Thursday, January 26, 2012

We Are Outraged!

Current events, as the US rethinks its enthusiasm for the Arab Spring:
Six Americans working for publicly funded U.S. organizations promoting democracy in Egypt have been barred from leaving the country, provoking angry demands in Washington that Cairo's new military rulers stop "endangering American lives".

Among those hit by travel bans - one of those targeted called it "de facto detention" - is a son of U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, as well as other foreign staffers of the International Republican Institute and National Democratic Institute, officials at the two organizations said on Thursday.

The United States said Egypt should reverse them: "We are urging the government of Egypt to lift these restrictions immediately and allow these folks to come home as soon as possible," State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said.

A month after police raided the Cairo offices of the IRI, NDI and eight other non-governmental organizations, it raises the stakes for Washington, which had already indicated it may review the $1.3 billion it gives the Egyptian military each year if the probe into alleged breaches of local regulations went on.

Some see it as a poor omen for Egypt's fledgling democracy following last year's overthrow of Hosni Mubarak.

John McCain, the leading Republican senator who chairs the IRI, voiced "alarm and outrage" at a "new and disturbing turn" which included a travel ban on Sam LaHood, the group's Egypt director and son of President Barack Obama's transport chief.
You know, in the context of the history of Western involvement in the affairs of Arab states, and American invlovement in particular, you have to wonder about the meaning of weaselly euphemisms like "publicly funded U.S. organizations promoting democracy in Egypt." Just what the hell does that mean, anyway? What concrete, behavioral actions do you take, if you're a publicly funded U.S. organization promoting democracy in Egypt? Do you buy commercials on Egyptian TV? What do they say? "Be a democratic sort of Egyptian guy, and all the Egyptian women will go crazy over you?" I'm not at all sure I could blame Egyptians who might be wondering what these fine organizations are really up to. Funding terrorists, maybe? Perish the thought! We're Americans -- we don't fund terrorists! If we fund 'em, they must be freedom fighters. Or maybe democracy activists or something. But not terrorists, that's for sure.

(Side note: there's my old buddy again -- State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland! Clearly, she knows she's working for the Obama regime: she wants those restrictions lifted, so those folks can come home. "Folks" ... no doubt about it, she got the memo. And read it, too.)

How is it that this "IRI" outfit is described as a "non-governmental organization," after being described as "publicly funded?" And it's chaired by John Freakin' McCain? And Ray LaHood's boy is the "Egypt director?" Yup, sure sounds non-governmental to me, yessir. Nothing to see here. Move along, folks, move along.

I have some free advice for those Egyptian "Islamists" who, being all evil and everything, are presumably holding our folks. Don't just travel-restrict them; detain them, indefinitely, without charges, in some warm-weather Egyptian paradise that you rename "Al-Gitmo." Don't let a lawyer or a court within hundreds of miles of them. Let 'em ride the waterboard while you inquire, again and again and again, about their nefarious activities. When they've said what you want to hear (and they will!), announce it. Then tell Washington that you'll close your Gitmo when they close theirs. As for young Mr. LaHood: after he's been imprisoned without charges for a decade or two, you'll have to decide that he's become radicalized, and can never be released, for fear that he'll "return to the battlefield" and do some harm to the Prophet's Islamic Republic of Egypt, or whatever you're calling it by then. It would have a certain pleasing symmetry to it, yes?


Phil Marx said...

If we do something (regardless of what it is) it is good. And if "they" (which includes anybody that is not us) do the same thing, it is bad.

And while giving two different definitions to the same thing - depending solely upon who is doing that particular thing - might seem illogical, you have to account for who the doer is doing the thing for.

For we are committing terrorism in furtherance of our goals, and they for theirs. So there really is a substantial difference here. Once you fully grasp the manifest destiny and realize that we truly are God's chosen people, infallible by definition because our own mistakes actually redefine the meaning of mistake and our own sins redefine the meaning of sin, it begins to make more sense.

Mimi said...

Jim, I check here every day, hoping you'll return. Miss you and your writing (sob!). When are you coming back?

Mimi said...

Jim, I check evey day, hoping you'll be back. Miss your writing, your thoughts, and cyber-you. When will you return to this blog?

Jim Wetzel said...

Hi, Mimi! Several apologies are very much in order. First, I had no idea that I had comment moderation enabled. (In fact, I am greatly doubtful that I enabled it ... that seems like something that I'd remember doing. Maybe Blogger's been "helping" me with that.) Also, I have been absent from posting here, and from the online world in general; it's been a combination of "I have nothing to say that I haven't already said a hundred times" and the clear evidence that saying it changes nothing. Finally, I've been fairly bummed out since finding out in early February that my shoulder surgery of last October was a two-thirds failure; my rotator cuff is still, or again, fully torn, and that I had to get a second reparative surgery, which happened last Thursday. So I find myself with some extra time this week, but I also find myself trying to type with my left hand only ... which is painfully, pathetically slow, as no one was ever -- I bet -- right-handed to the extent that I'm right-handed. You would hardly believe how long it's taken me just to type this comment. And so, as the young folk are wont to say, "I'm out."