England Too Tolerant Towards Islamists…
Mail On Line wrote on February 7:
“David Cameron today pledged to make Britain ‘a lot less’ tolerant towards Islamic extremists who whip up hatred against the West… the Prime Minister argued that Britain has been too ‘passive’ towards organisations and preachers who poison the minds of young Muslims. Mr Cameron said Britain needs to be… more judgmental when faced with ideologies that threaten the country’s basic values… he suggested that to ‘belong’ in Britain, individuals must sign up to core values such as freedom of speech, the rule of law and democracy…
“The Prime Minister also hit out at… multiculturalism – calling it a failure. He [said] society has failed to provide a strong sense of what it means to be British, making it easier for extremists to prey on youngsters seeking something to identify with…
“Mr Cameron pledged to end the state funding of groups that help foster extremist views, even if they are not directly linked to terrorism. He warned that there is a ‘spectrum’ of dangerous groups, ranging from those advocating suicide bomb attacks to those who ‘may reject violence, but who accept various parts of the extremist world view, including real hostility towards western democracy and liberal values’… Mr Cameron warned fellow European leaders that they cannot tackle terrorism simply by tracking down extremists abroad in countries like Afghanistan and Pakistan and must ‘wake up to what is happening in our own countries.’”
A far-reaching confrontation between Europe and radical Islam appears inevitable.
…and Militant Atheists
The Telegraph wrote on February 7:
“The Church of England will this week vow to fight ‘new atheism’ in an attempt to combat the rise of secularism and defend Christianity in Britain. Clergy are to be urged to be more vocal in countering the arguments put forward by a more hard-line group of atheists such as Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens, who have campaigned for a less tolerant attitude towards religion… The rallying call comes amid fears that Christians are suffering from an increasing level of discrimination following a series of cases in which they have been punished for sharing their beliefs…
“[A] landmark report… says that religion in Britain is under threat from atheists, but admits that the Church faces many internal problems as well, from ageing congregations to rows over homosexuality. Drawing particular attention to the threat posed by a new movement of militant atheists, led by Dawkins and Hitchens, it says the Church must respond if it is not to be pushed from the public square… It says the Church of England can appear too vague on where it stands on issues and risks further divisions over the introduction of women bishops and future debates about sexuality.”
A strong stance against atheistic ideas is only possible if a Christian organization is strongly convicted and unified. Sadly, the Church of England is far too permissive and indecisive in regard to many Christian values.
Britain Safe Haven for Foreign Terrorists?
The Scotsman wrote on February 4:
“The United Kingdom has become a ‘safe haven’ for foreign terrorism suspects because European human rights legislation is making it difficult to deport dangerous people… The European Court of Human Rights has ruled that some foreign terror suspects cannot be sent home if there is a risk they may be mistreated or tortured…
“To circumvent the European law, Britain has asked countries to sign agreements pledging not to mistreat suspects deported there, including Algeria, Jordan and Ethiopia. A pact struck with Libya is currently on hold after it was challenged by Britain’s courts.”
Developments like these will make a permanent separation between Great Britain and Europe more and more likely.
US Betrayal of Britain’s Secrets to Russia
The Telegraph wrote on February 7:
“The US secretly agreed to give the Russians sensitive information on Britain’s nuclear deterrent to persuade them to sign a key treaty… The fact that the Americans used British nuclear secrets as a bargaining chip also sheds new light on the so-called ‘special relationship’, which is shown often to be a one-sided affair by US diplomatic communications…
“A series of classified messages sent to Washington by US negotiators show how information on Britain’s nuclear capability was crucial to securing Russia’s support for the ‘New START’ deal.
“Although the treaty was not supposed to have any impact on Britain, the leaked cables show that Russia used the talks to demand more information about the UK’s Trident missiles, which are manufactured and maintained in the US.
“Washington lobbied London in 2009 for permission to supply Moscow with detailed data about the performance of UK missiles. The UK refused, but the US agreed to hand over the serial numbers of Trident missiles it transfers to Britain.”
The Bible shows that the “special relationship” between the USA and Great Britain will come to an end.
And It Might Still Not Pay…
The Associated Press wrote on February 7:
“Russia sees the planned U.S. missile defense system as a potential threat to its nuclear forces and may review its participation in a landmark nuclear arms treaty, officials said Monday.
