[Hurriyet Daily News] President Recep Tayyip Erdogan ... Turkey's version of Mohammed Morsi but they voted him back in so they deserve him... has little love lost for Egypt's Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, who he sees as a dictator that ousted the country's democratically elected president in a military coup, and went on to stage-manage an election to give himself the appearance of being a democratic leader. Erdogan is right, of course, because that is exactly what el-Sisi did.
El-Sisi can also be expected to stage-manage the two-tier parliamentary elections to be held in October and November. It is unlikely that anyone who is remotely suspected of being a member of the Moslem Brüderbund, for example, will be allowed to contest these elections. It is equally unlikely that liberals who are scathing about el-Sisi's rule will be allowed to do so also.
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how Erdogan can continue to blast at Egypt when he is doing much the same as el-Sisi
One major difference between them is al-Sisi seems to genuinely care about his country's future (witness his Christmas visit to a Coptic church for example), while Erdogan is just making a traditional power grab.
[PJMedia] Some years ago the US Armed Forces tried to build an operational doctrine around the idea that war and conflict occurred in human structures, rather than in geographical places. "The Human Terrain System (HTS) is a United States Army, Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC) support program employing personnel from the social science disciplines -- such as anthropology, sociology, political science, regional studies and linguistics -- to provide military commanders and staff with an understanding of the local population (i.e. the "human terrain") in the regions in which they are deployed."
It tried to understand war as a human phenomenon. Although the program as designed was a flawed and terminated in 2014 there was some merit to its core insight. People, not things, drive conflict. When we read in the papers that refugees are "fleeing from Syria" or Libya; when the Guardian proclaims that "Gaza could soon become uninhabitable, UN report predicts", one must ask: are they running from the rocks and the very air? Or are they running from the Human Terrain?
The question applies not just to Gaza, but whole swathes of the Middle East and North Africa which may soon become "uninhabitable". It would be useful to know why. The reason millions are fleeing is not because they prefer the climate or landscape in Germany but because they prefer the institutions. The Human Terrain is better in Germany and so the populations of MENA are embarked upon a wholesale relocation.
That was not always the case. Seventy years ago the refugees were running all the other way. In 1944 the Human Terrain in Europe sucked. What the victorious Allies did was alter the institutions, the culture, the zeitgeist. Once they did that, war went away. There are now new institutions that are far different from the old.
But the basic laws of institutional behavior remain, one of the most important is that organizations can only do what is in their repertoire. Bureaucracies are like jukeboxes. They can't play what's not on the list. One of the most striking examples of this is the scene in the 1970s movie, Five Easy Pieces. in which the character played by Jack Nicholson unsuccessfully tries to order breakfast items in a diner which are scattered in different parts of the menu. He simply couldn't get a "plain omelette. No potatoes. Tomatoes, instead". That's also explains why they, suddenly, love Iran. Since stopping refugees flood is impossible without shedding fundamental part of their ideology (all Peoples are equal), they're clutching at straws: "Maybe Iran can restore stability" (or, at least, nuclear war can cut down the numbers of refugees).
[Jpost] Sometimes you have to fight battles you cannot win because fighting -- regardless of the outcome -- advances a larger cause.
Israel's fight against the nuclear deal the major powers, led by US President Barack Obama concluded with Iran was such a battle.
The battle's futility became clear on July 20, just six days after it was concluded in Vienna.
On July 20, the US administration anchored the deal -- which paves the way for Iran to become a nuclear power and enriches the terrorism-sponsoring ayatollahs to the tune of $150 billion -- in a binding UN Security Council resolution. Once the resolution passed, the deal became unstoppable.
Most of the frozen funds that comprise the $150b. would have been released regardless of congressional action. And the nonproliferation regime the US developed over the past 70 years was upended the moment the deal was concluded in Vienna.
The fight in Congress itself probably couldn't have succeeded even if the administration hadn't made an end run around the lawmakers at the Security Council.
After Sen. Bob Corker, the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, passed the law obligating Obama to secure the support of a mere third of the members of either House to implement his nuclear deal, its implementation was a foregone conclusion. The US Constitution gives sole power to approve international treaties to the Senate and requires a minimum of two-thirds approval for passage. Corker turned the Constitution on its head when he went forward with his bill. Far from curbing Obama's executive overreach, Corker gave Obama unprecedented power to enact his radical, reckless nuclear agenda.
So if the fight against the deal was doomed to fail, why did the Israeli government decide to fight it for all it was worth? And why is Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu still fighting it even though there is no longer any way to stop Obama from enabling Iran to sprint across the nuclear finish line?
A multi-volume chronology and reference guide set detailing three years of the Mexican Drug War between 2010 and 2012.
Rantburg.com and borderlandbeat.com correspondent and author Chris Covert presents his first non-fiction work detailing
the drug and gang related violence in Mexico.
Chris gives us Mexican press dispatches of drug and gang war violence
over three years, presented in a multi volume set intended to chronicle the death, violence and mayhem which has
dominated Mexico for six years.