Senate Revolution in the Muslim World

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

  1. MasterDillon Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Dec 28, 2010
    star 2
    I'm glad to see Egypt stand up for itself, and declare that their tired of the crap that their President has been doing for the past 30 years. Their tired of being in debt, and having the poor rate plummet since they need to suppor their families. I have also noticed that these events are starting to convince extremists in the U.S. to shout for a revolution as well. These are dangerous times but not new to man since events like these have been happening for thousands of years.
  2. Mr44 VIP

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2002
    star 6
    Mubarak has actually been an extremely effective leader for the population of Egypt. Remember, Mubarak was appointed VP by Anwar el Sadat, who was probably modern Egypt's greatest leader. Sadat himself served as President for 11 years, and would have probably served at least double that had he not been assassinated by Iranian backed assassins. It's also interesting to recall that Mubarak was also targeted during the same plot, but he survived his wounds.

    Part of the issue is that under Egypt's constitution, the President has no term limits at all, but that's not Mubarak's doing. During the last election, for example, he received almost 90% of the total vote, which would be unheard of in the West. But this is also because although Egypt does has universal suffrage on paper, large swaths of the population are denied the right to vote, which largely falls to the poor and "unnamed" segment of the population, so 90% might not come close to representing a valid cross section.

    But Mubarak has been the "people's champion" of Egypt for quite a while now. It's clear that his corruption and such is now coming to light, and his terms are coming to an end, but he's kept Egypt stable for decades prior to this.
  3. yankee8255 Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 31, 2005
    star 6
    Couldn't you say the same about the Russian Revolution? In the end, it's going to be a question of who pushes their way into the vacuum, which isn't always going to be the group with the broadest support. At this point, the "West" needs to take a good look at ElBaradei and whether he's someone we could work with. Not sure if there are even many other options.
  4. yankee8255 Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 31, 2005
    star 6
    Sorry to double post, but it looks like it might be time for Mubarak to start packing his bags -- [link=http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-12331520]"massive" rally[/link] in the capital, the military has said they will not intervene.

    Also, King Abdullah of Jordan is apparently trying to go a little proactive, has dismissed his government, called on new PM to institute reforms.Pretty amazing, starting to remind me of the fall of the Berlin Wall a bit. Question is, what comes out at the other end -- relatively "progressive" governments like Poland and the Czech Republic, or corrupt hard liners like Hungary and Belarus.
  5. Fire_Ice_Death Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 15, 2001
    star 7
    Probably a mixed bag of hardliners and true governmental reform.
  6. Mr44 VIP

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2002
    star 6
    Also, King Abdullah of Jordan is apparently trying to go a little proactive, has dismissed his government, called on new PM to institute reforms.

    That's an interesting observation which also applies to Egypt. In Jordan, King Abdullah, being the ultimate monarch, always has the ability to dismiss his Prime Minister. The Prime Minister gets to pick the cabinet, but only under veto power of the King. In essence, King Abdullah could dismiss his government every year and still personally remain in power. Not to mention that the General Intelligence Bureau-the Jordanian secret police answers directly to the king.

    Egypt doesn't have a monarch, but since the President serves in unrestricted 6 year terms, the Egyptian system does tend to produce legacy politicians. And its cabinet serves at the will of the president as well.

    In both cases, the governments would be well served if they instituted more reforms and added some separation of powers. ElBaradei might be the person who would do this, as he's at least said that he won't be President unless more reforms are instituted, but whoever takes Mubarak's spot simply can't install a loyal cabinet and then go on to serve in unrestricted terms.
  7. Jabba-wocky Chosen One

    Member Since:
    May 4, 2003
    star 8
    LOH, I think your analysis misses a lot of key factors that played into the situation in Iran. For instance, while all strata of Iranian society participated in the overthrow of the Shah, the central unifying of the movement was Ayatollah Khomeini. The closest thing to that sort of figure in present-day Egypt is Mohammad El-Baradei. Likewise, while the Iranian Revolution employed religious symbolism heavily in establishing the legitimacy of their movement, the Egyptians have largely eschewed it. Thus, while Iran is an instance of Islamists seizing control in a power vacuum, they hardly "came out of nowhere" as Egyptian Islamists would have to do in this case. There were plenty of factors predisposing them to make the moves they did that simply aren't present here.
  8. Gonk Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jul 8, 1998
    star 6
    Probably a mixed bag of hardliners and true governmental reform.

    Depends on the respective militaries in play. Thinking about the countries in question more, there's probably much less liklihood of a takeover of religious extremism than new strongmen emerging to replace the old. The extremists will make thier play most likely, but I don't think they have the large intstutional support or lenience that they get in say, Pakistan. Egypt and Syria, for instance, are more anti-extremist in thier own way than Turkey.

    So what we're probably likely to see are new strongmen trying to take over for the old ones. The temptation there is just so palpable. That probably won't happen in every country: Tunisia I think is in the clear, and that may affect things in the long run. But in Egypt it might be that the commander(s) is/are making nice with the people to make it harder for Mubarak to stay on and clearing the way for a successor generalissimo.
  9. Chancellor_Ewok Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 8, 2004
    star 6
    I recieved a Breaking News Updated from CNN in my e-mail a little while ago. Mubarak is done. He has released a statement saying he won't stand for re-election later this year. I say good for the Egyptian people. They have effected legitimate change in their country and did it relatively peacefully.
  10. Ghost Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 13, 2003
    star 6
    But they want immediate resignation.

