Middle East: Passion & Protest

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Middle East: Passion & Protest

Unread postby Zhuanyong » Sun Mar 20, 2011 11:44 pm

This thread is dedicated to general conversation regarding the Middle East as a whole. Please bring all discussion regarding Bahrain, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Iran, Jordan, etc here.

Thank you for the idea Yang Dayang.

Look forward to the brilliant opinions and ideas that I have seem go forth from the members of this forum.
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Re: Middle East: Passion & Protest

Unread postby Lord Yang Jiahua » Mon Mar 21, 2011 5:44 pm

ill be first to try Zhuanyong,

With the recent unrest in Egypt, Libya, Bahrain etc, i am actually surprised to find that Israel and the states of Jordan &Syria
have been quiet in the area,personally i would've expected someone to take advantage of the regional chaos or unrest and try to at least politically agitate Israel, i thought when Iran moved their warships thru the Suez that that what was going to happen next, or a full scale war again in Israel+Syria+Jordan etc, but then Libya exploded with unrest and now war ,and the whole area became quiet, so any news from that are?

Also, any reason these protests and Egypt regime change took so freackin long to happen, i expected this at least a year ago, but why did suddenly the whole Middle East choose now to change to Democracy or at least want it, i doubt American Iraqi presence played a factor...
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Re: Middle East: Passion & Protest

Unread postby Antiochus » Mon Mar 21, 2011 6:08 pm

Lord Yang Jiahua wrote:ill be first to try Zhuanyong,

With the recent unrest in Egypt, Libya, Bahrain etc, i am actually surprised to find that Israel and the states of Jordan &Syria
have been quiet in the area,personally i would've expected someone to take advantage of the regional chaos or unrest and try to at least politically agitate Israel, i thought when Iran moved their warships thru the Suez that that what was going to happen next, or a full scale war again in Israel+Syria+Jordan etc, but then Libya exploded with unrest and now war ,and the whole area became quiet, so any news from that are?

Also, any reason these protests and Egypt regime change took so freackin long to happen, i expected this at least a year ago, but why did suddenly the whole Middle East choose now to change to Democracy or at least want it, i doubt American Iraqi presence played a factor...


Lots of questions here! Lets see what I got...

On the matter of Iran, I would say that they have to face problems of their own. The revolutionary guard was pretty quick to place the leaders of the opposition under house arrest and they had to deal with protest of their own. I assume that the opposition force had yet to recover from the repression they suffered after the last election, so that would explain why they were relatively silent.

But given all that, I don't think Iran is in any position to act.

As for the other nations, again, I doubt that they can do much. Jordan recently had to change its cabinet to please the crowd and the fire of protest even managed to manifest in the streets of Syria, which is quite surprising. Taking that into consideration, I doubt that any of those regimes would really wish for a war against Israel.

And finally, the regime-change issue...

My answer is simple, economics. The North-African regimes attempted to reform their educational institutions, but failed to adapt it to the job market. If you add the fact that the majority of the population in these countries is uncommonly young, well, you basically get an army of educated yet unemployed young males.

All it took was a spark to lit the whole region ablaze. That spark was Mohamed Bouaziz, a young Tunisian who set himself on fire (no pun intended). The incident resulted in the uprising in Tunisia, also known as the Jasmine Revolution, which in turn created the ''Arab Spring''. The departure of Ben Ali became an amazing precedent;
A head of state chased away by a mob of educated youths.
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Re: Middle East: Passion & Protest

Unread postby Shikanosuke » Mon Mar 21, 2011 6:12 pm

Syria is in unrest as well, at the moment. I don't know why Israel would be in unrest, though. They have a good country there.
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Re: Middle East: Passion & Protest

Unread postby Zhuanyong » Mon Mar 21, 2011 6:37 pm

Shikanosuke wrote:I don't know why Israel would be in unrest, though. They have a good country there.


Honestly, the only issues that you will probably hear coming from Israel is the usual issues with Hamas, Iran, and the Israeli-Palestinian border scuffles.

Unless, one of the set religions in Jerusalem starts protesting due to injustice we probably won't. I don't believe the Islamic group there faces such an issue.
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Re: Middle East: Passion & Protest

Unread postby Lord Yang Jiahua » Tue Mar 22, 2011 12:26 am

huh, that pretty much answers my q's but im glad to get thread going....

I remember in Egypt thread i think it was Zhuanyong who wrote it, but it was something along the lines of Tunisia sneezed and Egypt caught a cold, more like Tunisia sneezed and the Middle East caught a cold.

Anyway, ill back check that statement,
Where's the most unrest besides Libya been Happening, i'm assuming Bahrain?
My limited knowledge tells me its once again a Sunni v Shiite, Islamic relgiosity that is causing clashes in country.
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Re: Middle East: Passion & Protest

Unread postby Zhuanyong » Tue Mar 22, 2011 1:17 pm

Lord Yang Jiahua wrote:huh, that pretty much answers my q's but im glad to get thread going....

I remember in Egypt thread i think it was Zhuanyong who wrote it, but it was something along the lines of Tunisia sneezed and Egypt caught a cold, more like Tunisia sneezed and the Middle East caught a cold.

