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Belmont Club

A Tale of Two Rivers

August 16th, 2013 - 8:38 am

The Saudi king has just declared his support for the new Egyptian government, and presumably for its crackdown on the Muslim Brotherhood. Al Arabiya says:

Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz said the kingdom supports Egypt in the fight “against terrorism.”

King Abdullah said Egypt’s stability is being targeted by “haters” warning that anyone that interferes in Egypt’s internal affairs seeks to “waken sedition.”

That potentially puts the KSA on a collision course with the U.S.A. Obama, who has built a coalition with the KSA to oppose Russia and Iran, may be finding himself squaring off with King Abdullah in Egypt. Meanwhile, speaking of Russia, the Washington Free Beacon says that Moscow is hovering around Egypt, just waiting to pick up the pieces:

The Obama administration support for Muslim Brotherhood Islamists in Egypt is driving the powerful military there against the United States and toward Moscow, according to U.S. officials and reports from the region.

The pro-Muslim Brotherhood stance is undermining decades of U.S. policy toward the Middle East state and prompting concerns that the United States is about to “lose” Egypt as a strategic partner, said officials familiar with intelligence reports.

Almost bizarrely, The Diplomat is wondering where China is in all of this: “Why is China Dithering While Cairo Burns?”

As Rosie Collington noted on World Outline recently, China greatly benefited from Morsi’s presidency, and had a lot invested in that relationship.

Morsi courted China aggressively in his attempt to solve the country’s fiscal woes and reduce U.S. influence in Egypt. To that end, he made China the destination of his first trip overseas after becoming president. He was hosted in Beijing by then President Hu Jintao, who declared at the time, “You chose China to be one of the first countries to visit after taking office. This shows that you attach great importance to Sino-Egyptian relations. I believe your visit to China will further boost our cooperation in all fields.”

True to his word, Hu signed no less than eight cooperative agreements with Morsi during the trip. Even before then, during the tumultuous year of 2011 in Cairo, Sino-Egyptian trade rose to US$8.8 billion, a 30 percent increase from 2010, according to Xinhua. Last year it rose to US$9.5 billion.

Beijing may enter the lists yet.  There’s an almost palpable power vacuum in the Middle East with Washington out to lunch. Time headlines “Egypt’s Nightmare Scenario Draws Nearer,” and illustrates the story with President Barack Obama making a statement on the situation in Egypt … from the driveway of his vacation house in Martha’s Vineyard.

Obama has become a spectator of his own presidency.

Time continued its story by quoting Century Foundation’s Michael Wahid Hanna as saying:

I think a cycle of violence is coming. This will likely take the form of insurgent tactics, including possibly suicide bombings and assassinations.

You don’t say?

Probably he means bombings and assassinations like in Lebanon, where a deadly blast has rocked Hezbollah’s stronghold, prompting those interviewed to name Israel, al-Qaeda, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, the Syrian rebels, Sunni rebels, the United States and the European Union as possible suspects. Have they left anyone out?

Egypt is tipping over into civil war in a decidedly uncivil way. ”At least 700 people are dead and more than 3,700 injured after the violent dispersal of the pro-Morsi sit-ins by security forces unleashed a wave of violence across the country yesterday,” according to the Denver Post, in a piece perceptively titled “Egypt chaos: Not everyone in Cairo is unhappy with the violence.”

It’s open season on everybody. CNN says “‘Horrible’: Christian churches across Egypt stormed, torched.” At this writing, more than a dozen more have died as pro-Morsi demonstrations wend their way through Cairo. The Washington Post is liveblogging the nonstop clashes, morgue shots, scenes of people leaping off bridges, etc — what the New York Times is now calling “urban warfare.”

Spengler says the region is just beginning to fall apart — wait till it gets going.

Jackson Diehl at the Washington Post is thunderstruck by the abstracted, almost unreal atmosphere within the Obama administration:

Incredibly, some officials close to Kerry were arguing in recent weeks that one reason not to designate Egypt’s coup a coup was to avoid dampening the Mideast “peace process” — whose prospects for success are invisible to all outside the administration, including the Israelis and Palestinians themselves. Never mind the burning city, goes the logic; we’ve got our hands full building this Potemkin village.

Comments are closed.

Top Rated Comments   
Obama and his ilk thought they had all the answers, but all those answers were just silly little slogans. They are all about where we need to be. They know nothing about what needs to be done to get there. As to that they haven't a clue.

And that is the scary part. The children are at the helm. Its just so cute when a three year old thinks he can slay a twenty foot crocodile with his plastic sword.

