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Blunderov
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Egypt
« on: 2011-01-28 13:38:09 »
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[Blunderov] I've bee watching al Jazeera all afternoon. This is a 9/11 moment if I'm any judge. Hilary Clinton just about wet her knickers on live prime time TV whilst appealing for calm. Everybody knows why. Israel...


http://leninology.blogspot.com/2011/01/imperialist-remedy-for-egypt.html

The imperialist remedy for Egypt
28 January 2011, 16:46:12 | noreply@blogger.com (lenin)
Joe Biden:


Ahead of a day that could prove decisive, NewsHour host Jim Lehrer asked Biden if the time has "come for President Mubarak of Egypt to go?" Biden answered: "No. I think the time has come for President Mubarak to begin to move in the direction that – to be more responsive to some... of the needs of the people out there."

Asked if he would characterize Mubarak as a dictator Biden responded: “Mubarak has been an ally of ours in a number of things. And he’s been very responsible on, relative to geopolitical interest in the region, the Middle East peace efforts; the actions Egypt has taken relative to normalizing relationship with – with Israel. … I would not refer to him as a dictator.”



Tony Blair:


In the interview, Blair also said Egypt should "evolve and modernise", but in a way that ensured stability.

"The challenges have been the same for these countries for a long period of time," he added. "The question is how they evolve and modernise, but do so with stability. The danger is [that] if you open up a vacuum, anything can happen.

"All over that region, there is essentially one issue, which is how do they evolve and modernise, both in terms of their economy, their society and their politics.

"All I'm saying is that, in the case of Egypt and in the case in Yemen, because there are other factors in this – not least those who would use any vacuum in order to foment extremism – that you do this in what I would call a stable and ordered way."

Blair said the west should engage with countries such as Egypt in the process of change "so that you weren't left with what is actually the most dangerous problem in the Middle East, which is that an elite that has an open minded attitude but it's out of touch with popular opinion, and popular opinion that can often – because it has not been given popular expression in its politics – end up frankly with the wrong idea and a closed idea."

Egyptians, long-suffering under a dictator and his torturing, murdering security apparatus, should not have to listen to this contemptible shit. It will be a deliverance when these wretched monsters have to sit and sweat and squirm and bark out fake wisdom as that outpost of US imperialism is overthrown. Today is the biggest day of protests so far. It's not easy to see Mubarak get overthrown as quickly as Ben Ali was. He is much more entrenched, and (I am led to believe) his social base is much wider. As a result, his security forces may feel more at ease with butchering a few dozens or hundreds of protesters. But there doesn't seem to be any turning back either. Perhaps the only thing, the last thing, that could save Mubarak and the comprador regime that supports him is a platoon of US troops. And the final barrier to that would ultimately be unrest in the imperialist countries.

Update: Oho... "It is white with gas, but the protesters are pushing the police back," ... "The police have now given up fighting the protesters. The police and protesters are now talking, with protesters bringing water and vinegar (for teargas) to the police. Afternoon prayer has just been called and hundreds are praying in front of the mosque in east Alexandria."

Further update: The revolution is being televised, on Al Jazeera.

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Re:Egypt
« Reply #1 on: 2011-01-28 17:57:01 »
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Quote from: Blunderov on 2011-01-28 13:38:09   
" The danger is [that] if you open up a vacuum, anything can happen.


[Blunderov] If anyone would know this I suppose it would it would be Tony B. Liar. Pity he didn't know it sooner. Opinion is divided as to which of either stupidity or irony are the most common elements in the universe. Sadly, the risible recent statements by Bush's Bitch have done nothing to resolve the matter either way.

More seriously, the subtext to Blair's comments (and also the Whitehouse spokesman's statements) seems to be that the US and the UK have previously preferred regional stabilty to the democratic rights of the people of Egypt because Israel would be more secure that way.

Things on the ground being what they now are, we may confidently expect a continuous stream of unctious (if meaningless) democratic sanctimonies from Western leaders frantic to to get onside with the rapidly approaching new order. Oh the lulz! Encore, Hilary, encore! Do that shtick about how "violence is not the answer" again! That one really brings the house down. Except, of course, in Gaza and Fallujah where the houses are already down but you can't please everybody I suppose.
« Last Edit: 2011-01-28 18:10:46 by Blunderov » Report to moderator   Logged
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Re:Egypt
« Reply #2 on: 2011-02-09 16:17:07 »
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Gentlemen place your bets .....

