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October 20 2013

ÉTATS-UNIS • La paralysie a coûté des milliards, et ce n'est pas fini | Courrier international

ÉTATS-UNIS • La paralysie a coûté des milliards, et ce n’est pas fini | Courrier international
http://www.courrierinternational.com/article/2013/10/18/la-paralysie-a-coute-des-milliards-et-ce-n-est-pas-fini

http://www.courrierinternational.com/files/imagecache/article/2013/10/1810-shutdown.jpg

Des conteneurs remplis de marchandises gisent dans les ports. Les ventes dégringolent dans les sandwicheries du centre de Washington. Les vacances annulées, dans les parcs nationaux et à l’étranger. Des prévisions de bénéfices des entreprises revues à la baisse. Une hausse des intérêts sur les crédits à court terme.

Le shutdown du gouvernement américain est peut-être terminé, tandis que s’éloigne la menace d’un défaut de paiement, mais le bras de fer au Congrès a déjà coûté des milliards de dollars. Et le total va continuer à augmenter, bien que l’on soit sorti de l’impasse, entre autres parce qu’il n’est pas certain que les législateurs ne se retrouvent pas une fois de plus bloqués au début de l’année prochaine.

Il faudra des mois pour établir une comptabilité détaillée. Toutefois, les économistes annoncent que l’intransigeance des républicains de la Chambre devrait entamer la croissance du quatrième trimestre, ce qui aura un impact sur l’emploi, les bénéfices des entreprises et le coût du crédit. L’onde de choc sera ressentie dans le monde entier.

« Nous avons constaté des effets conséquents durant l’été 2011, la confiance des consommateurs (en août) chutant à son niveau le plus bas depuis trente et un ans et la croissance du PIB n’atteignant que 1,4 % au troisième trimestre, » explique Beth Ann Bovino, économiste responsable des Etats-Unis chez Standard & Poor’s, faisant référence à un précédent bras de fer sur le plafond de la dette. « Sachant que cette fois, les négociations sur le plafond de la dette » se sont déroulées pendant un shutdown, ajoute-t-elle, « l’impact sur l’économie risque d’être encore plus grave ».

#shutdown
#dette
#crise
#économie
#Etats-Unis

October 05 2013

NSA director admits to misleading public on terror plots

NSA director admits to misleading public on terror plots
http://www.salon.com/2013/10/02/nsa_director_admits_to_misleading_public_on_terror_plots

À la question de savoir s’il avait volontairement gonflé le chiffre du nombre d’attentats avortés grâce au programme de surveillance, le patron de la #NSA répond tranquillement « oui. »

During Wednesday’s hearing, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy pushed Alexander to admit that plot numbers had been fudged in a revealing interchange:

“There is no evidence that [bulk] phone records collection helped to thwart dozens or even several terrorist plots,” said Leahy. The Vermont Democrat then asked the NSA chief to admit that only 13 out of a previously cited 54 cases of foiled plots were genuinely the fruits of the government’s vast dragnet surveillance systems:

“These weren’t all plots, and they weren’t all foiled,” Leahy said, asking Alexander, “Would you agree with that, yes or no?”

“Yes,” replied Alexander.

October 04 2013

October 01 2013

Jerusalem negotiable, right of return is not, Likud's Hanegbi tells J Street | Jewish Telegraphic…

Jerusalem negotiable, right of return is not, Likud’s Hanegbi tells J Street |
Jewish Telegraphic Agency

http://www.jta.org/2013/09/30/news-opinion/united-states/jerusalem-negotiable-right-of-return-not-likud-lawmaker-tells-j-street

