WHAT SIDE ARE WE ON?  9:39 am January 31, 2011

Hillary Clinton Won’t Say Who the U.S. Supports In Egypt

by Ken Layne


Hmm, pretty simple question from CNN’s Candy Crowley, right?

CROWLEY: It seems to me that when this started out and we saw the signs and the protesters in the street, they were anti-Mubarak. Now, if you are watching, we are seeing signs that say “U.S., stop backing Mubarak.” What side is the U.S. on, Mubarak or the people in the streets?

CLINTON: Well, there’s another choice. It’s the Egyptian people. We are on the side — as we have been for more than 30 years — of a democratic Egypt that provides both political and economic rights to its people, that respects the universal human rights of all Egyptians. And that is the message that every ambassador, whether Republican or Democratic president, everyone has conveyed for over 30 years.

Hmm, and how long has Mubarak been in power? Oh right, 30 years. Jesus, would it kill anyone to say, “Look, even with an autocratic government in Egypt, it has been a benefit to the stability of that part of the world to support Mubarak because Egypt’s peace with Israel really helped things from going absolutely insane, worldwide, during the 1980s and probably 1990s.”

You could say that, right? Republican administrations, Democratic administrations, they all supported Mubarak because Mubarak maintained peace with Israel. Just say it, and then say, “But of course Egypt’s people should overthrow the government, and we hope they honor the peace treaties with Israel and that we don’t have either World War III, or worse, a really big oil embargo that will be the absolute last nail in the extra-large coffin of America.” [CNN]

 

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{ 69 comments }

user-of-owls January 31, 2011 at 9:44 am

The ultimate US response is fairly predictable. Confronted by similar situations historically, we have time and again, Democrat or Republican, followed the same script. JFK elaborated the formula very clearly when faced with the death of long-time US amigo-autocrat, Rafael Trujillo in the Dominican Republic:

“There are three possibilities in descending order of preference: a decent democratic regime, a continuation of [the pro-US dictatorship], or a Castro [communist] regime. We ought to aim at the first, but we really can’t renounce the second until we can be sure we can avoid the third.”

Substitute Ahmadinejad [Muslim radical] and bingo, Candy's got her answer.

BaldarTFlagass January 31, 2011 at 10:24 am

JFK didn't taken into account Guatemala/Arbenz, nor did he foresee Chile/Allende; otherwise, he might have reversed the order of the democratic regime and the pro-US dictatorship. If he was being honest about it.

Not_So_Much January 31, 2011 at 9:46 am

Well, in her defense, it's waaaay easier to control a single, dictatorial puppet to get oil. Working with real democracies is messy and expensive. Plus, since we've propped up this piece of shit for 30 corrupt years, backing away from him now looks bad….which we never, ever do.

cheaphits January 31, 2011 at 9:56 am

Well, there was that once in Iran…and, uh, Viet Nam and uh….Afghanistan, Panama, and Iraq – but who's counting…besides it's all different now, amirite?

SorosBot January 31, 2011 at 10:04 am

Hey, at least we've never supported overthrowing democracies and turning them into dictatorships. Except in Iran. And Chile. And we tried in Venezuela less than a decade ago.

prommie January 31, 2011 at 10:46 am

Capitalism has always trumped democracy. Better a brutal mass-murdering capitalist dick-tater, than a genuine democracy, if that democracy is socialist or communist. Its a matter of basic human rights; Corporations are people, we can't allow them to be oppressed abroad, any more than we can deny them their free speach rights here at home.

oldmoose January 31, 2011 at 10:12 am

You know what's an even easier way to get oil? Just BUY it.

ManchuCandidate January 31, 2011 at 9:49 am

It's not like Hilsbot has any choice to say what she said, especially when Egyptians are kind of pissed about seeing "Made IN US America" stamped on the tear gas grenades and assault rifles that the hated riot cops are using on them.

Weenus299 January 31, 2011 at 10:39 am

Ha! Those Egyptian fools. Those things are made in China now.

MildMidwesterner January 31, 2011 at 9:50 am

"We are seeing signs that say “U.S., stop backing Mubarak.”

Historical fact: Reading the hieroglyphics on those signs would not have been possible without the Rosetta Stone software.

BaldarTFlagass January 31, 2011 at 9:50 am

We are on the side — as we have been for more than 30 years — of a democratic Egypt that provides both political and economic rights to its people, that respects the universal human rights of all Egyptians.

So, we are on the side of something that does not exist? How the hell does that work? "I'm rooting for the Los Angeles Faultlines in this Sunday's Super Bowl."

freakishlywrong January 31, 2011 at 9:51 am

I'm disappointed Hillz didn't weigh in on how all this will victimize Sarah Falin'.

