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Thread: Arab spring

  1. #73
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    Saleh in Yemen says he wants to peacefully transfer power, but that the opposition won't let him. He also offered amnesty to the military who have gone over to the protestors' side.

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    Saleh to quit?
    AFP is reporting that President Ali Abdullah Saleh on Thursday vowed to defend himself by "all possible means" against an escalating anti-regime campaign seeking to unseat him. The Wall Street Journal is reporting, though, that the Yemeni president is nearing a deal to resign from his position. Conflicting Reports Whether Yemeni President Will Step Down - FoxNews.com
    Loyalist versus protestors in Jordan:
    Around 500 young people from different movements, including the powerful Islamist opposition, had braved rain and cold weather to to call for "regime" reforms and putting the corrupt on trial. They were camped out next to the Interior Circle, or Gamal Abdel Nasser Square, in the capital.

    At nightfall, police attempted to disperse the youths and cut off electricity on the square around 11:00 pm (2100 GMT), an AFP journalist witnessed. "A group of nearly 50 loyalists who were gathered not far from them (the students) took advantage of the power cut to throw rocks at the youths," one of the protesters, Moaz Kassrawi, told AFP. France24 - Protesting Jordanian youths attacked, injured: witnesses

  3. #75
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    The situation in Syria deteriorates by the moment, at least twenty more protestors were killed yesterday and there were marches everywhere. Assad will have to go, but this will have much more international repercussions since he did cultivate relationships with Iran and in Lebanon, host terrorist groups and have a much more adversarial role towards Israel. No doubt the Israelis are very worried about things getting out of hand in neighboring Syria. Would restive Muslims stop their protests elsewhere and in Syria if some radical fundamentalist emerged from the Syrian turmoil and tried to carry the momentum to liberate occupied Golan Heights?

    Yemen is another rapidly deteriorating situation. For the past couple of days I've been reading reports of how Saleh is looking for a way out, he agreed not to seek reelection, not to pass the mantle to his son, to step down when his term is over, now he's saying he will give it up if he can arrange an orderly transition. His military has had major defections, rival tank commanding generals control parts of the capital, Saleh has offered amnesty to defectors. Different tribes also taking opposite sides, Saleh's own tribe asking him to step down. Yemen has an active Al Qaeda branch on the Saudi border, the US wouldn't want them to spring resurgent from Saleh's ouster, but I think it would be best to push for change and deal with the terrorist enclave later.

  4. #76
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    Deepening chaos in Syria, in particular, could dash any remaining hopes for a Middle East peace agreement, several analysts said. It could also alter the American rivalry with Iran for influence in the region and pose challenges to the United States’ greatest ally in the region, Israel.
    Forget about those peace agreements, that’s all on ‘hold’ until the situation stabilizes a bit. Waiting a bit to move forward on improving Israel’s relations is no big deal, they’ve lived with the lousy relations they have for decades. Unrest in Libya will change Iran’s influence in the region, either they will gain influence with some charismatic fundamentalist replacing Assad (not likely) or they will lose when the protests produce a more democratic and freedom-loving government.
    In interviews, administration officials said the uprising appeared to be widespread, involving different religious groups in southern and coastal regions of Syria, including Sunni Muslims usually loyal to President Bashar al-Assad. The new American ambassador in Damascus, Robert Ford, has been quietly reaching out to Mr. Assad to urge him to stop firing on his people.
    Things are rapidly deteriorating across Syria, the unrest is evident in more than just Deraa and Damascus. The military is loyal, equipped and accustomed to repression, but there are limits. At some point they will balk at wholesale slaughter, Assad is no Khaddafy.
    Officials fear the unrest (in Syria) and Jordan could leave Israel further isolated. The Israeli government was already rattled by the overthrow of Egypt’s leader, Hosni Mubarak, worrying that a new government might not be as committed to Egypt’s 1979 peace treaty with Israel.
    Nothing to worry about, that peace treaty is worth over a billion dollars a year from the US to Egypt, that's a lot of mullah in a country that has no oil. I wouldn’t be surprised if the emerging government in Egypt is not as committed to good relations with Israel, after all, I expect it to be a democratic and representative government that will look at things more objectively. What, besides generous US financing, does Egypt get from amicable relations with Israel? Would greater advantage and more money result from a more antagonistic stance?
    Syria could pose a thorny dilemma for the administration if Mr. Assad carries out a crackdown like that of his father and predecessor, Hafez al-Assad, who ordered a bombardment in 1982 that killed at least 10,000 people in the northern city of Hama. Having intervened in Libya to prevent a wholesale slaughter in Benghazi, some analysts asked, how could the administration not do the same in Syria?
    Humanitarian intervention is allowed under international law, it is not mandatory. Maybe the Arab League wouldn’t endorse another “no-fly”, the EU wouldn’t be as interested –there’s no oil! Would the world stand aside and watch Assad slaughter ten thousand of his subjects? Would something like that get Russia and China promoting intervention in Syria?
    The unrest in Jordan, which has its own peace treaty with Israel, is also extremely worrying, a senior administration official said. The United States does not believe Jordan is close to a tipping point, this official said. But the clashes, which left one person dead and more than a hundred wounded, pose the gravest challenge yet to King Abdullah II, a close American ally. News Headlines
    As a monarchist I give kings more consideration, value the stability they bring to any government. There are limits, I’m not an absolutist, constitutional monarchy is a good thing. Muslim monarchs are more ‘absolutist’ than other kings, their parliaments are weak and deferential, their subjects lack democratic ideals and don’t yearn for freedom the way other people seem to. This means these rulers have more latitude, there is more that they can do once they get over their resistance to yielding any authority. Jordan’s king is legitimate, his monarchy well-established, he does bring together the nation, though his tribe is the minority. In fact all the indigenous tribes in Jordan together are a minority, but the monarchy represents diversity and Abdullah II is loved and respected. He needs to tackle the corruption of his underlings and their hangers-on, should do something about his queen Rania’s misperceived excessive influence (she’s Palestinian).

