Comments for http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/02/europe_treads_carefully_over_e.html http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/02/europe_treads_carefully_over_e.html en-gb 30 Sat 25 Apr 2015 20:14:08 GMT+1 A feed of user comments from the page found at http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/02/europe_treads_carefully_over_e.html margaret howard http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/02/europe_treads_carefully_over_e.html?page=99#comment102 88 powermeer writes:"Two men, one of them armed, held up the post office in the parliament building on Friday, and reportedly got away with at least 8,000 euros (£6,750)." ((BBC News) "Hardly enough to bail out Spain or Italy."========================================================Too true. Apparently they sent to it Detroit. Every little helps. Sun 06 Feb 2011 23:26:25 GMT+1 MaudDib http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/02/europe_treads_carefully_over_e.html?page=98#comment101 96. At laila1981I can live that. I also agree that until the Palestinian issue is resolved in a positive way, we gonna have trouble. Might anyway, but without a resolution.....no chance.I try to be open minded about stuff and have often wondered if I were Israeli or Palestinian, in which skin would I be most pissed off. It's close but I think Palestinian. Sun 06 Feb 2011 22:07:16 GMT+1 Buzet23 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/02/europe_treads_carefully_over_e.html?page=97#comment100 #98. At 3:40pm on 06 Feb 2011, Clive Hill,Most amusing and so correct, one of the lesser appreciated qualities of the British Isles is that we can laugh at ourselves, unlike certain other people.After having listened to "the big Question" this morning on BBC1 when there was a rather fanatic Islamic present who was unable to listen to other Muslims present since he knew best what God's word was, laila1981 has not understood the problem with her religion. It seems that Islam teaches every convert, believer, a different perspective and that is a problem they have to resolve. Sun 06 Feb 2011 18:43:33 GMT+1 Buzet23 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/02/europe_treads_carefully_over_e.html?page=96#comment99 #96. At 1:45pm on 06 Feb 2011, laila1981 You start so well and all we ever want is that none of us is different, then you say"What I wanted to say is that we have to bring justice for the people of Palestine this is how we will bring peace and stability for the region and the world this is what poison the atmospheres between us and the occupation of Irak and Afghanistan."With that you continue the ideology and prejudice that continues the problems. The two sides have equal claim to those territories and both have quite simply abused that claim. If you want peace there and I have no connection there and am not Jewish or Muslim or even religious then please stop the ideology. Sun 06 Feb 2011 18:25:03 GMT+1 WebAliceinwonderland http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/02/europe_treads_carefully_over_e.html?page=95#comment98 Jukks, @95. I am joking but I am serious :o). As usual.And yes, that author may be right, people vent their unhappiness (here) via internet, instead of action. All Leo Tolstoy-s! :o)))) Intellectuals :o))))))) Excesses of Soviet education still felt.And, seriously, it looks kind of weird for Russians to grab something ;o) like an axe :o), run somewhere in the street. We are afwul jealous with Egyptians that they are so young how to say, energetic, still believe in something. Kept healthy reactions when they are being hurt. This is normal I think, to go do something when one is unhappy, instead of living inconstant depression. Healthier folk, normal.Just check the figures how we live; no Egyptians had that! :o)I mean, they simly never lived better, and want to live normal.While we lived better and now it's total ;o(. disappointment.Post 1917 revolution 2 million Russians ran out of the country. As unfitting place to live in, anymore.During last decade Putin's rule - 1,250,000.That's with citizenship. But much more are counted in Russia while in fact they have left. Bought property abroad and live there, paying taxes to other countries. While keeping Russian citizenship. Sent children to study abroad with the hope to "unite the family" afterward. etc.It is incredible we are supposed to live democratically and en route to improvement excuse me these words :o))))) when in fact all able are fleeing the place like after the Bolshevik revolution!What I am afraid of - Russia will eventually close the lid, as they have done it before, I am thinking of buying something whatever in Latvia, in Eastern Europe, a shed-size something :o) - to have a way out.During the civil war post 1917 we lost 8 million people. (killed by you, Finns, and them, powermeerkats :o) - included).During last decade of "improvement" and "democracy" and high oil prices -10 million.And in reality again, more. As the death rate was compensated by influx of Central Asia ex-republics gasterbeiters who get citizenship here in 3 months' time.In the Russian Far East, the place very rich in fish and wood and what not, out of 10 million USSR times' people there stayed 2 million.Egyptians vote by revolution for their Mubarak and we vote by feet.d Sun 06 Feb 2011 16:23:21 GMT+1 Clive Hill http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/02/europe_treads_carefully_over_e.html?page=94#comment97 #96 laila1981I post this comment to apologise for anyone who i have offended with my last comment , I have failed to explain my idea and i was angry and hurt because someone said that Muslims are danger for the west, I was angry about the generalisation.I don't think you offended anybody.If you want to offend people on this blog, there are much better ways to do it.- Say that you want to be in the EU- Say that you want to be out of the EU- Say that any of (Poles, Russians, Hungarians, Spaniards, French, Germans, Portugese, Finns, Irish) are bad people- Say that Greeks are lazy or feckless and you'll get an especially long answer with detailed economic explanation and a few conspiracy theories- Say that polish/americans are bad and you'll get a lot of answers with many space lines in (why is that ?)- Say that the English are evil colonisers and you'll get a lot of long-suffering 'why does everyone hate us - as if we didn't know'- Say that the Scottish are bad people and you'll get margaret. You don't want margaret...What I really want to say is that we are all having different point of views, we all think that we have the truth if we are religious or secular this is normal that’s why we have to accept our differences and be tolerant with each others and we have to know and learn from each others that’s are my personal believes and what islam teach me...Who would not want that ? I do. Sun 06 Feb 2011 15:40:06 GMT+1 Clive Hill http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/02/europe_treads_carefully_over_e.html?page=93#comment96 #84 lacerniagiganteThe PLO charter never called for the elimination of Israel by armed struggle, it stated, verbatim (English translation), that it considers the "creation of Israel null and void". So your quotation marks are due to some Israeli interpretation of the charter. Furthermore in 1998, at Bill Clinton's request, the PNC (PLO) voted publicly to remove this clause from the charter. Check your facts (and look at how the Israelis ended up thanking Arafat for his efforts..)The Economist (article from 1998) seems to have that wrong as well ...the charter of the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO), which talks hopefully of destroying Israel...It does indeed, and repeatedly; the document dates from 1964, when Israel no more recognised the existence of a Palestinian people than the PLO recognised an Israeli state. So what happens? Palestinian officials say the offensive bits have been revoked already, a revocation endorsed in a letter written last January by Yasser Arafat to Mr Clinton that commits the Palestinian leadership to stop advocating the retaking of land that is now part of Israel....I don't say you're wrong, only that it's a popular perception.This Daily Telegraph article from 2002 has the same impression. They say that in 1968 ...The burst of enthusiasm for the new Palestinian revolutionaries swept the militant groups into power in the by now semi-dormant Palestine Liberation Organisation, which had been set up in 1964 by the Arab League at the behest of Egypt. Arafat was named chairman, and the organisation's charter was rewritten to declare that "armed struggle is the only way to liberate Palestine". ...They could all be using the same translation, of course. Sun 06 Feb 2011 13:54:55 GMT+1 laila1981 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/02/europe_treads_carefully_over_e.html?page=92#comment95 I post this comment to apologise for anyone who i have offended with my last comment , I have failed to explain my idea and i was angry and hurt because someone said that Muslims are danger for the west, I was angry about the generalisation.What I really want to say is that we are all having different point of views, we all think that we have the truth if we are religious or secular this is normal that’s why we have to accept our differences and be tolerant with each others and we have to know and learn from each others that’s are my personal believes and what islam teach me. Me personally there is a lot of things that I love about others cultures specialy the west culture I love music and movies. the west culture is a part of my personality that I cant deny. We could not be enemy or danger for each others this is impossible and me as Muslim I condemn and hate all acts of terrorism against any one done in the name of Islam those people are our enemy too.What I wanted to say is that we have to bring justice for the people of Palestine this is how we will bring peace and stability for the region and the world this is what poison the atmospheres between us and the occupation of Irak and Afghanistan.Finally I hope that the Egyptians people will succeed in there seek for democraci and freedom and all the people of Arabic and Islamic world and the west have to support this.Again I apologise if I have offended anybody and thanks for the BBC for this opportunity. Sun 06 Feb 2011 13:45:09 GMT+1 Jukka Rohila http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/02/europe_treads_carefully_over_e.html?page=91#comment94 To WebAliceinwonderland (92):Just as an side note to your Watson & Holmes..."Lawrence Katz, a labor economist, has an intriguing item to add to the list of potential causes: video games. When I spoke to him recently, he was very careful to say it was only an idea. He is far from sure that it’s correct. But, as The Economist put it, “Larry Katz, a Harvard economist, suspects that video games and Web sites may have kept the young and idle busy during this recession, thus explaining the surprising lack of an uptick in crime.”http://economix.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/05/24/do-video-games-equal-less-crime/Thus a pro-tip to any regime that wants to stay in power: order a few million Xbox360 or PS3 to your youths and your are done! Sun 06 Feb 2011 13:30:49 GMT+1 powermeerkat http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/02/europe_treads_carefully_over_e.html?page=90#comment93 "Formula 1 driver Robert Kubica suffers fractures to his left arm and left leg after a high-speed rally crash in Italy" (BBC)Now, some might consider this piece of news, just as results from todays ski-jumps at Oberstdorf, as more important than Barack-Mubarak calls.