And just think what the people in the Ivory Coast must be wondering when they see us involved in Libya, but not in their country. After several days of air strikes,cruise missile launchings, actual reports of French jets hitting their targets, do we have a clue about the final outcome and even why we are involved? Why are we involved actually is what I have wondered all along + why the President did not consult with the Congress before beginning whatever this is.
Of course this “adventure” of ours stems from what to all intents and purposes is a Libyan civil war, between forces loyal to Hugo Chavez’ best friend, Col Gaddafi, and those intent on recreating the Egyptian experience of just a few weeks ago. Unlike the events in Egypt, there is a much stronger force intent on maintaining the status quo. So, of all sources to ask us, among others, to intervene, the Arab League called for the imposition of a no fly zone to prevent the Libyan air force from massacring those opposing the Colonel.
So, American, French and British set out to do just that, ground the Libyan air force. What would be almost amusing, were it so deadly serious, is how quickly the Arab League got more than it expected. Libyan planes were shot down, antiaircraft guns were silenced and some people were killed. I have no intention of poking fun at all, but how exactly did the Arab League expect a no fly zone to be established? Just ask the Libyan pilots nicely to stay on the ground?
Anyway, the no fly zone was established and then what ensued? Gaddafi’s forces have continued to fight, NATO nad its allies are bickering and whatever we and our NATO allies are doing goes on, with no specific end or goal.
And, if you missed it while watching events in Libya, not all that far away in Syria, there are anti government protests, accompanied by a government crackdown. Just ask yourself, at what point do we intervene there? Who will have to ask and how much turmoil will have to ensue and how will the decision be made? Will Congress have a voice next time;when there is a next time? Mr President, the people of the Ivory Coast are on line one.
- America’s Role in Libya (adailyglimpse.com)
- Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez: US, allies want Libyan oil [Zahir shamsery] (ecademy.com)
Events in Egypt are still unfolding. The anti-government protests are into day#14 and the final outcome is far from being determined.So, what can we say at this point? Therein lies a problem. What one says sort of “smells” like instant analysis. Although that is a staple of our culture, it often misses the boat completely. As an illustration, look at how the Obama administration has reacted or spoken at various times since events began to unfold.
Remember vice-president Biden saying that Mubarak was not a dictator and should not resign? Then we have Secretary Clinton saying that we are not advocating any specific outcome but then urging an orderly transition. The President has spoken to Mubarak, probably more than once and has reportedly urged him to go. He has stated that we hear you in referring to the demonstrators. Today he said that Egypt was not going back to the way it was, although I believe the Egyptian military will have a big say in that. He opined that the Muslim Brotherhood will have a role but not a significant one. He accurately said that we cannot dictate to Egypt but we want to see orderly change. By definition, that seems to be quite unlikely.
But what most grabbed my attention in the Associated Press article were the phrases “pro-democracy protests” and ”pro-democracy protesters.” I don’t know if those words came from Robert Burns or Kimberly Dozier who bylined the article. And I hesitate to comment to strongly but I firmly believe those characterizations are way off base. It would be wonderful to see a democracy in Egypt. But what ever form of government emerges, it will not be a democracy. If there were a way to ask a representative sample of those demonstrating if they were pro democracy you would get few if any takers. As an illustration walk backwards in egyptian history ans see what you discover.
So we watch and we wait and we wonder and some of us demonstrate in support of Egypt. Those of us who are so inclined would also do well to pray.
- Only Revolutions (dalyhistory.wordpress.com)
- Egypt: Book Banned by Mubarak Predicted Egyptian Revolution (prweb.com)
The ongoing turmoil in Egypt is in its sixth day with no obvious end in sight and it is far too early to know the outcome. Perhaps even informed speculation is premature. But speculate we do for many reasons. Egypt is a major American ally and has been for several years, at least back to the Carter presidency.( More on the Carter connection a bit later.) Egypt is the most populous and probably most influential Arab country with a very large army and air force and is a very close neighbor of Israel. And so we wonder about many things. How did this uprising or revolution begin? Was there a trigger event? What ( not if) outside influences are involved? Vice-president Biden’s comments to the contrary, Mubarak seems unlikely to survive. If he goes, then what or who? Who do we favor, the government or those opposing the government?
The UK Daily Telegraph has an article today stating that we have backed Egyptian dissidents who have worked on regime change for at least three years, ostensibly trying to bring about a democratic government. Of course in its 6,000 year history Egypt has never had such a government and is unlikely to have one any time soon.
Much of the above referenced speculation is drawing parallels between this uprising and the Iranian hostage crisis of 1979. The result of course was an Iran with which we still have issues. Some are calling this a Carter moment for Obama, i.e. Carter”lost” Iran and Obama could be well on his way to “losing” Egypt.
Meanwhile the turmoil, including rioting, looting, organized prison breaks etc continues. And at least three countries, Israel, Turkey and the United States have begun evacuating their citizens with others preparing to do likewise.
The turmoil will eventually end and answers to most if not all of our questions will come. But what kind of outcome will that be?
