! There is! However, I will not confess to baring false witness, but I will confess to being lazy about researching a citation for my assertions; therefore I must confess to being a hypocrite towards worcesterjim; and for that, I apologize. My only excuse it’s the weekend her in the UAE and my teenage daughter needed to be taken to buy clothes and I got lazy and sloppy. However, I will start tomorrow researching my assertions and the next time the subject comes up (which it will), I will have the data for you to critique.”

    I believe the Nixon White House came up with the ‘non-denial denial’. This is something of a ‘non-apology apology’. Essentially you are saying ‘I was right – I was just too busy to prove it.’

    You said ‘the majority in the EU don't care if Christians are persecuted or killed, as long as the Muslims are protected.“’ Essentially you libelled hundreds of millions of people. So I've a better idea. Rather than waiting till this subject does or doesn’t come up again, give us your proof now.

    And let’s be honest – you can’t, because you don’t have any. Because even in the unlikely event that millions of Europeans were indifferent to persecution and murder as long as it was of Christians – how would you know? You haven’t met millions of Europeans. They don’t vote for politicians who espouse these views. And if there had been an EU-wide poll which asked ‘do you care if Christians are persecuted or killed, as long as the Muslims are protected, yes or no?’, and there were a majority who said no – I’m pretty sure I would have heard. (For the record, I have lived in Europe all my life and don’t recall ever meeting anyone who expressed the views you ascribe to most Europeans.)

    Also worth noting that you didn’t accuse worcesterjim of making claims he hadn’t backed up – you accused him of ‘vile, anti-American lies and propaganda’.

    ‘The truth shall set you free’. Is that not also in that holy book of yours? And isn’t every single word true – according to you anyway?

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  • 87. At 4:05pm on 28 Jan 2011, Scott0962 wrote:

    The American government, and the people who elected it, has left itself wide open to the criticism posted here regarding its support for the Mubarak regime. Sadly, this is hardly the first time our government has ignored the principles it was founded on in favor of a more "pragmatic" policy that traded support for an authoritarian regime for "stability" because it feared radicals would otherwise take over a country. Indeed, its happended so often and in so many places its hard to believe we're the same America that once hurled our defiance at the mighty British Empire with the assertion:

    "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. That whenever any form of government becomes destructive to these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness."

    Those words are just as applicable to the people of Egypt as they are to our own country and President Obama should bear that in mind when crafting a response to events there.

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  • 88. At 4:07pm on 28 Jan 2011, powermeerkat wrote:

    Re #76 (taking a daughter for a modest shopping in Emirates)


    "Oldloadr, won't ya buy me
    a Mercedes-Benz
    Fatma drives Bugatti
    must make my amends"

    [Please, Janis, forgive me, wherever you are.]

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  • 89. At 4:08pm on 28 Jan 2011, kunjani wrote:

    This apparently popular citizens movement to oust Mubarak is clear about what it dosn't want, but not at all clear what it does want. If, as is stated, the Muslim Brotherhood would win an election, is that what these students are protesting for? Do these 'well educated' young people in western dress want Sharia law? If so, then so be it, but it's not at all clear.Get rid of a dictator, but be sure of what you want instead.

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  • 90. At 4:13pm on 28 Jan 2011, U13235548 wrote:

    ' timeless principles or reliable allies' - are they really that reliable? For a time maybe and perhaps elected politicians HAVE to take the shorter term view but in the end a unelected dictator has a different mindset to an elected official. And the cost in human misery for this reliability is hardly ever paid by the West. So Egypt has be stable - but at what cost to the vast majority of the population? Ditto Iraq, Syria ..the list just goes on.. Perhaps we should stop interfering in the Middle East and develop a proper relationship with the resultant governments? Rather than the client state one we have at the moment ?

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  • 91. At 4:13pm on 28 Jan 2011, John_From_Dublin wrote:

    # 73 powermeerkat wrote:

    “"Marx and Engels, Lenin, Mao, Mussolini and that other guy had no impact whatsoever, because only America is the root cause of all world problems."

    Although this comment fully deserves to be removed as provocative defamatory and libellous BS - I'll beg BBC Moderators to let it stay, because it's so highly educative. :-)))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))”

    1. PMK is quoting # 56 escapedfromny

    2. Most people quoting from other postings here have the elementary courtesy to give the name of the poster and/or the number of the posting

    3. I would have thought it would have been quite obvious to anyone that escapedfromny was being sarcastic.

    4. What is really educational here is that PMK was so keen to find anti-US propaganda that he didn’t see what was so blindingly obvious.

    5. In fact, escapedfromny attempts to defend the US by setting up a straw man – ie attacking an argument that no sane person would make, ie that everything is America’s fault.

    6. I must say however, if the best defence of the US someone can come up with is, ‘well we’re better than a fascist or communist dictatorship’ – you’re setting your sights pretty low.

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  • 92. At 4:18pm on 28 Jan 2011, powermeerkat wrote:

    "Last year the 27-year-old Jong-un, a sonny of Dear Leader (Kim Jong-il and a grandson of the Great Leader (Kim Il-sung ) was made a four-star general and given senior posts in the ruling Workers' Party."
    (BBC News)




    And how to blame those who believe in Socialism?

    As being much more rewarding religion than militant Islam?

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  • 93. At 4:22pm on 28 Jan 2011, glosterpowder wrote:

    It's amusing to see the inconsistencies of those who, as the US has for 50 years, argue for "stability" to prevent extermism.

    Firstly, the colossal hypocrisy. If you support autocrats to prevent something worse, come out and say it. Stop with the doublespeak about how you hope these regimes move towards democracy when you know full well they won't.

    Secondly, there's the fact you are preventing them have something you have. These people want to be able to live a decent life and want a Government that listens to them and tries to deliver it. Many other countries in the US and Europe have it - why wouldn't citizens of the Middle East want it too? And yet by propping up the Mubarak's and Ben Ali's of this world, you are directly stopping that.

    How would you feel if you were in their position? Angry, resentful maybe - maybe you'd blame those people who are propping up the regime? You can hardly blame Egyptians for acting the way you would act in their situation.

    And most cynical of all, is the fear argument. The bogey-man of Islamic Fundamentalism is being used in the same way as other bogeymen were used when many of these regimes were Soviet Client states.

    But perhaps those people who argue this could tell me? How many suicide bombs have there been in Switzerland or Norway? Not many. Why? Because they are not actively supporting the US in Afghanisatan or elsewhere. It's not rocket science. If you attack them, they will find a way to attack you back.

    The US through its stupid short-sightedness has created a lot of angry people in the Islamic World who hate America. Serves the US right for its policy - if you want to change stop propping up these regimes and their attitude might change.