[Mubarak stays and so does Barack. And SO WHAT?] Sun 06 Feb 2011 12:52:52 GMT+1 WebAliceinwonderland http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/02/europe_treads_carefully_over_e.html?page=89#comment92 Why did they switch off SMS service in Egypt?Elementary. So that Russian General HQ won't send the staying there 40,000 Russians reminders about their military rank of the reserve and their second speciality in higher education.:o)))))))))Hello. Are there tours to Egypt on sale?- Sure. But 30% more expensive- ???- For extreme. Special programme - tanks in the streets, nostalgie about 1990-s, over-turning of president once in 30 years, ...:o))))))))) Sun 06 Feb 2011 12:50:13 GMT+1 WebAliceinwonderland http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/02/europe_treads_carefully_over_e.html?page=88#comment91 :o)Russian tourists refuse to leave revolutionary Egypt. For, after all, they will have to fly via Domodedovo :o))))))Watson: How to start a revolution in a country?Holmes: Elementary; switch off internet - and crowds of angrified citizens will fall out into the streets!Mubarak promised Egyptians that he won't be electing any more for presidents.I think I know who will become their prime minister...:o))))) Main Russian Sanitary Inspector Onischenko forbid Russians to go on holidays to Egypt. Due to potential spread of the "Orange African Plague" :o))))))) Sun 06 Feb 2011 12:44:37 GMT+1 WebAliceinwonderland http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/02/europe_treads_carefully_over_e.html?page=87#comment90 "Since you never replied, Stevenson.You want that photo in a G-suit or prefer one in a G-string?"powermeer. reminds me"Teacher asks little Volodya, "So, tell me, how many infuzoria-s (those tiny creatures) are there in a drop of water?- Vova "I don't know, Maria Ivanovna" :o(- How come you don't; I was expaining the whole class yesterday that more than 2 million!"- Oh. I wish I had your concerns, Maria Ivanovna! Sun 06 Feb 2011 12:35:39 GMT+1 powermeerkat http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/02/europe_treads_carefully_over_e.html?page=86#comment89 "Many Egyptian banks opened for the first time in a week, with long queues forming to withdraw money.[...]Long queues formed at some for the brief opening period - the banks closed again at 1330 local time. [...]The government is seeking to revive an economy said to be losing at least $310m (£192m) a day." (BBC News)That's about along and short of it. Sun 06 Feb 2011 12:33:30 GMT+1 Buzet23 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/02/europe_treads_carefully_over_e.html?page=85#comment88 #84. At 11:31am on 06 Feb 2011, lacerniagigante,Two comments, the 1999 Likud charter is the charter of one of the major political party's of Israel, that's all. It is not the policy of Israel even though the Likud have some power now. Secondly, regarding 1988, this was deliberately left ambiguous by mentioning Palestinian territory and Jerusalem, just why do you expect Israel to recognise a state that claims potentially the whole of Jerusalem when both parties claim it vehemently. No turkey would vote for Christmas lacerniagigante.There is misinformation and propaganda from both sides and I no more trust all that Israel says than I trust all that the various Palestinian factions say, and I most certainly do not agree with the current perception that it is the Palestinians that are politically correct, neither should be. Sun 06 Feb 2011 12:27:19 GMT+1 powermeerkat http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/02/europe_treads_carefully_over_e.html?page=84#comment87 " Robbers have carried out a raid inside the European Parliament in Brussels.Two men, one of them armed, held up the post office in the parliament building on Friday, and reportedly got away with at least 8,000 euros (£6,750)." ((BBC News) Hardly enough to bail out Spain or Italy. Sun 06 Feb 2011 12:15:13 GMT+1 powermeerkat http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/02/europe_treads_carefully_over_e.html?page=83#comment86 Alice in Wonderland: Not only an ex Moscow mayor you've mentioned, but quite a few of other Russian nouveau rich chose to live very comfortably in UK.Owning British castles, estates and soccer clubs.Roman Abramovich being a perfect example. :-) Sun 06 Feb 2011 11:51:48 GMT+1 powermeerkat http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/02/europe_treads_carefully_over_e.html?page=82#comment85 Typically, after checking, "pro-Zionist propaganda" is a term use ad nauseam by crypto anti-Semites. Sun 06 Feb 2011 11:46:50 GMT+1 Buzet23 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/02/europe_treads_carefully_over_e.html?page=81#comment84 #78. At 10:56am on 06 Feb 2011, lacerniagigante You right that each of these Islamic organisations is quite different and often against one or more of their sister organisations that in theory share the same religion. However one difference between the Islamic organisations and other religions is that they always call everything an attack on god and Islam, and demand all Muslims to respond, usually with violence. Sun 06 Feb 2011 11:43:11 GMT+1 lacerniagigante http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/02/europe_treads_carefully_over_e.html?page=80#comment83 39. At 1:51pm on 05 Feb 2011, Rob_Hampshire wrote:"The PLO charter called (still calls?) for the 'elimination of Israel by armed struggle'."The PLO charter never called for the elimination of Israel by armed struggle, it stated, verbatim (English translation), that it considers the "creation of Israel null and void". So your quotation marks are due to some Israeli interpretation of the charter. Furthermore in 1998, at Bill Clinton's request, the PNC (PLO) voted publicly to remove this clause from the charter. Check your facts (and look at how the Israelis ended up thanking Arafat for his efforts..)Note that a symmetric situation is shared by Israel who refuses to recognise the Palestinian state, which was declared back in 1988. (Interestingly, some non-Arab countries, such as Brazil and Argentina, are now in the process of recognising this.)On the other hand, the 1999 Likud charter, still "flatly rejects the establishment of a Palestinian Arab state west of the Jordan river.” I had a wiki a it, to see if there are updates, but it seems that the status is unchanged.You should have a look at those Palestine papers to see the good faith of the Israelis, as far as "peace" is concerned.But please check your facts before you repeat tired (and false) propaganda mantras. Only misinformed people still believe them. Sun 06 Feb 2011 11:31:20 GMT+1 powermeerkat http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/02/europe_treads_carefully_over_e.html?page=79#comment82 This post has been Removed Sun 06 Feb 2011 11:16:41 GMT+1 powermeerkat http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/02/europe_treads_carefully_over_e.html?page=78#comment81 Stevenson wrote:I find myself, Alice, watching that video over and over once I start...the second video from youtube that I put on here above. Since you never replied, Stevenson.You want that photo in a G-suit or prefer one in a G-string? Sun 06 Feb 2011 11:13:11 GMT+1 powermeerkat http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/02/europe_treads_carefully_over_e.html?page=77#comment80 MaxSceptic wrote:Faced with a personal visit from Baroness Ashpan, Mubarak is sure to leave town pronto.The mere sight of the Baroness from LABOUR is enough to make Mubarak shake visibly in his boots. :-)))[an intervention by the mighty EUSSR military force could be next. ;-)] Sun 06 Feb 2011 11:11:37 GMT+1 powermeerkat http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/02/europe_treads_carefully_over_e.html?page=76#comment79 This post has been Removed Sun 06 Feb 2011 11:08:31 GMT+1 powermeerkat http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/02/europe_treads_carefully_over_e.html?page=75#comment78 "I am sure a warmer place [thqan Kolyma or Yamal] can be found in Russia, for one of our graduates, after all, and he seem to have learned here how to not be a danger for other countries, and keep a very volatile, by definition, region peaceful for 30 years. Which can't be told yet, powermeer, about your, USA, graduates."Indeed, Alice, graduates of USAF Academy in Colorado Springs are not taught how to roll over and play dead.On the other head none of them was ever accused of mistreating POVs, since they don't take prisoners.[crews of "Bears" and "Blackjacks" please take notice. :-))))))))))))))] Sun 06 Feb 2011 11:04:31 GMT+1 lacerniagigante http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/02/europe_treads_carefully_over_e.html?page=74#comment77 67. At 03:54am on 06 Feb 2011, DurstigerMann wrote:"And maybe you should also mention that the PLO and other Palestinian organizations had set up a de-facto state in the south of Lebanon and used this area as a base for terrorist attacks."You seem a bit confused my friend about Hizbollah and the PLO. True that the pro-Zionist propaganda (which you seem to be regurgitating verbatim) would like you to put all those "Muslims" under one "Terrorist" label (which you seem to be doing according to the manual), but in fact there is a big difference between these organizations and reality is much more complex. Sun 06 Feb 2011 10:56:29 GMT+1 bbony http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/02/europe_treads_carefully_over_e.html?page=73#comment76 @71 MannekenWhat would you clear up here, and to whom? Whoever is looking for an accurate information on geography, history and policy of the Middle-East, he must be desperate if he is searching around here. This blog is primarily a psychological arena, a muddling situation of more or less different cultures and prejudices. The best we can achieve here is to reveal and ironize the prejudices, either of others or our own. And that should obviously not be difficult in your case. Sun 06 Feb 2011 10:46:35 GMT+1 Huaimek http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/02/europe_treads_carefully_over_e.html?page=72#comment75 #71 MannekenSo " Byzantine " is a word you use to decribe views and opinions that are not in accord with your opinion . Roget's Thesaurus is a useful book to have at hand , when you want to display your literary skills .Addressing the subject of the blog is not exactly your forte ; you just like to adjudicate on other's ability or inability to do so . I think all of us here are aware of the delicate situation in Egypt , the consequences of which could leave a dangerous political vacuum in the middle east . I can understand that you would like the EU to show its boasted world power strength in guiding Egypt to a peaceful solution . Unfortunately , the EU is not mature enough and secure in its positon to offer any such mediation . Neither the EU nor any country in Europe has elder statesmen of such stature and wisdom , to be accepted by Egypt to advise them .As I wrote in the last blog , it is better for the EU to remain silent and let Egypt resolve the situation for better or worse by themselves . they don't want western countries telling them what to do . Sun 06 Feb 2011 10:16:41 GMT+1 Buzet23 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/02/europe_treads_carefully_over_e.html?page=71#comment74 #71. At 09:17am on 06 Feb 2011, Manneken,It would be nice if you actually do what you preach but you don't, added to that is the concept that