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

 
 
JTT
 
  3  
Reply Tue 1 Feb, 2011 11:40 am
@Lash,
Quote:
JTT - You know you're easily one of the people I'm talking about. America is damned if they do, and damned if they don't as far as you're concerned. I might be a tad naive....but I AM even-handed and not blinded by preconceived notions or emotions. You should try that sometime.


And you'd like to suggest that it's me who has caused this stunning level of hypocrisy to occur, Lash. You are naive, terribly so. Y'all support this dictator [hardly the only one; check the historical record, Lash. It will do wonders for your naivete] for 30 years and you try to blame those who point up what you've done.

That's way more than 'naive'. And it certainly doesn't come anywhere close to 'even-handed'. But intelligent lady that you are, you already know that.


JTT
 
  2  
Reply Tue 1 Feb, 2011 11:42 am
@georgeob1,
Quote:
However in many respects the recent situation it is a good deal better than what they had prior to their independence from the Brirish.


Gob's normal expectorate is turning to blue faced spittle. Your "America's dictators are better than {____'s} dictators" is wearing a bit thin, Gob1.
0 Replies
 
Walter Hinteler
 
  2  
Reply Tue 1 Feb, 2011 11:45 am
@JPB,
What's missing on that map is ... Gaza: Hamas stopped the pro-Egypt rally in Gaza this afternoon, but the "demonstration" goes on, via twitter and the internet ...
Finn dAbuzz
 
  1  
Reply Tue 1 Feb, 2011 11:45 am
@dyslexia,
I don't disagree, but it appears that current looting and other criminality is isolated, and not really part of or flowing from the demonstrations.

I don't believe the main mass of protesters will stand in the way of the army cracking down on observable looting.

There are three ways these demonstrations can turn to violent riots:

1) The military begins an essentially unprovoked crackdown which it appears they have already decided not to do.
2) Agitators (see Muslim Brotherhood) stage incidents that can be blamed on the government.
3) There is some unpredictable and horribly tragic accident that everyone misreads.

You're right though, it still is possible (through #2 and #3) that things could turn ugly.
0 Replies
 
Finn dAbuzz
 
  1  
Reply Tue 1 Feb, 2011 11:47 am
@Walter Hinteler,
That tells us something about Hamas doesn't it?
0 Replies
 
Walter Hinteler
 
  6  
Reply Tue 1 Feb, 2011 11:50 am
@Finn dAbuzz,
Finn dAbuzz wrote:

Usually my romanticism wins out over my cynicisim, but when I look at this picture I wonder:

How many of these people are in this crowd simply because it seemed exciting and they had nothing better to do?

How many people are in the crowd because they are hoping to take part in violence?

How many people are in this crowd who are cutpurses and pickpockets?

How many people in this crowd are agitators for a non-democratic extremist faction?

How many people in this crowd were on their way to work and got stuck in the human traffic?

How many people in this crowd are not Egyptians?


I mean, it's a demonstration, which was announced yesterday.
Of course, if one dislikes a topic of a demonstration or demonstration per se, one certainly can critically analyse all and everything (what about the children, there and alone at home? ...).

But it's one of the most important rights we've got in a democracy - and the freedom of assembly doesn't need tickets which only can be got after certain examinations, isn't it?
spendius
 
  0  
Reply Tue 1 Feb, 2011 11:52 am
@georgeob1,
Quote:
However in many respects the recent situation it is a good deal better than what they had prior to their independence from the Brirish.


Do you think it's better for us George?

Whilst Mubarak remains they are arguing about the succession. Once that's decided is when the losers might kick off.
JPB
 
  1  
Reply Tue 1 Feb, 2011 12:01 pm
5:13pm: A giant TV screen has reportedly just been put up in Tahrir Square. No prizes for what it is showing....al-Jazeera. The revolution will be televised.
JPB
 
  1  
Reply Tue 1 Feb, 2011 12:30 pm
@JPB,
6:26pm: Mubarak will give a speech today, according to Al Arabiya television. There was no official confirmation. The channel also said Vice President Omar Suleiman had started meetings with representatives of parties.
0 Replies
 
georgeob1
 
  1  
Reply Tue 1 Feb, 2011 12:32 pm
@spendius,
spendius wrote:

Quote:
However in many respects the recent situation it is a good deal better than what they had prior to their independence from the Brirish.


Do you think it's better for us George?
You appear to be doing well.

As you can probably tell, I get a bit weary of Msolga's smug cheap shots, and passive aggressive evasion.

spendius wrote:

Whilst Mubarak remains they are arguing about the succession. Once that's decided is when the losers might kick off.
Agreed.... " the devil you know....."
JTT
 
  1  
Reply Tue 1 Feb, 2011 12:36 pm
@georgeob1,
This, from the master of deception and evasion.
0 Replies
 
JPB
 
  1  
Reply Tue 1 Feb, 2011 12:38 pm
From the Telegraph

18.32 Sultan Al Qassemi tweets that Al Arabiya is reporting that Mubarak will announce tonight that he will not run again for presidency and that Mubarak will pledge to meet the demands of the opposition parties within "a specific timeframe"
JPB
 
  2  
Reply Tue 1 Feb, 2011 12:43 pm
@JPB,
From the Guardian

6:40pm: Al Arabiya TV is now reporting that President Hosni Mubarak will say in a speech that he will step down at the next election but will stay in office till then to meet demands of protesters in that period.
JTT
 
  3  
Reply Tue 1 Feb, 2011 12:48 pm
@JPB,
Quote:
... but will stay in office till then to meet demands of protesters in that period.


