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Monday, May 23, 2011

Egypt is "disintegrating" and "like a black hole"

So says Mohamed ElBaradei:
Egypt is disintegrating socially and its economy “is bust,” said Mohamed ElBaradei, the former director of the International Atomic Energy Agency and possible candidate for the Egyptian presidency.

“Right now, socially, we are disintegrating,” ElBaradei said on CNN’s “Fareed Zakaria GPS,” scheduled to air Sunday. “Economically we are not in the best state. Politically it’s -- it’s like a black hole. We do not know where we are heading.”
Egyptians are embracing our Second Amendment:
ElBaradei said many Egyptians don’t feel secure as the country struggles to create a new government after former president Hosni Mubarak was forced from power by protests earlier this year.
“People do not feel secure,” ElBaradei said. “They are buying guns” to protect themselves, he said.
It's a good thing we forced Mubarak to resign "yesterday" rather than working for a smooth transition which did not destroy Egypt's economy and put the Islamists on the fast track.

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  1. Given Obama's speech Thursday, repeated this weekend, sounds like he will be pleased with this "democratic" "Arab Spring" outcome.

    Like all his advisors didn't see this coming; like the experts in the Middle East didn't scream out that this would happen to anyone who would listen.

    Oh, and his "foreign policy expert" buddy Biden - the one on the ticket to bolster his FP cred - where is he? On vaca, or out tripping over his tongue, I guess. Sure is AOL on the Middle East and Israel.

    Worst. President. Ever.

  2. Bread and debt are driving the fears.

    Wheat prices have gone up 91% in the last year and, as Richard at The Belmont Club notes, the Chinese are driving the price of wheat far beyond what Arabs can afford. The Arabian market for wheat comprises a third of world consumption of the commodity, yet they import most of it. Hungry people are scary people.

  3. Beyond the Egyptian political situation, the Egyptian economic situation is rapidly going downhill. Tourism, a chief source of income, has dropped 50%. Egypt has always been somewhat of an economic basket case, it will get rapidly worse.

    This is a little old but comes from the always solid John Mauldin. Note it is dated February 2011, so the situation is now even worse than portrayed here:

    "Yet Egypt cannot simply tap international debt markets like a normal country. While its foreign debt load is small, its total debt levels are very similar to states that have faced default and/or bailout problems in the past. An 8-percent-of-GDP budget deficit and a 72-percent-of-GDP government debt load are teetering on the edge of what is sustainable. As a point of comparison, Argentina defaulted in 2001 with a 60-percent-of-GDP debt load, and it had far more robust income streams. Even if Egypt can find some interested foreign investors, the cost of borrowing will be prohibitively high, and the amounts needed are daunting. Plainly stated, Cairo needed to come up with $16 billion annually just to break even before the crisis and the likely banking changes that will come along with it."

    John Mauldin

  4. That last line is sarcasm, right?

  5. So much for his chances of ever being elected in the US. He used the Verboten phrase "b____ h___", or in common terms, an object compressed so much that not even light, or common sense can escape.

  6. Change we can ... ?

  7. While most rational Americans watched the Egyptian riots and knew that it would not turn out well, especially for the U.S., the American media, and this Administration praised the protestors as if they really knew that it was liberty seeking people in the streets. We were told [remember?] that the Muslim Brotherhood was not a faction of the protests, yet it was revealed that Medea Benjamine (nee, Susan who decided to take the name of a woman who murdered her own children) was working with the MB prior to the Egyptian riots.

    Egypt will rapidly become Tehran on the Nile. It will be taken over, both politically, and philosophically, by Islamists who will quickly tear up the peace treaty with Israel. It will see a rise in Islamofacism, and a decrease in what few rights the Egyptian people currently have.

    From Honduras, to the Middle East, to now Israel, this administration's foreign policy will prove to be the greatest disaster of any administration and the ramifications from that disaster will be felt by Americans for generation.

  8. I/P linked this last week. Scary.
    "...The collapse of Egypt's credit standing, meanwhile, has shut down trade financing for food imports...According to the country's statistics agency, only a month's supply of rice is on hand, and four months' supply of wheat.
    The country's foreign exchange reserves have fallen by US$13 billion, or roughly a third during the first three months of the year...At this rate Egypt will be broke by September....[Egypt] will look like the Latin American banana republics, but without the bananas. That is not meant in jest: few people actually starved to death in the Latin inflations. Egypt, which imports half its wheat and a great deal of the rest of its food, will actually starve.

  9. Under Greek and Roman stewardship, Mother Nile fed Mediterranean Civilization. Under British stewardship she prospered and produced much of value, including food. Under Arab stewardship, water disappears and with it food.

  10. Egypt plans to raise $1 billion by selling Eurobonds backed by a U.S. “sovereign guarantee,”

    "Egypt plans to raise $1 billion by selling Eurobonds this year to diversify borrowing and finance a widening budget deficit after its economy was rocked by the worst political crisis in 30 years. The five-year bonds will be backed by a U.S. “sovereign guarantee,” Finance Minister Samir Radwan said by telephone from Cairo today. “We should tap the market quickly. We need to diversify because the local market is squeezed.”

    "The planned Eurobond sale “may satisfy short-term financing needs but the American backing limits the ability of Egypt as an independent entity to ask for funds in the international market in the long term,”


  11. Oh hey just like post-Saddam Iraq.

  12. i am jack's complete lack of surprise

  13. The sooner Egypt comes to it's ultimate conclusion, the better. If the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) will be running the country, it should happen on Obama's watch not someone elses. Obama needs to take the full credit for his incompetence and not fob it off. After all his National Security Director is saying the MB has changed it's ways and is nonviolent. Does the MB sound non violent to you calling for war against Israel? This foreign policy failure on top of all the other ones will only cement the conclusion of the voters that Obama is a failure and someone else needs to step in.