Arab World's Berlin Moment?

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Sun, 01/30/2011 - 07:39 | 917593 Gutenburg
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U.S. media spin as opposed to Aljazeera is very telling of corrupt and credibility deficient MSM. the unwashed will buy it without hesitation.

Sun, 01/30/2011 - 02:12 | 917471 Dirtt
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Stay in this arena Leo.  Pimping the solar fraud was too much to stomach.  Not that stupid.

This is good stuff.  Plenty of food for thought.

Sun, 01/30/2011 - 01:14 | 917427 alexwest
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typical junk...
#democracy in a place like Saudi Arabia
really,,, ???

each time i read ( for free) Stratfor stuff I do understand why its free... i wonder what kind of idiot would pay 1 cent for this crap..

HEY LEO MY FRIEND,, ARE YOU STUPID ? please bring someone who knows something , someone fresh , new ..


Sun, 01/30/2011 - 12:02 | 917744 Leo Kolivakis
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Please learn how to read my comments more carefully. You obviously missed the point.


Sun, 01/30/2011 - 00:34 | 917368 RoRoTrader
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Excellent insights, Leo.

FYI, Robot updated that call from;


by RobotTrader

on Sat, 01/29/2011 - 19:58


Possible to see a 3% - 4% down day on Monday.

Open down 1%, then melt down the rest of the day to close at the lows.

Sunday open looks very interesting and buy dips later.........after the shit blows over which may not be for a while by the looks of things.


Sun, 01/30/2011 - 10:25 | 917676 El Hosel
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     "Buy the dip"  

    Only..."after the shit blows over".  Yeah,  shit like the 100 Trillion in unfunded, unprovoked, liabilties the US has assigned itself ahead of the real shit?  This won't be blowing over anytime soon.

Sat, 01/29/2011 - 23:44 | 917323 vxpatel
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I can't believe the Amerikan government hasn't labeled the Egyptian protesters as terrorists...yet...

Sat, 01/29/2011 - 23:21 | 917292 sellstop
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and you know, this math thing to get these posts published is difficult with the ETOH.....

Sat, 01/29/2011 - 23:20 | 917288 sellstop
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Why is the u.s. so vulnerable?

Is it because we've got this house of cards that is not capable of standing up to any disturbance?

It must be the oil thing.

So, our economy is strong until oil goes up in price?

It just went down. The price of oil is not near the recent highs, but the stock market sells off.

The stock market is nervous. I think the traders have talked themselves into selling.

I won't fight it. But.......

bought gold again a few days ago.


Sat, 01/29/2011 - 23:11 | 917278 Wags
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I am afraid this can be the start of the Black Swam event. Who knows where it will take us. If Egypt falls into the eventually hands of the Muslim Brotherhood the Sh*t will hit the fan. This could have bigger ramifications that the Iranian Revolution. That event we are still paying for.

Sat, 01/29/2011 - 23:04 | 917269 ebworthen
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What is key is whether or not the Muslim world will be democratic or a theocratic populace.

Emotionally I am 100% behind the Tunisians and Egyptians revolts in the name of democracy and individual representation and freedom.

However, if these revolts devolve into the reign of theocratic despots in the name of Islamic fundamentalism or Sharia Law we lose and they lose.

Sat, 01/29/2011 - 21:29 | 917126 max2205
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Move all Drones to Cario. Me thinks Osama might be relocating

Sat, 01/29/2011 - 21:38 | 917141 topcallingtroll
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the moslem brotherhood does not like al queda. No matter what happens al queda will not get hold in egypt.  Sporadic bombings here and there by isolated groups maybe, but no significant organized presence.  the moslem brotherhood would kill them all.

Sat, 01/29/2011 - 22:13 | 917206 Salinger
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I think both are a bit more pragmatic than you give them credit for; the idea of an Islamic caliphate (mid east and beyond) is a most enticing notion and accordingly will bring even the most disparate groups together to achieve the objective. (there will  always be tomorrow to settle other differences)

Sat, 01/29/2011 - 21:08 | 917077 BigDuke6
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The comments here about this being 'educated students' is typical of the hand-wringing soft-cocks that have allowed europe to become a demographic basket case.  Beware of these types.

Do you know any muslim 'students'?

i do, i've been there for 3 months when a student myself - they all have hard drives full of hard-core pornography despite it being illegal in their country - with white women getting pummelled.  and they'd do the same to your sister if they ever got over the border into the west to these 'white-sluts'.


yeh we've all got a few movies ourselves BUT we don't have GB's of the worst stuff and watch it with our mates on a normal friday night.... yes a common pastime.

