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20 August 2012


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Sean Paul Kelley

Col. Lang, I am sure someone has asked this question of you before, but in your professional opinion, what's the possibility of Morsi trying to renegotiate/abrogate the treaty with Israel? Probably a dumb question but I'm curious nonetheless.


Whoever governs Egypt 'owns' the economy, and 'owns' the strategic and tactical situation on the ground with Israel. And, perhaps, to a somewhat lesser extent, 'owns' hopes and aspirations of the Palestinians. These are three problematic areas for the rulers of Egypt. Past and present. High profile stage....to slip on a banana peel, and come crashing down on your ass. I always thought that Powell's 'you break it you own it' remark the height of ignorance and arrogance...but I think in this case, it might have some relevancy. Morsi and the Islamists want to run the show? Let's see if they can avoid the banana peels.



Mursi will want to be cautious about this. IMO the relationaship with Israel will gradually grow deader and deader until abrogation is a mere formalization of reality. pl


The WP quotes “ He also unilaterally amended the March 2011 constitution declaration and gave his office executive and legislative powers.” I don’t see how Dennis Ross can equate that with an imposition of civilian leadership on Egypt when it is a dictatorial move that gives more power to the MB. Talk about needing to live in reality. As to working with the IMF on a ‘renaissance plan’, take a good look at Greece and Spain to see just what the IMF has in store. If you own bonds, you’ll get paid in full. Work for a living – you get a pay cut and the tax bill. Great way to reform an economy.


You are doing the Islamists of Tunisia, who have been active in their repression of "unsactioned" events, and the Islamists of Libya, who have taken up the jihad of the car bomb, a disservice by leaving them out.

Mursi will make changes very gradually so as not to upset the income from the US unless the Saudis step in with equal or larger grants and should that happen Egypt will most likely quickly turn back into a repressive state with the repression being orchestrated from the pulpits rather than the offices of the mukhabarat.

And it is ironic that in Lebanon so many Christian voices are allied with the bring-Assad down brigade. Who do they think these people will target if and when they take over Syria?

Is the US really doing Israel a favor by removing an Iranian ally from the scene? Especially an ally that is for all intesive purposes one that can do nothing but act as a conduit between Lebanon and Iran (a conduit that will not be greatly undermined should Assad fall as the smuggling routes are almost 6 lane highways!) and one that has kept its own front quiet with Israel for nealy half a century? Is this devil they know really preferable to the all the most likely devils they dont? Its perplexing it really is.

But not nearly as perplexing as knowing that the governments behind the rise of this form of extreme Islamism are the govts most closely allied with the US.

Is the Syrian game all about embroiling the Lebanese Shia in internal disputes so that they are distracted from the Southern front or to make Syria lawless enough that any attack on Lebanon can include an attempt to outflank the Lebanese via Syria? Other than this I really cant see how the events in Syria are promoting US interests.



So many Islamists, so little time. I will work on it. pl

Babak Makkinejad

In Lebanon, the Christians are against both Iran and Shia of Lebanon. I think their real fear is that the Shia are going to move North and move into their villages and hamlets.

So they think there is a margin in the fall of Assad and his government.

But I agree, they are fools.

They were fools in 1956, fools again in 1975, and fools again in 2006.

Some people can never learn from their mistakes.

Mursi's upcoming trip to Iran means that the project of triggering Shia-Sunni War across the Middle East is finished; it is still-born.

Between 1978 to 2002, the numbers of Madrassah in Pakistan went from 3000 to 39,000. These schools were built with Saudi money and propogated Saudi Wahabism.

Likewise all over the rest of the Middle East and even in US and UK.

There was one single purpose behind it; to counter the ideas of Ayatollah Khomeini and the political influence of Islamic Republic of Iran. The Muslim youth had to be taught that Khomeini's Islam was not True Islam; Wahabis were.

Well, this project was successful and one only needs to thank Saudis for it.


Thanks for the education Sir.



Tbh, their real fear is actually that the Shia who are now some 40% of the population will reduce their political power. The attempts at making it look like the Shia were buying up Christian land were quickly made to look as foolish as the plan was. The Christians that do back the rebels do so mostly because they think it will strengthen their hand against Hizballah but the March 14 lot are nothing if not consistent in their miscalculations and misreadings of the situation.

I wouldnt be too quick to draw the conclusion that the plan for the Sunni-Shia was is dead. I think Mursi is feeling his way. I think he thinks that if he can build ties to Iran he can make Egypt a major player again, especially in US eyes. But the project wont be over until Syria is over and the way Syria goes will define a lot.

If Assad wins there maybe some payback in Bahrain and even Saudi. If the rebels win then I expect the problems in Lebanon to increase and possibly renewed fighting in Iraq.


It's not such a big leap to believe that one of the goals would be to embroil Hizballah in domestic disputes and consequently weaken them. This could then enable Israel to avenge the 2006 loss of face.


If the Saudi's have been successful in their competition with Iran for the "True Islam", what's next for them?

Why haven't the Khomeinists competed more aggressively and taken the fight directly to the House of Saud? How much loyalty is there for the monarchy among Saudi citizens?


Babak, Im sorry I do not follow. the statement about Mursi's trip to Iran signaling the end of the Shia-Sunni rift and the one about the Madrassah project being successful seems contradictory to me....could u pls elaborate/clarify?


There was a caller on NPR Talk of the Nation this morning, Ibrahim, who warned of the same tendency of NPR to simplify the conflict to Good Guys=rebels and Bad Guys=regime ... he said he doesnt trust either but was kind of cut off by the host...interesting

Jim Ticehurst

So Much going on in Egypt..with Rapid Internal Changes since President Mohamed Morsi became "President" and Assumed Office just this past June 30th..

