OT - What's your take on Egypt and the Middle East

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Submitted by briansd1 on February 4, 2011 - 12:52pm

I'm hoping that they'll be able to pull off some sort of peaceful transition of power.

I believe we are seeing world changing events unfolding.

Submitted by Arraya on February 4, 2011 - 1:37pm.

Fires are burning now on the outskirts of the US Empire, while it rots economically from the inside.

The revolutions sweeping throughout the Arab world's accomodationist regimes from Eygpt on the west and surely the Jordanian monarchy on the east. Secret documents discrediting Abu Mazen and the Palestinian Authority's collaborators and boosting Hamas. Hizbollah selecting the new Prime Minister and gaining de facto control of the Lebanese government. Moktada al Sadr, influencing events in Iraq in concert with his Iranian allies while US power is sapped by the occupation there and in Afghanistan.

These events are tied to US hegemony and therefor our economy, it's all connected. Every single thing we tried to manage has blown up in our faces. Our ME policy as been a monumental failure from an imperial perspective.

Our assessment is that the Egyptian government is stable and is looking for ways to respond to the legitimate needs and interests of the Egyptian people,

-Hillary Clinton Jan 25

Submitted by Djshakes on February 4, 2011 - 2:17pm.

Yeah...sounds like a shit storm on the horizon.

Submitted by EconProf on February 4, 2011 - 5:28pm.

While its great sport to demonize Hosni Mubarak, let's keep some history in mind. For three decades he has cooperated with the US and Israel, and enforced the peace accord his predecessor, Anwar Sadat worked out. In the roughly three decades before the peace agreement, Egypt fought four wars with Israel. Let's hope and pray Egypt does not go the way of Iran after the Shah. America once had high hopes for Iran during its revolution and before the extremists took over.

Submitted by moneymaker on February 4, 2011 - 7:30pm.

I agree with EconProf. Hopefully things don't get so out of hand that it involves Israel in the near future, and we end up regretting giving them nuclear capability in the 60's.

Submitted by 5yes on February 4, 2011 - 7:51pm.

I am very concerned. Something is going on that is way deeper than what we see on the news. I can't see clearly through the muddle and the hyped-up news stories. Did we Americans start this just like we started (and abandoned to massacre at the hand of Saddam) the Kurdish rebellion? If we didn't start the protests in Egypt, why didn't our numerous plants in the region have more information as to what is going on?

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/con...

I found this article about the beginning of the uprising in Egpyt:

Said, a young businessman from Alexandria, was reportedly beaten to death by local police this summer—well before rumblings of the country’s current unrest. But a Facebook page that bears his name has been one of the driving forces behind the upheaval that started last week.

The anonymous Facebook page administrator who goes by the handle El Shaheeed, meaning martyr, has played a crucial role in organizing the demonstrations, the largest Egypt has seen since the 1970s, that now threaten the country’s authoritarian regime.

Yet even Egypt’s most active activists have no idea who the anonymous organizer is.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/dailybeast/20110...

So what is going on exactly? Anyone else have any ideas outside of the mainstream media blathering? Does Israel want the Suez canal? Do we? Or is there something else driving this?

Submitted by CDMA ENG on February 5, 2011 - 8:42am.

EconProf wrote:
While its great sport to demonize Hosni Mubarak, let's keep some history in mind. For three decades he has cooperated with the US and Israel, and enforced the peace accord his predecessor, Anwar Sadat worked out. In the roughly three decades before the peace agreement, Egypt fought four wars with Israel. Let's hope and pray Egypt does not go the way of Iran after the Shah. America once had high hopes for Iran during its revolution and before the extremists took over.

Very good point but it sounds like the ppl want change. Let's hope that change is the kind that is peaceful and open.

I am sure the Israelis are keeping the motors warm on thier tanks and jets until they know which it is.

CE

Submitted by afx114 on February 5, 2011 - 8:58am.

As much as Fox News would like it to be true, Egypt is not Iran.

