January 31, 2011



Press Summary Archive

Back-door debt restructuring on the cards for Greece

Monday, January 31, 2011

It is widely reported that a deal on restructuring Greek debt could be imminent with EU officials in Athens to discuss the issue. The scheme being discussed is three pronged: firstly it would see Greece borrow another €50bn from the European Financial Stability Facility. Secondly it would see Greece use the EFSF to buy back bonds at between 65% - 75% of their nominal value from the ECB and private bondholders. Thirdly the plan would see the maturity of the bail-out loans extended by 30 years. In return, Greece would need to impose further austerity measures, specifically introducing a cap on its budget deficit into its constitution. If adopted the scheme is expected to re-profile two thirds of Greece’s €330bn debt by the end of the year. It has been compared to the Brady plan which rescued Latin America from bankruptcy in the 1980s.

Speaking at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, on Friday, Greek Finance Minister George Papaconstantinou confirmed that informal talks are underway to find ways to reduce Greece's debt burden. The FT reports that some IMF and EU officials support Portugal being pushed into seeking a bail-out. Die Welt notes that the Italian government is holding up discussions on the new Stability Pact, as they do not agree on setting public debt limits at 60% of GDP.

Over the weekend Der Spiegel reported on the ‘pact for competitiveness’ which German Chancellor Angela Merkel is set to propose to eurozone leaders at the Summit on Friday, including increase of retirement ages across Europe, harmonisation of corporate tax rates and the introduction of a debt brake into all eurozone members’ national constitutions. Bloomberg suggests that Merkel will ask for this in return for an increase in the eurozone bail-out fund.

Handelsblatt quotes government sources saying that the plan still needs to be agreed upon with the coalition partner FDP. On his Coulisses de Bruxelles blog, Jean Quatremer argues “the French have already showed opposition to a pension age of 62 years; they will detest retiring at 67”. FT Deutschland and Handelsblatt report that the ECB is keeping interest rates low for fear of harming the weaker eurozone members or destabilising their weak banking sectors, with inflation fear in Germany as a result.

A recent poll conducted by the Economist Intelligence Unit and commissioned by RBC Capital Markets shows that more than four out of five senior executives, or 85%, believe that there is a chance of one or more countries leaving the eurozone in the next three years, while two in three, or 60%, said there was a chance the eurozone would break-up over the next three years.
EUobserver Spiegel Coulisses de Bruxelles Guardian FT FT 2 FT 3 FTfm FT 4 Jornal de Negocios Les Echos Reuters Expansion Handelsblatt Coulisses de Bruxelles 2 FT Deutschland Welt Les Echos 2 Euractiv France 2 To Vima Times 2 EurActiv EurActiv 2 FT Deutschland FT Brussels Blog European Voice AFP Euractiv France

FT Alphaville features the speech given at a recent Open Europe event by Professor Markus Kerber, the initiator of a lawsuit at the German Constitutional Court against the bail-outs of Greece and Ireland.
FT Alphaville
Open Europe events

82% of Irish want to renegotiate EU/IMF bail-out terms
The Irish government is set to borrow €3.5 billion from the eurozone bail-out fund in the next few days, about €200 million more than originally sought. Reuters reports that the Irish Labour party has said that the EU needs to give Ireland an extra year, until 2016, to bring its budget deficit down to the EU limit of 3% of GDP. A poll for the Sunday Independent revealed 82% of participants believed the next government should seek improved repayment terms, and 84% said it must renegotiate the terms of the senior bondholders, who are currently being repaid for their risky investments.
Irish Independent
Irish Times BBC news Reuters

UK accuses Commission of resisting CAP reform
Saturday’s Telegraph reported that, in a letter to EU Agriculture Commissioner, Environment Secretary Caroline Spelman has accused the Commission of resisting reform to the £55bn a year Common Agricultural Policy. “I have some real concerns that the proposals you set out will not make a meaningful difference,” she wrote. “The CAP cannot be immune from the hard choices we are making elsewhere, which is why our government is calling for a very substantial cut to the CAP budget.”
Open Europe Director Mats Persson was quoted saying, “Not a single penny more of the UK's rebate should be given up until we see deep cuts and a series of tangible reforms to the CAP, resulting in a far better deal for UK taxpayers. The EU's farm policy is a running disaster; tinkering at the margins just won't do anymore”.
Saturday's Telegraph

