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Failing Islamic States - 2011

The Bread Guy

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Statement by the Prime Minister of Canada following the resignation of President Hosni Mubarak of Egypt
11 February 2011
Prime Minister Stephen Harper today issued the following statement after Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak announced his resignation:

“Canada respects President Mubarak’s decision to step down in order to promote peace and stability in the country. The future of Egypt is for Egyptians to decide.

“Canada wants to see free and fair elections; we want to see the rule of law and stability; we want to see respect for human rights, including the rights of minorities, including religious minorities; we want to see the transition to a democratic Egypt.

“Our Government encourages all parties to move forward with a peaceful, meaningful, credible and orderly democratic reform process towards new leadership, including free and fair elections in order to build a brighter future for the people of Egypt.

“Canada will continue to support Egypt in implementing meaningful democratic and economic reforms.  We will also continue to encourage and support Egypt’s efforts to promote regional stability and peace, including with Israel as well as continued respect for peace treaties in the Middle East.”
 

MarkOttawa

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Letter sent to the Toronto Star:

Re: Travers: Once a Middle East player, Canada now a spectator, Feb. 12
http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/article/937508--travers-once-a-middle-east-player-canada-now-a-spectator

Mr. Travers fails to understand what Canadian policy--as much Prime Minister St. Laurent's as External Affairs Minister Pearson's--on Suez in 1956 was really about.  Their main concern was not the Middle East.  It was rather finding a way to avoid a complete falling out between the U.S. (which strongly opposed Western military intervention) on the one hand and the U.K. and France (who were attacking Egypt in collusion with Israel) on the other.  It was feared that such a major falling out would be to the great benefit of the USSR, which was just suppressing Hungary.  The main point was to maintain NATO Cold War solidarity, not to bring peace to the Middle East.  The second point was trying to avoid the Soviets' gaining substantial ground in the Third World generally in reaction to perceived British-French neo-colonialism. 

I worked as research assistant on the relevant section of Volume II of Mr. Pearson's memoirs, Mike.  People should look at it for a good account of what really went on.  Canada was actually very "cozy with the U.S.", something Mr. Travers now decries us for being.  The "peacekeeping" force was in fact as much an American idea as Canadian; the U.S. asked us to front it for them at the UN as a way of salving Franco-British amour propre, i.e. so it did not look publicly as if the latter were bowing to the overwhelming power of the former.  Which of course they were.  The U.S was threatening to bring down the pound amongst other things.

References:
http://www.amazon.com/Mike-memoirs-Honourable-Lester-Pearson/dp/0802002544
http://www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/fandd/2001/09/boughton.htm

Mark
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time expired

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The euphoria sweeping the MSM and seemingly the whole World ,on President Murbarak leaving his post is surely a

little premature.How does anyone believe that a country that is 116th in GNP per capita ($2771),Canada by the way

is 11th at $45888,will ever be able to support the systems and institutions required to maintain a viable democratic

system.

I can only see two possible outcomes,the military,when the people realize that you can not eat democracy,will clamp down

and we will see more of what we have had but with a new strongman that we can all hate or when the pot starts to

boil again the Islamist radicals will see their chance make their move and seize power.Naturally they will use the elections

to do this and them claim it was all done democratically,and of course our liberal friends here in the West will agree with

them,then they will eliminate the opposition and never have an election again,an effective Ha mas tactic used before in

the Gaza strip.

OK someone tell me I am old pessimist and completely out of touch with the modern world and I don't understand the power

of Twitter.

                                                                      Regards
 

GAP

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Human nature being what it is, the above scenario makes perfect sense to me
 

tomahawk6

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Protests have spread to Algeria. The government shuts down web and Facebook. Thousand of protestors have been arrested. This entire thread is mistitled. None of these countries are failed islamic states at least not yet. An islamic state to my mind is one that operates under sharia law.
 

nuclearzombies

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:2c:Though it's hard not to root for the citizens, the unfortunate reality is this is a potentially unstable mess just waiting for the wrong individual or group to exploit the chaos of the situation(s). My concern is the domino effect of these collapsing autocratic regimes will ultimately result in less political stability through the region, and that any resultant power vacuums may yield something far worse than it's progenator. The optimist in me hopes that calm heads will prevail, and reforms will be positive ones. The pessimist in me is convinced one or more exremist groups are going to use this unrest as a context to conduct violence to fill whatever cockamamie agenda. The pessimist also resents the implication that democracy is the only way to go. It isn't. Installing democracy is not in and of itself a solution, only a part. You simply cannot go off of autocracy "cold turkey", and I believe the Egyptian Military is on that same wavelength.