“The New START deal, the centerpiece of President Barack Obama’s efforts to reset ties with Russia and the most significant arms control pact in nearly two decades, took effect last week. It limits each country to 1,550 strategic warheads, down from the current ceiling of 2,200.
“The treaty doesn’t prevent the U.S. from building new missile defense systems, but Russia has warned that it reserves the right to withdraw from the treaty if the United States significantly boosts its missile shield. Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov reaffirmed Monday that a buildup in the U.S. missile defense capability would prompt Moscow [to] re-consider its obligations under the New START treaty.”
With America’s recent history, it is predictable that the USA will also give in to Russia on this matter …
Christian Values Under Attack in Europe
WorldNetDaily wrote on February 5:
“Christianity has been around what now is Europe since the first century, with some parts of the New Testament written to people in Greece and Rome. But a new report is warning that open hostility to Christianity across the continent is on the rise and intolerance is being paired with legislative power to attack and violate the religious rights of the faithful… European Christians are under attack for their freedom of expression, freedom of conscience and parental rights, are targeted by hate crimes… and they are subjected to negative stereotyping in the media…
“For example, last October, former British MP Christine McCafferty urged the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe to recommend limitations to conscientious objection when it comes to abortion… Then in Spain there was a judge who was suspended from his position for objecting to the adoption of a young girl by lesbians. And in the United Kingdom, a registrar was ordered to perform homosexual weddings despite the individual’s personal religious objections to the procedures…
“Spain’s government fined a Christian television network 100,000 euros for carrying advertising opposing the homosexual lifestyle, an anti-abortion campaigner was jailed for sending abortion photos to Queen Elizabeth Hospital and a street preacher in the United Kingdom was arrested after telling passersby that homosexuality is a sin. BHA (British Humanist Association) has called on the British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums… to shut down [a particular] zoo. The secular group claims the zoo is misleading tens of thousands of visitors annually and ‘threatening public understanding’ by questioning the traditional view of evolution…
“In the Netherlands, students are taught that ‘Christianity would be abolished in the end, all other religions would disappear and everybody will convert to Islam. After all,’ said the lesson, ‘only Muslims can be good people.’
“… in the UK, an Employment Appeal Tribunal ordered that Christians cannot act according to their consciences if their beliefs conflict with the promotion of homosexuality, and a foster care giver was suspended from her career for allowing a Muslim child in her care to convert to Christianity…
“In Austria the government enforced sex education guidelines that ‘practically prohibit the teaching of authentic Christian sexual values,’ and in Germany, a mother of eight was jailed for eight days after she refused to send her nine-year-old son to school for its sexual education program.
“…journalists and the media are contributing, with a situation in Germany where the German Daily ‘Die Zeit’ wrongly accused Christians of favoring a radical law in Uganda and a popular BBC soap, ‘Coronation Street,’ featured attacks on the Christian faith…”
Values of true Christianity have been under attack for 2,000 years, and the attackers were professing Christians and non-Christians alike. The developments, described above, might motivate Europe to enact laws to protect perceived Christian values, but if history is a guide for the future, these laws might also include provisions to attack and persecute those who won’t submit to such values, which might or might not reflect true Christianity.
Europe Becoming More German?
Der Spiegel wrote on February 4:
“German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Nicolas Sarkozy have presented their vision for saving the euro zone to EU leaders at a summit in Brussels. The bold plan foresees countries taking radical steps to sort out their finances and reduce debt — in short, to become more German…
“As of Friday at the latest, Merkel is officially a leader on saving the euro… Together with French President Nicolas Sarkozy, she presented her plan for saving the common currency at a meeting of European Union leaders in Brussels…
“Merkel is in a strong bargaining position because the other euro-zone countries rely on Germany, as Europe’s biggest economy, to help fund rescue packages. The chancellor seems determined to get her proposal for harmonizing national economies approved in return for Germany’s agreeing to proposed amendments to the EU’s euro rescue fund.