- “Obama to Egypt’s Coptic Christians: “If I were in your shoes right now Iâ€™d be…” “LEAVING! What a GOOD idea!”" and related posts (directorblue.blogspot.com)
- Egypt According to Sharon (narmer.wordpress.com)
The summer season is the time of year when many folks take to the highways for a little vacation. Some who are more intrepid will choose an overseas destination. I suppose that is what our friend Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf must be doing. He has been on a trip sponsored by the U S State Department and it is a trip with a mission. His trip is aimed at improving relations between the United States and the Muslim world. ( Thought that was NASA’s mission.) Of course, he has been enjoined to do no fund-raising for the Park 51 Project. Probably doesn’t need to. I expect that the $100 million plus for that effort is already in place.
One thing I have read about this trip stood. This is not Imam Rauf’s fist American sponsored trip. As I recall, it is the fourth. Two were during the Bush Administration and this is the second since Obama took office. He’s getting plenty of frequent flier miles on these trips alone. These trips were arranged by Bush adviser Karen Hughes as part of a Muslim outreach. So we seem to have opportunity infatuation no matter what he says. Oh wait, the State Department says that his somewhat inflammatory comments( in 00105, 06 I presume) were taken out of context.
Just a bit more Islamic outreach. If you liked the Imam’s taxpayer-funded trips you will be thrilled to learn that we are also paying for the renovation of mosques. A Washington Times article in April reported on our ambassador to Tanzania participating in a ribbon cutting ceremony for celebrating the refurbishing of a 12th century mosque there. And, and there was money provided to save the legendary 7th century Amr Ebn El Aas mosque in Cairo. Who was the namesake for this structure? He was the Muslim conqueror of Christian Egypt. The site was where he camped before doing battle with the country’s Byzantine rulers. A mosque on the site of a Muslim conquest. Does that sound familiar?
- State Department sponsors Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf’s visit to Qatar (nowpublic.com)
- If Feisal Abdul Rauf was fine before, he’s fine now (washingtonmonthly.com)
- Funny How Bush Officials Don’t Remember Working With Imam Rauf (alan.com)
- Karen Hughes doesn’t remember Park51 organizer, would like him to move “mosque” (salon.com)
Hurrah, hurrah. The President today named Rashad Hussain as his envoy to the Organization of the Islāmic Conference. The appointment is part of the president’s continuing effort to improve strained U S Islāmic relations. Hussain will continue to develop the types pf partnerships that Obama talked about in his famous Cairo speech last year.
Obama also pointed out that his new envoy is a hafiz of the Quran, which means he has memorized the text of the Muslim holy book. ( Hope he can find out about the justifications for jihad in there. ) Obama also announced his upcoming trip to Indonesia in March where he hopes to continue the U S – Muslim dialogue. While he is there perhaps he can visit some of the places where he hung out as a child.
I guess only one thing about this appointment has me puzzled and that is this. Why did the president feel the need to appoint such a person at all? With all his qualifications, I thought Obama was his own very special envoy to the Islamic world. And, who could be better, right?
He even made the announcement during his video address to the 7th US Islāmic Forum meeting in Doha, Qatar. But he is allowing Madame Secretary Clinton to address the meeting tomorrow.
…..wasn’t it supposed to be over and done by now? Something about December and deadlines and agreements and how Russia has smoothed it all over and wasn’t all the Arab world going to fall in love with us? You remember the speech in Egypt that was so great, do you not?
And just the other day, Defense Secretary Gates held out hope for the sanctions to work. And now Hilary has given an interview that kinda says Iran is not the real problem since they don’t have a bomb,yet.
Don’t I remember somebody using the phrase “axis of evil” and being roundly condemned for it. Why that cowboy diplomacy that makes the world hate us,how dare he!
And yet, today I read that Iranian President Ahmadinejad has told his atomic agency to significantly enrich the country’s stockpile of uranium. And German Defense Minister Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg referred to the farce being played out just like in the past. “The outstretched hand of the international community has not only been taken but pushed back.”
What did Herr Guttenberg mean do you think? We will agree with the UN plan maybe says Iran. If more sanctions were imposed it would a 4th round, if you’re counting, and neither Russia nor China seems all that excited about it.
I just feel that I have written all of this before and yet here we are again. Wonder what Prime Minister Netanyahu and Israel think about it all? Are they watching closely?” Bet your sweet bippy” they are. In fact he is in Russia as we write on a “long-planned trip.” Wonder what they will discuss?
The little country of Yemen is very newsworthy these days; more so than in a while. The map shows the country’s position and an interesting one it is. One can see it shares a border with Saudi Arabia and how it juxtaposes with Iran, Iraq Egypt,etc. And of course there is that little thing about the Christmas Day bomb attempt by a young Nigerian who was allegedly trained and funded by al-Qaeda from Yemen, whew!
But the Yemeni news continues. Seems that the terror guys have posed threats credible enough to get both the United States and Britain to close their embassies in Yemen. This on one hand, while on the other we offer financial aid and training for Yemeni police and military. Full power of the United States at work and will spare no effort. So said the President, in words to that effect, and no more diplomatic presence. If we’re scoring ladies and gentlemen, we will give this round to Osama and friends ( Yemen is an ancestral homeland for the bin ladens) are we not?
