Posts filed under “War/Defense”
To friends and colleagues on the bcc list. The American sense of democracy, human rights, transparent government and the rest of the list we all know pulls me in favor of the inevitable (now) changes coming in most of the autocratic regimes in the Middle East. But the issue of what the new regimes will be like gnaws continuously. We must not be sanguine about the outcomes. I think the risk of regional conflagration is high and rising.
This sobering summary below comes to me from a longtime friend, a skilled lawyer and prosecutor, who now spends some of his time in Jerusalem. Some may recognize him but I will preserve his anonymity for those who do know him. Note that, while Egypt remains in the top of the news, the spread of resistance and demonstration is rapidly occurring throughout the Middle East and North Africa.
D: An article appearing in today’s NYTimes by Helene Cooper and Mark Lander suggests, somewhat snidely, that it is ironic that Israel, the only democracy in the Middle East, would be so wary of their neighbor wanting the same thing. Here’s a few facts that might explain why.
A poll taken by the Pew Research Center in late 2009 revealed that 95% of Egyptians, 96% of Jordanians and Palestinians and 98 % of Syrians and Lebanese hold hostile views toward both Israel and Jews. They simply do not want Israel here. What CNN is not showing but what we have seen here via Israeli journalists are many signs of Mubarak with the Star of David drawn around his face or next to him, both with diagnals across them. Any democracy, and its leaders, must answer to the people. If these are the people, what does that portend for any democratically elected government in Egypt? Whatever their internal and political differences, the one unifying factor for virtually all Egyptians is their hatred of Israel. It also explains why Israel was able to negotiate its two peace treaties with Arab dictators. They could not have done so with a democratic Egypt or Jordan. When that democratically elected government in Egypt comes to power, as it soon will, it will control a standing army of 500,000, an airforce of over 500 planes, half of them new F-16s, over 4,000 tanks, 1000 of which are new Abrams A1As,a dozen batteries of the most sophisticated anti aircraft missiles in the world and an untold number of Scud B rockets–much more accurate than those which Saddam Hussein threw at Tel Aviv in Gulf War I . All supplied by the US, of course. Who would they want to use them against? Libya? Sudan? So, yes, you might say we’re kind of wary. Wouldn’t you be? -Gerry
> Above you see the results from our Egypt Poll. The widget I used is pretty cool — from a company whose Board I am on called Democrasoft. Their Collaborize product is a unique mash up of a survey and comment system. It allows the normally rambling, non-resolved comment stream to produce an actual result….Read More
When protests started in Egypt last week, mainstream news outlets cried “democracy!” and compared the situation in Egypt to the Berlin Wall and Tienanmen Square. Meanwhile, STRATFOR (an intelligence company I’ve followed for years) spoke of a different possibility. At the time it may have been counter-intuitive for most institutions to draw parallels to 1979…Read More
The situation in Egypt continues to rivet news watchers. How might this end? What does this mean for the rest of region, for the concept of Democracy in the Mid-East, for other strongmen holding on to power, for the global economy, the price of Oil, and for stock markets? Please write what you think is…Read More
Former Director of the CIA’s Counter-Terrorism Center: American Policy in the Middle East is Failing
Washington’s Blog strives to provide real-time, well-researched and actionable information. George – the head writer at Washington’s Blog – is a busy professional and a former adjunct professor. ~~~ Former Director of the CIA’s Counter-Terrorism Center: American Policy in the Middle East is Failing Because the U.S. Doesn’t Believe in Democracy: Robert Grenier – a…Read More
Fault Lines: Ride of the Valkyries Jawad Mian 1 February 2011 > The following was written by Jawad Mian, Portfolio Manager based in Doha, Qatar ~~~ The script hasn’t changed. It always begins with an economic crisis that weakens social and political orders. People erupt into violent protests as problems surface to an extent that…Read More
Is Twitter a Driver of MidEast Revolution?
Fears of Suez Canal Shutdown, Radical Islam “Overblown,” Eurasia’s Sabra Says
Yahoo Tech Ticker Jan 31, 2011 01:06pm EST
As the markets slid south 1-3% on Friday, I got a phone call from a journalist looking for a quote about Egypt: “What does this mean to the markets?” My honest answer was “I have no idea.” While Egypt isn’t an oil nation, maybe there is a contagion effect of regional destabilization. I have no…Read More
My friend (and Washington State money manager) Carl writes about our three trillion dollar war post: The biggest reason the U.S. is marching towards receivership—-the U.S. refused to pay for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Instead of raising taxes like we did to pay for WW 1 —we lowered them. Instead of having a…Read More