Thursday, September 29, 2011
Saturday, September 24, 2011
By Tesfa-Alem Tekle
September 24, 2011 (ADDIS ABABA) - The United States is reportedly set to build a new drone base in Ethiopia for counter-terrorism operations in the Horn of Africa, the Washington Post reports.
The establishment of the drone base in the East African country will be used to carry out strikes against targets in the region mainly to confront the activities of designated terrorist groups such as Al-Shabab an al-Qaeda affiliate who are fighting the the weak transitional government of Somalia.
Ethiopia has in recent years proved as “a valued counterterrorism partner to deal with the threats posed by al-Shabaab.” according to US officials who spoke to the Washington Post.
“The CIA and other agencies also employ Ethiopian informants who gather information from across the border,” the Washington Post reported.
The United States and Ethiopia have been discussing creating a drone base inside the Horn of Africa nation for the past four years according to one US official, but the plan was delayed because “the Ethiopians were not all that jazzed.”
Ethiopian officials have not been available for confirmation over the report.
The United States has in the past insisted it had no plans to build new bases in the African continent reassuring Africans that the new US Africa Command, responsible for US military operations and military relations with 53 African nations except Egypt, would not mean a stretched US military presence in Africa.
However the latest move instead has proved Washington’s interest to extend the range of its drone weapons to Africa.
The US has a long established base in Djibouti where it conducts drone attacks over targets inside Somalia and Yemen.
The US government had carried out unauthorised deadly drone attacks in at least six countries namely Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, Libya, Somalia and Yemen where in most cases the attacks have sparked public anger.
Tuesday, September 13, 2011
By George Friedman
When I visited Europe in 2008 and before, the idea that Europe was not going to emerge as one united political entity was regarded as heresy by many leaders. The European enterprise was seen as a work in progress moving inevitably toward unification — a group of nations committed to a common fate. What was a core vision in 2008 is now gone. What was inconceivable — the primacy of the traditional nation-state — is now commonly discussed, and steps to devolve Europe in part or in whole (such as ejecting Greece from the eurozone) are being contemplated. This is not a trivial event.
Before 1492, Europe was a backwater of small nationalities struggling over a relatively small piece of cold, rainy land. But one technological change made Europe the center of the international system: deep-water navigation.
The ability to engage in long-range shipping safely allowed businesses on the Continent’s various navigable rivers to interact easily with each other, magnifying the rivers’ capital-generation capacity. Deep-water navigation also allowed many of the European nations to conquer vast extra-European empires. And the close proximity of those nations combined with ever more wealth allowed for technological innovation and advancement at a pace theretofore unheard of anywhere on the planet. As a whole, Europe became very rich, became engaged in very far-flung empire-building that redefined the human condition and became very good at making war. In short order, Europe went from being a cultural and economic backwater to being the engine of the world.
At home, Europe’s growing economic development was exceeded only by the growing ferocity of its conflicts. Abroad, Europe had achieved the ability to apply military force to achieve economic aims — and vice versa. The brutal exploitation of wealth from some places (South America in particular) and the thorough subjugation and imposed trading systems in others (East and South Asia in particular) created the foundation of the modern order. Such alternations of traditional systems increased the wealth of Europe dramatically.
But “engine” does not mean “united,” and Europe’s wealth was not spread evenly. Whichever country was benefitting had a decided advantage in that it had greater resources to devote to military power and could incentivize other countries to ally with it. The result ought to have been that the leading global empire would unite Europe under its flag. It never happened, although it was attempted repeatedly. Europe remained divided and at war with itself at the same time it was dominating and reshaping the world.
