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BehindCurtai

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So on GPS this morning, the Egypt opposition leader ElBaradei was quoted as saying (paraphrased) that they should eliminate the old parliment, the old constitution, as those will just lead to a fake democracy; Egypt should start over with all new government.

I'm not saying that's a good goal or a bad goal.

But "Throw out the constitution; don't follow the existing rules for transition; put limits on the ability to organize new political parties"?

I think Egypt's troubles are just beginning.

===

The current constitution over there would call for new elections in two months if the current president steps down. The concern that this is too quick for real opposition is valid. But rather than saying "Lets follow the existing rules for changing it", he's calling for throwing the whole thing out with a new three person committee to replace the president for a year.
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Berthy7

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sounds familiar to what happen here few years back
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Pianoman1125

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Sounds very reminiscent of the French Revolution when they threw out the old rule and made the constitution of 1791...

...and 1793...

...and 1795...

...and 1804...

Yeah, this'll work out well.
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Smackey

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Mubarak quit.

Pussy. Real men never give up, especially men with 70 billion dollars.


Both edits are spell-correcting this foo's name.
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[Edit 2 times, last edit by Smackey at Feb 11, 2011 10:26:16 AM]
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OE800



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Mubarak quit.

Pussy. Real men never give up, especially men with 70 billion dollars.


Both edits are spell-correcting this foo's name.


For real. He gave a speech last night calling Egyptians his "children" and such. I thought we were in for the long haul. Apparently a bunch of protesters marched on his palace and the tanks guarding it turned their guns towards the palace. Dude probably started poopin' his pants then.
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Benzene265

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...is probably screwed, and by "screwed", I mean "going to be run by an insane dictator for at least a generation".

Personally, I think that no one would care if it weren't for the Suez Canal. I guess we'll be sailing around the Cape again.
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StuManchu

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...is probably screwed, and by "screwed", I mean "going to be run by an insane dictator for at least a generation".

Personally, I think that no one would care if it weren't for the Suez Canal. I guess we'll be sailing around the Cape again.


You mean, like it was run by an insane dictator for the last generation? The Suez sure has been suffering!

(read more)

This picture alone has me excited for a post-Mubarak Egypt, now let's hope various international agencies can all get along and not be bought out.


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funnybones

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Puh-leeeez.

The Egyptian regime in an authoritarian autocracy imposed upon the Egyptians by a foreign power. It is entirely expected that the media of that foreign power should portray the overthrow of this illegitimate government as a negative action in whatever duplicitous and dishonest language it can summon because of the power that media serves. But, no, the Egyptians are not "unready" for democracy, as commentators so condescendingly describe them.

Godwilling there will be a revolution in Egypt. Suleiman is not the answer.
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Dylan

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Puh-leeeez.

The Egyptian regime in an authoritarian autocracy imposed upon the Egyptians by a foreign power. It is entirely expected that the media of that foreign power should portray the overthrow of this illegitimate government as a negative action in whatever duplicitous and dishonest language it can summon because of the power that media serves. But, no, the Egyptians are not "unready" for democracy, as commentators so condescendingly describe them.

Godwilling there will be a revolution in Egypt. Suleiman is not the answer.


I have no words. The Telegraph (right of centre) does:

"Egypt live: Jubilation as 'people power' forces Mubarak to resign"

Never mind the fact that Egyptians "won" the Suez Crisis, so one can hardly argue that the Republic (and ensuing regime) was imposed from without. Sustained, sure, I can accept that. But imposed? No, that is counterfactual.
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funnybones

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The United States forced Mubarak to resign. The Egyptian people forced the United States to force Mubarak, but there should be no misunderstanding: the United States is carefully handling the "transition" to ensure that an American puppet remains in power.

I have no idea what the Suez Crisis has to do with whether or not the current Egyptian regime is an American puppet imposed on the people of Egypt. I would certainly never suggest that Nasser was an American puppet. In general, I'm actually not sure what your post had to do with the post its in reply to, but I never am with your posts, Dylan.
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[Edit 1 times, last edit by funnybones at Feb 11, 2011 3:14:54 PM]
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Dylan

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The United States forced Mubarak to resign.


