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Egypt & Middle East Post Mubarak.

This is a discussion on Egypt & Middle East Post Mubarak. within the Geo-strategic Issues forum, part of the Global Defense & Military category; Latest news From Egypt, the mIlitary seems begin to distances themselves from The President Hosni Mubarak. In The mean time, ...


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Old February 1st, 2011   #1
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Egypt & Middle East Post Mubarak.

Latest news From Egypt, the mIlitary seems begin to distances themselves from The President Hosni Mubarak.

In The mean time, Israel that already quite comfortable with mubarak, feels the West abbandoning Mubarak, even some media of Israel stated that US shoot Mubarak on the back. In short, many media in Israel feels by abbandoning Mubarak, the West also put Israel security on the line. Latest statement from Netanyahu, also show some concern that Hardline-Militan will take over Egypt pretty soon.

In my book, I think Israelis overreact too much. The movement of Egypt Military infact going to ensure that 'secular' force will keep Egypt in hand, which going to be acceptable with the West and even for Israel, rather then risking 'hard-liners' Moeslem movement take control of Egypt.

As the stronggest nation in Arab World (well Saudi's perhaps have somewhat better toys, but Egypt military still the most trained in Arab World), do you think that the downfall of mubarak (in which many analyst stated more likely since Military already show more 'symphetetic' stance to people movement) will change the Region politics significantly ?

Will Egypt still 'symphetetic' with the west ? Afterall the mIlitary already for decades tag along US line, and popular secular politician like Mohhamed Baradai is also a person seems the west can accept.
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Old February 1st, 2011   #2
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Two big factors [IMO] in the Western acceptance of a new Egyptian Govt. would have to be the terms of access to the Suez Canal and non aggression to Israel.

I suspect certain Powers would have had for years a list of preferred successors to Mubarak in case of an "accident".

Who's on it, haven't a clue.

If they'll get their way? Probably. Eventually if not immediately.

Will it be some-one acceptable to the Egyptian people? I hope so.

Cheers,
Mac
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Old February 1st, 2011   #3
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The entire Arab world is in a state of massive revolutions, it is happening every where other places are just not getting the same media coverage. The Egyptians blame Mubarak for their falling status as a once regional power, they are tired of corruption and unemployment. Hopefully my Egyptian brothers can succeed in bringing down the reign of such a demoralizing govt and create one that can take their nation back to their old glory days.
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Old February 1st, 2011   #4
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Democratization through people power in the street is very precaurious problem for a developing nations. Usually what it's end up is not a swift eradiction on poverty and corruption, but it's going to end up with (mostly) unrully political situations, chaos and more corruptions.

If you can get a step by step improvement on fighting corruption and poverty (as the result of democratizations) it's already good enough for a developing country. You can't expect much when the percapita income still far bellow the threshold for ordinary people on having healthy democratic process.

Philipines still strugling economically after Corazon Aquino's people power revolutions ousting Marcos. Indonesia after 1998 'reformation' ousting Soeharto despite according World Bank calculation it's already 18th largest economy in the world in 2009 (and predicted to be 16th largest by end 2010)...Still Indonesia continue have to fight poverty and corruption and still only can reach 6% economic growth (bellow WB prediction of 8% true potential).

In short People power in developing nation ussually ending up with more chaos and wasted period. And if that happen to Egypt...what it's implications to Middle East politics. Hopefully the Army can reign in and control the country. Bacause letting the civilian politician taking control the country after street revolutions, ussually only provide more chaos.

Sadly the empirical proved on Democartizations in developing nations ussually in the end only provide new totalitarian regime that come out from ashes of chaos. However can MIddle East afford that to happen in Egypt ?
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Old February 1st, 2011   #5
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I think the big problem with Egypt or Middle East in general isn't that they can't be democratic or become democratic. The problem is the average guy/gal doesn't have much of a choice: stick with some form of dictatorship (president for life,ex general, prince,emir or king, family controlled country a la Cosa Nostra) or some form of religious political party.

