Friday – ROTD 3

The third Friday “Revolution Of The Day” posting.

OK, so it’s actually Saturday… I got a bit behind what with all the rain, snow, cold, and the action in Japan…

Besides, the MSM was doing a generally pretty complete job of “4 walling” the actual war in Libya, so I didn’t see where my comments would add much. But, as that “newness” fades, their attention will wander… Also, along the way, there had been comments on particular countries like Cote d’Ivoire and the UN giving an “OK” for action in Libya, so It’s not like I’ve just ignored things.

But things have happened, some of them fairly important… So, a “recap of what dictator still has his country” ;-)

First ROTD posting is here:

Second ROTD posting is here:

No News is Good News?:

I’m having a hard time thinking of anyone to put in this list this time…

Nervously Invading Helping Neighbors

Turkey –

There is an interesting article from a while back (Feb 16) about how events are making Turkey the key player in regional (read Arab / Muslim) affairs:

Arab revolt makes Turkey a regional power

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

One of the unexpected consequences of the unrest in the Middle East is the elevation of Turkey’s role in the Middle East, making Ankara a potential regional power.

On Feb. 8, a leader of the Muslim Brotherhood of Egypt, Ashraf Abdel Ghaffar, said in Istanbul that he was taking refuge in Turkey, where he will remain until the demonstrations to remove Mubarak from power succeed. Mr. Abdel Ghaffar then praised Turkey, referring to the governing Justice and Development Party, or AKP’s, political role, and said that his movement considers the AKP to be a model for Egypt after Mubarak. And on Feb. 10, Turkish media quoted Abdel Ghaffar as saying that “there might be dialogue” between the Muslim Brotherhood and the AKP.

These developments and the AKP’s recent comments against Mubarak make Ankara a de facto protector of the Muslim Brotherhood, a potential powerbroker in post-Mubarak Cairo. More importantly, it provides Turkey with access to hitherto unimaginable power in the Egyptian capital.

So, let me get this straight, being in bed with The Egyptian Brotherhood is a “good thing”? OK….

Nato Member, EU Applicant, Protector of the Muslim Brotherhood… interesting resume… (Oh, and as NATO member has a veto over what we do with the NATO Coalition in Libya right now. That’s comforting…)

The Arab Winter of 2011 has created a new Middle East landscape in which the AKP’s Turkey, which has positioned itself as the defender of the Muslim Brotherhood and popular uprisings ― Ankara has voiced the strongest support for the Egyptian demonstrators, calling for Mubarak’s departure before any country did so ― is a regional power to be reckoned with.

The proximity between the AKP and the Muslim Brotherhood goes beyond contemporary political support. In past years, leading AKP politicians, including Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, broke their political teeth in the Muslim Brotherhood’s Turkish versions. This included the Islamist Welfare Party, or RP, in the 1990s, its predecessor and even more radically, the Islamist, National Salvation Party, or MSP, in the 1970s. The Muslim Brotherhood, RP and MSP shared political goals, such as a desire to make a narrowly defined conservative brand of religion the moral compass of their respective societies, as well as a strong dislike of secular democracy and the United States.

Such political hobnobbing, akin to the socialists’ networking for a common cause in the Socialist International during the 20th century, lasted for decades, bringing together AKP and Muslim Brotherhood members and allowing for the development of mutually supportive political and personal friendships. This history affords the AKP power in the Arab capitals in the new Middle East.
This is the effective end of Turkey’s decades-long policy of strategic isolation from the Middle East. The secular parties that ran Turkey until 2002 chose to coordinate Middle East policy with the West. After 2002, AKP supporters argued that the party’s new Middle East-focused foreign policy would make Turkey a regional power, especially since the party did not seek concert with the West. Until the Arab Winter of 2011, this approach did not produce results. Not only did the AKP fail to wield influence in Arab capitals, but it also alienated the country’s traditional Western partners, for it often broke ranks with the West on Middle East issues. In other words, the AKP could neither have its cake, nor eat it.

Now, the AKP can at least eat its cake. The party will not only continue to break rank with the West on issues such as Sudan and Hamas, but it will also have the benefit of a receptive audience and powers to support such policies in Cairo and elsewhere. After nearly a decade of disappointments, the AKP’s Turkey is now emerging as a regional power, thanks to the Arab Winter of 2011.

Hmmmm….. This, as they say, “bears watching”…

The TUR Turkey fund has been fairly volatile, and clearly “took a hit” the last couple of months. The “indicators” are giving a tepid “buy soon” with RSI stepping up off ‘near 20’, MACD “blue on top” approaching zero from below, and DMI “blue on top” but the ADX is “way low” indicating not strength to the trend and we’ve mostly been just tracking a descending moving average down. Looks more like a “Dead Cat Bounce” than an actual entry call to me. GUR the “Emerging Europe” fund looks much better (and does have some Turkey exposure, but also other countries).

TUR Turkey ETF vs GUR Emerging Europe, SPY S&P, and GLD Gold ETF

TUR Turkey ETF vs GUR Emerging Europe, SPY S&P, and GLD Gold ETF

So all in all I’d rather take the GUR for some “European near Asia” exposure. Looks like when the S&P rolled down it kept trucking too…
So all of this “Turkey in bed with The Muslim Brotherhood” just gives a wonderful warm feeling and great confidence in the more recent story:

Turkish base to be center of NATO operations in Libya

Friday, March 25, 2011
ANKARA – Hürriyet Daily News

Once-reluctant Turkey is now gearing up to play a critical role in NATO operations in Libya, which will have their command center at the alliance’s air base in the Aegean city of İzmir.

The announcement of the base’s selection as the center for operations monitoring the no-fly zone in the crisis-hit North African country followed the lifting of Turkey’s previous opposition to any kind of NATO involvement in Libya.
The consensus among NATO member states came after the Turkish Parliament passed a motion late Thursday authorizing the military to participate in the international force in Libya and the government to make a “multi-dimensional contribution.”

