Senate Revolution in the Muslim World

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

  1. Jabbadabbado Manager Emeritus

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    Mar 19, 1999
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    The Russians are the world's largest oil producer now, but as the junior rival Non-OPEC exporter I don't see them wielding so much influence over the Saudi succession. By mid decade China/India will be consuming a quarter of the world's available oil exports, and that's where the primary influence over Saudi Arabia will come from outside the region.

    The Chinese, the U.S. and Europe are likely in solidarity as to what they care most about in terms of succession: whoever can most convincingly guarantee the continuation of Saudi Aramco as one of the world's best-run oil companies rather than allowing it to devolve into a PEMEX or a Petróleos de Venezuela, and that the country remains a responsible steward of and leader in regional oil export policies.
  2. Lowbacca_1977 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 28, 2006
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    The protests are continuing to swell now. In Bahrain, protests have resulted in deaths, and another death has come from funerals. This could be something that would push Bahrain further down the path of regime change, particularly as the majority of the country is Shia, while those running the country are mostly Sunni.

    In Iran tens of thousands have protested, despite orders not to, threats of crackdowns, and the round up of activists beforehand. Reports suggest that live ammo was used and that protesters were killed. The Iranian legislature is calling for the opposition leaders to be executed.


    Bahrain may be a situation where if it gets too far, the ruling class there may see it better to get out of the way than go up against the majority of the population that feels not represented. Iran, on the other hand, has the potential to get very, very violent if it goes down that route as I don't see power being given up easily.
  3. DarthIktomi Jedi Master

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    May 11, 2009
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    Besides which, a lot of the anti-Israeli sentiment is fed by the dictators.

    This mentality is a bit annoying. I remember my history class saying that antisemitism was the primary factor for all Axis countries. The motivating factor for the leaders was simple megalomania, and while antisemitism was a factor in Nazism, Italian fascism didn't have the racial strains to it. (To say nothing of the Japanese, who had no reason to hate Jews in particular.)

    Another example is the Washington Redskins' manager recently saying a cartoon of him was antisemitic because it made him look like a devil. Except, um, even if it were antisemitic (which isn't proven), he manages a team named after a racial slur! Pot. Kettle. Black.
  4. Alpha-Red Force Ghost

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    Here's an interesting article on the democratic transition in Egypt.

  5. Violent Violet Menace Force Ghost

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    Aug 11, 2004
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    If it's either this or a descent into political chaos, I'd say choose this.
  6. Gonk Jedi Grand Master

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    Jul 8, 1998
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    They're probably looking at it. Few revolutions are so lucky as to have the regime itself centered very far away as it was in America in 1776, or India in 1945. When the autocrats live right next door and were not thrown out, it can get dicey.
  7. DarthIktomi Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 11, 2009
    star 4
    Well, yes, but the American Revolution is still an example of the autocrats maintaining their own wealth and privilege; indeed, one of the "tyrannical acts" listed under the Declaration of Independence translates from Blatant Lies to English as "The king didn't let us expand westward and kill all the Indians." Actually, the United States wasn't really a democracy until well into the 20th century, and there is still some intimidation of minority voters.
  8. Lowbacca_1977 Force Ghost

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    Jun 28, 2006
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    While I would agree with the first part of that being w/out basis, he doesn't manage a team named after a slur (although a longer argument not for this thread)
  9. LtNOWIS Force Ghost

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    May 19, 2005
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    I think it's important to remember that the destruction of the Indian nations as viable independent entities was one of the foundations of our nation. But there's really nothing undemocratic about doing that.
  10. Jabbadabbado Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Mar 19, 1999
    star 7
    Meanwhile bitter economic conditions have spread protests to the capital of Wisconsin. It's too early to tell whether the uprising will lead to real democratic reform in the Middle West, but the revolution could easily spread to Illinois and Michigan where youth unemployment is high and living standards for the man on the street are bleak. Excuse me while I head off to my Twitter feed. We're coordinating a Day of Rage in Springfield, IL and at the Daley Plaza here in Chicago.
  11. Ghost Chosen One

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    Oct 13, 2003
    star 6
  12. Violent Violet Menace Force Ghost

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    I don't think that's anything more than flexing muscles. Unless they are deluded enough to think that if they start, the now free and, in their words, "Islamically awakened" Egypt surely will follow them. But I don't think they really believe that. I think they are well aware that they are full of crap when they make such claims. Besides, they also know that Israel has nuclear weapons and is afraid of Iran, and they know that when Israel feels threatened, it may take drastic measures. They also know that their own nuclear weapons are not yet ready.

    Nevertheless, I share your concern. I think this is a preparation for something in the future.
  13. Ghost Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 13, 2003
    star 6
    But Iran is facing huge protests right now too, tens of thousands in the streets, and the Iranian regime is considering executing Mousavi and the other protest leaders of the Green Revolution there.

    What does a country do when facing internal instability? They lash out at foreign enemies, to unite the country.

    If the Iranian regime is really feeling threatened by this new wave of protests, as they probably should be, if they think they could lose power... then they could be considering provoking a war with Israel as one last chance to hang on to power.

    When something is desperate and feels cornered, whether it's an animal or a regime, it can get very dangerous and aggressive.

