Great Society

Children of the Sun => Newsday => Political Junkies => Topic started by: nacho on February 05, 2011, 04:16:18 PM

Title: Arab World Protests
Post by: nacho on February 05, 2011, 04:16:18 PM
Edit 2/24/11 -- I split this out from another thread since, initially, it was bitching about Obama... But then things started to get interesting.


Good, I'm glad we're standing behind a dictator.


Quote
Egypt's President Hosni Mubarak "must stay in office" during a power transition, a US special envoy says.

Frank Wisner was speaking as protesters kept up their demands for Mr Mubarak to step down immediately.

Mr Mubarak has pledged to quit in September. Earlier, he replaced the entire politburo of his ruling party, including his son Gamal.

President Barack Obama has urged Mr Mubarak to "make the right decision" and to begin the transition "now".

The US state department has refused to comment on Mr Wisner's remarks, in which he also hailed the Egyptian ruling party resignations.

Hossam Badrawi, a reformer and top physician, took the post of head of the policies committee, held by Gamal, and that of secretary-general.

Protesters still occupy Cairo's Tahrir Square, but their numbers have fallen from Friday's huge rally.

But the BBC's Yolande Knell in Cairo says the city is still remarkably quiet 12 days after the protests began as people wait to see what happens next.
Title: Arab World Protests
Post by: RottingCorpse on February 05, 2011, 04:46:12 PM
I've only been half paying attention to this. Who's going to the new ruling party?
Title: Arab World Protests
Post by: nacho on February 05, 2011, 05:52:01 PM
I've only been half paying attention to this. Who's going to the new ruling party?

El Baradei has been thrust forward by the protesters.  He's the director of the atomic energy commission and a peace prize winner. So one idea is that he oversees a transition to some sort of parliamentary government.

But it seems like the protesters don't really know what they want, except to get Mubarak out. Which is why the US and others are sort of shuffling around twitching because it looks like, if Mubarak's government falls, there'll be anarchy... Which we believe equals the rise of radicals.
Title: Arab World Protests
Post by: nacho on February 10, 2011, 01:26:00 PM
Mubarak is due to step down tonight, according to the CIA and the Egyptian military.  The military has come right out and said that they're going to take over governing the nation during the "power transfer" and we're applauding them.

Um.....
Title: Arab World Protests
Post by: monkey! on February 10, 2011, 07:05:48 PM
The reason the US is worried is because Mubarak was their little puppet friend, part of their boy's club: the person who gets in mightn't play the ol' sycophancy game.
Title: Arab World Protests
Post by: nacho on February 10, 2011, 07:50:25 PM
Thank god.
Title: Arab World Protests
Post by: Reginald McGraw on February 10, 2011, 11:44:01 PM
And...he didn't.  Some powers delegated to the VP?

I think he will eventually, but...
Title: Arab World Protests
Post by: nacho on February 10, 2011, 11:48:47 PM
Yeah, WTF is that all about.  I keep getting flashbacks to Ceausescu's last befuddled speech.  "What?  they...don't love me?"  *KA-BLAM*
Title: Arab World Protests
Post by: RottingCorpse on February 11, 2011, 12:17:26 AM
Man, they're just asking for shit to go off the chain over there.
Title: Arab World Protests
Post by: nacho on February 11, 2011, 12:23:03 AM
Man, they're just asking for shit to go off the chain over there.

It's, like, 30BC all over again!
Title: Arab World Protests
Post by: Reginald McGraw on February 11, 2011, 09:26:41 PM
And he's out!
Title: Arab World Protests
Post by: nacho on February 12, 2011, 11:48:55 AM
I like the Argentine sort of exit.  The military kicks out the military man... Even money the next military man in line steps up. If we wait five years, we'll get Juan Peron!
Title: Arab World Protests
Post by: Reginald McGraw on February 12, 2011, 02:32:51 PM
What I don't get is why his assets are being frozen.
Title: Arab World Protests
Post by: nacho on February 12, 2011, 02:44:07 PM
Because it's all of our tax money.
Title: Arab World Protests
Post by: Reginald McGraw on February 12, 2011, 10:42:51 PM
Such is the salary of a dictator!
Title: Arab World Protests
Post by: nacho on February 22, 2011, 06:24:09 PM
So, I just want to say this -- I don't have a problem with Gadhafi. He dresses like he's in a 70's blaxploitation sci-fi, and he's surrounded by a 500-strong all-female bodyguard of beautiful virgins who are also the most elite troops in Libya. You can't go wrong!
Title: Arab World Protests
Post by: RottingCorpse on February 22, 2011, 06:35:27 PM
He really does look like the type of guy Fred Williamson is going to clock in the third act, doesn't he?
Title: Arab World Protests
Post by: nacho on February 22, 2011, 06:44:24 PM
It's awesome, really.
Title: Arab World Protests
Post by: nacho on February 23, 2011, 01:34:51 PM
I'm actually starting to pay attention!

Quote
Libyan ruler Col Muammar Gaddafi is battling to retain control of Tripoli and areas in western Libya as protesters consolidated gains in the east and foreigners continued to flee.

I figured:  Tunisia.  Okay.  Egypt. Yeah, whatever. And all the others were fairly minor.

But now half of Libya has fallen and, it looks like, the writing is on the wall for Colonel Fred Williamson and his Virgin Squad.

I started reading about the Arab World Protests:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2010%E2%80%932011_Arab_world_protests

There's a list of the countries involved and the results. Some protests were pretty easy -- like demanding the end to Patriot Act-style rules, and sacking PM's, and forcing "presidents" to end their terms.

Some have relentlessly torn down their countries. Which is kind of awesome, really.

What I love is that Libya knew about the Feb. 17th protest date for a couple months. Their only attempt to avoid it was to throw out some ham-fisted rent assistance programs. So, you know, duh.

The unsung protests the news doesn't care about:

Djibouti -- Another case where the "president" has been in office for 34 years and suspiciously wins every election.  Currently, the country is at a standstill and the protesters have even killed cops who tried to break them up forcibly.

Bahrain -- So far, the government has tried to buy off protesters by giving every family $2000, and they've released all political prisoners... And still an estimated 12% of the population has risen up and occupied the major cities.

The "World protests":

Albania, Serbia, and Greece are all in an uproar. General strikes, Albania's now-comical socialist party, and any old excuse to cause a ruckus in Serbia.

China's been having a war of attrition with mobs of protesters who are gathering like frightened cattle, standing silently, then moving along. The larger battle there is being waged online.

Kazakhstan's president is quietly stepping down in April. 

Cameroon protesters set today as their "day of rage." No reports I've seen yet of unrest.

And... Wisconsin, Indiana, Ohio! The state governments have, pretty much, been shut down by Democrat's (mainly organised unions) either walking out of the legislature or occupying the capital buildings (as is currently the case in Wisconsin). This is unrelated to any of the other protests, and much more civilized and non-violent. But, still... What's going on in the world?

Title: Arab World Protests
Post by: RottingCorpse on February 23, 2011, 02:27:30 PM
It's the Arab revolution, man. Was bound to happen sooner or later.
Title: Arab World Protests
Post by: nacho on February 23, 2011, 05:45:46 PM
Whoops... Libya's oil just ground to a halt. Clinton says that "we will explore options" to stop government violence against protesters.

Ready for blood, kids?
Title: Arab World Protests
Post by: Cassander on February 23, 2011, 10:36:13 PM
yeah!  wait, can't we just pay natives to do it? 
Title: Arab World Protests
Post by: monkey! on February 23, 2011, 11:25:01 PM
But, still... What's going on in the world?

People are beginning to realize more, and more, that governments of the world are not in place for benefit of the people but are largely there to control the population for the benefit of the governments, industries, and financial systems.

Even in the so-called 'democratic' countries a dawning realization is happening that democracy is really just another word for the minority controlling the majority for minority interests, without the majority having any input... in less rich countries of the world these systems of governance are called "regimes," or "dictatorships."

