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 believe a junta involves an official military committee running things. Democracy considered to not be properly representing people getting taken out, that's still somewhat on the table.
  2. Jabbadabbado Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Mar 19, 1999
    star 7
    An all-out civil war in Libya has the potential to do some real damage to oil markets. Libya produces nearly 2 million b/d, accounting for nearly all the country's export revenue. It has a number of oil terminals along the coast. Relating back to that Wikileaks cable about Saudi oil, a serious disruption of Libyan oil exports would require the Saudis to prove whether their spare capacity is as robust as they say it is.

    A protracted civil war that crippled Libyan exports would easily drive oil back to its 2008 highs.

    An even worse nightmare scenario would see Algerian and Libyan oil exports both slowed to a trickle at the same time. Even under the most optimistic scenarios for Saudi excess capacity, they could not easily compensate for an oil disruption of that magnitude.
  3. Ghost Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 13, 2003
    star 6
    Well, Libyan protestors have taken the second-biggest city of Benghazi (which was also the first city Gadhafi took in his 1969 military coup). Protests have already spread to the capitol of Tripoli. Some in the military have desserted. The others have been ordered to shoot to kill and aim at the protestors' heads, hundreds are dead and injured from gunshot wounds to the head.

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20110221/ap_on_re_af/af_libya_protests


    Libyan protesters celebrated in the streets of Benghazi on Monday, claiming control of the country's second largest city after bloody fighting, and anti-government unrest spread to the capital with clashes in Tripoli's main square for the first time. Moammar Gadhafi's son vowed that his father and security forces would fight "until the last bullet."

    Protesters demanding Gadhafi's ouster planed new marches in the capital's main Green Square and at the leader's residence for Monday evening. That was likely to bring a new round of violence after a similar march the night before prompted clashes that lasted till dawn, with witnesses reporting snipers opening fire on protesters and Gadhafi supporters racing through crowds in trucks and cars, firing automatic weapons and running people over.

    During the day Monday, a fire was raging at the People's Hall, the main hall for government gatherings where the country's equivalent of a parliament holds its sessions several times a year, the pro-government news web site Qureyna said. It also reported the first major sign of discontent in Gadhafi's government, saying justice minister Mustafa Abdel-Jalil resigned from his post to protest the "excessive use of force against unarmed protesters."

    The capital was largely shut down, with schools, government offices and most stores closed, as armed members of pro-government organizations called "Revolutionary Committees" circulated in the streets hunting for protesters in Tripoli's old city, said one protester, named Fathi.

    The protests and violence were the heaviest yet in the capital of 2 million people, a sign of how unrest was spreading after six days of demonstrations in eastern cities demanding the end of the elder Gadhafi's rule.

    Gadhafi's son, Seif al-Islam, went on state TV late Sunday night, warning civil war will break out if protests continue, a theme continued Monday on Libyan state TV, where a pro-regime commentator spoke of chaos and "rivers of blood" turning Libya into "another Somalia" if security is not restored.

    Gadhafi's regime has unleashed the bloodiest crackdown of any Arab country against the wave of protests sweeping the region, which toppled the leaders of Egypt and Tunisia. More than 200 have been killed in Libya, according to medical officials, human rights groups and exiled dissidents.

  4. kingthlayer Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 7, 2003
    star 4
    If the Libyan government falls or civil war breaks out, all bets are off for the rest of the Middle East/greater Arab world. This was a country most analysts predicted would experience little instability as a result of the upheaval in Egypt and Tunisia. And yet we are seeing by far the bloodiest unrest of all there.
  5. Ghost Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 13, 2003
    star 6
    Yeah, I had thought Libya didn't have much of a chance because I was sure Gadhafi would keep it silent and away from cameras, and then use force to stop it. Which is what he's attempting to do, just failing at it. I was surprised nobody in the news mentioned Libya at all when also talking about Algeria, Morocco, Yemen, Bahrain, Iran, and Jordan. I think Jordan is the safest, still obviously threatened, but the least threatened government.

    But yeah, I think all bets are already off. And if they can succeed in Libya, then they can definitely succeed in Iran.

    Outside of the Muslim World, the following countries are also vulnerable to revolution: Sudan & Zimbabwe (and most of Africa), Myanmar and Thailand, and some former states of the Soviet Union (Belarus and the Central Asian countries have basically remained dictatorships since their independence).


