Obama Plays Hardball and Egypt’s Morsi Folds

The attack on the US consulate in Benghazi happened because the Libyan government is still weak, rebuilding after its revolution against Muammar Qaddafi. But there was no doubt that the new government was a friend of the US ambassador who was killed, Chris Stevens, or that it would mobilize to deal with the cells of the Ansar al-Shariah extremists that launched the attack. Pro-America demonstrations regretting the attack on the consulate have been held all over Libya.

The puzzle comes in Egypt, where the government and security forces are strong, but were not deployed in force to protect the US embassy (unlike in the past), and where newly elected president Mohammad Morsi, of the Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party, did not explicitly condemn the small crowd that tried to invade the embassy grounds on Tuesday and which tore down the American flag.

Morsi was no doubt himself offended by the trailer on Youtube of a movie villifying the Prophet Muhammad, and he was probably concerned to not be outflanked by Muslim forces to his right, the Salafi Nour Party or the Gama’ah Islamiya (formerly a terrorist organization that has given up violence). But his declining to make a firm statement in defense of the sanctity of foreign embassies annoyed the Obama administration mightily.

In an interview with Telemundo, President Barack Obama showed his annoyance with Morsi:

” “I don’t think that we would consider them an ally, but we don’t consider them an enemy,” the president said.

“I think that we are going to have to see how they respond to this incident,” Obama said.

“Certainly in this situation, what we’re going to expect is that they are responsive to our insistence that our embassy is protected, our personnel is protected,” Obama said.

Egypt is among about 14 countries designated at “major non-NATO allies” by US presidents. This status recognizes that they do joint military exercises with the US, and gives them special access to advanced US weaponry. However, some of them are not allies in the precise legal sense. That is, there is no obligation of mutual defense. A true ally, as with NATO states, is one that the allied country is pledged to defend from attack. Still, US officials typically have referred to Egypt as an ally, and the State Department made clear that it continues to do so.

So Obama was technically correct that Egypt is not an ally in the sense that Britain or even Turkey is. But unlike what some media outlets wrote, this statement was no gaffe. Rather, Obama was playing hardball with Morsi, trying to impress upon him that the status of ‘major non-NATO ally’ is not automatic now that the Muslim Brotherhood is in control. It will have to be re-earned, at least from Obama’s point of view. And the lack of response on the embassy attack is not consistent with ally status. Non-NATO ally status is bestowed by a stroke of the presidential pen, so Obama could take it away.

White House spokesman Jay Carney added on Thursday that “Obama spoke with President Mohamed Morsi, the first Islamist leader following an uprising which toppled Mubarak last year, on Wednesday and impressed upon him the need to protect US diplomats…”

Under Obama’s pressure, Morsi, in Brussels seeking European aid, finally explicitly condemned Tuesday’s attack on the US embassy in Egypt:

“we don’t accept, condone, or approve at all for there to be attacks on embassies, consulates or people, or killing in any way.”

“We want to cooperate with the entire world and we are cooperating now with the E.U. and the European people and with the American people and others and the U.S. administration to prevent such practices in the future. Also, we insist on the protection of persons, properties and embassies. The Egyptian people are very civilized and could not ever express their rejection of such practices with an attack on an embassy or person or consulate.”

Some of Morsi’s sudden willingness to say all this was fueled by Obama’s pressure. In addition, Morsi revealed some of his other motives:

“Muslims and Christians in Egypt are equal citizens and have the same rights… We are cautious about those principles and human values, also respecting visitors and respecting tourists… and respecting and protecting diplomatic delegations and private and public properties, and not attacking them.”

That is, somebody told Morsi he had to say something if he wanted to keep the tourist trade, much less the American alliance!

Morsi was also upstaged before his Brussels statement by the number two man in the Muslim Brotherhood, Khairat al-Shater, who tweeted his condemnation of the embassy attacks, and his tweets were picked up by the Brotherhood twitter account, @Ikhwanweb. Al-Shater, a wealthy businessman, may be as much Morsi’s rival as his colleague.

Since the Muslim Brotherhood was at the same time whipping up anger over the so-called ‘film’ (which is a hoax) smearing the Prophet Muhammad, and pledging big anti-American demonstrations for today, Friday, the freewheeling US embassy twitter account in Cairo objected. Thanking @Ikhwanweb for the al-Shater statements, the embassy suggested the Brotherhood check out its Arabic feed. “I hope you know we read those, too,” it said.

Under all this pressure, and given the continued violent but small demonstration in front of the US embassy on Thursday and into Friday morning, the Secretary General of the Muslim Brotherhood, Ahmad Hussein, appeared to back off calls for a big demonstration on Friday. Ironically, the Salafi fundamentalists who are to the right of the Muslim Brotherhood had already said that any demonstrations should be held far from the US embassy. Its spokesman said, that it “strongly condemns using violence and vandalism to express our objections to this offensive work, especially if protesting involves attacking embassies and terrorising diplomatic missions.” When the Salafis are the adults in the room, the Brotherhood is looking pretty bad. Even worse, the former terrorist organization, now a civil society association, the al-Gama’ah al-Islamiya or Islamic Bloc, called the tearing down of the American flag on Tuesday “illegal and against Islamic Law.” That is still more than Morsi has said.

By Friday morning, a couple hundred protesters at the US embassy had been at least slightly injured by the advance on them of riot police, and three dozen had been arrested. Police and armored vehicles pushed the protesters away from the embassy toward Tahrir Square.

In Libya, the just-installed government of Prime Minister Mustafa Abushagur arrested several suspects from the Ansar al-Shariah (‘supporters of the holy law’) group as suspects in Tuesday’s attack on the US consulate. The Ministry of Defense announced that it was determined to dismantle the Ansar. The group is denying involvement in the consulate attack, and its leader, hard line fundamentalist Ismail Salabi, is denying a report that he went on the radio and approved of the attack. Obama sent two war ships to Libya, though the gesture is symbolic.

In Yemen, where the US is involved in a dirty, secret drone war against Sunni fundamentalists, some 4000 protesters assaulted the US embassy. An expeditionary force of Marines is on their way to Sanaa to protect it. Elsewhere in the Muslim world, the demonstrations on Thursday against the so-called film (apparently made by an Egyptian, and with which the US government has nothing to do) were tiny, just a few hundred in each place. We’ll see about Friday. My guess is that this whole controversy will die down soon, without much long-term impact on US foreign policy or foreign relations.