    Personally, I think the protestors should be happy with Mubarak just not running again, so there can be a peaceful and orderly transition of power. Other countries and NGO's will probably help monitor the elections to ensure they are fair.

    President Obama is about to speak about Egypt.
  11. Violent Violet Menace Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 11, 2004
    star 4
    Yeah, but trust is an issue here. I don't think the people trust him to keep his word when the time comes.
  12. Gonk Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jul 8, 1998
    star 6
    They're right and they're wrong not to, in a sense.

    Mubarak will no doubt step down in September, even if the chaos stopped now and nothing more was said. But he's left things wide open for his son to run after him, and for Mubarak himself to become the Vladamir Putin of Egypt.

    the pro-Mubarak supporters seem like an underhanded development... suddenly these people appear on the scene fighting with the original protestors after a week of being non-existant? Where did they get those horses and camels? Methinks those people are on the government payroll, roughing people up to provide an excuse for the military to come in, since the military had now signalled the protesters should disperse.
  13. Vader_vs_Maul Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 4, 2003
    star 3
    Reminds me of the rigged pro-regime demonstrations in Iran. Also, speaking of Iran, here's an opinion piece by an Iranian expatriate about the similarities and differences between the protests in Egypt and those in Iran in 09 and also 79:

    [link=http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/tehranbureau/2011/02/women-islam-egypt-and-iran.html]Women, Islam, Egypt, and Iran[/link]

    Fragment:
    Many pundits are comparing the Iranian uprising following the June 2009 presidential contest with the one taking place right now in Egypt. One was sparked by the results of an election that seemed rigged, while the other has been prompted by mounting political and economic discontent with the rule of a long-standing dictator. Some say that a better comparison for the events in Egypt is the Iranian Revolution of 1979, which saw the ouster of another corrupt, American-backed dictator and the rise of the ayatollahs and political Islam.

    Each comparison contains truths but misses an essential difference that is a gauge of how differently positioned the two societies are on the evolutionary ladder of their respective political cultures. The main difference between the Egyptian and Iranian uprisings is the role of women's demands or, in different terms, the degree of influence of feminist discourse.

  14. Ghost Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 13, 2003
    star 6
    What does everyone think of the new clashes at Liberation Square in Cairo? It seems to mostly be Mubarak supporters beating on the protestors, they punched Anderson Cooper of CNN ten times in the head, at least one fatality has been reported and hundreds more are injured. I'm guessing it's probably the police in plain clothes, they were supposedly behind the looting and vandalism in the museums too.

    Also, Yemen's president has confirmed he is stepping down, and there are rumors that protests are starting in Syria. http://www.voanews.com/english/news/middle-east/Dissidents-Call-for-Day-of-Rage-in-Syria-115022049.html
  15. Gonk Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jul 8, 1998
    star 6
    David Cameron has come out with strong words against the hypothetical situation of Mubarak being behind the clashes, which as it's looking now is not so hypothetical.

    I'm beginning to get impatient with Obama on this. It's looking very bad right now, and if another day of this ensues, he's going to have to come out again and make a stronger statement. Right now it's looking like Obama gave Mubarak the green light to arrange for his own departure on his terms, and Mubarak's using what time he's been given to strongarm the situation.

    The protesters aren't going to go away so easily, and they're seeing results. These half-measures are not going to work: if Mubarak wants to stop this, he has to go Tiannamen. The protesters are too many and too upbeat to be deterred by anything except deaths in large numbers. A dozen beaten to death here and there is not going to cut it. What's more, I don't think the populace is as afraid of him right now as the Iranians were of thier government a year or so back. There's a lot more people watching: Egypt's a lot closer to Europe, and it's a vital center of culture -- Iran might be just as civilized, but it's much more isolated than Egypt is, giving the govenment more freedom.

    The army seems as if it may do an about face on the protesters, but it may take some time for this to happen. My hope is he protestors can pull off something in the meantime or that Obama stops forcasting the future on this and starts feeling the pulse of what's going on. If he doesn't act soon, he's going to wind up looking like he did nothing to prevent a Mubarak crackdown.
  16. Lowbacca_1977 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 28, 2006
    star 6
    It's looking, to me, like that may well be a government way to crack down without it looking like a government crackdown, and an attempt to make this look like it's a violent protest when it wasn't until peaceful protests against the government were attacked that this really got violent.

    Al Jazeera, I think it was, also was saying that some of the protests that were pro-government involved paid protesters.


    I do hope that any attempt to use the army to crack down against the protesters will be undermined by those in the army not wanting to do so.
  17. wannasee Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 24, 2007
    star 4
    1) I don't understand why governments don't just ignore peaceful protesters. What are they going to do? Get more peaceful?

    2) I wouldn't even acknowledge them. And if they got out of line I would crush them.

