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MidEast Turmoil The world has its eyes on the uprisings in Tunisia, Egypt, Jordan and Syria. TBM has created a special forum for up to the minute news and discussion of rapidly changing events.

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Old 08-20-2011, 10:22 PM   #1
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Default Israeli flag at embassy in Cairo replaced with Egyptian flag

Pics on Twitter at #flagman. He apparently climbed up the side of the building.

"Protesters raise Egyptian flag over Israeli embassy in Cairo"

Meanwhile, there was another rocket barrage from Gaza into Israel, killing 1 and wounding several others according to the IDF and Haaretz. Hopefully, the response that they're "mulling" won't inadvertently kill any more Egyptians.
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Old 08-21-2011, 05:34 AM   #2
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I can see a real escalation in the tensions between Israel and Egypt.
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Old 08-21-2011, 06:50 PM   #3
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That has a history of not going well for Egypt.
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Old 08-22-2011, 02:01 PM   #4
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I can see a real escalation in the tensions between Israel and Egypt.
Absolutely - it is exactly what the Muslim Brotherhood wants because they have calculated that they cannot win a majority without some sort of external stressor. And people wonder why Israel was not jumping for joy at the so-called Arab Spring.
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Old 08-22-2011, 02:26 PM   #5
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I think that one thing that's happening is that there is still a huge amount of pent up feeling and energy in the public that is left over from the Arab Spring. With the trials now closed to the public, and the military in charge, forestalling further significant demonstrations and protests, that energy has to be spent on something.

And, as always, Israel is a handy target, especially when they've done something to exacerbate the situation. Not to mention that getting the public to focus on Israel helps them forget that the military gov't isn't keeping the changes that were scheduled and promised.

Manipulation 101.
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Old 08-22-2011, 03:37 PM   #6
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I think that one thing that's happening is that there is still a huge amount of pent up feeling and energy in the public that is left over from the Arab Spring. With the trials now closed to the public, and the military in charge, forestalling further significant demonstrations and protests, that energy has to be spent on something.
That's one thing. But there really have been a number of border skirmishes between Egypt/Gaza and Israel. From the Eilat bombing to the missile strike to Israel's counter strike that killed 3 egyptians. Israel actually had to apologize for the latter, since they meant to kill Hamas.

Tensions are rising, but the good news: Egypt is nothing more than a pimple on Israel's ass. They can't wage war against Israel-they're weak and broke. The worst they could do is let Hamas have at Israel, which they practically do now anyway.
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Old 08-22-2011, 05:33 PM   #7
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The worst they can do is supply weapons and money to Hamas in Gaza, and join in a coordinated Hamas/Hizbollah/Syria attack on Israel. Fortunately, the Egyptian military hates and fears Iran. Hizbollah is a wholly owned subsidary of the Iranian regime, and Hamas has been getting a lot of funding and weapons from Iran. Syria has also acted as Iran's client in the region. The Iranian factor is about the only thing standing in the way of Egpyt joining in such an alliance, and it may be enough to continue to prevent it going forward.
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Old 09-09-2011, 04:16 PM   #8
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http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/...9f90ee114de001

Egyptians tear down Israel Embassy's security wall
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Old 09-09-2011, 08:34 PM   #9
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The Israeli ambassador, his family and staff are at the airport waiting to be evacuated. This is big stuff happening. Demonstrating and messing around with the flag displayed at an embassy is one thing. Breaking into it is something entirely different. The fact that Egyptian police stood by while the wall was destroyed is a major violation of internationally recognized diplomatic standards.

The Financial Times is reporting that "...Ehud Barak, the Israeli defence minister, said that in conversations with his US counterpart, Leon Panetta, and envoy Dennis Ross he had “asked them to protect the embassy from the demonstrators”."

"Egyptians break into Israeli embassy in Cairo"

"Israel's embassy in Cairo has been stormed by protesters who tore down one of the outer embassy walls and threw thousands of documents from the embassy's windows.
In response, the Egyptian prime minister summoned the cabinet crisis team to discuss the situation, and the interior ministry declared a state of alert late on Friday night...

