Posts Tagged: Scenario

Feb 11

Bahrain’s government chooses the massacre scenario

World officials are shocked at the violent response of the Bahrain government to peaceful protesters, including women and children, in Manama, the capital city. At dawn on Thursday, police smashed into demonstrators wit guns, clubs and teargas, killing at least four people, according to Al-Jazeera.

The following video is pretty bloody, but shows what’s happening:

Both Tunisia and Egypt have chosen a non-massacre scenario, and both of those governments have been overthrown. The Bahrain government decided to learn that lesson, and follow the path of Thailand and Iran.

And like both of the latter countries, Bahrain is in a generational Awakening era. This means that the riots and demonstrations will only continue, with increasing violence over a period of years.

And this puts into question of the U.S. Navy’s Fifth Fleet, which is headquartered in Manama, with responsibility for the area stretching from the Red Sea to the Indian Ocean, including the Arabian Sea and the entire Persian Gulf.

Bahrain is just a group of 33 small islands. For millennia, Bahrain has alternated between Arab rulers and Persian rulers. For almost two centuries, it’s had a government of Sunni tribal leaders, although the population is 2/3 Shia.

Thus, unlike Tunisia and Egypt, Bahrain has a substantial ethnic fault line between the monarchy and the majority population. (See “14-Feb-11 News — Reader question about the Egypt and the Muslim Brotherhood.”)

Persian Gulf region.  Bahrain's 33 small islands are a tiny dot in this mapPersian Gulf region. Bahrain’s 33 small islands are a tiny dot in this map

This is the difference that motivated Bahrain’s government to take the massacre route. Furthermore, unrest in Bahrain could easily spread to its neighbors, especially Saudi Arabia.

The Arab News reports that the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) foreign ministers met in Manama on Thursday, and took a unified stand to counter any threat to the bloc’s member countries. According to Bahrain’s foreign minister, “The GCC ministerial council declared its total support to Bahrain because GCC’s security and stability is indivisible.

Big Peace

Feb 11

Will Protesters Come Back in the Future? Thoughts on a “One-Shot” Deal Scenario

In a previous post, I addressed the question of why protest might ever bring down a government. Here, I turn to an important follow up question: having successfully brought down a government, what do we expect protesters to do in the future? Will they return to the streets if they are dissatisfied with their new government? Or is it likely that what we just witnessed in Egypt – even as it appears to be spreading throughout the Middle East – might turn out to be a “one shot deal”?

In the heat of the moment, it seems unimaginable that what is going on in Egypt couldn’t be the start of something new. After all, commentator after commentator has described the dawning of a “new day” in Egypt (here, here, and here, for example). The Egyptian people have risen up to take control of their own fate, and will no longer tolerate oppressive governments. Any attempts by future governments to oppress the Egyptian people will obviously meet a similar fate from a now emboldened population. After all, they took to the streets today: why wouldn’t they take to the streets tomorrow?

And yet, we’ve heard this story before, and the ending isn’t always so happy.

Continue reading: Will Protesters Come Back in the Future?

The Monkey Cage

Jan 11

The “Tunisia Scenario”

Marc Lynch cautions that recent protests have Arab world "on edge":

Defenders of the [Arab] regimes generally try to define the events as food and price riots, or else as externally fomented terrorism. Few independent columnists or activists agree with the idea that these are simply food and price riots, or external terrorism. They point to the underlying political problems which have enabled the economic mismanagement and corruption and lack of opportunity. 

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The Daily Dish | By Andrew Sullivan

Jan 11

Iran’s PressTV: Egypt church bombing part of “organized Zionist scenario aimed at creating a rift between Muslims and Christians”

This theme is becoming more common: we have seen it recently from a Saudi Sheikh and the Melkite Greek Catholic Patriarch. Perhaps this is part of a Big Lie strategy — if they repeat it often enough, their marks among the Western Left will believe it. “Mossad behind Egypt church blast,” from Iran’s PressTV, January 2:

The explosion at a church in the Egyptian city of Alexandria, which left 21 people killed and another 80 Muslims and Christians wounded, raises one question: Who was behind the blast?

Although, at first glance, the finger is pointed at extremist Wahabi or Salafi groups, it goes without saying that no Muslim, whatever their political leanings may be, will ever commit such an inhumane act.

