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PostPosted: Thu Feb 03, 2011 1:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

cosmostein wrote:
queenmandy85 wrote:
how long can Isreal expend the energy required to survive and how long will the Americans be willing to support them?

I find that many people seem to imply that Israel will need protection from its neighbors should a fanatical government find its way to power in Egypt.

I am of the mindset that its the other way around;
It seems every time Israel and its neighbors opt to fight each other Israel gets bigger.

If something to the effect of the October War or June war occurred, I have to wonder if the US or the UN has the influence to hold back Israel?

I think those days are over. Certainly, there are worries. The Lebanon invasion is an example. I think the consensus is that Israel acted abominably in that -- the Lebanese were the one local Arab nation that had never tried to deny Israel's existence, but they had expatriated Palestinians living on their border, and they were trouble-makers.

But look at how tethered Netanyahu seems to be, in face of the development of the Iranian nuclear bomb. They didn't hesitate to bomb a reactor being constructed in Iraq, back when, but they are respecting world public opinion so far.

Its easy to criticize Israel for these moves, but their situation isn't an easy one. I've already gotten in trouble on here for pointing out how the Irgun used terrorism to clear Palestine of its Arab population, back when Israel was established. I don't mean to go back there, but I genuinely believe that, at this point, Israel wants peace, and will not attack anybody unless things deteriorate from here.
Edmund Onward James

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 03, 2011 6:06 pm    Post subject: Why the military, not the Muslim Brotherhood, will come out Reply with quote

Turmoil in Egypt - Daniel Pipes
Why the military, not the Muslim Brotherhood, will come out on top

Now that Egypt’s much-anticipated moment of crisis has arrived and popular rebellions have shaken governments across the Middle East, Iran stands as never before at the center of the region. Its Islamist rulers are within sight of dominating the region. But revolutions are hard to pull off and I predict that Islamists will not achieve a Middle East-wide breakthrough and Tehran will not emerge as the key power broker. Some thoughts behind this conclusion:

An echo of the Iranian revolution: On reaching power in 1979, Ayatollah Khomeini sought to spread Islamist insurrection to other countries but failed almost everywhere. Three decades had to go by before the self-immolation of a vendor in an obscure Tunisian town could light the conflagration that Khomeini aspired to and Iranian authorities still seek.

Part of a Middle Eastern cold war: The Middle East has for years been divided into two large blocs engaged in a regional cold war for influence. The Iranian-led Resistance Bloc includes Turkey, Syria, Gaza, and Qatar. The Saudi-led Status Quo Bloc includes Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Egypt, the West Bank, Jordan, Yemen, and the Persian Gulf emirates. Note that Lebanon is currently moving to Resistance from Status Quo and that unrest is taking place only in Status Quo places.

Israel’s peculiar situation: Israeli leaders are staying mum and its near-irrelevance underlines Iranian centrality. While Israel has much to fear from Iranian gains, these simultaneously highlight the Jewish state as an island of stability and the West’s only reliable ally in the Middle East.

Lack of ideology: The sloganeering and conspiracy theories that dominate Middle Eastern discourse are largely absent from crowds gathered outside of government installations demanding an end to stagnation, arbitrariness, corruption, tyranny, and torture.

Military vs. mosque: Recent events confirm that the same two powers, the armed forces and the Islamists, dominate some 20 Middle Eastern countries: the military deploys raw power and Islamists offer a vision. Exceptions exist — a vibrant Left in Turkey, ethnic factions in Lebanon and Iraq, democracy in Israel, Islamist control in Iran — but this pattern widely holds.

Iraq: The most volatile country of the region, Iraq, has been conspicuously absent from the demonstrations because its population is not facing a decades-old autocracy.

A military putsch? Islamists wish to repeat their success in Iran by exploiting popular unrest to take power. Tunisia’s experience bears close examination for a pattern that may be repeated elsewhere. The military leadership there apparently concluded that its strongman, Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, had become too high-maintenance — especially with his wife’s family’s flamboyant corruption — to maintain in power, so it ousted him and, for good measure, put out an international arrest warrant for him and his family.

That done, nearly the entire remaining old guard remains in power, with the top military man, chief of staff Rachid Ammar, apparently having replaced Ben Ali as the country’s powerbroker. The old guard hopes that tweaking the system, granting more civil and political rights, will suffice for it to hold on to power. If this gambit succeeds, the seeming revolution of mid-January will end up as a mere coup d’état.