The harsh comments are sadly true - if we don't take a hard line against the countless great unwashed - who hate us - we are going down.


Sat, 01/29/2011 - 21:32 | 917131 topcallingtroll
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they are often misogynists to the nth degree, especially toward western women who they all think are sluts and just waiting for some fat arab or north african cock to force themselves on the lady, cuz that's they way the ladies like it in their hard core misogynist porn, so it has to be true about western ladies in general.  Fortunately this stereotype only holds true for a significant number, not all of those primitive types.  They all also still follow greek traditions of pedophilia.  Look at recent reports out of afghanistan where our guys have been really uncomfortable with what they have to put up with.  It's not unusual that when pussy is scarce that people seek alternatives.  I knew someone in special forces in pakistan.  He said they all called it "Pakit stan" because apparently they weren't aware that the americans could see in the dark.  he said there were men all over the place buttfucking each other after dark.    I have no problem with homosexuality, but when it is repressed and is also associated with subjugation of women then I have a real problem with it.

Sun, 01/30/2011 - 01:51 | 917460 OldPhart
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There are military videos of Afghans engaged in bestiality with donkeys, camels and sheep.  I've been told of a practice of Man Thursday, when it is customary to select a male partner for an evening, preference is for boys.  This can only be due to a culture where women are viewed as filthy and disgusting creatures.

Sat, 01/29/2011 - 23:35 | 917307 BigDuke6
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Yep , coming to claim refugee status and claim asylum in a western country near you.

Then go on welfare, get disgusted by western society, get radicalised and go up in improvised nail bomb on a commuter train.

Or just try to rape teenagers on a train.


Sat, 01/29/2011 - 21:28 | 917122 Korg
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Exactly....just wait till food prices go up another 50% this year thanks to the bernak. I think all hell starts breaking loose this year and next year is when the war starts.

If the US had a fuckin brain we would use this opportunity and inflame the entire ME...let KSA fall...then invade the oil producers and take over...checkmate China....


maybe we are????

Sat, 01/29/2011 - 20:43 | 917037 topcallingtroll
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you know this all started because a dumbazz policeman dumped over a poor man's vegetable cart and ruined his produce.  This man just barely scratching by to take care of his family went home and burned himself to death, there being gun control and pills being too expensive.  He ignited tunisia and then ignited the arab world.  It is often these small forgotten people who make a difference.  I am sure he has a family and kids to support.  A thousand dollars could make a big difference in tunisia.  If someone could find out his name and maybe someone at zero hedge could do an article on this guy and we could at least drum up a thousand dollars for his kids and widow.  This started a revolution but he never knew it.  I'm in for 500 if the rest of you could pony up 500 and we could find out his name.  Leo could you do an article on him?  I will kick in an extra 100 dollars for a tombstone that says father of the revolution or whatever the family wants.  tombstones are cheap there.  I'm sure they can't even afford a tombstone.  We are only separated six or seven people from his widow.  I am sure someone knows someone who knows someone who knows someone who knows someone who knows someone who can get in contact with his widow.  Obviously great care would be taken so that this money went to her and her children and didn't get ripped off.  I may sound all mushy and sentimental for a troll, but we trolls have feelings too!

Sat, 01/29/2011 - 20:47 | 917043 topcallingtroll
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this is a classic example of emergent properties being unpredictable from complex systems, seemingly small events have unpredictable consequences.  Macro events have ruined many a portfolio

Sat, 01/29/2011 - 20:31 | 917020 Korg
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THis seems like the beginning of the end for KSA, give it a month, Egypt was the lynchpin and its fooked.....And yeah, eventually we will realize we can't save em all and just isolate the 3rd world and let em go for 10-20 yrs until there's no one left. Remeber we are in the 4th turning and someone just hit the gas....

Sat, 01/29/2011 - 19:34 | 916918 geno-econ
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Would love to see a peoples revolt in Kazahkistan which is ruled by a "President for life" in a state filled with corruption , oil interest pay offs and the like, while the people languish in poverty. Perhaps Egypt will wake them up or better yet send Erin over as a roving ambassador .

Sat, 01/29/2011 - 19:26 | 916909 PenGun
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 Stratfor is always wrong. Both in analysis and comment. Friedman is a fool.


 Still, not a bad bit.

