The Wall Street Journal (Link)
- Matt Bradley & Adam Entous (July 1, 2011)
The Obama administration is reaching out to Islamist
movements whose political power is on the rise in the wake of Arab Spring
uprisings across the Middle East and North Africa.
The tentative outreach effort to key religious political
groups—the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and Ennahdha in Tunisia—reflects the
administration’s realization that the spread of democracy in the region requires
it to deal more directly with Islamist movements the U.S. had long kept at arm’s
Speaking to reporters during a visit Thursday to Budapest,
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said the Obama administration is now seeking
“limited contacts” with Muslim Brotherhood members ahead of parliamentary and
presidential elections slated for later this year.
“It is in the interests of the United States to engage with
all parties that are peaceful and committed to nonviolence,” Mrs. Clinton said.
“We welcome, therefore, dialogue with those Muslim Brotherhood members who wish
to talk with us.”
The MB has has tried to portray itself as moderate and
democratic. But at its core it is anything but. The Brotherhood is a wolf in
Israel National News thanks
helping bring the Muslim Brotherhood to our readers in its own words:
The Muslim Brotherhood logo fits its motto:
“Allah is our objective. The Prophet is our leader. The Qur’an
is our law.
Jihad is our way. Dying in the way of Allah is our highest hope. Allahu akbar!”
The Brotherhood’s goal is to
turn the world into an Islamist empire. The Muslim Brotherhood, founded
in Egypt in 1928, is a revolutionary fundamentalist movement to restore the
caliphate and strict shariah (Islamist) law in Muslim lands and, ultimately, the
world. Today, it has chapters in 80 countries. “It is in the nature of Islam to
dominate, not to be dominated, to impose its law on all nations and to extend
its power to the entire planet.” -Muslim
Brotherhood founder Hassan al-Banna
The U.S. has decided to formally resume contact with Egypt’s
Muslim Brotherhood group - which does not recognize Israel – in a move that
could further alienate some Jewish voters already skeptical of President Barack
Obama, it was reported.
“The political landscape in Egypt has changed, and is
changing… It is in our interests to engage with all of the parties that are
competing for parliament or the presidency,” said the official, who confirmed
the news to Reuters on condition of anonymity.
The Muslim Brotherhood - founded in 1928 to promote a
conservative version of Islam in politics, culture and society – has previously
had some communication with the U.S. through Brotherhood Members of Parliament
who had been technically elected as independents. U.S. diplomats had been
instructed only to deal with Brotherhood members in their role as Members of
Al Arabia News (Link)
- Mary E. Stonaker (June 30, 2011)
Three weeks after OPEC’s shocking display of disunity over
oil pricing, mainly an argument between long-time foes Saudi Arabia and Iran,
the daily basket price has increased to $103.59 per barrel on 28 June, up from
$101.56 the previous day. This is still significantly lower than recent peaks of
S113.59 on 14 June and 120.91 on 28 April. US fears sparked a significant drop
in oil demand in the US, alleviating some, but not all, upward pressure on oil
Recent announcements of US emergency stockpile sales and
resumed drilling in the Gulf of Mexico echo this line of attempting to lower
prices as well as reduce dependency on foreign sources. However, recent reports
of storage space disappearing quickly and surplus supplies also contributed to
US President Obama’s announcement.
If overfilled, underground storage in the US – currently
holding around 727 million barrels – will leak oil into the soil surrounding it,
which will eventually lead to an environmental disaster. While announcements to
release stockpiled oil nicely coincide with OPEC’s disagreement, talks to this
end were taking place well before this month.
The American Dream (Link)
- Michael (June 29, 2011)
Are the austerity protests and riots happening in Greece
right now a glimpse of America’s future? The truth is that both nations are
absolutely drowning in debt. It is just that the “day of reckoning” has already
arrived for Greece but it has not arrived for the United States yet. Yes, there
are some important differences between the situation in Greece and the situation
in the U.S., but there are also some important similarities. Budget cuts and
other austerity measures are being promoted by the political leaders of both
countries. Greek citizens have reacted very negatively to the economic austerity
programs that have been implemented in that nation. As budget cuts on the
federal, state and local levels in the United States start to really become
painful, will we eventually see the same kind of austerity riots in this country
that we are currently seeing in Greece?
There is a price to pay for living way, way beyond your means
for decades. The citizens of Greece are now feeling that economic pain. In the
United States, the pain of austerity is not being felt that severely yet.
