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New Egyptian Unrest: Tunisia Part II?

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Re: New Egyptian Unrest: Tunisia Part II?

Post by SpaceLord » Mon Jan 31, 2011 1:12 pm

El Guapo wrote:I wonder who the 3% who like Israel are.
Copts? Dunno.
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Re: New Egyptian Unrest: Tunisia Part II?

Post by ImLawBoy » Mon Jan 31, 2011 1:19 pm

SpaceLord wrote:
El Guapo wrote:I wonder who the 3% who like Israel are.
Copts? Dunno.
I'm guessing it's people who misunderstood the question. :P
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Re: New Egyptian Unrest: Tunisia Part II?

Post by Enough » Mon Jan 31, 2011 1:22 pm

Fox is totally nailing their Egypt coverage.

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Re: New Egyptian Unrest: Tunisia Part II?

Post by Unagi » Mon Jan 31, 2011 1:24 pm

How does that even happen. :roll:

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Re: New Egyptian Unrest: Tunisia Part II?

Post by Rip » Mon Jan 31, 2011 1:28 pm

Those damn protesters went and moved the whole country. :lol:

Another thought on this thing. This could be THE way for Obama to secure reelection. I don't think any one would question that he stands a better chance than anyone in pulling off a we stand with the Egyptian people moment. If he did and could dramatically sway opinion there in the US direction I don't think we could afford to not reelect him.

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Re: New Egyptian Unrest: Tunisia Part II?

Post by LawBeefaroni » Mon Jan 31, 2011 1:33 pm

msduncan wrote:BTW -- UK papers were trumpeting yesterday that Wikileaks revealed that we'd been actively assisting one of the key people behind this current uprising for several years. So the US actually has been (behind the scenes) assisting the movement.

The problem is that we need to publicly do so now.
The US hedges bets well. Money behind the scenes can flow freely, politics on the main stage is a much stickier issue.
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Re: New Egyptian Unrest: Tunisia Part II?

Post by AWS260 » Mon Jan 31, 2011 1:52 pm

msduncan wrote:BTW -- UK papers were trumpeting yesterday that Wikileaks revealed that we'd been actively assisting one of the key people behind this current uprising for several years. So the US actually has been (behind the scenes) assisting the movement.
The cable in question is here:
Comment: XXXXXXXXXXXX offered no roadmap of concrete steps toward April 6's highly unrealistic goal of replacing the current regime with a parliamentary democracy prior to the 2011 presidential elections. Most opposition parties and independent NGOs work toward achieving tangible, incremental reform within the current political context, even if they may be pessimistic about their chances of success. XXXXXXXXXXXX's wholesale rejection of such an approach places him outside this mainstream of opposition politicians and activists.
How times have changed.

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Re: New Egyptian Unrest: Tunisia Part II?

Post by El Guapo » Mon Jan 31, 2011 3:41 pm

The poll on views of the U.S. is actually fairly promising - gives me more hope that a new government could be somewhat pro-U.S. (even a fairly neutral Egyptian government that is democratically elected would be great news).

Other big news: the Egyptian military has announced that it won't fire on the protesters. Unless the protesters back down or the military changes its mind, that bodes very well for the protesters.

Also apparently the opposition has united around Mohammed ElBaradei, the former IAEA head who has been agitating on behalf of the Egyptian opposition for a couple years now, as their leader for any negotiations with Mubarak. Which is promising, insofar as he's a secular democratic leader. Not to say that the Muslim Brotherhood won't try later to gain outsized influence, but it's good for now.

The trick in the event that Mubarak leaves is that you don't want too quick elections, since the Muslim Brotherhood is the best organized and a short campaign favors the best organized group. But elections too far in advance require a transition government with some ties to the old regime, which risks delegitimizing the opposition.

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Re: New Egyptian Unrest: Tunisia Part II?

Post by Crabbs » Mon Jan 31, 2011 4:37 pm

Mubarak has shut down the trains now too, to keep protesters from moving around from city to city.
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Re: New Egyptian Unrest: Tunisia Part II?

Post by Rip » Mon Jan 31, 2011 4:50 pm

Crabbs wrote:Mubarak has shut down the trains now too, to keep protesters from moving around from city to city.
Futile attempt to stop Tuesday's turnout from being huge. The fence we are sitting on becomes yet smaller.

