Saturday, February 5, 2011

Hillary's Got it Right

You might not know it, considering some of the rhetoric I use, but I think the one shinning star of the Obama Administration is Hillary Clinton at State.  Those who have been reading me for a while know that if I were a Democrat, it would have been Hillary Clinton that I would have voted for in the primary. I also feel the Dems did her wrong in 2008, and the Dems are paying the price now.

That said, here's Hillary covered at the Christian Science Monitor leveling a veiled warning to the House of Saud... YOUR DAYS ARE NUMBERED:

Speaking from a security conference in Munich, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton warned of a "perfect storm of powerful trends" across the region, including a young population, political repression, economic disparity, and dwindling supplies of oil and water. 
"This is what has driven demonstrators into the streets of Tunis, Cairo, and cities throughout the region," Clinton said in her speech Saturday. 
"Some leaders may believe that their country is an exception – that their people will not demand greater political or economic opportunities, or that they can be placated with half-measures,” she said. "In the short term, that may be true; but in the long term that is untenable."
Just who do you think she was addressing? Reuters? The President of the Congo Republic? Nope. That was for Saudi, as in Saud, consumption.  In case anybody missed it, the U.S. just fired a warning shot over the bow of their most important satellite - Saudi Arabia - and anybody that thinks that a sitting U.S. Secretary of State made that statement in a well covered venue off the cuff, and without a dozen people parsing every freaking word, doesn't. Think, that is.

My bet is that over the coming weeks and months this message is going to get some volume - and given that, I would expect the Administration is going to take other, more concrete, steps as well.  I need to think about it a bit more... but something's coming in that regard... and its going to be big... big enough to try to give these folks some cover should it unfold before November 2012... Because as I said before... none of the political leaders in office in the West can survive $300 Oil next election around.


Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

The big danger I see here is for the protests to fail. While everyone will sulk off back to work, not everyone will give up. The more radical elements will find common cause and draw strength from the disappointment, resentment, etc. At the same time the government will crack down and in the process make the extremists more acceptable on a relative basis. Then, in a few years, there will be renewed protests of a radically different character with the extremists at the helm.

However bad the chaos from a collapse of the government in Egypt may be, a continuation of the status quo will be much worse. In other words if the protests fail then the insurgency begins and radicalization gets a double-shot of steroids. How the hell can our government not see this?

To put icing on the cake, pinheads worrying about the Moslim brotherhood today would/will point to any future bad outcome as justification for their position today. Ever thus, I reckon.


kathy said...

I agree Dan. The seeds of a more radical, underground revolt are in a failure. The is a potential problem for the US if we are viewed as complicate in said failure. It won't take much more than a coordinated attack on pipeling infrastructure to cause huge headaches on our soil.

Anonymous said...

I worry about the long term stability of the region. France threw off its despots and took 80 years to stabilize. The mid east is paved end to end with competing factions. It may take a long time to work things out. While the cooperation of Christians and Muslims is very encouraging.

If Iraq can hang together, and there is a non-violent change to a democratic government in Egypt, the model for the rest of the region may be cast. Japan and Korea were the model for East Asia, and the success in the region has been phenomenal. We can only hope.


Coal Guy

Donal Lang said...

I think you're right Greg. The US doesn't really care what happens to Egypt except for the relationship with Israel, and I think that is only really because Israel has been useful in the wider political scene of diverting anger in the Middle East.

When Egypt falls, probably followed by several others, the whole picture has changed. Suddenly Israel could be more of a liability than an advantage, especially if in, say, 3 or 5 years time an Islamic Middle East drags the US into an unwinnable war there.

Ultimately the US's only interest in the region is oil supply, and Saudi is the keystone of that, both geologically and politically. I can see that a rapid, managed change in regime in Saudi would be top of the agenda before the 'Wind of Change' blows everyone away.

Hopefully they'll do a better job than Iran and Iraq!

PioneerPreppy said...

I just don't know.

Greater political and/or economic opportunities. Hmmmmm

Now it has been 25 years since I was in the Middle East but if I could post pictures I would show you what has me worried.

In the middle 80's during a brief trip to Egypt I would say 80% of the women dressed and looked "western" from what I have seen and read lately you cannot find an uncovered female in Egypt today for the most part. I understand the same is true in other regions. Lebanon for one.

Fundamental Islam has been growing throughout the Middle East making at least me personally wonder if this isn't religion based after all.

Anonymous said...


I think dispensationalism has more to do with our support of Israel than any shrewd policy. One would have to spend some time in the bible belt to truly understand how pervasive and powerful it is because it tends to be rather subtle. However, dispensationalists control the old south and through it the GOP as well as the Blue Dog Democrats. There is a very real line what will not be crossed and the U.S. will support Israel come what may, because they believe they will suffer eternal damnation if they don’t.

See also.


Anonymous said...

Is it just me or does anyone else have a problem with our Envoy to Egypt being on Mubarak’s payroll. You just couldn’t make this sh@%, up!