Tuesday, March 13, 2012

445 Arab revolts orchestrated by Washington? Engdahl cf Petras & Hart

Arab revolts orchestrated by Washington? Engdahl cf Petras & Hart

F. William Engdahl argues (item 8) that the Arab revolts are secretly orchestrated by Washington, on the model established by George Soros and Gene Sharp.

But James Petras says that the US tried to keep Mubarak in place, because of lobbying by Israel (item 9).

Alan Hart also argues that the protests were spontaneous, and not ideologically driven as in the case of the George Soros/ Gene Sharp regine changes (item 10).

(1) Ayn Rand calls Arabs "almost totally primitive savages"
(2) Leonard Peikoff, head of Ayn Rand Institute, says OK to kill innocent civilians during war
(3) Professor Francis Boyle calls Alan Dershowitz a war criminal
(4) Soros: Obama should support Transition in Egypt
(5) Suleiman has a hotline to Tel Aviv
(6) ElBaradei on board of Soros' and Brzezinski’s International Crisis Group
(7) El Baradei on Soros payroll?
(8) US is orchestrating the Arab regime changes - F. William Engdahl
(9) Washington did Not oust Mubarak, because Israel was prime beneficiary  - Petras
(10) Crunch time: spontaneous protests, not ideologically driven - Alan Hart
(11) Without the Internet blocked, Egyptians used dial-up modems to call international ISPs
(12) Tunisia, Egypt, Miami: The Importance of Internet Choke Points
(13) A contingency Plan for surviving Shutdown of Internet

(1) Ayn Rand calls Arabs "almost totally primitive savages"

From: ReporterNotebook <RePorterNoteBook@Gmail.com> Date: 13.02.2011 02:23 AM Subject: Ayn Rand on Israel and the Middle East

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2uHSv1asFvU&feature=related

(2) Leonard Peikoff, head of Ayn Rand Institute, says OK to kill innocent civilians during war

From: ReporterNotebook <RePorterNoteBook@Gmail.com> Date: 13.02.2011 02:29 AM Subject: Ethnic sensibilities shining through...Peikoff is best known as Ayn Rand's intellectual heir.

YouTube:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JoAWCwm-UXw&feature=related

(3) Professor Francis Boyle calls Alan Dershowitz a war criminal

From: Michael <RePorterNoteBook@Gmail.com> Date: 03.02.2011 09:41 PM Subject: Dershowitz: Supporting Tyranny

Francis A. Boyle Law Building 504 E. Pennsylvania Ave. Champaign, IL 61820 USA 217-333-7954 (voice) 217-244-1478 (fax) (personal comments only)

-----Original Message----- From: aalsmin-l-bounces@lists.ubalt.edu [mailto:aalsmin-l-bounces@lists.ubalt.edu] On Behalf Of Boyle, Francis Sent: Thursday, February 03, 2011 6:05 AM To: AALSMIN-L@lists.ubalt.edu Subject: [AALSMIN-L] Dersh Supporting Tyranny

Law Professor Francis Boyle called five Harvard law professors notorious for supporting lawlessness. Dershowitz made the list, Boyle calling him an:

"infamous self-incriminating war criminal. (He) publicly acknowledged being a member of a Mossad Committee for approving the murder and assassination of Palestinians, which violates the Geneva Conventions and is thus a grave war crime."

Moreover, he supports Guantanamo's "Kangaroo (Military Commission) Court System" despite all human rights organizations and legitimate figures denouncing it. Harvard's infamous five, including Dershowitz:

"....are no longer fit to educate lawyers, Members of the Bar, and Officers of the Court. They are a sick joke and a demented fraud....Harvard is to Law School as Torture is to Law." Its faculty and deans "torture the law. Do not send your children or students to Harvard Law School (or allow them in Dershowitz's classes) where they will grow up to become racist war criminals. Harvard Law School is a Neo-Con cesspool....for the most part its Faculty and Deans have always been viscerally bigoted and racist against Muslims/Arabs/Asians and other People of Color since at least" 1971 when Boyle attended.

Francis A. Boyle Law Building 504 E. Pennsylvania Ave. Champaign, IL 61820 USA 217-333-7954 (voice) 217-244-1478 (fax) (personal comments only)

(4) Soros: Obama should support Transition in Egypt

From: Michael <RePorterNoteBook@Gmail.com> Date: 04.02.2011 07:45 PM Subject: Soros on Egypt Why Obama has to get Egypt right By George Soros The Washington Post | February 03, 2011

http://www.georgesoros.com/articles-essays/entry/why_obama_has_to_get_egypt_right/

Revolutions usually start with enthusiasm and end in tears. In the case of the Middle East, the tears could be avoided if President Obama stands firmly by the values that got him elected. Although American power and influence in the world have declined, our allies and their armies look to us for direction. These armies are strong enough to maintain law and order as long as they stay out of politics; thus the revolutions can remain peaceful. That is what the United States should insist on while encouraging corrupt and repressive rulers who are no longer tolerated by their people to step aside and allow new leaders to be elected in free and fair elections.

That is the course that the revolution in Tunisia is taking. Tunisia has a relatively well-developed middle class, women there enjoy greater rights and opportunities than in most Muslim countries, and the failed regime was secular in character. The prospects for democratic change are favorable.

Egypt is more complex and, ultimately, more influential, which is why it is so important to get it right. The protesters are very diverse, including highly educated and common people, young and old, well-to-do and desperately poor. While the slogans and crowds in Tahrir Square are not advancing a theocratic agenda at all, the best-organized political opposition that managed to survive in that country's repressive environment is the Muslim Brotherhood. In free elections, the Brotherhood is bound to emerge as a major political force, though it is far from assured of a majority.

