Lybian Ship Approaches Malta, Arab League Meets, Europeans Evacuated, Iranian Ships in Suez

Posted on February 22, 2011

So much movement in the Middle East – so much confusion and the removal of so many from the west will change the face of the region for a long time to come.  The violence has pushed out the unwanted westerners and perhaps one day their interests; the violence has ushered in new political realities that may also markedly change the face of the region.

One unknown:  How far will the reach of this upheaval extend?  A Libyan vessel with defectors on board is headed toward Malta.  Italy and Malta have had close relations with Libya over many years.  The have previously cooperated on immigration.  Now the flood gates have opened and the migration will change Europe and perhaps disrupt it.

The Arab League has not banished Libya but will no longer allow Libyan representatives to sit in on meetings.  The League is populated with so many of the oil rich states but is poorly organized.  There is no will to be able to do something about the situation now.  There is no agreement on major issues. They have failed on a larger, macro contextual level according to al Jazeera on air reporting.

Britain, Holland, and other European countries as well as the US have sent planes and boats to evacuate their citizens.  The French government told French teachers in the Maghreb region to close their schools.  There is a sense that they will not return soon if at all.

Meanwhile, two Iranian ships are making their way through the Suez Canal.

Two Iranian naval ships have entered the Suez Canal for the first time since Iran’s Islamic revolution in 1979.

Officials in Iran have said the vessels are going to Syria for training, a mission Israel described as a “provocation”.

Egypt’s transitional government granted them permission, as under international agreements access can only be denied in the case of war or safety issues. [BBC]

The world teeters on the brink.  China is clamping down on challenges to its government that have recently arisen.  Meanwhile, in the US, Barack Obama remains silent in order to avoid speaking out with unintended consequences. [al Jazeera on air]

Well, Mr. President, that is what being a leader involves – taking chances.  You have to take a stand.  Whenever you do and under any circumstances, what you say may be misconstrued.  However, perhaps he may speak out once Europeans and Americans have been safely evacuated or our troops have returned home.

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