  5. #77
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    Quote Quote by: rmnunez View Post
    The situation in Syria deteriorates by the moment, at least
    twenty more protestors were killed yesterday and there were marches
    everywhere.
    Assad will have to go, but this will have much
    more international repercussions since he did cultivate relationships with Iran
    and in Lebanon, host terrorist groups and have a much
    more adversarial role towards Israel.
    I don't know if they're small and ineffective. It could be they're only regrouping.
    Thank you very much for the updates on the state of Syria, though.

    Now, what of Israel's adversaries?
    "Iran is reportedly working on nuclear capability, but it’s important
    to remember than many of those
    reports come from the administration, which has already shown its
    willingness to lie to the American people about such things with Iraq.
    And now the United States is taking an active role in beefing
    up the nuclear capacity of Israel, a country that, like the United
    States, is in the grip of a bellicose and murderous right wing junta.
    Nothing good will come of this."
    Giving away nuclear power - talk.politics.misc | Google Groups

    Grandpa h.
    Post by post, building his arguments by smashing a couple of theirs -- for America.

  6. #78
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    You really think the US "is in the grip of a bellicose and murderous right wing junta"?

  7. #79
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    Quote Quote by: rmnunez View Post
    Forget about those peace agreements, that’s all on ‘hold’ until*
    the situation stabilizes a bit.*
    Waiting a bit to move forward on improving Israel’s relations*
    is no big deal, they’ve lived with the lousy relations they have for decades.
    Right now that's a separate issue, basically. Until things "stabilize a bit," Syria probably won't have a dramatic impact on Israel.

    Grandpa h.
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  8. #80
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    Quote Quote by: rmnunez View Post
    You really think the US "is in the grip of
    a bellicose and murderous right wing junta"?
    Basically, yes, and your problem is that you don't believe it's in the grip of militarists.

    Grandpa h.
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  9. #81
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    Ah, we're getting somewhere, "basically, yes" is not the same thing as to "really think" so and "militarists" are not the same thing as a "murderous right wing junta".

    I really don't think the Obama administration has an unusually important and influential group of militarists (presumably the sort of people advocating martial solutions). Try to remember Obama didn't want to intervene in Libya, he resisted, said he wouldn't even after France, Britain and others urged him to. He keeps saying this will be a short one, they'll only do no-flys, aren't trying to topple anyone, won't send troops, don't want command... that doesn't sound at all like what one would expect from a government "in the grip of a bellicose and murderous right wing junta".

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    Quote Quote by: rmnunez View Post
    Ah, we're getting somewhere, "basically, yes" is not the same
    thing as to "really think" so and "militarists" are not
    the same thing as a "murderous right wing junta".
    I really don't think the Obama administration has an unusually
    important and influential group of militarists (presumably the sort of
    people advocating martial solutions).
    Way to play with language.
    For the most part, the government wants all its enforcement coalesced into a single source. This can only be approximated, of course, but it is much like a junta.

    I happen to agree with Gore Vidal:
    "The second law of thermodynamics always rules: Everything is always
    running down. And so is our Bill of Rights. The current junta in
    charge of our affairs, one not legally elected, but put in charge of
    us by the Supreme Court in the interests of the oil and gas and
    defense lobbies, have used first Oklahoma City and now September 11 to
    further erode things."
    The Last Defender of the American Republic? - An Interview with Gore Vidal - hebig.org/blog

    And they largely control the discussion. We can ask
    "Is Hamas a terrorist group?" and hear in reply:
    "Hamas and Islamic Jihad in Palestine engage in bombings of
    Israeli civilians..."