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  • 94. At 4:25pm on 28 Jan 2011, BluesBerry wrote:

    Egypt unrest a dilemma for Obama?
    Egypt unrest a horror story for Obama!
    US President Barack Obama has "politically", "openly" urged both sides in Egypt not to use violence but the Obama Adminstration would not hesitate to use violence if violence would keep Mubarek in power.
    Obama: "There are certain core values - freedom of speech, freedom of expression, people being able to use any social networking or any other mechanisms. That is no less true in the Arab world than it is here in the US."
    Evidently, Obama does not believe in these Constitutional rights in the United States; so in so far as he states: "That is no less true in the Arab world than it is here in the US.", he speaks truthfully.
    When American Presidents face a "dilemma", they begin covert action, they pay off dictators, they put in place American puppets (e.g. Chile & Honduras), they support "American interests".
    Egypt is key to the US. It was the first country in that part of the globe to make peace with Israel and from this peace has come the continued ghetto-ization on the Palestinian People. Is the Raffah crossing blocked or open?
    It gets $1.5bn (£942m) in aid from the US, just behind Israel, Pakistan and Afghanistan. When Mr Obama wanted to send a message about a new beginning with the Muslim world, he chose to make his speech in Cairo, and proceeded to do nothing in follow-up to that speech; in fact, he continued most, if not all, of George W. Bush's policies in Northern Africa and the Middle East.
    There is no internal debate.
    There is a response based on wishful thinking: Robert Gibbs has said that Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak is a close and important partner, he has also said that President Obama has continually pressed for "political discourse" - whatever that means under the circumstances.
    So I'd say that the State Department believes a tsunami of change has struck north Africa, and they are fearful that the new rulers will not be American puppets. Whatever would the United States do with that!!
    From the founding fathers onwards, there may have been a time when Americans thought their country's example would inspire others around the world, but no more. America support tyrants and dictators; they do not embrace democracy. Did America support Hamas when it was duly & honestly elected? Did America support Manuel Zelaya in Honduras? Name me a country where a duly-elected, democratic leader has been elected and the Americans did not try to depose him. Even poor Haiti had its President ousted by the Americans: Jean-Bertrand Aristide - a former priest who was serving as Haiti's first democratically elected president.
    The Americans will always have an enemy to worry about - communists, Islamists, terrorists: It doesn't matter who the enemy is because the sole purpose of this "frightening" enemy is to promote American Imperialism, war, aggression...
    Yes, The Muslim Brotherhood, in a free & democratic country, could easily win any "free election", but not being a cosy partner for American politicians, Mubarek could never allow them to run.
    BY THE WAY, THE REBELLIONS TAKING PLACE ACROSS NORTH AFRICA AND THE MIDDLE EAST ARE NOT ISLAMIC. They are just poor, supressed people seeking a modicum of democracy.

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  • 95. At 4:40pm on 28 Jan 2011, polite and kind wrote:

    I'd have to say in reference to some of the comments here that some are not so good at looking in the mirror in the morning.
    Dictators cling on. Yes! And in a democracy people accept the verdict of the people and work to make the country better, together respecting the rights of those that just won an election and not slandering them with propaganda in order to advance their own personal wealth goals.

    Glenn says
    "Do not expect Islamists (or Chavistas or Putinists or Ahmedinejadists), despite any failures to govern effectively, to honorably leave office or become the "loyal opposition" due to something as trivial as future unfavorable election results"

    I say show me the republican tea party fans that behaved so well.

    If a party could be a dictator they would be in the list.

    PS I keep hearing reports that these protests are not about the Muslim brotherhood and they represent a small portion of Egypt but a portion that gets inflated to keep people in the west saying "watch out the Muslim brotherhood will take over"
    Extremists abound in all countries. We just notice those from other countries

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  • 96. At 4:43pm on 28 Jan 2011, Oldloadr wrote:

    86. At 4:01pm on 28 Jan 2011, John_From_Dublin wrote:
    You said ‘the majority in the EU don't care if Christians are persecuted or killed, as long as the Muslims are protected.“’ Essentially you libelled hundreds of millions of people. So I've a better idea. Rather than waiting till this subject does or doesn’t come up again, give us your proof now.
    ____________________________________________________________________
    OK, I gotta ask you: Other folks come on this blog every day and make all kinds of unsubstantiated accusations against the US and sometimes other entities, yet you never challenge them to prove it. Did I hit a little close to home? Is it your POV that Muslims be protected but not Christians? I’m just wondering why I’ve never seen you call anybody else out when they, as you put it, libeled the US. Anyway, I believe I said that it was my opinion (my exact words were, “As I see it…” So, in the interest of debate I said I would research for support of my POV, however, I did say that it was my "point of view." Worcesterjim thinks the Star-Chamber runs the whole world, which in a sense, slanders every politician in the western world, but you didn’t call him out for his opinion. Why the difference?

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  • 97. At 4:46pm on 28 Jan 2011, Sean Jones wrote:

    Blah, blah, blah. What bothers me is seeing those protestors dragged off by the security forces in Egypt. How they will be beaten, tortured, damaged as much as possible to deter other demonstrators .... how the Egyptian security forces use their CIA instruments and training to achieve this end. How come none of you have ever mentioned this tragic and horrible masochistic depraved activity that is going on right now, and for what reason, and at whose behest?

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  • 98. At 4:48pm on 28 Jan 2011, powermeerkat wrote:

    "I would have thought it would have been quite obvious to anyone that escapedfromny was being sarcastic."




    I'd have thought not that even a petty graduate of the Spelling Uninursery [sic] would have noticed I was being sarcastic.

    But I guess, perhaps that general gloom caused by a threat of an imminent bankruptcy, not to mention a govermental crisis...:-(]

    [read #84]

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  • 99. At 4:52pm on 28 Jan 2011, ugo guido wrote:

    This is the long lasting American dilemma: A nation that is pro democracy inside... but at the same time it is an empire that is pro dictatorship or democracy outside (depends on what works best for their own interests).
    And at the end hypocrisy is the mark of the White House.

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  • 100. At 4:53pm on 28 Jan 2011, polite and kind wrote:

    "Essentially you are saying ‘I was right – I was just too busy to prove it.’"

    J in D That is the best way for some to operate. It seems to work , though I would never have thought it until the last few years.


    68 You should try to answer the pertinent question you are asked before throwing another one out .
    It is courteous .

    " The "climate change" non-sense is a left wing religion that is being proven false. "

    Really "proven false" How so. And why bother. There is money to be made in change. Not in stagnation, that is the mantra of capitalism. OUR Mantra;)

    Some would counter that religion is the base of the right but I know they merely represent SOME religious people. Many many people who accept Global warming as a problem in reality are as faithful to their God as those that instead rely on the bible for Solace that Global warming is a fake.
    But lets say it is a religion. What is the problem with that.
    All religions are based on some teaching others that they should prepare for something.