Its not so cute when there are real twenty foot crocodiles about and you send a defective three year old with a plastic sword out to save you from them. And contrary to many peoples opinions, a teleprompter isn't really much better of a weapon than a plastic sword.
50 weeks ago
50 weeks ago Link To Comment
"Have they left anyone out?"
How about the Illuminati and Fritz Lang's Haghi?

Paranoids tend to generate hostility. Then they get the rich satisfaction of knowing that everyone really is against them. Islamists define the rest of the world as either apostates in dar al'Islam deserving death or as infidels in either in dar al'Harb deserving death or subjugation or in dar al'Islam deserving abuse and humiliation once subjugated.

America needs to adopt a simple policy. It should be easy for the GOP to articulate and run on. Simply promise the exact opposite of everything that Obama has done. Triple the Armed Forces. Enforce the rule of law. Eliminate every federal expenditure outside of Defense that was not budgeted 30 or even 40 years ago.
50 weeks ago
50 weeks ago Link To Comment
Maybe Egypt and Syria are now tar babies. Obama is afraid of touching them. And yet to some extent he owns them. And therein lies his problem: he thought it would be so simple. A speech here, a grand bargain there, a little proxy warfare thrown in. He was going to outsmart all the past presidents put together, little thinking that maybe they did stuff a certain way for a reason.

The question is: now what? What firebreaks are available? How to insulate the Suez Canal, the Sinai, Libya -- the region from the boiling hatreds that are springing up. What to do if -- as is entirely possible -- the Copts are even more heavily hunted?

Jordan has just asked for help to defend their borders. And it's an open question how long Lebanon will stay calm. The fire is beyond dousing until it burns out perhaps, but how to limit it? And if it turns bad, really bad, where are the reserves?

In landlocked Afghanistan, that's where.
50 weeks ago
50 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (69)
All Comments   (69)
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of course the whole fault is inheritent to the French

blind brainwashed idot !
49 weeks ago
49 weeks ago Link To Comment
hmm , Idunno why this comment cameup here

it was a response to Blert in the Suez canal crisis
49 weeks ago
49 weeks ago Link To Comment
Israel needs some breathing space, literally. Re-occupy the Sinai and over time move the Copts and other Christians from islamic countries there. Under Israeli management make the Sinai bloom like the rest of Israel. Deport the palis from Gaza to Jordan or Lebanon and its sea border situation eases. Israel needs to increase its Jewish population and or Christian population, to bulk up its protection of its porous eastern borders with Jordan and Syria.
49 weeks ago
49 weeks ago Link To Comment
Where's Chauncey Gardener (Peter Seller's character in the film Being There) when you need him? He'd certainly be preferable to the non-entity we have now. And calling Obama a non-entity is a compliment.
49 weeks ago
49 weeks ago Link To Comment
Come on folks, why are we even discussing 'being liked'? Most people posting here have long since built their reputation and career on HONEST, COMPETENCY; while usually being accused of having abrasive personalities, having saved hugs and kisses for the home front.

I don't give a flying fickle finger of fate whether any nation Likes us or not...it is such a 5th grade playground, MTV requirement.

AARRRGGGHHH
49 weeks ago
49 weeks ago Link To Comment
I do not believe the discussion is one of "being liked" except in that special world that the POTUS puppet lives.

49 weeks ago
49 weeks ago Link To Comment
You are right about not worrying about being "liked", that is for the Facebook crowd. And we should not worry about Obama's "leadership' or lack thereof. That would only make us like puppies chasing our own tails, which is exactly where one would find a leader from behind.

We need to consider the invisible hand. Such as TOTUS's in this Photoshop picture https://twitter.com/JohnEkdahl/status/367842633093099520/photo/1

Keep your sense of humor. Patti Ann Brown got off a great one liner on Red Eye after being called a "fembot' by Anthony Weiner's digital paramour, Sydney Leathers.

http://video.foxnews.com/v/2606167256001/weiners-sexting-partner-targets-fox-news-fembots/?intcmp=obnetwork

at 00:38

"That makes me so mad I just want to whip out a boob and shot her with my nipple gun.'

Laughter is the best medicine.

49 weeks ago
49 weeks ago Link To Comment
I saw sydneys new porn video. I would need viagra, coke and vodka to be even marginally stimulated by her weird-shaped body. Small boobs with impotent nipples and for this boy if you ain't got nipples you ain't sexy!. Combine that with a hefty, cellulose butt and the personality of a Best Buy cashier and I more than ever wonder what explodes in weiners tool-kit from time-to-time.
49 weeks ago
49 weeks ago Link To Comment
In Egypt Clashes, Civilians Oppose Protesters [http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324139404579016443005082408.html?mod=WSJ_hpp_LEFTTopStories]

CAIRO—As a day of clashes that left dozens more Egyptians dead turned to night, the country's teeming capital fell quiet—with downtown streets almost stripped of traffic, new security checkpoints going up on major roads and civilians seen patrolling their neighborhoods against what they said was the threat of Muslim Brotherhood protesters.

