So, Mr. President, what say you regarding this Arab Spring in Egypt, now that the radicals are holding 19 Americans hostage, one of whom is the son of one of your Cabinet members? Sorry, but you can't blame this one on George W. Bush.
Read from Joshua Pundit:
The New Egypt - 19 Americans To Be Tried Over NGO Work
"The Egyptian junta has said they're going to put 43 workers for Nongovernmental Organizations (NGO's) on trial including 19 Americans for 'illegal activities' and ' illegally receiving foreign funds.' One of them is Sam LaHood, the son of Arab-American Obama Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. A travel ban has been imposed and their passports collected to keep them from leaving.
Translated, what this means is the NGO workers were doing what the workers would undoubtedly refer to as working for democracy, and what the regime sees as assisting the regime's political enemies and fomenting unrest in an already explosive situation.
This back and forth between Cairo and Washington has been going on since the Mubarak regime.
The regime is saying that the protests against the military junta have been fueled by these NGO's and that the protesters have been receiving foreign funds from them to destabilize the country. Whether that's true or not ( and it might be at some level), it makes a good story line for the regime to give a lot of Egyptians who are frightened at the increased unrest.
Frankly, as far as I'm concerned the US has already interfered with Egypt's politics quite enough by having our president assist the Muslim Brotherhood in becoming the country's new overlords.
Secretary of State Clinton has warned the junta that US aid to Egypt - $1.3 billion in military assistance and $250 million in economic aid - is in jeopardy if what she describes as a 'dispute' isn't resolved.
Considering that the US and Europe want the Suez Canal to continue as a portal for the shipping of Persian Gulf Oil, I'm not sure whether that's a credible threat,but the Egyptians need the aid and will likely end this by either bringing the NGO workers to trial, convicting them and then kicking them out of the country or by simply doing it outright without going through the motions of a court procedure.
In spite of all the flowery rhetoric about the 'Arab Spring', the reality is that growing democracy in an Arab country like Egypt has about the same chance of success as those famous scenes in Easy Rider where the hippies in the commune were trying to grow crops in the desert sand."