Tag Archives | Clinton

Putin Looks Ridiculous Blaming Clinton

Prime Minister Putin blamed unusual unrest over last week’s Russian parliamentary elections largely on Secretary of State Clinton, whom he accuses of sending a signal to US-supported anti-government activists in Russia. Clinton had expressed support for fair elections after a Russian electoral watchdog group claimed many cases of fraud and irregularities marked this year’s process.

The US has certainly funded opposition groups around the world to make sure its ‘allies’ win elections, most notoriously fixing the first post WW2 Italian ballot.

But please!  The Russian people don’t need Clinton to stir up unrest.  Putin has done that himself.  Putin’s United Russia’s representation fell to 238     from  315, gaining just under 50% of the vote.  That’s taken the Kremlin leadership by surprise. But it’s not just the elections that are causing public resentment towards official Russia.

Putin served two terms as Russian President.  Because he was prohibited from serving a third consecutive term, his protegé Dimitri Medvedev ran in the last election and immediately pointed Putin as Prime Minister after he won.  This year, Putin can run for president again, so he and Medvedev          again switched places with the understanding that a President Putin will make Medvedev his Prime Minister.  (Geez, how Russian can you get – this is how stereotypes take hold!)

Blaming unrest on Clinton shows Putin as weak.  Like Arab autocrats claiming the Arab Spring is instigated by foreign agents, Putin is grabbing at anything to explain why Russians are rebelling.

The Russian opposition has called for a massive demonstration this Saturday.  Reports say 30,000 people have signed up to go already.  Suffice it to say the Russian police are not used to controlling crowds this size.  A wrong move by either side could cause bloodshed.  Putin only added to the tension by claiming foreign interference with the elections and putting the Russian police on edge against ‘foreign elements’.

The situation is unprecedented in modern Russian history.


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Sec. Clinton has been talking out of both sides of her mouth.   Two weeks ago, she said the SCAF’s delay for Presidential elections until 2013 was ‘appropriate.’   This past wee, she has been verbally scolding SCAF.  But look, every US president who served the last 40 years scolded Mubarak but never left his side.

The Obama Administration is overly concerned about security and Egypt’s treaty with Israel.  Repression by SCAF isn’t going to ensure either.  Stability will come with elections to Parliament, the Presidential election date set for next Spring and overturning the emergency law.

SCAF itself is the provocateur for chaos.  It has sewn dissent between Copts and Muslims.  It has reneged on promises.  It continues to give mixed signals in a volatile situation.  SCAF is either setting the stage for more repression or incredibly clumsy and stupid.

Obama needs to move on this immediately.




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Will Field Marshal Tantawi Run for Egyptian President?

Several blogs specializing in Africa and the Middle East report two ominous signs that the head of Egypt’s Military Council may seek the Egyptian presidency.  First, during Sec. of State Clinton’s visit last week, he was seen on Cairo streets shaking hands and greeting people, something rare for Tantawi.  Pictures also showed him in civilian clothes, a first.  Two days ago, two or three neighborhoods in Cairo and Alexandria were plastered with Tantawi posters suggesting he would be most capable to ensuring the ‘stability’ of the Egyptian state.   A previously unknown group “Egypt Above All” were said to be behind the posters.

Last March, I made a point of saying Egypt’s Tahrir Square movement was a reform movement, not revolution.  Although the old Mubarak party is dissolved, the SCAF are high level military lifers with close ties to the former president and to the US military.

Obama Pledges Support for Egyptian Military

Meanwhile, the White House released a read-out of President Obama’s October 24th call to Field Marshal Tantawi:

President Obama called Egyptian Field Marshal Tantawi today to reaffirm the close partnership between the United States and Egypt and to underscore his full support for Egypt’s transition to democracy. The two leaders agreed that Egypt’s upcoming elections must be free and fair and be held in accordance with democratic standards. The President underscored that the United States supports a strong, peaceful, prosperous and democratic Egypt that responds to the aspirations of its people, and that the outcome of the election is for the Egyptian people to decide. He welcomed Egypt’s willingness to accept international election witnesses and urged that Egypt lift the emergency law and end military trials for civilians. The two leaders also discussed Egypt’s economic situation. The President emphasized his support for full funding by the Congress of the Administration’s request for assistance for Egypt, without conditions, and stressed his commitment to help Egypt secure international assistance to address its economic needs.

Just replace the Field Marshal’s name with Mubarak and this sounds like a run-of-the-mill statement such as the WH delivered to Mubarak under several presidents.  It is certainly a statement of support for “Egyptian stabiity”, not a warning against anti-democratic actions taken by the military council.  And how many times did American presidents’ ‘urge’ an Egyptian leader to lift the 40-year-old emergency law?  It meant nothing.

