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Author Topic: Uproar Around the Med  (Read 10838 times)
Rattler
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« on: 1 February 2011, 15:57:03 »
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I dont know what you guys think about what is going on in Tunesia, Argelia, Lebanon, Syria, Egypt and other autocractically/dictatorically governed nations around the Mediterrean that are currently under siege by their own people, but it sure gives food for thought:

- First off, it seems the lessons of Persia/Iran were not learned: For around 3 decades the US and the EU backed up those dictators/autocrats, because they were useful, keeping the Islamists at bay or - in the last decade - in the War on Terroism. So far so good, but while having their dubious and iron fisted friends in power there (no US pleas for democracy that I have heard of) and filling their pockets with millions of $ in commisions for having bases, arms sales, bases etc. they never used their pressure to direct those guys to keep an eye on the wishes of the people reigned by them, seems they thought their supressive powers were enough.

Same mistake again, no lesson learned: All dictatorships that ignore the living circumstances of the people they govern come to an end eventually.

- 2nd, it seems neither US nor EU have a connection with the oppositions in those nations, so what is to follow the downfall of those regiments is not only unpredictable, but - worse - controlled by other powers as Iran, Russia, CHina just to name a few (all those, yes, have intimate contacts with the opposition). Again, like in Persia, we might find ourselves in the Med suddenly surrounded by Islamist regiments (or not), at least a probability. The backside of democracy from the US/EU view: People elect whom they want, and if theyre Islamists, you gotta live with them...

- Israel, truly worried, has not found anything else but to call for inconditional support for Mubarak in Egypt, e.g., shows what breed their politicians really are: No freedom for people that might pose a threat, supress them, please, we pay you!

- Lets for a moment imagine (I think that probability is not too far fetched noe that the army abandoned him) that Mubarak falls (and goes to exile, with tons of cash/gold toSaudi Arabia would be my guess, to meet up with the other ousted: Dictators tend not to hang around the nations they wrecked) and that e.g. an Islamic regime takes over, we will have a military problem:

- Egypt is the most modern equipped army in the middle east, all top US and EU hardware (1000 Abrams, 1000 Leos 2A4, Patriot AA, uncountable TOWs, 220 F16, etc). Also the majority of Egyptian officers have gone through US training at US academies, in total Israel will face an opponent who is more or less on the same level conventionally, wonder how they solve that: Pre-emptive nuclear strike?

- In looking at it now and seeing how unprepared US/EU are for his turn of events is almost unbelievable: Would not anybody arming an ally to the teeth make sure he remains an ally? By, as mentioned above, at least exercising his weigth to make the dicators "behave" so they dont get ousted? Are we really so stupid that we did not prepare for a - justified at first sight - people uproar?

Just a few first thoughts,

Rattler
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« Reply #1 on: 1 February 2011, 16:10:40 »
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Politicians dont look back to the past.
They only look forward thinking of power and money.
When they can get more power or more money they like to forget about the mistakes made in the past.

Thats all.
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« Reply #2 on: 1 February 2011, 18:41:16 »
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Israel and China are blocking all info about Egypt... just in case...

reports I read and watch say that the Egyptian generals are probably in direct contact with Washington/Pentagon

and yes, Western governments are very quiet on the matter...

there will be many more deads but I wonder if the Egyptians will ever be free....
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« Reply #3 on: 1 February 2011, 22:46:35 »
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Looks like Jordan is next:

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703445904576117801815760950.html

Maybe there is a chance we will see Israel and Palestina on this list also?

Rattler
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« Reply #4 on: 2 February 2011, 13:02:27 »
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Looks like Jordan is next:

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703445904576117801815760950.html

Maybe there is a chance we will see Israel and Palestina on this list also?

Rattler



that's why Israel (and China) immediately blocked all news about Egypt...
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« Reply #5 on: 2 February 2011, 16:08:20 »
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Dont forget that you are talking about a country which has almost doubled in size regarding inhabitants.
The country has an unsofisticated almost ancient agricultural system.
A lot of the vegetables grown are sold abroad.
There is not much industrial capability, 2/3rd of the people cant read or write.
The majority of the people works in the tourist industry or sectors related to it.

