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  1. #1
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    Egypt - International reaction - Israel shocked by Obama's "betrayal" of Mubarak

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/...d_dest=Twitter

    Israel shocked by Obama's "betrayal" of Mubarak

    By Douglas Hamilton
    JERUSALEM | Mon Jan 31, 2011 11:55am EST

    JERUSALEM (Reuters) - If Egypt's President Hosni Mubarak is toppled, Israel will lose one of its very few friends in a hostile neighborhood and U.S. President Barack Obama will bear a large share of the blame, Israeli pundits said on Monday.

    Political commentators expressed shock at how the United States as well as its major European allies appeared to be ready to dump a staunch strategic ally of three decades, simply to conform to the current ideology of political correctness.

    Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has told ministers of the Jewish state to make no comment on the political cliffhanger in Cairo, to avoid inflaming an already explosive situation. But Israel's President Shimon Peres is not a minister.

    "We always have had and still have great respect for President Mubarak," he said on Monday. He then switched to the past tense. "I don't say everything that he did was right, but he did one thing which all of us are thankful to him for: he kept the peace in the Middle East."

    Newspaper columnists were far more blunt.

    One comment by Aviad Pohoryles in the daily Maariv was entitled "A Bullet in the Back from Uncle Sam." It accused Obama and his Secretary of State Hillary Clinton of pursuing a naive, smug, and insular diplomacy heedless of the risks.

    Who is advising them, he asked, "to fuel the mob raging in the streets of Egypt and to demand the head of the person who five minutes ago was the bold ally of the president ... an almost lone voice of sanity in a Middle East?"

    "The politically correct diplomacy of American presidents throughout the generations ... is painfully naive."

    Obama on Sunday called for an "orderly transition" to democracy in Egypt, stopping short of calling on Mubarak to step down, but signaling that his days may be numbered.

    "AMERICA HAS LOST IT"

    Netanyahu instructed Israeli ambassadors in a dozen key capitals over the weekend to impress on host governments that Egypt's stability is paramount, official sources said.

    "Jordan and Saudi Arabia see the reactions in the West, how everyone is abandoning Mubarak, and this will have very serious implications," Haaretz daily quoted one official as saying.

    Egypt, Israel's most powerful neighbor, was the first Arab country to make peace with the Jewish state, in 1979. Egyptian President Anwar Sadat, who signed the treaty, was assassinated two years later by an Egyptian fanatic.

    It took another 13 years before King Hussein of Jordan broke Arab ranks to made a second peace with the Israelis. That treaty was signed by Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, who was assassinated one year later, in 1995, by an Israeli fanatic.

    There have been no peace treaties since. Lebanon and Syria are still technically at war with Israel. Conservative Gulf Arab regimes have failed to advance their peace ideas. A hostile Iran has greatly increased its influence in the Middle East conflict.
    Last edited by StrontiumDog; 01-02-2011 at 12:32 AM.
    "Slavery is the daughter of darkness; an ignorant people is the blind instrument of its own destruction; ambition and intrigue take advantage of the credulity and inexperience of men who have no political, economic or civil knowledge. They mistake pure illusion for reality, license for freedom, treason for patriotism, vengeance for justice."-Simón Bolívar

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    rats coming out, time to cut loose the Israeli scums too

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    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/01/wo...mid=tw-nytimes

    Palestinian Adversaries Unite, for Now, Over Egypt

    By FARES AKRAM and ISABEL KERSHNER

    Published: January 31, 2011

    GAZA —The Hamas rulers of Gaza and the rival Palestinian Authority leadership of the West Bank rarely see eye-to-eye on anything. But with mass protests rocking Egypt, across Gaza’s southern border, the Palestinian adversaries have united in maintaining a cautious silence, hedging their bets given the unpredictability of the outcome and clearly concerned about a possible spread of popular unrest to their areas.

    Both Hamas and the Western-backed Palestinian Authority have prevented popular demonstrations in support of protesting Egyptians and Tunisians in recent days, apparently preferring to show a front of Palestinian neutrality and worried that things could spin out of control.