As for why people in the region should be so touchy, Abdel Bari Atwan of al-Quds al-Arabi wrote, according to the translation of the USG Open Source Center:

“The best ally of the Islamic jihadist organizations is the deep hostility of certain right-wing Christian groups toward Islam and Muslims as well as the control of pro-Israel Jewish groups of US foreign policy…

US interferences in Arab and Muslim affairs in favor of Israel, its occupation, and Judaization of the holy places, and the US’s embrace of groups hostile to Islam and Muslims are the main reason for the current scourge and instability, and even wars in our countries. This provocation must immediately cease if the United States wants to secure its interests and the security of its embassies and citizens.”

Al-Atwan is wrong that the US government could have done anything about that Youtube trailer, but that there is a pre-existent store of ill-will toward the US for the reasons he suggests would be hard to deny.

Still, Obama has enough assets in his contest with Morsi to influence the Egypt situation– loan reduction, civilian and military aid, and the danger that a US State Department travel warning could devastate Egypt’s tourist industry, which is worth billions a year. Even Obama’s willingness to play a politics of reputation with Morsi’s Egypt seems to have had some effect. It wasn’t a ‘gaffe.’

140 Responses

  1. Youtube has famously banned videos critical of the king of Thailand for no reason other than to avoid being blocked by that country. It seems to me that expanding its list of sacred cows (so to speak) to include Islam would not be difficult to arrange, nor would it violate any particular principle adhered to by Youtube.

    • Egypt Folds? This is why the Huff Post is nothing more than a water boy for the Obama Administration. Egypt is not folding, the extremists are gaining ground every day and the Middle East is on fire. “There are 1 billion Osamas” was the slogan of the week in Egypt. The movie was a pretext. This attack,on by the way 9/11 was planned. The mainstream media are sheep. This very title is nothing more than bias propaganda. Obama has only attended 1/2 national security meetings and was too busy going on Letterman and fundraisers to meet with Netananhu. This is the Commander in Chief? What is wrong with all you kool-aid drinkers?

      • If you want anti-obama rhetoric.. go to Faux news.
        Huffpost is a left leaning democratic website.. if you want right leaning stuff.. go elsewhere.

        • you don’t tell people where to share their opinion,thanks

      • Water boy? President Obama needs no “water boys” to disseminate his messages. Which side are you on? Clearly not on the American side. The entire Middle East is a powder keg, despite the “alleged” Arab Spring. And just like the President getting Netanyahu “straight”, on dictating policy to him, apparently, he’s done the same with Egypt’s Morsi. It’s clear who the Commander-in-Chief is, and who the peanut gallery are.

        • Israel and Egypt already know where they get money from. They aren’t dumb enough to bite the hand that feeds them. That is our leverage and Obama uses it very subtly without force.

      • Let me know, PBBR, when you’re going to condemn Faux News for not only being a waterboy for Mittens but is actively kissing his ass while doing it.

      • Oh my PBBR, this article was a very thoughtful and fair synopsis of reality, and you still want to interject this partisan nonsense into it? The embassy bashing group is small and not representative of Eqyptian society or Muslims, and some thugs saying there are ‘one billion Osamas’ is meant to incite people like you. Don’t drink the kool-aid.

        You seem to be simply parroting narrow-minded Obama bashing and misinformation that he cannot somehow campaign and run the country at the same time. The Netanyahu situation has much more complexity than this faux issue that Obama is going on Letterman to snub. Netanyahu and all middle east leaders need to step up and figure out how to not only get along, but include each other.

        Are you siding with the movie by saying it was a pretext? Jews, Muslims and Christians all need to stop taking religious texts so literally, and respect each religion’s goodness and faith, and take utmost personal responsibility to condemn extremism in each religion that incites and demonizes the other. And you yourself need to take some responsibility for false beliefs that do nothing to promote understanding and goodwill.

      • I think you should educate yourself before speaking. There are millions of friends in the Egypt,and the East, yes many extremists also. But for the most part we are in good standing with the top.Do not believe everything you read. President Obama has not missed out on one security brief. He reads them daily when not attending a meeting. He and Netananhu speak almost weekly, their daily schedules would not allow them to meet face to face on the upcoming date. You are darn lucky you have a President that is on top of everything. So how did your Bush and Cheney work out for you? Please do not take snippets of news and change it to suit yourself, be honest at least.

      • The Middle East isn’t exploding. Calm down. The protests involved thousands of Muslim extremists who burned a couple dozen buildings In a region of tens of MILLIONS of Muslims who took no part in the violence and burned nothing. And let’s say it wasn’t the movie, it was the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks that sparked the protests. The 2001 attacks conducted by terrorists who hate America and struck under the Bush administration, not Obama, after Bush ignored months of CIA warnings of an IMMINENT domestic terror attacck. Obama has not been idle, he has overseen the tracking and killing of dozens of terrorists, including bin Laden. He and his administration will bring the murderers of our people in Libya to justice. Obama has supported fledgling democracies in the region while keeping us out of any more costly wars. And let’s be realistic — no matter what Obama does, it will not satisfy the right-wing neocons and politicians like Romney looking to score cheap political points and people like some of those here who hate Obama as much as you hate the truth

        • Patchygroundfog

          I agree with you that President Obama is on top of things and doesn’t hit problems with a bomb when a phone call will do just as well or better. People seem to think he is weak but, they are used to the drastic force example set by the war mongers on the right (let’s all chant Bomb Bomb Bomb Bomb Iran). If RMoney was in control, we would already be at war with somebody – or everybody. We cannot sustain another war. This country needs to get itself in better shape with its infrastructure before we sink trillions more in unnecessary wars.

      • Your right wing talking points are extremely obvious. Let’s be very clear – Obama’s so-called attendance to the security briefings is a total ruse to try to discredit his leadership. We now live in a 21st century world where the President is wired; if you don’t know what that means – suffice to say he doesn’t need to meet with security advisors every single meeting because he is already “briefed” by email/text/phone. When he is flying on Air Force 1 he is on constant conference calls. His job is 24/7 and he is doing it brilliantly. You and your kind don’t understand the 21st century very well; hell, you want to move back to the cold war days and would feel very comfortable if you were living in the 1950’s. Your whole strategy of trying to say Obama is out of touch simply does not work. You are panicking because your candidate is losing. Either that or you truly believe the lies and distortions coming from the right. In any case, a lie is a lie. Deal with it.

        • I wonder if she knows that the top marginal tax rate in the 1950s was very high. But I guess she glosses that over because the gays were still in the closet and she was in the kitchen!

      • Egypt did fold as Morsi is trying to be a legitimate leader. You typed no facts to back up your nonsense.

        This is an election year and Obama does not want to talk with BiBi about the red line he wants to draw with Iran’s nuke program.

        You literally just typed a bunch of spin or rhetoric to create angst or an argument, what exactly was the point?

