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Tunisian Revolution and the Middle East


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The moslem brotherhood was the organization which assasinated Anwar Sadat for the crime of making peace with Israel in 1981.

Ayman al-Zawahiri of the moslem brotherhood was imprisoned for 3 years and deported by Egypt for his role in that assasination, and subsequently became the #2 man in Al Quada behind Osama bin Laudin.

The brotherhood is among the oldest arab nationalistic groups which pioneered the use of terrorism as an instrument to further the organizations goals. Today Al Quada has made inroads into egypt and the Gaza strip because of the groups roots with the brotherhood.

---------- Post added January-27th-2011 at 10:28 AM ----------

Two think Israelis shot their own leader for making peace in 90's

In the 80's the US was helping the Taliban

Groups can change

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http://www.cnn.com/2011/WORLD/africa/01/27/egypt.protests/index.html?hpt=T1

Egypt protests expected to escalate on Friday

Cairo, Egypt (CNN) -- Mohamed ElBaradei, the Egyptian Nobel laureate and opposition leader, is now back in Cairo and plans to join what are expected to be a massive displays of anti-government ferment across the world's most populous Arab nation on Friday.

"The barrier of fear is broken," ElBaradei told reporters after he arrived in Egypt from Europe on Thursday. "And it will not come back."

The county has been bracing for a huge outpouring of protests after Friday prayers.

The Muslim Brotherhood has called for its followers to demonstrate after the weekly Muslim prayers -- the first time in the current round of unrest that the largest opposition bloc has told supporters to take to the streets.

Now ElBaradei has said he will take part in the protests and passed along "advice to the regime: It's now the time to listen to the people. Make an innocent collective change."

"We have been calling for the change for a year now. The regime has not listened to us. Therefore, the youth went on the street," he said.

The U.S. Embassy in Cairo issued a message Thursday telling Americans that "areas where people congregate after Friday prayers should be avoided."

"While many of the demonstrations have focused on the downtown Cairo/Tahrir Square area, violent confrontations have occurred at other locations both in the Cairo metropolitan area and in Alexandria, Suez, and other cities," it said.

At the same time, Egypt's ruling National Democratic Party made reference to the discontent on the streets. Secretary-General Safwat al-Sherif told reporters that the party wants to talk with the youths who have been at the forefront of the protests.

The protest movement in Egypt has been fueled by blogs and social media sites like Twitter and Facebook. ElBaradei, who is also the former head of the United Nations' nuclear watchdog agency, has been posting messages of support for the demonstrators on Twitter.

"We shall continue to exercise our right of peaceful demonstration and restore our freedom & dignity. Regime violence will backfire badly," he said in one of his latest tweets.

As he was waiting to leave Vienna, Austria, ElBaradei told reporters that he was going to Egypt to "make sure that things will be managed in a peaceful way."

"I have to give them as much support, political support, spiritual, moral support, whatever I can do, you know," he said. "I will be with them. They are my people, and I have to be there, and I'd like to see Egypt, a new Egypt."

http://www.cnn.com/2011/WORLD/africa/01/27/egypt.elbaradei.protests/index.html?hpt=T1

ElBaradei: The man to lead a 'free' Egypt?

(CNN) -- When thousands of angry protesters take to the streets of Egypt on Friday, one man many see as the country's next potential leader will be among them.

The Cairo-born former head of the United Nations nuclear watchdog, Nobel Peace Prize winner Mohamed ElBaradei on Thursday returned to the country, despite death threats, to be with "his people."

"There was an edict against me a couple of weeks ago basically saying that my life should be dispensable because I am defying the rulers," ElBaradei told CNN on Tuesday.

He said he would have no official protection during his trip to Egypt, but felt the need to express solidarity with his people in person amid criticism he has kept a safe distance while all too subtly trying to encourage change.

"I have no security when I go to Egypt .... but, you know, you have to be with your people," ElBaradei said.

But one user asked: "Where were you when people were being beaten and arrested?"

ElBaradei has yet to form a political party but hundreds of thousands of Egyptians have set up Facebook groups supporting his candidacy. One "Elbaradei for Presidency of Egypt_ 2011" counts more than 200,000 members.

Asked whether he would run for president, ElBaradei said: "Whether I run or not, that is totally irrelevant. And I made it very clear; I will not run under the present conditions, when the deck is stacked completely."