I don't think that that's gonna sit all that well with the folks in the street.
JPB
 
  1  
Reply Tue 1 Feb, 2011 12:54 pm
@JTT,
Yeah, I think it may depend on how he presents it. It's reported that the VP has already been in contact with opposition groups ostensibly asking them to accept this offer of a smooth transition.
JTT
 
  1  
Reply Tue 1 Feb, 2011 01:10 pm
@JPB,
A smooth transition would be best. I wonder if a smooth transition will include Mubarak leaving the Egyptian treasury intact.

I've always found it surprising how all these western countries, rule of law countries, could accept ex-dictators who arrived with tons of money stolen from their countries.
0 Replies
 
Finn dAbuzz
 
  1  
Reply Tue 1 Feb, 2011 01:14 pm
@Walter Hinteler,
Walter Hinteler wrote:


I mean, it's a demonstration, which was announced yesterday.
Of course, if one dislikes a topic of a demonstration or demonstration per se, one certainly can critically analyse all and everything (what about the children, there and alone at home? ...).

But it's one of the most important rights we've got in a democracy - and the freedom of assembly doesn't need tickets which only can be got after certain examinations, isn't it?


Your reactions are almost always interesting Walter.

How you interpreted my comments to be a criticism of freedom of assembly, or of the Egyptian demonstrators is beyond me.

Human emotions are easily manipulated, and photography has proven to be a masterful tool for such manipulation.

I doubt you seriously believe that each and every one of the people in the massive crowds in Cairo is an honest, stout-hearted advocate for justice and democracy.

I looked at the photo which is intended to evoke certain emotions and far more prosaic questions came to mind.

There has been some discussion in this thread of the West perceiving people in places like Egypt as "the other." If I am correct in predicting the general reaction to this photo from a Western audience then either it assists in debunking the notion of a perspective of "the other" or highlights a twist to the term.

If, as I surmise, the general reaction is a positive one then it certainly implies a great deal of empathy for these people. It's highly unlikely that a Westerner looking at this picture is thinking: "I wonder why all of these funny, dark wogs are gathering around a tank when their nation is in turmoil," or "Look, you can see the potential for violence boiling in this heathen crowd. Surely they don't comprehend the notions of justice or democracy!"

No criticism intended, but JPB observes that most of the signs seem amateurish or hand-made and responds positively to the possibility that this means the protestors are not organized and their uprising has been spontaneous.

One might assume that this actually means the crowd is not much more than a leaderless mob, driven by passion rather than reason; with little to no idea of what is to come next, and which could erupt in violence at any time.

Which view is more or less valid?

Compare this to the reactions many Westerners have had for similar photos (minus the tank) of Tea Party rallies (or, to be fair, Anti-War protests).

It is far less likely for there to be a relatively uniform Western reaction to a photo of a Tea Party rally or an Anti-war demonstration than to this photo.

Because these Egyptians are "others" who we cannot comprehend as having multiple dimensions or motivations?

Because we want to view the demonstrations in Egypt as a positive expression of basic human yearning for freedom and self-determination?

Sometime, perhaps, "the others" get the benefit of our doubt and unfamiliarity.





JPB
 
  2  
Reply Tue 1 Feb, 2011 01:20 pm
@Finn dAbuzz,
Quote:
If, as I surmise, the general reaction is a positive one then it certainly implies a great deal of empathy for these people. It's highly unlikely that a Westerner looking at this picture is thinking: "I wonder why all of these funny, dark wogs are gathering around a tank when their nation is in turmoil," or "Look, you can see the potential for violence boiling in this heathen crowd. Surely they don't comprehend the notions of justice or democracy!"


Just as there were probably some of each of your groups with personal agendas, I imagine there are some westerners who have exactly those thoughts above. In fact, I can think of a few folk here who I can imagine having those thoughts.
revelette
 
  2  
Reply Tue 1 Feb, 2011 01:23 pm
boy, finn, I don't think I have read such a gloom and doom and somewhat offensive in language post from you before. What gives?

When I look at the images of all the people in Egypt exercising rights we take for granted, I just see it as a positive thing regardless if they have a plan for what is next or not. Apparently, all those people know what they had and they don't want it anymore. When we first started our country I doubt the "founding fathers" had all the answers either.
JPB
 
  1  
Reply Tue 1 Feb, 2011 01:32 pm
From Al jazeera's website

Quote:
A coalition of opposition groups have told Egypt's government that they would only begin talks with the military on a transition to democracy once president Hosni Mubarak stands down.

Massive protests over the past week have shaken Mubarak's 30-year grip on power, forcing him to appoint a deputy and new cabinet.

But protesters, emboldened by an army vow not to use force against them, say they will continue until Mubarak quits.

"Our first demand is that Mubarak goes. Only after that can dialogue start with the military establishment on the details of a peaceful transition of power," said Mohammed al-Beltagi, a former member of parliament from the Muslim Brotherhood.

Beltagi said the opposition was operating under an umbrella group, the National Committee for Following up the People's Demands, which includes the Brotherhood, the National Association for Change headed by Mohamed El Baradei, political parties and prominent figures including Coptic Christians.

Beltagi's comments were echoed by El Baradei and another opposition officials.

"There can be dialogue but it has to come after the demands of the people are met and the first of those is that president Mubarak leaves," El Baradei told Al Arabiya television, saying the dialogue would involve transitional power arrangements.

"I hope to see Egypt peaceful and that's going to require as a first step the departure of president Mubarak. If president Mubarak leaves, then everything will progress correctly."

Mubarak has used the Brotherhood, Egypt's largest opposition group, to present himself as a bastion against Islamism. He accused Islamists this week of subverting the protests, which include Egyptians from all walks of life, to provoke disorder and looting. More
0 Replies
 
 

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