ManchuCandidate January 31, 2011 at 9:55 am

I'm disappointed Nailin' Palin didn't do a facebook twat about how this is good newz for Nailin' Palin, but I'm not surprised cause she can't find Egyptia on a map.

ttommyunger January 31, 2011 at 10:04 am

Only because she can't see it from her porch. Haz the cloudiness 2-day?

PsycWench January 31, 2011 at 10:14 am

Has Sarah spoken out on this issue? If not, could it be because she realizes her lack of expertise or knowledge in the area and grasps that she might look/sound like an idiot? Or because the teabaggers don't know which side they're on yet?

GregComlish January 31, 2011 at 10:29 am

Sarah Palin has, in fact, spoken out about the Egypt crisis. Her response, as one might expect, literally consists of her criticizing the lamestream media for insufficient Palin coverage, by way of snidely claiming that the Palin media blackout will prevent her from being "blamed for Egypt".

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/01/31/sarah-pa

Nothing about Egypt or Democracy or even 'Muslins'. Just Sarah Sarah Sarah, Victim Extraordinaire. All because Dana fucking Milbank pledged to reduce his Palin coverage.

SorosBot January 31, 2011 at 12:20 pm

Dear lord; first Sarah, no one would blame you because you weren't in part responsible, like you actually were with the Giffords shooting; second, I don't know why I continued to be surprised by how your monstrous ego makes everything about you, yet I am.

freakishlywrong January 31, 2011 at 10:31 am

Teabaggers/Falin' will say Obabar "waited too long" and is "waffling and weak", but will offer, as usual, nothing even approaching substance. And it will be the headline on all the infotainment shows.

mrblifil January 31, 2011 at 11:13 am

This is the teabagger's version of the "too soon?" dilemma. Figure out a way to use historical event to demonize Obama, realizing that there's a chance Obama might come out looking half-OK.

GOPCrusher January 31, 2011 at 12:20 pm

Considering that Egypt is filled with those brown, Muslimy people, can Bible Spice really come out for one side or the other?

An_Outhouse January 31, 2011 at 12:21 pm

I thought she was keeping mum because the 'Egypt Lounge' is where Todd goes to score hookers and meth.

metamarcisf January 31, 2011 at 9:53 am

Haven't any of these camel jockeys read the constitution lately? They ain't going to get very far with broomsticks and machetes. They need Sharron Angle in their corner to learn about their second amendment solution.

weejee January 31, 2011 at 9:54 am

Ken, right after yer Hillz quote her first platitude after "the Egyptian peoplez" wuz to the Army. The folks in the crowd are respectful of the Army as it includes a ton of conscripts, who perhaps keep it more honest than the police and secret services.

The Army in now fulfilling security responsibilities. They're a respected institution in Egyptian society and we know they have a delicate line to walk.

My guess is behind the scenes Hillz and Barry may be making it clear that regardless, we'd support the Army if they'd break from Mubarak.

Numbat_Dundee January 31, 2011 at 5:01 pm

What then do they think of the appointment of the old friend of America, Mubarak's torturer in chief (he likes to handle interrogations himself) and go-to man for dealing with the renditioned as VP and designated successor. Is he your preferred solution Hilary?

Oblios_Cap January 31, 2011 at 9:55 am

Sometimes I don't know which set of Corporate Stooges I hate more -but the Clintons are high up on the list.

FlownOver January 31, 2011 at 9:57 am

HRC is holding out for Omar Sharif, but negotiations to get him away from the card table have stalled.

LiveToServeYa January 31, 2011 at 10:07 am

We'll just have to do it sans-Sharif.

DashboardBuddha January 31, 2011 at 10:15 am

Well done, sir. Well done!

mereoblivion January 31, 2011 at 10:29 am

Omar God, that's rich.

Weenus299 January 31, 2011 at 10:36 am

Can't Peter O'Toole make things better wearing his little Arab suit?

GOPCrusher January 31, 2011 at 12:22 pm

I would have bet on the reanimated corpse of Anwar Sadat.

OC_Surf_Serf January 31, 2011 at 9:58 am

Clinton triangulation at work again?

Hillz, there isn't really much of a third rail here…. i.e. Support what the Egyptian People want even if it is not what the US Government wants.

weejee January 31, 2011 at 10:04 am

Here's hoping she and Hopey recognize that long-term stability cannot be indefinitely sustained by repression.

prommie January 31, 2011 at 10:25 am

Well, there is the matter of the Israel lobby, which has been in charge of US foreign policy lo these many years, and they seem not to savor the idea of an Egyptian Democracy. Its not that she is afraid to anger the amurrican people, she is afraid to anger AIPAC, which is the entity which decides who and when we bomb browns in the ME.

weejee January 31, 2011 at 10:46 am

They may finally have to bite the bullet, so to speak.

mrblifil January 31, 2011 at 11:15 am

Please don't forget the American-based Petroleum industry, who are shitting themselves at present. They are probably having some kind of influence here, murky as it may be to make out…

prommie January 31, 2011 at 10:01 am

Lamestream media and their "gotcha" questions; Obviously, Hilz supports all of them.

