Senate Revolution in the Muslim World

Discussion in 'Archive: The Senate Floor' started by Lowbacca_1977, Jan 28, 2011.

  1. Lowbacca_1977 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 28, 2006
    star 6
    I've been intending to get this going, and things keep escalating, but it seems like a larger phenomenon might be underway now in the Muslim world.

    While there have been other revolutions in the Muslim world, there seems to be a new group underway, and the starting point for these would be the Tunisian uprising that began with protests in December of last year and culminated in President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali fleeing the country on January 14. Ben Ali was a leader that was supported by many in the west as an alternative to fundamentalism, and was considered to be one of the safest leaders in the Muslim world with 23 years in power, and his government being toppled caused great concern for other leaders in the region, as well as being cheered on by many in other Muslim countries that don't have real democracy in choosing their leaders.
    Looking at what led to the government being brought down in Tunisia is a focus on economics and demographics. A country where a large majority of the population is young, under 30, and the economy means that a number of them are either unemployed or facing limited economic opportunities led to the story of Mohamed Bouazizi, a 26-year old street vendor that had been unsuccessful in finding other work, and who set himself on fire in protest after having his wares confisgated by police and the refusal of the government to hear his complaints over how he was treated. Protests started December 18, the day after Bouazizi set himself on fire, and with government trying to stop those protests, which led to the January 14th departure of the president as the protests became a greater call for change, both politically and economically.

    Looking across the Muslim world, many of the factors that created the Tunisian uprising can be found elsewhere, as a large population under 30, high unemployment or limited economic opportunity, and leaders that have been the head of government can be found in many other countries, and in the immediate aftermath of Tunisia's government falling, attention was immediately focused on other countries that were poised to take a similar path, Egypt being possibly the most prominent.


    In the two weeks since then, we've seen protests in several other Muslim countries. Protests in Lebanon that took place January 25 over Hezbollah consolidating political strength could very well be argued as a seperate political issue from this, but I mention it in here for completion.

    In Yemen, a country where coooperation with Ali Abdullah Saleh's government has been viewed as key by Western governments concerned with the popularity of Al-Queda in the country (Yemen being the origin of several terrorist attacks), protests have started against Saleh, who has been the president of the country for 32 years. This comes as an increase in conflict there as parts of Yemen have been pushing for secession for some time already, and the most recent protests seem to be growing opposition to the government.

    In Egypt, considered a very key country for relations with Israel, protests have focused on Hosni Mubarak, another leader popular in the west that has been in office for 30 years now, and protests have gained such momentum there that Egypt has shut down phone and internet communications in the country vitually entirely to limit their role in organising the protests against the government. The role that the Tunisian uprising played in motivating Egypt, at least, seems hard to ignore, with statements like: "What happened in Tunisia has changed things a bit. It knocked some sense into people." coming from protestors in Egypt. Additionally, self-immolations have continued to take place, in Egyp
  2. Alpha-Red Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 25, 2004
    star 5
    I think we ought to throw our support behind the Egyptian protesters. Sure it's a risk, but isn't it much riskier to take the side of a dictator like we did with the Shah in Iran? Mubarak has been a valuable ally in the region sure, but these protests change everything. If his people want him out, then we have no business standing in their way.
  3. SuperWatto Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Sep 19, 2000
    star 5
    I agree with Alpha.

    We'll have to see what happens this weekend, but it looks like I'm going to have to rethink being newsfree during February... this could be historic.
  4. Ghost Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 13, 2003
    star 6
    I believe the leader of Yemen has agreed to step down following a peaceful transition either later this year or in 2012.

    As for Egypt, the best solution would probably be for Mubarak to leave but let the military take control, and try to follow the model of Turkey, with the military ensuring a peaceful and orderly transition to a more democratic government and new leadership, but keeping the Muslim Brotherhood from power, and remaining a powerful faction within the democracy.
  5. Raven Administrator Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Oct 5, 1998
    star 6

    There are two things that concern me. Firstly, if the reforms succeed, and frustration over lack of swift improvement could lead to resentment and backlash into a more authoritarian government. Secondly, sadly less troubling, is the chance of greater government crackdowns and repression. If the second happens, democracy will be delayed, but in the long term I think people will want it more. If the first happens, the overall status queue might not be very different five or ten years from now.



