Saturday, January 29, 2011

Andy Martin explains what is happening in Egypt

Republican Presidential Candidate and conservative columnist Andy Martin says that “the roof is falling in on Barack Obama’s foreign policy.” Martin condemns bipartisan foreign policy failures over the past fifty years that have alienated America from generations of persons “yearning to breath free” in the Arab world. Martin calls for a new, freedom-based approach that puts America in the forefront of international leadership with a foreign policy based on democracy as the only criterion for our foreign relations.



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Republican Presidential Candidate Andy Martin analyzes the upheaval in the Arab world

Andy is a highly respected independent Middle East expert with over forty years of experience in the Middle East and Asia

(PALM BEACH, FL)(January 29, 2011)

[NOTE: Most Americans probably initially became aware of Andy Martin because of his efforts to secure the release of Barack Obama’s secret Hawaiian birth certificate. But around the world he has been known as a highly-respected independent foreign policy analyst who specializes in Asia and the Middle East. He first went to Libya and Egypt exactly forty years ago, in 1971. In 1979 and 1980 he was in Iran during the hostage crisis. After the ill-fated invasion of Iraq in 2003 he lived in Baghdad.]


I had planned to complete Parts Two and Three of my promised State of the Union Response by now. However, I feel you will benefit if I defer those views for a couple of days, and provide my insight into why the Middle East is falling apart and my suggestions on how American foreign policy has to change.

Politics used to stop at the water’s edge. Republicans and Democrats understood that a unified foreign policy best served America’s interests. That approach was abandoned in the 1960’s. I am extending an open hand to President Barack Obama to create a bipartisan foreign policy task force that can advise the White House how to avoid looking stupid in the Middle East and around the world.

The current chaos in Egypt is a replay of the events which led to the fall of the Shah of Iran over thirty years ago. The Shah’s fall was the result of systemic failures in U. S. foreign policy. Instead of freeing the Iranian people, the “Islamic Revolution” has now enslaved Iranians for decades in a malignant theocracy.

American media still do not understand our interests in the Arab world, or why our interests are suddenly threatened. I had hoped to do a column last week on the “First Domino,” Tunisia, which has fallen, suggesting there would be other dominos that would also collapse. But Egypt is falling faster than I can write.

The Mubarek dictatorship is over. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s continuing mealy-mouthed support for Mubarek confirms in my mind that the United States lacks any foreign policy in the Middle East.

U. S. interests are often submerged or ignored. Nowhere in the media has it ever been reported, for example, that the U. S. State Department has a critical foreign language facility in Tunisia that could be endangered. Or that if Jordan were to fall, the CIA’s Middle East headquarters would be eliminated. Our media have largely towed the “party line” and that party line is now collapsing.

There are hundreds of millions of people in the Arab world who have never known freedom, who have never known democracy, who have been hostages in their own homelands and who are enslaved by their corrupt regimes. Most of these governments unfortunately enjoy the support of the United States. Some of these repressed people turn to militant Islam as an outlet for their frustration at being denied basic human rights.

The U. S. response to foreign abuses is generally to pretend there is “no problem,” and to plan as though a perpetual “business as usual” approach will suffice. President Barack Obama went to Egypt and visited the vile Mubarek dictatorship in 2009, to deliver a speech calling for “freedom.” What an insult to the intelligence of Egyptians, and to America itself.

Clinton’s remarks in the past few days have been complete nonsense. She “views with concern” and “condemns violence” while the Egyptian regime we have dealt with is fast disappearing and while the instruments of the Egyptian police state are murdering demonstrators.

Who lost Egypt? Republicans and Democrats did. The Republican Party is as culpable as the Democratic Party for our foreign policy failures. This is a bipartisan collapse. [I was a strong critic of President George Bush’s Middle East policies and his invasion of Iraq. So I have not hesitated to call out both parties on their cockeyed foreign policies.]

The ill-fated invasion of Iraq, which strengthened Iran and weakened democratic forces across the Arab world, postponed the upheaval we are now witnessing.

Is Egypt irretrievably lost? Not at all. Egyptians are not radicals, and few Egyptians would vote to enslave themselves under another Islamic regime. So there is great potential in Egypt if only Clinton and Obama would stop mouthing platitudes and start talking sense to people in the Arab world.

I went to Egypt to assess the situation after President Gamal Nasser died in 1971. There was concern then, as now, that the removal of a strong leader might lead in unknown directions. In 1979 and 1980 I was in Iran and Afghanistan. I saw the mistakes firsthand that were made by President Carter. In 2003 I was in Baghdad, living in a city that was “liberated” by U. S. troops only to fall victim of an American bureaucracy that was locked behind closed doors in the Green Zone. I coined the phrase “Emerald City” to describe our fortress-ridden mission that had no idea what was happening on the streets of Iraqi cities.