Fraud in the EU’s Emission Trading Scheme has cost taxpayers €5bnA feature in the Sunday Telegraph reported that fraud in the EU’s Emission Trading Scheme (ETS) has cost taxpayers an estimated €5bn. The article quotes an unnamed broker saying, "There have been warnings after warnings that regulation of the system is lackadaisical and inept…You expect it to be properly regulated but Europe seems to run it more like a church raffle than a professional commodities market."
Sunday Telegraph
Mail on Sunday

Le Figaro: EU lacks clear position on Arab crises
An article in Le Figaro criticises the EU’s response to the recent crises in the Arab world arguing, “As regards Egypt, institutional Europe was lacking a clear line until [French President] Nicolas Sarkozy, [German Chancellor] Angela Merkel and David Cameron decided to put pressure on [Egyptian leader] Hosni Mubarak to implement the ‘political, economic and social reforms’ he had pledged. Until then, Catherine Ashton, the voice of [the EU’s] diplomacy, and Herman Van Rompuy, President of the [European] Council, had been grinding topical words about the rejection of violence and the necessity of dialogue.”
Le Figaro El Pais: editorial

The FTfm quotes Carol Ferguson, outgoing Chairman of the Association of Investment Companies, saying that the implementation of the EU’s AIFM Directive and the review of the MiFID Directive are the key challenges facing her successor. “On the whole we find the Treasury and the FSA pretty understanding. Our difficulties come more from Europe”, she said.

Saturday’s Telegraph welcomed David Cameron’s speech in Davos arguing, “The message that risk-averse, over-regulated economies will wither in a global economy must be taken to the heart of Europe.”
Saturday's Telegraph: Leader

Writing in the Sunday Times, Dominic Raab MP noted that the European Arrest Warrant can see people extradited to other EU countries with “flawed justice systems and appalling prison conditions.”
Sunday Times: Raab

Full Fact cites Open Europe’s study on EU regulation in an article discussing the proportion of national laws derived from the EU.Full Fact Open Europe research

Saturday’s Mail reported that the UK has been given two months to agree to an EU Directive that would put an end to the practice of paying crews on vessels flying the 17th century “Red Duster” in line with wage rates in their native countries. The article notes that the increase in wage bills could push companies to register vessels under foreign flags in future.
Saturday's Mail
Saturday’s Express

FAZ reports that an unusually broad coalition within the Bundestag, composed of Christian Democrats, Liberals, Social Democrats and Greens, is opposing plans for EU contract law, as proposed by the Commission. The paper notes that competition is "a tool to discover good law".
No link

The European Court of Justice (ECJ) will shortly rule on whether using a person's sex to calculate their insurance premiums breaches equality legislation. Insurers warn it could increase costs for consumers.
Saturday's Telegraph

New on the Open Europe blog

The EU’s response to the recent crises in the Arab world: Policy before institution, please
Open Europe blog

The latest “what we should thank the EU for” claim: No EU, no...cognac
Open Europe blog

Norway and the EU: Three big 'excepts'Open Europe blog
Weekly Southern African Report

From Jan Lamprecht
Southern Africa in Crisis
Sunday, 30th January 2011

From 1994-Present over 3,000 Farmers have been murdered in S.Africa.
Many thousands of their farm workers have also been murdered too.