    In an early sign that people on both sides were seeking to capitalize on the regional turmoil, Palestinians inspired by how social networking sites helped to mobilize demonstrators in Egypt and Tunisia created two pages on Facebook over the weekend, one urging people to rebel against the Islamic militant rulers of Gaza, and the other against the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank.

    By mid-Monday, several thousand fans had registered for the anti-Hamas page, Preparations for Al-Karama (Dignity) Revolution in Gaza, which called for mass protests in Gaza after Friday prayers on Feb. 11. The anti-authority page, Preparations for Revolution against the Zionist-Fatah Authority, called for protests after prayers in the West Bank this Friday, and had attracted a few hundred fans.

    Apparently nervous, the Hamas police dispersed a handful of demonstrators who gathered in Gaza city on Monday afternoon to show support for the Egyptian people. The bearded plainclothes officers called in a group of female officers and arrested three young female demonstrators, a human rights advocate and another male demonstrator. The call for that demonstration was also made through Facebook.

    The schism between the Palestinian sides deepened after Hamas won parliamentary elections in 2006 then seized full control of Gaza a year later, routing pro-Fatah forces after months of factional fighting.

    Hosni Mubarak, the embattled president of Egypt, has been a strong ally of the Palestinian Authority and a staunch supporter of the now-stalled Israeli-Palestinian peace process. Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian president, called Mr. Mubarak on Saturday to express his hope that calm and stability would be restored. Egypt has also brokered reconciliation talks, so far without success, between Hamas and Fatah, the party led by Mr. Abbas.

    Palestinian leaders on both sides have been wary of speaking publicly about Egypt, aware of what some local observers were calling the Kuwait effect. They were referring to the mistake made by Yasir Arafat, then the Palestinian leader, who sided with Iraq when Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait in 1990. Kuwait withdrew its support for the Palestinians and expelled hundreds of thousands who were living and working there.

    Mahmoud Zahar, a Hamas leader in Gaza known for his often fiery outspokenness, said on Monday, “We do not intervene in Egypt’s internal affairs.”

    Nabil Shaath, a member of the Fatah Central Committee and Fatah’s foreign relations commissioner, said in a telephone interview from the West Bank city of Ramallah on Sunday: “We are praying that Egypt comes out of this in the final analysis with more freedom, security, democracy, unity. It is their decision, not ours. Our position has been very circumspect — we are very much aware of the difficulties Egypt is going through and we cannot take sides.”

    “For us,” he added, “Egypt is an existential relationship like that between Israel and the United States.”

    Many analysts have noted that if the Muslim Brotherhood eventually comes to power in Egypt, Hamas would be greatly strengthened, and could take over the West Bank. Mr. Shaath said that talk of a Muslim Brotherhood-run Egypt was “exaggerated.” He also denied any concern that anti-establishment protests could spread to the West Bank, saying that the Palestinians had enough problems with the Israeli occupation and the West Bank-Gaza divide.

    Still, Mr. Abbas met with his security chiefs on Sunday. And in what appeared to be an effort to head off criticism of the veteran leadership in the West Bank, Fatah officials for the first time in months began talking about the possibility of holding long-overdue elections.

    Azzam al-Ahmed, a senior Fatah official, told the Voice of Palestine radio on Monday that the leadership was discussing the possibility of holding presidential and parliamentary elections, despite the internal division. Mr. Abbas was elected in 2005; he said in late 2009 that he would not seek re-election as president, and scheduled elections for January 2010. But when it became clear that Hamas would not cooperate with staging the elections in Gaza Mr. Abbas’s term was extended indefinitely.

    The authority leaders faced a challenge of their own this month after the satellite channel Al Jazeera published leaked documents showing concessions made by Mr. Abbas’s negotiators in past negotiations with the Israelis.

    The Palestinian Authority allowed one large demonstration to take place Friday in the West Bank city of Hebron, against Al Jazeera and in support of Mr. Abbas. In a display of force dozens of armed Palestinian Authority security force members rode through the streets of Hebron, long considered a stronghold of Hamas.

    The official Palestinian Authority TV has avoided showing the scale of the protests in Egypt. Emad al-Asfar, the director general of programming, said the station did not want “to interfere in the internal affairs of governments” and was trying to avoid “inciting the public through live coverage” and “unauthenticated stories.”

