Egypt Speeding Toward Anarchy?
Mubarak's repressive measures and the absence of a real democracy is playing into the hands of the Islamic fundamentalists, who now appear to be more determined than ever to seize control of Egypt.
The Egyptian government's clampdown on secular reformists, including human rights activists and journalists, is driving many Egyptians toward the open arms of Muslim Brotherhood and other fundamentalist groups. These extremists find fertile soil among disgruntled Egyptians and Arabs who are yearning for regime change.
If Egypt falls into the hands of the Muslim fundamentalists, the first thing the new government would do is abrogate the peace treaty with Israel and close down the Israeli embassy in Cairo. This is exactly what the Islamic Revolution of the Ayatollahs did when it took over Iran.
From there, the road to joining the Iranian-led axis of evil would be very short. The new regime in Cairo would distance itself from the US and the EU in favor of a political, economic and religious alliance with Iran and its proxies.
The New Year eve terror attack on a church in Alexandria, which claimed the lives of 21 Coptic Christians, is yet another indication of the deteriorating situation in Egypt.
The attack, which has triggered an anti-government Christian "intifada" in Alexandria, shows that Al-Qaeda -- and possibly other Islamic fundamentalist groups -- is determined to undermine the Western-backed regime of Egyptian dictator Hosni Mubarak.
Egypt's Coptic Christian minority has good reason to be afraid. The deadly attack on the church could be, according to Egyptian security sources, the first in a series of bombings targeting "infidels and Crusaders."
The Egyptian regime's failure to prevent the attack has left some local security experts wondering whether Muslim fundamentalists have managed to infiltrate the country's security apparatus.
Angry Christian protesters have vented their anger on the regime by staging violent street protests and assaulting policemen and local government officials.
The Egyptian Christians are not, however, the only ones disappointed with Mubarak's regime.
The recent parliamentary election in Egypt, which many Egyptians say was hijacked by the Mubarak regime, has sparked a local and international outcry. Candidates belonging to various opposition parties withdrew from the race in light of the authorities' campaign of intimidation against them.
Mubarak's refusal to name a successor has also contributed to the growing sense of insecurity and uncertainty in Egypt. Many Egyptians fear that the Muslim Brotherhood group, which enjoys tremendous popularity among Egyptians, would take control of Egypt after Mubarak's departure from the scene.
The best way to avoid such a scenario is by putting pressure on Mubarak to stop the crackdown on his opponents -- especially those who belong to secular and reformist parties and organizations, and to begin introducing democracy, human rights, and equality before the law. Otherwise, recent developments in Egypt suggest that the largest Arab country may be headed toward a dangerous state of lawlessness and anarchy.
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by Bassam Tawil
What is sad is that the Gazans have not yet been able to free themselves from the yoke of Hamas.
The world seems not to understand that Hamas, like ISIS and the Muslim Brotherhood, does not exist in a vacuum. It is one cog in the radical Islamist wheel that threatens the Arab and Muslim world and the major cities of Europe.
The Western world also seems not to understand that it has to incapacitate or totally neutralize the countries funding terrorism, such as Iran, Qatar and Turkey, for whom the Palestinian problem is only a pretext on the way to destroying the Western world as we know it and replacing it with only Islam.
by Burak Bekdil
Hamas spokesman Sami Abu-Zuhri said: "All Israelis are legitimate targets." What would the Palestinian death toll have been if Mr. Netanyahu's spokesman declared all Palestinians as legitimate targets?
Underdog-nation romanticism tells us Israel should not respond when under rocket attack because it is capable of intercepting the rockets.
That there are fewer Israeli casualties does not mean Hamas does not want to kill; it just means, for the moment, Hamas cannot kill.
by Soeren Kern
Austria figures prominently in a map produced by the IS that outlines the group's five-year plan for expanding its caliphate into Europe, and has emerged as a central hub for jihadists seeking to fight in Syria.
"The spectrum of recruits for the conflict in Syria is ethnically diverse. The motivation, however, appears to be uniformly jihadist." — Austrian intelligence agency BVT.
"Allah also gives you the opportunity to wage jihad in Austria." — Austrian jihadist Firas Houidi.
"We are proud that Allah has chosen us. We feel like lions." — Austrian jihadist Abu Hamza al-Austria.
by Khaled Abu Toameh
What Khaled Mashaal forgot to mention was that Hamas and the Islamic State do have at least one thing in common: they both carry out extrajudicial executions as a means of terrorizing and intimidating those who stand in their way or who dare to challenge their terrorism.
According to Hamas's logic, all members of the Palestinian Authority government are "traitors" who should be dragged to public squares to be shot by firing squads. According to the same logic, Mahmoud Abbas himself should be executed for maintaining security coordination with and talking to Israelis.
As for the two executed women, the sources said that their only fault was that they had been observed asking too many questions about Palestinians who were killed in airstrikes.
by Stephen Blank and Peter Huessy
It now appears that the plan was for these terrorists to shoot down a Russian passenger flight over the Ukraine in order to create a casus belli [cause for war].
Putin repeatedly claims that Russia reserves the right to use nuclear weapons as a "de-escalatory measure" even against non-nuclear states.
The evidence that this war was preplanned is overwhelming. The planning for this Ukrainian operation started in 2006, when Putin offered to "guarantee Crimea's territory."
The forces fighting in Kiev consist not mainly of "separatists" or rebels, but of trained Russian army, intelligence and paramilitary officers, as well as Russian and some Ukrainian "volunteers" recruited by Moscow.
Putin would incite disturbances in Crimea, then graciously offer to take over Crimea to solve the problems.
For the Russians, and particularly for Putin, Ukraine can have no future other than as a Russian colony. This is indeed a phased invasion of Ukraine. The U.S. did not accept Russian aggression before; it should not accept it now.