Daily Archives: August 7, 2013
Thoughts on surveillance and Senator McCain
In the last couple of days I’ve read posts by Englehart, Van Buren, and now Juan Cole (whose post I can’t find). On the NSA etc they seem to agree with what I’ve been saying, and it occurs to me in the light of all the hoopla over the embassy shut downs that the government is desperately trying to distract us from its egregious flouting of the Constitution. Juan Cole wonders if we are waking up to the Soviet Union of America. I suspect we’ve been there since 9/11, and it’s only going to get worse unless more people start to make a great deal of noise.
Senators McCain and Graham went to Egypt to try to “save” the situation. All they did was insult the military and the interim government and destroy the quiet diplomacy Undersecretary Burns was attempting. How, you say? Well, at their press conference, these oh-so-smart and all-knowing Senators said outright that what had happened in Egypt was a coup, and that the Muslim Brotherhood should be let out of prison and house arrest and allowed to participate in the senators’ idea of Democracy. How to start a civil war in one easy lesson! The last thing Egypt needs right now is the return of the Muslim Brotherhood. All the Senators did was undermine the people who actually believe in democracy which the Muslim brotherhood showed under Morsi’s rule that it does not.
It’s quite possible that if the US hadn’t meddled in the first place in 2011 that the Muslim brotherhood never would have been elected. But no, we must rush everyone who’s never had it to instant Democracy! Egypt needs time – time to come together as a country, time to develop the institutions that underlie something like democratic rule. Elections by themselves won’t achieve anything in the winner-take-all minds of recent victims of dictatorship.
- If Obama sent those two idiots to Egypt, he’s getting worse advice than I thought he was, or he’s beginning to lose his mind.
- The drone wars have to stop. All they do is make more terrorists.
- Blanket electronic surveillance has to stop. It’s time we admitted that we have been ruled by fear and get over it.
- Abuse of detainees, no matter where they are held, has to stop, and that includes Manning as well as the Guantanamo detainees.
- Government secrecy and duplicity must return to the status quo ante 9/11.
- Whistleblowers should be tolerated, especially when all they do is expose government stupidity. Embarrassment is no excuse to prosecute people for espionage.
- Where’s our Harry Truman of the 21st Century?
John McCain seems to think he has superior knowledge and ability in foreign affairs than the President or anyone else. He believes in the shoot-from-the hip style that was in vogue during the Bush administration. He’s all for bombing people and forcing them to do what he thinks is right. The only problem with that is, that it didn’t work in Vietnam, it didn’t work in Iraq, and its not working in Afghanistan, so why would it work in Egypt? Someone should cancel his travel budget!