    Nevertheless, Palestinians in the West Bank were mostly supportive of the Egyptians seeking change.

    “We are happy,” said Rashad Zaid, 20, a university student from Ramallah, “because the barriers of fear have collapsed and people are able to raise their voices against those who have acted brutally. We hope that the street movement achieves its goals.”

    Other Palestinians expressed concern that an end of Mr. Mubarak’s rule would leave Egypt in chaos.

    Many Israeli analysts say that the regional turmoil precludes peace moves and territorial concessions in the near future, putting off prospects of a deal with the Palestinians. But few Palestinians seemed concerned about that, noting that negotiations have been suspended for months in any case.

    In Gaza, where 1.5 million Palestinians rely heavily on the border with Egypt for transit and supplies, there were fears of increasing prices and of being stuck, as some smuggling tunnels under the border and the official above-ground border crossing were shut.

    Hamas deployed forces along Gaza’s border with Egypt, preventing tunnel operators from reaching the area.

    But five Palestinians who fled from Egyptian prisons had arrived back in Gaza by Monday, entering via the tunnels.

    One was Mohammed Al-Shaer, known as the “lord of the tunnels,” a veteran smuggler who was arrested in Cairo in September 2009.

    Fares Akram reported from Gaza, and Isabel Kershner from Jerusalem. Khaled Abu Aker contributed reporting from Ramallah, West Bank

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    http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/...d_dest=Twitter

    EU calls for orderly transition in Egypt

    By David Brunnstrom and Justyna Pawlak
    BRUSSELS | Mon Jan 31, 2011 12:17pm EST

    BRUSSELS (Reuters) - The European Union called for an orderly transition to a broad-based government in Egypt on Monday, saying democratic reforms were needed to create the conditions for free and fair elections.

    The statement stopped short of calling for an immediate poll in Egypt, where a presidential election is scheduled for September. But it mirrored a White House statement on Sunday calling for a transition to a more responsive government.

    EU foreign ministers said they wanted to see "an orderly transition to a broad-based government, leading to a genuine process of essential democratic reforms."

    The 27 ministers added that transition in the Arab world's most populous country should "respect the rule of law, human rights and fundamental freedoms, paving the way for free and fair elections."

    President Hosni Mubarak, an ally of the United States and Europe, has faced a week of protests by tens of thousands of demonstrators throughout the country calling for him to step down after nearly 30 years in power.

    About 140 people have been killed in clashes with security forces, especially the police, in scenes that have overturned Egypt's standing as a stable country, a promising emerging market and an attractive tourist destination.

    The EU statement expressed regret at the violence and loss of life during the unrest and urged the government to ensure security and property of citizens and an end to looting.

    The speed with which popular revolt has spread from Tunisia -- where the president was forced to flee on January 14 -- to Egypt has surprised political analysts and left world leaders scrambling to assess how best to respond to the crisis.

    Officials say EU states are divided, with some believing Mubarak should step down immediately while others argue he should be given time to create better conditions for an orderly and democratic transition of power.

    OBAMA STOPS SHORT ON MUBARAK

    U.S. President Barack Obama spoke with Britain's David Cameron and Germany's Angela Merkel on Sunday and issued a statement afterwards calling for political reform in Egypt, while stopping short of urging Mubarak to leave.

    Monday's EU statement reflected a joint position on Saturday by the bloc's three biggest foreign policy players -- France, German and Britain -- which called on Mubarak to launch a process of political transformation to produce a more broad-based government and free and fair elections.

    Earlier on Monday, EU foreign affairs chief Catherine Ashton urged Egyptian authorities to hold talks with opposition groups, release demonstrators and take steps toward democracy to end the unrest that has convulsed the country of 80 million people.

    Ashton said it was essential all sides, including the police, showed restraint in order to avoid further bloodshed.

    "We urge the authorities to release immediately all peaceful demonstrators who are in detention," she told reporters.

    "There needs to be a peaceful way forward and an open and serious dialogue with the opposition parties and all parts of civil society and we believe it needs to happen now."

    Ashton said Egyptians had legitimate grievances and the authorities had to respect democracy, the rule of law and human rights. She did not mention Mubarak by name.

