Where Do You Go
When There's No High Road
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Saturday, February 12, 2011

And AWAY WE GO….Pro-reform Saudi activists launch political party

If these guys last a month, the Al Saud are either dead or exiled within a year. I’m CERTAIN we can all imagine the likelihood of just what will replace these freaks.

GINSTU WIELDING QURAN SHRIEKING ZARQAWIS AND KSM’S ON CRACK

(Reuters) - Saudi Islamists and opposition activists have launched a political party in a rare challenge to the absolute monarchy, asking King Abdullah for a voice in the Gulf Arab state’s governance, its organizers said Thursday.

The move was apparently prompted by popular revolts in the Arab world that toppled Tunisia’s president last month and have loosened the grip ofEgypt’s autocratic leader.

But it was more an act of protest than an effective start-up of a political party since Saudi Arabia has no elected parliament and parties and public dissent are banned by the Al Saud monarchy, which rules the world’s No. 1 oil exporting country in alliance with Sunni Muslim clerics.

There have been other attempts to form parties but analysts said the new “Islamic Umma” group appeared to be the first to be revealed publicly. They said members included Islamist intellectuals and lecturers, human rights activists and lawyers.

“You know well what big political development and improvement of freedom and human rights is currently happening in the Islamic world,” the group of ten activists said in a letter to King Abdullah, obtained by Reuters and also posted on their website.

“It’s time to bring this development to the kingdom,” they told the king, who is about 87 and now recuperating in Morocco after medical treatment in the United States.

Islamists and liberals both seek more political freedoms in Saudi Arabia and, while differing on details such as the rights of women, say that reform is their overriding goal.

SAUDIS KEY TO REGIONAL STABILITY

Any instability at the helm of Saudi Arabia, the strategic linchpin of U.S. policy in the Middle East, could ripple across the Arab Gulf region and beyond.

Anti-government protests swept Tunisian President Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali out of power, triggering a revolt in Egypt that has unraveled the autocracy of President Hosni Mubarak and paralyzed the country for two weeks.

Diplomats do not expect such a scale of unrest to spread to Saudi Arabia, which can easily alleviate social tensions over high youth unemployment with funding out of massive oil wealth.

But in social media such as Facebook or Twitter, liberal Saudis have demanded political reforms and more freedom.

“You cannot just have the royal party governing the country. We want to raise this issue with government officials and persuade them,” said lawyer Abdul-Aziz al-Wahhabi, one of the founders of the new party.

King Abdullah has tried to carry out some reforms since taking power in 2005, such as trying to overhaul a school system that focuses on religion, qualifying few graduates for jobs in the private sector.

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Newsmax:

Ex-CIA Director: Iran a Huge Threat After Mubarak
Saturday, 12 Feb 2011
By Hiram Reisner

Former CIA Director James Woolsey says institutions and people will try to undermine the chance for freedom in a post-Hosni Mubarak Egypt, and he fears Iran will try and seize the opportunity to promote an Islamic fundamentalist state.

“Well, your reporter just quoted an Egyptian there on the street as saying Egypt now has a chance for freedom and democracy. And I think that is exactly the right way to phrase it, because there will be institutions and people trying to undermine that chance,” Woolsey told CNN’s Anderson Cooper on Friday. “I think first among them will be Iran, and Iran working with the Muslim Brotherhood, the way they work with Hamas in Gaza.

“We all have to do everything we possibly can to work with the forces of stability and change, in a democratic and law-abiding direction in Egypt, to help them economically, help them politically, and see to it that this does not become an Islamist operation – the way Iran has, and Gaza has, and, I'm afraid, Lebanon may be on the way to being," he said.

Cooper noted immediate elections could thwart Egypt’s possibilities for freedom and democracy, because there really aren't many organized opposition forces, other than the Muslim Brotherhood.

“Right, and that's what happened in Gaza,” Woolsey said. “Hamas called for immediate elections, and we got one vote, one man – and it's now a theocratic dictatorship.

“We need to be on the side of the rule of law, and a quick evolution toward democracy, but not necessarily in favor of really quick votes,” he said. “We do not want more Gazas, with Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood organization running” the country.


Ex-Israeli Official: Mideast Dominoes Point to War
Friday, 11 Feb 2011
By David A. Patten

George Birnbaum, an international political consultant who once served as chief of staff to former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, is warning that a domino-style collapse of moderate Arab regimes could lead Israel to war.

Birnbaum, an expert in global politics, cited Friday’s collapse of Hosni Mubarak in Egypt and the growing turmoil in nearby Jordan as ominous signs for Israel.

Israel’s neighbor on the other side of the West Bank is ruled by King Abdullah II, a constitutional monarch who is Hashemite, a minority. Abdullah reigns over a population that is 70 percent Palestinian.

“He had to relieve his government a few weeks ago,” Birnbaum told host Stuart Varney of Fox News on Friday. “If that country goes, and in Bahrain and other countries, suddenly you’re going to find Israel in a similar position it was in 1948, where it’ll be isolated, surrounded by Islamic countries looking to see its destruction -- with the one exception that Israel has the ability to defend itself this time.

“But that creates another problem,” he added, “which is a regional if not greater war that the world will have to face.”

Birnbaum said Israel could be “in great danger.”

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Newsmax:

Obama Faces Diplomatic Nightmare After Mubarak Debacle
Friday, 11 Feb 2011
By David A. Patten

Even as chants of “Egypt is free! Egypt is free!” rocked downtown Cairo on Friday, President Barack Obama moved to limit the diplomatic damage stemming from the administration’s response to Egypt’s unexpected lurch toward democracy.

After weeks of criticism that his policies were either too bold or too timid in support of pro-democracy throngs teeming into Cairo’s Tahrir Square, Obama firmly sided with the Egyptian protesters on Friday.

“The people of Egypt have spoken, the world has heard them, and Egypt will never be the same,” Obama said in a speech from the White House after it was clear that Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak finally had stepped down.

“Egyptians have made it clear that nothing less than genuine democracy will carry the day,” he said.

But Egyptians rejoicing over the end of Mubarak’s 30-year reign continued to voice frustration that, at least in the early stages of the crisis, the Obama administration appeared more focused on “regional stability” than on the democratic aspirations of the Egyptian people.

Ahmed Said, a prominent Egyptian businessman and civic leader who has been part of the protests from the beginning, told Newsmax.TV that many Egyptians believe that former President George W. Bush had been a better champion of democracy than Obama.