My compliments to the folks serving with the Egyptian Armed Forces, for the most part their members have shown excellent discipline and courtesy throughout this situation. But I tell ya's, if anybody tried to paint crap on my AFV, I would go into an apoplectic fit :threat:
 

57Chevy

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Algeria police stifle Egypt-inspired protest
Thousands of riot police block march through capital

ALGIERS, Feb 12 (Reuters) - Thousands of police in riot gear blocked off the centre of Algeria’s capital on Saturday and stopped government opponents from staging a protest march that sought to emulate Egypt’s popular revolt.

Small groups of demonstrators angry at President Abdelaziz Bouteflika gathered in May 1 Square in the centre of Algiers shouting “Bouteflika out!.” They waved newspaper front pages reporting Friday’s overthrow of Egypt’s President Hosni Mubarak.

But riot police hemmed them in, stopping them from carrying out a plan to march through the city. Other protesters trying to reach the square found their way blocked and at least one of the protest organisers was arrested.

“It is a state of siege,” said Abdeslam Ali Rachedi, a university lecturer and government opponent.

After about three hours, hundreds of people left the square quietly, with police opening up gaps in their cordon to let them through. Some 200 young men from a poor neighbourhood nearby stayed on the square. Some threw objects at police.

Mubarak’s resignation and last month’s overthrow of Tunisia’s leader have electrified the Arab world and led many to ask which state could be next in a region with an explosive mix of authoritarian rule and popular anger.

Widespread unrest in Algeria could have implications for the world economy because it is a major oil and gas exporter. But many analysts say a revolt is unlikely because the government can use its energy wealth to resolve most grievances.

HUGE POLICE DEPLOYMENT

Officials had banned Saturday’s protest, citing public order concerns. A massive police mobilisation, which started on Friday afternoon, appeared to have stifled it.

“I am sorry to say the government has deployed a huge force to prevent a peaceful march. This is not good for Algeria’s image,” said Mustafa Bouchachi, a leader of the League for Human Rights which helped organise the protest.

The protest was not backed by the main trade unions or the biggest opposition parties. Nearly all members of Algeria’s radical Islamist groups, which were banned in the 1990s but still have grassroots influence, stayed away.

Responding to opposition pressure, government officials say they are working hard to create more jobs and improve housing, and they have promised more democratic freedoms including the lifting of a state of emergency in force for 19 years.

Reuters reporters at the demonstration said there was a hardcore of about 150 protesters and probably substantially more but it was hard to determine how many because they were mingled with onlookers.

They said they saw police detaining a handful of protesters. There was also a small counter-protest nearby, with people chanting “We want peace not chaos!” and “Algeria is not Egypt!”

Estimates given by police and protest organisers for the numbers involved diverged greatly.

The Interior Ministry said in a statement: “An attempt to organise a march was recorded today at May 1 Square by a crowd estimated at 250 people. Fourteen people were detained and immediately released.”

Officials with the opposition RCD party, which helped organise the protest, told Reuters the demonstrators totalled between 7,000 and 10,000 and that 1,000 people were arrested.
          _____________________________________________________________________________
also:
Now revolution takes hold in Algeria: Hundreds arrested as '30,000' riot police try to quell democracy march inspired by downfall of Hosni Mubarak
Algeria uprising

*  Estimated police figures outnumber demonstrators by three to one
* Human rights activist says more than 400 arrested
* Government cuts food prices and promises end of state of emergency to mollify demonstrators
Thousands of riot police arrested hundreds of demonstrators in the Algerian capital today as they tried to stop a banned pro-democracy rally a day after Egypt's authoritarian leader was toppled.
Armed police blocked off streets in Algiers and set up security barricades at strategic points along the march route and outside the city to try to stop busloads of demonstrators from reaching the capital.
Armed police were also posted near newspaper headquarters.

Organisers of the march estimated some 10,000 people had flooded Algiers, where they skirmished with riot police attempting to block off streets and disperse the crowd.

