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Worth a thousand words

By Michael J. Smith on Sunday January 30, 2011 01:40 PM

From the indispensable Angry Arab:

The first two are the new "vice-president" of Egypt, har de har; the last is the recently parachuted-in El-Baradei.

Pictures are so revealing, aren't they? These all tell the same story. Just look at the body language; the poor suppliant Arab drawing the Godfather's plenipotent fist close to his groin; the Ubermensch keeping his distance, distaste and contempt for the grovelling gowk before him etched in every crease of his jowly criminal face.

Comments (8)


Helena Cobban made an interesting point that reminded me of an earlier post right here:

So thorough-going has been the witch-hunt that AIPAC and its attack dogs have conducted over the past 25 years against anyone with real Middle East expertise that the U.S. government now contains no-one at the higher (or even mid-career) levels of policymaking who has any in-depth understanding of the region or of the aspirations of its people.

The campaign against anyone with regional expertise — the so-called "State Department Arabists" — was launched in the public sphere by the dreadful know-nothing Robert Kaplan, in the 1980s. It got a strong foothold throughout the federal bureaucracy — and far more broadly than in just the State department — with the arrival of Pres. Clinton in 1993. Clinton, that is, who brought along as his key advisers on the affairs of the whole region the two long-time pro-Israel activists Dennis Ross and Martin Indyk! Then, of course, under GWB, we had Elliott Abrams and rest of the neocons running regional affairs for the government…

So now, in the Oval Office, we have the blind leading the blind and the blind advising the blind. No Chas Freeman, no Bill Quandt, no Rob Malley…

I'm interested in the degree of rottenness of El Baradei's role. Anybody have a good source on that? He seems to be out in the crowds and also making the observation that Zero and Hillary are screwing the same old pooch. Is this dude a plant nonetheless?


Off topic: Could someone whip up a little Schumann for this blog. Us sock puppets need our avatars!


i think baradei is a diffrent type of intervention vehicle
then that guy in iran challah baby
or our pushtan telly savalas in khabul

i think he has backing but its not insider
but more like that behind the hilton girl
a recognized face
with the correct lingo riff
in the stampede to fill the air time vacuum

EB has never been a simple tool, right? He wasn't a whore on Iraq, and called Iran's legal nuclear pursuit what it is under the NPT: legal. Just wondering what the positive argument for his puppet status is.


Does he have to be a puppet ?
I see him as an ineffectual darling of the liberal us media
Is he getting the same air time in Europe?

OP-san, I haven't formed any opinion on the guy as a prospective leader, and am certainly suspicious of anybody the NYT starts talking about in any positive sense at this juncture.

But, yet and still, I can at least imagine EB making a pretty interesting figure in all this. He certainly could not be dismissed as easily as most unknown figures will probably be. What if he started making demands about Israel and regional disarmament?

I'm not banking on it or even necessarily happy about it, but movements for change that can insert themselves cleverly into mass media streams have done a few things.


I never had the impression that EB was a bad guy, and his stint at IAEA did him some credit. But he's a respectable "international" figure, parachuting in on the basis of his role in events outside of Egypt. I personally would rather see people who are actually involved in the movement come to the fore in the post-Mubarak era -- which should be starting any minute now. *Chortle*

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