WASHINGTON (JTA) — Israel will accept a peace agreement that includes handing over Arab parts of Jerusalem, senior Likud lawmaker Tzachi Hanegbi said.
“I think we will be able to give a good answer, a win-win answer, to almost every issue including the Jerusalem issue, including the settlement issue — every issue has a compromise that can be relevant to both sides,” Hanegbi said while speaking as part of a panel of Israeli lawmakers at the J Street national conference in Washington.
Hanegbi said the question of Palestinian refugees returning to Israel was the one issue on which there could be no compromise in the recently revived peace talks.
“We do know the two-state solution is the only relevant solution, even to those right-wing members of Knesset,” Hanegbi said. “I think they understand the alternative — escalation and bloodshed, or one state — is not an option if you want to keep a Jewish, Zionist state.”
In comments at a news conference following the panel discussion, Hanegbi described how he could convince more conservative members of his party that a two-state solution would be acceptable.
“Look, you’re afraid that Jerusalem will be divided? No, it’s going to be some creative idea that will allow them to have their own sovereignty in their neighborhoods and to declare whatever they want to declare about it, and we will have sovereignty over other parts,” Hanegbi, who is considered a confidant of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, told reporters.
“All these things will be worked out. The devil is, as you know, in the details.”
Hanegbi was joined on the panel by lawmakers from the Yesh Atid, Labor, Hatnua and Shas parties. Udi Segal, the diplomatic correspondent for Israel’s Channel 2 News, served as the moderator.
The diverse representation was perhaps a sign of the transition by J Street, which describes itself as “pro-Israel, pro-peace,” from an organization shunned by the Israeli government and standard-bearing American Jewish organizations to one more accepted by the mainstream.
Labor lawmaker Merav Michaeli told reporters that J Street did not fit neatly within Israeli impressions of American Jewry.
“We in Israel are aware of two groups of American Jews: Those who run the foundations and are involved with groups like AIPAC, and those who don’t care,” Michaeli said. “But there is apparently a third kind who care but they think differently and want their voices amplified.”
Also Sunday at the J Street conference, Israeli opposition leader Shelly Yachimovich reiterated that her Labor Party would provide political cover for Netanyahu in the event he reaches a peace agreement with the Palestinians.
“Those who support a binational state are in fact promoting a bleak scenario that completely contradicts the basis of Zionism,” Yachimovich said. “The two-state solution is the only viable solution for us.”
Yachimovich called signing a peace deal “in our strategic interest, our economic interest and our moral interest,” and said she would not allow the governing Likud-Yisrael Beiteinu coalition to collapse over the signing of a peace deal.

September 28 2013

N.S.A. Gathers Data on Social Connections of U.S. Citizens

N.S.A. Gathers Data on Social Connections of U.S. Citizens
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/29/us/nsa-examines-social-networks-of-us-citizens.html?pagewanted=1

WASHINGTON — Since 2010, the National Security Agency has been exploiting its huge collections of data to create sophisticated graphs of some Americans’ social connections that can identify their associates, their locations at certain times, their traveling companions and other personal information, according to newly disclosed documents and interviews with officials.

#NSA #surveillance

September 24 2013

Twitter / AnneRenaut : Poignée de main historique ...

Twitter / AnneRenaut : Poignée de main historique ...
https://twitter.com/AnneRenaut/status/382573421848035328

Poignée de main historique France-Iran #UNGA via @franceonu

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/BU8qhnbCMAAGoUj.jpg

tandis que

Israeli Diplomats Mock Iran’s President Online
By ROBERT MACKEY
http://thelede.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/09/24/israeli-diplomats-mock-irans-president-online/?smid=tw-thelede&seid=auto&_r=0

On a day when President Obama told delegates at the United Nations that he welcomed the opportunity posed by diplomatic overtures from Iran’s new president, Israeli diplomats in Washington sounded a very different note online, mocking the moderate cleric as scarcely different from his predecessor, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

A message posted on the official Twitter page of the Israeli Embassy on Tuesday morning drew attention to a parody LinkedIn account for President Hassan Rouhani. The mock résumé of Mr. Rouhani’s career, filled with sarcastic asides, described him as “President of Iran, Expert Salesman, PR Professional, Nuclear Proliferation Advocate.”

September 17 2013

Israël dit pour la première fois souhaiter la chute d'Assad - Reuters

Israël dit pour la première fois souhaiter la chute d’Assad - Reuters

http://fr.news.yahoo.com/israël-dit-pour-la-première-fois-souhaiter-la-104144575.html

Israël souhaite depuis longtemps la chute du président Bachar al Assad, déclare son ambassadeur à Washington dans une interview au Jérusalem Post qui marque une rupture avec la position officielle de l’Etat juif depuis le début du conflit en Syrie.

