Saturday, January 29, 2011


Egypt is in flames, and Republicans are reacting in their usual fashion: How can we take political advantage of this? In England, The Telegraph, a paper that's been exceedingly friendly to the GOP and the American right, is declaring that the U.S. government secretly backed Egyptian dissidents in the Bush era -- the principal piece of evidence for this being an effort to bring one (1) Egyptian anti-government activi to America for a U.S. sponsored conference. Oh, and the Bushies also pressed Hosni Mubarak to release other dissidents from prison. And American diplomats heard about a plan to overthrow the government, according to a cable dated three weeks before Bush left office. This The Telegraph describes as "America's secret backing for rebel leaders behind uprising" -- as if Bush made all this happen.

Simultaneously, Elliott Abrams has taken to the Washington Post op-ed page to write "Egypt Protests Show George W. Bush Was Right About Freedom in the Arab World." See, he said those people could rebel and create lovely pro-Western democratic governments -- and now, seven or eight years laters, look what's happening! Yay! Bush wins!

(Of course, Bush always blithely suggested that upheaval in these nations would inevitably lead to regimes that were democratic, moderate, and tolerant. In reality, right now we have no idea what's going to result from any of the current unrest. But that's not going to prevent Abrams from prematurely claiming vindication.)


And just in case everything actually does go sour, there's this bit of bet-hedging from a House Republican:

GOP Conference chairman Thaddeus McCotter voiced his support for Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak Friday in a statement released on his website.

The Republican congressman from Michigan likened demonstrations in Egypt to "Iran's 1979 radical revolution." He cautions that those who "will be tempted to superficially interpret the Egyptian demonstrations as an uprising for populist democracy" should instead "recall how such similar initial views of the 1979 Iranian Revolution were belied by the mullahs' radical jackbooted murderers."

McCotter, the chairman of the House Republican Policy Committee, called for America to back Egypt....

I should note that McCotter can be a bit contrarian when he thinks fellow Republicans are going wobbly with regard to America's enemies -- past or president. In 2008, in his inimitable prose style, McCotter wrote this about the upcoming Beijing Olympics:

...No starker episode exhibits our anile need for a moral hospice before we slither into the dust bin of history than the one playing out before Americans' astonished eyes. Legacy building with the urgency of a dying Pharaoh staring at an unfinished Sphinx, George Walker Bush is bent upon being the first U.S. President to attend a foreign nation's Olympics. The nation in question is communist China, the shock troops of which are presently bludgeoning Tibetan Monks as if they were orange bathrobed baby seals. (One shudders at the prospect this Tibetan repression is the Chi-coms' sedulous sally into Olympic demonstration sports.)...

McCotter is also a frequent guest on Dennis Miller's radio show and Fox's Red Eye with Greg Gutfeld. I'm sure he'll have more to say about this subject in future media appearances.

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