Some have articulated fears of adverse consequences of free elections, suggesting that the Egyptian military may seek to falsify the results; that Israel may be adamantly opposed to a regime change; that the domino effect of extremist politics spreading to other countries must be avoided; and that the supply of oil from the region could be disrupted. These notions constitute the old conventional wisdom about the Middle East - and need to be changed, lest Washington incorrectly put up resistance to or hesitate in supporting transition in Egypt.

That would be regrettable. President Obama personally and the United States as a country have much to gain by moving out in front and siding with the public demand for dignity and democracy. This would help rebuild America's leadership and remove a lingering structural weakness in our alliances that comes from being associated with unpopular and repressive regimes. Most important, doing so would open the way to peaceful progress in the region. The Muslim Brotherhood's cooperation with Mohamed ElBaradei, the Nobel laureate who is seeking to run for president, is a hopeful sign that it intends to play a constructive role in a democratic political system. As regards contagion, it is more likely to endanger the enemies of the United States - Syria and Iran - than our allies, provided that they are willing to move out ahead of the avalanche.

The main stumbling block is Israel. In reality, Israel has as much to gain from the spread of democracy in the Middle East as the United States has. But Israel is unlikely to recognize its own best interests because the change is too sudden and carries too many risks. And some U.S. supporters of Israel are more rigid and ideological than Israelis themselves. Fortunately, Obama is not beholden to the religious right, which has carried on a veritable vendetta against him. The American Israel Public Affairs Committee is no longer monolithic or the sole representative of the Jewish community. The main danger is that the Obama administration will not adjust its policies quickly enough to the suddenly changed reality.

I am, as a general rule, wary of revolutions. But in the case of Egypt, I see a good chance of success. As a committed advocate of democracy and open society, I cannot help but share in the enthusiasm that is sweeping across the Middle East. I hope President Obama will expeditiously support the people of Egypt. My foundations are prepared to contribute what they can. In practice, that means establishing resource centers for supporting the rule of law, constitutional reform, fighting corruption and strengthening democratic institutions in those countries that request help in establishing them, while staying out of those countries where such efforts are not welcome.

The writer is chairman of the Soros Fund Management and the Open Society Foundations, which support democracy and human rights in more than 70 countries.

(5) Suleiman has a hotline to Tel Aviv

From: Sami Joseph <sajoseph2005@yahoo.com> Date: 10.02.2011 12:15 PM

An article expectedly indicating that Israel is having the jitters over the Egyptian uprising at: http://presstv.com/detail/164424.html has the following closing paragraph:

"Suleiman, who was appointed as VP on January 29, kept daily contact with Tel Aviv through a secret “hotline,” the cables said, and noted that he also had very good ties with Israeli figures."

(6) ElBaradei on board of Soros' and Brzezinski’s International Crisis Group

From: P Date: 31.01.2011 06:08 AM

http://www.prisonplanet.com/top-egyptian-military-officials-cut-short-meetings-in-u-s.html

January 30th, 2011 at 10:22 am

Then consider that the leader of the protests in Egypt, Mohamed ElBaradei – is pretending to be a big critic of the US to play off this anti-American fervor in the air – while the SOB is sitting on the board of trustees of George Soros and Zbigniew Brzezinski’s International Crisis Group!?!?!?!?! ==

Who Controls the Egyptian Military - History of Manipulation

Sunday, January 30, 2011

... 6. "Mohamed ElBaradei is already being touted as a new leader for Egypt.

"ElBaradei is a trustee of the International Crisis Group.

"Another board member of this group is Zbigniew Brzezinski.

"George Soros sits on the executive committee."

(7) El Baradei on Soros payroll?

From: Michael <RePorterNoteBook@Gmail.com> Date: 06.02.2011 04:51 PM Subject: Meet the New Boss, Same As the Old Boss

http://www.mideastnewswire.com/is-el-baradei-an-insider

Is El Baradei An Insider?

The following sounds like a plot to a movie and yet it really seems true. I hate to fan the flames of conspiracy within the opposition movement in Egypt and of course by doing so the rest of the Arab world, but I have been doing some mild research with exactly who Mohamed El Baradei is connected to. It has not taken me long to discover a few things and dear readers this does not mean I am not in support of the Egyptian people’s current protest movement and need for real substantive change, but I am warning that the people who claim to be leading are none other than Western plants.

If one looks at Mohamed El Baradei ‘s dossier he seems quite impressive. He was chased out of Egypt by Mubarak and remained outside for 12 years until his return last week. He was also the head of the IAEA. OK so not much there right? Well doing some deeper research it seems that Mohamed El Baradei has been connected to the CFR (Council On Foreign Relations). In fact the whole notion that a united front of parties including both Western Liberals and the Muslim Brotherhood could somehow work together was already set into motion well before the current crisis. In a book by Bruce Rutherford entitled After Mubarak, the author explain how the Muslim Brotherhood, the judiciary, and the business sector can work in parallel, if not exactly together, to influence Egypt’s political future. CFR associate Steven A. Cook in fact showcased this book in his April 2009 article on CFR’s Foreign Affairs website. This is well before the current crisis.

