February 11, 2011
Pain woke this (almost 71) year ole codger, the Poor Boy From the Panhandle of God’s Texas, whom the LORD has been far better to than he deserves at 2:39 am this morning. I laid there praying until 3:15 am, but was unable to go to sleep, so, in anticipation of the telephone call which I am to receive this afternoon at 1:00 pm Oklahoma time from Retired Israeli Major General Shimon Erem (see www.IsraeliChristianNexus.com) concerning Egypt and its present situation, I arose, and so here I am writing a few lines to you.
You Baptist Preachers, bless your lazy hearts — quit complaining about the length of these emails, and read them as my hundreds of Jewish friends do, which I hear from that I am teaching them things even they do not know. Look Fellas, I am your friend, not your enemy. Am I become your enemy because I tell you the truth? (Gal. 4:16)
If you believe the Scriptures, then, as Tom, our son and Pastor, preached Wednesday night, out of Daniel chapters 2 & 7, all these events happening point to the soon coming of the HEBREW MESSIAH. (HE was born of a Jewish woman you do know and is the center point of all future events, along with the city of Jerusalem.) Therefore, my heart thirsts and hungers after "knowledge" about the "tie in" of all these present day events.
Zec. 12:3, "And in that day (the day of the COMING OF MESSIAH) will I make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people: all that burden themselves with it shall be cut in pieces, though all the people of the earth be gathered together against it."
Shimon Erem hosted Vice Prime Minister Moshe "Boogie" Ya’alon in California this past December, where we became acquainted with this dear, almost 89, year old Jew. Shimon and Vice President Omar Suleiman speak on the phone at least once a week and have done so for many, many years. If Shimon can arrange me an appointment with Mr. Suleiman sometime during Feb. 14-22, I am going down into Egypt to meet personally with Major General Erem’s friend. You never know, I might find a way of help those "faithful Christians" in Egypt, who live constantly under the threat of Ishmaelite "throat slitters."
Egypt's leading dissident Mohamed ElBaradei has warned that his country was about to "explode" and urged the army to take the side of the people after President Hosni Mubarak refused to step down.
Tens of thousands of Egyptians protested in the heart of Cairo late yesterday, hoping to hear Mubarak say he will step down but instead learning that he had delegated presidential power to Vice President Omar Suleiman.
They vowed to launch their most spectacular protest yet in the Egyptian capital today to demand the immediate departure of Mubarak who delegated his powers to Suleiman but stopped short of resigning.
Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, who has not had a vice-president since he took office in 1981, appointed his intelligence chief and confidant Omar Suleiman to the post on Saturday, the official news agency said.
Vice-president is the post that Mubarak occupied before he was promoted to the presidency following the assassination of his predecessor Anwar Sadat.
Here are five facts about Omar Suleiman:
* He has been the director of the Egyptian General Intelligence Services (EGIS) since 1993, a role in which he has played a prominent public role in diplomacy, including in Egypt's relations with Israel and with key aid donor the United States.
* He was born on July 2, 1936 in Qena, in southern Egypt. He later enrolled in Egypt's premier Military Academy in 1954, after which he received additional military training in the then Soviet Union at Moscow's Frunze Military Academy.
* He also studied political science at Cairo University and Ain Shams University. In 1992 he headed the General Operations Authority in the Armed Forces and then became the director of the military intelligence unit before taking over EGIS. (It is probably in this role that he became acquainted with General Shimon Erem, who has been on a "first name basis" with all of Israel’s Prime Ministers, since its formation back in 1948.)
* Suleiman took part in the war in Yemen in 1962 and the 1967 and 1973 wars against Israel.
* As Egypt's intelligence chief, Suleiman was in charge of the country's most important political security files, and was the mastermind behind the fragmentation of Islamist groups who led the uprising against the state in the 1990s.
Egypt's two-week uprising gathered heat, violence and breadth late Tuesday Feb. 8 just hours after it looked like subsiding. The flames spread through Egypt's major cities and ignited the entire country – from the Western Desert oases near the Libyan border all the way to El Arish in northern Sinai. The big industrial cities including Mahalla-el-Kebir and Helouan, centers of Egypt's military and steel complexes, were also caught up for the first time.