"The priority for me is to -- is to shift Egypt into a democracy, is to catch up with the 21st century, to get Egypt to be a modern and moderate society and respecting human rights, respecting the basic freedoms of the people."

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World peace and prosperity.....thru submission to Allah

sorry,I don't trust fundamentalists

http://www.mideastweb.org/Middle-East-Encyclopedia/muslim_brotherhood.htm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Muslim_Brotherhood

http://www.adl.org/terrorism/symbols/muslim_brotherhood_1.asp#7

n its March 2004 reform initiative, the Brotherhood declared: "Our only hope to achieve progress in all the aspects of life is by retuning to our religion and implementing our Sharia ... We have a clear mission-working to put in place Allah's law, on the basis of our belief that it is the real, effective way out of our problems-domestic or external, political, economic, social or cultural.

"This is to be achieved by forming the Muslim individual, the Muslim home, the Muslim government, and the state which will lead the Islamic states, reunite the scattered Muslims, restore their glory, retrieve for them their lost lands and stolen homelands, and carry the banner of the call to Allah in order to make the world happy with Islam’s blessings and instructions."

http://english.aljazeera.net/focus/arabunity/2008/02/2008525185757654836.html

If Egypt democratically elects Muslim Brotherhood into power, I say let em have it. If muslims want to be muslim in muslim countries, well let them. I fail to see why the fact that "you dont trust them" is a valid reason for suppressing democratic impulses.

If said muslim governments are hostile, be hostile in return. And since they would be in power, it would be a lot easier to hold the hostile nation and its government accountable. Notice how Hamas has largely cleaned up its act (compared to previous days, its still far from perfect) since it got into power? Think thats a coincidence?

I dont see anything in the muslim brotherhood's agenda that indicates forcing sharia law onto other non-muslim countries. Really, i dont think they give a **** about your freedom, they're just sick of your insecurities costing them THEIR freedom.

Let 'em in power I say. Easier to hold them accountable that way.

**Edit: I dont mean "you" specifically twa. I mean the outside world, non-egyptians. I think the egyptian people are sick of both westerners and other arab countries meddling and helping prop up mubarak. Its not really even a west v. islam thing, its an egypt v. mubarak and the world sort of thing. If that makes sense

Edited by Koala
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Hrmm... not sure what to say here other than I wasn't trying to rip off anyone.

Sorry I wasn't implying you were. George W. Bush famously made that claim as a justification for the Iraq invasion. GW was ripping off Immanuel Kant, who first proposed that democracies would never fight each other in 1795. Problem was Kant lived in a time when there was only one democracy/ ( really a republic) that was the United States. So Kant's work was very theoretical.

I think its pretty apparent that democracy for all is better for everyone (al be it maybe from a long term perspective), and that's all I was saying. Which is also what you seemed to say later on, so I think we're in agreement, no?

My caviot is with the claim that democracies don't go to war with each other. Democracies are very good at going to war with each other if the people want war. Which is a short term problem with democracies in the middle east. I would not make that an insurmountable problem or a argument against a ME wide democratization project; mostly because democracies are more stable and are better allies too.

I'm just noting that when all the attrocities occured in france with the french revolution; they were a republic. And that their very well might be short term bumps for the US and our allies in such a democratic wave

Its true that you can find an example of democracies that fight, but the point is about self determination in general. People(s) who have peaceful outlets for dissatisfaction are generally less likely to blow them selves up to make a political statment.

Yes, but such suicide bombers are not a major issue in Egypt or Tunisia. The big issue for Egypt is while they currently enjoy a long lasting and benificial peace treaty with ISrael; that treaty is not all that popular with the Egyptian people. A more representative form of government could cause problems there and really across the ME; where Israel has been traditionally used as a whipping boy to stir up nationalism benifiting the dictaros and despots in control of these countries.... Anyway just saying.

---------- Post added January-27th-2011 at 02:58 PM ----------

Two think Israelis shot their own leader for making peace in 90's

In the 80's the US was helping the Taliban

Groups can change

(1) I don't think the groups which shot the Israeli prime minister have changed much. They are a big part of the problem too.

(2) America never supported the Taliban, we supported the Mujahadine; which was a broader coelition than the taliban.

