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Thread: Egyptian Youth to Clinton: Where Was the Support?

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    Re: Egyptian Youth to Clinton: Where Was the Support?

    Quote Originally Posted by American View Post
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    This is a very good question.
    IMO, the sentiments are both understandable and should have been expected. The White House vacillated early on and offered too much specificity. Its inconsistency led to suspicion from both the Mubarak government and the protesters. Instead, it should have stuck to a simple message: it favored a peaceful democratic transition. That's it. Nothing more. Were the Mubarak government to have survived, the U.S. would not have been viewed by that government as having tried to push it from power. Were the populist movement to have prevailed, which it did, the U.S. would not have been perceived as having been somewhat ambivalent with respect to democratic changes.

    Unfortunately, the White House took the worst possible course. It was overly specific and, in particular, hailed rather limited steps that were taken by President Mubarak e.g., appointing a Prime Minister. The people then assumed that the U.S. was fully satisfied with that outcome, a situation they still found unsatisfactory. That the U.S. position shifted further when it became clear that President Mubarak's hold on power was crumbling came too late to alter the perceptions created by its earlier positions.

    Effective communication can be challenging. Muddled messages can inflict lingering damage.

    Tragically, the ongoing situation in Libya that follows closely on the heels of Egypt has revealed little or no learning in the White House. In this case, where widespread crimes against humanity and war crimes are being committed and the U.S. has no compelling interests in preserving the Gadhafi regime, the White House should take a visible role on the side of the victims of those crimes. Instead, it has been almost mute. Indeed, yesterday's speech by the President was quite unsatisfactory. The Los Angeles Times reported:

    In his first public comments on the Libyan crisis, President Obama said Wednesday his administration is preparing "the full range of options" to respond and condemned the government's "outrageous and unacceptable" suppression of its citizens' rights.

    The speech occurred nine days into the violence. That the U.S. was just preparing options suggests that it had not prepared in advance for such situations in general. One would reasonably think that with unrest that preceded the turmoil in Libya, someone would have asked the general question as to how the U.S. should respond if other countries in the region experienced turmoil? The concept of spillovers/contagion is not a novel one. Instead, the U.S. was caught by surprise and is struggling to catch up with events.

    In sum, I believe the Egyptian youths' question is a natural outcome of ineffective communication.

    Far more troubling, it appears that even as unrest had been occurring previously in Egypt, Bahrain, and Yemen, the U.S. was caught by surprise by developments in Libya and had little idea how to respond. That the U.S. was still unprepared some nine days into the events is extremely disturbing. The U.S. has major international interests. Being blind to major risks is hazardous. What if Bahrain's government were toppled and a new regime demanded the removal of the American base? Would the U.S. be unprepared? What if Iran took advantage of its rising power a few years down the road and settled land disputes with its neighbors by force? Would the U.S. be unprepared? What if North Korea launched a massive artillery bombardment on South Korea a few years in the future? Would the U.S. be unprepared?

    Finally, this lack of preparation is not partisan. Instead, it appears to be a chronic issue that transcends Administrations. Previously, the U.S. was caught by surprise when insurgencies developed in Iraq and Afghanistan, even as the structural dynamics and historic experience of both states indicated an extremely high risk of such developments. IMO, the Administration needs to make it a priority to develop "early warning" systems/methodologies, mitigate cognitive biases (e.g., only focusing on information that seems to confirm prevailing views while filtering out information that challenges them) and develop contingency plans to deal with major risks that could impact the U.S./ critical U.S. interests (national security, geopolitical, and economic). That contingency planning should also outline communications strategy so that messages are clear, concise, and do not create confusion/misperceptions.
    Last edited by donsutherland1; 02-24-11 at 10:49 AM.

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    Re: Egyptian Youth to Clinton: Where Was the Support?

    Quote Originally Posted by toomuchtime_ View Post
    Why did Nixon go to China?

    It is not at all clear that the MB will take over the new Egyptian government, but it seems likely it will have a major presence in the new government if it is a democracy. Nixon could have put off his trip to China until the communists were out of power, but instead he went there to seek what common ground there was between us and them and to try to expand it in the interests of peace to the extent this could be done without compromising our own principles.

    In the same way, we can seek to engage with a new Egyptian government that includes the MB without compromising our principles. The MB has been banned in Egypt since 1954, yet it remains a strong political presence. The only way to assure that the MB and other disturbing political factions won't be part of a new government is to support another despotic regime like the one that was overthrown, and to do that, we would have to compromise our principles.
    Apples and oranges. China is the most populous nation on earth and was also a major counterweight to Russia. Huge global stakes. Egypt is a nation of 80 million, many of which are illiterate which has neither many natural resources nor any type of meaningful production capacity. So from a pragmatic standpoint who cares.

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    Re: Egyptian Youth to Clinton: Where Was the Support?