        Also your kool-aid joke, I sensed some racist undertones. I wonder what your most visited sites are; Drudge Report? The blaze? FOX? A little bit of conspiracy theorists sites in there too?

      • Snubing Netananhu was smart and happened on purpose not becuse Obama was really too busy. Why should we let Isreal tell the US what to do?

      • PBBR, perhaps Obama attends less meetings because he is able to read the reports, as Clinton did before him. The extra meetings were instituted during W’s tenure, as a solution for all that “reading”….

      • Where do you go your facts from Rush Limbaugh. In a time like this we need to be supporting our president. To critize the people in the front line of apologizing is not only stupid and a lie but is it also morally wrong. As the President said I’d rather give the people on the ground a little slack then listen to someone that is in the comfort of a campaign office. Also to use this tragedy for political gain is about as low as you can go. I didn’t think even Romney would stoop that low. Even promient Repulicans have stated that Romney was wrong in critizing the president for something that he didn’t do.

      • This was a very well thought out/written piece explaining both sides of this ugly story. There are facts to back up what the pres can and cannot do. As well as the state dept. You can always do your own research and verify. Pray tell, does Fox news give this kind of investigative/researched reportingPPBR? I doubt it!!!!

      • Wow @PBBR, who just finished watching Hannity then rushed on here to post? No expert on the middle east or Egypt is making these types of claims, it’s crazy how fantasy prevails on the right. Additionally, it’s an odd criticism against Obama about his attendance of national security meetings, especially when Bush attend all of them and yet ignored warnings about 911. It’s hard to see what your point is when Bush and Chenney failed so miserably leading up to 911.

      • Typical Teabag. Very insultive. If we drink Kool-aid, what do you drink,…..p….?

      • When you read the following comments:

        – “Obama has only attended 1/2 national security meetings and was too busy going on Letterman and fundraisers to meet with Netananhu……”

        – “What is wrong with all you kool-aid drinkers?”

        You only need to know a few things:

        – Mimics what they’ve read or heard elsewhere
        – Incapable of individual thought
        – Not very well educated
        – Has absolutely no connection to the real world

      • PBBR: You need to stop the conspiracy fantasies. That’s the problem with so many in the right wing – complete and utter ignorance of the world, politics and the US’s place in all of it. You and others like you have this odd god complex where you believe the rest of the world should be subordinate to your wishes and whims and the US should call all the shots rather than respecting other nations and working with them.

        Today’s Republicans/Conservatives are the most unpatriotic, outlandish, bizarre, dishonest and dangerous group of fools that this country has ever been saddled with.

      • Nothing is wrong with us, we simply refuse to imbibe the swill of lies, gaffes, gross missteps and monumental fails from the trainwreck that is the Romney campaign. When a man cannot command his own campaign, how can we possibly trust him to command our armed forces and excute a sane, cogent and effective foreign policy? We used to have a saying in the military of the early 70’s when someone messed up really bad: stepping on your d***. Or when a situation was hopelessly messed up and there was no chance of meaningful recovery, we used the acronym FUBAR. Mr. Romney frequently and on an almost daily basis steps on a very senstive part of his anatomy as he claws despeately to fulfil his ambitions. The best way to describe the state of his campaign and of his run for the presicency is FUBAR.

      • PBBR: Please understand the Presidential Daily Briefinf (PDB) is a REPORT that Obama gets and reads EVERY DAY. Only Bush had a meeting because he didn’t like to read and had someone read it to TO HIM.

      • I find it rather odd that if you consider the huffpost as so one-sided and have a problem with mainstream media, isn’t it silly to continue reading and commenting on it?

      • So this is how the big lie works. In the Clinton years, the national security briefings were in the form of a written report. Bush, for whatever reason, decided he preferred presentations. Obama has gone back to the written reports, hence the lack of need to attend meetings. Do you really think that the President of the US is ignoring national security? You’re a nitwit.

      • Your flailing rhetoric could be straight from foxnoise. This insipid talking point about the POTUS missing natl security meetings is laughable. Don’t you realize that he is briefed daily? He doesn’t have to be in the room where the meeting is taking place any more than a person in the professional world needs to be in the office to do work – at least not since the mid-90s.

        Foriegn policy is NOT managed like a Rush Limbaugh show. You don’t get anywhere with bluster, false indignation, or saber rattling. This seems to be what the t-baggers equate with strength. It is not. They remind me of a punk who has just started training in the martial arts and thinks they need to pick fights with everybody just to prove they can. In reality, they know just enough to get their asses kicked. I prefer the approach of a seasoned black belt. Walk confidently, speak softly, yet articulately. People tend to respect that a whole lot more. Try to act like an adult, and tune into NPR or BBC once in awhile to remind yourself how the adults conduct themselves.

      • PBBR – Your rationale is taken directly from repub talking points. Originality of thought is apparantley at a premium.

    • Violence is sometimes just and necessary, Obama’s included.

      The violence used to destroy the crews that were raining rocket fire down on Misrata saved thousands of lives.

      The violence used to dismantle al Qaeda has probably saved tens of thousands of lives.

      The violence used by the Vietnamese military to overthrow the Khmer Rouge saved hundreds of thousands of lives.

      • “The violence used to dismantle al Qaeda has probably saved tens of thousands of lives.”

        On the contrary, it has cost tens of thousands of lives and saved few.

        • “On the contrary, it has cost tens of thousands of lives and saved few.”

          Wrong! It has cost the lives of the militants who, had they lived to fulfill their plans, would have deliberately taken the lives of many in the West and elswhere.

        • Really? Please give us some facts, a link to statistics, anything? Recently it was estimated that the drone attacks have effectively dismantled Al Qaeda’s capabilities and while it’s hard to estimate the lives saved by this action, the study and polling from people around the world show that 82% of those polled agreed with the way Obama and the American military was operating and conducting the war on terrorism. If you have real facts to suggest otherwise I’m sure that everyone would like to see them.

        • Not even the most outlandish estimates of casualties from drone strikes claim that there have been tens of thousands of casualties. The high end of the estimate of civilian casualties is aroun 1000, in over a decade.

          In the meantime, al Qaeda killed over 2000 civilians in one day in 2001. The embassy bombings killed over 200 in one day. The Bali bombing, another 200.

          But these days, al Qaeda isn’t able to carry out those operations anymore. Do you care? You can’t even be bothered to acknowledge the much higher number of civilian deaths attributable to al Qaeda, so I doubt the prevention of thousands of additional deaths even registers for you.

      • “The violence used to destroy the crews that were raining rocket fire down on Misrata saved thousands of lives.”

