Sunday, July 7, 2013

In The News: Pestilence And The Middle East

WHO Convenes Emergency Talks On MERS Virus

WHO health security chief Keiji Fukuda said the meeting on the virus, which is striking hardest in Saudi Arabia, would take place Tuesday in the form of a telephone conference of officials from affected countries and experts around the world."We really want the international community to be in a position to be ready for any possibility," Fukuda told reporters, insisting it was a "proactive move" rather than a sign of rising alarm.
"It means that if in the future we do see some kind of explosion, or some big outbreak, or we think the situation has really changed, we will already have a group of emergency committee experts who are really up to speed, so we don't have to go through a steep learning curve."

Forty-three MERS patients have died to date, an extremely high rate of 54 percent, compared to nine percent of the 8,273 recorded patients with SARS, which was centred on Asia.
Experts are struggling to understand MERS, which stands for Middle East Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus.
Like its cousin SARS, short for Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome, it has flu-like symptoms. But it differs in that it causes kidney failure.
In the wake of the 2003 SARS crisis, which sparked global panic about emerging viruses, a special WHO system known as the International Health Regulations Emergency Committee was created.
The MERS meeting will be only the second ever held.

Saudi Arabia: 2 More Deaths From New Virus

Saudi Arabia says two more people have died from a new respiratory virus related to SARS, bringing to 38 the number of deadly cases in the kingdom at the center of the growing outbreak.
The Saudi Health Ministry said the two died Saturday and that tests on 77 suspected cases yielded only three positive cases, two of them in Riyadh.
The new virus is related to SARS, which killed some 800 people in a global outbreak in 2003. It belongs to a family of viruses that most often cause the common cold.

Fall Of Morsi Paves Way For Radical Islam

Secular political parties backed by the Egyptian military will likely lose out to the Nour Party in the coming elections. Described as “ultraconservative” by the corporate media in the West, the religious party led by Nadar Bakar is considered the Taliban of Egypt.
“The Nour Party embodies Wahhabism, the fanatical interpretation of Islam that is the sole official religious doctrine in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia,” writes Irfan Al-Alawi, the executive director of the Islamic Heritage Research Foundation. “The media have tiptoed around the authentic character of the Nour Party, with leading sources noting only that the Nour Party’s program is derived from or influenced by Saudi Wahhabism. But the Nour Party reproduces Wahhabism – the ideology that inspired Osama Bin Laden – in its entirety.”
Like the Taliban, the Nour Party embraces a strict version of Shariah law. It is fanatically and murderously opposed to Shia Muslims and Christians. Nour’s Abdel Moneim Al-Shahat has called for the Pharaonic statues that are a part of Egypt’s pre-Islamic cultural legacy to be covered with wax because they were onceworshipped as idols, Al-Alawi notes. This is the same philosophy that resulted in the Taliban destroying the Bamiyan statues of Buddha in Afghanistan.Religious fanaticism of the sort practiced by the Taliban is a form of social control considered acceptable by government and the financial elite, as Nazi fascism was in Germany of the 1930s.

Caroline Glick: Israel's Strategic Wisdom

On Wednesday, Egypt had its second revolution in as many years. And there is no telling how many more revolutions it will have in the coming months, or years. This is the case not only in Egypt, but throughout the Islamic world.

The American foreign policy establishment's rush to romanticize as the Arab Spring the political instability that engulfed the Arab world following the self-immolation of a Tunisian peddler in December 2010 was perhaps the greatest demonstration ever given of the members of that establishment's utter cluelessness about the nature of Arab politics and society. Their enthusiastic embrace of protesters who have now brought down President Mohamed Morsi and his Muslim Brotherhood regime indicates that it takes more than a complete repudiation of their core assumptions to convince them to abandon them.

Five months after elections of questionable pedigree catapulted Morsi to power, Obama was silent when in December 2012 Morsi arrogated dictatorial powers and pushed through a Muslim Brotherhood constitution.

Obama ignored Congress three times and maintained full funding of Egypt despite the fact that the Morsi government had abandoned its democratic and pluralistic protestations.

He was silent over the past year as the demonstrators assembled to oppose Morsi's power grabs. He was unmoved as churches were torched and Christians were massacred. He was silent as Morsi courted Iran.

US Ambassador to Egypt Anne Patterson and Obama remained the Muslim Brotherhood's greatest champions as the forces began to gather ahead of this week's mass protests. Patterson met with the Coptic pope and told him to keep the Coptic Christians out of the protests.