September 14 2013

In Syria, Israel finds a 'blessed war'€™

In Syria, Israel finds a ’blessed war’€™
http://america.aljazeera.com/articles/2013/9/14/in-syria-israel-findsaablessedwara.html

So why has the Israeli government expended so much energy pressing Washington to draw a red line on the Assad regime’s alleged use of chemical weapons, and why was the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), the key outfit of America’s pro-Israel lobby, pressing Congress to authorize military force? The answer is not just about Syria. Indeed, in a press release calling for U.S. intervention, AIPAC homed in not on Damascus but Tehran, stating, “As we witness unthinkable horror in Syria, the urgency of stopping Iran’s nuclear ambitions is paramount.”

Zalman Shoval, a former Israeli ambassador to Washington and Netanyahu confidant, put it more succinctly when he declared, “The very fact that the U.S. was getting ready to act militarily in Syria is positive with regards to the situation in Iran. Confidence in an American commitment that Iran won’t get the bomb has been strengthened.”

Since Obama’s decision to seek congressional authorization for a military strike on Syria, Israeli media have depicted him as a weak, dithering figure who has failed to demonstrate “seriousness” in the face of evil. With U.S. missile strikes on hold, and possibly off the table, the Israeli government has begun disseminating threats that it will take matters into its own hands — by bombing Iran, not Syria.

But even if the U.S. fails to intervene, the Israelis can take heart in knowing that the “blessed war” will continue well into the future.

September 13 2013

CF2R - Intervention en Syrie : La recherche d'un prétexte à tout prix [1] Eric Denécé / 06-09-2013

CF2R - Intervention en Syrie : La recherche d’un prétexte à tout prix [1]
Eric Denécé / 06-09-2013
http://www.cf2r.org/fr/editorial-eric-denece-lst/intervention-en-syrie-la-recherche-un-pretexte-a-tout-prix.php

Les objectifs véritables d’une intervention en Syrie

Dès lors, on est en droit de s’interroger sur les raisons réelles de cet acharnement contre Bachar Al-Assad et d’en rechercher les enjeux inavoués. Il en existe au moins trois :

– casser l’alliance de la Syrie avec l’Iran ; le dossier iranien conditionne largement la gestion internationale de la crise syrienne. En effet, depuis trois décennies, Damas est l’allié de l’Iran, pays phare de « l’axe du mal » décrété par Washington, que les Américains cherchent à affaiblir par tous les moyens, tant en raison de son programme nucléaire, de son soutien au Hezbollah libanais, que de son influence régionale grandissante ;

– rompre « l’axe chiite » qui relie Damas, Bagdad, Téhéran et le Hezbollah, qui est une source de profonde inquiétude pour les monarchies du Golfe qui sont, ne l’oublions pas, des régimes autocratiques et qui abritent d’importantes minorités chiites. Ainsi, Ryad et Doha ont désigné le régime iranien comme l’ennemi à abattre. Elles veulent la chute du régime syrien anti-wahhabite et pro-russe, afin de transformer la Syrie en base arrière pour reconquérir l’Irak - majoritairement chiite - et déstabiliser l’Iran. Elles cherchent aussi à liquider le Hezbollah libanais. En cela, leur agenda se confond avec celui de Washington ;

– détruire les fondements de l’Etat-nation laïc syrien pour le remplacer par un régime islamiste. Cela signifie livrer Damas aux forces wahhabites et salafistes favorables aux pétromonarchies du Golfe, ce qui signifie l’éclatement du pays en plusieurs entités en guerre entre elles ou, pire, l’asservissement voire le massacre des minorités non sunnites.

Ces objectifs non avoués n’ont pas été jusqu’ici atteints et ne le seront pas tant qu’existera le soutien sino-russe et tant que l’axe Damas-Téhéran ne se disloquera pas.

* [1] Ce texte reprend, pour partie, des analyses produites par Alain Chouet, Alain Corvez et Alain Rodier, tous trois anciens officiers du renseignement français.

September 08 2013

A Political Solution in Syria : The Readership's View | Qifa Nabki

A Political Solution in Syria : The Readership’s View | Qifa Nabki
http://qifanabki.com/2013/09/07/a-political-solution-in-syria-the-readerships-view

There’s no question that this debate has already been going for a long time in Washington and other capitals, but very few government officials have been willing to speak publicly or even anonymously about what kinds of scenarios are envisioned. This is interesting, given the insistence of the Obama administration, the EU, Russia, Iran, and China that the Syrian crisis cannot be solved militarily. Here are some informed speculations about the alternatives:

Prospectives intéressantes et de fait, on ne lit pas grand choise de ce type dans la presse française... Les scénarios de Nadim Shehadi et ses craintes ne sont pas les moins intéressante.

