Jump to content

Tunisia and Egypt play dominoes?


Recommended Posts

You totally misunderstand the situation. Hezbollah gets to say who's appointed prime minister, because they have all the guns. Aoun has been their and Syria's ally for a long time. It was actually the bitty Druze players who swung the parliament to Hezbollah because their leader, Jumblatt, doesn't want a bullet in his head. Jumblatt used to be very anti-Syrian, but people in that part of the world tend to be very sensitive to which way the wind is blowing.

I understand the situation pretty well, for an outsider. Hezbollah does not have all the guns. Everyone has guns, from the itty bitties on up. They may not still have formalised militia but they certainly can reconstitute them quick and they'll get their stored hardware and the central military's hardware (which H will get none of as they have their stand alone militia) if anything kicks off. Everyone knows it and that is largely why things don't restart.

 

Also, Jumblatt was one of the more strongly pro-Syrian leaders in the Civil War.

 

Their popular prime minister, Harriri, got assassinated by Hezbollah just like in any other democracy. It's because Hezbollah wants to disrupt the UN investigation of his assassination that they made his son's government fall. Also Lebanon isn't as hostile to Israel as you portray. That's all driven by Hezbollah, a creature of Iran, Lebanon wouldn't dream of fighting Israel if it wasn't for them.

A year or so ago 'everyone' "knew" Syria killed Hariri.

 

And Lebanon is deeply, deeply hostile to Israel. They may not be willing to fight a war they know they'll lose (border clashes on the other hand- and with that nice pro western government in place) but it doesn't come from Hezbollah alone, it comes from a history of extremely unpleasant Israeli actions that have systematically managed to ... annoy just about every group in a staggeringly complex ethno-religious mix. Even their erstwhile allies on the loony maronite fringe hate them for betraying the SLA.

Link to post
Share on other sites

For the record, I know that Lebanon and Israel are disliking one another like crazy, it's just that I doubt they'd even think about going on the offense against Israel without a more industrialized and powerful country firing the first shot, simply because the Israeli government has been propped up constantly by the western powers.

 

Question, Assuming that Egypts government does topple, what do we think the military would end up doing? Assuming the civilian government goes into chaos, one would think that the Military might intervene and set up elections, or set themselves up as the new leaders (doubtful given how much cross training there's been with the US military over the past 3 decades).

 

Also, would the entire region start looking at Egypt like some assume they're staring at Iraq now that the US is pulling out (Chariman of the Joint Chiefs says we're gonna be fully out of Iraq by the end of this year and Afganistan by probably 2014) as a place to have proxies duke it out?

Victor of the 5 year fan fic competition!

 

Kevin Butler will awesome your face off.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Mubarak regime begins talks with the Muslim Brotherhood: I don't think the Egyptian people will want to swap one form of totalitarianism for another.

 

Nonetheless, I must consider my shares portfolio: anybody selling defence kit to Israel is a no-brainer.

sonsofgygax.JPG

Link to post
Share on other sites
For the record, I know that Lebanon and Israel are disliking one another like crazy, it's just that I doubt they'd even think about going on the offense against Israel without a more industrialized and powerful country firing the first shot, simply because the Israeli government has been propped up constantly by the western powers.

 

You haven't really studied the speeches of Mr. Ahmadinejad, have you?

 

Question, Assuming that Egypts government does topple, what do we think the military would end up doing? Assuming the civilian government goes into chaos, one would think that the Military might intervene and set up elections, or set themselves up as the new leaders (doubtful given how much cross training there's been with the US military over the past 3 decades).

 

IMO the Egyptian army has played a blinder, they now look like the genuine protectors of the people from the nasty politicians and their scary, craven security police. Then again Sadat and Mubarak were both army officers, right?

 

Also, would the entire region start looking at Egypt like some assume they're staring at Iraq now that the US is pulling out (Chariman of the Joint Chiefs says we're gonna be fully out of Iraq by the end of this year and Afganistan by probably 2014) as a place to have proxies duke it out?

 

Unlikely. North Africa is fairly settled by Middle Eastern standards. Gaddafi is tamed. The USA has no appetite for foreign military adventures under Obama. The West will probably offer support, open and covert, to any stable regime that replaces Mubarak, it's one of the things that underpins the Cold War we all call 'peace' in the region.

sonsofgygax.JPG

Link to post
Share on other sites
For the record, I know that Lebanon and Israel are disliking one another like crazy, it's just that I doubt they'd even think about going on the offense against Israel without a more industrialized and powerful country firing the first shot, simply because the Israeli government has been propped up constantly by the western powers.

 

You haven't really studied the speeches of Mr. Ahmadinejad, have you?

That's Iran, not Lebanon.