    I'm also curious if the Facebook/Twitter revolutionary trend will spread outside of the Arab world, and how far it will spread inside the Arab world. One final thing I'm curious about: the average level of education among women in the countries that are revolting. One feature about Iran that I recall is that women have an average of 15 years of education and the highest female to male ration in post-secondary institutions in the world; the result is a well educated middle class with a low birth rate, which seems to be one of the prerequisites for a stable democratic society. Iran is almost there right now. Tunisia has a pretty good chance of making it I think. Education is a key, key factor.
  6. Ghost Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 13, 2003
    star 6
    This bugs me. It is not a Facebook/Twitter revolutionary trend. Yeah, it probably helped the minority of younger people who have Internet access to coordinate (before they shut the Internet down yesterday), but the majority of protestors have no Internet access anyways.

    This isn't about democracy or human rights. It's about economic issues, corruption, and the people just tired of having Mubarak as their leader. The gap between rich and poor has widened and become more evident, prices keep rising, and the entire country may have been stable for decades but it's also been so stable it's become stagnant.



    EDIT:

    Protests in Jordan now, but they seem to just be aimed at the Jordanian Prime Minister (at this time, anyways).



    EDIT 2:

    Some Republican is suggesting that the U.S. should back Mubarak and side against the people, saying that our mistake was not backing the Shah enough in Iran. :rolleyes:

    Don't people understand that Mubarak is 82 years old? He's mortal, he's going to die, sooner than later. He's going to fall soon anyways, whether it's from revolution or military coup or old age. And what happens when the inevitable happens?
  7. GrandAdmiralPelleaon Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 28, 2000
    star 6
    Would you please change the title to "revolution in the Arab world"? Not everyone in North Africa is a Muslim, nor is the revolution the result of the dominant religion - Islam - in the region. In case you didn't know, Tunisia has a strong secular tradition as well, as does Egypt, and Egypt also has a sizable Christian minority, that is just as much part of this 'revolution' and just as much victimized by the power structures in place. This is not a revolution that was sparked by religious doctrine, don't refer to it that way.

    Let's stop the binary thinking. If a revolution happened in Europe, North, Central or South America would you term it a 'revolution in the Christian World'? Would a revolution in India be described as 'Revolution in the Hindu World'?

    DarthArsenal6 likes this.
  8. Alpha-Red Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 25, 2004
    star 5
    Perhaps, but the rallying cry for the American Revolution wasn't democracy either so much as it was throwing out the British. Also if this were merely about economic issues, where did the protesters find the guts to defy curfews, and go up against riot police and tanks? You wouldn't be on the streets, risking getting shot or arrested, simply for increased government subsidies. You'd do it if you seriously got sick of tyranny fifteen years ago and are now reaching the boiling point....
  9. Lowbacca_1977 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 28, 2006
    star 6
    I went back and forth on what to call this, and the largest issue was that, personally, I don't this is altogether a separate phenomenon from what we saw in Iran in 2009-2010, and, while it may be me being optimistic, I would also think that if these protests continue to spread, it is possible to see them reappear in Iran as well, and so to look at the larger scope of the whole region and many similar countries is why I went with Muslim World rather than Arab World, as Iran isn't Arab. While I used that as a descriptor for the region of the world, at no point did I say that these were Muslim protests. To quote the wikipedia section on the phrase Muslim world, "In a historical or geopolitical sense, the term usually refers collectively to Muslim-majority countries."
    Referring to this as "Revolution in countries that may or may not be in the Middle East, may or may not be Arab, and all have majority Muslim populations with varying percentages of other religions and a mix of secular tradition" wasn't going to fit as a subject line.
  10. GrandAdmiralPelleaon Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 28, 2000
    star 6
    It's currently being referred to as the Maghreb-revolution over here. I still don't like the term 'Muslim World' as it's far too laden with meaning for too many people who - let's be honest - have zero interest or knowledge about the region. Also, say the protests flash over to Armenia, then 'Muslim world' would be hardly fitting, wouldn't it? Right now, it's taking place in North Africa, it'd be a better description tbh.

