No To U.S. Led Attack On Syria…Obama Playing With Fire (Part 1)

by Rob Prince and Ibrahim Kazerooni

US plan for Syria

“Now we sit and wait while the Washington regime makes its next lethal move. Let us lift our voices in unison to prevent it. “

“Before another rush to judgment and “punishment” based on a presumption of guilt, as in Iraq, this time, let the UN inspectors do their job: We still don’t know who used chemical weapons in Syria — regime or rebels. Without UN Security Council’s approval, any military action by US and its NATO or even Arab allies will itself be illegal, an international war crime itself. Such an attack will not protect innocent civilians, but hurt them. US attacks will backfire, trigger a retaliatory response, escalate the civil war into region or world war.”

– the comments of friends on Facebook – 

This is the second time in six months that the United States has accused the Syrian government of using chemical weapons. The first time, Washington was forced to eat its words as international organizations, including Human Rights Watch, claimed that it was the rebels and not the government forces which had employed them. Continue reading

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Turkey and the New Regional Political Realignment

erdogan1

by Ibrahim Kazerooni and Rob Prince

As we write these words, from all appearances, the United States, UK and France, with considerable support from Israel, Saudi Arabia and Qatar, is on the verge of launching a Cruise missile attack against Syria. Turkey, for its part, has been an intimate player in the US plans to bring down the Syrian Assad government and will continue to play a prominent role to this end. But, despite this, Turkish influence in the Arab world is starting to shrink as the Turkish alliance with Qatar and the Muslim Brotherhoods is unraveling, and with it, a card in Washington’s Middle Eastern deck is crumbling. Central to all this are the events in Egypt, the removal of Morsi from power and the campaign by the current Egyptian government to crush the Muslim Brotherhoods politically.

In what follows, we look at the evolution – and devolution – of Turkey’s position.

In the past few days a number of reports have surfaced on Turkey’s indignation on the turn over the events in Egypt. Yeni Shafak the newspaper close to the Turkish prime minister published a scathing article against the leaders of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Jordan, UAE as well as Palestinian Mahmud Abbas calling them the “the axis of evil” in the Middle East. This was followed by Bekir Bozdag, Turkish deputy prime minister, attacking the Arab Cooperation Council for not taking a stronger position on Egypt’s military takeover and the removal of Morsi and his Muslim Brotherhoods (MB) from office. Turkish leaders have also taken to laying the blame for the Egyptian coup at Israel’s doorstep (ironically, as Turkey moves closer to Israel strategically, with Washington’s encouragement). Continue reading

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Egypt: The People Rise Up; The Deck Is Reshuffled – Part Three

tags: Hamid bin Khalifa Al ThaniMohamed MorsiMoslem BrotherhoodsSaudi ArabiaTamin bin Hamid Al Thani

egypt1919

Egypt Rising In Revolt – 1919 – against British Colonial Occupation

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Part One of the Series

Part Two of the Series

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The situation unfolding in Egypt is confusing to many Americans trying to follow the events. A number of questions have emerged in the aftermath of the Mohamed Morsi’s removal from power and the blow suffered thereby to the Muslim Brotherhoods.

What are the questions people are asking?

Was the United States involved – in conjunction with the Egyptian military, supported by the vast masses of the Egyptian public in Morsi’s removal?

Aren’t the Muslim Brotherhoods allies with the United States? Don’t they support U.S. Middle East policy economically (neo-liberalism) and politically (trying to bring down the Assad government in Syria)? And if indeed the Brotherhoods are U.S. political allies, why would the United States not just support, but actively participate (as they did) in Morsi’s removal? The parameters of a somewhat clearer picture of the Egyptian situation are coming into focus. Continue reading

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Egypt: The People Rise Up: The Deck Is Reshuffled; Part Two

tags: HamasSaudi ArabiaQatarMohammed MorsiMuslim Brotherhood

 

egyptmap

Part One of the Series

by Ibrahim Kazerooni and Rob Prince

While  media in the United States has focused on the Egyptian uprising that triggered a military-led coup in which the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) led government was dissolved, hardly any media reports here have considered the regional implications of the Egyptian events, nor the implications for U.S. Middle East policy. Reeling from the coup’s impact, the echoes of which extend far beyond Egypt, the MB is now scrambling to limit the regional damage to its influence. U.S. Middle East policy slips back into disarray.

Yet, analyzing Egyptian politics, economic, and social structures requires taking into consideration the country’s role in the region, and not in isolation. Assessing the Egyptian crises, the subject matter at hand, in abstraction, without due attention to the Egypt’s regional context misses the proverbial forest through the trees.  To better understand what happened in Egypt and the ramification of the recent events we need to explore a number of issues: Continue reading

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Egypt: The People Rise Up; The Deck Is Reshuffled: Part One

`Do you hear the people sing, singing a song of angry men, it is the music of a people who will not be slaves again’. Les Mis…

the-suez-canal

The Suez Canal – still one of the world’s greatest strategic choke points

by Rob Prince and Ibrahim Kazerooni

Note: This piece also appeared at Foreign Policy In Focus, ZNET and Portside

__________________ 32 million Egyptians in the streets can’t all be wrong… This time the Egyptian people did not wait 41 years to bring down what could be called the Sadat-Mubarek government. With a little help from their friends in the military, they did it in less than a year. Mohamed Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood government is history. As in 2011 when their mass demonstrations forced out Hosni Mubarek, once again, in extraordinary numbers, the Egyptian people took to the streets of Cairo and virtually every other Egyptian city to protest the policies of the Muslim Brotherhood-led government of Mohamed Morsi. Two years ago, impressive enough at the time for sure, it was over a million people who converged on Cairo’s Tahir Square forcing Mubarek, a long time key American partner in the Middle East, from power. Continue reading

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Gaza Towards a More Symmetrical Engagement

Gaza Towards a More Symmetrical Engagement

Yet another Israeli crime

On Wednesday November 21, under an Egypt-brokered deal, Palestinians and Israelis agreed to end all hostilities against each other after eight days of relentless Israeli attacks on the coastal enclave. Israel also agreed to open all crossings and facilitate the movement of people and goods in and out of the Gaza Strip. But it did not accept to lift the blockade of the Gaza Strip. Over 160 Palestinians, mostly women and children, were killed and about 1,200 others were injured in over 1,500 Israeli attacks on Gaza that were carried out during the eight-day period of November 14-21. It is too early to tell whether the ceasefire will hold for very long, and if it does, whether its central provisions will be implemented. Continue reading

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Syria, the United States, and the Salvador Option: Part One

Every day the news from Syria is more and more somber as the country and the region continue their journey to unknown and more dangerous realms. As Syria appears to heading for “beyond explosion”, for implosion and NATO foreign military intervention that could result in unpredictable dangerous consequences.

A curious person asking about the situation would get the following predictable reply: Syria is on the verge of civil war; it is run by a ruthless leader that violates human rights on a biblical scale and needs to be removed so that the `peace loving’ Syrian people can live in harmony and tranquility and it appears the only way to achieve this goal is through yet another NATO-led military `humanitarian’ intervention under the auspices of the United States. Continue reading

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