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Tunisia and Egypt play dominoes?


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So Ben Ali gets kicked out of Tunisia and people start asking whether this is the start of a domino effect across the region. We're not short of Tunisia-like conditions - ageing dictators ruling young populations. But very quickly, there's a consensus that it won't happen anywhere else - other regimes are more entrenched, more resilient, more willing to put dissent down brutally and with long histories of doing just that.

 

And yet, there have been big protests in Egypt today, with hundreds arrested, and everyone's talking of nothing else - the 24-hour news channels are powerful in this region. If Mubarak were to fall, it really would be a game of dominoes.

"An electric puddle is not what I need right now." (Nina Kalenkov)

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The dictators and Kings in the region will all die in the next 2-3 decades if they aren't overthrown, so even if they survive the Tunisian precedent, it's a matter of time. But yes, timing is going to be all-important - especially in Egypt. The protests like that are nothing really new though, I'm under the impression that Egyptian dissent hasn't been able to mount a meaningful political / military challenge in a while.

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If Mubarak were to fall, the big question is would it open the way for the Muslim Brotherhood to take over.

 

It'd be a big risk, certainly. I think it would come down to whether any personalities exist to unite the huge section of the population who would panic at the thought of the MB taking over. If Egypt did go MB then I'd start investing in companies which make khaki and bullets.

"It wasn't lies. It was just... bull****"."

             -Elwood Blues

 

tarna's dead; processing... complete. Disappointed by Universe. RIP Hades/Sand/etc. Here's hoping your next alt has a harp.

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If Mubarak were to fall, the big question is would it open the way for the Muslim Brotherhood to take over.

 

I'm sure it would, but I think they are doing this for more freedom not less, an we know the MB will restrict rights badly.

 

bigcrazewolf

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Of course, the MB may be large, but I don't get the impression they are mobilised for a takeover. And if they took advantage now it would surely be a gift to their opponents. Surely better to... actually I'm not going to say. I'm not in the giving advice to people I fear and despise.

 

When I'm not drunk.

"It wasn't lies. It was just... bull****"."

             -Elwood Blues

 

tarna's dead; processing... complete. Disappointed by Universe. RIP Hades/Sand/etc. Here's hoping your next alt has a harp.

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Of course, the MB may be large, but I don't get the impression they are mobilised for a takeover. And if they took advantage now it would surely be a gift to their opponents. Surely better to... actually I'm not going to say. I'm not in the giving advice to people I fear and despise.

 

When I'm not drunk.

 

>_< mine actually increases when I'm drunk.

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I'm torn between being excited and very alarmed. Anyone else with me?

"It wasn't lies. It was just... bull****"."

             -Elwood Blues

 

tarna's dead; processing... complete. Disappointed by Universe. RIP Hades/Sand/etc. Here's hoping your next alt has a harp.

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Same here. I'm hoping they'll get a real democracy, but things could go very wrong very fast. Edit: Once again we're caught between a rock and a hard place:

The Obama Administration's dilemma over how to respond to Egypt's democracy movement became a little more acute on Thursday when the country's largest opposition party, the banned Muslim Brotherhood, declared its intention to openly participate in Friday's protests. Years of operating in conditions of twilight legality have given the Brotherhood an unrivaled organizational network - its members expect to be arrested and roughed up by the regime - and it is widely viewed as by far the most popular party in the opposition. That's a problem for the U.S., given its singular allergy to Islamist parties in the Arab world, particularly those that challenge its longtime allies.

 

http://news.yahoo.com/s/time/0859920449020...XNsYW1pc3RmZWFy

 

A democratic Egypt, whether led by the Muslim Brotherhood
What a joke, if there's anything MB is against it's democracy, at least as soon as they're put in power. Edited by Wrath of Dagon

"Moral indignation is a standard strategy for endowing the idiot with dignity." Marshall McLuhan

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My feeling is that Obama will have to back anything approximating more liberal democracy. The trouble is I don't know anything like enough about Egyptian politics and political culture to estimate whether such a change is possible.

"It wasn't lies. It was just... bull****"."

             -Elwood Blues

 

tarna's dead; processing... complete. Disappointed by Universe. RIP Hades/Sand/etc. Here's hoping your next alt has a harp.

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I'm torn between being excited and very alarmed. Anyone else with me?

Yes, but more excited and hopeful than alarmed. Comparisons with Iran, whose revolution also started out with a pluralist push against an unpopular, Western-backed regime and ended up with extremists in power, are reasonable and make me nervous. However, the Egyptians have the example of Iran to look at, and I doubt they want to go down that road. Plus the spark that started this was Tunisia, and Tunisia seems to be heading towards democracy rather than extremist takeover (too early to be sure, of course).

 

All very exciting stuff - it seems the army is going in now, but to do what - we shall soon see...

