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New Egyptian Unrest: Tunisia Part II?

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Re: New Egyptian Unrest: Tunisia Part II?

Post by Isgrimnur » Tue Jul 02, 2013 12:58 am

Isgrimnur wrote:Things aren't looking so rosy over there these days.

The real question is going to be whether the downhill slide threatens stability in the surrounding countries, or just feeds on itself to create a humanitarian crisis like Somalia before spilling out into the Red and the Med.
That was just over a month ago. It doesn't seem like they're interested in actually maintaining the infrastructure that allows a society to run.
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Re: New Egyptian Unrest: Tunisia Part II?

Post by Moat_Man » Tue Jul 02, 2013 1:59 am

Ouch, looks like everything has gone to hell in a hand basket over there. I am now ok if they feel the need to throw out the bum early. The sad part is that whatever they do I highly doubt things will get better. Maybe Bassem Youssef could do a better job.
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Re: New Egyptian Unrest: Tunisia Part II?

Post by Isgrimnur » Tue Jul 02, 2013 2:05 am

Yeah, it's one thing for our political parties to differ, while the police, fire, and medical services continue to function. It's another thing completely when the entire apparatus of the state is completely co-opted to feather the nests of just your people, and everyone else is left to the wolves. Constitutional niceties are higher up on the level of need fulfillment when you can't even expect the police to help you against thievery and murder, or more likely, suffer it at their hands.
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Re: New Egyptian Unrest: Tunisia Part II?

Post by Sepiche » Wed Jul 03, 2013 11:08 am

Looks like things are already starting to go down.
http://talkingpointsmemo.com/archives/2 ... _egypt.php" target="_blank
This morning the military will or already has convened a meeting of all political factions to discuss its ‘road map’ for post-Morsi Egypt. With the military, the Interior Ministry lined up against it, significant non-MB Islamist factions standing apart and millions remaining in the street, Morsi and the Brotherhood appear already to have lost control of the state. The ‘coup’ seems almost to have happened in advance of itself. But the prospect of deadly street battles seems very real regardless.
What I really don't get is what the MB thought it's end game was when it called the military's bluff? I mean, they are calling for violent protests from their followers, but last time I looked the MB was a little short on tanks to go up against the army. Did they overestimate their own strength? Did they think the army was bluffing? Or maybe they were misreading signals from Washington and thought the US would intervene? That temper tantrum of a speech he gave last night certainly wasn't going to change the trajectory of all this.

Hopefully this will go through without much more bloodshed, and hopefully this won't be the beginning of a new cycle of elections and coups, but whatever politicians take control after all this had better start governing like they mean it.

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Re: New Egyptian Unrest: Tunisia Part II?

Post by Anonymous Bosch » Wed Jul 03, 2013 12:18 pm

At this point, the MB are all in. They're unlikely to get a much better opportunity at making the Quran their constitution than backing Morsi.
"Good intentions will always be pleaded for every assumption of authority. It is hardly too strong to say that the Constitution was made to guard the people against the dangers of good intentions. There are men in all ages who mean to govern well, but they mean to govern. They promise to be good masters, but they mean to be masters." -- Daniel Webster

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Re: New Egyptian Unrest: Tunisia Part II?

Post by Rip » Wed Jul 03, 2013 12:58 pm

Anonymous Bosch wrote:At this point, the MB are all in. They're unlikely to get a much better opportunity at making the Quran their constitution than backing Morsi.
Good for them, hope they all start attacking the military so they can thin them out a little. At this point the military with what appears to be strong popular support is unlikely to back down. I have to say I am pleasently surprised that the military so far has had the interests of the people at heart. It is enough to make me question my opposition to much of the military might we have given/sold to them.

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Re: New Egyptian Unrest: Tunisia Part II?

