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Thread: Revolution in Egypt and the wider Arab world?

  1. #31
    Senior Contributor Mihais's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by S-2 View Post
    [
    You are forgiven. Don't go all mercenary now but, yeah, bigross had best get down to the motorpool and make his Merkava all spiffy. We might be finding out how Merkavas and M-1s handle each other sooner than we'd like.
    Thank you,Sir.Truly an officer&gentleman

    Luckily those M1s aren't ''real'' ones.More like monkey models.Poor Arabs,they always get those.As Forrest Gump said:sh!t happens.And I didn't thought of the mercenary work.I just thought of helping a friend in a time of need.

    On a personal term I'm quite interested in Jordan,IMO.Probably the best led and the best policed Arab country.The best army,also.The only ones,btw,that could hope to match the Israelis in quality.

    What is of more immediate consequence for us is the economy.Oil jumped 4 bucks in a day and all we had was a good fight between protesters and police.When Egypt goes bust we can kiss economic recovery good-bye.While US is not really concerned about it(how do you manage to be always this lucky),Europe has a boatload of problems.This could the proverbial straw that breaks the camel's back.
    Those who know don't speak
    He said to them, "But now if you have a purse, take it, and also a bag; and if you don't have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one. Luke 22:36

  2. #32
    Senior Contributor Mihais's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by S-2 View Post
    A Manifesto For Change In Egypt-Mohammed elBaradei DAILY BEAST Jan. 29, 2011

    "
    Of course, you in the West have been sold the idea that the only options in the Arab world are between authoritarian regimes and Islamic jihadists. That’s obviously bogus. If we are talking about Egypt, there is a whole rainbow variety of people who are secular, liberal, market-oriented, and if you give them a chance they will organize themselves to elect a government that is modern and moderate. They want desperately to catch up with the rest of the world."

    Good,let's give ''democracy'' a chance.How many of these secular,free market oriented people are in Egypt(for that matter in any Arab nation)? What these chaps forget is that both these and the illiterates have the same vote.Let's even say that all goes fine.The good guys ride the wave of hope and form the government.Then what?People that were under tyranny for decades want results,NOW,not LATER.Does it changes somehow the food price?DOes it changes any of the fundamental problems,quick enough to make a difference?I'd like to see that.But I doubt it.

    For convenience's sake I left aside ignored the compulsory internal struggles of any revolutionary government.
    Those who know don't speak
    He said to them, "But now if you have a purse, take it, and also a bag; and if you don't have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one. Luke 22:36

  3. #33

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    Mihais Reply

    "While US is not really concerned about it(how do you manage to be always this lucky)..."

    Dunno there lad. I'd say we're damned concerned. Things haven't been this bad since the depression of the early 30s. The recession of the late 70s/early 80s wasn't close to this bad IMV.

    "...Europe has a boatload of problems..."

    And a boatload of talent.

    "...This could the proverbial straw that breaks the camel's back."

    Might just spur greater efficiencies too. One thing's for sure. You don't get a choice but to work through it unless checking out is an option.
    "This aggression will not stand, man!" Jeff Lebowski
    "The only true currency in this bankrupt world is what you share with someone else when you're uncool." Lester Bangs

  4. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mihais View Post
    Thank you,Sir.Truly an officer&gentleman

    Luckily those M1s aren't ''real'' ones.More like monkey models.Poor Arabs,they always get those.As Forrest Gump said:sh!t happens.And I didn't thought of the mercenary work.I just thought of helping a friend in a time of need.

    On a personal term I'm quite interested in Jordan,IMO.Probably the best led and the best policed Arab country.The best army,also.The only ones,btw,that could hope to match the Israelis in quality.

    What is of more immediate consequence for us is the economy.Oil jumped 4 bucks in a day and all we had was a good fight between protesters and police.When Egypt goes bust we can kiss economic recovery good-bye.While US is not really concerned about it(how do you manage to be always this lucky),Europe has a boatload of problems.This could the proverbial straw that breaks the camel's back.
    As I understand it, the Egyptian Abrams aren't too bad. It's just that their Army's logistics are so bad that they can't move them up to the border with Israel, much less supply them. And they only train them enough to plink out Merkavas while on the defensive (probably for cost reasons).

  5. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by haim357 View Post
    it sounds like it's game over for Mubarak, Keep your fingers crossed that if the regime is overthrown that the Muslim Brotherhood the most organized opposition group in Egypt don't take power. That would be bad,
    If the muslim brotherhood doesn't take over someone like them (probably worse) will. Egypt is going to become yet another islamic paradise.