AIPAC to deploy hundreds of lobbyists to push for Syria action - Haaretz

AIPAC to deploy hundreds of lobbyists to push for Syria action - Haaretz

http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/1.545661

The influential pro-Israel American Israel Public Affairs Committee will deploy hundreds of activists next week to win support in Congress for military action in Syria, amid an intense White House effort to convince wavering U.S. lawmakers to vote for limited strikes.

“We plan a major lobbying effort with about 250 activists in Washington to meet with their senators and representatives,” an AIPAC source said on Saturday.

Congressional aides said they expected the meetings and calls on Tuesday, as President Barack Obama and officials from his administration make their case for missile strikes over the apparent use of chemical weapons by Syrian President Bashar Assad’s government.

The vote on action in Syria is a significant political test for Obama and a major push by AIPAC, considered one of the most powerful lobbying groups in Washington, could provide a boost.

The U.S. Senate is due to vote on a resolution to authorize the use of military force as early as Wednesday. Leaders of the House of Representatives have not yet said when they would vote beyond saying consideration of an authorization is “possible” sometime this week.

Obama has asked Congress to approve strikes against Assad’s government in response to a chemical weapons attack on Aug. 21 that killed more than 1,400 Syrians.

But many Republicans and several of Obama’s fellow Democrats have not been enthused about the prospect, partly because war-weary Americans strongly oppose getting involved in another Middle Eastern conflict.

Pro-Israel groups had largely kept a low profile on Syria as the Obama administration sought to build its case for limited strikes after last month’s attack on rebel-held areas outside Damascus.

Supporters of the groups and government sources acknowledged they had made it known that they supported U.S. action, concerned about instability in neighboring Syria and what message inaction might send to Assad’s ally, Iran.

But they had generally wanted the debate to focus on U.S. national security rather than how a decision to attack Syria might help Israel, a reflection of their sensitivity to being seen as rooting for the United States to go to war.

September 07 2013

Direct link between Assad and gas attack elusive for U.S.

Direct link between Assad and gas attack elusive for U.S.
http://mobile.reuters.com/article/idUSBRE98603A20130907?irpc=932

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - With the United States threatening to attack Syria, U.S. and allied intelligence services are still trying to work out who ordered the poison gas attack on rebel-held neighborhoods near Damascus.

No direct link to President Bashar al-Assad or his inner circle has been publicly demonstrated, and some U.S. sources say intelligence experts are not sure whether the Syrian leader knew of the attack before it was launched or was only informed about it afterward.

While U.S. officials say Assad is responsible for the chemical weapons strike even if he did not directly order it, they have not been able to fully describe a chain of command for the August 21 attack in the Ghouta area east of the Syrian capital.

It is one of the biggest gaps in U.S. understanding of the incident, even as Congress debates whether to launch limited strikes on Assad’s forces in retaliation.

...

A declassified French intelligence report describes a unit of the SSRC, known by the code name “Branch 450”, which it says is in charge of filling rockets or shells with chemical munitions in general.

U.S. and European security sources say this unit was likely involved in mixing chemicals for the August 21 attack and also may have played a more extensive role in preparing for it and carrying it out.

“BEST EVIDENCE”

Bruce Riedel, a former senior U.S. intelligence expert on the region and sometime advisor to the Obama White House, said that intelligence about the SSRC’s alleged role is the most telling proof the United States has at hand.

“The best evidence linking the regime to the attack at a high level is the involvement of SSRC, the science center that created the (chemical weapons) program and manages it. SSRC works for the President’s office and reports to him,” Riedel said.

September 03 2013

US spied on presidents of Brazil, Mexico, documents from Snowden reveal - World Socialist Web Site

US spied on presidents of Brazil, Mexico, documents from Snowden reveal - World Socialist Web Site

http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2013/09/03/snow-s03.html

US spied on presidents of Brazil, Mexico, documents from Snowden reveal
By Tom Eley
3 September 2013

The US National Security Agency eavesdropped on the communications of the presidents of Brazil and Mexico, according to documents gathered by whistleblower Edward Snowden and revealed by journalist Glenn Greenwald to the Brazilian television news program Fantastico.