Post by El Guapo » Wed Jul 03, 2013 3:10 pm

Boom goes the dynamite:
State Newspaper Reports Army Has Deposed Morsi
Ahram Online, an English-language arm of the state newspaper Al Ahram, reports on its live blog: ” A presidential source tells Ahram Arabic that President Mohamed Morsi was informed by the army at 7 p.m. that he is no longer president.”

While events are moving fast, it is worth keeping in mind that Egypt’s state news agency reported about this time last year that Hosni Mubarak was “clinically dead,” a condition from which he has apparently recovered.

http://projects.nytimes.com/live-dashbo ... cal-crisis" target="_blank

With the important second paragraph caveat, I guess.

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Re: New Egyptian Unrest: Tunisia Part II?

Post by El Guapo » Wed Jul 03, 2013 3:23 pm

Rip wrote:
Anonymous Bosch wrote:At this point, the MB are all in. They're unlikely to get a much better opportunity at making the Quran their constitution than backing Morsi.
Good for them, hope they all start attacking the military so they can thin them out a little. At this point the military with what appears to be strong popular support is unlikely to back down. I have to say I am pleasently surprised that the military so far has had the interests of the people at heart. It is enough to make me question my opposition to much of the military might we have given/sold to them.
They're still not nice people. The military has a strong self-interest aligned against the MB. The military is both secular aligned, gets a lot of graft from the economy, and has maintained (back through Mubarak) a lot of control over the country. The military wants to keep that control, so that it can keep the graft. But the Muslim Brotherhood can't tolerate that forever, because that control necessarily includes some power to depose the Brotherhood / Morsi (as we're seeing now). So the Muslim Brotherhood and the military were going to have to fight sooner or later for who's in charge.

Bottom line: we like the military now because they're in opposition to people we don't like. But this could easily be the military vs. a secular president, that's just who happened to win the last election.

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Re: New Egyptian Unrest: Tunisia Part II?

Post by El Guapo » Wed Jul 03, 2013 3:26 pm

Speaking live on state television, Gen. Abdul-Fattah el-Sisi, the Egyptian defense minister who issued the army’s ultimatum, just said that President Morsi’s speech Tuesday night forced the military to move ahead with a “road map” for a political transition.

The central elements of the plan are to temporarily suspend Egypt’s Constitution; to appoint the head of the Supreme Constitutional Court to manage the affairs of the state until a new president is elected; form of a technocratic government; to establish a committee of experts to amend the Constitution; and to hold parliamentary elections soon.

Heba Morayef, the Human Rights Watch Egypt director, translated sections of the speech on Twitter as it was read out.
Oof. Glad the Morsi's gone, but you never like to see the military suspending the constitution either. Curious who will be on the "committee of experts."

Also, what happens if the Brotherhood wins the next election too?

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Re: New Egyptian Unrest: Tunisia Part II?

Post by Rip » Wed Jul 03, 2013 3:32 pm

El Guapo wrote:
Rip wrote:
Anonymous Bosch wrote:At this point, the MB are all in. They're unlikely to get a much better opportunity at making the Quran their constitution than backing Morsi.
Good for them, hope they all start attacking the military so they can thin them out a little. At this point the military with what appears to be strong popular support is unlikely to back down. I have to say I am pleasently surprised that the military so far has had the interests of the people at heart. It is enough to make me question my opposition to much of the military might we have given/sold to them.
They're still not nice people. The military has a strong self-interest aligned against the MB. The military is both secular aligned, gets a lot of graft from the economy, and has maintained (back through Mubarak) a lot of control over the country. The military wants to keep that control, so that it can keep the graft. But the Muslim Brotherhood can't tolerate that forever, because that control necessarily includes some power to depose the Brotherhood / Morsi (as we're seeing now). So the Muslim Brotherhood and the military were going to have to fight sooner or later for who's in charge.