In Comes El Baradei

Back to Mohamed El Baradei. To connect the dots, the Western press has, since the protests in Egypt began, pushed Mohamed El Baradei as the uniting figure for all of the above mentioned groups. One more dot should connect who this man really is working for: The International Crisis Group. This organization is heavily funded by George Soros, a man experienced in funding revolutions and placing leaders he wants and believes will push for globalization in that country. Well Mohamed El Baradei sits on the International Crisis Group’s Board.

(8) US is orchestrating the Arab regime changes - F. William Engdahl

From: Charles F Moreira <charlesfmoreira@gmail.com> Date: 06.02.2011 06:56 PM Subject: Egypt's Revolution - Creative Destruction For A 'Greater Middle East'?

The thing about puppets put in place by imperialist masters is that at times, like the fictional puppet Pinnochio, they have a mind of their own and don't always conform to the wishes of their puppet master.

Author F. William Engdahl describes how puppet Hosni Mubarak does not play ball 100% with his puppet master the U.S., which gives it good reason to replace him with a new and more compliant one.

Hence I'm rather cautious about supporting the student-led uprising in Egypt.

Charles

http://www.rense.com/general92/crea.htm

Egypt's Revolution

Creative Destruction For A 'Greater Middle East'?

By F. William Engdahl

February 4

Fast on the heels of the regime change in Tunisia came a popular-based protest movement launched on January 25 against the entrenched order of Egypt's Hosni Mubarak. Contrary to the carefully-cultivated impression that the Obama Administration is trying to retain the present regime of Mubarak, Washington in fact is orchestrating the Egyptian as well as other regional regime changes from Syria to Yemen to Jordan and well beyond in a process some refer to as "creative destruction."

The template for such covert regime change has been developed by the Pentagon, US intelligence agencies and various think-tanks such as RAND Corporation over decades, beginning with the May 1968 destabilization of the de Gaulle presidency in France. This is the first time since the US-backed regime changes in Eastern Europe some two decades back that Washington has initiated simultaneous operations in many countries in a region. It is a strategy born of a certain desperation and one not without significant risk for the Pentagon and for the long-term Wall Street agenda. What the outcome will be for the peoples of the region and for the world is as yet unclear.

Yet while the ultimate outcome of defiant street protests in Cairo and across Egypt and the Islamic world remains unclear, the broad outlines of a US covert strategy are already clear.

No one can dispute the genuine grievances motivating millions to take to the streets at risk of life. No one can defend atrocities of the Mubarak regime and its torture and repression of dissent. No one can dispute the explosive rise in food prices as Chicago and Wall Street commodity speculators, and the conversion of American farmland to the insane cultivation of corn for ethanol fuel drive grain prices through the roof. Egypt is the world's largest wheat importer, much of it from the USA. Chicago wheat futures rose by a staggering 74% between June and November 2010 leading to an Egyptian food price inflation of some 30% despite government subsidies.

What is widely ignored in the CNN and BBC and other Western media coverage of the Egypt events is the fact that whatever his excesses at home, Egypt's Mubarak represented a major obstacle within the region to the larger US agenda.

To say relations between Obama and Mubarak were ice cold from the outset would be no exaggeration. Mubarak was staunchly opposed to Obama policies on Iran and how to deal with its nuclear program, on Obama policies towards the Persian Gulf states, to Syria and to Lebanon as well as to the Palestinians. He was a formidable thorn in the larger Washington agenda for the entire region, Washington's Greater Middle East Project, more recently redubbed the milder-sounding "New Middle East."

As real as the factors are that are driving millions into the streets across North Africa and the Middle East, what cannot be ignored is the fact that Washington is deciding the timing and as they see it, trying to shape the ultimate outcome of comprehensive regime change destabilizations across the Islamic world. The day of the remarkably well-coordinated popular demonstrations demanding Mubarak step down, key members of the Egyptian military command including Chief of General Staff Lt. Gen. Sami Hafez Enan were all in Washington as guests of the Pentagon. That conveniently neutralized the decisive force of the Army to stop the anti-Mubarak protests from growing in the critical early days.

The strategy had been in various State Department and Pentagon files since at least a decade or longer. After George W. Bush declared a War on Terror in 2001 it was called the Greater Middle East Project. Today it is known as the less threatening-sounding "New Middle East" project. It is a strategy to break open the states of the region from Morocco to Afghanistan, the region defined by David Rockefeller's friend Samuel Huntington in his infamous Clash of Civilizations essay in Foreign Affairs.

Egypt rising?

The current Pentagon scenario for Egypt reads like a Cecil B. DeMille Hollywood spectacular, only this one with a cast of millions of Twitter-savvy well-trained youth, networks of Muslim Brotherhood operatives, working with a US-trained military. In the starring role of the new production at the moment is none other than a Nobel Peace Prize winner who conveniently appears to pull all the threads of opposition to the ancien regime into what appears as a seamless transition into a New Egypt under a self-proclaimed liberal democratic revolution.

Some background on the actors on the ground is useful before looking at what Washington's long-term strategic plan might be for the Islamic world from North Africa to the Persian Gulf and ultimately into the Islamic populations of Central Asia, to the borders of China and Russia.

Washington 'soft' revolutions

The protests that led to the abrupt firing of the entire Egyptian government by President Mubarak on the heels of the panicked flight of Tunisia's Ben Ali into a Saudi exile are not at all as "spontaneous" as the Obama White House, Clinton State Department or CNN, BBC and other major media in the West make them to be.

They are being organized in a Ukrainian-style high-tech electronic fashion with large internet-linked networks of youth tied to Mohammed ElBaradei and the banned and murky secret Muslim Brotherhood, whose links to British and American intelligence and freemasonry are widely reported.