Zimbabwe: IMPORTANT: Spread this: 2011 - Its Elections, it is WAR!!! Civil War is coming! Mugabe's people talk like Julius Malema
Friday 28-Jan-2011: [Here is some very important news from Zimbabwe which is a must-read and please do all you can to spread this one around. I would like to make some comments on this below. This comes from the Sokwa (By Jan)...
S.Africa: My Military Intelligence friend - The Big Conspiracy to hide Crime... Major hidden trends in SA...
Monday 24-Jan-2011: I have mentioned before my Liberal friend who also at one time was in Military Intelligence in the former SADF. He was reading my articles yesterday on this site and he phoned me (on my cell because m (By Jan)...
S.Africa: The Black rationale for crime: We are unemployed, therefore we steal... here is the real story...
Monday 24-Jan-2011: It is often said that the reason blacks steal is because they are unemployed. It is because of the gap between the rich and the poor. All sorts of excuses are given as to why blacks steal from whites (By Jan)...
S.Africa: Government by Deception - Julius Malema again with his racist anti-white hate speech... All Whites sensing danger coming... Scary Black youths...
Wednesday 26-Jan-2011: Julius Malema is also back with his racism talking his normal Marxist Communist anti-white hate speech. A farmers' union is giving him a go at the moment and he is pretending to be a victim. He says t (By Jan)...
Sunday 30-Jan-2011: It is always a humanistic and pagan concept of peace that citizens should not be armed to protect their wives, children and property from criminals. It cannot be disputed with success that guns save i (By Collen Makumbirofa)...
Côte d'Ivoire: Violence Campaign by Security Forces, Militias
Wednesday 26-Jan-2011: Security forces under the control of Laurent Gbagbo and militias that support him have, since late November 2010, committed extra-judicial killings, forced disappearances, torture, and rape, Human Rig (By News Poster)...
Nigeria: The National Rape Conspiracy
Monday 24-Jan-2011: By Paul Dada, Taiwo Ogunmola And Wisdom PatrickLagos - The new twist to the scourge of rape has taken in Nigeria is a great source of concern. For some time now, there have been various reports of ver (By News Poster)...
Nigeria: New Wave of Violence Leaves 200 Dead
Friday 28-Jan-2011: Dakar - A deadly spate of sectarian violence in Nigeria's central Plateau State since December 24, 2010, has killed more than 200 people, Human Rights Watch said today. The victims, including children (By News Poster)...
Liberia: President Sirleaf's Annual Message 2011
Monday 24-Jan-2011: By Ellen Johnson SirleafTheme: Our Nation Is Heading in the Right DirectionMr. Vice President and President of the Senate;Mr. Speaker;Mr. President Pro-Tempore;Honorable Members of the Legislature;You (By News Poster)...
South African Navy suffering under KA-firmative Action
Sunday 30-Jan-2011: By Mike Smith 17th of November 2010 You know, for a race of people who are not exactly known for their seafaring skills and who till this day have not even invented dugout canoes yet, these Sout (By Grazy)...
Zimbabwe: Citizens Want Elections, Despite Fearing Violence
Friday 28-Jan-2011: No one knows whether there will be an election in Zimbabwe this year, or under what conditions.But public opinion polls show that the majority of Zimbabweans are convinced elections should take place, (By News Poster)...
China: The Masters of Espionage - Western Ruin
Monday 24-Jan-2011: [Welcome to the warfare of the 21st century! Cyberwarfare, atleast, in a covert scense. As the West continues to 'modernise' itself by making everything electrically dependant, the West is opening up (By JanOlifant)...
[Pic] S.Africa: Excellent Afrikaans humour - Facebook in 1838 - Piet Retief, Battle of Blood River - Facebook in die jaar 1838
Friday 28-Jan-2011: This is hilarious, but it is also a very interesting lesson in history. This is one of the funniest examples of Afrikaans humour I have ever seen. This is what Piet Retief's Facebook entries would (By Jan)...
Nigeria: New Wave of Violence Leaves 200 Dead
Sunday 30-Jan-2011: Dakar - A deadly spate of sectarian violence in Nigeria’s central Plateau State since December 24, 2010, has killed more than 200 people, Human Rights Watch said today. The victims, including ch (By News Poster)...
Tunisia: Revolution - Self-Organisation for Self-Emancipation
Friday 28-Jan-2011: By Horace CampbellIn the wake of the ousting of entrenched Tunisian president Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali, Horace Campbell reflects on events in the country, regional implications and the inspirational ex (By News Poster)...
[Graph] Economics: Boom time in Sub-Saharan Africa for the next 20 years? African super-boom? Black, per capita GDP thoughts
Tuesday 25-Jan-2011: [Here is a fascinating graph that was put out recently by a website I frequest. I love their graphs, but on many things I differ with their analysis. The ANC and others would no doubt love everyone to (By Jan)...
S.Africa: Is it Government by Deception or ANC Judo politics? The Blacks who will drown in the Eastern Cape... ANC Racism forever
Saturday 29-Jan-2011: One of our regular contributors phoned me from the Cape and told me this strange story. Apparently the Minister of Agriculture knew that we would have a bad summer with a lot of rain but that did (By Jan)...
Orania: My Personal Vision
Saturday 29-Jan-2011: I have noted over the past few weeks two or three of the problems the Afrikaner people will have to overcome, in my humble opinion, on their way to establishing their Volkstaat. One problem I have not (By Yoel Lerner)...
Africa: Australia and the Continent - Converging Continents
Saturday 29-Jan-2011: By Kevin RuddAUSTRALIA is unique among the major developed countries - situated in the 'south', between the Indian and Pacific oceans and surrounded by developing countries. The perspective we have on (By News Poster)...
Zimbabwe: Wave of Violence Rocks Harare; MDC 99 Leader Job Sikhala thinking of ways to deal with Police and Zanu PF thugs
Tuesday 25-Jan-2011: The Western Intelligence was mistaken in thinking that it can appease Mugabe and his ZANU PF hardlines. Now Zimbabweans continue to die and suffer severe violence at the hands of ZANU PF leaders. Th (By Collen Makumbirofa)...
South Africa: The Sutherland shooting – Extreme Prejudice?
Monday 24-Jan-2011: Sunday, January 23, 2011 The Sutherland shooting – Extreme Prejudice? I find this entire drama concerning the Sutherland shooting incidents most upsetting, but also enlightening. The reports regard (By Grazy)...

