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  • Revolution in Egypt and the wider Arab world?

    Fellow Members,

    With the fall of the Ben Ali's government in Tunisia, it appears as if the revolution is spreading. Now Mubarak's government in Egypt is facing critical pressure from the population.

    Will Mubarak be able to weather the storm? Will the revolution, begun in Tunisia, sweep the Arab world? Is this the dawn of a democratic age in the Arab world? What will be the impact on world history of these events?

    Objective: Discuss the impact the revolution in Tunisia has had on the government and population of Egypt.

    Questions
    • is this beginning of a widespread chain of revolutions in the Arab word?
    • are their any analogies or connections in idea, practice, and spirit between these events, and the Rose, Cedar, and Orange Revolutions in Georgia, Lebanon, and the Ukraine?
    • if so, who were the actors that instigated these, and if so, are their unintended consequences in international relations, a force unleashed that those who "instigated" them now cannot control?
    • is this the dawn of a new age of Shura and Islamic Democracy (in the tradition of the moderate Christian Democracy of Europe?
    • how can we ensure that Al-Qaeda sympathizers are shut out from a movement that is currently a largely peaceful revolutionary movement?


    Clinton Urges Restraint, Political Reform in Egypt

    David Gollust | State Department January 26, 2011
    In-Depth Coverage

    Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is urging all parties in the political upheaval in Egypt to exercise restraint and avoid violence. She called for the government of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, a key U.S. ally, to seize the moment and implement reforms.

    Secretary of State Hillary Clinton made the public appeal to Egyptians at a joint news event with Jordanian Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh, after talks dominated by the recent unrest in Egypt and Tunisia and stalled Israeli-Palestinian peace efforts.

    In calling for restraint by all the parties in Egypt, Clinton said the United States has consistently urged the Mubarak government to be responsive to calls for greater political reform and openness.

    "We support the universal rights of the Egyptian people including the rights to freedom of expression, association and assembly," she said. "And we urge the Egyptian authorities not to prevent peaceful protests or block communications, including on social media sites. We believe strongly that the Egyptian government has an important opportunity at this moment in time, to implement political, economic and social reforms to respond to the legitimate needs and interests of the Egyptian people."

    Jordan has also been the scene of anti-government protests in recent weeks. But Clinton stressed U.S. support for Jordanian reform efforts, noting parliamentary elections there in November that international observers held to be fair and transparent.

    Foreign Minister Judeh, stressed his government’s tolerance of public protests he said were understandable given economic problems in his import-dependent country.

    "I think that we have to differential between economic hardship, which we have, and also many countries around the world," he said. "Jordan is not living in a bubble. It is part and parcel of the fabric of these international economies. And between political stability, which we are blessed with in Jordan, with the Hashemite leadership - his majesty the king - who initiates reform from within."

    Foreign Minister Judeh cast the stalled Israeli-Palestinian peace process as the region’s key problem. He said a resolution of the conflict could trigger economic integration and progress that could temper anger now being seen in demonstrations.

    Clinton said the Obama administration remains committed to the peace process even though President Barack Obama made no mention of it in his State of the Union address.

    "Make no mistake. We are absolutely committed to the process, and we believe that a framework agreement that resolves the core issues not only remains possible, but necessary," she said. "As the foreign minister said, he will be meeting later with [U.S. envoy] George Mitchell. We have a constant dialogue going on with many of our friends and partners in the region and around the world. We remain committed to a two-state solution."

    Clinton said she will meet late next week in Munich with U.S. partners in the international Middle East Quartet - Russia, the European Union and the United Nations. The grouping formed in 2002 has lately focused on building the infrastructure for Palestinian statehood.
    Source: Voice of America, via GlobalSecurity.org
    Clinton Urges Restraint, Political Reform in Egypt
    Last edited by Ironduke; 28 Jan 11,, 23:07.
    "Every man has his weakness. Mine was always just cigarettes."