BWAHAHAHA!
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Benzene265

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What I mean by dragging the canal into this is that Egypt has something the West wants. And, not just America. I certainly didn't see Europe jumping to defend Egypt from our machinations these past 30 years. Anyway, because they have something we want, they'll probably either end up with another shyster that won't bomb us in exchange for a few decades of embezzling or it'll be Iran II. I don't think either one is actually good in the long run. It'd be best if Egypt threw out the lot and did what they needed instead of what we needed. That would lead to a truly stable nation.

Oh, and I hope Tunisia gets a good government, too, even though their similar situation seems to have fallen off the US news radar. I think things aren't going so well, though, since Italy has been hit with a sudden wave of immigration from the area.
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Squashbuckle

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When all of this is done, Egypt will be lucky to end up with a dictator as peaceful as Mubarak was. He wasn't a good guy, but he didn't murder his people or start wars.

Disorganized uprisings rarely go well for the people. I can't think of a single example that didn't install a tyrant, regardless of religion or location. (Maybe the fall of the Soviet Union counts.) The French Revolution ushered in the Reign of Terror. Iran overthrew the Shah and got the Ayatollah. Russia got rid of the Tsar and ended up with Lenin.

I hope Egypt is an exception to the trend, but it would be naive to expect democracy when history consistently shows tyrants rising to power in the wake of popular revolt.
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nunny_45

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Im putting my money on something decent coming out of this, too much negativity from the west.
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StuManchu

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When all of this is done, Egypt will be lucky to end up with a dictator as peaceful as Mubarak was. He wasn't a good guy, but he didn't murder his people or start wars.


haha what OK
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OE800



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When all of this is done, Egypt will be lucky to end up with a dictator as peaceful as Mubarak was. He wasn't a good guy, but he didn't murder his people or start wars.


haha what OK


For real. I guess the security forces that were whipping people via horseback, kidnapping journalists and running over protesters with vans just learned all that stuff during the revolution.
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Dylan

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When all of this is done, Egypt will be lucky to end up with a dictator as peaceful as Mubarak was. He wasn't a good guy, but he didn't murder his people or start wars.


haha what OK


For real. I guess the security forces that were whipping people via horseback, kidnapping journalists and running over protesters with vans just learned all that stuff during the revolution.


They were told Rodney King was in a training video.
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StuManchu

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I assume Polly is operating under the official US Government definition that torturing someone to death is not technically murder. mubarak was our go-to extraordinary rendition pal.

Or should I say extrawaterboardinary rendiFUN??
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Smackey

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Read the freaking post, dumbs. None of you has said a single thing that expresses how wrong she is. She said he wasn't a good guy, and you're showing he wasn't a good guy. If you really want to take the high ground, you're going to have to dispute where she said Mubarak wasn't murdering his own people.

Or not. Continue what you're doing and showing to everyone that you can't discuss matters like this without getting emotional to the point of hindering your ability to read and, thus, be taken seriously. All you've done is given her more credibility and made Shore Leave 2 points shittier.


Moving on, I'm not very optimistic about Egypt's future. The problem wasn't Mubarak; the problem is and still US's involvement in Egypt. Nothing's been fixed yet. Egyptians managed to pull off something unexpected and amazing, and I'm glad for them. I really do want them to come out better from this. However, Mubarak's stepping down doesn't mean the beast over there is dead; it simply lost its toe, and it'll probably regrow.
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StuManchu

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vu2s0LQXLyI

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NzZ-92xAbZ4

http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/commentators/fisk/robert-fisk-as-mubarak-clings-on-what-now-for-egypt-2211287.html

that article wrote: 
But the critical moment came on the evening of 30 January when, it is now clear, Mubarak ordered the Egyptian Third Army to crush the demonstrators in Tahrir Square with their tanks after flying F-16 fighter bombers at low level over the protesters.


Two people shot until dead by police forces (under mubarak's direct control) annnnd an executive order to the military to engage civilian protesters with tanks. So maybe he's not an Idi Amin-type figure, but please, let's get the apologism out of the way.

However your latter point is accurate, but the US administration has been attempting to adopt a hands-off approach. Unfortunately I don't think our diplomatic entanglement with Israel will make this a viable way to go.
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[Edit 1 times, last edit by StuManchu at Feb 16, 2011 11:41:03 AM]
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Cnuofesd

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Marx wrote revolutions will spread, if one kicks off then many will follow, and that's exactly what's happening - if Egypt catalyses many other overthrows, even if only one of them is successful, I would see it as a victory. However, I don't think the US were too heavily involved with Egypt.