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Re: New Egyptian Unrest: Tunisia Part II?

Post by Crabbs » Mon Jan 31, 2011 4:56 pm

Rip wrote:
Crabbs wrote:Mubarak has shut down the trains now too, to keep protesters from moving around from city to city.
Futile attempt to stop Tuesday's turnout from being huge. The fence we are sitting on becomes yet smaller.
So far I don't see him playing his hand very well, but that could also be because he's carrying shit for cards....
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Re: New Egyptian Unrest: Tunisia Part II?

Post by Rip » Mon Jan 31, 2011 5:38 pm

Crabbs wrote:
Rip wrote:
Crabbs wrote:Mubarak has shut down the trains now too, to keep protesters from moving around from city to city.
Futile attempt to stop Tuesday's turnout from being huge. The fence we are sitting on becomes yet smaller.
So far I don't see him playing his hand very well, but that could also be because he's carrying shit for cards....
the hand is certainly not great. But I think it is one of those potential straight flush hands. You just have to suck it up and hope to draw that inside card. Long shot but no worse than the ace high turd we will likely have otherwise. Folding just isn't an option and bluffing hasn't treated us well. Although couldn't hurt to bluff when we draw our card since in this analogy it would have to be a down and no-peek card.

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Re: New Egyptian Unrest: Tunisia Part II?

Post by msduncan » Mon Jan 31, 2011 5:42 pm

SpaceLord wrote:
msduncan wrote:I am inclined to agree with Rip on this one.

Regardless of which government they choose.... Obama is quickly showing his tentative and inexperienced leadership qualities here. This moment is slipping away quickly and we are going to be defined to the Egyptian people as the US that stood behind the dictator instead of the country that assisted the call for freedom (even if that means a government that is less friendly to Israel).

Right now is a crises of inaction from the administration. This could quickly become the biggest disaster of his presidency if he doesn't come out and make a stand.
It's not nearly that simple. Read Kraken's article. What a mess if the elected leader is a strident opponent to Israel.

Oh I realize the massive risk. If I could turn back the clock a month I'd want to find some way to prevent this from starting in the first place... or from getting out of hand. The issue is that now I don't see a way for this genie to be put back into the bottle. (and so we must support Democracy/self rule at this point, and champion it and fund with foreign aid whatever government rises there).
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Re: New Egyptian Unrest: Tunisia Part II?

Post by Victoria Raverna » Mon Jan 31, 2011 9:18 pm

Rip wrote:I also wanted to add that had we supported the people of Iraq more in the times they rose against Saddam we may have avoided the huge costs of many wars and had a more friendly relationship with the people there. In comparison the people of Egypt ARE ready to do the heavy lifting. We need only support them with the same or greater veracity that we have supported their oppressor.
If you didn't invade Iraq, you also may have avoided the huge costs of many wars and had a more friendly relationship with the people there.

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Re: New Egyptian Unrest: Tunisia Part II?

Post by El Guapo » Mon Jan 31, 2011 9:45 pm

Victoria Raverna wrote:
Rip wrote:I also wanted to add that had we supported the people of Iraq more in the times they rose against Saddam we may have avoided the huge costs of many wars and had a more friendly relationship with the people there. In comparison the people of Egypt ARE ready to do the heavy lifting. We need only support them with the same or greater veracity that we have supported their oppressor.
If you didn't invade Iraq, you also may have avoided the huge costs of many wars and had a more friendly relationship with the people there.
Depends. If Saddam didn't fall we wouldn't have a friendly relationship with the people there.

The other thing I wonder is whether the Iraqi democratic experience, and the Freedom Agenda more broadly, made democratic norms more of a part of Arab culture. There weren't any successful Arab democracies before (I'm leaving aside Lebanon, which was relatively successful for a few decades but imploded spectacularly). It's too early to call Iraq a 'success' in democratic terms as yet, but they've had a couple elections that have gone ok.

I just wonder whether it has added democratic norms to Arab culture in a way that's influenced the current protesters. I don't know enough about Arab culture to say, though, so I'm mostly speculating.

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Re: New Egyptian Unrest: Tunisia Part II?

Post by Victoria Raverna » Tue Feb 01, 2011 3:17 am

http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/01/ ... 3720110131" target="_blank
If Egypt's President Hosni Mubarak is toppled, Israel will lose one of its very few friends in a hostile neighborhood and President Barack Obama will bear a large share of the blame, Israeli pundits said on Monday.