In the U.S. and much of Europe, including the U.K., what say does the population have over how their lives are controlled by the minority other than choosing which colour of tie is worn by the 'elected' President/Prime Minister/Chancellor? Even that choice is media-manipulated.

Even in France, land of the relaxed yet efficient socialist system, allowing liberal enjoyment of holidays, two-hour lunch breaks, and fine alcohols/foods, has been turned down the road of ruin since the arrival of Sarkozy: not long ago when Sarkozy wanted to raise the age of retirement (stealing years of peoples' lives so they'll work more to cover the financial mis-management by the minority - the government - and their wanker banker friends) the whole country turned out in uproar against this proposal. What happened? The minority told the majority to shut up because they were going to do it anyway. In what way is that a democracy?

The same kind of thing happens in the U.S. and the U.K. every year: the minority do what they want in pursuit of minority benefit and the majority either has no say over what happens or else they aren't aware until the new policies/laws/taxes are in place.

Furthermore, the old tactics of fear-mongering citizens into a blind acceptance of giving up their liberties for a feeling of security from the dangers presented to them by the media are beginning to fail.

Hence, people are beginning to revolt in one way or another, and the internet is going to be a very important means of facilitating this, which is why governments are doing their best to tighten the old strings of control by attempting to remove 'net-neutrality', by trying to pass bills allowing for an "internet kill-switch" but, of course, under the guise of it being for our own SAFETY.
Title: Re: Arab World Protests
Post by: nacho on February 24, 2011, 08:30:29 AM
Split the thread.

God, Monkey.  Great post.  Inspiring, even. I'm, certainly ready for shake-ups to reach closer to the first world. If only to cure the soul-crushing apathy and ignorance surrounding me every day.

So -- bring it on! I want to see tanks on North Capital St. before I die.
Title: Re: Arab World Protests
Post by: monkey! on February 24, 2011, 10:36:24 AM
It's only a matter of time, Nacho.

The walls of the paper-money castles are crumbling.
Title: Re: Arab World Protests
Post by: nacho on February 24, 2011, 10:37:44 AM
So, you know, this qualifies as a "revolution" now, not a "protest." I love how all the news folks have lumped this in with everyone else... But when you're taking over cities and fighting pitched battles against government soldiers... Well, you're at a new level.

Third grade reporting from CNN:
http://www.cnn.com/2011/WORLD/africa/02/24/libya.protests/index.html?hpt=T1

Quote
Benghazi, Libya (CNN) -- The Libyan capital was a ghost town Thursday morning, witnesses said, as anti-government protesters declared victory elsewhere after reportedly seizing control of the country's third-largest city.

Misrata -- also spelled as Misurata -- is now in the hands of the opposition, who have driven out the mercenaries, according to witnesses and multiple media reports.
Witnesses and multiple reports also said that the town of Az Zintan was under opposition control.
Title: Re: Arab World Protests
Post by: nacho on February 24, 2011, 10:47:50 AM
It's only a matter of time, Nacho.

The walls of the paper-money castles are crumbling.

Thank god. Because I'm one of those guys who thinks the end of Fight Club was a hopeful promise of a very welcome possible future.

But, in reality Monkey, it'll be a long time before the Big Boys fall. The US has a version of the Chinese pillow defense on shit like this.  Look at the recent collapse. It's really no biggie.  It hurt people, it fucked things up, but I didn't notice it. Very few did. Belts tightened, there were scary things happening, but it wasn't the collapse it could have (and probably should have) been.

So it'll take more than the second great depression to even faze most of us over here. And that's not even enough. It'll put us on the streets, but the government will throw stimulus money at us and buy us off with the usual platitudes. We'll need an even heavier and more sustained hit to reactivate our peabrains enough to make us demand change.
Title: Re: Arab World Protests
Post by: nacho on February 24, 2011, 11:05:58 AM
I love shit like this. What, do they think it's 1850 or something?


Quote
Saif al-Islam Gaddafi, Gaddafi's son, disputed the death tolls that have have been reported since the protests began 10 days ago, saying allegations that hundreds have been killed are a "joke."

"Tripoli is quiet," he said in an interview aired on Libyan state television. "Life is normal."

The junior Gaddafi said Libya intends to provide Western journalists on Friday access to Tripoli, the capital, and other cities, so they can corroborate the government's claim that the country remains under Gaddafi's control.

It's like a scene from a Zucker brothers-inspired history of the world movie.


Title: Re: Arab World Protests
Post by: nacho on February 24, 2011, 11:17:02 AM
The Beeb's map has a wonderful domino feel to it:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-12570279

Kind of helps put all the stories in perspective. At least for those of us who played the hell out of Europa Universalis or Rome Total War. Gaddafi's retreating as the cities fall from east to west. So, eventually, he'll hole up in that last city with a bunch of peasant troops and we'll have to storm his walls, which can be a bitch if there aren't enough missile troops.
Title: Re: Arab World Protests
Post by: monkey! on February 24, 2011, 11:27:22 AM
It's only a matter of time, Nacho.

The walls of the paper-money castles are crumbling.

Thank god. Because I'm one of those guys who thinks the end of Fight Club was a hopeful promise of a very welcome possible future.

But, in reality Monkey, it'll be a long time before the Big Boys fall. The US has a version of the Chinese pillow defense on shit like this.  Look at the recent collapse. It's really no biggie.  It hurt people, it fucked things up, but I didn't notice it. Very few did. Belts tightened, there were scary things happening, but it wasn't the collapse it could have (and probably should have) been.

That's because it was only numbers on a computer screen, Nacho. It wasn't like all of the cattle of middle America died of pox, or the forests of Germany were ablaze.

T'was nothing but some numbers representing "money"/credit, that doesn't and never did exist, on a computer screen. A man-made "crisis" regarding man-made fantasies, that they use to scare the populations into believing they are GOING TO DIE MUST DESTROY ISLAM!

Title: Re: Arab World Protests
Post by: nacho on February 24, 2011, 11:31:19 AM
Oh my god... Did anyone else catch his ranting, incoherent speech?  It was fucking hilarious.

Here are some high points:

http://www.theatlanticwire.com/opinions/view/opinion/Qaddafis-Most-Bizarre-Moments-in-a-Bizarre-Speech-7072

Sadly, they didn't include his weird, slurring aside where he compared himself to the Queen.

Here's a Youtube from Libyan state TV that's hard to follow because the translation is at the same volume as Gaddafi... But it's really something to see him acting crazy as he says this shit:

http://www.chillnite.com/video-of-speech-of-muammar-al-gaddafis-speech-on-22022011

A better video is here (highlights of crazy moments):

http://groundupct.wordpress.com/2011/02/23/muammar%C2%A0al-gaddafis%C2%A0speech-%C2%A0the-ramblings-of-a-mad-man/
Title: Re: Arab World Protests
Post by: nacho on February 24, 2011, 01:02:42 PM
Well, good, I'm glad CNN is sending us off-site to people who can actually report the news:

Quote
Editor's note: The staff at CNN.com has recently been intrigued by the journalism of Vice, an independent media company and Web site based in Brooklyn, New York. VBS.TV is Vice's broadband television network. The reports, which are produced solely by Vice, reflect a very transparent approach to journalism, where viewers are taken along on every step of the reporting process. We believe this unique reporting approach is worthy of sharing with our CNN.com readers.

Brooklyn, New York (VBS) -- Libya is the latest nation to experience the violent civil unrest that has swept North Africa since December. But in August, things were much different. In fact, the country was making steps to rectify its long-sullied international image.

One of these steps was devising a youth conference, to be held in Tripoli. We wanted to get inside the country for a long time, so when Vice founder Shane Smith learned of the event, he submitted his credentials and was invited to take part in the festivities.

It's notoriously difficult to gain entry into Libya, largely because Moammar Gadhafi has ruled the country with an iron fist since a 1969 coup in which he overtook the former king. Gadhafi has used the nation's vast oil resources to exert his influence on North Africa and beyond.

