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Tunesia, Egyt and now Yemen: a domino effect in the Middle East?

 
 
hingehead
 
  0  
Reply Thu 27 Jan, 2011 11:03 pm
@cicerone imposter,
Speaking of Israel, has the leaked peace process stuff got much of a run in the US? Basically the selective leaking makes it look like Fatah and the PA crawled and snivelled and offered massive concessions to the Israelis - and got jack **** in return except a snubbed 'No'.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/jan/23/palestine-papers-expose-peace-concession
cicerone imposter
 
  0  
Reply Thu 27 Jan, 2011 11:06 pm
@hingehead,
hh, That's the same news we have; it seems the Pals leader got into hot water for the concessions he supposedly made with the Israelis. The Israelis have been playing that "game" for many decades now, and they're not about to stop playing as long as the US continues to "support" Israel.
0 Replies
 
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Thu 27 Jan, 2011 11:15 pm
@cicerone imposter,
Quote:
msolga, I do not believe there is another country except the US in support of Israel. We still give Israel about $4 billion every year, and most Middle East countries see us as supporters of Israel even when everybody on this planet knows it's not a "democracy." They keep expanding their settlements by taking land away from the Palestinians. How long this can go on is anybody's guess


OK then, c i.
Egypt "officially" supports Israel. (as best I understand the situation)
And, of course by default , the Egyptian government supports US policy in the middle east.

I was speculating - maybe prematurely - because at this point we do not know what will actually happen in Egypt (especially) & the other Arab countries whose entrenched governments are being challenged by their citizens ...

But, just say, some of these anti-government protests are successful.
There would be a significant change of "affiliation alignments" in the region, do you agree?
Which might well change the nature of Israeli's support in the region?
Which might lead to a whole new ball game in US foreign policy as it relates to the middle east ... out of necessity. Because the "official" support base would be vanishing ... fast.
JTT
 
  0  
Reply Thu 27 Jan, 2011 11:37 pm
I wonder what state Mubarak will choose to settle down in. Florida seems to be popular with ex thugs, ex brutal dictators, ex war criminals.
0 Replies
 
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Fri 28 Jan, 2011 12:58 am
@msolga,
Quote:
Israel warily eyes its strategic ally as violence rocks the region
Isabel Kershner, Jerusalem
January 28, 2011


AFTER the Tunisian revolution and the emergence of a Hezbollah-backed government in Lebanon, Israelis are confronting another jolt to the system as mass protests rock Egypt, the partner in Israel's oldest and most important Middle East relationship.

Although the recent upheavals have not been about Israel, they could have a momentous impact on its future.

Yet Israel, often a major player, now finds itself in the less familiar, somewhat unnerving, role of spectator.

''When we say we are following events closely,'' said an Israeli official, who insisted on anonymity because of the delicacy of the diplomatic situation, ''that is the truth. There is not much else we can do.''

Israel has a special stake in Egypt's stability. The two countries share a long border and signed a historic peace treaty in 1979, a cornerstone of the regional balance that has endured for more than 30 years.

Though the peace, Israel's first with an Arab partner, has remained cold - Egyptian civil society still boycotts Israel - the relationship is viewed here as critical.


Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu confers regularly with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak; they met most recently on January 6 in the Sinai resort of Sharm el-Sheikh for what an official described as strategic discussions.

''Egypt is not only our closest friend in the region,'' Benjamin Ben-Eliezer, a veteran Israeli politician and former defence minister known for his close ties to senior Egyptian officials, told Army Radio on Wednesday, ''the co-operation between us goes beyond the strategic.''

Israeli officials and analysts said they believed that Mr Mubarak's government was strong enough to withstand the protests, at least as long as it had the backing of the Egyptian army.

But with Mr Mubarak, who came to power in 1981, now an ailing octogenarian, Israelis were in any case looking ahead to a transition of some sort in Egypt, amid a sense of a shifting regional equilibrium.

Israelis speak of two arcs in the region - a northern, Iranian-oriented one including Iran, Syria and now Lebanon; and a more moderate, southern arc spanning North Africa, Egypt, Israel, the Palestinian Authority, Jordan and the Persian Gulf states.