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Re: New Egyptian Unrest: Tunisia Part II?

Post by AWS260 » Tue Feb 01, 2011 10:28 am

Victoria Raverna wrote:http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/01/ ... 3720110131
If Egypt's President Hosni Mubarak is toppled, Israel will lose one of its very few friends in a hostile neighborhood and President Barack Obama will bear a large share of the blame, Israeli pundits said on Monday.
That Reuters article presents a pretty monolithic view of Israeli opinion. There are clearly other opinions out there:
Haaretz wrote:Hopefully the turmoil in Egypt, which is affecting all its allies in the Middle East and West, will encourage leaders there and in Arab states to quickly change the contract between the regime and the citizens. This is a new order that hopefully the whole region will move toward. It deserves to be encouraged by the West.

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Re: New Egyptian Unrest: Tunisia Part II?

Post by LawBeefaroni » Tue Feb 01, 2011 10:43 am

Rip wrote:
Crabbs wrote:
Rip wrote:
Crabbs wrote:Mubarak has shut down the trains now too, to keep protesters from moving around from city to city.
Futile attempt to stop Tuesday's turnout from being huge. The fence we are sitting on becomes yet smaller.
So far I don't see him playing his hand very well, but that could also be because he's carrying shit for cards....
the hand is certainly not great. But I think it is one of those potential straight flush hands. You just have to suck it up and hope to draw that inside card. Long shot but no worse than the ace high turd we will likely have otherwise. Folding just isn't an option and bluffing hasn't treated us well. Although couldn't hurt to bluff when we draw our card since in this analogy it would have to be a down and no-peek card.
He's playing a completely different game. The citizenry wants a complete overhaul and all new faces. Mubarak wants to kick out a few cabinet members and retain power.
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Re: New Egyptian Unrest: Tunisia Part II?

Post by El Guapo » Tue Feb 01, 2011 10:56 am

Yeah, "Israeli pundits" can't agree on lunch, let alone on important geopolitical issues.

While it's true that this revolution poses enormous risks for Israel, it's not true that any government that comes out of this will be more anti-Israel. It's only a disaster for Israel if an Iranian-style Islamist government comes to power in Egypt. Any other government is probably neutral overall for Israel (as a non-Islamist government is unlikely to tear up the peace treaty, which is Israel's main concern re: Egypt). And if a democratic government comes to power, that's mostly neutral in the short term, but enormously positive in the long run. That's because a stable democracy in Egypt probably forecloses the disaster scenario (i.e. theocratic dictatorship in Egypt), because a democratic government would have incentives to push back against Iranian influence, because it probably wouldn't give material support to terrorist groups, and because it holds out the prospect of a friendly partnership in the future.

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Re: New Egyptian Unrest: Tunisia Part II?

Post by El Guapo » Tue Feb 01, 2011 12:34 pm

Interesting article in the New Republic about Bush's Freedom Agenda in Egypt. Basically, it notes how the Bush administration strongly pushed democracy in Egypt in 2005 (including the Condoleeza Rice speech mentioned above), which lead to a mostly free round of balloting for Egypt's parliament in which the Muslim Brotherhood did very well. Then Egypt rigged subsequent voting rounds, and we basically stood by and let Mubarak crack down as hard as he wanted and rig elections as much as he wanted.

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Re: New Egyptian Unrest: Tunisia Part II?

Post by Defiant » Tue Feb 01, 2011 12:38 pm


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Re: New Egyptian Unrest: Tunisia Part II?

Post by Alefroth » Tue Feb 01, 2011 1:08 pm

Unagi wrote:How does that even happen. :roll:
Palin's in the cartography department now?

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Re: New Egyptian Unrest: Tunisia Part II?

Post by El Guapo » Tue Feb 01, 2011 3:27 pm

Obama Urges Mubarak Not to Run Again. Apparently there are presidential elections scheduled for September 2011, and there's some buzz that Mubarak might not seek re-election (though he may well try to put his son up for election, or his new VP Suleiman).

I don't think this is going to satisfy the protesters, unless he goes further and agrees to a transition government leading up to the elections.

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Re: New Egyptian Unrest: Tunisia Part II?

