|Cyrenaica: "an epicenter of anti-American Jihad"|
We almost forget that it started with monster floods in Queensland. Worst in recorded history. Then the earthquake in Queenstown. Queens and Queens, enough to make one a republican.
Roiling away in the foreground: the Arabian revolutions -- "jasmine" for some reason I haven't noted and am too lazy to google; perhaps we've run out of colours, though I seem to recall that some of the early East European ones were "velvet".
Then the crunch in Japan, the triple whammy, biggest earthquake recorded, 15 metre tsunami and the melt-down of nuclear power stations.
Japan: The earthquake moved Japan 3 and a half metres closer to the US. The Yakuza, their organised crime dudes, were some of the first in Sendai after the wave -- some for the first with aid and assistance. No doubt positioning themselves for the rush of construction to come. Not to mention "waste management".
The fortitude and spirit of cooperation amongst survivors, amidst the tragedy, is much commented on, and praised. Who can forget that wave, rushing across the land, destroying everything in its path, captured in live, supplemented over coming days with more from the bays and inlets up and down the coast where whole communities were wiped off the map.
Libya: the opposition dudes in the East, that the US and Nato are now assisting, are in an area that used to be called Cyrenaica and may have to again. It's only been part of Libya since the 1940s. It's a hothouse of Al Qaeda, according to none other than the Rolling Stone, that reliably lefty magazine, so it must be true. Actually, it fits in with the story of the whole area being more tribal than national. See the Spectator article by John Bradley with its great map of the Sunni-Shia split in the region. Something I hadn't known: that East Saudi Arabia is actually Shia not Sunni (as is the Royal family and most of Saudi), hence the concern about them ganging up with Bahrain.
Courtesy: "Battle Lines", by John Bradley, Spectator, 19 March 2011
And what about Obama, before he took on Gaddafi's forces, saying that "Gaddafi must go", BUT when he sent in the planes, no mention of that aim. Isn't that a bit odd?
Egypt: the Muslim Brotherhood is taking a major role post Mubarrak. Gee, what a surprise! Actually, the only ones surprised would be those on the left --- BBC, The Guardian, CNN, the ever-reliable uber-dhimmi Roger Cohen -- who went on, and on, and boringly on, about how wonderful the whole thing was cause it was "the democratic will of the people", they were all in it together, it was all so terribly secular and lovey-dovey, men and women together, nothing anti-western anti-American anti-Israeli about it, it was something new, a new democratic paradigm. Except it wasn't and isn't. To no surprise to many other commentators -- mostly, but not exclusively on the right -- who warned that the Brotherhood was there and would be playing a part in post-Mubarrak Egypt. And we now have many reports that that's just what's happening.