    3) Revolutions should be violent and crazy. Don't the Egyptians realize that is better to SEIZE control than to BEG for it? Aren't there any MEN in Egypt?

    4) I'm embarassed for them.
  18. Gonk Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jul 8, 1998
    star 6
    It's looking, to me, like that may well be a government way to crack down without it looking like a government crackdown, and an attempt to make this look like it's a violent protest when it wasn't until peaceful protests against the government were attacked that this really got violent.

    Al Jazeera, I think it was, also was saying that some of the protests that were pro-government involved paid protesters.


    As an attempt to save face, I don't think that's going to succeed with any nation that wouldn't but whatever Mubarak was selling anyway. Much of the Arab dictatorships would but it though, so maybe that's all he needs. The events of today have come far too suddenly with too much organization and military non-intervention after previous claims that they would protect the protestors for this to look like a very legitimate civil clash to anyone paying attention. If he wanted to do this, he should have sent these people out earlier before calling in the military and watching peace on Earth ensue. It was in Mubarak's PR interest to have the protests characterized as out of control and beholden to a violent, unstable element. The events of the past week have upended that narrative and word has been out for days on it. Today was Mubarak's first attempt to change the story, and it's pretty clear HE'S the one behind the violence, and so failing miserably.

    Unfortunately, Mubarak doesn't NEED to win the narrative to stay in power until September. He only needs the loyalty of the military and the will to kill a lot of people. He can make nice later.

    I'm not sure if Mubarak is on borrowed time now or if his slip on his grip on power has bottomed out: that is, we've seen him as weak as we're going to. If the miltary will not move against Mubarak, and the military will not give power to the protestors, then victory does fall to Mubarak. No matter how unpopular he is with common folk, even when they're riled like this, in the end someone has to make the man leave. If those with power are unwilling, I don't see how that happens.

    This is very silly since it's clearly no longer about the well-being of Egypt: Mubarak cannot stay in power and expect to continue as good elations with the west as in the past: those are going to have suffered great deal since at this point I'm not sure how many people see any difference between him and Ahmadinijad -- they just have different circles of international friends at this point.
  19. Gonk Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jul 8, 1998
    star 6
    1) I don't understand why governments don't just ignore peaceful protesters. What are they going to do? Get more peaceful?

    Because peaceful protestors don't make MONEY. And they prevent money from getting spent. That's why. Sure, they might seem like a practical inconvenience, but it's about economics, not immediate security.


    3) Revolutions should be violent and crazy. Don't the Egyptians realize that is better to SEIZE control than to BEG for it? Aren't there any MEN in Egypt?

    Ah the politics of testosterone. I've never had an issue with nonviolent and economic solutions because I've always felt this attitude of manliness in politics to be hypocritical: stand up against the tyrant, aren't you a MAN? Go to war with that disrespectful nation, aren't you a MAN?

    Oh, but throw a few nukes into the picture and guess who's crying for a little civility? And if they're not, they will be after they watch 'Threads'. All those great bear-men go all rubbery over the big mushroom cloud.

    Sieze control, beg for it, whatever: the means in this manner is not important, just that you get it. If the protestors can pull off what Yeltzin did once upon a 1991, all the power to them.
  20. Ghost Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 13, 2003
    star 6
    You're really a troll right now, wannasee.

    Ignore the people? Protests should be violent?

    You can't be serious. The Egyptian people should be admired for their mostly peaceful protests against the government. They're following in the model of Gandhi, of Martin Luther King Jr, of the peaceful overthrow of communism in Europe, of the peaceful collapse of the Soviet Union.
  21. Lowbacca_1977 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 28, 2006
    star 6
    It looks like the pro-Mubarak supporters have been going after the media very heavily
    http://www.cnn.com/2011/WORLD/africa/02/02/egypt.journalists.attacked/index.html?hpt=T1
    If this is state-sponsored as it seems to be, it looks like Egypt is trying to get rid of any witnesses that will be able to broadcast what lengths the government goes to to end the protests.
  22. yankee8255 Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 31, 2005
    star 6
    I was watching BBC's coverage last night, pretty scary, you could see Molotov cocktails being thrown constantly. Two days ago, having Mubarak stay in power until elections seemed like a reasonable transition. Now (assuming he's behind the violence) it seems absolutely absurd.
  23. wannasee Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 24, 2007
    star 4
    1) I imagine that most of the people hanging out in the plaza all day don't have jobs.

    2) The alternative to the "politics of testosterone" is the "politics of estrogen."

    3) Any mention of hormones is silly anyway. Whatever hormone is dominant has no bearing on whether an action if Right or Necessary.

    4) I don't know why you are going on about nuclear weapons.

    5) Former Soviet states are in lousy condition and it is arguable whether they are any better off. Anyway collapse isn't the same as revolution.
  24. Vader_vs_Maul Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 4, 2003
    star 3
    Yes, wannasee, O abode of IQ, regular people with sticks and rocks are gonna take on an army with tanks and all the other equipment of modern warfare, and they're gonna win! That's exactly what's gonna happen!
  25. Jabba-wocky Chosen One

    Member Since:
    May 4, 2003
    star 8