Thursday, February 10, 2011


Here's what worries me about Egypt:

No, it isn't that they could shut down the Suez, sending oil upwards of $200 a barrel.  Why not?  Simple, we have whole battalions of Rangers, as well as two mechanized divisions that are capable of power projection within a very, very short time that can seize things like dams, canals, and locks to ensure the economic security of the nation.  (And I'm pretty sure the "no blood for oil" crowd won't be driving to any protests when the SUV go-juice is $9 a gallon.)

Putting together a coalition of nations to secure that waterway would also be fairly easy, given that we aren't the only hydrocarbon net-importer in the world (or even, the West.)  Of course, to do that we would need an administration that was willing to make an unpopular decision.  A decison not unlike the one made in 2003 by GWB, when he decided to invade Iraq (with Congress' approval) because removing Saddam Hussein was the right thing, in terms of global security, to do, even if we had to do it alone. 

What worries me about Egypt, then, if not for the danger of losing the Suez?

What worries me isn't an Egypt taken over by a Muslim Extremist organization.  Hell, the PLO could take over Egypt and I wouldn't care.  Egypt's military power is laughable, just as Israel, or anyone who has ever worked with the Egyptian military.  Think Republican Guards, but without the discipline and cohesiveness.  They are an inventive lot, though.  Their tactical plan for destroying tanks is to drive a truck in front of the tank, then have a dude with a sticky-bomb jump out of the truck, roll under the tank, and stick it to the bottom.  You basically end up with a lot of little red smears all over the desert.

This is a society which has done NOTHING of note since the Joooooos built the Pyramids, then decided to follow Moses around the desert for 40 years, looking for the Promised Land, because he wouldn't ask directions.  Seriously, can anyone list any real accomplishments by the Egyptians in the hard sciences, architecture, literature, hell--any achievement?  Has Egypt discovered, invented, or improved anything in the last 1500 YEARS that anyone can name without an extensive Google ™ search?

Let Egypt sink beneath the red sea like the army of the Pharaoh.

JFK made a very warming speech about foreign policy that applies here:
 We can help Egypt help themselves--by staying out of it.  We have to back the winner.  Mubarak is out, because he forgot the #1 rule of Despots:  when the people riot, call out the tanks and machine gun them.  (See Hungary, 1956.)  If your generals won't follow your orders, have them shot.  If all that is left at the end of the day are a shit-ton of bodies, but you're still in charge, you're in charge.  A hundred deaths are a tragedy, a million deaths a statistic.  The name of the game for despotic regimes is stay in power, period.  There is no retirement, you die in office, or flee to a country with no extradition and as much hard currency as you can carry. 
To those old allies whose cultural and spiritual origins we share, we pledge the loyalty of faithful friends. (Unless selling your Nuke secrets down the river will let us get a useless treaty signed.)  United, there is little we cannot do in a host of cooperative ventures. Divided, there is little we can do—for we dare not meet a powerful challenge at odds and split asunder.
  To those new States whom we welcome to the ranks of the free, we pledge our word that one form of colonial control shall not have passed away merely to be replaced by a far more iron tyranny. We shall not always expect to find them supporting our view. But we shall always hope to find them strongly supporting their own freedom—and to remember that, in the past, those who foolishly sought power by riding the back of the tiger ended up inside.  (This applies to states which have already broken the chains of Tyranny, NOT EGYPT.)
  To those peoples in the huts and villages across the globe struggling to break the bonds of mass misery, (This could be Egypt) we pledge our best efforts to help them help themselves, for whatever period is required—not because the Communists may be doing it, not because we seek their votes, but because it is right. If a free society cannot help the many who are poor, it cannot save the few who are rich.

I don't think Iran gave two shits about their "twitter revolution" and I really doubt the Egyptian "Facebook revolution" will have any effect, either.  It's pretty easy in these countries to shut down cell phones and telecoms.  CNN and the 24-hour news cycle did jack squat to stop genocide in the Balkans, and everyone thought it would have a HUGE impact on world opinion.  Awareness doesn't mean action.  (See Rwanda Genocide.)

For what it's worth, let Egypt figure their destiny out for themselves.  The riots won't end when Mubarak leaves, the factions will split and jockey for position (see Iraq, 2003-Present) and continue killing each other.  Whichever side we opt to support will, despite our and their best intentions, cost us lives and treasure, and in the end will just make us the bogey man and the government we support the "puppet." 

So stay out of Egypt, period.  Full Stop.  If we--(and by we, I mean every nation who uses the shipping through the canal zone--you don't send troops, your ships go around the long way--after impounding for  "safety inspections" given by the one inspector we have--who is also a union worker)  If we need to regulate the canal zone, do so, and tell the Egyptians they can have it back as soon as they have a stable government, free elections with universal suffrage (validated by the UN), and a constitution.  They should have it back again just in time for the next millennium.

So you want to know what worries me about Egypt? 

What worries me is what our "never let a catastrophe go to waste" government is going to try to foist on us while we, as a nation, are otherwise distracted.


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