        The violence used by NATO in Libya killed thousands of civilians, while empowering extremist elements including AQ…

        “The violence used to dismantle al Qaeda has probably saved tens of thousands of lives.”

        The violence used to “dismantle” al Qaeda has also killed 100s of thousands of innocents in Afghanistan/Pakistan/and Iraq combined, while creating untold numbers of new enemies that will seek revenge and retribution for the foreseeable future…

        “The violence used by the Vietnamese military to overthrow the Khmer Rouge saved hundreds of thousands of lives.”

        The violence used by the United States to slaughter millions of Vietnamese, including countless Cambodians via LBJ/Nixon’s secret bombing campaign, gave rise to extremist elements such as the Khmer Rouge, therefore causing the deaths of millions of Cambodians…

        Any other examples you care to share?

        • Human Rights Watch thinks less than 100 Libyan civilians were killed in NATO bombing. Please stop retailing this nonsense.

        • “It’s VIOLENCE or LAW. The choice is equal to all humans. Rationalizing it doesn’t work. If the USA wants to be the world leader it should choose LAW”

          Right, let’s track down the militants in the tribal areas and deliver subpeonas to them as we simultaneously read them their Miranda Rights and hand them a court date to appear for their hearing.

        • “The violence used to “dismantle” al Qaeda has also killed 100s of thousands of innocents in Afghanistan/Pakistan/and Iraq combined”

          Iraq? You think the Iraq War was about dismantling al Qaeda?

          I have some news for you: Iraq had nothing to do with al Qaeda. As Professor Cole has already pointed out, you have a severe reality problem.

      • “Violence is wrong” – this type of individual benefits the world.

        “Violence is sometimes just and necessary” – This type of individual does not benefit the world.

        Seems to me that violence, and those who use it or are willing to, is the problem. People who use violence as a means to an end will always justify it as being “just and necessary.” Its ridiculous to even give examples of “just and necessary” because theres always going to be two sides to that story. The violent are always going to justify their actions as noble. Do they ever claim that it was unjust and unnecessary?

        “Violence is sometimes just and necessary, Obama’s included.” – a violent person is the problem.

        “The violence used to destroy the crews that were raining rocket fire down on Misrata saved thousands of lives.” – violent people were the problem.

        “The violence used to dismantle al Qaeda has probably saved tens of thousands of lives.” – violent people are the problem.

        “The violence used by the Vietnamese military to overthrow the Khmer Rouge saved hundreds of thousands of lives.” – violent people were the problem.

        Its ironic that violent people always laud themselves for rescuing non-violent people from violence.

        • Did any of you ever hear of Gene Sharp? He wrote the book on non-violence. Everything that has occurred in the Arab spring has been accomplished by his readers. If you wish to discuss this with any acerbity I would suggest you read his works.

        • It’s VIOLENCE or LAW. The choice is equal to all humans. Rationalizing it doesn’t work. If the USA wants to be the world leader it should choose LAW, no matter what.If Obama needs help on that he should consult with the Quakers.

        • So what your saying is that the American revolution was wrong, that the US Civil War was wrong, that defending Europe and Asia from the Axis powers during WWII was wrong?

        • “Violence is wrong” – this type of individual benefits the world.

          Please provide sources listing the benefits furnished to The World in your case.

      • Your statement to me appears intentionally ambiguous. Are you stating that the current violence against our diplomats and diplomatic missions is “just and necessary?”

        • Clarifying… My statement above is in response to the comment by Joe From Lowell.

        • Your statement to me appears intentionally ambiguous. Are you stating that the current violence against our diplomats and diplomatic missions is “just and necessary?”

          No, I’m stating that merely noting that violence has occurred is not enough to draw a valid conclusion.

          There are actually people on this thread – people who seem to consider themselves to be educated, morally-admirable people – who are bragging about their ability to believe that the crews raining down rocket fire on civilian neighborhoods in Misrata, and the people who ended that slaughter by using violence against that crew, are morally equivalent, and that their actions had similar consequences.

    • Violence never solved anything. The Civil War did not make our country whole. The dedicated civil rights activists with their determined commitment to non violence did.

      • The civil war didn’t make the US whole, but it did end outright slavery.

      • “The Civil War did not make our country whole. The dedicated civil rights activists with their determined commitment to non violence did.”

        The Civil War certainly did preserve the Union and make our country whole, and that is what eventually made it possible for the civil rights activists to succeed in their mission.

    • Violence is wrong. In the world we live in, its use is sometimes required. The human condition. God have mercy.

      • Re: Law.
        The Nazi holocaust was legal. It satisfied all the laws in Nazi Germany.
        “Legal” does not mean just or right or morally good. It just means that a certain government wants a certain policy.
        As WW2 showed, violence and war are sometimes needed to end legal horror.
        Unfortunately, that perceived reason has been too often abused to justify other horrors, e.g. Viet Nam War, the US-Iraq war, and the extended war in Afghanistan.

  2. Barack spoke to the Arab world, the Muslim world from Africa’s Cairo, the Nile Delta before Climate Summit 2009 that occurred in Copenhagen.. Before the Arab Spring, before Occupy. Tune of what was said was the need for living in peace;
    Since then the findings of science indicate Earth is near to or at runaway.
    People have intuition something is up but they don’t which is a form of denial that they tend to take out on other things..
    I think that is what is happening with a large part of the public uprisings around the world and transitions of government.
    Al Qaeda may have learned to make movie trailers work for them and play on public sentiment to stir trouble up..
    I’m not for watching trailer of movies dubbed over to make trouble and neither should the people of the Arab world. There is need to take action worldwide so Earth can shed heat. Concentrations of methane are accumulating in mid atmosphere between space and where weather takes place. That traps heat like crazy and will terminate things unless somehow mankind can muster a way of stopping Arctic melt..

  3. What do we know about who bankrolled this trailer? The number I keep hearing is $5M. Surely Coptic Xns in the US don’t have that kind of mnoney for films. If Pamela Gellar or someone like her isn’t behind this, I’ll be surprised.

    And what did you mean above, that the film is a hoax? That it’s just a trailer and there isn’t actually full-length movie behind it or something else?

    • Several reports indicate that:
      1. the $5M figure was a smoke screen and that the actual amount spent was closer to $50K,
      2. the funds actually came from Egyptians within the Coptic community and not from Jews,
      3. there may be a completed film but no one has seen more than the trailer so far, and
      4. the person who produced the film is a notorious felon con man.

  4. How long did it take the Obama administration to condemn that hideous piece of trash movie? Maybe Morsi was waiting for Obama and Clinton to do the right thing first.

    So since Israel is a U.S. ally and they choose to preemptively attack Iran is the U.S. obligated to have their back and front?