    Why not prepare to make the world Greener by cutting down less trees.
    Why not cut our consumption down. Why not lower the levels of toxins in the water supply.
    Why not try to stop what MOST scientists agree is happening just because a few say that could be wrong because their sponsors don't like them talking about problems that may be caused by those sponsors.?
    Why?

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  • 101. At 4:58pm on 28 Jan 2011, MagicKirin wrote:

    ref #75
    Mish Toon wrote:
    No dilemma at all. Just support the wishes of the Egyptian people for a true change as the American people did in 2009. Also, support Mohamed ElBaradei, the opposition leader and Nobel prize-winning former UN official. President ElBaradei and his Egyptian/American fellows will rebuild Egypt into a real Democracy.

    ___________

    You mean the appeaser who stood by while Iran developed Nuclear weapons and gave time for Saddam to ship out his WMDs.

    Egypt does not need an islamic appeaser in leadership

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  • 102. At 5:02pm on 28 Jan 2011, powermeerkat wrote:

    Re #95 'polite and kind' wrote:
    " Extremists abound in all countries. We just notice those from other countries"





    Indeed, we notice first extremists of different political persuasion than our own, while failing to notice 20 million off illegal aliens in our own country. [provoking some of the extremism in our midst]



    Perhaps we should pay more attention what Barack is doing (or not) in the United States rather than what Mubarak is doing (or not) in Egypt?

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  • 103. At 5:03pm on 28 Jan 2011, polite and kind wrote:

    While there is all this discussion on Arab states beating their people because they want to protest.
    Can I remind people that Tony Blair introduced the rubber bullet to the streets of London because of anti globalisation rallies.
    That in America they regularly get heavy handed with those hat say no to Bankers making off with profits from Globalised markets.
    That when the people in the west complain companies taking jobs polluting their water, or how the country is there to keep those at the top richer they regularly get beaten up.

    The west loves to pretend that we do not stifle protesters but the evidence is they do exactly that. They intimidate the people with huge numbers of "security forces" called the police wearing paramilitary gear.

    The biggest hypocrisy is that in most western countries the same would happen but only if certain elements had their wealth threatened in some way.
    How is that any different. We change the Party into an Entity bit like a corporation is now a "person".Then we beat up those that say they need to change the party.
    Unless of course they bring tea;)

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  • 104. At 5:08pm on 28 Jan 2011, polite and kind wrote:

    "OK, I gotta ask you: Other folks come on this blog every day and make all kinds of unsubstantiated accusations against the US and sometimes other entities, yet you never challenge them to prove it."

    Funny because I remember a poster who would regularly ask why some complained about comments from one side of the aisle but never the other.
    That was when no one was making any hate speech about Obama on these threads. No one repeated accusations of falsified documents.Or of unspecified religious affiliations.

    I would wonder what your real intent was if I were not so forgiving.

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  • 105. At 5:11pm on 28 Jan 2011, Steve wrote:

    I have to say that even I underestimated the complete lack of interest by the mainstream media in the shooting of an Egyptian protester.

    I don't suppose I can get away with posting the youtube link here. Just search for associated press + egypt + protester and it should be the top link. The shooting happens about 12 seconds in.

    Contrast this with the BBC's coverage of the shooting of an Iranian protester, who we all came to know (due to dozens of articles and interviews) as Neda.

    Here are just a few.

    Iran doctor tells of Neda's death
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/8119713.stm

    Iran: the death of Neda Agha-Soltan
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/worldservice/news/2009/06/090626_iran_doctor_wt_sl.shtml

    Interview: Mother's tribute to Neda
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/8176098.stm

    Neda's mother speaks of her pride
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/worldservice/news/2009/07/090730_neda_mother_sl.shtml

    I could go on, but you get the picture. Massive media interest in the death of an Iranian protester and none about the death of an Egyptian protester. It's because Egypt is an ally rather than an official enemy. An impartial media would show equal interest in the death of protesters in Iran and Egypt.

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  • 106. At 5:11pm on 28 Jan 2011, dceilar wrote:

    The events in North Africa reflect the demise of the American hegemony in the world - and it is on a quick downward slope by the looks of the global economy. Everyone knows that these Arab countries are just client states for US foreign policy. The only exceptions are Syria, Lebenon, and Hamas controlled Palestine (the last two were democratically elected). Where will these protests end? Saudi Arabia? Expect oil prices to hit the roof and an empowerment of Arab nationalism (especially regarding the issue of the occupied territories).

    China seems to be becoming the new global powerhouse. It will soon be their vote at the UN that would carry the most clout and not the United States (Israel take note).

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  • 107. At 5:13pm on 28 Jan 2011, polite and kind wrote:

    "Democracy only works if the electoral losers become the Loyal Opposition."
    Which the Democrats did do when Bush was in office. A courtesy that was not extended to Obama for even one day.
    Now we read posts by people that are , it seems , determined to make sure all conflicts end in bloodshed who would pretend that Obama created the unrest in the middle east.
    They maybe right. But I suspect their pessimism is more to blame.I suspect they thrive in climates of hate and war so they promote those climates at every opportunity they have. Which thanks to the generous tax paying public in the UK is all the time here.;)

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  • 108. At 5:24pm on 28 Jan 2011, Oldloadr wrote:

    86. At 4:01pm on 28 Jan 2011, John_From_Dublin wrote:

    OK, John_from_Dublin, put these two facts (links below) together and see if you can argue against my “opinion” that Europe cares more about appeasing Muslims than the welfare of Christians. Besides, you can do a 5 minute search and find dozens of articles concerning persecution of Christians all over the world, but what do you see on European TV? You see how mean ol’ Israel is mistreating those poor humble, never did anything wrong Palestinians. I stick by my assertion that you in Europe (or at least, your freely elected gov’t and the media you all support with either your tax dollars or your direct purchases) do care more about Muslims than Christians.

    http://www.allvoices.com/contributed-news/7639380-pope-benedict-xvi-condemns-religious-persecution-in-europe
    [Unsuitable/Broken URL removed by Moderator]

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  • 109. At 5:41pm on 28 Jan 2011, polite and kind wrote:

    108
    You base your comments on "facts" derived from sources that do seem to have some angle to them.

    Persecution of Christians is on the lower burner of news organisations as you mention. That is because they are too busy concentrating their discussions on oppressive Iran.. and it's opposition to Christians and "liberals".
    Iran and it's weapons of mass destruction.
    Arabs and the planned take over of the world.
    And the Christian party of note the tea party.