“Egyptians, after a certain period of Obama taking over, they thought that Bush was doing a better job with respect to forcing Egypt to have some more democracy and to support democracy,” Said remarked. “Obama, in the eyes of Egyptians, was very popular in the beginning, in the first six months and especially after he came to Cairo.

“But people started to realize that he was exactly like his predecessor, in the sense that he was . . . very soft with Mubarak. He did not put any pressure for democracy and things like that.

“And this was very clear during the past two or three weeks during the Egyptian revolution. [Secretary of State] Hillary Clinton’s first comment was that the Egyptian government is stable. And everyone living in Egypt could see loud and clear that it was by no means stable at all.”

Said attributed the administration’s vacillation to “a myth” that the Muslim Brotherhood would take over Egypt if Mubarak fell.

“People in Egypt are religious people,” Said said. “But they are not Islamic people . . . we are not a country that is ready for Islamic rule like Iran.

“That was the panic of the U.S., and the government of the U.S., that they were afraid if Mubarak left power the Muslim Brotherhood would take over,” he said.

Michael Singh, a visiting fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, confirmed that the Obama administration downplayed the Bush freedom agenda during its first two years.

“You saw cuts in democracy funding in the Middle East specifically,” Singh told Newsmax. “It may have been in the minds of the Obama administration associated with President Bush, and therefore toxic to a degree.

“But I think regardless of that, it will now inevitably have to be a bigger part of the agenda,” he added. “They’ll have to do a strategic rethink of U.S. policy in the Middle East and others regions . . . I think it will play a much bigger role because of what we’ve seen in Egypt.”

A recent Pechter Middle East Poll from the Washington Institute of Near East Policy reveals just how deeply unpopular the president’s policies have been in Egypt. It found that 53 percent of Egyptians disapprove of Obama’s handling of the crisis, compared with just 17 percent who feel he has performed well.

Obama on Friday praised the Egyptian military’s nonviolent response to the uprising, and called on it to be a good steward of Egypt’s transition to representative government and the rule of law.

But Obama’s speech also was unlikely to placate national-security hawks who point that only the allies of the United States — Egypt, Jordan and most recently Bahrain — appear to be in danger from the wave of popular unrest sweeping the Middle East. The anti-American governments of Iran and Syria, they point out, appear relatively invulnerable so far.

Oft-mentioned GOP presidential candidate and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, for example, told Fox News on Friday that what the Obama administration “didn’t need to do is emasculate Mubarak in front of the world.”

Huckabee noted that Obama had soft-pedaled criticism of Iran’s repressive mullahs when pro-democracy activists rallied in Tehran, yet had been quick to turn on Mubarak, a trusted ally of the United States.

“And don’t think that that message didn’t resonate all the way from Riyadh to the eastern shores of Africa,” Huckabee warned.

Nor could Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah, who reportedly chastised Obama this week for being too quick to jettison longtime ally Mubarak, feel encouraged by the president’s glowing rhetoric on behalf the universal yearning to be free.

“One Egyptian put it simply,” Obama said. “Most people have discovered in the last few days that they are worth something.

“And this cannot be taken away from them anymore — ever. This is the power of human dignity, and it could never be denied,” Obama said.

Already some foreign-policy experts are voicing concerns that China and Russia, which remained neutral during the uprising, insisting that outside forces should not interfere in Egypt’s internal affairs, will try to exploit any daylight between the United States and Saudi Arabia, perhaps enticing the Saudi royal family to reconsider its strategic alignment with the United States.

Another serious diplomatic complication for Obama: The Israeli government is worried the new a post-Mubarak Egypt could nix the Egypt-Israeli peace treaty.

But Said, who noted that he expects presidential and parliamentary elections in Egypt by next October, said he believes Mubarak’s fall won’t affect the treaty with Israel that was signed by the late and revered Egyptian leader Anwar Sadat.

“I don’t think that it will affect the peace treaty with Israel at all,” he said. “Egyptians are mature, they are aware that this is an international treaty . . . They will be able to realize the cost of breaking international treaties will cost the country a lot, and there is no sense in that.

The Pechter poll appears to support Said’s view. It found that Egyptians continue to support the peace deal with Israel by a 37-to-27 percent margin, with 18 percent undecided and 17 percent declining to answer the question.

“The world is changing,” Said remarked. “The Israelis now are talking to the Palestinians, the Arab countries are now talking to the Israelis.

“So things are changing big time now and I’m really doubtful that this freedom in Egypt would cost anything to the Israelis,” he said.

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Nasrallah's reminder for Obama

And this morning ....

Think the Muslim Brotherhood
has forgotten this?

Mubarak?

Abdullah of KSA?

Khameini?



FROM PEW:


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Great Moments In Infidel Advancement - 3D Printing - Make Anything You Want In The Comfort of Your Own Home

How a new manufacturing technology will change the world


THE industrial revolution of the late 18th century made possible the mass production of goods, thereby creating economies of scale which changed the economy—and society—in ways that nobody could have imagined at the time.

Now a new manufacturing technology has emerged which does the opposite. Three-dimensional printing makes it as cheap to create single items as it is to produce thousands and thus undermines economies of scale. It may have as profound an impact on the world as the coming of the factory did.

It works like this. First you call up a blueprint on your computer screen and tinker with its shape and colour where necessary. Then you press print. A machine nearby whirrs into life and builds up the object gradually, either by depositing material from a nozzle, or by selectively solidifying a thin layer of plastic or metal dust using tiny drops of glue or a tightly focused beam.

Products are thus built up by progressively adding material, one layer at a time: hence the technology’s other name, additive manufacturing. Eventually the object in question—a spare part for your car, a lampshade, a violin—pops out. The beauty of the technology is that it does not need to happen in a factory.

Small items can be made by a machine like a desktop printer, in the corner of an office, a shop or even a house; big items—bicycle frames, panels for cars, aircraft parts—need a larger machine, and a bit more space.

At the moment the process is possible only with certain materials (plastics, resins and metals) and with a precision of around a tenth of a millimetre. As with computing in the late 1970s, it is currently the preserve of hobbyists and workers in a few academic and industrial niches. But like computing before it, 3D printing is spreading fast as the technology improves and costs fall. A basic 3D printer, also known as a fabricator or “fabber”, now costs less than a laser printer did in 1985.
Click on the title to read the whole thing at Good Shit.

Can't you just see Muslims sitting in their caves, "Allah shazam, make me a bomb."