News reports suggested security forces outnumbered demonstrators. The Algerian daily La Liberte said some 30,000 riot police had been deployed in the capital.
Ali Yahia Abdenour, a human rights activist, said more than 400 people - including women and foreign journalists - have been arrested.
Abdenour, who heads the Algerian League for the Defense of Human Rights, said some 28,000 security forces were deployed in Algiers to block the march.
Protesters chanted slogans including 'No to the police state' and 'Bouteflika out,' a reference to President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, who has been in power since 1999.

Under the country's long-standing state of emergency, protests are banned in Algiers, but the government's repeated warnings for people to stay out of the streets apparently fell on deaf ears.
The march comes at a sensitive time in Algeria - just a day after the uprising in Egypt that forced Hosni Mubarak to abandon the presidency after 30 years. It also comes on the heels of a 'people's revolution' in neighbouring Tunisia that pushed President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali into exile on January 14.
Some observers have predicted Algeria could be the next Arab country hit by the wave of popular protests.

The democratic domino-effect has electrified the Arab world and led many to ask which country could see uprisings in a region where a mix of authoritarian rule and popular anger are the norm.

pictures and video at link...

                            (Reproduced under the Fair Dealings provisions of the Copyright Act)
 

Kat Stevens

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It will be interesting to see, five years from now, how many of these pro-democracy protesters on the front pages will setting their sisters on fire for daring to show a little ankle at the beach.
 

OldSolduer

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Nature abhors a vacuum. I bet the Muslim Brotherhood has infiltrated the military, opposition parties and the democracy movement.

Just my two cents, plus the HST.
 

Dennis Ruhl

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Kat Stevens said:
It will be interesting to see, five years from now, how many of these pro-democracy protesters on the front pages will setting their sisters on fire for daring to show a little ankle at the beach.

Exactly! I suspect few of those democratic idealists who helped overthrow the Shah of Iran had any idea that they would end up in a 7th Century theocracy.
 

The Bread Guy

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A few more tidbits to share from the Muslim Brotherhood's web page, to give only a bit of a feel of what they've been telling the world in English via their web page.

.... The Brotherhood has been working for years on projects to create a civic charter and a constitution, preparing for the time when a new democratic government came to power. During the past week of protests, members of the cross-partisan groups were able to quickly reactivate their networks and help form a united opposition front. It is likely that these members will play a key role in drafting Egypt's new constitution.

Over the last 30 years, the Brotherhood has developed expertise in electoral competition and representation, and has developed new professional competencies and skills, forging closer ties with Egyptian activists, researchers, journalists, and politicians outside the Islamist camp. The leadership is more internally diverse today than ever before.

There is a new generation of Islamist democracy activists both inside and outside the Muslim Brotherhood. The Brotherhood is using discretion in its function in the uprising, aware that the greater its role, the higher the risk of a violent crackdown. There is a historic precedent for this in the harsh wave of repression that followed its strong showing in the 2005 parliamentary elections. Its immediate priority is to ensure that President Hosni Mubarak steps down and that the era of corruption and dictatorship associated with his rule comes to an end. The Brotherhood also knows that a smooth transition to a democratic system will require an interim government palatable to the military and the West, so it has indicated that it would not seek positions in the new government itself ....
"Clarifying the Muslim Brotherhood," 7 Feb 11


.... It is true that Egypt , mainly due to  economic and other reasons, had to sign the infamous peace treaty at Camp David, which only formally ended the state of belligerency between Israel and largest and most powerful Arab country. But it is also true that the vast majority of Egyptians continued to hate Israel as a hostile and criminal entity despite all American inducements and bribes to create good chemistry between Egyptians and Israelis.

In the final analysis, it would be a form of morbid imagination to expect Egyptians, who nearly on a daily basis watch Zionist thugs and terrorists murder, terrorize and savage their coreligionists and brethren in Palestine and destroy their homes, bulldoze their farms, and expel them form their places of residence ....
"Of course, Israel is Egypt's enemy," 7 Feb 11


.... Khaled Hamza, Ikhwanweb's chief editor, strongly condemned statements by jihadist groups affiliated with  Al-Qaeda  concerning the ongoing protests in Egypt, calling for Egyptians to wage violent "Jihad" to topple the regime in Egypt.

Hamza confirmed the Muslim Brotherhood's firm stance against use of  violence  to achieve legitimate popular demands, rejecting any interference in Egypt’s domestic affairs. He stressed that Egyptians are capable of solving their problem without intrusion, meddling and prying from foreign groups such as Alqaeda and simialr groups advocating the use of violence. 

