World View: Car Bomb in Hezbollah's Lebanon Stronghold Kills 20

This morning's key headlines from

  • Car bomb in Hezbollah's Lebanon stronghold kills 20
  • Egypt and Turkey recall ambassadors, as countries pick sides
  • Good news is bad news on Wall Street

Car bomb in Hezbollah's Lebanon stronghold kills 20

Fire engines at the scene of Thursday's explosion in Beirut (Reuters)
Fire engines at the scene of Thursday's explosion in Beirut (Reuters)

A Sunni Muslim Islamist group called "the Brigades of Aisha" claimed responsibility for a large car bomb that killed 20 people, injured hundreds, and damaged numerous cars and buildings in Beirut, Lebanon, on Thursday, in a stronghold of the Iran-linked Shia Muslim terrorist group Hezbollah. The Islamist group issued a video statement addressed to Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah:

"This is the second time that we decide the place of the battle and its timing...And you will see more, God willing."

This was the largest in a series of terrorist acts directed at Lebanon's Hezbollah group, ever since Nasrallah publicly announced that Hezbollah would actively fight side-by-side with Syria's psychopathic president Bashar al-Assad in his quest to exterminate Sunni women and children in Syria. Every since Nasrallah made his announcement in early May, sectarian tensions pitting Sunnis and Shias against each other have surged throughout the Mideast. Al-Qaeda is taking credit for the unraveling security chaos in Iraq. Reuters and BBC

Egypt and Turkey recall ambassadors, as countries pick sides

The official death count by Egypt's Interior Ministry from the clashes that followed Tuesday's "dispersal" of Muslim Brotherhood supporters has now risen about 600. The coup ousting Egypt's Islamist president Mohamed Morsi has been a bitter disappointment for Turkey's prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who has led an Islamist government in Turkey for many years. And now Erdogan is harshly criticizing the Tuesday's violence and the security forces' "bloody intervention":

"We strongly condemn that the Egyptian administration has once again resorted to violence against peaceful demonstrations despite all warnings.

The incumbent administration which intervened in the democratic and civilian regime through a coup d'état is responsible for the loss of lives of the brotherly Egyptian people since the 30th of June. [The latest developments are a] great blow to hopes for Egypt to return to democracy through an inclusive transition process."

On Thursday, Turkey withdrew its ambassador from Cairo "for consultations," and Egypt quickly followed by withdrawing its own ambassador from Ankara.

Just as the population of Egypt is itself bitterly divided, countries are lining up on different sides. The United Arab Emirates (UAE) foreign ministry statement said:

"The UAE ... re-affirms its understanding of the sovereign measures taken by the Egyptian government after having exercised maximum self-control. What is regretful is that political extremist groups have insisted on the rhetoric of violence, incitement, disruption of public interests."

As we've recently reported, Egypt has been promised $12 billion in aid from Gulf Arab states that don't like or trust the Muslim Brotherhood -- Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates (UAE), and Kuwait.

This is significant for American foreign policy. Washington is debating whether to threaten to cut off American aid to Egypt, in order to gain leverage. But America's $1.3 billion in aid is only a small fraction of the aid they're getting from the Arab states, which means that America really doesn't have much leverage at all.

President Obama has managed to infuriate and alienate just about every faction in Egypt. The Islamists are furious because he doesn't support Morsi, who was the first democratically elected president in Egypt's history. The secularists are furious because Obama appears to be taking the side of the MB supporters by criticizing the government's violence, but ignoring the violence by MB activists against police and Christian churches.

President Obama's Mideast policies have been a disaster at every turn, as we've been documenting, and Egypt is no exception. Why is President Obama lecturing and moralizing to the Egyptian people on a regular basis? Why is President Obama constantly interfering in Egypt's politics? How did the Administration get into such a mess in Egypt? In my opinion, the disaster began with President Obama's "apology tour" speech in Cairo in 2009, where he made promises that could never be kept, with the result that he has no credibility left with anyone. Like many young Gen-Xers, President Obama is absolutely certain that he knows absolutely more than anyone else in the world, and rather than take some advice from his elders, he goes off and makes one mistake after another. Daily News Egypt and Hurriyet (Ankara)

Good news is bad news on Wall Street

Some analysts are blaming Thursday's 225 point stock market plunge on a relatively good unemployment data on Thursday morning. The reasoning is that better unemployment data means that the Federal Reserve will begin to "taper" its monthly $85 billion quantitative easing, which is the only thing holding up the stock market. As I've said in the past, it's like we're all watching a dreadful horror movie, but we're locked in the movie theatre and can't get out. Washington Post

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