His first official Visit was to Saudi Arabia on July 11th
He was sent 2 Billion (US) by Quatar next..
He just attended a 57 nation Summit in Iran last week calling for Islamic Unity..

He will attend the "Nonaligned Movement" Summit in Iran on Aug. 30th where he, Morsi...will transfer the Leadership for this Movement from Egypt to Iran..
Now...after this TIMELY so called "Terrorist" attack in the Siani..(How Convienent for Morsi)...Morsi has been able to Remove the SCAF (Supreme Council of Armed Forces) Declarations..
He has Ordered Egypts Security Forces to take "Full Control" over the Siani Peninsula.and Egypt has Moved Mobil Rocket Launchers and Tanks into the Siani..without notifying Israel..which was a requirement of the 1979 Israeli/Egypt Peace Treaty..and Isreael has accused Egypt of violating that Treaty..President Morsi said He will consider Changing that Treaty now..If its "In the Best interest of Egypt.."Egypt has Plans to Attack and Besiege Al-Halal Mountain in Central Saini..Isreael has deployed its "Iron Dome" Air Defense Batterys to the Border Area..

President Morsi...Removed Most of Egypts Senior Military Leaders..and Gave His Office all Executive and Legislative powers...and Now, almost two months after His Election..Has Imposed "Civilian Leadership on Egypt..and Objects to any New Constitutional Provisions..(due in September) that Limit His "Presidental Powers"..No wonder 100,000 Coptic Christians have left..like the smarter Jews did in Nazi Germany..

Since perhaps only a few Months remain before a War between Iran and Israel..This Move by Egypt for Full Military Control of the Siani Peninsula..now..is Strangly Timely and Intriguing..

Intrigue.."To Accomplish or Force..By CRAFTY Plotting..or Underhanded Machinations.." or "To Draw or Capture.."

Along with all that..Today..there was a remote Control car Bomb attack in Turkey..in Gaziantep..a City 50 kilos from the Syrian Border..which Turkey had Opened as a Aid Center for Syrian Refugees..

But..just as the MB blamed the Siani attacks on the Mossad..todays event will be probably Blamed on the Kurds..Intrigue Indeed..I think Col.Lang is the Only Realist and Qualified Intelligence Expert who has a Handle on this Frying Pan..

different clue

The Israel-specific question is one that has occurred to me as well. For me it went even further: does Israel even want the Assad regime replaced, given that the Assad regime kept the long truce with Israel? I still don't understand theories saying that Israel would even want the Assad regime replaced.


the major Xtian party has a compact w/ the shia. in fact, Xtians sheltered many Shia in the 2006 Israeli onslaught.

"Memorandum of Understanding with Free Patriotic Movement of Michel Aoun

Nasrallah negotiated a Memorandum of Understanding with the Free Patriotic Movement headed by Michel Aoun, the former premier and a Maronite Christian. Aoun described the ten-point MoU in an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal published on July 31, 2006. A key point is that Hezbollah agreed to disarm upon the return of its prisoners and the occupied Shebaa Farms. It also agreed to the pardon and return of fugitive South Lebanon Army (SLA) members. The Free Patriotic Movement in turn agreed to work for reform of the confessional electoral system of the Parliament of Lebanon and move it in the direction of one man, one vote. Aoun made the point that the political process was in effect disarming Hezbollah without any loss in lives from unnecessary wars.[23] Critics of this agreement say that is not very clear concerning the disarmament, and that it served to strengthen Hezbollah internally, giving it a non-Shiite cover inside."


FB Ali


There is no such thing as a competition taking place in the Muslim world between 'Saudi Islam' and 'Iranian Islam'. The struggle has been, and is ongoing, between Saudi-sponsored Wahhabi Islam and national or regional forms of Islam (ie, Islam as practised in various regions and countries).

The influence of Saudi money, and the US-Saudi-Pakistani sponsored jihad against the Soviets in Afghanistan, have led to some notable inroads by Wahhabism against 'local' Islam, but there are now signs of a backlash developing.

The contest is far from decided.

Mark Logan


Just guessing here, but it wouldn't surprise me much to find out Tantawi and Anan stepped aside gladly, even possibly by hinting it to Mursi themselves.

Reason: Mursi looking around the table for scapegoats a year or two from now. Seems unlikely the economy will improve.

Jim Ticehurst

Ah Yes..But President Musari has managed to Capitolize quite well..That 2 Billion Dollars from Kuwait has allowed him to make many purchases in the "Market Place"..

Jim Ticehurst

Edit correction....".Capitalize.."

Alba Etie

General Ali
Is there any possibilty from the struggle internally Islam is going through at this time that there could be some type of Reformation figure emerge - that could lead to better times for all Moslems . A figure roughly similar to Martin Luther ?
And I have read that most of the 9-11 perpertrators were Saudi Wahhabis is that true ?


I'm with you Mo....I would not declare that 'baby' still born. Not at all. Indeed, I think it alive and kicking....

Babak Makkinejad


This idea of a Muslim analogue of Christian Reformation (supposedly something positive) keeps coming up.

In my opinion, there has been an analogue of Christian Reformation in Islam; it is called Wahabism.

Make of it what you will.

Babak Makkinejad

Iranians did what they could but could not compete.

And of course, now those who aided and abetted that are facing its consequences.

Don't let any one tell you that there is no Justice in this world; there is, it is just very perverse.

Babak Makkinejad

Yes, you are right.

But other Christian parties are not party to that compact.

I mean, there were Christians in West Beirut in 2006 drinking to IDF pilots.

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