...By evening, demonstrators had partially destroyed a wall recently built outside the Israeli embassy in Cairo to protect the building.
The earlier incident at the Israeli embassy involved around 1,000 people, who gathered outside the building housing the mission and attacked the wall with hammers and a large metal bar, as military police nearby did nothing to stop them..."
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Old 09-10-2011, 12:19 AM   #10
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Demonstrating and messing around with the flag displayed at an embassy is one thing. Breaking into it is something entirely different. The fact that Egyptian police stood by while the wall was destroyed is a major violation of internationally recognized diplomatic standards.
Yes, I was struck by that. It means the government is essentially giving the green light for attacks on Israeli diplomatic personnel, if not Jews in general. It is a frightening trend.

It is my opinion that the military is behind this. The Mubarak trial is going very badly. High officials are testifying that Mubarak opposed violence, and the head of the Cairo police has stated under oath that he never received any orders from the government to use deadly force on protesters. The only other group with any influence and power in Egypt is the military. While individual Army commanders in the field generally showed great restraint so far as using violence, the state security forces were extremely brutal. Since Mubarak did not want violence, that means the orders for the state security forces to attack and massacre the people could have only come from the people really in charge in Egypt; the military high command. Mubarak is just their figurehead. They apparently thought they could throw him under the bus and come out smelling like a rose, but that plan in crumbling now. So what is 'plan B'? Stir up hatred against Israel and the Jews. If necessary, start a war.

That is exactly where I think things are headed. The military high command is scared, and the people are pissed. The economy is worse than ever, and the government cannot afford to import the massive amounts of food needed to feed the masses. The generals are getting desperate, and they have few cards left to play. They know a full-blown bloody crackdown ala Syria or Libya would not be tolerated by the West. They cannot allow the protesters to run rampant, especially with the Muslim Brotherhood doing everything possible to stir up the people and exploit the chaos to their political advantage. Fomenting war with Israel may well be the only play they have left. Even the MB/Hamas would be on-board with that.

If this is the case, it leads to some interesting questions. Egypt is not going to want to go it alone if there is war with Israel. But their natural allies against the Jews also happen to be among their worst enemies. That would be the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas. who are trying to depose the military government, and who also have strong ties with Egypt's ancient enemies, the Persians; today known as Iran. Another potent ally would be Hizbollah, which is a wholly owned and operated subsidiary of the Iranian theocracy. Another important ally would be Syria, yet another ally of Iran. So the interesting question is, could Egypt and Iran put their differences aside for the moment and form an alliance of convenience to attack Israel?

This could be very attractive to Iran, which has its own problems with political unrest. They would be overjoyed to join in a 'war of liberation for Palestine', as such a campaign to distract the people from the brutal repression of their government and instead unite them in a crusade of racist genocide just retribution against the Jews. A multi-front attack from Egypt, Gaza, Lebanon and Syria would be a serious challenge to the Israel Defense Force.

This would also have to be extremely attractive to Bashir al-Assad, who is looking at being deposed and ending up like Mubarak, or worse. If he could switch the focus onto a war with Israel, it could save his ass. He would jump for any possible life preserver such as that. And this is another reason Iran would want to do this; to save their most important ally in the region, and keep the money, weapons and personnel pipeline to Hizbollah in Lebanon open by saving Assad's regime.

There are some wild cards here as well. It is unlikely that Jordan would wish to join in such a conflict, but threats from Syria and Iran to fight the Jews 'or else' would have to be taken seriously. Jordan has a majority Pali population and is ruled by a minority Hashemite tribe. Hamas could be a serious threat to the Jordanian royal family, stirring up revolution among Jordanian Palestinians.

The other wild card is Turkey. If Iran, Syria and Egypt were all in an alliance to wage war on Israel, I think Erdogan would want to join in. Erdogan desperately wants Turkey to be leader of the Muslim world as a step to a neoOttoman 'Greater Turkye'. This is, by all reports, more than just a cynical political ploy to manipulate domestic Turkish political opinion in Erdogan's favor. Apparently he is enough of a meglomaniac to actually believe in this dream himself, and he wants to be the 'great leader', the modern-day Pasha that leads his people back to greatness. There is no way his pride could stand still on the sidelines while the Arabs took on Israel. He will want a starring role in such a military melodrama. With the military airpower that Turkey has to offer; something that none of the other possible members of such an alliance could offer; he could well get it.