    • “How long did it take the Obama administration to condemn that hideous piece of trash movie? Maybe Morsi was waiting for Obama and Clinton to do the right thing first.”

      Good grief, where have you been?

    • I don’t recall the phrase “movie critic in chief” appearing the U.S. Constitution.

      I want to know why he won’t condemn the MVP: Most Valuable Primate movies. You want to talk about a piece of trash! It’s about a monkey playing basketball! And they made a sequel!

      Silence equals death, Mr. President! Do the right thing.

      • Exactly. “This message has been approved by the U.S. government” is not a requirement of our Constitution.

    • The first thing Obama said is that it is reprehensible to denigrate (offend & insult) any religion, but he stands by our value of free speech. So HE DID CONDEMN THIS MOVIE in his very first statement.

    • Good grief. Let me school you a little bit.
      1. The embassy (part of the Obama State department) Tweets a message 4 hours before the deadly attack “CONDEMNING THAT HIDEOUS PIECE OF TRASH MOVIE”.
      2. 4 hours later: Attackers breach the emebassy, 4 Americans tragically die.
      3. 1 hour later Mitt Romney condemns the embassy tweets as “Obama’s administration apologizing to the attackers after the attack”.
      4. Within two hours it’s clear to anybody with a bran (including right wing pundits) That Mitt Romney is a moron, and this statement was just plain ill informed and wrong at best…and he should never be president.

      5. sometime way later Kathleen writes a completely brainless comment on a Blog proving that she is commmenting on something that she knows nothing about, and hasn’t read up on, yet has a definite opinion that needs to be heard.

      Thank you Kathleen…

      • I’m beginning to believe that these commenters, lately mostly women, who post anti-Obama messages filled with unsupported and discredited rumors then immediately disappear are fake.

        like kathleen.

    • The U.S.embassy in Egypt condemned the movie before the protest even began; the administration condemned it Tuesday night. You know how I know that? I read the news.

  5. The trailer is part of a domestic Egyptian vendetta between the 15% of the population that is Coptic and the 85% who are Sunni. The Copts have a image among the majority Egyptians of being unpatriotic and opportunist having collaborated with outsiders such as the British during the era of Empire. That era only ended with the Free Officers Revolt in 1952. Copts are usually much better educated and have found it easier to migrate to the West as opposed to the less educated Sunnis the majority of whose migration is mainly as labor to the Gulf States.

    The worst outcome for Morsi, one which I suspect the US based Coptic originators of the trailer are trying to instigate, is a resurgence of communal violence which would quickly spiral out of control.

    The anti US rhetoric is just a convenient cover.

    • The worst outcome for Morsi is if the Islamic world keeps screwing around and gets Romney elected POTUS.

  6. US Assets, Really?

    US funds in the past bought Egypt’s military establishment, even this year came with strings attached. It seems most generals have (been) retired. Morsi and the MB have received billions from Qatar and Saudi Arabia and the IMF will offer support. It’s clear Morsi seeks allies closer to home with better embrace by the Egyptians themselves.

    • Time to stop financing these foriegn countries with our US dollars, and keep the money in the USA. It’s time to stop being the big brother, and care for ourselves.

      • the money is what worked in Egypt…you think they backed down after Obama’s comment becaused they were scared of losing his friendship? Billions in foreign aid on the line, they straightened their act up but quick.

  7. Is there anyway that it can be impressed upon the average Muslims in Egypt, Libya and Syria, that Americans hold our Enlightenment values just as dearly as they hold their Islamic ones and out of those values flows are freedoms of speech, press, etc.? And that we will offend them from time to time just as we offend ourselves?

    I’m wondering if the situation in Yemen isn’t just a bit different. It’s a populace already hostile to the US as drones aren’t popular and there was obviously ill will all the way back to the time of the USS Cole.

    Have their been any protests in Iran? I know we have no embassy to protect there, but I’m curious about the differences in reactions between the different traditions in Islam.

    • Yes there were protests at the Swiss embassy in Tehran. The Swiss embassy facilitate communication between the US and Iran.

    • Yes there were demonstrations in Iran, at the Swiss embassy which acts an an intermediary between the Iranian government and the US government.

  8. Still, Obama has enough assets in his contest with Morsi to influence the Egypt situation– loan reduction, civilian and military aid, and the danger that a US State Department travel warning could devastate Egypt’s tourist industry, which is worth billions a year.

    That’s worked so well in the past lets stay on the same loosing track. Isn’t there any new ideas dr. cole?

    • That’s worked so well in the past

      Actually, it did. For decades, between the Camp David Accords and, well, Thursday, this policy results in a robust alliance between the US and Egypt, including a security guarantee for Israel. From the point of view of foreign policy, it was an enormous success.

      The parts of US foreign policy towards Egypt that need to change in light of the new political reality and the possibilities it created – and there are several – do not include these basic tools of statecraft.

  9. This isn’t just an Obama-Morsi thing — there are other people involved, like the citizens of Egypt. Morsi is MB and there are anti-blasphemy considerations. In a larger sense, the U.S. is not popular with the citizens of Egypt, nor in Muslim countries in general. Morsi, again, has to re responsive to the will of his people, of course he does.

    According to a recent Pew global poll, only 15 percent of people in Muslim countries have a favorable view of the U.S. and it’s tending downward. Favorable ratings are 48% in Lebanon, Tunisia 45%, Egypt 19%, Turkey 15%, Jordan 12%, Pakistan 12%.

    Regarding drone strikes, disapproval is:
    Tunisia 72%, Turkey 81%, Egypt 89%, Jordan 85%.
    link to pewglobal.org

    • “Morsi, again, has to be responsive to the will of his people, of course he does.”

      You bring up a good point about Morsi having to accommodate the will of his people, in light of the lack of support for the US among Egyptian and other Arab citizens. Nevertheless, Morsi will have to be prepared to bear the consequences of any anti-US stance he takes as a result. The US will have to carefully calibrate its relationship with Morsi, depending upon how his policies affect US interests. Morsi cannot expect the US to accept policies that go against its interests while continuing to support him, just in order to allow him to “save face” with his people. He should be prepared to take the heat, if necessary. That’s called leadership.

    • There are other sections to the survey and around the world, the opinion of the US is way up from 2008. The report also states:

      Outside of Pakistan, however, Obama consistently receives higher ratings than Bush did in 2008. This is particularly true in Western Europe and Japan, but it is also true in several predominantly Muslim nations where Obama’s ratings – while not especially high – are nonetheless more positive than his predecessor’s.