“Merkel’s proposal, which was presented to other EU leaders in a closed-door lunch session on Friday, is likely to split the bloc, however. On Thursday, Spanish Prime Minister José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero expressed his support for the pact after a meeting with Merkel in Madrid. But the European Commission is opposed to the move as it would mean the euro-zone members going it alone, rather than including all 27 EU states…
“The left-leaning Berliner Zeitung writes: ‘Europe supposedly needs to become more German. Until recently, Merkel’s suggestion would have caused a storm of protest in Madrid, Athens and Paris. But after a year of the euro crisis, anything seems possible…’
“The center-left Süddeutsche Zeitung writes: ‘For many governments, Merkel’s plans sounds like the Germans want to dictate (what other countries do). But why should the Europeans follow Berlin, of all governments? The answer is simple: Merkel wants to exploit the current situation. At the moment, Germany, as a prosperous country, has a chance to set the rules. Everyone knows that the monetary union would be finished without Germany…
“’Nevertheless, the chancellor is playing a dangerous game. She wants all or nothing. She wants to get the whole package approved, or nothing at all. According to Merkel’s plan, other European countries must adopt the German culture of stability. They must reform their labor markets, health systems, taxes and wages as well as reduce their debt levels. If they refuse, Merkel will refuse to provide German guarantees for bailout packages. To some leaders, that might seem to show a lack of solidarity. But, actually, (Merkel’s approach) is very clever. Berlin needs to exploit the pressure created by the crisis to push through the necessary reforms that will allow the monetary union to survive.’”
The Bible shows that Germany is predestined to play the leadership role in the final configuration of a united Europe.
Greater Integration of Eurozone?
The Local wrote on February 4:
“Merkel said they had asked EU president Herman Van Rompuy to consult with other states in order to fix a decision at the next 27-nation EU summit on March 24 and 25, meaning ‘we would have to reach agreement within the eurozone’ first. Sarkozy underlined that this would mean ‘a greater integration’ than ever before. A special eurozone summit is likely to be needed earlier next month…
“Belgian Prime Minister Yves Leterme said he was ‘absolutely not in agreement’… the head of the European Trades Union Confederation said Germany and France were out to trample over the little guys…
“Support did, however, come from one of the other star eurozone economic performer[s]. Netherlands Prime Minister Mark Rutte characterised the goal as ‘not a race to the bottom, but a race to the top…’
“Diplomats warned, though, that southern eurozone nations, including Portugal, fear being rail-roaded down an even more painful path of reform.”
A greater integration of the Eurozone is quite telling. It is prophesied that in the end, ten European nations or groups of nations will rule Europe, and that these nations will transfer their authority to a charismatic political and military leader.
Spain and the Euro
Der Spiegel Online wrote on February 4:
“Spain’s economy has hit bottom, with unemployment soaring past 20 percent, as speculators bet the country will require an EU bailout. Prime Minister José Luis Rodriguez Zapatero is undertaking mass austerity measures, and he has been praised for his action by German Chancellor Angela Merkel. The stakes are high: If Spain goes bust, the euro could collapse…
“The scale of the crisis… is a danger to the entire European currency union… Greece and Ireland have already been forced to accept aid from other euro-zone countries. Portugal is continuing to reject the support, but it is considered to be the next candidate in line. And what happens then? Will things stop there, or will the euro-crisis contagion spread to Portugal’s neighbor…
“That scenario would be nothing less than a nightmare. Spain’s needs would surely surpass the €750 billion ($1.02 trillion) of the rescue fund that has already been set up; and the development could well send the euro crisis spinning entirely out of control. ‘Everything will stand and fall with Spain,’ says Christoph Rieger, an analyst with Commerzbank, Germany’s second largest private bank.
“Against that backdrop, German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s visit with Prime Minister Zapatero in Spain on Thursday was a special one… it was actually the introduction of the euro that laid the foundation for the very developments that are now threatening to bring down the entire common currency. Spain entered into the monetary union with a peseta that had been seriously undervalued. Interest rates, which from then on were linked to developments in the entire euro zone, were far too low for the country.