  • #2
    Additonal resource, from Voice of America via GlobalSecurity.org:
    Protests in Egypt, Tunisia Spark Turmoil

    Edward Yeranian | Cairo January 26, 2011
    In-Depth Coverage

    Egyptian security forces have deployed en masse across the capital, Cairo, Wednesday amid calls by protest leaders to continue demonstrating despite a ban.

    In central Cairo, Egyptian activists clashed with security forces stationed nearby as thousands of Interior Ministry troops stood watch along key roads and bridges to keep passersby from congregating.

    The Egyptian Interior Ministry warned on its website that public demonstrations would not be tolerated. Protest organizers reported scattered mobile phone outages and a blockage of the social websites Twitter and Facebook to prevent them from mobilizing supporters.

    Top opposition activist Abdul Jalil Mustapha called on President Hosni Mubarak not to seek re-election.

    He said the opposition is asking President Mubarak to announce that he will not run for re-election and that his son, Gamal, will not run in his place. Mustapha also insisted that both houses of parliament be dissolved and transparent elections be held.

    The Egyptian stock market also reportedly dropped 4 percent as investors worried about the implications of a rise in turmoil.

    In nearby Tunisia, security forces fired tear gas at protesters close to the prime minister’s office, as groups of young men threw stones and tried to break through a barricade. Protesters are demanding that interim Prime Minister Mohammed Gannouchi step down.

    The prime minister is due to announce a reshuffle of his cabinet. Meanwhile, Education Minister Ahmad Ibrahim urged Tunisians not to get carried away by demonstrations.

    He said it's normal for people to have a certain civic-awareness and to be concerned about protecting the gains of the revolution and keeping it from spinning out of control. But, he adds, it is imperative that protests be organized and peaceful and not stop the country from functioning.

    An active discussion continues in the Arab press about the possibility of popular protests spreading from one Arab country to the next. However Khattar Abou Diab, who teaches political science at the University of Paris III, insists that each Arab country has its own internal logic.

    He said that despite what people say, the idea of contagion from one Arab country to another is not a foregone conclusion and that the situation does not resemble that of eastern Europe after the fall of the Berlin Wall. He stressed that each country has its own context and that government structures vary widely. Tunisia, he noted, has a tradition of separation between religion and state, and a vibrant middle class which led the recent revolt. The army, he added, also joined the revolt.

    Conditions differ in Egypt, concludes Abou Diab, because the government, the army and the security forces have a "symbiotic relationship", and the state has a Pharoanic tradition of strong leaders. But, he urged President Mubarak to work slowly to democratize the system to prevent the Muslim Brotherhood and Iran from taking advantage of a political vacuum.
    Protests in Egypt, Tunisia Spark Turmoil
    "Every man has his weakness. Mine was always just cigarettes."

    Comment


    • #3
      there is a link of inspiration based on the close timing of events, protesters in various other countries have stated the events in Tunisia as inspiration, but ofcourse internal realities as expected differ, as the above article states in Egypt the army still supports the government unlike Tunisia and there is no common oppressor like the times of the fall of the soviet bloc, perhaps the strongest common denominator here is discontent with economic situations, a perception of corruption and the lack of tranparency in democratic processes , with the success in Tunisia acting as a spark, this does not mean the same outcome however, as the internal realities in the other countries apart from Tunisia appear quite different, however I do concede I dont know much about it, interested to here WAB opinion

      The egpytian government have taken a dangerous approach in not allowwing the protests

      Yemen protests have also gathered pace

      Thousands of Yemenis are demonstrating in the capital Sanaa, calling on Ali Abdullah Saleh, president for more than 30 years, to step down.