It simply had to happen, no matter what government would have been present.
Egypt has not enough means to get all these people to work and to feed them.
Traditional thinking on family and relation ( birthcontrol for example) has to be abandoned to get the country on line again.
This in coordination with educational programs.

But I doubt this is going to happen soon.......
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« Reply #6 on: 2 February 2011, 18:35:38 »
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Stoffel, you are right:

2(3 analphabets, 80% under the poverty index (which in Egypt is 10c a day) and medium income 1 Euro per day for middle class.

Now, this is only 1000 km from where I live in the med (closer than Germany or Holland), could this outcome not have been prevented?


As far as we can hear here (internet and mobiles get closed in all the middle east around the med but Spanish journalistsw are there since a long time and dont cease reporting, maybe more input than for other non-med nations comes from them) Lybia and Yemen also started their "peoples" revolution, all the Med on fire.

+As you said itz (but you did not say it a year ago, nor did I: As everybody I just ignored it) "it simply had to happen". How great is hindsight!

Egypt, yes, has and always had the means to feed: 2.200.000.000 $ every year just for that (non-mil aid) from the US, and another half that sum from the EU, for 3.500.000.000 $. Divide this by inhabitants (60+ millions) that is 5 million $ per person per year (and the average income of the mid class Egyptian after 30 years of this input is still around 500 Euros a year).

Where did this money go? You really have to leave your people with 1 Euro a day when you have a budget of 5 Million (!) to spend on him, for free? Thirty yeayrs time to get things straight?

As the cynic I am I tell you where the money went:

30% into the government ppl (2/3 family of Mubarak), 10% to Israel government ppl for claiming they like the Egyptians, 5% to Palestinaian autocrats (for not disturbing Egypt government ways), another 5 to Libanon, Syria, Lybia (the bosses, of course) to leave Egypt alone, 30% to the US intermediators, and another 15% to the EU intermediators (not counting specifiying the UN ppl).

Of course, there is no proof for that (and never will if WikiLeadks does not get better, which does not look like), but sound experience ofhow things work give me this estimate and I will cling to it, no proof needed more than to seewhat happens here in the village, or in Germany, or in the Netherlands, just to use some example (actually, thats the way it works *everywhere*).

Cynic?

You bet!

Rattler

P.S.: Every person got the government he/she deserves. R.
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« Reply #7 on: 2 February 2011, 20:02:51 »
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Where the money went to?
Thats not so difficult.

I bet every officer in the military, every mp and all other vips have special bankaccounts in Switzerland.
You will find much of the money on those accounts if its not spent on houses and other (expensive) goods in the west.
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« Reply #8 on: 2 February 2011, 20:26:24 »
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Where the money went to?

I bet every officer in the military, every mp and all other vips have special bankaccounts in Switzerland.

OK, I agree.

Which brings us back to my principal question: Why did we let this happen?

I mean, ok with having a guy for our interests, but why - paying him - we dont put a few conditions on it: At least share your wealth with your people if you dont want to (and we neither) to deicde politically. Why not make the guy "reasonably" rich (some 50 Millions should be enough for that, no? Even with a large family?) and exercise pressure to make him "behave" in a way that will keep him in power?

What is wrong? Dont we have mil or INTEL analysists that will tell you how this is going to end?  hdbng

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« Reply #9 on: 2 February 2011, 21:27:35 »
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Its simple.
The money is a gift, whats more important it will come back because the people receiving it will spend the money in western based countries again sooner or later.
They will buy shares, buy expensive stuff and so on.
Its a way to support companies without giving them direct financial support Smiley
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« Reply #10 on: 2 February 2011, 22:25:41 »
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I understand that fully, the problem is still: Why dont we pressure those guys to give something to their people (so they dont get ousted) if we need them?