    Seems the anti Islamic rhetoric takes pride and place on the mantel piece of journalism.

    No time to report Christian's being attacked. Unless they are in Darfur.

    Christians in Europe generally tend to think of their innocence as a forgone conclusion.
    And for most they have a right to.
    The US hristians have really brought Christianity to the fore though. They have changed the face of Christians to the face of America.
    much Anti "christian" rhetoric is Anti American rhetoric disguised as religious views.The persecution of Christians is as wrong as the persecution of Islam.
    No different.

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  • 110. At 5:42pm on 28 Jan 2011, Oldloadr wrote:

    86. At 4:01pm on 28 Jan 2011, John_From_Dublin

    [Unsuitable/Broken URL removed by Moderator]

    Another try at the second link.

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  • 111. At 6:05pm on 28 Jan 2011, Oldloadr wrote:

    The link that seems to be unsuitable is titled: Muslims Demand it and Europe Concedes to Limits on Free Speech; Google it.

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  • 112. At 6:26pm on 28 Jan 2011, DenverGuest wrote:

    108. At 5:24pm on 28 Jan 2011, Oldloadr wrote:
    86. At 4:01pm on 28 Jan 2011, John_From_Dublin wrote:

    OK, John_from_Dublin, put these two facts (links below) together and see if you can argue against my “opinion” that Europe cares more about appeasing Muslims than the welfare of Christians. Besides, you can do a 5 minute search and find dozens of articles concerning persecution of Christians all over the world, but what do you see on European TV? You see how mean ol’ Israel is mistreating those poor humble, never did anything wrong Palestinians. I stick by my assertion that you in Europe (or at least, your freely elected gov’t and the media you all support with either your tax dollars or your direct purchases) do care more about Muslims than Christians.
    ------------------------------------------
    Say what?:
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-11665435
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/worldhaveyoursay/2011/01/are_we_witnessing_a_new_age_of.html

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  • 113. At 6:30pm on 28 Jan 2011, worcesterjim wrote:

    BluesBerry @ 94 writes an excellent critique ...but fair minded people are obliged to ask themselves what the alternatives were.

    Long ago countries like Spain and Britain were poor and scratching a living and they became very rich and powerful by piracy/war and slaving and usury or moneylending and investment.

    Just as with Islam the Christian Church forbade the lending of money on interest so the Jews were drawn in to the nightmare of European politics by becoming our money men....and I suppose that`s where global capitalism began to develop.

    As Europe got involved with world wars it lost its empires and the mainly jewish money men moved to the USA where they helped make the USA the power she is today. But Jews in general paid a heavy price for being related to the money men and sought to return to their roots in the Middle East which they finally did in the period after the second World War.

    This coincided with the USA (CIA) effectively taking over our old Europen controlled empires...and then the "fun" really did begin because Americans tried to offer democracy to countries with no history of the education or culture necessary to make democracy work....and they still try...but I suspect that it`s time to face facts about tribalism in traditional cultures and the belief among many conservative socieies that Allah is the ruler and not mere mortal men.

    In brief ..democracy can`t work in the form we expect it to.Nor if those elected have no power because foreigners are pulling the strings.

    In truth democracy hardly happens in the developed west these days.... now that the moneymen have taken over our world ...and they influence our governments to do things we ordinary folk think are not a good idea.

    Lucy and I have bemoaned the way our industry has been moved to foreign parts while foreign countries dump their poor into our societies.

    Is this anyone`s fault? I don`t believe so...I think we are all just bumbling through our life and doing our best in the circumstances we encounter.

    But I do think we need more joined up government in the world.... if debt and religious and political and national and racial disputes aren`t going to destroy us all.

    No one country or small elite can do that without facing accusations of favouritism and victimisation....and my guess is that our best bet is a new UN based on somewhere like Cyprus.or Haiti or Madagascar ..or any other island that isn`t on US soil.

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  • 114. At 6:53pm on 28 Jan 2011, no_way_out wrote:

    Well, George Bush Jr wanted the invasion of Iraq to start a collapse of authoritarian regimes across the Middle East and their replacement by democratic change...a large number of Tunisians and Egyptians have take him at his word.
    Once again American exceptionalism meets reality head on.
    Bush and Blair should remember, "Be careful what your wish for."

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  • 115. At 7:14pm on 28 Jan 2011, rendonliz310 wrote:

    This situation started since President Obama gave the speech in Ciaro, Egypt. This is about political power, and President Obama is being a politician instead of a leader. Besides establishing democracy in Egypt, Afghasnitan, Jordan, and other middle east countries, the US officials "administrators" are not doing enough to solve the problems here in the U.S., instead they are to busy with foreighn affairs trying to solve the U.S's allies problem. Since we give them 2 Billion dollars for the public or have the egyption government to keep their mouths shut. I live in the U.S. and I am poor, and I do understand the people from Egypt do not have the same lifestyle as we do, but we "the poeple" of the U.S. faught for democracy. Now my question is, Why do the poeple of Egypt let only be one ruler for 30 years.

    In the U.S. politicians have changed, you have to be rich to be in government. I mean what has happened to democracy, do you have to be rich to run for government? Also, we are in a big deficit, if policians can raise money for his/her campaign in millions or billions now, how can they raise money to bring the deficit. I know, we get taxed a lot more then before, raise the taxes that is the governmnet solution. I am tired of paying higher taxes, and I think the Egyption people are not alone.

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  • 116. At 8:04pm on 28 Jan 2011, U14752247 wrote:

    If muslims read the hate ignorance and arrogance spouted by american bloggers here, then they will justified to treat them the with same contempt back.

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  • 117. At 8:46pm on 28 Jan 2011, John_From_Dublin wrote:

    96. At 4:43pm on 28 Jan 2011, Oldloadr wrote:

    “OK, I gotta ask you: Other folks come on this blog every day and make all kinds of unsubstantiated accusations against the US and sometimes other entities, yet you never challenge them to prove it. Did I hit a little close to home? Is it your POV that Muslims be protected but not Christians? I’m just wondering why I’ve never seen you call anybody else out when they, as you put it, libeled the US. Anyway, I believe I said that it was my opinion (my exact words were, “As I see it…” So, in the interest of debate I said I would research for support of my POV, however, I did say that it was my "point of view." Worcesterjim thinks the Star-Chamber runs the whole world, which in a sense, slanders every politician in the western world, but you didn’t call him out for his opinion. Why the difference?”

    So essentially you're asking why I don't respond to every single posting here I disagree with. (That assumes of course that I actually read every single posting here.) The answer is simple. Some years ago I acquired one of those - what are they called again? – begins with an ‘L’? Oh yes – a life. I read what I choose to read and respond to what I choose to respond to. It would be as foolish, simplistic and naive for you to assume I agree with everything I don't dispute as it would be for me to assume the same about you.