Victor of the 5 year fan fic competition!

 

Kevin Butler will awesome your face off.

Link to post
Share on other sites
You totally misunderstand the situation. Hezbollah gets to say who's appointed prime minister, because they have all the guns. Aoun has been their and Syria's ally for a long time. It was actually the bitty Druze players who swung the parliament to Hezbollah because their leader, Jumblatt, doesn't want a bullet in his head. Jumblatt used to be very anti-Syrian, but people in that part of the world tend to be very sensitive to which way the wind is blowing.

I understand the situation pretty well, for an outsider. Hezbollah does not have all the guns. Everyone has guns, from the itty bitties on up. They may not still have formalised militia but they certainly can reconstitute them quick and they'll get their stored hardware and the central military's hardware (which H will get none of as they have their stand alone militia) if anything kicks off. Everyone knows it and that is largely why things don't restart.

 

Also, Jumblatt was one of the more strongly pro-Syrian leaders in the Civil War.

 

Their popular prime minister, Harriri, got assassinated by Hezbollah just like in any other democracy. It's because Hezbollah wants to disrupt the UN investigation of his assassination that they made his son's government fall. Also Lebanon isn't as hostile to Israel as you portray. That's all driven by Hezbollah, a creature of Iran, Lebanon wouldn't dream of fighting Israel if it wasn't for them.

A year or so ago 'everyone' "knew" Syria killed Hariri.

 

And Lebanon is deeply, deeply hostile to Israel. They may not be willing to fight a war they know they'll lose (border clashes on the other hand- and with that nice pro western government in place) but it doesn't come from Hezbollah alone, it comes from a history of extremely unpleasant Israeli actions that have systematically managed to ... annoy just about every group in a staggeringly complex ethno-religious mix. Even their erstwhile allies on the loony maronite fringe hate them for betraying the SLA.

Almost all your facts are either misstated or distorted. To give just one example, Nasrallah himself said he expects members of Hezbollah to be indicted by the UN tribunal, which is why he engineered the fall of Harriri's government for refusing to denounce the tribunal. So unless you agree that the tribunal is a US/Zionist conspiracy as he claims, you can't deny that Hezbollah was involved.

Edited by Wrath of Dagon

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

Link to post
Share on other sites
Who says they dream of fighting Israel right now?

 

Just mis-reread this as asking the forum members who felt like biffing Israel personally. "I'll take you all on! Mano a lots of manos!" :p

"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.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Almost all your facts are either misstated or distorted.

Heh, I'm not the one stating as fact that Hezbollah killed Rafik Hariri when there's no indictment, no conviction and not even any publicly available evidence to back it up, just third hand leaks. Pointing out that there was exactly the same pattern previous with respect to the Syrians and the "facts" eventually turned out to be... not exactly facts is hardly a misstatement or distortion. If you insist, though:

 

BBC (2010): Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri has said he was wrong to accuse Syria of assassinating his father - former Lebanese PM Rafik Hariri. He told the Saudi-owned Asharq al-Awsat newspaper that the charge had been politically motivated.

 

FoxNews (2005): President Bush called on the U.N. Security Council to meet as soon as possible to hold Syria accountable for the slaying of former Lebanese leader Rafik Hariri (search) on Feb. 14, saying U.S. officials were talking with U.N. officials and Arab governments about what steps to take.

 

I can provide more if you like, it isn't exactly difficult to prove.

 

To give just one example, Nasrallah himself said he expects members of Hezbollah to be indicted by the UN tribunal, which is why he engineered the fall of Harriri's government for refusing to denounce the tribunal. So unless you agree that the tribunal is a US/Zionist conspiracy as he claims, you can't deny that Hezbollah was involved.

I'm a bit perplexed here. Are you really saying that Nasrallah expecting some HB members to be charged proves they are guilty?

Link to post
Share on other sites

If he considers it important enough to cause a crisis, I'd say yes. Why would he expect the indictments if there's nothing to it, and why is he taking the tribunal so seriously? But I suppose technically you're right, we'll have to wait for actual indictments to be certain. As far as Harriri withdrawing his accusations against Syria, it's not clear that he wasn't under duress.

 

Edit: If the UN report said that Syria was involved, that's a lot more credible than Harriri denying it, for one thing where's his evidence that Syria wasn't involved? He was forced into alliance with Syria because of Hezbollah, so that had to be a condition of their alliance, plus he's betting that so long as the tribunal is operating, the facts will eventually have to come out.