Ok, you're a bomb.
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Bomb-Resistant Boxers and Bullet-Resistant Helmets

The Butt Bomber wishes he had known about this, huh?
Bomb-Resistant Boxers to Be Manufactured by New York Company

Designed to protect against improvised explosive devices, Blast Boxers have been available in Europe for about six months by British manufacturer BCB International Ltd. But now the protective shorts made of Kevlar fabric that purportedly protect soldiers in areas where standard body armor does not will be manufactured in upstate New York within three weeks.

"We are creating a product here for the U.S. military; everything will be made and manufactured in the United States," BCB's Edward Schmitt told FoxNews.com Wednesday. "We're hoping to have them available by the middle of March."

Schmitt said the washable undergarments -- which weigh 6.8 ounces and will cost roughly $95 retail -- are currently being evaluated by military units worldwide, including the U.S. Marine Corps and the U.S. Army. The product is compliant with standards issued by U.S. military officials for usage in combat zones, he said.
"What we're trying to do is to provide a meaningful level of protection in a new threat environment," Schmitt said. "We're trying to protect the femoral artery."

Injuries to the femoral artery, which is located in the thigh and is divided into three parts, can be fatal without immediate medical attention due to rapid blood loss. Other common injuries from makeshift explosives typically found in Iraq and Afghanistan include a ruptured colon or loss of genitalia.
 And then, there's this:

New Combat Helmet Blocks Rifle Shots

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Why progressives are always disappointed and angry

From Nicholas Kristof on Egypt:

The narrative about how Arab countries are inhospitable for democracy, how the Arab world is incompatible with modernity — that has been shattered by the courage and vision of so many Tunisians and Egyptians.

Now let’s halt a second.

There is NO DEMOCRACY IN EGYPT. There is a dictator displaced by a military dictatorship.

What the people in Tahrir Square and Tunisia achieved was to get rid of a pair of dictators who lasted a generation because they proved the generals of their own army were too afraid to order their troops to fire on their own people, or could not bring themselves to do so. That is a significant, signal, outstanding, laudable achievement. But it is NOT a democracy with individual human rights and ruled by human made laws which protect the individual equally with seeing the majority will enforced.

There is a chance there MIGHT be a democracy we abhor (a somewhat Islamic state with voting), as it endlessly exerts pressure on religious minorities SOMETIME THIS FALL.

Can they write a constitution and see it passed then?

Is that the job of the new legislature and president?

But the game isn’t over, and now a word of caution. I worry that senior generals may want to keep (with some changes) a Mubarak-style government without Mubarak. In essence the regime may have decided that Mubarak had become a liability and thrown him overboard — without any intention of instituting the kind of broad, meaningful democracy that the public wants.

I rate this at about 20-30% likelihood.

We’ll see as the election campaign ensues.

Remember when you hear the talking heads yacking about the Muslim Brotherhood never getting more than 20% of the vote - Mubarak ALLOWED only certain MB candidates to run, only LIMITED campaigns, in only SOME areas.

The Ikwhan, you can be sure is running on the ground the same kind of human services that their child HAMAS is running.

GOOD THINGS. Charity, health care, schools, civil action to aid people. They are in the gap between govt failure and death thru poverty in an unemployed state.

There’s just one thing about them.

And the fact that no one can BEGIN to guess what they will poll in an open and free election.

I bet it will be AT LEAST 40-50%. How many other parties will there be?

Got the picture?

The great National Intelligence Director idiot Clapper (that the Muslim Brotherhood is “largely secular” and has “eschewed violence” and doesn’t need to be speculated upon) was in my humble estimation, the sounding board for the future Obama admin position on just this outcome. I think they were utterly rocked and taken aback, or he’d have been putting out his resume no later than yesterday.

But don’t worry the calamity of this election IF IT GOES TO THAT END will somehow be laid at the doorstep of Bush (it’s every pres and congress’ fault since 1973). But more than anyone else, Obama with the lessons of HAMAS’ election in Gaza is responsible for providing for this outcome.

So while we are cheering, and the Egyptians are cheering, REMEMBER the outcome is not going to resemble Jefferson.

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated

Laws of men.

Supreme?

In Egypt?

Love to see it.

It would be the triumph of reason over all prejudice. Anyone betting on THAT happening?

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A Big Mess Of Blues

Bukka White
Parchman Farm


Blind Lemon Jefferson
Black Snake Moan



Tommy Johnson
Cool Drink of Water



Skip James
Devil Got My Woman



Blind Willie McTell
Statesboro Blues

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Harry McClintock
Big Rock Candy Mountain

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Friday, February 11, 2011

Atlas Shrugged Trailer



They are a little young looking. But it looks slick
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Charles Mingus Sextet featuring Eric Dolphy
Take The A Train

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The Character Of Obama

Talk about an egomaniac and a cheapskate! Check out Obama's parting gifts to Robert Gibbs (from Ace of Spades):
A long time ago Obama "borrowed" a tie of Gibbs. He liked it, so he wound up keeping it. Today he gave him the tie back, finally [after some seven years], with a couple of pictures of Gibbs with Obama in a glass picture-case.
According to the Washington Post:
President Barack Obama made a rare appearance in the White House briefing room Friday to mark his longtime aide Robert Gibbs' last day at the White House.

Obama lauded Gibbs as an "extraordinary" press secretary and a great friend.
Yeah, Obama's parting gifts to Gibbs really reflected that, huh?

Now, perhaps the gifts were supposed to reflect Obama's wonderful sense of humor. I don't see it, however.

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Jimmy Page & Robert Plant

City Don't Cry



Kashmir



with the Egyptian Ensemble and the London Metropolitan Orchestra

The Truth Explodes

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World Leaders Catching Up With Infidel Bloggers

First Merkel, Then Cameron, now Sarkozy

Multiculturalism has failed, says French president

PARIS (AFP) – French President Nicolas Sarkozy declared Thursday that multiculturalism had failed, joining a growing number of world leaders or ex-leaders who have condemned it.

"My answer is clearly yes, it is a failure," he said in a television interview when asked about the policy which advocates that host societies welcome and foster distinct cultural and religious immigrant groups.

"Of course we must all respect differences, but we do not want... a society where communities coexist side by side.

"If you come to France, you accept to melt into a single community, which is the national community, and if you do not want to accept that, you cannot be welcome in France," the right-wing president said.

"The French national community cannot accept a change in its lifestyle, equality between men and women... freedom for little girls to go to school," he said.

"We have been too concerned about the identity of the person who was arriving and not enough about the identity of the country that was receiving him," Sarkozy said in the TFI channel show.