Monsieur_Grumpe January 31, 2011 at 10:03 am

I think it’s time for the Good Old USA to crawl up in a fetal position for a few decades.

oldmoose January 31, 2011 at 10:06 am

Eh, fuck Israel. Seriously.

ttommyunger January 31, 2011 at 10:07 am

One of these fucking days Barry is going to pull the wrong string on the HillzBot and a Tampon is going to pop out. This goes for Uber-Twat P. J. Crowley also, too, and as well. ps. I remember when PJ used to make sense; Hill, not so much.

LiveToServeYa January 31, 2011 at 10:08 am

'Overthrow' is such an ugly word. Maybe 'throw over' or 'throw under a bus' would be kinder and gentler.

baconzgood January 31, 2011 at 10:41 am

A forceful restructure of policy implementers.

baconzgood January 31, 2011 at 10:14 am

"Who do I support…..Ahhhhh…..Mmmmmmm. Who ever wins?"

Seriously why didn't she do that mumble thing while wiping her face like I did when the boss asked me who put the cat shit in the microwave and walked away on April fools day.

OneDollarJuana January 31, 2011 at 10:14 am

And what is Hilary going to do about her hair?

mereoblivion January 31, 2011 at 10:32 am

Gal looks like a Spinal Tap drummer waiting to spontaneously combust.

jim89048 January 31, 2011 at 11:18 am

There's always the burqa.

T_Party_Pickens January 31, 2011 at 1:55 pm

She looks like she answered the phone at 3 am.

Guppy06 January 31, 2011 at 10:17 am

So, basically, The US State Department is taking its cues from Couric/Palin: "We support all of them!"

Why the sudden clusterfuck in the Arab world? Because there are no jobs. Why are there no jobs? Because Hill's "home" state of New York fucked things up for everyone. Thanks, Wall Street!

prommie January 31, 2011 at 10:27 am

No,no, there are no jobs because Globalization has disrupted local, regional economies all over the world. Thanks in large part to the Clinton legacy of total, complete capitulation to the Corporatocracy.

Guppy06 January 31, 2011 at 10:33 am

But we still get to blame a Clinton either way? I'm cool with that.

prommie January 31, 2011 at 10:40 am

Oh, yes, really, its not well known, but the Clintons and their DLC "third way" mark the complete capitulation of the Democratic Party, the complete sellout of the working people to corporate serfdom. In exchange for which, of course, the Clintons were granted admission into the Overlord Class. Clinton's triangulating Sister Souljah jive walk was the moment when the Democratic party abandoned any and all pretense of representing the class interests of the poor, and turned into a laughable conglomeration of "identity politics" divided and conquered bozos.

mrblifil January 31, 2011 at 10:55 am

Poor and overeducated have always had problem in that region. The difference now seems to be cheap personal communication devices, allowing for political coordination at the street level in a way that cannot be monitored or broken up without taking down the whole internetz. Ceauşescu's Romania fell because of the advent of the camcorder. China's probably getting ready for a similar "youth movement." That or a barrage of kick-ass porn that will rival the Nailin' Palin series.

prommie January 31, 2011 at 1:45 pm

Flashmob Bastille-storming?

hagajim January 31, 2011 at 10:21 am

It's always fun to watch the chickens come home to roost….fucking middle east is a huge ass nightmare and we are so up to our asses in it (because of oil) we really can't find a decent way out…this could turn into a huge clusterfuck….

BaldarTFlagass January 31, 2011 at 10:27 am

this could turn into a huge clusterfuck….

You're using the wrong tense. See under "The Middle East since Churchill divvied things up after the First World War."

HolyMaracas January 31, 2011 at 10:22 am

"Egypt is still an ally…as far as I know."

baconzgood January 31, 2011 at 10:26 am

Glad the head of the State Dept. is on the ball on who is and isn't our allies.

mrblifil January 31, 2011 at 10:57 am

Well, if they say, "ElBaradei," for instance, he'd suddenly be about as popular over there as Michelle Obama at the Miss Buffalo Chip Contest. Oh and he would also immediately have his throat slit by some bodyguard. So there's that.