At this point the anti-Mubarak movement looks like anything but a threat to US influence in the region, quite the opposite. It has all the footprints of another US-backed regime change along the model of the 2003-2004 Color Revolutions in Georgia and Ukraine and the failed Green Revolution against Iran's Ahmedinejad in 2009. ...

Freedom House and Washington's government-funded regime change NGO, National Endowment for Democracy (NED) are at the heart of the uprisings now sweeping across the Islamic world. They fit the geographic context of what George W. Bush proclaimed after 2001 as his Greater Middle East Project to bring "democracy" and "liberal free market" economic reform to the Islamic countries from Afghanistan to Morocco. When Washington talks about introducing "liberal free market reform" people should watch out. It is little more than code for bringing those economies under the yoke of the dollar system and all that implies. ...

(9) Washington did Not oust Mubarak, because Israel was prime beneficiary  - Petras

From: Sami Joseph <sajoseph2005@yahoo.com> Date: 08.02.2011 01:58 AM

Washington Faces the Arab Revolts: Sacrificing Dictators to Save the State

James Petras

Global Research, February 7, 2011

http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=23136

Introduction

To understand the Obama regime’s policy toward Egypt, the Mubarak dictatorship and the popular uprising it is essential to locate it in an historical context. The essential point is that Washington, after several decades of being deeply embedded in the state structures of the Arab dictatorships, from Tunisia through Morocco, Egypt, Yemen, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia and the Palestinian Authority, is attempting to re-orient its policies to incorporate and/or graft liberal-electoral politicians onto the existing power configurations.

While most commentators and journalists spill tons of ink about the “dilemmas” of US power, the novelty of the Egyptian events and Washington’s day to day policy pronouncements, there are ample historical precedents which are essential to understand the strategic direction of Obama’s policies.

Historical Background

US foreign policy has a long history of installing, financing, arming and backing dictatorial regimes which back its imperial policies and interests as long as they retain control over their people.

In the past, Republican and Democratic presidents worked closely for over 30 years with the Trujillo dictatorship in the Dominican Republic; installed the autocratic Diem regime in pre-revolutionary Vietnam in the 1950’s; collaborated with two generations of Somoza family terror regimes in Nicaragua; financed and promoted the military coup in Cuba 1952, Brazil 1964, Chile in 1973, and in Argentina in 1976 and the subsequent repressive regimes. When popular upheavals challenged these US backed dictatorships, and a social as well as political revolution appeared likely to succeed, Washington responded with a three track policy: publically criticizing the human rights violations and advocating democratic reforms; privately signaling continued support to the ruler; and thirdly, seeking an elite alternative which could substitute for the incumbent and preserve the state apparatus, the economic system and support US strategic imperial interests.

For the US there are no strategic relationships only permanent imperial interests, name preservation of the client state. The dictatorships assume that their relationships with Washington is strategic: hence the shock and dismay when they are sacrificed to save the state apparatus. Fearing revolution, Washington has had reluctant client despots, unwilling to move on, assassinated (Trujillo and Diem). Some are provided sanctuaries abroad (Somoza, Batista), others are pressured into power-sharing (Pinochet) or appointed as visiting scholars to Harvard, Georgetown or some other “prestigious” academic posting.

The Washington calculus on when to reshuffle the regime is based on an estimate of the capacity of the dictator to weather the political uprising, the strength and loyalty of the armed forces and the availability of a pliable replacement. The risk of waiting too long, of sticking with the dictator, is that the uprising radicalizes: the ensuing change sweeps away both the regime and the state apparatus, turning a political uprising into a social revolution. Just such a ‘miscalculation’ occurred in 1959 in the run-up to the Cuban revolution, when Washing stood by Batista and was not able to present a viable pro US alternative coalition linked to the old state apparatus. A similar miscalculation occurred in Nicaragua, when President Carter, while criticizing Somoza, stayed the course, and stood passively by as the regime was overthrown and the revolutionary forces destroyed the US and Israeli trained military, secret police and intelligence apparatus, and went on to nationalize US property and develop an independent foreign policy.

Washington moved with greater initiative, in Latin America in the 1980’s. It promoted negotiated electoral transitions which replaced dictators with pliable neo-liberal electoral politicians, who pledged to preserve the existing state apparatus, defend the privileged foreign and domestic elites and back US regional and international policies.

Past Lessons and Present Policies:

Obama has been extremely hesitant to oust Mubarak for several reasons, even as the movement grows in number and anti-Washington sentiment deepens. The White House has many clients around the world – including Honduras, Mexico, Indonesia, Jordan and Algeria – who believe they have a strategic relationship with Washington and would lose confidence in their future if Mubarak was dumped.

Secondly, the highly influential leading pro-Israel organizations in the US (AIPAC, the Presidents of the Major American Jewish Organizations) and their army of scribes have mobilized congressional leaders to pressure the White House to continue backing Mubarak, as Israel is the prime beneficiary of a dictator who is at the throat of the Egyptians (and Palestinians) and at the feet of the Jewish state.

As a result the Obama regime has moved slowly, under fear and pressure of the growing Egyptian popular movement. It searches for an alternative political formula that removes Mubarak, retains and strengthens the political power of the state apparatus and incorporates a civilian electoral alternative as a means of demobilizing and de-radicalizing the vast popular movement.

