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BS: Middle East Unrest

Keith A of Hertford 28 Jan 11 - 03:42 AM
Ed T 28 Jan 11 - 05:23 AM
Arnie 28 Jan 11 - 05:48 AM
Lox 28 Jan 11 - 05:52 AM
Les in Chorlton 28 Jan 11 - 08:52 AM
Don(Wyziwyg)T 28 Jan 11 - 09:21 AM
pdq 28 Jan 11 - 11:37 AM
bobad 28 Jan 11 - 01:49 PM
Don(Wyziwyg)T 28 Jan 11 - 03:11 PM
GUEST,999 28 Jan 11 - 03:24 PM
GUEST,ifor 28 Jan 11 - 04:05 PM
GUEST,999 28 Jan 11 - 04:20 PM
Don(Wyziwyg)T 28 Jan 11 - 05:20 PM
GUEST,999 28 Jan 11 - 05:33 PM
Bobert 28 Jan 11 - 05:39 PM
Ed T 28 Jan 11 - 06:11 PM
Bobert 28 Jan 11 - 06:29 PM
Ed T 28 Jan 11 - 06:32 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 28 Jan 11 - 08:19 PM
Bobert 28 Jan 11 - 08:35 PM
GUEST,Guest from Sanity 29 Jan 11 - 02:27 AM
Don(Wyziwyg)T 29 Jan 11 - 08:07 AM
Don(Wyziwyg)T 29 Jan 11 - 08:09 AM
Keith A of Hertford 29 Jan 11 - 09:58 AM
GUEST,Wolfgang momentarily without cookie 29 Jan 11 - 11:44 AM
GUEST,Guest from Sanity 29 Jan 11 - 01:43 PM
SINSULL 29 Jan 11 - 02:08 PM
Keith A of Hertford 29 Jan 11 - 02:09 PM
bobad 29 Jan 11 - 05:51 PM
Little Hawk 29 Jan 11 - 06:51 PM
MarkS 29 Jan 11 - 09:41 PM
J-boy 29 Jan 11 - 10:54 PM
GUEST,Guest from Sanity 30 Jan 11 - 12:34 AM
J-boy 30 Jan 11 - 01:11 AM
John on the Sunset Coast 30 Jan 11 - 02:26 AM
GUEST,John from Kemsing 30 Jan 11 - 06:46 AM
Steve Shaw 30 Jan 11 - 08:49 AM
Keith A of Hertford 30 Jan 11 - 09:20 AM
GUEST,999 30 Jan 11 - 09:52 AM
Steve Shaw 30 Jan 11 - 10:04 AM
Keith A of Hertford 30 Jan 11 - 10:26 AM
Steve Shaw 30 Jan 11 - 10:46 AM
Keith A of Hertford 30 Jan 11 - 10:54 AM
John on the Sunset Coast 30 Jan 11 - 11:16 AM
pdq 30 Jan 11 - 01:32 PM
Steve Shaw 30 Jan 11 - 02:32 PM
Steve Shaw 30 Jan 11 - 02:34 PM
Jack the Sailor 30 Jan 11 - 03:20 PM
Steve Shaw 30 Jan 11 - 04:00 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 30 Jan 11 - 05:16 PM
Steve Shaw 30 Jan 11 - 05:53 PM
John on the Sunset Coast 30 Jan 11 - 05:54 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 30 Jan 11 - 09:32 PM
Little Hawk 30 Jan 11 - 11:30 PM
GUEST,bankley 31 Jan 11 - 06:04 AM
Steve Shaw 31 Jan 11 - 07:04 AM
WalkaboutsVerse 31 Jan 11 - 08:44 AM
Ringer 31 Jan 11 - 09:17 AM
Jack the Sailor 31 Jan 11 - 09:38 AM
Steve Shaw 31 Jan 11 - 09:59 AM
Jack Campin 31 Jan 11 - 11:15 AM
Ringer 31 Jan 11 - 11:45 AM
Little Hawk 31 Jan 11 - 12:13 PM
Kweku 31 Jan 11 - 12:30 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 31 Jan 11 - 01:21 PM
GUEST,Guest from Sanity 31 Jan 11 - 01:31 PM
bobad 31 Jan 11 - 01:34 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 31 Jan 11 - 02:57 PM
bobad 31 Jan 11 - 03:28 PM
GUEST,Guest from Sanity 31 Jan 11 - 04:41 PM
GUEST,Guest from Sanity 31 Jan 11 - 04:55 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 31 Jan 11 - 05:12 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 31 Jan 11 - 05:16 PM
GUEST,Guest from Sanity 31 Jan 11 - 05:38 PM
Steve Shaw 31 Jan 11 - 05:47 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 31 Jan 11 - 05:47 PM
GUEST,Guest from Sanity 31 Jan 11 - 07:53 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 31 Jan 11 - 09:19 PM
Peter K (Fionn) 31 Jan 11 - 09:44 PM
GUEST,Guest from Sanity 01 Feb 11 - 12:54 AM
akenaton 01 Feb 11 - 04:56 AM
Steve Shaw 01 Feb 11 - 05:48 AM
bobad 01 Feb 11 - 09:08 AM
Jack the Sailor 01 Feb 11 - 09:28 AM
Little Hawk 01 Feb 11 - 11:34 AM
bobad 01 Feb 11 - 12:57 PM
Little Hawk 01 Feb 11 - 01:14 PM
Jack the Sailor 01 Feb 11 - 01:36 PM
Peter K (Fionn) 01 Feb 11 - 01:52 PM
bobad 01 Feb 11 - 02:17 PM
bobad 01 Feb 11 - 02:30 PM
bobad 01 Feb 11 - 02:33 PM
Jack the Sailor 01 Feb 11 - 03:59 PM
Little Hawk 01 Feb 11 - 04:03 PM
Jack the Sailor 01 Feb 11 - 04:07 PM
Little Hawk 01 Feb 11 - 04:52 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 01 Feb 11 - 05:48 PM
Little Hawk 01 Feb 11 - 06:07 PM
pdq 01 Feb 11 - 06:18 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 01 Feb 11 - 06:52 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 01 Feb 11 - 10:23 PM
Little Hawk 01 Feb 11 - 11:02 PM
GUEST,Patsy 02 Feb 11 - 05:01 AM
Steve Shaw 02 Feb 11 - 05:07 AM
akenaton 02 Feb 11 - 06:37 AM
GUEST,Souma 02 Feb 11 - 08:07 AM
Bobert 02 Feb 11 - 08:15 AM
Neil D 02 Feb 11 - 11:33 AM
bobad 02 Feb 11 - 11:37 AM
Q (Frank Staplin) 02 Feb 11 - 02:28 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 02 Feb 11 - 02:31 PM
Little Hawk 02 Feb 11 - 04:05 PM
Little Hawk 02 Feb 11 - 04:36 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 02 Feb 11 - 10:00 PM
Stringsinger 03 Feb 11 - 06:43 PM
Steve Shaw 03 Feb 11 - 07:58 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 03 Feb 11 - 10:03 PM
Little Hawk 03 Feb 11 - 10:18 PM
akenaton 04 Feb 11 - 05:01 AM
Steve Shaw 04 Feb 11 - 05:22 AM
bobad 04 Feb 11 - 10:07 AM
olddude 04 Feb 11 - 10:27 AM
bobad 04 Feb 11 - 10:45 AM
GUEST,Jim Knowledge 04 Feb 11 - 11:19 AM
akenaton 04 Feb 11 - 02:12 PM
Stringsinger 04 Feb 11 - 05:51 PM
bobad 04 Feb 11 - 08:27 PM
Peter K (Fionn) 11 Feb 11 - 04:54 PM
Dorothy Parshall 12 Feb 11 - 01:57 PM
Peter K (Fionn) 12 Feb 11 - 04:11 PM
MarkS 13 Feb 11 - 02:23 PM
Ed T 14 Feb 11 - 06:30 PM
bobad 19 Feb 11 - 11:00 PM
Lizzie Cornish 1 20 Feb 11 - 03:37 AM
Brian May 20 Feb 11 - 05:35 PM
bobad 20 Feb 11 - 09:12 PM
Bobert 20 Feb 11 - 09:37 PM
bobad 22 Feb 11 - 10:30 AM
Keith A of Hertford 22 Feb 11 - 10:42 AM
GUEST,999 22 Feb 11 - 11:11 AM
bobad 22 Feb 11 - 11:25 AM
bobad 22 Feb 11 - 11:44 AM
GUEST,999 22 Feb 11 - 11:50 AM
bobad 26 Feb 11 - 10:50 AM
bobad 18 Mar 11 - 09:39 PM
robomatic 19 Mar 11 - 06:37 PM
Little Hawk 19 Mar 11 - 06:48 PM
GUEST,number 6 19 Mar 11 - 06:50 PM
bobad 19 Mar 11 - 06:52 PM
Little Hawk 19 Mar 11 - 06:53 PM
GUEST,number 6 19 Mar 11 - 06:55 PM
Little Hawk 19 Mar 11 - 07:09 PM
Steve Shaw 19 Mar 11 - 08:55 PM
bobad 19 Mar 11 - 09:02 PM
Steve Shaw 19 Mar 11 - 09:17 PM
Little Hawk 20 Mar 11 - 10:01 AM
robomatic 20 Mar 11 - 04:24 PM
GUEST,Patsy 21 Mar 11 - 10:26 AM

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Subject: BS: Middle East Unrest
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 28 Jan 11 - 03:42 AM

Unrest in Tunisia, Egypt, Yemen, Jordan, Algeria.
Not about Israel, the West, Unbelievers etc.
They want a more modern (western?) society.
More democracy and freedoms (speech, association, etc.).
All the thing that both Islamic and liberal extremists have told us they do not want.
What is going on?


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Subject: RE: BS: Middle East Unrest
From: Ed T
Date: 28 Jan 11 - 05:23 AM

They want...More democracy and freedoms (speech, association, etc.).
It may be more complex than that, behind the scenes?


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Subject: RE: BS: Middle East Unrest
From: Arnie
Date: 28 Jan 11 - 05:48 AM

All of these countries have a burgeoning youth population with many graduates. Unfortunately there are just not enough jobs to employ these young people and in the past many have moved abroad for work. As the economic recession bites, foreign job markets are closed to these workers and they are stuck at home with no money and no job prospects. They then see the ruling classes living a life of luxury and rewarding their family and cronies with lucrative mining/oil/hotel/airline etc. contracts and generally living off the fat of the land with their villas and yachts whilst doing little to alleviate the unemployment and poverty of the masses. All it needed was a spark to light this tinderbox and that has now been provided by the Tunisians.


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Subject: RE: BS: Middle East Unrest
From: Lox
Date: 28 Jan 11 - 05:52 AM

If generalizations about the political culture in these countries are proving to be inaccurate, then that is no surprise to me.


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Subject: RE: BS: Middle East Unrest
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 28 Jan 11 - 08:52 AM

Am I being too optimistic in thinking these attempts at regime change will be more succesful than Blair and Bush in Iraq?

L in C#


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Subject: RE: BS: Middle East Unrest
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 28 Jan 11 - 09:21 AM

Regarding the title of the thread, Tunisia and Algeria are hardly Middle East countries, being in Northwest Africa. Even Egypt is on the margin of that area.

Call me pedantic................

Don T.


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Subject: RE: BS: Middle East Unrest
From: pdq
Date: 28 Jan 11 - 11:37 AM

I have posted this map several times before, but perhaps some folks here have not seen it:

                                                                                     http://www.arabbay.com/arabmap.htm


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Subject: RE: BS: Middle East Unrest
From: bobad
Date: 28 Jan 11 - 01:49 PM

Dramatic videos of protesters battling police in Egypt today: http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2011/01/video-protesters-clash-police-egypt/


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Subject: RE: BS: Middle East Unrest
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 28 Jan 11 - 03:11 PM

Is it your contention then, pdq, that the "Middle East" is synonymous with "The Arab World"?

A swift look at the bigger picture shows most of Algeria, and all of Morocco and Mauretania actually West of the UK, and all Tunisia and most of Libya due South of Western Europe.

As I understand it the "Middle East" usually refers to those countries in the area of the old Persian Empire, bounded East to West by Pakistan (in fact all the stans) and Egypt, and North to South by Turkey and the Arabian Gulf.

The Arab World is a considerably larger expanse, and I see considerable cultural difference between the Middle East part and the Western extremities.

