Niall Ferguson on Obama’s role in Egypt

I was remarkably silent on Egypt.  The situation was too fluid for me to grab a hold of.  I knew only that Obama’s policy would follow whoever seemed likely to win, since he will always hew to the strong man.  Now that it’s over, I was thinking of writing about the abysmal Obama performance (following, no clear ideological goal, confused and ever-changing messages), but I discovered that someone got there better and first.  You can read Niall Ferguson’s Newsweek article, or just watch the video as a reporter desperately tries to defend Obama, and Ferguson rips her apart:

Hat tip:  small dead animals

Obama suffers an empathy failure when it comes to Israel

Let’s think about Israel from the Israeli viewpoint for a minute, shall we?  It is, by any standards, an extremely small country.  Within its own borders, it is a sophisticated Western-style nation that leads the world in scientific innovation.  Its political system is a parliamentary style democratic republic.  Although its system isn’t perfect, no one questions the fact that it extends full civil rights to all citizens within its borders, regardless of race, religion, color, sex, sexual orientation, or country of national origin.

Another fact about Israel?  A large part of the world wants to see it — and all its citizens — destroyed because the State of Israel is a Jewish state.  Europeans classify it as the most dangerous state in the world.  Israelis rightly suspect that the Europeans are wrong, and that there are, in fact, a few other states more dangerous than it is.  There is the Gazan state along its Western side, that has a charter that enshrines the desire to drive every citizen of Israel into the Mediterranean, presumably in a satisfying welter of blood.  There is also the West Bank, which has precisely the same goal.

To Israel’s north is Lebanon, which is controlled by Hezbollah.  Hezbollah, coincidentally, shares the Gazan state’s goal:  total Jewish genocide.  To her east are Syria and Jordon which, quelle coincidence, have precisely the same mandate.  Stretch yourself a little further and you find Iran, Iraq, Yemen, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain, Qatar, Libya and Oman all of which, again purely by coincidence, have as official or unofficial government policies a vociferously and repeatedly stated desire to reduce Israel and her citizens to dust and ashes.  To make things a little more exciting for our small republican democracy, Iran is on the verge of having a nuclear bomb.

Oh, and did I mention that the other states are tyrannical dictatorships that have not only expelled all Jews from their borders, but that also maintain their control on power by stirring the masses into an antisemitic frenzy?  They’ve learned that the Jewish scapegoat is always a useful way to deflect attention from ones own failings.

The only nation near Israel — and it’s a big nation — that hasn’t been baying for her blood for the past 30 years is Egypt.  The Israelis knew that Hosni Mubarak was an often-cruel dictator, but in that regard he was completely indistinguishable from the Middle Eastern leaders heading the other nations I’ve mentioned.  They knew that Egyptians weren’t doing so well under Mubarak’s leadership, but in that regard too those pathetic citizens are completely indistinguishable from most of the other Middle Eastern citizens around them.  What makes Mubarak — and therefore Egypt — different, is that Mubarak steadfastly held to the Camp David peace accords.  He allowed his citizens to become infected with the worst type of antisemitism, but neither he nor his military went in for a repeat of 1948 or 1967.

Looking at things from Israel’s view, Mubarak was a good thing for them, and no worse for his citizens than any other tyrannical Middle Eastern leader Muslims in the Middle EAst would inevitably have suffered.   He was a win for Israel, and a wash for his own citizens.  For Israel, his leadership was no harm and no foul.

Now let’s think about President Obama and his administration for a few minutes.  Obama is very empathetic, right?  I know this, because he assured us that empathy is an extremely important quality:

“I view that quality of empathy, of understanding and identifying with people’s hopes and struggles, as an essential ingredient for arriving at just decisions and outcomes.”

Or, as Clinton more pithily said, “I feel your pain.”