The MB is confident that Egyptians will ignore latest al Qaeda statements and its ideology, which contradict with the basic tenets of Islam and the peacedul nature of the Egyptian people.

Hamza confirmed that the current revolution in Egypt is the "People’s revolution" not an Islamic one, and includes all sects, trends and religions. Egyptian men, women, children, Muslims and Christians have united in their call for freedom and democracy, and the MB group has participated as part of the people ....
"MB denounces Al-Qaeda's call to Egypt's protestors to wage Jihad," 9 Feb 11]"MB denounces Al-Qaeda's call to Egypt's protestors to wage Jihad," 9 Feb 11


.... We aim to achieve reform and rights for all: not just for the Muslim Brotherhood, not just for Muslims, but for all Egyptians. We do not intend to take a dominant role in the forthcoming political transition. We are not putting forward a candidate for the presidential elections scheduled for September.

While we express our openness to dialogue, we also re-assert the public’s demands, which must be met before any serious negotiations leading to a new government. The Mubarak regime has yet to show serious commitment to meeting these demands or to moving toward substantive, guaranteed change.

As our nation heads toward liberty, however, we disagree with the claims that the only options in Egypt are a purely secular, liberal democracy or an authoritarian theocracy. Secular liberal democracy of the American and European variety, with its firm rejection of religion in public life, is not the exclusive model for a legitimate democracy.

In Egypt, religion continues to be an important part of our culture and heritage. Moving forward, we envision the establishment of a democratic, civil state that draws on universal measures of freedom and justice, which are central Islamic values. We embrace democracy not as a foreign concept that must be reconciled with tradition, but as a set of principles and objectives that are inherently compatible with and reinforce Islamic tenets ....
"What the Muslim Brothers Want," 11 Feb 11

- edited to fix missing link -
 

MarkOttawa

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The conclusion of a lengthy substantive post at his blog by David Akin of Sun Media:

Reporting on the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt
http://davidakin.blogware.com/blog/_archives/2011/2/13/4749573.html

...
All of which is to say: Journalists reporting on the situation in Egypt would be fools to ignore the Muslim Brotherhood. But journalists on the ground in Egypt have no reason, at this point, to come to the conclusions that Levant and Kelly have arrived at, that the Brotherhood should be condemned as violent fundamentalists. The reality, for now at least, is much more complicated.

Mark
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MarkOttawa

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But a very cautionary note at the National Post's "Full Comment" (further links at original):

Lawrence Solomon: Cairo’s protesters don’t speak for Egypt
http://fullcomment.nationalpost.com/2011/02/13/lawrence-solomon-cairos-protesters-dont-speak-for-egypt/

Mubarak is deposed, to the general delight of Westerners who watched for 18 days as Cairo’s democracy protesters challenged his regime. The Westerners are wrong, however, both in thinking the protesters can achieve any good through democracy anytime soon, and in thinking of democracy as inherently desirable.

Democracy is not an end in itself but a means to an end. In Western countries, the end we seek is most famously stated as “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness,” a phrase in the U.S. Declaration of Independence. Other Western societies seek similar ends — the French tout liberté, égalité, fraternité, Australians life, liberty, and prosperity, Canadians life, liberty, and security of the person. Our Western system of democracy is merely the most effective system of governance devised to date to allow us to achieve our ends.

In Egypt, the ends that democracy would bring are more likely death, submission and the pursuit of jihad, as defined by the country’s Muslim Brotherhood. “The Koran is our constitution, the Jihad is our way, and the Death for Allah is our most exalted wish,” it proclaims. The word Islam does mean “submission.”

Most Egyptians — three-quarters of its overwhelmingly Muslim population, public opinion polls say — want “strict imposition of Sharia law” and a larger proportion wants policies that most in the West would view as human rights abuses — 82% would stone adulterers and 84% want the death penalty for Muslims who leave their faith...

...traditional Egypt need not forever prevail. A poll just released by the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, taken between Feb. 5 and Feb. 8 of residents of Cairo and Alexandria, the two centres of protest, shows both how different the major cities are from the rest of the country, and how much hope there is for a modern Egypt in the future.

