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3 years ago  ::  Jan 28, 2011 - 5:00PM #21
TemplarS
Posts: 6,235

The Mullahs have been in power for 30 years and, other than meddling in Lebanon and Iraq (the latter aggravated by US policies) they haven't done all that much harmful.  A lot of the bluster is for internal consumption.  Certainly they would like nukes but I don't think they are about to use them.


On the other hand, the Sunni crazies have done things.


I also get the sense that the Iranians are better adjusted as a nation than most Arab countries. They at least have a long history of independence.  The Arabs have been occupied by the Ottomans and various western powers for 500 years.  I think this has caused a certain amount of insecurity and paranoia, as well as a sense of blaming everyone else for their own problems.   


So I think: if the impact of these demonstrations serves to focus attention on the fact that the biggest impediments to Arab progress have been their own leaders- then this is a great thing.  But the history of revolutions in this part of the world have simply been to replace one buffoon with an even  bigger buffoon (witness Nasser after Farouk).

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3 years ago  ::  Jan 28, 2011 - 5:30PM #22
rocketjsquirell
Posts: 14,439

To say the Arabs were occupied by the Ottomans is something of an historical inaccuracy. The Arabs were part of the Ottoman Empire. The Imperial model used by the Ottomans differed from that of the later European overseas empires. It is a long discussion, but the Arabs were hardly an oppressed people under the Ottomans.

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3 years ago  ::  Jan 28, 2011 - 10:33PM #23
MMarcoe
Posts: 14,634

Egypt is a big concern, but Iran and Pakistan are the ones to really worry about. I know they're not Arab nations, but they seem to have enough similarities in how they are run. Besides, revolts can be contagious, even outside of ethnic groups.

There are three sides to every story: your side, my side, and the truth.

God is just a personification of reality, of pure objectivity.
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3 years ago  ::  Jan 28, 2011 - 10:44PM #24
Roodog
Posts: 10,168

I say Katy bar the door.


The Muslim people will get the government they want and deserve. Their historic preference is not ours.

For those who have faith, no explanation is neccessary.
For those who have no faith, no explanation is possible.

St. Thomas Aquinas

If one turns his ear from hearing the Law, even his prayer is an abomination. Proverbs 28:9
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3 years ago  ::  Jan 29, 2011 - 12:09AM #25
rabello
Posts: 19,286
Too late to just bar the door.  We provide money and weapons to just about everybody "over there" and have agreements with some for the wars (actually military invasions/occupations) in we started in Afghanistan and Iraq, and covert operations in Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia, and a host of others.

I just wonder if people like Richard Perle, Bill Krystol, Dick Cheney, George W Bush (if he's paying attention), Donald Rumsfeld, Condolezza Rice, and a host of others are happy or alarmed, seeing as how Iraq was intended to be a beacon of democracy for all the other nations in the region, especially the non-allied ones, which isn't Egypt!
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3 years ago  ::  Jan 29, 2011 - 12:10AM #26
Quest
Posts: 65

It seems any in government in those countries start of sounding great, then fall into the same corrupt tradition of their predecessors. Unfortunately, they may get the government they want, but only time will tell if it's the one that the people deserve. I do agree that we need to butt out of this for the most part and only cautiously watch.

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3 years ago  ::  Jan 29, 2011 - 12:42AM #27
Karma_yeshe_dorje
Posts: 11,664

Nobody here seems to have said much about the interaction between technology and society!

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3 years ago  ::  Jan 29, 2011 - 2:55AM #28
CharikIeia
Posts: 8,303

Unlike revolutions there 50-60 years ago, these revolutions now are carried by middle-class educated youth. I have no reason to distrust those, they are like me. These are exciting times, a people finding its voice. While they'd have good reason to be hostile to the West, this seems not to be the case at all - which is very reassuring. But indeed, we need to wait and see where all this will lead to.

tl;dr
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3 years ago  ::  Jan 29, 2011 - 8:06AM #29
rocketjsquirell
Posts: 14,439

Chari


It is a mistake to think that because someone uses facebook and twitter they are "like me"


The protesters in Egypt and elsewhere in the Arab world have an outlook and perspective which is different from yours or mine on almost everything. They have a different cultural and national history, they have different life experiences, they relate to their fellows and to their institutions (government and business) differently. That is not to say that we do not share some ideas and preferences as well a certain life goals.


As to who is "leading" the protests and why, that is a bit harder to determine. It appears to be a more or less spontaneous protest movement triggered by unhappy middle class and it may be. But, one should be cautioned that while middle class revolts can end well (as in the USA revolt against England) they often do not (think French Revolution, the Russian Revolution etc...) I think we need to see who is left after the protests and who picks up the pieces and how. I am not optimistic that either of us will be pleased with the results. 

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3 years ago  ::  Jan 29, 2011 - 9:24AM #30
rabello
Posts: 19,286
I think it's a mistake for people -- especially Americans -- to assume anything about how and why "The Arabs" behave.   40% of the Egyptian people live under the poverty level -- which is not "middle class."   The Egyptian police are overtly abusive of people on the street, and covertly abusive in their prisons.   Mubarak was never really elected, and after 30 years of autocratic rule, intended to install his son has his successor, is the spark that turned a simmering pot into a "boil."  They want him to step down.
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