To get an idea of just how outrageous a recent Guardian editorial (on Dec. 7) defending President Morsi and criticizing the liberal opposition truly was, here are two tweets by commentators with otherwise unimpeachable Guardian Left credentials:
Here’s Guardian Cairo correspondent Jack Shenker.
Let me say once again, I totally disassociate myself from this@guardian editorial on #Egypt - it’s offensive & wrong: guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/…
Here’s ‘Comment is Free’ contributor Rachel Shabi:
What is the Guardian thinking with this awful, misleading editorial on #egypt? bit.ly/VDYy6T
Here are a few excerpts of the Guardian editorial in question:
[The crisis in Egypt] is not about the proposed constitution,
[The opposition is engaged in] a power battle in which the aim is to unseat a democratically elected president, and to prevent a referendum and fresh parliamentary elections being held, both of which Islamists stand a good chance of winning. Morsi, for his part, is determined that both polls be held as soon as possible to reaffirm the popular mandate which he still thinks he has.
The opposition on the other hand has never accepted the results of freely held elections, parliamentary or presidential, and is doing everything to stop new ones being held
So, the Guardian, when faced with a choice between a Muslim Brotherhood which is ideologically opposed to true democracy and individual freedoms – a political predisposition clearly on display in Morsi’s recent decision to assume dictatorial powers - and a political opposition which is at leastmarginally progressive, chose the reactionary Islamists.
The following post by a Lebanese writer, who blogs at Karl reMarks, wrote the following piece titled ‘The Guardian’s Editorial on Egypt Re-Imagined‘, which is based on the same Dec. 7 Guardian editorial re-imagined as if it were written in January 2011, with minor changes like replacing Morsi with Mubarak.
As the crisis in Egypt develops, it is becoming increasingly clear what it is not about. It is not about the elections, or the economic crisis, or Egypt’s relationship with Israel. Nor is it about the arrangements for a successor to the president. Nor even is it about the temporary but absolute powers that the Egyptian president, Hosni Mubarak, assumed for himself – for a mere thirty years, and which will lapse the moment the Egyptian people stop making a fuss.
Urging the opposition to shun dialogue, Mohamed ElBaradei said that Mubarak had lost his legitimacy. So the target of the opposition is not the constitution, or the emergency law, but Mubarak himself. What follows is a power battle in which the aim is to unseat a democratically elected president, with 88.6% of the vote, and to prevent fresh parliamentary elections being held, both of which the ruling NDP stand a good chance of winning. Mubarak, for his part, is determined that both polls be held as soon as possible to reaffirm the popular mandate which he still thinks he has.
In weighing who occupies the moral high ground, let us start with what happened on Wednesday night. That is when the crisis, sparked by yet another Mubarak decree when he was at the height of his domestic popularity over the role he played in stopping the yet another Israeli assault on Gaza, turned violent. The NDP party sanctioned a violent assault on a peaceful encampment of opposition supporters in Tahrir Square. But lethal force came later, and the NDP was its principle victims. NDP offices were attacked up and down the country, while no other party offices were touched. This does not fit the opposition’s narrative to be the victims of state violence. Both sides are victims of violence and the real perpetrators are their common enemy.
Mubarak undoubtedly made grave mistakes. In pre-empting decisions by the courts to derail his reforms, his decrees were cast too wide. His laws have many faults, although none are set in stone. The opposition on the other hand has never accepted the results of freely held elections, parliamentary or presidential, and is doing everything to stop new ones being held.
The Guardian is not only supporting a racist, antisemitic, anti-Christian, anti-West Islamist movement, but are remaining loyal even when a more liberal alternative is possible.
You liked her as NY Senator, you loved her as Secretary of State, you’ll go bonkers adoring her as the 45th president of these United States. And if, like yours truly, you answered no on all of the above, well, get ready for four more years of the same merciless pain…
In an item headlined The Eight-Minute Tribute Video That Convinced David Remnick Hillary Clinton Is Running For President, BuzzFeed’s Ruby Cramer introduces the eight-minute tribute video to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton which convinced the DC bleacher crowd she’s absolutely running for president come 2016.
The video is studded with international stars, including Boss Obama and the man who used to be Tony Blair, complete with a “soaring Bruno Mars soundtrack” and the uplifting slogan: “I just have an instinct that the best is yet to come.”
I just have the instinct to go under my bed and stay there until 2020.
Benjamin Netanyahu says on this video: “I’ve just had the opportunity to work with her to achieve a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas. Hillary Clinton is a strong and determined leader…She knows how to get the job done.”
Is this the new bonne tonne, to insert the word “just” in your sentence, just for the hell of it?
Salam Fayyad, Prime Minister of Palestinian National Authority says there: “You know when Hillary’s in the room. She is highly personable. She’s real.”
Sounds like something Bill Clinton never managed, that “you know when she’s in the room” thing. Could have proven useful.