Sigh

Fritz


The Shoe Thrower's index

Source: The Economist
Author: Print Edition
Date: 2011.02.09

An index of unrest in the Arab world

IN THIS week's print edition we ran a table showing a number of indicators for members of the Arab League. By adding a few more and ascribing different weights to them we have come up with the Shoe Thrower's index, which aims to predict where the scent of jasmine may spread next. Some factors are hard to put a number on and are therefore discounted. For instance, dissent is harder in countries with a very repressive secret police (like Libya). The data on unemployment were too spotty to be comparable and so this important factor is discounted too. We took out the Comoros and Djibouti, which do not have a great deal in common with the rest of the group, and removed the Palestinian territories, Sudan and Somalia for lack of data. The chart below is the result of ascribing a weighting of 35% for the share of the population that is under 25; 15% for the number of years the government has been in power; 15% for both corruption and lack of democracy as measured by existing indices; 10% for GDP per person; 5% for an index of censorship and 5% for the absolute number of people younger than 25. Jordan comes out surprisingly low on the chart, which suggests the weighting might need to be tweaked. Post suggestions in the comments below and we will refine it.



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Re:Egypt
« Reply #3 on: 2011-02-11 15:06:20 »
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http://leninology.blogspot.com/2011/02/mubarak-is-gone.html


Mubarak is gone
11 February 2011, 19:52:28 | noreply@blogger.com (lenin)

Mubarak has been ousted. Just after four o'clock GMT he announced his resignation. He has fled, reportedly to Sharm el-Shaikh. He should be arrested and tried. Egypt is celebrating. It is not over, of course. But the generals who made their move are not in control of events, and they can't crush the real forms of grassroots democracy that have developed in this revolution. They can't risk taking on the people who forced their hand today with such unprecedented, furious protests. Don't forget what bloody clashes preceded Mubarak's departure, how many Egyptians were killed in his crazed last gamble for power. Two million protesters thronged into Tahrir Square, and people kept coming. People marched on the presidential palace. An NDP headquarters was taken over. In el-Arish, cops killed five people. This was won with heavy losses, and there's further to go. Next stop, open the Rafah crossings. And it doesn't end with Egypt. Look at what's happening in Bahrain, in Yemen, Algeria, even Saudi Arabia. In Algeria even now, police are trying to repress a celebration of the revolt. These are beginnings, not conclusions. America's chain of icily psychopathic despotisms is beginning to shake.

[Blunderov] Democracy is coming to the Arab world - maybe. Real democracy - mayb. The possibilty that it could come to America too might explain the visible trepidation on the faces of American politicians seen on TV recently. How long before the realisation dawns on Joe the Plumber that he is being fucked over just as badly as Ahmed the Steetsweeper ever was? The more the economy tanks the more the possibilty arises.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gHoOTXEfUNo


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Re:Egypt
« Reply #4 on: 2011-02-12 01:09:48 »
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Quote from: Blunderov on 2011-02-11 15:06:20   

http://leninology.blogspot.com/2011/02/mubarak-is-gone.html


. . . . [Blunderov] Democracy is coming to the Arab world - maybe. Real democracy - mayb. The possibilty that it could come to America too might explain the visible trepidation on the faces of American politicians seen on TV recently. . . .

Excellent observation. I just had to pass this on to my political friends in the US. -Mo
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Re:Egypt
« Reply #5 on: 2011-02-12 06:51:48 »
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[Blunderov] Hey Mo Long time. Yup. Seems like one Gov. Scott Walker may have been watching al Jazeera. One of the nice things about living in SA is that neither CNN or FAUX News is easily available here so I don't know how much, or what sort, of coverage has been available in the USA. I'm assuming that there is a certain reluctance to dwell on the effectiveness of popular uprisings but I could be wrong...

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.php?az=view_all&address=102x4729909

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/chi-ap-wi-budgetwoes-nation,0,771747.story

Walker says National Guard is prepared
Source: Chicago Tribune

MADISON, Wis. — Gov. Scott Walker says the Wisconsin National Guard is prepared to respond if there is any unrest among state employees in the wake of his announcement that he wants to take away nearly all collective bargaining rights.

Walker said Friday that he hasn't called the Guard into action, but he has briefed them and other state agencies in preparation of any problems.

Walker says he has every confidence that state employees will continue to show up for work and do their jobs. But he says he's been working on contingency plans for months just in case they don't.

Walker says he's not anticipating any problems.


Read more: http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/chi-ap-wi-budgetwoes...

What.The.Fu*k!

[Blunderov] Hmm. Remember the Kent State Massacre? I have my doubts about whether the US authorities would demonstrate the same circumspection as the Egyptian army has. Which could easily cause a peaceful demonstration to become not a so peaceful revolution.

Srsly tho: WTF? Scott is planning on shooting people who stand up for their constitutional rights of free association? Jesus wept
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Re:Egypt
« Reply #6 on: 2011-02-13 09:43:59 »
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That is sad. Thanks, Blunderov, I missed that story. What a small mentality the Wisconsin governor displays. As for Egypt, a facebook friend of mine expressed skepticism that they will become a legitimate democracy. I suppose it's a fair doubt; they are only a military government at the present so the deal is not yet done. I do, however give them a greater chance than Iraq as their democracy movement was genuinely homegrown and not imposed on them by foreigners.