“We are very glad that allies reached a consensus in Brussels on the no-fly zone as well as the arms embargo. Turkey is a member of NATO. We have been very close to Turkey in this process, communicating well at all levels,” a Western source told the Daily News.

Turkey has already contributed five warships and a submarine to the international operation in Libya; the vessels are to be used solely for humanitarian and defense purposes. The country may additionally offer F-16 jets and its tanker aircraft in the Central Anatolian province of Konya were said to be ready for any NATO request.

One of the key factors that angered Ankara was the way France has taken control of the situation in Libya.

“Paris has begun to be excluded, which is a positive development,” Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said Friday in Istanbul, reflecting his government’s initial uneasiness.

So, we’ve got NATO running an operation to let the “Rebels” have Libya. It is being run out of Turkey. It has the full blessing of a government that’s playing footsie with the Muslim Brotherhood. They (the Turks) don’t like the French getting any traction in the area. And they are not keen on the USA… But are as happy as can be with The Muslim Brotherhood and their plans for Egypt. So what are they likely to be expecting as the outcome in Libya?

Why is it I’m getting this feeling that the USA involvement is that we are providing a nice free Air Force for The Muslim Brotherhood?? And we are doing this because???….

That “Aroma” I mentioned in another thread is getting a bit stronger now… IMHO, of course…

Saudi Arabia –

Well, we can always depend on our Good Friends the Saudis in the Middle East…

‘Arab spring’ drives wedge between US, Saudi Arabia
Published: Saturday, March 26, 2011 8:41 p.m. MDT

By Warren P. Strobel, McClatchy Newspapers

WASHINGTON — The United States and Saudi Arabia — whose conflicted relationship has survived oil shocks, the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks and the U.S. invasion of Iraq — are drifting apart faster than at any time in recent history, according to diplomats, analysts and former U.S. officials.

The breach, punctuated by a series of tense diplomatic incidents in the past two weeks, could have profound implications for the U.S. role in the Middle East, even as President Barack Obama juggles major Arab upheavals from Libya to Yemen.
That alarm turned to horror when the Obama administration demanded that the Saudi-backed monarchy of Bahrain negotiate with protesters representing the country’s majority Shiite Muslim population. To Saudi Arabia’s Sunni rulers, Bahrain’s Shiites are a proxy for Shiite Iran, its historical adversary.

“We’re not going to budge. We’re not going to accept a Shiite government in Bahrain,” said an Arab diplomat, who spoke frankly on condition he not be further identified.
Ignoring U.S. pleas for restraint, a Saudi-led military force from the Gulf Cooperation Council, a grouping of six Arab Persian Gulf states, entered Bahrain on March 14, helping its rulers squelch pro-democracy protests, at least for now.
In a March 20 speech in the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Prince Turki al-Faisal, a former ambassador to Washington, said the Gulf countries now must look after their own security — a role played exclusively by the United States since the 1979 fall of the Shah of Iran.
“Why not seek to turn the GCC into a grouping like the European Union? Why not have one unified Gulf army? Why not have a nuclear deterrent with which to face Iran — should international efforts fail to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons — or Israeli nuclear capabilities?” al-Turki said, according to a translation of his remarks by the UAE’s state-controlled Emirates News Agency.



Uh, Prince, can we get back to you on that “pump extra oil to keep prices down while we use our airpower that depends on your oil to promote the goals of the people you think want to kill you” thing, then?… And, about that “get your own nuke” thing, for, um, Iran and Israel… we, ah, … Oil you say?… Decisions decisions…

So somehow we’re alienating the Saudis, Kissing Off the Bahrain government, helping the Muslim Brotherhood with air cover, letting Turkey take the helm with a government that doesn’t like us (but they do like the Muslim Brotherhood) and we’re doing this why again?

Exactly WHAT IS our “Arab and Middle East” policy?

Revolution – Interim Government:

Tunisia –

I couldn’t find much of interest on Tunisia. There might be interesting things, but it’s just taking too long to look up all the countries “having issues”…

Makes it look like some minor mayhem, but mostly just having a ‘revolution hangover’…

Two dead and 20 injured in acts of violence in Metlaoui

Groups of citizens from the town of Metlaoui, whose number is estimated at over one thousand persons, resumed on Friday morning, “acts of violence, stone and Molotov cocktails throwing and shotguns’ firing,” following the spread on Thursday, of a false communiqué on an alleged recruitment of workers by the Gafsa Phosphates Company (CPG) in the mines of Metlaoui.

Egypt –

Well, you can’t help but contrast these two stories:

with the optimistic:

Egypt Default Risk Drops Fifth Day as Referendum Passed, Trading to Resume

Egypt’s default risk dropped for a fifth day, the longest stretch of losses since April, after voters approved a constitutional referendum and the government agreed to resume equity trading for the first time in seven weeks.
Investors perceive increased stability in Egypt after voters backed changes to the constitution March 19, paving the way for parliamentary and presidential elections by year-end, in the Arab country’s first referendum since Mubarak’s ouster last month. The cabinet, meeting yesterday in Cairo as dozens of investors demonstrated outside with placards that read “Enough!” and “Our livelihood has been ruined,” agreed to open the bourse tomorrow.

With this one:

Egypt’s Interior Ministry Burns as Police Protest
Fire sweeps Egypt’s Interior Ministry building as police protest outside to demand higher pay

Fire swept the upper floors of Egypt’s Interior Ministry building on Tuesday as policemen protested outside to demand higher pay. A security official accused demonstrators of starting the blaze in downtown Cairo.

TV footage showed flames climbing the top floors of the building and a huge plume of black smoke filling the sky. Later, firefighters on tall ladders sprayed water to extinguish the fire.

One protester denied they had lit the fire and accused those inside of setting if off by burning security files to get rid of evidence of police abuses.

Well, sounds like a great place to vacation and do business already…

Civil War in Progress

None I can think of at the moment; but give it a week…
(Libya has been promoted to “with foreign involvement).