      • This is not a popularity contest for Obama. I dont care what the EU thinks of him. Unemployment is at 8%, there are more people on wellfare than ever before, Abu Graib has not been closed,gas prices ar at a level where everyone screamed bloody murder 5 years ago yet are OK with it now and people continue to blame Bush. Bush was by no means a great president, but he has not been president for almost 4 years. How many more years can Obama blame someone else for what he has failed to improve. Also, why did Egypt and Lybia respect us during the last two years of Bush’s reign and they are quite different during Obama’s reign.

        Oh, and my two degrees are in engineering not underwater basket weaving so please do not try to “analyze” this. Just use facts. I was taught to think logically. Please dont be a Curly in Spocks world.

  10. Egypt is starting to look more like Pakistan in the sense that the government pursues deviously contradictory policies–allowing the US to have its way while simultaneously undermining it.

    The US has not managed the relationship with Pakistan well, and opposition to American policies has intensified. I doubt that the US will manage Egypt any better.

    • The US has not managed the relationship with Pakistan well

      The US has bigger fish to fry in Pakistan.

      The Pakistani government didn’t like the bin Laden raid, for instance. Too bad.

      I’d prefer to have an excellent relations with Pakistan AND successfully demolish al Qaeda, but if those two goals come into conflict, the latter clearly has to take precedence over the former.

  11. Interesting – I was not sure that it was a gaffe, it seemed like a very bold thing to say on broadcast, something that I feared would spark more civil unrest in Cairo or Egypt at large.

    I apologize for getting somewhat off-topic here, but I was wondering if you could shed some light on why Sudan is attacking the German Embassy? I have been puzzled by this move and, while the mainstream media is blaming this video, I am inclined to believe otherwise. Your thoughts would be greatly appreciated. Thank you! :)

    • “I apologize for getting somewhat off-topic here, but I was wondering if you could shed some light on why Sudan is attacking the German Embassy?”

      Just a guess, but these protests are turning increasingly anti-Western, rather than just anti-US, and perhaps the German Embassy was an easy target.

      • From NYT today:”Some of the most serious violence targeted the compound housing the German and British Embassies in Khartoum, the Sudanese capital, causing minor damage to the British property but major fire damage to the German one. The foreign ministers of both countries strongly protested the assault, which The Associated Press said had been instigated by a prominent sheik exhorting protesters to storm the German Embassy to avenge what he called anti-Muslim graffiti on Berlin mosques. “Anti-American Protests Flare Beyond the Mideast

  12. Thank you, sir, for your analysis! I agree completely that the President was exactly on message and correct in his very sophisticated and well crafted message to the Egyptian government.

    Between you and Marcy Wheeler I have had the benefit of real analysis that is sorely lacking in the msm.

  13. “control of pro-Israel Jewish groups of US foreign policy…”
    “Judaization of the holy places”

    • Lol what a freakshow. Get ahold of the nutters Professor.

  14. If the government were really sincere, it would get the simple facts into the media: that the film was not broadcast on TV and was a failure when they tried to show it in a theater, that the people behind it are unknown–could even be Al Qaeda for all anyone really knows, and that to murder people who had nothing to do with the film as vengeance is a far greater insult to the Prophet than anything a mere film could do.

    The Morsi government seems to me based on my very limited understanding to be much too focused on Egyptian politics and far too little focused on what’s right and in Egypt’s long-term interests. That said, I think the blame for the failure to protect the embassy has to fall on the military dictatorship. My guess is that they were also sending a message, and it was that to which Obama was responding with a little creative messaging of his own.

    • Come on people,a country that has not been a democracy for 7,000 years, suddenly becomes one. Then they elect their first President with almost no other democratic institutions in place and you expect this guy to be a Nelson Mandela? No way. Before he’s been on the job 6 months he has his first international crisis on his hands.

      Surely, you don’t expect him to right away act like an experienced hand? We’ll get him through this, and he will be better in the long run.

      Morsi understands that Egypt cannot prosper without the West. I’m sure he will figure it out, as long as we don’t panic and make his situation worse.

      When the President made his statement on Telemundo I turned to a friend that his low key calm statement was brilliant. Well said in the language of diplomacy. That and the followup phone call sure as hell got Morsi’s attention.

      This is the exact reason that we don’t need another arrogant ass in the White House. Was Romney serious or just plain stupid to think that anyone on earth would be cowed because he is President? The more I hear that guy talk the more dis likable and disgusting he becomes. It’s amazing that a guy who has been running for President for almost a decade knows so little about the world and foreign policy.

  15. An interesting analysis — I think you are spot on. This incident shows necessity for subtlety in diplomacy. Walking into a delicate situation with a blunderbuss, especially if you shoot before you aim, as someone said, is a quick way to make a manageable crisis into a disaster.

  16. The difference between the Muslim Brotherhood and the American Christian Right is that the members of the MB speak a more recognizable and easily-understood English, since they don’t talk with their mouths full,

  17. Words and political pressure are not enough, yet that is all that seems to be offered by politicians in many countries.

    Meanwhile, ignored socio-economic conditions excacerbate the classic tensions between the ‘haves’ and the ‘have-nots’ in the lower realm of societies. Who is scaling the walls of the diplomatic posts and actually carrying out attacks?? It’s not the ever-lucky elites chosen for Fulbright programs or who get to attend Yale. In the US, the ‘have nots’ are a growing segment of US society; in the Middle East, they pretty much ARE society.

    This is not 1979 and may not reach that level, depending on the country and the long-term horizon. Most of the places where the rioting has occurred as the articles of last couple of days point out have new governments at the helm, having inherited some deep “baggage” – something with which our own administration can empathize. And regardless of what side of the political street politicians stroll/court, they want to be supported by as much of the street to be able to keep power.

    They have a couple of choices then: keep ignoring things and hope yet another conflagration goes away, or address socio-economic problems employing either the Shah of Iran too-little-too-late method or a more substantive, functional approach:

    “…the task is, not so much to see what no one has yet seen; but to think what nobody has yet thought, about that which everybody sees.” Erwin Schrodinger

    Our counterparts in the Middle East must do a better job addressing poverty and raising up the standard of well-being and education for those in the lower realm of society. Where available, social programs are often in the jurisdiction of religious institutions not the state per se — an idea being promoted here in the US during the campaign season. Is it really a good idea to have a government disconnected from its society or vice versa?? Security measures, alone, are not sufficient to enable the new governments (including new governments with old faces) or ours to compete for ‘hearts and minds.’ Remember when that was a goal, since fallen victim to greed or politics, though not sure if it was ever really implemented. And here we are

  18. Having heard part of the trailer, and speaking as one who holds no particular religion in special favor, the trailer was inflammatory. I was angered.