As the demonstrations went into their third week they took on a different character: signs of political organization surfaced amid the spontaneous popular outbreaks and "revolutionary committees" sprang up to give them direction.
Wednesday and Thursday, Feb 9-10, the "revolutionary committees" and strikes spread like wildfire calling for the state-appointed managements of work places to be sacked and paralyzing entire sections of the economy.
Violence overlaid the street protests after 17,000 dangerous convicts broke out of prison (some of them organized by the Interior Ministry's security forces) and peppered the crowds.
Slogans became more brutal, calling for Mubarak to be hanged, his "criminal family" - including the president's wife Susan and sons Gemal and Alla - to be arrested and their property confiscated, and all of them tried for the crimes committed in 30 years in power.
However sympathetic to the sufferings of the Egyptian people, trained observers monitoring the first two weeks of the riots have told the intel-sources I read, that they cannot be sure the revolt was the purely spontaneous expression of popular outrage, because the two fundamental elements characterizing a genuine revolution are missing: surprise and randomness.
Eight players presently stir the Egyptian cauldron!
The public staging was impeccable. The scenes appearing on TV screens worldwide were artfully conceived and directed, whether by Mubarak's men, a branch of his regime - security forces, undercover intelligence units or the armed forces, or by the United States. It is important to remember that even when such disorders are orchestrated and erupt at the same moment, they may be engineered by different hands and develop their own dynamic, from place to place.
In general, the demonstrations in the big cities, Cairo, Alexandria, Suez, Ismailia, Mansoura and Tanta (Egypt's fifth largest city and the biggest in the Delta region) differ from one another.
Eight players are pulling the strings; each has his own agenda and may be trying to influence or counterbalance unlooked-for occurrences in the course of the street action.
My intel-source names those players:
- The Barack Obama administration;
- Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and his circle;
- The Egyptian Army headed by Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Sami al-Anan;
- Egyptian General Intelligence headed by Vice President Omar Suleiman;
- Egypt's domestic security forces, now headed by new Egyptian Interior Minister Mahmoud Wagdy (which includes the muhabarat, the central security administration of the Interior Ministry and the Egyptian police);
- The ruling National Democratic Party. Under its new General Secretary, Hossam Badrawi, the NDP is the only political entity remaining organized and potent in the face of the riots and demonstrations;
- The ten or so mainstream opposition parties and factions like the April 6 Youth Movement headed by Ahmed Saleh which sprang up for the protest movement;
- The Muslim Brotherhood.
US dilemma: How to reconcile an army takeover with democracy? (JAV -What Obama and Hillary are going to learn, is, that, "their fiats" are going to install democracies in Muslim countries.)
Hosni Mubarak was viewed in Washington as a transient Egyptian figure since mid-2008 - by both the Bush and Obama administrations. Since the street riots began on Jan. 25, Washington has assigned the same transiency to Vice President Omar Suleiman, expecting him to eventually hand the reins of government over to a new regime.
(I enjoyed former UN Ambassador Bolton’s interview earlier this week! When asked about Obama’s views on Egypt, he laughed, and spoke to the "many" Obama takes, depending, ole JAV thinks, on what day of the week it is, and whose speech writer’s lines are on his teleprompter.)
US sources report that while endeavoring to contain the rampant crisis in Egypt, Washington is not clear on what kind of regime it wants to see in Cairo. US spokesmen talk fervently about free elections for the Egyptian people to vote for a democratic government and parliament. But behind the closed doors of meeting-rooms and the National Security Council's situation room, the name of the Egyptian chief of staff, Lt. Gen. Sami al-Anan keeps on cropping up as the man designated to be Egypt's next ruler.
The question now is how to reconcile the rise of a military ruler with the democratic process and do so in a way that is approved by the Egyptian street?
Washington has two main schools of thought on this subject:
1. The Turkish model in reverse:
A Muslim-slanted democracy dominated by a partnership between Muslim Brotherhood moderates and amenable liberal or left-wing civilians, is one. Dr. Mohamed ElBaradei, former director of the Atomic Energy Agency in Vienna, is mentioned as a useful figure for getting this set-up underway.