On Deck:

Bahrain –

After the Saudis came in with force over the bridge connecting Saudi to the island, it’s not been entirely a bed of roses…

Bahrain forces quash small protests in “Day of Rage”
By Lin Noueihed and Frederik Richter

MANAMA | Sat Mar 26, 2011 6:49am GMT
(Reuters) – Small protests broke out in Bahrain’s capital for a planned “Day of Rage” Friday despite a ban under martial law imposed last week, but were quickly crushed by security forces fanned out across Manama.

Police entered several Manama suburbs that are home to the majority Shi’ite population, firing tear gas to scatter small numbers of protesters. Hours later the streets were empty but littered with rocks and overturned skips from residents trying to block police and the spicy scent of tear gas hung in the air.
After a month of mass protests from mostly Shi’ite demonstrators demanding constitutional reform, Bahrain’s ruling al Khalifa family, from the minority Sunni population, enforced a fierce police crackdown and wiped out protest. They also called in troops from neighbouring Sunni-led Gulf countries.

Bahrain has great strategic importance because it hosts the U.S. 5th Fleet, facing non-Arab Shi’ite power Iran across the Gulf, and is situated off-shore from oil giant Saudi Arabia.

OK… BTW, the “neighboring Sunni-led Gulf Countries” are, um, the Saudis that we are getting all POed at us. So you think that maybe after they save the bacon of the al Khalifa that the US “concessions” in Bahrain might come up for a bit of a review?…

But at least we’ll get to find out if suppression by force works there…

Yemen –

Where we have another base…

Al Qaeda said to seize Yemen town amid turmoil

Militants may be looking to take advantage of political unrest; No progress made in talks between president’s allies, opponents

(AP) SANAA, Yemen – Allies of Yemen’s president and his political opponents failed to make progress Saturday in talks on a possible exit for the man who has led the nation through 32 years of growing poverty and conflict and whose rule is now deeply imperiled by a popular uprising.

As the political turmoil deepened, there were signs that Islamic militants in the remote reaches of the country were seeking to make gains on the situation. Residents and witnesses in the small town of Jaar in the south said suspected al Qaeda militants moved down from an expanse of mountains on Saturday to seize control there a few weeks after police fled, setting up checkpoints and occupying vacant government buildings.
After six weeks of unprecedented protests in Yemen, Saleh says he is willing to step aside in a peaceful transition of power, but has left himself room for maneuver by adding the condition that he wants to leave the country in “safe hands.”

In the TV interview, he insisted he would not leave the presidency “humiliated” and that even if he stepped down as president, he would remain head of his Congress Party, leaving the door open for his continued involvement in the nation’s politics.

So we’re in about the same situation as in Egypt when Mubarak said “I’ll go, but in a few months”. I’d give it a week or two… And who’s positioning to get what it wants? Al Qeada.

Now I find myself thinking that the best thing we could hope for is that the Saudis move in and just absorb Yemen… except we’ve PO’d the Saudis…

There are times I wonder if it would be possible to screw it up any worse than the present Non-Policy in the Arab World has done. I mean, if they tried it would be hard to make it worse… (Or is that a clue?…)


Syria –

They are starting to dissolve into violence now, too.

So after a strong “crack down”, we’re now in the “backpedal and hope” stage:

25 March 2011 Last updated at 03:33 ET

Syria unrest: Government pledges political reforms

Syrian leaders have pledged to introduce reforms to meet the demands of protesters, after days of violence in the southern city of Deraa.

Officials promised to study the need for lifting the state of emergency, in place since 1963.

The government also said it would bring to trial those suspected of killing several protesters in Deraa.

President Bashar al-Assad later ordered the release of everyone arrested during the “recent events”, state media said.

Presidential spokeswoman Bouthaina Shaaban blamed outside agitators for whipping up trouble, and denied that the government had ordered security forces to open fire on protesters.

Like that’s gonna work…

Security forces opened fired on crowds three times in Deraa on Wednesday, activists and witnesses said.

The first clashes took place in the early hours outside a mosque. Later, witnesses said crowds at a funeral for those who were killed were themselves fired on.

Later on Thursday, the US issued a strongly worded statement condemning Syria’s “brutal repression” of demonstrations.

White House spokesman Jay Carney said the US called on the government in Damascus to “exercise restraint and respect the rights of its people”.

And we’re mixed up in telling Syria what to do because??…. The government was a friend of Saddam and they have the same political party? They promote attacks on us and Israel via H & H? The people once they take over will be joining forces with either The Muslim Brotherhood or ???

I think the State Department needs to learn when to STFU and enjoy watching two of your adversaries at each others throats. It’s not our fight, not our interest, and not our place. Let them fight it out then deal with the survivors.

Lebanon –

Syria urges Lebanese to swiftly form Cabinet

BEIRUT: Syria has urged Lebanese leaders to speed up the formation of a new government to help Lebanon cope with the repercussions of fast-moving developments in the region, a senior March 8 source said Thursday. Syria’s position was relayed by Syrian President Bashar Assad to leaders of the Hezbollah-led March 8 alliance, the source told The Daily Star

» Anti-sectarian protests planned in Beirut, Amsheet Sunday
» Rai remembered as modest and caring in formative years
» No word yet on fate of 7 abducted Estonians, search effort continues
» Mikati Cabinet set to see light of day soon
» Search is on for kidnapped foreigners

So Syria wants their puppet to move faster getting its act together while they are still coping with Hezbollah being in charge… Oh, and foreigners have been abducted (what a surprise…)

What can I say? “It couldn’t happen to a nicer group of folks?” In this case I find I am rooting for the protesters as protests in Syria must mean a bit harder times for Hezbollah in Lebanon.

