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eeeny-meany-miny-Egypt!

By Mike Cunningham On January 25th, 2013

So the Obama Administration is really cheesed-off with Israel.

What with the ‘Settlements’, the Wall, the total lack of progress towards the ‘Two-State Solution’ so beloved of the American Left; the infuriating way in which these pesky Jews ignore all the high-minded orders and advice handed out so frequently from the American equivalent of Mount Olympus.

It really does make the Americans wish that they could really do something which would really attract Israel’s attention to the well-founded annoyance of the one Nation whose power, influence and arms have held back the onslaught for so long.

 

And now they have!

21 Responses to “eeeny-meany-miny-Egypt!”

  1. If I have read and understood this correctly :) the American Administration which uses American tax dollars to keep Egypt afloat, is now rewarding the political lurch to fundamentalist/extremist Islam by supplying tanks and planes to the new regime?
    Is that right?

    Now call me a repentant cynic, but I can’t help wondering whether Jim Lad, there be any connection between an American President of Islamic descent and left wing extremist type Christian values, and his stated desire to reach out and find common ground with the Islamic nations?
    Does he really care that Israel is the only truly free and democratic state in the Middle East, or would he rather see Islam triumph and America destroyed as a world power?
    At this point in time why would Egypt need new tanks and new fighter planes?

  2. The Egyptians don’t have much security threats, other than internal and border contrrol.

    They don’t need tanks and planes as much as they need a huge dose of capitalism, which has never been tried there. The military actually owns many of the factories such as they exist there, and competition is discouraged.

    If Egypt had gone down a capitalist road 25 years ago, it would be in much better shape. Located where it is at the crossroads of the world, it should be a huge hotbed of manufacuring for the Europe / ROW market. You can’t live on foreign aid, tourism, and canal revenues forever. You need to have something else. You need to make things.

  3. Phantom,
    Egypt has long been regarded as the most liberal and sophisticated of the Arab nations.

    (Thanks in large part to previous Presidents keeping the Muslim Brotherhood in check and in their box.)_
    But Islamic thought and values does not create the ethos necessary for a healthy thriving economy.
    That is why many/most depend on imported weapons, planes and infrastructure.
    In fact fighting for the cause of Islam whilst robbing, kidnapping and pillaging is more in line with the memory and practices of the prophet Mohammed.

  4. The Egyptians need to learn from the Turks ( and many of them know it )

    Without a functioning economy, you have nothing. The Turks make things and are charging ahead. Egypt has been stagnating for 1000 years. The prognosis is not good.

  5. //Egypt has long been regarded as the most liberal and sophisticated of the Arab nations.//

    By whom?
    I doubt if it’s anybody who’s been there.
    Egypt is a very diverse place, obviously, but the people are in general politically immature and certainly not sophisticated. The fact that it was very difficult for them even to get out of the place is no doubt partly to blame.

    As tragic as current events may be, Syria and Lebanon are much more open and liberal societies.
    If you travel around the ME, one peculiar thing – or maybe it’s not so peculiar – is that the people usually tend to be more western in outlook in places where the government sees the west as an enemy, and vice versa.
    e.g. there’s a huge middle class in Iran and they are as westernised as anything east of Greece. The most violent anti-semitism and anti-Americanism I’ve ever heard were in Egypt and Saudi, whereas the people in Syria seemed genuinely interested in the west and envious of our open societies.

    The reason is probably that people in the West’s allies there see the Eest as being partly responsible for their oppression. Something like that.

  6. One of my sister’s good friends lived in Syria for about five years, working as a teacher for children of expats. She only left about three years back.

    She said that the Syrians were about the warmest, kindest people she had encountered anywhere. She would certainly agree with what Noel just said.

  7. Noel — Out of interest, can I ask must countries in the region you’ve been to?

  8. Noel — Out of interest, can I ask must countries in the region you’ve been to?

  9. *which countries

  10. Petr, I lived in Saudi for a year and from there visited the UAE and Bahrain several times. I’ve also been to Egypt and Syria. I visited friends in both places and got a better picture perhaps that a casual visitor.

    I was almost 2 months in Egypt and, to tell the truth, glad to get out of it. It was late summer and the heat was hell, but I thought the people hung on to foreigners too much.
    The place I liked best was without doubt Syria; despite the most heavy-handed dictatorship it’s full of beauty and charm, but above all the people, they were proud, interested and wide awake. Although that was after a long spell in Saudi when I was deprived of sex ‘n drugs ‘n rock n’roll, which tends to make any place look good.

  11. BTW, I’ve again got a chance to visit Israel this year. Maybe it’ll work this time. Of course I want to visit Palestine too. Did you ever enter the WB from Israel?

