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American politics
Democracy in America
Arab spring
Who lost Egypt?
Mar 1st 2011, 14:11 by M.S.
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EIGHT years after the craziness that was the invasion of Iraq, I barely have the patience to address neo-conservative fantasies about how to turn political evolution in the Muslim world into a story that's somehow all about America liberating grateful locals. So I'm glad Daniel Larison still does, though, in responding to Niall Ferguson​, he seems to be almost out of patience too:
The sobering thing about rapid political change in these countries is that there really is very little that the U.S. could have done differently in just the last few years that would have produced a significantly different outcome. Democratists look at what happened in the 1980s, they reason foolishly that 1989 happened because of what the U.S. and Western allies did in supporting political dissidents, and they conclude that “we did it before, we can do it again!” Just as Iraq war supporters stupidly invoked Japan and Germany as meaningful precedents for the political transformation that could happen in Iraq, Ferguson is invoking the successes of eastern European dissidents as precedents for what could have happened in the Near East.
What makes Ferguson’s comparison even harder to take is the presumption that Western support for eastern European dissidents was important to their success, when the success of eastern European revolutions in 1989 rested almost entirely with the peoples of those countries. Ferguson’s analysis and recommendations seem to hinge on believing that Western support for dissidents in communist states was important to the successful political transition in those states, because Ferguson can’t seem to imagine foreign political movements that succeed or fail regardless of what Westerners do or don’t do...If there is anything more pathetic than the usual round of “who lost [fill in the blank]?”, it is the risible attempt to claim that all would be well if there had just been more American emphasis on democracy promotion earlier on.
I think I can suggest one thing that's more pathetic than the usual round of "who lost [fill in the blank]", and that would be a round of "who lost [fill in the blank]" when we won. Nobody lost Egypt! Egypt just ousted its dictator in a non-violent popular revolution! It's going to have democratic elections in six months! In what perverse universe does this count as a defeat for American foreign policy, for the West, for enlightenment civilisation, for lovers of human rights? Sweet Douglas Feith, what do these people want?
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The voice of logic Mar 3rd 2011 0:19 GMT
La Contra @
The international community might have asserted that these documents are fallacious. But they have talked , only talked . And what is in mind is still on the run .
In fact Mr or Ms La Contra you are so respectful , therefore , you couldn't respect yourself . However , i wouldn't like to implement the following rule " To show some respect is to disrespect what is already disrespected ".
I want to tell you something ; the idea of the secret police comes from Zionism .
Another one , what is the secret behind the Israeli intervention in The Nile Basin Crisis , the Palestinian issue ... etc. ?
Another one , what is the difference between Talmud and Gospel ? , and what is the difference between Mychena and Gemarah ?
Please, document your answer .
Finally , i know i provoked u ;i believe u consider us Goyim ; Is it fallacious as well ?! ""Rubbish Thought , indeed ""
(11/9 ) you saw it once , another see it daily . what a pity !
"I'm sorry you are 'afraid' Ahmed...if all else fails perhaps you could make a tinfoil hat to protect yourself in the future."
Afghanistan , Iraq , Vietnam , Palestine , Pakistan ,... etc . see the death daily because of the faked great power of you , that may be broken down in one second by the Hand of God . I am not asking for your "sorry" as i don't fear fire .... that's the difference .
i advise u to widen the horizons of your culture . My faithful wishes , Man of true perspectives !
By the way , thanks for your debate , it's interesting . 0_0
LaContra Mar 2nd 2011 16:51 GMT
Doug.
I'm not sure.
Perhaps if he can interrupt the transmissions from the mothership with his tinfoil hat then maybe the conspiracy fantasies will cease and the urge to post pseudo-jewdo-hoodoo-doodoo on the forum will subside.
Turkey Vulture Mar 2nd 2011 16:14 GMT
How about a post on the potential for some kind of military action in Libya? Seems like it could use some discussion.
Doug Pascover Mar 2nd 2011 15:08 GMT
La Contra, is it true Jews can't penetrate tinfoil? Does it have to do with the chemistry of gold? And can we be sure?
LaContra Mar 2nd 2011 14:34 GMT
@Voice of Logic.
Has there ever been a less appropriate nom de plume?
"However , I fear of the untimely repeated revolutions in the Arab world . Protocols of Elder sons of Zionism (sic) mentioned that point ,hence , i am afraid of history ; The Reich , Soviet , Great Britain, the ottoman kingdom , the Rome empire ,...etc. have been broken down, then economically controlled by the secret Jewish organisations and councils .
