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Tunisia --> Egypt --> Jordan??

Discussion in 'Politics & Current Events' started by minerva, Feb 1, 2011.

  1. minerva

    minerva Member+

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    the Arab street is getting restless.
    seems to be following a common template - economic issues, leading to a political crisis, leading to a political revolution. I guess this is probably good for the people of the region (although if you ask many of the people of the former Soviet Union and the Eastern Block countries 20 years after their revolutions, you'll probably get some conflicting opinions), but what does this mean for US foreign policy for the region?

    btw, has anyone heard about Tunisia lately? what's been happening there since their dictator stepped down? is it all roses and ponies and butterflies now?

     


  2. (De La)Redstriker06

    (De La)Redstriker06 Member

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    It's not going to happen, and it's down to the demographics of the country. I think a lot of the citizens who are originally Palestinian (the majority of the population) do not want to revolt against a country that gave them citizenship and a home. Yes, that citizenship sometimes amounts to less than fair treatment (especially when trying to get a government job) or the stripping of a National ID number which turns said person into persona non grata in his own country. But at the end of the day, they know they have it better than their counterparts in Syria or Lebanon. A revolution will only happen if the King's bedouin power base is upset. So far, they are happy with what the King has done. He has gone out of his way to give them government jobs and has recently stepped in stop the rise of fuel and food prices.

    Jordan's electoral system is gerrymandered to give these people more power in the election. People who live in Amman (around half the country) have the value of their vote reduced to 5/7 of a vote. This is because Amman is made up of a lot of West Bankers and the educated who would be most likely to vote for a party whose policies don't fall in line with that of the King's. Outside of the capital, loyalists to the King usually run and buy their votes by holding huge feasts for their tribe/constituents.

    At the end of the day, a lot of people like the King. All protests were directed towards Rifai who really doesn't do anything, he is appointed by the King and not elected by the people. Even if there are reforms, I would suspect that the King will only allow the people to vote for the PM but still appoint the upper house and retain his veto power.

    The odds on favorite for a revolution is Yemen and maybe Algeria. Wild Card is Bahrain.
     
  3. minerva

    minerva Member+

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    I think they may like him well enough politically, but if we have learned anything from these recent events, is that economics trumps everything.
     
  4. superdave

    superdave Member+

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    It's sort of like 1989. Once one nation pulled this off, other communist-ruled peoples thought, hey, let's give it a try. In Eastern Europe, it worked in every case. In China, it didn't.

    It worked in Tunisia and it's gonna work in Egypt. The next 6-8 months should be damned interesting.
     


  5. minerva

    minerva Member+

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    question is, will it spread to Iran.
    it seemed like Iran has been more ready for this sort of thing all along than any other ME country, and it's a bit surprising to me at least, that it has happened in Tunisia and Egypt first.
     
  6. tomwilhelm

    tomwilhelm Member+

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    Tunisia's never in the news. But Egypt? I've been hearing about food shortages in Egypt for 2 or 3 years. It was only a matter of time.

    I don't know if it'll spread to Iran. You have to cross the Sunni/Shiite divide for that. Jordan, Yemen, other small gulf states, and the rest of Muslim Africa are in play though.
     
  7. Calexico77

    Calexico77 Member

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    See, I was thinking Tunisia-->Egypt-->Syria.
     
  8. tomwilhelm

    tomwilhelm Member+

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    That is my hope. More than any other country.
     
  9. gmonn

    gmonn Member+

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    Iran is a little different because it already happened there recently and got brutally suppressed. The people are just waiting, sure, but I don't know if these protests elsewhere change anything for them.
     
  10. JBigjake

    JBigjake Member+

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    No sex, drugs or rock 'n' roll!
    Listen to some good music, smoke a joint/get drunk & screw your girlfriend.
     
  11. CHICO13

    CHICO13 Moderator Staff Member

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  12. Style

    Style Member

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    The reasons in reality are very different to that you express. Access to good music has not been our problem. Drugs, and sex (before marriage) are readily available in the Middle East, however Islam, and Christianity (two predominant religions in the Middle East) condemn such acts and that its not accepted by society.

    Well, why are we so angry?
    Corruption exists, take for example Saudi Arabia which is one of the wealthier states in the middle east which fails to provide welfare to many of it citizens, while their everyday prince can go and shop at Harrods spending $50'000 on a designer bag. This brings me to my second point which is inequality, its like 1900 Russia, were you got 10% of population with lots of money and 90% living worst than serfs. Its a complicated question.

    We also got Israel to deal with, regardless of the threat it is, and the fact it sends many refuges to neighboring countries to deal with. Israel to the Arab youth is oppression, they commit crimes against our fellow Arabs that go unheard of, and whats even worst that the like of Hosni Muburak help them. Remember that there is hundreds of thousands of Gazans starving while Hosni Muburak keeps borders closed and disallows aid, causing peace activist such as those on the Turkish flotillas to undergo Israeli attack. Not to mention Israel role which acts adversely to our development as nations.