The reasons for this paradox are complex. For me, the key has always been the English Channel. Domination of Europe requires a massive land force. Domination of the world requires a navy heavily oriented toward maritime trade. No European power was optimized to cross the channel, defeat England and force it into Europe. The Spanish Armada, the French navy at Trafalgar and the Luftwaffe over Britain all failed to create the conditions for invasion and subjugation. Whatever happened in continental Europe, the English remained an independent force with a powerful navy of its own, able to manipulate the balance of power in Europe to keep European powers focused on each other and not on England (most of the time). And after the defeat of Napoleon, the Royal Navy created the most powerful empire Europe had seen, but it could not, by itself, dominate the Continent. (Other European geographic features obviously make unification of Europe difficult, but all of them have, at one point or another, been overcome. Except for the channel.)
Underlying TensionsThe tensions underlying Europe were bought to a head by German unification in 1871 and the need to accommodate Germany in the European system, of which Germany was both an integral and indigestible part. The result was two catastrophic general wars in Europe that began in 1914 and ended in 1945 with the occupation of Europe by the United States and the Soviet Union and the collapse of the European imperial system. Its economy shattered and its public plunged into a crisis of morale and a lack of confidence in the elites, Europe had neither the interest in nor appetite for empire.
Europe was exhausted not only by war but also by the internal psychosis of two of its major components. Hitler’s Germany and Stalin’s Soviet Union might well have externally behaved according to predictable laws of geopolitics. Internally, these two countries went mad, slaughtering both their own citizens and citizens of countries they occupied for reasons that were barely comprehensible, let alone rationally explicable. From my point of view, the pressure and slaughter inflicted by two world wars on both countries created a collective mental breakdown.
I realize this is a woefully inadequate answer. But consider Europe after World War II. First, it had gone through about 450 years of global adventure and increasingly murderous wars, in the end squandering everything it had won. Internally, Europe watched a country like Germany — in some ways the highest expression of European civilization — plunge to levels of unprecedented barbarism. Finally, Europe saw the United States move from the edges of history to assume the role of an occupying force. The United States became the envy of the Europeans: stable, wealthy, unified and able to impose its economic, political and military will on major powers on a different continent. (The Russians were part of Europe and could be explained within the European paradigm. So while the Europeans may have disdained the Russians, the Russians were still viewed as poor cousins, part of the family playing by more or less European rules.) New and unprecedented, the United States towered over Europe, which went from dominance to psychosis to military, political and cultural subjugation in a twinkling of history’s eye.
Paradoxically, it was the United States that gave the first shape to Europe’s future, beginning with Western Europe. World War II’s outcome brought the United States and Soviet Union to the center of Germany, dividing it. A new war was possible, and the reality and risks of the Cold War were obvious. The United States needed a united Western Europe to contain the Soviets. It created NATO to integrate Europe and the United States politically and militarily. This created the principle of transnational organizations integrating Europe. The United States also encouraged economic cooperation both within Europe and between North America and Europe — in stark contrast to the mercantilist imperiums of recent history — giving rise to the European Union’s precursors. Over the decades of the Cold War, the Europeans committed themselves to a transnational project to create a united Europe of some sort in a way not fully defined.
There were two reasons for this thrust for unification. The first was the Cold War and collective defense. But the deeper reason was a hope for a European resurrection from the horrors of the 20th century. It was understood that German unification in 1871 created the conflicts and that the division of Germany in 1945 re-stabilized Europe. At the same time, Europe did not want to remain occupied or caught in an ongoing near-war situation. The Europeans were searching for a way to overcome their history.
One problem was the status of Germany. The deeper problem was nationalism. Not only had Europe failed to unite under a single flag via conquest but also World War I had shattered the major empires, creating a series of smaller states that had been fighting to be free. The argument was that it was nationalism, and not just German nationalism, that had created the 20th century. Europe’s task was therefore to overcome nationalism and create a structure in which Europe united and retained unique nations as cultural phenomena and not political or economic entities. At the same time, by embedding Germany in this process, the German problem would be solved as well.