Ok...the Protocols of the Elders of Zion was a fake document created by the Tsarist Secret Police sometime between 1898-1903....The provenance of the fake 'protocols' has been proven and has been well documented for over 90 years....try reading some real history rather than this conspiracy rubbish.
...and a secret Jewish conspiracy to economically control the world?..Dating back to the fall of the Roman Empire no less! That defies all historical knowledge much less common sense.
You would do well to approach history from a perspective other than.."who can we blame for this situation?" or in the case of the Middle East, "why do bad things always happen to the Arabs?"
..as for your invitation to debate, discussions, and historical tackles....I figure you'd need to read a little more history and a lot less fairytale fiction before that would happen.
I suppose the Mossad were responsible for 9/11 as well?
I'm sorry you are 'afraid' Ahmed...if all else fails perhaps you could make a tinfoil hat to protect yourself in the future.
radindependent Mar 2nd 2011 13:53 GMT
Good article. The USA should remember that it was founded as a Republic and give up the foolish notion of exporting democracy,
jonesgp1996 Mar 2nd 2011 9:28 GMT
Democratic elections in 6 months? Care to place a bet on whether they are democratic or take place in 6 months?
Konker Mar 2nd 2011 1:41 GMT
You can argue that America 'lost the world' under Bush, with the unilateral 'American century' bully-boy approach..... though it may only be temporary. And over the last ten years America has been powerful enough to squash any backlash.
It will be interesting to see what happens in the next ten years as other powers become relatively much stronger...especially if Tea Party type policies come to prominence. Then more of 'losing the world' will become problematic for the US.
The voice of logic Mar 2nd 2011 1:36 GMT
For those people who think we ,Egyptian , despise the west are completely mistaken . The whole matter concerned is that we have different culture ,tradition , and habits . Moreover , we are not secular ; divine legislations either Islamic or Coptic are against secularism.
In fact , who envisages that Mubarak is your last faithful agent , the coming will be a nice supporter ,BUT fairly . For instance , when US vetoes a decision relating to any illegal Israeli carnage in the Arab Palestinian lands , we , Egyptians and leaders , will be the pulpit that calls the whole for justice and the safety of human being .
Who lost Egypt ? . In fact , no one lost Egypt , and Egypt is fine . However , I fear of the untimely repeated revolutions in the Arab world . Protocols of Elder sons of Zionism mentioned that point ,hence , i am afraid of history ; The Reich , Soviet , Great Britain, the ottoman kingdom , the Rome empire ,...etc. have been broken down, then economically controlled by the secret Jewish organisations and councils .
In fact , so few people may recognise my words as the same happens in Egypt. But i believe in it .
For further debates or discussions or historical tackles , that's my e-mail : Heroes_dontcry@yahoo.com
Ahmed
Egyptian citizen .
My faithful wishes !
bampbs Mar 2nd 2011 1:31 GMT
Niall Ferguson writes excellent financial history, but he gets really dumb when it comes anywhere near to contemporary policy. The transition is stunning. One is reading a rich and thoughtful book, and suddenly, eye-deep in twaddle.
Ockham's Beard Mar 2nd 2011 1:19 GMT
America is hardly seen as a paragon of democracy in many places in the world these days anyway. Given the desperate partisan divide, the polemical nature of political rhetoric, the deadlock between the houses of Congress and the White House, the failure to deal with potentially crippling issues such as the deficit and health care, the vast influence of lobbyists and big business in government, and a dogmatic adherence to a constitution in dire need of an update - and who can blame other countries for ignoring American condescension on how to become a model democracy? That some pundits assume that America still is the beacon of democracy it once was just adds to the impression of hubris.
Jaylat Mar 1st 2011 22:57 GMT
"the craziness that was the invasion of Iraq"
Yes, Sadam Hussain was such a great guy, and I'm sure he'd never invade Kuwait again or build another nuclear weapons program, or keep gassing Kurds or start another war with Iran that killed 500,000. Besides, his two sons were groomed to take over and they seemed perfectly nice fellows.
Danny Ferry Mar 1st 2011 20:53 GMT
". . .we won. Nobody lost Egypt!"
We won? Really? While you're in the future, analyzing the results of Egypt's democratic election which apparently put ElBaradei in power and saw the Muslim Brotherhood win no significant representation, could you also let me know what the stock price of Apple does over the next few months and years?