Bottom line: we like the military now because they're in opposition to people we don't like. But this could easily be the military vs. a secular president, that's just who happened to win the last election.
I don't buy into that. If there had been a secular president and he didn't do things that resulted in mass protests the military would be perfectly happy to sit back and not get involved. So unless you think a secular president would have donw a bunch of stuff that angered a bunch of people then the thought of it occuring to whever won the last election makes no sense. I think if El Baradei had won things would not be getting so crazy there yet again.

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Re: New Egyptian Unrest: Tunisia Part II?

Post by El Guapo » Wed Jul 03, 2013 3:53 pm

Rip wrote:
El Guapo wrote:
Rip wrote:
Anonymous Bosch wrote:At this point, the MB are all in. They're unlikely to get a much better opportunity at making the Quran their constitution than backing Morsi.
Good for them, hope they all start attacking the military so they can thin them out a little. At this point the military with what appears to be strong popular support is unlikely to back down. I have to say I am pleasently surprised that the military so far has had the interests of the people at heart. It is enough to make me question my opposition to much of the military might we have given/sold to them.
They're still not nice people. The military has a strong self-interest aligned against the MB. The military is both secular aligned, gets a lot of graft from the economy, and has maintained (back through Mubarak) a lot of control over the country. The military wants to keep that control, so that it can keep the graft. But the Muslim Brotherhood can't tolerate that forever, because that control necessarily includes some power to depose the Brotherhood / Morsi (as we're seeing now). So the Muslim Brotherhood and the military were going to have to fight sooner or later for who's in charge.

Bottom line: we like the military now because they're in opposition to people we don't like. But this could easily be the military vs. a secular president, that's just who happened to win the last election.
I don't buy into that. If there had been a secular president and he didn't do things that resulted in mass protests the military would be perfectly happy to sit back and not get involved. So unless you think a secular president would have donw a bunch of stuff that angered a bunch of people then the thought of it occuring to whever won the last election makes no sense. I think if El Baradei had won things would not be getting so crazy there yet again.
Oh, absent the mass protests the military would not be ousting Morsi right now, no doubt. I'm saying that conflict between the Brotherhood and the military was almost inevitable, because only one could have ultimate power of over the country. The military is happy to step back and let someone else take center stage, as long as their ultimate power is not disrupted.

Absent the protests either the military would have found another moment, or the Brotherhood would have tried to neuter the military or put reliable MB figures in charge of it.

Basically all I'm saying is that the military is doing this to try to maintain their effective control over the country, not out of the goodness of their hearts. One day the military is going to have to truly relinquish control, and it's an open question as to how willingly they'll do that.

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Re: New Egyptian Unrest: Tunisia Part II?

Post by Kraken » Wed Jul 03, 2013 4:18 pm

El Guapo wrote:
Also, what happens if the Brotherhood wins the next election too?
Just a WAG, but I'll bet that the new constitution will have some sort of separation of church and state so that even if an Islamist wins, he can't impose religious law. At least, that's how I hope it plays out.

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Re: New Egyptian Unrest: Tunisia Part II?

Post by Jag » Wed Jul 03, 2013 4:55 pm

Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.

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Re: New Egyptian Unrest: Tunisia Part II?

Post by Eco-Logic » Sun Jul 07, 2013 4:15 pm

Man the latest footage from Egypt is brutal (throwing people off building and beating them to death) and I regret even seeing it.

I don't know if there is a solution. Crazy times.

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Re: New Egyptian Unrest: Tunisia Part II?

Post by Isgrimnur » Mon Jul 08, 2013 5:20 pm

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Re: New Egyptian Unrest: Tunisia Part II?

Post by Rip » Mon Jul 08, 2013 5:39 pm

Isgrimnur wrote:Egypt explained.

Awesome, a nice accurate summary that is about as factual as any report on the situation I have seen and yet entertaining as well.

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Re: New Egyptian Unrest: Tunisia Part II?

Post by Rip » Tue Jul 09, 2013 12:55 am

This ine is even better in that it is a child doing the informing.

