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post #301 of 351
post #302 of 351

Take this shit elsewhere please.

post #303 of 351
Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew Merriweather View Post

Take this shit elsewhere please.



I'm not telling people to watch the video. I sure didn't. But it's important info relating to his treatment after falling into rebel hands

 

Anyway, info posted, I'm moving on

post #304 of 351

It's not important info at all. Why the fuck would you link to that? You're plumbing the depths.

post #305 of 351
Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew Merriweather View Post

It's not important info at all. Why the fuck would you link to that? You're plumbing the depths.



Because the treatment of Gaddafi got after he was captured, and now after his death (he's on display in a meat freezer for a fourth day) is international news, and the subject of great debate

 

I'm sorry you find it distasteful, but it's news, and a top story on HUFFPO

post #306 of 351

And where do you stand on this all-important revelation that was so earth-shattering you had to link to fucking VIDEO OF IT?

post #307 of 351
Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew Merriweather View Post

And where do you stand on this all-important revelation that was so earth-shattering you had to link to fucking VIDEO OF IT?



I linked to a NEWS ARTICLE. The video was embedded in the article. You could read the news article and never have to see the video

post #308 of 351

It's like the rebels read all the comments on blogs about how Bin Laden should have been treated and took careful notes.   I wouldn't be the least surprised to see his rotting corpse put in a dress and paraded around Tripoli complete with a marching band.   These folks have alot of stuff in the basement it seems.

post #309 of 351

yeah 40 years of brutalization can do that!

post #310 of 351
Thread Starter 

I haven't watched any of these videos.  I'm glad the deranged psycho is out of power but that'll do. 

post #311 of 351

Hey, YT, do you mind if a Mod changes the thread title to some sort of Arab Spring moniker so we can continue to use this as a catch-all?


Is, so, can a Mod get on that?

post #312 of 351
Thread Starter 

Sure, doesn't matter to me at all and definitely appropriate.

 

ETA:  I think I just changed it.

post #313 of 351

Sweet.  Who's next on the list?  Jordan seems the most likely, yeah?

post #314 of 351
Thread Starter 

Syria for sure, Yemen, I even have hope that Iran's brave protesters will gain some ground.  I think Jordan's king is a lot more savvy and will probably work it out. 

post #315 of 351

Syria.

post #316 of 351

Wait, so, they were fucking him after he died? That's... not the best harbinger for a fair and just society springing up in his wake. Hopefully this is one of those "just one more little atrocity and it's all behind us!" type situation. 

 

I've got a bold prediction: Obama takes out Iranian leader Ahkmadinijad (sic). Probably not directly, but I'd wager a guess that before Obama is done that guy goes down. But that won't be for awhile. Syria is absolutely up next. 

 

post #317 of 351

IMO the last thing we want to do is fuck with Iran in any way for two reasons:

 

1) We wouldnt win against them

2) 60% of Iranians are under the age of 30, and many of them are extremely pro-western.  Iran is a country of a lot of really awesome (ie progressive) people who are unfortunately being led by a maniac.

 

Best thing to do is treat Iran like a common cold...just wait it out.  Our presence in the area and our consistently strengthening relationship with Turkey means that Iran's currently crazy influence isn't spreading that far.

post #318 of 351
Thread Starter 

Agree 100% w/The Closer.

post #319 of 351

For the umpty-jillionth time, Ahmedinejad is not the leader of Iran. His political power is extremely limited. The mullahs have the real power, and while they're a theocracy they're not nuts. Even Ahmedinejad isn't actually nuts, he just postures a lot and lives in an area of the world where hyperbole and breast-beating is part of the rhetorical culture. He's basically an internet troll: annoying and provocative but irrelevant.

post #320 of 351
Revealing documentary on the Syrian uprising. It's a must watch.

http://www.channel4.com/programmes/unreported-world/4od#3252795
post #321 of 351
Non UK viewers can watch it on that link.
post #322 of 351
Finally, the Arab League gets some teeth and imposes sanctions on Syria. Not sure how much practical effect it will have though. 3,500 deaths so far, according to the UN and human rights groups:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-15706851
post #323 of 351

Did anybody watch last week's Frontline?  This journalist was following some of the Syrian protesters who were in hiding from the police.  It was truly terrifying to see how brutal the al-Assad loyalists are  

 

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/syria-undercover/

 

 

 

post #324 of 351
Thread Starter 

Jesus, the Egyptian military is brutally cracking down on protesters now.  After the protests against Mubarek's regime, the military were somewhat the good guys.  Now that they're in power, they've turned on the people.  Horrible. 