There are dictators abusing their people all over the world - Most publically Mugabe. Why has the west not pressured/invaded Zimbabwe to any reasonable extent? Their elections are openly corrupt, and the worst that seems to have happened is the ICC have refused to hold cricket matches there...

Surely a few grams of metal in the back of Mugabe's head would save more lives than invading Iraq or countless other dictatorships internationally, but we don't. Why?

Because it's a waste of the metal to make that bullet. All the West care about is what they gain out of stuff. The only reason the US realised Egypt existed was when it started a few protests and they thought, "Hey guys, we preach this whole 'freedom of speech' thing, we need to back them up'". Though, the Iranian uprising is a little suspicious... there are countless things our government do worldwide that are exploitative and we would be shocked to read about, but in reality they make our lives much more secure and we don't want to know about them.

Anyway, rant aside, I think under the scrutiny of the world Egypt will follow a much more democratic and fair system, however when the camera lenses stop pointing at Cairo, corruption will creep in and things may end up just as bad - if not worse.
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Smackey

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Two people shot until dead by police forces (under mubarak's direct control) annnnd an executive order to the military to engage civilian protesters with tanks. So maybe he's not an Idi Amin-type figure, but please, let's get the apologism out of the way.

However your latter point is accurate, but the US administration has been attempting to adopt a hands-off approach. Unfortunately I don't think our diplomatic entanglement with Israel will make this a viable way to go.
Personally, I wasn't trying to be an apologist. I was forcing one of you to post those links, so your words had actual merit. It was stupid the way things were going, because none of you were actually disputing anything she was saying. That was my beef.

And, yeah, I think the only way Egypt has a chance at working is if they somehow get leaders who aren't influenced by US monies. Good luck with that. :/
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Squashbuckle

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The torture stuff is pretty well known, and I knew about it, too, so I guess I should have been more specific in how Mubarak is a better guy than most dictators. Mubarak didn't perpetrate genocide, as we've seen recently in several African countries as well as the former Yugoslavia. You're not going to find mass graves in Egypt like we did in Iraq. He didn't threaten his neighbors like North Korea does. Essentially, Mubarak's government was no worse than the current Russian government (which imprisons any journalists and businessmen that it dislikes), and was perhaps even better because Egypt didn't sell weapons to Iran and North Korea.

Mubarak pales in comparison to many dictators in the world today, and I give Egypt no better than a 50% chance of being better off without him than with him because, as I said, uprisings of this sort create the kind of power vacuums that allow ruthless dictators to take over. What are the odds, do you think, that the army, led by a general hand-picked by Mubarak to become Vice President, wants to cede power in a fair election?

I think folks in this thread are also giving way too much blame to the US (and the western world in general) regarding Mubarak. We didn't install him. He came to power because he was next in line when the guy before him was killed. We were already sending significant aid to Egypt before he came to power. We merely kept it flowing throughout his rule, which makes sense, because we need the Suez canal open as much as the Egyptians do, so we need to do our part to help the country that operates it, whether or not we particularly like the guy in charge. A lot of US aid was also a result of the Camp David accords, whereby we more or less paid for peace between Egypt and Israel. At least that payoff worked - Egypt didn't attack Israel again and actually worked against the terrorists who tried to smuggle arms through the Sinai into Gaza. If only we could buy peace so effectively from Israel's other neighbors.
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Dylan

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Mubarak pales in comparison to many dictators in the world today, and I give Egypt no better than a 50% chance of being better off without him than with him because, as I said, uprisings of this sort create the kind of power vacuums that allow ruthless dictators to take over. What are the odds, do you think, that the army, led by a general hand-picked by Mubarak to become Vice President, wants to cede power in a fair election?


What are the odds that the Turkish army has helped maintain a democratic secular state since 1928, despite 99% of the population being Islamic?

Your glass at best half empty is my glass at least half full. Then again, I can't predict the future as well as you clearly believe you can, so you could be right.

I think that any military, let alone one in a society which has conscription and a relatively homogeneous population, has a fundamental tendency towards the good kind of nationalism. Obviously in "countries" such as Iraq, which are effectively lines drawn on the map by colonial administrators, there can be major problems, sometimes with the minority oppressing the majority, and slaughtering smaller minorities (Marsh Arabs).