“The result was an unbridled construction boom. During the wild years that followed, 800,000 new apartments were built annually in Spain, more than the combined total in Germany, Italy and France. Even simple laborers were in a position to not only purchase their own homes, but even additional ones as gifts for each of their children — or simply as an investment. Depending on the location, real-estate prices rose by between 150 and 300 percent…
“Spain’s central bank currently forecasts the volume of bad loans at €180 billion… During the boom, many young Spaniards… preferred to earn quick money rather than go to college. The percentage of people who don’t complete a college-prep education is close to 35 percent, twice as high as the EU average. Youth unemployment is, at 43 percent, also double the EU average…
“Right now, the government has one primary task ahead of it: saving money… [It] cut the salaries of civil servants, froze annual pension payments and reduced welfare benefits for the long-term jobless… the government has also reformed the labor market. The retirement age is to be raised from 65 to 67… And hours before Merkel’s arrival, [the government] reached a social pact with unions and employers’ associations that will make collective bargaining more flexible based on circumstances. Merkel praised the development, saying: ‘It is a great relief that there will be no social unrest’…
“And, on Thursday, the prime minister was able to present Merkel with the first fruits of his labor. The chances aren’t bad that Spain will be able to push its budget deficit for 2011 to below the forecasted 6 percent. The Spanish people also appear to be slowly recovering from the shock that accompanied the bursting of the real estate bubble. Domestic consumption, which is vital to the Spanish economy, has recovered slightly. ‘Spain has really done its homework,’ Merkel said. ‘The markets will appreciate that.’”
Spain lived beyond its means—as the United States did—resulting in financial harm. But we can safely say that the euro will survive—whatever the outcome of Spain’s economic troubles might be.
Proposed Exchange Mergers Between Deutsche Börse and NYSE Euronext
The Financial Times reported on February 9:
“The world’s bourses are being swept up in an accelerating wave of consolidation after Deutsche Börse revealed that it was in advanced talks with NYSE Euronext to create the world’s largest exchanges operator by revenues and profits. The proposed all-stock deal trumped the tie-up unveiled just hours earlier by the London Stock Exchange and Canada’s TMX Group and would create the world’s largest stock exchange by market value after Hong Kong Exchanges & Clearing. Deutsche Börse has a market value of $15.3bn while NYSE Euronext has a market value of $8.7bn….
“A deal between Deutsche Börse – Europe’s largest exchange group – and the owner of the New York Stock Exchange throws down the gauntlet to their arch rival CME Group because it promises to create a dominant player in European derivatives as a counterweight to the CME’s dominance in the US…
“But the German-US deal could face antitrust issues in Europe. And in the US some analysts feared political opposition in Washington, since the deal would leave Deutsche Börse shareholders holding 59-60 per cent in a new, Netherlands-based holding company, with NYSE Euronext shareholders holding the rest. In a statement only hours after the chief executives of the LSE and TMX unveiled plans to create the world’s largest exchange by number of listings, the US and German bourses said they aimed to create a group ‘that is both a world leader in derivatives and risk management and the premier global venue for capital raising’.
“The combined Deutsche-NYSE group would have dual headquarters in New York and Frankfurt. Duncan Niederauer, chief executive of NYSE Euronext, would become chief executive of the new company from New York. Reto Francioni, chief executive of Deutsche Börse, would become chairman of the new business and be based in Frankfurt. The executive committee would be drawn equally from both companies… A source said that the deal had ‘good support’ at the highest political level in Germany.”
The Local added on February 9:
“The announcement came hot on the heels of the London and Toronto stock exchanges unveiling a landmark merger, creating one of the world’s biggest trading platforms that will dominate the raw materials and energy sectors…
“It is not the first time that the German firm, which operates the Frankfurt stock exchange, has attempted to go down the aisle with Euronext. Its earlier advances were spurned, however, and in 2007 Euronext merged with the NYSE. Deutsche Boerse also tried and failed three times to buy the London Stock Exchange (LSE)… NYSE Euronext’s equities markets, which include the New York, Paris, Brussels and Amsterdam stock exchanges, represent one third of world equities trading, the most liquidity of any global exchange group.”
The Wall Street Journal added these comments on February 10:
“After 219 years as the citadel of American capitalism, the New York Stock Exchange was near an agreement to be acquired by Deutsche Börse AG in a deal that would create the world’s largest financial exchange… For New York, the move is symbolic of the city’s fading dominance on the world stage as other countries are drawing investors directly to their markets. The move also is a recognition that securities trading today goes on at all hours and in all time zones, making the actual bricks and mortar of Wall Street far less important than before…
“Antitrust experts cautioned that the proposed deal could face tough regulatory scrutiny in Europe, as the new behemoth would dominate share and derivatives trading in the European Union—and in Washington, where tempers may rise over a crown jewel of the economy falling into foreign hands.”
This proposed deal could be interesting in light of the biblical prophecies that Germany will rise and the USA will fall, and that ultimately, Europe, under German direction, will overtake the USA.
