it's morning in america

Egypt On the Verge, Biden Praises Mubarak, Protests Spread To Yemen

  • But Biden loves Mubarak!How many awful, corrupt U.S. client states in the Middle East will collapse under the weight of immense daily protests? The anti-government movement in Egypt makes its biggest show today, with massive numbers of people filling the streets of nearly every big town. Hosni Mubarak’s government has responded in a slow, plodding way but is finally turning to large-scale violence and the usual authoritarian stunts that seem to just make people angrier — today, Egypt’s leadership has turned off every Internet access point and cell phone tower it can figure out how to shut down. Meanwhile, in Washington, Vice President Joe Biden praised Cairo’s 82-year-old dictator like this: “Mubarak has been an ally of ours in a number of things. And he’s been very responsible on, relative to geopolitical interest in the region, the Middle East peace efforts; the actions Egypt has taken relative to normalizing relationship with, with Israel …. I would not refer to him as a dictator.” Of course Hosni’s not a dictator! He listens to his masters in Washington! Meanwhile, the protests are heating up in Yemen, a desperately poor country that has been one of America’s punching bags for years whenever it needs to act “tough on terrorism” by having a billion-dollar robot death plane drop a few “smart bombs” on a goat farmer. [NYT/Guardian/ABC News/CSM]
  • The U.S. economy grew a little tiny woody in the last quarter of last year, to 3.2% annual growth. This was less than expected but still a little more than America has seen in four years. [Reuters/New York Times]
  • Meanwhile, in our dull little land of charmless charade, Rep. Mike Pence has decided not to run for the Republican presidential nomination or whatever. [Indy Star]

About the author

A writer and editor of this website from 2006 to early 2012, Ken Layne is occassionally seen on Twitter and writes small books and is already haunting you from beyond (your) grave.

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  1. Barbara_i

    The U.S. economy grew a little tiny woody in the last quarter of last year, to 3.2% annual growth.
    Does this mean we will all be cumming into money soon?

  2. problemwithcaring

    I bet the Saudi Prince Abdullah wishes he had his boyfriend W. to hold and comfort him at a scary time like this. It's hard out here for a oil rich Crown Prince.

    1. Oblios_Cap

      He probably would need a couple of hugs and some of Georgie's sweet kisses (lots of tongue!) to make him sleep better at night during such trying times.

      1. HedonismBot

        The hand holding was pretty sweet, though. Nothing warms the heart like watching the leader of the free world cuddling with a brutal despot.

    2. HedonismBot

      First, I read that as "oil rich clown prince," and I smiled a little inside at the thought of HRH with a red rubber nose and a huge orange wig under his head scarf.

  3. Oblios_Cap

    Bush said that we would promote democracy by toppling Saddam. It's good to see one of his policies actually may be working. Gaddafi blames it all on Wikileaks.

    So how come the Establishment seem to be so depressed about people trying to get rid of their odius authoritarian leaders and wikileaking?

  4. TheHigherSpread

    The anti-government movement in Egypt makes its biggest show today

    Sarah Palin has taped an eight-minute speech to run beforehand. Michelle Bachmann will provide an alternate response.

  5. DashboardBuddha

    "The U.S. economy grew a little tiny woody in the last quarter "

    Is that measurement in inches or Limbaughs?

  6. freakishlywrong

    The U.S. economy grew a little tiny woody in the last quarter of last year, to 3.2% annual growth.

    Look for the fright wing jerk-offs to immediately claim credit for this woody, due to tax cuts for the wealthy and "certainty" returning to the poor punching bags that are Ameri$$$an Corporations.

    Where are the jobs?

  7. SorosBot

    Well of course Mubarak's not a dictator; see, a dictator is a world leader the US establishment doesn't like, which is why the democratically elected Hugo Chavez is a dictator while Mubarak's one-party rule is not a dictatorship.

    Whether or not someone is a dictator can change over time, of course (see: Noriega, Manuel; Hussein, Saddam).

  8. Schmannnity

    If only Egyptians had their own version of American Idol and Jersey Shore, then this needless caring and protesting about what their government does would not be happening.

  9. ManchuCandidate

    That corrupt leader on the throne
    He'll do the despot dance don't you know
    If he moves too slow (oh whey oh)
    Regime's falling down like a domino

    All the angry folk by the Nile
    They've gone crazy ass mad
    Desperate Hosni (oh whey oh)
    He'll cut off the old internet

    Foreign types with the cameras say
    Ay oh whey oh, ay oh whey oh
    Riot like an Egyptian

  10. Steverino247

    Whatever government takes the place of the one collapsing in Egypt, it won't be friendly to us. It will likely involve crazy religionists fucking over their own people and wanting to blow us up for something our European ancestors did during the Crusades 900 years ago.