British Prime Minister David Cameron, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Australia's ex-prime minister John Howard and Spanish ex-premier Jose Maria Aznar have also recently said multicultural policies have not successfully integrated immigrants.

Merkel in October said efforts towards multiculturalism in Germany had "failed, totally."

The comment followed weeks of anguished debate sparked by the huge popularity of a book by a central banker saying that immigrants, in particular Muslims, were making Germany "more stupid."

Britain's Cameron last week pronounced his country's long-standing policy of multiculturalism a failure, calling for better integration of young Muslims to combat home-grown extremism.

He urged a "more active, muscular liberalism" where equal rights, the rule of law, freedom of speech and democracy are actively promoted to create a stronger national identity.

The prime minister, who took power in May 2010, argued that "under the doctrine of state multiculturalism, we have encouraged different cultures to live separate lives, apart from each other and the mainstream".

He said this had resulted in a lack of national identity in Britain which had made some young Muslims turn to extremist ideology.

Sarkozy said in his television interview Thursday that "our Muslim compatriots must be able to practise their religion, as any citizen can," but he noted "we in France do not want people to pray in an ostentatious way in the street."

French far-right leader Marine Le Pen late last year came under fire for comparing Muslims praying in the streets outside overcrowded mosques in France to the Nazi occupation.

Marine Le Pen said there were "ten to fifteen" places in France where Muslims worshipped in the streets outside mosques when these were full.

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Yes, He Was A thug, But. . .

So Uncle Barry may or may not have thrown an ally under the bus. I don't think he really knows which side he's on in this thing.

I have no problem with people wanting to be free, fighting to oust a thug, fighting for Freedom and Liberty.

IF that's what they are fighting for in Egypt. Because if all they are fighting for is Democracy then there is far more trouble to follow. Democracy means 1 man (or woman) 1 vote. A political process.

Freedom and liberty are a way to live.

With Mubarak gone and the military calling the shots (pun intended) for now there is a chancem slim though it is, that America and Obama could push and promote Freedom and Liberty.

But if his track record is anything to go on, what we'll get within the next 60-90 days is something resembling Iran with the MB in power.

And more in the ME to follow.

Sultan Knish:

A Conversation with a Neo-Conservative about Egypt

1. "Egypt has undergone a democratic revolution"

Egypt has not undergone anything of the sort. Street protests by a few percent of the population is not a democratic revolution. The majority of Egypt's 80 million people have not made their feelings known. Nor can they make their feelings known except through a democratic election. Protests by different groups with widely varying agendas are not a substitute for elections. Anyone calling for Mubarak to step down, rather than to hold free and open elections, is not endorsing a democratic revolution-- just a revolution led by leftists and Islamists.

2. "This is a struggle for freedom and democracy."

Freedom and democracy are not synonymous except in political speeches. Polls show that most Egyptians are less committed to freedom, than that they are to Islamic law. If that is the case, then democratic elections will lead to less freedom, not more. Democracy is not the same thing as freedom, and conflating the two is empty rhetoric. It sounds good in a speech, but fails as an argument.

3. "Mubarak is a dictator"

Mubarak is certainly not your Uncle Fred, but Egypt is still one of the more freer and open societies in the region. Especially when compared to Iran, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, the UAE and many others. The fate of Christians and women is not likely to improve in a parliament with a strong Muslim Brotherhood presence. Removing Mubarak will strengthen the position of groups who are far more totalitarian than Mubarak.

4. "As Americans we should support democracy in Egypt"

Kefaya, the National Movement for Change, is an anti-American organization. It is already allied with the Muslim Brotherhood. The Egyptians may do as they please, but why should we support the removal of a pro-American leader by a coalition of lefitsts and Islamists? Shouldn't our national security take precedence over perpetrating another Iran in the name of "democracy".

5. "It's in our ideals to support a people's struggle for self-determination"

It's not in our ideals to support people who bomb churches and murder little girls. Most Egyptians want to see Muslims who leave Islam executed. Mubarak doesn't. Most Jordanians want the right to kill their daughters or sisters when they dishonor them. King Hussein doesn't. Do our ideals really call on us to support church bombings and the murder of little girls in the name of democracy? And isn't placing democracy above human rights ideological fanaticism?

6. "How can we support a dictator over a democratic movement?"

Why do we have to support either one? Why can't we let the Egyptians work it out themselves. It is their country after all. We're not the rulers of the planet. We could just stand on the sidelines and worry about our own problems. Like that massive deficit.

7. "We have to take the chance that everything will work out!"

Is that how we make policy now by hoping for change? Tossing a coin and betting with our national security and the lives of 80 million people

8. "It's in our interest to remove Mubarak because dictatorships breed terrorism"

Then how do you explain all the Islamic terrorists who were born in the United States and the UK. Or why Lebanon is overrun with terrorists, but Turkmenistan isn't. Why are English Muslims more radicalized than some Muslims in the Middle-East?

9. "Many revolutions have worked out well"

How many of them were in Muslim countries?

10. "Fear is an unworthy reason to oppose change"

Irrational fear is an unworthy reason. Fact based fear is not. Pretending that the changes you want will not empower the Islamists is irrational. And an irrational argument that appeals to emotion is unworthy.

11. "If we don't support the revolution, that will inspire anti-Americanism"

Now who's using the fear based argument. Besides isn't this kind of thinking how we ended up with the Islamic Republic of Iran? Helping anti-American governments to avoid being hated is almost as smart as punching yourself in the face to avoid being bullied. Besides is there any possible course of action we could take that won't lead to us being hated?

12. "The longer Mubarak holds on, the worse it will get"

How do you know? Isn't that just repeating ElBaradei's talking points. Egypt has faced food riots before. And the riots already seem to be dying down. The big crowds are disappearing. Coalitions are conducting their own talks with Egypt's government.

13. "We should have faith in the Egyptian people's capacity for self-government"

What have they ever done that justifies such a faith? And why do Iran and Turkey seem to have far more faith in their capacity for self-government. Maybe they know something we don't. The Turkish people brought terrorist supporting Islamists to power. The overthrow of the Shah brought the Ayatollah Khomeni to power. Elections in the Palestinian Authority brought Hamas to power. Thanks to its elections, Hezbollah is now running the table in Lebanon. Having faith in people doesn't mean standing around a bad neighborhood while waving your wallet in the air.

14. "President Bush's freedom agenda has been vindicated"

Kefaya is the backbone of the protests, a group that formed partly in response to the Iraq War. Kefaya is as indicative of his agenda as Code Pink was. Bush never sought to overthrow Mubarak.