Madeleine Albright says: “She has a laugh that is completely infectious.”
A must quality for a president, if you ask me.
– Ms. President, what started that whole murder thing in Benghazi?
– Ha ha ha ha…
Finally, this is what President Obama says on the vid: “Through it all, I’ve relied on the shining qualities that have defined your life. Your conviction, your optimism, your belief that America can and must be a force for good in the world… I’ll say it again — you’ve been one of the best secretaries of state in American history. And finally, Hillary, a lot’s been said about our relationship, and here’s what I know: you haven’t just been one of my closest partners — you’ve become a great friend. I’m so grateful for your grace, you humor, your friendship.”
It’s in the bag…
On Friday, Nov 30, the RCA and the OU issued the following statement, criticizing the statement made by Palestinian Authority head Mahmoud Abbas at the United Nations General Assembly yesterday, and expressing disappointment in the vote that raised the status of the Arab Palestinians to that of nonmember observer state.
The Rabbinical Council of America (RCA) and the Orthodox Union voice their disappointment in passage of the resolution by the United Nations General Assembly upgrading the Palestinian Authority to a nonmember observer state.
The RCA and OU view this unilateral move by the Palestinian Authority as damaging to the peace process and a violation of the Oslo Accords. They believe that a settlement between Israel and the Palestinians can only come through direct negotiations.
Rabbi Shmuel Goldin, president of the RCA, and Dr. Simcha Katz, president of the Orthodox Union, stated:
“Today, at the United Nations, the global community placed peace in the Mideast further out of reach. Today, the world saw the Palestinians’ president deliver a speech that was filled with hatred and venom against Israel; a man who truly wants peace does not speak this way. Today, supporters of Israel are grateful to President Obama and his administration, as well as to the Congress of the United States, for their strong efforts to prevent the passage of this resolution, and we thank the other nations who stood with Israel today at the UN.”
CORRECTION: THE HEADLINE OF THIS ARTICLE HAS BEEN CHANGED – THE RABBINICAL COUNCIL OF AMERICA EXPRESSED ITS DISAPPOINTMENT OVER THE UN VOTE TO UPGRADE THE STATUS OF THE PA, NOT THE RABBINICAL ASSEMBLY.
Avi Luzon, president of Israel’s football association, said Wednesday that Israel’s hosting of next year’s European under-21 football championship would not pose a security problem.
Israel was picked at random for the June tournament, and will play England, Norway,and Italy in its group. The drawing was held by the UEFA in Tel Aviv less than two weeks after rockets lobbed by Hamas terrorists in Gaza caused residents of the city to keep close to bomb shelters.
Other league coaches also expressed their belief that Israel would be a good place for the tournament, expressing trust and confidence in Israel to keep players safe.
International media are touting the Israel-Hamas ceasefire agreement as a political boon for Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi, saying the brokering of the deal has made the new president a “major regional player”.
In an article by the Associated Press, Morsi was described as someone who “won the trust of the United States and Israel”. This despite Morsi’s open and continuous accusation that Israel was to blame for the fighting.
US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton thanked Morsi for “his personal leadership to de-escalate the situation in Gaza and end the violence”.
According to reports, Morsi made numerous meetings with international dignitaries from the US, Turkey, Qatar, Germany, and other Arab countries, but did not have any direct contact with Israeli representatives, getting and giving communications via a third party.
Did you know that you still have the right to vote, even if you live overseas? If you weren’t aware of this fact and you missed the recent presidential elections, don’t worry! Susan Dzieduszycka-Suinat, president and cofounder of the Overseas Vote Foundation, explains why voting is still important, even if you live abroad, and how you are able to do it. So get prepared for the next elections and listen to this great interview on the Goldstein on Gelt show!
There are some fascinating questions that come to mind regarding the current controversy concerning Gen. David Petraeus, and in the coming weeks and months many of the blanks will doubtless be filled in. To be sure, the personal dimension to the story will continue to draw much attention – infidelity and personal failure in high places will always have a certain allure. But there are some serious public issues involved that we hope will be pursued.
It’s obvious that news of this sort would dominate the media once it surfaced. Surely it would have sucked much of the air out of the story of the president’s efforts to rally the nation in the wake of Hurricane Sandy. It would also have drawn attention away from the president’s newly charged economic appeal to the middle class that had given him some late momentum in his electoral battle with Gov. Romney.
Yet it appears that the news about Gen. Petraeus was circulating long before the resignation, which occurred after the election. Thus, the FBI investigation that led to Gen. Petraeus’s stepping down began in May and continued until late summer, at which point Attorney General Eric Holder supposedly was notified. Yet it is claimed that it was only on November 6– Election Day – that the Justice Department informed Director of National Intelligence James Clapper of the investigation; that on November 7the White House was notified; and that the president was first told on November 8.