"Egypt just ousted its dictator in a non-violent popular revolution! It's going to have democratic elections in six months!"
Egypt's dictator was our ally. Egypt's people, with good reason, are not big fans of the West generally or America specifically. These democratic elections may well be won by the Muslim Brotherhood, who may well turn out to be far more radical and fundamentalist than we hope. Iran's 1979 revolution replaced an autocracy with supposedly democratic elections. You're arguing that the Iranian Revolution worked out well for the West? Or for human rights? Or for enlightened civilization?
"In what perverse universe does this count as a defeat for American foreign policy, for the West, for enlightenment civilisation, for lovers of human rights?"
In what perverse universe are those groups coterminous?
This was a remarkably and unusually bad post. Your insistence that this is an obviously good development is as foolish as your opponents' insistence that it's obviously bad. It's actually worse, because you're supposed to be smarter.
LaContra Mar 1st 2011 19:27 GMT
Martin Horn.
When Niall Ferguson departed Oxford and Cambridge to continue an academic career in the US (and finally assume the Chair in History at Harvard), many saw it as a sign of the ascendancy of US university system over the British.
Not quite....Ferguson's revisionist approach to history and his neo-con tendencies marginalised him somewhat in mainstream British academia and the US proved greener pastures for his 'style'.
While I agree with many of the counterfactual arguments which Ferguson makes, he refuses to stop at the historical 'truth' of his perspective and attempts to extend his 'truths' to a moral dimension of certainty and righteous certitude.
Apparently its not enough for his assertions to be correct, he needs them to be morally superior as well.
Meg from Seattle Mar 1st 2011 18:34 GMT
Let us go beyond Egypt. There are reports of losing 'key allies' across the MidEast with these uprisings and protests, most recently in Yemen where America's (weak) ally against terrorism is under fire; therefore, so the media concludes for us, we should be extremely worried. Few seem to be able to look any farther ahead, to where the U.S. State Department once again sends ambassadors to transitioned governments and Mr. Obama will once again visit Egypt under a peaceful, non-dictatorial government.
No one in the U.S. lost anything. Instead of complaining and worrying, we should be celebrating with the people of Egypt for a victory of peaceful protesting and perseverance by the people, an ideal Americans hold so dear.
cs r Mar 1st 2011 18:14 GMT
No surprise that neocon naives who believe in nation-building at the end of a gun barrel also imagine we could have sprinkled pixie dust across Egypt.
martin horn Mar 1st 2011 17:48 GMT
For those of you confused by the last line in my previous post, here's an article explaining how Ferguson feels that even with the slavery and oppression and the theft of resources, colonial powers did Africa a favor by conquering it because it eventually led to economic development of Africa.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2011/feb/20/niall-ferguson-interview-civ...
martin horn Mar 1st 2011 17:45 GMT
I get really tired of the Eastern European comparisons. America was POPULAR in Eastern Europe.
Ferguson and other "intellectuals" of the neo-conservative movement refuse, UTTERLY refuse, to accept the fact that being accused of "collaborating with the American government" is an INSULT, not a badge of honor, in the Middle East. Here's a major hint: Qaddafi is accusing protesters in Libya of being brainwashed by American agents. Ahmadinejad accused protesters in Iran of being funded by the CIA. Does anyone else notice a theme?
The worst thing President Obama can do is endorse reform movements in the Middle East. People like Ferguson whose screensavers are montages of Ronald Reagan standing underneath the American flag need to understand that having lived with U.S.-supported autocrats for so long, and learned what the U.S. and British did to Iranian Prime Minister Mohammad Mosaddegh, Arabs are not inclined to believe American claims of democracy prioritization.
Ferguson should stick to writing about how slavetraders and colonists did Africans a favor.
OneAegis Mar 1st 2011 16:50 GMT
The white man's burden sure got easier once we figured out all we had to do was exist as an example. Foreign lands in poverty? Well shucks, they aren't paying attention. Foreigners rising up and casting off the shackles of despotism? Finally they paid attention to what we've been saying! (Oh, and never you mind the large cash transfers to your former oppressor; I'm sure you all understand the political realities, right? Right?)
Djyrn Mar 1st 2011 16:42 GMT
Hey, I found Egypt...
30°01'N 31°14'E
I'll take my share of the celebration.
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