A Means of RedemptionThe European Union was designed not simply to be a useful economic tool but also to be a means of European redemption. The focus on economics was essential. It did not want to be a military alliance, since such alliances were the foundation of Europe’s tragedy. By focusing on economic matters while allowing military affairs to be linked to NATO and the United States, and by not creating a meaningful joint-European force, the Europeans avoided the part of their history that terrified them while pursuing the part that enticed them: economic prosperity. The idea was that free trade regulated by a central bureaucracy would suppress nationalism and create prosperity without abolishing national identity. The common currency — the euro — is the ultimate expression of this hope. The Europeans hoped that the existence of some Pan-European structure could grant wealth without surrendering the core of what it means to be French or Dutch or Italian.
Yet even during the post-World War II era of security and prosperity, some Europeans recoiled from the idea of a transfer of sovereignty. The consensus that many in the long line of supporters of European unification believed existed simply didn’t. And today’s euro crisis is the first serious crisis that Europe has faced in the years since, with nationalism beginning to re-emerge in full force.
In the end, Germans are Germans and Greeks are Greeks. Germany and Greece are different countries in different places with different value systems and interests. The idea of sacrificing for each other is a dubious concept. The idea of sacrificing for the European Union is a meaningless concept. The European Union has no moral claim on Europe beyond promising prosperity and offering a path to avoid conflict. These are not insignificant goals, but when the prosperity stops, a large part of the justification evaporates and the aversion to conflict (at least political discord) begins to dissolve.
Germany and Greece each have explanations for why the other is responsible for what has happened. For the Germans, it was the irresponsibility of the Greek government in buying political power with money it didn’t have to the point of falsifying economic data to obtain eurozone membership. For the Greeks, the problem is the hijacking of Europe by the Germans. Germany controls the eurozone’s monetary policy and has built a regulatory system that provides unfair privileges, so the Greeks believe, for Germany’s exports, economic structure and financial system. Each nation believes the other is taking advantage of the situation.
Political leaders are seeking accommodation, but their ability to accommodate each other is increasingly limited by public opinion growing more hostile not only to the particulars of the deal but to the principle of accommodation. The most important issue is not that Germany and Greece disagree (although they do, strongly) but that their publics are increasingly viewing each other as nationals of a foreign power who are pursuing their own selfish interests. Both sides say they want “more Europe,” but only if “more Europe” means more of what they want from the other.
Managing SacrificeNationalism is the belief that your fate is bound up with your nation and your fellow citizens and you have an indifference to the fate of others. What the Europeanists tried to do was create institutions that made choosing between your own and others unnecessary. But they did this not with martial spirit or European myth, which horrified them. They made the argument prudently: You will like Europe because it will be prosperous, and with all of Europe prosperous there will be no need to choose between your nation and other nations. Their greatest claim was that Europe would not require sacrifice. To a people who lived through the 20th century, the absence of sacrifice was enormously seductive.
But, of course, prosperity comes and goes, and as it goes sacrifice is needed. And sacrifice — like wealth — is always unevenly distributed. That uneven distribution is determined not only by necessity but also by those who have power and control over institutions. From a national point of view, it is Germany and France that have the power, with the British happy to be out of the main fray. The weak are the rest of Europe, those who surrendered core sovereignty to the Germans and French and now face the burdens of managing sacrifice.
In the end, Europe will remain an enormously prosperous place. The net worth of Europe — its economic base, its intellectual capital, its organizational capabilities — is stunning. Those qualities do not evaporate. But crisis reshapes how they are managed, operated and distributed. This is now in question. Obviously, the future of the euro is now widely discussed. So the future of the free-trade zone will come to the fore. Germany is a massive economy by itself, exporting more per year than the gross domestic products of most of the world’s other nation-states. Does Greece or Portugal really want to give Germany a blank check to export what it wants with it, or would they prefer managed trade under their control? Play this forward past the euro crisis and the foundations of a unified Europe become questionable.