-Mo


Quote from: Blunderov on 2011-02-12 06:51:48   

[Blunderov] Hey Mo Long time. Yup. Seems like one Gov. Scott Walker may have been watching al Jazeera. One of the nice things about living in SA is that neither CNN or FAUX News is easily available here so I don't know how much, or what sort, of coverage has been available in the USA. I'm assuming that there is a certain reluctance to dwell on the effectiveness of popular uprisings but I could be wrong...

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.php?az=view_all&address=102x4729909

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/chi-ap-wi-budgetwoes-nation,0,771747.story

Walker says National Guard is prepared
Source: Chicago Tribune

MADISON, Wis. — Gov. Scott Walker says the Wisconsin National Guard is prepared to respond if there is any unrest among state employees in the wake of his announcement that he wants to take away nearly all collective bargaining rights.

Walker said Friday that he hasn't called the Guard into action, but he has briefed them and other state agencies in preparation of any problems.

Walker says he has every confidence that state employees will continue to show up for work and do their jobs. But he says he's been working on contingency plans for months just in case they don't.

Walker says he's not anticipating any problems.


Read more: http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/chi-ap-wi-budgetwoes...

What.The.Fu*k!

[Blunderov] Hmm. Remember the Kent State Massacre? I have my doubts about whether the US authorities would demonstrate the same circumspection as the Egyptian army has. Which could easily cause a peaceful demonstration to become not a so peaceful revolution.

Srsly tho: WTF? Scott is planning on shooting people who stand up for their constitutional rights of free association? Jesus wept

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Re:Egypt
« Reply #7 on: 2011-02-13 11:40:33 »
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Sat found this interesting article comparing Mexico to Egypt's situation.
Interesting speculation.
Mexico Will Follow Egypt Into Collapse
January 31, 2011 

Quote:
Mexico seems likely follow Egypt into collapse within two years based on falling oil revenue and rising food prices:

  • Mexicans spend about 22% of their disposable income on food. In 2010 corn prices increased 52% and wheat 47%. With the floods in Australia, ethanol in the U.S. and higher fuel prices it seems likely food will consume 50% of disposable income within a year. That is an average. There will be a critical percent of the population where food costs will exceed their disposable income. Hunger will amplify risks.
  • Mexico's government gets about 40% of its revenues from oil. As noted in BP data complied at Energy Export Database Mexico's domestic consumption (black line) will force its oil revenues (green area) to drop to zero within a few years. Egypt's oil revenues dropped to about zero in 2010.





full text:http://seekingalpha.com/article/249799-mexico-will-follow-egypt-into-collapse?source=hp_wc&wc_num=2


I already got one piece of feedback on facebook:

Quote:
<anonymously>: No. Nonsense. Mexico's agricultural sector underperforms, mostly due to US agricultural subsidies. Ridiculous to assume that increased domestic demand for food wouldn't stimulate (or hasn't already, stimulated) increased efficiency or activity in that sector. The real threat in Mexico is the rise of powerful nonstate actors, whose influence would be slightly diminished should agricultural output suddenly become more profitable.


I don't know enough about the situation to endorse or dispute the <anonymous> FB point, so I just thought I would put it out there with the link.
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Re:Egypt
« Reply #8 on: 2011-02-14 10:24:52 »
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[Blunderov] Harold McMillan it was, I believe, that gave the world the expression "the winds of change" and it seems they are blowing again as once before when colonialism was swept from Africa. Of all the the bushfires raging across the the American Empire, I doubt whether their is one more crucial than Pakistan. Icidents like the following will do little to help the problem.

http://www.opednews.com/articles/US-Misinformation-Interna-by-Yasmeen-Ali-Speci-110214-199.html

US Misinformation: International Law is Clear that Diplomatic Immunity is Not Absolute

By Yasmeen Ali

Lahore, Pakistan--You cannot open the TV, or read a paper here without more and more news about Raymond Davis and his murderous act. His killing on Jan. 27 of two young Pakistanis has created international waves, too, plunging the Pakistan-America relationship into stormy waters.

A great deal has been written about the case: Raymond Davis's employment status, whether he is a diplomat or not, who his victims were and what led to their demise at his hands, and finally whether or not Davis can be detained and ultimately tried under the Pakistani Law.

Interestingly though, nobody in the media has made a study of the Vienna Diplomatic Coventions that discuss diplomatic immunity. The convention of 1961 gets cited routinely by the American government, which claims it grants all diplomatic workers immunity from prosecution.