    As for the economy, there's no profit if jobs are involved, so there will be no jobs. Stingy bastards now run this economy, or had you not noticed? Any jobs offered will involve wiping off the chins of the aforementioned stingy bastards with the last Egyptian cotton napkin to fly out of Cairo on a chopper from the US Embassy.

    1. Ken Layne

      "Whatever government takes the place of the one collapsing in Egypt, it won't be friendly to us. It will likely involve crazy religionists fucking over their own people and wanting to blow us up for something our European ancestors did during the Crusades 900 years ago. "

      I don't see the slightest evidence that the Egyptian movement is a fundamentalist religious movement. The Muslim Brotherhood — and even that has many layers, from rural religious nuts to entrenched urban opposition politicians and labor leaders — only reluctantly joined these protests yesterday. The city protests are very obviously being led by the mostly secular and college educated urban middle/professional class.

      If the new government in Cairo is hostile to America, it will most likely be because America has kept Mubarak in power for three decades at the expense of his best and brightest people.

        1. problemwithcaring

          …where we were once seen as just another meddling foreign boogie man, and now we're seen as amoral infidels, fit to be destroyed. I hear this time around our Twitterz will keep them from turning on us.

      1. Terry

        The secular and college education middle/professional class started this, but who knows who will actually step into the opening once Mubarik steps (or is tossed aside). Could be military, could be religious, or could be people who actually reflect the will/interests of the people.

        1. horsedreamer_1

          I'd lay money on a Sudanese incursion from the South, courtesy Chinese money & military equipment.

      2. donner_froh

        One issue with the collapse of long time authoritarian dictators who have been openly propped up by the United States for decades is that there are few organized forces that can replace the former government. The military and security services are run by the state–the Tunisian military is an exception–and used to control the population. There is usually only one political party, the one that has been in power. Other civil society operations like trade unions, community organizations or civil rights advocates are either co-opted by the state or forced underground and not able to organize openly.

        Which in the Arab Middle East often leaves political Islam as the only structured institution to fill the power void. So while the uprisings may be spontaneous and based on the real issues of a long repressed working class the political organization that grows out of it may well be led conservative mullahs.

        Which is just another reason why the U.S. policy to support vicious dictators for decades as long as they represent/enforce our regional interests is a really ad idea that almost always bites in the ass.

    2. SorosBot

      Probably not; at least in Cairo and Alexandria, where the bulk of the population lives, most Egyptians are fairly secular. For example, a lot of people drink, and many of the women wear fairly revealing clothing. There are Islamic fundamentalists, but they are a distinct minority. Besides which, the Egyptian economy relies heavily on Western tourism, and outside of the fundamentalists most realize that cutting off the tourist revenue would be very bad.

      1. Moonbat

        Not to mention the billions in military aid we send Egyptwards every year as payment for them playing nice with Israel. Now, if (big if) Mubarak gets ridden out of Cairo on a rail, maybe the New Pharoahs decide they can do without all that sweet, sweet American cheddar, but I kind of doubt it. We'll just figure out a way to play ball with those guys now.

        1. Oblios_Cap

          When the Western Empire lost Egypt, it was the beginning of their end. All that cotton and wheat stayed in the East.

  11. Oblios_Cap

    I'm resting easier knowing that we sell the weapons that those governments need to quell any "unrest" their loyal subjects may be fomenting.

    Lock and load!

  12. slithytoves

    Yippee, now both the secularists and the Islamic radicalists will be aligned against us! I'm so proud. *sniff*

    1. horsedreamer_1

      The Circle of Captivity: the Myanmar Junta releases Aung San Suu Kyi, so the Egyptians must imprison El Bharedei.

      Oh, & you didn't mispell anything. Since Arabic has no official vowels, you're good. I'm sure in some part of the Arabic-speaking world, in fact, you're exactly right.

  13. metamarcisf

    I wouldn't be shocked at all to discover that the brains behind this uprising is none other than famed Egyptologist Dr. Hawi Zawass, in reprisal for Mubarek's refusal to allow him to appear on last season's "Dancing With the Stars" with fellow archeologist Bristol Palin.

  14. Oblios_Cap

    If only Barry had listed to McCain and made Leibermann Secretary of Defense. I'm sure that between Joe and AIPAC, there would be a great plan for dealing with Egypt.

    1. OneDollarJuana

      Michelle Bachmann is the new head of the House Intelligence Committee. Who could have seen this Egypt thing coming?

    2. horsedreamer_1

      The Jews built the Pyramids, & Liebermann would sure as hell exercise the right supplied by that fact to destroy them.

  15. OC_Surf_Serf

    U.S. economy grew … 3.2%

    Funny how (like the Yuan pegged on the Dollar) the Chinese growth rate is about 7-8% higher than ours…

    And, snarkfree: Power to those kicking Mubarak to the curb…

    1. ManchuCandidate

      I have my doubts about Chinese economic growth. I'm not saying that China's economy is growing. It is. However, I'm saying that those incredible growth numbers have a faint whiff of Enron on them… ie: fake. Even Japan's crazy growth from the 60s/70s never matched the numbers China's putting out.

