Posts Tagged ‘position’

Jay Carney Won’t Say Which City Is the Capital of Israel

July 27th, 2012 Comments off

“You know our position.”
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Jibril’s liberal alliance wins majority in Libya

July 19th, 2012 Comments off

TRIPOLI An alliance of broadly secular parties led by ex-interim Prime Minister Mahmoud Jibril has won a commanding position in the new Libyan parliament, according to final results of Libya’s first …
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Morsi Reaffirms Israel Peace Treaty to Clinton

July 15th, 2012 Comments off

The establishment press in Egypt, al-Ahram (“The Pyramids”), reported cautiously on the meeting between Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Egyptian President Muhammad Morsi (from the Muslim Brotherhood party).

1. It noted that Clinton affirmed the US desire that the Egyptian military go to its barracks and leave elected civilians in charge.

2. It said that she likened Egypt’s transition from authoritarian governance to democracy to earlier such transitions in East Asia and Latin America.

3. Clinton reaffirmed the US intention to forgive $1 billion of Egyptian debt.

4. She also spoke of $250 million in aid.

5. She promised to send American businessmen to explore new investments in the Egyptian economy.

6. She said that the current constitutional crisis over the Supreme Administrative Court’s and the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces’s dismissals of the elected parliament, and Morsi’s attempt to reinstate it, was a matter of internal Egyptian politics in which the US would not interfere.

The interim Egyptian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Muhammad Kamil Amr, said that President Morsi had affirmed to him a commitment to the peace treaty with Israel, as well as to an on-going peace process that should end with a two-state solution with 1967 borders and East Jerusalem as the capital, and statehood for the Palestinians. This statement from Amr is the first explicit delineation of Morsi’s exact position on the Camp David accords with Israel. The Muslim Brotherhood, from which he springs, has been scathingly critical of Camp David for decades, seeing it as a means of neutralizing Egypt and allowing the Israelis to expropriate the Palestinians at will.

Unfortunately, this position would have been reasonable in the 1990s. Now, rapid Israeli colonization of the West Bank and East Jerusalem has probably made a two-state solution impossible, and Israel’s far rightwing leadership will see Morsi’s position as “radical” and unacceptable. The Likud government is firmly committed to expanding the number of Israeli squatters on Palestinian land, which Morsi opposes.

Meanwhile, there were two demonstrations against Clinton’s visit. Some Coptic Christians demonstrated at the Presidential Palace, complaining of US intervention in Egypt and of Western attempts to use Coptic Chrisitans as a pretext to interfere in Egyptian affairs. I presume that these are Christian leftists.

There was also a demonstration in front of the US embassy, which demanded the release of prisoners held at Guantanamo. I presume these demonstrators included member of the Gama’a al-Islamiya or Islamic Grouping, and perhaps Salafis.

Clinton said that in a democracy we are used to people exercising their right to demonstration.

On Sunday, Sec. Clinton meets with Gen. Hussein Tantawi, the chairman of SCAF and the ultimate power in Egypt. The US says it is pressuring Tantawi to leave the political domain to the politicians.

Ironically, some Egyptians, and perhaps including the officer corps, have a strange conspiracy theory that the US wanted to install the Muslim Brotherhood in power in Egypt. I can’t tell you how wrong this theory is. The US had no leverage in Egypt, and largely let things take their course, though they may have strong-armed the Egyptian army into not shooting civilians down in the streets. The US would have prefered that Mubarak’s gang remain in power, but can work with a moderate fundamentalist.

The US just wants a few things from Egypt: Keeping trade flowing through the Red Sea and Suez Canal; the security of Israel; the security of Saudi Arabia and other Arab Gulf States… (Did I say, ‘the security of Israel?)

The problem for the US will not be that Morsi wants to abrogate Camp David. It will be that he wants to implement it, along with the framework President Jimmy Carter thought essential to it, of peace with the Palestinians. The far rightwing Israeli government has abandoned Camp David and Oslo in favor of exuberant expansionism and the permanent denial of statehood to the Palestinians. The US secretly supports Israel’s most outrageous stances, which will make trouble for relations with Cairo if the Brotherhood manages to get real power.

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Maradona sacked by UAE Al-Wasl club after potless season

July 11th, 2012 Comments off

United Arab Emirates’ (UAE) Al-Wasl manager Diego Maradona has been sacked by the club after a trophy less season. The legendary Argentine’s position had been in doubt since last month when the …
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China Defiant on Iran Oil Purchases

June 12th, 2012 Comments off

“…The Chinese government has indicated it has no plans to change its position on oil purchases from Iran, a day after the United States left Beijing off a list of economies that are exempt from U.S. sanctions on Iranian oil imports. 
Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Weimin Tuesday rejected a question about whether China will reduce its oil imports from Iran and said these purchases are necessary.
China needs to import crude oil from Iran, Liu said, because of its economic development, describing it as “a completely legal” matter. China’s purchase channels are normal, open and transparent and do not violate United Nations resolutions or harm the interests of any other party, he added.
Beijing’s defiant tone on the matter follows U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s announcement on Monday of a list of seven more economies exempt from new American sanctions targeting Iran’s oil trade.
The countries on the list have proven they had significantly reduced the amount of oil they buy from Iran, said Clinton. …”

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It’s time for politicking

May 27th, 2012 Comments off

“You’ll be late for the revolution!” – Some social science of the presidential elections:

Morsy is now trying to mobilise the revolutionary vote for him, and some (like the novelist Alaa El Aswany) are going along with that. But everything that the Brotherhood has done in the past year and so indicates that as soon as they gain power, they will drop, marginalise, and – if necessary – recklessly repress their former allies.