Submitted by Jazzman on February 5, 2011 - 11:31am.

We don't really know what is going on, and it's academic to try and understand from afar. You need to be in the thick of it fully to appreciate some the intricacies, nuances and tensions within what we call the middle-east. All we know is a group of people are rising up against their government, and it is appears to be contagion. The rest of the world can only wait and hope.

Submitted by Allan from Fallbrook on February 5, 2011 - 4:45pm.

5yes wrote:
I am very concerned. Something is going on that is way deeper than what we see on the news.
So what is going on exactly? Anyone else have any ideas outside of the mainstream media blathering? Does Israel want the Suez canal? Do we? Or is there something else driving this?

FOOD. Pay particular attention to nations like Saudi Arabia and Indonesia stockpiling grain, and making ag purchases that are treble or quadruple anything they've done before.

You're seeing a new kind of resource war emerge, and this has nothing to do with raw materials or oil. If you watch the Fox or CNN reportage carefully, you'll notice mention of the cost of food skyrocketing in places like Cairo and Alexandria.

If I'm Saudi Arabia, or Indonesia, I'm paying very close attention right now. And, you can bet your ass, so is China. China has banned news of the Egyptian uprising within its borders. You cannot even search the word "Egypt" there right now.

Personally, I could give a shit if any of these assholes is friendly to the US or not. We should have learned our lesson from the Shah of Iran, or Marcos, or Somoza, or Batista. You can only pull this oppressive, totalitarian shit for so long, before you find yourself swinging from a lamp-post. If the Muslim Brotherhood thinks they can do a better job, let 'em try.

Submitted by temeculaguy on February 5, 2011 - 5:17pm.

Love it Allan!!! Like a lot of you, I don't live there so I can't really say who is right. I do know that this is nothing new, especially when it comes to dictatorships, it's usually ugly in the end. I have very little understanding of what it must feel like when you don't get a say in your government. People complain about our system, people complain about everything, but just imagine if it were different. For those of you who really hated our last president, what if you weren't alowed a say, there was no congress or senate, no election. Then all of the sudden it's the year 2030 and George Bush is still your president, even if 80% of the population dislikes him and his policies and there is no change that will ever happen. You can substitute Obama for Bush in that scenario if you are on the other team, party isn't important, it's about the inability to change and both guys would probably get more out of hand if they never had to answer to the people ever again. Our leaders aren't perfect, not even close, but the fear of the next election keeps them from getting too weird. If all current politicians were told they have their current job for life and they get to pick their successor, we'd be lighting stuff on fire in thirty years too.

Submitted by NotCranky on February 5, 2011 - 7:28pm.

I do feel bad for the things that come with the strife in Egypt, but I am glad it is not Pakistan.

Submitted by briansd1 on February 8, 2011 - 3:48pm.

Arraya wrote:
Fires are burning now on the outskirts of the US Empire, while it rots economically from the inside.

The revolutions sweeping throughout the Arab world's accomodationist regimes from Eygpt on the west and surely the Jordanian monarchy on the east. Secret documents discrediting Abu Mazen and the Palestinian Authority's collaborators and boosting Hamas. Hizbollah selecting the new Prime Minister and gaining de facto control of the Lebanese government. Moktada al Sadr, influencing events in Iraq in concert with his Iranian allies while US power is sapped by the occupation there and in Afghanistan.

These events are tied to US hegemony and therefor our economy, it's all connected. Every single thing we tried to manage has blown up in our faces. Our ME policy as been a monumental failure from an imperial perspective.

Our assessment is that the Egyptian government is stable and is looking for ways to respond to the legitimate needs and interests of the Egyptian people,

-Hillary Clinton Jan 25

My take on Egypt is a little different.

The Middle East is too close to Europe and the Gulf to have have been a low cost producer. They did not have the labor cost advantages of East Asia to move beyond post-colonialism.