Attacks on churches in Egypt, Lebanon, Iraq and Tunisia can be analyzed in the context of a Zionist scenario aimed at driving a wedge between Muslims and Arab Christians.

Since the emergence of Islam, Muslims and Christians in the East have always coexisted peacefully as Islam pays due respect to the freedom of divine faiths — especially Christianity.

In Egypt, too, Muslims and Christians are living in peace and harmony. Never, ever have the Christians in Egypt complained of any problems keeping them from carrying out their religious duties.

The fresh plot by terrorists to target churches is an organized Zionist scenario aimed at creating a rift between Muslims and Christians.

Following its intelligence and security failures in Egypt and the apprehension of a number of Mossad agents by Egyptian intelligence apparatus, the Zionist regime of Israel is set to exact vengeance on the Egyptian nation.

For years, Israel and the United States have resorted to radical groups with no affiliation to divine faiths to carry out acts of terror against Christians in Islamic countries.

Based on this scenario, the Israeli regime urges deviant anti-religion groups to conduct terrorist operations against Christians….

Jihad Watch

Dec 10

What “peace” would look like in a two-state scenario

From Ma’an:

Shortly before midnight on Friday morning residents of the Salfit-district village of Kifl Haris reported dozens of Israeli military vehicles and bus-loads of what were described by locals as “settlers” entering the area.

Locals estimated some 3,000 “settlers” – religious Jews, many from settlements in the occupied West Bank – entered the area as protecting troops set up checkpoints and barricades around a small tomb in the village.

Locals say the tomb belongs to a sheikh from the village, while religious Jews visiting the site say it is the final resting place of Joshua ben Nun, leader of early Jewish tribes.

An Israeli military spokeswoman said there were 800 visitors accompanied by Israeli soldiers. The group stayed in the area from midnight to 5 a.m.

According to Israeli news site Ynet, the visitors found the tomb “desecrated” by Arabic graffiti with slogans like “we are the defenders of the national project” and “conciliation, speak to you enemy through bullets.”

Similarly, when Jews want to visit Joseph’s Tomb in Shechem (Nablus), they are forced to also come in the middle of the night, limited to once a month, in armored buses that get stoned by local residents.

If a two-state “solution” should ever materialize, this is what “free access to religious shrines” would look like. The very best scenario that the Palestinian Arab leaders would allow would be that Jews visiting the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron and Rachel’s Tomb in Bethlehem would also come once a month or so, in the dead of night, to visit their holy places. (If it was up to the PA, this is how they would let Jews visit the Kotel/Western Wall as well. And, of course, Jews would never be allowed to the Temple Mount.)

It would actually be worse, because the IDF would not be able to defend Jews wanting to visit their shrines in “Palestine,” so the Jews would be at the mercy of the Palestinian Arab police’s whims as far as when or if they could ever visit.

This is what the world is demanding for “peace” – ripping out all Jewish access to Jewish heritage and historic sites. Soothing words about how a peace agreement would allow free access to religious shrines would become quickly as meaningless as they became when Jordan took over the West Bank in 1949 (ironically violating the same UN Resolution 194 that Palestinian Arabs now claim as giving  them the fake “right to return.”)

Elder of Ziyon

Nov 10

The EU’s Nightmare Economic Scenario

The EU is facing a nightmare economy scenario. Is it playing out right now?

The Moderate Voice

Nov 10

WaPo spins doomsday scenario for Israel

Wishful thinking?
American Thinker Blog

Nov 10

Iran publishes scenario where it would use nukes (NewsMax)

Last month, NewsMax published an analysis by Ken Timmerman that received no coverage outside some blogs:

For the first time since the expansion of Iran’s nuclear program was exposed in 2002, the Iranian government is dropping the pretense that it is developing nuclear technology purely for peaceful purposes. Iran has developed nuclear war plans to deter U.S. and Israeli aggression and retaliate against it, a top adviser to Defense Minister Ahmad Vahidi announced in a strategic analysis.

Defense Ministry analyst Alireza Saeidabadi’s detailed analysis, published last week on a website that Iran’s intelligence ministry runs, examines several scenarios in which Iran could become embroiled in a shooting war with the United States or Israel.

