Egypt May Announce Muslim Brotherhood Candidate's Victory on Sunday

Egypt May Announce Muslim Brotherhood Candidate's Victory on Sunday

This morning’s key headlines from

  • Greece seeks two-year delay on new austerity measures
  • Egypt may announce Muslim Brotherhood candidate’s victory on Sunday
  • Turkey says ‘We are 100% right’ in blaming Syria for shooting down plane
  • Syria’s pilots may be intentionally missing civilian targets
  • Clinton says that some in Iran would welcome an attack

Greece seeks two-year delay on new austerity measures

Cartoon by Kipper Williams (Guardian)
Cartoon by Kipper Williams (Guardian)

Greece’s new coalition government is asking European leaders to grant a two-year delay on new austerity measures committed in return for the €130 billion bailout package. They are requesting no further reductions in wages or pensions, and no more taxes. Instead of the the €50bn of privatizations demanded by European officials, they’re requesting public-private partnerships instead of outright sales. German chancellor Angela Merkel has made it clear that she has no intention of renegotiating the Greek package, which was agreed in February after weeks of talks – though Europe’s leaders may fear the reaction of Greece’s voters if they fail to offer them anything. Furthermore, Greece’s negotiating position in sweek, because they need a new bailout payment within the next few days. Guardian

Egypt may announce Muslim Brotherhood candidate’s victory on Sunday

Egypt’s Supreme Presidential Electoral Commission is expected to announce the winner of last weekend’s presidential runoff at 3 pm local time on Sunday. Informal estimates of the vote count indicate that the Muslim Brotherhood candidate Mohamed Mursi has gotten about one million votes more than his opponent, former fighter pilot and Hosni Mubarak appointee Ahmed Shafiq. It’s widely believed that the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) is doing everything it can to prevent the Muslim Brotherhood from coming to power, but stories are coming out indicating that MB and SCAF are heavily engaged in negotiations to produce a “political deal” to prevent further turmoil after the announcement. The reports indicate that the compromise would involve the following:

  • Mohamed Mursi would be declared President.
  • MB will accept the SCAF’s decree last week of a constitutional annex that gives SCAF some of the powers formerly assigned to the President. However, some of the powers are still being negotiated.
  • The Parliament will not dissolved, as previously announced, and reelections would only be held for the one-third of seats that the Supreme Court ruled invalid. In January’s Parliamentary election, the Muslim Brotherhood about half the seats.

If there is no deal, then it’s expected that Ahmed Shafiq will become the president, and the entire parliament will be dissolved. It’s expected that this will result in massive street protests. Al-Ahram (Cairo)

Turkey says ‘We are 100% right’ in blaming Syria for shooting down plane

Syrian TV depiction of warplane's meandering path between Cyprus and Syria (SANA/BBC)
Syrian TV depiction of warplane’s meandering path between Cyprus and Syria (SANA/BBC)

Turkey says that the fighter jet shot down on Friday by Syria may have briefly violated Syria’s airspace, but an official source is saying, “We have necessary information showing that the Turkish plane was shot at without any warning.” According to another official,

“We are 100 percent right and the act of Syrian regime is against all dynamics of international law. All data about the incident confirms that.”

Turkey will make a more detailed announcement on Sunday. Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan is calling a meeting of leaders of the main political parties on Sunday to discuss the incident. This is an unusual move, and suggests they may be discussing a military response. According to one source, “We are not considering a military action now, but we want to inform the opposition and we want to keep all options open.” Hurriyet (Istanbul)

Syria’s pilots may be intentionally missing civilian targets

The Syrian military’s use of tanks and helicopters has been remarkably ineffective in combat against rebel forces, a shortcoming so consistent that it raises the question of whether some pilots and troops may be intentionally missing when they target rebel positions. Most pilots are Sunni Muslims, and Sunni Muslim civilians have been the principal targets of the Bashar al-Assad regime. McClatchyFrom the point of view of Generational Dynamics, this kind of development is expected. Syria is in a generational Awakening era, during which a crisis civil war is impossible, as I’ve written many times. The memories of the bloody, brutal, genocidal Syrian civil war, that climaxed in 1982 with he slaughter of thousands of people in a few days in Hama, are still fresh in everyone’s minds, and there is absolutely no desire among the people risk a recurrence. Al-Assad’s regime is trying to relive the glory days of 1982, but it hasn’t been successful. At some point in the not to distant future, this conflict is simply going to fizzle, and the half-hearted involvement of the pilots described above, as well as the recent defection of an air force pilot, indicate that most people in Syria do not have their hearts in this fight.

Clinton says that some in Iran would welcome an attack

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said that there are those in Iran that would like an attack to occur, in order to unify the country and legitimize the regime. She said that there’s a vigorous debate going on within Iran’s leadership:

There are those who say look, these sanctions are really biting, we’re not making the kind of economic progress we should be making, we don’t give up that much by saying we’re not going to do a nuclear weaponAnd then frankly, there are those who are saying the best thing that could happen to us is be attacked by somebody, just bring it on, because that would unify us, it would legitimize the regime.

This is exactly the kind of thing that I’ve been saying for five or six years. (See “China ‘betrays’ Iran, as internal problems in both countries mount” from 2008.)Like Syria, Iran is in a generational Awakening era, and the hardliners are trying to relive their glory days of the 1979 Great Islamic Revolution. At that time, an external threat unified the country under the charismatic Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini. But in the last few years, that unity has fallen apart, as young students have led protests against the hardline survivors of the 1979 war. The hardliners would like to get that unity back again, and so they’d like to see a repeat of what happened in 1979. Unfortunately, they don’t understand generational theory, so they don’t understand that that kind of unity is impossible in an Awakening era. They also don’t understand that even if that kind of external attack occurred, it’s just as likely the young generation would blame Iran’s leaders for provoking the attack, rather than the attackers. Haaretz