  6. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Skywatcher View Post
    As I understand it, the Egyptian Abrams aren't too bad. It's just that their Army's logistics are so bad that they can't move them up to the border with Israel, much less supply them. And they only train them enough to plink out Merkavas while on the defensive (probably for cost reasons).
    Correct. The M1 Abrams is probably the best MBT on earth - as long as the logistical trail doesn't snap.

  7. #37
    Former Staff Senior Contributor Ironduke's Avatar
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    Could Tunisia be a tipping point for the Arab world?

    We may be witnessing the start of a historic process in which developments in Tunisia ignite copycat protests or milder political challenges in other Arab countries.

    Beirut

    The dramatic developments in Tunisia in the past weeks that have seen street demonstrators send former President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali fleeing the country may prove to be the historic turning point that many in the Arab world have been predicting and anticipating for decades: the point at which disgruntled and often humiliated Arab citizens shed their fear and confront their leaders with demands for serious changes in how their countries are governed. The overthrow of Mr. Ben Ali by fearless citizens who were no longer intimidated by their police and Army is historically significant because of four main reasons:

    1. This is the first example in the past generation of an Arab leader and his system being overthrown by popular action. It marks the end of acquiescence and docility among masses of ordinary Arab citizens who had remained remarkably complacent for decades in the face of the mounting power of Western-backed Arab security states and police- and army-based ruling regimes.

    The “Jasmine Revolution” in Tunisia today may well go down in history as the Arab equivalent of the Solidarity movement in the Gdansk shipyard in Poland in 1980 that sparked wider protests that a decade later ultimately led to the collapse of the Soviet Union and its empire. (In fairness, the Sudanese people probably should be credited with the first modern popular protest that changed their leadership, when protracted street demonstrations overthrew President Jaafar Nimeiry in 1985 – though that change did not last, and Sudan soon after found itself under military rule once again.)

    2. The grievances that the Tunisian demonstrators have articulated in recent weeks – and in other forms in recent decades – are also widely shared across the entire Arab world, with the possible exception of some of the smaller wealthy countries in the Gulf. These complaints are about rising prices and job shortages, but also about the heavy-handed and condescending manner in which ruling Arab elites treat their citizens and deny them the most basic human rights of expression, credible representation, political participation, holding power accountable, and equitable access to the resources of the state and the opportunities of the free market.

    3. The coverage of the fast-moving developments and the overthrow of the Ben Ali regime on Al Jazeera television brings this process into the living rooms of hundreds of millions of Arabs, many of whom have been captivated with the media coverage, making it likely that some of them will want to launch their own protests in other Arab countries. This marks the maturity of Al Jazeera television as a political force that can play a role in changing political orders, following its development in the past 15 years, since its birth in 1996 as largely an instrument of emotional expression and solidarity for Arab viewers who were frustrated by their inability to practice their full citizenship.

    4. The most remarkable thing about what has just happened in Tunisia is how thin and narrow was the support structure that held Ben Ali’ s security-based regime in power. We learn once again that dictators maintained in place largely by soldiers and intelligence services crumble swiftly once their citizens show that they are not afraid to confront the soldiers and, indeed, risk death, beatings, and imprisonment when they do so. Once Ben Ali last week ordered his troops not to use live ammunition in confronting the demonstrators and pledged not to run for office again in 2014, his days in power were over. It only took another 24 hours for him to flee the country.

    Ben Ali was one of the most glaring examples of the modern Arab autocrat who was also heavily supported by Western powers, and who ruthlessly put down protests and challenges by domestic forces, whether Islamists, secular democrats, leftists, or union members, jurists, journalists, and other specialized groups. Because his system of rule and the grievances that finally sparked his people to throw him out are both so common around the Arab world, we may be witnessing the start of a historic process in which developments in Tunisia ignite copycat protests or milder political challenges in other Arab countries. The Al Jazeera television effect will play a huge role here.

    RELATED: The key players in Tunisia's Jasmine Revolution

    A major unknown is what the overthrow of Ben Ali will mean for the interests and postures of major Western powers, such as France and the United States. This will depend largely on what kind of governance system replaces his security state, whether a democratic and pluralistic system takes root, and how much the Tunisian people will hold Western powers responsible for their decades of suffering in their dehumanized condition as politically castrated semi-citizens. We shall soon find out, because for the first time in half a century we may have an opportunity to learn what the citizens of Tunisia actually feel and want.
    Source: Christian Science Monitor
    Could Tunisia be a tipping point for the Arab world? - CSMonitor.com

  8. #38
    Senior Contributor kuku's Avatar
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    To think of the sort of pent up anger that existed......