    EDIT: It seems Gaddafi is now using the Air Force to bomb the protestors that are overtaking Tripoli, ambassadors and diplomats ar resigning, the Minister of Justice is resigning, a few members of the Air Force are defecting and fleeing to Malta, and superior officers are killing anyone in their command who refuses to shoot at the protestors.

    Now here's a link: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/41700027/ns/world_news-mideastn_africa/?gt1=43001

    This really is crazy, it's spiralling out of control, even more than I imagined.


    Another update, they are burning (not shooting) the soldiers that refuse to shoot the protesters.
    http://www.libyafeb17.com/?p=1402
  6. kingthlayer Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 7, 2003
    star 4
    From what I understand, they are shooting protestors from helicopters. This is truly unprecedented and unbelievable.

  7. Ghost Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 13, 2003
    star 6
    The Maltese government has confirmed that Libyan Air Force fighter jets (loaded with rockets and machine guns) have landed in Malta, defecting from orders to bomb, and seeking asylum.
    http://news.blogs.cnn.com/2011/02/21/live-blogging-north-africa-middle-east-protests/?hpt=T1

    If you bomb your own capital, I don't think Ghadafi or his son are going to be around much longer.


    In other news, here it why these Revolutions could be the end of Al Qaeda: http://www.cnn.com/2011/WORLD/meast/02/21/arab.unrest.alqaeda.analysis/index.html?hpt=C1
  8. SuperWatto Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Sep 19, 2000
    star 5
    The Libyan Delegation to the UN has asked for intervention. That's quite something.
    Would be wickedly cool if the UN could intervene, but they'd have China's veto to contend with, I guess.
    NATO can't interfere because they'd have... China to contend with, I guess.
    That sucks.
    Western intervention here and now would bring about so much hope and trust.
  9. Ghost Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 13, 2003
    star 6
    Maybe the African Union? The Arab League is also holding an emergency meeting. I wouldn't rule out action by NATO or the UN either.

    Formerly pro-government newspapers are also turning against Gaddafi's regime.

    CNN is reporting on the soldiers being burned for refusing to shoot protestors now: http://news.blogs.cnn.com/2011/02/21/video-purportedly-shows-slain-libyan-soldiers-who-refused-orders/?hpt=T1


    Other stories

    *Mugabe's regime arrests 46 to prevent Egyptian-style uprising in Zimbabwe:
    http://www.cnn.com/2011/WORLD/africa/02/21/zimbabwe.unrest.arrests/index.html
    (Mugabe has also been in power for decades, inflation and economic conditions there are horrible)

    *President of Sudan won't run for re-election
    http://www.cnn.com/2011/WORLD/africa/02/21/sudan.bashir.re.election/index.html
    (Omar al-Bashir has been leader since 1993, accused of war crimes, genocide, and crimes against humanity because of Darfur. Country about to be partitioned.)

    *There are reports that the Chinese government have squashed protests in their rural western regions
  10. Ghost Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 13, 2003
    star 6
    Gadhafi spoke recently on Libyan state television, for about 20 seconds, while in his limo, wearing a hat, with a white umbrella, saying "I am in Tripoli and not in Venezuela, don't believe those misleading dog stations" and then driving off. o_O Bizarre...


    EDIT:

    Thousands are still protesting in Algeria, Morocco, Bahrain.

    Kurds in Iraq are revolting, pushing for an independent state of Kurdistan.

    Tens of thousands protest in Albania, of all places. I didn't even predict them.

    Protesters in Pakistan threaten revolution if they release an American CIA members who killed 3 Pakistani's and was caught by the authorities.

    China tries to stamp out the "Jasmine Revolution"
  11. Alpha-Red Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 25, 2004
    star 5
    The Kurdistan thing really does not sound like it will end well. Seems to me like they have a good case for wanting their own independent state, but there's no way in hell that Iraq or Turkey will let them secede.
  12. Fire_Ice_Death Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 15, 2001
    star 7
    I never understood that whole secession bit, wouldn't it be less of a headache if the Kurds were allowed to secede? If the state fails then just re-absorb the land and people. If it succeeds then maybe there's a potential ally there for everyone in the area. Maybe. This is just my pseudo-optimism.
  13. Gonk Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 8, 1998
    star 6
    I too, thought Ghadaffi's hold on the country was too tight for this to happen -- it is SORT of a pleasant surprise, but given that all these people are dying, it's not really too pleasant.