    Also, next up apparently: Syria, 5 February (next week). I'm seeing this pop up as the date of the Syrian 'day of anger' with "Bye bye Al Assad" on the facebook pages of friends from the region. This is going fast, if their information is correct.
  11. SuperWatto Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Sep 19, 2000
    star 5
    It's time for us Western folk to make a choice, too: about how we see democracy.

    If a country has democratic elections and the result is a victory for fundamentalists, is that wrong?

    If fundamentalists then start practicing Sharia law, thereby disregarding the rights of minorities, is that democratic?

    How can democracy and Human Rights be guaranteed?
  12. Alpha-Red Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 25, 2004
    star 5
    If a country has democratic elections and the result is a victory for fundamentalists, is that wrong? If fundamentalists then start practicing Sharia law, thereby disregarding the rights of minorities, is that democratic? How can democracy and Human Rights be guaranteed?

    I think that's a risk we're just going to have to take. If we're not willing to put some trust in the Egyptian people, what reason will they have to trust us when they either topple Mubarak or die trying?

    And besides, we've supported all these Arab autocrats for decades because they served our interests and because we saw no alternatives. When we're accused of setting up puppet dictatorships, we always told the world to take our word for it that people in these countries weren't ready for democracy and that working with the dictators was the next best thing. Well now the people in these countries are revolting. America will either live up to its ideals, or it won't.
  13. Lowbacca_1977 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 28, 2006
    star 6
    Although, from what I'm finding, Maghreb is only a region of Africa in the northwest, so Egypt isn't part of that, and the list I find is that Maghreb refers to Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, and Mauritania. So, Maghreb doesn't address Egypt at all, and similarly, North Africa doesn't address the protests that have been seen elsewhere.

    I'd also say that Islam, and how it's perceived, is a large factor in why some of these governments are in power in the first place, as the west has tried to support those opposing Islamic fundamentalism. Not that that equates a legitimate threat or a moral justification to do so, but that it has played a role in the escalation of the situation.


    SuperWatto, I think there is a possible category that can say that there is such a thing as basic human rights, and one of those is democracy, but it's not the only one. I don't think we're obligated to embrace any leadership they elect, but so long as the basic rights of people are insured, I think they can choose whatever sort of leadership they want. It's what bugs me with back when American policy was to instill capitalist dictators to prevent democratically elected communist governments. Although comparisons are a bit tricky between religious/social policies and economic policies.
  14. GrandAdmiralPelleaon Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 28, 2000
    star 6
    It's being called the Maghreb revolution here because it's a ripple effect spreading from Tunisia. I personally find it rather silly to want to be inclusive for possible events, but okay. Reason I dislike the Muslim terminology is that it incorrectly designates and would not be liked by some of the actors either.

    Hamas should have been recognized as elected in 2006. This in no means prohibits criticism after all. I doubt Egypt will go that road though. Lots of obviously secular protesters at the moment. MB is trailing events, not leading.
  15. LostOnHoth Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 15, 2000
    star 5
    Mubarak has maintained a stable government because of US military and economic support in supressing the fundie Islamic militants. Let's face it, Mubarak has been a nice little US lapdog (for example offering Egypt as the country for detainees to be interrogated). In return, the US has politely ignored Mubarak's dictatorship and general anti-democratic philosophy of life.

    I think one of the reasons why the protestors appear to be largely secular is because the militant fundies have for decades now been largely driven 'underground' and have developed more nefarious ways of furthering their agendas. I wouldn't expect them to suddenly show themselves now bearing placards and throwing smoke bombs. But they are certainly working feverishly behind the scenes engineering a fundie religious government which Mubarak and his US allies have for so meany years worked hard to supress.

    The US always plays with fire when it props up corrupt dictators in the furtherance of US interests. We have seen that in Iran, Iraq and Afghanistan and now we are seeing it in Egypt.

    I just hope the fundies don't take over.
  16. Lowbacca_1977 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 28, 2006
    star 6
    More recent article here that talks about rallies in Tunisia by women's groups to prevent losing rights they've fought for by an Islamic resurgence in the country. The rally was set to be timed for the return of Islamist leader Rached Ghannouchi.