15. "Not all of the protesters are Kefaya and the Islamists"

That's true, but mostly irrelevant. It's the organized groups that will dictate a settlement, not the individuals. Kingmakers will emerge from this, and it won't be the faces in the crowd. It will be their leaders.

16. "If the Muslim Brotherhood wants to participate in elections, who are we to say no"

We are the people they are at war with. It is not in our interest to help our enemies come to power. It may even be in our interest to obstruct them from coming to power.

17. "If we wait any longer, the Muslim Brotherhood will take over anyway"

That might happen. But why move up the timetable?

18. "This is Egypt's last chance at a liberal democratic government"

How do you know? Why is it the last chance in 2011, rather than 2015 or 2025? Where is the proof behind all these scare tactics. How do we know that a more gradual transition won't better pave the way for that. Why are we being panicked into taking a gamble here and now?

19. "If freedom wins in Egypt, it will win around the world."

So far the targets of this "freedom movement" have been somewhat moderate countries allied with the United States. I wouldn't count on it spreading anywhere beyond that. And once those countries are Islamist, then freedom really will be over and done with.

20. "The spirit of freedom is in the air"

Is that what that is. I was wondering.

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We still have an intelligence apparatus, right?

CIA Station Chiefs warned for weeks to watch out for Egypt.

Panetta bases his Mubarak to Resign statements on news reports.

Clapper says the Muslim Brotherhood is okey doke with him.

And
now:

Obama learns of Mubarak resignation in Oval Office
By BEN FELLER, AP White House Correspondent

WASHINGTON – Caught up in stunning news like the rest of the world, President Barack Obama was in an Oval Office meeting Friday when he learned of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak's resignation. He watched the celebration on television and prepared to make an afternoon statement.

"It is a historic day for the people of Egypt," declared Vice President Joe Biden during an appearance in Kentucky.

The development came just one day after Mubarak had declared that he was not resigning, despite all signs to the contrary, which enraged the protesting masses and had a dismayed White House scrambling to respond. Obama had issued a statement Thursday evening in Washington in which he challenged Mubarak, without directly naming him, to explain his actions and his plans for democracy.

And then events changed again.

Obama quickly made plans to speak Friday afternoon from the White House as throngs of activists rejoiced in Cairo.

Lost in the jubilation were questions of who will end up in control of Egypt and whether the United States will emerge with the kind of stable partner it badly needs in the volatile Middle East.

Still, U.S. lawmakers welcomed Mubarak's resignation.

"I am pleased that President Mubarak has heard and heeded the voice of the Egyptian people, who have called for change," said Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada. "It is crucial that Mubarak's departure be an orderly one and that it leads to true democracy for Egypt, including free, fair and open elections."

On Twitter, Nancy Pelosi, the House Democratic leader, said the young people of Egypt were leading the country to democracy.

"Their actions are an inspiration to the world," she said.

Biden said that throughout the unrest in Egypt, which led to Mubarak's ouster in under three weeks, Republicans and Democrats in the U.S. government have largely spoken with one voice.

"This unity has been important," Biden said. "And it will be even more important in these delicate and fateful days ahead."

Mubarak resigned as president and handed control to the military on Friday after 29 years in power.

Now enormous questions loom about how the country will transition to free elections in September, which in turn will affect the important relationship between the U.S. and Egypt.

The tone from the White House has shifted right along with events. On Thursday afternoon, when Mubarak had been widely expected to step down, Obama was upbeat. "What is absolutely clear is that we are witnessing history unfold," Obama said at the start of an overshadowed economic event in Michigan. "It's a moment of transformation that's taking place because the people of Egypt are calling for change."

Instead Mubarak seemed to dig in defiantly, speaking of ceding power to his vice president and making interim concessions. Obama responded that it was not clear whether that move was a sufficient sign of reform and he called for a "credible, concrete and unequivocal path toward genuine democracy." A day later, Mubarak resigned after all.

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Today is February 11, Islamic Revolution's Victory Day in Iran

And they're celebrating tha fall of Mubarak, certainly what they see as ripe pickings in Egypt and, of course, burning the U.S. flag.

Heckuva job, Uncle Barry, heckuva job.

FARS:

Iranians Back Uprisings in Egypt, Tunisia, Urge Resistance against US, Israel

TEHRAN (FNA)- Iranian demonstrators, in their final statement at the end of their massive rallies on the 32nd anniversary of the victory of the Islamic Revolution, extended their full support for uprisings in the region, Tunisia and Egypt in particular, and asked for continued resistance against the US and Israeli policies and plots.

The full text of statement is as follows:


The statement of nationwide rallies of 22 Bahman


In the Name of God

Endless praise for God for putting the Islamic Revolution and the leadership of the late Imam Khomeini (PBUH) on the historical destiny of the Iranian nation to entitle honorable livings of the Iranian people, under the light of the Islamic Revolution, as a model for other nations.

On the eve of 32nd anniversary of the Islamic Revolution, the Muslim and revolutionary nation of Iran with "firm steps and full insight" will shout the greatness of the God form "depth of its soul." With announcing its "full loyalty" to its "wise leader", the Iranian nation will stay consistent until the fulfillment of the "Devine promises".

We announce our stances to all people around the world with the theism voice of "God is the greatest" ahead of the 22nd of Bahman's magnificent rallies and the current "sensitive, complex and decisive situations in the Muslim World."

1- 32 years of the blessed existence of the Islamic Revolution is a proof that the theories of "Islamic Governance" and "Velayat-E Faqih" are contributing doctrines in management and movement of global communities toward "real development" and "social justice. Ahead of the 32nd anniversary of Islamic revolution, the Iranian nation is thankful of God for the blessing of thoughts of the late Imam Khomeini. Renewing its loyalty to "the soul of the late Imam", the Iranian nation will defend the "principle of Velayat-E Faqih" as the pillar of Islamic Revolution.

2- United Iranian people at the first step owed its passing from ups and down, crisis, plots, sedition and consistency of its movement towards fulfillment of Islamic revolution goals to intelligent management and powerful leadership of the wise leader of Islamic revolution and jurisprudence of our ages grand Ayatollah Khamenei. People of Iran unanimously stress on following pure Islam and leadership of Ayatollah Khamenei that is the key to the persistence of Islamic revolution. The nation condemns any efforts to undermine the glorious fact of revolution which is aimed to satisfy enemies of Islamic revolution.

