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Thread: U.S. Pressure on Mubarak Opens a Rift With Arab Allies

  1. #1
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    U.S. Pressure on Mubarak Opens a Rift With Arab Allies

    Basically, the other Arab leaders see that they, too, can be thrown under the bus at a moment's notice.

    Mubarak may not be a democratically elected leader. But he honored a peace treaty for 30 years and kept the crazies in his country under control.

    From the WSJ

    U.S. Pressure on Mubarak Opens a Rift With Arab Allies


    By ADAM ENTOUS,
    JULIAN E. BARNES
    and JAY SOLOMON

    WASHINGTON—President Barack Obama's attempt to abruptly push aside Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak in favor of a transition government has sparked a rift with key Arab allies Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates, which fear the U.S. is opening the door for Islamist groups to gain influence and destabilize the region.

    Vying to influence the outcome of events, Saudi Arabia and the U.A.E. have sent public and private messages of solidarity to Mr. Mubarak and his vice president, longtime intelligence chief Omar Suleiman, diplomats said. The messages amount to support for the president and Mr. Suleiman to oversee the transition and to ensure that Islamists can't fill any possible power vacuum.


    The support from Arab states has provided a measure of comfort to Mr. Mubarak, who announced he wouldn't take part in September's election. It may in part explain why the Egyptian president rebuffed Mr. Obama's call for an immediate transition that includes the opposition.

    The backlash shows how the turmoil in Egypt is rapidly reshaping U.S. policy in the region. In deciding to set itself against Mr. Mubarak, a U.S. ally for decades, the U.S. is now facing the disquiet of other friendly Arab governments, who have long provided support for American policy goals. Meanwhile, Islamists in the region, including Hamas and Hezbollah, believe they are on the ascent as U.S. allies falter.

    Such a scenario was one that defenders of the Middle East's status quo warned was possible, and shows how Mr. Obama's options were all, in some sense, unpalatable. The president was criticized early in the unrest for not clearly favoring antigovernment protesters. Now, having done so, he might have alienated key regional U.S. partners in the fight against al Qaeda and Iran. People familiar with the situation said Israel, the U.S. closest ally, has privately echoed Arab concerns about a U.S. push to kick out Mr. Mubarak, and worries Washington underestimates domestic Egyptian support for the Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamist parties.

    It is unclear how much sway the Saudis have with Mr. Mubarak's regime in Cairo, given that the extent of its financial aid to Egypt isn't known. The U.S. gives Cairo about $2 billion a year. Egypt and Saudi Arabia are major trading partners, and experts say Saudi and Egyptian intelligence services have especially close ties.

    Saudi King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz al-Saud has harshly criticized Egyptian protesters in a statement carried by the Saudi state news agency, describing them as "infiltrators" bent on destabilizing Egypt and the region, accusing them of "malicious sedition."

    "You don't need to read between the lines too much to see [the Saudis] are in favor of stability," said Richard Fontaine, an analyst with the Center for New American Security and a former adviser to Republican Sen. John McCain of Arizona.

    Senior officials from the U.A.E., another key regional ally, have said in recent days that the unraveling of Mr. Mubarak's government threatens to provide breathing room for Islamic extremists and Tehran. Egyptian security forces have been among the most aggressive in seeking to combat Hamas and Hezbollah, Palestinian and Lebanese militant groups that receive their arms from Iran and Syria.

    "What hurts men and women as well as the leadership in Egypt hurts us all, and our standing with Egypt is an urgent need," U.A.E. Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan said on a visit to Iraq this week. "But our disapproval is of certain parties who might try to exploit the situation with an external agenda."

    Another Arab official from a government aligned with Washington said the Obama administration seems to be humiliating Mr. Mubarak, despite his close cooperation over the years. This could lessen the willingness of Arab states to cooperate with Washington in the future, said the official.

    "[The Saudis] are at odds with the U.S. position, publicly pushing Mubarak out. And frankly so are we—this isn't how you handle issues in region," said the Arab official. "Egypt needs to be treated with respect."

    Mr. Obama took a calculated risk by aligning himself this week with the opposition, which includes the powerful Muslim Brotherhood, a group banned by Cairo and long shunned by Washington because of concerns about its ties to Islamist extremism.