Rattler
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« Reply #11 on: 2 February 2011, 23:12:10 »
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Good question,

Maybe because a poor, uneducated population is ideal to (mis)use?
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« Reply #12 on: 3 February 2011, 21:37:30 »
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Yemen is next...:

http://mypetjawa.mu.nu/archives/206085.php

Quote
In typical fashion, the state announced pay raises for civil servants today, the desperate scrambling of desperate men. But its likely that the tactics that worked before to tamp down unrest won't work again; a new wages strategy promised during the 2005 fuel riots never was fully implemented, triggering teachers strikes in subsequent years.

In another typical move, Yemeni President Saleh made a major announcement inviting the opposition to a national dialog, but didn't actually invite them. Saleh has no credibility, being a habitual liar and all. And the only question about the planned protest is whether the security forces are going to open fire on the protesters, as they have done over the last three years, killing hundreds, in response to peaceful demonstrations by the southern independence movement.



Its contagious, and the politicians of the US and the EU - just by using that word - show their fright of things to come: "Ouch, a virus called democracy is threatening us, and its contagious!"

Also very interesting is the fact that the Al Quaida loyalists all through the Med see their furs swim away, they are not part of the revolution incited by the people, and they dont like it (watch Al Jazeera to see what I mean). I agree completely with "Wired" in that hey are a kind of media whores who would like to be in the headlines, but recently they are dubbed out, our islamistshere in the village have kept their mouth shut or oppse the revolutionary moves in Tunesia and Egypt:

http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2011/02/jihadi-media-whores-piggybacking-on-egypt-unrest/

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« Reply #13 on: 4 February 2011, 18:33:24 »
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If you look at Turkey you see a  democratic country, very liberal in islamic terms.
I think for most countries this is the way they should go.

As a lot of muslims in several countries already told in interviews, including countries as Iran and Saoudi Arabia.
I am glad to see most people are sensible and dont let the extremists profit from the current powervacuum.
Who knows.......this might bring peace?
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« Reply #14 on: 4 February 2011, 18:47:18 »
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If not some people (as the Netherlands right wing guy Wilders...? or whatever his name) would insist that Turkey could not enter the EU because the majority is muslim, and all muslims are bad and the devil.

Stupid to attack that way a secular country (as stupid as attacking Iraq who was secular), and interest motivated, without any sense more than gather votes of ppl who are afraid of any religion that is not christian. As stupid as supporting dictators. Turkey, in Atatürk terms - that still hold true over there (but how much longer if we deny them entering the market?) - is the best that could happen to the EU: A secular muslim country that demonstrates that we really believe (not just lip service) in freedom of religion and that would be welcome -  and actually important! - as a strategic partner! Remember Atatürk was military (now, *that one* was a true politician, we would need more than him today), and even in WW I we had nothing better to try as wipe him and his idea of secular Islam (google "Kemalism") off the planet in Galipoli, which luckily we did not succeed to achieve, we are paying this fault today with the Islamists (which, in my POV, dont represent the standard muslim: see Egypt) and the neverending Palestinian-Israeli confrontation.

Personally (as I am not religious) I would 10x prefer to discuss stuff with a government that has not understood secular terms as with a dictator. Dictators are (like Al Quaida) of the last century and have no place in this modern planet (the problm is they know, and they want people like you to cry out loud when people propagate democracy). I have lived Franco in Spain, and I really dont want anything like this back nor do I wish it to other people, even if it is easier to handle from a political POV.

Point is: Do we want democracy and live and treat with what comes out, or: Do we just want democracy for christians and fuck all the rest...? Leave the pople over there without freedom that we (allegedly, personally as cynic, I dont believe it a second) are sacrificing our men for in Iraq and The Stan? Why not find the other Kemals and invest our money and energy into them?

As you so well explained with arms ("its not the gun, its the guy who pulls the trigger"), it is not the religion but the people that use it, why not start (late and slowly) to explain to them with a "carrot" what we here are talking about so liberally? Cannot be more expensive than the 5 million $ per year and person we spend in Egypt (but probably does not make the profit for the companies involved there).