    Mubarak appointed a new interior minister on Monday as part of an overhauled cabinet. The move appeared designed to defuse the most serious challenge to his rule in three decades, but there was no let up in the popular unrest.

    (Editing by Luke Baker and Janet Lawrence)

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    http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/...d_dest=Twitter

    Egypt moves troops to Sinai with Israeli consent


    JERUSALEM | Mon Jan 31, 2011 12:11pm EST

    JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Egypt has moved about 800 troops into the Sinai peninsula with Israel's consent to beef up security as protests aimed at toppling President Hosni Mubarak spread across Egypt, Israeli officials said on Monday.

    Permission was granted in response to a request from Cairo, and the forces have been deployed around the southern Sinai resort of Sharm el-Sheikh, one official said. Two other officials confirmed that Israel had granted such a request.

    The vast wedge of desert between Israel and Egypt is largely demilitarized under the 1979 peace treaty between the two countries.

    Israel Radio said "Israel is looking the other way" as Egypt positions forces in the Sinai "to try to make sure the situation doesn't get out of hand" there.

    Israel last permitted Egypt to station armed forces in the Sinai after it pulled its own troops out of Gaza in 2005, and Egypt posted border guards on its side of the Gaza border to prevent Palestinian militants from smuggling weapons.

    Egypt was the first Arab country to sign a peace deal with Israel, in 1979. Under the terms of the treaty, Israel withdrew forces from the Sinai which it had captured in the 1967 Middle East war. It completed the pullout in 1982.

    (Reporting by Dan Williams; Writing by Allyn Fisher-Ilan; Editing by Janet Lawrence)

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    For Christ sake who gives a second hand flying hair fuck about these fucking rag heads.
    Nuke Isreal, eygpt and Iran.
    Take the oil, and the Suez canal and let the fucking adults run the world.
    JESUS!!!!!!!!!

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    http://edition.cnn.com/2011/WORLD/af...lse/index.html

    Unrest in North Africa and Middle East may spread to Syria

    By Mike Pearson, For CNN
    January 31, 2011 -- Updated 1822 GMT (0222 HKT)

    STORY HIGHLIGHTS
    • Syrian opposition groups organizing protests against the government
    • The calls are the latest call for demonstrations in the wake of Tunisian protests
    • Those protests helped topple the Tunisian government and spark widespread unrest in Egypt

    (CNN) -- What began as a popular uprising that toppled the Tunisian government before spreading into Algeria, Jordan, Yemen, Sudan and, of course, Egypt, may now be headed for Syria.

    Opposition movements in Syria are calling for mass protests on Saturday against the rule of President Bashar Al-Assad.

    The groups are organizing on Facebook, with several pages promoting protests in Damascus, Aleppo and other cities.

    Protest organizers want better living standards, human rights improvements and a greater voice for youth, according to the Middle East Media Research Institute, a Washington, D.C.-based organization that studies and translates news accounts and social media postings.

    It's unclear how many people might join the protests. A few thousand people had expressed their support for the movement on the Facebook pages, some of them undoubtedly from outside the country, the research institute said.

    On Sunday, Sudan got a taste of the protests. An undetermined number of university students and others demanded the removal of the government in Facebook-organized protests that its leaders said were inspired by the events in Tunisia.

    The students protested at a university in Khartoum, chanting "No to high prices, no to corruption" and "Tunisia, Egypt, Sudan together as one."

    "The people of Sudan will not remain silent anymore. It is about time we demand our rights and take what's ours in a peaceful demonstration that will not involve any acts of sabotage," according an English language version of the group's profile on Facebook.

    "We will demonstrate against the rising of the prices, the corruption, unemployment and all false practices of the government such as violence against women and lashing them in ways that breaks all laws of religions and humanity and the violation of minorities' rights."

    The Sudan Tribune newspaper, citing a statement from police, said 70 people, 40 of them students, were arrested after the protests.

    Meanwhile, a Facebook page has surfaced calling for a protest on Thursday in Yemen, which has been the site of a few demonstrations already.

