World View: Militant Attacks in Sinai May Force Egypt-Israel Peace Treaty to Reopen

This morning's key headlines from

  • Pakistan Minister puts out $100,000 contract on filmmaker
  • Japanese companies begin resuming operations in China
  • Militant attacks in Sinai may force Egypt-Israel peace treaty to reopen
  • Germany and France commemorate de Gaulle's speech 50 years ago

Pakistan Minister puts out $100,000 contract on filmmaker

Railway Minister Ghulam Ahmed Bilour on Saturday
Railway Minister Ghulam Ahmed Bilour on Saturday

Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, the man considered responsible for the movie "Innocence of Muslims," which triggered numerous anti-American protests by Muslims in several countries, has gone into hiding with his family. Pakistan's Railways Minister Ghulam Ahmed Bilour on Saturday offered a $100,000 bounty to anyone who could kill Nakoula. Bilour said he knew that he was committing a crime by instigating people for murder, but said that he was ready to be a criminal for this cause:

"I request all the rich people to bring out all their money so that the killer can be loaded with dollars and gold. ...

If there is a case lodged against me in the international court or in this country’s court, I will ask people to hand me over to them. ... I want to show these countries that we will not tolerate any such things."

Bildour also requested help from the Taliban and al-Qaeda, a statement that drew furious responses from Pakistan's government, including the president and prime minister. Senator Zahid Khan, a spokesman for the Awami National Party, which is Bildour's political party, said:

"We believe in nonviolence. How could we make such announcements? Our party has been fighting against militancy and extremism for years. How could we invite Taliban and al Qaeda to kill someone? Taliban and al Qaeda are our enemies who have killed our loved ones. We have lots of concerns over the statement of our colleague."

There have been some reports that Bildour's Railway Ministry is in trouble because he can't keep the trains running on time. Daily Times (Lahore) and CNN

Japanese companies begin resuming operations in China

Japan’s three biggest carmakers -- Toyota, Nissan Motor Co. and Honda -- had their dealerships and factories in China trashed by Chinese mobs last week, over the dispute between Japan and China over the Senkaku/Diaoyu islands. The same was true of Japan's electronics firms, including Canon Inc. and Panasonic Corp. The riots and violence reached a peak on Tuesday, which was the 81st anniversary of Japan's 1931 invasion of Manchuria. By Friday, the riots and demonstrations had settled down, and Japanese firms have been resuming operations.

Although both governments have attempted to de-escalate the situation, tensions have been growing on both sides, and there are fears that a mistake or miscalculation could trigger a military clash. A mistake did occur last week: No sooner had China lifted its annual fishing moratorium on fishing in the East China Sea than an erroneous report ostentatiously announced 1,000 small fishing boats were headed to the islands. According to a Jamestown analysis:

"[A recent Chinese commentary] made it clear that China today is not the China that a recently industrialized Japan easily defeated in 1894 when the territory under contest was Korea. In fact, China today is not the China of 2005 or 2010, when relations between the two countries also soured. ... At some point, Beijing may rule that Japan has crossed a line and decide to retaliate. Tokyo’s gambling, for its own domestic agenda, is all the more dangerous because of the opacity that characterizes government operations in China as well as the internal tensions generated by factionalism within the CCP ahead of a power transition. These factors make it very difficult for outside observers to know with certainty what will trigger what response from Beijing. This is especially true if Beijing senses that domestic dissatisfaction with the economy is threatening its legitimacy, which could then make an external distraction—and nothing serves that purpose better than Japan—all the more appealing. This also makes it possible for hardline elements within the CCP and the PLA to exploit tensions to shape the composition of the future Politburo ahead of the transition later this year."

Though China's politicians may try to de-escalate the tensions, the Chinese people have been growing increasingly nationalistic and xenophobic every year in the last decade, and at some point the people will force the government to take harsher action, as the analysis indicates.

Several web site readers have asked my why China and Japan are fighting over two insignificant, uninhabitable rocks in the middle of the East China Sea. The reason is because the owner of the islands gets with them control over a 200 mile Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) around the islands, and it's believed that the region around the islands contains trillions of dollars in oil and gas deposits. The same is true of the Paracel and Spratly islands in the South China Sea, which is why China is using its vast military power to confiscate islands that have historically belonged to other countries. Bloomberg and Jamestown

Militant attacks in Sinai may force Egypt-Israel peace treaty to reopen

Terrorists in the Sinai, along the border between Israel and Egypt, fired on Israeli soldiers on Friday, killing one. The increase in attacks from Sinai militants is forcing reconsideration of the 1979 Egypt-Israeli peace treaty, which restricts the number of soldiers and tanks that Egypt is permitted to send to the Sinai. There wasn't a problem when Hosni Mubarak was president, since he kept the Sinai under iron control, but since he was deposed, the Sinai has become ungovernable, and the Bedouin tribes have been infiltrated with al-Qaeda militants. The Egyptians would like to increase the number of soldiers and military equipment in the Sinai, but they're restricted by the peace treaty. On Sunday, Israeli officials said that they would resist any attempts to reconsider the terms of the peace treaty. Israel's foreign minister Avigdor Lieberman said on Sunday:

"The Egyptians shouldn't try to delude themselves or delude others, and they should not rely on this demand. The problem in Sinai is not the size of the forces, it is their readiness to fight, to put pressure and to carry out the job as is needed."

However, the Israelis may be forced to change their minds because of the increase in militant attacks. Egyptian Foreign Affairs Council member Ahmed Abdel Halim said Sunday:

"We have informed Israel that we were sending more troops than allowed in the Camp David Accords, so we could conclude all the military operations in Sinai. This is so that Israel stays calm; we will not act against it."

AP and Ynet

Germany and France commemorate de Gaulle's speech 50 years ago

Charles de Gaulle in Germany, 1962
Charles de Gaulle in Germany, 1962

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and France's president François Hollande attended a ceremony in Ludwigsburg Germany on Saturday, commemorating the 50'th anniversary of the September 21, 1962, speech by Charles leader Charles de Gaulle. The speech was extremely passionate, and marked a turning point in the relations between the two bitter World War II enemies. Speaking in German, de Gaulle said,


"I congratulate you, also, for being young Germans, which means you are children of a great people. That's right, a great people! Which has also made some great mistakes in the course of its history."

A few months later, in January 1963, de Gaulle and Chancellor Konrad Adenauer signed the Elysée Treaty or Treaty of Friendship. Deutsche Welle and German History Center

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