One of the scenarios Iranian military planners must consider is a strategic nuclear U.S. strike on Iran, he writes. If that occurred, Iranian planning documents call for attacks against U.S. interests “on the world stage,” his analysis says.

The Iranian military should “prioritize its air force and ballistic missile fleet” in dealing with a conventional attack from Israel, Saeidabadi writes.

But in the event Israel uses unconventional weapons against Iran, “then Iran should employ a nuclear strategy.”

Similarly, if Iran and the United States get engaged in naval clashes in the Persian Gulf, Iran should “use its sea power for hit-and-run attacks, commando attacks, and use anti-shipping missiles” against U.S. naval vessels.

“But if the United States launches an unconventional attack, Iran needs to respond with a nuclear strategy,” the Iranian defense ministry analyst contends.

Since I like to verify things like this, I have emailed Ken Timmerman to find out the URL of this document. If it is true, this is very important, as it proves that Iran really does officially have interest in nuclear weapons, something they have denied for years.

Elder of Ziyon

Sep 10

Best Case Scenario?

The Obama administration’s tax plan—extension of Bush-era tax cuts for all Americans, but non-extension of some Bush-era cuts that exclusively benefit a very wealthy minority—is fiscally responsible only in comparison with the alternative. Which makes me agree with Neil Sinhababu that in some ways this past week’s tax cut muffed punt isn’t the worst thing in the world. Indeed, in many ways the ideal scenario is one in which at least 41 Senators filibuster the Obama tax plan and also at least 41 Senators filibuster full extension of the Bush tax cuts.

That would mean . . . all tax cuts expire.

Matthew Yglesias

Sep 10

Best Case Scenario?

The Obama administration’s tax plan—extension of Bush-era tax cuts for all Americans, but non-extension of some Bush-era cuts that exclusively benefit a very wealthy minority—is fiscally responsible only in comparison with the alternative. Which makes me agree with Neil Sinhababu that in some ways this past week’s tax cut muffed punt isn’t the worst thing in the world. Indeed, in many ways the ideal scenario is one in which at least 41 Senators filibuster the Obama tax plan and also at least 41 Senators filibuster full extension of the Bush tax cuts.

That would mean . . . all tax cuts expire.

Matthew Yglesias

Sep 10

An Optimistic Scenario for the Stock Market and the Economy

(Jim Lindgren)

Predicting the stock market is either impossible or extraordinarily difficult, so I generally refrain from doing so — in print. Even apparently successful investors who trade daily or weekly are wrong nearly as often as they are right. So with the caveat that the chances of my being right are at best not appreciably better 50–50, I wanted to share an optimistic scenario for the stock market over the next 2–3 years. 

Typically, a Democratic majority in the House of Representatives has been bad for the stock market and the economy and Republican control has been good (in the past, I have run, but not published, the numbers back to 1854). The reverse is generally true for the presidency. 

There have been two switches from Democratic to Republican control of the House since 1950: in the 1994 election and in the 1952 election. 

Cumulative returns in the S&P 500 over the two years following the 1994 Republican takeover (1995–96) were 69.8%. (The three-year returns for 1995–97 were a staggering 127.0% [+38%,+23%,+33%].) 

Cumulative returns in the S&P 500 over the two years following the 1952 takeover (1953–54) were 54.7%. (The three year returns for 1953–55 were 98.4% [-1%,+56%,+28%], but the Democrats retook the House in the 1954 election.)

Indeed, the best year for the S&P 500 since World War II was 1954 (56.0%), the second year after a Republican takeover of the House. The best year since 1976 was 1995 (38.5%), the year after the last Republican takeover of the House.

So will we get a huge stock market increase this time, as we have the last two times that Republicans have taken the House? Maybe, maybe not. 

If the Republicans take the House, why might we get a strong stock market?

(1) an end to disastrous new government efforts to stimulate the economy (or at least a significant slow down in such wealth-destroying efforts);

(2) a probable reduction in regulatory uncertainty; and

(3) a reduction in the odds for increased taxes (beyond the expiration of the Bush Tax cuts for those making over $ 250,000).

A strong stock market and a reduction in regulatory uncertainty would likely lead to robust economic growth — and eventually strong job growth. That would make the world a lot better for our students and our children.