Actually, I am starting to have more respect for the people that are now uprising around the Med than with ourselves: It should be us on the streets demanding change towards sensibility, personally I am fed up with the games they are playing with me as citizen and that I only get a glimpse of when someobody like Wikileaks ppl post stuff (but which we are all aware it is happening), whay dont we move? Because we have food (but no new ideas), thats the only and interesting difference.

Cynic? You bet!

Rattler
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« Reply #15 on: 4 February 2011, 20:23:38 »
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Matt,

I dont like Wilders at all but.....
He has been very right on the subject of Turkey.
His refusal for Turkey to join the EU is mostly based on human right issues, for instance the way they operate against the Kurdish people and other minorities like the Armenians.
He said that islam is a dangerous religion, not because all muslims are terrorists but mainly because the Koran can be used to start violence, a lot of muslems are analfabetic and (kept) poor.
He used to call the religion retarded because of the violence it promotes, the hatred and the mistreatment of women.
Dont forget the total lack of human rights.

He is more left than the traditional left winged political parties, thats the reason he won so many votes.
He managed to do more for weak groups in the society like elderly people, health care and so on than many of his left wing colleagues.
We have a right winged government which already cut more on our defence and police budget than ever before.
In fact Wilders wants the entire army to be disbanded Bedroefd

So bad news for me.....
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« Reply #16 on: 5 February 2011, 00:02:46 »
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I have to take that bit by bit, either because I am not really clear to what you are referring to, or because I think the comments (of him, not yours) are either misleading (and from my POV intentionally so) or short sighted in the sense I mentioned above (and keeping on track about the Mediterrean issue which includes Turkey, of course). I base the following not only on thourough press research but also on personal experience, I have been travelling (for work) to Turkey around 15x in the last 5 years, last in 2009:

His refusal for Turkey to join the EU is mostly based on human right issues, for instance the way they operate against the Kurdish people and other minorities like the Armenians.


Either you or Mr. Wilders (thanks for helping me with the name) are mis-informed:

While indeed the long ongoing conflict between earlier Turkish governments and the Armenian minority (for the Turkish denial of the Armenian genozide) was a big problem, it has long been maybe not solved but at least softened to a point where Armenians in Turkey are fully accepted ajnd not under any repression whatsoever anymore:

you might recall the 2008 assination fo ethnic-Armenian intellectual Hrant Dink by a Turkish nationalist, and the ensuing scandal that followed and made it into the papers in which his killer was exalted as a hero by the policemen who had detained him. IIRC Mr. Wilders often quotes this as an example why Turkey should not be allowed to enter the EU.

What he ignores (on purpose methinks), and what is not so widely published (though it is present, google for it) is that 50.000 Turkish citizens marched throughout the country in protest of this action of the police, a general strike was called for )but finally not executed) and in general the citizens *and* the government sided definitely with the Armenians.

After the incident, the Turkish president Gül visited Armenia (first Turkish leader ever since Kemal Ataturk) and in unison with the government there announced diplomatic ties and normalisation, which by now is standard and witout tensions (if you ignore the one issue: The old Nuclear Central at the Turkish border that is way less trustworthy than Chernobyl).

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/7602066.stm
http://articles.latimes.com/2009/apr/04/world/fg-turkey-armenia4

In my opinion Turkey tried hard to consolidate right in the human rights aspect in order to take the wind out of ppl like your guy.

As far as the Kurds go, they are wll in their right from my POV, but they employ the wrong methods, ETA here in Spain  woth around 900 victims is a Kindergarden terrorist group compared to Ocalans´ terrorist organisation PKK: More than 35.000 civilians and soldiers have been killed by the PKK from 1984 to 2000 (and the Turks burnt 3000 settlements: They are basically playing Israel vs. Palestinians on another scale, with so many deathsby terrorists rather understandable), still even there a truce has been held since 2005, tense but valid.

