President Hosni Mubarak sent a message by camel to President Barack Obama this week.
In those bizarre scenes of pro-Mubarak forces charging their camels into the anti Mubarak crowd, Mubarak was telling President Obama to mind his own business, that he'll leave on his own terms, not on terms or timetables dictated by the White House.
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We're not sure whether the Mubarak government actually planned the pro-government attacks or just allowed them to happen. Either way, he's rebutting President Obama's call for a peaceful transition to democracy that must begin right now.
Mubarak's desperate stand may or may not succeed, but the administration's inability to have any sway over events there is what happens when you suddenly desert your allies and try to apply Roberts Rules of Order to the raw power plays of the Middle East.
We saw the same thing happen with the Carter administration's mishandling of Iran. And we're shocked that this administration thinks the same kind of lofty ideals will have better luck in Egypt.It's a fairyland, academic view of the world, which frankly tracks perfectly with this administration's views about the economy.
Take health care: Sure we can insure an extra 30 million people for free. In fact, more health care will end up saving money! As for unemployment, we just print up a trillion dollars, and we'll keep unemployment down. The height of this fantasy world was when Nancy Pelosi called unemployment checks "an economic stimulus" - as if getting us more in debt by paying folks to stay unemployed is good for the economy. This is the "free lunch" times ten.
Many of us had these kinds of ideal notions when we were younger. But most of us outgrew them when our ideals butted up against reality. But President Obama still seems stuck on the notion of the free lunch. As for foreign policy, we hope and pray that the president is not quite as naïve as some of the reporters who’ve been lavishing praise on the Muslim Brotherhood, as if the MB could provide a peaceful solution to problems there.
That attitude shows a level of naivety that's scary. We do believe that Secretary of State Clinton is much more hardened in her understanding of power plays than this. But given the administration's track record, and the president's call for more of the same economic fantasy talk in his state of the union address last week, there are reasons to be concerned. Very concerned.