    U.S. officials acknowledge that Mr. Obama's decision to turn on Mr. Mubarak has raised ire in Arab states, which fear the U.S. could turn up the pressure on them next.

    The perception among key U.S. allies in the region is that the U.S. "threw Mubarak under the bus," a senior U.S. official said. "It is fair to say there is definitely concern."

    Another U.S.official said the Obama administration understood Arab concerns that Islamists might try to take advantage of the Egyptian elections to win power, but said Arab states nonetheless needed to revamp their sclerotic political systems. Officials are reassessing the extent it could engage with Muslim Brotherhood.

    White House spokesman Tommy Vietor said what really matters is the "voices of the Egyptian people."

    Anthony Cordesman, an influential defense analyst at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, played down the impact of outside influences on Mr. Mubarak, whether Saudi or U.S. Mr. Obama, he added, was "one voice among many" and argued that domestic considerations were the biggest factor for the regime in figuring out what to do next.

    White House officials spent Thursday working on new language the U.S. president might use to make his demands on Mr. Mubarak more forceful, according to outside advisers. Much of the administration's attention was on the treatment of journalists in Cairo. U.S. officials suspect regime element might have been behind the attacks.

    Secretary of State Hillary Clinton urged Mr. Mubarak to "immediately" begin talks with opposition leaders on handing over power to a transitional government. "I urge the government and a broad and credible representation of Egypt's opposition, civil society and political factions to begin immediately serious negotiations on a peaceful and orderly transition," Mrs. Clinton said.

    Middle East experts say the goal of creating a new transitional government is not yet in reach. The Egyptian military would have to become more assertive to "control the arena," said Martin Indyk, a former U.S. ambassador to Israel. "This will require the military to undergo an overnight conversion to democracy promoters. That's more than a stretch in the current circumstances," Mr. Indyk said.

    Administration officials are anxiously awaiting events Friday, a traditional day of protest in the Muslim world. "Friday could be a 'Tiananmen moment,' " said Mr. Indyk. "If that happens, there will be no orderly and peaceful transition, just a bloody and long confrontation."
    As for Me, this is My covenant with them," says the LORD: "My Spirit who is on you, and My words that I have put in your mouth, will not depart from your mouth, or from the mouth of your children, or from the mouth of your children's children, from now on and forever," says the LORD.


    Isaiah 59:21

  2. #2
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    Re: U.S. Pressure on Mubarak Opens a Rift With Arab Allies

    More of the change he believes in?

    You can trust obama...really...trust him to do what is best for himself.

    It is God that establishes kings and kingdoms. It is God that pulls them down or sets them up.

    For the cause of Christ
    Roger

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    Re: U.S. Pressure on Mubarak Opens a Rift With Arab Allies

    I am sure this is all GW's fault somehow...
    For what mortal has ever heard the voice of the living God speaking out of fire, as we have, and survived? ~ Deuteronomy 5:26

    If you're not prepared to risk your very life for your "enemy" you have no right to speak to him of love. ~ Daughter

    Many say they are called... but I am pretty convinced that with many of them it was the wrong number. ~ Project Peter

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    Re: U.S. Pressure on Mubarak Opens a Rift With Arab Allies

    Similar view from another article:

    There are no excuses for the contradictions. How can it be that Bush's America understood the problem of repression in the Arab world, but Obama's America ignored it until last week? How can it be that in May 2009, Hosni Mubarak was an esteemed president whom Barack Obama respected, and in January 2011, Mubarak is a dictator whom even Obama is casting aside? How can it be that in June 2009, Obama didn't support the masses who came out against the zealot Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, while now he stands by the masses who are coming out against the moderate Mubarak?

    There is one answer: The West's position is not a moral one that reflects a real commitment to human rights. The West's position reflects the adoption of Jimmy Carter's worldview: kowtowing to benighted, strong tyrants while abandoning moderate, weak ones.
    http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition...cline-1.340967
    In Christ,

    -- Rev

    “To preserve the government we must also preserve morals. Morality rests on religion; if you destroy the foundation, the superstructure must fall. When the public mind becomes vitiated and corrupt, laws are a nullity and constitutions are waste paper.” – Daniel Webster, 4th of July, 1800, Oration at Hanover, N.H.

