Guests: Malcolm Hoenlein, Conference of Presidents, & Lee Smith, Weekly Standard senior editor and author of, The Strong Horse: Power, Politics, and the Clash of Arab Civilizations. Richard A Epstein, Hoover Institution, Chicago Law.
Wednesday 3 July 2013 / Hour 3, Block A: Malcolm Hoenlein, Conference of Presidents, & Lee Smith, Weekly Standard senior editor and author of, The Strong Horse: Power, Politics, and the Clash of Arab Civilizations; in re: military coup in Cairo – confirmed that Egypt's first democratically elected president is out, the head of he Supreme Court has been installed. The threat is that this is the largest democratic state to have a coup since WWII. "Is this the new Nasser?" No – he holds no nationalist ideology, speaks of process to get past the current crisis; held in high regards suddenly now, but he's not expected to play the public role that Nasser did. Egyptian meltdown. War with Israel is a serious possibility in the future. Whatever technocrats the SCAF puts in power will not be able to manage that Mursi could not. The problem is not Mursi, the problem is Egypt. Downward spiral, economy near ruin, out of food stocks and staples; tanks moving, army owns 30% of the economy and has a lot to protect. Erdogan in Turkey blames the Jews, blames anyone; cd happen n Egypt. The army allowed the anti-Mubarak coup, and Tantawi was totally outmanoueuverd by the Muslim Brotherhood. Now the army takes charge – to do what? You don't have to be a Muslim Brotherhood supporter to think this is outrageous. The US elite supports calls whenever the people go into the streets; OK, fine. The army itself did enjoy broad-based support, was symbol of natl unity; not today,. No backstop. Saw he Saudi king congratulate Egyptians Qataris put $4bil loan plus more; what'll the new Qatari leadership do? Egyptian army lined up al Jazeera reporters paid by Qatar and took them off.
Will Egypt Save Itself from Total Collapse by Going to War with Israel? So, here are the facts that Egyptians and Western reporters alike would rather not face: There is simply no way that today’s Egypt can feed its own people, or fuel the tractors that harvest its crops—let alone attract tens of billions of dollars in foreign investment to grow a hi-tech miracle along the banks of the Nile. That’s fantasyland stuff—like the fantasy of an American-style constitutional democracy run by the Muslim Brotherhood and guaranteed by the Egyptian army. So, what’s left? A short war today—precipitated by a border incident in Sinai, or a missile gone awry in the Gaza Strip, and concluded before the military runs out of the ammunition that Washington will surely not resupply—will reunify the country and earn Egypt money from an international community eager to broker peace. Taking up arms against Israel will also return Egypt to its former place of prominence in an Arab world that is adrift in a sea of blood. But even more important is the fact that there is no other plausible way out: Sacrificing thousands of her sons on the altar of war is the only way to save Mother Egypt from herself.
Wednesday 3 July 2013 / Hour 3, Block B: Malcolm Hoenlein, Conference of Presidents, in re: US gives billions in economic aid to Egypt; this will be reviewed next year. Egypt moved 300 tanks into Sinai with Israel's permission; not because of movement f Hamas or its tunnels; may have been in anticipation because the Gaza border heats up, and mood there had turned against Muslim Brotherhood. On 8 July Ramadan begins, which engenders much more complicated situations. MB in Tunis, Oman, parts of the Free Syria Army, in Jordan – a dynamic and transnational organization. This is not stable. They've resisted since 1923, will not go away, Likelihood of clashes – the Islamic TV stations were put off air. US will call this an interim step and give a lot of leeway. No infrastructure for governance! King Abdullah of Jordan: it takes a minimum of three to five years. Egypt: a million babies born every year, most people earning $2 a day. Zawahiri issues a statement itching for a fight.
Wednesday 3 July 2013 / Hour 3, Block C: Richard A Epstein, Hoover Institution, Chicago Law, in re: (1 of 2) The Supreme Court’s decisions transformed the debate over gay marriage in the country. Unfortunately, how the Court reached its decisions should be disturbing to any follower of constitutional law, regardless of his or her personal views on same-sex marriage. My own libertarian instincts lead me to think that same-sex marriage is a legislative matter. After all, the states are often called laboratories of democracy. Now, though, those states are on a short leash . . .
Wednesday 3 July 2013 / Hour 3, Block D: Richard A Epstein, Hoover Institution, Chicago Law, in re: (2 of 2) . . . The Constitutional Merits By a five-four vote, the Supreme Court struck down section 3 of DOMA. Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote the opinion for the majority. Key to understanding his elusive opinion is Justice Kennedy’s ambiguous attitude to the role of tradition in constitutional adjudication. The issue is one with a long pedigree, and relates closely to the level of scrutiny that is invoked in constitutional deliberation. Virtually all of the historical challenges to legislation were the result of conscious departures from traditional common law rules, including the early twentieth-century challenges to the wage and hour laws. Many of the judges who struck down those statutes did so because they were anti-competitive labor statutes in disguise, intended to throttle the competition that low-pay or non-union workers gave to the rising power of trade unions. The stinging dissent of Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes in Lochner v. New York was written to uphold New York’s maximum hour law: I think that the word liberty in the Fourteenth Amendment is perverted when it is held to prevent the natural outcome of a dominant opinion, unless it can be said that a rational and fair man necessarily would admit that the statute proposed would infringe fundamental principles as they have been understood by the traditions of our people and our law. Tradition saves the day in Holmes’s last clause. The DOMA sponsors also appealed to that deep sense of tradition when . . . [more]