    So, this said, if there was going to be international intervention, NOW is the time to try it. Don't wait until 12 years after and THEN try and attack Ghadaffi when it's not going to save anyone's life. I like the sentiment at this point -- if the US or anyone was going to intervene in a Muslim state, now would be the time to do it. It's something I'm always going to be leery on, but considering the mood, and considering that Ghadaffi isn't as "Muslim hip" as he was once upon a time, maybe it will work. Maybe. At the very least it might be wise to push a vote to the SC to put China into a position of needing to veto a resolution on it to put the US in a better light -- China is in a position of not really having a lot of connections in the Muslim world like the US has, so I'm not sure if the US has a lot to lose, even if supporting such a resolution against Ghadaffi is going to tick of the Saudis.

    More than likely though, it's going to turn into a lot of waiting around and not doing much diplomatically, in which case it will depend on Ghadaffi's ability to keep control on the nation. From the look of it, he's having problems and the successes of revolution on both borders is no doubt encouraging to the population. It looks like he's lost control of a sizable area and is trying to maintain control of the capital itself: unfortunately with air superiority and the willingness to use it, I'm not sure the revolt could sustain itself indefinately -- you'd need a larger range of desertions, I think.

    It might be the solution here would be for covert ops to begin supplying the rebels with arms. In the Cold War this would have been a troubling situation: the Soviets would merely arm Ghadaffi (or vice-versa), and you'd end up with a stalemate that would drag on for decades and potentially millions would be killed.



    BUT... the Soviet Union is gone. Thus is the importance of the fall of Communism: not only did it help Eastern Europe, but it freed the world from the global stalemate of that struggle. Although the Russians of today aren't all THAT much more Democratic -- in fact the last leader of the Soviet Union is more pro-Democratic than today's Russian leaders -- they're no longer so keen on the global micro-management, or are many years off from returning to it if that's desired. Neither are the Chinese in such a position: both Russia and China might stand against a SC resolution, but neither have the resources nor the inclination to go the Cold War distance in keeping Ghadaffi in power under the table: he's way over in North Africa: how exactly will it benefit them, and how exactly are they going to get their stuff over there with the Mediterranian growing increasingly Democratic? Is the government of Tripoli's main arms route supposed to now come through Africa? Because if Egypt is yelling at Ghadaffi, Italy makes trouble for him in the seas, and Morrocco/Spain are just as negative, that's what he's left with. So if the Chinese government wants to keep Ghadaffi in power, for instance, they better get a start on that logistics train, and start now. It would be hard enough for the Soviets to have kept him going in such an environment -- for the Russians and Chinese of today, it would be a lot harder.

    That's my way of saying that now that dictators in Tunisia and Egypt are gone, and with still no viable global counter to US influence that Ghadaffi can turn to, he stands very alone and isolated. Maybe not as much as the Iranian regime, but close enough. To his East and West are successful revolutions. To his North is an entire continent that is sympathetic to the revolution (and remembers his terrorist past). To his far west are governments in the same situation as him (and because of the Red Sea, there is no real 'far east'. To his south is desert, or nations that really don't much care what's going on in Libya. Almost overnight he's gone
  14. Jabbadabbado Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Mar 19, 1999
    star 7
    Western European nations and the U.S. have been playing ball with the regime off and on since 1969. Keep in mind all we've asked from him up to now is not to bomb our passenger airplanes and refrain from developing nukes. Western oil companies have been busy little bees in the last decade investing in his oil infrastructure. As is typical in the region, it's difficult for Europe and the U.S. to find the moral high ground in this situation.

    If the uprising fails to topple Gaddafi but can contain him to Tripoli, the eastern half of the country has its own oil fields near the Egyptian border, pipeline and terminal systems, and could export its own oil. Supporting areas where the revolution is succeeding might be a path toward freeing at least parts of the country from the regime.
  15. Lowbacca_1977 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 28, 2006
    star 6
    Turkey, at least, isn't at all willing to give up parts of it's territory for that.