Post by Kraken » Tue Feb 01, 2011 3:36 pm

Uh-oh...
Syrians are organizing campaigns on Facebook and Twitter that call for a "day of rage" in Damascus this week, taking inspiration from Egypt and Tunisia in using social networking sites to rally their followers for sweeping political reforms.

Like Egypt and Tunisia, Syria suffers from corruption, poverty and unemployment. All three nations have seen subsidy cuts on staples like bread and oil. Syria's authoritarian president has resisted calls for political freedoms and jailed critics of his regime.

The main Syrian protest page on Facebook is urging people to protest in Damascus on Feb. 4 and 5 for "a day of rage." It says the goal is to "end the state of emergency in Syria and end corruption."

The number of people who have joined Facebook and Twitter pages calling for protests on Friday and Saturday is still relatively small, and some are believed to live outside the country.
...not that Assad is any friend of the US or Israel. The region would probably be better off without him. Still, it's a little disturbing to think of the chaos spreading.

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Re: New Egyptian Unrest: Tunisia Part II?

Post by El Guapo » Tue Feb 01, 2011 3:41 pm

Yes and no. Syria's less worrisome than Egypt. Syria already supports Iran, Hezbollah, and other malcontents in the region. So the upside of unrest there is pretty high (if the government is replaced by a new government), whle the downside is pretty low.

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Re: New Egyptian Unrest: Tunisia Part II?

Post by Crabbs » Tue Feb 01, 2011 4:40 pm

El Arabia now reporting that Mubarak will step down after current term ... but didn't he say he wouldn't run for additional terms when he was first voted in? (via Reuters)
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Re: New Egyptian Unrest: Tunisia Part II?

Post by msduncan » Tue Feb 01, 2011 5:27 pm

Enough wrote:Fox is totally nailing their Egypt coverage.

Image

This gives me comfort. We successfully invaded Egypt twice already. If things get chaotic we can do it a third time.
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Re: New Egyptian Unrest: Tunisia Part II?

Post by SpaceLord » Tue Feb 01, 2011 5:57 pm

So these jackasses invaded the Egyptian Museum this week, and raided...the gift shop.
:doh:

Personally, I want this:
Image

I'm pretty sure the Narmer Palette, an incredibly important epic-level artifact, would give anyone the power to conquer North Africa.
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Re: New Egyptian Unrest: Tunisia Part II?

Post by El Guapo » Tue Feb 01, 2011 6:26 pm

Crabbs wrote:El Arabia now reporting that Mubarak will step down after current term ... but didn't he say he wouldn't run for additional terms when he was first voted in? (via Reuters)
It's official - he's announced that he's not running again. Now, as far as I know he hasn't committed to not having his son or his VP run, which would be only marginally different from him running. But I suppose if either of them tried to run that would spark additional unrest.

It's different than him committing not to run for additional terms, mainly because the next election is this September. It's different from shifting on that several years in the future (and also different because he's doing this under pressure, not just as a throwaway line.

Now, this isn't going to satisfy the protesters - they want him out now, not almost a year from now. So I don't think that this is going to be the last concession - I think at the very least he's going to have to try to form some kind of unity / transition government before the elections. Whether that will be enough to mollify the protesters remains to be seen.

Either way, I think it's good for the U.S. that Obama told him not to run and now he's not running - helps us to be seen as not supporting Mubarak. Obama might want to go further, and it depends on how this is reported in the Egyptian media, but regardless it's a positive step.

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Re: New Egyptian Unrest: Tunisia Part II?

Post by Kraken » Tue Feb 01, 2011 11:20 pm

El Guapo wrote:Yes and no. Syria's less worrisome than Egypt. Syria already supports Iran, Hezbollah, and other malcontents in the region. So the upside of unrest there is pretty high (if the government is replaced by a new government), whle the downside is pretty low.
I'm not so much concerned about Assad and Syria as I am about the spread of anarchy in a region that's volatile to begin with. Iran abhors a vacuum.

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Re: New Egyptian Unrest: Tunisia Part II?