You need a somewhat "clean" police, some form of constitution, impartial judicial system, couple of political parties to represent the population and finally what's really important, everybody understands that once you have power for let's say 4 years, you have to have elections AGAIN after 4 years.
Once you take power that doesn't mean now you can run your scams for the next 30 years and forget the elections. All these things take time to implement, something Egypt or ME doesn't really have right now.

I don't know much about the Muslim Brotherhood, they say the right things but how do we know that once they take power, Egypt won't end up like Iran?
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Old February 2nd, 2011   #6
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Sad to see that some people still think that the Middle East is incapable of democracy, "the Arab exception".

Lets not forget that these dictators across the ME often have the full support of the West, the West's concern being stability/oil with no regard given to human rights or democracy except when public opinion forces it.

No one should be surprised that under these circumstances the alternatives are other radical. Although in Egypt's case, the Muslim Brotherhood is pretty mild.

Also interesting to see that no one has mentioned ElBaradei so far, perhaps that is more to do with the quality of coverage provided in the West than the ignorance of anyone in this thread.

One potential outcome from this is that the old regime simply rebrands itself under Sulieman, it would mean no change for the people of Egypt or the West and its the outcome the West & Israel would like to see.
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Old February 2nd, 2011   #7
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Sad to see that some people still think that the Middle East is incapable of democracy, "the Arab exception".
The questions is not whether Middle East capable for democracy or not, but will the Popular Uprising lead to Democracy or another Totalitarian Regime. The only Popular Uprising that succeed on throwing Old Regime in the full (in ME) was Iranian Revolution. But it's only lead from Dictactorial Syah to Totalitarian Islamic Regime.

It's the matter 'how' the democracy being taken. Will the people can be mature enough to practise democracy ?? People in the west taking democracy for granted, since democracy already embedded on the society for some time. However for society that used to live under a totalitarian regime, or do not have enough per capita income to begin with, are easy to be distracted with 'chaos' on political order since they're basically still looking for someone that they can trust. The Iranian trust Khomeini, but I'm sure the majority of Iranian them selves in the beginning did not expected Khomeini will turn out to be another Totalitarian figure. When they realise it, the new regime already in control far enough to (again) surpresed any dessent.

Elbaredei itself is a new figure on Egyptian politics. Sure now he's being herald as the face of Opposition to Mubarak, however as soon as Mubarak goes, will those opposition force still solid behind Elbaredei ?

As Indonesian, I see what Mubarak did have much simmilarity with Soeharto. Both surpressed any decent effectively, they did not prepared any potential candidate for successor...Both of them hold the country like Family business, and both of them deluded themselves they can prepared one of their Children or Family members as potential successor when time comes.

As result the rest of populations has difficulty to find themselves on figure they can trust. Multiple interest in the society will clashed politically and going to be easy to be spilled in to the street again.
The result can be new totalitarian regime (this is the case of Iran) or democratically elected government that relatively weak and continue to be hold hostages on political deals (the latter is the case of Indonesia).

As a country that have 'central role' in ME, I do believe deep down, the West, US, and Israel do not wish a true democratic government in Egypt now. They simply trust Military more than potential civilian government. I don't think Egypt will fall in to Moeslem Brotherhood hand, but they can be a determining factor on Egypt politics, which perhaps not really acceptable with many 'present' Egypt friends.
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Old February 2nd, 2011   #8
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Actually, I believe there has been almost too much coverage of Elbaredei, like he is some kind of savior. He worked for gov/IAEA for his entire life, not really a politician or economist. He doesn't have a political party or platform. Not sure he is that well known in Egypt, the joke was that he had more connections in Vienna than Egypt. He might be part of the solution, don't know if he will be the solution.

Again,we don't know much how Muslim Brotherhood will do if they join a government. I hear that they are pretty moderate but once you have power, things always change.
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Old February 2nd, 2011   #9
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I think the big problem with Egypt or Middle East in general isn't that they can't be democratic or become democratic.
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Sad to see that some people still think that the Middle East is incapable of democracy, "the Arab exception".

