Smart Diplomacy Comes Home To Roost

Remember when Obama was all about shoving long time U.S. ally Hosni Mubarak under the bus? Well, apparently, he and his State Department didn’t think through the consequences very well. Or, if they did, they’re really dumb or naive or both.

Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood names Khairat al-Shater as presidential candidate

Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood announced on Saturday it will field its deputy chairman, Khairat al-Shater, as a candidate in the upcoming presidential election.

The Brotherhood’s supreme guide, Mohammed Badie, announced Shater’s nomination in a news conference and read out a brief statement from Shater, who was not present.

“After it was decided to field my name in the presidential elections, I can only accept the decision of the Brotherhood. I will therefore resign from my position as deputy chairman,” Shater’s statement said.

The Brotherhood’s political arm, the Justice and Freedom Party (JFP), also announced the decision on its Facebook page on Saturday.

See also:
Egypt Brotherhood candidate stirs unease
Egypt’s Brotherhood candidate stirs unease, even on Facebook
Revolution’s Spearhead?
Egypt Brotherhood candidate: sharia is main goal
Egypt Brotherhood candidate says sharia is main goal
Muslim Brotherhood candidate alters Egypt’s election race
Why the U.S. May Be Secretly Cheering a Muslim Brotherhood Run For Egypt’s Presidency
Muslim Brotherhood Finally Takes it a Step Too Far
Brotherhood defends Al-Shater’s nomination, Abdullah Al-Asha’al backs him
Profile: Egypt’s Khairat al-Shater
Egypt’s “Engineer”: A Look Under the Hood
Egypt candidate: Muslim Brotherhood’s Khairat al-Shater
Khairat El-Shater
Justice and Freedom Party
Freedom and Justice Party (Egypt)

Seriously, what informed person in their right mind didn’t see this coming? The Muslim Brotherhood already controls a majority in the Egyptian parliament and now they’re going for the political jugular to solidify their power. If they’re successful, it won’t bode well for Christians, women, or relations with Israel and the United States and it certainly won’t resemble anything close to what the West calls democracy.

/was this impending ugliness the change the feckless, Utopian Obama Foreign Policy Clown Posse was hoping for?

When Do We Attack China?

This is a pretty bold threat, seeing as how the United States’ government, infrastructure, corporations, and individuals are being seriously cyberattacked ever second of every day.

Cyber Combat: Act of War

The Pentagon has concluded that computer sabotage coming from another country can constitute an act of war, a finding that for the first time opens the door for the U.S. to respond using traditional military force.

The Pentagon’s first formal cyber strategy, unclassified portions of which are expected to become public next month, represents an early attempt to grapple with a changing world in which a hacker could pose as significant a threat to U.S. nuclear reactors, subways or pipelines as a hostile country’s military.

In part, the Pentagon intends its plan as a warning to potential adversaries of the consequences of attacking the U.S. in this way. “If you shut down our power grid, maybe we will put a missile down one of your smokestacks,” said a military official.

See also:
Pentagon warns that cyber-attacks will be seen as ‘acts of war’
US Pentagon to treat cyber-attacks as ‘acts of war’
‘Cyber attacks are an act of war’: Pentagon to announce new rules of engagement against state sponsored hackers
US could respond to cyber-attack with conventional weapons
U.S. Government Says Cyber Attacks May Be Acts of War
Pentagon: Computer hacking can constitute an act of war
U.S. will treat cyber-attacks as act of war
Get Your Cyber War On
Acts of War in the Computer Age
The cyber arms race
Matt Gurney: U.S. military says a cyber attack means war. But with who?
The Pentagon Is Confused About How to Fight a Cyber War

So, with all the thousands of state sponsored cyberattacks unfolding 24/7/365, who are we going to attack first, China, Russia? There’s plenty of the usual suspects probing the United States’ cyberdefenses constantly, it’s hard to choose just one culprit. And what if we get the source of a cyberattack wrong? The exact origin of most of these exploits is extremely difficult to pin down. What if we mistakenly launch a missile strike on China for hacking damage that was actually caused by the Russian Mafia, how cool would that be? Probably not very cool at all.

/and, of course, when we announce a brinkmanship policy like this, and then immediately fail to back up our words with deeds, it become much more than just a joke, it manifests a profound, telltale show of national weakness

Running On Empty

Actually, we’re running beyond empty now. The United States can’t legally borrow any more money until Congress acts to raise the debt ceiling.

US government hits debt ceiling, lighting 11-week fuse

Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner informed Congress on Monday that the United States has reached its legal debt limit, setting off a ticking time bomb that could explode in less than three months if lawmakers can’t bridge differences and allow more government borrowing.

In hitting the $14.3 trillion debt ceiling – the limit on how much the government can borrow – the Obama administration on Monday began temporarily halting payments to the retirement and federal pension accounts of federal workers and started borrowing from those funds, to be restored later.

Geithner sent a letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., warning that the government can move money around for about 11 weeks but if a new debt ceiling isn’t agreed to by Aug. 2, the U.S. government could effectively default on its obligations to its creditors. He warned of “catastrophic economic consequences for citizens” unless Congress raises the debt ceiling.

An increase of about $2 trillion is expected, enough to get the issue past the 2012 elections before Congress would have to lift it again.

Republicans who control the House of Representatives vow to link raising the debt ceiling to cuts in government spending of at least equal measure. In a combative statement Monday, House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, upped the ante.

“As I have said numerous times, there will be no debt limit increase without serious budget reforms and significant spending cuts, cuts that are greater than any increase in the debt limit.” Boehner has called previously for $2 trillion in spending cuts as part of any deal to raise the debt ceiling.

See also:
US hits $14 trillion debt limit
US Hits Debt Ceiling, But Treasury Market Rules Out Default For Now
Deja Vu, But No Disaster: U.S. Government Hits Debt Ceiling
U.S. Hits Debt Limit, Sky Doesn’t Fall
U.S. hit debt limit today
Treasury Tapping Federal Retirement Accounts to Stave Off Default
Turbo Tim Raids Pension Plans
With Debt Limit Maxed Out, Lawmakers Hold Firm On Remedy
Rep. Jordan: U.S. won’t default if debt ceiling isn’t raised
U.S. National Debt Clock

Well, we hit the debt ceiling and, despite all the Democrat Chicken Little hysteria, the Sun didn’t explode, the seas didn’t boil, and the markets didn’t plunge thousands of points. Go figure.

/all I can say is that the Republicans had better stand firm and hold their ground this time and hold out for concrete, verifiable spending cuts that at least equal the amount of any debt limit increase