You’d think that, with his natural appreciation for empathy, President Obama would have felt for the Israelis when Egypt suddenly ran off the rails.  From their point of view, the existence of the Muslim Brotherhood within Egypt, yet another organization loudly and explicitly dedicated to Israel’s destruction, was an untenable risk.  Israel’s geographic isolation, and its neighbor’s homicidal antipathy, meant that Israel would invariably prefer the known Mubarak imp over the equally known, but infinitely more scary, Muslim Brotherhood devil any day.  And as I said, from the point of view of Egypt’s citizens, it’s six of one secular military dictatorships, versus half a dozen Islamic totalitarian dictatorships.  They’re screwed regardless.

But was Obama empathetic?  No.  Decidedly no.  Instead, he was — and I quote — “disgusted.”  Yes, the notion of a small, liberal, democratic republic looking at the possibility of yet another genocidal nation on its borders, rather than stirring the milk of human kindness in Obama’s veins, roused him to disgust (emphasis mine):

Rather than even listening to what the democracy youth in Tahrir Square were saying and then trying to digest what it meant, this Israeli government took two approaches during the last three weeks: Frantically calling the White House and telling the president he must not abandon Pharaoh – to the point where the White House was thoroughly disgusted with its Israeli interlocutors – and using the opportunity to score propaganda points: “Look at us! Look at us! We told you so! We are the only stable country in the region, because we are the only democracy.’’

The only pain, apparently, that Obama felt was ennui when forced to listen to people who are worried that, in the next few days, weeks or months, they will be subject to military attack from all sides.

Well, I have to confess that I too am empathetic.  You see, when I think of Obama and his administration, as well as their fellow travels at the New York Times, I know exactly what disgust feels like.

Cross-posted at Right Wing News

Sharm El Sheikh

In honor of Mubarak’s strategic retreat to Sharm El Sheikh, here is the anthem of the 1967 War, which saw Sharm El Sheikh end in Israel’s hands, a situation that lasted up until Egypt got it back in 1982, as part of the peace treaty:

Blind intelligence

Has the U.S. ever been so clueless as  it is today with respect to events going on in Egypt?

CIA Director Panetta just admitted that he gets his information on Egyptian events from the media, rather than from his own agency. National Intelligence Director Jim Clapper, meanwhile, pontificates about how the Muslim Brotherhood is a largely secular organization, only to be immediately followed by the rapid back-pedaling of his minions.

http://www.mediaite.com/online/report-cia-chief-based-congressional-mubarak-testimony-on-media-broadcasts/

So, is it fair to blame the CIA for these massive intelligence failures?

What we are seeing is the successful culmination of the witch hunts that have been directed against the CIA post 9/11 by the Democrat Left and their fellow travelers. Remember AG Eric Holder’s crusade to prosecute CIA personnel when the Obama administration came to power?

Were I in the CIA today, I expect that I would be doing everything that I could to take no risks, make no decisions, and effectively do…nothing! And that’s what we have got for national intelligence…a blind nothing.

No, I don’t blame the CIA or any other intelligence agency for these intelligence failures.

Feel safer now?

Barack Obama’s “understanding” of all things Muslim

When I was six years old, within a few short months, I went from having perfect vision to being extremely nearsighted.  I was discussing that fact with a friend today, and noted that I have no memory of ever having seen well without help from glasses or contacts.

This comment made me realize how little of our childhood sticks with us.  As adults, we have few large and coherent memories of our first five years.  From the years between six and ten, our memories expand, but they’re still spotty and they’re bounded by the limitations of our child-world, which boils down to school-life, home-life, and the occasional memorable vacation.

I grew up during a time of tremendous social and political upheaval (it was the 1960s and early 1970s, after all), but have only the most limited recollection of that time.  What I remember are my teachers (some of them), my school friends (some of them), the continuity of my home life (same mom, same dad, same sister, same house), and the highlights of my life (summers in Tahoe, a Renaissance Faire, my first trip to Disneyland).  For me, the Vietnam War boiled down to Walter Cronkite announcing the day’s dead and wounded on the news.  The Chicago Democratic Convention, which happened when I was 8, didn’t make it to my radar at all.  The hippies, who were a far-reaching social phenomenon, were simply smelly people to me.