Lets not forget that these dictators across the ME often have the full support of the West, the West's concern being stability/oil with no regard given to human rights or democracy except when public opinion forces it.
The question we should ask ourselves is - does the West want Arab countries to be truly 'democratic' ? At present non of Uncle Sam's Arab 'allies' and 'friends' are democratic or were elected - Saudi, Jordan, Kuwait, the Gulf states - yet all have been praised and courted. Ironicly the only government that was truly elected was Hamas. Truly democratic Arabs states might start asking for a change in U.S. policy towards Israel with regards to getting the stalled the Israel/Palestine peace agreement back on track. The populations of democratic Arab states might start being more vocal in questioning U.S. policies in the region and might ask the U.S. to vacate it's military bases on Arab lands, what then? When the Islamists FIS won the elections in Algeria, the military government with Western backing stayed on in power.

Excerpts from an article from Eric Margolis -http://www.lewrockwell.com/margolis/margolis223.html

The US and France have always hailed Tunisia as a poster-boy for "moderation, stability, and democracy. "

Translation: 1. moderation: following orders from Washington and making nice to Israel; 2. stability: crushing all opposition, particularly Islamist-oriented parties, muzzling the media, and paving the way for US business; 3. democracy: holding fake elections every few years. The US media soft-soaped Ben Ali and gushed over Tunisia’s "moderate" virtues. They did the same for Egypt’s Anwar Sadat.

''America’s other "moderate" Arab clients, Egypt, Morocco, Algeria, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Yemen, Oman and some of the Gulf states, followed precisely the same model of ersatz elections, ferocious internal oppression, and absolute obedience to Washington. ''

Last edited by STURM; February 2nd, 2011 at 06:55 PM.
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Old February 2nd, 2011   #10
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The question we should ask is does Uncle Sam really want Arab 'democratic' nations? Non of Uncle Sam's Arab 'allies' and 'friends' at present are democratic or were elected. Ironicly the only government that was truly elected was Hamas. Democratic Arabs states might start asking for a change in U.S. policy towards Israel with regards to getting the stalled the Israel/Palestine peace agreement back on track. The populations of democratic Arab nations might start being more vocal in questioning U.S. policies in the region and might ask the U.S. to vacate it's bases on Arab lands, what then?

When the Islamists FIS won the elections in Algeria, the military government with Western backing stayed on in power.
I agree, USA and Western powers like the current status quo. I think after Iranian revolution, Western powers got "spooked" into thinking that every ME revolution will end up like Irans. We haven't heard a lot about Israel so far into Egypt revolt, that could change. So far, main reason I hear about Egypt revolt is food prices,unemployment and just tired of Mubarak, can't say I heard a lot about Israel-Palestine conflict.

Yes, popular and democratically elected ME govts could force US and Western powers to change vis a vie Israel but if you have democracy, could there be in the ME political parties that advocates relations with Israel and not just cutting relations with Israel? In a democracy, ideas should go both ways, not sure ME is ready for that. Also, will ME still do business with USA/Europe if we say:tough luck we won't change our ways?

I sincerely believe USA/Europe want democratic ME but everybody is scared we will end up with a multitude of Irans. Having talked to Arab friends, I find that they sometimes don't understand "our" reluctance, maybe Egypt will prove us westerners wrong. I hope Egypt becomes a viable democratic state.
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Old February 3rd, 2011   #11
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So far, main reason I hear about Egypt revolt is food prices,unemployment and just tired of Mubarak, can't say I heard a lot about Israel-Palestine conflict. .
The revolt in Egypt is about food prices,unemployment, etc, problems that dont exist in places like Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Baharian, Qatar, etc. As you mentioned, people in Egypt are also very sick and tired of their President and want new leadership and reforms.

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Also, will ME still do business with USA/Europe if we say:tough luck we won't change our ways?
Don't see why not. Trade and investment with the Western world is vital for the economies of the Middle East. Apart from that, the Gulf States welcome the American military presence in the region as a counterweight against Iran.

