Tag Archives: Yemen

„No one knows how the power structure will ultimately shift in the Middle East“ – interview with Steve LeVine

– Usually (especially after the success of „Putin’s Labyrinth“ book) people tend to associate your name to Russia. However, your experience as correspondent in the Central Asia and Middle East, makes me to focus the discussion on the events in Egypt and Arab world. For Egyptians still is a moment of euphoria. But political analysts are reticent. What would be the major concerns and challenges for world powers and zonal actors? And what should worry Egyptian people?

Steve LeVine

– Analysts are reticent because no one knows what type of governmental system will result from the uprising, and how Egypt will interact with its nei­g­hbors. So that generates a whole series of questions for which unfortu­na­tely there are no answers, and very few clues. They include: Will the Army organize elections that end up reflec­ting the true will of voters, or will they reflect the leadership that its generals believe is „best“ for Egypt, regardless of their popularity? Whatever govern­ment is formed, how will it manage to satisfy the much-raised expectations of the Egyptian people? On foreign mat­ters, will Egypt continue to be a proactive intermediary in Middle East conflicts? Specifically regarding its respective relationships with Israel and the Palestinians – will it continue to be an honest broker between these antagonist parts?
– Most journalists are asking: Who’s next? There will be a domino effect throughout the Arab world? Sure, perhaps with not the same speed of propagation …
– I think it gets more difficult from here. After Egypt, the remaining despots of the region know that Tunisia was not a one-off event – they are all potentially in danger. Mubarak seems not to have thought he was vulnerable. Now they all know they are, and they are preparing. Yet none of that shifts the reality, which is that popular change really has happened in the Arab world. As I write this, the grip of the leaders of Bahrain and Yemen is in jeopardy. The situation in Libya is quite different.
– How interpret in this context the statement of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that Israeli army is prepared for anything, depending on how events will unfold in next time? What option has Israel at this point?
– The events in Egypt potentially shake up geopolitics and security for Israel. The Palestinians could arise in a far more aggressive way, with the help of allies in Lebanon and elsewhere, for example. Israel no doubt has its lines of communication open with the Egyptian Army for this very reason. It wants Egypt to continue serving as a mediator with the Palestinians.
– Behind the media uproar of unrest in North Africa, at the Munich Security Conference was put the last piece of the new treaty START 2. Fairly quietly, I would say, given that was a top priority for both presidents – Obama and Medvedev. So, beyond the official rhetoric, there will be a real change in approach to global nuclear programs for military purposes?
– If what you mean is whether the key nuclear states – Russia and the United States – are going to do away with their nuclear arsenals, the answer is No. The first reason is that, even if they do, so many other countries have capability and are gaining it that it would be fruitless. Another reason is that it is a perceived fount of power in both countries that neither will surren­der. (Full text)

Romanian language version – can be read here

Published in Cadran Politic Review, April 2011

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Qaddafi Wikileaks

What would be interesting about Qaddafi going to the war crimes court in The Hague, if he ever gets there (!!??) is that the world may hear startling  revelations about backstage of politics world and his closeness friendship with Western countries.

These relations became particularly close in 2004 as the US and UK were looking for support for the war in Iraq. Back then,  the old Colonel Qaddafi signed many deals, including refusal to continue development of chemical weapons and readiness to supply oil to EU countries… unforgettable memories with the triad B / triplets Bush – Blair – Berlusconi ! ;))

Until then, the United Nations General Assembly just decided unanimously to suspend Libya’s membership on the

AP Photo: Joseph Deiss, President of the U.N. General Assembly, speaks during a press conference in Geneva, Switzerland.