What was presented as a nationwide multimedia presentation on Libya's open-armed embrace of global youth turned out to be a thinly veiled propaganda symposium where speakers espoused pro-Gadhafi messages and anti-Zionist rhetoric.

It was very clear, however, that the event was organized to promote Gadhafi's goal of creating the United States of Africa, a federation of all or most African countries, which would theoretically operate under a single currency and be chaired by Gadhafi himself.


"We get there, and it's completely disorganized," Smith said. "They had brought in Libyan citizens who were living in England, America and Canada to work for the conference. It's kind of like North Korea in that sense: They have such pull. 'Oh, you're Libyan? And you live in London? Well, you have to come back and work.' "
Soon after they arrived, Smith and his crew were assigned minders who watched them closely and dictated their itineraries. After the conference, Smith decided he wanted to take part in some sightseeing in Tripoli and sneaked off into the city while the men who were supposed to be watching him were distracted.
When Smith returned to the hotel, his minders were furious. They placed him and his crew under "house arrest" while the conference's other attendees caught flights back to their respective home countries.
Title: Re: Arab World Protests
Post by: nacho on February 24, 2011, 03:45:14 PM
Al jazeera just tweeted that parts of the Libyan air force have gone over to the protesters. At least one base (with all men and material) joined the revolution. I think we're going to see the end of the craziest little dictator within the next 24 hours.
Title: Re: Arab World Protests
Post by: monkey! on February 24, 2011, 06:08:14 PM
Next, it'll be the destruction of the terrorist, false State of Israel, if you believe what the media say re: Iranian manipulation of the situation.
Title: Re: Arab World Protests
Post by: nacho on February 24, 2011, 06:33:21 PM
Now that I would cheer.  Israel's the greatest mistake the modern world ever made. Misguided 20th Century imperialist thinking applied to a volatile situation that's been drilling into our souls for the last 60 years.

In a perfect world, we'd send all the jews to Montana or Wyoming or somewhere. Let them live their lives in a country that won't try to devour them whole. And then I can sleep with more IDF girls.
Title: Re: Arab World Protests
Post by: monkey! on February 24, 2011, 06:51:28 PM
Correction: The creation of the State of Israel was one of the greatest mistakes the world allowed to be made, blindly accepting Zionist propaganda, leading to over 60 years of ignored terrorism and pillaging, any speaking out against Israeli atrocities being branded as 'anti-semitic' by the same league of propagandists.
Title: Re: Arab World Protests
Post by: monkey! on February 24, 2011, 11:44:22 PM
So far the protestors now control over half of Libya....
Title: Re: Arab World Protests
Post by: Cassander on February 25, 2011, 12:05:09 AM
Muad'Dib!
Title: Re: Arab World Protests
Post by: monkey! on February 25, 2011, 12:06:10 AM
H' im sha' la!
Title: Re: Arab World Protests
Post by: nacho on February 26, 2011, 10:47:57 AM
Okay, so, your entire country is up in arms. You have control of, like, one city. You're relying on paramilitary troops and mercenaries because your military has defected.

Why try to hang on? There really is a time when you should just throw everything in the suitcase and get on that private plane to Burkina Faso.

Meanwhile, Yemen, Iraq, Tunisia 2.0, Bahrain, and Jordan are all in the midst of protests. Some violent, some peaceful.
Title: Re: Arab World Protests
Post by: nacho on March 01, 2011, 12:11:54 PM
So...wait... What are we going to do? And why are we reacting to this one and none of the others?


Quote
After two weeks of revolution and the deaths of thousands of Libyans, the Obama administration is starting to contemplate military action against the brutal Libyan regime of Moammar Gadhafi.

The United Nations Security Council has already sanctioned Gadhafi and referred him to the International Criminal Court following his violent suppression of Libya’s revolutionary movement, creating the contours of a hardening international position against Gadhafi. And now most U.S. nationals in Libya have now fled, removing what the Obama administration has considered an impediment to action.

So here comes the Navy. The Enterprise carrier strike group, last seen hunting pirates, is in the Red Sea — and may sail through Suez to the Mediterranean — and the New York Times reports that an “amphibious landing vessel, with Marines and helicopters” are there as well. The Financial Times adds that the British are considering the use of the air base at Akrotiri in Cyprus as a staging ground to enforce a no-fly zone. Any envisioned military action is likely to be a multilateral affair, either blessed by the U.N. or NATO.


That seems to be the harshest policy yet envisioned — one explicitly discussed today by Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton. (No one’s discussing a ground invasion.) For the time being, the Navy is simply moving assets into place in case President Obama decides to take more punitive measures against Gadhafi. Marine Col. Dave Lapan, a Pentagon spokesman, told reporters today, “We are re-positioning forces in the region to provide options and flexibility.”

The rhetorical groundwork is getting laid as well. Asked if the U.S. had ruled out arming the rebel Libyan forces, State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley said today, “I don’t think we’ve ruled out anything at this point, but we’ll be monitoring this day to day and we’ll take appropriate steps.”

A coalition of foreign policy experts, mostly conservatives but some liberals, urged Obama last week to impose a no-fly zone and move naval assets near Libyan waters. Obama looks like he’s heeding its call. And if so, it looks like Defense Secretary Robert Gates’ Friday prediction of a sea-and-air-based military future might get vindicated rather quickly.
Title: Re: Arab World Protests
Post by: nacho on March 01, 2011, 04:28:35 PM
Somebody needs a dictionary:

Quote
Susan Rice, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, said Tuesday: "Anytime you have somebody who laughs with American and international journalists while slaughtering his own people, I think they're not only delusional. One has to begin to question their grip on reality."
Title: Re: Arab World Protests
Post by: monkey! on March 01, 2011, 06:02:58 PM
It's a bigger reaction because Libya has more oil.
Title: Re: Arab World Protests
Post by: nacho on March 01, 2011, 06:22:22 PM
Which OPEC says they've prepared for. And, hey, the oil argument hasn't held any water in Iraq. Their infrastructure is still fucked.
Title: Re: Arab World Protests
Post by: monkey! on March 01, 2011, 06:28:35 PM
Yeah, but the US has lots more cheap oil.
Title: Re: Arab World Protests
Post by: nacho on March 01, 2011, 06:41:09 PM
Hey, you've got to keep the Freedom Machine moving, man.
Title: Re: Arab World Protests
Post by: Reginald McGraw on March 01, 2011, 09:26:16 PM
He's the only one who's called in airstrikes, right?  He's the only one where 10,000 people are trying to flee the country to Tunisia.
Title: Re: Arab World Protests
Post by: nacho on March 01, 2011, 09:38:54 PM
Maybe we should bomb civilian targets for 24 hours and lose a couple plane crews!
Title: Re: Arab World Protests
Post by: monkey! on March 02, 2011, 05:29:08 AM
Maybe we should bomb civilian targets for 24 hours and lose a couple plane crews!

Hasn't the U.S. been doing that since a certain 11th of September?
Title: Re: Arab World Protests
Post by: nacho on March 02, 2011, 07:43:45 AM
Maybe we should bomb civilian targets for 24 hours and lose a couple plane crews!

Hasn't the U.S. been doing that since a certain 11th of September?

That just drew everyone's attention to it. We did it to Libya in 86.
Title: Re: Arab World Protests
Post by: monkey! on March 02, 2011, 10:02:54 AM
And to Japan in 1945. And Iraq in 1990.
Title: Re: Arab World Protests
Post by: nacho on March 02, 2011, 10:33:58 AM
And to Japan in 1945. And Iraq in 1990.

Oh, Jesus, if you want to go down that path we've done it constantly since 1776. Spain, Mexico, many points in North Africa, China, Korea, Indonesia, Indo-China, Canada, Russia, Greece...and on and on right down to Blair Mountain, West Virginia and downtown Oklahoma City.
Title: Re: Arab World Protests
Post by: monkey! on March 02, 2011, 07:22:19 PM
It's all about population control.
Title: Re: Arab World Protests
Post by: nacho on March 15, 2011, 03:44:34 PM
Whee...

