Motley Moose – Archive

Since 2008 – Progress Through Politics


  1. spacemanspiff

    After the normal chit chat of what is going on Wolf asked about Al Qaeda. The guy being interviewed looked confused and told him Al Qaeda had close to nothing to do with anything. The interview continued and a short while later the text on the bottom of the screen mentioned Al Qaeda again. They gotta stop trying to write the story and just report the events that are unfolding.

    Meanwhile the International CNN team (or whatever they are called) is awesome.

    Nobody can touch them on this one. They’ve got people on the ground and their reporters are on top of this. The current host on CNN is a young black woman with a british accent that has been great. I assume Anderson Cooper will be reporting from the scene soon. From Katrina to Haiti these are the only moments when he should be on tv.  

  2. Shaun Appleby

    “I have come here to Cairo to seek a new beginning between the United States and Muslims around the world; one based upon mutual interest and mutual respect; and one based upon the truth that America and Islam are not exclusive, and need not be in competition. Instead, they overlap, and share common principles – principles of justice and progress; tolerance and the dignity of all human beings.”

    President Obama – Obama speech: An analysis BBC 4 Jun 2009

    Give or take a rendition or two.  He was wrong about one thing, though, “I do so recognising that change cannot happen overnight.”  Ha.  How else does real political change ever happen?

  3. Jjc2008

    not about the people taking to the streets.  They have needed to for a while…in many parts of the world.  But I fear a take over by religious factions. I fear that for many parts of the world.

    I can and do respect those who choose to be religious.  I fear theocracies….especially as a female.  

    I wish I understood geopolitical history better.  My limited knowledge tells me that democracy is hard in the best of circumstances….and that without a strong middle class, democracy cannot survive.  I fear we are seeing that here in the USA….in a more subtle way with the corporations controlling everything in the kind of world that was shown in the precautionary Max Headroom world.

    In places where education is limited, where religious fundamentalism is strong, I wonder what will happen.  There has to be a better way to get from point A to point B without the need for revolutions, dictatorships or war.  

    Sigh. I watched the Prophets of Doom on the History Channel and I am sort of in a pessimistic place.

  4. fogiv

    In Tahrir Square, the central plaza that has been the focus of anti-Mubarak sentiment, protestors and soldiers worked together to beat back two Interior Ministry vehicles that attempted to enter the site. A tank commander then scaled his vehicle and announced to the crowd that the Interior Ministry, which operates the nation’s police force, had deployed thousands of armed men who were bent on sowing chaos in Egypt.

    The army, he said, “would stand with the people.”

    The commander, dressed in battle fatigues, was cheered by the crowd and kissed on the cheek by demonstrators, who chanted, “the army and the people are one.”

  5. spacemanspiff

    Like I said, despite having been here longer than most of the current users, I tend to think of myself as a johnny-come.  I suppose it’s time to get over that notion.  Anyhow, here’s some meta site memories that pop to mind, and there’s plenty more I’ve forgotten so add some in the comments:

    You might recognize a name or 2 there.

  6. Strummerson

    There’s sure been a problem for decades that American administrations, and much if our citizenry, has defined as ‘moderate’ even the most repressive regimes who don’t call regularly for Israel’s liquidation.

    As I watch this, I am mindful of several conundrums.  The first is that the democratization of Gaza led to HAMAS.  Everyone concurs that those elections were valid.  Problem is that HAMAS (which historically is the Palestinian wing of the Muslim Brotherhood) gained power democratically and then proceeded to violently purge the FATAH minority with credible reports of beheadings of FATAH leaders and activists, and of them being thrown from buildings.  Democratic eruptions don’t always lead to democratic regimes.  But repressive regimes such as Mubarak’s and his army always use ‘stability’ as justification for their worst violations.  Which brings me, myopically, to Israel/Palestine…

    One of the most chilling images I have seen, after bloodied protesters, are the placards of Hosni with a Jewish Star painted on his forehead.  That a new regime in Egypt might tear up the treaty with Israel would only ratify the fact that Israel has likely missed its moment for a two state compromise.  More horribly is the way it feeds the racist rhetoric of Israel’s current center-right “there is no partner” consensus.  Critics of Israel often characterize it’s fear that any willingness to compromise from any “Arab” is tactical as itself tactical, simply justifying more land grabs.  But the fact that many Israelis relate to the very existence of Palestinians as an anti-Semitic plot doesn’t mean they don’t believe it.  They both believe it AND use it as a pretext.  There are plenty of Israelis who still remember Egyptian tanks rolling across Israel’s borders in 1973.  One can see their remains displayed as monuments in southern towns.  The upshot of this is that even as I cheer the protesters, despite my fears that their democratizing eruption will lead to nothing more democratic than HAMAS in Gaza (or Iran, for that matter), I can only see this as a disaster for Israel’s moderates and peace activists.