    The Tunisian protests that sparked the region's unrest sprang up after Mohamed Bouazizi, a 26-year-old college graduate, set himself on fire in protest of police confiscation of the fruit cart he had set up to make money. He later died.

    The protests resulted in the collapse of Tunisia's government and inspired similar protests in other countries, including Algeria, Jordan, Sudan and Yemen.

    The protests have reached their zenith to date in Egypt, where untold thousands of Egyptians have ignored government curfews and clashed with police over demands that President Hosni Mubarak resign.

    A popular Facebook page that helped organize the Cairo protests was dedicated to Bouazizi.

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    JERUSALEM (Reuters) - If Egypt's President Hosni Mubarak is toppled, Israel will lose one of its very few friends in a hostile neighborhood and U.S. President Barack Obama will bear a large share of the blame, Israeli pundits said on Monday.

    Well, this pundit says: "Israel never had any fiends !"







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    The thuggish Israeli regime is becoming increasingly isolated. It's about time the Israeli people acted and took their country back from a government and military sector that does not speak for the majority of them.

    I'm not surprised at all that they are concerned about the people in the neighbouring country doing exactly that. And I'm pleasantly surprised to see the USA not being lapdogs, and toeing the right wing Israeli line-as is usually the case. Perhaps the USA is finally coming to it's senses in this regard.

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    we should keep out of this and let it take a natural course for once,
    that f==cking idiot bliar was on the tv giving advise, well what can one say.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sabang
    And I'm pleasantly surprised to see the USA not being lapdogs, and toeing the right wing Israeli line-as is usually the case.
    you sure ? it seems clear that Obama and Clinton are consulting their masters first before taking decision or are simply sitting there, indecisive, because they are out of their league.

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    wouldn't surprise me that Mossad and CIA try to trigger something in Syria over that false pretense,

    how convenient,

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    wouldn't surprise me y'all haven't blamed Sarah Palin for the unrest in Egypt...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Boon Mee
    wouldn't surprise me y'all haven't blamed Sarah Palin for the unrest in Egypt...
    no, but we can blame Bush for it

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    hopefully they will raid the Israeli and US Embassy, and take a few American hostages

    should send the US back to the good old days of the 1970s

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    If TeakDoor had been around in the forties, most of the membership would have been rooting for Hitler. Worst case of mass insanity I've seen.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jools
    rooting for Hitler.
    I doubt it- most of us are opposed to the dictatorial Mubarak and his repressive state apparatus.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sabang View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Jools
    rooting for Hitler.
    I doubt it- most of us are opposed to the dictatorial Mubarak and his repressive state apparatus.
    Just like y'all were opposed to the Shah and look where that got you...

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    The Muslim Brotherhood is everything that His Majesty said, and more. They have been operating underground for literally generations in Egypt [and pretty much everywhere else in the Sunni world, with occasional alliances with Shiites] for that time as a revolutionary force. They have been active enemies of Nasser, Sadat, and Mubarak. This is not like in hockey where if you get caught, you sit quietly in the penalty box for a few minutes. In addition to the standard Islamic ways of imposing the government will on those who are less than enthusiastic on the subject; they have imported foreign subject matter experts.
    Immediately after WW II, the Middle East, and Egypt in particular, was a regular stop on the ODESSA train; for a number of newly unemployed Germans who were looking for less dangerous and ideologically friendly climes where they could make use of their specialized skills. Keep in mind that the Arab Baath Party drew much from the NSDAP. Immediately after that era, Egypt was sponsored by the Soviets; who brought with them operatives from the Second and Fifth Chief Directorates to …. mentor … the home team.
    The Muslim Brotherhood has a strong, clandestine, cell-based organization dedicated to establishing their version of a worldwide Caliphate over not only the Dar Al Harb, but also over the entire Ummah. They really don’t care if either Infidel or Muslim agree with the process. And they have been operating despite the active opposition of the government’s first team for generations. And they have deeply infiltrated the Egyptian Army, up to Field Grade level. Keep in mind that it was Muslim Brotherhood Egyptian Army troops who turned a military parade into Anwar Sadat’s last day.
    It is the organization that counts.
    When the organic waste impacts the rotating airfoil to the point where people are willing to take on the government; since most civilians have no skill or interest in such matters normally; they fall naturally and pretty automatically into the arms of those who have a pre-existing organization and template for resistance. The most organized and widespread [and most ruthless] anti-government group in Egypt is the Muslim Brotherhood.
    Think Russia, 1917. The mass of the Russian people did not visualize the Marxist-Leninist horror that they ended up with as the result of overthrowing the Romanovs. If anything, most had something that was closer to Western Europe in mind. But the “Bolsheviks” [which means "majority" in Russian, which they very much were not. ] were both organized and ruthless. And they won, because they set the template for what followed in the face of feckless opposition.
    I’m pretty sure, that barring a successful attempt to recreate Tiananmen in Cairo and Suez; Mubarak is history. The question is who or what will succeed him? From the point of view of American interests [I know, that is a forbidden concept in American foreign policy], a non-MB Army coup would be the best that we could hope for. The odds are not good of that. Either immediately, or after a short-lived Ptolemaic equivalent of a Kerensky regime; the MB will have its hands on the levers of power.

