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Generational Dynamics Web Log for 3-Jul-2013
3-Jul-13 World View -- Aghan Taliban scores another big terror attack in Kabul

Web Log - July, 2013

3-Jul-13 World View -- Aghan Taliban scores another big terror attack in Kabul

Egypt's Morsi gives angry, desperate speech to save his job

This morning's key headlines from

Egypt's Morsi gives angry, desperate speech to save his job

Fireworks burst over anti-Morsi protesters in Cairo's Tahrir Square (AP)
Fireworks burst over anti-Morsi protesters in Cairo's Tahrir Square (AP)

The job of Egypt's president Mohamed Morsi appeared increasingly shaky on Tuesday in another day of massive anti-Morsi protests countered by much smalled pro-Morsi protests, as as five cabinet ministers and several other high government officials all resigned from the government. At the end of the day, a furious Morsi gave an hour-long televised speech running past midnight, punching the air and pounding the podium, warning that he was the country's legitimately elected president and must be permitted to serve out his four-year term:

"It is normal after revolution for there to be opposition and support. We wrote a constitution and it was (passed) via referendum. We had legitimacy afterwards, and this legitimacy is what guarantees for us that there be no infighting between us and no bloodshed if we respect it. ...

The old regime donít want democracy. Theyíre used to rigging elections. They donít know what democracy and freedom of expression are. They are using the youth and those suffering from the economic problems to sow chaos and violence. Why doesnít this violence appear until they announce they will change the regime and abort democracy? ...

My message to you all, to the opposition, is that I will stand by this legitimacy. And to the supporters who respect democracy and love legitimacy, safeguard Egypt and the revolution. Donít let the revolution be stolen from you, opponents and supporters. ...

I want to say some clear points... There is no alternative for legitimacy, constitutional legitimacy, legal legitimacy, the legitimacy of elections held before. After this I decided there is no alternative for legitimacy and keeping an open channel for dialogue...Legitimacy is the only guarantee against violence. The old regime wonít return....If this initiative isnít accepted, the country will go down a dark road and weíll be back to square one.

To save the nation we need to sacrifice, but not against each other....when we announce jihad that must be against foreign enemies and not against each other. We sacrifice for our country and I am the first to sacrifice. If the cost for legitimacy is my blood I will give it easily. There are many challenges but the biggest is not to fall in the trap and take the country in the wrong direction, and make our enemies happy.

My iron will is with my people and is unshaken."

The army has issued an ultimatum saying that unless a political agreement is reached by Wednesday, then they will lay out a political roadmap to amend the constitution and have elections within six months. Morsi's defiant speech was his response.

According to one report, the army turned against Morsi two weeks ago, when he was speaking at an international conference on Syria being held in Cairo. At that conference, he used the word "infidels" to denounce both the Shia militants supporting Syria's president Bashar al-Assad, and the secularists opposing him in Egypt. Even worse, Morsi suggested that Egypt's army join the fight against al-Assad. According to one anonymous army source, "The armed forces were very alarmed by the Syrian conference at a time the state was going through a major political crisis."Al-Ahram (Cairo) and Reuters

Egypt's deposed president Hosni Mubarak says Morsi should resign

Hosni Mubarak, who ruled Egypt for decades until he was deposed by the January 2011 "Egyptian revolution," and is now in jail, says that he stepped down in 2011 because he wanted to respond to the demands of the people and to "save lives." He says that Morsi should step down for the same reason. Al-Arabiya

Aghan Taliban scores another big terror attack in Kabul

Ruins of Nato supply building in Kabul on Tuesday (AP)
Ruins of Nato supply building in Kabul on Tuesday (AP)

The Afghan Taliban are taking credit for a truck bomb and gun attack on a Nato supply company, killing nine people, including four Nepalese, one Briton, one Romanian, and three Afghans. According to the Taliban statement:

"An important foreign logistic and supply facility was attacked, first by an explosive-filled truck which removed all the barriers and followed by devoted mujahideen armed with small and heavy weapons entering the base."

You may recall, Dear Reader, that this is the same Taliban to which the U.S. administration is making one concession after another, in its desperate attempt to reach a peace agreement with, rather than face a military disaster as troops are withdrawn in 2014. President Barack Obama said recently that he expected "a lot of bumps in the road" to achieving a peace settlement, and so I guess this major attack on a Nato facility in Kabul is just one of those bumps. At any rate, the "peace process" will continue. AFP

Greece and Portugal compete for this week's biggest euro crisis

Spiegel is reporting that Greece can expect a new "haircut" after Germany's elections three months from now. According to the report, the reason that German chancellor Angela Merkel is saying that no new haircut will be necessary is because doing so would her reelection chances.

What we're talking about here is investors who hold bonds issued by Greece (Greece's version of U.S. Treasury bonds). When the bailout agreement on July 21, 2011, was announced with great joyous fanfare and singing and dancing, the eurozone finance ministers said that these investors would have to take a 21% "haircut," meaning that they would lose 21% of their investment, and that they would do "voluntarily." Things went downhill after that. Every time the eurozone finance ministers held a meeting, the amount of the haircut went up -- to 50%, then 60%, then 70%, and finally at 74%. That is, an investor who held $1 million in Greek bonds would now have only $260,000 in bonds. So if the report is correct, then investors in Greek bonds are going to lose even more.

However, that crisis is at least 3 months off. Greece faces a much bigger crisis this weekend. Representatives of the "troika" of organizations bailing out Greece -- the European Commission (EC), the European Central Bank (ECB) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) -- are in Athens again this week, and they're saying that Greece has not sufficiently reduced its public sector to meet its bailout conditions. If Greece fails to convince the troika that it's on target, then IMF rules will require that it back out of the bailout, and Greece will go bankrupt in August, when it has to pay about 2.2 billion euros to bondholders. So it's going to be one of those weekends when everyone is in a state of panic, and then on Sunday night a new agreement is announced with great joyous fanfare and singing and dancing, and it will be just as much of a scam as all the other bailout announcements.

Meanwhile, the government in Portugal appears to be collapsing, as two cabinet ministers resigned this week over bitter disagreements over the terms of Portugal's bailout program. Like Greece, Portugal is far from meeting the austerity commitments for its bailout, and the economy appears bleaker every week. Spiegel and Reuters and BBC

(Comments: For reader comments, questions and discussion, see the 3-Jul-13 World View -- Aghan Taliban scores another big terror attack in Kabul thread of the Generational Dynamics forum. Comments may be posted anonymously.) (3-Jul-2013) Permanent Link
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