Kuwait –

They are mostly looking around VERY nervously (after all, they’ve had this ‘trouble with a neighbor’ before…) Some headlines of articles up on their front page at present:

MP queries Iranian workforce numbers in Kuwait

KUWAIT: Kuwaiti MP Mubarak Al-Waalan has submitted a number of parliamentary questions to the country’s foreign minister concerning the staff…

MPs still deciding stance on PM, deputy PM grilling motions
MoI launches Amiri amnesty awareness campaign
Muslim countries urged to pursue efforts for countering challenges
Rethinking about Arab school syllabi
Arab-Euro cultural dialogue positive

1st Arab country to fly over Libya

TRIPOLI: Fellow Arab and African nations raised the international pressure on Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, with tiny Qatar flying the…

Yemeni president’s party rejects ouster
Jordan’s oppn demands PM’s ouster after unrest
Mideast turfs out presidents who would be king
Egyptian joins ‘jihad’ on the Libyan front
Saleh offers to go if Yemen in ‘safe hands’
Bahrain forces quash protests
Shiite-led revolt awakens Bahrain Sunnis

So they are watching Qatar “helping out” in Libya, but not so sure about having all those Shiites in from Iran… and looking at Bahrain as exemplar of why… and perhaps having just a few thoughts about those schools …

TRIPOLI: Fellow Arab and African nations raised the international pressure on Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, with tiny Qatar flying the Arab world’s first combat missions over his country and the African Union imploring him to move toward democratic elections. The military operation against Gaddafi, which on Friday also included airstrikes by British and French jets, remains a US-led operation, though NATO was preparing to assume at least some command and control responsibility within days.

United Arab Emirates –

They are joining the “fun” in Libya and their pilots will get some “combat hours” logged.

THE United Arab Emirates, a key US ally, said it has committed six F-16 and six Mirage fighters to help enforce the no-fly zone over Libya, despite reservations linked to unrest in Bahrain.

“UAE participation in the patrols will commence in the coming days,” Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed al-Nahayan announced, quoted by state news agency WAM late yesterday.

“In support of UN Resolution 1973, the UAE is fully engaged with humanitarian operations in Libya,” he said.

“As an extension of those humanitarian operations, the UAE air force has committed six F-16 and six Mirage aircraft to participate in the patrols that will enforce the no-fly zone now established over Libya.”

A former UAE air force commander said earlier this week that his country had delayed its military deployment because of disagreements with the West over the unrest in Bahrain.

But we note that they had been a bit grumpy, too, over our approach to Bahrain…

Skipped –

At this point I’m going to skip over a bunch of places like Sudan and Morocco. Tying to do “exhaustive coverage” in the face of the above “big lumps” just doesn’t seem worth it. Substantially every one of them has some level of protests, but not enough to trump the war in Libya and the implications from Turkey through Syria and The Middle East. Their stories will have to wait until I have enough “mindshare” to really care about them again.

War In Progress – Foreign Powers Involved.

Libya –

Where we have a non-USA NATO operation that’s mostly the USA; but with a load of other Muslims “on board”, though exactly what all their motivations might be is a bit, er, unclear…

They have a pretty good “blow by blow” account. This quote is just a ‘teaser’ leadin:

Libyan rebels are advancing westwards after recapturing the strategic eastern town of Ajdabiya from government controls with the help of coalition air strikes.

Reports late on Saturday suggested rebels had already pressed onto the key oil-port town of Brega, 80 kilometres to the west.

“We are in the centre of Brega,” Abdelsalam al-Maadani, a rebel fighter, told the AFP news agency by telephone. But Reuters said rebels were only on the outskirts of Brega.

Al Jazeera’s James Bays, who reached Ajdabiya on Saturday, said that while it appeared that rebels had taken over the town of Brega, it remained unclear who controlled the nearby oil port.

Elsewhere, shelling by Gaddafi’s forces stopped in Misurata on Saturday when Western coalition planes appeared in the sky, a rebel said.

The French armed forces said around 20 French aircraft supported by an AWACS surveillance plane struck targets during the day on Saturday, including five Galeb fighter jets and two MI-35 helicopters on the ground outside Misurata.

British missile strikes also destroyed three armoured vehicles in Misurata and two more in Ajdabiya, the Royal Air Force said in a statement.

Libya’s third city is only about 200 km from the capital and Gaddafi can ill afford to leave it in the hands of anti-government protesters.

So looks like with some help from the best Air Force Money Can Buy, or rent, or borrow for a while if Obama feels like it… You too can have a much more successful revolution. As long as you have the oil fields…


The entire Muslim world is a mess right now, with the worst of it concentrated in Arab areas and in many cases at the hands of Shia protests. I’m still not clear on what “vital interest” of ours is at stake here. Whoever wins will be selling oil, and if they don’t, we can make it at $2.50 / gallon of gas rates from our coal.

Why we don’t just start making Gas To Liquids and Coal to Liquids and Trash to Liquids plants coast to coast and telling these jokers they can kill each other all they want and we’ll gladly sell them the guns and bullets is simply beyond me.

The place never has been stable, never will be stable, never has been peaceful, never will be peaceful, and the best thing we can do, IMHO, is walk away from it as fast as possible.

That we are not doing that speaks volumes.

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About E.M.Smith

A technical managerial sort interested in things from Stonehenge to computer science. My present "hot buttons' are the mythology of Climate Change and ancient metrology; but things change...
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27 Responses to Friday – ROTD 3

  1. boballab says:

    Lets see:

    In Libya we got NATO trying to help Al Qaeda linked rebels take out Kaddafi:

    Libyan rebel commander admits his fighters have al-Qaeda links

    Abdel-Hakim al-Hasidi, the Libyan rebel leader, has said jihadists who fought against allied troops in Iraq are on the front lines of the battle against Muammar Gaddafi’s regime.

    In an interview with the Italian newspaper Il Sole 24 Ore, Mr al-Hasidi admitted that he had recruited “around 25” men from the Derna area in eastern Libya to fight against coalition troops in Iraq. Some of them, he said, are “today are on the front lines in Adjabiya”.
    Mr al-Hasidi insisted his fighters “are patriots and good Muslims, not terrorists,” but added that the “members of al-Qaeda are also good Muslims and are fighting against the invader”.