  12. Noel — I’ve not been to Saudi. I was going to go and teach there at one stage but it didn’t pan out. I love Egypt but it can be oppressive – both in terms of the damn heat and the sheer craziness and chaos of Cairo and Alex. I disagree with your ‘political immaturity’ remark; the revolutionaries there have been absolutely inspiring in my opinion.

    Syria is beautiful. I’m glad I got to experience it before the present tragedy began.

    I did enter the West Bank from Israel and it is extremely straightforward. If you have a passport from an EU country you’re just waved though, no permit, visa or anything like that is needed. There’s a public bus you can get from Jerusalem to Ramallah which is worth doing. I can’t remember which number now but could find out if need be. The Christian towns in the West Bank are worth visiting (Bethlehem, Beit Sahour, Beit Jala), as is Jericho, Ramallah, – and although more caution is needed – Nablus, Hebron, and Jenin.

  13. I visited Dammam Saudi Arabia when my US Navy ship visited there.

    They took us on a tour of the university there.

    They warned everyone to remove any Christian or God forbid Jewish jewelry before getting off the ship.

    I enjoyed a nice can of Schlitz beer there. Custom made for the Arab world, with no alcohol in it.

  14. That’s exactly where I used to work, Phantom!

    If you’d stayed around for a bit longer, you would have been offered some of the local wine; practically every westerner in Dhahran has some.

    More difficult to get – and more dangerous – is Sidiki, the local home-made spirit.

  15. “By whom?
    I doubt if it’s anybody who’s been there.”

    http://www.ias.edu/about/publications/ias-letter/articles/2012-summer/democratic-legacies-egypt

    http://education.stateuniversity.com/pages/411/Egypt-EDUCATIONAL-SYSTEM-OVERVIEW.html

    Noel.
    As in many Islamic societies Egypt has its educated professional class and their peasantry known as the fellahin.

    Given your obsession with flatulence you probably mingled with the latter class.

  16. Noel

    In this three month cruise, we went through the Suez Canal ( totally cool to watch the process ), down the Red Sea ( very windy toward the Bad El Mandeb straits at the south), around the Arabian Peninsula, and then we hung out in the Persian Gulf for a while.

    Port stops in Bahrain ( where we could drink beer thank God ) and Abu Dhabi where we could not drink beer but where the locals gave us a very nice non alcholic lamb based lunch.

    We exited the Gulf and I got off the ship in Djibouti where we had a nasty dinner in a nasty restaurant with French Legionairres at the other tables, before I and some others took an Air France flight back to Europe.

    This was no in depth cultural immersion, but it was neat seeing places like this, since before the Navy I had never traveled.

  17. In a different time and mood I would, I’m sure, have appreciated Egypt more. As it was, I was robbed soon after arriving and then the really bad heat set in.

    That trip sounds really cool; two of my do-before-you-die trips are sailing through Suez and also through the Panama Canal.

  18. If I have read and understood this correctly the American Administration which uses American tax dollars to keep Egypt afloat, is now rewarding the political lurch to fundamentalist/extremist Islam by supplying tanks and planes to the new regime?

    With a small re-write, that could have been written recently for Israel. let’s try it and see if it fits:

    If I have read and understood this correctly the American Administration which uses American tax dollars to keep Israel afloat, is now rewarding the political lurch to fundamentalist/extremist judaism by supplying German submarines to the new regime?

    Here’s the fundamentalism:

    Non-Jews were born only to serve us. Without that, they have no place in the world-only to serve the People of Israel

    and it seems that the israeli government does not wish to distance itself from the Rabbi:

    http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/israeli-defense-officials-consult-with-rabbi-ovadia-yosef-over-iran-strike-1.459547

    - Senior defense officials have recently been visiting the ultra-Orthodox Shas party’s spiritual leader, Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, to discuss a possible Israeli attack on Iran.

    Some want the 91-year-old rabbi to support it, others to oppose it. At least one visit, in which the rabbi was briefed on Iran’s nuclear program, came at the behest of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who is battling for support in the cabinet to strike Iran. -

  19. two of my do-before-you-die trips are sailing through Suez and also through the Panama Canal.

    Yeah. I’d love to do both too.

  20. I stayed at a resort by the Panama Canal, on the way to Argentina. Not worth a special trip, but a nice place to spend a few days if you’re in the region.

    http://www.gamboaresort.com/

  21. “The Christian towns in the West Bank are worth visiting (Bethlehem, Beit Sahour, Beit Jala), as is Jericho, Ramallah, – and although more caution is needed – Nablus, Hebron, and Jenin.”

    As long as you were wearing a keffiah and your wife walked behind you, you were probably at minimal risk.

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