If all of the children in Egypt are this wise the problem will solve itself in a generation or two.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QeDm2PrNV1I

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Re: New Egyptian Unrest: Tunisia Part II?

Post by $iljanus » Tue Jul 09, 2013 9:55 am

I read an article somewhere that I thought had a good commentary on the Brotherhood and conservative Islamists in general. Essentially it wrote that the Islamists have the "moral" high ground because they usually are the one's opposing the strongmen and dictators. That's a big part of their draw and they have the street cred to back it up with protests and jailed and killed members. Unfortunately, it seems that once they gain power they tend to have a narrow view of governance. I'm afraid that the military will overstep their mandate and try to destroy the Brotherhood. Since they had I think decades to do this in the past I don't think that strategy is going to work this time around either, leading to bloody civil war.
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Re: New Egyptian Unrest: Tunisia Part II?

Post by El Guapo » Tue Jul 09, 2013 10:19 am

Yeah, the Islamist parties tend to have a fair amount of credibility across the Arab world (at least for the past couple decades), because:

(1) Since they organize in / around mosques, it's difficult for dictatorial regimes to squash gatherings without causing problems;

(2) Most of the Arab dictators have organized secular regimes, so people who hate said regimes have a natural pull in the religious parties;

(3) Most of the Arab dictators have been pro-American, and the Islamist parties are vociferous opponents of America;

(4) Religion is a widely shared rallying point for people who otherwise might not agree on a lot (whereas secular parties are more likely to diverge on, say, economic questions);

(5) Probably easier for the devout to endure the torture and agony that comes with opposing a dictator, I imagine.

But yeah, once they come into contact with actually governing things get a lot more messy.

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Re: New Egyptian Unrest: Tunisia Part II?

Post by Isgrimnur » Mon Nov 25, 2013 11:53 am

Want to protest? Better get approval from the cops.
Egypt’s interim president has signed a new law outlawing protests without prior approval of the police.

Interim President Adli Mansour signed the law on Sunday, which requires protesters to secure permission from the police at least three days in advance, NBC reports. The law also bans protest in places of worship. Human rights groups say the new law significantly limits political freedom.
...
The new law imposes fines for anyone who organizes an unauthorized protest and levies possible jail sentences for protesters who carry weapons or explosives.
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Re: New Egyptian Unrest: Tunisia Part II?

Post by Isgrimnur » Tue Jan 14, 2014 3:41 pm

New Constitution vote:
The proposed constitution, drafted under a military-backed government in the months since the ouster of President Mohamed Morsi in July, further insulates the police and armed forces from civilian control and could enshrine the military’s power within the Egyptian state for decades. Nearly three years after a popular uprising forced autocrat Hosni Mubarak from power, Egypt’s security state is triumphant once again. Since Morsi’s removal, more than a thousand people have been killed in a government crackdown on supporters of Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood and its allies. Hundreds of others have been jailed, including journalists and leading activists who opposed Mubarak and Morsi. With most of the media backing the current regime, and much of the public either voicing support for the military or simply resigned to the reality of the current political arrangement, the forces of the 2011 revolution are struggling to be heard.
...
In spite of criticism from rights groups and political dissidents about both the content of the constitution and the integrity of the voting process, the document is expected to be approved by a majority of voters. Recent history suggests voters will choose a concrete constitutional option and the prospect of political stability over the chaos of a ‘no’ vote. Majorities also voted ‘yes’ in constitutional referendums in Egypt in 2011 and 2012.