The major obstacle to ousting Mubarak is that a major sector of the state apparatus, especially the 325,000 Central Security Forces and the 60,000 National Guard are directly under the Interior Ministry and Mubarak. Secondly, top Generals in the Army (468,500 members) have buttressed Mubarak for 30 years and have been enriched by their control over very lucrative companies in a wide range of fields. They will not support any civilian ‘coalition’ that calls into question their economic privileges and power to set the political parameters of any electoral system. The supreme commander of the Egyptian military is a longtime client of the US and a willing collaborator with Israel.

Obama is resolutely in favor of collaborating with and ensuring the preservation of these coercive bodies. But he also needs to convince them to replace Mubarak and allow for a new regime which can defuse the mass movement which is increasingly opposed to US hegemony and subservience to Israel. Obama will do everything necessary to retain the cohesion of the state and avoid any splits which might lead to a mass movement – soldier alliance which could convert the uprising into a revolution.

Washington has opened talks with the most conservative liberal and clerical sectors of the anti-Mubarak movement. At first it tried to convince them to negotiate with Mubarak – a dead end position which was rejected by all sectors of the opposition, top and bottom. Then Obama tried to sell a phony “promise” from Mubarak that he would not run in the elections, nine months later.

The movement and its leaders rejected that proposal also. So Obama raised the rhetoric for ‘immediate changes’ but without any substantive measures backing it up. To convince Obama of his continued power base, Mubarak sent his formidable thug-lumpen secret police to violently seize the streets from the movement. A test of strength: the Army stood by; the assault raised the ante of a civil war, with radical consequences. Washington and the E.U. pressured the Mubarak regime to back off – for now. But the image of a pro-democracy military was tarnished, as killings and injuries multiplied in the thousands.

As the pressure of the movement intensifies, Obama cross pressured by the pro Mubarak Israel Lobby and its Congressional entourage on the one hand, and on the other by knowledgeable advisors who call on him to follow past practices and move decisively to sacrifice the regime to save the state while the liberal-clerical electoral option is still on the table.

But Obama hesitates and like a wary crustacean, he moves sideways and backwards, believing his own grandiloquent rhetoric is a substitute for action … hoping that sooner or later, the uprising will end with Mubarakism without Mubarak: a regime able to demobilize the popular movements and willing to promote elections which result in elected officials following the general line of their predecessor.

 Nevertheless, there are many uncertainties in a political reshuffle: a democratic citizenry, 83% unfavorable to Washington, will possess the experience of struggle and freedom to call for a realignment of policy, especially to cease being a policeman enforcing the Israeli blockage of Gaza, and providing support for US puppets in North Africa, Lebanon, Yemen, Jordan and Saudi Arabia. Secondly free elections will open debate and increase pressure for greater social spending, the expropriation of the seventy billion dollar empire of the Mubarek clan and the crony capitalists who pillage the economy .The masses will demand a reallocation of public expenditure from the overblown coercive apparatus to productive, job generating employment. A limited political opening may lead to a second round, in which new social and political conflicts will divide the anti-Mubarak forces, a conflict between the advocates of social democracy and elite backers of neo-liberal electoralism. The anti-dictatorial moment is only the first phase of a prolonged struggle toward definitive emancipation not only in Egypt but throughout the Arab world. The outcome depends on the degree to which the masses develop their own independent organization and leaders.

(10) Crunch time: spontaneous protests, not ideologically driven - Alan Hart

From: AlanHart.net <noreply+feedproxy@google.com> Date: 02.02.2011 11:47 AM

Crunch time coming for America in the Middle East?

Posted: 01 Feb 2011

If more and more Arabs breach the wall of fear that has prevented them for decades from demanding their rights, expressing their rage at the corruption and repression of their governments and at regime impotence in the face of Israel’s arrogance of power, there’s one question above all others America’s policy makers will have to ask themselves. Who do we need most if America’s own real interests are to be best protected – the Arabs or Israel? And that, of course, begs the mother and father of all questions for them: Is Israel our most valuable ally in the region or our biggest liability?

Eisenhower was the first and last president to contain Zionism’s territorial ambitions. Kennedy might have been the second if he had been allowed to live. But from Johnson to Obama, and whether they really believed it or not (I think most if not all of them didn’t), every American president has paid extravagant lip-service to the idea that Israel is the U.S.’s most valuable ally in the Middle East.

Obama’s relationship with Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu and his government has not been good to say the least, but there are informed and influential Israelis who think the manifestation of people power in Egypt could provide both men with the opportunity to change the relationship for the better. Writing in Ha’aretz under the headline For Obama, Eygpt protests may garner a new friend – Israel, Aluf Benn wrote this (my emphasis added):

“If Netanyahu plays his cards right, he could leverage the fall of neighbouring regimes into a significant improvement in Israel’s relations with the United States.

“Obama wants to be popular among the citizens of Arab states at the expense of their leaders, as he tried to do in his Cairo speech some 18 months ago. He is betting that the new regimes will be grateful and will continue to rely on Washington for diplomatic and military support. But he is taking a risk: What if the revolution doesn’t stop at the moderate interim stage and keeps going till it reaches Muslim extremism? And what will the United States do in the interim phase, when the Middle East is sunk in uncertainty?

“When Obama and his advisers look at a map of the region, they see only one state they can count on: Israel. The regime is stable, and support for America is well-entrenched. Obama may dislike Netanyahu and his policy toward the Palestinians, but after losing his allies in Turkey, Lebanon and Egypt, and with the uneasiness gripping his friends in Jordan and the Gulf, Washington can’t afford to be choosy. It will have to move closer to Israel, and for another reason as well: An anxious Israel is an Israel that is prone to military adventures, and that’s the last thing Obama needs right now.