Of course, if those Western countries are officially part of what the Foreign Office designates as "The Middle East" then I am obviously misinformed.

Does anybody here know whether this is the case?

Don T.


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Subject: RE: BS: Middle East Unrest
From: GUEST,999
Date: 28 Jan 11 - 03:24 PM

Don, I googled    countries of the middle east

This is what came up:

Middle East Map, Map of Middle East, Turkey, Iraq, Dubai Map ...


Description

The Middle East (or West Asia) sits where Africa, Asia and Europe meet. The countries of the Middle East are all part of Asia, but for clarity reasons we geographically show them here as a separate landmass.

Opinions vary as to what countries make up the modern definition of the Middle East. Historically, Armenia and Azerbaijan have been long associated with the Middle East, but in recent years, some sources now consider them to be more closely aligned with Europe based on their modern economic and political trends. We have moved in that direction, and the same applies for the island country of Cyprus, as it does for Georgia, the former Russian republic.

The African country of Egypt is still thought (by some) to be in the Middle East, as well as the northern African countries that border the Mediterranean Sea.

Here we attempt to show the modern definition of the Middle East, but in world of geography, there are often many answers or (personal or political opinions) to what appears to be a simple question.


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Subject: RE: BS: Middle East Unrest
From: GUEST,ifor
Date: 28 Jan 11 - 04:05 PM

I can't wait for Mubarak and his gang to fly off to Saudi Arabia.

I believe it is neo liberal politics which lie at the heart of the popular revolutions which have broken out.

For decades a tiny minority backed by the USA and other western governments, have robbed, exploited, pauperised and terrorised the working class and peasant populations of Egypt, Tunisia and much of the region.

Now they are getting their comeuppance!

The road to the liberation of Gaza, Jerusalem and the West Bank of occupied Palestine runs through the Arab Street.
Ifor


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Subject: RE: BS: Middle East Unrest
From: GUEST,999
Date: 28 Jan 11 - 04:20 PM

Don your question prompted me to do a search for the countries of North America. Wow!


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Subject: RE: BS: Middle East Unrest
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 28 Jan 11 - 05:20 PM

Unbe-bloody-lievable isn't it?

Don T.


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Subject: RE: BS: Middle East Unrest
From: GUEST,999
Date: 28 Jan 11 - 05:33 PM

Yeah.

Hey, great to see you posting.


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Subject: RE: BS: Middle East Unrest
From: Bobert
Date: 28 Jan 11 - 05:39 PM

This is all about a lack of "opportunity" and not much else... I mean, why have educated people if there are no jobs for them... We have the same problem here in the US and we, like the countries that are coming apart, have major income disparity...

I hope that anti-union Boss Hog is paying close attention... This ***can*** and will occur in the US if we don't correct the income imbalance..

B~


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Subject: RE: BS: Middle East Unrest
From: Ed T
Date: 28 Jan 11 - 06:11 PM

I would not necessarily count on " more democracy and freedoms" There are many forces in play when dissent shows its face, especially in the middle east.

BTW, oil and gold prices are already showing signs of a rise-directly related to these actions.


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Subject: RE: BS: Middle East Unrest
From: Bobert
Date: 28 Jan 11 - 06:29 PM

Reasonable people are the same everywhere... They just want a decent job so they can support their families... Is that asking too much... And if democracy come with it then fine... Not alot of democracy in Kuwait but everyone seems perfectly happy because they are have decent paying jobs and that is really the crux of all of this...

We have a world wide problem of super rich and everyone else scrambling for crumbs...

B~


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Subject: RE: BS: Middle East Unrest
From: Ed T
Date: 28 Jan 11 - 06:32 PM

""We have a world wide problem of super rich and everyone else scrambling for crumbs""

And, it exists under many forms of government, not only democracy.


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Subject: RE: BS: Middle East Unrest
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 28 Jan 11 - 08:19 PM

Basic foods (rice, wheat, corn, etc.) up 1/3 in price in the last few months and more than that if one tacks on a few years. Fuel for cooking and transportation up similarly.
Few jobs for a growing young population, out of work.
These are the driving factors.
Of course more freedoms would be nice but a full stomach comes first.

Keith A. may be deficient in geographical knowledge, but will some of the Middle East follow in the months to come?


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Subject: RE: BS: Middle East Unrest
From: Bobert
Date: 28 Jan 11 - 08:35 PM

Well said, Q...


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Subject: RE: BS: Middle East Unrest
From: GUEST,Guest from Sanity
Date: 29 Jan 11 - 02:27 AM

Don T: "..."Call me pedantic................"

Ok...You're pedantic!
Happy now?

GfS


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Subject: RE: BS: Middle East Unrest
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 29 Jan 11 - 08:07 AM

Cogent and pertinent comment as usual.....NOT!

Still on form GfS.

Don T.


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Subject: RE: BS: Middle East Unrest
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 29 Jan 11 - 08:09 AM

""Hey, great to see you posting.""

Thanks mate.

Itll take a lot more than a heart attack to shut me up.

Don T.


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Subject: RE: BS: Middle East Unrest
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 29 Jan 11 - 09:58 AM

We have seen very little criticism of these clearly hated regimes on Mudcat, compared with, for example, Israel.


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Subject: RE: BS: Middle East Unrest
From: GUEST,Wolfgang momentarily without cookie
Date: 29 Jan 11 - 11:44 AM

most of Algeria, and all of Morocco and Mauretania actually West of the UK (Don)

All three statements are simply wrong as a swift look at the bigger picture shows.

As for "Middle East", the traditional definition only includes Egypt (of the African countries, the "G8 definition of the Greater Middle East" includes all of Arab North Africa.

Don, a hint: the meridian lines in your atlas may be curved. so if you take a ruler parallel to the side of the atlas to determine "West of" you may come to a wrong conclusion.

Wolfgang (who once has claimed in Mudcat that the Faroes are West of Ireland and had to be corrected by McGrath)


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Subject: RE: BS: Middle East Unrest
From: GUEST,Guest from Sanity
Date: 29 Jan 11 - 01:43 PM

Hats off to you Keith, you nailed it!..also, notice how few posts on this thread, as compared to the more trivial topics!..and yet, this is HUGE!
Small things amuse small minds.

GfS


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Subject: RE: BS: Middle East Unrest
From: SINSULL
Date: 29 Jan 11 - 02:08 PM

I have been toying with an idea - what if the internet allowed impoverished people all over the world to unite and force a fairer distribution of wealth and resources?
Fifty years ago, I would have laughed at the concept. Now, poverty doesn't necessarily mean illiteracy. Put poverty, literacy, and the ability to communicate together and...
The world would turn upside down, at least for a while. I am not suggesting that this is a goal I would pursue just musing over the possibility.
We here in the US would probably lose the most. We have had it for so long.
Mary


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Subject: RE: BS: Middle East Unrest
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 29 Jan 11 - 02:09 PM

And if you discount the anoraks pondering exact geo-political definitions, even fewer!


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Subject: RE: BS: Middle East Unrest
From: bobad
Date: 29 Jan 11 - 05:51 PM

It appears that the unrest is spreading to Algeria http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2011/01/thousands-algeria-protest-march-organisers/ and Jordan http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2011/01/jordanians-rally-corruption-poverty/.


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Subject: RE: BS: Middle East Unrest
From: Little Hawk
Date: 29 Jan 11 - 06:51 PM

I'd been wondering when this was going to happen, and now it is finally happening. You can only keep the lid on the pressure cooker just so long. I think the Muslim world is about ready for the sort of massive social and political changes that were seen in the Soviet Union and the Warsaw Pact starting in 1989.


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Subject: RE: BS: Middle East Unrest
From: MarkS
Date: 29 Jan 11 - 09:41 PM

Egypt and Yemen on opposite ends of the Suez, which passes most of the Saudi oil going to Europe. Just speculating, but wonder what would happen to energy prices in Europe in the event Egypt and Yemen fall and are taken over by the Muslim Brotherhood, who appear to be waiting in the wings with Iranian help.


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Subject: RE: BS: Middle East Unrest
From: J-boy
Date: 29 Jan 11 - 10:54 PM

Unrest in the Middle East? What is the world coming to?


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Subject: RE: BS: Middle East Unrest
From: GUEST,Guest from Sanity
Date: 30 Jan 11 - 12:34 AM

From another friend and a guy I mixed sound for in Santa Fe. Listen closer!


How things just don't change...except the names.....

Regards,

GfS


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Subject: RE: BS: Middle East Unrest
From: J-boy
Date: 30 Jan 11 - 01:11 AM

Whoa! That is some heavy shit man. I won't get much sleep tonight. Great song and video.


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Subject: RE: BS: Middle East Unrest
From: John on the Sunset Coast
Date: 30 Jan 11 - 02:26 AM

Let me try to clarify what is the Middle East as this was my specialty as a history major many, many moons ago (575 and counting).

Historically the Middle or Near East has been the area between the Persian gulf and the Mediterranean Sea, that is modern day Iran and Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Israel, and whatever will be Palestine; also Saudi Arabia, Yemen, and the Emirates. Additionally, part of Armenia and Eastern Turkey are generally included. (Western Turkey was largely influenced by Greece in ancient times...Troy, Lydia, Phrygia, et.al.) Egypt was generally considered apart from the Middle East, though often included, often, when the term Near East is used, owing to its intensive interaction with the Hittites, Syro-Palestine city-states and Assyria.

Northern Africa, except Egypt as noted, has never been considered part of either the Middle or Near East, and I don't think it is even today, notwithstanding the map linked above. That is a map of the Arab League, but is more accurately The Muslim League, as many of those countries are not Arab, and don't have Arabic as the national language. Several of countries are officially "The Islamic Republic of", for instance, Mauritania, which is only only partially Arab. Comoros (or Comoro Islands) is not at all Arab. However, The Arab League calls itself what it calls itself, and I guess that's it's right.


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Subject: RE: BS: Middle East Unrest
From: GUEST,John from Kemsing
Date: 30 Jan 11 - 06:46 AM

Any country that plasters its` buildings, monuments, lamposts, walls, etc. with pictures of the "leader", you know it is a "wrongun". If the images of Mubarrak which are being torn down are replaced with those of next lot thaen you also know you have not made any progress.


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Subject: RE: BS: Middle East Unrest
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 30 Jan 11 - 08:49 AM

Mubarak's stinking regime has prevailed for the same reason that most other right-wing dictatorships have prevailed. All you have to do is get into bed with the West. They give you money (and don't ask awkward questions about what you do with it) and use their intelligence services to undermine your opponents. What the west desperately needs in the region, and what it has bought for itself with Egypt, is a large, compliant, populous Arab state that will not oppose Israel. Believe me, there is no appetite in the west for regime change in Egypt. Mubarak is a friend of the west and it doesn't matter what else he does as far as we're concerned. You won't be hearing calls from western leaders for free and fair elections, just simpering pleas for there to be no violence on the part of the regime. When Dubya called for freedom and democracy he only meant in states that were a bit unfriendly. He didn't call for it in Saudi Arabia who are such good economic allies or in Iraq when we were arming Saddam to the teeth against Iran even when we knew he was gassing Kurds. Egypt is just another sorry upshot of inept and wrong-headed western foreign policy. I dread to think what will happen there if there's a political vacuum once Mubarak goes. I don't see a saviour on the horizon.


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Subject: RE: BS: Middle East Unrest
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 30 Jan 11 - 09:20 AM

(CNN) -- Several Western powers banded together Saturday in urging Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak to do all he can to prevent bloodshed and speedily fulfill his promises of reform.

The heads of England, France and Germany joined their counterpart in the United States on Saturday in calling on Egypt's leader to institute substantive policy changes in short order as well as new, open elections.


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Subject: RE: BS: Middle East Unrest
From: GUEST,999
Date: 30 Jan 11 - 09:52 AM

Interesting that the internet was closed and so were cell phones. Kinda gives a guy some stuff to think about.

Couldn`t happen here though.


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Subject: RE: BS: Middle East Unrest
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 30 Jan 11 - 10:04 AM

There isn't a "head of England." Did any of these heads explain why they have waited until serious trouble welled up before making their "calls?" Why they've sat out the Sadat/Mubarak decades without making such calls? Did they say anything about sanctions if democracy wasn't forthcoming? You know damn well that what they want is for there to be no trouble in Egypt. Preferably, infinitely preferably, under Mubarak.