    “Did I hit a little close to home?”

    You mean did I prove you wrong because I secretly think you're right?

    No.

    “Is it your POV that Muslims be protected but not Christians?”

    No.

    “I’m just wondering why I’ve never seen you call anybody else out when they, as you put it, libeled the US.”

    I don't recall every single post I've made, but I certainly recall questioning a few people who announced what all Americans believe (amazingly enough it always seems to be what they themselves believe) as to what their evidence was. I also recall pointing out to MAII that most Americans I’d met had been polite and open-minded – my point being that people objected to him not because he represented a typical American, but because he didn’t.

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  • 118. At 9:53pm on 28 Jan 2011, John_From_Dublin wrote:

    You said ‘



    # 108. At 5:24pm on 28 Jan 2011, Oldloadr wrote:

    “OK, John_from_Dublin, put these two facts (links below) together and see if you can argue against my “opinion” that Europe cares more about appeasing Muslims than the welfare of Christians. Besides, you can do a 5 minute search and find dozens of articles concerning persecution of Christians all over the world, but what do you see on European TV? You see how mean ol’ Israel is mistreating those poor humble, never did anything wrong Palestinians. I stick by my assertion that you in Europe (or at least, your freely elected gov’t and the media you all support with either your tax dollars or your direct purchases) do care more about Muslims than Christians.”

    Not ‘facts’ – links to an article that says the pope thinks secularism is a bad thing and Christians are persecuted. There was a time people assumed if the pope says it it must be true. Those days are long gone. Your other link to an opinion piece which apparently provides some evidence that some paintings were taken down because they might offend Muslims.

    I repeat your assertion – “the majority in the EU don't care if Christians are persecuted or killed, as long as the Muslims are protected.” No evidence, no proof. There is no ‘government’ of Europe, any more than there is ‘European TV’. There are 27 governments in the EU, and dozens of TV stations, the vast majority of which I have never seen – and nor have you, no doubt. And all these stations, and all these governments, care more for Muslims than Christians? Including no doubt the government of the largest country in the EU, Germany. Led by the Christian Democrats.

    And now you don't ‘stand by’ your assertion – you change your assertion to another assertion for which you once again provide no evidence, let alone proof.

    If the truth shall set you free, I hope you're fond of captivity....

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  • 119. At 10:27pm on 28 Jan 2011, Ad wrote:

    This is Ad, not Adam writing! I was Adam until I found there already was one blogging.

    Back to Egypt: we must not hope to think that democracy as we know it can be fitted on to Egyptian society like an off-the-peg suit. Any move towards popular participation in central government will have to come from below - bottome-up rather than top-down. We are witnessing maybe the first tentative step towards that, but I rather despair of any radical change. I think that even if a new government came into power it would be 'more of the same', with new faces round the top table.

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  • 120. At 10:50pm on 28 Jan 2011, U14752247 wrote:

    no one here on this blog really hates americans, it's just reactions to the offensive tea pots spouting hate on the regular here... call it the 'hate that hate made'..

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  • 121. At 10:50pm on 28 Jan 2011, worcesterjim wrote:

    119..So Ad...it`s not going to be all that different from what we are dished up in the UK !

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  • 122. At 11:04pm on 28 Jan 2011, McJakome wrote:

    “From the founding fathers onwards, there have always been Americans who hope their country's example would inspire others around the world to kick out tyrants and dictators and embrace democracy. And there have long been other Americans who think democracy is fine and dandy if it wasn't for pesky foreign voters going and choosing the wrong sort of people, who may not have the best interests of US policy makers in mind.” Mark Mardell

    We Americans should remember that this situation is rather like the French sending Citizen Genêt to engineer regime change because the US was too freindly towards Britain and insufficiently attentive to the interests of France. We did [and still do] not like it when other countries and institutions interfere with us, and should really try to avoid doing this ourselves.

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  • 123. At 11:15pm on 28 Jan 2011, worcesterjim wrote:

    SO..what`s happened to my last post?

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  • 124. At 11:57pm on 28 Jan 2011, McJakome wrote:

    22. At 07:21am on 28 Jan 2011, George Holmer wrote as Pollyanna, the most sunny and optimistic view. This is rather like the views that motivated President Carter to terminate support of the Shah so that the Iranians could achieve democracy.

    I have reason to believe that not a few Iranians currently regret the regime that eventually came to power in Iran. The Pollyannas are seldom correct, but the Cassandras often are.

    -------------------------------------------------------------------

    74. At 3:06pm on 28 Jan 2011, kaz wrote either blatant historical revisionism or ignorance.

    “The situation in Egypt remained me of 1979 Iranian revolution, when Jimmy Carter throw his weight behind Khomeini and made a mess of middle east and the whole world still suffering from his mistake.”

    I agree that American actions in suppressing Mossadegh and reinstating the Shah were wrong. However, the US hoped [i.e. supported] the short-lived democracy that Khomeini’s revolution then overthrew.

    Had the US continued supporting the Shah and pressured him to reform instead of pulling the rug out from under him Iran might be a more democratic place today. However, that is as unprovable as any alternate history.

    This is another of the long list of responses predicated on the notion that if only the US had not existed the world would be a paradise today.
    If only the US capitalists had not stopped them, the Russian Socialists would have truly liberated Europe at the end of World War II [I have never heard a Pole, or other Eastern European agree with this POV, rather they wish we had stopped the Russian to the east of them].

    If only the US war criminals had been prevented from getting and using atomic weapons [The Nazis and Japanese were working on those, and they both conducted tests of WMDs on captive peoples and war prisoners. If you don't believe this lying American Capitalist, just ask the suitably Communist Chinese to confirm it].

    Dah, dah, dah, dum.

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  • 125. At 09:05am on 29 Jan 2011, powermeerkat wrote:

    JMM in #124
    If only the US war criminals had been prevented from getting and using atomic weapons [The Nazis and Japanese were working on those, and they both conducted tests of WMDs on captive peoples and war prisoners. If you don't believe this lying American Capitalist, just ask the suitably Communist Chinese to confirm it].







    U.S. atomic bombs were developed for a use against Nazi III Reich.

    It's not their designers' fault that the II Front moved much faster than anticipated, and that Werner Heisenberg did not realize that that nothing would work until uranium-235 was enriched to at least 90%.



    P.S. And now, returning to the subject, could you tell us more about that "great religion of peace" much maligned by Yankee imperialists? ;-)

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  • 126. At 09:11am on 29 Jan 2011, powermeerkat wrote:

    "I have reason to believe that not a few Iranians currently regret the regime that eventually came to power in Iran. The Pollyannas are seldom correct, but the Cassandras often are."





