Deputy Secretary of State William Burns, the first senior US official to visit Cairo since the military coup of July 3, exchanged tough talk with the coup leader, Defense minister Gen. Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, Monday, after he met interim President Adly Mansour and Prime Minister Hazem al-Beblawi.
The general frankly advised Washington to be more realistic about the situation in Egypt. Accordingly to DEBKAfile’s Middle East sources, El-Sisi asked Burns bluntly why the Obama administration backed the Muslim Brotherhood and appeared to accept an Egypt plunged in chaos and economic meltdown during Mohamed Morsi’s one-year presidency. Article here
Mustafa Bakari, an Egyptian politician, issued a brutal assessment of U.S. Ambassador to Egypt, Anne Patterson. Bakari stated, “In my opinion, she [Patterson] is a member of the sleeper cells of the Brotherhood, likely recruited by Essam al-Erian or Muhammad al-Baltagi.”
In a June 18 speech, Patterson made the following statement in a speech about the turmoil in Egypt:
“Some say that street action will produce better results than elections,” Patterson said. “To be honest, my government and I are deeply skeptical.”
Patterson, who is reportedly in line for a promotion as Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs, has been increasingly viewed, according to Hudson, as the “key implementer for a policy that at least offers tacit support to the Muslim Brotherhood.” Article here
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told CBS News’ Face the Nation that Iran will reach the “red line” he laid down at the United Nations in Sep. 2012–90% uranium enrichment–within “a few weeks,” and that Israel will be prepared to act. “I won’t wait until it’s too late,” he told CBS News’ Bob Schieffer.
Netanyahu described Rouhani as a “wolf in sheep’s clothing” whose strategy was “smile, and build a bomb.” He insisted that Iran “stop all enrichment of nuclear material, take out the enriched uranium, and shut down the illegal nuclear facility in Qom,” or face harsher sanctions and, in the last resort, military action. Article here
Thursday, the Egyptian military reported that a security operation carried out by the armed forces in northern Sinai in the past 48 hours had led to the deaths of 10 jihadists. Armed militants killed three Egyptian policemen in earlier separate attacks overnight.
Thursday, DEBKAfile reported that the security situation in Sinai and along the Egypt-Israel frontier is rapidly going from bad to worse. The Islamist coalition’s war on Egyptian police and military positions has gone far beyond the isolated strikes here and there reported by official spokesmen, DEBKAfile’s military sources report.
Hundreds of Salafist Bedouin, Muslim Brotherhood adherents and Palestinian Hamas and Islamic Jihad fighters from the Gaza Strip have joined forces to block northern Sinai’s key road arteries. They have stopped traffic to the Egyptian-Israeli border terminal at Nitzana, to the US-led multinational national observer base at Al Gora near El Arish, and to the big cement factory built by the Egyptian military in El Arish which is the region’s main source of employment.
By blocking those roads, the Islamist fighters have choked off the movement of goods between Egypt and Israel and placed 1,000 MFO troops, including some American officers, under siege. Any vehicle driving in or out of Al Gora comes under anti-tank rocket fire. Flyers have been distributed forbidding locals to take jobs with Egyptian security forces or MFO.
The Islamists are now attacking Egyptian military and security targets at the rate of 30 strikes a day, traveling at speed between targets in minivans on which rocket launchers and heavy machine guns are mounted, or using motorbikes for raiders brandishing rocket-propelled grenades. Article here
Collect it all:
In late 2005, as Iraqi roadside bombings were nearing an all-time peak, the National Security Agency’s newly appointed chief began pitching a radical plan for halting the attacks that were killing or wounding a dozen Americans a day.
At the time, more than 100 teams of U.S. analysts were scouring Iraq for snippets of electronic data that might lead to the bomb-makers and their hidden factories. But the NSA director, Gen. Keith B. Alexander, wanted more than mere snippets. He wanted everything: Every Iraqi text message, phone call and e-mail that could be vacuumed up by the agency’s powerful computers.
“Rather than look for a single needle in the haystack, his approach was, ‘Let’s collect the whole haystack,’ ” said one former senior U.S. intelligence official who tracked the plan’s implementation. “Collect it all, tag it, store it. . . . And whatever it is you want, you go searching for it.”
The unprecedented data collection plan, dubbed Real Time Regional Gateway, would play a role in breaking up Iraqi insurgent networks and significantly reducing the monthly death toll fromimprovised explosive devices by late 2008. It also encapsulated Alexander’s controversial approach to safeguarding Americans from what he sees as a host of imminent threats, from terrorism to devastating cyberattacks. Article here
- Egypt: Hopefully the USA’s government will allow the government re-organization in Egypt to play out. Considering the people in leadership (cough, hack) in our government we should stick the sidelines with our mouths shut and eyes looking elsewhere (such as Iran or domestically). If Ronald Reagan was alive and was our president my diagnosis would be very different but since we have a…. well, let’s leave it as “unsaid”.
- Iran nuclear aspirations: We need to have the IAEA approach the new government of Iran and see what plays out. Change in transparency? Nicer language and positioning but the same activities? Ultimatums need to be pocketed as well as any embargo-easing.
- Domestically, the USA is almost a year into the four year term of the pathetic leadership (cough, hack) that was elected. Our problems/issues are numerous. The lack of wise practical leadership is massive. I think the question is how long can the country and its economy tread water? Other questions: Will the conservative, Christian people have a serious contender to offer up to the nation as a choice for the next presidential election? Will tangible positive change be swept into Congress? Will the people in the USA quit allowing themselves to be led by MSM and its hateful destructive philosophies? Will the concerned, ethical citizens of the USA unite and push for the much needed responsible systemic changes that the local, state and federal governments need? An American Spring?