"An electric puddle is not what I need right now." (Nina Kalenkov)

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But Tunisian opposition seems to be mostly secular. If that article is correct that MB is the most popular party in Egypt, and that does agree with what I read earlier, then the situation in Egypt would be entirely different. Al Qaeda sprung from MB ideology, in fact they're the two complementary approaches to the same goal, and Egypt under MB will make Iran look like the paragon of democracy and liberalism.

 

Edit: Sounds really bad: http://pajamasmedia.com/blog/egypt-whats-happening-now/

Edited by Wrath of Dagon

"Moral indignation is a standard strategy for endowing the idiot with dignity." Marshall McLuhan

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Reports coming in of police and military units clashing in Cairo. If true this would be an extremely significant sign.

"It wasn't lies. It was just... bull****"."

             -Elwood Blues

 

tarna's dead; processing... complete. Disappointed by Universe. RIP Hades/Sand/etc. Here's hoping your next alt has a harp.

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My feeling is that Obama will have to back anything approximating more liberal democracy. The trouble is I don't know anything like enough about Egyptian politics and political culture to estimate whether such a change is possible.

By itself it's hard to guess, with our backing it is a certainty. We can basically do the Bay of Pigs thing, promise support encouraging them to start a revolt and back out as soon as the wind blows the wrong way. Just the promise of American backing would be enough for an organized resistance to act.

I'd say the answer to that question is kind of like the answer to "who's the sucker in this poker game?"*

 

*If you can't tell, it's you. ;)

village_idiot.gif

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Reports coming in of police and military units clashing in Cairo. If true this would be an extremely significant sign.

What about the shut down of the internet?

"Show me a man who "plays fair" and I'll show you a very talented cheater."
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Incredible speed at which the events are taking place, I hadn't expected it at all. Certainly the MB risk is very very high if Mubarak leaves now.

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If Mubarak were to fall, the big question is would it open the way for the Muslim Brotherhood to take over.

It isn't a question at all. The kefaya movement, so far as I can make out, is a reaction without any political point, and there's no obvious successor to Mubarak. The Brotherhood have an open goal, and all they have to do is make moderate noises and wait.

 

If Mubarak were to fall, the big question is would it open the way for the Muslim Brotherhood to take over.

 

It'd be a big risk, certainly. I think it would come down to whether any personalities exist to unite the huge section of the population who would panic at the thought of the MB taking over. If Egypt did go MB then I'd start investing in companies which make khaki and bullets.

 

Pope Shenouda has spent the last thirty years or so trying to shore up relations between the Copts and the Muslim majority. My guess is he'd try and do a deal with the MB. The only other source of authority which springs to mind immediately is the Al-Azhar mosque. The last Grand Imam frittered much of his authority away, though, trying to legalise abortion and ban the niqab, and so forth, so his successor is unlikely to start making noises which seem like a lack of solidarity. I don't really see any other figures likely to excite large scale support, myself.

 

The choice is between the National Democratic Party and the Muslim Brotherhood. And the NDP is Mubarak's party. The Muslim Brotherhood, meanwhile, have been outlawed for years and have therefore always stood as independents. Also, anyone banking on Egypt being relatively stable should remember what happened to Sadat. Yes, Egypt has been relatively stable, but she's paid a high price for that stability.

This particularly rapid, unintelligible patter isn't generally heard, and if it is, it doesn't matter.

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Reports coming in of police and military units clashing in Cairo. If true this would be an extremely significant sign.

What about the shut down of the internet?

 

Call me old skool, but I don't call the internet as serious as explodey metal death stuff. Besides which shutting down the internet was pre-planned. I doubt the same thing was expected of the security services scrapping with tanks.

"It wasn't lies. It was just... bull****"."

             -Elwood Blues

 

tarna's dead; processing... complete. Disappointed by Universe. RIP Hades/Sand/etc. Here's hoping your next alt has a harp.

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Guys, call me a pessismist here but there is no grand Jeffersonian republican democracy on the other side of this. I suspect Iran is up to it's neck is stirring this up. Cui bono? The MB. I suspect the government that rises from this will be far fare worse if Mubaraks regime does not survive.

"The man of virtuous soul commands not, nor obeys. Power, like a desolating pestilence, pollutes whate'er it touches; and obedience, bane of all genius, virtue, freedom, truth, makes slaves of men, and of the human frame a mechanized automaton."

P.B. Shelley

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Guys, call me a pessismist here but there is no grand Jeffersonian republican democracy on the other side of this. I suspect Iran is up to it's neck is stirring this up. Cui bono? The MB. I suspect the government that rises from this will be far fare worse if Mubaraks regime does not survive.

Except Egypt is Sunni and Iran is Shiite. The only they agree on is they hate each other more than they hate Israel and the US.

“He who joyfully marches to music in rank and file has already earned my contempt. He has been given a large brain by mistake, since for him the spinal cord would surely suffice.” - Albert Einstein

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