This week’s referendum is also taking place amidst government harassment of those opposed to the document. One of the only groups actively urging a ‘no’ vote, the Strong Egypt Party, suspended its campaign on Sunday after 11 activists were arrested in three separate incidents hanging posters and distributing campaign materials. “It’s a referendum with one choice only, and it’s ‘yes.’ ‘No’ is not allowed,” says Strong Egypt Party representative Fekry Nabil. “This process is not free and not fair, and we cannot join it.”
...
Driven underground after the government branded it a terrorist organization, the Muslim Brotherhood, once a formidable electoral force, called for a boycott of the vote. The proposed constitution was drafted by a 50-member committee appointed in the wake of the military’s removal of Brotherhood-affiliated Morsi in July following huge protests. Morsi’s backers and other opponents of the coup regard the military-backed political process as illegitimate. But the Brotherhood’s current stance is also a role reversal. In late 2012, Morsi’s government alienated other political forces by drafting and then passing a constitution without broad public support.
...
While the ‘yes’ campaign is ubiquitous, the once-ascendant voices of the 2011 uprising have been relegated to the margins. Wael Abbas, a prominent dissident blogger and activist opposes the constitution vigorously, but even his own father, an attorney, planned to vote for it. “The constitution gives godly powers to the military in Egypt. It makes them untouchable,” says Abbas. “I tried to explain as much as possible, but he [Abbas’ father] doesn’t look on the Internet. He only sees one side that is aired on TV.” Propaganda and misinformation often circulate in much of Egypt’s media. “When you turn on a television or you open a newspaper, you enter a fact-free zone,” says Nathan Brown, a professor of political science and international affairs at George Washington University.
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Re: New Egyptian Unrest: Tunisia Part II?

Post by Isgrimnur » Tue Jan 28, 2014 3:09 pm

Morsi on trial
Egypt’s deposed President Mohamed Morsy stood trial on Tuesday — his presence inside a soundproof glass enclosure without his supporters around suggesting the rival secular military’s tightening grip over the state.

The country’s first elected President was helicoptered from a high security prison in the port city of Alexandria to face trial inside the police academy in Cairo. Along with 130 co-defendants, Mr. Morsy is accused of “carrying out a plot to bring down the Egyptian state and its institutions.”

These charges are linked to the mega-prison escape of over 20,000 inmates from three Egyptian jails during the early days of the 2011 uprising that brought down former President Hosni Mubarak. On its website, the Egyptian daily Al Ahram quoted prosecutors as saying the defendants are accused of damaging and setting fire to prison buildings, attempting to murder several people and looting prison weapons depots.
...
Mr. Morsy also faces three other separate trials, where he is accused of killing protesters, colluding with the Palestinian Hamas and the Lebanese Hizbollah to mount a terrorist campaign in Egypt. If convicted, he could face the death penalty.

During his presence in the courtroom, Mr. Morsy sent mixed signals of conformity and defiance. Unlike his earlier court appearance in November when he was dressed in a business suit, the deposed President wore regular white prison clothes on Tuesday. He has also appointed Mohamed Salim El-Awa to defend him — a departure from the previous occasion when he firmly rejected the services of a lawyer.

Yet, Mr. Morsy was vociferous in rejecting the legitimacy of the trial. “I am the legitimate President of the country,” he told the court, calling the trial illegal, amid chants of, “Down with military rule” by his co-defendants. The ousted President insisted that he was a political prisoner, not a detainee.

As the trial proceeded, there were signs that the Muslim Brotherhood — Mr. Morsy’s parent organisation — had either lost steam or had shifted tactics in the wake of a harsh military crackdown against the group. Supporters of the Islamist President did not converge in the vicinity of the venue of the trial, where backers of the army chief Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi were present in strength. However, there were clashes in downtown Cairo between Mr. Morsy’s supporters and the police, which responded to the unrest with teargas. Separately, two assailants riding a motorcycle shot dead, General Mohamed Said, an aide to Egypt’s Interior Minister Mohamed Ibrahim.
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Re: New Egyptian Unrest: Tunisia Part II?

Post by Rip » Mon Mar 24, 2014 9:28 am


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Re: New Egyptian Unrest: Tunisia Part II?

Post by Isgrimnur » Tue Apr 21, 2015 10:40 am

Mursi gets 20 years
Muslim Brotherhood leader Mohamed Mursi was sentenced to 20 years in prison without parole on Tuesday on charges arising from the killing of protesters, nearly three years after he became Egypt's first freely elected president.