Muslim Brotherhood Against Violence?
The following articles will show the reader what the Muslim Brotherhood is all about. Far too many naïve and uninformed ideas are being circulated over the Internet, and it is time that we all realize what is happening. In fact, a confrontation between a “Christian” Europe and certain Middle Eastern Muslim countries is prophesied—as is the creation of an anti-Israeli confederation between Europe and certain Muslim countries.
The Jerusalem Post wrote on February 4:
“A spokesman for the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt on Thursday evening repeatedly refused to commit to maintaining the peace treaty with Israel, or even recognizing Israel, if the Brotherhood becomes a player in the future governance of Egypt… [Mohamed] Morsy also said the Muslim Brotherhood opposed violence. ‘We do not use violence against anyone,’ he said. But what was happening on ‘Palestinian land,’ however, he said, was not violence but ‘resistance. And resistance is acceptable by all mankind. And it is the right of people to resist imperialism,’ he said.”
On February 7, Der Spiegel Online published the following interview with the deputy leader of the Muslim Brotherhood, Rashad al-Bayoumi. Again, the Muslim Brotherhood is not forthcoming with their willingness to use violence:
“SPIEGEL: The Muslim Brotherhood is widely regarded as the largest opposition movement in Egypt. Why are you not present at the demonstrations?
“Bayoumi: That is ridiculous! Of course we are present. But we are keeping a low profile as an organization…
“SPIEGEL: In the West there is the fear that the Brotherhood is preparing to take power — that they want to transform Egypt into an Islamic state.
“Bayoumi: The West refuses to listen to us. We are not demons. We want peace, not violence. Our religion is not a diabolical religion. Our religion respects people of other faiths, these are our principles… The government says that there are over three million of us. All I know is that we are everywhere, in every city, every village, every neighborhood. We are an essential part of the people.”
What the Muslim Brotherhood REALLY Believes…
On February 6, IMRA (Independent Media Review Analysis) published the following statements about the Muslim Brotherhood:
“The Muslim Brotherhood has taken a greater role in organizing the protest against the Egyptian regime as it unfolds its independent political agenda. Rashad al-Bayumi, the Brotherhood’s second-in-command, announced in an interview with Japanese TV that the group would join a transitional government in order to cancel the peace treaty between Egypt and Israel, as it ‘offends the Arabs’ dignity and destroys the interests of Egypt and other Arab states.’ He further stressed that Egypt does not need American aid.
“Muslim Brotherhood Supreme Guide Muhammad Mahdi ‘Akef told the Egyptian daily Al-Karama in 2007 that only Islam was the expression of true democracy. ‘Islam and its values antedated the West by founding true democracy, exemplified by the Shura [the advisory council under the Caliphs].’
“The Brotherhood’s official website notes that jihad is Islam’s most important tool in effecting a gradual takeover, beginning with the Muslim countries, moving on to reestablishing the Caliphate over three continents in preparation for a conquest of the West, and finally instituting a global Islamic state…
“One of Akef’s examples of America’s ‘corrupt values’ is the attempt to stop female circumcision in Africa. On July 12, 2007, he wrote that ‘[the Americans] spend billions of dollars and endlessly plot to change the Muslim way of life, they wage war on Muslim leaders, the traditions of its faith and its ideas. They even wage war against female circumcision, a practice current in 36 countries, which has been prevalent since the time of the Pharaohs.’
“According to the Muslim Brotherhood, jihad, that is, holy war against the infidels, is one of the fundamental elements spread by the Muslim Brotherhood. The organization’s ideology, as it appears on its official website, regards ‘the Prophet Muhammad as its leader and ruler, and jihad as its path.’ Jihad has a global strategy beyond self-defense; it is the unceasing attack on every infidel rule, intended to widen the borders of the Islamic state until all mankind lives under the Islamic flag.