 

Edit2: Syria is far from being off the hook as you portray:

 

http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Middle-East...rst-indictments

 

Potential options include delaying indictments or having Hariri publicly absolve Hezbollah of blame for his father's assassination and blame it instead on a few "rogue" members of the party. Still, it is unclear whether any of the proposals under consideration can simultaneously satisfy the demands of both sides.
Edited by Wrath of Dagon

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

Link to post
Share on other sites

Shrug

 

Three indictments all (if we're going to believe 3rd hand reports) Hezbollah types with maybe some more down the line is a far cry from the overt top level support and backing Syria was supposed to have given. If you're interested you can check out the Mehlis Report which was the original UN report on the matter and was pretty definitive that Syrian Intelligence was responsible. Those mentioned in the report as being arrested were quietly released in 2009 after four years detention without trial as the key witnesses were "no longer considered reliable". Mehlis' successor actually recommended they be released in 2006.

 

Basically the UN handling of the investigation has been a shambles right from the start.

Link to post
Share on other sites

If you are interested in the Syria-Lebanon interplay you should listen to From Our Own Correspondent on the BBC World Service. You can find it on podcast. They've been doing stuff on it for a while.

"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.

Link to post
Share on other sites

No-one knows yet whether the army will take over, or what other 'transitional' arrangement there might be. A straightforward military coup seems unlikely - the protestors would stay in the streets and the new military leader would have the same problem, and same unpalatable options for its solution, as Mubarak. And why would the army want that - they're already powerful, this crisis has enhanced their power and their popularity, so why throw it away?

 

An Egyptian colleague tells me a huge concern is whether the judiciary is allowed to oversee whatever elections take place - Mubarak removed them from that role and that allowed him to pack parliament with his supporters.

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

Link to post
Share on other sites

He didn't resign, he "transferred power" to the VP (who wouldn't respond when asked if the power could be transferred back to Mubarak, who is still the "legal" president of Egypt. Both Mubarak and his VP blamed satellite news media for causing the protests, and hinted that the west was paying some of the demonstrators.

 

Demonstrators are furious. A few hundred plopped down in front of the state-run tv station, which has been feeding a stream of lies and propaganda for the past 18 days... and a few hundred are marching to the palace on foot. Don't know if they got by the military checkpoints. No journalist dares venture beyond the safety of the square itself. At any rate, tomorrow is going to be a turning point, I think, one way or the other. All hell is going to break loose.

 

The military is the key. Whichever side they take wins. The losers most likely will get a bloodbath. So sad. ;)

Link to post
Share on other sites

Mubarak is delusional. Giving in little by little has managed to further enrage the protesters, while only convincing them that their eventual success is inevitable. Absent any seriously violent reprisals, they have very little reason to stop now.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm not sure Mubarak is delusional. I'm not convinced this 'insignificant rebellion' is willing/able to close the last ten yards and actually kick him out. I don't think he is sure they are either. Ergo he doesn't need to kill scads of them, just keep them from hitting an explosive level of activity and make his own exit in his own time.

"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.

Link to post
Share on other sites

An Egyptian activist interviewed on BBC World this morning said this was the first time she felt that Mubarak does not understand, is perhaps being sheltered from, the reality of what the protesters want and say. If yesterday's events were planned, then yes, Mubarak is delusional - announcements from the army and changes in editorial policy of state-run media all building up expectations, only to dash them so completely with a patronising speech, and to do this on a Thursday of all days! No, I think there's a power struggle and a lot of internal confusion behind this rather than delusion.

 

I think the protesters are hoping that the army will conclude the easiest way to restore order is remove Mubarak - no bloodletting or international outcry, after all - and it's a reasonable thing to hope for.

 

It's going to be an interesting day.

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

Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, he is an old old man. So being resistant to reality is a given. :)

"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.

Link to post
Share on other sites

As far as dictators go, Mubarek is a failure. He should have learned from Iran. Tsk, tsk.

 

Anyways, may Egyptians gain what they want out of this, and may their country be better.

DWARVES IN PROJECT ETERNITY = VOLOURN HAS PLEDGED $250.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Well, he is an old old man. So being resistant to reality is a given. :sorcerer:

By way of context, Coptic Orthodox Pope Shenouda III is 87, Pope Benedict XVI is 83, Ayatollah Khamenei is 71, King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia is 86, President of Israel Shimon Perez is 87, Mahmoud Abbas is 75, King Abdullah II of Jordan is 49, President of Lebanon Michael Suleiman is 62, President Bashar al-Assad of Syria is 45 (assumed office in 2000), President Jalal Talabani of Iraq is 77, Sultan Qaboos bin Said al Said

of Oman is 70, Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan of the UAE is 63, President Ali Abdullah Saleh of Yemen is 68, and President Omar Hassan Ahmad al-Bashir is 67.

 

So by the standards of Western leaders, yes. By the standards of the rest of the world, not necessarily.

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

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
×
×
  • Create New...