as a true believer in the sect called the EU Institutions you accept the real issues as only being what the Institutions themselves want discussed, whereas we see the real issues being the existence of the EU Institutions in their current format and the damage they are doing to Europe.As for this current thread, I agree that the subject of Egypt is very important for a number of reasons and there have been some interesting and differing views expressed on this thread. However the ones who have to resolve this problem are the Egyptians themselves and outside interference is the last thing they truly need. If the EU needs to do anything it needs to ensure that the reasons for the Egyptian problems do not exist here any longer, as there has been civil unrest in a number of EU member states, hunger, corruption and patronage are not just a Tunisian, Yemeni, Egyptian problem. Sun 06 Feb 2011 09:50:30 GMT+1 Clive Hill http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/02/europe_treads_carefully_over_e.html?page=70#comment73 #15 laila1981first of all excuse me my English is not so good...I am English.For my part I welcome your english, as others have. I believe the english contributions of non-english speakers here are often the most linguistically imaginative and more interesting for it. Sun 06 Feb 2011 09:49:46 GMT+1 Clive Hill http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/02/europe_treads_carefully_over_e.html?page=69#comment72 #69 Jan_Keeskop...Thus, “people power” in the last Iranian presidential election was given a largely positive spin, since Mousavi was viewed as being more pro-Western than Ahmadinejad...Yes, I believe that's true. In fact, the elections may well not have been rigged and may have given a reasonably accurate result, subject to the kind of administrative screwups that apply to all elections.This from June 15th 2009 based on opinion poll data taken before the election says ...The only demographic groups in which our survey found Mousavi leading or competitive with Ahmadinejad were university students and graduates, and the highest-income Iranians. When our poll was taken, almost a third of Iranians were also still undecided. Yet the baseline distributions we found then mirror the results reported by the Iranian authorities, indicating the possibility that the vote is not the product of widespread fraud. ...In fact, as far as I can tell, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is something of a working class hero - but his has not been a very successful government . ...However, as 57 prominent Iranians economists warned in a June 2006 open letter, Ahmadinejad's policies "ignor[ed] the basic principles" of economics. His vast increases in government spending (by 27% in 2006 alone) and slashing of interest rates caused inflation to surge from 11% in 2005 to 25% in May 2008. This resulted in steady price increases for housing, food, and other necessities, bringing greater hardship to most Iranians. By 2007, public disaffection with Ahmadinejad was palpable, especially in urban areas. Refusing to raise the heavily subsidized price of gasoline, Ahmadinejad instituted rationing, leading irate citizens to torch 19 gas stations...The economy again, stupid.By the way, that does not stop Mahmoud Ahmadinejad from being a religious 'enthusiast' as well ...In a video distributed by an Iranian web site in November, Mr Ahmadinejad described how one of his Iranian colleagues had claimed to have seen a glow of light around the president as he began his speech to the UN."I felt it myself too," Mr Ahmadinejad recounts. "I felt that all of a sudden the atmosphere changed there. And for 27-28 minutes all the leaders did not blink…It's not an exaggeration, because I was looking."They were astonished, as if a hand held them there and made them sit. It had opened their eyes and ears for the message of the Islamic Republic.".....And of course Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's supporters - who appear to include a alrge majority of The Basij are a bit like an extreme right wing political grouping in the West. #69 Jan_Keeskop...if Khamenei speaking qualifies as an intervention, then it’s a wonder that the Egyptians have survived so many simultaneous interventions from political leaders opening their mouths worldwide...Whilst I don't disagree with the sentiment - and Iranian encouragement might not be welcomed by the Muslim Brotherhood because of Shi'a/Sunni theological differences - still, the Iranians do like to make mischief for the Americans and the West in general.There is apparently a street in Tehran named - by the revolutionary government - after the man who assassinated Anwar Sadat.I believe the western media are doing the same with the current demonstrations in Cairo as they did in Iran. They are taking a fairly one-sided, demonstartor-sided view of it.I hope the government in Egypt changes to something less oppressive - Islamic or not - but I don't think we have had the whole truth from the BBC, CNN or any other news organisation. Sun 06 Feb 2011 09:30:12 GMT+1 Buzet23 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/02/europe_treads_carefully_over_e.html?page=68#comment71 #68. At 07:11am on 06 Feb 2011, Huaimek,Regarding the insignificant little statue, yes he/she does use the word Byzantine an awful lot, especially when referring to me as I think it considers my opposition to the EU to be tricky and deceitful in some way rather than totally up front as I am. However since the EU/Euro mandarins are experts in practising cozening we should expect their supporters to do no different.BTW There are at least four ex-pat Englishmen on this blog, MH amongst all her errors can't count either, does that not remind you of that other well known Scot Gordon Brown. Sun 06 Feb 2011 09:29:24 GMT+1 Manneken http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/02/europe_treads_carefully_over_e.html?page=67#comment70 # 68With "Byzantine" I mean that the discussion is very heated, totally obscure to an outsider, and completely irrelevant to the real questions at hand."How many angels on the top of a pin" and "the gender of angels" are the most common expressions about this, while the empire is crumbling outside the gates of the city.It is also a description of a complete lack of responsibility with regard to the real issues at hand. As in: there's an uprising in Egypt, it could fundamentally alter the balance of power in the Middle East and the world. Let's discuss about who appointed Mme Ashton, and whether we believe that to be "democratic" (a byzantine concept on this blog if ever there was one), not how she uses her powers.And sure enough, people like Buzet23 and others (Freeborn John, CBW,...) start about this, and not the real issues (which, incidentally, are most often also the actual topic of the blog). It muddies the water - it seems to be done on purpose.I'm trying to expose this, so the debate can have higher quality and be about the actual topic at hand. Sun 06 Feb 2011 09:17:19 GMT+1 Clive Hill http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/02/europe_treads_carefully_over_e.html?page=66#comment69 I don't think the Israeli-Arab conflict is off topic at all. It's the elephant in the room at any diplomatic discussion with the Egyptian government and President.laila1981The problem is not between Christianity and Islam or Judaism and Islam. The problem is between reasonable and unreasonable people of all religions and of no religions. So the conflict is really just between reasonable and unreasonable people.The key to all of this is truth. The vast majority of people are reasonable. The problem is that they act on the information that they have. Before The First Crusade (1095 and after) hurt any muslim, it massacred a lot of Jews ...The preaching of the First Crusade inspired an outbreak of anti-Semitism. In parts of France and Germany, Jews were perceived as just as much an enemy as Muslims: they were thought to be responsible for the crucifixion, and they were more immediately visible than the distant Muslims. Many people wondered why they should travel thousands of miles to fight non-believers when there were already non-believers closer to home. It is also likely that the crusaders were motivated by their need for money...In Europe including England over the following years, there were several massacres of Jews. It came partly from the 'Blood Libel' (and I used that term on this very blog before Sarah Palin) which said that Jews used the blood of children in their rituals, etc...Interestingly, the spread of information has not increased truth in the world. It has just magnified all information, true and false.Whatever you believe or know to be true, it is unlikely that contemplating the past of the Arab-Israeli conflict will provide a solution for the future.What will provide a solution will be a vision for the future which substantially ignores the past.The same may be true in Egypt. The source of the demonstrations in Tunisia and Egypt is probably not oppression by Ben Ali or Mubarak. It is more likely the cost of food . ...The immediate cause of this food spike was the worst drought in Russia and the Black Sea region for 130 years, lasting long enough to damage winter planting as well as the summer harvest. Russia imposed an export ban on grains. This was compounded by late rains in Canada, Nina disruptions in Argentina, and a series of acreage downgrades in the US. The world’s stocks-to-use ratio for corn is nearing a 30-year low of 12.8pc, according to Rabobank.The deeper causes are well-known: an annual rise in global population by 73m; the “exhaustion” of the Green Revolution as the gains in crop yields fade, to cite the World Bank; diet shifts in Asia as the rising middle class switch to animal-protein diets, requiring 3-5 kilos of grain feed for every kilo of meat produced; the biofuel mandates that have diverted a third of the US corn crop into ethanol for cars. ...According to this, Mohamed Bouazizi had had his barrow and his produce confiscated (stolen) by police all of his fairly short life. What made this special was his humiliation by a local official - a woman.Oppression was a factor in this because oppression if usually coupled with corruption, which seems to have been the trigger in this case. It does not explain why the population took up his cause where it would not have before. That may well have been food prices.The important thing is that the government - whatever its type, authoritarian or democratic - was ignoring a major problem which faced the people. Now they are not ...Vulnerable governments are scrambling to lock up world supplies of grain while they can. Algeria bought 800,000 tonnes of wheat last week, and Indonesia has ordered 800,000 tonnes of rice, both greatly exceeding their normal pace of purchases. Saudi Arabia, Libya, and Bangladesh, are trying to secure extra grain supplies... So I wonder if there will be any more unrest in these countries.Democracy, freedom, justice ? Food first.If there is a lesson Catherine Ashton can bring from the EU, it's that. Sun 06 Feb 2011 07:57:49 GMT+1 Jan_Keeskop http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/02/europe_treads_carefully_over_e.html?page=66#comment68 Gavin:Even while Europe's leaders were meeting, Iran was making its own intervention. Its supreme leader, Ayatollah Khamenei, called for an Islamic regime in Egypt.Khamenei stating his opinion is an “Iranian intervention”? I readily admit to not paying careful attention to Iranian-Egyptian relations, so perhaps I haven’t seen