Foreign Policy Thin-Sliced (8/23/13)

Courtesy Wikimedia Commons

Courtesy Wikimedia Commons

Egypt: A Peaceful State Rule by a Junta

“We have this thing about us, that the Egyptian Army is untouchable,” [a woman named] Israa said.

“So many want Egypt ruled with an iron grip,” she said. [But] “This is not us. … It’s not Egypt at all. We are not happy with death and blood.”

Working-Class Cairo Neighborhood Tries to Make Sense of a Brutal Day, Kareem Fahim, the New York Times

Yemen: A Counterterrorism Success – or Failure?

A campaign of American drone strikes and a Yemeni Army offensive have put the Qaeda affiliate under heavy pressure over the past 18 months, with militants pushed out of the territory they had been holding and back into hiding. [But] Yemen has been at the center of the recent uptick in threat levels, and [Gregory D. Johnsen, Yemen scholar] said American estimates of the group’s followers had actually increased.

“The question I have is, If the Obama administration is confident that its strategy in Yemen is correct, then why is Al Qaeda growing in Yemen and why is the group still capable of forcing the United States to shut down embassies in more than a dozen countries?” Mr. Johnsen said.

Qaeda Leader’s Edict to Yemen Affiliate Is Said to Prompt Alert, Eric Schmitt and Mark Mazzetti, the New York Times

Russia’s Idea of Asylum May Leave Something to Be Desired

Mark Feygin, a Russian lawyer who defended three members of the activist collective Pussy Riot jailed for a political stunt, wrote on Twitter: “Snowden doesn’t quite understand that his acceptance of Russian asylum is the same as his agreeing to receive his inheritance from a Nigerian lawyer by e-mail.”

Russian Bloggers Welcome Snowden With Jokes, Praise and Job Offers, Ilya Mouzykantskii and Robert Mackey, the New York Times

Israel’s Military Operations of Recent Years May Be Test Runs for Attack on Iran

The award winning Israeli documentary, The Lab, which opens in the US this month, reveals that Israel has used Lebanon and Gaza as a testing ground for advances in weaponry. Jonathan Cook writes, “Attacks such as Operation Cast Lead of winter 2008-09 or last year’s Operation Pillar of Defence, the film argues, serve as little more than laboratory-style experiments to evaluate and refine the effectiveness of new military approaches, both strategies and weaponry.” Israeli military leaders have strongly hinted that in conducting air strikes against Syria, the Israeli Air Force is rehearsing for an attack on Iran, including the use of bunker-buster bombs.

Hiroshima, Nagasaki, and ‘Bomb Iran’, Marsha Cohen, Lobelog

Democracy on Life Support

The confusing thing about our current situation is that America – and by that I mean the noble America that so many of us grew up believing was real – has long been poisoned. Its liver, kidneys, and spleen have all stopped functioning. Its heart beats slowly and irregularly. But it still stands on its feet and presents itself as alive to all those who would let their eyes fool them.

The Blow That Killed America 100 Years Ago, Paul Rosenberg, Free-Man’s Perspective