Sat, 01/29/2011 - 18:38 | 916833 JR
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Egypt has been a pro-American country with a peace treaty with Israel [that has] been quite effective for 30 years. – George Friedman

“Effective” is in the eye of the beholder.  For the treaty agreements between Egypt and Israel have come at great cost to Americans.

The 30-year treaty has been effective for Israel; it has been defective for the Egyptian people.  Does Friedman recall how television anchor Walter Cronkite appeared on CBS repeatedly with the latest in Middle East tensions in the 80s and 90s, tensions that continue to this day?  It was the deal of the devil to help silence and keep at arms’ length the Arab world while Israel expanded and waxed and grew more belligerent.

America paid an enormous price for this agreement;  in loss of strategic leverage, its honor among nations, wars of injury to our young men and women and substantial financial costs through military aid, foreign aid, and the borrowing and printing of inflation.

 It was the Carter Administration that brought Menachem Begin and Anwar Sadat together in 1978 and the Clinton Administration that helped with these Israeli/Egyptian agreements by expanding the protection of Israel: with Israel-Lebanon and Israel-PLO treaties, agreements to keep the Arab world from halting Israel’s growing dominance.  Certainly the people of Egypt suffered; 50 percent of the Egyptian population is below the poverty line making $2 or less a day, while Israel, a socialist nation reliant on the U.S. taxpayer, has a per capita GDP that is one of the highest in the world.

The Egyptian people are not pro-American; Mubarak is pro-American.  America is his paymaster.

As for Friedman’s claim that “we don’t know what the Muslim Brotherhood is doing,”  we know some things—there is no leader to this revolution.  It is a “leaderless” protest. Everywhere you look, there is no kind of organization.  It’s true the Muslim Brotherhood said it supported the protest, but in the main, the demonstrators are young people—young people who want dignity to be recognized as going somewhere, remunerative dignity for their labor, patriotic dignity for their country… so they can hold their heads up. You can see it in their faces.

You don’t go against tanks and water cannon and U.S.-made tear gas and bullets with a chance of being killed, unless it’s revolution.

Sat, 01/29/2011 - 21:12 | 917085 New_Meat
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"You don’t go against tanks and water cannon and U.S.-made tear gas and bullets with a chance of being killed, unless it’s revolution."

Well don'tcha know, the courage (or ignorance or passion, in these cases suicide)  are enormous.  My kids used to say "are we serious about this?" at which the response was "well, we're fucked anyway, so take the bastards with us."

Did I say I hate man vs. tanks?

- Ned

Sat, 01/29/2011 - 22:28 | 917230 JR
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Man climbs the mountain because it’s there; man takes on the tyrant because he's there…sadly, it seems to be the only way, Ned, in this modern world redrawn.  I thought, with the end of the Cold War, we would have peace.

Sun, 01/30/2011 - 14:30 | 918066 Kayman
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If Egypt throws out the dictator, the U.S. is going to be in one hell of a spot. One hell of a notch indeed.

Sat, 01/29/2011 - 20:46 | 917016 Kayman
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greetings JR

The duplicity of the Balfour Declaration haunts us still.  One waning British Empire is now replaced with a waning American Empire.

It would be cheaper to write each and every Israeli and Palestinian a check for a million dollars and move them to Florida, than to continue with the absurdity of the last 40 some years.

If Egypt becomes the next Iranian Revolution, will the cabal in New York put the entire U.S. nation at risk to support the patch of dirt in the Eastern Mediterranean ?

PS. troll

Malthus was wrong and is still wrong. He simple could not see technology increasing the food supply and decreasing the birth rate. As people become wealthier, sex becomes recreational not procreational. And there are many alternatives to rolling the old girl over on a cold winter night.

Leave poor old Tom in the box where he belongs.

Sat, 01/29/2011 - 22:20 | 917220 JR
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Brilliant summary of a very tragic era, Kayman. 

Margaret MacMillan was the great-granddaugher of David Lloyd George, the man who more than anyone pushed the Ballfour Declaration into the “notch” of history.  But her heritage did not keep her from many straight gems of truth concerning this Middle East event.  In her classic book, Paris 1919, here’s an excerpt:

“Even in 1919, the British in Palestine were finding themselves caught between Zionists and Arabs.  The Zionists complained, with some truth, that the military authorities were at best insensitve, at worst anti-Semitic. Jabotinsky, from the Jewish Legion, said that the British could deal with the Arabs, 'just the same old "natives" whom the Englishman has ruled and led for centuries, nothing new, no problems.'  The Zionists were a different matter: 'a problem from top to toe, a problem bristling with difficulties in every way—small in numbers, yet somehow strong and influential, ignorant of English, yet imbued with European culture, claiming complicated claims.' (Jabotinsky’s own contribution to the problems was to organize an underground army.)