    Its an absolute legitimate question. The United States is thought to be a friend and ally to Freedom, the beacon of democracy for the world, a nation that prides itself on self determination. And yet when given a choice between a dictator we are friendly with or people striving for freedom and democracy we didn't play neutral at first, we sided with the dictator.

    I agree with Neutrality being a good answer...from the onset of this. Switching to support of the protestors as time went on. Instead it went from supporting of a Dictator, to Neutrality, to light support of the protestors at the end.

    How quickly Americans forget that our own independence would not have likely occured if not for other nations coming to our aid.

    For a second time people in the Middle Eastern region cried out for freedom and democracy, for a second time the United States have gave an effort in support of them that you couldn't even properly claim was half assed.

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    Re: Egyptian Youth to Clinton: Where Was the Support?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ron Mars View Post
    There was a time, not long ago, when America stood by the people of the world trying to achieve peace, freedom and basic human rights for themselves and their families.
    Were you supporting basic human rights and freedom when you supported this man:



    Or this guy:



    Hey how about this guy, do you recognize him?



    Why did you support one of the most murderous regimes in history (Khmer Rouge) to keep their United Nations seat?

    That doesn't sound like standing up for Peace, Freedom and Basic human Rights.

    Hey here's Bush with a human rights abuser...



    What I'm trying to get at before I get called "Anti-American" is that you're saying all of a sudden now this is a problem. I'm not anti-America, I just recognize the US does whats convenient at the time like all countries and people do. Doesn't make it right or wrong, but to say "All of a sudden we don't support freedom" is so ignorant it defies imagination.

    Oh and one last dude, this guy is the reason Somalia is so ****ed and you supported him to, just so you know.


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    Re: Egyptian Youth to Clinton: Where Was the Support?

    It is a legitimate question they ask.
    I hope, from the bottom of my heart. All those countries who are having revolutions. Get the Governments they choose and one which puts their interests above every other countries in the world.

    I also hope they do not forget that it has been the Western countries which has funded and helped and supported the oppressive Governments stay in power to further their own means.


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    Re: Egyptian Youth to Clinton: Where Was the Support?

    Quote Originally Posted by Zyphlin View Post
    Its an absolute legitimate question. The United States is thought to be a friend and ally to Freedom, the beacon of democracy for the world, a nation that prides itself on self determination. And yet when given a choice between a dictator we are friendly with or people striving for freedom and democracy we didn't play neutral at first, we sided with the dictator.

    I agree with Neutrality being a good answer...from the onset of this. Switching to support of the protestors as time went on. Instead it went from supporting of a Dictator, to Neutrality, to light support of the protestors at the end.

    How quickly Americans forget that our own independence would not have likely occured if not for other nations coming to our aid.

    For a second time people in the Middle Eastern region cried out for freedom and democracy, for a second time the United States have gave an effort in support of them that you couldn't even properly claim was half assed.
    Stick by your principles first, and then play smart.
    "He who does not think himself worth saving from poverty and ignorance by his own efforts, will hardly be thought worth the efforts of anybody else." -- Frederick Douglass, Self-Made Men (1872)
    "Fly-over" country voted, and The Donald is now POTUS.

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    Re: Egyptian Youth to Clinton: Where Was the Support?

    I'd say play smart while sticking to your princpiles the entire time. We have a principle that we should support our allies. We also have a principle that we should support democracy and freedom. Thus why I would say neutrality from the onset would've been a better choice than siding with Mubarak. It would've been staying true to our principles while also being the smart action to begin with as we had no clue which way things would sway.

    Once it was clearly beginning to sway one way or another, or showed itself serious enough that it wasn't going to go away, I think the intelligent thing would've been to at that point be more supportive of the protesters.

    Instead we started off leaning one direction, then moved neutral, then moved to leaning the other direction. We waffled so much, and to such differing extremes, that none of it looked honest or sincere. It wasn't smart NOR principled.

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    Re: Egyptian Youth to Clinton: Where Was the Support?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jetboogieman View Post
    Were you supporting basic human rights and freedom when you supported this man:

    That doesn't sound like standing up for Peace, Freedom and Basic human Rights.

    Hey here's Bush with a human rights abuser...
    US Presidents have had to deal with people like this since the 18th Century because the world is full of dictators and tyrants. Always has been.

    And if you posted a picture of Reagan meeting with Gorbechev that means what? He supports communism? If you posted a picture of Hillary with Arafat’s wife does that mean she supports jihadi’s over Israel?

    Posting pictures of US Presidents and his appointees with other nations leaders to prove the US does not support basic human rights and freedoms is a weak argument. Very,very weak.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jetboogieman View Post
    What I'm trying to get at before I get called "Anti-American" is that you're saying all of a sudden now this is a problem. I'm not anti-America, I just recognize the US does what’s convenient at the time like all countries and people do. Doesn't make it right or wrong, but to say "All of a sudden we don't support freedom" is so ignorant it defies imagination.
    I called you anti-American? I did? Where did that come from?