      This comes after mass protests in Egypt and a popular uprising in Tunisia that ousted its long-time leader
      .
      Protesters gathered in several locations of the city on Thursday morning, chanting that it was "time for change", and referring to the popular uprising in Tunisia that ousted President Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali earlier this month.
      Economic and social problems
      Poorest country in the Middle East with 40% of Yemenis living on less than $2 (1.25) a day
      More than two-thirds of the population under the age of 24
      Illiteracy stands at over 50%, unemployment at 35%
      Dwindling oil reserves and falling oil revenues; Little inward investment
      Acute water shortage
      Weak central government
      BBC News - Yemen protests: Thousands call on president to leave

      based on this list, hardly seems surpising there are protests, Tunisia was merely a spark


      I wonder if there is a common link in the age of protesters across Tunisia, Egypt, Yemen, they seem to be quite young?

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by tantalus View Post
        there is a link of inspiration based on the close timing of events, protesters in various other countries have stated the events in Tunisia as inspiration, but ofcourse internal realities as expected differ, as the above article states in Egypt the army still supports the government unlike Tunisia and there is no common oppressor like the times of the fall of the soviet bloc, perhaps the strongest common denominator here is discontent with economic situations, a perception of corruption and the lack of tranparency in democratic processes , with the success in Tunisia acting as a spark, this does not mean the same outcome however, as the internal realities in the other countries apart from Tunisia appear quite different, however I do concede I dont know much about it, interested to here WAB opinion

        The egpytian government have taken a dangerous approach in not allowwing the protests

        Yemen protests have also gathered pace

        .


        BBC News - Yemen protests: Thousands call on president to leave

        based on this list, hardly seems surpising there are protests, Tunisia was merely a spark


        I wonder if there is a common link in the age of protesters across Tunisia, Egypt, Yemen, they seem to be quite young?
        To answer your question about the connection between age and the Arab protesters. I would say that could be explained due to the fact that mainly the youth in countries like Tunisia and Egypt have been affected by the recent and lingering economic and social problems in these two nations. In addtion, social media which appeals primarily to younger generations(but recently older one's also worldwide) as Facebook, Twitter, and texting have been important tools used in these events. This was also evidented through their use in the 2009 Green Revolution in Iran.
        Last edited by Kevin Brown; 27 Jan 11,, 20:30.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Ironduke View Post
          is this beginning of a widespread chain of revolutions in the Arab word?
          Only going to go with this one. It asks just because the leader was overthrown in Tunis that whether the same 'might' happen elsewhere.

          I don't think it will in Egypt for the following reasons
          - Tunis is a 10 million population country vs Egypt's which is much larger. So the startup energy in Egypt is going to be higher. All the middle class & trade unions are going to have to join in like in Tunis. That's asking for a lot.
          - The ratio of educated people in Tunis is higher compared to Egypt.
          - The press in Egypt is not as supressed as the one in Tunis was, so this acts as a safety vale in some aspects.

          Algeria did not go up because there wasn't sufficient buy-in from the middle class.

          This is a summary of the article posted by me earlier here.

          Comment


          • #6
            Also, do not overlook the tensions in happening in Lebanon.




            Lebanese government collapses
            Government falls after Hezbollah and allies withdraw from coalition in row over UN probe into murder of Rafiq al-Hariri.
            Last Modified: 13 Jan 2011 07:34 GMT

            Lebanon's unity government has collapsed after the Hezbollah movement and its political allies resigned from the cabinet over arguments stemming from a UN investigation into the assassination of Rafiq al-Hariri, the former Lebanese prime minister, in 2005.

            There has been growing political tension in Lebanon amid signs that Hezbollah members could be indicted by the UN-backed Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL).

            Ten ministers tendered their resignations on Wednesday after reports that al-Hariri's son Saad, the prime minister, had refused their call to convene a cabinet meeting to discuss controversial issues including the investigation.

            An eleventh member, Adnan Sayyed Hussein, later stood down from the 30-member cabinet, automatically bringing down al-Hariri's government.

            The request to convene a cabinet meeting came on Tuesday after Syria and Saudi Arabia, who have for months been attempting to act as mediators in Lebanon's political crisis, announced their efforts had failed.

