The views expressed in any article published in this blog are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect the views of Joseph Foster or Bob Lupoli.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Defiance in Action: Syria and Egypt

Joe: Syria and Egypt I would guess are both being supported by China & Russia. Even if the Syria regime is changed and Assad is thrown out will the future look like Egypt’s? An anti-American leadership, one the that “defies” American interests? No one knows the future but to me it looks likely. -Bob


U.S. shuts down Syrian diplomatic operations

The United States has pulled its ambassador out of Syria and closed its embassy in Damascus amid escalating violence and a bloody crackdown by President Bashar al-Assad's regime against demonstrators. "The recent surge in violence, including bombings in Damascus on December 23 and January 6, has raised serious concerns that our Embassy is not sufficiently protected from armed attack. We, along with several other diplomatic missions, conveyed our security concerns to the Syrian government but the regime failed to respond adequately," State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said in a statement.

Anger after Russia, China block U.N. action on Syria

By Joseph Logan and Patrick Worsnip | Reuters
BEIRUT/UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - Western and Arab states voiced outrage Sunday after Russia and China vetoed a U.N. resolution that would have backed an Arab plan urging Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to give up power, and Washington vowed harsher sanctions against Damascus. U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called the veto a "travesty." It came a day after activists say Syrian forces bombarded a district of Homs, killing more than 200 people in the worst night of bloodshed of the 11-month uprising. Russia said the resolution was biased and would have meant taking sides in a civil war. Syria is Moscow's only big ally in the Middle East, home to a Russian naval base and customer for its arms. China's veto appeared to follow Russia's lead. Washington's U.N. ambassador Susan Rice said she was "disgusted" by Russia and China's vetoes Saturday, and "any further bloodshed that flows will be on their hands."

Egypt Defies U.S. by Setting Trial for 19 Americans on Criminal Charges


Published: February 5, 2012
CAIRO Egypt’s military-led government said Sunday that it would put 19 Americans and two dozen others on trial in a politically charged criminal investigation into the foreign financing of nonprofit groups that has shaken the 30-year alliance between the United States and Egypt.

The decision raises tensions between the two allies to a new peak at a decisive moment in Egypt’s political transition after the ouster of President Hosni Mubarak a year ago. Angry protesters are battling security forces in the streets of the capital and other major cities. The economy is in urgent need of billions of dollars in foreign aid. And the military rulers are in the final stages of negotiations with the Islamists who dominate the new Parliament over the terms of a transfer of power that could set the country’s course for decades.

The criminal prosecution is a rebuke to Washington in the face of increasingly stern warnings to Egypt’s ruling generals from President Obama, cabinet officials and senior Congressional leaders that it could jeopardize $1.55 billion in expected American aid this year, including $1.3 billion for the military. But for Washington, revoking the aid would risk severing the tie that for three decades has bound the United States, Egypt and Israel in an uneasy alliance that is the cornerstone of the American-backed regional order.

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