    We're not supposed to recall the other part of the answer:
    "These organizations are not the only terrorists, however. The Israeli government has killed huge numbers of Palestinian civilians. These acts too are terrorism. One terrorism does not justify or excuse the other. The United States has been backing -- with military, economic, and diplomatic support -- Israeli terrorism...."
    http://www.experts123.com/q/is-hamas...ist-group.html

    Grandpa h.
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  11. #83
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    How Al Qaeda spins it:
    Anwar al-Awlaki, the Yemeni-American cleric who is a top propagandist for Al Qaeda, broke his silence on the uprisings in the Arab world on Wednesday, claiming that Islamist extremists had gleefully watched the success of protest movements against governments they had long despised.

    The mujahedeen around the world are going through a moment of elation,” Mr. Awlaki wrote in a new issue of the English-language Qaeda magazine Inspire, “and I wonder whether the West is aware of the upsurge of mujahedeen activity in Egypt, Tunisia, Libya, Yemen, Arabia, Algeria and Morocco?”

    Mr. Awlaki’s four-page essay, titled “The Tsunami of Change,” is among a handful of statements by Al Qaeda’s leaders countering the common view among Western analysts that the terrorist network looks irrelevant at a time of change unprecedented in the modern Middle East. In ousting the rulers of Tunisia and Egypt and threatening other Arab leaders, a core of secular-leaning demonstrators have called for democracy and generally avoided violence —all at odds with Al Qaeda’s creed as it tries to instill rigid Islamist rule across the world.

    In an audio statement this month, the Egyptian deputy to Osama bin Laden, Ayman al-Zawahri, pleaded with the Egyptians who toppled President Hosni Mubarak to shun the United States, reject democracy and embrace Islam as the answer to their problems. Arguing that Al Qaeda deserved some indirect credit for the uprisings, he said the United States’ willingness to drop its support for Mr. Mubarak and other authoritarian leaders was a “direct result” of the Sept. 11 attacks.

    Mr. Awlaki’s essay is more colloquial and confident, asserting that the momentous change in Arab countries left Western leaders “confused, worried, and unhappy for the departure of some of its closest and most reliable friends.” He quotes American commentators who describe the uprisings as a refutation of Al Qaeda, including Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton’s assertion last month that “the success of peaceful protests has discredited the extremists.” Mr. Awlaki, who is thought to be hiding in Yemen, argues that such conclusions are premature. “The outcome doesn’t have to be an Islamic government for us to consider what is occurring to be a step in the right direction,” he writes.

    Jarret Brachman, a counterterrorism analyst and author of “Global Jihadism,” said the Qaeda propagandists are “consummate opportunists —no matter what happens, these guys will try to spin it to their benefit.” But he said several influential Qaeda theorists appear to believe that the departure of authoritarian leaders will prove advantageous.

    “Al Qaeda recognizes how marginal they are on this,” Mr. Brachman said. “But it could open the kind of operating space they’ve wanted for a long time.” http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/31/wo...er=rss&emc=rss

  12. #84
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    Protests in Jordan highlight tensions between Transjordanians and ethnic Palestinians. The king's authority is derived from unified support of Transjordanian tribes, but the majority of Jordanians are of Palestine origin.

    The restive protestors demand a more representative government and claim they are denied positions of authority in public administration, the government and military. ELPAIS.com

    The entire cabinet of the government in Kuwait tendered its resignation rather than be summoned to answer why they lent military support to the government of Bahrain when they had trouble on the island (treaty obligations) and explain why the support they gave was so insignificant (a coastal patrol boat).

    Gulf states recently signed an agreement to come to the aid of a member government overwhelmed by protests. Saudi Arabia sent 2 thousand men and dozens of tanks, other states contributed proportionally, but Kuwait, which is relatively important responded weakly.

    The insignificant Kuwaiti contribution was because they didn't want to upset the majority who are Shia. That majority has a few delegates in parliament where the cabinet had been summoned to explain why they sent the help they did. The cabinet didn't want to have to also explain why they sent so little help (the majority in parliament is Sunni).

    In Siria at least 3 and possibly up to 10 protestors were shot and killed by police in Damascus when a large march of 15 to 20 thousand gathered to condemn the deaths of about 70 protestors since the unrest began. ELPAIS.com

    Hundreds of thousands marched against the government in the largest proests sover a dozen town and cities across Yemen.

    Saleh's regime proposed to the US ambassador a transfer of power to the vicepresident, forming a 'national unity government, assigning various cabinet posts, drafting a new constitution, general elections and certain guarantees for Saleh and his family, but then Saleh changed his mind after meeting with his party's leadership and discussing the proposal. ELPAIS.com

    The Egyptian army denied Mubarak had gone into exile in Saudi Arabia asserting instead that he was under house arrest.

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