Human Rights Council, a move that puts additional international pressure on Muammar al-Qaddafi. The decision was made by consensus of all members states of the U.N., with the exception of Libya, because it was the subject of the General Assembly meeting. Of course, I cannot to hide my amusement about consensus of UN ! Why ? Because: “An imperialist country is unilaterally and visibly deploying its military and nuclear machinery in order to carry out an armed attack against Libya…Venezuela calls for the rejection of war-mongering mobilization of the U.S. Air force and Navy” said Venezuelan Ambassador Jorge Valero. U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice angrily denounced the comments. “It’s shameful that one member state, whose own reprehensible record speaks for itself, would manipulate this occasion to spread lies, foster fear, and sow hate” she said. I think it is a really constructive discussion :))))

I can point out that Europeans – except American’s UK friends – have half-heartedly opposed the NATO intervention in Libya … UN mandate, interference in internal affairs of another country, violation of international law, etc. I heard Russia speaking loudly, as usual, China still in expectation….. Deja vu !

Something new ?? Yemeni president Ali Abdullah Saleh says US and Israel behind unrest of Middle East. “I am going to reveal a secret,” he said. “There is an operations room in Tel Aviv with the aim of destabilizing the Arab world. The operations room is in Tel Aviv and run by the White House”. Notice that Saleh has been a weak but important U.S. ally in the fight against al-Qaida, accepting tens of millions of dollars in U.S. military and other aid and allowing American drone strikes on al-Qaida targets.

Well, probably no one doubts that eventually as U.S. says it will do, while useless and bureaucratic UN will revolve around the tail …. again Deja vu !

Update: According UN News Center, The International Criminal Court (ICC) will investigate Libyan President Muammar Al-Qadhafi’s regime for crimes against humanity in repressing peaceful protesters, as a top United Nations official today called for global action to avert a humanitarian disaster inside the country. ICC prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo said today preliminary examination of available information shows that an investigation is warranted after the Security Council last week asked him to look into the violent repression in which more than 1,000 people are reported to have been killed and many more injured as Mr. Qadhafi’s loyalists opened fire on peaceful civilians demanding his ouster. So, as I said, if they manage to bring Qaddafi in front of  the Court in The Hague, the fun will be fully insured… Pop Corn and Coca Cola (for those who still drink  it 😀  )….

London – Bomb found aboard flight traveling to Chicago from Yemen

Terrorist threats and economic repercussions

An ink toner cartridge converted into a bomb was found aboard a United Parcel Service (UPS) flight traveling to Chicago from Yemen, Reuters and CNN reported on Friday.
The bomb was discovered during a stopover in London.
Notice that U.S. authorities were investigating a possible bomb threat on Friday on two cargo plane at Philadelphia International Airport. Also one UPS plane at Newark airport in New Jersey were also being investigated on Friday for suspicious packages. A UPS truck in New York City was also under investigation, police said. Transportation Security Administration spokeswoman Kristin Lee said the planes landed safely and are being swept by law enforcement.
FBI source tells Reuters initial tests of package on Chicago-bound UPS plane in Britain found no explosives.

United Parcel Service, Inc. - stocks/ October 29 5:32pm GMT+0300

Before you rush to conclude that terrorist threats much publicized are close to materialize, I noticed that the whole story is a serious blow to those of UPS. Also, with the economic repercussions. A news by Steven Gelsi from MarketWatch, noticed (21 October 2010) that United Parcel Service  said Thursday its third-quarter net income jumped 81% to $991 million, or 99 cents a share, from $549 million, or 55 cents a share, in the year-ago period. The package delivery giant’s adjusted earnings rose to 93 cents a share, from 55 cents a share. Revenue rose 9% to $12.19 billion from $11.15 billion. UPS was expected to earn 88 cents a share on revenue of $12.35 billion, according to a survey by FactSet Research. UPS said it expects 2010 adjusted profit to increase by 50% from 2009. UPS raised its 2010 profit outlook to a range of $3.48 a share to $3.54 a share, from its earlier view of $3.35 a share to $3.45 a share.

Standard & Poor’s Equity Research analyst Jim Corridore reiterated his buy rating on the stock with a price target of $84 a share, even though he said the numbers came up short of his forecasts. “UPS saw strong margin improvement in all business units, but is also seeing moderating economic growth,” Corridore wrote in a note, quoted by MarketWatch.