    Perhaps we should be discussing why no one is talking about the abuse heaped upon persons of a certain origin, i.e. MENA, almost daily, whether it be through orientalism (Arabs do this, Arabs do that), excessive fear, failure to draw parallels between fundie-Xian law and fundie Islamic law … and fundie Jewish law, failure to recognize and respect the cradle of civilization …

  19. The criticism from right-wing, middle east pundits is dizzying. KT McFarland, Walid Phares and all those retired Colonels on Fox News are the worst.

    Their main line of attack is that Obama has partnered with the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt to the exclusion of secular, more democratic forces. Can somebody out there explain this accusation? What was the United States supposed to do to help secular parties?

    Well, now the FOX “experts” are jumping up and down because Obama has distanced himself from the MB government by suggesting they are not a full ally. Seems like some major cognitive dissonance at play here.

  20. It appears Obama has done a good job through his presidency regarding events in the Middle East, (it is hard to tell in these things whether policy decisions will be good in the long run).

    However, I worry that just as Morsi is playing a very dangerous game in Egypt (navigating left wing and right wing secularists on one side, and right wing Islamists on the other), Obama is playing a dangerous game as well.

    There are two major wars on the horizon that we may get dragged into, both of which could be devastating to America’s military and our nation in general. The first is in Syria, where an outbreak into regional conflict involving Turkey, Jordan, Israel, and Lebanon could prove disastrous. It is easy to see scenarios where a disorderly collapse of the Assad regime forces the US to enter as part of some multinational peacekeeping force but evolves into an Iraq style quagmire. The second is in Iran, where Israel is trying to make us commit to whatever preemptive action they may take. While normally I wouldn’t worry too much about right wing rhetoric coming out of Israel, the fact that Netanyahu has decided to inject himself so blatantly into the presidential race makes things seem more serious. It is an extremely dangerous game of chicken.

    And of course the backdrop of all this is the mobilization of street politics across the middle east which we are calling the Arab Spring. While it is romantic to call this phenomena an outpouring of democratic aspirations, the practical effect is that it results in breakdown of government control. We know from painful experience in Iraq that violent extremists thrive on such disorder. Furthermore, the breakdown of centralized government power in these countries means that the US government is able to exert less and less influence over time.

    So I think it is fair to say that Obama is navigating extremely dangerous waters. As it seems almost certain he will be reelected (and for the sake of people living in the middle east), I sincerely hope he is up to the challenge.

  21. Remember when that anti Muslim DVD was distributed 7 weeks before the 2008 election? What is it with these films getting released right before we vote? Given the poll that said so many Americans think Obama is a Muslim, someone may be trying to imprint this violence on him.

    • The film was first shown in July; it took nearly two months to reach Libya and Egypt. In the interim, it was dubbed into Arabic.

      Who put the trailer on Youtube in the Middle East? Remember the violence following the Danish cartoons? Then, too, there was a time gap of a couple of months, and some of the cartoons publicized in the Islamic world had never been published in Denmark, but had apparently been dug up by Danish mullahs.

      The statement from the consulate in Benghazi, so heavily criticized by Mittens, was issued before the attacks. One might be tempted to call it “attempted diplomacy.” Libyan witnesses in Benghazi have said that the attacks began before the demonstration. Armed men hit one building after the other with rpg and mortar fire. Consulate personnel were evacuated by Libyan security to a “secret” safe house a mile away, which was also assaulted a short time later.

      Rachel Maddow and others have pointed out that the nearby city of Derna is “al Quaeda Central,” and the consulate in Benghazi has been hit before. I wonder how many Libyans work in the consulate? How many members of Libyan security have contacts in Islamic revolutionary groups?

      I would like to have a few more dots, but I’m starting to see–or imagine–connections.

  22. So, given the timing, and given the assumption that USEmbassyCairo probably has had to get every 140 characters OK’d by Washington since Tuesday night’s tweet that Romney clumsily attempted to capitalize on, is it safe to guess that the zinger to IkhwanWeb was authorized at high levels? I like the idea that someone senior in the administration understands the usefulness of sarcasm in diplomacy…

    • The replies to the US embassy were equally sarcastic…maybe it wasn’t such a good idea after all

  23. Minor detail: Gama’a al-Islamiyah formed a party in 2011, the Building and Development Party (Hizb al-Benaa wa al-Tanmiyah‎). This has 10 seats in the People’s Assembly, or one twelfth of the total number of seats held by the Islamist Bloc (AKA the Salafists). The other member parties are Hizb al-Nour (111 seats) and Hizb al-Asala (3 seats).

    So the Islamist Bloc is >> Gama’a al-Islamiyah.

    The relationship between organizations like MB and Gama’a al-Islamiyah (OTOH) and their respective parties (OTO) is also complicated. In general, the parties are far more cohesive than the associations with which they are affiliated.

    Interesting topic for further thought: comparison of MB-FJP-Morsi relationship in Egypt with Nahdlatul Ulama-PKB-Gus Dur relationship in Indonesia.

  24. I would be less critical of Mitt Romney than his foreign policy advisers, who would hold senior positions in his administration. The President’s messaging, emphasizing threat power, is equally perhaps too focused on the domestic audience.

    What is of note to me is the way in which this meme has caught on throughout the Middle East and North Africa. This has taken trolling, a nasty activity, to new heights. I can’t understand people who have to be told of the consequences of their behavior.

    Thirdly, these episodes and the intensity of the reaction, even if limited, has the effect, I suspect, of negating the influence that PM Netanyahu and other players wish to exert over American policy and actions.

    • The video is not a meme. Nor is what we are seeing trolling rising to new heights. This is ‘run of the mill’ mockery. It is just another example of clash of cultures. Human technology is on a steady march and as people become more connected on this planet there has been, and will continue to be, a clash of cultures. Humans are having their beliefs questioned, and challenged, and even mocked. Nothing new here. Perhaps one could say that the internet is new, but I would not see the internet as new. I see this clash beginning with boat and then, trains, planes, automobiles, accelerated by newspapers, mail, TV, internet, cell phones, smart phones, and on, and on, and on. So the internet *is* a new technology on a long line of new technologies.

      I hope what we are witnessing with the internet is a crescendo. I dare not hope that all humans sing with one voice. I hope we can at least come to terms on the ground rules for debate. 1) Nothing is too sacred to question

  25. I normally see eye to eye w/ JC, but this piece seems riddled w/ conjecture. Morsi isn’t Obama’s eastern servant, he’s his own man and his actions in Iran in front of the Iranians were pretty bold.

    He doesn’t come off like a lap dog, unlike Mubarak was to US, or Blair was to Bush, or Obama is to Corporations.

