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4 years ago  ::  Jan 28, 2011 - 12:09PM #11
teilhard
Posts: 51,057

Autocratic-Oligarchic Regimes and Would-Be-Power-Grabbers often stay in Power -- or GET Power --  not ONLY through Brute Force, but also by invoking The Boogey-Man "Other" -- The Outsider, The Distant Oppressor, or The Enemy WITHIN ...


So ... It variously -- has been -- may be "The Jews," "The Capitalists," "The West," "The Infidels," "Space Aliens," "Israel," "Big Oil," "The U.N." -- [... fill ... in ... the ... Blank ...]


Jan 28, 2011 -- 11:59AM, TemplarS wrote:


The really hard question for the people in these countries is this:  they can change government A for government B, they can try democracy or theocracy or any other thing they wish, they can throw the westerners out and wipe Israel off the map- and why will any of this in and of itself make their lives any better?


I think the danger to American interests here has been somewhat overplayed.  You can draw a parallel with Venezuela- for all Chavez' blustering and bungling he hasn't amounted to more than a minor annoyance, and he still needs to sell us his oil and we still buy it.


 


 





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4 years ago  ::  Jan 28, 2011 - 12:10PM #12
mecdukebec
Posts: 14,632
Egypt made peace with Israel, as you know, in the Camp David Accords.  I know of no Egyptian "plan" to become a theocracy: The Muslim Brotherhood, although banned, is the charitable organization that does the most for the poor there.  The Coptic Christians are putatively 10 percent of the population, there.  The Christian community has been ethnically cleansed from Iraq.
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"Wesley told the early Methodists to gain all they could and save all they could so that they could give all they could. It means that I consider my money to belong to God and I see myself as one of the hungry people who needs to get fed with God’s money. If I really have put all my trust in Jesus Christ as savior and Lord, then nothing I have is really my own anymore."
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4 years ago  ::  Jan 28, 2011 - 12:26PM #13
Erey
Posts: 18,672

My understanding is that the movmenet in Egypt and in the Tunisia and Algeria is not Islamic and is shunning the Islamic interlopers.  More of a throw off the totalitarianists.  I think Al Queda and those groups have lost alot of credibility with the muslim people.  But then there is always Hugo Chavez.  Chavez who is always threatening to cut off the US but never will because he needs the income.  These countries don't have so much to sell and will sell thier oil, that is not going to change.

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4 years ago  ::  Jan 28, 2011 - 12:34PM #14
mecdukebec
Posts: 14,632
Tunisia is a very secular state; the Tunisians I have met speak impeccable French(as do I), and that is our language of exchange.  Egypt has the memory of British rule, and has, to my understanding, a role as the source of Arab media.  I know of "Bomb Israel." movement in either nation.
*******

"Wesley told the early Methodists to gain all they could and save all they could so that they could give all they could. It means that I consider my money to belong to God and I see myself as one of the hungry people who needs to get fed with God’s money. If I really have put all my trust in Jesus Christ as savior and Lord, then nothing I have is really my own anymore."
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4 years ago  ::  Jan 28, 2011 - 12:38PM #15
teilhard
Posts: 51,057

 ... and Sadat was KILLED for making Peace with Israel ...


Jan 28, 2011 -- 12:10PM, mecdukebec wrote:

Egypt made peace with Israel, as you know, in the Camp David Accords. I know of no Egyptian "plan" to become a theocracy: The Muslim Brotherhood, although banned, is the charitable organization that does the most for the poor there. The Coptic Christians are putatively 10 percent of the population, there. The Christian community has been ethnically cleansed from Iraq.




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4 years ago  ::  Jan 28, 2011 - 1:00PM #16
mecdukebec
Posts: 14,632

Jan 28, 2011 -- 12:26PM, Erey wrote:

My understanding is that the movmenet in Egypt and in the Tunisia and Algeria is not Islamic and is shunning the Islamic interlopers.  More of a throw off the totalitarianists.  I think Al Queda and those groups have lost alot of credibility with the muslim people.  But then there is always Hugo Chavez.  Chavez who is always threatening to cut off the US but never will because he needs the income.  These countries don't have so much to sell and will sell thier oil, that is not going to change.






There probably is something quite right about your statement in re: tossing off authoritarian regimes.  The educated young have no jobs, but they have an education, and can see for themselves.

That said, with Mubarak a dotty old fool, having ruled now for 30 years, it's probably also that they didn't want "more of same" with his son, and appointed heir.