This is the stuff that banks and politicians need to worry about. The deeper worry is nationalism. European nationalism has always had a deeper engine than simply love of one’s own. It is also rooted in resentment of others. Europe is not necessarily unique in this, but it has experienced some of the greatest catastrophes in history because of it. Historically, the Europeans have hated well. We are very early in the process of accumulating grievances and remembering how to hate, but we have entered the process. How this is played out, how the politicians, financiers and media interpret these grievances, will have great implications for Europe. Out of it may come a broader sense of national betrayal, which was just what the European Union was supposed to prevent.
Read more: The Crisis of Europe and European Nationalism | STRATFOR
Saturday, September 10, 2011
Sunday, September 4, 2011
Egypt, Libya & Ethiopia to Join Iran’s Terror Network | theTrumpet.com by the Philadelphia Church of God
Iran, the number one state sponsor of terrorism by far, has bludgeoned its way into controlling Lebanon and Gaza, and has become the backbone of Syrian terrorism. Iran also bombed and butchered its way into the dominant role in Iraq and Afghanistan (after America thought it had won those wars), and now is empowering the Muslim Brotherhood terrorists to get control of Egypt.
Now America and the West have paved the way for another Iranian victory in Libya. We are rejoicing about the overthrow of Libya’s Muammar Qadhafi, while we should be mourning. Libyan chaos is now the ideal setting for Iran to bring that nation into its deadly terrorist web. The government that replaces Qadhafi will be a thousand times worse.
And you can prove this is going to happen! (More on that later.)
Egypt’s Revolutionary Change
Egypt is rapidly moving into the Iranian camp. That means Egypt, which borders Libya, will now help bring that nation into Iran’s terror network.
Already violence has broken out between Israel and Egypt—after 30 years of peace. Why the big change since President Hosni Mubarak resigned due to massive protests? That is a subject the mainstream media does not like to discuss.
The Muslim Brotherhood has joined forces with the powerful Egyptian military. It clearly is the dominant force inside Egypt, and is getting more control daily.
That means Egypt is in for a radical change, which we have been prophesying for 20 years.
Here is what Stephen Flurry wrote in the April Trumpet magazine: “Four days after Mubarak’s resignation, Der Spiegel published an exposé on Yusuf al-Qaradawi, the ‘father figure’ of the Muslim Brotherhood. Back in 2002, the Brotherhood asked Qaradawi to be its leader, but he turned down the offer because of its limitations. He wanted to concentrate instead on mobilizing a ‘United Muslim Nations.’
“The charismatic Qaradawi, an Egyptian by birth, is one of the most popular Muslim clerics in the Middle East. He’s written at least 100 books, and his weekly television program is viewed by 60 millionMuslims on Al-Jazeera. He hates Jews and has asked Allah to kill ‘every last one’ of them” (emphasis added throughout).
There is absolutely no reason to believe the Muslim Brotherhood will ever help bring peace to the Middle East. And now, it is positioned to gain even more power. As the Jerusalem Post wrote in an August 29 editorial, with elections in Egypt drawing near, the Brotherhood “is seizing the political momentum. The intensely disciplined Islamist group is Egypt’s most cohesive political movement, and the largest organization apart from the Egyptian military itself.”
President Mubarak obviously made some crucial mistakes, and both U.S. political parties have made serious errors in the Middle East. But let’s not forget what Mubarak did. He fought as an ally of the United States against what he called the Iranian “cancer.” He kept a lid on the violent Muslim Brotherhood, which killed Anwar Sadat, Mubarak’s predecessor. He kept peace with Israel for 30 years. He fought with America in its war against terror. And one more extremely important point, Mubarak fought against Iran getting the nuclear bomb, which it could get as early as next year.
No Arab country in the Middle East has done more to befriend America!
President Mubarak was severely warning U.S. diplomats about the Iranian “cancer” spreading throughout the Middle East in 2009. Not only did our government not heed the warning, but at the same time, President Obama was meeting with the Muslim Brotherhood in the White House!
That information should send shivers through the body of any American who understands what is happening in the Middle East!