Unlike any other Republican presidential candidate, I have lived abroad, spoken the languages, studied the cultures, and worked successfully with local people around the world. Unlike any other Republican candidate I actually have a real foreign policy record you can dig out on the Internet. You can see what I have written in the last decade and see if you agree or disagree with my predictions, most of which have been extremely accurate or are on target.

So where do we go from here? In a few lines, here is my advice to both Republicans and Democrats.

First, President Obama should create and convene a bipartisan crisis council to deal with developments the Middle East. What we are witnessing today, and will be witnessing in the days ahead, is a generational shift. Young people in the Arab world, who live without hope and without a future, and who yet are connected to the endlessly alluring outside world, are about to overthrow the old order and overthrow America’s God-forsaken foreign policy.

Second, we need to stop living in a “pretend” world and start living in the real world. Obama has discredited the word “change,” but change is coming to the Middle East. We need to “flood the zone” with Americans committed to freedom and democracy, not with mealy-mouthed bureaucrats that use meaningless expressions such as “viewing with concern” the slaughter of innocent civilians by Mubarek’s praetorian guard.

It’s time for straight talk and plain talk. The controversial Wikileaks controversy has released documents that show American diplomats often talk one way in public and entirely the opposite in private. With appropriate politeness, our private views must become public policy.

Third, especially as regards Egypt, we need to announce that we are prepared to assist in a transitional government if free elections and democracy are respected. There will be no Mubarek “coronation election” in the fall. That approach is dead. There will be no generational transfer of power to Mubarek’s son, Gamal Mubarek. The “Mubarek Dynasty,” like Iran’s “Pahlavi Dynasty” before it, is kaput.

Fourth, we need to stop thinking of Arabs as being beneath us, and start thinking of them as what they are: ordinary people who in the words of the Statute of Liberty are “yearning to breathe free.” At the same time we need to stop toadying to Arab dictators and potentates. We should adopt rigid criteria for freedom and democracy as the standards by which we allocate any foreign aid. No more game playing. We have only been fooling ourselves by closing our eyes to the obvious abuses of our “allies.”

One of the reasons I opposed the invasion of Iraq in 2003 was that U. S. leaders had no idea where the process would lead. They were locked into a 90-day horizon. Notwithstanding Republican and Democratic platitudes, Iraq is still a very unstable place. Now that U. S. forces are finally withdrawing from Iraq, and Obama presents the profile of a leader who is marching America into decline, Obama’s weakness is unleashing forces that are going to become a powerful wave for “change” in nation after nation, and not always for the good.

There is currently a vacuum in the Middle East. History and politics never allow a vacuum to exist for very long. Whether Egypt becomes a democratic nation, and continues to partner with the United States in an association of free nations, or whether Egypt falls behind the Iron Curtain of Militant Islam, depends on our response and reaction to current events. Both Obama and Clinton have added to our problems, not guided us to reasonable solutions. They may have traveled overseas as U. S. politicians in diplomatic cocoons; neither has any real foreign policy experience. (The extent of Obama’s foreign travels before the presidency remain, of course, a source of controversy and mystery.)

I am on the right side of history and I am experienced and capable of leading Republicans and Americans to the right side of history. As a general rule, we should stay out of the internal affairs of other nations. But when we do get involved, it should be to foster democracy not dictatorship.

Instead of allowing potential Republican presidential candidates to blather on (I am the only formally announced Republican presidential candidate at this time), it is time for Republican voters and Republican leaders across America to start asking hard questions of the “candidates,” real questions not softies. We live in a real world, not a make-believe political dollhouse.

You can ask me hard questions, and you will get candid and informed responses. Can you say the same about the other potential Republican candidates? You be the judge.

[Within the past hour we have just confirmed plans to open our campaign in Denver, Colorado on February 13th. Details to follow.]


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ABOUT ANDY: Chicago Public Radio calls Andy Martin a “boisterous Internet activist.” Andy is the legendary New York and Chicago-based muckraker, author, Internet columnist, radio talk show host, broadcaster and media critic. He has over forty years of background in radio and television and is the dean of Illinois media and communications. He promotes his best-selling book, “Obama: The Man Behind The Mask” [] and his Internet movie "Obama: The Hawaii’ Years” []. Martin has been a leading corruption fighter in Illinois for over forty years. He is currently sponsoring See also

Andy is the Executive Editor and publisher of the “Internet Powerhouse,” He comments on regional, national and world events with more than four decades of investigative and analytical experience. He holds a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Illinois College of Law and is a former adjunct professor of law at the City University of New York (LaGuardia CC, Bronx CC).


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