Mursi stood in a cage in court as judge Ahmed Sabry Youssef read out the ruling against him and 12 other Brotherhood members, including senior figures Mohamed el-Beltagy and Essam el-Erian. The sentencing was broadcast live on state television.

The men were convicted on charges of violence, kidnapping and torture stemming from the killing of protesters during demonstrations in 2012. They were acquitted of murder charges, which carry the death sentence.
...
Amnesty International described the ruling as "a travesty of justice" that "shatters any remaining illusion of independence and impartiality in Egypt’s criminal justice system".

The rights group called for Mursi to be retried in a civilian court "in line with international standards" or released.
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Re: New Egyptian Unrest: Tunisia Part II?

Post by GreenGoo » Tue Apr 21, 2015 12:44 pm

The best part about it is that the people convicting him are the people that killed those protesters under his name. i.e. the military acting on his behalf.

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Re: New Egyptian Unrest: Tunisia Part II?

Post by hepcat » Tue Apr 21, 2015 12:59 pm

Democracy in Egypt is still a pipe dream, unfortunately.
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Re: New Egyptian Unrest: Tunisia Part II?

Post by Rip » Tue Apr 21, 2015 1:24 pm

hepcat wrote:Democracy in Egypt is still a pipe dream, unfortunately.
It would appear they were not ready for it. Not that anyone else in the area (other than Israel) has achieved it either.

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Re: New Egyptian Unrest: Tunisia Part II?

Post by El Guapo » Tue Apr 21, 2015 1:34 pm

Rip wrote:
hepcat wrote:Democracy in Egypt is still a pipe dream, unfortunately.
It would appear they were not ready for it. Not that anyone else in the area (other than Israel) has achieved it either.
It's not really a matter of being "ready", it's more that it's really hard to make a first time transition to democracy given all the armed groups and hardliners who are more than happy to hijack a transitional government. The Egyptian democratic revolution joins a long line of revolutions that aspired to democracy before being destroyed by reactionaries or hardliners - the Iranian revolution, the Russian revolution, the French revolution.

On the plus side, while it's not entirely smooth sailing for Tunisia, they seem to have a puncher's chance of succeeding in their democratic transition.

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Re: New Egyptian Unrest: Tunisia Part II?

Post by Kraken » Tue Apr 21, 2015 4:15 pm

El Guapo wrote:
Rip wrote:
hepcat wrote:Democracy in Egypt is still a pipe dream, unfortunately.
It would appear they were not ready for it. Not that anyone else in the area (other than Israel) has achieved it either.
It's not really a matter of being "ready", it's more that it's really hard to make a first time transition to democracy given all the armed groups and hardliners who are more than happy to hijack a transitional government.
Democracy will fail without such precursors as widespread literacy, the rule of law, acquiescence to taxation, etc. Authoritarianism prevails when that institutional infrastructure is lacking (as it is in most resource-based states).

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Being up at night makes it easy to answer that 3AM call.

Post by Defiant » Fri Jan 29, 2016 7:00 am

*bump* Five years later....
El Guapo wrote:To be fair to the Obama administration, this isn't an open and shut call. There's a fair chance that the following could happen:

Obama calls for Mubarak to resign. Mubarak's government further destabilizes and collapses, leading to an interim unity government of some type. The Muslim Brotherhood - the best organized opposition - denounced the unity government as tainted by the old regime (it's plausible that this government has at least some holdovers from the old government), and continues to hold large opposition rallies. Eventually the Unity Government falls in favor of one dominated by the Muslim Brotherhood. The now theocratic Egyptian government renounces Egypt's peace treaty with Israel and begins openly supporting and arming Hamas in Palestine, Hezbollah in Lebanon, and other militant groups across the Middle East. Secular governments across the Middle East are further destablized. Tunisia also becomes dominated by a theocratic government.