 

Tua9T.jpg

 

http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2011/12/a-photo-that-encapsulates-the-horror-of-egypts-crackdown/250147/

post #325 of 351

A product of my parents leaving Central America in the 80's has always been a slight distrust in me with the military as a force for progress in a lot of countries.

 

 

post #326 of 351
Thread Starter 

I'm totally with you there, Lauren.  It's just that the Egyptian military's support really helped turned the tide in Tahrir Square.  They were trained in the US, etc., etc.  But it's naive to think that power gives itself away freely.  I just hope the world is watching. 

post #327 of 351

I hope all you people who were pushing for this earlier in the thread are happy with yourselves.  I also wanted to point out that I said this would happen.

post #328 of 351
Thread Starter 

What do you mean?  You mean pushing for the uprising? 

post #329 of 351

I didn't trust the army because common sense indicates that armies that are part of long-term dictatorships are never the be fully trusted. A lot of people don't have that same amount of cynicism though, and the narrative at the time suggested these guys would actually be classy for once.

 

They weren't, as usual.

 

TzuDohNihm still likes Herman Cain though, and kept using quotes around the word "revolution" so he's kind of being himself on this thread too.

 

 

post #330 of 351

I didn't trust the army because common sense indicates that armies that are part of long-term dictatorships are never the be fully trusted. A lot of people don't have that same amount of cynicism though, and the narrative at the time suggested these guys would actually be classy for once.

 

They weren't, as usual.

 

TzuDohNihm still likes Herman Cain though, and kept using quotes around the word "revolution" so he's kind of being himself on this thread too.

 

 

post #331 of 351

Somewhat related to this issue.

 

Was Bush right on Iraq?  Do you see the 2003 invasion as having resulted in the Arab Spring?  Did getting rid of Saddam really propel Arabs to the street?

 

I'm not so sure, but it's definitely the "domino effect" rationale that Bush pushed after we found a grand total of zero WMDs in Iraq.  I'm not entirely sure either if this wouldn't have been the inevitable end of most of the dictatorships in the Middle East, but I think Iraqis' own limited experience with an admittedly imperfect democratic state may have helped a great deal.

 

 

post #332 of 351

I think having an extremely young population that was completely cut off from entrenched governments for the longest period of time probably caused a lot more of this than anything Bush did.

post #333 of 351
Thread Starter 

Also, it would be a long lag time. 

 

I agree with Lauren, and also think the new ability to talk peer to peer with cell phones, facebook or twitter gave them both solidarity and the ability to organize.  Also, I really do believe that Obama's speech in Cairo had an effect in that it was the first signal that the US wouldn't back up brutal dictatorships, which I think has always been an implicit threat when it comes to dictators that do business with western companies. 

 

I don't see an upside to the invasion of Iraq, personally.  The country is destroyed, looted, a million dead, a generation traumatized, orphaned and displaced.  I think the Arab spring was inevitable, and Iraq may well have been part of it.   

post #334 of 351
Quote:
Originally Posted by yt View Post

I don't see an upside to the invasion of Iraq, personally.  The country is destroyed, looted, a million dead, a generation traumatized, orphaned and displaced. 

.....AND quite possibly there will be a very 'pissed off' contingent to this and the next generation of Iraqis....there will also be individuals that will look to mold and direct that young anger toward perceived enemies, both internal and external.

 

 true revolution has to have the desire and motivation from within a society, it can't be forced upon it.


 

 

post #335 of 351

Interresting - if somewhat anti-west and a misrepresentation of the truth in some cases - look at the Arab world and the west:

 

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2011/dec/19/arab-spring-seven-lessons-from-history

 

"The strength of the Iraq resistance which caused the US to leave."   Not exactly accurate.

post #336 of 351
Quote:
Originally Posted by yt View Post

Also, it would be a long lag time. 

 

I agree with Lauren, and also think the new ability to talk peer to peer with cell phones, facebook or twitter gave them both solidarity and the ability to organize.  Also, I really do believe that Obama's speech in Cairo had an effect in that it was the first signal that the US wouldn't back up brutal dictatorships, which I think has always been an implicit threat when it comes to dictators that do business with western companies. 