"The British, of course, had created their own dilemma by making promises during the war that they could not now fulfill.  On one hand they had supported a Jewish homeland on land largely inhabited by Arabs, and on the other they encouranged the Arabs to revolt against their Ottoman rulers with the promise of Arab independence.  When the Arabs pointed out that Palestine had not been exempted from the land to come under Arab rule, the British accused them of ingratitude. 'I hope,' noted [Arthur] Balfour, 'remembering all that, they will not begrudge that small notch, for it is no more geographically, whatever it may be historically—that small notch in what are now Arab territories being given to the people who for all these hundreds of years have been separated from it.'”

Small notch indeed.

Sat, 01/29/2011 - 20:54 | 917053 topcallingtroll
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we shall see.  There will still be a billion more of them before this things tops out even under the optimistic conditions.  If oil is limited  I am not so sure that will will make the transition smoothly to whatever comes next.  That is an argument I have followed closely and it all depends on depletion rates now.  There is no smooth transition to whatever comes next if the downward slope on oil production is steeper than expected.  We don't have time.  Otherwise we seem to be in total agreement regarding the israeli palestinian situation.

Sun, 01/30/2011 - 14:19 | 918034 Kayman
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Thanks for your thoughts.  I am busy on a project this weekend, so ZH is getting snippets of my time.

It may sound Pollyannish but I still think the speed limit is the human imagination. And basic supply and demand thru the price mechanism (pricing relativity) is more important than blanket statements that we are running out of oil (or anything else for that matter).

I firmly believe the hidebound tenets of orthodox religions necessarily limit human imagination.  That IMHO is our greatest problem.

But don't be thinking I have nothing to believe in- I defer to W.C.Fields " A man must have something to believe in; I believe I'll have another drink..." I quit drinking so I'm now a little less grounded.






Sat, 01/29/2011 - 17:37 | 916725 Captain Planet
Captain Planet's picture

Funny. Cause I think we will see some pretty violent die offs right here at home in the next two decades. Don't think 20 million black americans are going to stay in their ghettos and starve while the rest of the country continues to go to Whole Foods.Or that the Mexicans aren't going to try to take back Texas, Arizona, NEW MEXICO (ha), and Cali. Good luck down there.

Oh yea....disease....worst health care system of any developed nation....hope you have a friends in med school.

Got agircultural land? Better make some friends if you don't.

Peace Bitchezzzz.....grow your own!

Sat, 01/29/2011 - 18:01 | 916760 DosZap
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Your funny.................

Cali is a DONE deal.(self imposed destruction, good for them, idiots).

Texas?, bro, I think w/out using Tactical nukes, Texas could take on practically any army in the world.

Without US Armed forces help.

Hitting the gound here with Foreign troops would be a massacre.

AZ, NM, nope neither one there either, Texans would go help them, it would be over shortly.

Sat, 01/29/2011 - 19:30 | 916913 kaiten
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He´s talking about (illegal) immigration, not invasion. That´s how mexicans are taking over the southern US, including Texas. No need for weapons.

Sat, 01/29/2011 - 23:32 | 917303 Cpl Hicks
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Shit,'re right!

Sat, 01/29/2011 - 17:27 | 916707 savagegoose
savagegoose's picture

thats the sort of indepth  reporting you get with a multi billion dollar secret service

Sat, 01/29/2011 - 17:18 | 916686 Korbin Dallas
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Egypt has had a long history of taking on then shaking off despots.  The cross-class participants and physical risk-taking of this revolution is evidence that this is not a mere Ninja, Facebook, or Twitter event.

But my comment is really about, for the sake of argument, an American-centric view.

When the Soviet Union imploded, the vassal states followed suit (Uzbeks, etc.) in due time.  The American mercantilist model has succeeded in creating vassal states that aren't necessarily close to the US geographically or even entirely politically.  Regardless, instead of labeling this as a Berlin event, this generation is taking part in an Albanian event where the motherland (America) is no longer considered a sufficiently relevant geopolitical actor nor even a trading partner with liquidity.

So yes, watch for signs of infection in other states like Saudi Arabia or Turkey but in my opinion the fact that Egypt and Jordan are having Tunisian rumbles is indicating very deep fissures that have more to do with a perception of weakened American economic and military hegemony than "radical muslims."

