Saturday, November 24, 2012

Will the Village foreign-policy capos ever figure out that we have hardly any tools to affect developments in the Muslim world?


This is Ahmed al-Zind, head of Egypt's Judges' Club, which has called for a strike to protest President Mursi's claims of superjudicial authority, at a meeting of the club in Cairo on November 12.

by Ken

Two current reports from the heart of the Arab world: one from Reuters about the latest development in Egypt in response to the surprising ascendancy of new President Mohammed Mursi, who mere months ago was presumed to be a mere figurehead serving under the thumb of the Egyptian military; and one from one of those infernal Village foreign-policy "experts" who keep trying to press the U.S. to do all sorts of things in the Middle East whose most likely outcome would be to make already unfortunate situations worse.


Egypt's Mursi faces judicial revolt over decree

By Tom Perry
CAIRO | Sun Nov 25, 2012 8:59am IST

(Reuters) - Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi faced a rebellion from judges who accused him on Saturday of expanding his powers at their expense, deepening a crisis that has triggered violence in the street and exposed the country's deep divisions.

The Judges' Club, a body representing judges across Egypt, called for a strike during a meeting interrupted with chants demanding the "downfall of the regime" - the rallying cry in the uprising that toppled Hosni Mubarak last year.

Mursi's political opponents and supporters, representing the divide between newly empowered Islamists and their critics, called for rival demonstrations on Tuesday over a decree that has triggered concern in the West.

Issued late on Thursday, it marks an effort by Mursi to consolidate his influence after he successfully sidelined Mubarak-era generals in August. The decree defends from judicial review decisions taken by Mursi until a new parliament is elected in a vote expected early next year.

It also shields the Islamist-dominated assembly writing Egypt's new constitution from a raft of legal challenges that have threatened the body with dissolution, and offers the same protection to the Islamist-controlled upper house of parliament.

Egypt's highest judicial authority, the Supreme Judicial Council, said the decree was an "unprecedented attack" on the independence of the judiciary. The Judges' Club, meeting in Cairo, called on Mursi to rescind it. . . .



Syrian rebels at cross purposes
By David Ignatius, Published: November 23

The Syrian opposition took a big step forward this month by forming a broad political coalition that includes local activists who started the revolution. But the opposition’s military command is still a mess, and until it’s fixed, jihadist extremists will keep getting more powerful.

As I wrote after my trip inside Syria in early October, a stronger command-and-control structure is crucial in creating an opposition force that can accomplish two essential tasks: defeating President Bashar al-Assad and maintaining order in Syria after he falls. The United States had encouraged the rebels to form provincial “military councils” to achieve better coordination. But the rebel forces have continued to splinter in recent weeks.
Talking with some of the Free Syrian Army activists who arranged my trip into Syria, I’ve heard examples of the chaos caused by bypassing the military council (MC) structure. Maj. Mohammed Ali and Maj. Maher Noaimi, two rebel commanders from Hama, are said to be receiving money directly from gulf nations. “Ali and Noaimi are still serving as middlemen for all sorts of folks, and they’re working outside the MCs,” complained one report last month to the State Department about the confused funding. . . .
Many of these same foreign-policy dunderheads are the same people clucking day and night about the great scandal of Susan Rice as the villain of Benghazi.

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At 12:48 AM, Blogger John said...

Can you effin' imagine?

Egypt has "Islamist-dominated assembly" AND an "Islamist-controlled upper house of parliament."

Horrors, how can THAT be? The CIA's own "The World Factbook" notes that Egypt is ONLY 90% Muslim!!!

Ignatius can only be accurately considered a CIA asset.

John Puma

At 3:07 PM, Blogger KenInNY said...

John, "a CIA asset" is as good an explanation for Ignatius's existence as anything I can think of! Unless we consider that people like that spend all their time among people who, well, think like that.


At 12:17 AM, Blogger John said...

Ken, you are not ready to concede the general putrid rot that is our "fourth estate"?

I have no choice but to consider, each and every day, that people like Ignatius are the norm, NOT the exception, in our institutional media. (I assume this is a major reason that brings readers to this site ... and keeps them here.)

Whether we call them CIA assets (when reporting on regime change) or other ominous names (on domestic reporting), it's wiser to consider all members of the mainstream media essentially detrimental to our stated national mission and goals, unless and until proven otherwise, on a case by case basis.

I suggest, further, that we not be fooled by the rare "momentary lapses INTO reason" of isolated media individuals, especially those whose lapses are followed virtually immediately by forced apologies.

Any prolonged commission of actual journalism by an individual in the mainstream media is reliably identified with the dismissal of said offender - usually then described as "troubled" or "disgruntled."

Of course, offending, fringe news outlets are simply bombed and/or droned.

A recent example with reference to earlier atrocities by "democratic" governments:

John Puma


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