I also had such a limited frame of reference that, when I heard information that fell outside my knowledge, I manipulated the information that so that it would mesh with my mental furniture.  My favorite example of this is the story of my Dad’s brother; or, rather, how I completely misinterpreted the story of my Dad’s brother.  My uncle was, apparently, a genius amongst geniuses.  In the years leading up to WWI, many of his teachers at Berlin’s Jewish gymnasium considered him to be the most brilliant student the school had ever produced.  Considering that this was a school that, for more than a hundred years had taught the academic Jewish students living in an academic German nation, that was saying a lot.

My uncle lacked drive however and made nothing of his brilliance.  Indeed, as I often told my friends, he ended up life as a janitor!  One day, when I was already in junior high school, my parents heard me telling this story and were, to say the least, perplexed.  It turned out he wasn’t a janitor at all.  Instead, he was a low level civil servant in the Danish government.  My confusion stemmed from the fact that my parents had given me his job title:  “Custodian of Foreign Property” or something like that.  In my youthful world, a “custodian” was a “janitor” — and so a story was born.

I wasn’t unique in that I really didn’t “get” what was going on around me, or that I put my own child-like spin on things.  The other night, when my husband went to kiss our 11 year old son goodnight, he found him punching himself in the stomach.  In response to a query from my husband, my son announced that Mom had told him that, if he wanted to get good stomach muscles, he should sock himself in the stomach.  My husband came to me to investigate this peculiar piece of body-building advice, and learned what I had really said:  “One of the good ways to improve your muscle tone (and get the six pack abs my son so desperately desires), is to suck in your stomach when you walk around.”

(I call this active walking, meaning that you simply keep your abs engaged as part of regular movement.  Up until two pregnancies wrecked havoc with my abdominal muscles, I could have been on the cover of one of those ab workout videos, so I know this technique works.)

Children are bright, observant and absorptive.  They also do not know how to process all of the information they take in, they do not always understand the information headed their way and, by the time they are adults, they’ve forgotten large chunks of their childhood.  That’s normal.  The developing brain is a wondrous thing, but it’s not a fully functional thing.  Also, as my little “janitor”/”custodian” story shows, children live in a very small world.  Their understanding is bounded only by their immediate knowledge.

Think about how children understand their little world, and then think about Barack Obama.  He lived in Indonesia from the time he was six until he was nine or ten.  He was part of an expatriate community, and went to a slightly more ecumenical school than would be the norm in a Muslim country.  Also, he was in an East Asian, not an Arab, Muslim country, one that, even today, is somewhat liberal by Muslim standards( starting with the fact that the women traditionally did not wear veils there).  His exposure to a rather singular type of Islam occurred at a time in his life when he was processing experiences through a very narrow, youthful frame of reference.

Nevertheless, David Ignatius assures us that this limited exposure, during a time in life when even the brightest child isn’t tracking things that well, makes Obama a Middle East expert:

As President Obama watched events unfold this past week in Egypt and the surrounding Arab world, he is said to have reflected on his own boyhood experiences in Indonesia — when the country was ruled by a corrupt, authoritarian leader who was later toppled by a reform movement.

Obama looks at the Egyptian drama through an unusual lens. He has experienced dictatorship first-hand, a world where “the strong man takes the weak man’s land,” as he quoted his Indonesian stepfather in his autobiography. The president came of age reading Frantz Fanon and other theorists of radical change. He is sometimes described as a “post-racial” figure, but it’s also helpful to think of him as a “post-colonial” man.

Based upon my memories of my own childhood, and my day-to-day observations of the children with whom I spend a great deal of time today, Ignatius’ take is just horse pucky. Unless Obama was a political savant, he was almost certainly unaware of or had, at most, limited awareness of the political and social dynamics in Indonesia.

