Middle East at Critical Mass

Turkey's Erdogan says his country is "ready for anything" as Turkey sends three military ships to the eastern Mediterranean to "defend against Israeli vessels". Debka reports that "If Turkish warships encounter an Israeli military ship outside Israel's 12-mile territorial waters, they will advance up to 100 meters from the ship and disable its weapon system."

Meanwhile, Russia says welcome as Iran goes nuclear.

And according to this enigmatic report, an unnamed IDF naval officer violated the territorial waters of an unnamed foreign country, and got a week in an Israeli brig.

Remarks. Via Meadia says that the Middle East is "on the boil", and Belmont Club concurs. Mead:

With the end of the Cold War, history began to return to a “normal” velocity. Countries got frisky; France has fallen in and out with both the United States and Germany several times since 1989. The rise of China and India transforms the international scene in a way that was common before 1945 but rare during the Cold War.

Fernandez oberves: "It bears recalling that the Cold war saw both the 1967 and 1973 Wars. So normal velocity does not necessarily augur good news."

Indeed. Michael Totten's latest report from Cairo explains that

The army and the Islamists have a strange relationship with each other that neither explains or is honest about. The state has viciously repressed the Brotherhood at times while at other times using it as either a sword or a shield against liberals.

Traditionally, Egypt's army and its Islamists have been antagonistic to one another. But what happens if they join forces?

No doubt Washington and Jerusalem prefer to do business with the military instead of the Brotherhood even if the regime was founded in a spirit of Arab Nationalism and Egyptian supremacy. But what if the U.S. and Israel will soon have to contend with both?