            The standoff between al-Hariri's camp and Hezbollah over the UN tribunal has paralysed the government for months and sparked concerns of sectarian violence similar to the one that brought the country close to civil war in May 2008.

            Read full article at:
            AJE - Al Jazeera English

            Comment


            • #7
              Feels pretty good being the only (relatively) stable country in the region. Maybe the US will cut us some slack now...
              Meddle not in the affairs of dragons, for you are crunchy and taste good with ketchup.

              Abusing Yellow is meant to be a labor of love, not something you sell to the highest bidder.

              Comment


              • #8
                tantalus, et al,

                I'm in Sanaa now.
                Originally posted by tantalus View Post
                ... ... ...

                Yemen protests have also gathered pace

                ... ... ...

                I wonder if there is a common link in the age of protesters across Tunisia, Egypt, Yemen, they seem to be quite young?
                (COMMENT)

                These countries all have similarities; but I tend to think (I get the feel) that it was contagious and more spontaneous; inspirational.

                Most Respectively,
                R

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by bigross86 View Post
                  Feels pretty good being the only (relatively) stable country in the region. Maybe the US will cut us some slack now...
                  Nope, the J00s are still evil and the creator of all the worlds problems,

                  In fact this is just another Zionist/Mossad conspiracy to bring down the legitimate government of another Islamic state...
                  The best part of repentance is the sin

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Except without sharks this time
                    Meddle not in the affairs of dragons, for you are crunchy and taste good with ketchup.

                    Abusing Yellow is meant to be a labor of love, not something you sell to the highest bidder.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      A curfew is to be imposed from 6pm - 7am in Cairo, Suez and Alexandria.

                      I doubt its going to stop the people protesting. Looks like President Mubarak's days are numbered. I was watching Al-Jazeera English live. They have got live pictures in Cairo. While i'm writing this the room that Al Jazeera were filming in has been raided by Egyptian Police and some of there camera's have been taken. It took long for the police to get there.

                      Makes me think if Mubarak falls who is going take over? Muslim Brotherhood? If so what does that mean for the middle east and more important Israel?

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        President Hosni Mubarak will be making an address the nation shortly.

                        Mubarak is going to use the army to help the police enforce the curfew. This is going to get nasty!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by BoxingManiac View Post
                          A curfew is to be imposed from 6pm - 7am in Cairo, Suez and Alexandria.

                          I doubt its going to stop the people protesting. Looks like President Mubarak's days are numbered. I was watching Al-Jazeera English live. They have got live pictures in Cairo. While i'm writing this the room that Al Jazeera were filming in has been raided by Egyptian Police and some of there camera's have been taken. It took long for the police to get there.

                          Makes me think if Mubarak falls who is going take over? Muslim Brotherhood? If so what does that mean for the middle east and more important Israel?
                          From what I understand the Muslim Brotherhood appears to be sitting this out? Whether this is part of their stratagy or something else remains to be seen. However, I've also been hearing that a number of people in Egypt are pretty upset with the Brotherhood also.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Kevin Brown View Post
                            From what I understand the Muslim Brotherhood appears to be sitting this out? Whether this is part of their stratagy or something else remains to be seen. However, I've also been hearing that a number of people in Egypt are pretty upset with the Brotherhood also.
                            The Muslim Brotherhood on Thursday announced that they will be protesting. True not everyone in Egypt agrees with the MB. They are the biggest opposition to President Mubarak.
                            http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/28/wo...lexandria.html

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by BoxingManiac View Post
                              The Muslim Brotherhood on Thursday announced that they will be protesting. True not everyone in Egypt agrees with the MB. They are the biggest opposition to President Mubarak.
                              http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/28/wo...lexandria.html
                              Hmm, first I've heard of it. If so, then I see things getting worse for Mubarak & co.

                              Comment

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