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Subject: RE: BS: Middle East Unrest
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 30 Jan 11 - 10:26 AM

"You won't be hearing calls from western leaders for free and fair elections, "


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Subject: RE: BS: Middle East Unrest
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 30 Jan 11 - 10:46 AM

Point taken, Keith, but you and I both know that democracy in Egypt is way down the list of western priorities. Otherwise we'd have been calling for it for decades instead of letting Sadat and Mubarak get away with corruption and repression for decades and saying next to nothing by way of criticism. As long as the army can quell the uprising and Mubarak can stay at the helm you won't be seeing any western arm-twisting for free and fair elections. They just say what they think they have to be heard saying.


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Subject: RE: BS: Middle East Unrest
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 30 Jan 11 - 10:54 AM

True Steve.
The regime will most likely fall.
I think the West would truly prefer a democracy to the other very likely possibilities.


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Subject: RE: BS: Middle East Unrest
From: John on the Sunset Coast
Date: 30 Jan 11 - 11:16 AM

Last evening the missus and I had dinner at a Lebanese restaurant, and were served by an immigrant from Egypt. He, a Copt, has been in contact with his family in a smallish city in Upper Egypt (the south) near Aswan.

Communications to that area, unlike Cairo, was still open as of 6pm, Los Angeles time while we were eating. His family had not been affected directly by the turmoil in the capitol. While he was very circumspect in his answers to our questions about the current unrest, it was clear that he was not a fan of the current government, but was wary of what would replace the Mubarack regime.


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Subject: RE: BS: Middle East Unrest
From: pdq
Date: 30 Jan 11 - 01:32 PM

"You won't be hearing calls from western leaders for free and fair elections, "

Well guess what Hillary Clinton, in her position of U.S. Secretary of State, just demanded of the Mubarak government? Yes, "free and fair elections", as if they have ever had such things in the past..


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Subject: RE: BS: Middle East Unrest
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 30 Jan 11 - 02:32 PM

Yes, I acknowledge that, but my point is that it was said in a very pusillanimous manner, she couldn't not say it, and it really isn't the top priority for the west, is it? What Hillary & co. really want to see is all this trouble dying down and normal business to be resumed, no applecarts upset. That way there's one less regime in the region which is going to make a fuss about Israel. Which is what out interference in the region is all about, no?


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Subject: RE: BS: Middle East Unrest
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 30 Jan 11 - 02:34 PM

our


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Subject: RE: BS: Middle East Unrest
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 30 Jan 11 - 03:20 PM

A "Christian" on another forum said that only the Jews belong in Israel that the rest were "Arabs" and therefor should go back to Arabia.

Are the Egyptians Arabs? What happened to the people who were there with an ancient culture? Were the Babylonians exterminated? I don't think so. I think they learned Arabic and perhaps intermixed but there are families in those lands long before the Arabs came who are still there.

Calling them "Arab" is like calling everyone who lives in the commonwealth and the United States of America "English" and calling that the English world.


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Subject: RE: BS: Middle East Unrest
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 30 Jan 11 - 04:00 PM

You could do worse than look up "Arab." Most of the population of Egypt would appear to fit the bill. It's a good job we don't send everyone back to the places their supposed native ethnicity is to be found. There wouldn't be too many white guys in the US for a start. Anyway, enough of this sidetrack.


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Subject: RE: BS: Middle East Unrest
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 30 Jan 11 - 05:16 PM

MarkS, comment on oil.
The speculators on oil futures have driven the price up to about 99/bbl, last figure I found. We will see what it is Monday when the U.S. and European future speculators are fully into the market. I don't expect the price to keep this spike for long.
Saudi Aramco is exporting about 3.5 million bbl/day.
(Russia temporarily the biggest exporter, but the OPEC quotas keep their exports under control, at least partially).
I don't think the EU-U.S. would allow a closure of the sea routes.
(A lot of thinks here- I lack a crystal ball).

Egypt (as mentioned above by Jack the Sailor) is a heady mix of peoples from farther east, Europe (many Greeks, Romans-Italians, Mediterranean peoples, etc.) and native Egyptians. They are united in business in the cities.
The fellahs in the fields are kept under control by the big produce buyers (will these farmer-serfs join the uprising? -some of the big food buyers have departed with their families, but I think not). Some of Egypt's produce is exported; it is needed in Egypt to help control prices in town and city markets.
The young protesters are being joined by the ordinary business people, an important step if the old regime is to be forced out, as Egyptians hope it will be. So far, the army has moved to grab looters and protect property. Will they stay with Mubarek?

The U.S. provides $1.3 billion yearly to the armed forces. If the U.S> forced Egypt to use future payments for commodities, fuel and other needs of the people, a largely useless military (on the world scene) could be frozen in size.

As also mentioned, the U. S. and EU want stability- their first reaction is to support Mubarek provided he makes sufficient changes to quell the uprising. If that fails, they may support El Baradei, although his party is small at present. I doubt intervention.

The Muslim Brotherhood has been outlawed for some time- I think that the ordinary people are too far modernized in education and liberal ways for Islamists to take control as they seem to have farther east.

Closure of the Aljazeera news broadcasts in Egypt may be a mistake. This broadcast group, in the last few years, is a voice of moderation, with European, North American and Asian staff in addition to Arab (head office, Doha). They provide a good supplement to U.S.-BBC news sources.
Cell phones, etc. seem able to keep the people informed.

Just some of my thoughts; I don't expect anyone to agree.


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Subject: RE: BS: Middle East Unrest
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 30 Jan 11 - 05:53 PM

Good post, Q. It seems to me that the protesters are more or less confined to big urban areas. A Beeb report tonight strongly suggested that rural workers are on Mubarak's side. This has now been going on for too many days for me to think that any apocalyptic change is afoot. We're getting all these platitudes from minnows such as Hillary about the "need for peaceful reform" etc., but just watch all such calls die down as soon as Mubarak is seen to still be in control.


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Subject: RE: BS: Middle East Unrest
From: John on the Sunset Coast
Date: 30 Jan 11 - 05:54 PM

A talk show host from Washington (the State of), whom my wife characterizes as Conservative, said on his show today that the Egyptian Army owns (his words) factories and businesses there. He I check a few pages of google to see if this is true, but came up empty. I could understand individual soldiers or officers possibly owning or running businesses, but army owned...?

I tried to google this, but came up empty; anybody know if it's true?


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Subject: RE: BS: Middle East Unrest
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 30 Jan 11 - 09:32 PM

John on S C.
The officers of the Egyptian military are members of the educated class, at least in part. Something of a tradition from the days when the British ran the upper levels of the government. I wouldn't be surprised if the families controlled some businesses.
(They want stability, but does this necessarily mean support for Mubarek? They could be seeing the handwriting on the wall. Dunno).

Why do so many left-leaners take it out on Hillary? She doesn't make policy; Obama and his advisors do that and she carries it out. Of course if she had been nominated in the primary and won, then she would be responsible. Obama seems to be following the path set down by Bush and his predecessors. Listen to Obama's comments on the situation.
Background-
The U. S. started paying Egypt $2 billion/year starting in 1979 and Obama and Congress have done nothing to change the balance from 65 percent to the military to something better for the people. Only $35 million of that goes toward education.
A detailed study, from Congressional Research Service, prepared for Members and Committees of Congress, by Jeremy M. Sharp: Egypt: Background and U. S. Relations.
http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/mideast/RL33003.pdf


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Subject: RE: BS: Middle East Unrest
From: Little Hawk
Date: 30 Jan 11 - 11:30 PM

Here's a very interesting article by Eric Margolis about the recent unrest in Tunisia, which preceded and no doubt inspired the mass protests in Egypt. Margolis, as usual, goes straight to the heart of the matter and he correctly anticipates the events in Egypt. He published this column on Jan 17. It is now January 30th, and what he foresaw happening in Egypt has come to pass and it may soon be imitated elsewhere in the Arab world. What we are really seeing is mass popular uprisings against foreign rule of Muslim lands by the USA, France, and the UK through client governments, force of arms, and western-backed dictators....rather comparable in a way to how Russia once ruled the Warsaw Pact through its client governments, force of arms, and Russian-backed dictators.

It's long overdue.

BIG TROUBLE IN TUNISIA FOR AMERICA'S MIDEAST RAJ
January 17, 2011

Oops! Something has gone terribly wrong with Washington's plans for regime change in the Mideast. Wasn't there supposed to be a US and British engineered revolution against Iran's mullahs, followed by installation of a cooperative pro-western government and a bonanza for western oil companies?
The revolution came, all right, but in the wrong place. The explosion of popular fury in Tunisia that ousted its dictator of 23-years is sending shock waves across the Arab world and has alarm bells ringing in Washington.

Pay no attention to President Barack Obama's pious bromides welcoming the revolution in Tunisia.   The US, France and their Arab satraps are deeply worried that Tunisia's popular revolution could spark similar uprising against the dictatorships or monarchies in other members of America's Mideast Raj, notably Egypt.   

It has come to light that Tunisia's ruling elite had dinners and wine flown in from Paris at government expense for lavish parties in their beachside villas. Shades of the Iranian revolution, when women of the ruling elite in Tehran used to send their dirty laundry to Paris for hand washing, or fly to Paris to have their hair done for a soiree.

In a zesty bit of irony totally lost on the US media, just as a people's revolution was ousting Tunisia's brutal US-backed regime, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was in Qatar piously lecturing local oil monarchs on good government and the need to promote democracy.

Tunisia has not had much strategic importance since Carthage – whose ruins and great war harbor lie in a residential suburb of Tunis – fought Rome in the three Punic Wars. During World War II's North Africa campaign, Tunisia was battled over by the British, Germans and Italians.

Since then, little Tunisia has been a backwater, known mainly for sunshine, cheap beach vacations, and as a refuge for Italian crooks.

In 1957, Tunisia "gained" independence from former colonial master, France. But it was a sham independence. The French put their own stooge, Habib Bourguiba, in power, who ran the country for France.

After Bourguiba went senile in 1987, the army commander, General Zine Ben Ali, overthrew him and seized power with the blessing of Paris. Ben Ali as ruled with an iron first for the ensuing 23 years.

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.

Tunisia closely resembled other Arab non-oil states in having very high unemployment, social and intellectual stagnation, lack of free speech or expression, and no hope for the future unless one had links to the rapacious, self-serving, western-backed ruling oligarchy. On top of this, in most Arab states, over 60% of the population is under 25.

Gen. Ali's extended family and business cronies followed a pattern of malfeasance, nepotism and plundering public assets common to most Arab nations.   In the Mideast, such oligarchies are commonly called "mafias."   Their secret police are notorious for torture, murder, mass arrests and sadism. Arab armies are designed to cow their people, not protect the nation's borders.

After the Bush and Obama administrations felt obliged to make a token appeal to their Arab clients for the appearance of at least sham democracy, General Ali obliged by winning his most recent rigged election in 2009 by "only" a razor-thin 89% victory, rather than his usual 94% or 95% win.

Tunisians are known as an easy-going, even-tempered people. US and French aid was supposed to keep a lid on the country and defuse popular unrest.   So just about everyone was caught by surprise when Tunisia went critical.

In a heart-warming finale to Gen. Ben Ali's brutal dictatorship, he fled to France seeking asylum. France's president, Nicholas Sarkozy, showing remarkable ingratitude even for this notorious ingrate,   refused this faithful, long-time French servant refuge. Two other former western plantation overseers who were dying of cancer, Congo's late Gen. Mobutu and the ousted Shah of Iran, were similarly refused refuge by their American patrons.   

As of this writing, Tunisia is in turmoil.   There may be a military takeover, which would greatly please Washington, Paris and Cairo, or further convulsions.

The leader of the most important Islamic-oriented party that was outlawed, Rashid Gannouchi (not to be confused with the current figurehead prime minister of the same name), is due to return and is calling for genuine democratic elections.   His party, Nahda, would likely win any free elections. So would Islamist parties in every other Arab country, if the west ever allowed them to hold free elections, which it won't.

In the only two cases in modern Arab history where truly honest elections were held, moderate Islamists won in Algeria, and the Hamas movement won in Gaza.   The Algerian army, backed by Paris and Washington, crushed the election and imposed martial law. After Hamas won the Palestinian election, the US, Israel and Egypt locked up Hamas under siege in Gaza and sought to overthrow it using Palestinian mercenaries.   

Mainstream Islamist parties in the Mideast have nothing to do with al-Qaida (which barely exists any more) or anti-Western programs. Their primary concern is getting rid of the western-backed oligarchies that keep the Muslim world backwards and in thrall. Their platform is sharing resource wealth, social welfare, education, uprooting thieving oligarchies and fighting endemic corruption.