    For the record: while most well educated Persians and Azeris are pro-Western and deeply resent ayatollahs' regime, that regime still enjoys a strong support among illiterate Iranian peasants in Islamic Republic's backward, impoverished rural aeras.


    P.S. Coptic Christians are not prosecuted by Muslims more than Iranian Bahaists and Zoroastrians are.

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  • 127. At 09:17am on 29 Jan 2011, powermeerkat wrote:

    JMM: "I have never heard a Pole, or other Eastern European agree with this POV, rather they wish we had stopped the Russian to the east of them."





    When Patton moved too far east, Marshall Zhukov complained that "that's not what we've agreed upon in Yalta".


    And Eisenhower dutifuly denied diesel fuel to Patton's armored division, since it was the only way he could stop him.

    [Eisenhower, being a superb quartermaster, succeeded]

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  • 128. At 09:20am on 29 Jan 2011, powermeerkat wrote:

    Re Mossadegh...

    The currently available evidence shows that it was not primarily United States and American oil companies which wanted to remove Mossadegh.

    Since they wouldn't be the ones most affected by intended nationalization

    "The rest is silence".

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  • 129. At 09:32am on 29 Jan 2011, powermeerkat wrote:

    Reshufling once's administration in an aftermath of a major defeat is a typical response of many governments: including Mubarak's and Barack's.

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  • 130. At 10:52am on 29 Jan 2011, worcesterjim wrote:

    129 Just as with the switch from Bush to Obama after you wrecked the global economy and bankrupted my country AGAIN in 2006 perhaps?

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  • 131. At 12:37pm on 29 Jan 2011, Chryses wrote:

    worcesterjim, (#130. At 10:52am on 29 Jan 2011)
    ”... from Bush to Obama after you wrecked the global economy and bankrupted my country AGAIN in 2006 perhaps?”
    When was the first occasion?

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  • 132. At 6:13pm on 29 Jan 2011, worcesterjim wrote:

    1929 Chryses....and by 1945 we were totally bankrupt....and have been under your thumb ever since then.

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  • 133. At 6:50pm on 29 Jan 2011, Chryses wrote:

    worcesterjim, (#132. At 6:13pm on 29 Jan 2011)
    ”1929 Chryses....and by 1945 we were totally bankrupt....and have been under your thumb ever since then.”
    Ah, but didn’t you say in post #130, “after you [U.S.A.] wrecked the global economy and bankrupted my country AGAIN?” That suggests you believe that the U.S. had bankrupted your country before. Now, by 1945 GB had been borrowing heavily for some time to finance some extraordinary Crown expenses. Are you claiming that the Stock Market Crash of 1929 bankrupted GB the first time?

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  • 134. At 9:48pm on 29 Jan 2011, worcesterjim wrote:

    133 Wall Street financed the First World War then called in the money in such a way that it triggered the Crash and the Depression and then the beginnings of the Holocaust because people had a centuries old hatred of the Jews and of what they called International Jewry`s jiggery-pokery.

    Millions of Jews were flooding from Russia/Eastern Europe after the revolution and in the hope of getting to the USA....and not all were getting away to Britain and the USA.

    I suspect that `29 was a severe knock out blow for Britain`s finances and industry but the war finished us off.The war made the USA very rich!

    We lost everything by attacking Hitler in 39 while Wall Street were still happily doing business with Germany and SELLING us arms.

    I suspect they would have let us sink ...simply because the USA were determined to ruin Britain and take our number one slot...but it became obvious that Hitler had decided he couldn`t get rid of all the Jews by exporting them and he started gassing them.As you will know Wall Street does have one loyalty...to the Jews.
    Only then in late 1940 did the USA join the fight....once the death camps were in full operation and it was obvious Britain was too poor to win the war.
    I won`t bore you with more...I realise that this will not be something you want to hear but it`s what I honestly believe....and NO I am not spending six months providing you with chapter and verse.

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  • 135. At 10:07pm on 29 Jan 2011, Chryses wrote:

    worcesterjim, (#134. At 9:48pm on 29 Jan 2011)
    ”Wall Street financed the First World War then called in the money in such a way that it triggered the Crash and the Depression and then the beginnings of the Holocaust because people had a centuries old hatred of the Jews and of what they called International Jewry`s jiggery-pokery ...”
    Would you be willing to share your insights as to how “Wall Street” “called in the money in such a way that it triggered the Crash and the Depression?” I have not heard of this theory before, and I’d like you to explain how that process unfolded, if you would.

    If you can do so, would you also explain how “Wall Street” afterwards caused “the beginnings of the Holocaust?” What with Wall Street being in Noth America, and the Holocaust occurring in Central Europe, it is not immediately obvious to me how “Wall Street” afterwards caused “the beginnings of the Holocaust.”

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  • 136. At 10:18pm on 29 Jan 2011, Charles_Martel wrote:

    Is it not strange to read so much about ‘the West should do this’ or the ‘USA should not do that’?
    Western nations are in a bind. Western academia has by and large rejected the concept of ‘Truth.’ The Western academy will argue that Truth either does not exist or is unknowable. Taking this stance to its logical conclusion there is no reason for morality. There is no moral law because without Truth an act cannot be truly and inherently evil. For there to be a moral law there has to be a Lawgiver. Several generations of Western academics have worked tirelessly to erase the concept of a moral Lawgiver from the public discourse. You are now left with moral norms but no reason to follow them and thus the norms are slowly being eroded.
    (1) Since most Western nations reject things that ‘smack’ of religion in their official public discourse they are left with only secular reasoning. In a secular framework how do you decide a moral code? You can’t. Westerners would argue that under the law all people should be regarded equally, but why? The government can only say so-it offers no moral reason as to why. Essentially you have ‘Human Rights’ without any coherent reason as to why they should be adopted and enforced.
    (2) Western nations have legal systems that are vestiges from a time when people and their leaders believed in a divine Lawgiver. Now that this is not the case these systems will slowly be eroded. Likewise, the ‘Human Rights’ concept was developed in a time when the Lawgiver was still a permissible form of public discourse. Now, when there is no concept of this Lawgiver, the reason for universal human rights springs only from consensus.
    (3) This poses a problem because any form of human rights can only be based on consensus, so whatever the majority believes is good and right, then that is right. There is no higher moral standard than the will of the people. THe will of the people will change with time.
    (4) When people are abused by their governments, what will happen and is already happening is citizens comment that “Who are we to get involved?” Essentially, the only thing they can say is that a certain nation or culture has chosen to live that way-even if that is not true. Thus Westerners can dismiss oppression as cultural and as a choice. They would also argue they have no reason to condemn the actions of others. And this is very true, how can Westerners condemn totalitarian oppression when they no longer believe in the concept of a moral Lawgiver?
    The West has lost all cultural confidence because how can it argue that all nations should accept ‘Human Rights’ when it cannot offer a reason as to why such rights matter? It is telling dictators not to abuse their people but then it cannot say why, it simply says what dictatorships are doing is wrong. You are left with this empty rhetoric about the ‘brotherhood of man’ or ‘children of the universe’ but what makes the Western stance of democracy and ‘Human Rights’ superior to anything these dictators do? HUMAN RIGHTS ARE A RELIGIOUS CONCEPT-until the West realizes this it will flounder and be indecisive.