So exactly what are austerity measures? Well, in Greece they
include tax increases, budget cuts and “privatization measures.” The Greek
government is swamped under an unpayable debt load and without international
assistance the Greek government will default.
But all of that “international assistance” comes with
strings. The EU and the IMF are insisting on the implementation of very strict
austerity measures, and the Greek people are not thrilled about this.
Stratfor Global Intelligence (Link)
- Marko Papic (June 28, 2011)
Europe continues to be engulfed by economic crisis.
The global focus returns to Athens on June 28 as Greek parliamentarians
debate austerity measures imposed on them by eurozone partners. If the Greeks
vote down these measures, Athens will not receive its second bailout, which
could create an even worse crisis in Europe and the world.
It is important to understand that
the crisis is not fundamentally about Greece or even about the indebtedness
of the entire currency bloc. After all, Greece represents only 2.5 percent of
the eurozone’s gross domestic product (GDP), and the bloc’s fiscal numbers are
not that bad when looked at in the aggregate. Its overall deficit and debt
figures are in a better shape than those of the United States — the U.S. budget
deficit stood at 10.6 percent of GDP in 2010, compared to 6.4 percent for the
European Union — yet the focus continues to be on Europe.
That is because the real crisis is the more fundamental
question of how the European continent is to be ruled in the 21st century.
Europe has emerged from its subservience during the Cold War, when it was the
geopolitical chessboard for the Soviet Union and the United States. It won its
independence by default as the superpowers retreated: Russia withdrawing to its
Soviet sphere of influence and the United States switching its focus to the
Middle East after 9/11. Since the 1990s, Europe has dabbled with institutional
reform but has left the fundamental question of political integration off the
table, even as it integrated economically. This is ultimately the source of the
current sovereign debt crisis, the lack of political oversight over economic
integration gone wrong.
Press Europ (Link)
- Andrzej Talaga (June 27, 2011)
On June 2 in Aachen, Jean-Claude Trichet, the President of
the European Central Bank, announced that the EU should only have one finance
minister. At the same time, he also called for the transformation of the EU into
an unprecedented confederation of states with a common budgetary policy — a
vision that amounts to a severe blow to national sovereignty.
A “super-finance” ministry, with the power to veto certain
public spending decisions and to control the budgetary policies and
competitiveness of Europe’s member states, as well as an EU financial sector
that is fully compliant with European rules: this would amount to establishing a
system for the control of national budgets, at least for those countries that
have adopted the euro. According to Trichet’s proposal, those states would then
become semi-independent, perhaps to the point where they only retained
territorial autonomy. Nowhere in any dictionary of politics has such a state
However, these proposals are not exactly new. In response to
the Greek crisis, the plan is to make aid to the Athens government contingent
upon strict supervision of the country’s finances by the supranational troika of
experts from the European Commission, the ECB, and the IMF.
This is something that has never been seen before in the EU.
Certainly, Ireland and Portugal have been obliged to rein in their public
spending, but it has yet to fall under external control. On the other hand,
Greece, which has come under pressure for the mishandling of its financial
affairs, is being forced to handover control of its budgetary policy to
foreigners: yet another step in the loss of sovereignty which began when it
joined the euro and relinquished control of its monetary policy.
The Trumpet (Link)
- Jeremiah Jacques (June 27, 2011)
The ongoing involvement of the North Atlantic Treaty
Organization (NATO) in Libya’s civil war has
the alliance to be an increasingly imbalanced and fictitious military
NATO started off strong
enough. In the Cold War’s aftermath, the organization was dubbed “the most
successful alliance in history” because it had prevented the Russian Army from
crossing into Western Europe. The organization has defined security in the
Western Hemisphere for around 60 years, but the last few of those years have
revealed deep fissures in its integrity.
Outgoing Defense Secretary
Robert Gates said on June 10 that NATO risks
“collective military irrelevance” because most of its members put so little
toward defense spending that the organization is not even able to defeat a
tin-pot dictator like Libyan leader
Muammar Qadhafi. The heart of NATO’s
problem, according to Gates, is a staggering imbalance in the defense
contributions of the member states.
“The mightiest military alliance in history is only 11 weeks
into an operation against a poorly armed regime in a sparsely populated
country—yet many allies are beginning to run short of munitions, requiring the
U.S., once more, to make up the difference,” Gates said in Brussels earlier this