"We're looking for terrorists," said one of these civilians, as he popped open car trunks in downtown Cairo as Egypt's military curfew approached.

Civilian members of so-called popular committees like this one—created amid Egypt's upheaval to patrol their neighborhoods—sprung to duty Friday evening, carrying poles and sometimes guns.

But the rise of the popular committees illustrates how little faith Egyptian civilians have in the ability of the country's security forces to protect them, raising the dangerous possibility that the police and military are losing legitimacy in the eyes of the people, whether antigovernment or pro-government supporters. The police on Thursday urged Egyptians not to form popular committees, saying they were capable of protecting the people.

At up to a half-dozen points in the city before dusk, members of several of these bands could be seen breaking up sidewalks and piling up the debris to create checkpoints to stop strangers from entering their neighborhoods.

49 weeks ago
49 weeks ago Link To Comment
"But the rise of the popular committees illustrates how little faith Egyptian civilians have in the ability of the country's security forces to protect them, raising the dangerous possibility that the police and military are losing legitimacy in the eyes of the people, whether antigovernment or pro-government supporters. The police on Thursday urged Egyptians not to form popular committees, saying they were capable of protecting the people.

I think this is the lie within the story. The popular committees will reduce pressure on the police/military to maintain order. This will in turn increase the available resources needed to bring the Ikhwan/Mos bros to justice.

It is also congruent to note that our Fascist govt is allies with the Fascist Mo Bros and this makes sense. Too bad the useful idiots on the left can't or won't see that they have been played.
49 weeks ago
49 weeks ago Link To Comment
Ultimately, Richard, you underestimate the identification of Obama and his inner circle with political Islam and the Ikhwan. Their Egypt policy was clearly based on this brotherhood with the Brotherhood, the Libya policy was directly impacted by it, Benghazi seems tied to it; Barry Rubin wrote that Admin officials were warning the Jordanians several months ago that the Brotherhood was the wave of the future. They supported Jihadists in Syria enthusiastically, if indirectly, and their hostility to Israel is transparent and overt. I guess it is just too painful to admit where their sympathies lay - it is for me.
49 weeks ago
49 weeks ago Link To Comment
There are rumors the Ikhwan (the Muslim Bros) are backed by a certain Gulf state just as it is opposed by Saudi Arabia. It is commonly believed that in politics, there are no friends without funds. Hence Obama's support for the Brotherhood is probably tied up with some deal, if there is support at all.

The problem with deals is that if consideration has changed hands then either a refund must be provided or the deal must be bulled through. Right now Egypt is considering outlaws the Bros. As I noted, one way or the other, the hostility of the KSA -- and now it is rumored Russia -- to the Bros will put real pressure on Obama.

The Russians, if this is true, are using Obama's misstep to drive wedges everywhere. Now will Obama eat crow, or will he remained holed up in Martha's Vineyard hoping it all goes away?
49 weeks ago
49 weeks ago Link To Comment
Yes. Well, it's clear he doesn't have any real stomach for any of this. I mean, who can blame him...except that his policies in my opinion are partly a catalyst for events in Egypt. Perhaps Mubarak would have fallen in any case; maybe that is even likely. Where the role of Obama/Clinton seemed to really emerge was in welcoming the Brotherhood, and pushing the military and other rivals aside during the election campaign from which Morsi emerged the winner. Now we have chaos. If I were the Ikhwan leaders now, I guess I would go for broke, feeling that the US and some European states are more on my side than the regime's, and understanding that a final crackdown may be coming. As you have written, the US may be on the verge of losing Egypt. Sisi and friends will not leave voluntarily - do Obama and the others in the West denouncing them not get what the implications are for them personally should they step aside. I am afraid a full-on nightmare is emerging as Spengler wrote yesterday.

Qatar? It is hard to follow - Qatar was supposed to be heavily funding Jihadists in Syria, along with the Saudis. But maybe different ones, or maybe the same ones since, in Syria, it is the Shiite-Alawite-Iranian enemy that unites various flavors of Sunni jihadists.

As for the deals potential/possible, I wonder if we will ever know. But if so, and if it somehow connects Morsi and Benghazi, then the Generals in Cairo must know about it..

I hope the whole region doesn't explode. Events in Lebanon also indicate that it may. Thanks for your writing. I can't imagine what another three-plus years of this Administration will mean for the world.
49 weeks ago
49 weeks ago Link To Comment
I'm not sure what pieces there are for Russia to pick up in Egypt. They're already tapped out lending to Syria to keep them afloat during the Saudi-Qatari funded rebellion (which Moscow knows full well is partially about Qatar building a gas pipeline through Sunnistan Syria to hook up their Muslim Brother allies in Turkey)...with only a faint hope of Gazprom getting a piece of the offshore Syrian portion of Leviathian in the Med.