    • I don’t think the implication was that Mr. Morsi is a lap dog at all. In all his statements in the last few day, his emphasis is Egypt’s commitment to protect other countries’ embassies, property and tourists. He put it in terms of the Muslim duty/ethic to provide hospitality/safety for guests and travelers. This may have been for a domestic audience. But it’s a great way to educate a global audience on Islamic ethics and values as well. Something Mubarak would never do.

  26. Exactly how did Morsi fold? Think barn door open. Our Ambassador is dead along with other Americans. I wish someone would explain why Egypt is our ally.

  27. Ok, maybe I didn’t read all the comments on this as thoroughly as I could have, that’s because I saw one recurring problem…this article was about the twisting of a major gaffe by a very inexperienced and aloof man who had no idea Egypt was our ally! The rest is irrelevant. The author of this article would have you believe he was being “tough”! Excuse me, but which of those two explanations makes the most sense? I’ll tell you sense you won’t know-it’s MY explanation!! After four years, this incomparable Jackass is STILL the dumbest and least experienced person in ANY room he walks into..read up and learn…I’ll try to get back and educate you more often…my lord this site is just a hot bed of dillusional minds feeding off each other in a logicless fantasy…

    • wow Matt, thank you so much for your enlightened cooments. now please try to back any of it up. I’d like to see the room where President Obama the dumbest guy in the room! He’s extemely intelligent, and has wisdom and expereince at this point. I bet you like to refer to him as a community organizer in your posts too, right? But please, do come back and educate us. I can’t wait to be as smart or as informed as you. Tell Rush we said “hi”.

  28. It would be difficult to argue that the US, under any President, deals even-handedly with Israelis and Middle East Muslims.

    However, it is also a fact that for decades, US financial aid to Egypt and Israel has been about the same.

    I don’t think President Obama has to say much to President Morsi about what the US expects.

    On the other hand, I regret that US aid to Israel seems to buy the US only Netanyahu spitting in President Obama’s eye over the settlements and the occupation.

  29. The world right now is so tences,anything can set it off,Israel said this about them or they said something about them, stop the crying out there and stand up and do something about it,all of you are brats out there.and war is not what should be done,they want it so they say I will pay you for it,they say no we wont sale so you just take it through war.every one wants what everyone else has,they are never happy always wanting more and more.I would not cut off anything it is just a hand full that mess it up for the others.I see by 2015 we will be in a war with many many places and everyone will have there sides.I have looked into this for over 25 years.

  30. Violence is not the answer to what is percieved as injustices or against matters that radicals feel infringe on their rights. Violence is however the answer to quell violent acts against innocent bystanders. It’s time that if countries that will not afford embassy protection the same as the U.S. does should receive sanctions and we should warn that we will answer any violent attacks with proper military responses. Inform all so called innocent parties that in the event of an attack like took place this past week to flee the area or they may suffer the same consequences as those who initiate the attack.

  31. Nice article, thank you.

    It’s my belief that the extremist versions of Islam (jihadists?) are looking for any excuse to motivate followers into riot and rejection of anything that resembles democracy (including the symbols of it and the institutions that promote it such as US policy and intervention). Extremist views survive best under the aegis of an autocrat/dictator and they will struggle with the forces of a democratizing Arab Spring for dominance and control.

  32. Wow. One of the most civilized non troll filled website! Insight and conversation…what a concept. Thank you for renewing my faith in civil discussion online. I will be back.

  33. Obama should step aside,and let Panetta handle this

    take Hillary and go get some ice cream

  34. I’m not sure Morsi has the power to protect anything in Egypt. I believe The President’s message was to the Egytian Military leadership. And, that military leadership’s message to Morsi went something like this: please call however many down to the US Embassy to burn and pillage that you want crushed Mr. Morsi. Subtle suggestions usually work when one has the bullets.

  35. Obama is desperate to look presidential after leaving the embassy in Libya unsecured. Libya, of all places! No excuses. The bloated US military has plenty of funds to have had two dozen Marines around the embassy, just as a routine matter. It’s too late now. Obama and Hillary Clinton are sleeping at their respective wheels as they play politics. Too bad Obama can re-kill binLaden to salvage his stinking reputation with this matter.

  36. I read the article…NOWHERE did I see any “hardball” by our president. I had a spark of “hope” that Obama showed some balls. Nope…none.

    • The point was President Obama stating in a public way that “Egypt isn’t an ally” was letting Egypt know that they were playing a serious balancing act with their status. That was big news and between that and probably some serious behind the scenes talks the newly elected president of Egypt with a lot to lose by backing the U.S. made a statement condemning the violence. All without starting a new war. Go figure!

  37. Obama needs to be very, very firm with Morsi and equally with Netanyahu. Both need to show deep respect that they have not to the United States and its Head of State and Commander in Chief if they expect to get unprecedented military and economic aid like no other countries receive. Alternately, if they wish to bite the hand that feeds them, disrespect and undercut the interests of the United States, or to interfere in our political process they need to be firmly reminded of the consequences. Netanyahu would fall within six months, an overdue regime change in the Region, and Morsi would be in a world of hurt.

  38. So, Obama plays hardball and they fold.
    IE, he was playing softball before?
    IE, he wasn’t playing hardball before?
    You cannot have it both ways.
    For once, admit there are some flaws O-people. Your lack of humility on any issue is just too much

  39. Obama to Morsi:

    Hey, Bro, wanna stand down on the demonstration for now, huh?

    I’ll have more flexibility after the election.

  40. Bibi is learning no one tell America what to do.I guess he thought he could tell this Pesident what, when and how to do it. I guess that’s why he wants Romney to be president.

  41. The really dangerous American fascist… is the man who wants to do in the United States in an American way what Hitler did in Germany in a Prussian way. The American fascist would prefer not to use violence. His method is to poison the channels of public information. With a fascist the problem is never how best to present the truth to the public but how best to use the news to deceive the public into giving the fascist and his group more money or more power… They claim to be super-patriots, but they would destroy every liberty guaranteed by the Constitution. They demand free enterprise, but are the spokesmen for monopoly and vested interest. Their final objective, toward which all their deceit is directed, is to capture political power so that, using the power of the state and the power of the market simultaneously, they may keep the common man in eternal subjection.

    Henry A. Wallace 33rd Vice President
    New York Times, April 9, 1944”

  42. There is only one conclusion to make. Some people like
    war and the talk of war. These are not the people who
    will be asked to do the fighting.

    Common decency demands those who have nothing and no one
    to lose in war to hold their tongues.

    Each time a leader like Obama can use diplomacy to make
    progress with hostility, is a good time.

    This issue is simply too big for small minds. Keep quiet

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