But that claim overstates the case. The actual document -- never actually quoted -- is more nuanced.


A friend notes, "The issue is not who the two Pakistanis were. The real issue is: The US media has confirmed what the US government is denying: Davis runs a private security firm. He is a military contractor. He is registered in Colorado as the owner of a security firm ." He says the questions that should be asked are: What was his real job in Lahore/Islamabad/Peshawar? And can a diplomats carry an unlicensed gun?"

This same friend also suggests that the indentity of the two Pakistani shooting victims -- according to a number of Pakistani reports, and to several in the US, including ABC News, they were working for Pakistani intelligence and were tailing Davis -- is a distraction. He says the real issues are what Davis was doing here and secondly, can a so-called "technical advisor"--the term the US State Department finally settled on to describe his job -- claim diplomatic immunity?

I would argue, though, that the real issue is a general ignorance concerning what diplomatic immunity is, and whether such immunity extends to all acts of any nature committed by an individual, even if that individual does qualify as a diplomat. All other questions are a distraction.

The concept of diplomatic rights was established in the mid-17th century in Europe and since then came gradually to be accepted throughout the world. These rights were formalized by the 1961 Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, which protects diplomats from being persecuted or prosecuted while on a diplomatic mission.

However, if we examine the specific articles of that Vienna Convention of 1961, some interesting facts emerge...

To read the rest of this article by Pakistani attorney YASMEEN ALI in ThisCantBeHappening!, the new independent online alternative newspaper, please go to: www.thiscantbehappening.net/node/461

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Re:Egypt
« Reply #9 on: 2011-02-15 14:41:20 »
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Reminds me of those Swedish knots or wooden puzzles; as you start to pull pieces out, all at once the whole sphere breaks up and then good luck putting it back together.

Cheers

Fritz



While you were watching Egypt... Crises in the Balkans

Source: Economist Blog
Author: T.J.SKOPJE
Date: 2011.02.15


     
SHARP-EYED observers have noted that some of the protestors that brought down Egypt's president used the clenched-fist logo of Otpor, the well-organised, foreign-financed civic resistance movement that helped topple Slobodan Milosevic in 2000. Parts of the Serbian press, notes Florian Bieber, an academic who works on Balkan affairs, have claimed that former Otpor activists helped train some of the opposition groups.

      With the world's attention on the turmoil in the Arab world, the political instability gripping much of the western Balkans has largely been ignored. Yet so serious is the unrest here—including mass demonstrations in Belgrade, Tirana and Skopje—that one diplomat told me his country’s foreign ministry had asked him if he thought that Egypt-style revolution might sweep northwards into the Balkans. (His answer was an emphatic “no”.) Here is a round-up of recent developments:

      Kosovo held an election on December 12th, but still has no government. Following allegations of “industrial-scale” fraud, re-runs had to be held. Until an apparent breakthrough yesterday, the country’s politicians had been unable to secure the basic outlines of a deal which would permit the formation of a government. Now, however, a faction within the Democratic Party of Kosovo of Hashim Thaci, the acting prime minister, has been forced to drop its insistence that its man, Jakup Krasniqi, the acting president, be given the job formally.

      Behgjet Pacolli, a tycoon, now looks set to become president. In exchange his party, the New Kosovo Alliance, will enter into coalition with Mr Thaci. Mr Pacolli is married to a Russian, which, given Moscow's refusal to recognise Kosovo's independence, leaves some Kosovars appalled.

      Two years after independence, Mr Thaci has never been so weak politically. He has been weakened by a row with Fatmir Linaj, the outgoing minister of transport, who enjoys much support in the party. Internationally, the standing of the prime minister has been shredded by a recent Council of Europe report making all sorts of lurid allegations against him. EULEX, the EU's police mission in Kosovo, is now investigating. Partly as a consequence Kosovo’s European integration process has failed to get off the ground. Five of the EU's 27 members do not recognise Kosovo.

      The situation in Macedonia is little better. Nikola Gruevski, the prime minister, has set off for Washington seeking support for his attempts to speed EU and NATO integration, but he may get his ear chewed off when he arrives. Solving the almost 20-year-old name dispute with Greece appears less of a priority in Skopje than ever. Construction of a giant plinth that will host a statue of Alexander the Great is proceeding briskly, guaranteeing fresh outrage in Greece.

      The Social Democratic opposition has pulled out of parliament, and Macedonia is gripped by the saga of A1 Television, whose bank accounts have been frozen for a second time by the courts. Mr Gruevski's opponents say that the government is trying to muzzle the last bastion of free speech in the country. Nonsense, claim government supporters. The courts are simply clamping down on tax evasion. In fact, the two arguments do not contradict each other. The smart money is on an early election in June.

