Mixed Observations

Mixed Observations

Gilbert N. Kahn is a professor of Political Science at Kean University.

Peace Talks

Take a look, the Israeli-Palestinian talks are continuing. No one is resisting—so far. The adversaries are proceeding without the U.S. presence.  Questions persists as to whether anything will come out these meetings. The style is certainly new and impressive; no media, secrecy, and no leaks. It’s very boring. The proof of the pudding will be in the eating; if anything will evolve from these meetings.  Stay tuned.

Turkey is Becoming as Crazy as Everyone Else!

Time was that the Muslim States in the Middle East could say whatever lies they wanted about Israel and their publics believed it; but not Turkey. Today Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan brought Turkey definitely into the club of liars.  He announced that based on YouTube findings he was announcing that Israel had engineered the ouster of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood president, Muhammad Morsi.  If only Israel had such power!

As is so often the case the capacity to exaggerate and fabricate news is a developed art in the region. Now in the country that was considered once to be the most progressive, democratic Muslim state in the Middle East, nonsensical news has become acceptable. Turkey knows nature abhors a vacuum. If Egypt is losing its leadership role among the Muslims states, Erdogan wanted to make it clear he would move right in. In addition, he wanted to demonstrate to the radical Islamists that he was ready to serve as their political leader—while also protecting himself and his Government at home from dangerous al-Qaeda radicals.

Israel’s New Bedfellows

The regional reaction to the military takeover in Egypt has created strange bedfellows. While not actively and publicly doing so, Israel has indicated to the U.S. that it feared an Egypt governed by the Muslim Brotherhood and radical Islamists in the waiting far more than it did a reversion to a non-democratic, authoritarian military rule.

It now turns out that the U.S.’s most important trading partners in the region—Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates—are in no hurry for a democratically chosen force to gain power.  These oil rich barons are clearly deathly afraid that Shiite led al-Qaeda forces will soon move to radicalize their countries. Democracy is hardly their interest and they have no objection to a strong military Government.

The Saudis, the U.A.E.,  and Israel for different reasons are not pushing the U.S. to demand that the Egyptian military Government make many concessions to the Muslim Brotherhood; lest they become a threat to all three countries.

Keep Fishing; Three weeks to Go

It is a perfect time for a vacation but rest assured the party in Washington will soon be over. In fact it is rather ironic how, in the scheme of things, matters are fairly quiet politically. The White House is in vacation mode, Members of Congress– who are actually in their districts and not on vacation themselves– are getting earfuls from their constituents who are venting on everything as they do their back to school shopping. The public is worried about whether to buy new school clothes now or wait, and only buy the necessary shoes?  Perhaps they wait and  watch what havoc Congress will ring down when it returns for what undoubtedly will be one of the most raucous, ugliest non-election year fall sessions in history.  Stay tuned.

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