That's catastrophically bad. Now, since waffling only emboldens anti-U.S. forces, I think we ought to just bite the bullet and call for Mubarak to resign. But it's not an easy call, and I'm sure the above scenario, which is highly plausible, is keeping many people up at night.

Not a bad prediction. Fairly spot on apart for Tunisia, renouncing the peace treaty, and openly arming Hamas and Hezbollah (but yes to supporting and conspiring with them).

If only someone had been as insightful in the administration

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Re: New Egyptian Unrest: Tunisia Part II?

Post by Defiant » Fri Jan 29, 2016 7:35 am

Kraken wrote:
Democracy will fail without such precursors as widespread literacy, the rule of law, acquiescence to taxation, etc. Authoritarianism prevails when that institutional infrastructure is lacking (as it is in most resource-based states).
More or less this.

I was curious as to whether literacy was in fact a factor, and for the most part it is, with a few exceptions (eg, Senegal, Zambia, a few others), but then, a big majority of countries these days have high literacy, so the correlation might not be that high.

Also, another option is moving the countries:

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Re: New Egyptian Unrest: Tunisia Part II?

Post by Isgrimnur » Fri Jan 29, 2016 10:53 am

Defiant wrote:Also, another option is moving the countries:
We're glad that you're our supervillain.
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Re: Being up at night makes it easy to answer that 3AM call.

Post by El Guapo » Tue Feb 02, 2016 4:52 pm

Defiant wrote:*bump* Five years later....
El Guapo wrote:To be fair to the Obama administration, this isn't an open and shut call. There's a fair chance that the following could happen:

Obama calls for Mubarak to resign. Mubarak's government further destabilizes and collapses, leading to an interim unity government of some type. The Muslim Brotherhood - the best organized opposition - denounced the unity government as tainted by the old regime (it's plausible that this government has at least some holdovers from the old government), and continues to hold large opposition rallies. Eventually the Unity Government falls in favor of one dominated by the Muslim Brotherhood. The now theocratic Egyptian government renounces Egypt's peace treaty with Israel and begins openly supporting and arming Hamas in Palestine, Hezbollah in Lebanon, and other militant groups across the Middle East. Secular governments across the Middle East are further destablized. Tunisia also becomes dominated by a theocratic government.


That's catastrophically bad. Now, since waffling only emboldens anti-U.S. forces, I think we ought to just bite the bullet and call for Mubarak to resign. But it's not an easy call, and I'm sure the above scenario, which is highly plausible, is keeping many people up at night.

Not a bad prediction. Fairly spot on apart for Tunisia, renouncing the peace treaty, and openly arming Hamas and Hezbollah (but yes to supporting and conspiring with them).

If only someone had been as insightful in the administration
heh, thanks. Honestly the risks here aren't all that complicated. The best organized opposition movements in Middle Eastern totalitarian states are usually Islamist in nature. First, by nature they can appeal to the religion of the vast majority of citizens. Second, it is much more complicated and problematic (though certainly not impossible) for a dictator to consistently crack down on religious movements - they can organize in mosques, and it can get messy if you send government thugs to mess around in mosques.

On top of that, people in most Arab countries have a healthy and entirely reasonable hatred of the United States, given that we have largely supported their dictators for decades. Helping to push out their dictator at the end probably helps, but can't instantly make up for the past. Because Islamist movements generally have the most consistent record in hating the United States, this helps them also.

So we are in a bind. The dictatorships can't last forever, and the more we support the dictatorships the worst the reckoning is likely to be when they fall. However, in the short-to-medium term the most plausible movements to come to power when the dictator falls are Islamist movements, which are very likely to be much worse than the dictators in terms of U.S. national interests, and are also not likely to be much better than the dictators in terms of human rights and respecting democratic norms.

All of which is to say that both sides in this debate have good arguments, and this stuff isn't easy.

