Streetwise Professor

June 21, 2013

Hostage to Vanity

Filed under: Politics — The Professor @ 3:16 pm

The State Department careens from embarrassing moment to embarrassing moment.  Especially on Twitter.  McFaul routinely makes a fool of himself there.  The tweets from Cairo about the Mohammed video which had exactly nothing to do with anything during the “demonstrations” on 9-11-12 were cringeworthy.  Beyond cringeworthy.

But they’ve only gone downhill from there.  The State Department has been AWOL on the events in Turkey.  On Twitter they peeped in protest to Erdogan’s comparison of the Turkish authorities’ handling of the protests to the way the US (local) authorities handled Occupy protests, but then they cravenly deleted even these sotto voce disagreements with Erdogan, and have since limited themselves to calling for all sides to remain calm.  No criticism whatsoever of the Turkish premier’s lurch to authoritarianism.  Germany, in contrast, has been forthright in its disagreement: Germany has put a block on Turkish EU membership in protest against the government’s thuggish response to opposition protests.

But it is even worse in Egypt.  The US Ambassador, Anne Patterson, criticized the anti-Morsi protests there and met with the Muslim Brotherhood. She even had the audacity to say “Some say that street action will produce better results than elections. To be honest, my government and I are deeply skeptical.”

Um, didn’t the previous Mubarak government fall, to be replaced by Morsi’s, as the result of “street action”?  Didn’t her government hail this as a great advance?

The muteness on Morsi and Erdogan is, sadly, easily explained.  Obama has lionized Morsi and Erdogan: Erdogan is widely understood to be the leader with whom Obama has bonded most closely.  To criticize them would be to admit he is wrong.  And Obama cannot abide that.  So US policy is hostage to Obama’s vanity.

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  1. Of course the State Department is being soft on Erdogan. How to promote the new Ottoman Caliphate without Turkey?

    Comment by Nobody — June 21, 2013 @ 5:47 pm

  2. PS Pundita reports the NSA rejected a program code named ThinThread that would’ve ‘scanned’ incoming data from overseas into the US looking for threats and suspect patterns, that was tested with an automated analyst auditing system as early as 1998. It was shelved after 9/11 because the NSA wanted every haystack, not the needles it pretends to be searching for.

    This is consistent with what Binney says that 4th Amendment compliant spy systems that would key in only on flagged individuals and chain to people they dialed from overseas to the US and so on – was rejected in or around 2002 and 2003. In other words, the NSA preferred systems that could give them the power to play Stasi/J Edgar Hoover kingmaker breaker over protecting the country from actual foreign threats.

    Comment by Nobody — June 21, 2013 @ 5:55 pm

  3. I notice this blog is concerned about Russia. Maybe the host should be more worried about the State Dept being, to paraphrase Doug Hagmann, a Saudi or Qatari captured operation.

    Comment by Nobody — June 21, 2013 @ 6:00 pm

  4. I find it quite incredible that national governments conduct their affairs on Twitter. It smacks of rank amateurism.

    Comment by Tim Newman — June 21, 2013 @ 9:17 pm

  5. Admittedly I don’t like him, but Obama is up to something and it will be very bad for the USofA

    Comment by Michael — June 22, 2013 @ 9:20 am

  6. Michael:

    Rest assured, Obama is doing what is best for America. And, btw, ignore that man behind the curtain, the man w/ the noms de plume of ‘Nobody.’ Beware of anyone on the web making logical, clear-cut arguments re: Susan Rice’s new agency. The agencies no longer act on behalf of ‘the people.’ They are now part & parcel of the individuals in the administration. We live in a Cult of Personality. Post-Constitutional, Post-republican (system not party), Post-Democracy (system not party), mob rule thug-ocracy. Even SCOTUS confirmed that last week.

    But the piper will be paid. And he plays a Russian pipe.


    Comment by ObamaPutin — June 29, 2013 @ 10:25 pm

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