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I sincerely believe USA/Europe want democratic ME but everybody is scared we will end up with a multitude of Irans. Having talked to Arab friends, I find that they sometimes don't understand "our" reluctance, maybe Egypt will prove us westerners wrong. I hope Egypt becomes a viable democratic state.
Well people should be allowed to choose the kind of government they want, irrespective of whether the West or anyone else approves or not. Though Egypt has it's share of 'islamists' or extremists, like Syria it's a very secular country.

One of my favourite videos...

YouTube - Fisk lashes out at West in Middle East

Last edited by STURM; February 3rd, 2011 at 06:16 AM.
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Old February 3rd, 2011   #12
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I sincerely believe USA/Europe want democratic ME but everybody is scared we will end up with a multitude of Irans. Having talked to Arab friends, I find that they sometimes don't understand "our" reluctance, maybe Egypt will prove us westerners wrong. I hope Egypt becomes a viable democratic state.
I disagree completely.

The West's wants dictators instead of democracies because they're easier to influence. A quick history lesson makes this very clear.

You bring up Iran but completely ignore the reasons that it is hostile to the West.

The people of the Middle East are tired of the dictators we impose on them, it is time to let them choose their own path.
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Old February 3rd, 2011   #13
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I disagree completely.
The people of the Middle East are tired of the dictators we impose on them, it is time to let them choose their own path.
I don't think the West Impose dictactors to ME People, rather than the West acknowledged many of those dictactors because it suits their objectives on particullar period. Take Mubarak, he's the product of Nasser and Saddat in which the comming of power of those two Dictactors did not come or instigated by West. Remember Nasser was Anti West and Sadat was not a Western Friend in the beggining. Now the West simply did not have choices rather than wait on the development.

West can't force democracy...Democracy have to come from within...any force democracy will be backfired..and I think many in the West already realise that with Iraq and Afghanistan.
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Old February 3rd, 2011   #14
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and Sadat was not a Western Friend in the beggining.
Yes and after signing the Egypt/Israel peace treaty in 79 he became popular. It was a win, win situation for all 3 countries - Israel made peace wth an Arab country, the U.S. turned a Soviet client into a friendly, and some would say subserviant state, Egypt got back the Sinai and later became the 2nd largest recipient of U.S. aid after Israel.

Reminds me of Libya and Gaddafi, the 'Colonel', after abandoning his nuke programme he suddenly became a new friend and the Libyan Armed Forces is now being courted by various Western arms companies . Realpolitik in the works...

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You bring up Iran but completely ignore the reasons that it is hostile to the West.
Iran had a democraticly elected prime minister who was later overthrown because it was thought that he might be a threat and too troublesome. The Shah then returned, paving the way for the 79 revolution. With hindsight it's easy to form conclusions and judgements but during the cold war events like the Iranian revolution and the earlier nationalisation of the Suez canal and the Iranian oil assets by Nasser and Mossadegh were seen as a threat.

[http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp...YA2z6WazPmIZqw

Going of topic here but from what I've read I'm of the opinion that Iran's nuclear programme is aimed at regime survival and for it's own security rather that an attempt to threaten the region. Interestingly enough, the Iranian nuclear programme actually started under the Shah and when they came to power the mullahs weren't very keen on it.

YouTube - The Full Story of Iran's Nuclear Program - Robert Fisk

YouTube - Interview with former CIA agent Robert Baer

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Old February 3rd, 2011   #15
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I am afraid that with the beating up and trying to shut down media outlets we might see a crack down against the protesters. It could get real ugly.

Listening tonight to MSNBC, Brzezinski was being interviewed. I think he wants to see change but I felt he was saying let's take some time here. He did talk about Iran revolution and made some interesting points how Egypt probably won't finish the same way as Iran.

What I did find interesting and should be noted, he emphasized we should be cautious on what we see and hear on TV. These crowds in that square are only a small fraction of the 15 million people in Cairo, let alone Egypt. They say they want democracy but we don't know more about what they want, I have the feeling a lot them don't real know themselves what exactly they want.
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