It’s entirely possible that, as Obama grew older, his exposure to Indonesia as a child meant that, as an adult, he paid attention to Indonesian politics. That would make sense. But to say, as Ignatius does, that Obama, the former community organize, has the innate ability to negotiate the pitfalls of this Egyptian revolution because he lived in Indonesia when he was 7 or 8 years old is nothing more than an insult to our intelligence.

Cross-posted at Right Wing News

A letter from Egypt everyone should read

Brian E added this letter as a comment to an earlier post.  In it, his brother, a teacher at BEN- Baptists Equipping Nationals, relays a communication he received from someone in Egypt.  I think it is important enough for everyone to read that I’m making it a separate post.  Thanks, Brian.

My brother who travels to Egypt twice a year to teach at a Bible Seminary there sent me this e-mail last night. (He’s in the US right now).

Dear Family,

Following is the latest direct from Egypt.  I received this 5 minutes ago.  Please PRAY!

“Mobs have field the center in Cairo rioting and causing a lot of injury, one person was killed and many abut 403 people are injured.

Mobs are hired, given each a barbecue chicken meal, two bottles of water and $100.00 a day. (money either from the gulf states or Iran)

Obama statements are seen as the US is conspiring to topple the Egyptian government. The world Satan, is working for the state of Israel.

American statements are very bad, confusing, and hearting the people of Egypt, not helping them. the united states image have been marred badly
a spirit of deception is trying to engulf the country and the region

All the world media is reporting from the center of the city, they are not reporting that throughout the city cars are loaded with families fanning the streets crying in unity out ‘long live Egypt’

Egypt does not know which way to go

Amira my wife yesterday was crying out of fear, today she is crying for Egypt,

There are wiled beasts in the city trying to devours the country

Egypt now is being assaulted

No order, no political leader to lead total anarchy”

What is not said:  The evangelical Christians are the most at risk people in the Middle East.  These people have been without an income since the chaos began.  Many are fearful to leave their homes.  They need our prayer support!

Thank you for caring with us.

Chuck and Carol

Defining our terms when we speak about Egypt

A lot of people keep talking about a desire for a “democratic” Egypt.  I hate to say it but, with the word “democratic” as the starting point, that’s not a very useful discussion.  The dictionary definition of a “democracy” is as follows:

government by the people; a form of government in which the supreme power is vested in the people and exercised directly by them or by their elected agents under a free electoral system.

In other words, a democracy is one in which every citizen or, at least, every adult citizen, or possibly every adult citizen who isn’t a felon or insane, gets to vote, either directly for the legislation itself or for a representative who will handle the legislative end of government.

Calling for a democracy in Egypt sounds great in theory, but if there’s one thing we’ve learned in the last fifty years, having the right to vote isn’t necessarily a good thing for the citizens.  Those of us who came of age during the Cold War vividly remember the Soviet Union sneering that it had a much stronger democracy than the American people because (i) more people turned out to vote (about 90% versus our 60-ish%); and (ii) because socialism meant that there was a direct relationship between people and government, without the necessity (or, in socialist terms, evil) of capitalist, corporate intermediaries.

The dirty little secret was that the votes in socialist nations were shams.  All candidates came from the same pot, and a vote for Candidate A was precisely the same as a vote for Candidate B.  People voted not because they had a meaningful choice that would result in differing forms of governance, but because they would get in trouble for not voting.

The Soviet example demonstrates that a democracy without freedom is meaningless.  But just as “democracy” is a fluid term, so too is “freedom.”

Some use the term “freedom” in the colloquial sense of being free from something negative:  freedom from hunger, freedom from poverty, freedom from fear. I would argue that this notion of freedom is a socialist definition, because it has the government promise to provide for the people’s physical needs.

For example, under the “government will provide for all wants” school of freedom, the promise is that you will not be hungry because the government will give you food.  Of course, in order to make good on that promise, the government must force people to harvest the land, whether they have the interest or the ability.  The government will also bend its bureaucratic might (a might usually untethered to functional knowledge) to decide what crops will be grown, how they will be grown and, assuming there is a harvest, how the food will be collected and disseminated.