January 30, 2011



Middle East File: Islamic Action Front, trade unions, leftists lead anti-government protests in Amman, demand Jordanian PM resign 


Political unrest in the Arab world has spread from North Africa to Jordan which, like Egypt, has a peace treaty with Israel. The Muslim Brotherhood is not only leading anti-government protests in Egypt, but also in Jordan, where the national chapter is called the Islamic Action Front. Yesterday, Al Jazeera reported on protests taking place in the capital Amman:

Thousands of people in Jordan have taken to the streets in protests, demanding the country's prime minister step down, and the government curb rising prices, inflation and unemployment. In the third consecutive Friday of protests, about 3,500 opposition activists from Jordan's main Islamist opposition group, trade unions and leftist organisations gathered in the capital, waving colourful banners reading: "Send the corrupt guys to court".

The crowd denounced Samir Rifai's, the prime minister, and his unpopular policies. Many shouted: "Rifai go away, prices are on fire and so are the Jordanians.''

Another 2,500 people also took to the streets in six other cities across the country after the noon prayers. Those protests also called for Rifai's ouster.

King Abdullah has promised some reforms, particularly with respect to election laws. However, many Jordanians believe he will not cave in to demands for the election by parliament of the prime minister and his cabinet officials. These are traditionally appointed by the king.


Bilderberg Now Official. The Economist: “To Run a Multinational Organisation (the World)”. “You Hire the Best People”. “Globocrats Napped While Their Banks Made Wholesale Looting of Your Money”

