As Al-Sisi is stepping down to run for the Presidency, this little bombshell fell…

Egyptian army funds parties to stand against Muslim Brotherhood

The Egyptian army funded many Egyptian political parties and youth coalition groups in order to stand against the Muslim Brotherhood in the elections, Egyptian security expert and researcher Sameh Al-Yazel revealed.

Speaking to the Egyptian TV channel CBC, Al-Yazel said the army paid millions of Egyptian pounds for these parties and youth coalition groups in order to be able to affect the public opinion. He said many of these bodies are active until today, but refused to mention names.

Al-Yazel also said that the army supported these bodies, which called for the expansion of the transitional period in order to take their time to ‘organise or reorganise’ themselves.

He said: ‘They [the army] said they [Muslim Brotherhood] are the only well-organised party; therefore they will sweep the elections.’ Al-Yazel explained this is what caused the army to take these measures.

Meanwhile, Al-Sisi is headed to Moscow…

Egypt’s top military commander and expected presidential candidate Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi is on his way to Moscow, marking the first time senior Egyptian officials have visited Russia since the overthrow of the country’s president, Mohamed Morsi, in June.

El-Sissi is scheduled to meet with President Vladimir Putin and speak at a joint press conference, The Associated Press reported, citing Egyptian media.

State-owned Egyptian news outlets have also reported that the purpose of the visit was the conclusion of a $2 billion arms deal funded largely by the Gulf States Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

Another interesting development… Egypt Detains a U.S. Embassy Employee

Moving along to Syria…

Here’s the ludicrous, 22-point plan offered up by the Syrian Opposition… Opposition plan for post-war Syria ignores Assad

Naturally…Russia and China want no part of it…!

In fact, Russia says Syria aid draft groundwork for military action

So, yesterday, Clapper called Syria an ‘Apocalyptic Disaster’ during congressional testimony…

US intelligence concerned by Al-Qaeda fighters in Syria

The director of US National Intelligence, James Clapper, testified in Washington on Tuesday before the Senate Armed Services Committee that there are at least 7,500 fighters from 50 different countries who have been trained by Al-Qaeda fighters inside Syria.

Defence Intelligence Agency Chairman Michael Flynn warned that: ‘There is also the very real possibility that extremists in the Syrian opposition could overrun and exploit chemical and biological weapons storage facilities before all the materials are removed.’

‘The current instability in Syria presents a perfect opportunity for Al-Qaeda and associated groups to acquire these weapons or their components,’ added Flynn.

When asked if Al-Qaeda is ‘on the run’ or ‘on the path to defeat,’ Clapper replied no, saying that: ‘It is morphing and franchising itself, not only [in North Africa] but other parts of the world.’

Flynn also responded that Al-Qaeda is not on the path to defeat.

Clapper noted that at least 7,500 foreign fighters from 50 countries have gravitated to Syria, including a small group of Afghani and Pakistani supporters of Al-Qaeda ‘who have aspirations for external attack in Europe if not the homeland itself.’

‘Looking back over my more than half a century in intelligence,’ Clapper added, ;I’ve not experienced a time when we’ve been beset by more crises and threats around the globe.’

I thought Col. Lang did a great job on cutting through that claptrap…

IMO the Syrian armed forces, Hizbullah infantry, Iraqi Shia volunteer militia, and Syrian pro-government militias backed by Iranian trainers and materiel will gradually grind down the opposition. The key to successs in this endeavor will be economy of force as a principle. In other words, conservation of forces and maximum application of materiel should be the method followed. The resources available are not infinite, but neither are those of the rebels. So long as Russia continues to use its Security Council seat to oppose rebel victory the Syrian government will be able to keep moving toward suppression of the rebellion.

Those who hope for a rebel triumph should contemplate the fact that the likely result of such a development would be a Sunni, jihadi government deeply hostile to the US, the West and Israel. pl

b at MOA painted a rosier scenario…

Syria: More OpEd Nonsense While NYT Editorial Begins To Make Sense

…So if Russia and China block a Security Council resolution there must be an R2P Security Council resolution which Russia and China would block making any further action obviously illigeal. Then some countries could illegally use military forces to help the no-existing “democratically oriented rebel groups” to provide whatever.

The once blocked Yarmouk Palestinian camp has been cleared from fighters against the government and is back under Palestinian and government control. Nearly half of the 2,000 civilians in a small area within Homs city that was under siege and that also holds several thousand of fighters have left the area. The next big areas which are under siege and in need of relief are the 50,000 people in the Shia towns al-Zahraa and Nubl. They are besieged by insurgents. Are we to believe that “democratically oriented rebel groups” will provide for them? And which country would be crazy enough to send its military to Syria to receive the wrath not only of the Syrian and Russian governments but also of the al-Qaeda oriented jihadis?