#prism #snowden #états-unis #mxique #brésil #espionnage

August 31 2013

Washington monte son dossier, la Syrie soutient que le rapport américain est « fabriqué » (PAPIER…

Washington monte son dossier, la Syrie soutient que le rapport américain est « fabriqué » (PAPIER GENERAL)
http://french.news.cn/monde/2013-08/31/c_132679844.htm

Alors que les inspecteurs de l’ONU devraient quitter Damas samedi en direction de La Haye, le gouvernement syrien a dit vendredi qu’il rejetait tout rapport partiel de l’ONU diffusé avant la fin de la mission de l’équipe d’enquête. Le régime syrien a également demandé à l’équipe onusienne d’examiner les sites où les rebelles auraient attaqué leurs troupes et des civils à l’aide d’agents neurotoxiques.

L’ONU a promis de retourner en Syrie afin d’enquêter sur d’autres attaques chimiques présumées qui y auraient été perpétrées au cours de la guerre civile qui ravage le pays depuis deux ans et demi.

Le porte-parole de l’ONU Martin Nesirky a fait savoir que toutes les analyses d’échantillons doivent être complétées avant que des conclusions ne puissent être tirées. Aux dires de diplomates, le secrétaire général Ban Ki-moon a indiqué aux membres du Conseil de sécurité que les résultats finaux des tests seraient disponibles dans environ deux semaines.

August 29 2013

« Guerre contre les armes chimiques » : comment Obama s'est laissé piéger dans le conflit syrien…

 « Guerre contre les armes chimiques » : comment Obama s’est laissé piéger dans le conflit syrien
par Pepe Escobar / 28 août 2013 - Russia Today
http://www.info-palestine.eu/spip.php?article13906

(...)
« Identifier » les faits

Suivons une piste qui est beaucoup plus plausible que la version vendue par Washington.

Le renseignement israélien a divulgué à un journal koweïtien que Benny Gantz, le Chef d’état-major des Forces de défense israéliennes (FDI), avait remis à son bon copain Martin Dempsey de l’état-major US, des « documents et des photos » valant preuves de la culpabilité du gouvernement syrien. Sans doute, ce sera le cœur de la « révélation » de la Maison Blanche ce jeudi.

Les preuves en question indiquent que des roquettes ont été lancées à partir d’un « poste de l’armée syrienne près de Damas » - en un lieu que le chercheur finlandais Petri Krohn, qui mène actuellement une enquête minutieuse, a définitivement placé comme occupé par les « rebelles » depuis juin (faites défiler la souris jusqu’à « Qaboun rocket launches »).

Ajoutez à cela le démantèlement par le ministère de la Défense à Bagdad il y a un mois, d’une cellule d’Al-Qaïda en Irak, qui avait l’intention de lancer des attaques en Irak et à « l’étranger », comme en Syrie, en utilisant des armes chimiques.

Selon Faleh al-Fayyad, responsable irakien à la sécurité nationale, Jabhat al-Nusra (al-Qaïda en Syrie) pourrait avoir accès à volonté à ces produits chimiques.

Nous avons donc ici tous les éléments d’une opération sophistiquée sous une fausse bannière. Les djihadistes de Jabhat al-Nusra, pour la plupart des mercenaires liés à al-Qaïda en Irak, mais sans aucun lien avec les civils syriens, utilisent avec femmes et enfants une zone anciennement occupée par l’armée syrienne pour lancer une attaque chimique - peut-être à l’aide de chlore - sous la couverture d’une offensive syrienne (admise par le gouvernement). Cette offensive a été baptisée « Opération bouclier de la ville. » Damas avait de solides renseignements sur des dizaines de « rebelles » formés par la CIA et les Saoudiens en Jordanie, en train de converger dans la région et de planifier une attaque massive sur la capitale.

Ensuite, il y a Bandar bin Sultan, le tsar des services de renseignement en Arabie saoudite, et sa menace au président Poutine dans leur célèbre rencontre de quatre heures plus tôt ce mois-ci : la solution militaire est la seule qui reste pour la Syrie. Bandar (surnommé « Bandar Bush ») un maître dans l’art des coups fourrés, est en charge de « gagner » la Syrie au profit de la Maison des Saoud par tous les moyens, chimiques ou autres.