Summary: Something unprecedented has happened: The Bilderberg Club has gone public, its chairman, Mr. Etienne Davignon, having given an interview to The Economist, whose editor is himself a regular Bilderberg participant. Furthermore,  The Economist has publishd an ed-op on Bilderberg. After all this, talk of conspiracy theory in connection with The Bilderbergers, The Trilateral Commission and The Council on Foreign Relations can only come from desperate conspirators or ignorants. The conspirac is herewith official! Several feature articles in The Economist describe as clearly as daylight  that these elitist, unelected groups of only 6,000 “globocrats” are running the world behind closed doors according to their immorality, greed and lust for power. And they do so by “hiring the best people”. Also,  an incredible audacity is revealed. First we are told: “Recent history is full of examples where elitists cause mischief. In 2008 smart, but ruthless bankers  launched a global meltdown.” Furthermore, that the globocrats napped while exactly their banks robbed us.
But then they rallied with the crisis to makee sure to have our taxpayer bailouts - with the result that they saved the(ir) world and now have the largest surpluses ever. “Governments are rightly taking steps to curb their excesses.” And  “It’s a disgrace that the senior financial surveyors who failed when they should have stopped the financial crisis, still hold powerful positions. They ought to be prosecuted.”. “Globocrats run a multinational organization,” the World.” These “globocrats “(it means the world’s unelected leaders!) are called the world’s shakers and movers, they dictate Russia’s constitution - and the introduction of the euro. Their meetings are the “informal mechanisms of global] powers”. They have so much power that they can stage a “wholesale looting of the system.”
But then: “The way they measure their success is not by how much they pay, but by the returns of their charitable investments, measured in saved or improved lives. The benevolent rich do their part to alleviate social tensions that arise from growing inequality.” Touching. But the matter is that they throw,  let’s say 1% of their prey back to the victims. And then comes the explanation: “For they are dependent on goodwill with customers and constituents.”  Just ask the millions of people who have lost their jobs and homes due to the charity of the globocrats if they still like their tyrants.
Lord, have mercy on us for their charity, which is deductible contributions to eugenics and depopulation - taken from their offshore tax havens. And their beneficial contributions are also bribery to corrupt New World Order dictators, as shown by a recently published unaccounted for loss of 25 million dollars from i.a. Bilderberger Bill Gates´ Global Fund.
And then Bilderberg boss Étienne Davignon has the nerve to sigh: “You can do nothing against a conspiracy theory”. Oh, yes you can, Mr. Davignon: Change your thus revealed blatant, vicious world conspiracy into just pure theory - at once!
I fear that this sudden openness is due to 2 factors: 1 The Bilderbergers are so sure of their victory and our brainwashed indifference that they no longer bother to hide their agenda.  2. Which they cannot, anyway, thanks to researchers such as Daniel Estulin and Jim Tucker and their insider informants.
Did you read anything about this in the MSM – apart from the Economist?
“We are grateful to The Washington Post, The New York Times, Time Magazine and other great publications whose directors have attended our meetings and respected their promises of discretion for almost forty years. It would have been impossible for us to develop our plan for the world if we had been subject to the bright lights of publicity during those years. But, the world is now much more sophisticated and prepared to march towards a world government. The supranational sovereignty of an intellectual elite and world bankers is surely preferable to the national auto-determination practiced in past centuries.” (David Rockefeller  at the Bilderberg Meeting, Essen 1991)

DavignonRompuyThe Bilderberg Club´s, and here, and here is not just a meeting point for the elitists, the puppeteers of “our” politicians and media. They invite coming national and international leaders to let themselves  submit to the NWO. EU´s permanent president, van Rompuy (right), was summoned to an urgent Bilderberg meeting just before he was appointed in 2009. When you sell your soul to the Prince of the World, you can make big career.

The World Economic Forum, Davos is one of the meeting places of these self-appointed Bilderbergers. This annual meeting started again on 26 Jan. 2011 and is perhaps the glitziest of these globocratic gatherings.  Bloomberg 25 Jan. 2011: As Wall Street chief executive officers flock to the World Economic Forum, they’ll be breathing a sigh of relief: There are no panels on compensation or redesigning financial regulation. JP Morgan Chase & Co.’s profits last year were the highest in the bank’s history, and Citigroup Inc. returned money to the U.S. Treasury and reported its first full- year profit since 2007. Governments have so far opted against breaking up or levying extra taxes on banks deemed too big to fail, and the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision (Rothschild division of the Rothschild Bank for Internal Settlements – BIS), which sets global financial-regulatory guidelines, isn’t requiring lenders to meet new capital standards until 2015.

The following is an extract of an article in the British newspaper, the Economist, which has just published a series on global elitists. And there is every reason to believe that what is said in the interview with the  Chairman of the Bilderbergers is true. He is not just Mr. Anybody: Étienne Davignon (left) is former vice-Helle-thorningpresident of the EU Commission and presides over the Bilderberg group. Moreover, the editor ofThe Economist” sometimes participates in the Bilderberg meetings.

This article (excerpt) is the first official description of the Bilderberg Club.

From now on any one who snarls the ususal “Pth!! Conspiracy theory!!” when the Bilderberg Club, The Council on Foreign Relations, and the Trilateral Bill-gatesCommission are mentioned will be either a desperate conspiracist himself or an ignorant. 

Links: Bill Gates, Bilderberger. Right: Denmark´s probably coming primeminister, Helle Thorning-Schmidt was a 2010 participant. Already she is a founding member of the European Council on Foreign Relations – a daughter of the US Council on Foreign Relations at the initiative of the Rothschild agent George Soros.

