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  1. #1
    Council Member IntelTrooper's Avatar
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    Default Egypt's Spring Revolution (2011-2013)

    Via Eric Trager at The Atlantic:

    Scenes From Egypt's Would-Be Revolution

    CAIRO, Egypt -- It is too soon to know whether the stunning demonstrations that have rocked Egypt today, with tens of thousands of protesters descending on cities throughout the country and overtaking Cairo's central square in an effort to reproduce Tunisia's recent uprising, will succeed in forcing change. But a telling comment came just after cannons, shooting gas-infused water, dispersed crowds along one major Cairo thoroughfare, when a man turned to me and said, "We want a revolution. We don't want Hosni Mubarak."

    That man was a police captain.
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    I just posted the following comments on facebook while discussing this with an Indian friend...I think they are relevant. The US, with its worldcop ambitions and its Israeli mandate cannot easily sit aside, but, for whatever its worth:

    I think that the ruling elite will survive, but may have to sacrifice the crook Mubarak and send him to retirement in Jeddah if things get out of hand. Then they will ban alcohol on Fridays or do some other bull#### like that to keep the mullahs happy and meanwhile they will ask America for more money in order to keep the poor people in check. This method of selling nuisance value has been perfected in Pakistan and if they need advice, I can provide it at 500 dollars an hour via skype…
    Fundamentalists are a threat to Egypt because if they hijack the “revolution” it will be crude, violent and unproductive and will eventually lead to either anarchy or an Islamist dictatorship that will barely feed its own population and will someday be replaced by another revolution.
    Israel is the obvious direct affectee outside of Egypt. It is a waste of time to worry about fundamentalists in Egypt if you are an Indian. In fact, the fundamentalists may have to buy stuff from india and China as Europe and the USA will close down a lot of connections. And India may benefit from a few thousand talented Egyptian refugees finding their way to India. What is India’s worry from such a “revolution”?

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    Default Omar,

    a brief thanks for again giving us your take on things Islamic and Islamist - and we get you advice and comments without coughing up 10K nickels per hour.

    Cheers

    Mike

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    Since you encouraged me, I have another comment on this article:
    http://www.lrb.co.uk/blog/2011/01/26...ne-is-waiting/

    I am not sure why Obama has to deliver the people of Egypt out of slavery. I would not imagine that as a traditional function of American diplomacy.

    If things get out of hand, then there is the issue of what organized force is in a position to control the situation. Obviously there is no such thing (even in Somalia) as pure anarchy. Whoever has some organized force tends to take control. In an organized modern state, that function is performed by the state. If Egypt is lucky, then their current corrupt ruling elite will have enough sense and staying power to reform themselves enought to satisfy the people’s aspiration for participation in society, fairness, democracy, etc, while maintaining basic law and order.
    But given the long history of corrupt elite rule in these countries and its inevitable decay at the core, it may be that they will either impose basic order by force WITHOUT reforming too much, or they will fall apart completely. IF things fall apart, then it all depends on who or what can organize a takeover of the remains. In 1917 in Russia, that was the Bolsheviks. In Egypt in 2012 that may be the Islamists.
    And yes, in that case, things may go from bad to worse. My guess is that the Islamists, at least initially, will be less corrupt than the current regime, and they will permit many marginalized but talented people to rise, but given their retrogressive philosophical framework, they will not be able to make much progress and will lose a lot of the technocratic elite to migration. Unlike Iran, they dont have much oil, they dont have that strong and deep a cultural tradition, they dont have a very educated clergy, they have Israel next door and they are infected with just enough grandiose Arab grandstanding: they will not do well as an Islamic republic…

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    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default Age groups

    I have watched a little newsreel and spent more time looking at the photos on FP Blog:http://www.foreignpolicy.com/article...25/day_of_rage

    Where it is remarkable that many of those protesting are not young, indeed juveniles are absent as are women. The vast majority are men in their twenties and one Oriental male - a Chinese student / tourist?
    davidbfpo

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    Council Member Bob's World's Avatar
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    The U.S. has no duty to "deliver" any populace "out of slavery."

    But the U.S. has no choice but to deal with the consequences of perceptions that we act to sustain such populaces in "slavery" to begin with.

    "Slavery" is a harsh word, designed to evoke emotional responses. This in no time or place for such emotion. This is a time for calm, thoughtful, principled leadership.

    I for one am far more comfortable with an America that stands up for popular sovereignty, self-determination, equity, justice and liberty; than I am with an America that ignores inconvenient truths or that rationalizes the priority of upholding "the rule of law" when that law is nearly universally recognized as unjust.

    We stand at a crossroad. We have an opportunity to be the country we see ourselves as, or to remain the country that others grow increasingly to see us as. I vote for the former.
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    Council Member AdamG's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by davidbfpo View Post
    and one oriental male - a chinese "student / tourist" operative?
    ftfy.

    Nevermind - the kid looks like an oriental 'Where's Waldo?'
    http://www.foreignpolicy.com/article...rage?page=0,31
    Last edited by AdamG; 01-28-2011 at 07:06 PM.
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    Council Member AdamG's Avatar
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    Default Has Egypt's revolution become a military coup?