    And since earlier on the issue of some of the former Soviet republics came up, the president of Kazakhstan just abandoned in the last month an attempt to skip the next two elections. So, this may have some other leaders nervous even though I don't, at present, seeing this spreading that far. This article looks at how likely (or rather, unlikely) it is that this will spread to the former Soviet states.
  16. Violent Violet Menace Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 11, 2004
    star 4
    The oil fields are in the Kurdish populated areas, to my knowledge. But aren't the Kurds of Iraq semi-autonomous now? I think their language is official in the Kurdistan region.
  17. Gonk Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 8, 1998
    star 6
    Western European nations and the U.S. have been playing ball with the regime off and on since 1969. Keep in mind all we've asked from him up to now is not to bomb our passenger airplanes and refrain from developing nukes. Western oil companies have been busy little bees in the last decade investing in his oil infrastructure. As is typical in the region, it's difficult for Europe and the U.S. to find the moral high ground in this situation.

    If the uprising fails to topple Gaddafi but can contain him to Tripoli, the eastern half of the country has its own oil fields near the Egyptian border, pipeline and terminal systems, and could export its own oil. Supporting areas where the revolution is succeeding might be a path toward freeing at least parts of the country from the regime.


    The West's relations with Ghadaffi are similar to those with Mubrak, just on a more uneasy scale: they do business with him because the alternative is worse. With Mubarak it was a lot easier because he wasn't quite as 'scorched earth' as many of the other dictators, though it was bad enough.

    If there's an opportunity to get rid of him, I don't think the US or Europe will think twice. Maybe they won't move publically against him for fear that he might return to terrorism -- but a future with no Ghadaffi is a heck of a lot better that a future with a compromised Ghadaffi. The best thing Ghadaffi can say at the moment is that there are other dictators the West would rather see go away before him, like Assad: he can't say that the West would rather he was there than not. So they won't protect him.

    I don't think Ghadaffi can hunker down like Saddam Hussein. He doesn't have this buffer between the West and himself. He might close down but if he does and the country remain in turmoil, I don't think he can last longer than a year. Europe controls most major routes to Libya: and Egypt/Tunisia essentially control the rest. These nations are not all on the same page, but none have any reason to keep Ghadaffi around, especially when he's killing so many people. Support the right people, close off the right routes, and you don't even need the UN to impose sanctions: you can just let his regime bleed out.
  18. Jabbadabbado Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Mar 19, 1999
    star 7
    Unrest in Libya, Algeria and Iran: the lives of 118 million people and more than 6 million barrels of oil production a day at stake.

    The situation makes the collapse of Yugoslavia look like a comparative cakewalk. Yet that tiny little garbage can fire of unruliness had every available firefighter rushing to the scene.

    WTI hit $96/barrel and Brent was approaching $107. Is Gaddafi a survivor, or is he the next Nicolae Ceausescu? And if the people of Libya get rid of him, what will that mean for all the other autocratic regimes still in power in Africa and Asia?

    What do you call a generalized conflagration of the developing world when the great powers stand by and watch? "World War 3" seems like overkill.


    This seems dead on to me. But I think his ouster will guarantee the spread of uprisings into the African subcontinent. More hardship coming in places that have seen nothing but hardship in my lifetime.
  19. Ghost Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 13, 2003
    star 6
    Gadhafi vows to fight on and die a martyr, burn down everything


    Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi vows to fight on and die a "martyr," calling on his supporters to take back the streets from protesters demanding his ouster, shouting and pounding his fist in a furious speech Tuesday on state TV.

    Gadhafi, swathed in brown robes and turban, spoke from a podium set up in the entrance of a bombed out building that appeared to be his Tripoli residence hit by U.S. airstrikes in the 1980s and left unrepaired as a monument of defiance. The speech, which appeared to have been taped earlier, was aired on a screen to hundreds of supporters massed in Tripoli's central Green Square.

    Shouting in the rambling speech, he declared himself "a warrior" and proclaimed, "Libya wants glory, Libya wants to be at the pinnacle, at the pinnacle of the world."

    At times the camera panned out to show a towering gold-colored monument in front of the building, showing a fist crushing a fighter jet with an American flag on it ? a view that also gave the strange image of Gadhafi speaking alone from behind a podium in the building's crumbling lobby, with no audience in front of him.

    "I am a fighter, a revolutionary from tents ... I will die as a martyr at the end," he said. "I have not yet ordered the use of force, not yet ordered one bullet to be fired ... when I do, everything will burn."