The Economist 20 Jan 2011Bilderberg is an annual conference for a few dozen of the world’s most influential people. One or two journalists are invited each year, on condition that they abstain from writing about it. (Full disclosure: the editor of The Economist sometimes attends.).

January 29, 2011





Egypt protests: America's secret backing for rebel leaders behind uprising

The American government secretly backed leading figures behind the Egyptian uprising who have been planning “regime change” for the past three years, The Daily Telegraph has learned.

Image 1 of 5
Protesters and army on the streets of Cairo Photo: AP
The American Embassy in Cairo helped a young dissident attend a US-sponsored summit for activists in New York, while working to keep his identity secret from Egyptian state police.
On his return to Cairo in December 2008, the activist told US diplomats that an alliance of opposition groups had drawn up a plan to overthrow President Hosni Mubarak and install a democratic government in 2011.
He has already been arrested by Egyptian security in connection with the demonstrations and his identity is being protected by The Daily Telegraph.
The crisis in Egypt follows the toppling of Tunisian president Zine al-Abedine Ben Ali, who fled the country after widespread protests forced him from office.
The disclosures, contained in previously secret US diplomatic dispatches released by the WikiLeaks website, show American officials pressed the Egyptian government to release other dissidents who had been detained by the police.
Mr Mubarak, facing the biggest challenge to his authority in his 31 years in power, ordered the army on to the streets of Cairo yesterday as rioting erupted across Egypt.
Tens of thousands of anti-government protesters took to the streets in open defiance of a curfew. An explosion rocked the centre of Cairo as thousands defied orders to return to their homes. As the violence escalated, flames could be seen near the headquarters of the governing National Democratic Party.
Police fired rubber bullets and used tear gas and water cannon in an attempt to disperse the crowds.
At least five people were killed in Cairo alone yesterday and 870 injured, several with bullet wounds. Mohamed ElBaradei, the pro-reform leader and Nobel Peace Prize winner, was placed under house arrest after returning to Egypt to join the dissidents. Riots also took place in Suez, Alexandria and other major cities across the country.
William Hague, the Foreign Secretary, urged the Egyptian government to heed the “legitimate demands of protesters”. Hillary Clinton, the US Secretary of State, said she was “deeply concerned about the use of force” to quell the protests.
In an interview for the American news channel CNN, to be broadcast tomorrow, David Cameron said: “I think what we need is reform in Egypt. I mean, we support reform and progress in the greater strengthening of the democracy and civil rights and the rule of law.”
The US government has previously been a supporter of Mr Mubarak’s regime. But the leaked documents show the extent to which America was offering support to pro-democracy activists in Egypt while publicly praising Mr Mubarak as an important ally in the Middle East.
In a secret diplomatic dispatch, sent on December 30 2008, Margaret Scobey, the US Ambassador to Cairo, recorded that opposition groups had allegedly drawn up secret plans for “regime change” to take place before elections, scheduled for September this year.
The memo, which Ambassador Scobey sent to the US Secretary of State in Washington DC, was marked “confidential” and headed: “April 6 activist on his US visit and regime change in Egypt.”
It said the activist claimed “several opposition forces” had “agreed to support an unwritten plan for a transition to a parliamentary democracy, involving a weakened presidency and an empowered prime minister and parliament, before the scheduled 2011 presidential elections”. The embassy’s source said the plan was “so sensitive it cannot be written down”.
Ambassador Scobey questioned whether such an “unrealistic” plot could work, or ever even existed. However, the documents showed that the activist had been approached by US diplomats and received extensive support for his pro-democracy campaign from officials in Washington. The embassy helped the campaigner attend a “summit” for youth activists in New York, which was organised by the US State Department.
Cairo embassy officials warned Washington that the activist’s identity must be kept secret because he could face “retribution” when he returned to Egypt. He had already allegedly been tortured for three days by Egyptian state security after he was arrested for taking part in a protest some years earlier.
The protests in Egypt are being driven by the April 6 youth movement, a group on Facebook that has attracted mainly young and educated members opposed to Mr Mubarak. The group has about 70,000 members and uses social networking sites to orchestrate protests and report on their activities.
The documents released by WikiLeaks reveal US Embassy officials were in regular contact with the activist throughout 2008 and 2009, considering him one of their most reliable sources for information about human rights abuses.

