Tunisian revolution

Discussion in 'Politics and Society' started by bob x, Jan 17, 2011.

  1. bob x

    bob x Well-Known Member

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    I am surprised there hasn't been discussion of this here. A corrupt and dictatorial "President" (for decades, always "re-elected" with overwhelming margins in fraudulent elections) has been chased out of Tunisia very abruptly: although the regime had looked perfectly stable, it fell apart in days (people all just stopped pretending like they supported the regime), with several dozen deaths and some continued fighting, but a mild butcher's bill as such things go.

    What is important here is that it was completely home-grown. The US has never had any particular involvement with Tunisia; France has, but kept discreetly silent all through the developments (France was accused of covertly backing the regime, but would not give President Ben-Ali asylum; I think they were cleverly avoiding any overt support for the rebels so that the regime would have no excuse to play the "foreign puppets!" card). Text-messages, and of all things Facebook, were crucial to organizing the demonstrations. The expressed aims are for democracy and freedom, and the suddenness has to give pause to dictators throughout North Africa and the Middle East. Meanwhile, in Ivory Coast, a Muslim from the north won the election, and the incumbent from the south still sits in his palace and refused to admit he lost: this too is being seen throughout Africa as an important place to draw the line and insist that elections be genuine and the outcome respected.

    Things could turn out either very badly or very well, or muddle through somewhere halfway in between.
     
  2. wil

    wil UNeyeR1 Moderator

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    Yup, and Papa Doc is back in Haiti....

    as the world turns...
     
  3. 17th Angel

    17th Angel לבעוט את התחת ולקחת שמות

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    Just another North Korea... If left to own devices it will continue to just be a drawn out bad thing for a majority, good thing for a minority.. Occasionally it will pop up it's ugly head and people will say "OH NO! That's awful!" "There is going to be a war, has to be!!!" And so on... Then will fade away, then come back and people will say "OH NO That's awful!"..... And so on. Isn't that the way it normally goes?

    Then again just on slightly less or more on the scale it always tends to be a majority suffers while a minority leaches seems to be the way of nations. Just some know how to keep it concealed better. All about methods.
     
  4. Muslimwoman

    Muslimwoman Coexistence insha'Allah

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    I think and hope it is more than that 17th. If you look at the likes of this:

    Hijacking the Tunisian revolution - Inside Story - Al Jazeera English

    you can see that protestors are not just students but the middle aged trade unions as well ... and they are calling for the building of democracy. They may not win this time but the process has started.

    and regimes like Mobarak in Egypt will be watching carefully .... as will the people in countries ruled by tyranny.

    http://english.aljazeera.net/indepth/opinion/2011/01/2011115135046129936.html

    I think I said on this forum about 3 years ago I could feel change coming in the Middle East (perhaps wishful thinking but I hope not) ... it may not be tomorrow, it may not be next year but I really believe it is coming.

    What is important now is for the West to butt out and let the Arab people move towards their own concept of democracy and bring about change for themselves. This, I think, will just tbe the beginning of a long process.
     
  5. wil

    wil UNeyeR1 Moderator

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    Now THAT is wishful thinking.
     
  6. Muslimwoman

    Muslimwoman Coexistence insha'Allah

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    I know Wil :eek: we are rather slow learners
     
  7. bob x

    bob x Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, but in the Tunisian case it seems to be true. The revolution is "home grown" which I think is very important (nobody can MAKE democracy work in a country except the people who live there) and there haven't been accusations "you're a bunch of Western puppets!" thrown around from one faction to another.
     
  8. wil

    wil UNeyeR1 Moderator

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    Oh, I'm not saying it wouldn't be appropriate and beneficial, just that we have issues staying out of other peoples business.

    But my question is, why do we keep saying we want to create democracies when we aren't one, and the reason we aren't one is democracies fail.

    The closest thing we have to a democracy is California....and it is having major issues, due to its 'democracy'.
     
  9. Muslimwoman

    Muslimwoman Coexistence insha'Allah

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    Because we won't be happy until everyone is in our gang? If you're not with us you're against us? If we have to make these stupid mistakes then everyone should make them with us?

    It is a little embarrassing when you sit in an Arab country and say "I come from a democratic country" and then hear everyone laughing :eek: I have been asked many times to explain how my country is democratic ... off I go with explaining the voting system,etc ... then I'm asked to give an example of where the people changed the law or government ... I get stuck at that point :eek::eek:
     
  10. iBrian

    iBrian Peace, Love and Unity Admin

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    I don't think the point about modern democracies is that they allow people to change the law - as much as allow people to change the government.

    In a way that is bloodless, acceptable, and not subject to violent disorder!
     