It is obvious to the Americans that the army chief Lt. Gen al-Anan will never lend himself to an Ankara-style administration whose leader Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan managed to bounce the generals out of every position of influence in the country. They are therefore thinking in terms of running Gen. Al-Anan for president in charge of Egypt's foreign and security affairs and leaving domestic matters to an elected civilian government coalition.
Mubarak's fall has left his regime standing!
The Egyptian chief of staff was sounded out on this plan in his secret talks in Washington in the third week of January, hours before the first protesters took to the streets of Cairo. Middle East sources report that he indicated he did not object to free democratic elections in Egypt or the introduction of a free press and a civilian government with the participation of the Muslim Brotherhood - on one condition, that the army be personified in the next Egyptian president and preserve its pivotal role in the conduct of Egyptian national security.
2. The Moroccan model:
Whereas the Turkish model-in-reverse dominated administration thinking in the first week of demonstrations, Obama's strategists began looking at Morocco in the second, when the Mubarak regime failed to collapse as anticipated by US intelligence agencies, especially the CIA.
In Rabat, all the institutions of a democratic state are present – political parties, parliament, elections, but the king is all-powerful and he exercises power through his control of the army and the secret services.
But both solutions faced the same difficulty. While Mubarak and his family have been irreparably damaged, his political machine and regime remain intact. Positions of power have not collapsed or been abandoned by panicky office-holders.
Therefore, Mubarak's downfall has not left a void for Washington to fill with a democratic regime and so achieve its main goal.
Worse, the other parties vying for power in Cairo have taken note of the regime's survival and their leaders are scrambling for footholds to fulfill their ambitions – a trend which is placing additional obstacles in America's path.
Yes, to a military coup. But who would lead it?
To break out of the standoff among the parties seeking to determine who takes over in Cairo, US administration and Egyptian power brokers were able Wednesday, Feb. 10 to agree on at least one point: The only way out of the smoldering mess into which Egypt is sinking fast is for the army to move in and take charge of government.
But while spokesmen in both capitals were openly talking about a coup as realistic option, they were quickly bogged down by a fresh quandary: Who will lead the coup?
Defense Minister Field Marshal Mohamed Tantawi, aged 76, is ailing and as detested in Egypt as much as Mubarak. Chief of Staff Gen. Al-Anan? Washington favors him but he does not have a revolutionary temperament and governing a country of 82 million would likely be well beyond his capabilities.
The new Vice President, Omar Suleiman, who is also a general? He certainly has the experience, strength and strong nerves for the job. However the first two, Tantawi and Al-Anan, can't stand him and would not accept him as the overall ruler of Egypt.
The longer everyone dithers, the more likely, say my intelligence sources, that an unknown army officer will take matters in his own hands and surprise both Washington and the powerhouses in Cairo.
As to a guess at his identity, those sources are sure only that he will either come from the Egyptian 2nd or 9th Divisions stationed in the capital or the Republican Guard, because no officer serving outside Cairo would command the following for executing a putsch.
Hosni Mubarak: There will be no exit without dignity!
Buoyed by the sustainability of his regime under crippling pressure, President Mubarak is determined to hold on until the army, politicians and Washington find a way for him to step down in conditions that satisfy his sense of "personal and national dignity."
He wants to be assured that he does not go down in Egyptian and world history as a corrupt dictator, but a national hero. Until he is satisfied, he will hold fast to his refusal to transfer power.
The constitution is on his side. Every new law and executive action requires a presidential seal to make it legal and so he cannot legally be removed from the presidency against his will. The only way to depose him is by force of a military coup d'etat, or by assassination as Anwar Sadat was back in the Reagan times.
For now, the army chiefs, including Chief of Staff Al-Anan, are refusing to dishonor Egypt's former Air Force Commander and acclaimed national Hero of the "Ramadan War" (the 1973 Yom Kippur War) by bundling him out of the palace.
Omar Suleiman: My read on him is that he is getting ready for national elections, and propping up security!
(All that could be happening because of Retired Major General Shimon Erem from Californa. You really should Google up Shimon Erem and see how he reaches out to Christians! This call I’m getting at 1:00 pm today was all voluntary on his part. Maybe he sees something in this ole preacher-warrior that you Baptist Preachers are missing. And, to be sure, I am taking that to my heart, and not my head! Just a nobody, a simple man from Texas!)