More freedom for the people and economic reforms and globalization that spread the benefits around to the population (rather concentrate the wealth to the top elite) could transform the Middle East into the next area of economic growth for the world.

I believe the changes we see happening are positive. The US needs to stop supporting dictatorial police states.

Look at how Turkey is performing. The Middle East could be like that.
http://www.economist.com/node/17276384

Submitted by GH on February 8, 2011 - 11:23pm.

One cannot help but think of all the Russian supported countries falling before the collapse of Russia. I suspect the collapse of the US is closer than we would like to think. Our debt as a nation is some 60 trillion dollars and there is simply no way that obligation can be met.

Islam is a huge and rapidly growing force on the planet right now. This saddens me as I see Islam (not Muslim) religion looks a lot like Christianity from the year 700 right before the dark ages. As the US goes so goes the world...

Submitted by afx114 on February 9, 2011 - 11:01am.

Except that the protests in Egypt have little to nothing to do with Islam.

Submitted by Allan from Fallbrook on February 9, 2011 - 11:59am.

afx114 wrote:
Except that the protests in Egypt have little to nothing to do with Islam.

Afx: Nor did the protests in Tunisia. The level of knee-jerk ignorance continues to baffle me, as do the assertions that "Islam" has this world-wide homogeneity and heterogeneity. It doesn't.

Its also bizarre to see the conflation of the "Rise of Islam" and the "Fall of America". Islam's "growing power" is nowhere in evidence during the protests in Egypt and Tunisia. To the contrary, the various sects and types of Islam are showing varying degrees of strength and weakness in dealing with widespread, popular protest.

I think those that attempt strong-arm authoritarianism (think Saudi Arabia) are doomed to failure, while those that remain close to the people and their will (think Hamas) will succeed.

I don't, however, see Osama bin Laden riding down Constitution Avenue on a white steed anytime soon.

Submitted by briansd1 on February 9, 2011 - 12:55pm.

The unrest in Egypt has to do with economics and governance rather than religion.

Here's a interesting commentary by David Frum:
http://marketplace.publicradio.org/displ...

The problems with Egypt and other dictatorial states is that corrupt leading families with political connections have "stolen" privatized monopolies such as cell phone carriers, utilities, food and auto distributorships, etc..

Economic reforms, privatization and globalization did not trickle down to the people. And now people are showing their discontent.

The unrest were triggered by the poor economy but the real issue is governance. The people are sick of the corruption at the top.

The problem with America's image in the Middle East is that we have been backing the dictators for dedades. Each year, Egypt receives $1 billion of American military assistance, money which is cycled back to American military contractors.

Submitted by permabear on February 10, 2011 - 3:35pm.

briansd1 wrote:
The problem with America's image in the Middle East is that we have been backing the dictators for dedades. Each year, Egypt receives $1 billion of American military assistance, money which is cycled back to American military contractors.

And with a little luck, it sounds like the Egyptian military will be using US-supplied tanks to overthrow their government (that we backed).

Just like the other dictators our government/CIA has installed over the past 20 years, that have turned on us time and time again.

Hopefully the Egyptian people will be successful in recapturing their country.

Submitted by briansd1 on February 21, 2011 - 10:00pm.

With Qadafi about to fall, it seems like our Iraq invasion was very foolhardy.

We spent $1 trillion on the war (what's the real amount? I don't keep track anymore).

Had we given it some time and contained Saddam, the Iraqi people would have overthrown the dictator themselves; and thousands would not have died in vain.

Submitted by ocrenter on February 21, 2011 - 11:08pm.

briansd1 wrote:
With Qadafi about to fall, it seems like our Iraq invasion was very foolhardy.

We spent $1 trillion on the war (what's the real amount? I don't keep track anymore).

Had we given it some time and contained Saddam, the Iraqi people would have overthrown the dictator themselves; and thousands would not have died in vain.

I was thinking the same thoughts this morning as well. If you're thinking it, and I'm thinking it... a lot of people are probably thinking along the same line as well.

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