      1. OC_Surf_Serf

        I travel to Wuxi and Shenzhen a dozen or so times a year: From personal observations, China is doing a lot better than even those numbers. There are more sky-scraper-making cranes in the cities than even Vancouver, BC. Folks are making money and getting restless…like Amerika circa 1955.

        1. ManchuCandidate

          Problem I see is in the commercial building occupancy rates. They're running like 60-70% on commercial buildings which is too low for upkeep and paying off the mortgage. Even worse in Beijing with all those wonderful Olympic built towers at 50% occupancy.

          From what I understand, if economic ruin comes to China it is going to start from the 2+ Trillion USD they have in Chinese commercial real estate bonds held by Chinese banks.

          1. OneDollarJuana

            I work in construction and in 2005 and 2006 we had amazing years, involved in 30%-50% of all the new big office and condo towers in the Seattle area, which were popping up like mushrooms after a summer rain. You know the rest of this story. China can base its growth on building buildings, but you gotta put someone in 'em.

        2. LesBontemps

          Folks are making money and getting restless…like Amerika circa 1955.

          So we'll get a Chinese Allen Ginsberg and Jack Kerouac? Can't wait to see how Dharma Bums plays out in this iteration.

        3. jim89048

          More cranes than used to dot the Las Vegas skyline just a couple of years ago.
          Of course some of the new buildings ended up like this.

  16. Allmighty_Manos

    I think the John Locke made it real clear 300 years ago that democracy is synonymous with not giving the US or Israel a hard time. Egypt doesn't, so therefore, it loves freedom. Moving on.

  17. freakishlywrong

    Of course, the impossibly lame media is mum on the fact that a lot of this unrest is due to the exposure from Wikileaks. According to the douchebags on Fux your Friends, this is all due to "some saying" Dubya's efforts. Of course it is. He is beloved in this part of the world.

    1. KevoTron

      In solidarity with my Egyptian brothers I am building a pyramid out of couch cushions in my living room. It will be fun to play in.

      1. OneDollarJuana

        Also in solidarity with the Egyptians I will raise a glass of beer tonight. The best thing they ever invented!

  18. prommie

    Is a friendly dictator better or worse than a hostile democratic government? The last popular revolution I remember in the ME was in this place called Iran. . .

      1. MissTaken

        I know I've drank myself into a stupor the last few days to try to forget about Michelle Bachman's SOTU speech so I'm a blank on all current events. I'm sure Prommie has done the same.

  19. LiveToServeYa

    The Pharaoh Ramses II said it best: "Ribbed for her pleasure". Wait, no, that's a condom. Well, Yemen certainly needs one to contain the spread of the seeds of rebellion. I suppose the Egyptian government is still in de Nile.

  20. SorosBot

    Egyptian revolutions are a lot less fun when they don't involve a married brother and sister fighting each other for control.

  21. KevoTron

    Here are my ruminations after an early morning joint and a cup of coffee. I've come to view any US state department endorsement of North African/Middle Eastern regimes with the practical cynicism of Chomsky. I read a quote from El Baradei yesterday saying he was "stunned" by Clinton's support of Mubarak and I can't understand why he'd be surprised.

    Mubarak has played ball with the US. We've given them billions of dollars and they play nice. Democracy is a total sham but it's a "democracy" so DON'T FUCK WITH THE PROGRAM! As far as Joe Biden and Hillary Clinton are concerned everything is fine the way it is. Egypt is a nice country to visit and you can tell your friends and in-laws you've been to a very nice Muslim place and get your picture taken in front of the big brick stacks, etc.

  22. DemonicRage

    First Biden appears at the SOTU speech, staying on camera all the time, looking tired, wooden facial emotions, hairplugs apparently not so fluffy any more. Now, at a critical juncture, he comes out in support of a 38 year reign dictator. Please, Hopey, find someone to replace him with on the '12 ticket!

      1. OneDollarJuana

        When are the Dems gonna pick a goddam decent candidate who doesn't reflexively knee jerk to the right?

  23. ttommyunger

    Preaching to China about Human Rights, torture and indefinite detention at home, preaching about "spreading democracy" abroad, praising the Dictator in Egypt. Does our Government think we are ALL fucking morons? Mubarek not a Dictator? Fuck you, Biden. Just because he sucks American Dick doesn't give him a pass.

  24. donner_froh

    Watching Al Jazeera in English–they just broke in with a "live from Cairo" report showing the the headquarters of Mubark's ruling NDP party burning.

    To quote Uncle Joe: "This is a big fuckin' deal"

  25. Oblios_Cap

    It used to be that you just had to say that you hated Communism and you were allowed to abuse your people in any way that you saw fit to.

    Ah, the Good Old Days!

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