articles about the Quds Force sending advisors to the Muslim Brotherhood — but if Khamenei speaking qualifies as an intervention, then it’s a wonder that the Egyptians have survived so many simultaneous interventions from political leaders opening their mouths worldwide.democracythreat: On post 2, the literal translation of the three characters that form pyramid in Chinese is roughly “golden-roofed tower”. As always, beauty is in the eye of the beholder.Buzet23: For post 5, note that the US president is not directly elected. Although the names of the presidential and vice-presidential candidates appear on our ballots, we actually vote for an elector in the Electoral College; it is only these 538 electors who directly elect the President and Vice-President. Well, that’s not the whole story — if no presidential candidate receives a majority of the electors’ votes, then the House of Representatives chooses the President; and if two or more vice-presidential candidates are tied for the most electors’ votes, then the Senate chooses the Vice-President.laila1981: Regarding posts 15 through 17, there is no need to apologise for your English; it’s certainly far better than my Arabic! Many of us in the West receive our worldwide news mainly through large Western news organisations, and these organisations often report news in terms of how Western power structures could be affected. Thus, “people power” in the last Iranian presidential election was given a largely positive spin, since Mousavi was viewed as being more pro-Western than Ahmadinejad; in the case of Egypt, though, it is not yet clear whether Mubarak’s successor (whoever that might be) would seek to change the existing power relationships, and so the Western press takes a less enthusiastic approach to its reporting there.Nik: With post 23, do you foresee something happening with Nord Stream that would forbid Germany from buying gas directly from Russia, starting later this year? Sun 06 Feb 2011 07:11:49 GMT+1 Huaimek http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/02/europe_treads_carefully_over_e.html?page=65#comment67 #13 MannekenByzantine is a grand sounding word , it has many meanings , historical and otherwise . You use it very frequently ; but it is not clear to me in which sense you are using it . I think there may be other words that would more succinctly express your opinion of our eurosceptic views .#50 Margaret Howard"Among the most verbose critics of the EU are two Englishmen who have chosen to live abroad" I guess I might be one of them , SO !!! In an "Europa" blog an irrate woman tried to have me banned for not being resident in an EU member state . The moderators told her that people could comment from anywhere in the world .I am happy to live far away in a developing counrty , where I don't miss any of the so called "excessively costly" benefits of living within the EU ; bound by rules and regulations that nearly price it out of existence . Britain was a far better and cheaper place to live before she joined the EEC . I feel sorry for England and all the English people who have to suffer the EU . I feel sorry for Italy and other Mediterranean countries who were far better off with their own currencies and for whom joining the Euro with its restrictions was a grave mistake . Sun 06 Feb 2011 07:11:05 GMT+1 DurstigerMann http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/02/europe_treads_carefully_over_e.html?page=64#comment66 @59 lacerniagigante"This polemic is way off the topic, but just for the record: Israel's armed troops entered Lebanon in 1978 when Hizbollah was not even a word and the Shah was still ruling Iran. Checking your facts first will give a bit more credibility to your posts."Yes, it`s a little bit ot.And maybe you should also mention that the PLO and other Palestinian organizations had set up a de-facto state in the south of Lebanon and used this area as a base for terrorist attacks. The Israelian army took them out during Operation Litani. Who is lacking credibility? Sun 06 Feb 2011 03:54:19 GMT+1 DurstigerMann http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/02/europe_treads_carefully_over_e.html?page=63#comment65 @57 Jukka"You do understand that for one to be an settler, the land needs to be void. However if the land is inhabited by people, then a better term to describe people moving to their place is either an colonist or an invader."Much of the farmland was bought from farmers who had to sell it due to high debt, taxes, you name it. The Ottomans and the British did that. Not the settlers.It really is a very easy concept involving two steps:1. you buy land2. you settle on that landI know that this is a horrible oversimplification of the whole situation. But my point was that Israel/the jewish settlers did not start the spiral of voilence nor do they cultivate an inherently jewish anti-islamism.Well, except for the occasional orthodox lunatic. Sun 06 Feb 2011 03:45:59 GMT+1 Stevenson http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/02/europe_treads_carefully_over_e.html?page=62#comment64 I find myself, Alice, watching that video over and over once I start...the second video from youtube that I put on here above. :) Sun 06 Feb 2011 02:43:35 GMT+1 Stevenson http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/02/europe_treads_carefully_over_e.html?page=61#comment63 This is for Egypthttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tsdSB4NO1h0 Sun 06 Feb 2011 02:32:41 GMT+1 Stevenson http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/02/europe_treads_carefully_over_e.html?page=60#comment62 Here this song IS you, Web Alice.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T5qd-A3LoVE Sun 06 Feb 2011 02:27:17 GMT+1 Stevenson http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/02/europe_treads_carefully_over_e.html?page=59#comment61 Also, Web Alice in Wonderland,I will provide a song or youtube video for you...I see you like Liza Minnelli ...of my contributions...so far...I'll give you some...body that I like (that is pertinent to discussion in some way)like Maybe, Maybe, Maybe from Janis Joplin....I always picture blue lights and a bar in the South :) Sun 06 Feb 2011 02:24:59 GMT+1 Stevenson http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/02/europe_treads_carefully_over_e.html?page=58#comment60 BTW, also,DustingerMann, your posts are quite good...I'm not going around saying yea or nay to various opinions...I like CBW, but he is absent ....are you "in hospital?" CBW? Has anyone heard? No one hangs out together in bars ...for the most part, here. Sun 06 Feb 2011 02:21:49 GMT+1 Stevenson http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/02/europe_treads_carefully_over_e.html?page=57#comment59 Democracy Threat,Youre right in a way....full of BS is the politician...tho i've fallen off the anti-capitalist thingy,But Welcome back, has the Egypt thing stirred you to amazement and/or idealism..some people need alot ...I had this friend who was very energized about the 1991 rally of Yeltsin vs. the Soviet Coup. He would say its so crappy here where its all about the establishment. You know...todays kids (actually the yuppy generation) at most rebelled but didnt talk revolution.Tho, I do hate violence....Shouldn't you be upset about the deaths in Pakistan from drones ..Myself, I want to know more about this...Yes, Obama is head,shoulders over Bush, but ... Sun 06 Feb 2011 02:18:50 GMT+1 lacerniagigante http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/02/europe_treads_carefully_over_e.html?page=56#comment58 Re 56: "In the other blog you wrote that Israel attacked Lebanon, just to name one example.How about you also mention that the Hisbollah fired rockets at Israeli civilians first?"This polemic is way off the topic, but just for the record: Israel's armed troops entered Lebanon in 1978 when Hizbollah was not even a word and the Shah was still ruling Iran. Checking your facts first will give a bit more credibility to your posts. Sat 05 Feb 2011 23:59:34 GMT+1 lacerniagigante http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/02/europe_treads_carefully_over_e.html?page=55#comment57 "Some leaders like David Cameron wanted the EU response to be "clear and strong"."Wait a sec. Did I miss something? Wasn't the man campaigning for a repatriation of rights from Brussels to London and what not.Now he suddenly wants a "clear and strong" EU response?It's funny how this man changes attitude just for a chance to grab a headline. Doesn't he feel the ridicule he's covering himself in? Sat 05 Feb 2011 23:55:34 GMT+1 Jukka Rohila http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/02/europe_treads_carefully_over_e.html?page=54#comment56 To DurstigerMann (56):You do understand that for one to be an settler, the land needs to be void. However if the land is inhabited by people, then a better term to describe people moving to their place is either an colonist or an invader.For an example, take a look to the history of Jaffa, especially what happened during 1947 and 1948. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jaffa#1947_UN_Partition_Plan_and_1948_War Sat 05 Feb 2011 23:13:15 GMT+1 DurstigerMann http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/02/europe_treads_carefully_over_e.html?page=53#comment55 @52 margaret howard"No more no less than the fear of anti-islamic Judaism - after all they share many similarities. (Just look at the plight of the Palestinians.)"It`s way too easy to blame israel for this. Historicay, however, your judgement is absolutely wrong. Palestinians were the first to engage in acts of violence against jewish settlers.The histoility endures to this day and is abused by radical islamic extremists in order to abuse their own people.Muslims in Europe have attacked synagogues on several occasions, e.g. in Malmö, Sweden.Where in Europe can I find jews attacking mosques?In the other blog you wrote that Israel attacked Lebanon, just to name one example.How about you also mention that the Hisbollah fired rockets at Israeli civilians first? Sat 05 Feb 2011 21:39:19 GMT+1 Buzet23 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/02/europe_treads_carefully_over_e.html?page=52#comment54 #54. At 7:45pm on 05 Feb 2011, margaret howard,Before you start spouting off check your facts, it is up to the PM of the day to request a general election and they have just over five years from the previous election to do that. The average is as irrelevant as a haggis in a wet Scottish bog. Sat 05 Feb 2011 20:18:03 GMT+1 margaret howard http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/02/europe_treads_carefully_over_e.html?page=51#comment53 Buzet 53 writes:"General election are NOT fixed term, thay are a maximum of five years!!!"British General elections:1955 1959 1964 1966 1970 1974 1976 1979 1983 1987 1992 1997 2001 2005 2010So would you say that four years is about average? As always congratulations on your elegant prose.Incidentally seeing you don't dispute any of the other facts I take it that you agree with them? No quibbles about the Baroness Ashton (unelected) ennoblement? Sat 05 Feb 2011 19:45:21 GMT+1 Buzet23 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/02/europe_treads_carefully_over_e.html?page=50#comment52 #50. At 5:31pm on 05 Feb 2011, margaret howardYou don't even know how long between elections where you live so how can you possibly comment on the incumbents, probably you are also using a zimmer frame and use a stair lift as that does not mean a councillor is incapable, unless of course they are Scottish, but then you already