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Chaos in Egypt


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#21 jklymak

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Posted 06 February 2011 - 09:54 AM

^ yes, Jonny sentiments have been the basis of American foreign policy w/ Egypt for the past 40 years. To say that it is a Fox "News" parody is not at all fair. There is optimism that Egypt, with a professional military and decent middle class, can transition to democracy, but its by no means a sure thing.

#22 Bernard

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Posted 06 February 2011 - 10:27 AM

I am trying to think of a single situation in which a country became more of a problem in the world by becoming democracy. Is there an example where improving human rights made the country more belligerent? Changing to a democracy always improves civil society.

I am also trying to think of a single country that was democratic and became a dictatorship that improved the economics of the country and made the country a better player on the world stage.

We have the examples of the 30 countries that came out of the end of the Soviet Bloc, the ones doing the best are all democratic, the ones doing the worst are the dictatorships.

Democracy is the answer to the problems in the Middle East. It is the first and most fundamental human right is needed to make a functioning civil society

#23 rjag

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Posted 06 February 2011 - 11:16 AM

Good article today about US influence in situations such as this....

http://news.national...despots-useful/

#24 jonny

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Posted 06 February 2011 - 12:45 PM

Who needs fox news north when we've got jonny to let us know about the very dangerous idea of giving browns democracy. Gotta keep em under a brutal dictatorship for "stability".


What's with you and the Victoria Hockey Fan? In the spirit of conversation, what specifically do you disagree with in my previous statements?

I just voiced my opinion on what type of political party I think the people of Egypt will elect if given the opportunity. Do you disagree? Odds are it will be something like the Muslim Brotherhood, which is a terrifying group.

I also pointed out the few good things about the Mubarak "presidency". It has been a stable, economically improving place with a relatively small number of incidences related to Islamic fundamentalism. Do you disagree?

#25 jklymak

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Posted 06 February 2011 - 04:09 PM

I am trying to think of a single situation in which a country became more of a problem in the world by becoming democracy. Is there an example where improving human rights made the country more belligerent? Changing to a democracy always improves civil society.


Sure, but you can't just "change to a democracy" by writing a new constitution and holding elections. History is littered with countries that tried this and failed because the populace was not educated enough and the middle class did not have enough power to counter the oligarchy. Some Soviet Bloc countries have been successful because they had strong civil societies before the soviets took over and because Communism at least had ideals of universal education and redistribution of wealth. These conditions aren't met in most countries, particularly former colonies, so the western powers make choices - the Shah or the Ayatollah - that are often unpalatable.

You can argue that they should be interfering, or that they made the wrong choices, but its not reasonable to expect the US or NATO etc to agitate for universal democracy except as an ideal to be met when conditions are right.

#26 G-Man

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Posted 06 February 2011 - 07:03 PM

From what I have read the Muslim brotherhood is a pretty progressive group. Are people scared of the word Muslim? I would bet that the Christian right the USA is far more frightening and destabilizing.

#27 jklymak

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Posted 06 February 2011 - 08:20 PM

I don't think the fear is Muslims, its Islamists. As frightening as the Christian Right is, only the real crackpots advocate abolishing the separation of church and state.

#28 jonny

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Posted 06 February 2011 - 09:37 PM

From what I have read the Muslim brotherhood is a pretty progressive group.


Uhhh I would disagree with that. It's a fundamentalist, religious organization that believes a book is the word of God. They conduct all of their affairs in God's name. Of course they're not progressive.
- Their main goal is the manifest destiny of Islam;
- They believe that society must be ruled by God, not people;
- They want to impose Sharia law - which allows the oppression of women and the stoning of criminals - in Egypt;
- They take a hard line stance on many fundamental issues; "inappropriate private meetings" between men and women should be a crime. The segregation of male and female children with different school curriculum. And of course, no dancing and strict guidelines on how women dress;
- Their slogan is "God is our purpose, the Prophet or leader, the Qur'an our constitution, Jihad our way and dying for God's cause our supreme objective."

Pretty regressive stuff IMO.

#29 rjag

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Posted 06 February 2011 - 09:59 PM

The muslim Brotherhood is what Sinn Fein was to the IRA, they are like the front group that condems 9/11 to the world to show how progressive they are but behind the scenes are working towards the same desired outcome in a less violent way. Their ultimate purpose is theocratic societies ruled by Sharia and the Quran

#30 G-Man

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Posted 07 February 2011 - 08:08 PM

^ Really? Evidence please that is not Glen Beck.

