Massenbach-Letter: NEWS 24/05/13


Udo von Massenbach

Guten Morgen.

Seit Mai 2012:
Auch an die
Mitglieder des Verteidigungsausschusses
des Deutschen Bundestages.

RQ-4 Euro Hawk UAV: Death by Certification

US Energy Revolution Gathers Pace

London, May 19 (QNA) -The growing role of the U.S. in world energy markets was underlined on Friday as the Obama Administration approved wider exports of liquefied natural gas and international companies committed billions of dollars for new infrastructure.

The developments were both consequences of the shale revolution in the U.S., in which improvements in the techniques of horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing, or „fracking,“ have unlocked new supplies of oil and gas, and raised the prospect that the US will be an increasingly important supplier of energy to the rest of the world, said the Financial Times newspaper.

The Department of Energy on Friday authorized the Freeport LNG project in Texas to export to countries that do not have a trade agreement with the US, including Japan and the members of the EU. It was the first such approval to be granted for two years and only the second ever.

President Barack Obama had been expected to approve worldwide sales from the Freeport project, as the administration sees rising energy exports as providing economic benefits and strengthening the global influence of the U.S.

Separately, Japanese and European companies said they would invest billions of dollars in another proposed gas export project, the $10 billion Cameron LNG plant in Louisiana.

Shale gas production has soared in the US in recent years, creating a supply glut that has driven prices down to about $4 per million British thermal units from a peak above $13 in 2008. Cargoes of LNG, super cooled to minus 160 degrees so it can be transported on tankers

Failure of Islamists in the Middle East could return military to power

Experts in Middle East studies from Russia, the Middle East, Europe and the United States discussed the prospects of political Islam at the Valdai International Discussion Club conference, “Islam in Politics: Ideology or Pragmatism?” in Marrakech, Morocco, on May 14-15.

A protester and Egyptian army tanks blocking Cairo's central Tahrir Square

The failure of the Islamist political parties who came to power in the dramatic events of the Arab Spring would allow the military to reenter the political arena, according to Mustafa Alani, director of the National Security and Terrorism Studies Department at the Gulf Research Center.

“If the Islamists fail, the military may return to power under the pretext of saving these countries from total collapse,” said the expert. The public, disappointed in Islamists, would likely back the military.

Alani thinks that political Islam was successful in the opposition, but it could fail in power, as the negative experience of Egypt and Iraq have shown. “Unlike previous regimes that were ruined by corruption, the Islamists are incompetent in government administration and have no political experience”.

The absence of an alternative ideology that can compete with political Islam makes the military’s return to power even more likely. Alani believes that the ideology of socialism and pan-Arabism has suffered a heavy blow and has little chance of recovering in the near future.

The events of the Arab Spring in the countries of the Middle East and North Africa led to the downfall of regimes that ruled for decades in some countries, and ushered in major changes in others. However, in the overwhelming majority of cases, the secular liberal forces and youth movements that initiated the demonstrations have been pushed to the background by Islamists who had long been on the sidelines of politics.

However, the Islamists have been unsuccessful in power so far and face growing discontent. Protesters in Egypt are attempting to collect two million signatures on a petition demanding the resignation of President Mohamed Morsi, a member of the Muslim Brotherhood, and the return of military rule.

Islamists in power must have a chance to govern

Osama Hamdan, head of the Hamas International Relations Department, attributes the political and economic crises in Arab Spring countries to problems that have piled up for decades rather than the incompetence of the Islamists.

“Some maintain that the Islamists have failed to effectively govern countries in which they came to power. Probably this is true, everyone makes mistakes. But the real issue is that these economic and other setbacks are due to the problems that the previous regimes failed to resolve or did not want to resolve in the past five or six decades. Why should Islamists be held responsible for this? Like any political force that won an election, they should be given a chance to govern,” Hamdan said at the conference.

Hamdan believes that the fundamental transformation that is taking place in the region will spread to other Arab countries, bringing Islamists to power. He thinks the process could take decades. He pointed out that the Turkish model of national development is not the only model for Islamists, who should simply incorporate some of Turkey’s experience. Hamdan said that in foreign policy, the Islamist governments, apart from fostering ties with like-minded governments, should focus on countries that did not take part in the colonization of the Arab Muslim world, such as Russia, China and India.

Islamic extremism will lead to a split between Arab Spring countries

Arab experts said that the rise of Islamists to power in Arab Spring countries may trigger a new wave of protests and lead to civil wars.

“Let’s be clear on this. An Islamic regime is not consonant with the aspirations of a multi-religious Syria, and does not suit it mentally. The rise of Islamists to power will lead to a split and disintegration in the country,” said Bassma Kodmani, who performed special missions in the opposition Syrian National Council in 2011-2012.

Kodmani believes that extremist groups fighting on Syrian territory are not linked with Syrian society either politically or socially. However, local Islamists represented mostly by the Muslim Brotherhood “may occupy their place in the country’s future political life if they become more moderate.”

Ahmed Ezzelarab, Vice Chairman of the Al-Wafd Party, one of the oldest in Egypt, subjected the rise of Islamists to power to scathing criticism. He said that members of the Muslim Brotherhood who have won presidential elections in Egypt are using religion as a political instrument, as the patriots of their movement but not of Egypt.”

“We haven’t had such an incompetent government in our history. They have stolen the revolution and now want to place members of their movement in all more or less responsible government posts. These steps will lead the country to a new revolution and civil war,” Ezzelarab said.

RIA Novosti.

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