know that. General election are NOT fixed term, thay are a maximum of five years!!!I really wonder what your English husband thinks of this, poor guy. Sat 05 Feb 2011 18:58:37 GMT+1 margaret howard http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/02/europe_treads_carefully_over_e.html?page=49#comment51 48 durstiger writes:"The EU should stick its noses into its own business." I hope that goes for Israel too. And:"Is the fear of antisemitic islam in that area really unjustified?"No more no less than the fear of anti-islamic Judaism - after all they share many similarities. (Just look at the plight of the Palestinians.) Sat 05 Feb 2011 18:51:20 GMT+1 Buzet23 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/02/europe_treads_carefully_over_e.html?page=48#comment50 #46. At 4:00pm on 05 Feb 2011, Nik,Oh dear, you have reverted from the interesting stage to the boring stage, your comments on the OTHER thread were interesting and possibly had some substance, now you have mixed the threads and confused the issues. There are many players in this scenario but you continue to fix your mind on a subset of them, probably since you have a somewhat fixed mindset. I have no idea of what is going on under the surface but neither do you, we have opinions but for the moment that is all they are. One thing that is certain though is that there is a lot of politics being played by many big players. Sat 05 Feb 2011 18:01:38 GMT+1 margaret howard http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/02/europe_treads_carefully_over_e.html?page=47#comment49 45 faeyth: "38,In Michigan, State and local Judges are elected,Federal are appointed." and powermeer: You lucky people. As I mentioned before, we get the vote every four years to elect one of two parties,one financed by the unions, the other by bankers and landowners(you could also cast your vote for some minor ones like the Monster Raving Loonies if you possess the right sense of humour). Everyone else can get lost. Of course, we also have local councillors whose remit is to find enough resources for the annual Christmas lights and the cemetery. Most of the people who stand for these elections are retired people or housewives with too much time on their hands. Two of our present incubents live in old folk homes. Everyone complains that young people show no interest in putting themselves forward, but why should they waste their time when they have not much power to affect change. County councillors have their headquarters miles away and are totally unaware of their electorate until the elections come along. We never see them at any other time.Regarding Baroness Ashton's non-elected role in the EU. She was of course plain Catherine Ashton before her Labour party made her a life peer in 1999 when she became known as Baroness Ashton of Upholland (yes, I kid you not - this happens in the 21st century in a western democracy). Did anyone elect her? Don't be silly, this is your reward for toeing the party line. And then they try to lecture EU countries on the undemocratic appointment of representatives. The hypocrisy is as ever breathtaking. It is however not surprising that among the most verbose critics of the EU on these pages are two Englishmen who have both chosen to live abroad, no doubt for reasons of their own. Sat 05 Feb 2011 17:31:51 GMT+1 MaxSceptic http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/02/europe_treads_carefully_over_e.html?page=46#comment48 Faced with a personal visit from Baroness Ashpan, Mubarak is sure to leave town pronto.Never in it's long history have the countries of Europe ever had an emissary so pathetic and so unsuited. Silvio Berlusconi's bunga-bunga girls at least have some talents. Sat 05 Feb 2011 17:25:57 GMT+1 DurstigerMann http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/02/europe_treads_carefully_over_e.html?page=45#comment47 @14 Manneken"Why not refer to the examples of Indonesia and Turkey, where "Islam-Democrat" parties (like the "Christian-Democrat" parties of many EU countries, including Germany, Italy, Belgium, Holland, Austria, etc...) play an important role. They are typically morally conservative and economically centre or centre-right, are an important force for stability, and truly democratic."The problem with Indonesia as an example is the sad fact that the young democracy there is struggling against radical islam and with enforcing law.The fear of islam and islamic democracies is the religion itself. You only need a minority to terrorize and suppress a majority and have them play by your rules.The PRC and Singapore would be better examples. They are not ruled by muslim parties, but they are ruled with iron fists. Subsequently, radical islam could not gain any ground there so far."And why not make very clear to Egypt that the EU, within its tools, will actively support such transition?"The EU should stick its noses into its own business. "As to Israel, it seems rather ironic that it seems to fear real democracy in its neighbor Arab states. Surely that tells you something about the justification of its colonization policy?"Is the fear of antisemitic islam in that area really unjustified? Sat 05 Feb 2011 16:15:34 GMT+1 WebAliceinwonderland http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/02/europe_treads_carefully_over_e.html?page=44#comment46 "Indeed. IMHO it'd be much beter if Hosni was offered an asylum by Russia, and a comfortable residence in Kolyma. Or at least in Yamal."I am sure a warmer place can be found in Russia, for one of our graduates, after all, and he seem to have learned here how to not be a danger for other countries, and keep a very volatile, by definition, region peaceful for 30 years. Which can't be told yet, powermeer, about your, USA, graduates.But so that you know Mr Mubarak has announced he doesn't see himself any where but his Egypt, and that he intends to die at home. So I don't think he needs any invitations.(PS unlike our ex Moscow city mayor :o)))))))), alas, what a shame, who ended up in Britain) Sat 05 Feb 2011 16:05:03 GMT+1 Nik http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/02/europe_treads_carefully_over_e.html?page=43#comment45 30. At 12:11pm on 05 Feb 2011, Buzet23 wrote:#27. At 11:52am on 05 Feb 2011, Nik,"""You have come up with a conspiracy theory about the cause of the recent uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt but you persist to point the finger at the USA,""""It should be an evidence to all."""just why, as if anyone has anything to gain by blocking alternative gas supplies from North Africa it is Russia. It is they that have a monopoly and it is they that have pulled the plug on supplies in desputes with the countries their gas travels through."""First of all Russians do not have and never had any monopoly, not even in gas. In fact they are simply interested in selling more gas to Europe. European imports from North Africa will benefit Russians in the long run as Europe will increase the gas input in the energy mix of Europe and since Russians anytime can give better prices than North Africans they will eventually win more. To understand how the energy mix of Europe can change I only need to tell you that diesel engines consume natural gas just fine, with only 10% power reduction (as such 10% increase in consumption) and some 90% less pollution. See what are the possibilities? Why would Russians be against North Africans exporting to Europe? On the contrary, the idea is to make natural gas the primary energy especially in the mobility market. And in there it is a win win situation and evidently for Russians it is a double win. I repeat you that years ago Putin had done the round of North Africa having talks with North African leaders on how to contribute in the organisation of the international gas market. Do you tell me that he went there to tell them not to extract and export gas or something? That would sound comic isn't it?Guess who is the usual suspect of telling other countries not to extract and export their natural ressoures. What "conspiracy theory" are you talking about, conspiracy is something hidden, here it is all before your eyes."""An alternative supply of gas lessens the dependence on Russian supplies and lessens the leverage Gazprom have over their neighbours through which the gas travels. I think you should look more at Russian interests in North Africa than USA's."""Didn't I reply to you above? Should I repeat again:1) Gas market has the possibility to go up to more than 5 times bigger in the following years.2) Russians will always maintain the key say in gas exports as they have the abitility to produce and export cheaper than the likes of Turkmenistan or Libya?3) As such Russians are more interested in the development of an open gas market - it is not an ethnical stance, it is just that they have nothing to gain by closing the market.4) It is US that has everything to lose with the development of a non-US controlled gas market.1+1=2 Buzet, do your maths."""You also seem not to have commented on the status of the Suez canal, if Iran's wish came to pass and a fanatic fundamentalist Islamic regime took over who would suffer/gain from that if the Suez canal got blocked?"""What Iran has to do with all that again? Iranians are Shiites and as such their worst enemies are Sunnites. Last time I checked Egyptians and Tunisians are sunnites for the most of it. If any fanatic government take up Egypt, then just any western power, let alone a constortium of them, can go down and bomb them out of power, I do not see the problem. If US however won't do so, then it might as well be a plan of the US to extort even more money from the Europeans and Asians. US has a long, very long history of nurturing islamic fundamentalism - in fact everywhere you find islamists, there is US hidden behind. In Afganistan, in Caucasus, in Bosnia. US backed the genocides comitted by muslim Indonesia and it backs up Turkish kemalo-islamic expansion in the whole region so as to protect the US global interests which are to maintain only specific traderoutes that sustain the US dollar the reserve currency it is (i.e. the ficticious petrodollar). It is the US that keeps pushing for the dream-pipeline of Nabucco and it is for this reason they have been involved in every single poilitical change from central Asia to eastern Europe to try having pro-US and anti-Russian governships so as to close all access of Russia to the European markets.There is an energy war going on out there but what do common people know about all that? All they look is their inbetween differences (prime examples you see above) and why not afterall, what would they care about where they get their energy from - in anyway they will pay a price in the petrol station and they do not have the slightest clue of how this price is formed, they are not in position to know where their true interest lies.We will see more of this. I have been speaking 1 year in this blog starting from the case of the Greek crisis (which is tightly related to such issues in the sense that Greece lies between the gad rich Russia and gas rich North Africa while having valuable oil resources itself), and I have been verified again and again by the evolutions.I am the only one here that has repeatedly referred in the past to North African gas and to the accords of Silvio Berlusconi with Gadaffi... do not press me to put the links and to start boasting about my ability to predict world events. 