Sunday, 30 January 2011


With all that's happening in Egypt at the moment, one wonders why some are afraid of what seems to be a pro-democracy movement attempting to free itself from the tyranny of its Egyptian dictatorship. What has been most notable is how quickly president Barak Obama made an announcement siding with the protesters stating that:
"The people of Egypt have rights that are universal. That includes the right to peaceful assembly and association, the right to free speech, and the ability to determine their own destiny. These are human rights. And the United States will stand up for them everywhere."

Obama's Statement In Context

Obama's support of the protesters has been in marked contrast to Obama's silence and hesitance with the Iranian uprisings back in 2009. So is this a president that has learned? Is it simply an inexperienced leader having made mistakes and tried to correct the mistakes of the past?

US secretly backed Egyptian uprising for 3 years

While the above article could, on reflection seem promising, the other question that needs to be asked is why there have been no similar efforts in other countries such as Iran, Syria or North Korea? Maybe there has been, but they have simply not materialised yet? However, digging further, things suddenly become clearer:
"Top President Barack Obama funder Jodie Evans and her terrorist sympathizing group Code Pink have provoked a violent crisis in Egypt" 
"...Evans was joined in Cairo by Obama pals Bill Ayers and Bernardine Dorhn, both former terrorists with the Weather Underground."

So in fact not a professional CIA operation, as one can presume being initiated under the George W Bush administration, but convicted terrorists, deeply hostile to Israel and the West, fomenting revolution. These are same people behind the flotilla in May 2010, in which 9 terrorists (with ties to Hamas and Turkish PM Erdogan), were killed. This situation seems to contain an undercurrent of radicalism within it, both of the religious and the left.

But this isn't all that's wrong with this picture. In the background there's more...

Regional Concerns

Iran to Deploy War Ships in Red Sea And Mediterranean

Having the Iranian navy in these waters is a serious provocation, not only to the current Egyptian administration and Israel, but Egypt's neighbour, the oil-rich Saudi kingdom. But this is something Iran has tried several months ago and failed with.

So why does Iran want to enter these waters? Is it just about taking control of the Suez Canal? Or does the fact that Iran-friendly Muhammed el-Baradei wish to become Egypt's leader provide a missing connection?

There are credible reports that the Muslim Brotherhood is attempting to stir the streets, which has started a power struggle along its border in the Sinai Dessert with Gaza and Israel.

Beduin terrorists attempt takeover of northern Sinai

Latest: Egypt shuts borders until further notice.

All this happens to coincide with America's pull out of Iraq as well, allowing radical Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr to re-enter the country. This gives Iran a new front to play with; essentially expanding Iran's borders. Next door to Iraq, a worried Jordan, with similar uprisings stirring. Next to Jordan, the West Bank and Israel.

Digging Deeper

Stepping back for a moment, the recent, seemingly unconnected, 'Palileaks' documents reveal an interesting connection. For clarification, these leaks have sought to seriously undermine the PA, and of course de-legitimise Israel. And from the reactions to the reports, we've seen them to be highly successful. These documents having been leaked from Al Jazeera.

Then we hear Egypt has shut down Al Jazeera. Al Jazeera is based in Qatar. Dore Gold had this to say about Qatar, from his book The Rise of Nuclear Iran:
"Qatar was the most reluctant of the Gulf countries to adopt the anti-Iranian line. It had concerns about the fact that it had to share its maritime natural gas fields in the Persian Gulf with Iran, so it chose an approach that accommodated Iran. After the NEI [National Intelligence Estimate], this nuanced Qatari policy became a sharp break from the other Sunni Arab states. During December 2007, when Qatar hosted the summit meeting of the six Arab Gulf states, in the framework of the Gulf cooperation Council (GCC), the Qataris decided to invite President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran to attend, without consulting with any of the other leaders." (p.257-8)
Pinhas Inbari further reinforces the ulterior motives behind Al Jazeera's actions:
"al-Jazeera is serving Qatari policy to deepen unrest in the Arab world and link the current local upheavals to the Palestinian problem. In its presentation of the Palestine Papers, al-Jazeera distorted the contents in order to delegitimize the PLO and present Israel as a hard-line non-partner. There is also reason to suspect forgery in the documents referring to refugees since the person suspected of the leaks is the same person who wrote them."
The consequences of 'PakiLeaks', or the 'Palestine Papers' would be to pave the way for a more militant group to sieze power in the West Bank, most likely Iran-backed MB group Hamas.

Whichever angle one looks, and the deeper one digs, we find the fingerprints of Iran.

History Repeats Itself

In July 2006, the international community was united and increasingly resolute on sanctions for Iran. On the 12th of July, the US, Germany, China, Russia and Britain (all five permanent members of the UN) convened in Paris to recommend they will refer Iran's case to the Security Council in light of the fact that they had not received a response to their negotiation package from Iran.

Of course, this was the same day the Hezbollah ambushed an Israeli border patrol, killing 8 Israeli soldiers, kidnapping two. The 2006 Israel/Hezbollah war ensued.

Once again the international community fell for the ploy to distract attention away from Iran in order to criticise Israel. However, a UN resolution was voted on (1696) and passed with a vote of 14-1. Revealingly, Qatar was the only dissenting voice.


Today, sanctions have been passed on Iran, and they are biting. But most importantly where Egypt is concerned, this provides a most welcome distraction for Iran not only to shift attention from itself onto Egypt and the Muslim Brotherhood, but fulfil it's aims of dominance over the region; something analysts have been warning would happen for some years (something I'll explore a little bit in my next post).

This is not to say the Muslim Brotherhood do not pose a problem in and of themselves, but without a backer they are significantly limited. Certainly, without a state sponsor, they are simply incapable of taking on the likes of the US or Israeli military for long.

So once again we see a solution to many problems in the region by taking care of one: Iran. However, as seems to be increasingly obvious, the difficulty in curing these problems lie not at their root, but further afield, in Washington.

Update 1/31/11: Baradei negotiating coalition gov with Muslim Brotherhood Rubin Reports

Bingo! "Egyptian intelligence chief and newly [July 2009] appointed Vice President Omar Soliman told then-Central Command commander Gen. David Petraeus, “’we hope Iran will stop supporting Hamas, the Muslim Brotherhood and other cells’ within Egypt … ‘but if not we are ready.’”" Washington Times

Update 2/4/2011: More regional concerns.

John Bolton on why Lebanon is more important than Egypt.

Iraqi PM accuses Iran of arming fighters.

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