      Meanwhile a small group of Albanians and Macedonians fought a pitched battle in Skopje castle on February 13th, where the government has begun building what it says is a museum, in the shape of a church. The problem is that the castle is in an Albanian, and hence Muslim, part of town. When the Albanians protested, saying that the structure was being built over an ancient Illyrian site, Pasko Kuzman, the chief archaeologist, said construction would stop. But builders went in at night to continue their work, which led the Albanians to try and dismantle the structure. And so on, and so on.

      Over in Albania the opposition, led by Edi Rama, the Socialist mayor of Tirana, is also boycotting parliament. They charge that Sali Berisha, the prime minister, was returned to power in June 2009 by fraudulent elections. A demonstration on January 21st went horribly wrong when Republican Guards allegedly fired on opposition supporters, killing three. Unlike Macedonia, Albania is a member of NATO, but its EU integration path has effectively stalled.

      The Serbian government has been holed and is taking on water—but has not sunk yet. Mladjan Dinkic, head of the G17 Plus party and Serbia's deputy prime minister, had been openly criticising his governmental colleagues from President Boris Tadic’s Democratic Party. On February 14th Mirko Cvetkovic, the prime minister, moved to sack him. Mr Dinkic resigned today but stopped short of pulling his party out of the government.

      How long the Serbian government can limp on like this is anyone’s guess. Tomislav Nikolic, leader of the opposition Serbian Progressive Party, has said that unless new elections are called before April 5th he will lead more protests in Belgrade. Watch this space.

      Last but not least, Bosnia and Hercegovina. Elections there were held on October 3rd, but there is still no government at state level. No surprise there. Progress on anything, let alone EU integration, has been stalled in Bosnia since 2006 in the wake of the failure of the so-called "April Package" of constitutional reforms. Al Jazeera recently announced plans for a Balkans channel, based in Sarajevo and broadcasting in what it delicately calls “the regional language”. Given the station's role as the cheerleader of revolt in Tunisia and Egypt, one can understand diplomats' concerns.
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Re:Egypt
« Reply #10 on: 2011-02-18 14:46:43 »
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Protests are Multiplying in Arab States
From #virus IRC chat logs February 18, 2011.

http://www.churchofvirus.org/bbs/index.php?board=;action=chatlog2;channel=%23virus;date=2011-02-18;time=12:05;start=0;max=48

12:05:37   MoEnzyme   hmmmm, looks like protests are multiplying in the mideast. Yemen --> http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/world/2011-02/19/c_13739101.htm and Libya --> http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-02-18/libyans-demonstrate-against-qaddafi-for-third-day-as-tensions-deaths-rise.html and Bahrain--> http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/02/18/us-bahrain-usa-idUSTRE71H5L420110218
12:07:06   Sat     ya that whole place is frikkin going krump crazy.
12:07:18   Sat     I wonder how far it'll spread?
12:07:54   Sat     protests could start breaking out all over, especially it the food situation worsens.
12:08:05   MoEnzyme   The Yemen protests have not been so non-violent as the Egyptian ones were
12:08:27   MoEnzyme   They were setting buildings on fire there.
12:08:50   Sat     well to each protestor thier own.
12:08:58   Sat     Maybe they are more pissed in Yemen.
12:09:07   MoEnzyme   Also in Libya.
12:09:13   Sat     does that rhyme with semen?
12:09:28   Sat     Pretty much in all the arab gulf states, actually
12:09:46   Sat     I saw a map and was like whoa. all of em!
12:09:58   Sat     next greece?
12:10:01   Sat     Turkey?
12:10:05   Sat     Italy?
12:10:17   MoEnzyme   Turkey has a real democracy already.
12:10:35   Sat     Greece has had a lot of riots due to austerity, et all.
12:10:40   Sat     recently
12:10:58   MoEnzyme   true, but they aren't wanting a revolution, they're just pissed at their current politicians.
12:11:36   MoEnzyme   I think these Arab crowds are wanting a revolution on the other hand.
12:11:42   Sat     That could change. As more govermnents fall more people will feel empowered
12:11:58   Sat     ya revolution is in the air
12:12:05   Sat     non here, yet.
12:12:23   Sat     But if times did actually get tough... frikkin riotville.
12:12:43   Sat     imagine all the cities as people ran amok.
12:12:46   Sat     lol
12:12:58   MoEnzyme   I'm still somewhat optimistic for Egypt at least. They really held pretty closely to the non-violence, so perhaps at least the populace has the discipline to follow through and insist on real democracy.
12:13:27   Sat     perhaps. You can bet the military there is getting the full treatment from our people.
12:13:49   Sat     Being instructed in what thier best path is so to speak.
12:14:38   Sat     I think our government's big fears revolve around loosing control of Egypt
12:14:48   MoEnzyme   yeah, the uncertain part of the equation in Eqypt is the military. But non-violence is more effective against native military targets than violence/terrorism
12:14:58   Sat     and destabilization of the region which results in oil shortages
12:15:04   Sat     and FUCKS our economy...
12:15:10   Sat     resulting in roits here.
12:15:54   Sat     The American public, knows we've been sodomized by those in power, but we're well fed and content.
12:16:07   MoEnzyme   Well, we are going to lose control in Egypt no matter what happens, so given that, some sort of democracy would be better than military rule, or an Islamic caliphate.
12:16:29   Sat     Democracy could result in an Islamic dealy bob as well.
12:16:35   Sat     * Sat shrugs
12:17:20   Sat     well it's time for me to head out for a lunch with 13 and walking the dogs afterward.
12:17:24   MoEnzyme   right, well, then it wouldn't be a democracy anymore. Real democracy is incompatible with theocracy.
12:17:36   MoEnzyme   okay, good chatting. ttyl.
12:17:39   Sat     Keep an eye on the world for me Mo and let me know if anything else happens.
12:17:42   Sat     * Sat grins
12:17:46   MoEnzyme   I will
12:17:49   Sat     
12:18:43   Sat     
Sat (~Sat@[death to spam].65-117-211-50.zirkelwireless.com) has quit IRC [Quit: This computer has gone to sleep]
« Last Edit: 2011-02-22 08:02:44 by MoEnzyme » Report to moderator   Logged