The protest was mostly driven by the economy, with 37% citing either “poor economic conditions” or “Unemployment/Job conditions.” Corruption came in next, at 22%, followed by “poor delivery of services like electricity and water” at 5%. The social causes touted by the Western media were all but non-existent: Just 3% cited “political repression/no democracy” and another 3% cited “abuses by security services/arrests/torture etc.” Neither are the populations in these urban centres motivated by fundamentalism. Only 4% complained of a “Regime not Islamic enough,” only 4% of a “Regime Too Connected to the U.S.,” and just 3% of a “Regime Too Supportive of Israel.” In a hypothetical election for president, one-third of the residents of these cities favoured either Mubarak (16%) or his vice-president, Omar Suleiman (17%), compared to 26% for Amr Musa, a prominent diplomat...

Even in this urban population, democracy does not yet loom large. When asked what they hoped to see for Egypt in five year’s time, the top choice at 26% was a country “whose might and power is respected and feared throughout the Middle East and Africa.” Just 22% wanted an Egypt “widely praised as the first real democracy in the Arab world.”

Yet it is also easy to imagine a Western-style democracy in the future, following more of the urbanization and Westernization that Egypt has seen in recent decades. In addition to the 22% now democratically inclined, another 17% want Egypt to become “open and developed enough to welcome 20 million tourists from around the world.” Those tourists, and that development, would be a powerful force for change — if we don’t pre-empt it by forcing a crude democracy on Egypt before it has the opportunity to join the modern world.

Mark
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a_majoor

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Interesting post on Instapundit:

It is a commonplace that the history of civilisation is largely the history of weapons. In particular, the connection between the discovery of gunpowder and the overthrow of feudalism by the bourgeoisie has been pointed out over and over again. And though I have no doubt exceptions can be brought forward, I think the following rule would be found generally true: that ages in which the dominant weapon is expensive or difficult to make will tend to be ages of despotism, whereas when the dominant weapon is cheap and simple, the common people have a chance. Thus, for example, tanks, battleships and bombing planes are inherently tyrannical weapons, while rifles, muskets, longbows and hand-grenades are inherently democratic weapons. A complex weapon makes the strong stronger, while a simple weapon–so long as there is no answer to it–gives claws to the weak.

So where does Twitter fit in?

Social media tools Will be in play as Islamic radicals, pro democracy activists and the military jockey for power in Egypt. Since Egypt has demonstrated the ability to "throw the switch" on the Internet, the Military currently has the upper hand in that battlefield. This is a very crude countermeasure, however (something like nuking the battlefield) with lots of negative implications for the larger economy (which complicates things, if the economy slumps more, the causes of the revolution will be amplified).

Islamic radicals can spread the message through the mosque, and mass distribution of cassette tapes of sermons and speeches by radical Imans and Moslem Brotherhood leaders are old hat in Egypt, so WRT communications I'd say the Islamic radicals have the upper hand...
 

The Bread Guy

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Thucydides said:
Social media tools Will be in play as Islamic radicals, pro democracy activists and the military jockey for power in Egypt. Since Egypt has demonstrated the ability to "throw the switch" on the Internet, the Military currently has the upper hand in that battlefield. This is a very crude countermeasure, however (something like nuking the battlefield) with lots of negative implications for the larger economy (which complicates things, if the economy slumps more, the causes of the revolution will be amplified).
Not to mention an element of "cutting one's nose off to spite one's face" given how much of the economy the military is involved in (around 30% according to some).
 

57Chevy

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Stashing away billions is what I call corrupt to the very bone.
Did anyone ever tell him that he will not be taking it down into the pit with him.
                                        ________________________________________

Hosni Mubarak used last days in power to stash billions
Ousted Egyptian president shifted fortune to untraceable accounts

NEW YORK/CAIRO - Hosni Mubarak used the 18 days it took for protesters to topple him to shift his vast wealth into untraceable accounts overseas, Western intelligence sources have said.

The former Egyptian president is accused of amassing a fortune of more than about $5 billion - although some suggest it could be as much as $65 billion - during his 30 years in power. It is claimed his wealth was tied up in foreign banks, investments, bullion and properties in London, New York, Paris and Beverly Hills, Calif.

In the knowledge his downfall was imminent, Mubarak is understood to have attempted to place his assets out of reach of potential investigators.

On Friday night, Swiss authorities announced they were freezing any assets Mubarak and his family may hold in the country's banks while pressure was growing for the UK to do the same. Mubarak has strong connections to London and it is thought he has millions stashed in the UK.

But a senior Western intelligence source claimed that Mubarak had begun moving his fortune in recent weeks.