However tempted by an anti-Shafiq, pro-Morsi, vote, secular / progressive / revolutionary voters are in the second round, how many will actually do it in light of their perception of the MB’s behavior in the last year? This is what the Brotherhood lost by some of its behavior over the last year, notably over the constitutional assembly and its refusal to seriously condemn crackdown on protestors: its claim to the leadership of the opposition. This is why Morsi’s score, in most interpretations of the results, is seen as being against both the old regime and the revolutionaries: the Brotherhood is perceived as forming its own distinct group. Indeed, the prospect of a restoration of the old regime through Shafiq is not necessarily as terrifying to some to an unstable military-Brotherhood alliance like Sudan in the late 1980s (see how that ended?)

It is a tough dilemma: one might be tempted to block Shafiq by voting Morsi, but then think that Morsi will just turn around and negotiate with the army without any input from the “revolutionary” forces. I spoke about this to MB leader Khairat al-Shater the morning after the election; he seemed to think there was no need to bring in other candidates as VPs or promise them cabinet positions (or some policy impact) because even if their voters did not choose Morsi as their first choice, there is a reservoir of goodwill towards the MB among them.

But that’s not how politics should work: candidates’ endorsements should be in exchange of clear gains, most notably an actual position of influence in government (and in that case VP may not be the job to go for). Discussion of this in the Egyptian media makes it seems like it’s some kind of dirty deal, but that’s BS: the unlucky candidates that represent about 50% of the first round vote need to get something for their support. 

Update: While I think Hamdeen Sabahi should focus on his appeal for a recount and try to invalidate some of the Shafiq votes for now, his statement that he refuses any position under Morsi is non-sensical. The question should be what does he get from them — both personally and hopefully for what he thinks his voters represent. 

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Comrade Bassam on Syria

May 19th, 2012 Comments off
The Syrian situation is complex like any other uprising, but the situation has added complexity because it is at the juncture of several conflicts in the region. Those struggles involve local, regional and international power plays that make the situation a lot more charged.  For instance, we have Syria at the center of the Arab-Israeli conflict. Syria is part of an axis, so to speak, with Iran, Syria and Hezbollah, confronting imperialism in various forms from inside and outside the region, particularly in relation to U.S. domination and Israel’s occupations and belligerence.  There is also resistance to the conservative Arab camp that includes Saudi Arabia, Qatar and other conservative countries that are usually allies with the United States.  Also, Syria is, in many ways, the guarantor of stability in Lebanon. Syria’s presence in Lebanon has guaranteed some stability despite many violations of Lebanon’s sovereignty by Syria.  For all these reasons, Syria’s position in the region is pivotal. This is not simply another uprising against a dictator. It is also being transformed by other players into an effort to redraw the political map of the region and curtail further protests elsewhere.

A lot of the anti-regime actors and analysts are placed in an odd position. They do not support the regime or the turn that the uprising has taken since fall of last year. So perhaps the task is to build an independent opposition away from the dictates of Saudi Arabia, Qatar or the United States.”

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Text from Hillary to Santorum: The Front Line of Combat is Not the Best Place for You

April 11th, 2012 Comments off

h/t to Texts from Hillary and Kevin Lamarque

Rick Santorum on women serving in combat:

“I think that could be a very compromising situation where people naturally may do things that may not be in the interest of the mission because of other types of emotions that are involved.

I was talking about men’s emotional issues; not women. I mean, there’s a lot of issues. That’s just one of them. So my concern is being in combat in that situation instead of being focused on the mission, they may be more concerned with protecting someone who may be in a vulnerable position, a woman in a vulnerable position.

You throw on top of that just simply physical strength and capability and you may be out there on a mission where it’s you and a woman and if you’re injured, the ability to transport that person back. And you know, there’s just, there are physical limitations. Women have served and do serve and do wonderful things within the military and… they do have opportunities to serve in very dangerous positions. I mean, they serve in very dangerous positions. And I certainly understand that and respect that and admire women for doing so, but I think on the front line of combat is not the best place and it’s not maximizing what they can bring to the table.”

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The New York Times provides a rational analysis of Israeli’s position

March 7th, 2012 Comments off
“They’re such a tiny country surrounded by all these crazy neighbors,” Isaac said.”

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"This is not journalism!"

March 6th, 2012 Comments off
“The Newshour can no longer be trusted.  If you watched the program, Ifill said in her prologue to the words here recorded something to the effect that US officials have long believed that Iran is lying when it says that it does not have a nuclear weapons program.

It has been the official position of the US Government since 2007 that the US does not believe that the Iranians have made a decision to build nuclear weapons.  That remains the US Government’s position.  Which officials was she referring to?  Members of Congress? 
At the end of the set-up to the piece Clapper, the DNI, gets about 30 seconds to re-state the government position.  That is not included in the transcript either….”

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