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February 11, 2011


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Peter Risdon

There's nothing simplistic about straightforward opposition to tyranny.

Ian Leslie

Well there is, if you haven't thought about what will replace it. See: Iraq.


The 'uncertain response' is the most disturbing thing, for me. If the president sincerely believes that sudden regime change is a strategic threat to US interests, there's a simple line to take, involving a lot of repetition of a line (and toning down the realpolitik for public consumption). It would be unpopular and get a lot of abuse in the press, but would at least be clear. But if instead he really believes in 'change' and wants Mubarak overthrown, he should overrule State and take charge of the administration's response. Instead, you have the 'ping pong ball' effect, as the Wash Post said.

Impossible to imagine Reagan/Bush II/Nixon/LBJ/FDR reacting so uncertainly. You mightn't like how they'd have reacted, but it wouldn't have been by waffling indecisively. And they wouldn't have needed to sit and listen to all their advisors before knowing what they thought.


"He obviously has his own particular perspective"

Er, you might say that.
He was intricately involved in the Reagan-era dirty war in Central America, came very close to indictment in Iran-Contra, and had majorly suspicious fingerprints all over the ludicrous failed coup in Venezuela (which Chavez subsequently used to entrench himself in power).
Abrams is neocon royalty, related by marriage to the Podhoretzes of Commentary.

One can imagine the yodelling self-regard with which the Bush administration would have explained the moral duties of everyone involved.
And imagine also the scale of the no-bid contracts signed with Mubarak's successors shortly thereafter, upgrading Egypt's torture facilities.

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