  11. bananabrain

    bananabrain awkward squadnik

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  12. NiceCupOfTea

    NiceCupOfTea Pathetic earthlings

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    i think democracy as we know it is over rated, but so far it seems to be the best form of government.

    also whenever there is revolution it seems to be the most violent and ruthless thats wins through, so if thats true it does not look good for North Africa, but we shall see.

    growing up in the uk the above rings true.
     
  13. bananabrain

    bananabrain awkward squadnik

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    only if you admit that the labour party are also an "oppressing class", given the opportunity.

    b'shalom

    bananabrain
     
  14. Thomas

    Thomas Administrator Admin

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    I tend to agree with BobX — I'm reminded of the 'sudden' overthrow of Ceauşescu's regime in Romania — people get to a point when they've just had enough.

    The West will, of course, attempt to dick about with the matter in an attempt to arrive at an outcome considered 'favourable' for investors — that fact that govt's still sponsor such activities by their security services, in the face of overwhelming evidence that such actions usually rebound on them (Bin Laden, anyone?), shows just how bankrupt govts actually are when it comes to fresh thinking on a perennial and repetitive problem.

    Whilst govts. are negotiating extraction plans from the debacle that is Afghanistan, you can bet that the military are drawing up the list of places to go into next ... Yemen, Sudan.

    Democracy? Democracy works as long as everything in the garden is rosy. Where democracy fails miserably is when there are realities needed to be faced up to by an electorate that doesn't want to face up to its responsibilities ...

    Thomas
     
  15. wil

    wil UNeyeR1 Moderator

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    Bin Laden? Marcos, Hussien, Noriega, Hitler.... it's a helluva list
     
  16. farhan

    farhan Well-Known Member

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    I read somewhere that some people were planning to commit suicide in Cairo... something like that. So whats the word on the streets of Egypt? Any reactions to Tunisian incident?
     
  17. iBrian

    iBrian Peace, Love and Unity Admin

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    Looks like a "Day of Revolt" in Egypt, with a particularly large scale protest in Cairo:
    BBC News - Cairo protest: Clashes on Egypt's 'day of revolt'

    I'm not sure what the protesters are looking for, though - hope for change? Isn't that the first call, and the first disappointment, with any democracy?
     
  18. bob x

    bob x Well-Known Member

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    In Tunis, a despairing boy (he used to sell flowers on the street, and some official told him he couldn't without a "license"-- that is to say, without paying that fellow some bribe or other-- and took everything from him) set himself on fire in front of one of the ministries, and this helped intensify the anger. Some people in Egypt have tried imitating this (nobody seems to have successfully burned himself to death, so far as I have heard yet).
     
  19. Muslimwoman

    Muslimwoman Coexistence insha'Allah

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    My husband said they were planning online to demonstrate but he didn't expect it to actually happen.

    His take on this is that the people have been unhappy for a long time and they just needed to see someone stand up to their President (it happened to be Tunisia) and then it would start and hopefully move through the middle east.

    I have never heard my husband so happy when I just called him at work and said have you seen the news. This may not be the big move forward but it's a start.

    They want Mobarak out and the countries money used to deal with the economy. Egypt earns billions from the Suez Canal but 100% of the money is allocated to Mobarak to pay for his own security guard. There was also a gas deal, part of the peace treaty with Israel where the price of gas would remain static no matter what ... at one point Israel was paying less for gas than it cost to produce it. Obviously the people want to stop supplying to Israel or if thats possible at least charge market prices.

    There was actually an academic who detailed the Egyptian Revenue and explaining such issues as this .. will ask hubby to find it and try to post it. It's quite unbelievable and you can understand why the people are pee'd off.

    Bobx is right, corruption is as common as sand out there. When I opened my shop there I needed an electricity supply ... the electricity guy said it wouold take 6 months to do the paperwork ... unless of course I paid him 5,000 in which case he could do it tomorrow. The country runs on official corruption, you can't join the police unless a family member works for them ... it must change.

    As for democracy, yes Egyptians want democracy but not our brand of democracy. They want their own form, because they see our democracy is actually not working. I wouldn't hold my breath on them suddenly becoming a European like state but hopefully they will move in a positive direction ... if this isn't just a storm in a teacup.

    As for suicides Faran, I think it is more likely they would say they will die fighting ... like the young man who stood in front of the water canon, luckily they didn't run him over but they are passionate enough to be prepared to die for this change.

    Please Allah (swt) let this be the start of something big for Egypt and the Middle East. :D
     
  20. Muslimwoman

    Muslimwoman Coexistence insha'Allah

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    AAARRRGGGHHHHHH :mad:

    look at this

    US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said her administration supported "the fundamental right of expression and assembly" and urged all parties "to exercise restraint".
    She added that Washington believed the Egyptian government was "stable" and "looking for ways to respond to the legitimate needs and interests of the Egyptian people".

    Why can't the US just butt the BLEEP out of other countries concerns????
     

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