    There are many reasons why the youth seek reform... but its not sex nor drugs.
     
  13. TeamUSA

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    I believe we'll see more happening. Would have Algeria ahead of Jordan.
     
  14. JBigjake

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    None after marriage, eh?
    Not that I'm any fan of the Saudi leaders, but would part of that have to do with the demographic explosion since 1960? 4 million to 20+ million Saudis!
    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/f/fa/Saudi-Arabia-demography.png
    As many Jews have been forced from Arab countries as Palestinians from Israel!
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jewish_exodus_from_Arab_lands
    800,000 to 1 million
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Palestinian_refugee
    711,000 in 1948 + 300,000 in 1967.
    There are more Arabs within Israel now than there were in 1948!
    The fact is that the Arab countries have kept many Palestinian refugees in camps & denied more basic rights of citizenship & employment! How is it that Saudia Arabia did not extend citizenship rights to its Palestinian refugees?
    http://archive.arabnews.com/?page=1&section=0&article=53213&d=21&m=10&y=2004
    "the naturalization law would not be applicable to Palestinians living in the Kingdom as the Arab League has instructed that Palestinians living in Arab countries should not be given citizenship to avoid dissolution of their identity and protect their right to return to their homeland. Diplomatic sources have estimated the number of Palestinians in the Kingdom at about 500,000."
     
  15. minerva

    minerva Member+

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    Well that coedition isn't unique to the Middle East.
     
  16. Saudi64

    Saudi64 Member

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    Religion, family, honesty, pride and honor are all very important values that are well built into Arabs. They might lose some of these values throughout time, but its still somewhat in him. So all these oppression, corruption, governments runned by puppets is a big deal in the Middle East. Wars are also another common thing in the region, so you have youth growing up watching tv news witnessing dead men, women, and children, all killed innocently. When you grow up in an environment like this its hard to just relax and chill and enjoy your life. An average Arab youth would probably know more about politics 5x any other youth around the world. Add all these to poor living conditions, and you have people with nothing to lose.

    Obviously Tunisia and Egypt have erupted, but large protests have already happened in Yemen, Jordan, and Sudan. Syria already has a planned protest similar to Egypt for this Friday, so I believe Yemen and Syria have the biggest potential to blow up. IF they both do, then definately the region will go nuts, especially YEMEN guns get sold there like fruits and vegetables lol, and the violence will easily spill into Saudi Arabia. If violence and protest spreads in Saudi Arabia, easily the most corrupt regime in the world, then this world is gonna turn into hell. :D
     
  17. JBigjake

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    Do you think that Arabs have a monopoly on any one of these values?
     
  18. soccermilitant

    soccermilitant Member

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    the american empire is falling.
     
  19. (De La)Redstriker06

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    This is true, but like I said the Jordanian government has taken steps to freeze food and energy prices. They have also given all government employees and pensioners a 20 JD (~$30) raise. There is definitely potential there but I think they have it under control. The most likely government to fall is Yemen just because they are so unstable and there are 3 firearms per person (the most armed country in the world).

    Algeria would be the next and then after that close your eyes and throw a dart at the region.

    The GCC Countries are stable and their electorate are richer and less educated. That said, I think the February 14th revolution in Bahrain is one to watch.

    I don't know about Syria... Facebook and other social media has been blocked there. Also the country has a better social safety net than say, Jordan. The government subsidizes bread which is huge for stability in a country were 3 million people are unemployed. Also from a purely political standpoint, Syria is seen by many as the one country that isn't cozy with Israel (and plenty of countries in the region that don't have relations with Israel have had relations underneath the table) and that helps him with his people.
     
  20. Umar

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  21. johan neeskens

    johan neeskens Member

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  22. Rostam

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    Has anyone else thought about the possibility of this new wave of velvet revolutions --albeit, without color --that are being staged and unleashed, flops? There will be one hell of a mess if the "transition" is not smooth.
    Somebody is taking a very risky chance! :eek:
     
  23. minerva

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    well what do you mean by "flops?"
    I suppose it is possible that some of the revolutions (depending on how many we will have) could be hijacked by other forces, and these people will wind up with another dictatorship, whether military/secular, or Islamist, but it's also possible that the revolutions, although they might succeed politically, will not bring the economic prosperity, which was the real cause of these revolutions to begin with.
    also, I wonder how long countries like Jordan can really subsidize the economy sufficiently to quell their people. without oil wealth, I don't know how long they can keep it up.
    no doubt someone (quite a few in fact) is taking a very risky chance, but I don't think there's a way to turn the tide, or to do anything about it. if it's going to happen, it's going to happen. and when the euphoria of the revolution is over, people will find that political freedoms will not fill an empty stomach nor satisfy a hungry person. then what will they do? will the revolution/democracy survive that crisis? or will people exchange their freedoms for security and prosperity (relative), like so many others have before them?
     
  24. Umar

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  25. Timon19

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