The big question now is will Tunisia's dramatic events be a harbinger of other explosions across the volatile Arab world?    All eyes are on Egypt, the home of a third of all Arabs. Egypt's 83-year old military ruler, Husni Mubarak, is a giant version of Tunisia's Gen. Ben Ali.

Mubarak was engineered into power by the US after the killing of longtime CIA "asset" Anwar Sadat. Gen. Mubarak and has ruled Egypt like a modern-day pharaoh ever since, crushing both violent extremist and legitimate political opposition.   Mubarak's rigged elections, winked at by Washington, are every bit as egregious as Tunisia's.   

So could the flames of Tunisia's revolution spread to Egypt?   Mubarak's regime is tottering. Egyptians are as restive and disgusted as their Tunisian neighbors. Egyptians, too, are a famously passive, amiable lot, but Egypt's repression, grinding poverty and rapacious western-aligned elite have enraged most ordinary people.

Tunisia's neighbors Libya, Algeria and Morocco are similarly unstable and racked by unemployment, a high birth rate, and ferocious repression by their regimes.   Col. Khadaffi's oil-rich Libya is particularly fertile ground for a major convulsion after five decades of eccentric government.

All these authoritarian regimes have crushed opposition, leaving only underground revolutionaries to replace them when revolution inevitably comes.   Islamists will be the last men standing. By encouraging repression and thwarting the emergence of democracy in the Arab world, the US has sown the dragon's teeth of further violence and rises.

We are now seeing what the "stability" and "moderation" so beloved of Washington in the Arab world really brings.   The mighty American Raj is built on such euphemisms that really mean dictatorship, corruption, torture, and subservience.   

If Washington really wants to foster the democracy that it preaches, then it should help Tunisia's people create a truly democratic government rather than engineering yet another cooperative general and his grasping family into power as it has done so often since the 1950's.


copyright Eric S. Margolis 2011


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Subject: RE: BS: Middle East Unrest
From: GUEST,bankley
Date: 31 Jan 11 - 06:04 AM

good article LH... Eric can see the unravelling

my quote of the early day :
"When the pot starts to boil, dick-taters get nervous"


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Subject: RE: BS: Middle East Unrest
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 31 Jan 11 - 07:04 AM

And poor Israel, that bastion of "democracy" in the region (ask any Gazan about that), is getting its knickers in a twist over what's going on in Egypt. Ha bloody ha.

As US and EU leaders urge Egypt to reform in face of popular uprising, Israel voices support for Mubarak's government. Israel has called on the United States and Europe to curb their criticism of president Hosni Mubarak "in a bid to preserve stability in Egypt" and the wider Middle East, an Israeli newspaper reports. The Israeli daily Haaretz reported on Monday that the foreign ministry, in an urgent special cable, instructed its ambassadors to key countries, to "stress ... the importance of Egypt's stability". Increasingly, president Mubarak has been isolated by swift and at times harsh criticism from Western leaders who called for reform. It is unclear how angry Egyptians will interpret Israel's apparent support for their government.

The protests in Egypt have reportedly thrown the Israeli government into turmoil, with military officials holding lengthy strategy sessions, assessing possible scenarios of a post-Mubarak Egypt. Binyamin Netanyahu, Israel's prime minister, said on Sunday that his government is "anxiously monitoring" the political unrest in Egypt, his first comment on the crisis threatening a government that has been one of Israel's key allies for more than 30 years. Israeli officials have remained largely silent about the situation in Egypt, but have made clear that preserving the historic 1979 peace agreement with the biggest Arab nation is a paramount interest. The peace deal, cool but stable, turned Israel's most potent regional enemy into a crucial partner, provided security on one of its borders and allowed it to significantly reduce the size of its army and defence budget.


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Subject: RE: BS: Middle East Unrest
From: WalkaboutsVerse
Date: 31 Jan 11 - 08:44 AM

These events have made it clear that, over the last few decades, what leaders of countries like the U.S.A. and the U.K. have really cared about/supported is free-market capitalism NOT democracy, as I published in 2003 - Even After Lincoln, Steinbeck, and King


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Subject: RE: BS: Middle East Unrest
From: Ringer
Date: 31 Jan 11 - 09:17 AM

"...Israel, that bastion of "democracy" in the region (ask any Gazan about that)"

Why would you ask "any Gazan" about Israel's democracy? Would you ask any Canadian about America's, or any Frenchman about Germany's?


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Subject: RE: BS: Middle East Unrest
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 31 Jan 11 - 09:38 AM

>>"...Israel, that bastion of "democracy" in the region (ask any Gazan about that)"

Why would you ask "any Gazan" about Israel's democracy? Would you ask any Canadian about America's, or any Frenchman about Germany's<<<

Gaza is not a country like Canada or France. It is a part of the disputed territory once known as Palestine.


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Subject: RE: BS: Middle East Unrest
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 31 Jan 11 - 09:59 AM

Why would you ask "any Gazan" about Israel's democracy? Would you ask any Canadian about America's, or any Frenchman about Germany's?

Oh, fer chrissake. Gaza has been occupied (illegally), repressed, shat on, bulldozed, bombed straight to hell and blockaded to near-starvation by that "democracy" next door, with a little help from its friends in the west of course. That's why you should ask them. Or try any other Palestinian under occupation. What's your point exactly?


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Subject: RE: BS: Middle East Unrest
From: Jack Campin
Date: 31 Jan 11 - 11:15 AM

Meanwhile from Egypt:

Press release from Cageprisoners
31 January 2011

PRESS RELEASE: Prisoners in Egypt's Tora Istiqbaal prison under attack by security agencies


Cageprisoners has received news from the Tora Istiqbaal prison complex just outside Cairo, Egypt that hundreds of prisoners are being attacked by the security forces in a pre-emptive action taken against political inmates.

In a phone call to Cageprisoners Director, Moazzam Begg, from inside the prison wing - which houses over a hundred men - sounds of screaming, shouting and banging could be heard as one man, a close relative of a former Guantanamo detainee, described the scene:

"They have entered the prison complex armed and are trying to provoke us into confrontation. I think they want to hurt us badly – or even kill us. They want to exact revenge from us because of what is happening outside, the tyrants we struggled against are about to fall. We have bared our chests and are prepared for the worst they can throw at us, but we want the world to know what is happening here so they are under no illusions about what is happening in our country. We will not allow them to enter. We have risen. Allah is with us."


Several prisoners have already been reported killed by security services during clashes yesterday at Abu Zaabal prison and it is feared that a similar fate awaits the inmates of Tora Istiqbaal.

The Egyptian Government has a notorious record of torture and carrying out summary trials against opposition organisations – particularly in relation to Islamic groups.


This week both US and UK foreign ministers expressed displeasure at the prospect of Islamist opposition taking power in Egypt. Whilst accepting that the west had no business in trying to appoint the leadership of the country William Hague added: "We would not want to see a government based on the Muslim Brotherhood."

The situation at the Tora Istiqbaal prison is at critical level and many more lives could be lost unless a firm message is sent to the Egyptian leadership.

Cageprisoners calls on the Governments of the US and UK to stop using language that endangers the lives of the oppositions groups in Egypt and on what's left of the Egyptian regime to abstain from further harming its own citizens.


(From the mailing list of Scotland Against Criminalizing Communities, sacc.org.uk)


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Subject: RE: BS: Middle East Unrest
From: Ringer
Date: 31 Jan 11 - 11:45 AM

"Gaza is not a country like Canada or France. It is a part of the disputed territory once known as Palestine."

But Israel is a country, Jack. To coin a phrase, what's your point exactly?.

My point, Steve Shaw, is that Gaza is not part of Israel, therefore what Gazans think about Israel's democracy is of little importance. Also that Israel's actions do affect that he is a democracy.


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Subject: RE: BS: Middle East Unrest
From: Little Hawk
Date: 31 Jan 11 - 12:13 PM

A democracy, technically speaking, is a place where the majority of the people get to decide on policy.

Given that, I don't think we actually have a single real democracy in the entire world today...though we do have a great number of places pretending to be real democracies.

What happens in those places is that a very small and wealthy power elite controls all the main political parties, and the mass media outlets, and the police, and the government and armed forces....by the power of their money...and through the inter-personal connections long established in that wealthy power elite. The elite holds "elections" at regular intervals, and the public goes out and rubber stamps some of the pre-picked candidates that the elite has selected, funded, and publicized through the media.

The candidates, once elected, do exactly what the wealthy elite has put them there to do. That is, they serve the interests of that same elite. If the elite has created a massive public debt that threatens to break the economy of the nation, then the elected candidates bail the elite out and they pass the bill on to the general public in the form of further national debt.

And the game goes on.

That is not a true democracy. It's an oligarchy of special interests.


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Subject: RE: BS: Middle East Unrest
From: Kweku
Date: 31 Jan 11 - 12:30 PM

"Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says he fears that what happened in Iran could happen in Egypt, according to the Reuters news agency. In 1979, the US-supported Shah of Iran was toppled in a popular revolt led by Ayatollah Khomeini, who went on to found an Islamic republic." (BBC)

Obama and the rest of the western leaders should stop that coded diplomatic language and tell Mubarak in the face to step down. All the people want is fresh leadership with fresh ideas even if it means same economic conditions. Are they waiting for the Islamic Fundamentalists to convince the people that the West is never a friend of the Arabs before they learn.

Democracy is sweeping across the globe and everybody wants a share in it, this is just a continuation of the fall of the Berlin Wall and Western leaders must support it for true democracy to be enshrined.


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Subject: RE: BS: Middle East Unrest
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 31 Jan 11 - 01:21 PM

U. S. military aid to Jordan, 2010, approx, $850 million in Congressional approvals.
In all, over $7 billion in 2010 to the Middle east.

Israel receives approx. $3 billion (but there are other payments- I can't winkle them out without a lot of work.

I will go one step farther than Steve Shaw (with whom I often disagree) on the Israel-'Palestine' situation. Israel has no intention of ever allowing the Palestinian people a free territory. They will keep to the program of a step here, a step back there, temporarily temporizing on this and that, but never coming to a recognition of a free Palestinian territory.

The 'leaks' of talking points show that Israel wishes to remove any Palestinian 'Arabs' from their country; the aim being a theocratic country.

Figures above from Congressional Research Service, "U. S. Foreign Assistance to the Middle east, .....", Jeremy M. Sharp.
Although from a completely U. S. government point of view, there is much interesting material in the article.
http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/mideast/RL32260.pdf


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Subject: RE: BS: Middle East Unrest
From: GUEST,Guest from Sanity
Date: 31 Jan 11 - 01:31 PM

Little Hawk is quite correct, in his regards to 'Democracy'...then someone posted that 'they won't shut off the internet here'...even thought Obama has been pushing for the 'off switch' for the internet??...and 'Health Care' in its present form, was passed AGAINST the will of the majority of our 'Democracy'?....Jeez, sounds like Egypt...How'd that happen??

What is happening is this, and make no mistake..as America drops deeper into debt, those places in the world which negotiated 'peace' with a price tag attached, such as the Camp David Accords, where Israel and Egypt have a truce and we assured Egypt military aid at 1.5 to 3 BILLION dollars(the figures vary depending on the reports), the enemies of the United States, are kicking the legs out of our allies, who are relying on that aid to maintain 'Peace'....therefore, wearing us down a 'cut at a time'....Meanwhile, our local morons keep asking for MORE spending, and are being obliged by corrupt 'Representatives' who have a profit to make...and while this present administration rifles the Treasury, and beyond, way into the future. All China, Saudi Arabia and others have to do is 'call in their debt, and its all over. By the way, have you noticed how in the news, and in conversations that people are more concerned about a particular politicians 'career' that whether or not the are voting the will of the people they claim to represent???..Then, they work the spin, after the fact, to get you to swallow the bullshit??????

J-Boy, Glad you dug the video....it IS a lot more dialed in than the 'politically correct crowd' would ever allow themselves to admit..even though, it SHOULD scare the shit out of them!

GfS


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Subject: RE: BS: Middle East Unrest
From: bobad
Date: 31 Jan 11 - 01:34 PM

"The 'leaks' of talking points show that Israel wishes to remove any Palestinian 'Arabs' from their country; the aim being a theocratic country."

You mean like the Arab countries that dispelled and dispossessed the Jews?