    They say people remain somewhat satisfied till the economy is doing alright.
    cheers

  9. #39
    Turbanator Senior Contributor Double Edge's Avatar
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  10. #40
    Contributor RoccoR's Avatar
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    Skywatcher, et al,

    I (sort-of) doubt it. Although there is a similar kind of discontent, Persians are a bit more tame.

    Quote Originally Posted by Skywatcher View Post
    Wonder if it will spread to Iran, given the mounting economic pressure there. The Basiji will get crushed by the Artesh if it ever comes to that.
    (COMMENT)

    The economics of the nation and the anti-Western notions of the Basiji would setback the economy even further. While I'm not sure that the Army is becoming pro-Western, they clearly appreciate the technology and what it can do for them.

    I don't think there is going to be an uprising in Iran, and certainly, the use of the Army to crush any organizational discord would bring back memories of the Shah, and his approach.

    The Iranians put the Power-that-Be in power. They have the right to determine their own destiny. They have chosen their path. Let's hope they make the best of it. But America should stay out of it (internal Iranian politics).

    Most Respectfully,
    R

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    US has no place in the situation in Egypt. It is good that Obama made a statement urging reason and supporting peaceful resolution and the last thing anyone wants to see is Egyptian people suffering violence, but that is as far as US involvement should go.

    These people are standing up and trying to write change in order to better their country. That is to be applauded and supported and of course we hope Mubarak will stand down and be replaced by someone who will fulfill his country's needs.

    Does US support democracy only if it benefits US? Iraq is to be democratic and Egypt, but let them vote in a Hamas mentality and will US still support democracy?

    Democratic is what the people of the country want and those people may not share the same aspirations as the West.

    I hope the Muslim brotherhood don't acquire a foothold in Egypt by default and only because there is no other political body sufficiently organised to take on the role. That will have to be the choice of the Egyptian people. They will have to be prepared and vigilant, because history (of Iran) indicates a possibility that a religious group may be strong and organised enough to take control. But that is the business of Egypt, not US.

  12. #42
    Military Professional BadKharma's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gabriella View Post
    Does US support democracy only if it benefits US? Iraq is to be democratic and Egypt, but let them vote in a Hamas mentality and will US still support democracy?
    It depends upon whom you are referring to when you use a blanket statement such as....what the U.S. wants. Obviously on an open agenda they support stability that forwards the policies of those that have the most influence politically.
    Democratic is what the people of the country want and those people may not share the same aspirations as the West.
    Please take the time to review what a Democracy actually means. If the people truly want a democratic form of government and they have the means to institute that change it will occur. What any other country aspires to is irrelevant, there are numerous forms of democratic representation that started with the Greeks.

  13. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by RoccoR View Post

    The Iranians put the Power-that-Be in power. They have the right to determine their own destiny. They have chosen their path. Let's hope they make the best of it. But America should stay out of it (internal Iranian politics).

    Most Respectfully,
    R
    There seemed to be pretty heavy electoral fraud back in 2009.

  14. #44
    Turbanator Senior Contributor Double Edge's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mihais View Post
    Support democracy.Fine in principle.But what about interests.For example,do you think you benefited personally from the Western control over the Arab regimes in the last 50 or so years?Hint,there is something about fuel price,the lil' thing that determines a good chunk of all prices,since all goods and services need a ride.

    International law,accountability.Fine speech again.But how do you manage that? Strictly talking about Egypt,Suez is still the choke point it was for the 100+years.What are you going to do?Establish an embargo if they do something nasty?Fight them?Or just issue a piece of paper?
    Not sure if this article answers your questions

    Source
    How will the crisis in Egypt affect shipping?
    January 29, 2011 11:31 AM |
    Veeresh Malik

    As both ends of the Suez Canal have come under curfew, how does the shipping industry cope?

    Egypt boils over, after Tunisia did a few weeks ago, and the Suez Canal Authority is offline. Curfew has shut down both ends of the Suez Canal and reports coming in from shippie friends suggest that there are delays in transit. About 9% of the world's trade by volume and slightly more by value moves through this vital artery-and an unknown amount shrouded in the mystery that is international oil trade, moves through the SUMED (Suez-Med pipeline) which trans-ships crude oil from Ain Sukhna on the Red Sea/Gulf of Suez end to Sidi Kerir near Alexandria-equally mysteriously converting "sanctioned" oil from Iran to legit oil at the other end, for example.

