Saturday, January 29, 2011

HOT5 Daily 1/29/2011

1. "The Egypt We Paid For" Some excellent points.

Representative Sample: Any non-NDP government will include (or be lead by) the anti-American, anti-Israel Muslim Brotherhood, who regularly get a strong percentage of the vote in Egypt, though they are a banned party. Diehl may dream of a secular middle class, but the Brotherhood’s support comes mainly from the professional classes – doctors, lawyers, and other trade associations. The image of Muslim extremists as the poor, disenfranchised and easily-led is another self-flattering Western fantasy.

2. "Will Obama Lose Egypt the Way Carter Lost Iran? " It's not his to lose, but his incompetent reaction certainly isn't helping.

Representative Sample: Like the Carter Administration in the late 1970's it seems the Obama Administration has no solid grasp on events. I fear we may find ourselves six months from now with the loss of a great ally and an Egypt that is spiraling towards the same radicalim we saw in Iran with the result that the poison that was unleashed by the Ayatollahs will spread further.

3. "Exit and loyalty" I don't agree with the idea that there can always be some sort of exit plan, but an interesting argument.

Representative Sample: Great powers find themselves compelled to support regimes they consider problematic, unpleasant, or even odious. The United States is no exception. Many of its friends and allies have far greater democratic deficits than Egypt, although few receive more combined U.S. aid than Cairo does.

4. "The New Arab World Order" A broader and somewhat more optimistic perspective.

Representative Sample: The most telling aspect of the anti-regime demonstrations that have rocked the Arab world is what they are not about: They are not about the existential plight of the Palestinians under Israeli occupation; nor are they at least overtly anti-Western or even anti-American. The demonstrators have directed their ire against unemployment, tyranny, and the general lack of dignity and justice in their own societies.

5. "Obama’s New Anti-Satellite Weapons Push to Cede Space to the Chinese?" Surrendering a U.S. advantage for no gain, based on the usual naivete and wishful thinking that characterizes Obama foreign policy.

Representative Sample: the Obama administration is pushing for a U.S./EU agreement that would severely restrict our ASAT capabilities. Experts who back the administration describe it as a “not exactly binding” minor move, the upshot being that Obama wouldn’t have to secure Senate approval for the measure. But experts and congressional staffers both insist that it would significantly curb what we can do in space and would endanger our ability to develop and deploy both offensive and defensive assets

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