I think the people of Egypt can and should be able to vote for whomever they wish.

#31 rjag

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Posted 07 February 2011 - 09:00 PM

^ Really? Evidence please that is not Glen Beck.

I think the people of Egypt can and should be able to vote for whomever they wish.


Yes of course you are correct, they could vote for the flying yogis or whoever they feel will do the right thing. Much like in Iran after the Shah was deposed, everyone thought the Ayatola (sp) was the answer....see where that got them...the pendulum swung too far the other way. I hope the Egyptian people dont get snookered.

Like I said they are like Sinn Fein a political front seen to be representative of a more peaceful form of Islam.....lets hope they are what they espouse to be...

Why dont you look at the Muslim Brotherhoods english website and read through their guidelines. As with any political group that with a religious background there will always be a public and a private agenda.

http://www.ikhwanweb...le.php?id=22687

Article (2):

The Muslim Brotherhood, is an international Muslim Body, which seeks to establish Allah's law in the land by achieving the spiritual goals of Islam and the true religion which are namely the following:

A– The need to inform the masses, Muslims and non-Muslims of Islamic teachings, explaining the signs in detail to those who understand the pure human nature upon which Allah Has created man.

Distinguish the universality of Islam, in addition to refuting fallacy.
B – Endeavor to purify the hearts and souls of men from evil and sin. Unify humankind into the fundamental principles of Islam and bringing closer the viewpoints of the Islamic sects.
C – Make efforts to raise the standard of living of marginalized people and contribute to the further growth and development of the nation's wealth.

D – Achieve social justice and expand social insurance to cover every citizen. Fight poverty, disease, ignorance, hunger, depravity, encourage, and invite others towards virtue, righteousness and piety.

E – Insist to liberate the Islamic nation from the yoke of foreign rule, help safeguard the rights of Muslims everywhere and unite Muslims around the world.
E – The need to work on establishing the Islamic State, which seeks to effectively implement the provisions of Islam and its teachings.
Defend the nation against the internal enemies, try to present the true teachings of Islam and communicate its ideas to the world.

G – The sincere support for a global cooperation in accordance with the provisions of the Islamic Sharia, which would safeguard the personal rights, freedom of speech for active and constructive participation towards building a new basis of human civilization as is ensured by the overall teachings of Islam.
Article (3):

The Muslim Brotherhood in achieving these objectives depends on the following means:

A– Preaching to Islam, this can only be achieved by promoting it through various means such as radio and television, pamphlets, bulletins, newspapers, magazines, books, publications and preparing the delegations and missions at home and abroad.

B –Teach the movement's younger members to flourish with these principles and demonstrate the true meaning of religiousness as individuals and families. Through teaching decent behaviour to young children ideologically according to the Qur'aan and Sunnah, mentally with knowledge and spiritually with moral virtue, and physically through practicing sport. They endeavor to sow the seed of the true meaning of fraternity, full integration and genuine cooperation among them for international Islamic consensus aiming to create a new generation to understand Islam correctly acting in accordance with its provisions.

C – Guidance and admonition which is sound approach suitable for Muslims in the fields of education, legislation, judiciary, administration, military life, economy, health and governance. This may be aimed at by presenting thorny issues to the competent authorities in order to persuade the world's legislative and executive bodies to follow through with the original conceptual thinking and the tactical implementation with the necessity to work hard to refine the media guided by Islam.
D– Make every effort for the establishment of educational, social, economic and scientific institutions and the establishment of mosques, schools, clinics, shelters, clubs as well as the formation of committees to regulate zakat affairs and alms. Seeking to bring reconciliation between Allah, individuals, families and resist succumbing to social ills, harmful habits, drugs, alcohol, gambling by guiding young people to the right path filling their leisure time with positive activities by creating independent sections in accordance with special regulations.

E –The Islamic nation must be fully prepared to fight the tyrants and the enemies of Allah as a prelude to establishing an Islamic state.

#32 Bernard

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Posted 08 February 2011 - 08:51 AM

The IRA in Ireland turned into Finna Fail and Fine Gael, the two major parties that have dominated Irish politics since 1922. They both managed to change from terrorists into democrats.

If there is a functioning democracy in Egypt, the Muslim brotherhood will change into a traditional party. If they try to pervert a functioning democracy, they will lose support. An islamist government can only come to power if many of the aspects of democracy are suspended.

