I know, we've heard
and seen lots of bellyaching
about President Obama being caught in the middle on Egypt. But in
retrospect, what's not to like?
President Obama supported the democratic movement but not so fast that he
looked eager to throw overboard a longtime autocratic pal. And it all went down
fairly nonviolently, so far. Aside from Frank Wisner going
off the reservation in Munich and giving Mubarak a bit wet kiss, pretty
well done. This is good change, brought about -- so far -- in a good way.
If I were an al
Qaeda bigwig, events in Egypt would worry me -- in two weeks, those crowds have
brought more change to the Arab world than AQ ever did. And so I would say this
is a quiet net plus for the United States.
Meanwhile, a reader
asks: For the last 30 years, Egyptian officers have studied at U.S. Army
institutions. So, he asks, are they different from the "change resistant"
generation, and if so, how?
Nor did I know that
Egypt has a draft.
Shanker and Schmitt, the euphonious security duo at the New York Times, noted
the other day that, "General Enan commands a conscription army -- drawn
by law from all sectors of Egyptian society and therefore tightly knitted with
the populace. Every adult male is required to serve."