Under this scenario, which we saw replayed repeatedly throughout the 20th century in Communist lands, because people who are coerced into a task tend to do it badly and because bureaucratic guidance can be worse than no guidance at all, the ultimate harvest is often . . . well, minimal.  Nevertheless, you can be assured that your friendly socialist government will share out the small amount of available food amongst its citizens.

There you have one form of freedom:  government-provided freedom from hunger or, at least, freedom from total starvation . . . or possibly, the government will earnestly tell you that none of the myriad emaciated corpses it’s burying actually starved to death.  And you, as a good citizen of this type of “free” country,” will politely ignore the gun that encourages you to believe this bizarre fiction.

The other form of freedom, the one that so many of us effortlessly conflate with democracy, is the type that leaves the citizens of a nation with the maximum available choices over their destiny.  In order for the free society to function, freedom shouldn’t equal anarchy.  In a healthy, free society, you don’t get to kill, rape, steal, vandalize, and assault with impunity.  Functional democratic freedom envisions a society that has the smallest possible number of equally applied rules for all citizens.  Examples of that are rules holding that none of us get to murder at will, that we all stop at red lights, and that legal sex is consensual sex amongst adults.

There’s always the risk, of course, that the rules will mushroom, not only because this is the nature of government, but because ordinary people want a certain predictability in society, and predictability can be had only in the presence of myriad rules.   The more rules you have, the less individual freedom you have.

Indeed, right now, many of us feel that America has too many rules.  However, as the last two elections showed, we’re still falling on the side of freedom.  The candidates presented to us reflected genuinely different approaches to government in America and, if you managed to avoid the New Black Panthers standing at the polling place doors, you, as a citizen, got to go into the voting booth and, in private, express your preference as between those real choices.  Unsurprisingly, after four years of heavy-handed, freedom-limiting legislative activity, joined by two years of equally heavy-handed executive activity, the majority of Americans voted for the representatives who promised to get the government to retreat.

Now that’s freedom!

That freedom, the maximum number of individual choices exercised in a stable society with the minimum number of rules to ensure honesty, functionality, safety and stability, is also the type of government I wish for the Egyptian people.  To call for “democracy,” when that “democracy” seems to be the right to vote for Radical Muslim Brotherhood Candidate A or Radical Muslim Brotherhood Candidate B — both of whom will cheerfully lock your women in their homes, hang your gays, murder your Christians and start an apocalyptic war with the Jewish neighbor next door — is not a helpful way to free the people of Egypt from the chains that have bound them for so long.

Cross-posted at Right Wing News

The news (not!) out of Egypt

One of the things I’ve noticed regarding the “news” coming out of Egypt is that it’s incoherent.  Because the situation is so big and so fluid, and because the reporters streaming in are remarkably uninformed to begin with about the region, the news stories remind me strongly of the blind man and the elephant. If you’re not familiar with that tale, the following version is the delightful poem by John Godfrey Saxe (1816-1887):

It was six men of Indostan
To learning much inclined,
Who went to see the Elephant
(Though all of them were blind),
That each by observation
Might satisfy his mind.

The First approach’d the Elephant,
And happening to fall
Against his broad and sturdy side,
At once began to bawl:
“God bless me! but the Elephant
Is very like a wall!”

The Second, feeling of the tusk,
Cried, -“Ho! what have we here
So very round and smooth and sharp?
To me ’tis mighty clear
This wonder of an Elephant
Is very like a spear!”

The Third approached the animal,
And happening to take
The squirming trunk within his hands,
Thus boldly up and spake:
“I see,” quoth he, “the Elephant
Is very like a snake!”

The Fourth reached out his eager hand,
And felt about the knee.
“What most this wondrous beast is like
Is mighty plain,” quoth he,
“‘Tis clear enough the Elephant
Is very like a tree!”