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Re: New Egyptian Unrest: Tunisia Part II?

Post by Isgrimnur » Fri Mar 24, 2017 10:07 am

Hosni Mubarak Is Freed, to Dismay of Many in Egypt
Six years after roaring crowds ousted him at the peak of the Arab Spring, former President Hosni Mubarak of Egypt was freed on Friday from the Cairo hospital where he had been detained, capping a long and largely fruitless effort to hold him accountable for human rights abuses and endemic corruption during his three decades of rule.

Mr. Mubarak, 88, was taken from the Maadi Military Hospital in southern Cairo, where he had been living under guard in a room with a view of the Nile, to his mansion in the upmarket suburb of Heliopolis.
...
His release on Friday crowned the crushing of those hopes for change, and the enduring disappointment of the Egyptians who risked their lives to topple him — even if many now say the challenge is far bigger than a single man.
...
In contrast with the loud and clamorous scenes that marked his departure from power, Mr. Mubarak was released under conditions of secrecy early Friday, the quietest time of the week in Egypt. The former leader was spirited across the city under tight security, and the news spilled out hours after his return to Heliopolis.
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Re: New Egyptian Unrest: Tunisia Part II?

Post by Isgrimnur » Wed Feb 13, 2019 4:28 pm

WaPo
Egypt’s parliament could vote as early as Wednesday to ensure that President Abdel Fatah al-Sissi remains in office long past a constitutional term limit while giving him sweeping powers that will tighten his authoritarian rule over the Arab’s world’s most populous nation.

Lawmakers this week announced they planned to speed up voting on the constitutional amendments despite outrage by critics who fear that the measures will give unprecedented dictatorial powers to Sissi, whose term is supposed to end in 2022.
...
The proposed amendments would extend the presidential term from four to six years while allowing Sissi to run for two additional terms. If they are passed, many pro-democracy activists and critics fear that Sissi would be able to remain president for the foreseeable future. Once approved, the constitutional amendments would have to be put to a national referendum.

The vote comes little more than eight years after the Arab Spring revolts here ousted President Hosni Mubarak, ending his three decades of autocratic rule. Since Sissi led the 2013 military overthrow of democratically elected Islamist President Mohamed Morsi and was elected the following year, the former armed forces commander has jailed tens of thousands of opponents and critics and blocked hundreds of websites deemed critical of his regime.

The amendments target Egypt’s 2014 constitution, passed after Mubarak’s fall, and would undo many of its checks and balances designed to limit the president’s power.

Last year, Sissi was reelected but only after all his opponents were either driven out of the race, jailed or pressured in other ways. His sole nominal opponent entered the race at the 11th hour, and a few days earlier had been one of his staunchest supporters.
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Re: New Egyptian Unrest: Tunisia Part II?

Post by GreenGoo » Wed Feb 13, 2019 5:18 pm

You know what makes terms limits so effective at preventing consolidation of power and despotism? Bypassing them constantly.

You get all the benefits of pretending not to be a despot, with all the benefits of being one.

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Re: New Egyptian Unrest: Tunisia Part II?

Post by El Guapo » Wed Feb 13, 2019 5:24 pm

It's funny how the WaPo writes about how opponents "fear' that this will grant Sissi dictatorial powers. I mean, obviously they will - they might as well be called "Grant Sissi Dictatorial Powers Amendments".

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Re: New Egyptian Unrest: Tunisia Part II?

Post by GreenGoo » Wed Feb 13, 2019 7:43 pm

It's not a dictatorship if the powers are granted through a democratic system, duh.

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Re: New Egyptian Unrest: Tunisia Part II?

Post by Isgrimnur » Mon Jun 17, 2019 12:48 pm

WaPo
Egypt’s ousted president Mohamed Morsi dies in court while facing trial, state television reported

Morsi died of an apparent heart attack, according to Egyptian media reports. He had been imprisoned since 2013, when his elected government was overthrown in a military coup.
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