Micah Halpern, middle eastern analyst and commentator, is a long-time friend of The Morning Zone. Hear his audio blog live each weekday morning at 6:33 and 9:35 during The Morning Zone on AM650 KGAB or on our live stream at www.kgab.com.
Coup in Egypt
By Micah Halpern

Friday June 15, 2012

Yesterday Egypt's Supreme Court disbanded the Egyptian parliament, effective immediately.

In one fell swoop the Supreme Court pulled power from the Muslim Brotherhood and the Nuri Party, the two Islamic parties now in control of the parliament.

The Supreme Court also struck down a law preventing Mubarak cronies from running. That means that non-Islamic candidate Ahmed Shafik who had served as Mubarak's prime minister can run for office.

Since the original parliamentary elections were held six months ago, support for the Islamic parties has dwindled. They have been seen as partisan and have not been successful at uniting Egypt. The parliament is fractionalized and has not been effective in just about any area.

Disbanding the parliament almost certainly assures that the new election will usher in non-Islamists and guarantee the election of Shafik as president over Mohammed Morsi of the Islamist party.

This was a Supreme Court coup and it was very effective. If the new president can take the reins and really start to lead it will prove to be even more effective.

A New Cold War
By Micah Halpern

Thursday June 14, 2012

There has been speculation in certain corridors that the conflict in Syria is causing major dispute between Russia and the US.

The big question is whether this conflict can lead to another Cold War.

The answer is absolutely not .

This conflict could, however, cause some serious instability around the globe. It has divided the major powers. The split puts the United States and the West on one side and Russia, Iran and China on the other.

The two sides have conflicting goals about the world and power and Syria is the pawn that they are fighting over. Syria is just a small example of the difference. Add Iran to the equation and the issue becomes even more pronounced.

Those differences will not create a cold war. All the parties share economic ties. There is much that binds them. They will continue to pursue their own self interests and those interests, despite differences and even conflicts, will ebb and flow.

That is the nature of today's foreign affairs.

Iran Plans Nuke Sub
By Micah Halpern

Wednesday June 13, 2012

Yesterday Iran announced plans to build their own nuclear submarine.

That would be a nuclear powered submarine, not a submarine carrying nuclear weapons.

A nuclear sub can stay underwater for an unlimited amount of time and never need to resurface. It can stay at high speeds all the time and it runs very quietly. A diesel sub can only stay submerged for a few hours at high speed.

Nuclear subs are new and highly sophisticated weapons. They are not nuclear bombs but their nuclear technology makes them very dangerous. The only down side to the nuclear powered sub is that the nuclear core gets hot and gives off a thermal signature unique to nuclear subs. So if you are looking for it - you can find it.

Iran says they are not developing nuclear weapons and that is an outright lie. Nuclear submarines are weapons. Definitely, weapons.

Iran & US Playing Games
By Micah Halpern

Monday June 11, 2012

The United States has expressed serious disappointment about Iranian discussions with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

Now Iran is telling Russia that not enough preparations have been made to insure a successful meeting in Moscow. The meeting is scheduled for June 18 and 19.

Both Iran and the US are playing games.

The United States wants to make it clear that the international community has dropped the ball and that they are letting Iran slip away without any significant effort or compromise. Iran, on the other hand, is prepping Russia for failure in the talks they plan to host.

Iran wants to get more and the United States wants to give less.

Guess who will get what they want.

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