Tout inspecteur d’armes chimiques des Nations Unies un tant soit peu sérieux, suivrait la piste que nous évoquons. Mais il ne le pourrait pas - à cause des pressions politiques américaines (puisque « c’est trop tard »). Il ne le pourrait pas non plus parce que Washington veut que les inspections cessent juste après avoir commencé - comme dans un rapide remix, une fois encore, de l’Irak en 2003 - tordant les faits au profit d’objectifs politiques.

Déconstruire les magouilles d’Obama

Donc, nous devons revenir à la politique du type : « nous bombardons parce que nous le voulons. » Quel est exactement le jeu d’Obama ?

Le journal de Tel Aviv, Yedioth Ahronoth, comme je l’ai déjà indiqué veut vraiment que Washington aille attaquer les sites d’armes chimiques en Syrie - indépendamment des possibles et horribles « dommages collatéraux », pour ne pas mentionner la possibilité que des djihadiste liés à al-Qaïda en prennent en partie le contrôle.

Le projet d’Israël est de voir la Syrie tomber dans un chaos sanglant et total dans un avenir proche. Ce qui n’est pas le même projet que celui de la maison des Saoud, qui veut un changement de régime. Ce qui n’est pas le même projet que celui de l’administration Obama. À première vue, c’est un changement de régime aussi, mais le Plan B d’Obama parle de « niveler le terrain de jeu », ce qui s’intègre finalement dans le projet israélien.

““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““
(ce que confirme Shimon Peres dans son style très reconnaissable.)

Shimon Peres : "Israël n’est pas impliqué en Syrie"
Le Point.fr - Publié le 29/08/2013
http://www.lepoint.fr/monde/shimon-peres-israel-n-est-pas-implique-en-syrie-29-08-2013-1719084_24.php

Alors que les civils s’équipent de masques à gaz, le président israélien a annoncé qu’en cas de menace syrienne l’État répliquerait « avec toute sa force ».

August 26 2013

Ties With Egypt Army Constrain Washington - NYTimes.com

Ties With Egypt Army Constrain Washington - NYTimes.com

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/08/17/world/middleeast/us-officials-fear-losing-an-eager-ally-in-the-egyptian-military.html?pagewa

“We need them (egyptian military) for the Suez Canal, we need them for the peace treaty with Israel, we need them for the overflights, and we need them for the continued fight against violent extremists who are as much of a threat to Egypt’s transition to democracy as they are to American interests,” said Gen. James N. Mattis, who retired this year as head of the military’s Central Command.

Sur le sujet, dans les blogs du @mdiplo : « Armée égyptienne et américaine, des amis de trente ans » http://blog.mondediplo.net/2013-07-10-Des-amis-de-trente-ans

#USA #armée #Egypte

August 25 2013

Syria lets U.N. inspect gas attack site, Washington says too late | Reuters

Syria lets U.N. inspect gas attack site, Washington says too late | Reuters
http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/08/25/us-syria-crisis-idUSBRE97K0EL20130825

(Reuters) - Syria agreed on Sunday to let the United Nations inspect the site of a suspected chemical weapons attack, but a U.S. official said such an offer was “too late to be credible” and Washington was all but certain the government had gassed its own people.

The U.S. remarks appeared to signal that a military response was more likely. A senior senator said he believed President Barack Obama would ask for authorization to use force when Congress returns from recess next month.

August 20 2013

Why Saudi Arabia is taking a risk by backing the Egyptian coup | David Hearst | Comment is free |…

Why Saudi Arabia is taking a risk by backing the Egyptian coup | David Hearst | Comment is free | theguardian.com
http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/aug/20/saudi-arabia-coup-egypt?CMP=twt_gu

Why has the kingdom, famed for its caution on the diplomatic stage, put all its eggs in one basket, which, considering the volatility in Egypt, remains fragile and unpredictable. Who knows which side in Egypt will prevail, and if that is so, why back the coup leader General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi so publicly ? Sisi thanked the kingdom in fulsome terms. He said that the Saudi intervention was unprecedented since the Yom Kippur 1973 war with Israel. Praise indeed.

