World View: Afghan Taliban Scores Another Big Terror Attack in Kabul

World View: Afghan Taliban Scores Another Big Terror Attack in Kabul

This morning’s key headlines from

  • Egypt’s Morsi gives angry, desperate speech to save his job
  • Egypt’s deposed president Hosni Mubarak says Morsi should resign
  • Afghan Taliban scores another big terror attack in Kabul
  • Greece and Portugal compete for this week’s biggest euro crisis

Egypt’s Morsi gives angry, desperate speech to save his job

Fireworks burst over anti-Morsi protesters in Cairo's Tahrir Square (AP)
Fireworks burst over anti-Morsi protesters in Cairo’s Tahrir Square (AP)

The job of Egypt’s president Mohamed Morsi appeared increasingly shakyon Tuesday in another day of massive anti-Morsi protests countered bymuch smalled pro-Morsi protests, as as five cabinet ministers andseveral other high government officials all resigned from thegovernment. At the end of the day, a furious Morsi gave an hour-longtelevised speech running past midnight, punching the air and poundingthe podium, warning that he was the country’s legitimately electedpresident and must be permitted to serve out his four-year term:

“It is normal after revolution for there to beopposition and support. We wrote a constitution and it was(passed) via referendum. We had legitimacy afterwards, and thislegitimacy is what guarantees for us that there be no infightingbetween us and no bloodshed if we respect it. …

The old regime don’t want democracy. They’re used to riggingelections. They don’t know what democracy and freedom ofexpression are. They are using the youth and those suffering fromthe economic problems to sow chaos and violence. Why doesn’t thisviolence appear until they announce they will change the regimeand abort democracy? …

My message to you all, to the opposition, is that I will stand bythis legitimacy. And to the supporters who respect democracy andlove legitimacy, safeguard Egypt and the revolution. Don’t let therevolution be stolen from you, opponents and supporters. …

I want to say some clear points… There is no alternative forlegitimacy, constitutional legitimacy, legal legitimacy, thelegitimacy of elections held before. After this I decided thereis no alternative for legitimacy and keeping an open channel fordialogue…Legitimacy is the only guarantee against violence. Theold regime won’t return….If this initiative isn’t accepted, thecountry will go down a dark road and we’ll be back to square one.

To save the nation we need to sacrifice, but not against eachother….when we announce jihad that must be against foreignenemies and not against each other. We sacrifice for our countryand I am the first to sacrifice. If the cost for legitimacy is myblood I will give it easily. There are many challenges but thebiggest is not to fall in the trap and take the country in thewrong direction, and make our enemies happy.

My iron will is with my people and is unshaken.”

The army has issued an ultimatum saying that unless a politicalagreement is reached by Wednesday, then they will lay out a politicalroadmap to amend the constitution and have elections within sixmonths. Morsi’s defiant speech was his response.

According to one report, the army turned against Morsi two weeks ago,when he was speaking at an international conference on Syria beingheld in Cairo. At that conference, he used the word “infidels” todenounce both the Shia militants supporting Syria’s president Basharal-Assad, and the secularists opposing him in Egypt. Even worse,Morsi suggested that Egypt’s army join the fight against al-Assad.According to one anonymous army source, “The armed forces were veryalarmed by the Syrian conference at a time the state was going througha major political crisis.”Al-Ahram (Cairo) and Reuters

Egypt’s deposed president Hosni Mubarak says Morsi should resign

Hosni Mubarak, who ruled Egypt for decades until he was deposed by theJanuary 2011 “Egyptian revolution,” and is now in jail, says that hestepped down in 2011 because he wanted to respond to the demands ofthe people and to “save lives.” He says that Morsi should step downfor the same reason. Al-Arabiya

Afghan Taliban scores another big terror attack in Kabul

Ruins of Nato supply building in Kabul on Tuesday (AP)
Ruins of Nato supply building in Kabul on Tuesday (AP)

The Afghan Taliban are taking credit for a truck bomb and gun attackon a Nato supply company, killing nine people, including fourNepalese, one Briton, one Romanian, and three Afghans. According tothe Taliban statement:

“An important foreign logistic and supply facility wasattacked, first by an explosive-filled truck which removed all thebarriers and followed by devoted mujahideen armed with small andheavy weapons entering the base.”

You may recall, Dear Reader, that this is the same Taliban to whichthe U.S. administration is making one concession after another, in itsdesperate attempt to reach a peace agreement with, rather than face amilitary disaster as troops are withdrawn in 2014. President BarackObama said recently that he expected “a lot of bumps in the road” toachieving a peace settlement, and so I guess this major attack on aNato facility in Kabul is just one of those bumps. At any rate, the

Greece and Portugal compete for this week’s biggest euro crisis

Spiegel is reporting that Greece can expect a new “haircut” afterGermany’s elections three months from now. According to the report,the reason that German chancellor Angela Merkel is saying that no newhaircut will be necessary is because doing so would her reelectionchances.

What we’re talking about here is investors who hold bonds issuedby Greece (Greece’s version of U.S. Treasury bonds). When thebailout agreement on July 21, 2011, was announced with greatjoyous fanfare and singing and dancing, the eurozone financeministers said that these investors would have to take a 21%and that they would do “voluntarily.” Things went downhillafter that. Every time the eurozone finance ministers held a meeting,the amount of the haircut went up — to 50%, then 60%, then 70%,and finally at 74%. That is, an investor who held $1 million inGreek bonds would now have only $260,000 in bonds. So if thereport is correct, then investors in Greek bonds are going to loseeven more.

However, that crisis is at least 3 months off. Greece faces a muchbigger crisis this weekend. Representatives of the “troika” oforganizations bailing out Greece — the European Commission (EC), theEuropean Central Bank (ECB) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF)– are in Athens again this week, and they’re saying that Greece hasnot sufficiently reduced its public sector to meet its bailoutconditions. If Greece fails to convince the troika that it’s ontarget, then IMF rules will require that it back out of the bailout,and Greece will go bankrupt in August, when it has to pay about 2.2billion euros to bondholders. So it’s going to be one of thoseweekends when everyone is in a state of panic, and then on Sundaynight a new agreement is announced with great joyous fanfare andsinging and dancing, and it will be just as much of a scam as all theother bailout announcements.

Meanwhile, the government in Portugal appears to be collapsing, as twocabinet ministers resigned this week over bitter disagreements overthe terms of Portugal’s bailout program. Like Greece, Portugal is farfrom meeting the austerity commitments for its bailout, and theeconomy appears bleaker every week. Spiegel and Reuters and BBC

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