Israel called on the United States and a number of European countries over the weekend to curb their criticism of President Hosni Mubarak to preserve stability in the region. – Haaretz
Al Jazeera is reporting that “Opposition movement calls for “march of millions” on Tuesday in a bid to topple president Hosni Mubarak.”
While the people of Egypt rise up to reclaim their country, Israel pleads leaders to support the unsustainable status quo.
After Pres. Obama called for Mubarak to restore communication, not only was Al Jazeera’s Cairo bureau shuttered, but journalists from the network were detained, their equipment confiscated. No statement by Pres. Obama on Mubarak’s flouting U.S. urgings.
In the Middle East, actions have consequences. What remains a feckless part of our foreign policy is that our leaders don’t follow through when challenged.
As one of the first to point to Al Jazeera’s importance in this story, it’s being widely reported now, though some cable yakkers are still in denial about the world media awakening that’s been unfolding since the Green revolution.
The Daily Beast reports the obvious today, but which is worth highlighting anyway, that Sect. Clinton’s “stable” comment last Tuesday “had been carefully calibrated.” That’s what alarmed me, because of course Clinton wouldn’t say a word that wasn’t vetted at the White House. It revealed canned panic from 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.
It was made worse yesterday when Sect. Clinton was on “Meet the Press” with David Gregory:
We have urged for 30 years that there be a vice president, and finally a vice president was announced just a day or two ago.
It gives you a window into the bankruptcy of establishment foreign policy types, including Pres. Obama and his administration officials, who have been behind on this story from “stable.”
It also doesn’t help when Sect. Clinton talks about the looting then links it to the protesters without mentioning, however diplomatically, that Mubarak’s thugs are at the root of most of it, something she surely knows.
It’s why Martin Indyk’s criticism of the Obama administration has been so important. An insider of the first order, he’s learned from the inside how badly our Middle East policy needs a tune up. He was one of several, invited to the White House for a confab.
Let’s hope they don’t get the access vapors.
On “Morning Joe,” the shutdown of Al Jazeera’s cable bureau was no big deal, competitive ratings or some other lunacy muzzling a story that is huge, especially in light of the Obama administration’s further prodding of Mubarak to restore internet and other basic services. There was no conversation about any of the multi-media platforms that the protesters were using to rise up.
Joe Scarborough and Richard Haas, president of the Council of Foreign Relations, offered analysis this morning rooted in 20th century thinking that also revealed collective amnesia on what’s been America’s problem in the Middle East for a very long time, leading up to 9/11.
Scarborough: Is it safe to say, at least on the margins, while people may just mindlessly see what’s going on and see the corruption and see the fact that this has been a very oppressive leader, undemocratic, doing things that we hate as Americans. .. Isn’t it safe to say that on the margins Mubarak has made Americans safer at home when it comes to the war against terrorists.
Haas: Absolutely, and this has been a policy that has worked.
By all accounts Haas is wrong, especially if we dare to include the Egyptian people into the equation, which is why he later added it had worked “short-term.” I know that’s bothersome for the Right, but the people’s welfare is a progressive notion worth considering.
Then on Haas went complaining that there hadn’t been “reform,” even after asking for it for 30 years. There’s a reason the 20th century arguments Mr. Haas is espousing was taken apart yesterday on Fareed Zakaria’s “GPS.”
Pres. Obama ignoring Mubarak’s media crackdown, Sect. Clinton laughing about the 30 years of being continually ignored.. and yet on the American money spigot flows.
This is what’s been going on for 30 years.
Mubarak made peace with Israel, has been an ally, but you can’t have successful Middle East policy that depends on one man at the expense of 80 million Egyptians.
Is there any wonder there’s no peace in the Middle East, with Egypt’s precarious present now threatening Israel and the entire region’s stability?