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  • 137. At 11:57pm on 29 Jan 2011, worcesterjim wrote:

    135 Chryses..What with Washington being on one side of the world and Iraq and Afghanistan being on the other I can`t see the causal connection between events in them...in fact it`s a mystery how world events spark off each other when they can be happening.....well..yards away!

    Perhaps that`s why Bin Laden hit the twin towers...he knew some people think Wall Street can`t possibly influence anything more than a few blocks away!

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  • 138. At 00:02am on 30 Jan 2011, worcesterjim wrote:

    136 Human Rights never seem to apply to ordinary Brits like me.....but they are a great money-spinner for lawyers and the foreigners they import into Britain.

    Politically they are a grand excuse for soft imperialism...because they bring so called western cultural values to ther societies with out taking account of the other culture`s unique qualities.

    It`s a glorious soap box for the professional meddlers among us.

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  • 139. At 01:48am on 30 Jan 2011, Charles_Martel wrote:

    #138 worcesterjim “Politically they are a grand excuse for soft imperialism...because they bring so called western cultural values to ther societies with out taking account of the other culture`s unique qualities.”
    That is kind of irrelevant to what I wrote. I am not actually saying that human rights are bad. What I am writing is that there is no basis given for them-so that ‘Human Rights’ has come to be a bland catch phrase to throw at dictators.
    Firstly, why would meddling be wrong? Here you have arrived at a distinct problem. You say that it is wrong for western nations to meddle with other countries but why is it? Unless there is a universal moral law given by a divine Lawgiver, nothing is inherently wrong. Meddling in other people’s affairs is wrong in your opinion, but for it to be inherently wrong it must violate the principles of an absolute Moral Law.
    Also, what you wrote highlights something I should have mentioned in my first post. You are assuming that one cultural set of values is not superior to another-in essence all cultures are equal and they should all be equally respected. Where would you draw the line? Do you think it is right for those who have been privileged with much wealth and power to sit idly by whilst other human beings are being oppressed? Sometimes the ‘culture’ argument does not stand. I am not saying these things are occurring in Egypt but terrible things happen. When is it right to intervene?
    Also you wrote ‘… Human Rights never seem to apply to ordinary Brits like me...’: what does this mean? The idea of human rights is that they are universal; the right exists regardless of whether people infringe upon them. Simply because a government does not recognize a right, does not mean it is non-existent. This ties back to what I wrote about a Divine Lawgiver, without the Law there are no rights-in fact people can do what they think is right in their eyes. Without the Law, the strong decide what is right.

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  • 140. At 04:35am on 30 Jan 2011, McJakome wrote:

    RE 139 and previous. At 01:48am on 30 Jan 2011, Charles_Martel

    How's that stopping the Moors at the Pyrenees workin' out for ya?

    But seriously, the notion that morality can only come from religion is illogical and can be easily shown to be false. Religion can be one important source of morality, except of course religions don't agree on one set of moral principles.

    Of course your argument sounds very familiar, I would bet that you restrict morality to Judeo-Christian religion and exclude the others. In that case, arguing about it with you would be a waste of time and bandwidth.

    Is it immoral to:
    a. eat pork, shellfish or animals that have not been killed in a particular way?
    b. see women whose hair and body shape are not completely covered?
    c. use the name of God outside religious use, like typing OMG?
    d. to have more than one wife [or woman] at a time?

    Is it moral to:
    a. deny medical care to the poor, weak and disadvantaged?
    b. think of yourself, your car, and your lifestyle before all other things?
    c. denigrate other people's religious beliefs?
    d. wage wars that result in injustice, injury and death to the innocent?

    On the negative side, there is a fairly long list of "Christian" pastors who are guilty of lying, stealing, cheating, fornicating, etc. The same can be said of priests, and one must not forget child molesting there. I am aware, having lived for many years in the Middle East and Asia, that mullahs, sheikhs and Buddhist monks are known to be corrupt as well.

    I have known too many people who are either not religious or who have no religion to buy that simplistic argument that religion is necessary for morality. It is just as absurd as looking at my list of clerical bad actors and saying that all clerics or all religious beople are bad or, at least, hypocrites.

    When I hold the door for someone, act responsibly, don't steal, etc. I am usually behaving in accordance with not doing to others what I would not have them do to me. I don't tell myself, "Don't steal that Jesus will get you if you do!"

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  • 141. At 06:57am on 30 Jan 2011, worcesterjim wrote:

    Charles...yes it is oversimplistic of me to suggest that there should be no cross fertilisation of ideas between cultures ......but in my longish life I have known a lot of activists and others given to passing on the benefit of their "liberating" insights and beliefs....and so many of them were intellectual bullies hiding their authoritarian instincts behind some apparently virtuous religious or philosophical excuse or another.

    A few weeks of listening to the deeply well-intentioned propogandists on BBC Radio 4 would suffice to inoculate from the idea of invoking human rights for good....unless you share their messianic outlook!

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  • 142. At 07:00am on 30 Jan 2011, Charles_Martel wrote:

    #140 JMM:
    Here is the problem: what do you call a good deed? You are saying that man is capable of doing good without having to acknowledge any belief in God or other religious entity. Fair enough, man can do morally good actions but that is not my point. It is irrelevant about what you are capable of until you can define what a good act is.
    A man does not need to violate every article of a legal code to have broken the law; simply one aspect of the code will incriminate him. Likewise, if indeed there exists a universal and divine law, when one aspect of it is violated the whole law is violated. You may agree that it is wrong to murder, and so would most men, but the thing about the law is that you cannot pick and choose what to obey. Not murdering is only an aspect of divine law. Law is wholesale, it is not piecemeal. If there are other articles of law that are broken, one is still a criminal.
    You list sets of actions that most people would agree are wrong, such as injury and death to the innocent. But why is it wrong? An action has to be universally wrong and eternally wrong for it to be inherently wrong. To say that murder is wrong is something I agree with you on-but why is it wrong? That must be answered. Simply asserting something is wrong is not what makes it so. If I do not write the law then my opinion of it is irrelevant because it cannot change the law.
    I am sure you do live by a high set of moral values, in fact so do many non-religious people. But if morality is a matter of opinion and consensus it is not true morality and it will change with time. A good action would be good regardless of whether or not every human claimed it was bad. Without law it is the strong that decide what is good.