Quote
DAMMAM, Saudi Arabia —The king of Bahrain declared a state of emergency Tuesday afternoon, a day after Saudi troops entered the country to help prop up the tiny nation’s Sunni monarchy.

Earlier in the day, a Saudi official in Riyadh said that a Saudi soldier in Bahrain was shot dead by a protester, the Associated Press reported.

The “State of National Safety,” which officials said is one level below martial law, was announced by the Bahrain Information Affairs Authority and broadcast on state television.

It will last three months, the government said, and is aimed at ended weeks of Shiite-led protests that have unnerved kingdoms and emirates throughout the Persian Gulf region. In a statement issued by the information ministry, Bahrain’s government characterized the protests as “increased lawlessness jeopardizing the lives of citizens.”

“The Commander in Chief of the Bahrain Defense Force has been mandated to take the measures and procedures necessary to preserve the safety of the nation and its people,” the statement said. “These measures will be implemented by the Bahrain Defense Force, public security forces, National Guard and any other forces if necessary.”

In Iran on Tuesday, a Shiite-majority country which is sympathetic to the protesters, foreign ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast denounced the Saudi decision to send troops to its tiny neighbor.

“The presence of foreign forces and interference in Bahrain’s internal affairs is unacceptable and will further complicate the issue,” Mehmanparast said.

Saudi armored personnel carriers rolled over a causeway into Bahrain on Monday. The extraordinary intervention appeared to demonstrate that Bahrain’s neighbors will do whatever is necessary to bring an end to unrest that has threatened the region’s smallest and weakest kingdom.

“Bahrain is a red line,’’ a senior Saudi official said. He said more than 1,000 troops from Saudi Arabia and at least 600 more from the United Arab Emirates would be sent to Bahrain as part of an intervention authorized by the Gulf Cooperation Council on Sunday in response to a direct request from Bahrain.

The purpose was “to protect the institutions of the Bahraini state and critical infrastructure,’’ the Saudi official said, adding that the force could grow in response to Bahrain’s needs.

Bahrain’s own defense force includes only about 9,000 personnel.

An opposition spokesman in Bahrain denounced the arrival of the troops as “a declaration of war,’’ and the White House responded with concern, saying that it would be “counterproductive’’ to respond to the grievances of peaceful protesters with anything other than dialogue.

The month-old conflict has paralyzed Bahrain. Protesters, most from the country’s Shiite majority, want major changes or even an end to a Sunni monarchy under the ruling Khalifa family.

The United Arab Emirates’ foreign minister, Abdallah bin Zayid Al Nuhayyan, said Monday that the move was intended to “get calm and order in Bahrain and to help both the Bahraini government and the people to reach a solution.”

The Saudi official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because his government had not authorized public statements on the matter, said the arriving troops would protect ministries, power plants and other infrastructure. “That’s what they asked for, and that’s what we provided,” he said. The protests, he said, were an “internal Bahraini matter for the Bahrainis to sort out. They just don’t have the capacity to protect their institutions as well.”

The intervention marks the first time that the gulf council has dispatched a military force in response to domestic unrest. The group is composed of Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar and Oman, and had activated a joint force only once in the past, to help protect Kuwait from Iraq in the 1990s.

The Saudi official said that his government had told the White House on Sunday of its plans to intervene. A senior Obama administration official confirmed this Monday night in Paris, telling reporters, “We were informed just before [but] not consulted.”

At the White House, spokesman Jay Carney would say only that the administration had long “made clear’’ that gulf nations should “show restraint and . . . honor the peaceful protesters by not using force against them.”

The protesters in Bahrain have been demonstrating since mid-February. They have been calling for democratic reforms and an end to what they say is discrimination against Shiites by the Sunni monarchy.

Saudi Arabia, whose royal family is also Sunni, has feared that if Bahrain’s Shiite majority gained power, Iran would gain a foothold just off the Saudi kingdom’s eastern shore, although U.S. officials have said that they do not believe Iran is involved in the protests.

Saudi officials have also worried that Bahraini protesters could embolden Saudi Arabia’s own large Shiite population in nearby Eastern Province, which is home to much of Saudi Arabia’s oil reserves. Last week, Saudi forces opened fire on a demonstration in Qatif, a Shiite city in the province, wounding at least two protesters.

Protesters have in recent days used barricades to shut down large swaths of Manama, the capital, and Bahraini security forces have fought back with tear gas and rubber bullets. Pro-government civilians have in some cases attacked protesters with sticks, knives and swords; the protesters have responded with rocks and other objects, witnesses have said.

Citizen-run checkpoints now dot Bahrain, witnesses said, with residents in both Sunni and Shiite areas fearful for their safety.

On Sunday, Crown Prince Salman bin Hamad al-Khalifa announced an agreement in principle with efforts to make the government more representative, a precondition that opposition groups had placed on any talks.

But opposition members said Monday that the presence of foreign troops made it significantly more difficult for them to negotiate with the government. “It’s like a declaration of war on the people who are engaged in a peaceful protest demanding basic rights,” said Jassim Hussain, a member of al-Wefaq, the main political opposition party. He said that tensions could rise even higher depending on Iran’s actions.

He said that Bahrain could end up being a proxy war between Saudi Arabia and Iran.

Witnesses reported seeing 150 to 200 vehicles, including ambulances, trucks and water tankers, as well as armored personnel carriers, crossing into Bahrain over the causeway from Saudi Arabia. The U.S. Embassy in Bahrain advised U.S. citizens to stay in their residences.
Title: Re: Arab World Protests
Post by: RottingCorpse on March 15, 2011, 03:56:46 PM
Maybe it really IS the end times.
Title: Re: Arab World Protests
Post by: nacho on March 15, 2011, 04:01:51 PM
Maybe it really IS the end times.

Well... It is if you live on the Ring of Fire or have been ruled by lunatic autocrats for half a century.
Title: Re: Arab World Protests
Post by: RottingCorpse on March 15, 2011, 04:39:38 PM
I'm the thread derailer today.

Have you seen those psychos who claim judgement day is on May 21, 2011? Sometimes I wonder if those fuckers aren't on to something, especially with the middle east in revolution mode and Japan being eaten by radioactive sea water.

The middle east thing doesn't shock me at all though. I've been saying for years that it was only a matter of time. Autocracy has been out of vogue for seventy years now. (Thanks Hitler!) The Arab world took longer to catch on because they were blinded by religion and isolation. (Not to mention the dictators were propped up by my taxes.) The internet, man. It's literally changing the world.

I predict it won't be long until Islam's own version of Martin Luther shows up and totally changes the game... probably via Facebook.
Title: Re: Arab World Protests
Post by: nacho on March 15, 2011, 05:08:09 PM
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2011_end_times_prediction

Camping is one in a long line of people who have predicted an end date for fun and profit. Hell, that was the plot for Poltergeist II!

Title: Re: Arab World Protests
Post by: Cassander on March 16, 2011, 10:26:53 AM
Maybe it really IS the end times.

That's what you said LAST time!
Title: Re: Arab World Protests
Post by: nacho on March 18, 2011, 08:39:00 AM
And...away we go!

http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/europeans-say-intervention-in-libya-possible-within-hours-of-un-vote/2011/03/17/ABSb9pl_story.html?hpid=z1

Quote
The United Nations on Thursday authorized the use of “all necessary measures” to protect civilians in Libya, opening the door to air and naval attacks against the forces of leader Moammar Gaddafi as he vowed to level the city of Benghazi, the last major rebel stronghold.
Title: Re: Arab World Protests
Post by: RottingCorpse on March 18, 2011, 09:07:01 AM
From a U.S. Standpoint, I guess it's a question of will we or won't we.

