- Fighting continues in the Sinai Peninsula with Israeli and Egyptian forces cooperating more than they ever have before. At least 24 egyptian policemen have died in a jihadi ambush at Rafa on the Israeli border. The Israelis tell me that they are very hopeful that the US will not cut off military aid to Egypt.
- Husni Mubarak may soon be released from prison. He is a lucky man, Mursi might well have had him hanged on general principles. Now.... The shoe is on the other foot. BTW, the search for Mubarak's "billions" of stolen money never got anywhere. They found a few hundred million. In the ME that is chicken feed. Egyptians tell me that Amre Mousa is the preferred candidate of the military for an eventual presidential election. He is a non-entity with a long history.
- UN chemical weapons investigators began work in Syria today. They are to determine if CW was used and by whom. They are at work in spite of US obstructionism in New York. IMO the result of their work may be the next big embarassment for Obama. There is a reason why the Syrian government is so willing to have the UN investigate this matter.
- The US media in its eagerness to support the naive poliicy of the Obama Administrations and the Congress continues to exagerate the importance of the 1.3 billion $ that we give Egypt in the form of credits we do not expect to have repayed. Egypt has reacted to this talk. Their government has now stated that it, too, will examine its relations with states that have sought to "interfere" with Egypt's internal affairs. The Gulf will easily replace moneys lost in disappeared US aid. The highly complex equipment provided by the US to Egypt in the expectation that Egypt could be a worthwhile internation "player" is not needed by Egypt. The material exceeds Egypt's needs and capacity for absorption. For the Egyptians the possession of such equipment is a matter of national pride. Egyptian forces are really internal security forces. It does not matter if they want to admit that or not. The kind of equipment they really need is widely available on international markets. At the same time, to prevent sales of spare parts for equipment now in Egyptian hands, the US Government would have to take executive or legislative action to prevent private sales of spare parts to the Egyptian government. Would they really want to do that to companies like Lockheed-Martin and General Dynamics? Personnel training? Don't kid yourself, there are lots of places for very fine training. India comes to mind. And lastly, a rupture of relations would cost the US automatic overflight clearance priviliages and queueing privileges in the canal.
- And then there is the Kerryesque farce in Palestine where the Israelis are playing us for suckers once again and the Palestinians are enduring yet another humiliation. The Israelis have no intention of creating a viable Palestinian state as a rival. All else is tactics and playing nice with the ignorant Americans.
Ah, me. pl