I will fight your gods for food,
Mo Enzyme


(consolidation of handles: Jake Sapiens; memelab; logicnazi; Loki; Every1Hz; and Shadow)
Blunderov
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Re:Egypt
« Reply #11 on: 2011-02-20 06:36:36 »
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[Blunderov] The memes of change have a global reach in the age of the internet and kleptocrats around the world, both national and local, are quaking in their well feathered nests.

http://leninology.blogspot.com/2011/02/egypt-supports-wisconsin-workers.html

http://www.democracynow.org/2011/2/18/its_people_power_as_tens_of


Uprising in Wisconsin: Tens of Thousands Protest Anti-Union Bill, as Wisconsin Lawmakers Leave State to Stall Vote
18 February 2011, 15:08:12 |

mail@democracynow.org (Democracy Now!)
Some 30,000 students and public sector workers rallied at the Wisconsin State House in Madison Thursday to oppose Republican Gov. Scott Walker’s bid to eliminate almost all their collective bargaining rights and slash pay and benefits. Public schools in Madison are closed for a third day in a row today as teachers continue to protest. A vote on the measure was delayed after Democratic senators refused to show up and fled the state—leaving the Republican-controlled State Senate without quorum. We speak to John Nichols of The Nation magazine, Madison teacher Susan Stern, and Wisconsin Democratic State Senator Chris Larson.[includes rush transcript]

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Re:Egypt
« Reply #12 on: 2011-02-20 14:09:20 »
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It does seem to me that protest is in the global air lately. I'd be a bit reluctant to say that Wisconsin (as Blunderov suggests) and potentially Mexico (as one of my earlier posts suggests) are in the same actual universe as Egypt yet. Those are probably more of media connections as this point, although we should not be surprised as these more tenuous connections get made. I think Sat also mention the Greece protests against austerity measures comparison in our #virus chat. I'm actually agnostic about these connections and possibilities, so I'm not opposed to at least considering these kinds of memetic links with Egypt.

The things which I think offer memetic distinctions between the Egyptian uprising from some other connections are 1) the Egyptian protests were much more conscientiously non-violent and/or 2) the Egyptian protests were much more aimed at changing the fundamental structure of their government rather than just protesting current political leadership. I'm still not sure that the Egyptians will get their wish, since they must still contend with their military. However if the military resists, the civilian non-violent discipline is exactly the kind of collective pressure which tends to be most effective against native military targets. This is very important because the Egyptian democracy movement is homegrown, whereas in Iraq it is an idea imposed by foreigners.

On that count even although I accept other's skepticism about the potential success of the Egyptian democracy revolution, I still think they have a greater chance of success at democracy than Iraq faces. Of course it would be good if real democracy takes root in both places, but on a strictly betting basis I personally give a better chance for Egyptian democracy.
« Last Edit: 2011-02-20 14:19:14 by MoEnzyme » Report to moderator   Logged

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Re:Egypt
« Reply #13 on: 2011-02-20 17:06:21 »
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[Blunderov] @Mo. Yes I think you do draw some valuable distinctions and they should not be overlooked. More broadly though, I'm delighted that disenfranchised and the marginalised people all over the world are realising that they have to represent themselves because their representitives ain't representing. And they are doing it by freely assembling.

