It is sometimes quite difficult to use information. News abound all around but most of it is useless. Because we lack simple truths and basic knowledge, being informed ends up close to being bothered and precludes finding simple solutions to simple problems. In that spirit, here are things from the past week clarified for use.
Egypt : Who is fighting who and doing what in Egypt right now? The Military took over. This happened before and needs no explanation. The people protesting vehemently and being killed for it are Muslim Brothers’ supporters. The Muslim Brothers are a political party in Egypt but have a prior activist component spreading around Arab countries to promote an Islamic State. So that they back Hamas in Gaza and the armed Al-Aqsa Brigades, many of the original groups in the Syrian rebellion and some of them were part of Al-Qaeda’s founding members.
When journalists reported on Egypt’s coup, they had to point out that prior to grabbing all powers to himself, their champion ex-President Morsi was democratically elected. I even sort of made that logic jump myself in a recent Post. Actually, there is another group that wants a more Islamic State in Egypt called the Salafists. They are not the same, more philosophical on average although some of them too were implicated in the Al-Qaeda story. Looking back to numbers from the elections, you’d find around 35% for the Muslim Brothers, less than 30% for the Salafists and nearly 35% of others that account for partisans of a more or less secular governance of Egypt. It would seem easy to decrypt but not quite. Amongst the others are an important minority in Egypt called the Copts. those are Christians of a traditional denomination related to Greek and Roman eras of Egyptian rule. They were targets of attacks since last week when the Military started shooting folks openly.
Because upon last year’s elections, Salafists and Muslim Brothers were supposed to agree on ruling based on their shared wanton for an Islamic base to governance. But by kidnapping power, Morsi isolated the Salafists from it? So that 35%MB + 30% S switched to 30% S 35% others and gave a moral ( cough, cough ) ground for the Generals to intervene on July 3rd?
Since that intervention, the Salafist and others were included in the temporary governement but not the Muslim Brothers of course. This explains their protests. When last Wednesday, the Military authorities switched to unacceptable shoot first control of the protests, it became in the interest of the Muslim Brothers to attack the Copts. The idea was to turn the situation into a full-fledged pan-national conflagration that could hopefully ( sic ) turn to civil war. Neither the Salafists nor the others agree to that and it explains why there is less outrage inside Egypt than out as the population is defending the streets in some places and even helping fight the MB at some times.
It also explains why some Arabs favor the Military as Saudi Arabia :
since “his gang” is the Wahhabi-derived Salafists whereas Qatar accuses the Generals :
since they support the Muslim Brothers ( “their gang” ).
What it does not explain is the hesitant dance of many governments in the West such as France who seems to change stance without rhyme nor reason. But it does shine a light on America’s position. President Obama made a rather normal Left-wing choice in his speech, distancing himself from the Military without going full condemnation of Egypt which is when at peace internally ( i.e. under the control of a despot as was Mubarak ) an important ally of the US in the region. What I heard on media about the possible use of US weapons to kill civilians. What is there to discuss? When you sell arms to someone, you sell the means to kill. You do not sell a moral code along with them? Debating that a posteriori is adding insult to stupidity.
Iran”ium”, reopening the talks on nuclear programs.
After the new Iranian President took office at the beginning of August, the World was waiting for him to set up his government and see what changes could be had regarding the sanctions, relations and/or crisis between Iran and the Wrest of the World!
Let me offer as simple as possible a background explanation to the nuclear processes so that everyone knows what is in the balance. You mine Uranium from the ground. You treat a ton of it to get Yellow Cake, a mixture with high enough concentrations of it to be practical. But the yield is about 0.05 % or half a kilo per ton ( 1000kg ).
Even that Yellow Cake is not fine for use as it is comprised of mostly Uranium 238 but we want to work with its lighter cousin instead : Uranium 235 present at less than one percent in it. So that that Uranium paste needs to be enriched. Under as gaseous a form as possible, you put in in a centrifuge and spin it fast. Heavier Uranium 238 is separated and you keep the 235 rich part. Then repeat the process and so on. Once you reached around 3 to 5% concentration of Uranium 235, it can be used in nuclear reactors. These produce electricity of course but they can also, if of the right type, output Plutonium. Plutonium makes for much nicer ( read big & devastating while compact ) bombs.
The two glitches go thus : For weapons enrichment should go up to 20-25% and more but once you have reached those 5% the rest becomes easier? And as for collecting Plutonium, you need to stop the reactor in order to do so.
This means 3 things : The inspections you will here a lot about in the next few months and the rhythm at which they occur are necessary to assess any hint that the civilian use has shifted to military. Differentiating between the two types of uses is difficult even with inspections and the next step as with North Korea in the last 5 years is often to witness a test explosion of a bomb as a tell-tale? At least one of each, enrichment an reactor, for military use are active in Iran today.
USA : Voting and Cannabis.
In North Carolina, a recent law proposal would reduce many polling advantages but also ask citizens to carry an identification card with photo such as a driving license to be registered for elections.
There are many that took to fighting the proposal, mainly on the basis that many poorer people do not own driver’s licenses and the likes and that the new rule would thus end up excluding the lower classes, among which the minorities from voting.
I agree! I also have a simple solution. Dear Governor McCrory, just develop a mandatory State ID card with photo? Such as exists in some American States and many foreign nation? Then, not only would requiring it to vote make a whole lot of sense and raise no issue but it would help your cops do their job immensely? Check here :
In NY, they have the system for the cops themselves; why not extend it to all citizens and be done with it? Unless of course, your intent really is to deprive some of their right for representation? IF so, remember that under such a condition, you will not be able to tax them either as the relationship between the two is a basic founding principle of the American Revolution? Just Sayin’
And Nation wide, the US is embarked on a huge debate over legalization of cannabis aka marijuana, pot, weed, etc. The main reason to even discuss that is the usefulness of some of the substances found in that drug / plant. I fail to see the point here. Unless it serves as an excuse to liberalize soft drugs, why not remember this : although synthesized by laboratories nowadays, almost all basic molecules used in pharmacology comes from plants? If the idea is to use THC for cancer patients and others as pain relief medicine or to have CBC made available to people suffering from seizures, just do that? Not only would it take away any need to make the recreative drug itself legal but it would make pharmaceutical corporations even richer which is quite free enterprise oriented and oh so American?
Honestly, sometimes, I wonder when that amendment that I seemingly missed was passed that says that things should be made as complicated as possible and not a single bit less?
Anyhow, good day all, Tay.