3- The glorious uprising of Egyptians and their seeking for real Islam concurrent to the 32nd anniversary of Islamic revolution of Iran is another joyful real aspect of Islamic revolution spreading to other countries. The people of Iran based on their great experiences gained through the Islamic revolution announce their full support for the uprisings of Egyptians and Tunisians and other Middle East countries. It is necessary to mention that divine promises will come true and they should never neglect the conspiracies of enemies of Islam, including the USA and the Zionist Regime which sought to throw the seeds of division among Muslim nations.

4- U.S. the great Satan and the cancer trauma of Middle East, Zionist Regime, along with the so-called supporters of human rights are committing crimes against humanity. Citing the comments of the late founder of the Islamic revolution "the U.S. cannot do anything ", the Iranian nations announce its support for oppressed people and their movements. We condemn the U.S. and its allies for the crimes committing in Palestine, Iraq, Afghanistan, Lebanon and other parts of the world.

5- Terror, coupe, ethnic clashes, sanction, 8 year imposed war on Iran, 32 year Psychological warfare and different plots including post election sedition are parts of plans and measures taken by the front of profanity against Iranian Muslim nation and the Islamic establishment, but all the plots have neutralized by help of God, the wise leadership of the supreme leader of Islamic revolution and consistency and insight of the nation. Insight, vigilance, presence, resistance and consistency of Iranian are known as the only way to fight with enemies of Islam. Any related disorder by anyone or any group, is considered as serving enemies of Islam and Imam Khomeini.

6- The Islamic establishment promising achievements in the fields of science, technology, medicine, aerospace, nanotechnology as well as the glorious progress in nuclear technology are the results of self-confidence and real belief of Iran's youth and scientists in the national capabilities.

7- The brave Iranian nation,

- commemorates martyred nuclear scientists including Masoud Ali-Mohammadi and Majid Shahriari

- condemns the terror and assassination approach of the enemies of Islam and Iran

- puts emphasis on Iran's full nuclear rights

- gives full support for the government's policy of "resistance against the bullying powers' pressure" and

- stresses that nothing can weaken the will of the nation, scientists and the elites in trying to secure a glorious future for the proud Iran.

8- Iran's wise and vigilant nation deeply believes that division is the worst plague to the Islamic revolution. The nation believes that management of differences and avoiding provocative speech and behavior are inevitable duty for Iranian perseverant officials and this is the thing that the wise leader of the Islamic revolution is seeking. The nation also invites people and the Iranian perseverant officials to strengthen national unity.

9- The noble and honorable Iranian nation thanks the three branches of power, especially the government for their efforts. The nation believes that the accurate and precise implementation of the Targeted Subsidies plan is a huge step forward to fulfill social justice. People's cooperation with the government and special efforts to stop the opportunists from misusing the situation are two most effective ways that contribute to the correct implementation of this vital legislation. This way, the results of the "Targeted Subsidies" plan would be perceptible by different walks of life.

10- Victory of the revolution, establishment of the sacred Islamic Republic system and gaining dignity, credit, independence and freedom are all owed to the pure blood of the great martyrs as well as the admirable patience and consistency of the martyrs' families. The Iranian Muslim nation considers respect and appreciation toward those great families as an important obligation of the people and officials. The nation also believes that tireless and diligent efforts in realizing the causes of Islam and the revolution are the real way to appreciate the Islamic nation martyrs.

22nd Bahman, 1389 (February 11, 2011)

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Congrats, Uncle Barry

Your bowing and groveling and handwringing and apologies only took 2 years to diminish American superpower status, clout and influence.

The Muslim world is laughing at your impotence.

They smell the blood in the water in Syria, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Yemen.

And if you fuck up this end game now, when they're done there they'll be coming for us.

Wall Street Journal:

Crisis Flummoxes White House
President Mubarak's Refusal to Step Down Signals a Loss of Western Influence; Sense of 'Disbelief' After Speech.
By ADAM ENTOUS And JAY SOLOMON

WASHINGTON—The defiant tone taken by Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak—and widespread confusion about the meaning of his speech—had White House officials stumbling for their next step in a crisis that was spinning out of their control.

Egyptian officials said Mr. Mubarak gave the Obama administration much of what it wanted: the delegation of presidential powers to the vice president, Omar Suleiman.

They said Mr. Mubarak had all but been rendered a figurehead leader, precisely the formulation set out by U.S. officials over the weekend.

But Mr. Mubarak's language and refusal to yield to what he called the intervention of foreigners left protesters furious, the scene in Cairo precarious and the White House seemingly unable to influence events.

After a extended meeting with his national security team, President Barack Obama released the longest statement of the Egyptian crisis, making it clear the appearances of Messrs. Mubarak and Suleiman on Egyptian state television had muddled the transition process, not clarified it.

"The Egyptian people have been told that there was a transition of authority, but it is not yet clear that this transition is immediate, meaningful or sufficient," Mr. Obama said.

All day, as rumors swirled Mr. Mubarak would step down, administration officials struggled to understand what was happening, and even U.S. intelligence officials appeared baffled at one point. At a Capitol Hill hearing, Leon Panetta, director of the Central Intelligence Agency, told lawmakers there was "a strong likelihood that Mubarak may step down this evening."

Mr. Panetta clarified later in the hearing that the CIA had received reports that Mr. Mubarak would "possibly" resign but said he saw a transition scenario under which Mr. Mubarak would shift powers to Mr. Suleiman, something closer to what appears to have happened.

A senior intelligence official defended Mr. Panetta, saying he was referring to press reports in his comments rather than to CIA intelligence reports.

"The agency has been tracking developments very closely, and there were very real and rapidly unfolding changes over the course of the day in what has been—by any measure—an extremely fluid situation," the official said. "That's the nature of the intelligence business."

After Mr. Mubarak's speech, the White House was consumed with a sense of "disbelief," one U.S. official said.

Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, at the same hearing on Capitol Hill as Mr. Panetta, acknowledged the difficulty of predicting fast-moving events, comparing it to foreseeing "earthquakes in California."

The White House is now squeezed between Arab and Israeli allies, who have complained that Mr. Obama was pushing Mr. Mubarak too hard to step down, and lawmakers who accuse the White House of not pushing hard enough. Now, the White House finds itself largely a bystander.

"This is really bad," a senior U.S. official said after Mr. Mubarak's address. "We need to push harder—if not, the protests will get violent."

The official advocated raising U.S. pressure to force Mr. Mubarak from power, though other officials acknowledge Washington had little clout in Cairo.

"Every day that goes by, you have to ask: who profits by this?" said Sen. John McCain (R., Ariz.), in an interview. "It's the Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamic extremists. There's the perception that we're on the side of Mubarak."