“Clicking the links ‘The Goals of the Muslim Brotherhood’ and ‘Muslim Brotherhood Measures’ leads to explanations of jihad based on the writings of Muslim Brotherhood founder Hassan al-Banna. Jihad, it is noted, is Islam’s most important tool in effecting a gradual takeover, beginning with the Muslim countries, moving on to re-establishing the Caliphate over three continents in preparation for a conquest of the West, and finally instituting a global Islamic state. The organization’s website states:
“‘We want a Muslim individual, a Muslim home, a Muslim people, a Muslim government and state that will lead the Islamic countries and bring into the fold the Muslim diaspora and the lands robbed from Islam and will then bear the standard of jihad and the call [da’wah] to Allah. [Then the] world will happily accept the precepts of Islam….The problems of conquering the world will only end when the flag of Islam waves and jihad has been proclaimed. The goal is to establish one Islamic state of united Islamic countries, one nation under one leadership whose mission will be to reinforce adherence to the law of Allah…and the strengthening of the Islamic presence in the world arena….The goal…is the establishment of a world Islamic state…’
“For the Muslim Brotherhood, jihad is at the center of the struggle against the United States, the West, Israel, and other infidel regimes. The supreme leader of the Muslim Brotherhood regards Islam as waging ‘a battle of values and identity’ against the forces of ‘imperialism’ and the ‘Anglo-Saxons’ attacking the Arab-Muslim world ‘on the pretext of spreading democracy, defending minority rights, and opposing what they call terrorism.’ He advises Muslims to adopt ‘the culture of resistance against the invasion,’ explaining that Allah gave ‘the occupied, oppressed nations jihad and resistance as a means of achieving freedom.’
“He added that ‘the culture of resistance to invasion and occupation have intellectual, military, and economic aspects. Experience in Palestine, Iraq, and Afghanistan have proved that resistance is not imaginary or fictitious or impossible, but rather it is possible when the [Islamic] nation presents a united front and uses its weapons and faith to face an imperialist, whether he comes with arms or inundates us with his ideas, values, or obsolete morality.’ Akef’s successor, Mohammad Badi’, maintains the same platform.”
“Egypt’s Political Shift with Historic Proportions”
Reuters reported on February 6:
“The Muslim Brotherhood is certainly hostile to Israel and the United States’s policy in the region. It has historic links with the Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas and shares its belief in armed struggle against Israel… The [Egyptian] government’s willingness to talk to the Brotherhood is a political shift with historic proportions…
“Brotherhood ideology steadily seeped into schools, households, the media, bookshops and even clothing shops. Much of this Islamic resurgence stems from social dislocation, economic hardship and political frustration… Many Brotherhood leaders… are confident that Islam and sharia (Islamic law) will eventually rule and they are working to achieve that goal…”
Talks with Muslim Brotherhood Welcome…?
On February 6, AFP reported the following:
“US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton cautiously welcomed Sunday the Muslim Brotherhood’s involvement in political dialogue in Egypt… ‘Today we learned the Muslim Brotherhood decided to participate, which suggests they at least are now involved in the dialogue that we have encouraged,’ Clinton told National Public Radio (NPR) from Germany…
“Nathan Brown, an analyst with the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in Washington, said the United States had ‘real concerns’ about Egypt’s future direction under the Brotherhood, particularly in relation to Israel. ‘They have supported violent resistance in Iraq, they support (Palestinian Islamist group) Hamas, they’ve made clear they don’t support the Egyptian-Israeli peace treaty,’ Brown told AFP.”
… Or a Mistake of Historic Proportions?
On February 6, Der SPIEGEL published the following interview with Republican senator and former presidential candidate John McCain:
“SPIEGEL: Many people are drawing comparisons between the situation in Cairo and the Iranian revolution of 1979, which led to the country’s takeover by religious leaders. If you look at elements like the Muslim Brotherhood, how likely is a similar outcome in Egypt?
“McCain: I am deeply, deeply concerned that this whole movement could be hijacked by radical Islamic extremists.
“SPIEGEL: What is your assessment of the Muslim Brotherhood?
“McCain: I think they are a radical group that first of all supports Sharia law; that in itself is anti-democratic — at least as far as women are concerned. They have been involved with other terrorist organizations and I believe that they should be specifically excluded from any transition government…
“SPIEGEL: A certain role of the Muslim Brotherhood in the transition process in Egypt seems acceptable to the Obama White House. Does that concern you?
“McCain: It concerns me so much that I am unalterably opposed to it. I think it would be a mistake of historic proportions.”