    US and British government sources said Mr al-Hasidi was a member of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group, or LIFG, which killed dozens of Libyan troops in guerrilla attacks around Derna and Benghazi in 1995 and 1996.

    Even though the LIFG is not part of the al-Qaeda organisation, the United States military’s West Point academy has said the two share an “increasingly co-operative relationship”. In 2007, documents captured by allied forces from the town of Sinjar, showed LIFG emmbers made up the second-largest cohort of foreign fighters in Iraq, after Saudi Arabia.

    But then again maybe it will be the MB that takes over:

    Energized Muslim Brotherhood in Libya eyes a prize

    Hresha says that if his organization forms a political party, it would seek to legislate according to Koranic principles, which would include, for example, a continued ban on the sale of alcohol.

    In Gaza we got Hamas trying to smuggle in C-704 Shipkiller missiles

    From an initial investigation, strategic weapons were found on-board the “Victoria”–many 60 and 120 mm mortar shells, and C-704 anti-ship missiles. The C-704 shore-to-sea missiles had a range of 35 kilometers and its likely use along the Gaza Strip endangers not only infrastructure near the Gaza sea, but Israeli shore cities in close proximity such as Ashkelon.

    Iran is known to possess these type of missiles, which, along with identifying documents (including a missile identification document, below) gives substantial evidence of Iran’s involvement in the weapons smuggling attempt, and yet another example of Iran’s use of innocent merchant ships as a means of transferring arms to terrorist organizations.

    But don’t worry things are fine in Egypt:

    Egypt: Muslim Brotherhood gains upper hand

    Islamist reformers seemed to be gaining the upper hand over their secular rivals in Egypt on Monday after gaining a boost in a referendum on constitutional change.


    The referendum was considered one of the cleanest votes held in Egypt and turnout was almost unprecedented, but the Muslim Brotherhood was accused of intimidating voters by telling them it was their “religious duty” to vote “yes”.

    “The referendum, while it was free of fraud, was not free of ‘influence’, especially by the Muslim Brotherhood and the religious trend in general,” Suleiman Gouda, a liberal commentator, wrote in the independent Al-Masry Al-Youm newspaper.

    “The mosques were used by these groups to influence the voters.”

    The result could mean that elections become a contest between Mr Mubarak’s ruling National Democratic Party, which also called for a “yes” vote, and the Muslim Brotherhood, with reformist parties being largely shut out, analysts said.

  2. P.G. Sharrow says:

    So the Turks want to recreate the Ottomen empire. Iran wants to have a new Persia. The Brotherhood wants a chalifate, The Syrians want a new Assyria. What did I forget?
    OH yes, and that Obama kid is out in this field stirring up the piss ants with a stick or maybe they are fire ants.

    Maybe it is time to back out and let them get on with it. The Iraqis have already had their blood bath. Let’s let the the sunni and shia finish the job they started 800 years ago. Europe and China need that oil, we don’t. Most of our imported oil comes from Mexico and Canada. And we can produce much of what we need here if we want to. We just need reeducation camps for bureaucrats and politicians that just don’t get it. pg

  3. boballab says:

    Oh yeah forgot this one:

    Islamist Group Is Rising Force in a New Egypt

    CAIRO — In post-revolutionary Egypt, where hope and confusion collide in the daily struggle to build a new nation, religion has emerged as a powerful political force, following an uprising that was based on secular ideals. The Muslim Brotherhood, an Islamist group once banned by the state, is at the forefront, transformed into a tacit partner with the military government that many fear will thwart fundamental changes.

    It is also clear that the young, educated secular activists who initially propelled the nonideological revolution are no longer the driving political force — at least not at the moment.


    “There is evidence the Brotherhood struck some kind of a deal with the military early on,” said Elijah Zarwan, a senior analyst with the International Crisis Group. “It makes sense if you are the military — you want stability and people off the street. The Brotherhood is one address where you can go to get 100,000 people off the street.”


    But in these early stages, there is growing evidence of the Brotherhood’s rise and the overpowering force of Islam.

    When the new prime minister, Essam Sharaf, addressed the crowd in Tahrir Square this month, Mohamed el-Beltagi, a prominent Brotherhood member, stood by his side. A Brotherhood member was also appointed to the committee that drafted amendments to the Constitution.;=&%2334;muslim%20brotherhood=&scp=1&pagewanted=all

  4. Malaga View says:

    US Naval Update: CVN 65 Enterprise Abandons Libya, Reinforces CVN 70 Vinson In Straits Of Hormuz

    Wonder why the administration made such a stink of reducing the US airborne presence around Libya, and handing it off to France, Italy, Canada and Turkey? Here’s the answer: the CVN65 Enterprise which last week was within striking distance of Libya, has quietly left the Red Sea and is now virtually swimming in the wake of CVN 70 Vinson in the Strait of Hormuz. Because obviously whatever is about to happen in the Persian Gulf will need not one but two aircraft carrier formations.

  5. Pascvaks says:

    I haven’t read “Old Nostradamus” (or whatever ‘Sp’) in so long that this is probably a faulty memory, but… I vaguely recall a bunch of “predictions” about the major cities of Europe burning to the ground and civil wars between the traditional “Euro’s” and the “Arabs”. Not to bring youknowwho or youknowwhat into the discussion and get off track here, but Gee Wizz Batman that guy must’a been seeing something of 2011 and beyond, it’s really unnerving. (I know, give a 1000 monkeys enough time and they’ll write something even the IPCC will use;-)

  6. David says:

    Barack Obama, while striving to be the POTUS.
    “The president does not have power under the Constitution to unilaterally authorize a military attack in a situation that does not involve stopping an actual or imminent threat to the nation.” December 20, 2007

    “Now let me be clear: I suffer no illusions about Saddam Hussein. He is a brutal man. A ruthless man. A man who butchers his own people to secure his own power. The world, and the Iraqi people would be better off without him. But I also know that Saddam poses no imminent and direct threat to the United States, and that in concert with the international community he can be contained until, in the way of all petty dictators, he falls away into the dustbin of history.” March 27, 2007

    “I think the first question is whether we should have gone into the war in the first place. Six years ago, I opposed this war because I said that not only did we not know how much it was going to cost, what our exit strategy might be, how it would affect our relationships around the world, & whether our intelligence was sound, but also because we hadn’t caught bin Laden.” September 26, 2008

    and perhaps a favorite progressive critique,…it was completely irresponsible to commit the military to an expensive mission when the President’s fiscal mismanagement had resulted in a budget deficit of over $150 billion in 2002.