The Fifth, who chanced to touch the ear,
Said: “E’en the blindest man
Can tell what this resembles most;
Deny the fact who can,
This marvel of an Elephant
Is very like a fan!”

The Sixth no sooner had begun
About the beast to grope,
Then, seizing on the swinging tail
That fell within his scope,
“I see,” quoth he, “the Elephant
Is very like a rope!”

And so these men of Indostan
Disputed loud and long,
Each in his own opinion
Exceeding stiff and strong,
Though each was partly in the right,
And all were in the wrong!

MORAL.

So oft in theologic wars,
The disputants, I ween,
Rail on in utter ignorance
Of what each other mean,
And prate about an Elephant
Not one of them has seen!

This reporter speaks to a crowd the loathes America; that reporter speaks to a crowd that seeks democracy; this reporter gets trapped in the middle of a riot; that reporter sees peaceful protests; and so on, ad nauseaum. There is no coherent narrative emerging.

I have come to one conclusion in my own mind, though, for better or worse.  There is a substantial likelihood that any outcome will not be friendly to Israel.  If that’s the case, there’s a likelihood that a new government will abrogate the Camp David treaty, and declare war against Israel.  That’s a bad thing . . . except . . . except:

For the first time in a long time, there will be clarity.  Israel will face a nation, not a terrorist group interspersed amongst a complicit, but picturesquely pathetic citizenry; Israel will be the declaree, not the declarer, should there be war, which has a propaganda value that needs to be respected; and Israel has a better fighting force.

Past wars have shown that the Arabs and Muslims fight with ferocity and inhumanity when they think they’re winning, and run from the fight when they think they’re losing.  History has also shown that, in open battle, the Arab/Muslim bite hasn’t yet lived up to its bark.  And yes, I know that the Iraq/Iran war was an eight (?) year open sore, fought with unparalleled brutality and loss of life, but it’s worth remembering that it was fought by two similar militaries, in a conventional way.  Israel (God willing) has learned its lessons, has planned (God forbid) for such a moment, and will avoid embroiling itself in the 21st Century equivalent of trench warfare.

I’m not saying there’ll be war.  I’m saying (a) we have no real idea what’s going on and (b) outcomes in that region tend to disfavor Israel.  If it comes to war, all is not lost and maybe there’s something to be gained.

Daniel Pipes doesn’t see a Muslim Brotherhood victory

There are few people on the scene sharper when it comes to Islamic dynamics than Daniel Pipes so, when he says he doesn’t see the Muslim Brotherhood walking away triumphant from the revolution, I take heart.

And Mussolini made the trains run on time….

When I read that the Obama administration is good with having the Muslim Brotherhood on board in Egypt, because it’s really not such a bad organization, I keep thinking of 1930’s rationalizations about Mussolini:  He made the trains run on time.  Surely our standards of decency are higher than that?

Uh, no.  I guess not.

UPDATEYet another example of the “Mussolini was efficient” attitude.

Two questions for you about Egypt

1.  Faced with a popular revolt of the type we’re seeing in Egypt, can an American president make a difference?

My sense is that, while we’re certainly not going to drop bombs, the American president (any president, not just Obama) is such a vast presence that both his silence and his speech matter.  His bully pulpit is so large that, by appearing to support one side or another, either through silence or affirmative statements, he can affect the momentum within the other country.  What’s your point of view?  This is separate from whether Obama is being inept.  After all, if anything he does is meaningless theater, his ineptitude, if it exists, is irrelevant.

2.  What do you think will happen in Egypt?

I think that, while the average Egyptian on the street is not an Islamist (meaning he’s not committed to the Muslim Brotherhood’s jihadist goals), he really doesn’t know what he wants beyond not wanting the current situation.  That vagueness creates a vacuum, and I think the MB is poised to fill that vacuum.  If it does, I predict that, in four months, (a) Egypt will have sharia law; (b) Egypt will abrogate the treaty with Israel and attack; and (c) there’s a 50% chance that the Islamists will let their hostility to the Wets override their economic self-interest and shut down the Suez Canal.  Of course, if Mubarek can hang on long enough for a peaceful transition, maybe something good will come of all this.

