Tuesday, February 8, 2011

US Moves To Secure Suez In Case Of Military Coup

Bob Herbert
Katrina vanden Heuvel
Peter Beinart
"American workers are in a world of hurt. Anyone who thinks that politicians can improve this sorry state of affairs by hacking away at Social Security, Medicare and the public schools are great candidates for involuntary commitment." - Bob Herbert
"Our foreign policy is dominated by our military and intelligence agencies - the national security state. As a result, our ties with dictators tend to involve deep complicity with the most unsavory parts of these regimes - the military and the intelligence services that trample (and often repress) dissent." - Katrina vanden Heuvel

President Obama is more concerned with creating his pro-business coalition and working on our own economy than he is worried about how Egypt will end up; that is the job of the State Department. We might have been better off if Jimmy Carter were President during this moment, because Jimmy was very concerned about human rights. In matters where there is a military or intelligence aspect to it, Obama will drag his feet and often defer to whomever has the most brass in the room... Egypt's new Vice President has said that he doesn't think that Egyptians are ready for democracy, and doesn't "King Suleiman" have a nice ring to it? There are fears that we will once again take the wrong side of history because we were too timid to side with those desiring to be free. We brag about how we love liberty, but it must be ours and ours alone...

The Israeli Debkafile reports that US military have been stationed near the Suez Canal: "The arrival of US naval, marine and air forces in the Suez Canal's Greater Bitter Lake indicated that the crisis was quickly swerving out of control. DEBKAfile's military sources report that the American force consists of the USS Kearsarge Expeditionary Strike Group of six warships. Helicopters on some of their decks are there to carry and drop the 2,200 marines of the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit which has been bolstered by two special operations battalions.

The flotilla has a rapid strike stealth submarine, the USS Scranton, which is designed to support special forces' operations.

The US strike force has taken up position at a strategic point opposite Ismailia between the west bank of the Suez Canal and its eastern Sinai bank. It is poised for rapid response in the event of the passage of about 40 percent of the world's marine freights through the Suez Canal being threatened or any other extreme occurrence warranting US military intervention."

Other chess pieces involve the Sinai peninsula, and the town of Ramallah, where there is a supervised checkpoint between Israel and Egypt. A natural gas pipeline was bombed by 4 men in two cars, cutting off the feeding of natural gas to israel and Jordan for several hours. Some rockets have been fired towards Israel, and Egyptian military have clashed with Bedouin tribes who control the flow of contraband through the tunnels beneath the border. If the Egyptian military decides to take over by coup, the Israeli military will move into Sinai and take out pesky terrorist groups roaming around, while the US guards the Suez Canal and keeps the free movement of shipping.

But with today's showing of thousands more people around Tahir Square, the military solutions may be put on hold for another few days. Every time there is a new outpouring of humanity here, rumours fly over where Mubarak can go for that quick retirement, though he wants to stay and live his last days out in Egypt, whether he is in power or not. And god forbid if we have to make relations further down the line with some educated, liberal official whom we have never met before, but we have to have relations just the same because he or she was elected to their office, this unknown part is what drives Israel and the US State Dept crazy, and why they are pushing the mini-me who would be tyrant Suleiman, or even the Muslim Brotherhood to the front of the class. Relax, dudes, take a few deep breaths...

Meanwhile, our new nest of Republicans are bent on showing us just how out of touch and irrelevant they are. The new head of Homeland Security Committee is Rep Peter King, who plans on having hearings on the danger of homegrown Muslims terrorists, a witch-hunt that will try and fracture any positive relationships and friendships made, just the opposite of what is happening now in Egypt: "He would rely on Muslims to make his case that American Muslim leaders have failed to cooperate with law enforcement officials in the effort to disrupt terrorist plots — a claim that was rebutted in recent reports by counterterrorism experts and in a forum on Capitol Hill on Monday.

Peter King believes that if people turn into CSPAN on his hearings, they will become revolted by the sight of Muslims being forced to justify the actions of extremists: “I believe it will have more of an impact on the American people if they see people who are of the Muslim faith and Arab descent testifying,” Mr. King said."

But it may backfire on Mr King: "As the hearings approach, the reaction from Muslim groups — initially outraged — has evolved into efforts to get Mr. King to enlarge the scope of the hearings beyond Muslims. They want to use the forum to reinforce the notion that the potential for terrorist violence among American Muslims is very marginal and very isolated.

“Our heads aren’t in the sand,” Alejandro J. Beutel, the government and policy analyst for the Muslim Public Affairs Council, a national advocacy group, said at a forum his group sponsored on Monday on Capitol Hill. “The threat clearly exists, but I also want to put it in perspective. The threat exists, but it is not a pandemic.”

LOONY TOON WARNING!!! But Mr. King dismissed this line of criticism, saying: “I totally reject that. That, to me, is political correctness at its worst. If we included these other violent events in the hearings, we’d be sending the false signal that we think there’s a security threat equivalency between Al Qaeda and the neo-Nazi movement, or Al Qaeda and gun groups. There is none.”

Mr. King added, “I’m not going to dilute the hearings by including other extremists.” 

It turns out that many of these so-called non-compliant Muslims end up being undercover informants being paid to be unruly by Uncle Sam and Uncle Leon: "A report issued last week by an independent research group on national security found that 48 of the 120 Muslims suspected of plotting domestic terrorist attacks since Sept. 11, 2001, were turned in by fellow Muslims, including parents, mosque members and even a Facebook friend. The report was issued by the Triangle Center on Terrorism and Homeland Security, which is affiliated with Duke and the University of North Carolina.

The report said, “In some communities, Muslim-Americans have been so concerned about extremists in their midst that they have turned in people who turned out to be undercover informants.” And these hearings, which will just embarrass you and make fools of fellow Republicans, are going to help us by creating how many jobs?

The price of copper wire has gone up from $1.25 per lb in 2009 to over $4 per lb, and people are tearing out the lighting all across our nation. They go into foreclosed homes and rip the wiring out of the walls, but the favorite past-time seems to be tearing the wiring out of street lights. It was costing the city of Fresno, Calif over $75,000 per month in repairs until they decided to seal over the manhole covers with cement... It's gotten so bad that in some states it has become more difficult to sell scrap wiring than it is to buy a handgun. In Oklahoma, scrap dealers are required to take your picture and copy your driver's license, then send them to the state for a background check. If you pass, then it takes three more days to get your check. At least we now know what made the lights go out in Georgia...

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