  7. pyromancer76 says:

    E.M., thanks for the enlightened run-down of hope and change in the Middle East/ Arab world. I agree. “The place never has been stable, never will be stable, never has been peaceful, never will be peaceful, and the best thing we can do, IMHO, is walk away from it as fast as possible.

    That we are not doing that speaks volumes.”

    IMHO, 9/11 would never have happened if the local FBI offices (people in the know on the ground) had been listened to. Instead Baby Bush increased the top-down “reorganization” of the FBI.

    I can only see that the Iraq War, in addition to having been planned and fought early on about as “stupid” as possible (IMHO again), seemed to be for the Saudis. And who were Bush’s advisors who helped him increase American debt, enlarge the government and executive power, ask for no taxes to pay for his war (more debt) and refuse to educate the American people about its purposes, keep the borders open, do no due diligence re the endless fraud in the Democratic nomination process — and voter fraud as well? Who among these elitist Republithugs are planning to pick up the pieces when Obama falls on his face?

    Big jump here. Anyone who did any inestigative due diligence on Obama’s past would have had no difficulty finding that he was/is nominal Christian, core affinity radical Islam. Marxism helps out in favoring these “downtrodden peoples” as well.

  8. bruce says:

    E.M. , have to agree about the “clue”…

    Turkey could be playing for a seat at the big boys table. But for the love of god, what a rollicking bad bunch of company to use for buying in. Still, I guess we are all brothers against the enemy. Keep the enemy up in front till when? Calmer heads?

  9. R. de Haan says:

    Nigel Farrage: ‘bombings and bailouts what on earth are we doing?’

    Who sold Libya its super missiles

  10. R. de Haan says:

    Turkey and Syria both have an extreme violent past.
    Turkey committed genocide on the Armenian people and the Kurds and Syria in 1982 had it Hama slaughterhouse when the Government killed approx. 25.000 people.
    That leaves our ‘Crazy Dog from the Middle East’ in their shadow.

    It is also interesting to know that Turkey is an active member of a political and military alliance sold to the West as a ‘security alliance’ which includes Iran, Syria, Iraq, Lebanon and possibly Egypt and Jordan.

    Then we have the incident last year when Chinese fighter jets participated a Turkish military exercise which normally was held with the Israeli’s and the Americans.

    But because of the kink in Turkish-Israeli relations over the flotilla incident the Israeli’s were not attending this exercise and the USA bailed out in protest.

    The Turks, like the Russians can’t be trusted and for me it’s a miracle that they are still a member of NATO.

  11. Ian W says:

    Interestingly – the “Gaza Freedom Flotilla” set sail from Turkey.

  12. Crashex says:

    Carter was to the Shah and Iran,
    What Obama is to Mubarak and Eygpt,
    What Obama is to Gadaffi and Libya.

    The world has soooo much peace to look forward too.

  13. R. de Haan says:

    Also read ‘Syrian sauce for Chinese gander’

  14. R. de Haan says:

    To survive, Assad must contain majority Sunni unrest before it infects army DEBKAfile Exclusive Analysis March 26, 2011, 1:45 PM (GMT+02:00) Tags: Bashar Assad Iran protest demonstrations Syria
    His minority Allawites challenged by Sunni majority
    The Syrian ruler faces an unexpected Sunni revolt against his minority Allawite regime which is spreading fast and cannot be suppressed without using his Sunni-dominated military. Will Assad call on Tehran for help? Or Hizballah? Or the pro-Iranian radical Palestinian organizations? Or focus on saving Damascus? Those are the dilemmas facing him this week unless he stages a diversion by heating up the border with Israel.
    Read more

  15. E.M.Smith says:


    Nice additions…

    So I’m sitting here struggling with the “Malice or Stupidity” question…

    Is our POTUS uninformed? Have the CIA / NSA / other TLAs not told him these things? Is he just discounting them?

    Or is he “playing the US public” (as so many others have done, including Baby Bush – though in a more clumsy way) and actually DOES know full well who he is supporting; and why?

    I can’t sort it out yet. Not based on the public info to date. But he’s just one or two “slips” away from having it be clear.

    @Ian W & R. de Haan:

    Those Turkey connections are a much more serious indicator in the context of who their government now “likes”…

    @P.G. Sharrow:

    That urge to reclaim past glories is particularly troubling in the context of Turkey and the Ottoman empire… If I were Greece or Austria I’d be a bit worried right now.

    @Malaga View:

    Hadn’t noticed the shift of carriers. You don’t do that on a whim. They think something is at high risk or they’d have not move ’em both together.


    The “Bonesmen” history of Bush (and Kerry and others) is another one of those “clues”. But to what? What it tells you is that political power in America is a “managed asset”. Not to be entrusted to the whims of the democratic process. So you make sure some of “the right people” are on each side of the ticket…

    And if The People should get out of hand and you have a J.F.K, Ronald Reagan or Obama beat out your selected candidate? Well, you just make sure one of “your folks” is on his ticket as a V.P. “spare”… “For that day. -Joubert”…

    In the case of JFK and Bobby, they didn’t “take advice well enough”. For Reagan, I don’t know if the shooting was just a random act of a loon, or if it was more ( I think it was just a loon) however his “second” was clearly an inside man. For Obama, he got stuck with a V.P. who was openly derisive of him in extreme terms prior to the win. Any doubt where policy would shift if Obama didn’t “take advice well”? But he was a good smart little boy and packed Hillary and friends into positions of authority, so he is getting rewarded with some “liberties”. The question is just “which ones?”