Oh, and it would be appreciated if you could provide a link to those talking points of which you speak.


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Subject: RE: BS: Middle East Unrest
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 31 Jan 11 - 02:57 PM

Some 1.2 million Palestinians are ghettoized in Israel. Reunification of families is prohibited. Although 17 percent of the population, Palestinian penetration into the judicial and legislative branches is about one percent.
All holidays, the calendric observances, etc. are Jewish.

Discussed in one if the Wikileaks papers and mentioned in some newscasts is resettlement of Palestinians in a Palestinian territory (of course unlikely because of the numbers), and discussed by Netanyahu, housing minister and welfare ministers Eitam and Yishai.

Discussion here:
"Ghetto Citizenship: Palestinian Arabs in Israel," Oren Yiftachel. Paper for book by Rouhana and Sabagh, 2009.
www.geog.bgu.ac.il

On 10 Dec 2010, Israel's Foreign Minister spoke at the U. N. General Assembly about the removal of Arab citizens from Israel.
www.alarabiya.net/english

Also mentioned in:
"10,000 Jews, Arabs in Tel Aviv human rights march," David Buimovitch (AFP), Dec. 10, 2010 and report in ACRI's El-Ad-
"srael's foreign minister (Liebermann) speaks at the UN General Assembly about the removal of Arab citizens from Israel and he doesn't lose his position, the chief rabbi of Safed, a state employee, tells people not to rent to Arabs and he doesn't lose his job," he said.
google hosted news article.


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Subject: RE: BS: Middle East Unrest
From: bobad
Date: 31 Jan 11 - 03:28 PM

Q

The first link you gave is in Hebrew and I don't read Hebrew, maybe you can translate for us.

The second link is to the Al-Arabia News Channel front page and I don't see any thing there about the claim you are making.

The third reference is to a "google hosted article"

Please provide a link to the specific source you are citing.


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Subject: RE: BS: Middle East Unrest
From: GUEST,Guest from Sanity
Date: 31 Jan 11 - 04:41 PM

Just across the wires: The Health Care bill, as passed, ruled unconstitutional in Federal court in Florida!!..as I've been saying all along!..Now it goes to the Supreme Court!

GfS


P.S. Oh, why do you doubt???


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Subject: RE: BS: Middle East Unrest
From: GUEST,Guest from Sanity
Date: 31 Jan 11 - 04:55 PM

OOOPs, I goofed again! I forgot to cut and paste the other part....:

GfS: "Little Hawk is quite correct, in his regards to 'Democracy'...then someone posted that 'they won't shut off the internet here'...even thought Obama has been pushing for the 'off switch' for the internet??...and 'Health Care' in its present form, was passed AGAINST the will of the majority of our 'Democracy'?....Jeez, sounds like Egypt...How'd that happen???"

Just across the wires: The Health Care bill, as passed, ruled unconstitutional in Federal court in Florida!!..as I've been saying all along!..Now it goes to the Supreme Court!

GfS


P.S. Oh, why do you doubt???


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Subject: RE: BS: Middle East Unrest
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 31 Jan 11 - 05:12 PM

Found by googling the subject, which yields more than one article on a topic, and the way one gets google hosted articles, etc.

The first reference is not in Hebrew alone; English at same site; one of the ways to get it, if you want a single ref.:
http://www.geog.bgu.ac.il/members/yiftachel/new_papers_2009/Arab520citizenship-520print.pdf
(or just enter the subject details in google and get a selection)

One must search the content of El Arabiya but the article content is the same as the quote I gave.
Simply enter title of article, "10,000 Jews, Arabs in Tel Aviv human rights march," and several choices appear; the first one (The Peninsulaqatar) brings up a summary; the full article by Buimovitch may be found at The Daily Star by clicking the 4th entry in google if the title of the article is used.

(A quick way of getting something is by entering the subject in google and then selecting- getting a choice rather than a single 'clicky' item. I often ignore clickys and google for a selection- more content variety.)


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Subject: RE: BS: Middle East Unrest
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 31 Jan 11 - 05:16 PM

More to the subject-
The Egyptian Army has announced that they will not move against the protesters. A sigh of relief!
Expected, but not this soon. Now the military through its leaders in cabinet is the power rather than Mubarek.
Still a long was from a democratically elected government.


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Subject: RE: BS: Middle East Unrest
From: GUEST,Guest from Sanity
Date: 31 Jan 11 - 05:38 PM

Yes, Q, I did vary from the main topic. I did that because just moments before, I posted about our own government and a similarity to Mubarak's.. But you ARE correct...back to the main topic, at hand.....

GfS


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Subject: RE: BS: Middle East Unrest
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 31 Jan 11 - 05:47 PM

I will go one step farther than Steve Shaw (with whom I often disagree) on the Israel-'Palestine' situation. Israel has no intention of ever allowing the Palestinian people a free territory. They will keep to the program of a step here, a step back there, temporarily temporizing on this and that, but never coming to a recognition of a free Palestinian territory.

I don't recall having disagreements with you. Tell me about 'em and let's discuss it. Unless you're one of those blokes or blokesses who keeps changing their name. I never seem to keep up with that. I agree fully with the quote here.


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Subject: RE: BS: Middle East Unrest
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 31 Jan 11 - 05:47 PM

G from S, not to worry, digressions sometimes make the thread.


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Subject: RE: BS: Middle East Unrest
From: GUEST,Guest from Sanity
Date: 31 Jan 11 - 07:53 PM

Q: "G from S, not to worry, digressions sometimes make the thread."

Your right, sorry..by the way, what are you having for dinner??

Wink,
GfS


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Subject: RE: BS: Middle East Unrest
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 31 Jan 11 - 09:19 PM

Braised crocodile tail with Thailand insect garnishes.


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Subject: RE: BS: Middle East Unrest
From: Peter K (Fionn)
Date: 31 Jan 11 - 09:44 PM

Amid the trivia churned up by Don T's trivial (and misinformed) question, some sound analysis from Steve Shaw. Among other things he has exposed a false assumption behind Keith's point about different values being applied to Egypt and Israel.

In terms of realpolitik Israel and Egypt are allies. Hence the huge anxiety in Israel, as cited by Steve, about what is going on in Egypt. Indeed several of the autocrat leaders of the Arab world (Iran being an obvious exception) are broadly pro-Israel at least to the extent that they favour a middle-east settlement along the lines that the Palestinian leadership (as Wikileaks has confirmed) was prepared to accept - ie a settlement that requires the Palestinians to abandon right-of-return for refugees and some other legitimate claims.

Of such countries Egypt is overwhelmingly the most important, with a population of 82 million and the tenth biggest army in the world. Someone above implied that the present crisis will not be a priority in Washington but in fact it is the admin's No 1 foreign affairs concern.

The scale of Egypt's strategic significance is evidenced in the colossal financial support its regime gets from the US. Q's suggestion that this aid could be redirected from tanks and fighter planes to ploughshares is a complete non-starter. The aid is provided speifically to maintain Egypt's strength in the region. (Not only is its military huge, but it is also highly trained and widely respected.) The Washington lobbyists retained by Egypt to maintain the cashflow (PLM) were not chosen by accident. Other lients include Boeing and BAe Systems.

The signs are promising that the US-Israel axis will soon be confronted by a series of Arab states led not by autocrats who sing to Washington's tune in return for cash, but who reflect the desire of their respective electorates to see Israel's wanton excesses to be urbed.

Even if no other country follows Eqypt into revolution, Israel's position has been significantly weakened, and only a few months after it ruptured relations with its other key ally, Turkey, with the flotilla episode. But there is good reason to hope that events have been set in train that will bring about the biggest reshaping of the world order since the Berlin Wall came down.

On the whole, I'm optimistic for Egypt's future. Its army, having today in effect declared for democracy, would now find it hard rtow back from that and impose a military regime in anything but the short term. And unlike, for instance, Iran, there is no strong fundamentalist trend among the country's predominently muslim population. (The strength of the Islamic Brotherhood has been exaggerated, probably in a ploy by Mubarakto maintain his US backing, and is in any case not extremist.) Also fundamentalism breeds less easily in stable and equitable democracies than under repressive regimes.

But for me the best part of the whole affair is that America's right to chose which of its allies should be democracies, and which should be repressive, torturing police states, is facing its severest challenge.


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Subject: RE: BS: Middle East Unrest
From: GUEST,Guest from Sanity
Date: 01 Feb 11 - 12:54 AM

Spaghetti.

GfS


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Subject: RE: BS: Middle East Unrest
From: akenaton
Date: 01 Feb 11 - 04:56 AM

Its the old dilemma.

What is good for the Egyptian people, is probably not in our interests.

In our type of system, we are obliged to rob and exploit other nations.....cooperation is anathma.

In fact our string pullers would probably prefer to see another Islamic republic, than a truly democratic, Egypt.

Never mind, it's all unravelling at last....the internet is the weapon of the poor and dispossed....the first time they have had the chance to unite and fight back against those who divide and rob them.


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Subject: RE: BS: Middle East Unrest
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 01 Feb 11 - 05:48 AM

Good stuff, Peter. Things have moved on since I first posted to this thread. The army's apparent conciliatory tone sounds far more optimistic now than could have been hoped for a few days ago. Large numbers of Egyptian men have served in the army as conscripts, so the soldiers on the street seem to have a good appreciation of the hard facts of Egyptian life, which is something. If and when Mubarak goes the army will have to retain control, but who's going to predict the next step after that? The US won't be in any hurry to see elections that might bring a non-army opposition to power (I can currently see only one candidate party there). The army is bankrolled by the US so there will still be string-pulling going on. Egypt lives in interesting times.


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Subject: RE: BS: Middle East Unrest
From: bobad
Date: 01 Feb 11 - 09:08 AM

So it starts:

Synagogue torched in Tunisia

Egyptian protesters promise to destroy Israel


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Subject: RE: BS: Middle East Unrest
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 01 Feb 11 - 09:28 AM

>>My point, Steve Shaw, is that Gaza is not part of Israel, therefore what Gazans think about Israel's democracy is of little importance. Also that Israel's actions do affect that he is a democracy. <<

Today the Government of Israel does not claim it as part of Israel, a couple of years ago when there were Israeli "settlements" there the distinction was not so clear. There are two things that are very clear.

1. In every way that matters, Gaza is governed by the Israeli military.

2. The relationship between the US and Canada or Germany and France cannot be compared to that between Israel and Gaza.


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Subject: RE: BS: Middle East Unrest
From: Little Hawk
Date: 01 Feb 11 - 11:34 AM

Here's Eric Margolis' latest article, which came out yesterday:

THE AMERICAN RAJ IN FLAMES
January 28, 2011

When I wrote my latest book on how America rules its Mideast empire, I chose the title, "American Raj," because this imperium so closely resembled the way Great Britain ruled India.
As I predicted in the book, and in a column here last April, America's Mideast Raj is now on fire.

Are we looking at a Mideast version of the 1989 uprisings across Eastern Europe that brought down its Communist regimes and then the Soviet Union?

There are certainly strong similarities between the old Soviet East Bloc and the spreading intifada across America's Mideast Raj. Corrupt, repressive governments; rapacious oligarchies; high youth unemployment and stagnation; widespread feelings of frustration, hopelessness and fury.

But there is also a big difference. The principled Soviet leader, Mikhail Gorbachev, and the Communist rulers of Eastern Europe, refused to turn their army's guns against the rebelling people.

In Tunisia, where the current Arab uprising began, the army has so far stayed admirably neutral.

But in other Arab states now seething with rebellion - Egypt, Algeria, Yemen, Morocco, Libya - there may be no such reservations. Their ruthless security forces and military could quickly crush the uprisings unless the soldiers refuse to shoot down their own people – as happened in Moscow in 1991. This remains to be seen.

Washington is watching this growing intifada in its Mideast Raj with alarm and confusion. Ignore the Obama administration's hypocritical platitudes urging "democracy." All of the authoritarian Arab rulers now under siege by their people have been armed, financed and supported for decades by the US.

The tear gas being blasted at demonstrators in Cairo bears the mark, "Made in USA." The brutal, sadistic secret police and other security forces of Morocco, Algeria, Egypt, Jordan and Yemen were all trained and equipped by the US. The CIA taught them "interrogation techniques," just as it did to the Shah of Iran's secret police, Savak.