“Now is the time for Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak to justify their claim that Israel is a ‘villa in the jungle’, the West’s outpost in the Middle East.”

Netanyahu’s own contribution to fear mongering was the statement that “Egypt could follow the path of Iran”.

In my view it is not difficult to imagine the line the Zionist lobby in America was taking with the Obama administration. It might well have quoted a sentence from the National Security Network’s press release of 27 January. “The Obama administration seeks to encourage political reforms without destabilizing the region.” Then something like the following. “Your policy is failing. Your encouragement of political reforms is destabilizing the region, but what is happening is far more menacing than destabilization in the general sense. What we are witnessing is the beginning of a regional Arab intifada. The tide is turning in favour of the forces of violent Islamic fundamentalism in all its forms. If the war against global terrorism is not to be lost, America now needs Israel more than ever.”

In reality there is no evidence to suggest that change brought about by people power in Arab states would lead inevitably to rule by, or even popular support for, extremist and violent forces which use and abuse Islam in much the same way as Zionists use and abuse Judaism. From Tunisia and Eygpt in particular there is a great deal of evidence to the contrary (but as I will indicate later, everything will ultimately depend on whether or not policy makers in Washington D.C. put America on the right side of history).

The evidence to the contrary is in the fact that the manifestations of Arab people power the world has witnessed to date were not instigated by Islamist extremist groups They were spontaneous protests with demands by citizens from almost all sections of civil society, and very few were (or so it seemed) ideologically driven.

Given that policy makers in Washington D.C. say they want to see democracy alive and well in the Arab world, why, really, are they so alarmed by what is happening?

The answer is in this fact. What almost all Arab peoples want is not only an end to corruption and repression and a better life in their own countries. They also want an end to the humiliation caused by Israel’s arrogance of power, American and other Western support for it and the impotence of Arab governments, most of which are seen by their masses as agents of America-and-Zionism.

The implications are profound.

If change brings Arab governments which must and do reflect the wishes of their peoples, those governments will be under great and perhaps irresistible pressure to use their leverage in a serious effort to oblige the U.S. to use its leverage to cause Israel to end its occupation of all Arab land grabbed in 1967.

If Arab push came to American shove, Arab leverage options include withdrawing ambassadors from America; stopping assistance for propping up America’s ailing economy; and a credible threat to use the oil weapon. (As I have written in the past, the Arabs would not have to turn off the oil taps. A credible, behind-closed-doors threat to do would be enough. As I have also written in the past, if the boot was on the other foot – if the Zionists were in the Arab position, they would have played the oil card long, long ago).

If, in response to the wishes of the people, a new Arab Order did signal an intention to use its leverage, it would be crunch time for America in the Middle East; and its policy makers would have to answer the who do we need most question.

How they answered it would determine what side of history in-the-making America was going to be on – the right side or the wrong side.

The right side would see America using its leverage to oblige Israel to end its occupation. This would open the door to a real peace process (actually the first ever) and create an environment in which there would be no place for Muslim extremism.

The wrong side would see America continuing with the policy of support for Israel right or wrong and being complicit in its defiance of international law and war crimes. This would open the door to the forces of violent Islamic fundamentalism and set in motion a confrontation that could go all the way to a clash of civilizations.

Which option will America choose if crunch time comes?

Footnote

As I watched the drama unfolding in Eygpt, I found myself wondering why, really, Mubarak was clinging on. I entertained the thought that it was because Obama was telling him to do so in the hope either that the “protesters” would run out of steam, or because he, Obama, needed time for his people to fix the succession. I was entertaining such a thought because I had just re-read an excellent piece by Philip Stephens published in the Financial Times last October. In it he wrote: “Five years ago Mr. Bush promised a democratic transformation in the Middle East. The ambition of his second inaugural address was abandoned almost as it was spoken. Offering a voice to the Arab street, it was soon agreed, risked empowering extremists such as Hamas. Better to slip back into the comfortable cold war posture of cuddling up to friendly tyrants.”

The coming days, perhaps hours, will tell us if this American policy preference is sustainable.

(11) Without the Internet blocked, Egyptians used dial-up modems to call international ISPs

From: Erooth Mohamed <ekunhan@gmail.com> Date: 29.01.2011 11:11 PM Subject: Fwd: Egyptians find new ways to get online -- Forwarded message --

Without Internet, Egyptians find new ways to get online

People around the world are offering dial-up modem numbers and other primitive tools for people in Egypt

By Nancy Gohring and Robert McMillan

January 29, 2011

http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/9207058/Without_Internet_Egyptians_find_new_ways_to_get_online?taxonomyId=16

IDG News Service - "When countries block, we evolve," an activist with the group We Rebuild wrote in a Twitter message on Friday.

That's just what many Egyptians have been doing this week, as groups like We Rebuild scramble to keep the country connected to the outside world, turning to landline telephones, fax machines and even ham radio to keep information flowing in and out of the country.

Although one Internet service provider -- Noor Group -- remains in operation, Egypt's government abruptly ordered the rest of the country's ISPs to shut down their services just after midnight local time Thursday. Mobile networks have also been turned off in some areas.

The blackout appears designed to disrupt organization of the country's growing protest movement, which is calling for the ouster of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak.

"[B]asically, there are three ways of getting information out right now -- get access to the Noor ISP (which has about 8% of the market), use a land line to call someone, or use dial-up," Jillian York, a researcher with the Berkman Center for Internet & Society, said via e-mail.