“With the upheaval in Egypt, the only successful Middle East peace treaty is in jeopardy,” William L. Gensert wrote in American Thinker. “The Egyptian border crossing into Gaza is now open and Hamas is very happy; it’s so much easier getting weapons without the prying eyes of the Israelis. Iranian warships, banned since 1979, have been allowed to transverse the Suez Canal into the Mediterranean. … Egypt, once considered a strong American ally, is now drifting within the Iranian orbit. …
“For years, Iran has been an ardent supplier of arms in Afghanistan to al Qaeda and the Taliban. Weapons and bombs supplied by Iran were used to kill American soldiers, yet our president says nothing” (August 14).
The end result is going to be that we exchanged Mubarak and “the onlysuccessful Middle East peace treaty” for the Muslim Brotherhood—allied with Iran.
In spite of Mubarak’s positive fruits, the present U.S. administration set out to humiliate him publicly from the beginning, and it supported dissenters in Egypt. Only a rebuke from Saudi Arabia slowed our government’s tactics.
The American government said nothing to support many thousands (some say millions) of dissenters in the summer of 2009 when they marched against Iranian leaders who stole their election!
President Obama excused American neutrality by saying, “It’s not productive, given the history of U.S.-Iranian relations, to be seen as meddling.”
President Obama even claimed some of the credit for Mubarak’s expulsion. “What we’ve seen so far is positive,” President Obama insisted at a press conference a few days after Mubarak resigned. “I think history will end up recording that at every juncture in the situation in Egypt that we were on the right side of history.”
On the right side of history?
Historians could think that America actually supported worldwide terrorism and nurtured nuclear war!
There should be no doubt that Iran is going to start a war. That is why its getting nuclear weapons is such a critical issue.
More than any other nation, America has helped the terrorists succeed!
It also took the U.S. government five months before it condemned Bashar al-Assad’s oppressing and killing many of his own people (with Iran’s help). Syria is the second-largest state sponsor of terrorism in the world—after Iran!
Future historians could think we were allies of Iran and Syria and the enemy of Egypt!
Violence Against Israel
After Palestinian militants recently organized an ambush attack on Israel that left eight Israelis dead, Israel retaliated with air strikes targeting the Gaza area.
The terrorist attack was carried out by a Palestinian faction based in Gaza, but was launched from Egyptian territory. In the midst of the attack, three Egyptian security officers were accidentally killed, for which Egypt blames Israel.
In response, Egypt threatened to remove its ambassador from Tel Aviv, prompting Israel to issue a rare public statement of regret over the killings. Once again, Israel is now under fire as a result of what started as an attack against it, planned by Palestinian militants and facilitated by access to the Sinai, an area Egypt has failed to keep properly under control for months.
The New York Times wrote in its August 20 edition, “The crisis has beenthe sharpest signal yet that the revolution that toppled President Hosni Mubarak in February is transforming the three-decade-old relationship between Egypt and Israel that has been the cornerstone of Middle Eastern politics.”
This newspaper is right in saying that the 30-year relationship between Israel and Egypt has been “the cornerstone of Middle Eastern politics” (not just between those two nations). The cornerstone means the basic element or foundation of Middle East politics. That means when this relationship unravels, the foundation of Middle East politics unravels!
That is no small problem because Iran is reaping most of the benefits.
The New York Times sees this crisis as “the sharpest signal yet” that the revolution in Egypt is “transforming” the peaceful relationship between Israel and Egypt into an Israeli nightmare!
But it’s much worse than that. It shows that Egypt is already allying itself with Iran in its bloody terrorist war.
This has the potential to cause the Middle East to explode and drag all the Earth’s inhabitants into World War iii!
The New York Times article had this headline in that August 20 edition: “Nations Race to Defuse Crisis Between Egypt and Israel.” Nations raceto help solve this problem because they know how deadly the potential is for the entire Middle East to explode.
There have also been five bombings of an Egyptian pipeline, which delivers vitally important natural gas to Israel. All of the bombings have happened since the revolution began in Egypt. That is another “sharp signal” that this part of the “Arab Spring” has already produced some bitter terrorist storms!
