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3-Feb-12 World View: Panetta Says Israel May Strike Iran in April, May, or June

This morning’s key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com.

  • Suspicions grow of planned massacre at soccer game in Egypt
  • Panetta’s Afghanistan announcement stirs confusion and fears
  • Panetta says Israel may strike Iran in April, May or June

Suspicions grow of planned massacre at soccer game in Egypt


Thousands of Egyptians march in a protest from the Al-Ahly club to the headquarters of the ministry of interior in Cairo. (AFP)
Thousands of Egyptians march in a protest from the Al-Ahly club to the headquarters of the ministry of interior in Cairo. (AFP)

Some people thought that Egypt was finally beginning to calm down, a year after the start of the Egyptian Revolution, but the deaths of 74 young people on Wednesday at a football (soccer) match in Port Said, with over 1,000 injured, has enraged tens of thousands of Egyptians, especially in Cairo. There were plenty of riot police present at the game, but video shows that they allowed the violence to continue without interference, and they may even have aided the violence by blocking the escape route of the victims. The victims were fans of the visiting team, Cairo’s Al-Ahly football club, a group that had actively taken part in the Tahrir Square protests during the past year, and the suspicion is widespread that police were responsible for the violence, in order to get revenge against the Al-Ahly team. On Thursday, thousands of protesters marched from the Al-Ahly club in Cairo to the headquarters of the ministry of interior, chanting “This was not a sports accident, this was a military massacre.” Black-clad riot police fired tear gas at them, resulting in hundreds of new injuries. Much larger protests are expected on Friday, when people come pouring out of mosques after midday prayers. The National (UAE)

Panetta’s Afghanistan announcement stirs confusion and fears

Wednesday’s surprise announcement by Defense Secretary Leon Panetta that U.S. forces would end combat operations a year earlier, in 2013 instead of 2014, has caused some confusion. In Kabul, a senior Afghan security official said his government had not been informed of Panetta’s announcement and said it “throws out the whole transition plan.” He said, “Transition has been planned against a timetable and this makes us rush all our preparations. If the Americans withdraw from combat, it will certainly have an effect on our readiness and training, and on equipping the police force.” Reuters

Panetta says Israel may strike Iran in April, May or June

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said on Thursday that he believes there is a strong likelihood that Israel will strike Iran in April, May or June. Israel believes that that’s the time frame just before Iran enters a “zone of immunity,” when it will no longer be possible militarily to prevent Iran from developing a nuclear weapon, because there will be enough enriched uranium stored in deep underground facilities. Panetta’s statement was startling and exceptionally specific, giving rise to speculation about a hidden message that Israel is on its own with an attack on Iran. Washington Post

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