In yet another example of shameless hypocrisy, State Secretary Hillary Clinton urges "restraint" on both sides. One supposes she means those being beaten by clubs, raped, or tortured by electric drills must show proper restraint. Washington simply does not understand that this kind of sickening hypocrisy turns even more people in the Muslim world against the United States.

Egypt, as this column has long said, is a ticking bomb. Half of 85 million Egyptians subsist below the UN's $2 daily poverty level. A third of all the Arab World's people are Egyptian.

Husni Mubarak has ruled Egypt with an iron fist since 1981.
All opposition to his regime has been crushed. But now Mubarak's time may be running out. Nobel-Prize Laureate Mohammed al-Baradei has returned to Egypt to challenge Mubarak and his designated successor, son, Gamal. Arab league chief Amr Moussa may also stand against Mubarak.

Washington has previously lauded Mubarak for "wise leadership" and "stability". The US pays Egypt over $2 billion annually not to confront Israel, to jail Islamists, and to keep Hamas in the open air prison of Gaza. The US Congress provides half of Egypt's food. Since Israel gives Congress its marching orders on the Mideast, it also exercises extraordinary influence over Egypt.

So far, none of the intifadas across the Arab world have produced effective leadership. But this could soon change.

Thanks to the bombshell "Palestinian Papers" leaked to al-Jazeera, Mahmoud Abbas' Palestinian Authority has been exposed as an eager collaborator with Israel and its West Bank occupation.   The endless Israeli-Palestinian "peace talks" are shown to be a total fraud. Israel's Mossad and its Palestinian Quislings have worked closely to destroy the democratically elected Hamas government in Gaza.

We also learn from these papers that in 2008, US State Secretary Condoleeza Rice actually proposed shipping millions of Palestinian refugees to Latin America. This after Israel, financed by the US, imported one million Russian settlers, many of them not even Jewish. One is reminded of British proposals in the 1930's to move Germany's endangered Jews to Kenya.

This was Washington's modern version of US-taxpayer financed ethnic cleansing of Muslims and Christians from the Mideast. Small wonder these revelations have produced fury across the Mideast.

The "Palestinian Papers" and Wikileaks show the US government at all times taking Israel's side and defending its interests and policies. So much for Washington being an honest-broker.

The US-Israeli backed Palestinian Authority has lost its last shreds of credibility.   This news will surely fan the flames now spreading across the Arab and greater Muslim world as their peoples realize the full extent of the betrayal of the Palestinians.

These dramatic events are poorly understood by most North Americans. The US and Canadian media frame news of the regional intifada in terms of the faux war on terror, and a false choice between dictatorial "stability" and Islamic political extremism. Much of what's happening is seen through Israel's eyes, and is badly distorted.

Platitudes aside, there is little concern in the US about bringing real democracy and modern society in the Arab world.   Washington wants obedience, not pluralism, in its Mideast Raj.   As with the British Empire, democracy at home is fine – but it's not right for the nations of the Arab world.

Copyright Eric S. Margolis 2011


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Subject: RE: BS: Middle East Unrest
From: bobad
Date: 01 Feb 11 - 12:57 PM

Margolis is well known as a useful idiot of the Islamists. He would like nothing better than to see the disappearance of Israel and the Middle East ruled as an Islamic paradise à la Iran.

Here are some thoughts on what's going down in Egypt from five people who don't have an anti-West axe to grind: http://www.themarknews.com/articles/3929-five-solutions-to-the-crisis-in-egypt


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Subject: RE: BS: Middle East Unrest
From: Little Hawk
Date: 01 Feb 11 - 01:14 PM

One man's "useful idiot" is another man's voice of reason. It's all a matter of which set of cherished beliefs you choose to filter reality through. Every conquering empire hates people who interfere with or question its conquests and considers them traitors to the cause. Nothing new about that. Israel's conquests began in 1948 and have been expanding ever since (with a brief recoil after 1973) at the expense of all Israel's neighbours. Great Britain and France's imperial conquests in the Middle East began much earlier, but suffered great setbacks after official colonization became politically unacceptable, so now they do it through Israel, the USA, and Muslim proxy governments (compliant dictators). The USA's imperial conquests in the Middle East got going after WWII as they basically took over the old French-British position. Their interests and Russia's collided in Afghanistan, and the Russians eventually lost out in that one as the USA-backed Mujahedeen took over. The Mujahedeen fractured into several fighting factions and the Taliban came out on top. The USA eventually had a falling out with their former buddies, the Taliban, (just like they did with their former buddy, Saddam Hussein) and the imperial crusade entered a new and far bloodier phase that is continuing to play itself out in Afghanistan, Iraq, northern Pakistan, Yemen, etc...

It is nothing more than great imperial manuoveres by those with the most guns and money over the bodies of the local people, and those with the most guns and money at present are the USA, Israel, the UK, France, and Russia. They are the imperial powers. The Middle East is their battleground. The ordinary people there are the ones who suffer the consequences. And the prize is: OIL (and regional control)

The Chinese, of course, are also quite concerned. They have need to be, because they too need the oil. They too must therefore play the imperial game, but in a more subtle fashion, most likely.


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Subject: RE: BS: Middle East Unrest
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 01 Feb 11 - 01:36 PM

Eric Margolis' spew does not seem at all rational or balanced.

I think the title "American Raj" says it all. The man is an idiot if he does not see that America does not rule Egypt. It is bribing Egypt's government with billions per year of my tax money so that it will not attack Israel. Personally I think that money could be better spent on just about anything else.

>>In yet another example of shameless hypocrisy, State Secretary Hillary Clinton urges "restraint" on both sides. One supposes she means those being beaten by clubs, raped, or tortured by electric drills must show proper restraint. <<

No useful idiot, this one supposes she (Mrs Clinton) means that the Army should not shoot people down like the National Guard did at Kent State and that the civilians should not loot and destroy infrastructure and precious cultural treasures as they did in Iraq under the George Bush/Haliburton occupation.


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Subject: RE: BS: Middle East Unrest
From: Peter K (Fionn)
Date: 01 Feb 11 - 01:52 PM

Certainly a "useful" perspective from Margolis. Quite understandable that bobad can do no better than bluster insults in response.

I don't think, JtS, that "American Raj" was intended to be taken literally, but it was a neat way to make a simple point - that through its colossal munificence the US has, for generations, empowered a regime that towed the line in respect of US (Israeli) interests.


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Subject: RE: BS: Middle East Unrest
From: bobad
Date: 01 Feb 11 - 02:17 PM

The ripples keep spreading -- wikileaks credited as the pebble that got things started: Growing protest movement across Middle East prompts crackdowns, vows to reform


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Subject: RE: BS: Middle East Unrest
From: bobad
Date: 01 Feb 11 - 02:30 PM

"VICTORY to the people of Egypt. Mubarak won't run in election again. 6.40pm: Al Arabiya TV is now reporting that President Hosni Mubarak will say in a speech that he will step down at the next election but will stay in office till then to meet demands of protesters in that period."

Facebook post.


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Subject: RE: BS: Middle East Unrest
From: bobad
Date: 01 Feb 11 - 02:33 PM

Mubarak will not run again: TV report
Cairo— Reuters
Published Tuesday, Feb. 01, 2011 1:49PM EST
Last updated Tuesday, Feb. 01, 2011 2:02PM EST

President Hosni Mubarak will say in a speech that he will step down at the next election but would stay in office till then to meet demands of protesters in that period, Al Arabiya TV said on Tuesday.

It sourced the news to unnamed reports.

It said the president would make the comments in a speech later on Tuesday.


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Subject: RE: BS: Middle East Unrest
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 01 Feb 11 - 03:59 PM

"I chose the title, "American Raj," because this imperium so closely resembled the way Great Britain ruled India. "

My point was that the Americans DO NOT rule Egypt in the Great Britain ruled India. Even though Eric Margolis says that it does.

Bobad, I will be very surprised if today's announcement will have any real effect. I think Eqyptians will be in the street until Mubarek is gone.


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Subject: RE: BS: Middle East Unrest
From: Little Hawk
Date: 01 Feb 11 - 04:03 PM

Margolis is not saying that American rules Egypt in a direct sense, Jack, he's saying that America has in the last few decades secured dominance of Egyptian policy and of the rest of the region (except Iran) through a combination of bribery, intimidation, and force of arms...his use of the term "Raj" to describe it merely draws a parallel between onetime British domination of a region and present American domination of a region. It describes a sphere of influence. You don't need direct political rule to control a region. It can be done by less direct means, and that's how it's been done...except in Iraq and Afghanistan, where it has been done by very direct means.

I do agree, though, that his intemperate remarks which you quoted i regards to Hillary Clinton are unreasonable and out of line. He took it too far there and stretched his point to an unreasonable extreme, as you have indicated.


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Subject: RE: BS: Middle East Unrest
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 01 Feb 11 - 04:07 PM

>>Margolis is not saying that American rules Egypt in a direct sense, Jack<<

Hawk, I am just reading what you have posted and there he says exactly that.

Perhaps he is being hyperbolic or metaphorical, but that is exactly what makes me discount his opinion.


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Subject: RE: BS: Middle East Unrest
From: Little Hawk
Date: 01 Feb 11 - 04:52 PM

Well, yes, I think he is using metaphor, Jack.

He says: "my latest book on how America rules its Mideast empire"

He can't mean it literally, because there is no officially established American Empire in the literal sense, so he means it metaphorically. I've read some of Margolis' books, and I know he means it metaphorically.

Americans grow up in a society that claims not just to stand for freedom...but seems to also pretty much assert that it invented freedom! ;-) Given that mental conditioning for Americans from the youngest age, their government can hardly go out into the world and establish official colonies and an official empire. It wouldn't look good. So other means are found of doing it, and those other means take a variety of forms.

Be that as it may, America has established indirect control over virtually all of the Middle East and North Africa and central Asia, with the exception of Iran, which is why America is so bent on somehow "taking out" Iran and achieving regime change there. Iran is like the one store left in Al Capone's city which hasn't been frightened into paying for "protection", thus they are potentially under the American gun at all times. Only the sheer cost and risk of engaging in a war with Iran has saved them thus far, given that the USA has its hands very full already with 2 military occupations in Muslim lands and a financial crisis at home. Fighting Iran is an expense the USA can't afford at present. (but the same excuse for doing it as was used for Iraq is being held at the ready: rumors of alleged WMDs).

America has (with Israel as a partner) established an unchallenged sphere of influence over the entire Middle East with the exception of Iran. That is the "American Raj" which Margolis is referring to. It is an empire, for all commercial purposes, but it's not an official empire. There aren't really any official empires in the world anymore, just some unofficial ones. China's unofficial empire, for example, extends into Tibet, and I believe they're pretty cosy with North Korea and Myanmar too.


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Subject: RE: BS: Middle East Unrest
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 01 Feb 11 - 05:48 PM

Margolis, I think, carries matters a step too far, but his statements can't be dismissed out of hand.
Going back as far as WW2, the Western powers have pursued a policy of stability for the Middle East, regardless of the oppressive regimes of some and the expansionist desires of others.
Israel has been looked upon as the regional enforcer, keeping the region stabile with its large military and control of the only atomic arsenal.
Israel, with the support of the West, uses its threatening stance to keep the region from developing independent, viable, growing economies with peoples becoming democratized and demanding of equality.
The west also fails to see that Israel is slowly expanding into the west bank, a step forward, half a step back, and that they will never allow a viable Palestinian state.

Peter K. and Steve Shaw's statements I largely agree with, but I have the hope, perhaps mis-guided, that the western powers will wake up and re-direct their billions to development rather than to military purposes used for stability through suppression.

Iran is making an effort to grow and become a counter to Israel; the West has no coherent plan to cope with another strong power in the region except to squeeze it into compliance.

The western powers have all done little more than encourage Mubarak to step down (but leaving the same systems in place under new names) and to give the people placebos.

This may prove to be Obama's worst failure historically; failure to support more liberal regimes although giving lip-service to the idea of democracy. His (and the other western leaders) inaction here could lead to bloodshed rather than to reform.


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Subject: RE: BS: Middle East Unrest
From: Little Hawk
Date: 01 Feb 11 - 06:07 PM

Would you agree, Q, that the primary purposes of the West's efforts to achieve "stability" in the Middle East have been to secure a steady supply of relatively cheap oil and to achieve other commercial and political advantages in the region?

If so, well, that's basically what empires always try to do. They try to achieve access to valuable resources and engage in profitable trade. If military force is required to do it, then they use military force.

