” He may be a son of a bitch, but he’s our son of a bitch” ….There is little direct proof of this quote attributed to by Roosevelt on the subject of Anastasio Somoza…Some forty years later, CIA chief William Casey , discussing the Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega , said, “He’s a bastard, but he’s our bastard.”
“The Somoza regime was extremely crooked. With his friends and family in every important office, Somoza greed ran unchecked. The government seized profitable farms and industries and then sold them to family members at absurdly low rates. Somoza named himself director of the railway system, and then used it to move his goods and crops at no charge to himself. Those industries that they could not personally exploit, such as mining and timber, they leased to foreign (mostly U.S.) companies for a healthy share of the profits. He and his family made untold millions of dollars. His two sons continued this level of corruption, making Somoza Nicaragua one of the most crooked countries in the history of Latin America, which is really saying something.” Read More: http://latinamericanhistory.about.com/od/historyofcentralamerica/p/somozagarcia.htm
Roosevelt was also alleged to have said, “In politics, nothing happens by accident. If it happens, you can bet it was planned that way.”….
You have to question whether what has transpired in Tunisia and now Egypt could possibly be contagious enough to infect North America. Or for that matter, even Israel to get a whiff of the smelling salts and do an early spring cleaning of the rot that has accumulated. Could Americans take to the streets and demand regime change? Certainly the famous middle-class on which much of the model’s stability is based on has taken some serious head shots; call it a concussion.
“The protests were touched off by a rash of self-immolations. Two weeks ago, three Egyptian men publicly set themselves on fire in three separate incidents to protest government indifference to rising food prices. Recent weeks have seen massive protests throughout North Africa and the Middle East, with demonstrators demanding lower food prices and an end to government corruption and political oppression. The first wave of protests began when a Tunisian man set himself on fire, exasperated that he could not feed his family. That act inspired multiple copycat immolations in other Arab countries, and ignited the ire of citizens from Algeria to Jordan.” Read More: http://www.haaretz.com/news/national/tel-aviv-protesters-demand-regime-change-outside-egyptian-embassy-1.339816 a
Interestingly, those who went long on oil over the past two weeks made some nice gains. A sinking price followed by a spectacular leap. With all the panic Ben Bernanke can sleep with a clear conscience that a little fear can do a lot of inflating. And the S&P 500 takes a dive after touching 1300…. and John Paulson is off the front burner. Katharine Burton: : John Paulson, whose Paulson & Co. hedge fund made $15 billion betting against subprime mortgages in 2007, earned about $5 billion last year, according to a person with knowledge of the firm.
Executives and employees hold $14.9 billion, or 42 percent, of the funds’ $35.9 billion in assets, according to a performance report sent to clients this month. Most of that belongs to Paulson, who has reinvested his gains, after taxes and personal expenses, back into the funds since opening the firm in 1994, the report said. The manager earned $3.7 billion in 2007, according to Alpha magazine… Read More: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-01-28/john-paulson-said-to-have-earned-5-billion-in-2010-as-hedge-funds-gained.html a
What to make of Twitter being blocked? Mr. Keyes says it’s unusual. “Egypt is known for not blocking many Web sites,” preferring instead to block dissidents themselves by arresting them. He mentions other sites that have been blocked in addition to Twitter: bambuser.com, a video streaming website; AlBadil.net, a newspaper that has dedicated a full spread to the protests; and Dostor.org, an opposition website headed by Ibrahim Issa.
Is it true, as some claim, that the Muslim Brotherhood is behind the protests, and that a replacement of Hosni Murbarak’s regime would likely be a radical Islamist government that would break the peace treaty with Israel and be even less free that Mubarak’s?…
Mr. Keyes says he spoke last night with Kareem Amer, an Egyptian blogger recently released after four years in prison for criticizing Mubarak on his blog and for “insulting Islam.” Mr. Amer reported, “these are regular people,” with the Egyptian Christians known as Copts among the protesters and little visible Islamist presence. Mr. Keyes echoed Mr. Amer in suggesting that the current Egyptian government regime is playing up the threat of the Muslim Brotherhood as a way of gathering support from the West. Read More: http://www.futureofcapitalism.com/2011/01/interview-with-david-keyes-about-egypt
What should President Obama do?
Mr. Keyes suggests, for starters, that he “tell Secretary of State Clinton to stop talking about how stable the Egyptian regime is,” as Mrs. Clinton did yesterday. Read More: http://www.cyberdissidents.org/bin/content.cgi?ID=541&q=3&s=2 a
David Keyes: Last December, 24-year-old blogger Kareem Amer’s final appeal was rejected and he now enters his fourth year in prison for the unthinkable crimes of criticizing Egypt’s dictator and “insulting” the predominant religion. A steady parade of Western diplomats have come through Cairo in the past four years and it is fair to ask how many times Kareem’s name has come up. If ever there was a man whose struggle symbolized the values of America–it is him. He is a staunch advocate of Jeffersonian separation of religion and state and is a living exemplar of Patrick Henry’s dictum: Give me liberty or give me death. In his last blog post before his arrest, Amer, who hopes one day to open a human-rights law firm, wrote “I shall not recant, not even by an inch, from any word I have written.”…
I asked one of Egypt’s leading female bloggers, who requested that I not publish her name, if the recent crackdowns increased fear in the blogging community. “No!” she responded defiantly. “The opposite always happens. When someone deprives you of something, you want it more. Kareem Amer is serving four years in jail because of blogging, but this actually increased the number of bloggers not decreased it! The more activists jailed, the more new activists appear.”…
…The primary explanation for the West’s appeasement of Egyptian autocracy is faulty priorities. Liberty is playing second fiddle to stability and thus neither has been achieved. Rather, the seeds of misery, terror, extremism, and poverty are being sown in Egypt with open acquiescence from the West. Read More: http://www.cyberdissidents.org/bin/content.cgi?ID=539&q=3&s=24