America Has Squandered Its Opportunity To Lead

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Dec 05, 2011 5:29 PM GMT
    Obama has had some clear foreign policy successes in killing off Bin Laden among others as perceived domestically in the US... the problem is that he may have laid the seeds for a lot more to come - and these were squandered opportunities.

    http://news.investors.com/article/593609/201112021605/egypt-arab-spring.htm

    I've been alarmed by the latest polls. No, not from Iowa and New Hampshire, although they're unnerving enough. It's the polls from Egypt.

    Foreign policy has not played a part in the U.S. presidential campaign, mainly because we're so broke that the electorate seems minded to take the view that if government is going to throw trillions of dollars down the toilet they'd rather it was an Al Gore-compliant Kohler model in Des Moines or Poughkeepsie than an outhouse in Waziristan.

    Alas, reality does not arrange its affairs quite so neatly, and the world that is arising in the second decade of the 21st century is increasingly inimical to American interests, and likely to prove even more expensive to boot.

    In that sense, Egypt is instructive. Even in the giddy live-from-Tahrir-Square heyday of the "Arab Spring" and "Facebook Revolution" I was something of a skeptic.

    Back in February, I chanced to be on Fox News with Megyn Kelly within an hour or so of Mubarak's resignation. Over on CNN, Anderson Cooper was interviewing telegenic youthful idealists cooing about the flowering of a new democratic Egypt.

    Back on Fox, sourpuss Steyn was telling Megyn that this was "the unraveling of the American Middle East" and the emergence of a post-Western order in the region. In those days, I was so much of a pessimist I thought that in any election the Muslim Brotherhood would get a third of the votes and be the largest party in parliament.

    By the time the actual first results came through last week, the Brothers had racked up 40% of the vote — in Cairo and Alexandria, the big cities wherein, insofar as they exist, the secular Facebooking Anderson Cooper types reside. In second place were their principal rivals the Nour party, with up to 15% of the ballots. "Nour" translates into English as "the Even More Muslim Brotherhood."

    As the writer Barry Rubin pointed out, if that's how the urban sophisticates vote, wait till you see the upcountry results. By the time the rural vote emerges from the Nile Delta and Sinai early next month, the hard-core Islamists will be sitting pretty. In the so-called "Facebook revolution," two-thirds of the Arab world's largest nation is voting for the hard, cruel, bigoted, misogynistic song of Sharia.

    The short 90-year history of independent Egypt is that it got worse. Mubarak's Egypt was worse than King Farouk's Egypt, and what follows from last week's vote will be worse still. If you're a westernized urban woman, a Coptic Christian, or an Israeli diplomat with the goons pounding the doors of your embassy, you already know that.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Dec 05, 2011 5:44 PM GMT
    /agree.

    If these Arab countries are foolish enough to replace the dictatorship of a man which did not bring them into religious bondage for the dictatorship of Islamist theonomy (Shariah) ...

    ... they need to be cast out from the family of civilized nations.

    And the West needs to free itself from the bondage of oil served from unfree and brutal regimes.

    Theocracy/Theonomy are at enmity with liberty (regardless of the cult or god held up by that theonomy).
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    Dec 05, 2011 5:59 PM GMT
    AlphaTrigger said/agree.

    If these Arab countries are foolish enough to replace the dictatorship of a man which did not bring them into religious bondage for the dictatorship of Islamist theonomy (Shariah) ...

    ... they need to be cast out from the family of civilized nations.

    And the West needs to free itself from the bondage of oil served from unfree and brutal regimes.

    Theocracy/Theonomy are at enmity with liberty (regardless of the cult or god held up by that theonomy).


    What I've never quite understood is why the US doesn't just tax the heck out of oil from the middle east. The US subsidizes the cost of oil by bringing stability to the middle east through military policy. The costs from oil from that region (at least for US consumers) should reflect this.

    If the US really wanted to wean itself of foreign oil (which I think is less important than stopping subsidizing it), it would deregulate and allow for using other fuels in cars and make it easier to convert given the now abundance of natural gas.