Maybe. But it certainly seems inconceivable that an investigation of this sort involving the head of the Central Intelligence Agency – including possible criminal liability for compromising classified national security information – would not have been brought to the attention of the president or his senior staff early on. So the issue of whether there was an effort by public officials to suppress the Petraeus story in order to enhance the president’s reelection prospects is squarely before us.
Perhaps more important, Gen. Petraeus appears to be the intelligence source cited by the president and his senior staff as the basis for their refusal, for more than two weeks, to characterize the Benghazi attack as a terrorist act despite evidence that it was indeed a well-planned operation of an Al Qaeda affiliate. Not a few critics noted that to have acknowledged that fact would have been inconsistent with the administration’s position that Al Qaeda and similar outfits had been routed by U.S. military action.
In any event, soon after the Benghazi attack, Gen. Petraeus testified before a congressional committee that the attack was a spontaneous reaction on the part of Muslims angered by an anti-Muhamamad video. Further, Gen. Petraeus was scheduled to testify at two congressional hearings, beginning November 15,on both the failure to anticipate and properly respond to the attack as well as the decision to identify it as something other than a terrorist attack.
With the Petraeus resignation, acting CIA director Michael Morell is now scheduled to testify on behalf of the CIA. Gen. Petraeus has indicated that he will not testify, and as a civilian he will have an easier time avoiding that prospect despite the intentions of some in Congress to demand that he appear.
Was the general’s resignation part of an effort to keep him from having to testify? One need not subscribe to all the conspiracy theories now swirling around these developments. Generally, they are not helpful. But there certainly are questions that need to be looked into.
For most of the past two years, if not the past four, many conservatives and Republicans assumed that Barack Obama could not be reelected. A poor economy, an unpopular liberal agenda shoved down the throat of the country, and a largely uninspiring presidential leadership style combined to create a widespread belief on the right that the 2012 election would be a lay-up for them.
We now know what some of us suspected for a long time: Republicans drastically underestimated the president’s appeal as a historic figure.
The postmortem on the Republican failure to defeat the president will go on until 2016, but the finger pointing within the party will largely miss the point. The big problem was not Romney’s moderation (likely to be the right wing’s favorite theory); the influence of the Tea Party (the standard liberal interpretation); the failure to do outreach to Hispanics (though Republicans need to address this problem); Romney’s inability to run against ObamaCare; the GOP standard-bearer’s decision not to talk more about himself and letting the Democrats define him; the decision not to hammer Obama more over the Benghazi fiasco or even Hurricane Sandy.
The main obstacle to a Republican victory was that the party was seeking to defeat the first African-American president – one aided by a supportive mainstream media and buttressed by the power of incumbency and what turned out to be a tremendously efficient campaign organization.
Contrary to the delusion that Obama was a loser waiting to be knocked off, beating him was always going to be a long shot. Most conservatives were prepared to acknowledge that the majority of Americans were still pleased with the idea of righting some historic wrongs by electing an African-American in 2008. But they failed to understand that even though Obama’s administration was not widely viewed as a great success, at least half the country was not prepared to toss him out of office after only one term.
As an incumbent, Obama was able to claim credit concerning things for which he did not deserve many plaudits, like the killing of Osama bin Laden or even the response to the hurricane in the last days before the election. He also could count on the unfailing support of much of the media even when he was embarrassed by events, such as the Benghazi attack.
These were strengths that many Republicans continually discounted or disregarded entirely.
The close nature of the loss at a time when the national economy is still stagnant will naturally cause many on the right to speculate on what Romney and his campaign could have done differently. They will be right when they point out he should have fought back immediately against the slurs on his character that were the focus of much of the Obama campaign’s early efforts.
Maybe a perfect GOP effort could have gotten that extra one percent of the vote that would have turned a few close states and elected Romney. That’s something that will torment conservatives as ObamaCare is implemented and Obama continues to govern from the left.
But even his sternest critics must admit that Romney ran a creditable campaign and was able to use the debates to make the race closer and even take a lead in some polls in the last month. They must also acknowledge that the conservative assumption that the electorate in 2012 would be very different than it was in 2008 was wrong.
The good news for the GOP is that contrary to those who will claim a permanent Democratic majority, the circumstances of 2012 won’t be repeated in four years. Obama will be gone in 2016 and anyone who thinks that Joe Biden, Andrew Cuomo or even Hillary Clinton will have an easy time against the deep Republican bench that is ready to run next time misunderstands the nature of American politics.
The bottom line is that Barack Obama won the 2012 election far more than the Republicans lost it. Obama may be a remarkably unsuccessful president (he’s the first to win re-election by a smaller margin) but he was never the patsy most conservatives imagined.
Conservatives spent the two years since their 2010 midterm victory operating under a serious delusion about the president’s political strengths. That’s a terrible indictment of their political acumen, but it won’t affect their chances in four years when Obama is no longer on the ballot.