Title: Re: Arab World Protests
Post by: Reginald McGraw on March 18, 2011, 09:44:36 AM
I hope we don't.
Title: Re: Arab World Protests
Post by: RottingCorpse on March 18, 2011, 10:12:20 AM
Me too. I have a couple good friends who are career military and they talk about how spread thin we are anyway.
Title: Re: Arab World Protests
Post by: nacho on March 18, 2011, 10:40:44 AM
You know we will.

Though now there's a cease-fire because France was mobilized and ready to lead the way. White House says Obama's plan is to let France and Britain take the lead on this one. And by "take the lead" we mean "get there a few days ahead of us." Standard 1939-41 protocol!
Title: Re: Arab World Protests
Post by: Disco Dust on March 18, 2011, 10:53:26 AM
Till this week, I thought the "Arab Spring" was gonna end much like Europe in 1989; with all the despots out without a real "war" breaking out.


Alas, now not only Libya, but Bahrain to boot, have turned into situations in which foreign governments and their armed forces are directly involved---the latter locale holds the ultimate doomsday scenario: an all-out Sunni versus Shiite war with the Saudis (already in the fray) leading the former camp and Iran and its regional proxies stepping in on behalf of the repressed Shiites.


Anybody know how the famous doomsday clock is doing nowadays?
Title: Re: Arab World Protests
Post by: nacho on March 18, 2011, 11:06:14 AM
It's been six minutes to midnight since January 2010. The Doomsday Clock is primarily tracking the nuclear threat (and, in the last few years, climate change). Nobody in the Mideast is going to launch a nuke at rebels in the next town over.
Title: Re: Arab World Protests
Post by: nacho on March 18, 2011, 11:24:07 AM
I love The Sun.

From the hard-ons and cheeseburgers school of journalism:

http://www.thescottishsun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/3477062/Gaddafi-calls-ceasefire-after-PM-orders-UK-forces-in.html
Title: Re: Arab World Protests
Post by: Cassander on March 18, 2011, 11:46:51 AM
Yeah, Libya is sexy.  But I'm also reading about the growing Gordian Knot that is Bahrain.  Won't you explain it to us, Professor Nacho?
Title: Re: Arab World Protests
Post by: nacho on March 18, 2011, 12:19:07 PM
Don't know that much about it! The Saudis are just in to protect fellow monarchists, and because they don't want their own people getting any bright ideas...which is already happening.

I just love absolutist monarchies coming to the aid of each other like it's the 1400's or something.
Title: Re: Arab World Protests
Post by: nacho on March 19, 2011, 10:27:43 AM
Oh, good. So the cease-fire lasted, what, 17.8 seconds?

God.

I love how Gaddafi sends a begging letter to Obama in some weirdly desperate attempt to keep the US out, and then sends insults to Britain and France. What, does he think he can take them on? If only the US stays out of it, I'll be able to conquer Europe with my fractured, mercenary army!
Title: Re: Arab World Protests
Post by: RottingCorpse on March 19, 2011, 11:12:21 AM
That made me laugh.
Title: Re: Arab World Protests
Post by: Cassander on March 19, 2011, 11:58:06 AM
Yeah, it seems to me there's no way Ghadafi can keep people loyal to him the further he goes off the deep end.  But I could be wrong. 
Title: Re: Arab World Protests
Post by: nacho on March 19, 2011, 12:01:01 PM
Yeah, it seems to me there's no way Ghadafi can keep people loyal to him the further he goes off the deep end.  But I could be wrong. 

Money.

Most of the actual army is with the rebels. The people fighting for Ghadafi are the sort who'll vanish into the desert if the west does any sort of serious invasion.
Title: Re: Arab World Protests
Post by: Cassander on March 19, 2011, 12:14:13 PM
Quote
No universal formula can cut through the contradiction between values and interests in foreign policy—that is why intervention in Vietnam and Somalia led to neglect in Rwanda, which set the scene for intervention once more in Bosnia and Iraq. And it is why foreign policy is condemned to live with an age-old dilemma. If the West sacrifices its place in the world to its values, then it will be less able to promote them. On the other hand, if the West always puts narrow realpolitik before its values, then its values will be tainted in the eyes of the world.

By that test, the West let down the Bahrainis: sterner talk from Mr Obama may have deterred their attackers. Yet the West does still have options in Libya. To send in Western ground forces would be to own a dysfunctional, violent place. But the West can seize upon Arab backing to help protect eastern Libya. It should jam Colonel Qaddafi’s communications and rush in a no-fly zone. If the regime begins to pound Benghazi, then aircraft—including Arab aircraft—should destroy Colonel Qaddafi’s tanks, artillery and gunboats.

Have no illusions about the risks of such a policy. Bombing Libyan armour would endanger the lives of pilots and, inevitably, civilians. It would, at least temporarily, partition Libya. The eastern groups under the protection of the outside world may include Islamists and killers who turn out to be just as savage as Colonel Qaddafi. And that is if the policy succeeds.

Even so, these are risks that the West should now take before it is too late. Saving lives in eastern Libya will be hard. Not even trying to save them would be worse.
Title: Re: Arab World Protests
Post by: Disco Dust on March 19, 2011, 12:19:08 PM
Let me school y'all on Bahrain....Iran has long viewed it as a breakaway province as it had been part of the Persian empire for many centuries and has a Shiite majority. The Saudis and all the small Sheikhdoms that neighbor it justly fear the power there finally going to the people, and the US also because it would very likely mean an end to the very strategic Naval base there.


Though direct intervention by Tehran seems unlikely at this time, an armed Shiite faction being sponsored by them (much like Hezbollah in Lebanon) is a distinct possibility.

Even if the doomsday clock is mostly nuclear-centered, the events in Japan should have prompted a push forward in recent days....
Title: Re: Arab World Protests
Post by: monkey! on March 19, 2011, 12:32:47 PM
The whole "no-fly zone" delay over Libya has taken so long for several reasons:

To spread as much discord as possible throughout the country, ensuring utmost malleability after the civil war/revolution.

Creating a problem of "delay" in UN/NATO bureaucracy and their intervention in Libya so that a "solution" of giving more centralized control to the UN/NATO, citing reasons etc. why this is good for the world, then pushing once more for the UN/NATO levying an independent tax from the incumbent countries so that the un-elected administrators of the UN/NATO can build their own personal army and territory-less sub-state.

By allowing Ghadafi to perpetrate further horrors against the Libyan population, it gives the western powers, who have vested interest in the arab countries, not only in the oil but also in the divide-and-rule policy they've been using in the middle east since the illegal creation of the state of Israel, a way of providing further "problems" so that the western powers can offer the "solution" of taking military action against their friend, Ghadafi, so the UK, France, etc. can take direct control or at least strongly influence the rebuilding of the country afterwards....

And that's how it's gonna roll....
Title: Re: Arab World Protests
Post by: nacho on March 19, 2011, 02:06:25 PM

Even if the doomsday clock is mostly nuclear-centered, the events in Japan should have prompted a push forward in recent days....

Why? A reactor meltdown does not equal nuclear war (or the threat of one). Chernobyl and Three Mile Island didn't result in changing the clock.

Title: Re: Arab World Protests
Post by: Cassander on March 19, 2011, 03:27:41 PM
THE CLOCK IS ARBITRARY.  IT IS NOT A TRUE CLOCK.
Title: Re: Arab World Protests
Post by: nacho on March 19, 2011, 03:49:35 PM
How do they handle daylight savings time, Cass?
Title: Re: Arab World Protests
Post by: Cassander on March 19, 2011, 04:29:32 PM
When the nuclear winter comes, we won't need Daylight savings!
Title: Re: Arab World Protests
Post by: nacho on March 20, 2011, 11:07:02 AM
God...who names this stuff?

Operation Odyssey Dawn has begun! The French are in the air and US warships are pounding the fuck out of everything that moves. We're ready to save civilians by ruthlessly bombarding the entire country from 300 miles offshore!
Title: Re: Arab World Protests
Post by: Cassander on March 20, 2011, 01:07:27 PM
We had to name it that so that the Libyan spies working in the NATO offices wouldn't--nevermind.
Title: Re: Arab World Protests
Post by: monkey! on March 21, 2011, 12:02:04 AM
God...who names this stuff?