    ElBaradei is both linked very strongly to the MB AND his wife is Iranian, I’ve heard with ties to the regime. He is loved by the American Left [ including Buraq Hussein] for his consistent opposition to the United States and support for the Islamic bomb. If he ends up as the puppet with the MB hand up his ass; you will see TIME, Newsweak, the NYT ["the Vanguard of the Fifth Column"], and the Jeffrey Immelt’s COMCASTGENBC conglomerate giving him the same treatment they always give new Soviet/Russian leaders, the heads of the KGB/FSB, and Chinese leaders. We will see pieces about how that he has always been a secret ‘small d democrat”, loves American jazz, etc. Any of the real results of his ascension, if not sent down the memory hole, will be described as “unexpected”.
    ——
    Some things to watch for.
    1) whether the Suez Canal [Note to Chrissy "Tingles" Matthews- unlike what he said last night on MSNBC; it is the SUEZ canal in Egypt, not the Panama Canal as he ranted.] stays in full operation, or if a differential pricing for passage comes about. Besides non-energy trade; Europe has about 1 million bbl/day coming through Suez. No, that will not cripple them. But with their economy already on the ropes, it will not help. There is the matter of free passage for not only Israeli warships, but also ours. It can be worked around, but at a high cost.
    2) Mubarak’s primary use for American policy is the fact that he maintained the Camp David Treaty. The MB is not likely to do so. The Egyptians up to now have also maintained the arms embargo on HAMAS in Gaza. That is not long for this world under the MB. Israel is already facing an active two front conventional war between Lebanon and Gaza, plus the threat of strategic WMD’s delivered by Iran and its satraps. A MB Egyptian regime that de facto voids the Camp David Treaty means an active 3 front conventional war must be allowed for, AND that Gaza becomes more of a threat.
    Israel has limited resources. While it is the position of the current regime, the EU, and the UN that it would be so much easier if Israel would simply commit suicide quietly; they are not likely to do so. What all of Israel’s enemies take as a given is that Israel will not use its nuclear forces in an existential situation. I would not bet on it, and I remember the last time that the rest of the world encouraged the Arab states to surround and destroy Israel. June of 1967, I believe it was. They did not wait to be slaughtered.
    If the glow-in-the-dark SHTF, while the Ummah can be destroyed as an entity, there will be consequences for the rest of the world. Neither we, nor other countries may like what results.
    I offer another trip-wire to watch for. The Camp David Treaty puts certain requirements on both parties. Neither can bring military forces into “Zone C” in the Sinai, especially armored forces. If either does so, that is a casus belli. Each side’s compliance with the Treaty is monitored by a Multi-National Force, led by the US. It is NOT a UN force, because the Russians threatened to veto such [they really did not want the Treaty]. The US furnishes more than half the force, rotating through an Infantry Battalion and a Support Battalion plus additional elements at any given time.
    Their presence is at the sufferance of Buraq Hussein Obama. If they are withdrawn, it is a major strategic indicator even more serious than the UN accepting the Egyption demands on the UN force in the Sinai in 1967. However, I do not rule out a regime decision that they will be deemed expendable if such furthers the strategic goals of the NCA.
    I would also note, that after Egypt falls; unrest will not end. We are seeing food riots across North Africa and Asia. When people are worried about feeding their kids, they will fight back, however impotently. World food reserves are at a low point. Of the major grain exporters. Russia has suspended exports due to drought, fires, and local shortages. Canada’s crop is down 17% due to flooding. Australia has its own drought AND flooding problems. Argentina does export some, but not enough to make a difference. The US is not starving, but we are devoting fully 1/3 of our grain resources to the high pollution and economically nonsensical folly of ethanol production.? Add to this the detail that every major economy is engaging in a beggar-thy-neighbor policy of deliberate inflation which is spreading to the third world; and Malthus is in play. He does not play nicely.