Brotherhood Not Really Different from Al-Qaida
The Jerusalem Post wrote on February 9:
“Banned but tolerated for decades by successive Egyptian regimes, the Islamist movement is now emerging as a central player in the country’s resurgent opposition… Pundits have portrayed the Brotherhood as uncompromising zealots or beneficent providers of social services that long-deprived Egyptians desperately need. But a translation released Tuesday of a 1995 book by the movement’s fifth official leader sheds light on just how Egypt’s Brotherhood views itself and its mission…
“The Jerusalem Post on Tuesday saw excerpts of the text, compiled by Palestinian Media Watch founder Itamar Marcus and analyst Nan Jacques Zilberdik. Marcus spoke to the Post about what he views as the danger of downplaying the Brotherhood’s ideology, or expecting it to moderate its objectives after being allowed into the political process. The movement differs from international terror groups like Al-Qaida, he said, only in tactics, not in its goals.”
Top Egyptian Leaders Resign…but Hosni Mubarak Stays…
USA Today reported on February 5, 2011:
“The top leadership body of Egypt’s ruling party resigned Saturday, including the president’s son, but the regime appeared to be digging in its heels, calculating that it can ride out street demonstrations and keep President Hosni Mubarak in office. The ruling party leaders who resigned included the country’s most powerful political figures — and its most unpopular among many Egyptians. The move may have been aimed at convincing protesters in the streets that the regime is sincere in implementing democratic changes they demand… The Obama administration welcomed word that Mubarak’s son, Gamal Mubarak, left his role in Egypt’s ruling party.”
Conflicting reports about Mubarak’s pending resignation have been circulated all week, especially by CNN. Now, on February 10, NBC, the Wall Street Journal, BBC News and Haaretz announced that Mubarak would or might resign “tonight.” However, in his speech, he indicated that he will stay as President until September, while announcing the possibility of revoking certain restrictive provisions of the Egyptian Constitution and the transfer of some of his powers to the Vice President. This move will not satisfy Egyptian protestors, and more turmoil can be expected.
Saudi Arabia Supports Mubarak
Haaretz reported on February 10:
“Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah told U.S. President Barack Obama that his country would prop up Egypt’s President Hosni Mubarak if the United States withdrew its aid program… Abdullah told Obama not to humiliate Mubarak, who is under pressure from protesters to quit immediately… Obama’s administration has wavered between support for Egypt in Washington’s conflict with militant Islam and backing for Egyptians who have been protesting for weeks to demand Mubarak and his government quit.”
Don’t Rush Egyptian Democracy
Der Spiegel Online wrote on February 7:
“In Germany, top Western officials at the annual Munich Security Conference warned at the weekend that a transition to democracy must not be rushed, otherwise the crisis could worsen and the Middle East could become more destabilized. Meanwhile Egyptian opposition figure Mohammed Elbaradei criticized the talks on Egypt’s future, saying the negotiations were being managed by the same people who had ruled the country for 30 years…
“The center-right Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung writes:
“‘…In a country like Egypt that has never experienced democracy, it’s not enough to hold elections to make everything right. The political decision-making process must be organized and channelled. And even that wouldn’t guarantee that the acclaimed “Festival of Freedom” doesn’t produce a different, and possibly even worse autocratic regime.
“’There are plenty of radical forces in Egypt that would wish for such an outcome. The hesitancy over the removal of Mubarak and his system shouldn’t immediately be seen just as a sign of European or German indecisiveness or cowardice. The Americans and the Europeans… want to do everything in their — in this case not especially considerable — power to prevent the most populous and politically most important Arab country from descending into civil war or into a dictatorship of Islamists.’”
The EUObserver added on February 7:
“EU and US leaders have warned of the ‘chaos’ that could result if President Hosni Mubarak steps down immediately, with a top US diplomat describing the role of the hardman as ‘utterly critical’ and praising his ‘legacy.’