The right to free assembly is enshrined in the American constitution for good reason. And it is rightly feared by kleptocrats which dread is very evident in America from what I can see at this distance. It seems more or less impossible to freely assemble there unless it be in a church or at a sporting event. Or at an officialy sanctioned Republocrat meeting. Apart from that, it seems the taser awaits anyone else no matter how politely non-violent they may be.

Doesn't the right to freely assemble imply that one may do so without having to apply for permission or be told where to stand? Perhaps there is some nuance of 'freely' which I'm missing? I'm thinking, for instance, of the infamous Bush 'protest zones' where dissenting persons were grudgingly permitted to stand when Bush was in town and which were nowhere anywhere near where Bush was likely to see them or hear what they had to say.

Here is an interesting read. Israel may be approaching it's South Africa moment.

http://dissidentvoice.org/2011/02/the-genie-is-out-of-the-bottle/

The Genie is out of the Bottle
by Uri Avnery / February 19th, 2011

This is a story right out of 1001 Nights. The genie escaped from the bottle, and no power on earth can put it back.

When it happened in Tunisia, it could have been said: OK, an Arab country, but a minor one. It was always a bit more progressive than the others. Just an isolated incident.

And then it happened in Egypt. A pivotal country. The heart of the Arab world. The spiritual center of Sunni Islam. But it could have been said: Egypt is a special case. The land of the Pharaohs. Thousands of years of history before the Arabs even got there.

But now it has spread all over the Arab world. To Algeria, Bahrain, Yemen. Jordan, Libya, even Morocco. And to non-Arab, non-Sunni Iran, too.

The genie of revolution, of renewal, of rejuvenation, is now haunting all the regimes in the Region. The inhabitants of the “Villa in the Jungle” are liable to wake up one morning and discover that the jungle is gone, that we are surrounded by a new landscape.

When our Zionist fathers decided to set up a safe haven in Palestine, they had the choice between two options:

They could appear in West Asia as European conquerors, who see themselves as a bridgehead of the “white” man and as masters of the “natives”, like the Spanish conquistadores and the Anglo-Saxon colonialists in America. That is what the crusaders did in their time.

The second way was to see themselves as an Asian people returning to their homeland, the heirs to the political and cultural traditions of the Semitic world, ready to take part, with the other peoples of the region, in the war of liberation from European exploitation.

I wrote these words 64 years ago, in a brochure that appeared just two months before the outbreak of the 1948 war.

I stand by these words today.

These days I have a growing feeling that we are once again standing at a historic crossroads. The direction we choose in the coming days will determine the destiny of the State of Israel for years to come, perhaps irreversibly. If we choose the wrong road, we will have “weeping for generations”, as the Hebrew saying goes.

And perhaps the greatest danger is that we make no choice at all, that we are not even aware of the need to make a decision, that we just continue on the road that has brought us to where we are today. That we are occupied with trivialities – the battle between the Minister of Defense and the departing Chief of Staff, the struggle between Netanyahu and Lieberman about the appointment of an ambassador, the non-events of “Big Brother” and similar TV inanities – that we do not even notice that history is passing us by, leaving us behind.

When our politicians and pundits found enough time – amid all the daily distractions – to deal with the events around us, it was in the old and (sadly) familiar way.

Even in the few halfway intelligent talk shows, there was much hilarity about the idea that “Arabs” could establish democracies. Learned professors and media commentators “proved” that such a thing just could not happen – Islam was “by nature” anti-democratic and backward, Arab societies lacked the Protestant Christian ethic necessary for democracy, or the capitalist foundations for a sound middle class, etc. At best, one kind of despotism would be replaced by another.

The most common conclusion was that democratic elections would inevitably lead to the victory of “Islamist” fanatics, who would set up brutal Taliban-style theocracies, or worse.

Part of this, of course, is deliberate propaganda, designed to convince the naïve Americans and Europeans that they must shore up the Mubaraks of the region or alternative military strongmen. But most of it was quite sincere: most Israelis really believe that the Arabs, left to their own devices, will set up murderous “Islamist” regimes, whose main aim would be to wipe Israel off the map.

Ordinary Israelis know next to nothing about Islam and the Arab world. As a (left-wing) Israeli general answered 65 years ago, when asked how he viewed the Arab world: “though the sights of my rifle.” Everything is reduced to “security”, and insecurity prevents, of course, any serious reflection.

This attitude goes back to the beginnings of the Zionist movement.

Its founder – Theodor Herzl – famously wrote in his historic treatise that the future Jewish State would constitute “a part of the wall of civilization” against Asiatic (meaning Arab) barbarism. Herzl admired Cecil Rhodes, the standard-bearer of British imperialism, He and his followers shared the cultural attitude then common in Europe, which Eduard Said latter labeled “Orientalism”.