The Week in Review
January 28, 2011 | From theTrumpet.com
Is Egypt in a revolution, has Hezbollah taken over Lebanon, why is Guttenberg a ‘Frankish fir,’ do you pronounced it ‘crime minister’ in Kosovo, and just what is the state of the American union?
Middle East 

Hezbollah-backed leader Najib Mikati was chosen as the new prime minister of Lebanon on January 25. The same day, Sunnis protested during a “day of rage” against what they called Hezbollah’s “soft coup.” Hezbollah’s success confirms that the group is “the country’s most powerful military and political force,” writes Farnaz Fassihi in the Wall Street Journal. Hezbollah brought down the government of Saad Hariri a fortnight ago when its ministers and allies withdrew from the cabinet. Now it has persuaded the majority of Lebanon’s parliament to support Mikati for prime minister. Hezbollah’s takeover is an effort to limit the damage done to the organization by the United Nations-backed Special Tribunal for Lebanon. Mikati has not commented on the tribunal as yet, but it is evident that Hezbollah would only back someone who had agreed to its demands. “The real story behind the coup now under way is that of Iran,” writes Israeli analyst Jonathan Spyer in the Jerusalem Post. “Hezbollah’s rise to power is the latest victory for the Iranian model of combined political militancy and paramilitary strategy …” (January 26).

Egypt took a gigantic step this week toward becoming an Islamist state. On Tuesday, tens of thousands of angry Arabs hit the streets of Egypt in a “day of rage” against the autocratic rule of President Hosni Mubarak. Buoyed by the recent overthrow of the Tunisian government, boisterous mobs in Cairo, Alexandria and other Egyptian cities sent a clear message to their president. “Mubarak, Saudi Arabia awaits you,” shouted some. “Out! Out! Revolution until victory,” chanted others. The protests were the largest Egypt has experienced in more than 30 years. Many say the protests have set off a revolution. Egypt will be in a state of flux at least until September, when presidential elections are slated to occur. The intense political uncertainty and the enraged Arab street seeking representation will benefit Mubarak’s opponents, especially the Muslim Brotherhood, Egypt’s largest opposition movement. On Wednesday, the Islamist group demanded that President Mubarak dissolve the nation’s freshly formed parliament and hold a new election. It also urged Cairo to prosecute corrupt policymakers and repeal a law banning political rallies, and demanded constitutional changes to curb election rigging. In a statement on its website, the Brotherhood threatened that if the Egyptian government “does not move fast and shoulder responsibility to start a serious reform process, stability might not last for long.” For two decades, the Trumpet has forecast, based on Bible prophecy, that the moderate government in Cairo will be replaced by Islamists who will quickly align Egypt with the anti-Israel, radical Islamic administration in Tehran. Events in Egypt this week have undoubtedly brought this shift much closer.

Another round of nuclear talks between Iran and the UN Security Council plus Germany was held January 21-22. Although the Wall Street Journal reported that U.S. and European officials headed into the two-day negotiations with increasing confidence that sanctions and covert actions were taking their toll on Iran’s nuclear program, the talks ended in stalemate. Tehran remains defiant toward the UN Security Council and continues to work toward its goal of becoming a nuclear nation. The talks never got past Tehran’s precondition that the “P5+1″ nations recognize Iran’s “right” to enrich uranium and agree to drop sanctions before substantive negotiations could begin. Besides setting the agenda of the talks, Iran scored another victory by setting the location of the talks in ally Turkey.

More than 1,600 leaked documents detailing dialogue between Palestinian and Israeli officials from 1999 through 2010 have shaken up the Israeli/Palestinian peace process. According to the documents, as late as 2008 Palestinian negotiators understood that a peace deal with Israel would mean that most of the settlements in East Jerusalem, comprising over 200,000 Jews, would remain under Israeli sovereignty. This means Palestinian leaders were actually prepared to negotiate a peace deal with Israel where they would allow most Jewish neighborhoods in East Jerusalem to be part of the Israeli state, instead of being in “occupied territory.” This revelation could not have come at a worse time for the Palestinian Authority, since the very reason it now says it will not return to the negotiating table with Israel is Jewish construction in areas that would occupy land in a future Palestinian state. Furthermore, the documents are an embarrassment to the Obama administration, as it has repeatedly made an Israeli construction freeze the hallmark to its brokering of peace in the Middle East. Not surprisingly, the Palestinian leadership denied the veracity of the documents.