For Dr Maha Azzam, associate fellow of the Middle East and North Africa programme at Chatham House, the kingdom’s fire-breathing support for the coup comes as little surprise. Not only had they been astonished by Washington’s abandonment of the kingdom’s closest regional ally in Hosni Mubarak, a point they made very clear during his trial. They had seen him replaced, at the polls, by the Brotherhood, which challenged the kingdom’s claim to be the protector of Islam.

Azzam said: “What they had was a lethal equation, democracy plus Islamism, albeit under the Muslim Brotherhood. That was a lethal concoction in undermining the kingdom’s own legitimacy in the long run. They know full well they do not want democracy, but to have another group representing Islam was intolerable.”

King Abdullah has good reason to fear the Brotherhood, which has been getting unprecedented support in Saudi Arabia since the 3 July coup. Sympathy for Mohamed Morsi has filled Twitter feeds in the country. Support for Morsi on social media has its own emblem, a four-fingered salute, known as the sign of Rabaa.

It is one thing to upset the middle class and the intelligentsia, but quite another to have the country’s religious scholars denounce you. A group of 56 of them did so, by issuing a statement describing the events of 3 July as “unquestionably a military coup and an unlawful and illicit criminal act”. The king has also been attacked in a sermon by a sheikh at the al-Masjid al-Nabawi mosque in Medina, Islam’s second holiest site.

The royal family have responded to the campaign they are facing on social media by sacking a Kuwaiti TV preacher with Brotherhood links. Tareq al-Suwaidan, who has more than 1.9 million Twitter followers, was told that there is no place for those who carry deviant thoughts at the Al Resalah channel.

But this is a dangerous strategy. As president, Morsi resisted calling his regional enemies out for the money and support they gave to Egyptian opposition politicians, parties and private television channels for good reason. Up to 2 million Egyptians are employed as guest workers in the kingdom and their remittances were important for an economy on its knees. He feared that the Saudis would kick them out if he accused them of undermining his presidency. However today, Egyptian ex-pats are not the Brotherhood’s problem or responsibility. What could well follow is an unrestrained campaign by its members to destabilise the Saudi and UAE regimes.

Azzam said : “For the US and EU, there is very little grey area. Either you have authoritarian regimes, including Assad or you have the Arab spring. The authoritarian regimes are saying: ’If we use enough force, we can quell the tide of democracy.’ For Washington it means that there is no regional player that can now mediate with the Egyptian military. No one that can play the role of good cop.”

The battles lines have now been clearly drawn throughout the Arab world. The military coup in Egypt, and Saudi support for it, represents an attempt to turn the clock back, to halt the wave of democratisation heralded by the toppling of Arab dictators. It is unlikely to be the final word or battle in what promises to be an epic struggle .

Saudi Arabia Blames America For the Turmoil in Egypt

Saudi Arabia Blames America For the Turmoil in Egypt
http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2013/08/19/saudi-arabia-blames-america-for-the-turmoil-in-egypt.html

In an unprecedented comment this weekend, Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah blamed American “ignorance” for the crisis in Egypt. Without mentioning America by name, the king blamed Washington’s “interference” in Arab politics for the last two years of turmoil.

In a scathing statement, the king urged Muslims to stand behind the Egyptian Army in fighting terrorism and extremism. Speaking in sorrow, Abdullah blamed outsiders ignorant of Arabism, Islam, and Egypt for senseless interference in the politics of the Arab world’s most populous state. Clearly referring to President Obama’s decision two years ago to push for Hosni Mubarak’s ouster, the king suggested Washington played with fire and has now been burned.

Egypt's Rulers Have a New Friend in DC : The Israel Lobby | The Cable

Egypt’s Rulers Have a New Friend in DC: The Israel Lobby | The Cable

http://thecable.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2013/08/19/egypts_rulers_have_a_new_friend_in_dc_the_israel_lobby

As pressure mounts on Washington to cut off U.S. military aid to Egypt, Cairo has found an awkward ally in the form of AIPAC, the influential pro-Israel lobby firm that is actively pushing for continued U.S. aid to Egypt.

http://thecable.foreignpolicy.com/files/140650757.jpg

Long considered an incentive for Cairo to maintain peaceful ties with Israel, America’s $1.3 billion package in annual U.S. military assistance to Egypt has come under global criticism as Egypt’s military continues its bloody crackdown against anti-government protesters with U.S.-funded tanks and tear gas.

#egypte #israel

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