 

I don't see an upside to the invasion of Iraq, personally.  The country is destroyed, looted, a million dead, a generation traumatized, orphaned and displaced.  I think the Arab spring was inevitable, and Iraq may well have been part of it.   



 

I woke up early in the AM to watch that speech live, and I would have to agree with you 

 

The response from the students in the room was stunning, if nothing else it was as if the president came to them and said "now is your time"

 

PS When his Syria is ashes, Assad has my permission to die

post #337 of 351

http://www.cnn.com/2012/02/14/world/meast/syria-unrest/index.html?hpt=hp_t3

 

Seems like we've kind of become desensitized to this whole thing.

 

Fucking Syria, dude.

post #338 of 351
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bluelouboyle View Post

Interresting - if somewhat anti-west and a misrepresentation of the truth in some cases - look at the Arab world and the west:

 

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2011/dec/19/arab-spring-seven-lessons-from-history

 

"The strength of the Iraq resistance which caused the US to leave."   Not exactly accurate.



Oh yes, the West is the Great Satan and the Arabs are innocent children. Of course the Sunnis and Shiites have been committing atrocities upon one another for over a thousand years. But it's still our fault. If Israel were to up and leave for better climes, the the region would erupt into jubilation for a full day before trying to destroy one another in the aftermath. 

post #339 of 351

No one is saying that the Arabs are somehow an innately peaceful people only spurred to violence by Imperialistic Western Pigs. But the current troubles can pretty much be traced with a straight line to the Western Powers' attempt to take over the Middle East and Mesopotamia after the fall of the Ottoman Empire. Both Qutb and the Muslim Brothehood movement and on the opposite side Nasser and Arabic Nationalism are straight up reactions to Western influences on the Arabic world.

post #340 of 351

Yes, and it's a shame that the US did not study the history - or give any indication of having studied - the history of the UK's experience in Iraq before they blundered in there.

 

Here's an interesting retcon of the Iraq war.  Graaffy is actually a friend of mine but I think this is complete garbage.  No-one really knows what the people of Egypt, Tunisia etc were thinking last January but I don't think they looked at Iraq's non-functioning, paralysed government, bombings and were inspired to take to the streets and revolt. The street-vendor was the spark which ignited decades of pent up anger:

 

"Iraq was a good war – it sparked the Arab spring

Ten years to the day after the 9/11 attacks, a former US state official explains how ousting Saddam lit the democratic fuse

The toppling of Saddam has led to the end of other dictators, says Colleen Graffy (AP)

The strongest criticism of the war on terror continues to be the war in Iraq. It shouldn’t be — because that conflict led directly to the Arab spring and the toppling of dictators from Tunisia to Libya. How so?

For 60 years America’s desire for stability in the Middle East was more important than pushing for democratic reforms. But 9/11 changed all that. It led to the Bush administration’s “freedom agenda”, which stated that the United States should advance liberty and hope as an antidote to the enemy’s ideology of repression and fear.

At the time many winced at this flag-waving, idealistic vision for the Middle East — including some within the US State Department. The more sophisticated view was that the people of the Middle East, being tribal and uneducated, were not capable of democracy and, in any case, Islam is incompatible with democracy.

Ronald Reagan had confronted similar “cultural condescension” — as he referred to it — when he called for the end of the “evil empire” and Soviet tyranny. After the Japanese surrender in 1945, Japanese “experts” were on hand to explain solemnly why democracy in the former empire would never work. A former US diplomat in Poland recounts the “specialist” advice he was given to clarify why Poles would not be easily moved to democracy.

Now, of course, there are legions of experts to recount why both those countries, and others, were obviously ripe for the transition. What once seemed impossible, in hindsight becomes inevitable.

The same is true for the Middle East. Often overlooked in the race to condemn the Iraq war and the missing WMD is that the reasons for going into Iraq, at least for the United States, were multi-faceted. One reason was that even though Saddam Hussein was not responsible for 9/11, he was one of those state sponsors of terrorism who could no longer be tolerated in a post-9/11 world.

Another was that America and its partners would help the Iraqi people replace Saddam’s dictatorship with democracy and this “transformation would have an impact beyond Iraq’s borders”. George W Bush’s view was that the “Middle East was the centre of a global ideological struggle” and “once liberty took root in one society, it would spread to others”. He was right.