And this is only the beginning of sorrows!
Before he left office, Hosni Mubarak had this to say: “They [the dissenters] may be talking about democracy, but the result will be extremism and radical Islam.”
How precisely prophetic that statement was. But we dared not listen to DictatorMubarak.
He spent his whole 30-year reign suppressing radical Islam in his own country. So he should understand this better than any man alive!
We loosely throw around the words “Mubarak the Dictator.” But look at what the man did—examine the fruits of his reign. He had to be a strong leader. It was the only way he could prevent the Muslim Brotherhood from violently taking over!
How little we understood Mubarak’s Egypt. This world is going to pay a bloody price because of America’s incomprehensible ignorance and lack of real leadership.
Libya today is in total chaos. Reports say there are al Qaeda fighters there along with Hezbollah terrorists and even some militants from Afghanistan and Iraq.
Another report said that about 20 percent of the suicide bombers in Iraq came from Darnah, a city in eastern Libya.
nato knows almost nothing about who these dissenters are and who will rise to power. But always lurking in the background is an oil-rich Iran with the will to send some of its leading warriors into Libya. Still, natowants to just bomb Libya and go home. This makes Iran’s bloody work much easier!
That nation has the proven will to do whatever is required to win. The only thing the U.S. has left is a broken will. Nobody at this stage has the will to stand up to Iran. (Request our booklet The King of the South. All of our literature is free.)
The King of the North
The king of the south, Iran, is about to clash with the king of the north, a European Holy Roman Empire. The book of Daniel was written only for this end time (Daniel 12:4, 9).
“And at the time of the end shall the king of the south [Iran] push at him: and the king of the north [the Holy Roman Empire] shall come against him like a whirlwind, with chariots, and with horsemen, and with many ships; and he shall enter into the countries, and shall overflow and pass over. He shall enter also into the glorious land [Jerusalem], and many countries shall be overthrown: but these shall escape out of his hand, even Edom, and Moab, and the chief of the children of Ammon. He shall stretch forth his hand also upon the countries: and the land ofEgypt shall not escape. But he shall have power over the treasures of gold and of silver, and over all the precious things of Egypt: and theLibyans and the Ethiopians shall be at his steps” (Daniel 11:40-43). The Moffatt translation states that “at his steps” means following in his train!Egypt is not going to escape the king of the north because it is allied with Iran. The same applies to Libya and Ethiopia (which will probably be the next Middle East explosion, which Iran is going to exploit).
Libya was the world’s 12th-biggest producer of oil before the uprising began in February. It provided 1.4 million barrels a day to Europe—Italy, Germany and Spain.
That means crisis in Libya causes a certain panic in Europe. The Europeans know that Iran could get enough control in Libya to use the oil as a weapon against them. Also, Libya is in a very strategic location on the Mediterranean Sea, through which the Middle East oil flows.
Iran knows how much more clout an oil-rich country can add to its power in the Middle East.
We have warned since 1992 about Iran getting some control of the oil in Iraq. Now Iran has the greatest influence in Iraq of any country.
Here is what a writer recently wrote in the Guardian newspaper of Britain: “If the risings succeed in deposing the latest round of tyrants, but violent, illiberal Islamist forces gain the upper hand in some of those countries, producing so many new Irans, then heaven help us all. Such are the stakes. If that does not add up to a vital European interest, I don’t know what does” (February 2).
All of these events are going to cause the European Union member nations to go from 27 kings to 10, so they can become a united and aggressive superpower (Revelation 17:12-13). Then Europe will clash with Iran and win. (Request our free booklet Germany and the Holy Roman Empire.)
These terrifying events lead to the most exciting event ever to occur on this Earth or in the universe: the return of Jesus Christ (read Daniel 12). He must return or there would not be one man, woman or child left alive (Matthew 24:21-22).
What a magnificent future we have awaiting us. But before that happens, we are going to experience the greatest suffering ever on Earth. •