The other wild card is the al-Saud royal family. The very last thing they want is a war with Israel. They know how destructive and destabilizing it would be. They know it could easily escalate to the use of WMDs, with a nuclear retaliation from Israel. They also hate and fear Iran, and would oppose anything that would increase their standing in the eyes of the Muslim street. But such a situation would really put the Saudi King between a rock and a hard place. On one hand, they do not want such a war and they do want to keep good relations with the West. On the other hand, the Saudis have one of the most fundamentalist, racist, hardcore Jew-hating populations in the Muslim world. To come out against a war on Israel cast as 'the liberation of Palestine' could be suicidal to them. If there is one thing that the Saudi rulers excel at, it is protecting their own skins. They may have no choice other than to not oppose the war, if not join in themselves with their extremely sophisticated weaponry. They could calculate that Obama is a worthless ally anyways who stabs his Arab allies in the back and is too weak to retaliate in any serious way, so given the situation, rolling the dice on a war with Israel could well be seen as their best option.

This is all highly speculative, of course, but I find it at least plausible. The region from the eastern Med to the Persian Gulf is a tinderbox, and there are a lot of people willing to light the match. I just hope that this can all be avoided somehow. Interesting times, indeed.
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Old 09-10-2011, 01:21 PM   #11
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That's an interesting, and thorough!, analysis.

I suspect what happened is a combination of circumstance and some covert manipulation by the government. But I also suspect that sheer stupidity also played a role.

The group of protesters that attacked the embassy had come from Tahrir Square, where a large organized protest called "Correct the Path" was taking place. The Egyptian government announced that all police would evacuate the area for 24 hours to allow a peaceful protest to take place. Several groups broke off from the main protest. One group went to the Interior Ministry building, another to the state TV building and another to the embassy.

Police were present at all these locations but followed the "hands off" rule that had been announced. Apparently, they maintained that stance while the wall in front of the embassy was breached. This is where the stupidity comes into play. From what I've read, it wasn't until some of the protesters actually entered the building that the police finally reacted and tried to stop the crowd. By then, of course, it was too late.

So - were the protesters manipulated into breaking away from Tahrir Sq. and going after the embassy by government 'agents' who were mixed in with the protesters? I think it's very possible that that is exactly what happened.

Why didn't the police prevent the protesters from tearing down the wall? Partly out of stupidity and partly from following their standing orders to not interfere with the protests. But I also think that it was a way for the military to let the attack happen while being able to blame the police of the Interior Ministry for allowing it to take place. Doing so gives the military police forces an excuse to play a greater role in day-to-day civil life, as the government can point to this incident as an example of how the Interior Ministry police aren't up to the job.

All in all, a pretty neatly done trick. I suspect that there will be more and more of this type of thing as the military tries very hard to divert attention away from the fact that there hasn't been much concrete progress in making the changes demanded by the Arab Spring protesters. A new constitution, elections, a minimum wage, etc. are all supposedly "in the works" but for some reason just haven't happened yet.

I think the government will covertly encourage and support more and more "hate Israel" actions even as they pay lip service to keeping the peace. A new opportunity for staging another anti-Israel protest has come up with the death today of a 6th Egyptian soldier who had been wounded in the Israeli action last month.

"Sixth Egyptian soldier shot by Israel dies in hospital as a result of his injuries"

Interesting times indeed. It's ironic how an ancient Chinese curse has become a fact of modern day life.
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Old 09-10-2011, 03:35 PM   #12
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Israel was never part of the Jan 25th movement's plan for the Tahrir demonstration on Friday. There was a great deal of fear and abject dismay when the first twitters appeared( around 4:30- 5:00 pm) saying that about 100 people were surrounding the Israeli Embassy.

The problem is the same one which has appeared Friday after Friday since Jan 25th- the mistaken belief that "democracy" somehow equals mob rule and mob demands. I listened to Al Jazeera both in arabic an in english and since when can a mob decide that since the govt isn't listening to their demands to negate the Camp David Accords, the people have the right to assault an embassy?
Frankly, Egypt was better off with Mubarak if you ask me.
Atrocious and frightening behavior.
If this is the face of the true egyptian than I certainly don't recognize him as the people who I have come to know in the last 20 years. I have heard egyptians say that they don't recognize these people. This country has stepped over a huge line.
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Old 09-10-2011, 03:39 PM   #13
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What happened after every Israel - Arab war ? Israel claimed a larger piece of land (with the exception of Sinai, which is a desert) so I think Netanyahu wants to deal with the Palestinian problem for once and all. Most of the uprisings are coordinated and backed by Isr... Western Intelligence services. Stir up the neighbouring countries and leave attacking Israel as the last option to save the skin. Already weakened Arab States attack Israel, Israel wins, Israel wipes out the remaining Palestinians as "war casualties". Stir and mix

Just speculation O6, as plausible as yours believe me
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Old 09-10-2011, 04:03 PM   #14
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What happened after every Israel - Arab war ? Israel claimed a larger piece of land....
It sucks when you attack a neighbor, try to wipe them out, and get your ass kicked. They end up drinking your milkshake.
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(with the exception of Sinai, which is a desert)
The vast majority of Israel is desert, so that is not a meaningful distinction. The Israelis gave back the Sinai to get peace with Egypt, just as they were willing to give up land to Arafat for a peace deal.
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..... so I think Netanyahu wants to deal with the Palestinian problem for once and all.
No, duh! Any nation having a terrorist-controlled territory right on their border doing everything possible to mass murder as many of your citizens as they could would want a permanent solution to the problem. Does Turkey not desire a real solution to the Kurdish issue?
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Most of the uprisings are coordinated and backed by Isr... Western Intelligence services.
The Evil Juice are at the bottom of *everything*! Of course Israel wanted Egypt to go from a stable, pro-western nation they had a peace treaty who kept the border with Gaza sealed, to a destabilized nation that could be taken over by Islamists where Hamas/MB is free to run wild and pour weapons and fighters over the border into Gaza. That is just what the Evil Juice would do!
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Stir up the neighbouring countries and leave attacking Israel as the last option to save the skin. Already weakened Arab States attack Israel, Israel wins, Israel wipes out the remaining Palestinians as "war casualties". Stir and mix
Evil Juice plots will destroy honorable Muslims, always! Death to Evil Juice!
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Just speculation O6, as plausible as yours believe me
I believe you believe it. That is cause for both laughter and sorrow.
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Actually, there is a far, far simpler solution, if Israel wanted to head in this direct. Just allow the Palis statehood, and wait until they inevitably attack Israel. Israel would then have perfectly legal casus belli to declare war on the new Palestinian state and attack with full force. Neighboring Arab nations would rush to defend Palestine, and get their asses kicked as they always do. No need for your plots. If they wanted this, they could have it tomorrow.
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* I have the right to live, thus I have the right to defend my life from attackers who would take it from me.
* I have the right to my private property, thus I have the right to defend my property from thieves who would take it from me.
* I have the right to self-determination, thus I have the right to defend my liberty from tyrants who would take it from me.
* The only usable tools for these tasks are guns, and thus I have the right to shoot anyone who would take my guns from me.

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Old 09-10-2011, 04:32 PM   #15
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Actually, there is a far, far simpler solution, if Israel wanted to head in this direct. Just allow the Palis statehood, and wait until they inevitably attack Israel. Israel would then have perfectly legal casus belli to declare war on the new Palestinian state and attack with full force. Neighboring Arab nations would rush to defend Palestine, and get their asses kicked as they always do. No need for your plots. If they wanted this, they could have it tomorrow.
Oh yes, and you have given a very easy answer to your page long speculation (Thank you by the way for writing your own thoughts, not linking gibberish articles) on how the Middle East nations do plot to attack Israel to end their restless uprisings. When you lose a war, your head gets chopped off so neither Egypt's nor Syria's ruling elite would dare to start a war to save their precious skins. It would only speed up their beheading process. Thank you for answering yourself

Quote:
The generals are getting desperate, and they have few cards left to play. They know a full-blown bloody crackdown ala Syria or Libya would not be tolerated by the West. They cannot allow the protesters to run rampant, especially with the Muslim Brotherhood doing everything possible to stir up the people and exploit the chaos to their political advantage. Fomenting war with Israel may well be the only play they have left.
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Old 09-10-2011, 04:37 PM   #16
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Oh yes, and you have given a very easy answer to your page long speculation on how the Middle East nations do plot to attack Israel to end their restless uprisings. When you lose a war, your head gets chopped off so neither Egypt's nor Syria's ruling elite would dare to start a war to save their precious skins. It would only speed up their beheading process. Thank you for answering yourself
When the whole population rises against the leadership, you cannot kill them all (though Ghadaffi and Assad are sure trying). But you knew this when you made that silly statement.

You seem to have a very low opinion of your Muslim brothers, Oric. You do not believe they could be real freedom-lovers, but instead that they can only be stupid pawns of Mossad manipulations. But then, Turks generally do not have a very high opinion of Arabs, so I guess that idea fits perfectly.
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* The only usable tools for these tasks are guns, and thus I have the right to shoot anyone who would take my guns from me.
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Old 09-10-2011, 04:54 PM   #17
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http://www.almasryalyoum.com/en/node/492393

An interesting piece on the 'transition phase' between the rule of the military council that currently rules Egypt, and eventual elections and a civilian democratic government.
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Old 09-10-2011, 05:43 PM   #18
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When the whole population rises against the leadership, you cannot kill them all (though Ghadaffi and Assad are sure trying). But you knew this when you made that silly statement.

You seem to have a very low opinion of your Muslim brothers, Oric. You do not believe they could be real freedom-lovers, but instead that they can only be stupid pawns of Mossad manipulations. But then, Turks generally do not have a very high opinion of Arabs, so I guess that idea fits perfectly.

O6 ... I love you analysis which are so unsaid by me ...

Let's write down things one by one shall we ?

1. You claimed that the leaders of the countries with social turmoil see attacking Israel as a last resort to change the enemy, subject etc. You said that this was a speculative analysis ...

2. I gave an equally speculative scenario that Israel could be using the situation to its own favor by stirring the fire in those nations to get attacked and win in the end

3. You said that Israel did not need such a plot, it could easily let Palestinians form their state and attack afterwards and beat all Arab nations trying to help Palestinians

4. I said that your #1 scenario was answered by #3, no Arab nations leader, however hopeless would try the "attack Israel" card because they will lose. Losing a war means losing complete power and more ...

5. You said You seem to have a very low opinion of your Muslim brothers, Oric. You do not believe they could be real freedom-lovers, but instead that they can only be stupid pawns of Mossad manipulations. Now we were having a fair discussion. You are still fabricating arguments from #2 ???
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Old 09-11-2011, 12:05 PM   #19
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Not surprisingly, the Egyptian government has returned to emergency law. It had been slowly moving away from it, supposedly, but the attack on the Israeli embassy has brought it back in full force.

The National, a UAE newspaper, is reporting: "In a televised message yesterday the information minister Osama Heikal said the government was committed to protecting all embassies in Egypt after three people were killed in overnight clashes, and authorities would apply "all articles of the emergency law to ensure safety"...".


The article also brings up an interesting point about why the attack happened.


"Many of the roughly 150 protestors who remained at the embassy yesterday afternoon said they were inspired by the Turkish prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's outspoken criticism of Israel's treatment of Palestinians...
"We're here because our military didn't take any position about Israel after they killed Egyptians, and we see what Erdogan has done and we want more from the army," said Ahmed Adel, a 30-year-old salesman, who was protesting at the embassy...".
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Old 09-11-2011, 01:02 PM   #20
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Not surprisingly, the Egyptian government has returned to emergency law. It had been slowly moving away from it, supposedly, but the attack on the Israeli embassy has brought it back in full force.
Maybe why the delay so that the wall was down?

Never let a crisis go to waste, eh?
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Old 09-11-2011, 04:38 PM   #21
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http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7...120876,00.html

Embassy raid: Egyptian military arrests 92 suspects
---

http://www.cnn.com/2011/WORLD/meast/...ists.targeted/

Angry crowd turns on journalists reporting embassy attack in Egypt
---

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011...embassy-attack

Turkish PM arrives in Cairo as Israel recovers from embassy assault

Interesting that Erdogan is visiting Egypt now.
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Old 09-11-2011, 07:58 PM   #22
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http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/...embassy .html

NY Times blames Israel for attack on Cairo Embassy
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Old 09-11-2011, 10:14 PM   #23
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Erdogan's visit was scheduled quite a while ago, it is much better to say it is interesting that the attack occured before the visit
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Old 09-11-2011, 10:19 PM   #24
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http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worl...i-embassy.html

Egypt's military rulers ignored pleas from US as mob attacked Israeli embassy
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* I have the right to live, thus I have the right to defend my life from attackers who would take it from me.
* I have the right to my private property, thus I have the right to defend my property from thieves who would take it from me.
* I have the right to self-determination, thus I have the right to defend my liberty from tyrants who would take it from me.
* The only usable tools for these tasks are guns, and thus I have the right to shoot anyone who would take my guns from me.
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