In the White House, frustration is giving way to a sense of powerlessness.

"The mystique of America's superpower status has been shattered," said Steve Clemons, director of the American Strategy Program of the New America Foundation, who has attended two meetings with the National Security Council on Egypt.

At a meeting with outside advisers Monday, four National Security Council officials were pressed on what U.S. diplomacy had accomplished. The officials said their efforts had helped avoid "catastrophic" bloodshed by helping to restrain Egyptian security forces, two participants said.

Arab and Israeli diplomats said Mr. Obama's decision to throw his full support behind the opposition after eight days of protests has likely broken ties with Mr. Mubarak beyond repair.

The move also had the effect of pushing Mr. Mubarak closer to regional allies Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, which have urged Mr. Mubarak to hold his ground.

As a result, said one Arab diplomat, Washington's influence in dictating events in Cairo could be limited.

The White House has focused outreach largely to Mr. Suleiman, the former intelligence chief, and military leaders. Officials and outside experts viewed Vice President Joe Biden's call to Mr. Suleiman Tuesday as a pivotal moment.

In the call, Mr. Biden made specific demands which Mr. Mubarak appeared partly to address in his speech.

"I don't think Mubarak trusts too many people from the U.S. anymore," the Arab diplomat said. "It looks like Omar Suleiman is the right point of contact, but they're all ticked off with the U.S. position, which they view as throwing Mubarak under the bus."

In talks with American counterparts in Washington Thursday, top Israeli officials accompanying Defense Minister Ehud Barak made a similar case, warning that the upheaval could be the start of a broader "earthquake" that could sweep the region, said officials briefed on the exchange.

They questioned Washington's wisdom in appearing to push for Mr. Mubarak's ouster and whether the military can keep chaos and Islamist forces at bay, a participant said.

Israeli officials also told the U.S. Thursday that right-wing parties in Israel could gain strength in future Israeli elections as a result, complicating efforts to advance peace talks with Palestinians.

The events in Cairo late Thursday left Israeli officials uncertain of how Egypt's transition would play out.

One of the biggest questions facing the administration is the future role of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt. Mr. Clapper, on Capitol Hill, muddied the picture when he called the group "largely secular," despite long-standing U.S. concerns about its Islamist roots and ties to extremism.

Mr. Clapper's spokeswoman, Jamie Smith, later issued a clarification, citing the Brotherhood's efforts to work through Egypt's political system. Mr. Clapper "is well aware that the Muslim Brotherhood is not a secular organization."

Tom Malinowski, the Washington advocacy director of Human Rights Watch who has advised the White House, said that administration needed to quickly lean on the Egyptian military not to fire on protesters and to pressure Mr. Mubarak to leave.

"I trust the Obama administration is pulling out all the stops to be clear with the Egyptian army what its choices are," he said. "This has to be resolved now. On Friday all of Egypt will be out."

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Alternate view of Egypt this AM: Stratfor - it IS a military coup


Egyptian Vice President Omar Suleiman delivered the following statement Feb. 11: “In the name of God the merciful, the compassionate, citizens, during these very difficult circumstances Egypt is going through, President Hosni Mubarak has decided to step down from the office of president of the republic and has charged the high council of the armed forces to administer the affairs of the country. May God help everybody.”

Suleiman’s statement is the clearest indication thus far that the military has carried out a coup led by Defense Minister Field Marshal Mohammed Hussein Tantawi. It is not clear whether Suleiman will remain as the civilian head of the army-led government. Egypt is returning to the 1952 model of ruling the state via a council of army officers. The question now is to what extent the military elite will share power with its civilian counterparts.

At a certain point, the opposition’s euphoria will subside and demands for elections will be voiced. The United States, while supportive of the military containing the unrest, also has a strategic need to see Egypt move toward a more pluralistic system.

Whether the military stays true to its commitment to hold elections on schedule in September remains to be seen. If elections are held, however, the military must have a political vehicle in place to counter opposition forces, particularly the Muslim Brotherhood. The fate of the ruling National Democratic Party (NDP) thus lies in question. Without the NDP, the regime will have effectively collapsed and the military could run into greater difficulty in running the country. While the military council will be serving as the provisional government, it will likely want to retain as much of the ruling NDP as possible and incorporate elements of the opposition to manage the transition. Sustaining its hold over power while crafting a democratic government will be the biggest challenge for the military as it tries to avoid regime change while also dealing with a potential constitutional crisis.



Read more: Red Alert: Mubarak Resigns, Military is in Charge | STRATFOR

And who is this guy?

FACTBOX-Hussein Tantawi, head of Egypt’s Higher Military Council

Fri Feb 11, 2011 5:05pm GMT Print | Single Page[-] Text [+]

n">Feb 11 (Reuters) - Egypt’s Defence Minister Mohamed Hussein Tantawi is the head of the Higher Military Council that took control of Egypt after Hosni Mubarak resigned his post as president on Friday.

Here are some facts about Tantawi:

* He was born on Oct. 31, 1935 and joined the armed forces in 1956.

* Tantawi holds the rank of Field Marshal and has served in the government of Egypt as minister of defence and military production since 1991 and a general commander for the armed forces since 1995.

* Tantawi has served in three wars against Israel, starting with the 1956 Suez Crisis and both the 1967 and 1973 Middle East wars.

* He was appointed deputy prime minister, in addition to his post as defence minister, after Mubarak sacked his cabinet in a failed attempt to calm mass protests on Jan. 29.

* His military background and seniority had led to speculation he could be a possible runner for presidency, though some analysts said he had limited support among the armed forces’ rank and file.

Good luck to everyone.

We are 1 second into the unkown

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Mubarak Resigns

Hands over power to the army.

See THIS at Weasel Zippers.

Also see THIS at Jihad Watch.

Obama will be making a statement within two hours @ 1:30 PM Eastern Standard Time.

My first thought upon hearing the news of Mubarak's resignation: Will an overturn of regime be coming to Saudi?

And what of Israel in all this?

According to Tammy Swofford:
A large group of clerics plan a rally-the-faithful meeting tomorrow in Mansoura.

Ahmed Ezz is being targeted with a name with symbolic value which all Muslims understand. That name is Abu Lahab, and Al-Lahab (Surah 111) is short and sweet. Five ayat. A curse on a man and his wife. The symbolism extends far beyond the Qur'an and moves into Hadith and Seerah literature.

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“Quality-adjusted Life Years” and what it means in Government sponsored Health Care 

How much is one year of your life worth?

