Washington Post's David Ignatius:
In firing Egypt's chief of intelligence for his alleged failings in Sinai, President Mohamed Morsi sacked a general who has won high marks from U.S., Israeli and European intelligence officials -- and who, ironically, has been one of the Egyptians pushing for a crackdown on the growing militant presence in Sinai. [The] shuffle is bound to raise concerns among U.S. and Israeli officials about the security policies of Morsi's government and its seemingly mutual self-protection pact with the Egyptian generals who still hold considerable power through the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, or SCAF. Morsi and the military appear to have concluded that the fired intelligence chief, Gen. Murad Muwafi, was a convenient scapegoat after the attack by terrorists in Sinai that left 16 Egyptian soldiers dead.
After that attack, the Egyptian military launched an armored assault in Sinai to "restore stability and regain control" in the lawless desert that had become a haven for Islamist militants. Ironically, it was Muwafi who had told a visitor two months ago that he favored an assault in Sinai by an Egyptian armored battalion that would include 30 tanks, eight helicopters and other equipment. Such a crackdown had also been urged by U.S. and Israeli officials, but the Egyptian military delayed major action until [August 8th], after the 16 soldiers were killed.
Muwafi looked the part of the traditional mukhabarat chief. U.S., Israeli and European officials intelligence officials saw him as one of the bright lights of the new government. Because of Muwafi's growing reputation with Western governments, some worried that he might position himself as another Gen. Omar Suleiman, the charismatic intelligence chief who was the closest adviser to President Hosni Mubarak and ran some of the country's harshest counterterrorism programs. But the ruling Muslim Brotherhood didn't appear to have that fear -- at least not until this week when Morsi and the military were looking for a fall guy for the Sinai debacle.
The Muwafi incident is just a blip on the broad radar of U.S.-Egyptian relations, and American officials generally think that the Morsi government is off to a good start. But the incident does show two things:
First, the situation in Sinai is dangerous and getting worse. U.S. intelligence believes that scores of jihadists have migrated into Sinai in recent months -- some from the tribal areas of Pakistan, some from Libya and some from Egyptian prisons. Among them are people a U.S. official describes as "al-Qaeda wannabes."
Second, the Egyptian military is preoccupied with buffing its image and fending off potential critics. In that exercise in self-preservation, the generals seem quite happy to work with Morsi and the Muslim Brothers -- as in the firing of Muwafi.
Scapegoat who is not on the same page as the MB? So all the lack of concern from Obama and Hillary about the Muslim Brotherhood taking over several months ago is all of a sudden a concern? Which page is Hillary and Obama on?
Asher Berman holds a MALD degree from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy as well as a BA from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. He studied in Jordan as a Boren Fellow in 2011 and currently conducts in-depth research on Syrian rebel groups
Sounds like a trustworthy source as well as moral paragon(Asher Berman is not just Jewish, but an Israeli name).
Barack Obama modestly claims only that his legislative and foreign policy achievements in his first two years matched those of "any president -- with the possible exceptions of Johnson, FDR and Lincoln" in "modern history." Some Obama enthusiasts are less restrained.
They suggest that among presidents, he ranks as the most learned since John Quincy Adams, the most profound since James Madison and the most visionary since Thomas Jefferson. And he is, of course, the most rhetorically gifted politician since Pericles. What about Carter? How does he compare to Carter? We'll let Fred answer that one...
Yet, remarkably, he is frequently misunderstood. How can this be? Oh, c'mon, George! You and I and our fellow travelers are all dumb! We voted for George Bush!
After the June 8 news conference in which he said "the private sector is doing fine," he, responding to the public's strange inability to parse plain English, held another news conference in which he said: "It's absolutely clear the economy is not doing fine; that's the reason I had a press conference." Well, that and get my picture taken. Of course.
In Roanoke, Va., he gave what any reasonable person must admit was an admirably pithy and entirely clear distillation of his political philosophy: "You didn't build that." The public's obtuseness forced his campaign to run an ad saying "my words about small business" had been taken "out of context." Ah, context.
As Obama tries to cope with the public's peculiar inability to discern his meanings, perhaps he can take comfort from very similar difficulties of another candidate for national office. On Aug. 18, 1920, the Democrats' vice presidential nominee, campaigning in Butte, Mont., said that it would be fine for the United States to join the League of Nations because our nation would have multiple votes. Care to guess his party affiliation?
He assured listeners that "the votes of Cuba, Haiti, San Domingo, Panama, Nicaragua and of the other Central American states" would not be cast "differently from the vote of the United States," which is "the big brother of these little republics." When, inevitably, the candidate's words caused consternation here and there, he insisted he never said them, adding magnanimously, "I feel certain that the misquotation was entirely unintentional."
But the controversy continued, so on Sept. 2, in Maine, he added: "I should think that it would be obvious that one who has been so largely in touch with foreign relations through the Navy Department during the last seven years could not have made a deliberate false statement of this kind."
Idaho's Republican Sen. William Borah dryly said: "I am willing to admit that he didn't say it, though I was there and heard him say it at the time." Thirty-one witnesses of the Butte speech signed an affidavit attesting that the candidate had said what he was reported to have said, but public attention had wandered and the issue faded. Idaho's highest peak is Mt. Borah, by the way.
Far from being badly injured by this episode, the vice presidential candidate went on to become one of the three presidents in "modern history" -- Obama includes Lincoln -- whose achievements in their first two years are, Obama says, "possible" to compare to his. The candidate was one of liberalism's saints, Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Thus endeth the lesson.