*******

"Wesley told the early Methodists to gain all they could and save all they could so that they could give all they could. It means that I consider my money to belong to God and I see myself as one of the hungry people who needs to get fed with God’s money. If I really have put all my trust in Jesus Christ as savior and Lord, then nothing I have is really my own anymore."
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4 years ago  ::  Jan 28, 2011 - 1:43PM #17
vra
Posts: 6,403

A couple of quick points that's a reaction from several posts.  First of all, Chavez has stated that if the U.S. attacked Iran that he would cut off our oil and I do believe he would most likely do just that.  He doesn't have to do it for very long, since even a two week disruption would shoot oil and gas prices sky high.  One oil expert I was listening to several months ago said that he thought gas prices here would shoot to as much as $17 a gallon based on his estimates if Venezuela shut our oil off and if Iran was successful in blocking the Straits of Hormuz by sinking a ship(s) there (it's very narrow and shallow at one point).


Secondly, it is the radical Islamists that are in a better position to take power in some of these countries because they are well organized and have backing coming from several sources, plus their hatred of the U.S. and Israel sells well amongst a significant portion of the population.  We have seen this before in Iran, Gaza, and maybe now in Lebanon with the recent election of a Hezbollah candidate there to lead the country.


The more secular and liberal elements in these societies tend to be less organized and less funded, so the chances of their success if the current governments fall is not too good.

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4 years ago  ::  Jan 28, 2011 - 2:12PM #18
TemplarS
Posts: 6,777

Jan 28, 2011 -- 1:43PM, vra wrote:


A couple of quick points that's a reaction from several posts.  First of all, Chavez has stated that if the U.S. attacked Iran that he would cut off our oil and I do believe he would most likely do just that.  He doesn't have to do it for very long, since even a two week disruption would shoot oil and gas prices sky high.  One oil expert I was listening to several months ago said that he thought gas prices here would shoot to as much as $17 a gallon based on his estimates if Venezuela shut our oil off and if Iran was successful in blocking the Straits of Hormuz by sinking a ship(s) there (it's very narrow and shallow at one point).




I have no doubt that if the US attacked Iran, Iran would respond as you say.  When it's your country under attack, you counter as you can.


I do not think for a minute Chavez or anybody else would.  He understands fully well that oil is the only thing he's got going for him.  You only benefit from high oil process if you are selling oil, a fact which OPEC has reduced to practice perfectly. 


In any case, we're not talking about Iran here (though it will be interesting to see if the Arab protests will rekindle any of the Iranian opposition).   Warped as they are in some ways, the Iranian leadership also fully understands the value of their oil, both to their nation and to the the countries that buy it.


The concern is that if the more extreme (ideological)  faction ends up in control of one of the big Arab oil states, they might be foolish enough or naive to shut off the oil to try to make some sort of point. 


So, as regards the following, I agree that this is indeed the concern.


Jan 28, 2011 -- 1:43PM, vra wrote:


Secondly, it is the radical Islamists that are in a better position to take power in some of these countries because they are well organized and have backing coming from several sources, plus their hatred of the U.S. and Israel sells well amongst a significant portion of the population.  We have seen this before in Iran, Gaza, and maybe now in Lebanon with the recent election of a Hezbollah candidate there to lead the country.


The more secular and liberal elements in these societies tend to be less organized and less funded, so the chances of their success if the current governments fall is not too good.





 

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4 years ago  ::  Jan 28, 2011 - 2:44PM #19
Marcion
Posts: 2,883

Let them work out their own problems without meddling by Washington. Besides, any Muslim country that is foolish to ally themselves with the US knows full well that the US will dump them at the drop of a hat in favor of Israel.

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4 years ago  ::  Jan 28, 2011 - 4:21PM #20
vra
Posts: 6,403

Jan 28, 2011 -- 2:12PM, TemplarS wrote:


I have no doubt that if the US attacked Iran, Iran would respond as you say.  When it's your country under attack, you counter as you can.


I do not think for a minute Chavez or anybody else would.  He understands fully well that oil is the only thing he's got going for him.  You only benefit from high oil process if you are selling oil, a fact which OPEC has reduced to practice perfectly. 


In any case, we're not talking about Iran here (though it will be interesting to see if the Arab protests will rekindle any of the Iranian opposition).   Warped as they are in some ways, the Iranian leadership also fully understands the value of their oil, both to their nation and to the the countries that buy it.





As you're probably aware of, Iran is Shi'i and it's actually a group of imams that really are in charge of the country, and Shi'a Islam has very strong messianic-type tendencies that can get played out in rather violent and even somewhat self-destructive ways.  Many experts believe that if they were to get nuclear weapons that this group could well be tempted to even attack Israel knowing full well that Israel would virtually destroy Iran, but this would help bring on Ali's successor according to their beliefs.


As far as Chavez is concerned, I have less optimism about him that you do, largely because he has quite radical tendencies, plus he well knows that even if he were to temporarily cut off selling oil to us that we would beg to have him start shipments again (he's our 2nd greatest foreign source), but meanwhile the price of oil would skyrocket insuring him far greater profits.  To me, he's not to be trusted one iota.   

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