1+1=2... if I was to play the smart by doing so it would be like stealing the candy from a baby's mouth! Sat 05 Feb 2011 16:00:58 GMT+1 faeyth http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/02/europe_treads_carefully_over_e.html?page=42#comment44 38,In Michigan, State and local Judges are elected,Federal are appointed. Sat 05 Feb 2011 15:17:39 GMT+1 powermeerkat http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/02/europe_treads_carefully_over_e.html?page=41#comment43 EU treads carefully, while Iran doesn't care: "Its supreme leader, Ayatollah Khamenei, called for an Islamic regime in Egypt." (BBC News) Sat 05 Feb 2011 14:36:09 GMT+1 powermeerkat http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/02/europe_treads_carefully_over_e.html?page=40#comment42 Jukka to Buzet: "While Jewish fundamentalists aren't embarked to turn the whole world Jewish, they are embarked to keep Israel being an Jewish state"Just like Americans try to make sure that U.S. remain an American state,Germans - that Germany remain a German state, French that France...etc.Rather than, let's say a Sharia-based caliphate.[of course if some Finns would rather see their state in its current, rather than historical borders - they're free to promote it.] Sat 05 Feb 2011 14:29:17 GMT+1 powermeerkat http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/02/europe_treads_carefully_over_e.html?page=39#comment41 Reacting to premier Cameron's speech about a failure of multiculturalism Muslim youth group The Ramadhan Foundation said that, by singling out Muslims, Mr Cameron had fed "hysteria and paranoia".Chief executive Mohammed Shafiq said: "British Muslims abhor terrorism and extremism and we have worked hard to eradicate this evil from our country."Indeed, as anyone clearly see. Sat 05 Feb 2011 13:59:28 GMT+1 powermeerkat http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/02/europe_treads_carefully_over_e.html?page=38#comment40 WebAliceinwonderland wrote:Israel of course put a big swine to Mubarak by formally openly inviting him to go live, resign and live in Israel. Saying that he is welcome.May be from best intentions, but it didn't make Mubarak's life easier at home at the moment.Indeed. IMHO it'd be much beter if Hosni was offered an asylum by Russia, and a comfortable residence in Kolyma. Or at least in Yamal.[climate being very similar to his native one. :-)))] Sat 05 Feb 2011 13:55:41 GMT+1 powermeerkat http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/02/europe_treads_carefully_over_e.html?page=37#comment39 "I'm sure the Chinese word for "Pyramid" is very pretty"In the U.S. we call it simply 'Ponzi scheme'. :-) Sat 05 Feb 2011 13:52:12 GMT+1 Rob_Hampshire http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/02/europe_treads_carefully_over_e.html?page=36#comment38 #13 As to Israel, it seems rather ironic that it seems to fear real democracy in its neighbor Arab states.------------------------Israel has good reason to fear the real danger that 'democracy' may introduce governments that are committed to Israel's destruction (like those of many other neighbouring countries). Israel has good reason to be worried that the Muslim Brotherhood may take power - the MB is linked to Hamas. Remember that Hamas totally rejects the much trumpeted '2-state solution' - its charter calls for the annihilation of Israel. The charter of Hezbollah, which is slowly seizing power in Lebanon, says the same thing. The PLO charter called (still calls?) for the 'elimination of Israel by armed struggle'. A few years ago Iran trundled a ballistic missile through the streets with 'Israel must be wiped off the map' written on the side during a parade.Remember also that this is not simply a '1967' problem. In 1948 five neighbouring countries invaded Israel to 'drive the Jews into the sea'. Just before the 1967 war Nasser, preparing for war, said 'our objective is to destroy Israel'. Even in 1920, long before the establishment of Israel as a state, Jews in the land were the victims of large-scale riots and attacks."I don't need to fear people power in my neighbour's country, so long as I'm sure the people there don't want me dead'. Sat 05 Feb 2011 13:51:38 GMT+1 powermeerkat http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/02/europe_treads_carefully_over_e.html?page=35#comment37 mh: "Who elects our judges - don't the Americans elect theirs too?"For the record: they don't. We can elect even local sheriffs, but judges are appointed. Sat 05 Feb 2011 13:49:00 GMT+1 blefuscu http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/02/europe_treads_carefully_over_e.html?page=34#comment36 "time is running for you people of israil tray to understand the massage before it is too late."Laila No 17 above.Laila, is that a threat? Sat 05 Feb 2011 13:41:50 GMT+1 bbony http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/02/europe_treads_carefully_over_e.html?page=33#comment35 @16 laila1981"the islamist are not the only power in egypt"---I would support the leadership of any brotherhood of any religion or beliefs, even scientologists or Navajo indians, as soon as they recognize the difference between the people and they call, without hesitation, for free elections. Sat 05 Feb 2011 13:39:36 GMT+1 Jukka Rohila http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/02/europe_treads_carefully_over_e.html?page=33#comment34 To Buzet23 (32):From my reading, you don't seem to condemn the expansion of Israel as harshly as you condemn the expansion of fundamentalist Islam. Both expansions are based on an imaginary man giving blessing to take land forcefully and setting an society according to religious rules. Both expansions should be condemned equally. If you do so, then we are in agreement. Sat 05 Feb 2011 13:02:21 GMT+1 powermeerkat http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/02/europe_treads_carefully_over_e.html?page=32#comment33 GH: "They [leaders assembled in Brussles] want to see in place a road map that leads to free and fair elections."Re membership in EU? Sat 05 Feb 2011 12:57:06 GMT+1 powermeerkat http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/02/europe_treads_carefully_over_e.html?page=31#comment32 GH: " What they were trying to do today was to ratchet up the pressure on the Mubarak"As if European Commission, let alone the baroness from Labour could pressure anybody for anything. :-))) [except for wretched EU citizens of course] Sat 05 Feb 2011 12:55:11 GMT+1 Buzet23 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/02/europe_treads_carefully_over_e.html?page=30#comment31 #31. At 12:35pm on 05 Feb 2011, Jukka Rohila I'm curious as to exactly what you strongly disagree with that I said, I mentioned they are not seeking to convert the world and that they are not innocent in Israel. Your words are that they wish to keep Israel Jewish and keep to biblical borders, just what is the difference to what I said. Sat 05 Feb 2011 12:49:52 GMT+1 Jukka Rohila http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/02/europe_treads_carefully_over_e.html?page=29#comment30 To Buzet23 (28):You said: "The difference between Muslim fundamentalists and Jewish fundamentalists is that the Jewish are not on an expansionist crusade to convert the world, they do not seek a world Jewish Caliphate, they are not innocent in what they do in Israel but then neither are the Palestinians."Excuse me, but I have to disagree with this very strongly. While Jewish fundamentalists aren't embarked to turn the whole world Jewish, they are embarked to keep Israel being an Jewish state and expanding it to cover its biblical borders, what ever they may be. Sat 05 Feb 2011 12:35:06 GMT+1 Buzet23 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/02/europe_treads_carefully_over_e.html?page=28#comment29 #27. At 11:52am on 05 Feb 2011, Nik,You have come up with a conspiracy theory about the cause of the recent uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt but you persist to point the finger at the USA, just why, as if anyone has anything to gain by blocking alternative gas supplies from North Africa it is Russia. It is they that have a monopoly and it is they that have pulled the plug on supplies in desputes with the countries their gas travels through. An alternative supply of gas lessens the dependence on Russian supplies and lessens the leverage Gazprom have over their neighbours through which the gas travels. I think you should look more at Russian interests in North Africa than USA's.You also seem not to have commented on the status of the Suez canal, if Iran's wish came to pass and a fanatic fundamentalist Islamic regime took over who would suffer/gain from that if the Suez canal got blocked? Sat 05 Feb 2011 12:11:02 GMT+1 Jukka Rohila http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/02/europe_treads_carefully_over_e.html?page=27#comment28 To laila1981 (24):The difference between the West and the Arab world is not religion, but the West being religion-less. Since the age of enlightenment, western societies and cultures have step by step disengaged themselves from religion. Our customs and laws aren't based on religion, they are based reason and ration, their purpose is to allow individuals to be free and society to function at optimal performance, not to please an imaginary man in the sky.Thus from the western point of view, from the point of view of developed world which to note is more than just the west, any kind of advance or praising of religion is a sign of going backwards, a sign of fundamentalism be it Christian, Muslim or Jewish based. That is not an acceptable direction. Sat 05 Feb 2011 12:05:54 GMT+1 Buzet23 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/02/europe_treads_carefully_over_e.html?page=26#comment27 #24. At 11:21am on 05 Feb 2011, laila1981In 'our secular' democracies Muslims have no more rights than any other body of people or religion and nor should they, but with rights goes responsibilities and one of those is to respect and adhere to the laws of the country. The frequently expressed Islamic inability to accept our laws amid claims that Islam and sharia law is Gods and therefore superior shows a desire to extort a privileged status for Muslims. There is absolutely no evidence that Islam is a tolerant religion and much evidence that it is a on a crusade much as Christianity was many centuries ago, a Muslim friend told me this many years by the way. A tolerant religion would not permit or refuse to condemn the frequent bombings that occur both in Non-Muslim nations and Muslim nations. It is a fact that the attacks by Muslim fanatics in the UK resulted in a very notable silence from the UK Muslim groups, a tolerant religion would have seen its leaders roundly condemning the acts and letting it be known within the mosques that such behaviour is contrary to Islam, but no the silence is still deafening.The difference between Muslim fundamentalists and Jewish fundamentalists is that the Jewish are not on an expansionist crusade to convert the world, they do not seek a world Jewish Caliphate, they are not innocent in what they do in Israel but then neither are the Palestinians. Sat 05 Feb 2011 11:56:36 GMT+1 Nik http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/02/europe_treads_carefully_over_e.html?page=25#comment26 We are talking about gas deals and geopolitical games and people are still talking about poor muslims and other such depressing stuff... unFbelievable Sat 05 Feb 2011 11:52:42 GMT+1 Nik http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/02/europe_treads_carefully_over_e.html?page=24#comment25 24. At 11:21am on 05 Feb 2011, laila1981 wrote whatever.... Sat 05 Feb 2011 11:51:48 GMT+1 bbony