In reality the Russians wouldn't bail out their Orthodox Greek brothers on Cyprus even when the Merkel-abetted ECB was launching an economic blitzkrieg against the Cypriots, rationalizing the theft of their bank deposits as a 'bail in' and even an anti-corruption measure against 'Russian mafia' cash socked away in the Bank of Cyprus. Hell, Michael D. Weiss even said the German-led EU's heist was a great coup against Assad's Russian financial backers. As I asked Weiss on Twitter, how was the Allawite lung served by his jihadist hosts in Syria? Medium rare or well done?

To be sure I bet the tourist packages from Kiev and Moscow to Hurghada have never been cheaper, if they haven't all been cancelled. But even the most adventurous middle aged Slavic or German ladies looking for sleek boy toys in the land of the Pharoahs must be thinking twice about their itineraries now. Putin certainly isn't going while the bloodletting is the top story on Russia Today every night. It kind of damages the optics of holding the U.S. responsible for a body count that Assad had to work hard to match the early days of his own revolt. And all funded thanks to the non-wacko birds McCain and Graham with your tax dollars.
49 weeks ago
49 weeks ago Link To Comment
Wretch:

"A speech here, a grand bargain there. . ." I don't think he even expected it would take that amount of effort. I think Obama is such an ingenue that he expected his election would cause the oceans to stop rising and the Muslims to love America. Heck, it worked for the Nobel Committee. Even they admitted they did not give him the prize because of what he had done, but for what he would do. This is a man who has, in truth, never done anything in his life. Everything is just handed him. He figured the Egyptians, the Libyans, the Syrians and the Iranians would all act similarly, as would the Russians and Chinese. When oh when is the press going to see it like it really is? Obama is such an empty suit he doesn't even know what he'd like to accomplish -- he figured Valerie Jarrett would explain it to him and Gadaffi, Mubarak, et al, would just line up to sing his praises.
49 weeks ago
49 weeks ago Link To Comment
When describing Buraq, one must remember to think emotionally like Buraq and Valarie, not logically or rationally. You guys have got it all wrong with your logic, strategy and logistics. Buraq's Elite know better.

When formulating foreign or military policy Buraq's priorities are:

• Absolute Top Priority: Rid America of anything that smacks of a post colonial hegemonic power. Above all else make America no stronger than other nations. Virtue is relative in Buraq's mind so we are no better than any other country. In fact, America as a post Colonial power must apologize first, act later. And if you can reward our enemies - do it. Cloward Priven on a global scale to tear down the American Hegemon is just the ticket.

• Priority #2- hat tip to W. Domestic Politics are all important once Priority #1 is satisfied. All policies must play well politically on the domestic front - no matter what the unsettling consequences overseas and no matter how one must lie.

• Priority #3 - Forge policies that strike an emotional heart wrenching chord among the electorate, particularly Lefturds and the Media. Environmental and Humanitarian Do Gooderism is a guiding philosophy.

• Priority #4 and way down the list. Actually do something that is helpful to the foreign situation and in America's interests - but only if prioriites 1,2 and 3 are met first.

Those of you expecting some kind of rational response to the mounting problems around the world are going to be disappointed.



49 weeks ago
49 weeks ago Link To Comment
Nobody has the Copts back.

Sure you would welcome them to your community. To get a working visa to the US now to the US is near impossible from there or anywhere else. I hear harmony from late1930's Europe.

Maybe if you have big talents in high powered fields and some money you can push it through. Look up the history of Jews before the holocaust in Germany. Same thing is happening here. Lots of hand wringing and not much else.

US is not opening the floodgates to Egyptians, Christian or otherwise. Nobody wants them. As an aside point they were no help to Egypian Jews who were there even before they were. At least the Jews had someplace to go by then.

So I think it is good idea to open up immigration for Coptic Egyptians. I just do not think it will happen.

Lots of talk fom conservatives here about the fate of Coptic Christian Egyptians. Zero action.
50 weeks ago
50 weeks ago Link To Comment
America and Australia would benefit from having more Coptic Egyptian immigrants. If the Islamic fascists in Egypt initiate a full blown genocide against the Copts, we should promptly intervene to defend them. (Un)fortunately there are about 10 million Copts in Egypt. Also many impoverished Moslem Egyptians would try to fob themselves off as Copts to buy a ticket to America. Saving the Copts by shipping them to the United States maybe impractical.
49 weeks ago
49 weeks ago Link To Comment
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