    In Egypt, it looks like it will be very interesting to see the role that the Egyptian military plays. According to this, the ruling group of Egypt is very closely linked to the military, however the protesters and the military seem to be not having many clashes, as their involvement is described "Soldiers stood by ? a few even joining the demonstrators" and "There were no clashes reported between protesters and the military at all, and many in the crowds showered soldiers with affection.
    One army captain joined the demonstrators in Tahrir Square, who hoisted him on their shoulders while chanting slogans against Mubarak. The officer ripped apart a picture of the president."
    The military has also taken over from civilians in protecting the Egyptian museum.
  17. Jabba-wocky Chosen One

    Member Since:
    May 4, 2003
    star 8
    The primary Islamist group in Egypt is the Muslim Brotherhood, and they've been out in the open since forever. While they are officially banned from running as a party, they make their preferred candidates known, and always come in with the second greatest number of seats in Parliament after the ruling party. As the virtual model for all other major Islamist parties (most of which are at local spin-offs of this one) they also feature an expansive social services program (they offer the only schools available in some areas of the country, and have open enrollment) that has won them a fair amount of popularity. Mubarak has always preferred this situation, and encouraged it by selectively repressing secular political rivals. He can then argue that his fall would mean a takeover by religious radicals that would be antithetical to Western interests. If they were to make a power play, I suspect we'd see it openly.
  18. LostOnHoth Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 15, 2000
    star 5
    I'm not talking about the Muslim Brotherhood I'm talking about Islamic militant groups like Takfir wa Hijra, Egyptian Military Jihad, AGAI etc etc. I don't expect to see them doing anything openly at this stage, nevertheless they are there and taking full advantage of the opportunity which has presented itself and that is a big worry. That's all I'm saying.
  19. Jabba-wocky Chosen One

    Member Since:
    May 4, 2003
    star 8
    Oh, apologies. In that case, I would agree we wouldn't expect them to move openly. But I also wouldn't expect them to succeed. If any religious organization was going to take the helm, I'd have to imagine it was the Brotherhood. I don't see how anything else is even possible.
  20. Alpha-Red Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 25, 2004
    star 5
    This is pretty much a wild guess, but I don't think the fundamentalists have that big of a foothold on Egyptian society. The loudest voices in Egypt right now are not calling for fundamentalism, and it's likely that they would oppose fundamentalists for the same reason that they're opposing Mubarak now (just like Iran's reformists have been opposing their fundamentalists since 1979).

    I'd go so far to say that we should support democracy even if it does result in a mildly fundamentalist majority being elected. Just as long as it remains democratic, doesn't support terrorism, and doesn't become as bad as the Taliban. If they do try to suppress women's rights, well then it's up to the women there to fight for their rights (with perhaps some support from the international community). If the Egyptians have the guts to stand up to Mubarak, they'll have the guts to stand up to fundamentalists.
  21. Ghost Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 13, 2003
    star 6
    TIME article on the problem this poses to Israel:




    Israeli Prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu firmly ordered his government not to comment on events in Egypt, but the headlines in the Sunday morning papers got the main point across well enough:

    A 30-YEAR STEP BACKWARD

    WHAT FRIGHTENS US

    ALL ALONE

    The banners matched the stakes. Egypt under President Hosni Mubarak observed the 1979 peace treaty with the Jewish state, helped tighten the noose on Hamas from its border with the Gaza Strip, nursed peace talks with the Palestinians, worked to thwart Iran and, along the way, provided Israel with 40% of its natural gas.

    Most important to a tiny, heavily militarized country preoccupied with risk reduction, analysts say, Mubarak's posture toward Israel served to restrain other Arab states ? not to mention the 80 million Egyptians whose attitudes about Israel are among the most negative in the world, according to polls.

    Whatever new government might emerge from the historic demonstrations across Egypt ? populist, Islamist or national unity ? "there can be no doubt that the new regime will seek to deal the peace with Israel a very public blow," Eli Shaked, a former Israeli ambassador to Egypt, writes in the daily Yedioth Ahronoth. "The only people in Egypt who are committed to peace are the people in Mubarak's inner circle."