Obama, so quick to call for Mubarak to step down, called for the protesters to exercise restraint this time around and then ignored them during his vacation in Africa.

The first time Obama threatened to curtail US funding of the Egyptian military was Wednesday night, after the military ignored American warnings and entreaties, and deposed Morsi and his government.

This week's events showed how the US's strategy in Egypt has harmed America.

In 2011, the military acted to force Mubarak from power only after Obama called for it to do so. This week, the military overthrew Morsi and began rounding up his supporters in defiance of the White House.

Secretary of State John Kerry was the personification of the incredible shrinkage of America this week as he maintained his obsessive focus on getting Israel to make concessions to the Palestinians.

In a Middle East engulfed by civil war, revolution and chronic instability, Israel is the only country at peace. The image of Kerry extolling his success in "narrowing the gaps" between Israel and the Palestinians before he boarded his airplane at Ben-Gurion Airport, as millions assembled to bring down the government of Egypt, is the image of a small, irrelevant America.

And as the anti-American posters in Tahrir Square this week showed, America's self-induced smallness is a tragedy that will harm the region and endanger the US.

As far as Israel is concerned, all we can do is continue what we have been doing, and hope that at some point, the Americans will embrace our sound strategy.

U.S. Frowns On Egyptian Army's Alignment WIth Gulf Regimes

The Muslim Brotherhood’s top leadership was more or less decapitated when the army seized power Wednesday, July 3. Next, the generals plan to send security forces to fan out across the country for mass arrests of thousands of local activists. They will be confined in detention centers already in preparation.
By this action, Gen. El-Sisi will be treading in the footsteps of Gemal Abdul Nasser in the fifties and Anwar Sadat in the seventies. Those rulers kept thousands of Muslim Brotherhood national and field operatives in pirson and under tight control for years before gradually letting them out on condition they did not run for office.
The army chief, while bracing for Washington’s condemnation, is also assured of approval by the Gulf rulers led by the Saudi royal house.
Likewise, if the US cuts off or reduces military aid to Egypt, currently running at $1.3 billion a year, the Egyptian strongman has Gulf guarantees to make up the difference.
Cairo’s post-coup military rulers are therefore squaring up for a major collision with Washington, which would also encompass their backers, the conservative pro-West Arab governments of the Persian Gulf.

At the same time, say our Middle East sources, Gen. El-Sisis is looking to the long term. He believes that his alignment with the Gulf will eventually lead to back to an understanding with the United States, although he will have to ride out the initial rift with the Obama administration.

The second step he plans is a crackdown on the estimated 10,000 armed Salafists, some of them working for al Qaeda, who have made Sinai their stamping ground.
DEBKAfile’s military sources recall that as a past military intelligence chief, later commander of Egyptian forces in Sinai, Gen. El-Sisi is thoroughly acquainted with the terrain and conditions of the peninsula.
Our intelligence sources disclose that the generals in Cairo now believe the Muslim Brotherhood regime deliberately turned a blind eye in the past year to the massive flow of weapons smuggled in from Libya into Sinai and onto the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip. The Brotherhood, it appears, had been quietly accumulating an arsenal for the contingency of its downfall by setting up a clandestine armed "Center of Revolt" for resistance operations against any takeover of rule in Cairo.

This Center of Revolt has set up a coalition with the armed Islamist gangs terrorizing Sinai. This was confirmed in the last 24 hours by Salafist statements, such as: “Sinai is the center of revolt against the military coup which deposed Mohamed Morsi as president.”
The generals realize the urgency of cutting down this Islamist terrorist-backed revolt before it spreads out of control to Cairo and the Suez cities of Port Said, Suez and Ismailia - not to mention the threat of sabotage to the international cargo and oil shipping traffic passing through the Suez Canal.

Since Friday, the first attacks have been ongoing on Egyptian military targets in Sinai, leaving five officers and a Coptic priest dead. Early Sunday, Salafist Bedouin blew up the Sinai gas pipeline to Jordan. Sabotage of the pipeline stopped after Egypt discontinued supplies to Israel.

On this second step by the Egyptian military, the Obama administration faces a serious dilemma: On the one hand, the United States can hardly object to a major Egyptian military crackdown on Salafist terrorist groups which work hand in glove with al Qaeda and the Palestinian Hamas.
On the other, in order to succeed, the Egyptian army must destroy the weapons caches the Muslim Brotherhood hoarded in Sinai. This would further weaken the movement after its loss of rule in Cairo.
Another problem for the US president is that in Sinai, Egyptian and Israeli security interests undeniably converge.