"I remember when he would give those fireside chats on TV, reassuring us that all was well"
/Slow Joe Biden
Posted by: Frank G ||
08/12/2012 14:05 Comments ||
"When I use a word," Humpty Dumpty said, in a rather scornful tone, "it means just what I choose it to mean - neither more nor less."
"The question is," said Alice, "whether you can make words mean so many different things."
"The question is," said Humpty Dumpty, "which is to be master - that's all."
The biggest lie:
1. Free enterprise hurts the poor.
The Occupy Wall Street movement of 2011 and plenty of politicians would have us believe that the free-market system is a contest between the ultra-rich and everyone else (the 99 percent). But in fact, there never has been a greater force for helping the poor than free enterprise.
Since 1970, the percentage of the worlds population living on the equivalent of less than a dollar a day has fallen by more than 80 percent. Hundreds of millions of people have been pulled out of grinding deprivation.
This miracle was not the result of U.N. development projects or U.S. foreign aid. It was free trade, rule of law, property rights and entrepreneurship that achieved this miracle. In China alone, free trade and foreign investment lifted 400 million Chinese out of absolute poverty between 1981 and 2001.
Whatever the Occupy movement claims, every American earning more than $34,000 a year is in the worlds top 1 percent, as World Bank economist Branko Milanovic calculates in his book The Haves and the Have-Nots. Americans make up less than 5 percent of the planets population, but were about half the members of the worlds 1 percent. And weve accomplished that through our commitment to free enterprise. Surprising to me is that this is on the WaPo web page. Published July 13th, so it was probably buried on page 97.
Obama and fellow travelers have gotten rich by taking money from the poor as well as everyone else via government fiat and giving it to themselves. They keep perpetrating the myths about free enterprise.
Nice article. But we don't have a free enterprise system.
Maybe in the 50's or something, but not since I've been in the workforce.
It's a race to the bottom now, and Americans aren't one to settle for the Silver.
We need a Paul Ryan photo or three. How about that one?
The selection of Rep. Paul Ryan as Romney's running mate blows up a bunch of phony story lines the media have been peddling.
1. "Romney has no ideas." Actually, he and Ryan have the new policy ideas. Tons of them. If you doubt it, wait for the vice-presidential debate. Don't miss #9!
2. "Romney is excessively cautious." Tim Pawlenty would have been the cautious pick. Ryan is young and vibrant and stands ready to battle for conservative ideas.
3. "The media are really important." If Romney thought the mainstream media were critical, he'd duck the Mediscare fight. The pick is one that reflects confidence in the conservative agenda. The media think they're really important.
4. "Romney and the right are at war." Sure, conservative activists and Romney have their issues, but if they can bond over Ryan you see how small the differences actually are.
5. "Romney's campaign can't execute." They really did keep this a secret until late Friday night. Kudos to Romney, Beth Myers and those in the know who didn't spill the beans.
6. "It is dumb to lead on entitlement reform." By showing political courage Ryan won over his party, advanced his own career and may wind up a heartbeat away from the presidency. If his plans are passed and implemented, he'll be a historic figure.
7. "Romney doesn't believe in anything." In choosing Ryan over less ideological figures Romney showed that he in fact cares about ideas, is determined to fix our fiscal problems and is devoted to free markets. Ryan in that sense validates Romney's core beliefs.
8. "Pawlenty would be rewarded for being a devoted surrogate." I'm certain his efforts were appreciated, but in the end cream rises to the top, and Pawlenty proved in the presidential primary to be a mediocre pol. He'll make a great Cabinet member, however.
9. "There was no need for Obama to switch vice presidents." I have three words for that: Vice Presidential Debate. Joe Biden will need smelling salts. I'm keeping that one.
10. "Republicans are scary." Romney-Ryan is one of the more suburban-friendly, nice-guy tickets to come along in ages. Ryan will be demonized in the media, but his aw-shucks demeanor and braininess will win over some swing voters.
The whole campaign is a gamble so why not go for it. Romney-Ryan need to turn some states into red states to get enough electoral votes to go over the top. The Senate has got to go red and sweep out some of the deadwood. The House needs to stay red and sweep out some of the deadwood.
R & R are the only ones with any new ideas. The demonrats are peddling the same old tired stuff from the Woodrow Wilson era to the New Deal and to the War on Poverty eras.
Got it. Resized it and put it into the Burg's photo file, along with the one above and a different one of Ryan's formal portrait. I'm sure we'll have a few more, and a few more of Romney.
Posted by: Steve White ||
08/12/2012 18:05 Comments ||
I have a large number of Mitt Romney Images as well as Paul Ryan Images. I would enjoy playing around with a few for Rantburg. If someone would give me a few ideas what you would like to see, also max parameters and how to submit them ect.
Junkiron, send an email to Fred Pruitt. His contact info is in the yellow bar in the right hand margin on the front page. I like your first -- Ryan holding the Rantburg DS&TP demonstrates yet again his intelligence. ;-)
A multi-volume chronology and reference guide set detailing three years of the Mexican Drug War between 2010 and 2012.
Rantburg.com and borderlandbeat.com correspondent and author Chris Covert presents his first non-fiction work detailing
the drug and gang related violence in Mexico.
Chris gives us Mexican press dispatches of drug and gang war violence
over three years, presented in a multi volume set intended to chronicle the death, violence and mayhem which has
dominated Mexico for six years.