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Tunisia... and now Egypt

Discussion in 'Serious' started by docodine, 26 Jan 2011.

  1. Cthippo

    Cthippo Can't mod my way out of a paper bag

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    I think everyone is watching Egypt, if it goes then a lot of places will. If Egypt can contain it without making too much of a mess then there is a chance that Tunisia will be the only actual revolution, though a number of countries, including Algeria, are taking measures to improve the quality of life of their citizens to try to ward off more unrest.

    Stability and safety are basic needs and must be met before people worry about intangibles such as democracy (Yes, I'm talking Maslow here). People have shown a great tendency to trade freedom for security which, as much as it irritates us, is a reasonable from a survival point of view. The problem comes when the insecurities are manufactured by those in power to perpetuate their power. There is a difference between accepting censorship during times of war because the information might actually cause the death of troops versus maintaing a state of emergency for 30 years because "they" are out to get us.

    The "democracy / dictatorship" dichotomy is also nowhere near as cut and dried as it sounds. Neither Russia since Stalin nor China since Mao have been dictatorships. Rather, while they may be repressive societies, there are multiple centers of power and various factions within the government that act as de facto political parties. You also have variations of absolute monarchies which while not democratic are also not particularly repressive. There are almost limitless permutations of government.

    Final thought. I would be leery of the US or any other country following a "one issue" foreign policy. While we should support people's right to self determination, we also need to keep in mind other issues around human rights, justice, security and other issues. Where should we stand if a party is democratically elected on a platform of war or genocide? Should we support democracy when it leads to the majority suppressing or victimizing the minority? Life is never as simple as "Democracy = good".
     
    Last edited: 28 Jan 2011
  2. docodine

    docodine killed a guy once

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    The Muslim Brotherhood are backing today's protests, it'll be ugly.
     
  3. Ph4ZeD

    Ph4ZeD What's a Dremel?

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    Thats what happens when a dictator oppresses millions of people and leaves them with no jobs and no future. Maybe you should stop apologising for him.
     
  4. Jumeira_Johnny

    Jumeira_Johnny 16032 - High plains drifter

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    You do know that they haven't committed an act of violence since the 60's, while there are eye witness accounts of the police services gang raping female protesters in alleys. You do know that, right?

    You do know that as a political party, the brotherhood represent over 20% of the population, right? They provide essential services to those turned away from government services and can't afford private ones. They have a legitimate claim to represent Egyptians in a government. More so then Mubarak's pet 'opposition' does.
     
  5. C-Sniper

    C-Sniper Stop Trolling this space Ądmins!

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    From what I see, there are a lot of parallels between the Egyptian protests and the Iranian ones from about 2 years ago. Both governments had the backing of the army and the police to reinforce their positions and deal with the unrest. Both are with regards to removing the leader from what the people see as an unlawful and detrimental position. And finally both are being dealt with the same way, crushing force by the police to the army.

    Unless Egyptians can prolong the riots and protests for about a month or two without any loss in steam then I do not see much coming from this other than an incredibly pissed off gov't. If they cannot, then they might get a concession here or there, but it will be balanced out by a severe reduction in personal freedoms.
     
  6. docodine

    docodine killed a guy once

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    It's not them that will be making things ugly necessarily, it'll be the government security forces. Mubarak doesn't tolerate the MB, even when they're not doing anything. Them protesting = a bad situation.
     
  7. Cookiemonster101

    Cookiemonster101 What's a Dremel?

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    I haven't seen much talk about the protesters being attacked, and on the Al Jazeera stream they keep saying there is pretty much no police presence and that the military is being cheered and welcomed. Doesn't seem like crushing force to me.

    You make a good point in that there's going to have to be an insane surge and non stop protest in order for anything large to happen.
     