He said that islam is a dangerous religion, not because all muslims are terrorists but mainly because the Koran can be used to start violence, a lot of muslems are analfabetic and (kept) poor. He used to call the religion retarded because of the violence it promotes, the hatred and the mistreatment of women.


Sorry, we have exactly the same thing in the christian religion: There are always pastors calling for violence, it can be read into the bible as easily as into Quran, check out the latest on the shooting of Mrs. Gifford:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/01/09/westboro-baptist-church-arizona_n_806319.html

Quote
In a flier posted on its web site, Westboro Baptist Church writes, "THANK GOD FOR THE SHOOTER -- 6 DEAD!" The message continues:

Quote
God appointed this rod for your sins! God sent the shooter! This hateful nation unleashed violent veterans on the servants of God at WBC--hoping to silence our kind warning to obey God and flee the wrath to come.

God sent the shooter to shoot you! And He's sitting in Heaven laughing at you!

Your federal judge is dead and your (fag-promoting, baby-killing, proud-sinner) Congresswoman fights for her life. God is avenging Himself on this rebellious house! WBC prays for your destruction--more shooters, more dead carcasses piling up, young, old, leader and commoner--all. Your doom is upon you!




Would you say from these idiots comments that "The Bible can be used to start violence" or "Christian religion promotes violence and hatred"?

You can look up the examples of christian (and even more Jewish) religiously motivated mistreatment of women for yourself, there are hundreds of examples on the net to be reviewed.
 
Also many Christians throughout the world are held intentionally analphabetic and poor by their governments. Has nothing to do with religion at all, but with distorted human brains.

Dont forget the total lack of human rights.


In Turkey? Where did you get this from, they got a normal constitution as all other European states AFAIK (highlights by me):

http://www.anayasa.gov.tr/images/loaded/pdf_dosyalari/THE_CONSTITUTION_OF_THE_REPUBLIC_OF_TURKEY.pdf

Quote
The understanding of the absolute supremacy of the will of the nation and of the fact that
sovereignty is vested fully and unconditionally in the Turkish nation and that no individual
or body
empowered to exercise this sovereignty in the name of the nation shall deviate
from liberal democracy and the legal system instituted according to its requirements
;
  
The principle of the separation of powers, which does not imply an order of precedence
among the organs of state, but refers solely to the exercising of certain state powers and
discharging of duties which are limited to cooperation and division of functions, and which
accepts the supremacy of the Constitution and the law;


Quote
ARTICLE 10. All individuals are equal without any discrimination before the law,
irrespective of language, race, colour, sex, political opinion, philosophical belief, religion
and sect
, or any such considerations.
  
Men and women have equal rights. The State shall have the obligation to ensure that this
equality exists in practice.
  
No privilege shall be granted to any individual, family, group or class.
  
State organs and administrative authorities shall act in compliance with the principle of
equality before the law in all their proceedings.


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« Reply #17 on: 5 February 2011, 01:52:29 »
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Mr. Bouteflika from Algeria is caving in in anticipation of the FEB 12 manifestations, should he topple (additionally to Egypt) Lybia would have a hard stand despite iots (relatively) high unskilled labor force income of aorund 250$ per month, as many of the work force are from Tunisia and Egypt:

http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20110203/wl_nm/us_algeria_emergency_repeal

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« Reply #18 on: 6 February 2011, 15:43:52 »
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Ok, we now get a better idea where the money went, and it seems to be right where we supected we had to look:

According to the US news chain ABC Mubarak and his family are worth between around 40 and 70 Billion Dollars (70.000.000.000 $) or fifty thousand Millions of Euros. This in a nation where the gross GPB is 2.000 $ per family and year and the average daily salary is 1$...

Not the only one: A major newspaper based in Madrid, Spain, ABC Internacional, has reported that Azeb Mesfin, the wife of Ethiopia’s dictator Meles Zenawi is squandering the 1.2 billion Euros (twelve thousand million Euros) her husband has stolen during the past two decades.