And no one can seriously consider the Chinese to be capable or intelligent enough to fill any fiscal or political vacuum.  Their interior focus, thug/mob-like political skills, and joke of a deepwater navy compounded with unmanaged internal cultural rifts and iron-age-educated populace means they can only compete when they're a trading partner that prints money while stealing technology.

Egypt will need to find its own solution but the West needs to help them manage the risks.

Sat, 01/29/2011 - 23:20 | 917291 Cpl Hicks
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"Egypt has had a long history of taking on then shaking off despots."......

Please supply an example of this. I'm not saying it hasn't happened, mind you, I'd just like you to back that statement up.

Your comments re: China...very interesting and certainly worth consideration. I hope they are true.

Sun, 01/30/2011 - 07:11 | 917584 Korbin Dallas
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The most recent example is Nasser in 1952, which overthrew the then British-backed monarchy.  Before him there was the Urabi Revolt that resulted in the bombardment by British forces 1882.  Before that there was Muhammad Ali who re-occupied Egypt as a Turkish province and in 1811 eliminated the Mamluks from ruling Egypt.  Though Muhammad Ali was an Albanian representing Ottoman rule he sought Egypt's ascendancy.

It is cultural heritage that drives people, as much ideology and ideologues.  In Egypt we'll see which hand will win of its rich history.

Re China: fundamentals will decide, as they've finally come home to roost in Japan.  The benefits of cost/legal arbitrage between China and the West will decline and we'll be left with a powerhouse or a toothless red dragon.

Sun, 01/30/2011 - 13:36 | 917919 Cpl Hicks
Cpl Hicks's picture

Thanks for the reply.

Where do you see the Egyptian government and society headed in the next 6 months or so? There's plenty of talk about the Muslim Brotherhood laying in the weeds looking for their opportunity. Are they a force to either take control of or get a piece of future power there?

Sat, 01/29/2011 - 17:09 | 916665 Fíréan
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"We're talking about badly educated poor people..."


there seems to be a lack of education and degree of condescention on the part of the writers here.These are well educated students, amongst others and Egypt has a good standard of education. Seems the USa is lacking in this regards from the level of comments by some here ( apart from the ability to do minus a minus maths)

Sat, 01/29/2011 - 19:02 | 916870 TBT or not TBT
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Uh huh, and it was students rioting in Iran when the Shah was deposed, which led to the Ayatollahs taking power, because they had the biggest block of organisable base:  poorly educated islamic infectees.     Same setup could happen in Egypt, with oh so smart rioters working against Mubarek/military backed regime to get in place of that a Muslim Brotherhood in power.         Also, it is one thing to be clever/smart/educated and another to apply that wisely or effectively.    The system and the culture have to be there for educated people to be able to apply themselves.

Sat, 01/29/2011 - 17:03 | 916659 geno-econ
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So who is Erin Burrnet as far as an expert political observer. I do recall viewing her on assignment from Saudi Arabia kissing a camel. I guess that qualifies her----wish I were that camel

Sat, 01/29/2011 - 17:24 | 916700 Salinger
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Erin and Madsen cited in the same article

Sat, 01/29/2011 - 17:58 | 916755 Leo Kolivakis
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Madsen was replaced by Engdahl who is much sharper in his analysis. As for Erin, well, we can't be perfect!

Sat, 01/29/2011 - 17:12 | 916654 Salinger
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From Leo's article above


"I leave you with an interview with Wayne Madsen, investigative journalist at Russia Today, discussing how the US was blindsided by Egypt's unrest an what other surprises might lurk ahead"

Leo,  you are aware that you are quoting Wayne Madsen?

What are your thoughts on Madsen's theory about President Obama and Rham?   (start minute 27 of the interview)


Of course it goes without saying that Madsen thinks Cheney coordinated 911

Sat, 01/29/2011 - 17:49 | 916740 Leo Kolivakis
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Thx Salinger, Madsen seems flaky so I replaced him with William Engdahl who is much more credible in my opinion.

Sat, 01/29/2011 - 18:42 | 916837 Salinger
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you need to hire yourself an intern to do the editing, you know an aspiring journalism student/model type

Sat, 01/29/2011 - 16:24 | 916586 TBT or not TBT
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Or maybe the "powderkeg" metaphor for the Middle East is dead wrong, and it more of a "powderthimble."

Our media makes much of the "palestinian situation" and "middle east peace" which is really still about the very very limited question of Israel's neighbors' bad relations with Israel.

We're talking about badly educated poor people, albeit a hell of a lot of them, infected by ideologies that cause their permanent backwardation.

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