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Sunday, February 17, 2013
Excerpts: Any agreement between Islamists and opponents? U.S. intercepts Russian nuclear bombers. Hezbollah accused by rebel Syrian National Council Bahrain blames Iran, Lebanon terror cell 17 February 2013

Excerpts: Any agreement between Islamists and opponents? U.S. intercepts
Russian nuclear bombers. Hezbollah accused by rebel Syrian National Council
Bahrain blames Iran, Lebanon terror cell 17 February 2013

+++SOURCE: RB question more via Egypt Daily News 17 Feb.’13:”Egypt’s new
democracy is ’12 percent’s coup’ “
SUBJECT: Any agreement between Islamists and opponents?

QUOTE: “the country has got under yet another minority rule”

FULL TEXT:As Egypt gets gripped by a new wave of deadly protests, analyst
William Engdahl tells RT that the country has got under yet another minority’s
rule and most Egyptians are against any kind of Sharia constitution which
the Muslim Brotherhood promotes.

A fresh rally in Cairo was dispersed by water cannons and tear gas on Friday
[15 Feb.]. Three weeks into the anti-goverment demos, over 70 people have
died in clashes.

If the Muslim Brotherhood doesn’t step down, there isn’t going to be a
peaceful solution, says William F. Engdahl, the author of ‘Myths, Lies and
Oil wars’. There are different ethnic religious groups in Egypt and only a
coup by 12 percent, which is represented by the Muslim brotherhood, voted
for the Sharia constitution, according to the writer.

RT: What we are seeing now is basically a protest against protest. Is there
a way to reach an agreement between Islamists and opponents?

WE: I don’t believe so. What we’ve had in Egypt in the last two years is in
fact a coup by 12 percent, the actual number of eligible voters who voted
for this Sharia constitution, and that’s the Muslim Brotherhood. I have
friends in Egypt that report on this directly, that the majority of
Egyptians are dead-set against any kind of Sharia constitution. They want
their democracy, they want to be able to breathe openly, and worship God in
their own way and not be told what to do.

I think the interesting thing is what's now happening in Washington as the
second Obama term began. Hillary Clinton was a strong supporter of the
Brotherhood option in Egypt and Tunisia and elsewhere. She’s now gone and
John Kerry is coming in as Secretary of State, we’re pending the new
secretary of Defense, who made certain statements that irritated certain war
hawk factions in Washington and elsewhere.I think what we’re seeing here is
an Obama pivot.

The entire Muslim brotherhood experiment of the Arab Spring is turning out
to be a catastrophe and they're pivoting their energies towards China and
downgrading their support of figures like Morsi.

I think what’s playing out now is that the Muslim brotherhood is finished in
Egypt. I don’t see any way that there’s going to be reconciliation. People
smell that, they sense that, they feel that and that is what is driving
this. So either the Brotherhood steps down peacefully and respects the will
of the majority or it’s going to be bloody and ugly.

RT: Is the new wave of protests the beginning of a new revolution?

WE: ‘Revolution’ is a word used very loosely. The question is what the power
structures are: what role will the military play if the Brotherhood is out
of power, the business factions and so forth, what role will the religious
groups play? Egypt has a strong Christian Coptic tradition; it has many
different ethnic and religious groups. If those are allowed to share power
peacefully that will be the deciding factor.

RT: There have been reports of pro-Muslim Brotherhood groups attacking
protesters even peaceful ones. Does that mean that Egypt is becoming a
militia state then?

WE: I think you have a lot of agent-provocateurs that try to hurt the cause
of the democratic protest. So that’s to be expected. Where CNN zooms its
camera in to make opportunity shots in Tahrir square and violence elsewhere,
we don’t need to take that as a reality. CNN’s record on this is pretty
black.

RT: Some anti-government groups have been accused of resorting to violence
and anarchy. Is that really what they need to do to make their voices heard
at this point? Is there any other way?

WE: Not at all. The violent incidents that are blamed on anti-government
groups are most likely police provocateurs trying to paint the opposition
black, but I don’t think that is the nature of the opposition. The vast
majorities are peaceful and they want peaceful change

+++SOURCE: NBC News via Egypt Daily News 17 Feb.’13:”Russian nuclear bombers
intercepted near Guam”,By Jim Miklaszewski and Courtney Kube, NBC News

SUBJECT:U.S. intercepts Russian nuclear bombers

QUOTE:” encounter ‘stayed professional’ and there was no incident”

FULL TEXT:Two Russian bombers, capable of carrying nuclear cruise missiles,
circled the U.S. island of Guam in the Western Pacific this week, U.S.
military officials told NBC News. U.S. Air Force F-15 jets scrambled from
Andersen Air Force Base on Guam to intercept the bombers.