The 74-year old former overlord of Egyptian intelligence and newly-appointed Vice President has no intention, say Cairo sources, of serving anyone as an interim figure or keeping the presidential seat warm for Gen. Al-Anan or any other contender. Suleiman believes the prediction Mubarak aired on Feb. 3 that if the regime collapses, the country will slide into chaos. He has therefore rolled up his sleeves and is doing his best to preserve and buttress government, focusing on two initial steps.
First, he is reorganizing Egypt's security forces with the help of the new Interior Minister Mahmoud Wagdy.
In Suleiman's view, the Mahabharata security service emerged unscathed and with untarnished image from the popular disorders. The only force which incurred popular loathing was the Interior Ministry's Security Service and its thugs. It is now subject to a major overhaul.
Second, the other important step undertaken by the vice president was to get his close and highly efficient crony Hossam Badrawi chosen to take over the office of ruling NDP secretary general from the leadership which resigned (including Gemal Mubarak) in one of the regime's gestures to placate the protesters.
Badrawi has lost no time in clearing Mubarak loyalists and old-timers out of the party machine, going from branch to branch to install young leaders and prepare the grass roots for the forthcoming elections to the Shura Council (the upper house of the Egyptian parliament) and the presidency.
Suleiman wants the ruling party to be fully prepared for when polling days come around and better organized than any of its rivals, including the Muslim Brotherhood.
Neither of these activities suits Washington's plans for Egypt - hence the public bickering Tuesday, Feb. 8, between US spokesmen and Omar Suleiman.
White House Spokesman Robert Gibbs told reporters in his daily briefing. "Yesterday, I think Vice President Suleiman made some particularly unhelpful comments about Egypt not being ready for a democracy, about not seeing a lift of the emergency law."
Gibbs went on to say: "I don't think that, in any way, squares with what those seeking greater opportunity and freedom think is a timetable for progress."
Gibbs added that any change that takes place in Egypt "has to be tangible" and "has to be real and it has to be immediate and irreversible."
The Opposition: Marginalized?
As the protest movement entered its third week, the opposition parties remained on the sidelines of the political processes and power struggles conducted between the Americans, Omar Suleiman and the army.
The leaders of the 10 parties are deeply divided, aware that the major leagues are trying to manipulate them as pawns.
Their leaders are trying to carve out an influential niche for an independent role – chiefly by controlling the demonstrations. But the street is responding to powers other than theirs.
The Muslim Brotherhood: Mostly passive!!!!!!
The Brotherhood has confounded all the grim forecasts of its menacing potential and effective organization. Except for scattered local demonstrations, it has remained the largest passive political power in Egypt, refusing to take part in the rowdy riots and political infighting.
This is not the place to analyze this fascinating phenomenon. It is a fact that the Muslim Brotherhood has chosen to sit out the most decisive moment in the last 60 years of Egyptian political history and await developments.
Was this a calculated decision? Or might the Brotherhood have taken note that the most active elements of the protest movement were young and non-religious and that its chances of taking over government in Cairo through the ballot box are negligible.
Egypt's current upheaval saw no Muslim leaders in the forefront of the action. Rather than influencing events, the Brotherhood was carried by the tide.
Late Breaking News: Late Thursday, Feb. 11, pressure built up on the army to stage a coup d'etat and remove Hosni Mubarak that same night. Suspense mounted in Tahrir Square and Washington, where US sources assured the media that Mubarak was only hours away from stepping down. But as the hours slipped by, authoritative denials proliferated from Cairo along with an announcement that the president would address the nation shortly. Mubarak again announced he would not step down until his term ends in September. He only lifted the emergency laws pending the restoration of order in the streets.
The Egyptian standoff is therefore is back to square one: Mubarak still holds the last word – not the army, Tahrir Square or Washington.
And so, my preacher friend, there you are, with events as this ole preacher-warrior sees them at 4:42 am this Friday morning. I hope all this was beneficial to you! We need be praying for the PEACE OF JERUSALEM! (PSALMS 122)
And pray for this "Football Trip" I am taking to Israel this coming Sunday, the 13th. Trying to help IDF soldiers to learn lessons from their "athletic endeavors" will save lives in combat! And, if you are a blessing to the Jews, God will bless you.
YEDIDIM OF ISRAEL