[FoRK] Impressive mostly-electric cars[1], amber waves of freedom[2], Apple/Google trounce Microsoft[3]

mdw at martinwills.com mdw at martinwills.com
Wed Feb 2 12:25:49 PST 2011

> On 2/2/11 10:43 AM, Kragen Javier Sitaker wrote:
>> On Tue, Feb 01, 2011 at 11:48:28AM -0800, Stephen Williams wrote:
>>> [2] Or at least domino revolutions that look promising.
>>> Was it Obama's 2009 democracy speech?
>>> Or Twitter?
>>> Bush?
>>> All of the above perhaps, and democracy (more or less) in Iraq and
>>> Afghanistan.
>> As long as we're talking about possible causes, we should mention
>> Wikileaks and Facebook, both of which have been cited by protestors on
>> the ground, and the economic crisis.
> Definitely.  The recent Wikileaks leaks probably did more to _help_ the
> cause of democracy, transparency, and improving
> estimation of the US than any other diplomatic action.  I'm sure that the
> suspicion of what really goes on by US actors vs.
> locals was often far worse than reality.  Probably those details were an
> eye-opener to many and nullified a lot of anti-US
> spin.  US related actors make mistakes and sometimes go off the

I am a little disappointed at this list.  They really have put on blinders
and forgotten their history lessons.  Take a moment and remember that
Israel shares a nearly 100 mile border with Egypt and that two major
outbreaks since the middle 60's threatened a major world conflict.  That a
vastly outnumbered and under equipped Israel on those occasions (for lack
of a better description) soundly defeated their Egyptian counterparts.

Now fast-forward to today... Israel has Nukes, we know that and the world
knows that yet, since the US exerted influence over those two neighbors (I
remember a Camp David Accord somewhere in there with what historians
called an "ineffectual" president), there has been a very amicable truce
(at least the Suez Canal has remained in Egypt's hands since then).  I do
believe that the US did make numerous missteps in their handling of the
numerous actors in that part of the world. It might be wise to notice that
Mubarak was essentially a figure-head anyways.  If case you've forgotten
the major factor (again seeing what you want to see) - THE EGYPTIAN
MILITARY REFUSED TO PUT DOWN THE PROTEST (I even remember a report where
anti-Mubarak slogans were painted on a deployed tank and the soldiers were
freely walking among the protesters).  In the annals of diplomacy that is
called a "puppet regime" being replaced after a "bloodless-coup" (up until
now that is). Does anyone want to think about the prospect of the US
Military refusing to follow the orders of their "Commander in Chief" and
what repercussions that would have here?

Again, how much influence of a bumbling US, (according to the numerous
reports) in maintaining peace in a simmering and violent area of the world
was (in hindsight) not so bumbling?  I am not trying to argue that the
ends justified the means... I am simply saying that if we had to do it all
over again, what would have been the alternative to the somewhat peaceful
transition (to this date) taking place in a very violent part of the

Just trying to remember a time prior to twitter/facebook/wiki's.


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