The Coming of a New Egypt

With family in Cairo and Alexandria, I am very well attuned to the goings on in Egypt at the current moment. After speaking with uncles and cousins via landlines (all other communication is shut down in Egypt) I have begun to understand the complexity and severity of the issue.

I have been asked by many people, why is this happening and what caused this? In response, this is an issue of a corrupt government. Close to half of Egyptians are living off less than $1 a day and the citizens simply expect basic human rights and their inalienable right to freedom. Despite the stereotype of the Middle East, religion has not played a part in the protests…yet.

All of this was compounded with the brutal police killing of Khaled Mohamed Said in June 2010. This killing of a man in his twenties ignited a spark against the government. What is more amazing about this, is the impact that Facebook has had in changing the environment in the Middle East. After the brutal killing of Said, a message on a Facebook page dedicated to Said talked about a protest that would happen on the national holiday celebrating the efforts of the police force in Egypt. The date was January 25, 2011.  After hearing about the protest, Mubarak’s response surrounded the theme of ‘well let the children do what they wish’. Not knowing how upset the people were and how much of an issue for change this would become, the police force was unequipped which bolstered the protesters.

As of 6:00 pm EST on January 28, 2011, President Mubarak spoke to the people promising to remove his ministers but remained bold in his belief that he should stay in power. This will not happen. Protesters are upset with the Parliament in Egypt but they are more forceful with their words and actions as it relates to President Mubarak and his corruption.

What does this mean for Egypt going forward? Egyptians must make it known quickly that they want a moderate in power. If this does not happen then the Muslim Brotherhood will find itself in power, despite what others believe. Egyptians’ best choice at the present time is Mohammed ElBaradei, though seen as an outsider and unaware of Egyptians concerns; he gives Egypt the greatest opportunity to remain credible in the Middle East. Other names like Amr Moussa (former Minister of Foreign Affairs) have come to the surface as a potential replacement. However member of Mubarak’s ministry is an unlikely choice.

The protests right now are focused on all the right things: corruption, human rights, and freedom. If however, the Muslim Brotherhood gains power it would make this protest about religion. If this does happen, it is over for Egypt. What would that mean for the rest of the Middle East? With similar revolutions happening in Tunisia, Algiers, Jordan, and Yemen; what happens in Egypt will likely control how the citizens in other countries decide to elect their leaders.

If we look at the Israeli/Palestinian conflict as an example for how countries under this type of rule act, we see irrationality in foreign affairs. Fault is absolutely on both sides. However, many of the demands from the Palestinians are so dramatic that Israel has to deny them. They are dramatic because if there is peace there would not be a need for Hamas or the PLO. If these types of regimes take over the Middle East, you can expect the same irrationality (or rationality whichever way you think). Also, if this type of regime took over, what would happen to the economy of Egypt? Despite what others believe, Egypt is not as oil rich as their neighbors and a large portion of the economy is driven by the tourism of the history rich nation. However, if the Muslim Brotherhood takes over, you would see a decline in tourism revenue resulting in even greater poverty.

It is very crucial for Egyptians to continue to fight for the right things, freedom from an authoritarian and a corrupt government and human rights. It must be stated that in this fight, Egyptians must not lose sight of a better Egypt, an Egypt that is credible around the world and a beacon for true freedom for other Arabs to see.

Make the right decision Egyptians, the world is watching!

Helen Thomas Tells Jews To “Go Home”

Helen Thomas wants the Jews to “go home”.  They are apparently occupying Palestine even though there are 5.7 million Jews of a total of 7.5 million people living in Israel.  Not to mention the fact that the Israeli state existed for over TWO THOUSAND YEARS prior to the Siege of Masada.  But what is more baffling is where “home” is for the 159,000 babies born in Israel this year?  Why in the world would Helen think that Europe would be home for those newborns or anyone born in Israel in the last 62 years?  This would be no different than someone walking up to a black person in the United States and telling them they are occupying America and should return to Africa.  It would be profoundly racist on multiple levels.  Not to mention the fact that you are assuming where they come from.  Just like different races of people have come from all over the world to be American citizens, Jews have come from all over the world to be Israelis.  But Helen wants all you Jews to go back “where you belong,” and apparently that is Poland and Germany.  How does this woman have a job?  She’s obviously a callous bigot who is insanely politically biased.  I saw her in Morton’s in DC once. Had this happened before that occasion I would have gladly told her this to her face.

Talk About Guts

Protesters in front of an Israeli embassy try to harass a lone Israel supporter, but the police stop them. The guy- he can’t be more than 25- sure has a lot of guts, and he knows his stuff. Other supporters of Israel show up later in the video, but the first five minutes or so star the lone supporter.

H/T to Hot Air for the link, and H/T to The Right Scoop for the video.

Another Sign of the Obama Administration’s Commitment to Israel

As part of my duties as an intern with Laura Ingraham, I went to the State Department’s web site to find information about Israel. I clicked on Israel…and found this: “We’re sorry. That page can’t be found and may have moved.”