Full-scale Egyptian military operations in Sinai are dependent on Israel’s consent under the demilitarization clauses of their 1979 peace treaty. They would also be welcomed by Jerusalem which kept anti-terrorist forces parked on the Egyptian border from the time that the Muslim Brotherhood came to power a year ago.

The crackdown on Islamist terrorists in Sinai will bring the collaboration between Egypt's military rulers and Israel out in the open and further complicate the Obama administration’s stance in relation to the new regime in Cairo.

Also see:

The U.S. Administration And The Muslim Brotherhood

The Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt had and has no greater friend than Barack Hussein Obama.

Obama ordered, aided and abetted the overthrow of Hosni Mubarak, Egypt’s former President who was a long time friend and ally of the United States, a long time friend and ally whose presence and cooperation kept peace between Egypt and Israel and allowed the U.S. to implement its foreign policy in the region and the wider Middle East.

That paved the way for the Brotherhoods rise to power.

Throughout the Muslim Brotherhood’s rise to power and time in power Obama did everything he possibly could to support and maintain it; even though it was vicious and dictatorial, even though it abused, tortured and killed religious minorities; even though it destroyed the Egyptian economy; even though it was rapidly turning Egypt into a country governed by Sharia, Islamic Law; even though it was rabidly and fanatically anti-American, anti-Semitic and anti-Israel; even though the honesty and results of the elections which brought it into power in the first place were questionable; even though it was plain that the Egyptian people rejected the Brotherhood and what it was doing to their lives and their country and even though it was obvious from the beginning that a Muslim Brotherhood government was not and never would be in the best interests of the United States in the Middle East or anywhere else…was in fact harmful to the best interests of the United States in the Middle East and everywhere else.

Politics and life are full of irony and it is ironic in the extreme that the Egyptian people have rejected Obama and the Muslim Brotherhood and tossed the Brotherhood out of office at the same time that Obama has embraced the Brotherhood in the United States and allowed it unprecedented influence in the affairs of the nation.

To America’s great detriment.

'Selective Reasoning'

Never in the history of modern politics have events been subjected to so much “selective reasoning” as what the Obama administration has done with Egypt’s current events.

Indeed the US administration swung the pendulum to the rhythm of the Muslim Brotherhood compass since the Jan 25 revolution, pressuring the army and the opposition to hand the country to the Islamist group on a silver platter. Every step of the way was marked by conflicting statementsfrom the US administration serving the best interests of the Muslim Brotherhood. Statements that ranged from “this is not how mature democracies work” to “this is normal in a nascent democracy”, the goal seemed to always keep the MB on top.

Today, after the June 30 revolution reached its goal of overthrowing this dictator, the only argument the MB and (surprise surprise) the US administration are using is that Morsi is a democratically elected president who can’t be overthrown. An argument that, millions of World War II victims would have begged to differ with had they survived the democratically elected fascist dictator Adolf Hitler.  It remains a mystery to me, what kind of democracy allows the president to issue a “presidential constitutional decree” to overthrow the General Prosecutor. Indeed, this decree, as well as other measures such as MB pro-“legitimacy” and “anti-judiciary” rallies are way too similar to Hitler’s path to assuming full control of Nazi Germany. We even had our own version of the Nazi torture doctors on December 5th 2012 in front of Morsi’s quarters in Ettehadeya palace.
It was beyond doubt, that Morsi and his Muslim Brotherhood, were not after a fair and modern democratic country. It was beyond doubt that they chartered a path of regression and injustice. The Muslim Brotherhood’s plan can be summarized by the fact that months ago, one of Morssi’s aids, Yasser Borhamy, had been caught on videosaying how they’ve been cunning enough to put articles in the constitution they would be able to use to convert Egypt into a theocracy.. The kind of Theocracies that have been hosting the criminals terrorizing the world for years.. And my point, Mr. Obama.. Is that.. I really don’t want to be a terrorist.


Sandra said...


I can not help to feel in my spirit we are so close now...but ALL need to pray,for there is a deception so great, that it will deceive even our brothers and sisters. It is REALLY troubling me this evening... all please pray for His perfect will to be done.


Scott said...

I agree Sandra. What is troubling you specifically?