Operation Odyssey Dawn has begun! The French are in the air and US warships are pounding the fuck out of everything that moves. We're ready to save civilians by ruthlessly bombarding the entire country from 300 miles offshore!
The whole "no-fly zone" delay over Libya has taken so long for several reasons:

To spread as much discord as possible throughout the country, ensuring utmost malleability after the civil war/revolution.

Creating a problem of "delay" in UN/NATO bureaucracy and their intervention in Libya so that a "solution" of giving more centralized control to the UN/NATO, citing reasons etc. why this is good for the world, then pushing once more for the UN/NATO levying an independent tax from the incumbent countries so that the un-elected administrators of the UN/NATO can build their own personal army and territory-less sub-state.

By allowing Ghadafi to perpetrate further horrors against the Libyan population, it gives the western powers, who have vested interest in the arab countries, not only in the oil but also in the divide-and-rule policy they've been using in the middle east since the illegal creation of the state of Israel, a way of providing further "problems" so that the western powers can offer the "solution" of taking military action against their friend, Ghadafi, so the UK, France, etc. can take direct control or at least strongly influence the rebuilding of the country afterwards....

And that's how it's gonna roll....


Like I said.
Title: Re: Arab World Protests
Post by: nacho on March 21, 2011, 08:03:56 AM
Remember Reagan in 86?  "We will not bomb Libya." Then, the next morning...


Quote
The Arab League voiced concern about civilian deaths, and leading Republicans demanded clarity on the ultimate goals.

President Obama has declared that Gaddafi “must leave,” but Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Mike Mullen, the administration’s most visible spokesman Sunday, acknowledged that the outcome of the conflict remains uncertain.

Despite a plume of smoke around one of his compounds in Tripoli, U.S. officials said that they were not aiming to kill the Libyan leader.

“At this point I can guarantee he is not on the target list,” Gortney told reporters at the Pentagon. “We are not targeting his residence.”

We live in a boring, predictable world, don't we? Everything repeated over and over and over again... War, movies, TV shows. Hell, they're rebooting movies and TV shows while the originals are still airing! There's not even time to let at least a generation pass into memory before everything is rinsed and recycled and thrown back onto our plates.
Title: Re: Arab World Protests
Post by: nacho on March 21, 2011, 05:46:44 PM
Quote
President Barack Obama has said the US will transfer its leading role on Libya "within days" to ensure the burden of enforcing a UN resolution against Colonel Muammar Gaddafi is shared.

Man, we're a funny country.
Title: Re: Arab World Protests
Post by: nacho on March 21, 2011, 05:57:37 PM
Wow... This is sad. News from Egypt re their new constitution:

Quote
A parliamentary vote may now take place as early as September.

Mohammed Ahmed Attiyah, the head of the supreme judicial committee who supervised the vote, said 18.5 million people who voted supported the changes. Turnout was 41.2 % of the 45 million eligible voters.

You idiots just toppled your government and set fire to most of the Mideast and Africa and, when it comes time to vote on the next steps, there's only a 41% turnout? Gosh...enjoy your next dictator!

Title: Re: Arab World Protests
Post by: monkey! on March 21, 2011, 06:06:04 PM
Depends on a) prolificacy of election advertisement, b) availability of voting centres, and c) the populations ability to access said voting centres.

Remember, Egypt still has quite low levels of nationwide literacy, media, and transport; only the major cities further north could be considered 'literate & motorised.'
Title: Re: Arab World Protests
Post by: nacho on March 21, 2011, 06:14:57 PM
Which flies in the face of the whole "the internet is fueling the revolution" argument, eh?
Title: Re: Arab World Protests
Post by: Reginald McGraw on March 22, 2011, 09:31:50 AM
The Internet was never fueling anything...that's US media propaganda. Also, this was a toppling centered around urban areas not really nationwide.
Title: Re: Arab World Protests
Post by: nacho on March 22, 2011, 10:32:03 AM
Speaking of US propaganda, I love how stilted the Post is today:

Quote
Setbacks for rebels reveal the degree to which the disorganized and ill-equipped force is depending on allied airstrikes to end Gaddafi’s rule.

We have always been at war with Eastasia.
Title: Re: Arab World Protests
Post by: nacho on March 22, 2011, 10:33:44 AM
Oh, but they finally put this up:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/special/world/middle-east-protests/

Got to try and catch up with Wikipedia, eh?
Title: Re: Arab World Protests
Post by: RottingCorpse on March 22, 2011, 02:37:09 PM
So I just got caught up on Libya and have some thoughts.

While the U.N. has been pretty clear there will be "no foreign occupation" of Libya, I question the wisdom of getting involved. Am I wrong in that we haven't had any problem with Ghadaffi since Reagan got in his face in '86? Would we have bombed Egypt if the protests there has failed as well? What's the endgame for the US, UK, and France? Some US military commander said (and I'm paraphrasing) that he/she wouldn't be surprised if the operation ends and Ghadaffi is still in charge. What's the point of picking sides if you're just going to blow shit up and not follow through? Plus, if Ghadaffi remains in power, then what? Sanctions? Or prop him up for a chunk of Libyan oil?

Plus, Dennis the Menace Kucinich (sp?) got all haughty about Obama acting without authority. It's smoke, even with some GOPers sensing an opportunity. But doesn't Carter, I mean Obama have enough problems with his wishy-washy image without kinda sorta, but not really committing to military action with no clear goal or justification from an American interest standpoint?

I have no problem with siding with the rebels and ordering airstrikes, but at least stop trying to sit on the fence while you do it.
Title: Re: Arab World Protests
Post by: nacho on March 22, 2011, 03:13:39 PM
Yeah, the whole thing is disgusting.

But I do think it's the end of Ghadaffi, one way or another.
Title: Re: Arab World Protests
Post by: RottingCorpse on March 22, 2011, 03:43:51 PM
A secondary question has been raised here, though it's been on mind since long before the Arab Protest Ka-Blooie:

Is Obama a failure as president? He's certainly not the goods we were sold.
Title: Re: Arab World Protests
Post by: nacho on March 22, 2011, 03:52:55 PM
A quesion for the "Fall of Obama" thread in this same forum! (My answer is: yes.)
Title: Re: Arab World Protests
Post by: Cassander on March 22, 2011, 10:49:42 PM
\I can't give you too much insight into Libya at large, but I can say that I belive the officials when they say that the airstrikes are about evening the playing field between Ghadafi and the rebels and avoiding being despised for sitting on the sidelines of yet another national purge of undesirables.  The entire region hates him, he's crazy, he's got too much power, and now he's just killing people for finally being sick of it.  I think if Mubarak had started military action against rag-tag protesters people would have gotten involved to some extent...but Mubarak was our bitch and Ghadafi has long just been a tolerated annoyance. 

And as far as Obama goes, I don't see how jumping in right after NATO, the UN, and a pan-Arab alliance all green-light it is wishy-washy.  Right now his hands are tied as far as direct military intervention goes.  He can't just announce that Marines will hit the ground and help the rebels storm the capital, and he can't say "we're sitting this one out because we don't know who the rebels are and I don't care what that dictator does to them" because, well, that's insane.  Yet the media screams for action from him every hour on the hour and when he takes the even-handed approach of aiding the security of the no-fly-zone and waiting to see how sort the pretenders and crazies from helpful, purposeful rebels, our binary American brains just can't deal with it.