I heard a retired general on Fox this morning, can’t remember his name, who called Yemen a “petri dish” for terrorism. Now, biology was never a strong subject for me but I believe that has something to do with an environment where things are grown. If that is the case, this impoverished country with a near non-existent economy will loom increasingly large on our radar.
Want to know what she overdid ? Sure you do. She overdid her praise for Israel, of course and now she is having a bit of a mea culpa. Madame Secretary was in Marrakech, Morocco to speak to Arab concerns about the “positive reinforcement” she had provided Israel just 2 days earlier. (And you thought Marrakech was just part of a Crosby, Stills and Nash song).
The uproar relates its seems, primarily, to the construction of Israeli settlements and their unwillingness to bring that construction to a halt. This seems to be a major stumbling block regarding Palestinian- Israeli negotiations. Obama had earlier talked tough on the matter indicating that the construction would have to stop-period. She in fact repeated this assertion that the administration does not accept the legitimacy of the settlements. Unfortunately, Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu seems disinclined to completely stop the construction. So, we have a conundrum, No wonder, Mrs Clinton was reluctant to make the Middle East trip, anticipating all might not go well. Better watch that thinking or John Kerry might have her job.
Anyway, her new old statements seemed to satisfy a number of the Arab leaders in attendance including individuals from Morocco, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan and Iraq.
To more fully reinforce her statements today, she will add a previously unscheduled trip to Egypt. There she will meet with President Hosni Mubarak on Wednesday. As of today, there has been no report of what Israel thinks of this” Back to the Future “endeavor . Doubtless, we will hear more.
The President’s foreign trip rolls on, a day after a significant speech in Cairo. I would venture to say it might be the most significant speech made by an American president in a Muslim country. In some ways, it reminds me of Nixon’s trip to China in 1972. Only Nixon could go to China, only Obama could go to Cairo. But enough of that.
What did the speech seek to accomplish and did it do that? I believe that is a many faceted answer. A speech heavy on references to the Quran versus references to the Bible, a greeting in Arabic , a pointed reference to his Arabic heritage and middle name had to at the least score points in the Arab world. He emphasized that America was not and had never been at war with Islam. Quick aside here, Bush said that same thing on more than one instance but of course it never gained traction.
Let’s see, what else to muse about . Iraq was not a war of choice while Afghanistan was. Wonder how troops in Iraq felt about that one. Israel came in for some criticism but perhaps most telling was that he did not go there. Saudi Arabia to Egypt to Germany. Sorry about that folks, I will talk a lot about what Israel needs to do and the 2 state solution, but just couldn’t find time on the schedule for you. Maybe I can send blue collar Joe or is it $2,400 suit Joe over there soon. One thing I would have liked to hear and I forget who said this. It would have been a good move to emphasize some of the positive things the United States has done in Muslim countries and , don’t laugh, there are a number of those.
So, will any actions follow the speech ( asked by a number of Muslim leaders) and how will it play in Peoria when he returns home? Remember the President himself said those pyramids in Egypt sure are big. So is his task.
So said Jesus in Matthew 23:37-39 in the days just before his crucifixion. it was the center of Israel in the days when He was on earth as it had been for many hundreds of years before. Located about 40 miles inland from the Mediterranean Sea, it has often been described as the center of the world. Today, there are about 800,000 inhabitants or about 10% of Israel’s population.
Those are some facts about the city. But, there seems to be much more to disagree about than to agree with when it comes to a city considered holy by so many. Jewish people claim it as their own, some dating their claim to the Biblical patriarch, Abraham. In 1967, after 20 years of division, Israeli military forces reunited the city, tearing down many physical boundaries. Today, over 40 years later, the furor has really not subsided. What to do about Jerusalem seems to lie dead center in any ” peace” negotiations between Arab and Jew. It’s mine, no mine and on it goes.
American presidents from Eisenhower on to Obama have had to focus on Israel and Jerusalem in varying degrees in an attempt to be a mediator. Now Mr Obama has his opportunity to reverse what many(particularly Arabs) seem as a blatant United States bias towards Israel. Some Palestinian leaders even say that the President has promised a new Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital. Further , a senior adviser ( Nimer Hamad)to the Palestinian president says that the Obama administration says that this is in the American national and security interest. To add fuel to the debate, if such were necessary, Mr Obama is due to make a major speech aimed at the Arab world on June 4. It will given at Cairo University amid speculation as to what he will or will not say and what are the implications of his speech, its locale etc. Many will applaud the effort and say it is high time reverse the excessively pro-Israel tilt under Bush. Geo politically, they are probably correct. But if Joel Rosenberg is correct( and he has been numerous times before ) the coming train wreck of United States-Israeli relations will resound far beyond the political.
The peace of Jerusalem- Psalms 122:6
- Bible study
- Christian living
- Foreign Policy
- International politics
- Legal system
- Life and Death
- Local Politics
- State Politics