    So it was that Israelis welcomed Mubarak's appointment of intelligence chief Omar Sulieman as his first-ever vice president. The mustachioed spymaster and former general was a regular visitor to Israel, where he consulted with Israeli defense and intelligence officials on the many issues the two countries held in common in what may have been a "cold peace," but one that's lasted three decades.

    "Egypt and Israel had common strategic interests. To say they were allies is too much: They were not at war," says Shlomo Avineri, a political scientist at Hebrew University. "It is the premiere Arab country, and no other country would go to war without Egypt. So there was a substructure of common strategic interest."

    Avineri, who held a senior position in the foreign ministry of Yitzhak Rabin, describes two possibilities: Military rule, with or without Mubarak as "figurehead," or "chaos and disintegration" that ends with rule by Islamists and nationalists descended from Gamel Abdel Nasser, Egypt's second president. Israelis most dread the ascent of the Muslim Brotherhood, the most organized political opposition in Egypt, which like other Arab societies has grown more religious and conservative in recent decades.

    "What will not come to pass is that Israel will have a democratic neighbor, because democracies don't appear overnight," Avineri tells TIME. "Look at Russia. You need a civil society. You need political tradition, pluralism, tolerance, existence of effective parties."

    Israeli press reports described a weekend of frantic meetings in the upper echelons of government. The Israeli Defense Forces, which has concentrated most of its attention on the borders of Lebanon and Gaza, was described as preparing new deployments to the south, where it four times fought wars with Egypt. U.S. diplomatic cables published by Wikileaks last year included diplomats' complaints that the Egyptian military continued to regard Israel as its principle enemy, and prepared for war in the Sinai Desert that stands between them.
    (See how Israel is backing Mubarak.)

    "I have no doubt that the whole defense establishment will now ask for bigger budgets and say, 'Well, we have to adjust ourselves to a situation where Egypt is not the cooperative partner we had until a week ago,'" says Oded Aren, director of the Institute for National Security Studies, a Tel Aviv think tank brimming with retired generals. "Egypt is sort of the beacon or marker for security tension, for dangers with the Arab world."

    No one pretends to know
  22. Vaderize03 Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Oct 25, 1999
    star 5
    They're scared, and rightfully so.

    Under the best case, a more democratic Egypt will likely be much more tolerant to support of Hamas by its' citizens, of not outright engaged in covert warfare vis-a-vis Iran's support of Hezbollah.

    Worst case, an end to the peace treaty, open hostility, a cut off of natural gas supplies, and possibly, wider war.

    It's a mess, and it should be concerning to far more than Israel. A regional war in the Middle East will affect the entire planet, and there's no way that the United States, or even Europe, will be able to stay out of it.

    Imagine the effect on oil prices, for instance.

    Peace,

    V-03
  23. Jabbadabbado Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Mar 19, 1999
    star 7
    Like most OPEC/OAPEC countries and North Africa as a whole, Egypt has a young population. Its growth rate has dropped from 2.8% in the mid eighties to 1.8%, but remains well above the world growth rate. The population doubled twice in 60 years, to 80 million. The Egyptian median age is about 25, similar to much of OPEC/North Africa, but unemployment, though high, is slightly lower than in places like Sudan, Jordan, Syria and Saudi Arabia.

    Egypt has also suffered the resource curse of much of OPEC/OAPEC. Mono-commodity trade based on oil exports created a power base for a highly autocratic government that bought the docility of the masses through food and energy subsidies. But Egypt?s oil production peaked around 1995 and has been declining ever since, now down to well under 1 million barrels/day.

    Consequently, Egypt?s rising domestic oil consumption has matched its declining oil production, and Egypt now becomes a net oil importer. Like Indonesia learned a few years ago, you can?t spell OPEC without an E, although Egypt has compensated somewhat by rapidly ramping up natural gas production and exports over the last five years.

    As with other OPEC/OAPEC nations facing declining oil exports, Egypt contemplated measures to reduce domestic demand by reducing energy subsidies at home. It?s a no win rock/hard place for an autocratic oil regime. See Iran. Reducing energy subsidies might free up a little more oil for export, but it creates price inflation and then discontent. Egypt is doubly vulnerable as one of if not the world?s largest wheat importers. In the face of declining oil revenue and rising grain prices, subsidizing grain imports quickly becomes a massive deficit-building exercise.

