Michael's Dispatches

Egypt Eruption

I asked General (ret.) Barry McCaffrey for his thoughts on the evolving situation in Egypt:

Egypt is a few steps short of a disaster.  The corrupt, incompetent regime will not survive.

Most likely outcome--- the Generals take charge, announce a reform government, start  the process of responding to the injustice and despair of the common citizen. Then the situation staggers along for some period.

Worst outcome the Generals stand with the same gang that has looted the nation--- probably minus Mubarak. Then there is a possible civil war with the soldiers in many cases siding with the people not their officers. The only organized opposition is the Muslim Brotherhood which could then possibly gain power.

Our central US foreign policy concern is the stability of the Peace Treaty with Israel.  At the end of the day if required--- we would go to war to prevent the annihilation of the Israelis.  This would be a terrible outcome for the entire region.

And--- oh by the way---there is the matter of the Suez Canal and the flow of oil to a Europe with an increasingly ant-Israeli political stance.

We have few good options.  The President and Secretary Clinton are carefully walking the line.  Oddly enough--- only the last Administration with President Bush and Secretary Condi Rice has ever taken a strong reform position with Mubarak.

This one is important.  Egypt is central to peace in the region.  Their people have been ill-used by the Mubarak Regime.  Watch the enlisted soldiers of the Egyptian Army. If they go with the people--- there will be incredible bloodshed.

Barry McCaffrey


# A. S. Wise 2011-01-30 14:18
With nefarious groups like the M.B. involved, only time will tell what the result is.
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# D. C. 2011-01-30 15:21
It is almost spring and the Kings have their armies ready for fighting. The bible would tell of the time of year when they would build up their Armies. You could see this coming 6 years ago.? I know I saw it coming....The events of that time was Madrid with the train bombing and in one week the Hamas shut down Egypt.
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# Jim Bowman 2011-01-30 15:33
Iran has their fingers in the pie with MB no doubt.How does this impact our troop deployments in Afghanistan and elsewhere in the middle east?
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# Justawhoaman 2011-01-30 15:49
Who could we ask to tell us the truth about what is going on in the Middle East? Michael would be the resource that could trace the truth.

Times have been tough but we are going into times that will try all men. I am glad you are on our side, Michael... and thanks for all that you do.

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# Caleb 2011-01-30 16:16
"This one is important. Egypt is central to peace in the region. Their people have been ill-used by the Mubarak Regime. Watch the enlisted soldiers of the Egyptian Army. If they go with the people--- there will be incredible bloodshed."

I believe the General is spot on. At this time, we can't be for certain which way this will pan out. Will the next leader give the people pure freedom, or will he march his military into Israel? Or will he give safe haven to Al Qeada or the Taliban? The next few days are going to be days of finger nail biting here.

Thanks for coming through for us Michael!
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# Jeff Stanley 2011-01-30 16:19
"Oddly enough--- only the last Administration with President Bush and Secretary Condi Rice has ever taken a strong reform position with Mubarak." Is that a nice way of saying the 'Bamster is a bullsh***er?
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# Jenny 2011-01-30 16:40
I'm rather disappointed that McCaffrey sits shtum over the Muslim Brotherhood seeking to exploit the people's frustration. Egypt is NOT a Muslim country, but give the MB & Iran's IAEA lapdog, El-Baradai, and it soon will be. Frankly, Egypt will face far worse suffering under the despotic MB and that pig El-Baradai. In all candor, Egypt is far about the cesspool that is Iran, and India, and we haven't seen reports of great suffering there, yet allow the Islamists to get their foot in the door, and all the excuses in the world are made to look the other way. Can't help but wonder if McCaffrey's on the bin Talal payroll just as so many other pols and pundits seem to be....
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# AuricTech 2011-01-30 17:32
So, worst case scenario, any guess as to what might happen with the MFO troops in the Sinai Peninsula?
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# slick 2011-01-30 18:41
"Oddly enough"? Why is that odd, general?
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# Marty 2011-01-30 19:16
"Oddly enough?" I am SO sick of people who think, no they don't think, they just cop an attitude, that conservatives don't want democracy, but the left does. When the entire 20th century and the first decade of the 21st scream otherwise.