According to the government in Great Britain, it is $45,000.

The British single-payer system arrived at the price of an additional year of life in the same way they decide how much health care all British people will get, through a formula called “quality-adjusted life years.”

The Obama administration has a key health care advisor named Dr. Ezekial Emanuel. If the name is familiar, it is because he is the brother of White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel.

Earlier this year, Dr. Emanuel wrote an article that advocated what he called “the complete lives system” as a method for rationing health care.

This system would help the government allocate healthcare based on the societal worth of the patient. The system would also consider prognosis of the patient.

Based on this, the very young and the very old would receive less care since the very young have received less societal investment and the very old have less left to contribute. The system would also consider prognosis of the patient.

When fully implemented, Dr. Emanuel’s system, in his words, “produces a priority curve on which individuals aged between roughly 15 and 40 years get the most substantial chance, whereas the youngest and oldest people get chances that are attenuated.” In other words, the young and old will not get the healthcare needed.
To quote Dr. Emanuel: “A young person with a poor prognosis has had few life-years but lacks the potential to live a complete life. Considering prognosis forestalls the concern that disproportionately large amounts of resources will be directed to young people with poor prognosis.”

Read Dr. Eziekiel Emanuel’s article in The Lancet HERE
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Fox:

Massive Demonstrations as Mubarak Heads Out of Cairo
Published February 11, 2011
FoxNews.com

As protesters fill Tahrir Square in another day of demonstrations, an Israeli military intelligence official told Fox News that President Mubarak has left Cairo via helicopter, and was headed to his residence in Sharem a-Sheikh, a resort town in Egypt.

This comes a day after the embattled leader told protesters he planned to stay in office until the country’s upcoming elections in September.

Many opponents have made it clear that they want Mubarak and his authoritarian regime to step down immediately.

The statement by the Armed Forces Supreme Council -- its second in two days -- was a blow to many protesters who had called on the military to take action to push out Mubarak after his latest refusal to step down, reported the AP.

But soldiers also took no action to stop demonstrators from massing outside the palace and the headquarters of state television, indicating they were trying to avoid another outbreak of violence.

"We expected the army's decision, we always knew that it was behind Mubarak. But we know it's not going to harm us," Safi Massoud said as she joined thousands of people packed into Cairo's central Tahrir Square. "We wont leave until we choose a transition president. We don't want Mubarak, we don't want Suleiman."

Anti-government protesters said they were more determined than ever as the uprising entered its 18th day.

The military statement endorsed Mubarak's plan to transfer some powers to Vice President Omar Suleiman and promised free and fair presidential elections later this year.

It also promised that the hated emergency laws, in force since Egypt's authoritarian ruler came to office in 1981, would be lifted and gave a somewhat more specific timeframe than Mubarak had offered in his Thursday night speech.

The military implied they would be lifted when protests end, saying it could happen "when the current security situation permits."

It also called for public services to resume and urged "the return of normal life in order to safeguard the achievements of our glorious people."

Undaunted, thousands packed into Cairo's central Tahrir Square, or Liberation Square, which has been the center of the uprising since it began on Jan. 25.

A few hundred protesters assembled outside the gate of Mubarak's Oruba Palace. The palace was protected by four tanks and rolls of barbed wire, but soldiers were doing nothing to stop demonstrators from joining the rally and chanting anti-Mubarak slogans.

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The Real Elephant In The Room

What all the dhimmified politicians fail to see when they talk about islam "should be integrated" into our Western Societies is that muslims do not want to integrate - the quran tells them not to do so. This is the elephant in the room that ALL of those idiot politicians cannot or refuse to see.

Pat Condell in his latest piece sees the elephant and says "islam dominates, it doesn't integrate" in his usual inimitable style.

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James Clapper, the head of intelligence for the United States of America, has explained to Congress that the Muslim Brotherhood is “largely secular.” It further has “eschewed violence,” decries al-Qaeda as a “perversion of Islam,” and really just wants “social ends” and “a betterment of the political order in Egypt.”
I kid you not.

This is the Muslim Brotherhood whose motto brays that the Koran is its law and jihad is its way. The MB whose Palestinian branch, the terrorist organization Hamas, was created for the specific purpose of destroying Israel — the goal its charter says is a religious obligation.

It is the organization dedicated to the establishment of Islamicized societies and, ultimately, a global caliphate.
It is an organization whose leadership says al-Qaeda’s emir, Osama bin Laden, is an honorable jihad warrior who was “close to Allah on high” in “resisting the occupation.” The same leader who insists that “the history of freedom is written not in ink [i.e., constitutions] but in blood [i.e., jihad].”

If this is what $40 billion–plus buys you, maybe Representative Ryan can make up the rest of that $100 billion by eliminating the intelligence community.
James Clapper is the director of national intelligence, so he must know what he’s talking about.
I mean, who are you going to believe? DNI Clapper or the Muslim Brotherhood’s “Supreme Guide,” Muhammad Badi, who said it was his hope and plan to raise “a jihadi generation that pursues death, just as the enemies pursue life”? Kamal al-Halbavi, a senior member of the Brotherhood, was probably just kidding around when he told the BBC the other day that he hoped Egypt soon would have a government “like the Iranian government, and a good president like Mr. Ahmadinejad.” (These guys just have a wicked sense of humor.) I have more on this in my NRO piece today.
Also, it’s useful to remember how, back in 1979, the intel community, the diplomatic corps, and the major media were absolutely spot on about the revolution in Iran. For example:
● President Carter’s U.N. ambassador, Andrew Young, called Khomeini “some kind of saint.”
● William Sullivan, the U.S. ambassador in Tehran, compared Khomeini to Gandhi.
● A State Department spokesman worried about the possibility of a military coup, saying that would be “most dangerous for U.S. interests. It would blow away the moderates and invite the majority to unite behind a radical faction.”
● On Feb. 12, 1979, Time magazine reported
. . . a sense of controlled optimism in Iran. . . . Iranians will surely insist that the revolution live up to its democratic aims. . . . Those who know [Khomeini] expect that eventually he will settle in the Shi’ite holy city of Qum and resume a life of teaching and prayer. It seems improbable that he would try to become a kind of Archbishop Makarios of Iran, directly holding the reins of power. Khomeini believes that Iran should become a parliamentary democracy, with several political parties.
● A New York Times editorial reassured readers that “moderate, progressive individuals” were advising Khomeini. The Times predicted the Ayatollah would provide “a desperately needed model of humane governance for a third-world country.”
More in the piece I wrote for NRO a year ago.
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