(3) Yes groups can change. But I have not heard the Moslem brotherhood renounce violence specifically towards Israel; which is where they have directed violence in the passed. As such they very likely could become part of the problem rather than part of a solution if gaining power.

Again I'm not arguing against a democratic movement anywhere. I'm just saying Americans should have their eyes open when it happens. Long term it's very much in everybodies favor. Short term it presents some real challenges.

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If Egypt democratically elects Muslim Brotherhood into power, I say let em have it. If muslims want to be muslim in muslim countries, well let them. I fail to see why the fact that "you dont trust them" is a valid reason for suppressing democratic impulses.

I

Thanks for the edit,I'm fine with democratic impulses and individual rights and support more of them in the Muslim world

Not too sure the Brotherhood is though,and I'll be watching.:sword:;)

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Well, as a practical matter, the USA tends to support despots in the Middle East who support us and our goals (and Mubarak is one of those guys). Meanwhile, we tend to be afraid of democracy in many Middle East countries because we know that if they are allowed to vote freely, the people there are very likely to elect governments who are hostile to the USA (and Israel), or even elect hardline Muslim theocracies.

Exactly right. Not just in the ME too. Also in Central and south America and Africa. Depots are more predictable and much easier to deal with. Very short sited of us, but it's also been something we have done consistantly over decades.

In the long run, democracy is a good thing, but in the short run, it's going to lead to a lot of countries run by guys like the Muslim Brotherhood. It's not an easy call from the USA point of view.

Yep, significant near term challenges.

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God our networks are awful

Al Jazeera is bringing it

http://english.aljazeera.net/watch_now/

Yeah, AJ has been great. Our networks are catching up, but it's embarrassing that it took this long.

lmao! No way!

I couldn't believe it. He corrected himself about thirty seconds later (obviously at the behest of a producer), and while I'm sure he knows that the Panama Canal is, in fact, in Panama, it's still a really bad goof to make. There are really only two important canals in the world that your average person should know, and it's pretty easy to figure out which one is in Panama and which one is in Egypt.

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(1) I don't think the groups which shot the Israeli prime minister have changed much. They are a big part of the problem too.

(2) America never supported the Taliban, we supported the Mujahadine; which was a broader coelition than the taliban.

(3) Yes groups can change. But I have not heard the Moslem brotherhood renounce violence specifically towards Israel; which is where they have directed violence in the passed. As such they very likely could become part of the problem rather than part of a solution if gaining power.

I do not measure one's view of Israel as whether they are looking to try and live peacefully

Anyone who has read the bible know there is not going to be any serious peace surrounding Isreal if you believe the bible

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The news pointed out yesterday that these revolutions may not necessarily be a good thing for the United States, as most of these governments do currently support and aid the US in the war on Terror

Mubarak has been known to be a US Ally too

Edited by ixcuincle
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The news pointed out yesterday that these revolutions may not necessarily be a good thing for the United States, as most of these governments do currently support and aid the US in the war on Terror

Mubarak has been known to be a US Ally too

I'm gonna go ahead and say that I'd like to see the end of our support for autocratic regimes whose primary redeeming quality is that they're willing to play nice with us while they oppress their people.

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I'm gonna go ahead and say that I'd like to see the end of our support for autocratic regimes whose primary redeeming quality is that they're willing to play nice with us while they oppress their people.

Oh I'd like to see those regimes toppled and the people have their voices heard

Elections are a good thing, not those that have stuffed ballots and are rigged and what not

The news did point out that Yemen is already vehemently anti-US so a revolution there really wouldn't help US interests

US should keep an eye on these revolutions though

Briefly googled article

Many Westerners are busy encouraging instant popular revolt in Egypt this evening as they did in Tunisia recently and as they may well do in Yemen tomorrow, but I suspect that some of them have forgotten their history lessons.

Question: When was the last time that the people of a Muslim country rose up to demand more democracy and the departure of its rulers? Answer: In 1979, and it happened in Iran. The result is what you see today and it represents the exploitation of popular Muslim sentiment which led to what is arguably the genesis of the Muslim fundamentalism and terrorism which is now plaguing the world.