    Yeah, there was a time when the American President would have pounded the podium with forceful speeches of support and direct actions on behalf of people seeking freedom around the world and they didn’t care what the polls said. They didn’t sit around wringing their hands wondering what to do.

    All of the sudden we don't support democracy movements throughout the ME because we have a President who believes America is the problem. He doesn’t believe America is a force of good in the world. We have a President who is sitting on his hands while people in the ME and N. Africa are being killed. He’s probably planning another “Shake and Bow” trip to give more dead pan speeches nobody believes anymore.

    The Egyptians are asking where's the support from America for a reason. If you don't know what the reason is, that fact speaks for itself.
    The national security of the United States can never be left in the hands of liberals.

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    Re: Egyptian Youth to Clinton: Where Was the Support?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ron Mars View Post
    US Presidents have had to deal with people like this since the 18th Century because the world is full of dictators and tyrants. Always has been.

    And if you posted a picture of Reagan meeting with Gorbechev that means what? He supports communism? If you posted a picture of Hillary with Arafat’s wife does that mean she supports jihadi’s over Israel?

    Posting pictures of US Presidents and his appointees with other nations leaders to prove the US does not support basic human rights and freedoms is a weak argument. Very,very weak.
    This entire thing is very weak, I implied none of what you said.

    I called you anti-American? I did? Where did that come from?
    I didn't imply you had called me Anti-American. Don't know where you got that.

    Yeah, there was a time when the American President would have pounded the podium with forceful speeches of support and direct actions on behalf of people seeking freedom around the world and they didn’t care what the polls said. They didn’t sit around wringing their hands wondering what to do.
    Ah yes, can you tell me which President that was? Kennedy? Well as we all know Eisenhower and Kennedy both supported Batista, the murderous military dictator of Cuba.

    Park Chung-hee was also supported by the United States, he was not very democratic, and was eventually assasinated.

    Manuel Noriega was supported by the United States for a time, I'm well aware you eventually went in and took him out, but you did support him until he was exposed by the New York Times.

    The CIA directly supported Augusto Pinochets coup attempt and subsequent government against a democratically elected (yet socialist) legitimate government.

    Now the list could go on and on and on, but what this really exposes is the fact that your rhetoric is thin my friend, you need to learn your history and begin to understand that especially during the cold war your talk of freedom was very transperent considering who you supported during those times, again it's not about right and wrong, but those were matters of convenience. Support a dictator here, stop the spread of communism.

    But don't say "All of a sudden we don't support freedom".

    It's utter nonsense.

    All of the sudden we don't support democracy movements throughout the ME because we have a President who believes America is the problem. He doesn’t believe America is a force of good in the world. We have a President who is sitting on his hands while people in the ME and N. Africa are being killed. He’s probably planning another “Shake and Bow” trip to give more dead pan speeches nobody believes anymore.

    The Egyptians are asking where's the support from America for a reason. If you don't know what the reason is, that fact speaks for itself.
    You supported and armed Mubarak.

    You had an obligation not to intervene in the domestic affairs of others. I think on the whole some Egyptians can ask "where was the US". But really they shouldn't ask at all because they didn't need the US. They won a great victory for freedom all on their own and by the US not intervening, I think made it all the more successful.

    Obama did the right thing.

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    Re: Egyptian Youth to Clinton: Where Was the Support?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jetboogieman View Post
    This entire thing is very weak, I implied none of what you said.
    Sure you did. It’s the only reason for posting those pictures in the first place and asking why we supported so-and-so. And I agree, posting pictures in lieu of a serious argument is indeed weak.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jetboogieman View Post
    I didn't imply you had called me Anti-American. Don't know where you got that.
    This perhaps…..

    “before I get called "Anti-American"…I'm not anti-America”

    Quote Originally Posted by Jetboogieman View Post
    But don't say "All of a sudden we don't support freedom".

    It's utter nonsense.
    Yes, of course it is.

    Perhaps you should talk with the Egyptians and ask them why they expected support from the US even after our relations with Mubarak. Maybe that will help.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jetboogieman View Post
    You had an obligation not to intervene in the domestic affairs of others. I think on the whole some Egyptians can ask "where was the US". But really they shouldn't ask at all because they didn't need the US. They won a great victory for freedom all on their own and by the US not intervening, I think made it all the more successful.

    Obama did the right thing.
    They are still protesting in Egypt today because they still haven’t achieved what they want.

    Done the right thing? 0bama hasn’t done anything except give empty speeches.

    He is still sitting on his hands wondering what to do. It’s time he stands up and earns his Nobel prize.
    The national security of the United States can never be left in the hands of liberals.

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