    Instead of the billions in subsidies for well connected companies, the Administration should support efforts like the Auto X Prize and the development of domestic energy sources. It's like they're not interested in jobs...

    That being said - despite some policy successes, there are some glaring failures of this Administration that could ultimately result in very negative consequences in the future.
  • kew1

    Posts: 1595

    Dec 05, 2011 6:13 PM GMT
    riddler78 said
    What I've never quite understood is why the US doesn't just tax the heck out of oil from the middle east. The US subsidizes the cost of oil by bringing stability to the middle east through military policy. The costs from oil from that region (at least for US consumers) should reflect this.


    The WTO would be on your case.
    I thought you were an advocate of free trade.

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    Dec 05, 2011 6:25 PM GMT
    kew1 said
    riddler78 said
    What I've never quite understood is why the US doesn't just tax the heck out of oil from the middle east. The US subsidizes the cost of oil by bringing stability to the middle east through military policy. The costs from oil from that region (at least for US consumers) should reflect this.


    The WTO would be on your case.
    I thought you were an advocate of free trade.



    I'm in favor of allocating costs to users - and like it or not, US military expenditures in that region artificially lower the cost of oil.
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    Dec 05, 2011 6:29 PM GMT
    I love how Obama is responsible for Egypt (where we had no direct intervention) but Bush blew up the entire Middle East and that was fine. icon_rolleyes.gif
  • CuriousJockAZ

    Posts: 19138

    Dec 05, 2011 6:30 PM GMT
    Christian73 saidBush blew up the entire Middle East and that was fine.



    Really? How did I miss that? icon_eek.gif
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    Dec 05, 2011 6:32 PM GMT
    $15/gal gas would do wonders for forcing us off oil AND reducing the deficit, as well as funding a "space race" type development environment for alternative fuels.
  • kew1

    Posts: 1595

    Dec 05, 2011 7:03 PM GMT
    riddler78 said
    kew1 said
    riddler78 said
    What I've never quite understood is why the US doesn't just tax the heck out of oil from the middle east. The US subsidizes the cost of oil by bringing stability to the middle east through military policy. The costs from oil from that region (at least for US consumers) should reflect this.


    The WTO would be on your case.
    I thought you were an advocate of free trade.



    I'm in favor of allocating costs to users - and like it or not, US military expenditures in that region artificially lower the cost of oil.


    So, in fact, you are already benefiting from lower prices.icon_biggrin.gif
    Just think what they'd be otherwise.

    If the USA did tax middle eastern oil more, wouldn't the oil companies just buy oil from non-middle eastern countries (eg Russia) and sell middle eastern oil to the countries that were buying Russian (or wherever oil) instead?icon_smile.gif

    Also, I'm not sure you want to upset OPEC and have oil traded in a currency other than dollars.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Dec 05, 2011 7:57 PM GMT
    Christian73 saidI love how Obama is responsible for Egypt (where we had no direct intervention) but Bush blew up the entire Middle East and that was fine. icon_rolleyes.gif


    But why did he???????
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Dec 05, 2011 8:02 PM GMT
    Yep and this change Owebama was to promise you is now in your pockets. The leftest are not very good at living up to their promises; but they don't find it hard to make.

    Well with it taking Owebama taking three goes to come to Oz breaking two promises to come, and the inconvenience and cost to the tax payers of Oz; and then when he does it's to bring military and arms to our country; unsupervised. Then he was off again, did not even bring the family who long to come to Oz. No Obama is not a World Leader, he is only the President of the US.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Dec 05, 2011 8:08 PM GMT
    riddler78 said
    Instead of the billions in subsidies for well connected companies, the Administration should support efforts like the Auto X Prize and the development of domestic energy sources. It's like they're not interested in jobs...

    And THIS coming out of YOUR mouth? OMG......... lets talk about hypocritical.

    Yeah, they were right. You just post shit to hear yourself talk.