World View: U.S., Israeli Forces on Alert as Egypt Begins Major Military Action on Israel's Border
This morning's key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com
- Egypt launches a major military action into Sinai on Israel border
- Israel and U.S. forces go on alert over fear of wider war
- Palestinians ask for an airport as Kerry pursues farcical 'peace process'
- Thousands of Russians protest over conviction of Putin opponent
- Espionage suspect Edward Snowden may be trapped in Russia
Egypt launches a major military action into Sinai on Israel border
Egyptian forces in northern Sinai (AFP)
Egypt's army is launching a major military offensive, dubbed Fattah 2
(Conquest 2) against a coalition of aggressive Salafists, Muslim
Brotherhood operatives, Hamas and Jihad Islami groups conducting
terrorist attacks in Egypt's Sinai region, on the border with Gaza and
Israel. The security situation in Sinai has been getting increasingly
unstable since the ouster of former president Mohamed Morsi. In the
past two weeks, 39 terrorist attacks have occurred. In the resulting
clashes between armed groups and security forces, 52 gunmen and
civilians and six security personnel have died. Tensions have also
flared at the illegal smuggling tunnels on the border with Gaza, with
one Central Security conscript killed by smugglers on Thursday. The
tunnels, which are considered a lifeline for Gaza, are being blocked
or destroyed by the Egyptian army.
Muslim Brotherhood sources claim that the army is fabricating
terrorist attacks in Sinai in order to label the Brotherhood
"terrorists." However, most Sinai tribal leaders believe that the
sudden surge in violence is linked to the ouster of Mohamed Morsi.
New groups have sprung up, with such names as as "The Legitimacy
Brigades" or "The Legitimacy and Victory Brigade," where "legitimacy"
refers to the Egypt's first free election, and it's victory for Morsi.
There's evidence that the situation in Sinai is attracting jihadist
fighters from North Africa (Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb or AQIM)
and from al-Qaeda in Pakistan. In that sense, the Sinai is competing
with Syria, which is also attracting jihadists from locations
throughout Asia. Al-Ahram (Cairo) and Debka
Israel and U.S. forces go on alert over fear of wider war
Israel is increasingly uncomfortable with the buildup of Egyptian
military forces near its border in the Sinai. These forces violate
the 1979 peace treaty between the two countries, but Israel has been
compelled to give permission because of the increasing security
Israeli forces along the Egyptian and Gaza borders are on alert; so
too are the 2,600 US Marines aboard two amphibious helicopter carriers
anchored opposite the Red Sea shores of Southern Sinai and the Gulf of
Suez since the start of the Egyptian crisis.
Israeli defense officials are concerned about an escalating war, and
the army is preparing for scenarios where violence spreads across the
border into Israel. There is also concern that Egypt's armed forces
will enter Gaza, as the interim government has already accused Hamas
of contributing to the unrest in Sinai. YNet
Palestinians ask for an airport as Kerry pursues farcical 'peace process'
The so-called Mideast "peace process" has been a farce for years, but
that doesn't prevent U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry from flying
around the Mideast declaring that he's going to be the one to bring
the sides together and create a wonderful peace between Israel and the
Palestinians for now and forever. Kerry met with Palestinian
President Mahmoud Abbas in Amman, Jordan, on Wednesday, and apparently
Abbas gave Kerry a new message: Abbas will not agree to new "peace
process" talks unless Israel approves the building of an airport in
Palestinian capital Ramallah in the West Bank. The airport would
serve helicopters and light planes. It's unlikely that the Israelis
will go along with this, presumably because terrorist attacks could be
launched from an airport. YNet
Thousands of Russians protest over conviction of Putin opponent
Thousands of Russians protested in Moscow on Thursday, as opposition
leader Alexei Navalny was led off in handcuffs after a court convicted
him and sentenced him with five years in jail for allegedly embezzling
money from a timber firm where he had served as an advisor. It's
widely believed that there is no evidence supporting the conviction.
The EU said the verdict posed "serious questions" about the state of
Russian law, while the US said it was "deeply disappointed."
Starting in 2008, Navalny began blogging about government corruption,
and by 2011 he was inspiring mass protests against president Vladimir
Putin, calling his United Russia party the "party of crooks and
thieves." He was arrested and imprisoned for 15 days in December of
last year, and then went on trial for embezzlement this year,
receiving a conviction on Thursday. He appeals to Russian
nationalists by referring to migrants as "rotten teeth" and
"cockroaches." It's widely believed that the prosecution
and conviction of Navalny originated from Putin's office.
Long time web site readers may recall that back in 2004 I followed
the situation with Russian energy firm Yukos pretty closely.
In 2003, Yukos supplied 11.4% of all the oil in the whole world. By
the end of 2004, Yukos was defunct.
At the beginning of 2004, Putin was denying that he had any evil
intentions toward Yukos. Putin began by jailing Yukos CEO Mikhail
Khodorkovsky on trumped-up political charges. (He's still in jail,
incidentally.) By the end of the year, Yukos had been dismantled and nationalized by means of the most
bizarre series of steps imaginable.
At the beginning of 2004, I was wondering what Putin had in mind. By
the end of the year, it was obvious that Putin had lied about his
intentions, and that he was willing to use any means available to him
to get what he wants, while still retaining personal deniability. The
situation with Navalny seems to indicate that's still true. Ria Novosti (Moscow) and BBC
Espionage suspect Edward Snowden may be trapped in Russia
Some Russian officials are suggesting that U.S. traitor Edward
Snowden, who committed anti-American espionage, fled to Hong Kong and
then to Moscow, will not be permitted to leave Russia, and that he's
no longer in the airport, but is in a safe house control by the
Initially, Russia's president Vladimir Putin said:
"We told him [Snowden], he may stay [in Russia] if he
stops hindering our relations with the US, but he
Snowden refused these terms, but his attempts to flee to an
anti-American Latin America country have been repeatedly thwarted.
Thus, on July 12 he finally changed his mind, and requested "Temporary
political asylum," which does not exist in Russia, so he's apparently
given temporary refugee status, "because of humanitarian
considerations." Under the terms of his refugee status, an official
announced, "We warned Snowden that any activity that may undermine
US-Russian relations is unacceptable." Putin added: "I do not
understand why Snowden decided to stay all his life in Russia, but
that is his choice."
I've actually thought for a long time that Snowden would never
be permitted to leave Russia. The reason is that if Snowden
has all this intelligence information, then there must a lot
of it pertaining to Russia and to Putin himself. If Snowden
fled to Venezuela, then the politicians there would gleefully
expose Putin's secrets, as well as U.S. secrets.
But there's a second reason as well. The U.S. is holding
a Russian defector who has disclosed the names of a number
of Russian spies. The U.S. is in a position, if it desired,
to publicly disclose information about Russia spying on
its own neighbors, including the countries in the former Soviet
Union. This would be extremely embarrassing to Putin.
So the traitor who thinks the U.S. is so awful that he decided to
betray his country out may now be trapped in the wonderful (formerly)
socialist paradise of Russia, where he can contemplate the differences
between the two countries. Gee, I hope they don't waterboard him.
(wink wink) Jamestown
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