Egyptian Instability: Suspicious Origins

Much of the ‘instability’ faced by Egyptians over the past several months have suspicious origins:

1.  Soccer thugs attacked the Israeli embassy after splitting off from a peaceful pro-democracy demonstration near Tahrir Square.  No Egyptian police were to be found.  Major news organizations said the Israeli ambassador to Egypt called Netanyahu who called Sec. Clinton who called President Obama, who called the Supreme Military Council in Egypt to tell them the Israeli embassy was under attack in their own backyard.  Stranger that fiction?  Maybe not.

2.   After a Coptic Church was vandalized, the army attacked protests, killing two dozen people, some crushed by tanks rolling over them.  Many observers believe the SCAF is deliberately throwing fire on to sectarian biases.  So far no one has been brought to justice.

3.   The Emergency Law remains in effect.

4.   SCAF postponed presidential elections until 2013, against the wished of Democrats.  Clinton supported the postponement.

5.   Pro-democracy activists are still being thrown in jail at security services will under the emergency law and some are being tortured.



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Egyptian Military Digs In, Clinton Supports

The military council ruling Egypt announced that it would stay in power and appoint the prime minister even after parliamentary elections are held beginning in November.  This means a new  constitution will be written with the military still in control and an ‘elected’ parliament subordinate to it.  The military’s action is in direct violation of a referendum held last March and counters the basic demands of the Egyptian Arab Spring.

It’s in this context that the military brutally killed 26 Coptic activists in street battles last week.  Some were mowed down by trucks, the military showing little of the ‘restraint’ it adopted with Tahrir Square protesters.  Nothing serves the military’s interest as Egyptians fighting among themselves.  But Muslims and Christians joined together in denouncing the killings.

It appears that all political factions, Islamist and secular, oppose the election schedule as it’s been changed by The Supreme Council of the Armed Forced (SCAF).

Worse, it looks like Hillary Clinton supports it! According to the New York Times:

The United States, where concerns run high that early elections could bring unfriendly Islamists to power and further strain relations with Israel, has so far signaled approval of the military’s slower approach to handing over authority. In an appearance this week with the Egyptian foreign minister, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton urged an early end to the emergency law but called the plan for elections “an appropriate timetable.” (emphasis added)

It’s really not up to the United States to comment on Egypt’s fragile transition to a more democratic system.  Secretary Clinton should stay out of it.  It’s also clear that the Egyptian military is playing a cat-and-mouse game with Israel: allowing attacks on the Israeli embassy in Cairo, stationing troops in the Sinai and brokering the Hamas-Israeli prisoner exchange but not going so far as to endanger Egypt’s relationship with Israel.

The Egyptian situation at this time looks like Mubarak all over again, with the US once again working to compromise Egyptian democracy.

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Syrian and Libyan Dissidents Draw More Support

In the wake of Friday’s protests, the largest so far in Syria, opposition expatriates met in Turkey.  They originally intended the Turkey conference to  coincide with a dissident conference within Syria itself.  The Syrian army, however, attacked the Syrian site before the conference even began.  The expatriate conference attracted a spectrum of Syrian opposition, from liberal groups to Muslim fundamentalist.  They elected a National Salvation Council to act as a ‘shadow government’ to the Asad family’s rule.

Meanwhile, 32 nations participated in the Libyan Contact Group conference, also meeting in Istanbul and chaired by the United Arab Emirates (UAE).  Those nations, including the US, each recognized the Transitional National Council (TNC) as the legitimate representatives of the Libyan people.  This official recognition means billions of dollars of Qaddafi and Libyan funds held in and frozen by other nations could be released to the TNC.

The Free Libyan Forces are making slow but steady progress against Qaddafi troops.

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Netanyahu Lies ‘Officially’ Caught

This just in from the “Dish” by Andrew Sullivan now at Daily Beast:

From last November 11. Money quote:

The Prime Minister and the Secretary {Clinton} agreed on the importance of continuing direct negotiations to achieve our goals. The Secretary reiterated that “the United States believes that through good-faith negotiations, the parties can mutually agree on an outcome which ends the conflict and reconciles the Palestinian goal of an independent and viable state, based on the 1967 lines, with agreed swaps, and the Israeli goal of a Jewish state with secure and recognized borders that reflect subsequent developments and meet Israeli security requirements.”

What a bald-faced liar Bibi is; and how pathetic that so many fell for his hissy fit yet again.


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