Egyptians with dial-up modems get no Internet connection when they call into their local ISP, but calling an international number to reach a modem in another country gives them a connection to the outside world.

We Rebuild is looking to expand those dial-up options. It has set up a dial-up phone number in Sweden and is compiling a list of other numbers Egyptians can call. It is also distributing information about its activities on a Wiki page.

One of the dial-up numbers is run by a small ISP called the French Data Network, which said it was the first time it had set up such a service. Its modem has been providing a connection "every few minutes," said Benjamin Bayart, FDN's president, speaking in an online chat.

The international dial-up numbers only work for people with access to a telephone modem and an international calling service, however. So although mobile networks have been suspended in some areas, people have posted instructions about how others can use their mobile phones as dial-up modems.

The few Egyptians able to access the Internet through Noor, the one functioning ISP, are taking steps to ensure their online activities are not being logged. Shortly before Internet access was cut off, the Tor Project said it saw a big spike in Egyptian visitors looking to download its Web browsing software, which is designed to let people surf the Web anonymously.

"We thought we were under denial-of-service attack," said Andrew Lewman, the project's executive director. The site was getting up to 3,000 requests per second, the vast majority of them from Egypt, he said. "Since then we've seen a quadrupling of Tor clients connecting from Noor over the past 24 hours," he said.

Even with no Internet, people have found ways to get messages out on Twitter. On Friday someone had set up a Twitter account where they posted messages that they had received via telephone calls from Egypt. A typical message reads: "Live Phonecall: streets mostly quiet in Dokki, no police in sight. Lots of police trucks seen at Sheraton."

Others are using fax machines to get information into Egypt about possible ways to communicate. They are distributing fax machine numbers for universities and embassies and asking people to send faxes to those numbers with instructions about how to use a mobile phone as a dial-up modem.

Members of the hacker group Anonymous have also been getting in on the act. They are reportedly faxing some of the latest government cables from Wikileaks, which reveal human rights abuses under President Mubarak, to locations in the country, according to Fortune magazine.

We Rebuild describes itself as "a decentralized cluster of net activists who have joined forces to collaborate on issues concerning access to a free Internet without intrusive surveillance." It has set up an IRC for people who can help with ham radio transmissions from Egypt.

They are trying to spread the word about the radio band they are monitoring so that people in Egypt know where to transmit. Some ham enthusiasts are setting up an FTP site where people can record what they hear and post the recordings.

So far, they say they've picked up Morse code messages. Allen Pitts, a spokesman for the National Association for Amateur Radio, said no one has picked up any voice transmissions from Egypt for the past couple of days.

But it's possible that people in Egypt are transmitting over shorter-range frequencies that carry only 30 or 50 miles, he said. One problem with ham radio is that most people who know how to use it in Egypt were probably trained by the military and may be opposed to the protests.

Others may be wary of transmitting because they are worried about who might be listening. During earlier protests in Iran and Tunisia, the governments clamped down on specific websites, but access to the Internet was not severed in such a wholescale fashion. It is not unprecedented though.

In a blog post Friday written with a colleague, York from the Berkman Center for Internet & Society noted that in 2005 the government of Nepal cut off the Internet connection there, and in 2007 the Burmese government did the same in that country.

Nancy Gohring covers mobile phones and cloud computing for The IDG News Service. Follow Nancy on Twitter at @idgnancy. Nancy's e-mail address is Nancy_Gohring@idg.com ==

With wired Internet locked, Egypt looks to the sky

Satellite Internet services offered by Thuraya, Iridium and Inmarsat may still be up

By Jeremy Kirk

January 28, 2011

IDG News Service - On Wednesday afternoon, Mohammad Al-Najjar received an unexpected text message from a contact in Egypt: "We r at war here pray4 us."

The message came as the Egyptian government continued an unprecedented block on Internet traffic and mobile communications providers on Friday following mass demonstrations calling for President Hosni Mubarek to resign.

Al-Najjar, a 25-year-old in Amman, Jordan, has been watching the demonstrations closely, collaborating with other friends online to figure out ways for people in Egypt to send information.

The SMS was sent via Etisalat, a carrier based in the United Arab Emirates, Al-Najjar said. It shows that the Egyptian government may not have completely clamped down on mobile services. Vodafone Egypt said in a statement Friday that "all mobile operators have been instructed to suspend services in selected areas."

"SMSs were not going through for a couple of days now, and we think it was intentional," Al-Najjar said.

Although the Internet remains locked down in Egypt, Al-Najjar has been participating in the lively stream of posts on Twitter using the hashtags #Jan25 and #Egypt. ...

(12) Tunisia, Egypt, Miami: The Importance of Internet Choke Points

Jan 28 2011

By Andrew Blum

http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2011/01/tunisia-egypt-miami-the-importance-of-internet-choke-points/70415/

The news Thursday evening that Egypt had severed itself from the global Internet came at the same time as an ostensibly far less inflammatory announcement closer to home. Verizon, the telecom giant, would acquire "cloud computing company" Terremark for $1.4 billion. The purchase would "accelerate Verizon's 'everything-as-a-service' cloud strategy," the press release said.

The trouble is that Terremark isn't merely a cloud computing company. Or, more to the point, the cloud isn't really a cloud.

Among its portfolio of data centers in the US, Europe and Latin America, Terremark owns one of the single most important buildings on the global Internet, a giant fortress on the edge of Miami's downtown known as the NAP of the Americas.