One of the major reasons so many people in the Middle East believe crazy ideas is because there is no free press and no free access to information. Also, keep in mind that people in Arabic countries tend to keep their real opinions quiet as there is no free speech.

#33 rjag

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Posted 08 February 2011 - 09:23 AM

Good point Bernard, lets hope things do change for the better

#34 G-Man

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Posted 08 February 2011 - 11:06 AM

Cahnging from a dictatorship to a democracy is likely to be positive.

Just came across this great article in the Guardian:

http://www.guardian....est-rageh-omaar

#35 Bernard

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Posted 08 February 2011 - 11:27 AM

There is the danger that all that will happen is something like Iran in 1979 and the Mubarak regime will only end up being replaced by a different dictatorship. Iran's revolution was initially an anti-dictator pro democracy revolution but was then hijacked by Khomeini. It all fell apart when President Banisadr was hounded out of office by the gang around Khomeini in 1981.

Banisadr was elected in a free and fair election in early 1980 with almost 80% of the vote. After he was removed from office, all opposition to Khomeini was made illegal.

Iran was on the cusp of being a democracy and had it stolen by a small group of power hungry extremists that were not wanted by the people.

Spain could have gone the same way. They had just held some of their first free elections when the military attempted a coup but did not succeed.

It is the first couple of years of a new democratic society that are crucial.

Also, keep in mind there has never been a case were a majority of people of country freely supported change to a dictatorship. There is also no evidence if given a free choice that the public would ever choose a dictatorship over a democracy.

As to education. The people of Egypt are better educated and better informed than people were in Canada in the 1930s, they are fully capable of handling democracy.

#36 jklymak

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Posted 08 February 2011 - 03:52 PM

I agree with much of what you say...

Also, keep in mind there has never been a case were a majority of people of country freely supported change to a dictatorship. There is also no evidence if given a free choice that the public would ever choose a dictatorship over a democracy.


Sure, but the majority has certainly supported a democratic government with strong dictatorial tendencies; Germany in the 30s is the obvious counter example. In the case of the Muslim Brotherhood, they would almost certainly try to change the constitution to be more "islamic", at least as they interpret Islam, and that could very likely lead to a muslim dictatorship.

As to education. The people of Egypt are better educated and better informed than people were in Canada in the 1930s, they are fully capable of handling democracy.


The illiteracy rate in the US was 4.3% in 1930, I doubt it was any different in Canada. Do you have a source that says it was over 5%? On the other hand, it is over 30% in Egypt, or 148th out of 180 countries. And it was much worse 30 years ago.

#37 rjag

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Posted 08 February 2011 - 04:07 PM

I also think we give too much credit to these people wanting democracy. We assume thats what they want because its what we have. The fact that there is close to 25% unemployment rate with young Egyptians will weigh heavily on the outcome here, all most people want is to put food on the table and have a roof over their head and a stable job, once thats accomplished then they will think bigger picture.

And its into this type of localised problem that extremists feed upon the unemployed/uneducated/homeless/fill in whatever here

#38 Bernard

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Posted 08 February 2011 - 04:44 PM

What was defined as literate in 1930 is not the same as today, apples and oranges. In the 1930s being able to recognize your name and read "See Dick run" counted as literate.

All people in Egypt have a minimum of 9 years of education. Nine years of school means they can read something, they may not be great at it, but certainly they are at least as literate as people in Canada were in 1930.

Also, the Nazis in Germany did not ever get majority support. Also, as soon as they could, they banned all democratic institutions. The Nazi's were never as popular as Stephen Harper is in Canada now. In the last election in Germany the Nazis managed only 1/3 of the vote.

#39 jklymak

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Posted 08 February 2011 - 05:01 PM

All people in Egypt have a minimum of 9 years of education. Nine years of school means they can read something, they may not be great at it, but certainly they are at least as literate as people in Canada were in 1930.


If they actually attend those 9 years, of which there is not good evidence. Yet they still have a 30% illiteracy rate, as reported by UNESCO. I sincerely doubt that by today's standards Canada's illiteracy rate was 30% in the 1930s.

#40 Bingo

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Posted 08 February 2011 - 08:18 PM

Mubarak Family May Have as Much as $70 Billion Stashed Away, Experts Estimate


http://abcnews.go.co...ory?id=12821073

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