Tony Blair announced that "it's time for the West...to stop commentating" and "get moving to a plan of action".
Tony made these remarks as part of the following commentary: "in the 21st century people are going to expect transparent democratic systems of government".
I assume that Tony is still in the loop and aware of how the 'players' in western diplomatic circles 'think'.
This noble blog has opined: that Obama seems to be dumbfounded; that Obama has repeated the tradition of boldly supporting authoritarian regimes while timidly supporting reform; that Obama et al does not 'get the message' even after a hundred thousand plus chant it.
Now we know why.
T-Blair has confirmed my worst fears: nobody who's anybody actually thought this might happen. Wikileaks showed that we respected Hosni more than Egypt. Tony's words offer further insight into the dull thinking of 'the top minds'.
11 years into the 21st century, T-Blair now thinks it's time to go from 'talking about it' to 'start planning' ...for that which was 'clear' as Y2K rolled around.
11 years? Sorry old chap, but Egypt's regime has cracked in less than 11 DAYS!
It seems that in DC & London, only after the horse has passed through the gate does one begin discussing the idea that the horse might escape.
In my humble opinion: When protests start, that's the time for the reaction plan to be implemented, not planned.
I will add more fuel to the fire by stating that Obama being surprised by Middle East unrest is as bad as Bush/Cheney being surprised by the Iraq insurgency, or Bush/Cheney having all their plans foiled when Osama somehow escaped Afghanistan.
Before you get too upset, consider that I grade on a curve: whereas Bush just barely made it through Yale, Obama did Harvard Law Review. While Cheney rode Lear jets, Obama walked the projects and saw the desperation of the oppressed.
I expected far more than what we seem to be getting from Obama. It seems the Cairo speech was his high water mark. Obama somehow lost his 'worldview' - and that's understandable 'in the bubble'. But how did Obama lose his grip on the facts?
Consider the sampling of depressing facts for Egypt:
- 2010-2011 was projected to be the time period that Egypt transitioned from an oil exporting to oil importing nation
- The pyramids are more stable than the infrastructure. A shanty town landslide kills a hundred in Egypt? Can you imagine the I35 bridge collapse in Minnesota being officially explained as 'fate'?
- Mouths stuffed with food can only mumble chants. Amongst other problems, Egypt under authoritarian rule has 'transitioned' from leading the 36 developing countries in crop output to being behind the pack. Not a good idea when the population doubles in the same time period.
Ultimately, the Middle East's problems (Egypt included) are economies depressed by clumsy authoritarian regimes, and young, growing populations oppressed by the same.
It doesn't take much imagination to guess at what happens when young people get hungry and hopeless. To echo Tony Blair, we need to start planning 'now'...okay maybe a few decades ago.
Fortunately, I started planning a few days ago, so there still might be hope for our Middle East policy. In all modesty, considering the glacial pace of 'planning' in DC, I feel that I have already come up with a very tangible yet simple way in which American policy can reflect the present - and maybe deflect some of the past.
Without further ado, the tracking poll question: