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Instapundit Israpundit Jerusalem Po st Middle East Info Natio nal Review To wnhall It was seven mo nths ago that Mo hammed Bo uazizi, a vegetable peddler in Tunisia
limited influence Israel's premier o ppo rtunist Israel's o nly two o ptio ns Cautio n: Sto rm Appro aching
It was seven mo nths ago that Mo hammed Bo uazizi, a vegetable peddler in Tunisia set himself and the Arab wo rld o n fire. The 26 -year-o ld staged his suicidal pro test o n the steps o f the lo cal city hall after a municipal inspecto r to o k away his unlicensed vegetable cart thus denying him the ability to feed his family o f eight. Mo st depictio ns o f the Arab revo lutio ns that fo llo wed his act have cast them as struggles fo r freedo m and go o d go vernment. These depictio ns miss the main cause o f these po litical upheavals. No do ubt millio ns o f Arabs are upset abo ut the freedo m deficit in Arab lands. But the fact is that eco no mics has played a decisive ro le in all o f them. In Bo uzizi's case, his self-immo latio n was pro vo ked by eco no mic desperatio n. And if current trends co ntinue, the revo lutio nary ferment we have seen so far is o nly the tip o f the iceberg. Mo reo ver, the po litical whirlwind will no t be co ntained in the Middle East. Mo st o f the news co ming o ut abo ut Egypt to day emanates fro m Cairo 's Tahrir Square. There the pro testers co ntinue to demand o usted president Ho sni Mubarak's head o n a platter alo ngside the skulls o f his so ns, business asso ciates, adviso rs and everyo ne else who pro spered under his rule. While the suppo sedly liberal demo cratic pro testers' swift descent into blo o dlust is no do ubt wo rth no ting, the main reaso n these pro testers co ntinue to gain so much internatio nal attentio n is because they are easy to find. A repo rter lo o king fo r a sto ry's failsafe o ptio n is to mo sey o n o ver to the square and put a micro pho ne into the cro wd. But while easily accesible, the actio n at Tahrir Square is no t Egypt's mo st impo rtant sto ry. The mo st impo rtant, strategically co nsequential sto ry is that Egypt is rapidly go ing bro ke. By the end o f the year, the military dictato rship will likely no t o nly default o n Egypt's lo ans. Field Marshal Tantawi and his deputies will almo st certainly be unable to feed the Egyptian peo ple. So me raw statistics are in o rder here. Amo ng Egypt's po pulatio n o f 8 0 millio n, so me 32 millio n are illiterate. They engage in subsistence farming that is to o inefficient to suppo rt them. Egypt needs to impo rt half o f its fo o d fro m abro ad. As David Go ldman, (aka Spengler), repo rted in Asia Times Online , in May the Internatio nal Mo netary Fund warned o f the impending eco no mic co llapse o f no n-o il expo rting Arab co untries saying that, "In the current baseline scenario the external
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financing needs o f the regio n's o il impo rters is pro jected to exceed $16 0 billio n during 20 11-13." Go ldman no ted, "That's almo st three years' wo rth o f Egypt's to tal annual impo rts as o f 20 10 ." Since Mubarak was o verthro wn in February, Egypt's fo reign currency reserves have plummeted fro m $36 bn to $25-28 bn. Last mo nth Tantawi rejected an IMF lo an o ffer o f $3bn. claiming he wo uld no t accept any co nditio ns o n the lo ans. Instead he accepted $4bn in lo ans fro m Saudi Arabia and ano ther $2.34bn fro m the Gulf States. And still, Egypt's fo reign currency reserves are being washed away. As Go ldman explained, the pro blem is capital flight. Due in no small part to the pro testers in Tahrir Square calling fo r the arrest o f all tho se who did business with the fo rmer regime, Egypt's wealthy and fo reign investo rs are taking their mo ney o ut o f the co untry. At the Arab Banking Summit in Ro me last mo nth, Jo rdan's Finance Minister Mo hammed Abu Hammo ur warned, "There is capital flight and $50 0 millio n a week are leaving the Arab wo rld." Acco rding to Go ldman, "Altho ugh Hammo ur did no t mentio n co untries in his talk... mo st o f the capital flight is co ming fro m Egypt, and at an annual rate ro ughly equal to Egypt's remaining reserves." What this means is that in a few sho rt mo nths, Egypt will be unable to pay fo r its impo rts. And co nsequently, it will be unable to feed its peo ple. EGYPT IS far fro m alo ne. Take Syria. There to o , capital is fleeing the co untry as the go vernment rushes to quell the mass anti-regime pro tests. Just as Egyptian and Tunisian pro testers ho ped that a new regime wo uld bring them mo re freedo m, so the mass pro tests sweeping Syria o we in part to po litics. But like the situatio n in Egypt and Tunisia, Syria's eco no mic wo es are dictating much o f what is happening o n the gro und and will co ntinue to do so fo r the fo reseeable future. Last mo nth Syrian President Bashar Assad gave a speech warning o f "weakness o r co llapse o f the Syrian eco no my." As a repo rt last mo nth by Reuters explained, the immediate impact o f Assad's speech was capital flight and the devaluatio n o f the
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immediate impact o f Assad's speech was capital flight and the devaluatio n o f the Syrian po und by eight percent. Fo r the past decade, Assad has been trying to liberalize the Syrian eco no my. He enacted so me free market refo rms, o pened a sto ck exchange and attempted to draw fo reign investment to the co untry. While largely unsuccessful in alleviating Syria's massive po verty, these refo rms did enable the co untry a mo dest gro wth rate o f aro und 2.5% per year. In respo nse to the mass pro tests threatening his regime, Assad has effectively ended his experiment with the free market. He fired his go vernment minister in charge o f the eco no mic refo rms and put all the pro jects o n ho ld. Instead, acco rding to a repo rt this week in Syria Today, the go vernment has steeply increased public secto r wages and o ffered 10 0 ,0 0 0 tempo rary wo rkers full-time co ntracts. The Syrian go vernment also anno unced a 25% cut in the price o f diesel fuel at a co st fo r the go vernment o f $527 millio n per year. Bo asting fo reign currency reserves o f $18 bn, the Syrian regime anno unced it wo uld be using these reserves to pay fo r the increased go vernmental o utlays. But as Reuters repo rted, the go vernment has been fo rced to spend $70 -8 0 millio n a week to buck up the lo cal currency. So between pro tecting the Syrian po und and paying fo r po litical lo yalty, the Assad regime is quickly drying up Syria's treasury. In the event the regime is o verthro wn, a successo r regime will face the sure pro spect o f eco no mic co llapse much as the Egyptian regime do es. And in the event that Assad remains in po wer, he will co ntinue to reap the eco no mic whirlwind o f what he has so wn in the fo rm o f po litical instability and vio lence. What this means is that we can expect co ntinued po litical turmo il in bo th co untries as they are co nsumed by debt and tens o f millio ns o f peo ple face the pro spect o f starvatio n. This po litical turmo il can be expected to give rise to dangero us if unkno wable military develo pments. POOR ARAB natio ns like Egypt and Syria are far fro m the o nly o nes facing eco no mic disaster. The $3bn lo an the IMF o ffered Egypt may be amo ng the last lo ans o f that magnitude the IMF is able to o ffer because quite simply, Euro pean lo aners are themselves staring into the eco no mic abyss. Greece's debt crisis is no t a lo cal pro blem. It no w appears increasingly likely that
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the EU is go ing to have to accept Greece defaulting o n at least part o f its debt. And the ramificatio ns o f Greek default o n the Euro pean and US banking systems are largely unkno wable. This is the case because as Megan McArdle at The Atlantic wro te this week, the amo unt o f Greek debt held by Euro pean and US banks is difficult to assess. Wo rse still, the banking crisis will o nly intensify in the wake o f a Greek default. Debt pressure o n Italy, Ireland, Spain and Po rtugal which are all also o n the brink o f defaulting o n their debts will gro w. Italy is Euro pe's fo urth largest eco no my. Its debt is abo ut the size o f Germany's debt. If Italy go es into default, the implicatio ns fo r the Euro pean and US banking systems - and their eco no mies generally -- will be devastating. The current debt-ceiling nego tiatio ns between US President Barack Obama and the Republican Co ngressio nal leadership have made it apparent that Obama is ideo lo gically co mmitted to increasing go vernment spending and taxes in the face o f a weak eco no my. If Obama is reelected next year, the dire implicatio ns o f fo ur mo re years o f his eco no mic po licies fo r the US and glo bal eco no mies canno t be o verstated. DUE TO the eco no mic po licies implemented by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu since his first tenure as prime minister in 19 9 6 , in the face o f this eco no mic disaster, Israel is likely to find itself in the unlikely po sitio n o f standing alo ng China and India as amo ng the o nly stable, gro wing eco no mies in the wo rld. Israel's banking secto r is largely unexpo sed to Euro pean debt. Israel's gro ss external debt is 44 percent o f GDP. This co mpares well no t o nly to Euro pean debt levels o f well o ver 10 0 percent o f GDP but to the US debt level which stands at 9 8 percent o f GDP. Assuming the go vernment do es no t bend to po pulist pressure and take eco no mically hazardo us steps like reducing the wo rk week to fo ur days, Israel's eco no my is likely to remain o ne o f the co untry's mo st valuable strategic assets. Just as eco no mic pro sperity allo wed Israel to abso rb the co st o f the Seco nd Lebano n War with barely a hiccup, so Israel's co ntinued eco no mic gro wth will play a key ro le in pro tecting it fro m the eco no mically induced po litical upheavals likely to ensue thro ugho ut much o f the Arab wo rld and Euro pe. Aside fro m remaining eco no mically respo nsible, as Israel appro aches the co ming sto rms it is impo rtant fo r it to act with utmo st cautio n po litically. It must ado pt po licies that pro vide it with the mo st maneuver ro o m and the greatest deterrent
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fo rce. First and fo remo st, this means that it is imperative that Israel no t co mmit itself to any agreements with any Arab regime. In 19 77 the Camp David Agreement with then Egyptian president Anwar Sadat in which Israel surrendered the strategically invaluable Sinai fo r a peace treaty seemed like a reaso nable gamble. In 20 11, a similar agreement with Assad o r with the Palestinian Autho rity, (who se budget is largely financed fro m internatio nal aid), wo uld be the height o f strategic insanity. Beyo nd that, with the rising do uble specter o f Egyptian eco no mic co llapse and the rise o f the Muslim Bro therho o d to po wer, Israel must prepare fo r the pro spect o f war with Egypt. Recently it was repo rted that IDF Chief o f General Staff Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz has o pted to spread o ver several years Israel's military preparatio ns fo r a return to ho stilities with Egypt. Gantz's decisio n repo rtedly o wes to his desire to avo id pro vo king Egypt with a rapid expansio n o f the IDF's o rder o f battle. Gantz's cautio n is understandable. But it is unacceptable. Given the escalating threats emanating fro m Egypt - no t the least o f which is the expanding security vacuum in the Sinai -- Israel must prepare fo r war no w. So to o , with the US's weak eco no my, Obama's Muslim Bro therho o d friendly fo reign po licy, and Euro pe's histo ry o f respo nding to eco no mic hardship with xeno pho bia, Israel's need to develo p the means o f militarily defending itself fro m a cascade o f emerging threats beco mes all the mo re apparent. The eco no mic sto rms may pass by Israel. But the po litical tempests they unleash will reach us. To emerge safely fro m what is co ming, Israel needs to hunker do wn and prepare fo r the wo rst. Originally published in The Jerusalem Post.
Po st e d o n J uly 15 , 20 11 at 6 :5 7 AM
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By Ano nymo us o n July 15, 20 11 7:40 AM I wo uld never have kno wn the sto ry o f Mo hammed Bo uazizi, and his co nfiscated vegetable cart if yo u hadn't to ld me. Damn shame, Seems that things are the same the wo rld o ver. A guy wants to feed his family, make a life, and a go vernment o fficial takes his pro perty, his dream, his means to that end, away. Because he must pay fo r permissio n to live and pursue that tho se ends. I pray that the o fficial's end has fo und him but perhaps no t so quickly. By nao mir o n July 15, 20 11 8 :0 9 AM
Caro line, yo u have certainly presented mo st o mino us news. All the signs have been there fo r so me time o f the wo rld slo wly implo ding and all the vio lence and greed in the Middle East o nly hastening the pro cess. Israel is being challenged no w bo th by her po sitio n as an "o asis o f peace" in the midst o f a sto rm and the fact that she will be o ne o f o nly a few co untries still able to feed her po pulatio n amid massive starvatio n. It stands to reaso n that we canno t sit back and wait fo r events to unfo ld, but must be in a state o f preparedness no w fo r the ro ugh times ahead. We alo ne with Hashem's help are respo nsible fo r o ur co ntinued existence. Shabbat shalo m and blessings. By Marcel o n July 15, 20 11 8 :18 AM Wrath is cruel, and anger is o utrageo us; but who is able to stand befo re envy? Pro verbs 27 As the glo bal eco no my o f ALL the natio ns who seek to carve up Israel co ntinues to meltdo wn and their misery and suffering gro ws deeper they will see Israel sitting pro spero us and blessed. It's amazing to see the o nce great empire America co llapse and decay the mo re Washingto n attempts to carve up Israel and divide Jerusalem fo r a to tally unnecessary 23rd Arab despo t state. Who in their right mind can be an athiest in this day ? The enemies o f Israel will fo r the mo st part be blind and unable to co nnect that what
The enemies o f Israel will fo r the mo st part be blind and unable to co nnect that what they have intended fo r Israel to their o wn do wnfall,but their ability to envy and be jealo us against pro spero us and blessed Israel will o nly gro w into unco ntro lled rage,blame and revenge. Israel's clo se neighbo rs are experts in this field. The curse they bro ught upo n themselves by their hatred, vio lence and evil desires,jealo usy and the lying, blame game will o nly gro w and we kno w where this all leads. It's evident that Israel's Go d has intensified the Genesis 12:3 curse level o n Israel's clo se and distant neighbo rs and is emptying their busy calendars,bank acco unts and dinner plates in o rder to gather them fo r their final appo intment to cure their hate and blo o dlust against Israel and the Jewish peo ple fo r go o d. 'I will also gather all natio ns, and will bring them do wn into the valley o f Jeho shaphat, and will plead with them there fo r my peo ple and fo r my heritage Israel, who m they have scattered amo ng the natio ns, and parted my land.' Jo el 3 There is a bright future after the sto rms have passed as the threat against Israel will end and there will be real peace when allah's armies and allah are no mo re. Only then will Arab and Jew live in true peace. No allah,no pro ble m In that day all the natio ns will have learned what Egypts Pharo ah learned ,yo u can't fight Israel and win. By Ano nymo us o n July 15, 20 11 10 :14 AM Thro ugho ut histo ry, Islam has bo th survived and spread thro ugh war (read the destructio n and plunder o f Israel) with the end o bjective o f lo o ting and bo o ty. The excuse (and end result) has always been to "spread Islam", but that was just the excuse fo r war with the o bjective o f plunder. This is the do cumented and practiced habit o f Islam itself as well do cumented in the Qur'an (especially sura 8 ), The Sunnah (the "Way" o f the Pro phet Muhammad) and the Hadiths (repo rts o f the actio ns o f Muhammad). A typical spo kesman fo r Islam can be fo und o n Yo uTube by searching that site fo r " al-Huwayni gives so lutio n to Muslims financial pro blems" It is also instructio nal to Go o gle the fo llo wing: islam bo o ty Even sites such as Wikipedia.o rg give an interesting histo ry regarding Islamic slavery.
On the site JihadWatch.o rg, read the paper linked in the upper left co rner titled Islam 10 1. Get a co py o f the bo o k "The Legacy o f Islamic Antisemitism" fro m the autho r Andrew Bo sto m at the site andrewbo sto m.o rg. At the site, read the no tes o n the fro nt co ver painting. AS A MATTER OF RAW SURVIVAL, in lieu o f o utside financial assistance o r mo ney fro m o il o r natural gas revenues, Islam will make war and plunder in o rder to survive. Islam will to day find so me pro vo catio n to attack. The nature o f the plunder will no t o nly be material go o ds and currency but also wo men and children (histo rically within Islamic co untries by a ratio o f two thirds as sex slaves)left o ver after mo st o f the men have been killed o ff, alo ng with so me men and wo men retained fo r labo r in o rder to maintain their Islam masters material needs. Between the delights and necessity o f plunder required by the Islamic wo rld, and the desire to destro y Israel and her peo ple, the mo tivatio n is abso lute. A go o d gateway site to these issues and the habits and do ctrines o f Islam itself to the mo dern day can be fo und at the site media-quest.co m Do n't hunker do wn, rather get in gear and prepare. Like Co ngressman Allen West says, If so meo ne says they are go ing to kick yo ur ass, yo u do n't wait fo r them to raise their fo o t. No w, all this discussio n o f Islam itself may seem o ut o f place, but in fact it is what we are dealing with and it is what to expect. Fo r the general go o d and survival o f the co untry, beco me pro -active and get the wo rd o ut to yo ur fello w citizens. Tell yo ur fello w citizens abo ut the alternative news so urces to the mainstream media where o ne can learn abo ut what we are facing and no t just fro m the nature o f Islamic so ciety itself. Again, a go o d gateway site is media-quest.co m GET THE WORD OUT to yo ur fello w citizens.
o n July 15, 20 11 12:0 0 PM
A sho pping cart vender with eight kids sets himself o n fire o n the steps o f the city hall as a pro test? It's hard to be sympathetic and it's no t hard to see why the Muslim
co untries suffer eco no mic hardships in the face o f this kind o f patho lo gical child bearing rates. Israel sees similar child bearing rates, but it's no t nearly as universal and Israeli so ciety is mo re ratio nally gro unded. Still there are co nsequences, witness the massacre o f the Vo gel family. It is hard fo r o ne set o f parents to pro tect a family so large. But since when do es Euro pe have a histo ry o f co nfro nting eco no mic hardship with xeno pho bia? Is this to be co nfused with Islamapho bia? The eco no mic co llapse o f Germany after WWI helped to weaken it to the Nazis, but the Nazis were no t xeno pho bic, they were antisemitic and antisemitism is no t xeno pho bia. This co mment really deserved so me qualficatio n. By Ano nymo us o n July 15, 20 11 5:47 PM Great article Caro line ! Germany has o pted fo r clo sure o f its nuclear reacto rs under the pressure o f das Grüne To talitarismus (this yo unger generatio n wants to pro o f the wo rld so mething go o d fo r what their parents did in WOII to the jews) in exchange fo r RWE (RheinischWestfälisches Elektrizitätswerk) to make a deal with Gazpro m (Russia) Russia is delivering Iran’s nuclear capability so Russia is preventing any suppo rt to bo mb Iran's ato m bo mb pro gram. The USA is financially strangled by the Chinese triad were they pro vo ke a stagnatio n o f the wo rld's eco no my by a high energy price by a artificial high demand fo r (islam) o il. China thus prevents the US to bo mb Iran's nuclear undergro und facility as well. The western wo rld must o pt fo r a massive nuclear po wer & a wo rldwide Electric Auto mo bile Industry because o f this geo -po litical stalemate due to this Chinese artificial Peak Oil ! Frank Gaffney's plea fo r Energy Freedo m lacks the visio n o f bo th massive as well as much cheaper energy Israel is no w o n the brink to defend the western values as well as the US & Euro pe fo r they canno t defend themselves anymo re ! If Israel were to bo mb Iran's evil wo rks then Israel saves my freedo m .. If Egypt were to attack Israel then Israel is left no o ther o ptio n than to permanently o ccupy Sinai. The same with liberating the Christians in Libano n fro m Hezbo llah .. As far as Syria is co ncerned indeed it wo uld be best that the Syrian Kurds were ackno wledged in their right o f self determinatio n ! I thank miss Glick to examine the financial status within the Arab Uprise o f co untries like Jo rdan & Syria. Mo st unfo rtunately Israel is o ne o f two fro nts.
The seco nd is the rise o f the Pakistani Neo Taliban and its jihadis infiltrating the ato m bo mb co mplex and seco ndly the co nstructio n o f mo re ato mic bo mbs thus pro vo king an arms race in that regio n. So , here we have the two levers: 1. Russia o ver Germany and 2. China o ver the US to stay neutral in the islamic attack o n the western wo rld by attacking Israel .. and seco ndly the Pakistan fro nt. What the kenyan did o n the 4th o f June in 20 0 9 in Cairo did Michelle LaVaughn Ro binso n in Suid Afrika were already 6 9 .0 0 0 White Afrikaners have been murdered by blacks. This is all no t a fun game anymo re. It is abo ut the future o f free mankind No t o nly islam must be o ut ro o ted fo rm the face o f the Earth but US liberalism as well ! By philo so sky o n July 16 , 20 11 10 :48 AM
Afrikaner: Yo u are essentially 10 0 % co rrect. Altho ugh the electric car and nuclear plants are unquestio nably the practical sho rt term so lutio n, the electric car itself is no t co nducive to lo ng term sustainablity. The electric car type transpo rtatio n sho uld utilized as an interim so lutio n while this industrial age and land use [no n]planning based o n unlimited petro fuel transpo rtatio n is reined in and transitio ned to a high-tech and militarily po werful so ciety ro o ted in sustainable agriculture and fo o d pro ductio n. That is, o ur land use and co nstructio n o f cities at present is likely co mpletely wro ng. Included sho uld be a fo cus o n teleco mmunicatio ns and wo rk fro m ho me. On the nuclear to pic, so lar pho to vo ltaic and so lar thermal (in use by 8 0 % no w in Israel fo r ho t water) sho uld co me into primary use while retaining existing nuclear and po wer grid systems. The fuel being saved sho uld be diverted to military use. Military manufacturing and suppo rt sho uld be a primary fo cus until Islam is either co ntained o r mo re ideally essentially eradicated. In wo rking terms, yo ur use o f "ro o ted fro m the face o f the Earth" may turn o ut to be apro pro s. By Sean o n July 16 , 20 11 12:44 PM I remember yo u speaking a co uple mo nths ago , a questio n was raised regarding the Middle East. Isn't the elephant in the ro o m Islam, yo u respo nded yo u did no t kno w much abo ut Islam. Well yo u sho uld start learning abo ut it. http://www.andrewbo sto m.o rg/blo g/20 11/0 7/15/mere-73-o f-palestinians-want-jewsannihilated-as-per-islam’s-cano nical-hadith/ By Charles Smyth o n July 18 , 20 11 7:39 AM
By Charles Smyth
o n July 18 , 20 11 7:39 AM
The sto rm that is appro aching will be co ncentrated o n the No rth African and Arab states which, no w relieved o f their auto cracies, will be deemed sufficiently safe as an enviro nment within which the antago nists will be co ntained, as if in a crucible, so that they are o bliged to determine their o wn brand o f demo cracy, since they will no t be permitted to flee to Euro pe o r the US. And to limit the degree o f the likely atro cities, the Muslim Bro therho o d, et al, will be under the threat o f the ICC and a severe restrictio n o n any eco no mic aid, which canno t, by any realistic measure, be co untered by funding o ut o f Iran, Saudi Arabia, o r even China who se o wn eco no my must be mo re inclined to wards develo ping do mestic co nsumptio n. Israel will have pro blems if the defense po licy is to fight fo reign aggressio n in the way that the fo reign aggresso rs expect Israel to co nduct a co unter o ffensive. By pro american o n July 18 , 20 11 7:49 AM "Obama's Muslim Bro therho o d friendly fo reign po licy" Yo u are insane. By maxjaco bs6 7 o n July 18 , 20 11 12:21 PM
I think Gantz is wro ng fo r go ing slo w fo r ano ther reaso n. The Egyptian Army has been upgraded with advanced American weapo nry, including o ver 1,10 0 M1A1 tanks. It will be in the interest o f any anti-Israel gro up that takes co ntro l in Egypt to start a war with Israel as so o n as po ssible, while they still have fresh spare parts handy. If they wait, Co ngress will likely cut o ff spare parts access and their sto cks will slo wly dwindle into no thing. Eventually their armed fo rces will be incapable o f mo unting o ffensive o peratio ns as fewer and fewer o f their units will be at full strength due to breakdo wns. Co untries like China and Russia might help a little but no t as much as Egypt wo uld need. That's why I think that if any gro up that take co ntro l in Egypt wants to destro y Israel, they will need to start the war within a co uple o f mo nths o f taking po wer. By geo rge o n July 26 , 20 11 1:54 AM
it really do es no t matter what anyo ne thinks!!!!!!!! " THE CREATOR OF IT ALL'' has it under co ntro l and "all pro phesy will co me true 10 0 %, this cesspo o l that "all human's have created is abo ut to be flushed" , humbling isn"t it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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