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  • 143. At 10:16am on 30 Jan 2011, worcesterjim wrote:

    Charles...the strong always decide what happens...and if pressed refer the weak to an obscure section of the current religious books for validation.

    The Bible and the Koran are full of contradictory ideas and Jesus is a past master at talking in a counter-intuitive way.

    By his lights the weak shall inherit the Earth and the strong will be cast down for their arrogance and pride.we should all love our enemies and turn the other cheek when abused!

    What this amounts to is a hypnotic trance which is achieved by talking nonsense and which leaves his followers feeling guilty and sinful and obedient to the clergy....simply because they CANNOT follow his teachings!

    We are on our own...and no divine being will intercede between us and the consequences of fate/luck and our collective actions.

    Yes we need moral and ethical standards...but I don`t want you pulling rank on me by claiming divine guidance...so get back in your box and argue your case like the next man!

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  • 144. At 5:33pm on 30 Jan 2011, Chryses wrote:

    Charles_Martel, (#136. At 10:18pm on 29 Jan 2011)
    ”... Western academia has by and large rejected the concept of ‘Truth.’ ...”
    Your pronouncement might surprise many scientists, the Physicists in particular.

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  • 145. At 8:25pm on 30 Jan 2011, McJakome wrote:

    142. At 07:00am on 30 Jan 2011, Charles_Martel wrote RE
    #140.

    You chose to ignore my underlying proposition in those lists. Many of the things contained in the eternally "inerrant" Bible, are so "errant" that they are now considered immoral as well as illegal, others, like eating pork and shellfish, are still considered immoral by orthodox Jews, but not by most Christians.

    This is where the universal and eternal wrong runs aground, it is neither. The Economist has had a few articles on biology and ethics that suggest that there may be a genetic bias toward basic morality because it is a positive survival characteristic. I am still more fond of the idea that the golden rule, "Do unto others what you would have others do unto you; don't do unto others what you would not have them do unto you" is a perfectly pragmatic social statement, or basis of the "social contract" that does not require religious authority.

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  • 146. At 9:47pm on 30 Jan 2011, Charles_Martel wrote:

    #144 Chryses:
    I am talking about moral and philosophical truth.
    #143 worcesterjim:
    Simply because the strong decide what happens does not make it right. You are confusing subjective opinion with universal objectivity. The strong eventually die off and are replaced by those who supersede them. Does this mean that morality changes with history, that what was right 1,000 yrs ago is no longer right? I mean this in an objective sense, not what people considered to be right. You are still not addressing the need for inherent good vs. inherent evil. If morality is subjective you face the following problems:
    (1) Situation ethics: how do you decide whose needs supersede those of another person? If you need something do you simply take it? People do that but does it make it right? If the individual decides what is right or wrong to suit their needs then the whole basis of society and criminal law is lost. You have no pretext to punish people.
    (2) There is no incentive to do anything. If there is no such thing as objective good/evil in the world then people simply exist. Any action I take is simply an action, it has no meaning. Neither do the actions of others. So really, how can anyone condemn anyone else? These tie into my first argument in my earlier post. With the loss of objectivity, if I see dictators killing their own people, there is no objective measure to condemn them-they are wrong in my opinion but is that a logical pretext to start a war?
    (3) There is no reason to judge/condemn the past. What happened in the past happened, it has no moral value without objectivity. You only assign moral meaning to it with your opinion. The strong took what is theirs from the weak. It happened, it is meaningless.
    Lastly, I am not saying in any way that I am somehow inherently better than anyone else, neither have I asserted that I am divine, in fact quite the opposite. What I am saying is for there to be true morality, there must be an objective moral law given by a Lawgiver that has the power to enforce it.
    In regards to the Bible, it is worth reading it all the way through. Christ does say that the strong and the proud will be cast down BUT you are taking certain things out of context.
    (1) Firstly, the Bible is very clear that man, in his natural state has broken the moral law, thus he must face the consequences.
    (2) When Christ tells His followers to love their enemies He is not telling them to ignore their problems. If you truly believed that a certain person was facing God’s judgment and you truly loved them, would you not want to save them from such a judgment? Love requires confronting people about destructive behavior-parents do it to their children all the time.
    (3) Christian theology makes it clear that Christians are not saved by any inherent merit of their own; they are saved vicariously through Christ. There will be many 'Christians' that disregard this and act as if they were superior, but that is not in accordance with the teaching of the Bible.

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  • 147. At 10:21pm on 30 Jan 2011, Chryses wrote:

    Charles_Martel, (#146. At 9:47pm on 30 Jan 2011)
    "#144 Chryses:
    I am talking about moral and philosophical truth."


    Ah. Well, if you feel that ethics is relative, you might want to think carefully about what that means before you assert that it is true. Very carefully.

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  • 148. At 5:57pm on 31 Jan 2011, polite and kind wrote:

    "Do unto others what you would have others do unto you; don't do unto others what you would not have them do unto you"

    LOL JMM. This makes me think that maybe , just maybe some of the Christians I have met more recently in life must be masochists ,because they sure like seeing others beaten up.

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  • 149. At 03:45am on 01 Feb 2011, McJakome wrote:

    148. At 5:57pm on 31 Jan 2011, polite and kind wrote:
    "'Do unto others what you would have others do unto you; don't do unto others what you would not have them do unto you'

    LOL JMM. This makes me think that maybe , just maybe some of the Christians I have met more recently in life must be masochists ,because they sure like seeing others beaten up."

    Christians are not the only group with significant numbers of hypocrits. There are people with supporters on this very blog who want to prevent Communism and Socialism for others, but keep their own socialist benefits intact.

    Then there are those on the left who criticize [and quite rightly] bloody handed dictators western countries, especially the US, have installed and supported; but they never criticize the bloody handed dictators installed and supported by the Soviets and Chinese. When criticizing the US for being the backer and supporter of, for example, Saddam Hussein, they never seem to find it strange that his army was using mostly Russian materiel, nor that the Ba'ath Party was very Stalinist, not to mention Comintern alligned.

    Only the most demented would try to blame Pol Pot and the Kims of North Korea on the US, but some try. When Brits moan and complain about the US not rushing to Britain's aid in 1939, they never moan about Sweden and Switzerland not doing so. The US and those two countries were all neutral, not British allies or colonies.


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