Most reporting of Bush’s State of the Union address in January 2002 focused on his “axis of evil” soundbite — missing his statement on the importance of democratisation in the Middle East. Later that year Bush put money and method behind his vision and created the Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI). This shifted America’s focus on government to government aid in favour of US government-to-people aid. The emphasis was on developing civil society, rule of law, good governance, media reform and enfranchising women.

The jazz-and-jeans approach to public diplomacy that was used during the cold war was shifted to harness the 21st-century power of the internet and mobile phones. In 2008 the State Department joined forces with Google, Facebook and others to teach social activists around the world how to use social media to advance positive changes for civil society. This included learning how to switch over Sim cards from mobiles and protect online identities. One attendee was from Egypt: he said he and his fellow activists planned to overthrow President Hosni Mubarak through the use of social media.

Of course, Bush wanted to combat terrorism and to him its root cause was clear: the Middle Eastern dictators and tyrants who suck the air out of public discourse and prevent the development of civil society. This leaves only mosques as the place for people to vent their frustrations. Unfortunately, they are also the places where people are radicalised into a perverted version of Islam, which hopes to replace one form of tyranny with another — its own.

The loss of life in Iraq and Afghanistan has been tragic. As we mourn the loss, we should also acknowledge what their sacrifice achieved, the catalyst for what we see today: the Arab spring and the crumbling of tyrants in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya and hopefully more to come.

The effects were apparent even before this year. Walid Jumblatt, a Druze politician, played a leading role in Lebanon’s 2005 Cedar revolution. He remarked at the time: “It’s strange for me to say it, but this process of change has started because of the American invasion of Iraq. I was cynical about Iraq. But when I saw the Iraqi people voting three weeks ago, 8m of them, it was the start of a new Arab world. The Syrian people, the Egyptian people, all say that something is changing. The Berlin Wall has fallen. We can see it.”

To western eyes, Afghanistan and Iraq alternate between depressing and discouraging with a few glimmers of hope. But to those in the Middle East who have lived only under tyrants and thought this was the way it was and always would be, seeing the end of Saddam was the first crack in the edifice.

With the end of the regime of a man who represented despotic rule in the region came the prospect that other Saddams may also fall. And they have."

Colleen Graffy is a law professor at Pepperdine University and was US deputy assistant secretary of state from 2005-9

post #341 of 351

 

Any thoughts on Syrian intervention?  It's not isolated politically like Libya, and has a more developed military to contend with, and the possibility of Iran getting involved.

 

There's also the question of what would come after any intervention.  It's not like fully functioning democracies have sprung up in Egypt or Libya.

 

Also the world turning a blind eye to the Saudi supported Bahrain government's crackdowns. 

post #342 of 351

It would be Bosnia all over again. So no.

post #343 of 351

Has anyone been following this emails story that the Guardian broke? Harry Potter DVDs, chocolate fondue sets, and the music of Blake fucking Shelton. The banality of evil gets a makeover for the new digital age:

 

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/mar/14/bashar-al-assad-syria19

 

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/mar/14/bashar-al-assad-syria20

 

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/assad-emails

 

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/middle-east-live/2012/mar/15/syria-assad-emails-aftermath-live

post #344 of 351

Banality of evil indeed.

 

Heard there is a proposal on the table for Egypt, Turkey, and Jordan to send in peacekeeping forces.

post #345 of 351

And just to break the terrible cycle of news regarding westerners freaking out "The Islamists are coming! The Islamists are coming!" and Assad being a fucking murderous scumbag, there's this:

 

Tunisia's governing Islamist Party rejects Sharia law.

 

It's almost like being patient, not losing your shit at the first sight of perceived trouble and respecting a people's right to self determination is a viable strategy for international diplomacy. WHO COULD HAVE KNOWN?

 

post #346 of 351
Quote:
Originally Posted by stelios View Post

No one is saying that the Arabs are somehow an innately peaceful people only spurred to violence by Imperialistic Western Pigs. But the current troubles can pretty much be traced with a straight line to the Western Powers' attempt to take over the Middle East and Mesopotamia after the fall of the Ottoman Empire. Both Qutb and the Muslim Brothehood movement and on the opposite side Nasser and Arabic Nationalism are straight up reactions to Western influences on the Arabic world.