Is South Africa better off under democracy than it was 20 years ago? It was technically democratic then, just as North Korea is now (one man, one vote... yeah, yeah).

And man, I'm glad we didn't have suffragettes chaining themselves to fences 100+ years ago. Just imagine, if women had wanted part of the government back then in Britain, there would have been a power vacuum into which a dictator such as that scheming Winston Churchill could step, a man who is known to have said "Democracy is the worst form of government".
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OE800



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And, yeah, I think the only way Egypt has a chance at working is if they somehow get leaders who aren't influenced by US monies. Good luck with that. :/


The "US money influence" is rather overstated. The US influence is primarily "tech" based; however, the military is more concerned with stability in the international arena (ie they're not trying to get economic sanctioned). The Egyptian military is unique because it controls a vast portion of the domestic consumer market. Hotels, poultry, eggs, telephones, you name it. The military's real beef with Mubarak was because his cronies were starting to outcompete Egyptian military economic clients. For example, Mubarak's cronies opened hotels that received 5 stars, thus bumping down the military client hotels to 4 stars.

The 2 bil Egypt receives for military aid is paltry in comparison to the money generated from near monopolies the military holds in some industries. Egypt won't endanger this aid because its substantial, but because the aid is in the form of shiny awesome things like Abram Tanks, F16s, Westpoint training, etc. That stuff is priceless. However, they aren't going to do something that disturbs their standing in the international forum. Doesn't really have to do anything with being beholden to US political money, but being dependent on international economic stability (as are most nations).

Now, there will certainly be relations that are challenged (ie - Gaza blockade/border control), but I really don't think we'll see an outright "change" anytime soon. It really comes down to how successful the Egyptian military can boost the economy. Egyptians are very much in favor of state capitalism, as long as it keeps the bellies full. It is also very promising that the Egyptian military is eager to work with the Facebook generation. They've been very willing to give them concessions, rather than deal with people like El Baradei, who knows where the bodies are buried.

The next few years in Egypt will certainly be contentious. However, there seems to be a very strong indication that "true" democracy will be achieved, with regards to political process. That said, I don't see them, anytime in the next decade, rising about a government controlled by the military-industrial complex. But Americans haven't even overcome that, so can't judge Egypt too harshly.

Lots o edits: wording and such
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StuManchu

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The "tech" v. "money" v. "military" distinction therefore blurs to the point of vanishing, yet again.

OE800 you win my "Favorite New Shore Leave Frequenter Since Danikins" award.
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Squashbuckle

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Suffragettes weren't trying to overthrow the government, they just wanted to be included in it. They didn't remove a leader without having a replacement already lined up. They didn't remove a leader at all.

I said quite clearly that I believe Egypt has a chance to come out better. I hope it does end up being a flourishing democracy, I just can't expect it to when history is filled with counterexamples, and that has nothing to do with being Islamic or Middle Eastern. Regardless of the culture, power vacuums are usually filled by the nearest person willing to do what it takes to grab power, and such people are usually ruthless tyrants who are unwilling to cede power unless forced.

Maybe the people of Egypt will keep up their protesting momentum until fair elections take place, and maybe they will resume the pressure when it's time for a reelection campaign. I hope they do, because they, like all nations, deserve the freedoms that come from a real democracy.
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OE800



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Regardless of the culture, power vacuums are usually filled by the nearest person willing to do what it takes to grab power, and such people are usually ruthless


That's the point I was trying to (poorly) make. The power that filled the vacuum and is in the strongest position for the foreseeable future has a very strong reason to institute a democratic political process and preserve domestic/international stability.

That said, if the economy doesn't start improving or massive social welfare programs aren't implemented, then the military may very well be the next scapegoat. That could get veeeerrry messy. As Iran/Saudi Arabia indicates, though, a government can be rather controlling but still be popular (in the sense that the majority of the population doesn't see a need to revolt) if providing enough services.
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Dylan

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Regardless of the culture, power vacuums are usually filled by the nearest person willing to do what it takes to grab power, and such people are usually ruthless tyrants who are unwilling to cede power unless forced.


An interesting theory. Do you have an evidence for it? Not examples, evidence. I can find plenty of examples off the top of my head, but "usually"?
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nunny_45

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Bleh... why is it that the only "good" government system that a country can have is democracy?, it can be just as corrupt and bad for a nation as any other system.
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