2/02/2015

Notations On Our World (2/2/2015): A Challenging & Reflective Morning

It was gratifying to see the Al Jazeera Correspondent as he reflected upon his release: 




It was striking how how he reflected upon what he looked forward to:  Watching a Sunset & having sand underneath his feet and spending time with his family.   We look forward to him getting back on the beat soon.    We here @ #outsiders have been privileged to join the World Wide Campaign to keep the spotlight on Egypt over the past 400+Days and will continue to do so.    It was heart wrenching as we saw the interview with Baher Mohammad's Wife and her anugish at being left behind.   I hope the Al Jazeera Team underscores the simple fact:  he will not be forgotten as Mohammad Fahmy won't be either.   We understand that the price for Mohammad Fahmy's Release is for him to revoke his Egyptian Citizenship.    Our view is that holding a simple passport will not define him and will await his release as well.

The tragedy of Egypt is continuing as 183 Egyptians were sentenced to death.  The same Judge who had sentenced the Al Jazeera Three (and we understand the others in absentia) handed down the sentence.     What was laughable was how Sisi was so proud of Egypt's Judiciary--this is the same judiciary that found Mubarak and his sons not guilty and even the highest court in Egypt found flaws with the verdict itself.    This is also as Egypt continues its' heavy handed tactics in the Sinai and throughout Egyptian cities.    

Beyond the tragedy of Egypt, there is Israel.  The campaign has begun in earnest and the back and forth is becoming intense.   As the right has accused the so-called left of bringing so-called Obama Operatives, the Right (and Likud specifically) have brought on a so-called New Media Maven to help with the campaign as noted in our daily feed "over the grid" this morning:




It is also quite striking that the Polling-Industrial Complex is also hard at work in Israel.   The latest published by +Haaretz.com is showing the Israeli Prime Minister at 26 Seats.  It is said that Labor will gain 23 Seats.      This is as the controversy over the Israel Prime Minister's Speech to Congress continues to be the "talk of the Conservatives".     President Obama said that there is a long-standing practice of not meeting foreign leaders in the midst of an election season.     This is as Senator McCain came out and said that relations with Israel are at an all-time low.   What Senator McCain apparently failed to underscore is the role of the current Israeli Prime Minister.  It will be interesting to see if the Livni-Herzog Partnership with the support of the unified Arab Slate can defeat the Prime Minister.  Our view is that it is going to be a nail-bitter especially as Israel has to contend with the chaos across the border in Syria.      

Beyond the reality on the ground on the Middle East, there is Ukraine.   Reuters reported that Vladimir Putin is "worried about the situation in Eastern Ukraine".   This is as the Eastern Separist Leader called for a mass moblization of 100,000 Troops.    We here at Outsiders find it ppreplexing as to the tenacity of the separaists to sustain such a campaign as they have launched their latest onslaught.     There seems to be no talk of peace right now.

On a side note, we were amused when we saw reports of Iran's former President launching his new Website.  We had a chance to review it and could not help but be amused when we checked it out.  We were reminded of an open letter that the eminent scholar Dr. Sadegh Zibakalam of Tehran University sent out to him underscoring the fact that the people rejected him when they elected Hassan Rouhani President.  We underscored this during our morning round "On the Grid": 




Mid-Term Elections in Iran are before us.   We here @ #outsiders continue to be optimistic about the prospects of a deal.   Yet, the dead-enders in Iran continue to be on the prowl as epitomized by a recent effort to recall the Foreign Minsiter, Dr. Zarif, to the Majlis (Parliament) for questions.   We also were quite taken aback by the recent tirade by the Majlis Speaker (and a former nuclear negotiator) about the "conduct" of the US.    We are in agreement with President Obama that not agreeing to a deal and the threat of renewed sanctions will again create a new challenge which the region does not need right now.  

As we saw a perceptive report from Ann Curry on the roadmap to the deal, ,(and the very disturbing comment by Sheldon Adelson in the United States and the same dead-enders in Iran were at it too), our mind drifted back to the time Rouhani took the oath of office and the sentiment expressed in this classic YouTube clip:  



Will we all have the courage to realize this sentiment?    





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