http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/02/europe_treads_carefully_over_e.html?page=23#comment24 "It could well be a different place by the time she gets there."In short, fear and unwillingness to support the change. The same old prominent EU foreign policy, relaxed and well fit for purpose. In the meantime let the Muslim Brotherhood or Mubarak regime consolidate, if they can. And surely they can. The EU foreign policy of supporting the right side, whoever is fighting for democracy, is never too late. Sat 05 Feb 2011 11:28:02 GMT+1 laila1981 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/02/europe_treads_carefully_over_e.html?page=22#comment23 first of all even you in your secular regimes you don't accept that Muslims have equal right with you and you are saying that they are threaten your culture and you have to defend it, in a secular regime like France and Swiss talking about freedom, brotherhood and equality they have baned hijab in scools baned minarets and nikab. you are saying that islam dont respect other religion go and read first about islam yes we muslims believe that we are wright and the others are wrong but also christians, jews, boudist, hindous also believe that they are wright and the others are wrong it is normal. i am not saying that we are angels but Islam have prove that he is one of the must tolerant religions in his history.we muslim we do respect the others religion and the prove is that we let theme live with the laws of there religions but you even that christianism refuse divorce, prostitution, homosexuality, abortion and sexual freedom you have impose that to the Christians and the church so it is you who don't respect others religions.you are also talking about fundamentalism in islam and you are ignoring fundamentalism in israel that you are defending and this is really ironic for me religious in israel are controlling the army and they have parties in the government and always behind violence and nobody in the west criticize that. also in the USA there is fundamentalist Christians pro Zionism and they have great impact on parties like the republican party and they have also a great impact on the army and economy in the USA and it is theme who are behind the war in irak and Afghanistan, bush have said it is a new crusade and tony blair admits that his Christians believes are behind his agree to occupy irak and that he read the bible before that and dont tell me that everthing started with the 9/11 this is not true it started realy when your country created israel as a continuing of the crusades in order to bury the Arabic and Islamic world in violence, hate and disorder so he could never stand up again so you are the danger for us not us the danger for you. what alqaida is doing is terrorism of groups but what your country is doing with the USA is terrorism of states and your country is participating in the occupation of two countries in the 21 century and you are talking about islam realy ironic. Sat 05 Feb 2011 11:21:01 GMT+1 Nik http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/02/europe_treads_carefully_over_e.html?page=21#comment22 17. At 09:31am on 05 Feb 2011, laila1981 wrote:.... dear, the world does not revolve around you muslims. Try to understand that you are small part of the world but since you happaned to be found in the middle game - you will be used so.The troubles in Tynisia and Egypt have little to do with the whatever anger of people against their long standing governments and more to do with the energy traderoute games.North Africa is at a cross-road today with countries being ready to sign up deals for the export of petrol and especially gas. One such country with the most of ressources is Libya.What happened in Tynisia and Egypt had eveything to do with the recent preaccords between Moamar and Silvio - a project on creating a standard pipelined gas traderoute which evidently should pass via Tynisia. It has to be noted that the previous (virtually dethroned by fires and anarchist streetfighting - accidental?) Greek government had declared an interest in the project. Apparently, Tynisians are naturally interested in such an evolution making them an energy traderoute crossroad and as such Ben Ali declared his interest in that and by doing so he sealed his fate just like so many other governments behind him.Cos it is not up to the interest of the US to see the creation of such a situation where Italy, Greece and the rest of Europe. Hence they hit by organising the streetfighting yet once again in 2 more countries which happen to be on the two sides of the gas containing Libya (not to mention that Egypt has too some, so it has to be taken out too).Utterly naif people above think it is all about people demanding their rights - I have even saw one such naif saying that "It is refreshing to see for a change US supporting the people in the streets"... aee aee aee arriva muchachos! Zoro y los trios cavalleros... what else are we going to hear!!!Anyway... now the most funny thing is that we had in the previous thread Gavin mentioning how Turkey's Erdogan gained momentum with these events. However he failed to tell us that Erdogan is the US watch boy in the region as Turkey is the premium key country for the creation of the Nabucco gas pipeline project - dream of a summer night that US wants to see realised - for the provision of gas to Europe from Turkmenistan, Azerbaitzan, Georgia and Turkey (i.e. 4 of the most unstable countries you can find outside the perimeter of Europe) and forbid Europe to buy directly from Russia or Libya which are the only logical solutions for Europe.But people, what people know? I am speaking 1 year now here and people keep on being drowned in a spoonfull of water... they think it is all about local dictatorships and peoples' anger. Go on, keep on sleeping if you like. Whoever knows, knows, the sleeper can keep on sleeping and being waken up only after the fire has started to run out and see the house burn wondering if the fire was his gas kitchen or a forgotten cigaret... Sat 05 Feb 2011 10:45:39 GMT+1 kaybraes http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/02/europe_treads_carefully_over_e.html?page=20#comment21 The EU has about as much influence on the Egyptians as the northern lights. If Baroness Ashton makes a trip to Egypt, apart from having a nice wee junket, she is more liable to frighten the camels than help with the problem. As far as Israel is concerned, I suspect they couldn't care less who runs Egypt, they can more than comfortably cope with anything Islam can throw at them anyway, and if push comes to shove,they are more prepared to sacrifice all for their existence than any of their enemies. Sat 05 Feb 2011 10:41:02 GMT+1 Buzet23 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/02/europe_treads_carefully_over_e.html?page=19#comment20 #17. At 09:31am on 05 Feb 2011, laila1981I think you have just shown us the impossibility of a true peace between Israel and the Muslim world, you say Israel must change and prove that they want to live peacefully with you, yet you make no mention of the fact that Islam does not accept alternative religions as being equal. Until Islam changes it will have difficultly throughout the world, there are fanatics in all religions but the religions rarely claim total superiority and those that do are sidelined (Jehovah's, Scientology etc). You have to marginalise the Islamic fundamentalists that are so extreme if you are to be trusted by anyone who is not a believer in Islam, until then the Muslim world will always be viewed as potentially dangerous. Sat 05 Feb 2011 10:32:04 GMT+1 democracythreat http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/02/europe_treads_carefully_over_e.html?page=18#comment19 john wrote:"This it make me laugh the EU do not act like the USA.So to all people which complain including the against EU crowd please make you mind up the EU to be able to speak with a single voice must become a political-fiscal and federal union and for me this must be now, only wen the above is in place the European people will have a voice in the world."If there was one thing the global financial crisis must have taught everybody, it is simply that German and French bankers are treated just as favourably as American bankers. Indeed they were just as well treated in America as they were in Europe, and visa versa.The idea that the "European people" will have a voice by accepting an undemocratic EU regime dictating economic policy is difficult to grasp. Sat 05 Feb 2011 10:14:49 GMT+1 powermeerkat http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/02/europe_treads_carefully_over_e.html?page=17#comment18 This post has been Removed Sat 05 Feb 2011 10:09:28 GMT+1 john http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/02/europe_treads_carefully_over_e.html?page=16#comment17 This it make me laugh the EU do not act like the USA.So to all people which complain including the against EU crowd please make you mind up the EU to be able to speak with a single voice must become a political-fiscal and federal union and for me this must be now, only wen the above is in place the European people will have a voice in the world.john Sat 05 Feb 2011 09:38:55 GMT+1 laila1981 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/02/europe_treads_carefully_over_e.html?page=15#comment16 also concerning that if the regim of mubarak will end that will be a danger for israil because the islamist will take the power this is also not true. it is not only the islamist that have a position from israil but also the other powers like the communist the nationalist and the left power in the arabic world.for you infortunatly this is always the fault of arabs and muslims if they have a position from israil it is not the fault of israil it is not that israil have done nothing to make theme accept here it is not that israil refuse to leave the land of 1967 it is not that they are continuing to steel palestinians land and built setelments it is not that they are continuing killing palestinians and destroing there homes and they want to have jerusalem for theme only.personaly i have nothing against jews believe it or not you are free jews have always live in the islamic world and if they change we are ready to accept theme between us but they have to change and to proove that they want to live peacfuly whith us.time is running for you people of israil tray to understand the massage before it is too late. Sat 05 Feb 2011 09:31:32 GMT+1 laila1981 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/02/europe_treads_carefully_over_e.html?page=14#comment15 concerning that the islamist will govern if the regime of mobarak will end this is not true the islamist are not the only power in egypt and the arabic and islamic world so stop using this to mak people fear the change.you have to anderstand a lot of peaple in the arabic world are pro islamist including me so moderate parties as muslim brother have to exist and to be accepted in the democratic game to represent those people if not tere will be a great hole and it will be occupied by extremist. Sat 05 Feb 2011 09:05:59 GMT+1 laila1981 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/02/europe_treads_carefully_over_e.html?page=13#comment14 first of all excuse me my English is not so good i want to say that as Arab and Muslim i am really shoct for the reactions on the west to what happened in Tunisia and what happening now in Egypt comparing to your reactions and coverage to the demonstrations in Iran you were so clear that you want the regime of Ahmadi nejad to end and