It was the search for strategic resources that basically drove Japan into war with China, and ultimately to war with the Western Allies in WWII. Japan needed large supplies of oil and steel, supplies which could not be secured domestically, so they went to war over it.

The USA is willing to go to war at any time to protect its access to the enormous strategic resources in the Middle East, but it must convince its people that there is some other reason for going to war, as the public is not ready to have their sons and daughters die for oil. So...other reasons are found.

non-existent WMDs
the "War on Terror"
Iran's nuclear program
"creating democracy" (a laughable lie, but I'm sure some people believe it)

I don't think the USA is particularly evil for doing what it's doing, because it's just behaving exactly as large empires have always behaved, going right back to Greece, Rome or Egypt. It's doing what imperial ambition requires, and telling its public whatever it thinks will best motivate them to support an aggressive foreign policy and initiate wars not of national defense, but wars of choice.

Again, that's what empires do. When a war erupts between a small power and a great power, it is very seldom, if ever, the small power that planned it.


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Subject: RE: BS: Middle East Unrest
From: pdq
Date: 01 Feb 11 - 06:18 PM

"This may prove to be Obama's worst failure historically; failure to support more liberal regimes although giving lip-service to the idea of democracy. His (and the other western leaders) inaction here could lead to bloodshed rather than to reform." ~ Q

Yep, it's Jimmy Carter Part II.


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Subject: RE: BS: Middle East Unrest
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 01 Feb 11 - 06:52 PM

Little Hawk, the part about keeping political and commercial interests viable is right, but petroleum is not the primary mover for the U. S. although many people blame it. It is for the European economies (or was until the recent turn to Russian area oil and gas). The 'strategic resources' of the Middle East are are of much greater importance to the EU that to the U. S. and Canada; and you do not mention the Suez Canal.

The sole important petroleum source in the Middle East for the U. S. is Saudi Aramco. There have been no real threats to this supply.
Currently, the U. S. gets less than 20 percent of its petroleum from Aramco, and a small amount from Iraq (most going to Europe); the U. S. gets most from Canada, Mexico, Venezuela; a fair amount from southern Africa and South America.

Also of greater importance is the Suez Canal, important to the flow of all commodities world-wide. Perhaps the primary reason the Egyptian army is important to the West.


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Subject: RE: BS: Middle East Unrest
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 01 Feb 11 - 10:23 PM

Mubarak intends to stay until elections in November. If he succeeds the uprising will fizzle.


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Subject: RE: BS: Middle East Unrest
From: Little Hawk
Date: 01 Feb 11 - 11:02 PM

Excellent point you made there about the Suez Canal, Q. Yes, that's a major strategic factor in anyone's calculations.

It's true that the USA uses relatively small amounts of Middle East oil, but it seems to be very important to the USA that that oil be sold for American dollars...not Euros. I have read in more than one place that the key move Saddam made that turned the USA against him was he decided to peg Iraqi oil sales to the Euro, not the dollar. That was deemed unacceptable by the USA, and it sealed his fate.


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Subject: RE: BS: Middle East Unrest
From: GUEST,Patsy
Date: 02 Feb 11 - 05:01 AM

If only the people of Iraq had stood up together against Saddam as in Egypt perhaps the war in Iraq might not have happened. We can't be sure but perhaps the events that followed such as 9/11 or the London bus bombing might not have happened, who knows.


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Subject: RE: BS: Middle East Unrest
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 02 Feb 11 - 05:07 AM

Yes but what preceded the Iraq invasion was totally different to what preceded this. US sanctions against Saddam probably did much to unite the country behind him. I don't think there was any appetite for rising up against him. I would wager that a lot of Iraqis wish they had him back. Didn't we do well?


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Subject: RE: BS: Middle East Unrest
From: akenaton
Date: 02 Feb 11 - 06:37 AM

I think you are probably right there Steve, but our self interest should not obstruct another country's bid for self determination... as happens very often.

Our chickens are coming home to roost big time!
The future looks grim....unless we waken up to the prospects and start to think about alternatives.

Capitalism worked very well while there was people and natural resources to exploit....These people are angry and the resources finite......end of fairytale!


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Subject: RE: BS: Middle East Unrest
From: GUEST,Souma
Date: 02 Feb 11 - 08:07 AM

Great debate but pls let us solve problems. Thanks that the UN ran out of money and soldiers. Thus we need not worry. Peter and Steve are rational but not down to earth. akenaton is but sadly, it will take years till the rulers realise this.Regards


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Subject: RE: BS: Middle East Unrest
From: Bobert
Date: 02 Feb 11 - 08:15 AM

Well, if another million show up on Friday it's going to be a blood bath... Mubarak has already telegraphed his intentions... This is what dictators do in a pinch... They order other people to kill other people...

B~


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Subject: RE: BS: Middle East Unrest
From: Neil D
Date: 02 Feb 11 - 11:33 AM

It's happening right now Bobert. Pro Mubarak forces have stormed into Tahrir (Liberation) Square which has been occupied by anti-governnment crowds for the last nine days. Some of these pro-Mubarak attackers, the Egyptian media is calling them "pro-stability forces", are mounted on horses and camels, brandishing whips and machetes and throwing molotov cocktails at the so far relatively peaceful anti-government crowd. CNN's Anderson Cooper was, himself struck in the head and forced to retreat from the square. He is reporting hearing gunfire a few blocks away.


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Subject: RE: BS: Middle East Unrest
From: bobad
Date: 02 Feb 11 - 11:37 AM

The thugocracy releases it's thugs -- I hope they hang the bastard.


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Subject: RE: BS: Middle East Unrest
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 02 Feb 11 - 02:28 PM

I think Mubarek will be successful. The people have little to defend themselves with, and the will for change will remain just that.
The September election will provide a few placebos, but the army generals will still control the country.


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Subject: RE: BS: Middle East Unrest
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 02 Feb 11 - 02:31 PM

Little Hawk, you forget Total, BP, the other large EU companies are the big boys in the region, and the American dollar is just another medium of exchange in the region.


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Subject: RE: BS: Middle East Unrest
From: Little Hawk
Date: 02 Feb 11 - 04:05 PM

Yes, BP.

I'll have to look and see if I can find an article about what I was alluding to regarding the US dollar being used as the official currency for the Mideast oil transactions.

I consider the USA and the UK (and their biggest corporations) to really be a single player in this game...that is, the Anglo-American axis (which includes my country, Canada, as well as Australia). It is that group of Anglo nations which are working together in the world as what amounts to an Anglo-American axis. The historical centre of power was once in London, but it has since set up additional power centres in New York and Washington. I find it ironical that a USA which once fought a revolution against the British Empire has now become, in effect, the virtual reincarnation of the British Empire, under a new flag and a new set of governmental institutions. Like the British once did, the Americans now possess the world's greatest navy and the world's longest military reach, and the sun never sets on their coporate holdings. The British are still very much involved in the imperial game, but they are playing second fiddle to the USA in that regard....a sort of junior partner. Still, I think London continues to exert major financial influence in the running of the great game.


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Subject: RE: BS: Middle East Unrest
From: Little Hawk
Date: 02 Feb 11 - 04:36 PM

Here we go. Here's an article about what I was referring to in regards to the marketing of Iraqi oil:

Dollar vs Euro - Weapons of Mass Destruction


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Subject: RE: BS: Middle East Unrest
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 02 Feb 11 - 10:00 PM

I forgot the other big player in the Mideast, Royal Dutch Shell.

Iraq produces about 2 million bbl/day.

A petrodollar is a U.S. dollar earned by a country selling petroleum.
OPEC oil is quoted in dollars, hence a demand for dollars on international exchange markets.

The U. S. dollar is a medium of exchange; Canadian dollar, yen, Euro, whatever have the value assigned by currency traders at the time a transaction takes place.
Canada is the largest oil exporter to use the term "dollar" for its currency, hence these are also termed petrodollars.

Why is the U. S. petrodollar considered important to the American economy? It amounts to a long term no interest loan.

It suits the oil industry to trade in a single currency, thus most oil is bought and sold in dollars.

Iran's market has abandoned the dollar. Others will follow.
The U. S. dollar is still the world's reserve currency, but if the U. S. continues to decrease in world trade, other currencies could take over.

In the Middle East, the backing of the dollar by the Saudis is considered firm, so no change by OPEC is expected.

Russia and China talk about a change, but nothing firm on the horizon at this time.


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Subject: RE: BS: Middle East Unrest
From: Stringsinger
Date: 03 Feb 11 - 06:43 PM

What they want is a good idea, freedom from tyrannical leaders, freedom from corruption in their political process, economic security, jobs, freedom from US domination, and oh yes democracy which would be good to introduce to the United States.

What is going on with the Pro-Democracy movement in Egypt is inspiring.

Would we in the US could have more people in the streets.

The Left is officially dead in the U.S. and the so-called Right is Wrong.

Obama is the waffle pres.


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Subject: RE: BS: Middle East Unrest
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 03 Feb 11 - 07:58 PM

The thugocracy releases it's thugs -- I hope they hang the bastard.

So, meet thuggery with thuggery then? I see that irony is totally lost on you!


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Subject: RE: BS: Middle East Unrest
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 03 Feb 11 - 10:03 PM

Expect the conflict between Mubarak supporters and the protesters to continue.
Interviews with the well-to-do show that most of them support the Mubarek regime.
Suleiman and Mubarak will continue to resist, hoping that the protests will lose momentum. There may be a few talks with various groups, but none will reach agreement.
In the September elections, some temporary appointments to reform leaders (but not to el Baradei, who has no party).

I am not optimistic about real change.


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Subject: RE: BS: Middle East Unrest
From: Little Hawk
Date: 03 Feb 11 - 10:18 PM

The well-to-do in a country generally support the status quo under a repressive government. Why wouldn't they? I gather, however, that most Egyptians are not among the well-to-do.


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Subject: RE: BS: Middle East Unrest
From: akenaton
Date: 04 Feb 11 - 05:01 AM

We also, despite the crocodile tears support the repressive government.
Why now do we start whining about the benefits of Democracy!
The democracy we planted in Iraq has produced some twisted and deformed offspring....so it shall probably be in Egypt.

The Egyptian people should be left to determine their own future, but the joke is, that we really hate true democracy or anything approaching it.

Western Democracy is a misnomer......it is a series of manipulations effected by an electoral system.....there can be no real democracy while economic and social pressures are being brought to bear on the electorate.
I cite how we the people, ar referred to as being culpable in the recent capitalist systemic failure, without being in possesion of any of the facts of the case.
Already the US is at work organising a "suitable" government for the Egyptian people!


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Subject: RE: BS: Middle East Unrest
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 04 Feb 11 - 05:22 AM

The US philosophy of "democracy overseas" is that it had better be democracy run by friends of ours in just the way we want, otherwise we'll do our damnedest to undermine it with whatever dirty tricks we can. There are plenty of citizens of Chile, central America, Algeria, Gaza and many other places who would attest to that.


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Subject: RE: BS: Middle East Unrest
From: bobad
Date: 04 Feb 11 - 10:07 AM

Dramatic live feed from Liberation Square, Cairo: http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2011/02/live-egypt-video-day-departure/


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Subject: RE: BS: Middle East Unrest
From: olddude
Date: 04 Feb 11 - 10:27 AM

Insanity, I think the whole country is walking around with a big white bandage on their head. Everyone you see in the crowd has a knot on their noggin from getting beaned by a rock. This morning the entire crowd stopped dropped to the ground to pray, then got up and started pelting each other with rocks again.

Somewhere there is a US corporation making lots of money selling baskets of rocks I think.

I tell you what though, if I owned a major league baseball team I would go there scouting. Some of those guys can throw a rock harder and faster than most I have seen in the big leagues.

Good grief, seriously though I sure hope it soon comes to a peaceful solution.


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Subject: RE: BS: Middle East Unrest
From: bobad
Date: 04 Feb 11 - 10:45 AM

The reporters are saying that the army is keeping the goons away from the protesters which is a good sign as they were just standing by the last two days as the thugs were attacking.


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Subject: RE: BS: Middle East Unrest
From: GUEST,Jim Knowledge
Date: 04 Feb 11 - 11:19 AM

I `ad that Mubarak`s agent in my cab the other day. I could tell `e was the McCoy `cos of the sand in `is `air and and a promo leaflet for the Pyramids sticking out of `is pocket.
`e said, " Allah Ahkbar, Jim. Could you take me to the Egyptian embassy please. I`ve got to `ave a word with the guvnor so`s I can tell the
press where `e`s at."
I said, "Blimey Ali. With all them shenanigans going on out there you`d a thought `e`d a-got the message and would be `aving it away on `is toes."
`e said, "All in good time, Jim. `e`s still got some serious dosh to move to Switzerland and the Internet Banking is down in Egypt at the moment. That lot that did a runner from Tunisia `ave put `im up to it!!"