''We see the northern arc growing in strength,'' said Oded Eran, director of the Institute for National Security Studies at Tel Aviv University and a former Israeli ambassador to Jordan, ''and the southern arc in a very volatile period.

''While we should all congratulate the forces calling for more democracy, if this is the case,'' he added, noting that the opposition in Egypt includes Islamic fundamentalists, ''for now, the effect is destabilising.''

Israelis were not yet envisaging a future without the peace treaty with Egypt.

Mr Eran said that almost any government in Egypt would want to maintain the pact, even at a low profile, because so much was hinged on it, including Egypt's relations with, and aid from, the United States.

At least in the short term, Israelis did not see a need for panic.

''If anyone was planning to go on a tourist adventure to Egypt in the near future, including a dreamy cruise on the Nile or a tour of the Cairo pyramids, we can immediately say: Go, don't be afraid,'' wrote Smadar Peri, Arab affairs correspondent for the Yediot Ahronot newspaper. ''There is no reason to change your plans.''

But at the same time, officials here were cautious about making long-term predictions. After Mr Mubarak leaves the stage, one said, ''We have no idea what will happen.''

NEW YORK TIMES

http://www.theage.com.au/world/israel-warily-eyes-its-strategic-ally-as-violence-rocks-the-region-20110127-1a6ub.html
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  0  
Reply Fri 28 Jan, 2011 06:08 am
The Egyptian government has shut down cell phone and internet service, and yet hundreds of thousands of people are expected to go out into the streets today. The police, known for their brutality, have severely beaten thousands, and many are reported to have been killed--yet hundreds of thousands are expected to be in the streets today.

This reminds me of the Russian revolution of March, 1917. When the police caved in, the imperial government was doomed. If the Egyptian police ever reach the point where they fear for their own, personal saftety, or if they reach the point that their sympathies shift to the protestors, the government will collapse.

Very soon, the only alternative will be to clear the streets with gunfire.
0 Replies
 
Lash
 
  1  
Reply Fri 28 Jan, 2011 10:18 am
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20110128/ap_on_re_mi_ea/ml_egypt_wikileaks
I do dearly love it when the people throw off miserable regimes. Very worried about the fallout for Israel.
0 Replies
 
JPB
 
  1  
Reply Fri 28 Jan, 2011 10:42 am
Headlines only at this point:

Open Revolt on the streets of Cairo

Egypt's ruling party headquarters in Cairo is burning

Elbaradei put under house arrest
0 Replies
 
fbaezer
 
  3  
Reply Fri 28 Jan, 2011 11:21 am
It has been explained to me that Tunisia was the easiest piece to fall, because of Ben Ali's greed (or inability) to "sprinkle" the military with the benefits of his cleptocracy, choosing instead to benefit a lot the relatives of his (very unpopular) wife.
Mubarak has indeed "sprinkled" the military with the benefits of his own kind of cleptocracy. So what happens with the rebellion will set the possibilities of success (a "domino effect") in Yemen, who has a similar regime.
I've been told Syria would be a little bit harder and Lybia, a lot lot harder.

In all cases, the process of the rebellion has been first, economic unrest and, only later, political upheaval. And the key is unemployment. Many countries are now having "recoveries" from the recession, but without the creation of new jobs. A job means hope, unemployment means desperation.
cicerone imposter
 
  0  
Reply Fri 28 Jan, 2011 11:26 am
@msolga,
msolga wrote:
Quote:
There would be a significant change of "affiliation alignments" in the region, do you agree?
Which might well change the nature of Israeli's support in the region?
Which might lead to a whole new ball game in US foreign policy as it relates to the middle east ... out of necessity. Because the "official" support base would be vanishing ... fast.