Sick of it.
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# John Calomiris 2011-01-30 19:21
OB`s noble peace medal some how isn`t working.
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# anthony 2011-01-31 00:43
Gotta disagree w/ Gen. M.
Should the army side w/ the uprising (as it appears to be doing), I see HM slinking off to Dubai and a Baradai-MB "Unity" govt trying to put the wheels back on. To achieve the Caliphate, Islamofascists plan is "One man (literally), One Vote...Once".
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# Determined 2011-01-31 01:13
Thank you Michael for keeping us informed.I'm praying and since the news media haven't been all that interested in telling us TRUTH we look to GOD and you.These are times of Biblical proportion and we need to pay attention not just what is happening here but espeacially the middle east and not be fearfulll but prepare and be calm and keep our wits about us and not let our emotions guide our actions.As one person said these are the times that will try men souls but if we stay close to GOD and look to him he will lead us thru.My thoughts and prayers are always with you and our Troops and their families and our Government.Stay safe and thank you again.GOD BLESS
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# woodNfish 2011-01-31 02:52
The flow of oil to Europe is Europe's problem. Let them defend it. Why should our sons & daughters fight for Europe's oil supply?
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# GamerFromJump 2011-01-31 03:50
"At the end of the day if required--- we would go to war to prevent the annihilation of the Israelis. This would be a terrible outcome for the entire region."

As I said in the title, who's he kidding? No way in hell would Hussein Obama come to the aid of the Israelis. If anything, he's about half a step shy of actively operating against them.
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# MingTheMerciless 2011-01-31 05:05
It always comes back to them with you people, doesn't it? America - Love it or leave it.
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# Bruce honaker 2011-01-31 05:11
Our current admin has decided to hold their hand instead of continue Bush's policy of forceing reform, probally because they admired that form of government. pres obamee has once again failed misserably. Doesn't it seem like he has been in office for like 8 years, it just drags and drags.
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# Free Bochure and DVD Offers 2011-01-31 10:42
Many ordinary, educated Eygyptians see America and the West as the enemy, for their support of the Mubarak regime for 30 years. I have to admit it does sound rather mealy mouthed of Clinton, Hague et al crowing for a democratic solution, seeing as they have denied it to the people for so long, including the supply of American weaponry (which is on display for all to see). The result: F16s trying to terrorize a mass populous uprising. And what's all this about MB being a despotic force? They are not extremists, and if you think that they are you need to look beyond the title. Look, I'm not an idealist, I realise that the US has a difficult line to tread, and sometimes you have to deal with the least worse option to keep a region stable. But it does'nt look too good to the rest of the world, does it...
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# Rough Beast 2011-01-31 18:36
Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity. Surely so
revelation is at hand;
Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
When a vast image out of Spritus Mundi
Troubles my sight: somewhere in the sands of the desert
A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
Reel shadows of the indignant desert birds.
The darkness drops again; but now I know
That twenty centuries of stony sleep were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?

— WB Yeats's "Second Coming"as first printed in 1920
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# Alvie 2011-01-31 21:00
General McCaffrey is right when he says the Egyptian-Israel peace treaty is central to American foreign policy in the Middle East. It has probably been a big factor in the whole region not going up in a general conflagration long before now. The General also avers that the US will be the ultimate guarantor of Israel's security if a general conflict does break out. I would say not so fast there. Instead, to insure the best outcome for the American goal of peace in the Middle East, the US ought to make it quite clear to the Israelis that they shouldn't automatically assume that the US is willing to expend American blood and treasure on their behalf regardless of circumstances.

It's said that a credible peace will never be achieved in that region until existence of a viable Palestinian state is achieved and that that cannot happen without US involvement in the negotiations. But for that to happen the US is going to have to be perceived as an impartial honest broker, something it is not, and never has been, since it overtly or tacitly gives Israel carte blanche to do pretty much what it wants to do. Once in a while the US might half-heartedly protest some Israeli action, usually concerning the continuing encroachment of Israel settlements, but the Israelis know they can--and routinely do--blow the US off with impunity.

The best way to avoid American military involvement in a nightmarish, no-win situation in the Middle East is to resolutely tell Israel to clean up its act and start seriously considering supporting American policy initiatives instead of not-too-subtly sticking their finger in the US eye. The clear alternative being that they'll be on their own and should not expect Americans to save them from the consequences of their own behavior.

Israelis act the way they do for reasons they perceive to be in their own best interests and they push those interests as far as they can. Every nation does. The US should start doing so also and realize that it is imprudent, foolish and dangerous in the extreme that American interests as vital as war and peace are determined in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem instead of in Washington, D.C.

Such a stance isn't pro-Israeli, to be sure, but that should be only co-incidental to the importance of it being pro-American. And on that point I disagree with General McCaffrey when he states that " . . .there is the matter of the Suez Canal and the flow of oil to a Europe with an increasingly anti-Israeli political stance." It could equally as well be said that Europe's political stance isn't so much anti-Israeli as dispassionately neutral with out the pro-Israeli bias the US has historically shown. And if one wishes to be downright Machiavellian, it could be pointed out that the Suez Canal is within an Arab country, not Israel. Likewise, the flow of oil to Europe comes from various Arab states, not Israel.
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# verong 2011-02-07 16:20
I believe that the fact Mubarack is so old has led to him looking nailable. I think we should support him and hope the country can form a new government by election to replace such an old stoggie
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