Whaddam I Like??


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Subject: RE: BS: Middle East Unrest
From: akenaton
Date: 04 Feb 11 - 02:12 PM

You're like a fuckin' good comedian Jim!.....keep it up son, you're one of the best "turns" on Mudcat..:0)


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Subject: RE: BS: Middle East Unrest
From: Stringsinger
Date: 04 Feb 11 - 05:51 PM

Real democracy is what's going on. Unrest is what these dictators have created for their people.

It's about time they were called out.

Unrest is what the U.S. is creating in Iraq, Pakistan and Afghanistan.


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Subject: RE: BS: Middle East Unrest
From: bobad
Date: 04 Feb 11 - 08:27 PM

Eighty year old author and activist Nawal El-Saadawi "thugs were bribed with 50 pounds and a chicken to beat us"

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZM1scxpmbWQ


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Subject: RE: BS: Middle East Unrest
From: Peter K (Fionn)
Date: 11 Feb 11 - 04:54 PM

Joyous scenes in Cairo today. Let's hope the euphoria is not premature. But no matter what the character may be of Egypt's next regime, we know at least that it can't be worse than the one just deposed. And for Egyptians there is the satisfaction of knowing that their reviled pharoah was humbled at last.

The hope must be that democracy will prevail, forcing the US to rethink its foreign policy and Israel (if it has any sense) to rethink its national security strategy.


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Subject: RE: BS: Middle East Unrest
From: Dorothy Parshall
Date: 12 Feb 11 - 01:57 PM

I could not make a blue clicky but the URL below is for a very interesting video by an egyptian woman.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SgjIgMdsEuk&feature=email


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Subject: RE: BS: Middle East Unrest
From: Peter K (Fionn)
Date: 12 Feb 11 - 04:11 PM

Here's the blue clicky:

Meet Asmaa Mahfouz and the vlog that Helped Spark the Revolution


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Subject: RE: BS: Middle East Unrest
From: MarkS
Date: 13 Feb 11 - 02:23 PM

"But no matter what the character may be of Egypt's next regime, we know at least that it can't be worse than the one just deposed."

Iranian opinion may differ.

I recall a quote from Walpole regarding public opinion in England before the war with Spain in the 1800s: "They now ring their bells but they will soon wring their hands."

Mark


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Subject: RE: BS: Middle East Unrest
From: Ed T
Date: 14 Feb 11 - 06:30 PM

Jewish prayers for Egypt's uprising


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Subject: RE: BS: Middle East Unrest
From: bobad
Date: 19 Feb 11 - 11:00 PM

"Libyan troops have opened fire with machine-guns and large-calibre weapons on anti-government protesters in the second city Benghazi, witnesses say.

An unknown number of people, including children, are said to have been killed."

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-12516156


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Subject: RE: BS: Middle East Unrest
From: Lizzie Cornish 1
Date: 20 Feb 11 - 03:37 AM

I've just been watching the news coverage of this, hearing a local doctor saying there are too many dead to be counted, and how horrified she is at what's happening over there...

The newscasters can't believe it either, yet...Col. Gadaffi's been off his rocker since he came into power, imo.

I think, of all the dictators who are about to fall Gadaffi will be the one who'll hang on the longest and do the most damage to his people.

I hope I'm proved wrong though, because it takes incredible guts to stand up against a man so off the planet as Gadaffi is....and his troops have been brainwashed for a very long time, but maybe they'll draw strength from the Egyptian Army and end up protecting the people, rather than killing them in vast numbers as they're now doing.

May Allah have mercy on those poor people, and may their sacrifices not be in vain...Inshallah


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Subject: RE: BS: Middle East Unrest
From: Brian May
Date: 20 Feb 11 - 05:35 PM

One wonders if the silent majority have woken up.

Time will tell, I suspect the current rulers have no idea of what has been unleashed, it's back to sow the wind and reap the whirlwind.

If they DO want freedom and nobody is going to manipulate them I can only wish them the best of luck.


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Subject: RE: BS: Middle East Unrest
From: bobad
Date: 20 Feb 11 - 09:12 PM

"Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi's son, Sayf al-Islam, has warned of civil war in the country.

He said that the government would "fight to the last bullet" to stay in office."

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-12520586


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Subject: RE: BS: Middle East Unrest
From: Bobert
Date: 20 Feb 11 - 09:37 PM

Revolution ain't pretty...

I hate it if even one person dies... My heart is with the revolutionaries... I very much want them to succeed...

My country is in the beginning stages of some kinda civil war... We are deeply divided and with what is going on in Wisconsin I can see that we are headed toward violence... I mean, I am old to have been part of the 60s and wise enough to see that this isn't going to turn out well here in the US of A...

But while it sickens me to see dictators order their armies to kill people who want jobs it also reminds me that we are not all that far different here...

Our people want jobs, too, but the Boss Hogs don't much care what the people want???

Sound familiar??? Seems that a world revolution is upon us and I welcome it...

B~


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Subject: RE: BS: Middle East Unrest
From: bobad
Date: 22 Feb 11 - 10:30 AM

I note the absence of 1000 post threads trumpeting outrage at the atrocities of North African and Middle Eastern dictators as they slaughter their populace in a desperate bid to cling to power....strange that.


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Subject: RE: BS: Middle East Unrest
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 22 Feb 11 - 10:42 AM

Israel provokes outrage here for rather less.


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Subject: RE: BS: Middle East Unrest
From: GUEST,999
Date: 22 Feb 11 - 11:11 AM

Don`t hold your breath, bobad.


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Subject: RE: BS: Middle East Unrest
From: bobad
Date: 22 Feb 11 - 11:25 AM

Al Jazeera English: Live Stream


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Subject: RE: BS: Middle East Unrest
From: bobad
Date: 22 Feb 11 - 11:44 AM

Gaddafi says he will not leave Libya, he will fight to the last drop of blood and die a martyr. We can only hope that this comes to pass before more citizens are slaughtered. He is also exhorting those who love him to go out into the streets and confront the protesters, a clear incitement to civil war.


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Subject: RE: BS: Middle East Unrest
From: GUEST,999
Date: 22 Feb 11 - 11:50 AM

His request will ensure one or two people hit the streets.


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Subject: RE: BS: Middle East Unrest
From: bobad
Date: 26 Feb 11 - 10:50 AM

The New Middle East?


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Subject: RE: BS: Middle East Unrest
From: bobad
Date: 18 Mar 11 - 09:39 PM

The unrest in the Arab world spreads to one of the most oppressive countries, Syria:

"Syrian security forces killed three protesters and wounded hundreds in the southern city of Daraa on Friday, rights groups said, as demonstrations erupted across the country in the first major show of discontent under Bashar al-Assad's rule."

http://english.aljazeera.net/news/middleeast/2011/03/2011318231622114396.html


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Subject: RE: BS: Middle East Unrest
From: robomatic
Date: 19 Mar 11 - 06:37 PM

I could not but notice that in the midst of the concerns with Tunisia, Egypt, and Libya, the Palestinian Authority had the thought that NOW was a particularly necessary time to petition the United Nations for a resolution against Israel, which the U S tried to divert them from. With their incredible sense of approprateness the Palestinians insisted and the U S had to vote 'em down.

And most recently, Hamas has made war against Israel. IS making war against Israel from the Gaza territory.

As was observed many years ago by Abba Eban, the Palestinians miss no opportunity to miss an opportunity.


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Subject: RE: BS: Middle East Unrest
From: Little Hawk
Date: 19 Mar 11 - 06:48 PM

Yes, they're dreadful people, aren't they? Downright subhuman. And they belong to a crazy religion too. Why don't we just take most of their original land from them by force, settle it with our own people, then seal them off into a crowded sort of wretched ghetto area, surround it with heavy firepower, cut them off from most of their needed supplies, and slowly starve and exterminate them all so they stop making trouble? (The Palestinians, I mean...)

Hell of a good idea, eh? ;-) A final solution to the Palestinian problem is really what's needed here to make the decent people (meaning Jews and Christians) safe.

(satire alert!!!)


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Subject: RE: BS: Middle East Unrest
From: GUEST,number 6
Date: 19 Mar 11 - 06:50 PM

now that the U.N. has sanction military intervention in Libya (basically allowing the U.S. to seek revenge on Gaddafi) the issue with Israel will now get very complicated and the violence against humanity will worsen substantially.

biLL


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Subject: RE: BS: Middle East Unrest
From: bobad
Date: 19 Mar 11 - 06:52 PM

Hamas appears to be trying to divert attention from the mass demonstrations occuring in Gaza.

Fifty mortars and rockets were fired into Israel from Gaza yesterday.

Students at the university and citizens calling for political reconciliation between Hamas and Fatah have been beaten by Hamas authorities.


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Subject: RE: BS: Middle East Unrest
From: Little Hawk
Date: 19 Mar 11 - 06:53 PM

As if it weren't complicated enough already.


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Subject: RE: BS: Middle East Unrest
From: GUEST,number 6
Date: 19 Mar 11 - 06:55 PM

Exactly L.H.

biLL


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Subject: RE: BS: Middle East Unrest
From: Little Hawk
Date: 19 Mar 11 - 07:09 PM

I would not want the job of sorting it out, that's for sure. What a mess.


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Subject: RE: BS: Middle East Unrest
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 19 Mar 11 - 08:55 PM

"Fifty mortars and rockets were fired into Israel from Gaza yesterday."

Well Christ, they don't half have a lot of catching up to do, don't they?
Did you also give us daily reports about deliberate targeting of Israeli children by Israel, twenty innocent kids murdered by snipers on the border in a year, about the use of white phosphorus, about the bulldozing of Gaza villages, about the besieging of Gaza leading to widespread privation, starvation, lack of building and medical supplies for one and a half million people, about the bombing of hospitals, power stations and water works, about the deliberate targeting of UN buildings, about the hundreds of thousands of cluster bomblets still lying around in southern Lebanon able and ready to blow kids' legs off, and would you like me to go on?


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Subject: RE: BS: Middle East Unrest
From: bobad
Date: 19 Mar 11 - 09:02 PM

Pavlov's finding is confirmed once again.


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Subject: RE: BS: Middle East Unrest
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 19 Mar 11 - 09:17 PM

Sure. I note the fundamental depth of your shallowness.


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Subject: RE: BS: Middle East Unrest
From: Little Hawk
Date: 20 Mar 11 - 10:01 AM

It's the old "we are the real victims here" story again... ;-) Hitler used that kind of bitter story (with some, but not nearly enough, justification) to rouse millions of angry Germans to go out in the late 30's/early 40's and conquer Europe. The old "victims" become the new oppressors, given half a chance, and they do it by deadly and effective military action. That has happened again and again throughout history, the old dog that was kicked by someone has turned into the new conqueror of some other poor dog that gets kicked in its turn, and it's been happening since 1948 in the Middle East.

The real victims are always those who are presently under the boot of a dominating foreign military power and are virtually helpless to do anything about it. That was the Jews in 1936 (approx) to 1945.

But who would it be now? Israelis or Palestinians? Who is virtually helpless and who is being dominated now?

You don't remain the world's number one victims forever. ;-) It can change easily, just like wearing a different hat. And it does change, usually in the wake of some war. But people get in the habit of yelling, "We're the real victims here!" to justify beating up on someone else and stealing their land, and they don't give up such convenient habits easily when those habits have propelled them to a place of wealth and worldly power and great political influence over the affairs of great nations.


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Subject: RE: BS: Middle East Unrest
From: robomatic
Date: 20 Mar 11 - 04:24 PM

The problem with that attitude is it's utter instability. The tendency to side with whoever happens to be getting the boot assures a constant seesaw of attention and an urge to help whichever side is afflicted currently. This is the dark side of sympathy for the underdog and tends to create a longer lasting situation which might be good for the grandstanders and some news outlets but is not very good for the people involved.


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Subject: RE: BS: Middle East Unrest
From: GUEST,Patsy
Date: 21 Mar 11 - 10:26 AM

I see Gadaffi is using the term 'Crusades' to win support from the Arab states and his own. He must be desperate if he is using that tactic.


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