The newspaper identifies Azeb Mesfin as one of the most wasteful wives of African leaders and accuses her of siphoning off millions of dollars.

Azeb is known among Ethiopians as the mother of corruption.

The other wives of African dictators the newspaper listed include Grace, the notorious wife of Zimbabwe’s dictator Robert Mugabe, and Leila Trabelsi, the wife of the recently deposted Tunisian dictator Ben Ali which have expended another two hundred thousand of Millions of Euros overall in the last 10 years.

Which again makes three things quite clear:

1. We guys have to work hard to allow our wives spend all we make and keep something over (wow, if my wife had only spent 5.000 Euros instead of 5.000 Millions I would have been in severe trouble economically).

2. This is our (the US and EU citizens) tax money. It seems almost ridiculoous that we start crying out loud when we find one of our politicians has skimmed 500.000 Euros, when we simply allow those same politicians to give the tenthousendfold away to some murky guys that on top are dictators.

Just for comparison:

The patrimony of Mubarak equals the sum of the yearly cost of Spain for:

• Defense
+ Justice
+ Agriculture and Fishing
+ Industry and Energy
+ Infrastructure
+ Subventions

http://graficos.lainformacion.com/politica/finanzas-publicas/en-que-gasta-espana_GOKnXNSkES9pTHKnt1YdS5/

If we look at what the EU spend:

- The Mubarak patrimony is 12x what e.g. The Netherlands spend in 2010 to fight the crisis, including infrastructural and subventional expenditures (4.2 billion: http://www.prinsjesdag2010.nl/pd09_sites/objects/a9d/32k/1625b87bb15713366e314369e1ea6/summary_2010_budget_memorandum.pdf). Means he has made halfo of the Dutch infrastructure budget every year.

- it is 4x the amount Germany (2nd most spending nation worldwide after US) spends on development aid world wide (12 billion)

Just to put such a patrimony into perspective.

Again: Now  suddenly (!) we are worried about how the war on terror will be influcenced.

Are we really that stupid? Both as politicians as well as people? With paying such huge sums to some dictators we could easily have pressed them to share (maybe 1%?... Would still be 80x what Germany pays to help poor people in Asia per year) a bit with their subjects.

Time we also move to the streets, it seems, but I have no better alternative to offer to what we have in place.

Rattler
« Last Edit: 6 February 2011, 15:49:52 by Rattler » Logged

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« Reply #19 on: 10 February 2011, 22:13:17 »
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WikiLeaks: Suleiman told Israel he would 'cleanse' Sinai of arms runners to Gaza

Quote
The news is more evidence of the close ties between Israel, the United States and Mr Suleiman, who is tipped to replace Hosni Mubarak as Egypt’s president.

The close relationship has emerged from American diplomatic cables leaked to the WikiLeaks website and passed to The Daily Telegraph.

Mr Suleiman is Israel’s preferred candidate to replace 82-year-old Mr Mubarak. A secret hotline between Mr Suleiman and the Israelis was said to be “in daily use”, according to US diplomatic cables.

The pledge to cleanse Sinai was made by Mr Suleiman to Yuval Diskin of the Israeli Security Agency (ISA) after he complained about the smuggling of weapons across the border with Gaza. According to a cable sent in November, 2007, Mr Diskin met Rob Danin, the US deputy assistant secretary of state, and Mark Kimmitt, the deputy assistant defence secretary, in Tel Aviv and told them that the Sinai peninsula had now become a “weapons and explosives warehouse” for operations in Gaza, Egypt and Israel.

The cable said: “Diskin told Danin and Kimmit [sic] that the ISA had, on several occasions provided Omar Suleiman, chief of Egypt’s intelligence services, with detailed intelligence on the names of smugglers.

read more: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/wikileaks/8314459/WikiLeaks-Suleiman-told-Israel-he-would-cleanse-Sinai-of-arms-runners-to-Gaza.html
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