“’Early elections at the beginning of the democratisation process is probably the wrong approach,’ German Chancellor Angela Merkel [said…] at a high-level conference in Munich…”
CNN reported on February 6:
“In unprecedented criticism of Jordan’s royal family, three dozen prominent Jordanian tribal figures issued an urgent call for reform Sunday and warned that the country may follow Tunisia and Egypt into turmoil without it. The statement from 36 members of the country’s major tribes attacked what they called the interference of Queen Rania in running the country. The queen, ‘her sycophants and the power centers that surround her’ are dividing Jordanians and ‘stealing from the country and the people,’ the letter states…
“Jordan’s tribes make up about 40% of the country’s population and are seen as the bedrock of support for the Hashemite monarchy that has ruled the country for nearly a century. Though it was not clear whether all the signers were speaking for their tribes, such criticism of the monarchy is rare in Jordan — recent street protests that criticized the government stopped short of calling for King Abdullah II to step down… He dismissed his Cabinet last week, acknowledging that corruption needed to be tackled and political reforms urgently pursued…
“The tribal leaders said Sunday that allegations of corruption by Layla Trabelsi — the wife of longtime Tunisian strongman Zine El Abedine Ben Ali, who was forced into exile by a popular revolt in January — and by Egyptian first lady Suzanne Mubarak have been ‘the catalyst of populist movements’ in those countries. What has happened in Jordan is even worse, the statement said.
“’We refuse the squandering of public money and aid to polish her [Queen Rania’s] own personal image at the expense of the nation,’ the statement said… Resentment of Rania, who is Palestinian, is not new among Jordan’s Bedouin tribes, but has risen sharply. In recent days, tribal sources have expressed to CNN their resentment about what they perceive as her lavish lifestyle and her interference in politics.”
Whatever the future of Jordan may be, it is unlikely, based on biblical prophecy, that it will become hostile to and an enemy of Europe.
“Iran Proclaims ‘Complete Domination’ Over Entrance to Persian Gulf”
Haaretz reported on February 7:
“As part of Iran’s annual revolution celebrations, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad unveiled locally-made satellites while a senior commander showed off mass produced missiles.
“Although Iran is not engaged in any military conflict, it is on constant alert against possible attacks from the United States and Israel, which have not ruled out possible pre-emptive strikes to stop Tehran getting nuclear weapons… In 2009, Iran launched a domestically-made satellite into orbit for the first time, a step that increased the West’s fear that the Islamic Republic is seeking to build a nuclear bomb and missile delivery systems.
“The chief commander of the Revolutionary Guards… said the new mass-produced missile would be able to target enemies at sea. ‘Its speed is three times greater than the speed of sound and it cannot be traced and deactivated by enemies,’ [he said].
“Another Guards commander… reiterated Iran’s threat to close the Strait of Hormuz, the narrow channel through which 40 percent of the world’s seaborne oil trade passes. ‘The Persian Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz are under the complete domination of the Revolutionary Guards … and it would be blocked in case of a threat,’ he said…”
The Netherlands Recalls Ambassador to Iran
Deutsche Welle reported on February 7:
“Dutch officials say the Netherlands is recalling its ambassador to Iran in protest of a Dutch-Iranian woman’s execution last week… after Iranian officials reportedly buried Zahra Bahrami’s body far from the Iranian capital of Tehran… so the family could not attend the funeral.
“The Netherlands had already frozen diplomatic relations with Iran after an Iranian public prosecutor announced Bahrami was hanged on January 29 for smuggling cocaine. However, Iranian blogs and news websites have reported that Bahrami actually died during torture by Iranian officials. Her family says Iranian authorities fabricated the drug charges after arresting her for participating in anti-government protests last December while visiting relatives. During her detention, Iranian authorities denied Bahrami access to Dutch consular services, arguing Iran does not recognize dual citizenship.”
Iran Develops Nuclear Fusion Reactor
The Iranian news agency, Press TV, reported the following on February 10:
“Iranian scientists at the Atomic Energy Organization or Iran (AEOI) have designed and built a nuclear fusion device… The device uses Inertial Electrostatic Confinement method and can produce isotopes and radioisotopes used in diagnosing and curing cancer. The US, Japan, South Korea, Australia and France are the only countries which boast fusion technology.
“Fusion — which extracts energy from nuclear reactions with a process akin to how light and heat are produced by the sun — has been studied for decades, but it has yet to be developed into a viable energy alternative.
“The US and its allies accuse Iran of developing a military nuclear program. In June 2009, the UN Security Council imposed a fourth round of sanctions against Iran’s financial and military sectors under Western pressure. Iranian officials have repeatedly refuted the charges, arguing that as a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and a member of the International Atomic Energy Agency, Tehran has the right to use peaceful nuclear technology.”
Iran remains a threat for Europe and the USA, and the relationship between Europe and Iran is bound to deteriorate. We can also expect the development of an ever closer alliance between Iran and Russia.