Viewed in retrospect, that was perhaps natural, considering that the Zionist movement was born in Europe towards the end of the imperialist era, and that it was planning to create a Jewish homeland in a country in which another people – an Arab people – was living.

The tragedy is that this attitude has not changed in 120 years, and that it is stronger today than ever. Those of us who propose a different course – and there have always been some – remain voices in the wilderness.

This is evident these days in the Israeli attitude to the events shaking the Arab world and beyond. Among ordinary Israelis, there was quite a lot of spontaneous sympathy for the Egyptians confronting their tormentors in Tahrir Square – but everything was viewed from the outside, from afar, as if it were happening on the moon.

The only practical question raised was: will the Israeli-Egyptian peace treaty hold? Or do we need to raise new army divisions for a possible war with Egypt? When almost all “security experts” assured us that the treaty was safe, people lost interest in the whole matter.

But the treaty – actually an armistice between regimes and armies – should only be of secondary concern for us. The most important question is: how will the new Arab world look? Will the transition to democracy be relatively smooth and peaceful, or not? Will it happen at all, and will it mean that a more radical Islamic region emerges – which is a distinct possibility? Can we have any influence on the course of events?

Of course, none of today’s Arab movements is eager for an Israeli embrace. It would be a bear hug. Israel is viewed today by practically all Arabs as a colonialist, anti-Arab state that oppresses the Palestinians and is out to dispossess as many Arabs as possible – though there is, I believe, also a lot of silent admiration for Israel’s technological and other achievements.

But when entire peoples rise up and revolution upsets all entrenched attitudes, there is the possibility of changing old ideas. If Israeli political and intellectual leaders were to stand up today and openly declare their solidarity with the Arab masses in their struggle for freedom, justice and dignity, they could plant a seed that would bear fruit in coming years.

Of course, such statements must really come from the heart. As a superficial political ploy, they would be rightly despised. They must be accompanied by a profound change in our attitude towards the Palestinian people. That’s why peace with the Palestinians now, at once, is a vital necessity for Israel.

Our future is not with Europe or America. Our future is in this region, to which our state belongs, for better or for worse. It’s not just our policies that must change, but our basic outlook, our geographical orientation. We must understand that we are not a bridgehead from somewhere distant, but a part of a region that is now – at long last – joining the human march towards freedom.

The Arab Awakening is not a matter of months or a few years. It may well be a prolonged struggle, with many failures and defeats, but the genie will not return to the bottle. The images of the 18 days in Tahrir Square will be kept alive in the hearts of an entire new generation from Marakksh to Mosul, and any new dictatorship that emerges here or there will not be able to erase them.

In my fondest dreams I could not imagine a wiser and more attractive course for us Israelis, than to join this march in body and spirit.

Uri Avnery is a peace activist, journalist, and writer
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Re:Egypt
« Reply #14 on: 2011-02-21 03:27:41 »
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Thanks for sharing that piece, Blunderov.

Indeed a democratic Egypt will truly change the ways in which the Israelis will have to think and talk about their neighbors, especially those neighbors in the Gaza strip and the West Bank. It would be ironic and wonderful if instead of the the Europeans, the Israelis, or the Americans, it was finally Egyptian civilians who brought true democracy to the Middle East, and perhaps even finally to Israel itself one day. Those are certainly grand dreams, and we unfortunately they still haven't arrived there yet. Things can still go horribly wrong in Egypt, and I don't expect the Israelis to start feeling much real comfort for the next decade or so even in the best of all futures. As someone watching from the other side of the planet, however, I take some measure of optimism in that:

1) this was HOME GROWN. So far the Egyptians have done this for themselves and I don't see any plausible way any westerners can take credit for it. Indeed it seems that this happened in spite of our many horrible attempts to stop it.

2) this was accomplished in Egypt at least through some very disciplined use of collective non-violent action. There is very little way that the Islamic jihadis can take much credit for any of this, other than by finally getting out of the way. This was certainly never their strategy, and stands in considerable contrast to their own terrorist tactics which have only spread further misery, to compound the cynical meddling of westerners.

3) there remains the possibility, though yet to be seen, that this will result in some fundamental democratic change in government rather than just another in a long line of Pharaoh topplings. This part remains the most tenuous yet, but given 1 & 2 the possibility is at least more real than it ever has been before.

Really Israel remains a bit of an afterthought right now, but if and when these other things take root, Israelis will have a lot of soul searching to do and will have to rethink their own military government if they wish to survive. Their survival becomes ever more tentative if they don't change their ways.

Viva Egypt!

« Last Edit: 2011-02-22 07:44:38 by MoEnzyme » Report to moderator   Logged

I will fight your gods for food,
Mo Enzyme


(consolidation of handles: Jake Sapiens; memelab; logicnazi; Loki; Every1Hz; and Shadow)
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