When the military refuses to suppress a popular uprising, it’s time for the dictator to get on an airplane. That seems to be happening in Egypt now.
When the military refuses to suppress a popular uprising, it’s time for the dictator to get on an airplane. I don’t claim to know anything about Egypt, but selling Mubarak futures seems like a very sound bet.
That was the significance of Obama’s statement yesterday calling for restraint on the part of the government. Along with other hints from Washington, it told the Egyptian military not to fire on the crowds.
Author: Mark Kleiman
Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out.
Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken)
When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist
Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993)
Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989)
View all posts by Mark Kleiman
12 thoughts on “Infallible rule”
Because Obama, if he had had confidence in Mubarak's staying power, would have given the go-ahead to mow the ungrateful mobs down in the street?
Do you suppose we are about to witness a masterstroke of American diplomacy? Something to rival the timely abandonment of Batista or Pahlavi in its long-term good effect?
"Because Obama, if he had had confidence in Mubarak’s staying power, would have given the go-ahead to mow the ungrateful mobs down in the street?"
Given some of his Central and South American diplomacy? Probably not publicly, but perhaps in private. Backing Chavez, who is currently in power, I can kind of understand from a purely amoral standpoint, but Zelaya, after he was already deposed? You start to suspect he feels a certain sympathy with tyrants.
Brett Bellmore–"Backing Chavez, who is currently in power, I can kind of understand from a purely amoral standpoint, but Zelaya, after he was already deposed? You start to suspect he feels a certain sympathy with tyrants."
I understand somebody saying that the US has "backed" Mubarak in Egypt, since it's provided $1.5 billion/yr in aid, much of which has gone into his security services. But in what way has the Obama administration "backed" Chavez in Venezuela? That is, other than giving up on the GW Bush administration's approach of actively backing coup plotters against him.
As to Zelaya, how does opposing a military coup against an elected president show a "sympathy for tyrants"?
Well, we can watch the Tea Party and see whether it will abandon all notions of limited government and condemn Obama for failing to intervene in a big way in Egypt on behalf of Mubarak, or whether it will go with Rand Paul and insist on ending all foreign aid and letting events take their course. The notion of a global superpower with small government never made much sense to begin with; now the Tea Party can show us what it really believes.
@passing by–i've come to believe that the remarkable mr. bellmore is less a troll or a serious poster and more along the lines of a satiric performance artist. if you operate from that frame of reference his posts are much more explicable. i've certainly taken more pleasure reading them since i developed that view.
And everyone gives him so material to work with. 🙂
…so much material…
"As to Zelaya, how does opposing a military coup against an elected president show a “sympathy for tyrants”?"
Opposing a military coup against an elected president might not be showing sympathy for tyrants, I suppose, but that's got little to do with Zelaya, who was removed from office by the nation's Supreme court after a 15-0 decision, 8 of the votes for his removal coming from members of his own party. The Honduran legislature also voted for his removal, again with a majority of his own party's members voting for said removal.
Honduras has a constitutional provision automatically removing from office any President who tries to extend his term in office. Perhaps you think this an over-reaction to the South American history of "Presidents for life", but there you are, and he violated it, flagrantly. And was legally stripped of his office as a consequence.
There is little question his aim in returning to Honduras is to depose the current, legally elected President of this nation, and it really does have to be asked why Obama is so hot to assist him in this.
In 1953 the CIA supported the military coup that overthrew King Farouk and the monarchy. That brought Egypt Nasser, a young military officer to be its new president. Sadat and mubarek followed. President Obama should ask the CIA who they have in mind for Egypt's next leader.
To my knowledge, the Obama administration never objected to a constitutional process for removing presidents. They objected to the Honduran military forcibly seizing the country's elected president in the middle of the night, hustling him out to the airport and onto a plane, and exiling him from the country. The name for that is "a military coup".
The country's former elected President. At the point where they hustled him into a plane and took him out of the country, he was a private citizen. It's not a military coup when the military evict a private citizen from the country. Might be a wrong, but it's not that particular wrong.
Claiming that it was a military coup essentially amounts to asserting a right to interpret Honduran law superior to the unanimous decision of the Honduran Supreme court.
And it's not like Zelaya was caught by surprise. He persisted with his actions in the teeth of multiple legal opinions against him. He even had the ballots printed up by his pal Chavez, because his own elections administrator refused to take part in an unconstitutional referendum.
You guys just don't want to face what was going on there, do you? Just another elected President in South America trying become President for life, with the help of a neighboring dictator who'd already pulled it off for himself.
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