    The point of all this is, surprise, a pessimistic one. Even if Egyptians achieve greater self-determination and create a functioning representative democracy, it?s not going to bring the people on the street much else. Their fundamental problem is a population growth rate considerably higher than the overall world rate. The consequences of that are straightforward: the end (it?s happening right now) of their status as a world oil exporter, a need to import more than half their food, and of course a broad range of challenges (water!) resulting from jamming 80 million people into the Nile delta and along the banks upriver.

    If you?re looking for a historical analogy to what?s happening in North Africa, it would be the popular European uprisings in 1848 induced by widespread economic recession and food price inflation caused in turn by the closing in on limits of 19th century agriculture and industry to feed the world?s population. The endgame of the paradigmatic 20th century resource curse is settling in across North Africa and looming over West Asia, and all we can do is try to watch from a safe distance, even though there isn't one.
  24. Gonk Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 8, 1998
    star 6
    Unfortunately for everyone that is not part of the Muslim world, the concept of a revolution is troubling for countries that are not:

    A) Tunisia
    B) Iran
    C) Lebanon
    D) Turkey

    And even then, the revoutions only really have a strong guarentee of being pro-secular in A and B because that's where the momentum is and has continued. C and D themselves have a considerable religious undertow in the populace, and just about everywhere else there's a dangerous and palpable extremist element.

    Which is extremely unfortunate, becuase the only nations where anti-western extremists actually hold some measure of power is in Saudi Arabia or nations on the fringe like Yemen or Sudan. Pakistan as well, but they're not really part of the Middle East. In every other place they're all beneath the surface -- present, but not representative of significant power.

    The protests that are taking place are essentially not connected with Muslim extremism. To be sure, there's got to be some supporters of this sort of thing in there -- you don't have protests this size without some overlap -- but they are not owned by any particular group. However these groups hold the protesters back from attaining, where desirable, full-on western support.

    Not only that, but they even prevent more enthusiatic support in nations like Tunisia, where supporting the revolution should be a no-brainer. If Obama comes out and supports Tunisia as much as he should, the autocrats of the Arab world will disapprove becuase in the eyes of many, what is the difference between Tunisia and our nation anyway? The people ask why are Tunisians supported but not us, and the rulers ask if Obama's supporting the Tunisians, can support for the people of his own nation be far behind?

    For a long time the extremist threat has been cooincided with a fear of the Muslim populace in general: that if you support a revolution your help will either be unacknowledged or those that acknowledge it will be in turn killed by more radical elements which do not... and yet if you support the only thing gurenteed to keep that radical threat in check, you crush democracy by extension. The fear is that to allow Democracy in the Middle East is to give voice to the people of the Middle East, and in most Muslim nations that voice would demand violence against non-muslims. Even in nations like Egypt where there are many, many secular Muslims it is feared that there are also too many within the nation that would not stand against extremist elements. That while for every 10 muslims 9 would take to the streets to throw out Mubarak, only 2 of those 9 would take to the streets to fight for a secular replacement, 1 would fight for religious autocracy, and the other 6 would agree to whoever wins the fighting between the first 3. And aside from the 4 countries I mentioned, this is the percieved situation for virtually all other Muslim nations, if not worse.

    The West does not trust the Muslim people to protect the rest of the world from themselves. And so they let strongmen to do the job for them.
  25. LostOnHoth Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 15, 2000
    star 5
    The accounts of the 1970s Iranian revolution which I have read indicate that the protestors represented all facets of Iranian society, from fundies to secular democracy movements, but it was the political vacuum created by the downfall of the Shah which gave the fundies their opportunity. The same thing happened in Iraq. A political vacuum gave impetus to the insurgency.

    Now, there are big differences between Iran in the 1970s and the current political, religious and social situation in Egypt, but the downfall of any government inevitably presents opportunities for those willing to exploit them. The fact that the extremist element does not appear to be in full view at the moment is actually a source of concern for me, not comfort.