now you have doubts this is really shameful and hypocrite for me. Sat 05 Feb 2011 08:54:01 GMT+1 Buzet23 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/02/europe_treads_carefully_over_e.html?page=12#comment13 #13. At 07:57am on 05 Feb 2011, Manneken,The words of a true Neanderthal, you have yet to understand that outside interference is the one thing that can be counter productive to Egypt, yet you still go on about has the EU done enough. By the machinations of its dubious politicians and the self interest of EU policy, such as it is, and members it has probably made things much worse. If there is one thing that is clear it is that if the Egyptians manage to resolve this peaceably by themselves the EU mandarins will try to claim that it played the key role, as will Obama, Putin, and uncle tom cobley and all. Sat 05 Feb 2011 08:50:02 GMT+1 Manneken http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/02/europe_treads_carefully_over_e.html?page=11#comment12 #11Thank you for confirming the Byzantine nature of your contributions. I'm sure the Egyptians will appreciate the extremely important differences between the democratic legitimacy of a directed US president and the combination of elected EU member state heads of government.The point of the discussion here is whether the EU is doing enough, within the tools of policy it has at its disposal.In respect of who will win democratic elections in Egypt, and what the effect on relationships with Israel will be, there seems to be a good bit of scaremongering. It is not certain that the Brotherhood would get a majority. This uprising is not of their doing.Why not refer to the examples of Indonesia and Turkey, where "Islam-Democrat" parties (like the "Christian-Democrat" parties of many EU countries, including Germany, Italy, Belgium, Holland, Austria, etc...) play an important role. They are typically morally conservative and economically centre or centre-right, are an important force for stability, and truly democratic.And why not make very clear to Egypt that the EU, within its tools, will actively support such transition?As to Israel, it seems rather ironic that it seems to fear real democracy in its neighbor Arab states. Surely that tells you something about the justification of its colonization policy? Sat 05 Feb 2011 07:57:01 GMT+1 Mathiasen http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/02/europe_treads_carefully_over_e.html?page=10#comment11 Mr. Hewitt,Europe cannot act like the USA. That is also what many European governments, including the British, want. The last observation of the article is correct, and suddenly it becomes clear to everybody that European leaders are not unambiguously against dictatorship and for democracy. Of course, the record sounded quite different in the days of the Iraq war... May I suggest we use the expression realpolitik to explain the apparently conflicting positions. Sat 05 Feb 2011 07:51:54 GMT+1 Buzet23 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/02/europe_treads_carefully_over_e.html?page=9#comment10 #8. At 11:46pm on 04 Feb 2011, margaret howard A typical rant against England and the system in place, none of us would expect anything different from you MH as you've yet to offer any comment of real value. You couldn't even bear to mention that the Home secretary and Foreign secretary have actually been elected as MP's, and as far as local elections go why not get off your Scottish butt and join the party of your choice, it is not too difficult to become a candidate and even get elected if you're any good and liked. Either that or return to your beloved Scottish paradise from where most Scots have fled for some strange unbeknown reason.Contrast the EU members like the UK with the EU itself, the two most powerful institutions are the Commission and Council of Europe and neither have anybody who is elected, only the EP is elected, of the three 'presidents' neither Barroso nor Van Rompuy were elected and I forget the name of the third as he is too irrelevant. The Foreign minister Baroness 'who' Ashton is unelected. It is no wonder the voice of the EU is unheard, besides the question 'why should it be in any case' it is an artificial political construct of little value except to the ego's of politicians. Sat 05 Feb 2011 06:55:41 GMT+1 WebAliceinwonderland http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/02/europe_treads_carefully_over_e.html?page=8#comment9 Israel of course put a big swine to Mubarak by formally openly inviting him to go live, resign and live in Israel. Saying that he is welcome.May be from best intentions, but it didn't make Mubarak's life easier at home at the moment. Sat 05 Feb 2011 01:22:21 GMT+1 euormartin http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/02/europe_treads_carefully_over_e.html?page=7#comment8 No government can face down the power of people when they take to protest in such numbers and strength of conviction. @#2It is a positive move to see the US for a change take a chance in such popular transition above the interest of an old ally. Even though US allies in the past have been more than a bit dodgey. The EU is just finding its way and will say yes to anything. But whupping the Egyptians up the Nile if the Brotherhood comes in from the cold is for sure old fashioned paranoia. Israel is being sane about this change. It knows at some stage working out a deal is less a problem than whupping Muslims up the Nile...carry on dreaming Fri 04 Feb 2011 23:56:32 GMT+1 margaret howard http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/02/europe_treads_carefully_over_e.html?page=6#comment7 5 buzet writes:"For once you have said something true "Hillary Clinton was not elected. She is appointed by the President," and unlike in your beloved, perfect EU the president is elected directly, game, set and match."So who elects our Foreign Secretary, the Home Secretary, the Governor of the Bank of England? In America they even elect their own chief of police or fire service. We can't even elect our own mayor in our small town, its buggins turn, let Marjorie have it this year. Who elects our judges - don't the Americans elect theirs too?We have a Lord Lieutenant of Lincolnshire, god only knows what he does or who gave him the job. And then of course our unelected head of state who still dissolves parliament, whose sons are dukes of cornwall and other regions in England. Who appointed them and if they have no more power today why have them and what do they cost us? Added to that we have a 2-party first past the post system which means that a good number of people, me included, are never and never have been represented in over forty years of voting. One if financed by the unions and the other by the landowners and big businessmen. The concerns of ordinary voters are the last things on their minds. So where is your much vaunted democracy and why do you constantly berate the European Union for being undemocratic? This country is one of the most undemocratic countries in the western world and yet you would like us to believe that we citizens are being cheated and short changed by Europe. Fri 04 Feb 2011 23:46:17 GMT+1 Nik http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/02/europe_treads_carefully_over_e.html?page=5#comment6 Still missing the point? I already spoke.The events have absolutely nothing to do with whatever anger of Tynisian and Egyptian people.. 20 and 30 years now, how on earth did they remember to react now... after so many decades and only after 5-6 months after the preaccords of Gadaffi to export to Italy (and thus EU) huge quantities of gas via pipelines that would naturally pass via Tynisia and hoping to Sicily, then Italian mainland.So what about the "peoples' anger hitting Tynisia and Egypt and missing Libya? Is it Gadafi's hold to power? Or are Libyans so satisfied with Gadafi (haha! delighted!).Some people need to open a map when hearing of such events and striving to understand. Fri 04 Feb 2011 23:23:39 GMT+1 rgar http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/02/europe_treads_carefully_over_e.html?page=4#comment5 I think it's too early to tell whether it will be Turkey or Iran (or other regional powers) who will be strengthened by the current events, but it's not too early to tell that, due to early blunders and fecklessness, Europe's already feeble influence in the region surely has taken a colossal hit - the most extreme example being France, offering police to Ben Ali to help repress the protests just days before not only his regime was overthrown, but the wave of popular protest spread to much of the Arab world. At least the US never publicly offered help to these regimes in keeping their own people down, and distanced itself early from Mubarak. Surely if you choose realpolitik over principle, and even your realpolitik is an unmitigated failure (as is now the case for Europe regarding these events), you cannot expect to be taken seriously (US influence will probably be diminished also, but not nearly as much). As for the EU itself and Ashton, what do they represent when the member states cannot agree among themselves? Without agreement among the leading EU states, the EU seems an empty shell, the notion of a common foreign policy a laughingstock (after all, member states still largely control the purse strings, and have their own armies and diplomatic corps). Fri 04 Feb 2011 23:13:08 GMT+1 Buzet23 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/02/europe_treads_carefully_over_e.html?page=3#comment4 #11. At 8:03pm on 04 Feb 2011, democracythreat ,Welcome back DT, there have been a few here who have missed your legal analysis. Your last sentence in #2 is most succinct.#4. At 8:44pm on 04 Feb 2011, MannekenFor once you have said something true "Hillary Clinton was not elected. She is appointed by the President," and unlike in your beloved, perfect EU the president is elected directly, game, set and match. Fri 04 Feb 2011 21:57:19 GMT+1 Manneken http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/02/europe_treads_carefully_over_e.html?page=2#comment3 It is true that the US and the EU have a very different choice of policy tools.But notwithstanding that, it seems like the EU is a lot less efficient in using the tools it actually has.What is stopping the EU, and in particular Ashton, from making very clear commitments towards the Egyptian people that it will deal very favorable with a democratic Egypt. Access to the EU market is a very efficient tool. As a member of the Commission, she can make real commitments.Ashton has a very diminished view of her position : she seems to see herself as a simple spokesperson for the Counsel.That's not her job, though. She is the foreign minister of the EU (except in name). She should use the power of her voice, not hide it. She can make important statements on behalf of the Union, that the Member States would not disagree with (like the promise of help and assistance). She's just afraid to stick out her neck.What is she waiting for, confirmation of her renewed appointment?(to the Eurosceptic Byzantines: Hillary Clinton was not elected. She is appointed by the President, and confirmed by the Senate. Ashton is appointed by the governments, and confirmed by the EP. Their appointment process does not diminish their position or credibility to the outside world. The world outside the EU actually doesn't care about the difference between a 95 or 96% "democratic" nature of Ashton's appointment - certainly not when you take such a byzantine approach to the word "democratic"). Fri 04 Feb 2011 20:44:48 GMT+1