    Yeah “conspiracy theory”, except it’s not a theory if it is happening…

    From Reagan to date we have had a Bush or a Clinton as either President or V.P. with the only exception being Obama. That’s 30 years. (Gee where have I heard that number before… oh yeah, those Arab Dictators terms…)

    Baby Bush even got Cheney stuck as his V.P. so the “sock puppet” would be easier to do (as Daddy Bush clearly didn’t want Junior to fail to “take advice well”)… Just take a look at that prior Daddy Bush ticket again. What? You thought he WANTED Quayle to be a desirable alternative to him?… No, he wanted no “spare” on his ticket; and for the same reasons wanted Junior to be “taking advice well and often” on Junior’s ticket…

    If you look into the Cheney name, you find 4 of them as Bonesmen at least.

    Per the wiki on Russell Cheney:

    “Russell’s death was due to mesenteric thrombosis. He was buried in East Cemetery in Manchester, Connecticut. He was survived by Matthiessen, two sisters, Ednah Cheney Underhill of Santa Barbara, Calif and Mrs. Halstead Dorey of Boerne, Texas. He had three brothers Knight Dexter Cheney, Philip Cheney, and Thomas Langdon Cheney, who were also members of Skull and Bones.”

    Are these the same Cheney family? Don’t know, haven’t hunted it down, but it’s a “dig here”… (Oh, and notice that the wiki on Bonesmen members only lists 2 Cheneys so is clearly very incomplete…)

    So this thesis is supported by way-too-little. Barely a few clues and no real proof. Could be entirely a personal fantasy. But it means that if it has ‘predictive value’ you ought to do some digging into the history of Biden and asking “Who IS he? How close to Bonesmen? Clintons?” and it means watching future V.P.s is a very interesting sport.

    FWIW, before this ’30 year reign” there are “odd currents”.

    Ike had Nixon as VP. Ike warned what was comming…

    Then we got J.F.K. who was not fond of LBJ and his “power politics” and influence peddling / arm twisting. We saw how that worked out.

    When Nixon was elected, he had Spiro Agnew as V.P.; a guy just about everyone thought was pointless. Hmmm… a VP makes it to Pres and wants a turkey VP as “spare”…

    Round Two has Gerald Ford, nice guy, but NOONE ever thought he would be president.. so when he is president, who gets put on as V.P.? Nelson Rockefeller.

    Percy Rockefeller was a bonesman as was “J. Richardson Dilworth (1938), Rockefeller family lawyer” per the wiki:

    so it looks like that particular “affinity group” work was deligated in later years…

    Other interesting bits:

    “Andrew Downey Orrick (1940), Northern California chairman of Richard Nixon’s campaign for governor of California”

    So the only place where this “model” breaks down is the Carter / Mondale ticket. Can’t see any clear connection in a brief (2 minute?) scan of their histories. Yet when you look at Carter, he seems to have been “on the right page” so maybe he was “acceptable as is”. From the wiki:

    As president, Carter created two new cabinet-level departments: the Department of Energy and the Department of Education. He established a national energy policy that included conservation, price control, and new technology.

    Two departments we could easily do without… both working to central control of distributed “assets”…

    Again, this is an unfinished working thesis. Just a muse point at present. Does it, or doesn’t it, fit all the known facts?

    So in that context I’d simply ask: What is Obama doing on his own (and might need some “corrective direction” about), what is he doing “with permission” as a reward, and what his he doing “under guidance”. For the guidance part, I’d look at what Madam Hillary is saying. She was supposed to get the nomination and win, so is the “annointed one”. If anyone is running the sock puppet on key issues, it would be her. Is she on board with what is being done in Libya and with Turkey / Egypt? Then it is “approved”… Oh, and listen to Bill Clinton too, he leaks like a sieve so is a source of good insight…

    My guess is that it’s “approved”, but with qualms…

    At any rate, happy observing…

    (BTW, I’m not passing judgement on the desirability of “managing” the democratic process. I could make a case either way. Democracies are inherently unstable, that’s why we have a republic. To the extent the representative and republic nature was corrupted by the New Deal changes, there is an increased need for some other mechanism to institute stability and that implies control. To the extent the ‘control’ is being used to advance “other agenda items”, well, that’s not a path to stability…)

  16. pyromancer76 says:

    E.M., So glad you are “struggling with the “Malice or Stupidity” question”. We need many more good minds looking carefully into these issues before the 2012 election. How long have we known that the U.S. is awash in natural resources? Middle East oil worth fighting for? I don’t think so with what we know now (I didn’t know it “then”, but then I am not an elite with petro-, geo-experts at my beck and call.) Stupidity? We better get smart fast. Malice? Americans have been pretty good about this one — except regarding the “war on terror”. Fighting mode brings out heroes in everyAmerican, male and female.

    One issue that gets me: Why are the Bonesmen not patriotic Americans? They are “our” elites, yet they appear to be working for global elites, who, I believe, think very little of them. Their heads will be on the chopping blocks, too. Who bought up all the boards of environmental groups and Science and Nature to unleash AGW on us, with 1998 a turning-point year for the perfect fix (McIntrye and Watts)? Bonesmen? Maybe our political-academic-corporate elites. But was the cap-n-trade wealth enough? I think the Bonesmen have been had; in that case, so have we all.

  17. R. de Haan says:

    Just to get the big picture:

    March 26, 2011
    Geert Wilders in Rome: Defending the West from Cultural Relativism and Jihad

  18. Jerry says:

    Mid-east adventure made easy :)

    Barack Hussein Obama is just positioning Himself to go down in history as the Founder and Dear Leader of the 21st century global caliphate. Play the Community Organizer role by sticking up for the ‘little guy’ rebels, bring down the established governments, let chaos reign – bloodier the better – until he can appear as the Islamic messiah or 13th imam or whatever floats their boat and restore order. Meanwhile weaken the budding caliphate’s main enemy – (that would be the United States). Just wonder though how Michelle is gonna take to that burka and being one of 35 wives. :)

  19. Jason Calley says:

    @ E.M. “For Reagan, I don’t know if the shooting was just a random act of a loon, or if it was more ( I think it was just a loon) however his “second” was clearly an inside man.”