And beyond that I really don't see how a president who has been hamstrung from day one with a massive financial crisis and who has half the country expecting him to shut down two wars (or win one and draw the other) still finds time to redraw the rules of health funding, eliminate don't ask don't tell, ushers through a bunch of key appointments, deal with the greatest man-made disaster cleanup in our nation's history, and realign the direction of the Fed, the FBI, the Justice Department, and strengthen the FDA for the better.  All the while being burdened by both the most cowardly democratic majority Congress through 2009 and dealing with a mad-dog, barbituate hellspawn of a right-center majority Congress now without ever losing his cool gets constantly called out for not being a man of action. 
Title: Re: Arab World Protests
Post by: Reginald McGraw on March 22, 2011, 11:08:55 PM
I agree with Cass. At least with respect to Libya. The issue that caused airstrikes was Ghadafi killing protesters/rebels. World sentiment is behind it (at least for now) and I don't see any real issue with Obama getting on board with that.

I'm not happy about it, but there's no real great alternative.
Title: Re: Arab World Protests
Post by: RottingCorpse on March 23, 2011, 12:47:48 AM
Okay, so we're in to level the playing field. What if Ghadafi still wins? Will there be another U.N. resolution for troops/airstrikes until he's taken out? Probably. But then the U.S. is in the terrible position of "nation building" (read: conquering) another middle east country. Yes, I understand that this action is far more justifiable than the one in Iraq, but many in the region won't see it that way.

(And talk about how the UK and France are involved too, but we're the Great Satan. People in the middle east who hate us throw any fuel they can onto the fire of "America wants to conquer us.")

And in the very unlikely event that we just let Ghadafi take the country back after the rebels lose?  Then there's political backlash from all sorts of different factions. The pro-democracy rebels will say the U.S. abandoned them. Iran will be on that shit like white on rice too. So will all the other Arab fiefdoms afraid of losing their hold. Extremists will use it to feed anti-west sentiment. In fact, it seems whether it wants to or not America and the U.N. has now committed to take Libya from Ghadafi no matter what.

Why is it wishy-washy? Because Obama is trying to leave himself a convenient political exit in case the wind blows the wrong way. He tries to keep everybody happy and in the end makes almost nobody happy. Do you really think the U.S wanted to participate in air-strikes? I don't. I think there was pressure to do so. He's got a lot of smart people around him, right? Didn't somebody think about the dozens of ways this could go really badly? Are they ready for multiple scenarios, or just the one where the rebels win after these initial airstrikes and the U.N gang are heroes?

Just come out and say, "We're throwing in with the rebels." Tell Ghadafi that his days as Libya's leader have come to end, and try to negotiate a peaceful transition to whatever government comes next. (Also a problem as not clear cut opposition leaders has been able to rise from the chaos.) But this whole, "We're going to launch some airstrikes and hope for the best" reeks of political spinelessness. You think Dubya or Clinton would have been so non-committal about it? They wouldn't have given a fuck. Hell, Dubya would have  known that he was pissing off half the country. Obama is trying to stay in a place where maybe, hopefully he doesn't have to piss off anybody.

(I was going to bring up how his, "Afghanistan is the right war. Iraq is not." will be thrown in his face. However, I like to think any sane American will see that Iraq and Libya are apples and oranges. Still, if it gets bad...)

Is he doing what any other politician would do? Of course, but that's what makes it so sad. We were promised a new of way doing things and what we've gotten is business as usual.

I'm not knocking his accomplishments. I'm SO glad he's not Dubya. He's made some cool things happen and is certainly a great speaker. I believe that at his core he's a good person who wants to do the right things.  

However, he's also letting the system run him instead of the other way around. Libya is a perfect example.
Title: Re: Arab World Protests
Post by: Disco Dust on March 23, 2011, 07:08:03 AM
Though your truly for one believes in "no Mo" for Libya, the hypocrisy of what is happening now in terms of foreign military intervention is also a key fact that needs to be pointed out.


The protesters in Yemen, Iran or Bahrain have just as solid a beef with their regimes and have also been brutally repressed. But some are let off the hook because of their strategic location or the fact that their despots are long-time allies of Washington and the EU. In the case of Iran, it is just a matter of knowing it to be "biting off more than ...".

Title: Re: Arab World Protests
Post by: nacho on March 23, 2011, 08:15:19 AM
See, that's what gets me. We get wet in Libya but we ignore troops walking rough-shod over protesters elsewhere. The Saudis can invade Bahrain in support of ultimate evil, and we don't bat an eye.  But oh-no! Disrupt our oil supply for 13 seconds and it's time to send in the combined forces of ultimate destruction.

As for Obama being Wishy-Washy, at least on this topic, the first three days of the action read like: "we'll only take a supporting role," then "We're taking the lead," then "we're scaling back to a supporting role."

The impression is that everyone at the White House is racing in circles screaming.

Of course, it doesn't help when the media reports a mechanical accident resulting in no deaths as "JET GOES DOWN IN INFIDEL LANDS!!! WE MUST CONTINUE TO FIGHT TO AVENGE IT!!!"

The good thing about when we did this in 1986 is that it happened while we slept and there was no news coverage till we got the paper.
Title: Re: Arab World Protests
Post by: Disco Dust on March 23, 2011, 12:16:44 PM
Hmmm...beg to differ on the facts of the flashback, Nach.

I was living in an EST area, and distinctly remember the attack happening when we just had wrapped up our dinner.....no later than 21:00 or 21:30.


We had CNN on, when a bloke named Donovan (John Donovan I think....he was with that outfit for many years, but I have not seen him anywhere for at least a couple of years now), was on the phone from Tripoli reporting the air raid live. A harbinger of things to come in Baghdad a few years later with Shaw and co.
Title: Re: Arab World Protests
Post by: nacho on March 23, 2011, 12:19:54 PM
Yeah, it was 8pm EST.

We didn't have cable in 1986 at my house because we're real Americans.
Title: Re: Arab World Protests
Post by: Reginald McGraw on March 23, 2011, 06:05:58 PM
Our oil supply has little to do with Libya. Saudi Arabia stands at the ready to boost production if there is any blip.
Title: Re: Arab World Protests
Post by: monkey! on March 23, 2011, 07:00:49 PM
Yeah, Libyan oil only counts for something like 2% of global production.
Title: Re: Arab World Protests
Post by: Cassander on March 23, 2011, 09:03:55 PM
If you want me to admit that our relationship with each country in the Middle East is different and that we keep sticking our limbs inside a giant Tar Baby, then I more than certainly will.  But our current hypocrisy with Libya vs. Bahrain isn't much different than our hypocrisy with Vietnam vs. Cuba or, hell, even the NFL Players Union vs. the state employees in Wisconsin.  It's ever present. 
Title: Re: Arab World Protests
Post by: RottingCorpse on March 23, 2011, 09:06:31 PM
Just once I'd like to see the world do it's own thing without us sticking our nose in it.
Title: Re: Arab World Protests
Post by: nacho on March 24, 2011, 10:55:34 AM
Just once I'd like to see the world do it's own thing without us sticking our nose in it.

Like everything before 1941? Because that record was stellar!

You could even argue that we're here now sticking our nose in everything (as we have been since 1950) because we let the world do its own thing.  Since then, it's been one, long, mismanaged janitorial duty brought on by post-colonialism. What would the world have been like if the European powers had eased out of colonialism?

You could go back to Versailles and Wilson's peace plan -- that certainly would have averted (or, at least, delayed) a second World War, which would have led to a gentler devolution of the European colonies. If we'd stuck our nose in sooner, the world would have been a very different place.

Not to say that America is Brave and Beautiful... It's just that our version of hubris involves getting fat and drunk and rolling around happily in shit as opposed to trying to put boots on the ground and conquer the universe because Uncle Bertie insulted Cousin Bettie.

Title: Re: Arab World Protests
Post by: nacho on March 24, 2011, 11:27:54 AM
And, you know -- let's compare! America, 1950-onwards. The world's Keystone Kop vs. Europe fucking subjugating the known world, 1500-1950.

We've stuck our nose in lots of places, but all of them are colonial fallout zones.  Korea is communist paranoia, but it even has roots in European shenanigans in China and the Japanese aping the European model (and feeling compelled to compete). Vietnam is a French colonial fuckup on a level that blows the mind. Even our dealings in the Mideast are tripping over loose ends left by colonialism.