A profound difference between the Iranian protests and the current Egyptian uprising

When I was faced with troubling decisions in my life, I used to give myself a pep talk.  I’d tell myself that there were three things that could happen as a result of my decision:  things could get better, they could get worse, or they could remain the same.  So, I’d tell myself, there’s only a one third chance that my decision could have a bad outcome.  This simplistic way of looking at things ignored, of course, whether mine was a smart decision, that hewed in the direction of better-ness, or a dumb decision, that pretty much predicted the worst possible outcome.  The fact remained that there were indeed three possible outcomes.

That simplistic thinking is slightly useful right now.  Think back to the Iran protests.  I watched those protests with fascination, because I knew that, from my situation in America, things couldn’t get worse; they could only remain the same or get better.  (That is not true, of course, for the protesters, who could, and did, suffer terribly if/when the protest failed.)  I was cheering at a football game, comfortably aware that a bad outcome would disappointment me, but not hurt me; and very hopeful that things would get much better.

The same cannot be said about events in Egypt.  The situation there was bad for the Egyptians but (mostly) stable for the rest of the world, including Israel.  The greatest likelihood is that something very bad will happen there, probably involving the Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas and Hezbollah.  I therefore find the news reports, not fascinating, but very unnerving, veering into frightening.  The possibility of a good outcome — a democratic revolution — is extraordinarily small, especially with Jimmy Carter . . . uh, Barack Obama at the helm.  Yup, this is a time warp moment.  It’s 1979 all over again.

Family calls, but feel free to comment here about your take on the revolt and its potential outcomes.

The world would not be better off with Mohammed El-Baradei at Egypt’s helm

When I read news reports saying that Mohammed El-Baradei had shown up in Egypt as a potential “democratic” leader, I was confused.  Surely this couldn’t be the same El-Baradei who served for so long as the head of the IAEA?  I couldn’t find specifics within my own brain, and was too lazy to look around on the internet, but when I thought of that El-Baradei, I kept thinking of someone who lied about Iran’s nuclear program, and who was relentlessly hostile to America and Israel.

Sometimes my instincts are right on the money — he’s a bad dude, with a bad history.  Egypt will go from the Mubarak frying pan straight into the El-Baradei fire if the latter steps up to a leadership position.

Is global warming hysteria responsible for Egypt’s revolution?

Track me on this one:

1.  With help from Al Gore, Hollywood, and the entire Leftist panoply, global warming fears reach hysterical levels.

2.  As part of their apocalyptic battle against rising seas and dying polar bears, warmists declare ethanol is one of the answers (never mind that it turns out that it takes 1.5 gallons of fossil fuel to produce a gallon of ethanol).

3.  Did I mention that ethanol comes from corn?  In the old days, people used to eat corn.  Now they drive it.

4.  To satisfy the panic-stricken need for drivable corn, food crops are diverted into fuel production.

5.  The cost of staples rises substantially around the world.

5.  In 2008, food riots break out, including riots in Egypt.  (Here are three links supporting the ethanol/riot connection, one from a free market site, one from a technology site, and one from an organic food site.)

6.  Although food riots haven’t been in the headlines lately, what do you bet that, with ethanol production still causing producers to divert food crops into the energy market, marginal economic societies such as Egypt continue to feel the effects of food shortages?

7.  Voila — riot conditions.  For history aficionados, remember that, in the 1790s, the French had suffered aristocratic depredations for centuries; it was the food shortages that triggered revolt (a la “Let them eat cake,” not that Marie Antoinette actually said that).  The same pattern showed up in Russia, with rising discontent reaching a fever pitch with WWI shortages.

In other word, what’s happening in Egypt is Al Gore’s fault.  (And yes, I’m being snarky, but it’s not a completely unreasonable supposition.)

Cross-posted at Right Wing News