According to one military official, the Russian Bear bombers remained in
international airspace, the encounter between the U.S. and Russian aircraft
“stayed professional” and there was no incident. The official said it’s
impossible to determine whether the Russian bombers carried any nuclear
weapons.

U.S. long-range radars and satellites tracked the two bombers as they took
off from northeastern Russia and headed south on a long-range flight that
required “multiple refueling.” Japan also scrambled fighter jets as the
bombers passed near but did not enter Japanese airspace.

U.S. military officials say “it’s highly unusual but not unprecedented” that
Russian bombers would fly training missions in the vicinity of Guam.
According to one official, “It wasn’t provocative but it certainly got our
attention.” U.S. long-range B-52 bombers, also capable of carrying nuclear
weapons, are based at Guam.

Since Vladimir Putin reclaimed the Russian presidency, U.S. officials said
the number of such flights in the vicinity of the Aleutian Islands and
Alaska have increased, but encounters with U.S. aircraft have remained
“generally very professional.”

The two Russian Bear bombers flew near Guam at about the same time President
Barack Obama delivered his State of the Union message. Military officials
refused to speculate about the timing.

The interception was first reported in the Washington Free Beacon.

+++SOURCE: Saudi Gazette 17 Feb.’13;”Syria opposition slams Hezbollah
‘intervention’ “,Agence France Presse
SUBJECT: Hezbollah accused by rebel Syrian National Council

BEIRUT — The main bloc of the Syrian opposition on Sunday[17 Feb.] accused
staunch Damascus ally Hezbollah of "militarily intervention" in Syria,
calling it a danger to regional peace and security.

The Syrian National Council (SNC) said members of the powerful armed
movement on Saturday[16 Feb.] attacked "three Syrian villages in the Qusayr
region near the Lebanese border."

The operation in Homs province led not only to "civilian casualties and the
exodus of hundreds of people," but also "stoked sectarian tensions" in the
area, the SNC said in a statement.

The SNC said Hezbollah was employing "heavy weapons openly and under the
auspices of the Syrian regime army."

This is a "serious threat to Syrian-Lebanese relations and regional peace
and security," it said, adding that the Beirut government has a
responsibility to end this "aggression."

Lebanon was dominated politically and militarily by its larger neighbor
Syria for three decades, and the small Mediterranean country is sharply
divided over the Syrian revolt which erupted in March 2011.

Hezbollah and its allies in the ruling coalition back Assad's regime, but
the March 14 movement and its allies support the rebellion.

The Shiite party, Lebanon's most powerful military force, occasionally
announces the death of one of its fighters killed "carrying out his jihadist
duty," but without clarification.

In October 2012, Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah acknowledged that party
members had fought Syrian rebels, but said they were acting as individuals
and not under the party's direction.

On Saturday[16 Feb.], the Local Coordination Committees — a grassroots
network of activists on the ground in Syria — reported fighting between
rebels and members of Hezbollah around Qusayr.

It said they were trying to break into the rebel-held city, which has been
under daily army bombardment for the past year. — AFP

+++SOURCE: Naharnet (Lebanon)17 Feb.’13:Bahrain Says it Arrested Alleged
Terror Cell Tied to Iran, Lebanon”,Agence France Presse, Associated Press
SUBJECT: Bahrain blames Iran.Lebanon terror cell

QUOTE:”Bahrain is home to the U.S. Navy’s 5th fleet.”

FULL TEXT:Bahrain's interior minister said police have arrested eight
members of an alleged terrorist cell linked to Iran and Lebanon following
widespread clashes in the Gulf nation during protests marking the second
anniversary of an Arab Spring-inspired uprising.

A statement Sunday[17 Feb.] on the ministry's website said the suspected
terror network received training and financial support from Iran, Iraq and
Lebanon — references to Iranian-backed Shiite groups such as Hizbullah and
others.

Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid bin Abdullah al-Khalifa said the eight
"moved between Iran, Iraq and Lebanon and received training in using arms
and explosives as well as financial aid."

"Details about the case will be announced as soon as the investigation is
completed," he said.

Sheikh Rashid also denounced the "escalation in violence" in the kingdom
where a protester and a policeman were killed during Shiite-led protests to
mark the second anniversary of the 2011 uprising there on Thursday.

He said "terrorist acts had taken place over the past three days" in which
"two people were killed and 75 policemen were wounded," adding that "there
has been an escalation... with the use of firearms" and explosives.

Bahrain's Western-backed Sunni monarchy has frequently accused Shiite power
Iran and its allies of aiding the uprising by Bahrain's majority Shiites.
Iran denies the charges.

Bahrain courts have previously convicted suspects for alleged coup plotting
and links to Iran and Hizbullah, but no clear evidence has been made public.

Bahrain is home to the U.S. Navy's 5th Fleet.
==========
Sue Lerner - Associate, IMRA

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