Question: What has the history of Algeria since the elections of 1991 taught us? Answer: It has taught us that autocratic governments and rulers in Muslim countries who do not heed the calls of their people for more social justice find their elections hijacked and won by Muslim extremists, obliging the said governments and rulers to cancel the elections, remain in power, and finally do something to help the people.

Read more: http://www.digitaljournal.com/article/303034#ixzz1CNPPgjyH

Edited by ixcuincle
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Because what you wish for. I think right now, if people could vote in Middle East or other dictoral Muslim countries you would see radicals in power.

The only country that would move away from radicals will be Iran since they've already lived under radicalism and hate it. Eventually, Iran will be free.

Other parts view the radicalism as their solutions to their problems.

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Because what you wish for. I think right now, if people could vote in Middle East or other dictoral Muslim countries you would see radicals in power.

The only country that would move away from radicals will be Iran since they've already lived under radicalism and hate it. Eventually, Iran will be free.

Other parts view the radicalism as their solutions to their problems.

Maybe, maybe not. The only thing that IS guaranteed, is that the more the U.S. is seen as interfering, the more it risks a backlash from whichever side it didnt support.

Radical Islamists are not leading either the Tunisia revolution or the Egyptian one. Both of these revolutions are mostly being lead by angry, unemployed youths who have not yet learned to fear their governments. Their beliefs range from secular to islamist. But the muslim brotherhood has been slow to join the revolution in egypt, meaning right now the egyptian islamists are following, not LEADING the revolution.

There's no way to determine who will end up on top now. Anybody that is guessing, is doing just that -- guessing.

As for the U.S.s response -- I think of the line from Clear and Present Danger: "Theres no sense in trying to defuse a bomb thats gone off."

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  • 5 weeks later...

The Tunisian Prime Minister just resigned after days of more protests against the government.

http://english.aljazeera.net/news/africa/2011/02/201122715234442377.html

Mohammed Ghannouchi, the Tunisian interim prime minister, has announced his resignation on state television.

"I have decided to quit as prime minister," Ghannouchi told a news conference on Sunday, saying that he thought carefully before taking the decision which was supported by his family.

"I am not running away from responsibility. This is to open the way for a new prime minister," he said.

"I am not ready to be the person who takes decisions that would end up causing casualties," Ghannouchi said, as security forces clashed with anti-government protesters who were heading to the interior ministry.

Ghannouchi has been leading the country since president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali left the country on January 14 following a popular uprising.

Ghannouchi was a longtime ally of Ben Ali, and had pledged to guide the country until elections can be held this summer.

Demonstrations have again erupted in the North African country in recent days, and three people were killed in clashes between demonstrators and security forces in Tunis, the capital, on Saturday.

"Three people died from the dozen who were wounded during clashes and were transferred to hospital for treatment," the interior ministry said in a statement..

"Several members of the security forces were wounded to different degrees."

Security forces had fired warning shots and tear gas at the anti-government demonstration, and protesters responded by hurling stones, journalists from the AFP news agency said.

An interior ministry official, who declined to be named, told the Reuters news agency that the deaths had occurred after a riot orchestrated by loyalists of Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, the ousted president.

"Those who were arrested have admitted they were pushed by former Ben Ali officials," he said. "Others said they were paid to do it."

In other news there has been an apparently unsuccessful coup attempt in the Congo where around seven people have been killed.

Also in Iran, Karoubi and Mousavi have been moved to a secure prison facility labeled a safe-house by the Iranian government. Fmr president Khatami has condemned the action and demanded their release. There are rumors that he may be next in line to go.

Edited by visionary
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http://english.aljazeera.net/news/europe/2011/02/2011227171918252361.html

French foreign minister resigns

Michele Alliot-Marie, the French foreign minister, has resigned following weeks of criticism over her contacts with the former leadership of Tunisia.

Her office announced her resignation on Sunday, saying that a letter had been sent to Nicolas Sarkozy, the French president.

In her letter, a copy of which was seen by news agency, Alliot-Marie made clear she felt she had done not done anything wrong.

"While I do not feel that I have committed any wrongdoing, I have ... decided to leave my job as foreign minister," Alliot-Marie wrote in her resignation letter to Nicolas Sarkozy, the French president.

"I ask you to accept my resignation," she wrote in the letter.

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http://english.aljazeera.net/news/africa/2011/02/2011228183611459253.html

The two remaining Tunisian ministers who had previously served under ousted President Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali have quit.