    If they come to conclude the choice is between war or losing power, they will probably choose war. Let's just hope they haven't come to that conclusion yet.



    Besides Iran, things are really heating up in Bahrain and Libya. Protests continuing in Yemen, Algeria, and even Iraq. Egypt is celebrating with parades today, one week after Mubarak left, calling it the "Day of Victory."
  14. Jabbadabbado Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Mar 19, 1999
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    We're one bad harvest away from protests spreading throughout much of the African continent and into Asia. The Mexican freeze killed 17% of their corn crop, the Chinese drought will likely require them to make massive wheat purchases on world markets. That will mean more economic pressure on the Middle East and more food price pressure on the developing world everywhere else. If something happens to the rice harvest in an important producer nation, we'll be seeing Egypt replicated just about everywhere.
  15. SuperWatto Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Sep 19, 2000
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    Yesterday, I saw the first tangible result of the bleak forecasts Jabba is fond of putting forth: my local newspaper ran the headline "Everything gets more expensive" on the front page.

    Wheat and hop is more expensive. So Heineken beer gets more expensive. Meanwhile, supermarkets are gearing up for a new pricing battle, because bread, butter, and milk will become more expensive as well. The reasons named are bad crop results and increased demand from the Far East. And the thing is... that demand from the Far East will only increase more.
  16. Jabbadabbado Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Mar 19, 1999
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    I wonder how long it will take for the Obama administration to realize that the Rules of the Game have fundamentally shifted for U.S. interests in the MENA countries. It seems to me that U.S. alliances in the region were based on a triad of Saudi Arabia for oil, Israel for its military hegemony and Egypt for its dominance over the largest Arab population. If that triad is falling apart, and American influence in the region is really on the wane, I wonder if the business as usual approach is really going to be viable:
    If I had to make a prediction, and you know how I hate doing that, the U.S. will no longer have a military presence in the Middle East within ten years. Our navy will have withdrawn from the Gulf, our troops will be gone from Iraq, our base in Bahrain abandoned, our military involvement in Yemen over. Israel will be alone in the region, which doesn't necessarily seem like a recipe for peace.
  17. SuperWatto Manager Emeritus

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    Wolf in sheep's clothing.
  18. Fire_Ice_Death Chosen One

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    Feb 15, 2001
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    Considering this is the country that gave the world 'Manifest Destiny' I'm really not surprised that the US halted any resolution to call illegal settlements illegal.
  19. Alpha-Red Force Ghost

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    Apr 25, 2004
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    Huh, well I just read this. And if it's accurate, Gaddafi is now Saddam Hussein.
  20. SuperWatto Manager Emeritus

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  21. Lowbacca_1977 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 28, 2006
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    Gaddafi wasn't doing well before all this.
    Such as a claimed massacre in a jail of over 1000 people back in 1996

    It's looking like, according to Al Jazeera, the trouble in Libya is breaking down as east versus west.
  22. Ghost Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 13, 2003
    star 6
    Didn't Reagan kill his daughter back in the 80's, because he supported terrorism? That then cowed him into obedience, tried to make himself look like he has reformed, cooperated with Bush's antiterrorism to get Libya taken off the list of countries under economic sanctions because they sponsor terrorism. Now he's showing his true colors again.

    Libya and Iran are definitely the ones to watch right now.

    Then Yemen, and Bahrain (with the government of Bahrain promising to negotiate soon with the protestors).

    Then Algeria and Morocco.

    Sudan is being monitored for another reason, since the south recently voted to secede and form a new nation.

    If a few more governments fall, and if food prices continue to rise, then expect the unrest to spread to sub-Saharan Africa (especially against Mugabe in Zimbabwe), southeast Asia (especially against the military junta in Mynanmar/Burma, and possibly Thailand), China, and possibly even Russia & Belarus. North Korea is probably too isolated, though South Koreans are sending news of Egypt to them by balloons.

    China is also already cracking down harder than ever on the Internet as we speak.

    Mubarak was only topped in 18 days, and Tunisia before them in about a month. I wonder what North Africa and the Middle East will look like a month or two from now.
  23. Lowbacca_1977 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 28, 2006
    star 6
    I don't think it'll spread in that fashion. Part of this is that they're related countries, leading to the spread so easily. I'd also point out that Myanmar isn't a military junta anymore.
  24. Ghost Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 13, 2003
    star 6
    Well, like I said, it depends on a few things. China and Vietnam are probably safe since their economies are still growing strongly and the people are generally sharing in that wealth, and North Korea is probably safe because it's so isolated. Gorbachev recently warned Putin that something similar to the Egyptian revolution could spread to Russia, but I think that's less likely.

    I do think similarly poor and stagnant countries of the world outside of the Muslim World are also possibly in trouble. Like Zimbabwe (and most of Africa), Myanmar (and possibly Thailand), Belarus, Moldova, and some of the Central Asian states still ruled by dictators.

    But how is Myanmar not a military junta anymore? Didn't the military's party just win a supermajority in their last sham election?
  25. Raven Administrator Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Oct 5, 1998
    star 6

    At this point, I think that we can safely predict that all our expert opinions are useless. We could see a emerging, healthy looking democracies in the Arab world a year from now. Or we could see the entire Arab world torn apart by civil war. Or the status quo of the last fifty years. Or something else.