 

Ideological differences are important to recognise. But too often they are distorted out of all proportion by the media which is unable or unwilling to see this as anything other than the very same "Clash of Civilisations" nonsense Samuel Huntington proposed years ago. Edward Said (along with many others) wrote a thorough and well-researched piece which all but wiped the floor with Huntington's argument and yet time and time again it is regurgitated by the media like a half-digested worm fed to a newly hatched chick.

 

I'm not suggesting that various Egyptian factions on both sides aren't ideologically motivated. But very often there are far simpler explanations which are consistently ignored in favour of epic narratives of inevitable social and cultural conflict. 

 

So yes - radical thinkers such as Qutb, Ayman Al Zawahiri and so forth have provided some degree of impetus. But nothing like as much as an empty stomach. Which is precisely what many Egyptians pondered in the months leading up to the so-called "Arab Spring" as the combination of widespread failed harvests in the Balkans and Cargill's successful attempt to lobby a ban on Russian grain exports (profit bonuses all round) left one of the most prosperous Arab nations facing the unthinkable. It was Napoleon (I think) who said something along the lines of people being only two square meals away from revolution. And he was absolutely right.

 

Another good example of the media's fixation with emphasising grand socio-political conflict narratives over far more "mundane" explanations (many of which the West must assume responsibility for) is the Rwandan genocide. From the outset that catastrophe was painted as the inevitable consequence of centuries of bitter ethnic tension, prejudice, persecution and so forth.  Yet anyone with even cursory knowledge of that region knew Hutu and Tutsi (an ethnic division which only became a real issue with the arrival of colonial Europe) had co-existed, intermarried and generally got along quite amicably for centuries beforehand. The press would have us believe these people simply woke up one morning and decided - after years of simmering enmity - to hack each other to bits. Plausible, I suppose, if you buy into the William Westmoreland school of human psychology. But a long way from the real truth where ethnic identity only became an issue AFTER Rwanda's food supply collapsed because of drought, blight, chronic overpopulation and corporate land grabs leaving over a third of the population scared, hungry and understandably paranoid.

 

Ditto Yugoslavia - a conflict whose causes have been completely re-written since it finished to such a comprehensive degree George Orwell's "O'Brien" character from "1984" would undoubtedly salivate. I stopped counting years ago the number of people who think it began because the Serbian people - no longer able to quell centuries of repressed ethnic hatred - spontaneously decided to go on the rampage and exterminate every last minority group. When I point out that Yugoslavia, the one European nation that said no to neo-liberalism, the EU, globalisation etc. as it (correctly) seemed like an extortion racket, was (at the behest of the US & IMF) ruthlessly bankrupted, broken up and handed over to ultra-right wing, pro-fascist (Tuzman was a former Nazi!), pro-big business lunatics who faced with rising unrest over hyper-inflation, food shortages and NATO airstrikes etc. predictably chose to let loose the Einsatzgruppen all I get now is blank faces.

 

post #347 of 351
Thread Starter 
post #348 of 351

Resurrecting this thread to post a little good news (lets just not talk about Syria). Gotta take the little victories where you can - there's nothing little about this though I'd argue...

 

CAIRO — Egyptians went to the polls on Wednesday to choose their first freely elected president, hoping to recapture the promise of a popular uprising that defined the Arab Spring, end 15 chaotic months of military rule and perhaps shape the character of political Islam across the region.

In scenes unthinkable at any time in this country’s vast history, millions of Egyptians waited patiently in long lines, often holding scraps of cardboard against the desert sun, debating with their neighbors which of the five leading contenders deserved their vote. “It is like honey to my heart,” said Mohamed Mustafa Seif, 36, an accountant voting in downtown Cairo. “For the first time in my life, I feel like I have a role to play. My vote could possibly make a difference.”

 

24egyptspan-articleLarge.jpg

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/24/world/middleeast/egypt-presidential-election.html?_r=1

post #349 of 351
It's certainly heartwarming. The problem is they have not defined what constitutional powers the new president and parliament will have. What will they be able to do?

In a few months we may find the army is still pulling the strings behind the scenes. Democracy - proper, functioning representative government, not just voting - can't really work without the rule of law.
post #350 of 351

A nation going from an autocracy to democracy isn't a switch you can flip. It's a long, almost always bloody process. You just have to commit to it and put your hopes on the better nature of mankind. 

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