Mohamed Nouri Jouini, Tunisian minister for planning and international cooperation, resigned hours after another minister also stepped down, the official TAP news agency reported.

Jouini's resignation on Monday follows Mohamed Afif Chelbi quitting as the country's industry and technology minister.

Tunisian Prime Minister Mohamed Ghannouchi announced his own resignation on Sunday.

Protesters in the country had demanded all ministers associated with Ben Ali's regime quit the interim government, led until the weekend by Ghannouchi, who was prime minister since the time of Ben Ali.

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Saudi Arabia next?

http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2011/02/28/yes_it_could_happen_here

In the age of Arab revolutions, will Saudis dare to honor Facebook calls for anti-government demonstrations on March 11? Will they protest at one of Jeddah's main roundabouts? Or will they start in Qatif, the eastern region where a substantial Shiite majority has had more experience in real protest? Will Riyadh remain cocooned in its cloak of pomp and power, hidden from public gaze in its mighty sand castles?

Saudi Arabia is ripe for change. Despite its image as a fabulously wealthy realm with a quiescent, apolitical population, it has similar economic, demographic, social, and political conditions as those prevailing in its neighboring Arab countries. There is no reason to believe Saudis are immune to the protest fever sweeping the region.

Saudi Arabia is indeed wealthy, but most of its young population cannot find jobs in either the public or private sector. The expansion of its $430 billion economy has benefited a substantial section of the entrepreneurial elite -- particularly those well connected with the ruling family -- but has failed to produce jobs for thousands of college graduates every year. This same elite has resisted employing expensive Saudis and contributed to the rise in local unemployment by hiring foreign labor. Rising oil prices since 2003 and the expansion of state investment in education, infrastructure, and welfare, meanwhile, have produced an explosive economy of desires.

Like their neighbors, Saudis want jobs, houses, and education, but they also desire something else. Since the overthrow of Saddam Hussein's regime in Iraq in 2003, they have expressed their political demands in their own way, through petitions that circulated and were signed by hundreds of activists and professionals, men and women, Sunnis, Shiites, and Ismailis. Reformers petitioned King Abdullah to establish an elected consultative assembly to replace the 120-member appointed Consultative Council Saudis inherited from King Fahd. Political organizers were jailed and some banned from travel to this day. The "Riyadh spring" that many reformers anticipated upon King Abdullah's accession in 2005 was put on hold while torrential rain swept away decaying infrastructure and people in major cities. Rising unemployment pushed the youth toward antisocial behavior, marriages collapsed, the number of bachelors soared, and the number of people under the poverty line increased in one of the wealthiest states of the Arab world. Today, nearly 40 percent of Saudis ages 20 to 24 are unemployed.

Like other falling Arab regimes before them, the ruling Al-Saud will inevitably seek to scare the population by raising the spectre of al Qaeda and warning against tribal, regional, and sectarian disintegration. They will try to thwart political change before it starts. Saudis may not believe the scaremongers. The command centers of the Arab revolutions today are not the caves of Tora Bora or Riyadh's shabby al-Suwaidi neighborhood, where jihadists shot BBC journalist Frank Gardner and his cameraman in 2004. They are the laptops of a young, connected, knowledgeable, but frustrated generation that is rising against the authoritarian public and private families that have been crushing the individual in the pursuit of illusions and control.

Yes, Egypt was key to the coming change, but when Saudis rise they will change the face of the Arab world and its relations with the West forever. Now is the time for the United States and its allies to understand that the future does not lie with the old clique that they have tolerated, supported, and indulged in return for oil, security, and investment. At a time of shifting Arabian sands, it is in the interest of America and the rest of the world to side with the future not the past.

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The Saud's having the blessing of the Wahhabi and unique position is gonna make that a bit more difficult,though I'm sure the Shia and others will give it a go.

gonna be interesting to see if they can short circuit it.

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The Saud's having the blessing of the Wahhabi and unique position is gonna make that a bit more difficult,though I'm sure the Shia and others will give it a go.

gonna be interesting to see if they can short circuit it.

Unfortunately I think the Saudi's won't hesitate to crack down hard on protesters. But if/when Ghaddafi goes down then that might show the people it doesn't matter because the people can win out. Who knows though.

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