    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/af_libya_protests


    If he had any sanity left, it has now left the building.
  20. Jabbadabbado Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Mar 19, 1999
    star 7
    All the coastal oil terminals are reported closed, and foreign oil workers have mostly fled or are in the process of fleeing the country. Italy gets a quarter of its oil and a significant percentage of its natural gas directly from Libya, so they are in a position to be affected immediately by the disruption in Libyan oil production, although all of us will get higher gas prices, starting immediately. Some U.S. cities will see gas prices approaching $4/gallon, a price not seen since 2008 at the peak of the economic bubble.

    A massive protest in Bahrain and ongoing protests in Yemen keep the unrest within spitting distance of Saudi Arabia. If Saudi Arabian oil were to be disrupted, western economies would collapse. As of now, there is no indication of that happening. But Libya is bad enough, and disruption in Algeria, which is at this point a completely realistic scenario, would make matters worse.

    As of now:

    Libyan oil production: severely affected, with sea-based transit closed
    Algerian oil production: continuing, but under threat
    Iranian oil production: not under immediate threat, but at risk
    Iraq oil production: at risk, but with potential for immediate U.S. intervention
    Saudi Arabian oil: situation stable, with the likelihood that there are no limits to the level of western intervention that would be put on the table to help maintain that stability.
  21. Lowbacca_1977 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 28, 2006
    star 6
    Nonsense, the stuff going on in Algeria and Libya, at least, in terms of active conflict, are less than a month or two old. Wikipedia lists the Kosovo War as starting in February 1998, and NATO wasn't involved until more than a year later.


    A question, what effect would regime changes have on oil prices? Not the process, but would new governments effect the cost of oil, or just more likely mean that instead of corporate control we'll see the governments controlling the oil supplies and using it for national general funds rather than corporate earnings?
  22. Jabbadabbado Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Mar 19, 1999
    star 7
    Peaceful regime change should have no effect whatsoever on oil prices. What's at stake right now in Libya is simply the threat of an extended disruption of oil flowing out of the country. An oil spike back up to $130-$140/barrel could throw the U.S. back into recession.

    Extended chaos can lead to situations like Nigeria, where the oil flow is used as a weapon and periodic attacks on the oil infrastructure are part of insurgent strategy.

    Most of the autocratic regimes have long since nationalized their oil companies. Nationalization isn't a guaranteed evil, having produced a wide range of outcomes from places like Mexico, Iraq and Venezuela where the oil revenue was milked without proper reinvestment into infrastructure, allowing for tragic degradation of oil fields, pipelines, etc., to places like Saudi Arabia, which maybe has the best run oil company in the world, where they have made some of the largest infrastructure investments into their oil production in the last few years that the world has ever seen. No one in their right mind would allow a Hugo Chavez to run Saudi Aramco.

    There might be some fear of a different paradigm for resource nationalism taking root in places like Algeria and Libya, with new governments deciding to hold back more oil from world markets to promote domestic consumption or, heaven forbid, preserve the oil for future generations.
  23. Ghost Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 13, 2003
    star 6
    Gadhafi has threatened to burn his own oil pipelines, I believe. Most companies there are already shutting down.

    Since all these protests were sparked by rising prices of food and fuel, and the chaos in Libya will only increase those prices further, I think we can expect protests throughout all these other countries to get a lot worse.

    And yeah, it's going to affect us here in the United States too, as gas and groceries prices are probably going to rise again.
  24. Jabbadabbado Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Mar 19, 1999
    star 7
    I'm trying to imagine the conversation Hillary Clinton is now having on the phone with her counterpart in Saudi Arabia.

    HC: So, we'd like you to make an announcement about your willingness to step in and stabilize world oil prices
    Saudis: Did you notice when we called to complain about you hanging Mubarak out to dry?
    HC: yes, but we really don't want to see an oil superspike this week or next
    Saudis: And we don't really like your response to the situation in Bahrain, either.
    HC: further oil disruptions aren't going to help anyone
    Saudis: but we want guarantees about what you say and do when and if the time comes to reach out and crush protests in Riyadh.

    etc.
  25. Lowbacca_1977 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 28, 2006
    star 6
    Some good news, Algeria apparently has passed the law that will lift it's 19 year state of emergency.

    And a large demonstration has taken place in Bahrain with tens of thousands there. Seems it went peacefully.

    Dijbouti will be a bit if an interesting ground to see if this has any likelihood of spreading south.