"We're aware of some urgent conversations within the Mubarak family about how to save these assets," the source said. "And we think their financial advisers have moved some of the money around. If he had real money in Zurich, it may be gone by now."

The revelation came as the ruling military council, which took power as Mubarak stepped down on Friday, confirmed its pledge eventually to hand power to an elected civilian government, although it did not set a date.

                          (Reproduced under the Fair Dealings provisions of the Copyright Act)

 

tomahawk6

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Corruption is endemic throughout the world - including the US. We see people get into politics with little money and years later are millionaires. It is very hard to eliminate even in dictatorships like China and Russia even though both continue to try. The Egyptian military like China have gotten into business to augment funding and to put money into the pockets of the generals. Look at the Assad regime. They have amassed quite a fortune and they are supported by ruthless security services and an army that doesnt mind shooting their own people to put down revolt. Thats the difference between Syria/Iran and Egypt/Tunisia. The media didnt do much when Iran was killing its own democracy protestors but rebellion in pro-Western countries is a different matter. The message to our allies is that you have a big target on your chest and the anti-western forces will do everything they can to foment internal strife. Of course we could have done the same to Iran and Syria but our leaders dont have the stones to do what needs to be done.
 

a_majoor

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Why the confused responses by the administration?

http://althouse.blogspot.com/2011/02/why-do-some-people-presume-best-of.html

Why do some people presume the best of the Egyptian protesters and the worst of the Tea Party protesters?

This is something I've been mulling over especially after I heard Rush Limbaugh tie up a long monologue like this:

  I find Obama's respect for protests funny.  He hates the Tea Party, he hates their rallies, he accuses them of being all kinds of things, but the protesters in Egypt, why, they are great, Muslim Brotherhood, secular, they're not interested in violence. Obama loves these people in Egypt all the while he is in violation of a federal judge.  This man is so concerned about the law in Egypt, he's got his own health care bill declared unconstitutional, and he acts like the court has never ruled.  So all this talk about democracy and the rule of law, give me a break, he's flipping Judge Vinson the bird.

    He may claim to love democracy in Egypt.  He knows what that group is.  He's a community organizer.  He knows exactly what that group is.  That's why he's such a big supporter of that.  He knows that group's just a bunch of agitators.  But to sit around and start talking about, "Oh, we love democracy, and whenever we see it bubbling up, we're gonna support it out there."  Yeah, except when the judge says your health care bill's unconstitutional, we're gonna ignore that.  He loves democracy in action except when it's the Tea Party.  Then all of a sudden they become a bunch of tea baggers, as far as he's concerned.  Yeah.  I'm not kidding.  The American Tea Party, they're responsible for shooting people, they're responsible for all the violence. I mean, who's worked this crowd up into a fevered pitch?  I don't know that my program's on the air there.  And if it were -- he-he-he-he-he-he-he -- they wouldn't like me much.

There's a lot of stuff in there. I'm focused on the question I put in the title. Obviously, I'm also interested in the health care case. He wove that into the discussion — awkwardly... or elegantly?

Meanwhile, the NYT reports:

    The Egyptian military, complying with most of the principal demands of the opposition, said Sunday that it had dissolved the country’s parliament, suspended its constitution and called for elections in six months, according to a statement by the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces read on state television. It also said it would honor all of Egypt’s international agreements, including the peace treaty with Israel.

    The military did not address a third major opposition demand to lift emergency rule. In previous statements, the council had promised to take that step once the security situation improved.

So, at this point, it's pretty much a military coup, making references to an entity called "the opposition," dissolving parliament, and suspending the constitution. I'm just trying to understand what's going on and why we should feel so much confidence about it.

Or is it political theater? Perhaps Obama et al. are only acting as though they have full confidence that the outcome will be democratic and free, because it is a way to state our expectations, make that outcome more likely, and position us to pressure the military government if that doesn't happen.

Have I stumbled into the answer to my original question up there in the post title? If it's "political theater," then a completely different set of gestures with respect to the Tea Party makes perfect sense.
 

OldSolduer

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No good is going to come of this. I have a bad feeling about this move towards "democracy".

just my opinion.
 

GAP

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The scary thing is, is that most of these countries have known little else except dictator/strong man ruling them. This predisposes them to pick what they know/are comfortable with.

In many of the on street interviews from Egypt people were wondering where they are going to get someone like Mubarak again...sheesh....

In some cases they'll oust one dictator to pick another worse one.......see IRAN....
 
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