This scenario could be repeated elsewhere, especially in Egypt, where soldiers have dominated the government since 1952 and intend to maintain their power against the Muslim Brethren they have suppressed since 1954. Strongman Hosni Mubarak’s appointment of Omar Suleiman terminates the Mubarak family’s dynastic pretensions and raises the prospect of Mubarak resigning in favor of direct military rule.

More broadly, I bet on the more-continuity-than-change model that has emerged so far in Tunisia. Heavy-handed rule will lighten somewhat in Egypt and elsewhere but the militaries will remain the ultimate powerbrokers.

U.S. policy: The U.S. government has a vital role helping Middle Eastern states transit from tyranny to political participation without Islamists hijacking the process. George W. Bush had the right idea in 2003 in calling for democracy but he ruined this effort by demanding instant results. Barack Obama initially reverted to the failed old policy of making nice with tyrants; now he is myopically siding with the Islamists against Mubarak. He should emulate Bush but do a better job, understanding that democratization is a decades-long process that requires the inculcation of counter-intuitive ideas about elections, freedom of speech, and the rule of law.

—Daniel Pipes is director of the Middle East Forum and Taube distinguished visiting fellow at the Hoover Institution of Stanford University. © 2011 by Daniel Pipes. All rights reserved

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 04, 2011 12:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is part of the explanation -- a chart. I can't get it to register. It loses the formatting, but it shows the impact of prices for wheat and other basic food commodities, compared to energy price

In summary, wheat and corn are up about by half, while soybeans (which I don't know if they use much) up by a third. By contrast, oil is up 15% and natural gas is down by 20%.

I don't know how that impacts the price of bread and other basics, but it has to be significant for a country where 40% of the population is trying to live on $2 a day.

The chart is at: http://www.businessinsider.com.....sterstock+(ClusterStock)#ixzz1D0bjSVv9
Edmund Onward James

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 04, 2011 12:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

National Review Online

One of the big news developments of Thursday was Hosni Mubarak conducting his first interview with a Western journalist since the crisis began, meeting with Christiane Amanpour:

"'I would never run away,' he said, 'I will die on this soil.' He also defended his legacy, recounting the many years he has spent leading his country. While he described President Obama as a very good man, he wavered when I asked him if he felt the U.S. had betrayed him. When I asked him how he responded to the United States' veiled calls for him to step aside sooner rather than later, he said he told President Obama, 'You don't understand the Egyptian culture and what would happen if I step down now.' He told me, 'I never intended to run [for office] again. I never intended Gamal to be president after me.'"

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 04, 2011 12:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

JBG wrote:
queenmandy85 wrote:
If you don't want the Muslim Brotherhood to succeed, stay out of it and let the Egyptian people deal with them. American interference will push the Egyptian people into the arms of the extremists.

machiavelli wrote:

Western leaders must decide whether they prefer to back a stable, authoritarian, pro-Western Egyptian dictator who buttresses Israel, and rejects non-Islamic-fascism, or take a chance on Mohamed ElBaradei, an anti-American leftist who deliberately assisted Iran’s nuclear ambitions, who is now leading a disingenuous Islamic organization that has a violent history of terrorism, and has been the intellectual inspiration for the creation of Al Qaeda and Hamas.
You are both illustrating why total independence for the colonies was a huge mistake and the U.N. an unmitigated disaster. That part of the world is essential tothe world's economy and it cannot remain safe if left to their own dubious devices.

These people in Egypt don't know what's good for them. We know what's best for them.
Edmund Onward James

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 04, 2011 2:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

"The Harper government has endorsed the go-slow transition plan set out by Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak’s regime, signalling that Mideast stability and peace with Israel are its paramount concerns while other Western nations push for faster change."

In break with U.S., Ottawa backs gradual handover in Egypt

This is why Harper is conservative, he thinks wisely, before he reacts with glory like Obama, who received a Nobel Peace Prize for rhetoric, and now is pushing Mubarak to leave sooner.

I have studied and researched the Middle East for a decade, at first for my novel, then because I was truly concerned what has happened and will continue if enough people do not awaken. The spreading of Islamists, not just the obvious radicals, but also the stealth ones, such as the Muslim Brotherhood and derivatives, around the world, is the most important issue in my opinion.

Egypt: Harper's approach the right one
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Is Egypt the domino effect? Are Islamists waiting?

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