GOPCrusher January 31, 2011 at 12:24 pm

At least she didn't say, North Korea.

mereoblivion January 31, 2011 at 10:31 am

Whom.

Weenus299 January 31, 2011 at 10:33 am

We loooooove talking like JFK. We haaaaaate acting against economic interests of person-beating oil price stability.

Barbara_i January 31, 2011 at 10:49 am

Has anyone thought to send Bristol over there to talk about it? She could stop the number of rioters from reproducing and show them how real looters get it done.

mrblifil January 31, 2011 at 10:50 am

What was she hoping Hillary would say? "Well, Candy we can see how self-immolation spurred the process toward democracy in Tunisia, so we are hoping for A LOT MORE OF THAT AWESOMENESS FOR THE LULZ!"

I support rolling Candy Crowley in flour, looking for the wet spot, and giving her a buncha thumbs up, fer freedumb.

friendlyskies January 31, 2011 at 10:55 am

Well, Hillary did an outstancing job playing both sides in Honduras, and that went better (for the USA and pro-US OAS members, *not* Hugo) than anyone expected.

Egypt, well, we all know this is a global game changer – its either the end of the world, or a huge opportunity vis-a-vis China, which wants to monopolize Africa's mineral resources so bad they can taste it. None of the protest signs are in Chinese, notice? They're in English. In your face, Hu. That also makes it clear that the majority doesn't want this to go all 1979 more than we do, the USA and Israel vs. Wahaabist beheadings in the streets? Hey, Egyptians may be cynical, but they aren't stupid.

You know the Islamist fundies (supposedly 20% of Egypt) would love nothing better than for West's genocidal racists, who are idiotically calling for full support of Mubarak and a sweep/mass murder of the Muslim Brotherhood, to dictate US policy. That is the only thing that would legitimize the Islamists. But, haha, they aren't getting their wish because Hillary already outwitted the Pentag… I mean, the extremist fringe, and hopefully cut off Biden's dick, and mounted it next to Bill's, as punishment for being such a stooge.

The State Dept is playing this about as well as they can IMHO. They've already got Elbaradei out in front of the fundies [cue a cynical but resigned sigh from moderate Egyptians], Israel is keeping its dick in its pants, the generals are quietly consolidating power, Mubarak has probably left the building, and the whole place hasn't exploded in violence. That's all best case scenario shit, Hillary's got this. Watch.

mrblifil January 31, 2011 at 11:10 am

I can't argue with your logic. But would it have killed you to fit some buttsechs in there?

Guppy06 January 31, 2011 at 11:25 am

Couldn't we… oh, I dunno, support the fuck out of democracy in Egypt and deflate the insurgencies in Iraq and Afghanistan overnight, what with a "shocking" and "awesome" display of "we <3 Mohammedans?"

Or is the House of Saud worth more to our government than our own soldiers getting blown up?

mumbly_joe January 31, 2011 at 12:44 pm

It's kind of amazing to me that so many of our politicians, and espeically the neo-cons, have suddenly realized just now all of a sudden that maybe, on account of propping up dictators in this part of the world in an "enemy of my enemy"-style gambit might lead to a sort of situation where "pro-Democracy" and "pro-Western" don't actually mean the same thing in this part of the world, at all, and thus a situation where "spreading Democracy" to this part of the world is impossible, without sowing the seeds for a lot of very anti-Western regimes. I mean, for crissakes, we've known that can happen, since the 70's at least.

But, that completely expected eventuality is, in a summary, why so many people are at least slightly disquieted about Egypt and Yemen right now. We want to still at least pretend that we love Democracy and hate dictators, but we're liable to get the wrong type of democracy in those places. Whoops.

ShaveTheWhales January 31, 2011 at 1:10 pm

Unless I was reading a different Wonkette during the recent festivities in Iran, there was almost universal opinion that the correct approach for the US to take was to avoid direct endorsement of the protesters, while voicing general support for democratic goals and popular self-determination.

Now, the present circumstances are certainly not identical, and our historical relationship with the embattled dictator quite different, but it seems to me that the same "not-butting-in-publicly" approach has quite a bit to recommend it.

The big difference to the Iranian situation is, of course, that the US should be able apply some private leverage to the existing government. We'll see what happens, but I don't expect Hillz to talk about that on the teevee, 'cause then it wouldn't be very private.

Also, ass-fucking.

Negropolis February 1, 2011 at 12:02 am

Hillary Clinton Won’t Say Who the U.S. Supports In Egypt

To be serious, of course she won't say. This is the consequence of being a cabinet member. You don't get to give your personal opinion on things; you have to parrot whomever you end up serving under. Obama doesn't have a public opinion, thus Hillary won't have one. That's why Gibbs can't seem to say shit.

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