The big story in the Middle East right now is renewed warfare between Hamas and Israel. I loathe Bibi Netanyahu whose coalition is leading Israel down the road to fascism. I find Hamas loathsome as well. How can I support a group that takes hostages and threatens to execute them? It confirms the description of Hamas as a terrorist organization. A pox on both their houses.
I hope the bloodshed ends soon, but religious wars tend to go on and on. Get ready for an explosion of anti-Semitism and Islamophobia in our country.
Let’s move on to the Middle Eastern story that grabs me: the purchasing of a United States Senator. We’re, of course, talking about Bob Menendez who I’ve written about recently in Bob Menendez: Garden State Grifter and The Menendez Family Film Noir. Something about the Menendez scandal inspires good post titles.
“Federal prosecutors allege that Menendez and his wife illegally accepted hundreds of thousands of dollars from three businessmen in return for using his “official position to protect and enrich them and to benefit the Government of Egypt”.
According to the indictment, Menendez met with Egyptian officials and promised to facilitate arms sales to Cairo. He also provided associates with “highly sensitive” information — including details about US Embassy personnel in Cairo — which was then relayed to Egyptian officials.”
The current Egyptian government of General President El-Sisi is every bit as repressive and corrupt as the Mubarak regime it replaced. As far we know the Mubarakites never bribed the chairman of the Senate foreign relations committee. Does that mean that Mubarak kept the moolah in the corral? I assume they have corrals as well as barracks in Egypt.
Menendez sounds more like a fixer than a statesman. This is not as shocking as the fatal car accident involving his spousal co-defendant but it’s more significant. It verges on espionage for a sitting United States Senator to accept bribes from a foreign government, especially one with Egypt’s human rights record.
“US personnel with knowledge of the Egyptian security state have long understood the specific risks facing diplomats based in Cairo – and that those working at the embassy, particularly Egyptian nationals, were likely to be the target of surveillance by Egyptian intelligence. Such fears sharply increased after the 2013 military coup that brought Egyptian president Abdel-Fatah al-Sisi to power, which spurred a resurgence in the power of Egyptian intelligence bodies.
For the US embassy in Cairo, the arrest and detention of staffer Ahmed Aleiba a year later was a watershed moment. Reporting in Egyptian pro-government media suggested that Aleiba, an Egyptian national, was detained and transferred to the custody of an Egyptian intelligence body after accusations that he had coordinated meetings between US officials and the Muslim Brotherhood, a banned group.”
Thanks, Bob. You’re not only a corrupt piece of shit, you’re a careless piece of shit. That’s almost as bad.
I originally planned to use a picture of The Bangles in faux Egyptian outfits as the featured image but decided not to because of the mayhem in that part of the world. They still get the last word.