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    Re: U.S. Pressure on Mubarak Opens a Rift With Arab Allies

    "It's time for the chickens to come home to roost!"

    This guy cast aside his pastor and good friend of 20 years and tossed him under the bus. Why would anybody be surprised in the least that he would do the same to someone else?

    The very reason Joe Biden was brought in as vice president was because of his foreign policy experience. Forget the fact that he's been wrong and messed up so many times its laughable. That's the reason he's there. How's that working out for us and the world?

    Listen, flame me if you want, but Bill Clinton or George Bush most likely could have handled this situation in a manner that was, if not palatable, at least able to be swallowed with a spoonful of sugar by most sides. They didn't put a league of yes men together as advisers. They understood the responsibility of the office and our place in the world.

    Obama? He doesn't even care what his own people think, want or deserve so why should he care about the Mideast?
    Just as I am, without one plea, but that thy blood
    was shed for me, and that thou bidst me come to thee,
    Lamb of God, I come, I come.

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    Re: U.S. Pressure on Mubarak Opens a Rift With Arab Allies

    Quote Originally Posted by BrianW View Post
    Listen, flame me if you want, but Bill Clinton or George Bush most likely could have handled this situation in a manner that was, if not palatable, at least able to be swallowed with a spoonful of sugar by most sides. They didn't put a league of yes men together as advisers. They understood the responsibility of the office and our place in the world.
    This is exactly it. They would have understood that their actions have long-term consequences. They would have realized that an alliance of 30 year is not tossed aside, because other allies will see this and rightly conclude that the alliance is worthless.

    Watch now. All of our Arab "allies" are going to jump in bed with Iran. Because it's obvious when the spit hits the fan, we are't there for them.
    As for Me, this is My covenant with them," says the LORD: "My Spirit who is on you, and My words that I have put in your mouth, will not depart from your mouth, or from the mouth of your children, or from the mouth of your children's children, from now on and forever," says the LORD.


    Isaiah 59:21

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    Re: U.S. Pressure on Mubarak Opens a Rift With Arab Allies

    I'm sure that they will be a whole lot more cautious in bucking them and more easily cowed by them for sure.

    This is a very bad situation all around and it doesn't just effect the Mideast. Ramifications from this can and will be felt world wide.

    I can see our allies world wide swinging a path around the U.S. if Obama doesn't get his stuff together or is re-elected.

    Until they need that foreign aid check again that is. And lets face reality here. A few of our "Allies" wouldn't even be "Allies" at all without that cash flowing to them.
    Just as I am, without one plea, but that thy blood
    was shed for me, and that thou bidst me come to thee,
    Lamb of God, I come, I come.

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    Re: U.S. Pressure on Mubarak Opens a Rift With Arab Allies

    Quote Originally Posted by BrianW View Post
    I'm sure that they will be a whole lot more cautious in bucking them and more easily cowed by them for sure.

    This is a very bad situation all around and it doesn't just effect the Mideast. Ramifications from this can and will be felt world wide.

    I can see our allies world wide swinging a path around the U.S. if Obama doesn't get his stuff together or is re-elected.

    Until they need that foreign aid check again that is. And lets face reality here. A few of our "Allies" wouldn't even be "Allies" at all without that cash flowing to them.
    All future foreign aid from the US will go through China. China will need to co-sign and authorize all expenditures. We don't have any money to send. We're broke.

    For the cause of Christ
    Roger

  9. #9

    Re: U.S. Pressure on Mubarak Opens a Rift With Arab Allies

    Quote Originally Posted by BrianW View Post
    "It's time for the chickens to come home to roost!"

    This guy cast aside his pastor and good friend of 20 years and tossed him under the bus. Why would anybody be surprised in the least that he would do the same to someone else?

    The very reason Joe Biden was brought in as vice president was because of his foreign policy experience. Forget the fact that he's been wrong and messed up so many times its laughable. That's the reason he's there. How's that working out for us and the world?

    Listen, flame me if you want, but Bill Clinton or George Bush most likely could have handled this situation in a manner that was, if not palatable, at least able to be swallowed with a spoonful of sugar by most sides. They didn't put a league of yes men together as advisers. They understood the responsibility of the office and our place in the world.

    Obama? He doesn't even care what his own people think, want or deserve so why should he care about the Mideast?
    Excellent post all the way around!!

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