Post by Crabbs » Wed Feb 02, 2011 9:36 am

Looks like things are not as peaceful today as they were yesterday & looks like the Military has taken a stand 'against' Mubarak.
A Reuters witness in Cario said supporters of Egypt's President Mubarak wielding sticks and whips, charged on horses and camels towards Cairo's Tahrir Square, where clashes were taking place with anti-government protestors.
Al Jazeera is now reporting that the army is calling through loudspeakers on the protesters in Tahrir Square to stop clashes. The news agency also says the army has told pro-Mubarak supporters the response will be firm if they continue to attack anti-government protesters.
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Re: New Egyptian Unrest: Tunisia Part II?

Post by AWS260 » Wed Feb 02, 2011 10:18 am

AWS260 wrote:
Image
From Al Jazeera's excellent live blog.
Enlarge Image

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Re: New Egyptian Unrest: Tunisia Part II?

Post by YellowKing » Wed Feb 02, 2011 3:49 pm

A Reuters witness in Cario said supporters of Egypt's President Mubarak wielding sticks and whips, charged on horses and camels
Is this a revolution or a production of the Indiana Jones Stunt Spectacular at Disney/MGM? :D

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Re: New Egyptian Unrest: Tunisia Part II?

Post by Rip » Wed Feb 02, 2011 3:55 pm

YellowKing wrote:
A Reuters witness in Cario said supporters of Egypt's President Mubarak wielding sticks and whips, charged on horses and camels
Is this a revolution or a production of the Indiana Jones Stunt Spectacular at Disney/MGM? :D
The foreign ministry claims they were workers from the pyramids upset about losing business because of the unrest. Which seems to conflict from reports I have heard that some that were "caught" were carrying police ID cards. Doesn't sound like it has deterred the anti-government protesters either way. If anything they seem more determined than ever. There is also still no indication that support for cracking down in general is supported.

Hail Mary by the regime? I would say it has been tipped and looks like it may be an interception.

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Re: New Egyptian Unrest: Tunisia Part II?

Post by AWS260 » Thu Feb 03, 2011 1:57 pm

The violence is getting worse, but the anti-Mubarak protesters aren't going anywhere. I can't see Mubarak lasting much longer, unless the army suddenly shifts to his side.

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Re: New Egyptian Unrest: Tunisia Part II?

Post by LawBeefaroni » Thu Feb 03, 2011 3:41 pm

Rip wrote:
YellowKing wrote:
A Reuters witness in Cario said supporters of Egypt's President Mubarak wielding sticks and whips, charged on horses and camels
Is this a revolution or a production of the Indiana Jones Stunt Spectacular at Disney/MGM? :D
The foreign ministry claims they were workers from the pyramids upset about losing business because of the unrest. Which seems to conflict from reports I have heard that some that were "caught" were carrying police ID cards. Doesn't sound like it has deterred the anti-government protesters either way. If anything they seem more determined than ever. There is also still no indication that support for cracking down in general is supported.

Hail Mary by the regime? I would say it has been tipped and looks like it may be an interception.
Some have confessed to having been paid to attack the anti-regime protestors and incite violence.
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Re: New Egyptian Unrest: Tunisia Part II?

Post by Grifman » Thu Feb 03, 2011 5:29 pm

Crabbs wrote:Mubarak has shut down the trains now too, to keep protesters from moving around from city to city.
Dammit, what good's a dictator if he can't keep the trains running on time?!? Mubarak is such a piker!
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Re: New Egyptian Unrest: Tunisia Part II?

Post by El Guapo » Thu Feb 03, 2011 5:46 pm

Kenneth Cole is apparently in hot (internet) water for an insensitive tweet on the situation in Egypt:
Millions are in uproar in #Cairo. Rumor is they heard our new spring collection is now available online at http://bit.ly/KCairo" target="_blank -KC

-KennethCole
The best part is that it's started a new line of parody tweets, such as:
"People from New Orleans are flooding into Kenneth Cole stores!" #KennethColeTweets

-KennethColePR

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Re: New Egyptian Unrest: Tunisia Part II?

Post by Rip » Sat Feb 05, 2011 1:06 pm

Beginning to see reports that Egyptian government including Mubarak stepping down!

:ninja:

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Re: New Egyptian Unrest: Tunisia Part II?

Post by Holman » Sun Feb 06, 2011 11:42 am

When the dust settles, I wouldn't be surprised to see Obama planning a visit for a sequel to his 2009 Cairo address to the Muslim world. Play that card right, and this could be a decent new beginning for U.S. interests in the region.
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