Yes, I agree, and your opinion that follows makes a lot of sense.
It's also because Obama is a different kind of president who sees Israel as a rock in his shoes.
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  0  
Reply Fri 28 Jan, 2011 11:27 am
@fbaezer,
This is a good point. After the failed invasion of Chad, GotDaffy's regime was tottering, and he quickly resolved the problem by sharing the wealth with his (now humiliated) military. Also, when people mention Algeria in the list of possible toppling states, i think they ignore that in Algeria there was a case in which a popular regime (fundamentalist Muslim) was toppled by a military unwilling to give up the fruits of western soceity. I don't see Algeria going the way of Tunisia.
0 Replies
 
Rockhead
 
  0  
Reply Fri 28 Jan, 2011 11:30 am
the internet has been shut off in Egypt.

completely.
0 Replies
 
JPB
 
  1  
Reply Fri 28 Jan, 2011 11:48 am
I'm following the live updates on The Guardian. This one is interesting...

Quote:
Brian Whittaker, a Middle East expert at the Guardian, has provided this snap analysis of Clinton's words:

It looks to me as if Clinton is angling for a negotiated departure by Mubarak, accompanied by an increase in political freedom. I think the US is aiming to structure the solution in a way that would protect its key interests: the peace treaty with Israel, the Suez canal, and co-operation against terrorism.


Who, us?
0 Replies
 
Finn dAbuzz
 
  1  
Reply Fri 28 Jan, 2011 11:49 am
@Walter Hinteler,
Walter Hinteler wrote:

Finn dAbuzz wrote:


In addition, while there are, obviously, legitimate complaints by oppressed citizenry, the Resistance is largely controlled by a Fundamentalist Islamic opposition that has been in place and operating for many years now. It is not about to let populist, pro-democratic forces lead the way.


That's what I doubt, especially, when you look at the local/regional scenes.

It is a populist resistance, if it's a democratic one, well, that's the question (and it wasn't really democratic one in e.g. the former Yugoslavian countries either).


I suppose you're right re the former Yugoslavian countries, but the Tito regime operated more independently than those in place in Poland, Hungary, et al. Ironically, Muslims played a major role in the events. Those pesky Muhammedans seem to always be around when there is trouble. Cool
JPB
 
  1  
Reply Fri 28 Jan, 2011 11:50 am
Here are the latest ones:

5:41on:The Egyptian government has extended the curfew to the entire country, Egyptian state TV reports.

5.34pm: A member of ElBaradei's group told al-Jazeera there are 80,000 people protesting in Port Said, where she said a 14-year-old had been killed.

5.27pm:The Associated Press says thousands of protesters are trying to storm the foreign ministry and state TV buildings in Cairo.

CloseLink to this update: http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/blog/2011/jan/28/egypt-protests-live-updates#block-100
tsarstepan
 
  1  
Reply Fri 28 Jan, 2011 12:07 pm
Does the media have any idea to how much extent the fundamentalist Islamic faction has in controlling the protests? Hopefully, if and when the Egyptian government falls, the majority of those protesters will not turn to this minority for leadership advice.
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  0  
Reply Fri 28 Jan, 2011 12:13 pm
It is foolish to think of Muslims as a monolith, just as foolish as it would be to think of Christians as a monolith. Are Baptists and Catholics identical? There is no single fundamentalist group who might grab for power, just as there is no single type of Islam practiced in Egypt. The majority are Sunni, and even they are not a single, monolithic sect.

Quite apart from that, you're ignoring that Mubarek is not gone, and if he turns the army loose on the demonstrators, he may well not be going anywhere.
Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Fri 28 Jan, 2011 12:17 pm
@Finn dAbuzz,
Finn dAbuzz wrote:
Ironically, Muslims played a major role in the events. Those pesky Muhammedans seem to always be around when there is trouble. Cool


Not all could be slaughtered in the Srebrenica massacre Shocked
0 Replies
 
cicerone imposter
 
  0  
Reply Fri 28 Jan, 2011 12:18 pm
@Setanta,
Set, Good post. It requires reminding that not all Muslims are created equal. Many still don't understand the difference.
0 Replies
 
Walter Hinteler
 
  0  
Reply Fri 28 Jan, 2011 12:32 pm
@JPB,
Besides all that: thousands of Jordanians demonstrated -peacefully- in Amman and other cities after weekly prayers on Friday to press for political and economic reform, and demanding that the government resign.
0 Replies
 
 

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