    CAIRO, Egypt — Just days after the departure of former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak on Feb. 11, the nation’s new, self-appointed military leaders pledged, within six months, a swift transition to civilian rule.

    Crowds of the same protesters that demanded Mubarak’s ouster cheered as their army said it would steer the nation toward a “free, democratic system.” Seven months later, however, many Egyptians are finding that little has changed.

    As the so-called Supreme Council of the Armed Forces increasingly cements, and in some cases flaunts, its firm grip on power, the revolution that inspired a region is beginning to look more like an old-fashioned military coup.
    http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/n...-military-coup

    And if so, who is behind these shennanigans?

    CAIRO: A fresh attack overnight on a pipeline delivering gas from Egypt to Israel left one person injured, witnesses and Egyptian security sources said Tuesday.

    At least three gunmen in a van opened fire on a gas installation before an explosion hit the pipeline near the town of al-Arish in the north of the Sinai peninsula, witnesses said.

    It was the sixth such attack on the pipeline, which carries gas through the Sinai and on to Jordan and Israel, since Egypt's former president Hosni Mubarak was toppled in February.
    http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stori...155743/1/.html

    Thread for reference : http://council.smallwarsjournal.com/...715#post115715
    A scrimmage in a Border Station
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    Drops to a ten-rupee jezail


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    "Some experts believe that Egypt’s military advisors simply may not know anything other than the exertion of power through brute force. The current leaders running the country, after all, also ruled during Mubarak's three decades in office." Therefore, invariably, the military must remain in their barracks to squander public money in all their maneuvers, except politics.

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    Council Member AdamG's Avatar
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    Alarmed by an increasing sense of insecurity, a growing number of Egyptians in northern Sinai are stockpiling and arming themselves with heavy weapons coming in from Libya. The arms are easy to come by since the revolution in Egypt and subsequent rebellion in Libya.
    http://www.npr.org/2011/10/13/141303...arm-themselves

    Fun fact : going price for a KPV is $15k.

    EL ARISH, Egypt — Large caches of weapons from Libya are making their way across the Egyptian border and flooding black markets in Egypt’s already unstable Sinai Peninsula, according to current and former Egyptian military officials and arms traders in the Sinai.

    Egyptian security officials have intercepted surface-to-air missiles, most of them shoulder-launched, on the road to Sinai and in the smuggling tunnels connecting Egypt to the Gaza Strip since Moammar Gaddafi fell from power in Libya in August, a military official in Cairo said. Arms traders said the weapons available on Sinai’s clandestine market include rockets and antiaircraft guns.
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/...ufL_story.html
    Last edited by AdamG; 10-13-2011 at 03:31 PM.
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    Council Member Dayuhan's Avatar
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    Default Arab Spring becoming Arab Summer?

    http://news.yahoo.com/protesters-rej...213902113.html

    Egypt's military ruler promised Tuesday to speed up a presidential election to the first half of 2012 and said the armed forces were prepared to hold a referendum on immediately shifting power to civilians — concessions swiftly rejected by tens of thousands of protesters in Tahrir Square, who chanted, "Leave! Leave!"

    The latest standoff plunged the country deeper into crisis less than a week before parliamentary elections, the first since the ouster nine months ago of longtime authoritarian leader Hosni Mubarak.
    This was of course inevitable, as various factions jockey for power in the post-Mubarak era. I certainly hope nobody is contemplating intervention, but it will be worth watching how the situation plays out. Transitions out of dictatorship are complicated and very challenging, and we've a fair number to observe these days.
    “The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary”

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    Council Member Bob's World's Avatar
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    I think the Egyptian military liked the status they enjoyed under Mubarak far more than the one they inherited (and that we pushed for in demanding that Mubarak step down).

    They don't want to be in charge, but they don't want to end up in a position worse than what they once enjoyed.

    As Dayuhan points out, these things are complicated. When dictators fall it is almost always far more the end of the beginning, rather than the beginning of the end.
    Robert C. Jones
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    (Understanding is more important than Knowledge)

    "The modern COIN mindset is when one arrogantly goes to some foreign land and attempts to make those who live there a lesser version of one's self. The FID mindset is when one humbly goes to some foreign land and seeks first to understand, and then to help in some small way for those who live there to be the best version of their own self." Colonel Robert C. Jones, US Army Special Forces (Retired)

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    Council Member Dayuhan's Avatar
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    The danger I see for the US is that if the Muslim Brotherhood gains a substantial slice of the Parliament (they probably will) some elements of the military might wave that as a red flag and try to coax the US into supporting continued military dominance as "the only alternative" to what will be styled as "terrorist rule" or "rule by supporters of and sympathizers with AQ".

    I hope we don't fall for it. I'd much rather see the Brothers in Parliament then out on the streets, excluded from power and organizing a rebellion against a tenuous military regime with no shadow of legitimacy.
    “The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary”

    H.L. Mencken

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