German Defense Minister Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg has defended himself against accusations that he does not control what goes on in his department. “Frankish firs do not fall down,” he said on January 23, as he defended himself against efforts by the Free Democratic Party and Social Democratic Party to blacken his name in the run-up to important state elections in Germany (Bild, January 23). The allusion was to the young aristocrat’s long family heritage of unyielding resistance in the face of battle. It is such charismatic confidence that endears Guttenberg to the German public, while at the same time causing his political enemies such frustration in their efforts to disparage him. Guttenberg ordered an investigation into the recent accidental deaths of two soldiers, as well as the scandal caused by the military opening letters sent home by German troops in Afghanistan. Watch how this most popular of German politicians handles his latest challenge with Frankish aplomb, with the chance of emerging more popular than ever in the public eye, perhaps with his own eye more firmly planted on gaining the chancellorship of Germany himself.

January 28, 2011


Jewish World Review Jan. 28, 2011 / 23 Shevat, 5771

The Pragmatic Fantasy

By Caroline B. Glick

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Today the Egyptian regime faces its gravest threat since Anwar Sadat's assassination thirty years ago. As protesters take to the street for the third day in a row demanding the overthrow of 82-year old President Hosni Mubarak, it is worth considering the possible alternatives to his regime.

Thursday afternoon, Egyptian presidential hopeful Mohammed ElBaradei, the former head of the UN's International Atomic Energy Agency returned to Egypt from Vienna to participate in anti-regime demonstrations. As IAEA head, Elbaradei shielded Iran's nuclear weapons program from the Security Council. He repeatedly ignored evidence indicating that Iran's nuclear program was a military program rather than a civilian energy program. When the evidence became too glaring to ignore, Elbaradei continued to lobby against significant UN Security Council sanctions or other actions against Iran and obscenely equated Israel's purported nuclear program to Iran's.

His actions won him the support of the Iranian regime which he continues to defend. Just last week he dismissed the threat of a nuclear armed Iran telling the Austrian News Agency, "There's a lot of hype in this debate," and asserting that the discredited 2007 US National Intelligence Estimate that claimed Iran abandoned its nuclear weapons program in 2003 remains accurate.

Elbaradei's support for the Iranian ayatollahs is matched by his support for the Muslim Brotherhood. This group, which forms the largest and best organized opposition movement to the Mubarak regime is the progenitor of Hamas and al Qaida. It seeks Egypt's transformation into an Islamic regime that will stand at the forefront of the global jihad. In recent years, the Muslim Brotherhood has been increasingly drawn into the Iranian nexus along with Hamas. Muslim Brotherhood attorneys represented Hizbullah terrorists arrested in Egypt in 2009 for plotting to conduct spectacular attacks aimed at destroying the regime.

Elbaradei has been a strong champion of the Muslim Brotherhood. Just this week he gave an interview to Der Spiegel defending the jihadist movement. As he put it, "We should stop demonizing the Muslim Brotherhood. …[T]hey have not committed any acts of violence in five decades. They too want change. If we want democracy and freedom, we have to include them instead of marginalizing them." The Muslim Brotherhood for its part has backed Elbaradei's political aspirations. On Thursday it announced it would demonstrate at ElBaradei's side the next day.

Then there is the Kifaya movement. The group sprang onto the international radar screen in 2004 when it demanded open presidential elections and called on Mubarak not to run for a fifth term. As a group of intellectuals claiming to support liberal, democratic norms, Kifaya has been upheld as a model of what the future of Egypt could look like if liberal forces are given the freedom to lead.

But Kifaya's roots and basic ideology are not liberal. They are anti-Semitic and anti-American. Kifaya was formed as a protest movement against Israel with the start of the Palestinian terror war in 2000. It gained force in March 2003 when it organized massive protests against the US-led invasion of Iraq. In 2006 its campaign to get a million Egyptians to sign a petition demanding the abrogation of Egypt's peace treaty with Israel received international attention.