    In short: this is very complicated…

  7. HappyinVT

    The White House expects US Ambassador to China and former UT Governor Huntsman to step down in the coming months to explore a presidential bid.

    I figured having worked for the Kenyan usurper commie/socialist/fascist Muslim would make this a non-starter from the get-go.  Apparently, I’m not the only one thinking along those lines:

    President Obama was asked about rumors of Huntsman’s departure earlier this month at a joint press conference with Chinese President Hu Jintao, where Huntsman sat front row, center.


    With a mischievious smile, the president added: “”And I’m sure that him having worked so well with me will be a great asset in any Republican primary.”

    At the Gridiron dinner Saturday night, White House Chief of Staff William Daley joked that President Obama “has no hard feelings,” a White House source noted. “He just did an interview with the Tea Party Express about how integral he has been to the success of the Obama administration.”

  8. Shaun Appleby

    Is hedging its bets, perhaps seeing Muburak as a liability now:

    * Mubarak offers dialogue through vice-president

    * Army says won’t shoot, protesters’ demands “legitimate”

    * White House, EU demand democracy, US despatches envoy

    * Protesters say army must choose Egypt or Mubarak

    CAIRO, Jan 31 (Reuters) – Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak offered talks on sweeping reforms with opponents on Monday, indicating that massive pressure from street protesters, Western allies and his own army are ending his 30 years of one-man rule.

    Samia Nakhoul and Alison Williams – Mubarak offers talks, pushed by army, US, protests Reuters 31 Jan 11

    Fingers crossed.  Nervous times for Middle East despots.

  9. spacemanspiff

    Link here.

    In July of 1536, a group of Spanish businessmen were surprised to find themselves approached by four uncouth figures. The men had a scattering of rags and bits of animal skin, but were otherwise completely naked except for a covering of ground-in filth. Their skin showed the effects of long exposure to sun, the scars of injuries, and the attention of millions of insects. Their bearded faces were gaunt with hunger and exhaustion.  

    The initial wariness with which these men were greeted soon turned to open-mouthed amazement as they addressed the businessmen in good Spanish. The four were survivors of an expeditionary force that had originally numbered over six hundred men, a force long assumed lost. Over a space of seven years, these four had been part of pitched battles, withstood a siege, aided in a astounding escape from encircling forces, and watched hundreds of their countrymen fall to conflict, starvation and disease. Most of all they had walked thousands of miles across a strange land no European had seen before and which few others would ever see. They had seen wonders. They had seen North America.

    I looked back and Mark Sumner has done some incredible work. Never heard of him until I saw him on the DKos frontpage by chance. Started reading and didn’t stop until I reached the end. In P.R. we have streets named after conquistadores. Juan Ponce de Leon’s house can still be found in Caparra although what’s left is just the base structure. Thought some of the other history nerds here would enjoy the diary which is part of a book he is writing. Great stuff!  

  10. Shaun Appleby

    We’re seeing more army movement on streets now, more APCs, ppl very concerned about what army will do 2moro. #egypt #mubarak #jan25

    I guess that makes it unanimous.  We’re all wondering what the army will do tomorrow, Mubarak included.  And I’m guessing the officers are weighing up the loyalty of their troops, too.  Stay tuned.

  11. Shaun Appleby

    Strange days:

    Hamas authorities in the Gaza Strip prevented Gazans from demonstrating in solidarity with protesters in Egypt, according to witnesses we talked to. Police arbitrarily arrested six women and threatened to arrest another 20 people who responded to a call on Facebook for a demonstration at the park of the Unknown Soldier in Gaza City.

    Bill van Esveld – Live Updates From Egypt Human Rights Watch 31 Jan 11

    So…  Nobody knows WTF is going on or what might happen?  Ha.  The world holds its breath.  Strummerson is right, Egypt has changed its relationship status with everyone to “It’s complicated.”

  12. Shaun Appleby

    Via Twitter:

    @Dima Khatib The roads to Tahrir Square reported to be clear. No road blocks, no obstacles, no traffic. Tens of thousands are pouring in. #jan25 #egypt

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