    Would it interest you to know that John Hinkley Sr., father of the failed assassin, was a fellow oil man, major supporter and family friend of Vice President Bush?

  20. R. de Haan says:

    Freedom for women… forget it.
    Watch this attack on this Pakistani TV star:

  21. Sera says:

    @R. de Haan:

    Everybody loves Nigel Farage- wish there were more like him.


    Stratfor and the State Dept should take a look at your ROTD postings. I’m not giving up on Stratfor, I’m just saying… I’m pretty sure that a president would not choose someone capable of overshadowing them, so they choose someone bland and lifeless. Or at least it plays that way to me. Thanks again for a ‘must read’ magazine, and keeping things tidy.

  22. E.M.Smith says:


    You presume the president gets to pick their own VP all the time… The “party outsider” gets intense pressure to take the “party choice” for V.P. to “balance the ticket” so a win will be more likely. I’ve seen that argument made again and again. “You are the popular choice, but we need to stick old reliable Party Joe on the ticket for ‘balance’ and to bring along the folks who’s toes you just stomped.”

    That was the “geography” argument that put Johnson on JFK’s ticket. It was an “experience needed” arguement that put Cheney on as VP under Baby Bush. Daddy Bush got to pick his own (gee wonder why…) and we got “please don’t let Bush Die Danny Boy Quayle”. I think the pattern is “IFF the prefered choice gets the primary win, the candidate gets the pick; if the ‘surprise’ got the nomination, ‘party bosses’ pick and make a {geography | experience | ‘balance’ | etc.} argument to justify the pick on “more electable with ‘balance’ basis”. Then they move on to “pack the cabinet and advisors” of the newbie… if elected.

    I’m quite certain that Biden was not Obama’s first pick as V.P. (especially given what Biden had said).

    Oh, and I’m not so sure I’d want The State Department under Madam Hillary looking too closely at the ROTD postings… and me… If they don’t like what you are saying and you “dont’ take direction well”… well… ;-)

    But Stratfor could be interesting… (will take direction well for money? ..)

    At any rate, this whole ROTD thing is a Very Big Deal. It has dramatic undercurrents. And it makes a whole lot of other “investing advice / tools” just useless until resolved.

    Can I possibly make a reasonable investment decision in Egytian stocks based on PE? Historic ROI? Nope. How about “chart pattern’? Nope. It can help, but only AFTER you have the context of “Will there be a government tomorrow?” and “Will it allow private capital?” and “Will it survive more than a month of The Muslim Brotherhood machinations?” and…

    So, like it or not, once you are in the investing / trading to make money game; you ARE in the predicting international political events and major natural disasters game too. The only question is how good you will be at it. (Many folks either blow it off with an “I can’t” or third party it to a ‘service’ that may be nothing more than the nightly news… but the category of issue is still there, however poorly examined.)

    I’d held some Turkey ETFs/stocks and dabbled a bit with the idea of Egyptian investments. Didn’t like the Egyptian political climate so adopted “watchful waiting” a couple of years back. About 1-2 years ago, exited Turkey. Why? Government change and it was just gestalting as ‘pattern changed / something wrong’ but left unexamined in depth. (Other fish to fry). Now this set makes me simply mark Turkey off the list of “investable”.

    Why? Sovereign Risk is just way too high.

    Might be a great money maker as they push to reform the Ottoman Empire and rise to dominance in the region. Might also just decide to “Nationalize foreign non-Muslim investments”. Ask BP about that kind of thing in the region…

    At any rate, thanks for the “vote of satisfaction”. And hope it helps folks have a happier day along with thinking a bit more about the world; and maybe, just maybe, hanging on to some of your money a bit better and picking up a bit extra if we’re lucky.

    But the trading day approaches and I’ve not got a WSW look done ( I must at least look at the last one even if I dont’ rewrite a new one prior to the start of the week. I scan for “trend identified, then still holding” and “reversals” that are both easy to pick out even on an older posting as the charts are live.) So, time to go to “work”…

  23. E.M.Smith says:

    Looks like Syria is “hotting up”:

    Syria’s Assad deploys army in port to keep order

    – Sun Mar 27, 6:34 pm ET

    DAMASCUS (Reuters) – President Bashar al-Assad, facing the gravest crisis in his 11-year rule, deployed the army in Syria’s main port of Latakia for the first time after nearly two weeks of protests spread across the country.

    State television showed deserted streets in Latakia littered with rubble and broken glass and burned-out vehicles. Damascus cited attempts by ‘armed groups’, possibly backed by foreign powers, to stir sectarian conflict across the country.

    Dozens have died in pro-democracy demonstrations in the southern city of Deraa and nearby Sanamein as well as Latakia in the northwest, Damascus and other towns over the last week.

  24. Scarlet Pumpernickel says:

    Gee the civilians looks so defenseless, they must out of desperation made these rockets in their backyard?

  25. boballab says:

    After we stopped watching, the Muslim Brotherhood pulls a fast one in Egypt:

    A LEADER of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood movement plans to run for president in the post-revolution election to replace Hosni Mubarak, Al Masry Al Youm newspaper reported today.

    Remember the Muslim Brotherhood as a party said THEY wouldn’t run a candidate for President, so what is the deal?

    Abdul Munim Abu al Futuh, described as a top leader of the Islamist movement that was banned but tolerated under Mubarak, will stand as an independent candidate in the election, which is due to take place before the end of the year.

    Now if you believe they didn’t plan this, I got some bottom land I’m willing to sell ya real cheap. Just don’t ask what it is on the bottom of.

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