Most of this world has been brutally abandoned without support.  The colonial powers let these colonies off without any sort of support and, in the case of most powers, infrastructure. For nearly 500 years they raped the entire planet and created a vast underclass ruled by a minority super-class and, when it got too expensive, they pulled out overnight and left everyone to fend for themselves. The whole face of Africa, the Mideast, large swaths of South America, and much of Asia is because the Europeans stuck much much more than their noses into things and then abandoned it all with a shrug and a tut-tut, isn't that a shame.

Then here comes young, misguided, child-like America. A superpower only by virtue of the fact that it's the last man standing after a cataclysmic global war. What does a child do if it's handed the reins of the world? With that sort of good-natured hubris, it tries to make things right... Whatever "right" is. Everybody should be like America, right? Because we're free and rich and happy... And why aren't they? We were burned by our early colonial efforts, so we know colonies are wrong. Despite appearances otherwise, we have no stomach for serious military commitment. War for us is, through those child-like eyes, more of a game. We get scared when the real face is shown to us (though, typically, we're too deep in the game to extract ourselves properly when we do lose heart).

With the world basically shattered, we were allowed to indulge all of our childlike whims. The world is still shattered from the World War era. Europe has just this decade started to properly emerge from the ashes. We had 50 years to indulge every fantasy and so, now, we're run by a weird ultra-capitalist corporate oligarchy. That's the direction we've been going in since the 1880's, but it's always been checked by our own limitations. Our insular, individualistic, carefree attitude. Our second banana status to the rest of the world. Wilson failed at Versailles because we were a joke. The adult world saw us as the child we were. But when all those adults died on the sacrificial altar of fascism... Well, there was no one left to criticize us. No one else to slow us down.
Title: Re: Arab World Protests
Post by: RottingCorpse on March 24, 2011, 02:20:04 PM
If I'm reading that correctly, you're saying the USA is the Michael York of "Spaceship Earth's" Logan's Run? Or maybe the kid in Children of the Corn?

"OUTLANDER!!! We have your woman!"
Title: Re: Arab World Protests
Post by: nacho on March 24, 2011, 05:10:39 PM
I think we started out Michael York but ended up Children of the Corn.  Outlander!!!
Title: Re: Arab World Protests
Post by: nacho on March 29, 2011, 10:43:28 AM
Okay, okay. So enough about Libya. What about the other countries we're ignoring?

In Syria, the cabinet just resigned and hundreds of political prisoners were freed (this after last week's brutal crackdown).

Egypt's starting to tip again. The interior ministry building was burned down by striking police.

Jordan and Yemen have turned into lawless freak-out zones.

Title: Re: Arab World Protests
Post by: Cassander on March 29, 2011, 08:31:56 PM
I've got a buddy who is getting deployed in May to go back to Iraq for a sort of "last out/lights out" tour, but I'm getting more nervous about a possible floating involvement all over the region.  I imagine people in Kuwait, Dubai, and Turkey are feeling a little nervous, right?  not so much militarily but as far as refugees go?  Then you got Sudan in there, too.  Jesus. 
Title: Re: Arab World Protests
Post by: nacho on August 23, 2011, 01:26:45 PM
Well, Libya's heating up. Rebels have stormed Ghadafi's compound, and conflicting rumors say his son (and successor) is in custody. Looks like we're into the end-game.
Title: Re: Arab World Protests
Post by: Disco Dust on August 23, 2011, 01:36:54 PM
Will he do a Hitler or a Saddam?
Title: Re: Arab World Protests
Post by: nacho on August 23, 2011, 01:37:28 PM
Saddam. Hitler's out took bravery.
Title: Re: Arab World Protests
Post by: RottingCorpse on August 23, 2011, 01:43:21 PM
Yeah, Ghadaffi will do what it takes to save his own skin.
Title: Re: Arab World Protests
Post by: nacho on August 23, 2011, 01:49:10 PM
What a silly question! In the 65 years since Hitler, has any ousted dictator gone with that option? I can't think of any...and there's nothing special about Ghadaffi.
Title: Re: Arab World Protests
Post by: Disco Dust on August 23, 2011, 10:38:27 PM
Allende went out in the same manner (proven again recently by extensive forensic work on his remains), but whether he can be be classified as a dictator is quite contentious.
Title: Re: Arab World Protests
Post by: nacho on August 24, 2011, 07:57:39 AM
You mean the democratically elected president who was overthrown three years later by a coup? If Allende was a dictator, then that means Pinochet is a liberator! Hail Great Father!
Title: Re: Arab World Protests
Post by: nacho on August 24, 2011, 11:24:44 AM
Update from Libya:  Nobody knows what's going on.

I gave up after checking out six newspapers, all of which are pretty much saying, well, shit's going down, and something something, and... Oil fields! And stuff.
Title: Re: Arab World Protests
Post by: Disco Dust on August 24, 2011, 01:59:19 PM
Being fairly elected does not keep some (like Mugabe) from becoming dictators after a while, and there were some examples of that with Allende at the helm.

Interesting to see how the endgame in Syria unfolds next...
Title: Re: Arab World Protests
Post by: nacho on August 24, 2011, 02:18:50 PM
LOL! Mugabe! The guerrilla leader elected by the people he freed. I guess that's okay. Then graft and horror ever since.

Read Mukiwa for a great view on the end of Rhodesia... And any of a number of other books. Fascinating history, really. But Mugabe's election isn't quite as above board as he would like folks to believe. Well...it is, I guess, comparatively speaking.
Title: Re: Arab World Protests
Post by: Disco Dust on August 25, 2011, 01:29:57 AM
Me thinks "an above board election" for a major political position is as common anywhere in the world as bikinis in Greenland.
Title: Re: Arab World Protests
Post by: nacho on October 20, 2011, 09:46:51 AM
My phone'! Lit up this morning with news of Gaddafi's capture... and here I am stuck on the metro.
Title: Re: Arab World Protests
Post by: monkey! on October 20, 2011, 10:13:47 AM
I wonder if they'll have another sham hanging, like Suddam.
Title: Re: Arab World Protests
Post by: RottingCorpse on October 20, 2011, 10:16:27 AM
News on the office TVs is reporting Ghadaffi is dead.
Title: Re: Arab World Protests
Post by: nacho on October 20, 2011, 10:28:54 AM
No confirmation of anything yet.
Title: Re: Arab World Protests
Post by: RottingCorpse on October 20, 2011, 10:36:09 AM
It's on TV. It has to be true.
Title: Re: Arab World Protests
Post by: monkey! on October 20, 2011, 10:52:07 AM
It's on TV. It has to be true.
Title: Re: Arab World Protests
Post by: nacho on October 20, 2011, 11:03:58 AM
There we go... The transition leader just confirmed. Died at the hospital from leg wounds. The body is in a secret location. Also captured/killed: Everybody else.

So passes Denethor...
Title: Re: Arab World Protests
Post by: Disco Dust on October 20, 2011, 11:56:00 AM
According to the captors, he was caught without any wounds but was shot in the head while trying to slip away...just glad the SOB is a goner!
Title: Re: Arab World Protests
Post by: nacho on October 20, 2011, 01:10:45 PM
The Guardian's obit was on standby!

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/oct/20/colonel-muammar-gaddafi

Went up as soon as the Libyan PM confirmed everything.

I love these Obit guys, putting all this stuff together weeks, months, years in advance in some dark, death-obsessed corner of the office.

Title: Re: Arab World Protests
Post by: nacho on October 20, 2011, 05:58:55 PM
So... Anyone saying what happened to his girl power guards? I hope they tour the world.
Title: Re: Arab World Protests
Post by: nacho on October 20, 2011, 06:06:46 PM
Oh...well...okay. Most of them were incinerated in a French air raid shortly after he died. Others, who surrendered days ago, claim they were sex slaves.