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    Watching Yemen

    Posted by Michael Crowley Monday, January 31, 2011 at 3:15 pm


    The stakes in Egypt are obviously huge right now. But it feels like we're all paying too little attention to the situation in Yemen, which Obama counter-terrorism advisor John Brennan has been described as fearing could become another Waziristan-like haven for terrorists, and where political anarchy almost certainly plays into al Qaeda's hands. The WSJ reports today on opposition efforts to organize demonstrations in the country's mountainous rural areas.
    Over 3,000 opposition supporters gathered in the town of Maweya in Taiz province, in southern Yemen, condemning alleged oppression by the ruling party of President Ali Abdullah Saleh, according to eyewitnesses. And in Dhammar province , in central Al-Hada district, the opposition was able to gather more than 1,500 followers, in a district considered a stronghold for the ruling party.Monday's protests are much smaller than demonstrations that drew thousands to the streets of San'a, the capital, and other urban centers late last week. Opposition leaders said they were now targeting rural areas, where loyalties to tribal and local authorities often outweigh any allegiance to Mr. Saleh's central government. They have promised country-wide demonstrations on Thursday.
    Could Yemeni president Ali Abdullah Saleh be the next to go? At CNN.com, Yemeni expert Daniel Martin Varisco says it's not likely:
    Tunisia appears to be an exception rather than a harbinger of radical change for Yemen. The protests in Yemen reflect genuine concerns, but they are less about the present government being evil than its being ineffective.

    So far the protests in the capital have not resulted in bloodshed, but allowed factions to voice the concerns they have been complaining about in private and with friends. Many Yemenis, looking at the aftermath of regime change in Iraq, prefer the existing government's ability to provide relative security over any new civil strife.
    Varisco adds that just one out of ten Yemenis have internet access, a big obstacle to organizing in a repressive state.

    Still, you can be sure that the Obama team is watching this one very, very closely.


    Read more: Watching Yemen - Swampland - TIME.com

  21. #21
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    In the Middle East, they are closer to Asian than being African, so they will just rollover and shutup

    the action is happening in North Africa, not the ME
    Last edited by Butterfly; 01-02-2011 at 10:48 AM.

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    Love Thailand Carnwadrick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by StrontiumDog
    Political commentators expressed shock at how the United States as well as its major European allies appeared to be ready to dump a staunch strategic ally of three decades, simply to conform to the current ideology of political correctness.
    Just like Jimmy Carter dumped the Shah of Iran now look at the shit we are in over there

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    they need to storm the US Embassy and send a clear message that they will no longer be a base for the US invaders

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    Oops they've turned off t'interwebnet in Egypt again.

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    http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/politi...131-1ab3l.html

    Temples of doomed democracy begin to stir from their coma

    February 1, 2011

    Egypt teetering on the brink

    Protests continue to rage across Egypt, as overseas workers and tourists struggle to flee the chaos.

    The Arab world has been on holiday from history for four decades. As the number of democracies worldwide tripled and representative government flourished on every continent as never before, only one region has been in a state of suspended animation.

    Until now. The arrested development of the Arab world appears to be approaching an end.

    Spontaneous uprisings in Tunisia and now Egypt have revealed the terrible truth that the region's dictators had been desperately trying to hide: that the people have power if they choose to exercise it, that the repression is a relic, that autocracy is no longer the norm but an aberration.


    Illustration: Simon Letch

    A journalist specialising in Egyptian affairs, Hugh Miles, says Arabs have long said that by opposing the government "you are just fighting a mountain; don't knock your head against it". It turns out that the mountain is papier-mache.