Here is a list of countries I went through that did have links: Afghanistan, Iceland, Italy, Venezuela, Bosnia/Herzegovina, Egypt, Haiti, Holy See, Honduras,  Iraq, Kosovo, Kuwait, Lebanon, North Korea, Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Syria, Turkey, Tajikistan, Iran, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyz Republic, Bahrain, Turkmenistan, Palestinian Territories,

In short, what I believe is every Middle Eastern country (except for the United Arab Emirates, Jordan, Yemen, which did not have links), plus a few others I decided to check, have a link to the State Department’s information about the site. To verify, I asked two friends to check, one from his home computer and one from his work computer, and they found the same thing. I have also checked on two different computers that have two different servers. Israel is not on the State Department’s web site.

For those who are conspiracy theorist conservatives, perhaps UAE, Jordan and Yemen are other countries we are cutting ties with under Obama, or for those believers in the military industrial complex, we are going to bomb them. For me, it’s kind of funny that- coinciding with the Biden/Obama slam of Israel this week- they do not have the page up. Perhaps we shall check in next week?

Talking With Terrorists-Israel’s Stand Against Palestine

U.S. treatment of Israel over the course of the last twenty years has been anything but realistic; Vice President Biden’s condemnation of Israel’s recent decision to expand its borders by allowing building permits in East Jerusalem, demonstrates just how out of touch with reality many politicians truly are.  Due in part to forced concessions of peace from the Bush administration, Israel spent a large part of the first decade withdrawing from the Palestinian Frontier, and practicing a defensive posture.  In response to Israel’s attempts at peace, Palestine unleashed the second intafada, in which over one thousand Israeli’s were murdered in terrorist attacks.  Consequently, Israel’s current prime, Benjamin Netanyahu, has decided that the best defense is a good offense, and begun once more to expand Israel’s borders in the hopes of swallowing up the Palestinian threat.  While Israel is a far cry from a perfect republic, it provides a stark contrast to it’s lawless Palestinian neighbor.  Insistence by U.S. officials that Israel return to the negotiations table ignores the last decade of history.  If Israel is to survive, it must, like any other nation, defend itself from terrorism.

Rubio on Policy, and His Closing

Lower taxes, no double taxation (taxing interest, death, etc.).

Lower corporate tax rates so we are competitive internationally.

Stop cap-and-trade, trust the American innovator, on energy.

Put the consumer in charge of health care spending in America. (How?)

Tort reform. *Thumbs up*

Let’s prove we are serious about holding down spending.

Radical Islamic fundamentalism is America’s biggest threat.

We’ll punish their allies, and support our allies. (Iran and Israel, respectively.)

We’ll destroy their cells, kill their leaders, etc. We’ll capture those who survive.

Bring them to justice in front of a military tribunal in Guantanamo Bay.

Closing…already?

It’s sometimes easy to forget how great America being born in this country. Born to exiles, he knows this. Things are possible here and not possible elsewhere.

Other countries allow government to dictate who fails and succeeds. This country is about equality of opportunity, not equality of results.

His parents worked hard and suffered to help his family move forward.

He owes God, his parents’ sacrifices, and The USA. His parents had no influence or power, but worked hard so their kids could.

Our leaders are asking us to abandon what separates us from the rest of the world. We must decide what we want our kids to inherit.

“If we fail,” the next generation will be hit hard by the failure.

Like those before us, we rose to face the challenges of our times.

No policy specifics, unfortunately. It would have been nice to see in-depth platform ideas.

Too Little, Too Late

Nothing like admitting potential atrocities a decade after the fact.

Apparently Israel spent about a dozen years harvesting organs without familial permission. The information was released after a controversy last summer related to accusations in a Swedish newspaper that Israel was “abducting Palestinians in order to steal their organs.”

Clearly, an investigation of Israeli medical and military practices is warranted. Given the United States’ support of Israel for the last 60 years, we should be the first to demand an investigation, both to hold our allies as accountable as we should and would our enemies and to determine whether our alliance with Israel should continue in the same way it has for so long.

Iran, Nuclear Weapons, & Sanctions

A few days ago, secret documents detailing Iranian efforts to build a nuclear weapon surfaced. (SURPRISE!)

Then, on December 16, Iran launched its most sophisticated missile yet.

What was the House of Representatives’ response? 412-12, our Members of Congress voted to impose sanctions on Iran.

I’ll reiterate what I’ve said before- sanctions don’t work. They didn’t work with Iraq, they didn’t work with Cuba and they won’t do anything to stop Iran’s terrible treatment of its people. In fact, they’ll only make things worse, as they have in countless countries including Myanmar and North Korea. Instead, we should support the protesters who are still opposing their government’s murderous tendencies, support Israel’s right to defend itself and prepare for a military assault should America or one of our allies be attacked by the country.

I know there are other ways to eliminate the threat Iran’s leadership is to the rest of the world, but I must express ignorance as to what they are (plus, I didn’t sleep well last night and can’t really think very hard right now). Any ideas?

Update: Iranian-backed insurgents in Iraq have hacked U.S. Predator drones- perhaps we should back Israel’s approach to negotiation with Iran.