Compared to that nonsense the main editorial in today’s NYT makes nearly makes sense:
‘[A] political solution is not out of the question if some right choices are made. The United States, for one, should drop its opposition to including Iran, which supplies arms and other assistance to Mr. Assad, in the negotiations. Russia, another weapons supplier, could send a powerful message to Mr. Assad by suspending its arms deliveries. Saudi Arabia and Qatar could send the same message to Mr. Assad’s opposition by ending weapons deliveries to the rebels. And Turkey could close its border to the foreign fighters that have turned Syria into a cauldron of extremist elements that threaten the entire region.’

That is more realistic position than the so far uttered ones in the U.S. editorial world. But isn’t it funny that it doesn’t mention Jordan where the U.S. trains insurgents, provides them with weapons and then send them off to fight in Syria. Should that, in the mind of the NYT editors, continue?

Interestingly president Obama picked up one issue from that editorial today. In a press confernece with the French president Hollande, Obama called on the international community to stop the flow of foreign fighters into Syria.

Was that directed at the Saudis and Turkey?

Funny how even the Sauds are now giving pause…Islamist threat at home forces Saudi rethink on Syria

Moving along to Bibi and Israeli perfidy…

Exactly who has selective hearing, Bibi…?

Netanyahu: EU Parliament head has ‘selective hearing’

PM pans Schulz’s remarks on unfair gap in water use between Palestinians, Israelis, says visitor cast aspersions without bothering to check his facts

…Speaking to the Knesset plenum, Netanyahu accused the EU head of having ‘selective hearing,’ which, he maintained, is characteristic of many in European circles.

‘He said that he visited Ramallah and heard [from Palestinians] that an Israeli citizen uses four times as much water as a Palestinian,’ Netanyahu said of Shultz. ‘According to both the Palestinian water authority and our data, these facts are incorrect. The parliament president said, in all honestly, “I didn’t check.” But that didn’t prevent him from casting aspersions,’ the prime minister complained.

‘While they repeat accusations against Israel without examining them, they seal their ears from other things,’ Netanyahu said, referring to reassurances from the EU president that Iran is no longer calling for the demise of Israel.

Schulz had addressed the Knesset plenum Wednesday morning, delivering a generally pro-Israel speech that included his recounting of a meeting held two days earlier with young Palestinians in Ramallah…

…At this point in his speech, several right-wing MKs yelled out in protest, calling the figures Palestinian lies, and a number of Jewish Home party lawmakers, including Orit Struck and Moti Yogev, walked out. Minutes after Schulz finished speaking, Economy Minister and Jewish Home chairman Naftali Bennett released a statement demanding an apology.

The right-wing walkout garnered harsh criticism from dovish MKs.

‘The behavior of the Jewish Home MKs was shameful and scandalous,’ said opposition leader MK Isaac Herzog (Labor). ‘I think some of the [MKs] didn’t even hear the speech,’ Herzog told Israel Radio shortly after the incident. ‘My colleagues and I were embarrassed. We know Martin Schulz. He defends Israel’s position, including in the European Parliament.’

Talk about being Tone Deaf…! Netanyahu wants EU to outlaw boycott of Israel

Meanwhile, Erdogan ups the ante on Bibi…

Turkey PM: No reconciliation with Israel until end of Gaza siege

Erdogan says Israel answered several Turkish demands in negotiations, but won’t agree to normalization of ties without lifting of Gaza blockade.

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip  Erdogan said on Tuesday that he demands a ‘written protocol’ from Israel pledging it will lift the siege over the Gaza Strip as a condition for signing a reconciliation agreement and normalizing relations between the two countries.

Speaking at a press conference in Ankara alongside Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, Erdogan said that negotiations with Israel have progressed, but have not ended. He added that Turkey has received an apology from Israel, and that talks over compensation for the families of those killed and wounded on the Mavi Marmara ship in 2010 are ongoing. However, Erdogan said the lifting of the siege over the Gaza Strip – which was one of the conditions set by Turkey for normalizing relations – has not yet transpired. ‘Nothing will happen without lifting the siege on Gaza,’ he said.

On Monday, Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu told a local television station that Israel and Turkey are closer than ever to normalizing relations between the two countries.

‘There has recently been momentum and a new approach in compensation talks,’ Davutoglu said. ‘We could say that most of the differences have been recently removed in these discussions.’

Last week Haaretz reported that Israel has offered to pay $20 million in compensation to the families of the nine people killed during an Israeli commando raid on the Turkish ship Mavi Marmara in May 2010, as well as to those in the incident.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had authorized his envoys to go as high as $23 million in order to secure an agreement.

In wrapping up, some other interesting reads…

The Art of American Scaremongering-The Government Is Always Right

Learning the Wrong Mideast Lessons

Six steps to a done deal on nuclear Iran

May Saner minds prevail…!