Anyway, ill back check that statement,
Where's the most unrest besides Libya been Happening, i'm assuming Bahrain?
My limited knowledge tells me its once again a Sunni v Shiite, Islamic relgiosity that is causing clashes in country.


I didn't write that, some other bright fellow did. But thanks for the thought.

As for your last question, Yang Dayang may be able to answer it as he lives in that region I believe. I will state that it appears that most of the unrest is occurring in Bahrain.
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Re: Middle East: Passion & Protest

Unread postby Antiochus » Tue Mar 22, 2011 2:41 pm

Lord Yang Jiahua wrote:Anyway, ill back check that statement,
Where's the most unrest besides Libya been Happening, i'm assuming Bahrain?
My limited knowledge tells me its once again a Sunni v Shiite, Islamic relgiosity that is causing clashes in country.


There is also Yemen.

As for the cause of the Bahraini clash, I don't entirely agree. While religion is the trait that separates the ruling sunni class with the dominated shia population, the actual uproar has more to do with class struggles than a religious war, it just so happens that the majority of the lower class are shiites. This is backed by the fact that several union leaders sided with the protesters even though they were sunnis.

We roughly see the same scenario in most arab nations. Its not so much about faith than economics and the death of the classic political paradigm of the arab world. For decades, the political landscape of the region was filled with dictatorial secular governments who justified their own existence with a short but convincing list of arguments:

1- Arab nations are not ready for democracy
2- The only real opposition to their regimes where islamic groups that where inherently more dangerous than they were
3- If maintained in power, those regimes would provide an effective mean to contain islamic fundamentalism
4- They could use their dictatorial powers to forcefully developt the region in ways that regular democracy could not (basically on the model of Mustapha Kemal Atatürk)

But something destroyed those arguments.

Argument number four is the easiest one to destroy. The vast natural riches of those countries proved to be the undoing of the development process of the region. It allowed those dictatorship to enjoy important revenues without ever having to build the basis to a modern economy, which would have forced them to give economical rights to their people, which would have led to political rights after the birth of a thriving middle-class.

Argument number three is also an obvious fallacy. Not only did those regimes failed to contain islamic fundamentalism, but they actually are responsible for much of the movements development. Indeed, when they started to use repression on all oppositions forces (including the pro-democracy advocates), the only center of dissent that could still effectively function was the mosques. This fact became terribly obvious to us in the west when terrorist organizations decided to make that ideological shift where they decided to place more importance on the faraway enemy (western countries) than the close enemy (the dictatorial regimes supported by the west).

Argument number two is the most insulting of all. After all, a regime that bans oppositions groups, no matter how moderate they are, cannot really be surprised when the only people who still fight openly against him are willing to fight him. Those who are not willing to use violence can do nothing but hide, or wait for the chance to organise a manifestation of public protest... in a society where repression rules...

Now, it remains to the arab nations to demonstrate that the argument number one was flawed.
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Re: Middle East: Passion & Protest

Unread postby Yang Dayang » Tue Mar 22, 2011 3:52 pm

Where's the most unrest besides Libya been Happening, i'm assuming Bahrain?
My limited knowledge tells me its once again a Sunni v Shiite, Islamic relgiosity that is causing clashes in country


Pretty much every single arabian country now faces inner problems, I'll say Yamen faces more or less the same problems Libya face. How many are dead now? probably more than 200.. the guy bombed and killed, and is threatening that a civil war will ensue. Yamen is a sensitive country too, last year there was a war in their northern borders against the hotheyen (allies of shia& Iran) and many political figures want the current ruler, Abdullah Saleh to stay, because they don't want them hotheyen in the driving seat yet Saleh's latest dictator acts are really ruining his image and support..

About dicators here, Syria's ruler Al-Asad is a very big dictator and his people were scared of him and that's why they took so long to rebel, I guess that their rebellion will last a lot longer than the other rebellions. Libya's Gathafi is a crazy dictator, Mubarak is really exagerrated but he wasn't all that clean. Aside them, I don't think we'll see much movements against the rulers. Other protests in all other countries are pretty much asking for some sort of reforms or some groups are asking for their rights (Lebanon, Iraq, Morocco, etc..), they don't want to replace their rulers because they either like them (like the gulf) or the matter is simply not worth it.

The situation in Bahrain is a pure religious conflict. Even the shittes here in Kuwait have been beginning the goverment not to send military aid to Bahrain and they're accusing the KSA of treason and the royal family in Bahrain of dictatorship. It's all a grand plan from Iran, they tried assassinating some of our rulers, tried bombing and even plundering some sacred places, they were the only ones to protest, Iran backed them up and threatened that a war will break if the gulf send armies, etc..
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Re: Middle East: Passion & Protest

Unread postby Zhuanyong » Wed Mar 23, 2011 6:07 pm

Bomb rocks Jerusalem bus stop, killing woman

Based on the story, this was the first Palestinian militant attack in several years. Seeing as most attacks are carried out on the outskirts and border cities this must have been a shock to those who were present. Especially in a place that is usually rather peaceful.
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