    Last edited: 28 Jan 2011
  8. PureSilver

    PureSilver E-tailer Tailor

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    Perhaps. But how to explain to the emaciated corpses of the North Korean population in 2030 that the West didn't intervene in their case because they should have conducted their own revolution? Surely the worst sort of dictator - and the one the West should prioritise for regime change - is the one with such an iron grip that not even the slightest hint of dissent can survive, let alone a coherent opposition capable of revolt and democratic reform? By our own hands was the theme of Tiananmen Square as well as Sidi Bouzid.
     
  9. bemused

    bemused What's a Dremel?

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    I think people wanting a political voice is a jolly good thing, I suspect they may end up with something the people don't really want. However; if these societies are going to develop a form of democrat representation they need to be allowed to revolt. The West has do itself no favours holding up regimes for the last 60 years or so.
     
  10. docodine

    docodine killed a guy once

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    Finally got a call from family in Cairo, apparently my cousin and uncle (with the other men there) have been defending their apartment building with bats and pipes for the past couple days since there hasn't been any police..
     
  11. omicron

    omicron Baud.

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    Similar reports from my family out there. Been hearing about sporadic violence against Christians, too. Worrying times.
     
  12. Nexxo

    Nexxo * Prefab Sprout – The King of Rock 'n' Roll

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    I'm not sure that we'd do any better explaining ourselves to the emaciated corpses of Afghan refugees. Or the two million dispossessed of Iraq. Or the emaciated Nicaraguans. Or Guatemalans. Or --well, you get the idea.

    I find that the Hippocratic oath always works well in these sorts of scenarios. First, do no harm. If our motives are not pure (and they rarely are), neither will be our actions, nor the consequences.
     
  13. Cthippo

    Cthippo Can't mod my way out of a paper bag

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    Here's my prediction, for what it's worth...

    Mubarak's done, he and his son will quietly slip off into exile somewhere comfortable and live happily ever after. El-Badari will rise to power with the support of the military and things will settle down in the next few months.

    The key here is the military, who play something of a king-maker role are inherently resistant to change. They're not going to let a religious radical come to power, nor are they going to allow someone who wants to invade Israel.

    El-Badari is generally recognized as a moderate and while he may not be popular in all areas of society, nobody seems to hate him. He's well respected in the international community and so the rest of the world could get behind him as leader.

    I expect we'll see a fairly peaceful transition to a more democratic, though perhaps not entirely so, regime.
     
  14. DXR_13KE

    DXR_13KE BananaModder

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    In the meantime this is making oil prices rise...
     
  15. Nexxo

    Nexxo * Prefab Sprout – The King of Rock 'n' Roll

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    Any excuse. BP has a loss to make up for, and other oil companies love to see oil prices rise. Expect to pay £2,-- a litre at the pump by the end of this year.
     
  16. Jumeira_Johnny

    Jumeira_Johnny 16032 - High plains drifter

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    You make it sound like a bad thing. If we really want to change our energy situation, then we need oil to be over $150 a barrel for as long as possible. That seems to be the point at which people seriously change their usage habits, particularly in the US and Europe. Most of the oil usage in China is industrial, and will take longer to make the shift.

    The higher the oil price, the faster we shift to Hydrogen/Electric/Hybrid cars. The faster that happens, the faster the oil infrastructure crumbles and shifts to better solutions. Cheap oil = apathy.
     
  17. steveo_mcg

    steveo_mcg What's a Dremel?

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    This. Although it will be very painful for a good few years it will be worth it in the end.
     
  18. DXR_13KE

    DXR_13KE BananaModder

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    Really? i was trying to make it sound like i was happy and eager to dance on some graves...
     
  19. PureSilver

    PureSilver E-tailer Tailor

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    +1. To make efficiency a priority you need to make raw materials expensive.
     
  20. Showerhead

    Showerhead What's a Dremel?

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    How long is Mubarak planning to hold out for. it's clear now he can't hold onto power nand if he stalls to long I wouldn't be surprised to see the army removing him by force.
     

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