I don’t expect that good economic policy will suddenly start coming out of Washington in 2011, but I do hope that the policies will not get increasingly worse, month by month. Though we will never know, I believe that, if the Federal Reserve and the Bush and Obama Administrations had done little else than lower interest rates, provide liquidity, and temporarily guarantee money market funds, we would have had a brief, sharp recession, followed already by robust GDP growth.

So why might this optimistic 2011–2013 scenario not happen? 

(1) the Republicans might not retake the House (the number of pick-ups needed is exceedingly large);

(2) the Republicans might act like the Democrats once they regain control, as they mostly did the last time they held sway;

(3) significant tax rate increases are already scheduled for 2011;

(4) because of tax increases, economic activity may have already been shifted from 2011 to 2010;

(5) a new carbon cap or tax may be imposed either by a lame duck Congress or by the EPA;

(6) regulatory uncertainties persist, especially over health care;

(7) two events (1952, 1994) are not enough to define an effect, especially since if one goes back further in time, this effect is not present. (The two-year returns following prior Republican takeovers of the House averaged just 5.6%.); and

(8) the special circumstances of the 1953–55 period (end of the Korean War, worldwide post-WW2 boom) and the 1995–97 period (computer revolution; end of the Cold War and expansion of economic freedom).

Ironically, if the Republicans retake the House and the stock market booms as it did after the 1952 and 1994 takeovers, such a strong recovery would greatly increase President Obama’s chances of being re-elected.

So what do I think about the stock market? At the moment at least, I am fully invested in US and foreign stocks and mutual funds — and I hope to remain so over most of the next two years, at least if the Republicans take the House and there are no major new pieces of economy-destroying legislation or EPA regulations. 

The Volokh Conspiracy

Sep 10

Citing No Data, Gary Bauer Claims Two-State Scenario ‘Rejected By Vast Majority Of Arab Muslims’

gary bauerLast week, the pro-Israel, pro-peace group J Street successfully shamed the neocon Emergency Committee for Israel (ECI) into finally endorsing a two-state solution, which they had previously refused to do.

In Politico today, however, ECI board member Gary Bauer shares his concerns with the two-state formula, noting that extremists oppose it. For some reason, he doesn’t note that some of those extremists are on the Israeli side, or that they’re lobbying Congress against two states right now.

“Apart from disagreements over what form a two-state solution would take,” Bauer writes, “there is the fundamental question of whether the Palestinians ultimately want to co-exist with a Jewish state“:

There are strong indications that the Palestinians envision a two-state solution only as a first step toward their final destination: one state ruled by an Arab Muslim majority.

Palestinian official Sufian Abu Zaida recently abandoned a two-state position. After Netanyahu’s two-state endorsement last summer, Abu Zaida mocked him, saying, “Do you think you are doing us a favor when you agree to two states? No favor at all. From my side, from the Palestinians’ side — let there be one state, not two.”

These and other statements have created skepticism among American Jews about the Palestinians’ intentions. A 2007 survey found that 82 percent of American Jews believed that “the goal of the Arabs is not the return of occupied territories but rather the destruction of Israel.”

Other polls show that the two-state scenario is rejected by the vast majority of Arab Muslims, especially youth. As Condoleezza Rice said in 2008, “Increasingly, the Palestinians who talk about a two-state solution are my age.”

You’ll notice that, apart from a 2007 survey of what American Jews “believe,” Bauer presents no actual data to support his assertion that Arab Muslims don’t support two states. And no, non-specified “other polls” plus “something Condoleezza Rice said in 2008″ do not equal “data.”

But here’s some: A July 2010 public opinion poll of the Arab world conducted by Shibley Telhami of the Brookings Institution found that 86% of respondents were “prepared for peace if Israel is willing to return all 1967 territories including East Jerusalem.”

telhami poll

While it’s unlikely that all of the 67 territories will be returned — it’s generally understood that the Palestinians will be compensated through land swaps — this data, at the very least, dispatches Bauer’s “Arab rejectionist” chimera.

Interestingly, while Bauer insists in his article that his concern is protecting “Israel as an independent Jewish state,” he says nothing about that state being democratic. Maybe someone should ask about that.

Wonk Room

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