    And it's on fire.

    The first flame was lit by a 26-year-old street vendor in Tunisia, Mohamed Bouazizi, when he set himself alight. Angry that the police had confiscated his wares, humiliated when, seeking redress from the local government, a female official slapped his face and spat on him, frustrated when the governor refused to see him, Bouazizi doused himself in petrol and burnt to death.

    It's too early to be certain of any outcomes, but already one Arab strongman has fled his country in fear and another has had to abandon his plan for his son to succeed him as president.

    The flames that consumed Bouazizi set alight the unquenchable protests that ended the 23-year rule of Tunisia's strong man, Ben Ali, who is now taking refuge in Saudi Arabia.

    And he set aflame the smouldering resentment of the people in the biggest Arab state, Egypt. After 30 years in power, Hosni Mubarak thought he had the right to manoeuvre his son into the presidency at the faux election due in September. Instead, he has been panicked into appointing his intelligence chief as the first vice-president of his reign and his family members are reportedly fleeing abroad.

    One of Bouazizi's sisters asked: "What kind of repression do you imagine it takes for a young man to do this?" It's the same kind of repression that moved 11 other young men to set themselves on fire in emulation of Bouazizi in the last two weeks in Egypt, in Algeria, in Mauritiana and in Saudi Arabia.

    The events of this so-called Jasmine Revolution expose the fatal flaw in the much-hallowed concept of an army-enforced "stability". Egyptians have been living under a declared state of "emergency rule" since 1967 as a pretext for denying them their freedoms.

    The uprising shows that, if you impose this sort of repression for long enough, you are guaranteed to end up with an emergency.

    "Stability" imposed at gunpoint is not stability at all. It is an unsustainable stasis which creates the conditions for eventual upheaval. In 1974, the 19 countries of the Middle East, including North Africa, contained only three democracies - Israel, Lebanon and Turkey.

    Since then, the number of democracies in the world has trebled from 40 to 123, according to Freedom House. Yet in the Middle East and North Africa, only one new democracy has been added, Iraq.

    How has the Middle East remained somehow immune to one of the great movements in world history? The two answers are oil and US support, and the two are closely intertwined.

    Oil revenue has given dictators the money to run big security forces and the cash to buy some popular quiescence. It may not be coincidence that Tunisia and Egypt are two of the least-endowed oil countries of the Arab world.

    The oil delivered not just money but also the undivided attention of Washington. The US first made clear the centrality of securing Gulf oil supplies in 1943 when Franklin Roosevelt sent military help to Saudi Arabia. But the US was happy to let Britain enforce the Western writ in the region until Britain's withdrawal in 1968.

    Henry Kissinger and Richard Nixon decided the US needed to protect its interests more actively through what is known as America's "surrogate strategy". That is, supporting friendly regimes as "guardians" of Western interests. The policy was set out in a still-secret document, National Security Decision Memorandum No. 92.

    "What we decided," said an undersecretary of state at the time, Joseph Sisco, "is that we would try to stimulate and be helpful to the two key countries in this area - namely, Iran and Saudi Arabia. They could become the major elements of stability as the British were getting out."

    The perversity and futility of that strategy was plain long ago. The two centrepieces of this so-called stability have become two of the greatest sponsors of terrorism on the planet and two of the most troubling sources of instability.

    The US then adopted Egypt as one of its key Middle East allies. After Israel, it is the second-biggest recipient of US aid. Washington gives Cairo $2 billion a year, about half of which goes to its military.

    With America's Egyptian surrogate, Mubarak, in trouble, the US is now trying to edge nervously away from him lest it antagonise the newly active sovereign in Egypt - public opinion.

    Repression, by closing all the doors to legitimate protest, only helps fuel extremists, including terrorists. Indeed, the real warriors in any "war on terror" are not men with guns but the ordinary people of the Arab world.

    By respecting the will and the hopes of the broad mass of people, democracy marginalises extremists. And allows religion to find its true level. The world needs more Indonesias and fewer Saudi Arabias.

    Peter Hartcher is The Sydney Morning Herald's international editor.

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