The Internet is a network of networks. But what's often forgotten is that those networks actually have to physically connect -- one router to another -- often through something as simple and tangible as a yellow-jacketed fiber-optic cable. It's safe to suspect a network engineer in Egypt had a few of them dangling in his hands last night.

Terremark's building in Miami is the physical meeting point for more than 160 networks from around the world. They meet there because of the building's excellent security, its redundant power systems, and its thick concrete walls, designed to survive a category 5 hurricane. But above all, they meet there because the building is "carrier-neutral." It's a Switzerland of the Internet, an unallied territory where competing networks can connect to each other. Terremark doesn't have a dog in the fight. Or at least it didn't.

Verizon insists there's nothing to worry about. Terremark will be set up as a wholly owned subsidiary. Its carrier-neutral status will remain. "We're not going to try to cramp their style at all," said Lowell McAdam, President and COO of Verizon. "There will be no moves to take certain customers out of play."

I can't help but think of it in the context of another recent purchase. Earlier this month, Google bought its New York office building, 111 8th Avenue, for a reported $1.9 billion. As the Wall Street Journal described, "about one third of the space is occupied by telecommunications companies." But that's severely understating the situation: 111 8th is another of the most important buildings on the Internet, on a short list of fewer than a dozen worldwide. Like the NAP of the Americas, it houses hundreds of independent networks, scattered across the office spaces of multiple independently owned sub-landlords. And now Google owns the whole thing. One assumes that they're not going to cramp their style either.

"It's not about the 'carrier hotel' space," said Google Senior Vice President Jonathan Rosenberg. "We have 2,000 employees on site. It's a big sales center, but also a big engineering center. With the pace at which we're growing, it's very difficult to find space in New York. There are very few buildings in New York that can accommodate our needs. This gives us a lot of control over growing into the space."

But on a day when the government to 80 million people managed to throw the Internet's "kill switch," it's worth remembering that the Internet is a physical network. It matters who controls the nodes. With these two deals, Google and Verizon may have chipped away at the foundation walls of an open, competitive--and therefore free -- Internet.

(13) A contingency Plan for surviving Shutdown of Internet

Egypt's 'Net Shutdown a Wakeup Call for Companies

By Juan Carlos Perez, IDG News

Jan 28, 2011 5:00 pm

Reading the news of Egypt's Internet crackdown, CIOs around the world may be wondering how their companies would fare if such a situation happened in their home countries.

Your Government Shuts It Down

Especially with the increased adoption of cloud-hosted applications and IT computing services, the notion of a countrywide Internet access blackout is bound to rattle IT executives.

And it should, according to Eric Paulak, a Gartner analyst. "This scenario isn't so far-fetched. It's just that you don't necessarily hear about it," he said in a phone interview.

Virtually every country's government reserves the right to temporarily nationalize and control what's considered critical infrastructure, which usually includes mobile networks, fixed-line telecommunications and Internet backbone systems, Paulak said.

Governments can invoke that right during national emergencies, whether they be natural disasters, terrorist attacks or any other incident that qualifies as such under a country's legal code.

"Theoretically this can happen anywhere, although the likelihood is pretty low," Paulak said. "However, because of that legal authority most countries have, the Internet, the mobile networks and the fixed-line phone networks could be cut off."

"Do you [as a CIO] need a contingency plan? Absolutely," he added.

A first step for CIOs and business managers should be to do an honest, realistic assessment of the possibilities that their company could find itself, through no fault of its own, in a nationwide Internet blackout.

"Companies doing business in any country should assess potential loss of Internet access as part of their risk management strategy and factor it into the cost of doing business," said industry analyst Rebecca Wettemann from Nucleus Research, via e-mail.

This is especially true for companies doing business in countries with a volatile political climate, where governments typically have tight control over electronic communications and don't think twice about seizing control of them, said IDC analyst Al Hilwa.

"If you are a CIO in this type of country, then clearly you need to be prepared for this type of edict," he said via e-mail. "The nature of our modern media technology is that in many ways it is an electronic tiger. In many countries, if things heat up, the government can just pull the plug on the whole thing."

Even in the U.S. recently there has been quite a bit of discussion about giving the president an "Internet kill switch" for disabling Internet services during national emergencies, noted industry analyst Michael Osterman from Osterman Research.

"If organizations are reliant on cloud-based services, this would be a critical problem," Osterman said via e-mail.

Such a scenario is one reason to work into cloud-based deployments a series of offline capabilities that would allow users to continue working even if they lose Internet access, he said.

"For example, having the ability to work on documents while the cloud is not available is a major benefit. It won't allow employees to communicate, but will offer them to remain at least somewhat productive," Osterman said.

An obvious precaution is to have, as a backup, satellite-based phones and Internet access, which are much harder for governments to block, said Gartner's Paulak.

At best, governments can declare satellite communications illegal, but that's usually an empty threat because it's very difficult to monitor and enforce, he said.

"If you're an enterprise trying to come up with a backup solution, the recommendation in these markets is to have satellite phone capabilities and some satellite data [transmission] capabilities," Paulak said. ==

After Egypt, Will U.S. Get 'Internet Kill Switch'?

By Chloe Albanesius

January 28, 2011

With reports of Egypt's government completing shutting down the Internet in the country, talk about an "Internet kill switch" bill in the U.S. has reemerged. Could it happen here?

The bill in question is the Protecting Cyberspace as a National Asset Act of 2010, a cyber-security measure introduced in June by Sen. Joseph Lieberman. It was an over-arching cyber-security measure that, among other things, would create an office of cyberspace policy within the White House and a new cyber-security center within the Homeland Security Department. ...

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