    As commodity, forex and oil traders, as well as other people who make money out of information, move rapidly in the West-while the weekend closes most markets East of Suez-we get a ringside seat, once again, on how fortunes will be made and lost in shipping. Your humble correspondent managed a ringside seat the last time around, when Onassis, amongst others, made their fortunes, and seems the next cycle may soon be on us.

    A successful shipping industry, as has been said before, is always ahead of the curve as far as the world's commercial outlook is concerned. The rest of the world may go through all sorts of geo-political changes, weather patterns may re-invent themselves, consumption and affluence as may go through seismic shifts impacting countries and continents-but ships have and will continue to keep the wheels of commerce turning. Face it; even wars cannot continue for long, without the shipping industry's support, no merchant ship will keep the wheels of battle turning. Your correspondent has spent time detained in a West European port decades ago for being on a ship that was ostensibly carrying illegal arms which by a stroke of a dictat by pen on paper magically became legitimate cargo and then was delivered to the opposing regime it was originally intended for. The owners were just concerned about the freight and we were concerned about our salaries-and being detained while being allowed ashore was not all that bad, either.

    By definition, shipping has for centuries ensured its survival only if it has been able to read the tea-leaves correctly, ensuring that its ships and support elements that are in the correct place just slightly ahead of the correct time. And with the correct kind of ships.

    To understand this better, we have to first look at the typical returns that shipping as an industry gives-and then ask ourselves the question-why do people get into shipping if the real monetary returns are so low? Historically, from a variety of sources as well as part of Maritime Economics 101, return on capital employed in shipping for the past century has seldom been over 6.5% to 7% per annum, and usually lingers in the 2%-3% per annum region. Most certainly in days before the last 100 years, the commercial return was often negative, though the other long-term benefits like colonial dominance, religious evangelism and military might were more than compensatory.

    Things haven't really changed much in the present day and age. However, what has changed is that shipping also has to turn a minimum profit as well as be ready to pick up the surges, since financial backing from royalty, religions and regents, in uniforms, cassocks or robes cannot be declared as openly as it was a few centuries ago. So, through an intricate web of ownership modules, the real controlling forces behind shipping worldwide remains the same but will simply not be able to declare this. In addition, the primary reason of global dominance remains the main pillar for anybody wanting to get further in shipping. As well as aviation, for that matter, but there is a vital difference there.

    And the vital difference has to do with the age-old unchallenged concept of "innocent passage" guaranteed to commercial merchant ships worldwide, regardless of what they are up to-as long as the origin and destination ports are fine with things, and as long as global conventions on the subject in times of declared wars or similar are not in force. In other words, technically speaking, you cannot touch an enemy nation's ship even if all she is doing is running "innocent passage" through your territorial waters. Israeli ships will be and have been able to sail through the Red Sea and thence through the Suez Canal, and the Russians could use the Panama Canal, even at the worst of times-and that is how it has always been.

    But when natural events-or in some cases, "sponsored activities"-cause a breakdown in and around the choke-points, then all bets are off on "innocent passage" and Black Swans kick in. A choke point in shipping, incidentally, would be a narrow waterway that impacts international trade as ships funnel through them. Malacca Straits near Singapore, Suez Canal in Egypt, the Straits of Gibraltar between Europe and Africa, Straits of Hormuz at the entry to the Persian Gulf, and the Panama Canal-are vivid examples. It is no coincidence that the colonial powers and now the developed world have always tried to and have succeeded in controlling these "choke points". Except, lately, the Suez Canal.

    This now, for the second time in recent history, appears ready to re-write the way shipping fortunes are likely to fluctuate.

    Shipping fortunes are made-and lost-but mostly made, during periods known as "volatile" when risk, same meaning actually, is factored in. And over the last few months various indices and indexes that track shipping rates have been behaving very mysteriously, almost as if they were predicting in some ways that a choke point was due to boil over. Shipping circles, more than any other commercial interests, are watching and positioning assets very strategically-backed by national interests-and turbulent times lie ahead. Watch this space for more.

    (Veeresh Malik started life as a seafarer, and in the course of a work life, founded and sold Pacific Shipping and Infonox Software, to return to his first love-writing).

  15. #45
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    Egypt unrest: Reports of lawlessness rise as police retreat

    Lawlessness and other order related issues are increasing sharply outside of Cairo as prisoner's escape and people armed themselves against looters and gangs.

    Egypt unrest: Reports of lawlessness rise as police retreat – This Just In - CNN.com Blogs

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