Evolving Middle East Crisis Thread

Politics & Current Events

  1. shagdrum

    shagdrum Dedicated LVC Member

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    Thanks for admitting that. Loaded questions are not, in any way, legitimate.

    Your question assumes that anything that results from the riots is automatically democracy, which is far from the truth. Democracy might result, but it could just as easily lead to a tyranny. Considering the region that is a very real possibility that the Left, unfortunately, has deluded themselves into ignoring. The consequences of that naive idealist Leftist self-delusion have been severe, historically. We have Iran under Carter and, more importantly, Neville Chamberlain's appeasement strategy (culminating in the Munich Agreement) which missed the opportunity to stop the Nazi War Machine in it's infancy and forgo the loss of countless lives.

    Oh, and Foxy, it is nice to see that you conveniently miss the reasons I posted those various articles.
     
  2. shagdrum

    shagdrum Dedicated LVC Member

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    Yes, HONEST competition. If you wanna run with that analogy, remember that even Adam Smith called for certain government regulations to maintain transparency and honesty (primarily, contract law).

    To apply that analogy to political discourse, that means we have to regulate both ourselves and each other. Considering the myriad of ways that discourse can be subverted and turned toward self-serving ends (both intentionally and unintentionally) that makes the task of meaningful, civil discourse all that much harder.

    Bait and switch and various other deceptive marketing strategies are illegal when selling a product/service, but there is no "controlling legal authority" to punish such a tactic in political discourse, necessitating people to govern themselves and each other in political discourse.
     
  3. shagdrum

    shagdrum Dedicated LVC Member

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    Yes. For any productive discourse, you HAVE to first determine where the differences start. You do that by starting at the most basic level and work your way forward until you find the point of disagreement. Start at premise "A", move to premise "B", etc. until you find where in the logic the viewpoints diverge. The debate STARTS at that most basic of differences.

    Starting at the point of policy or position on a specific issue of the day jumps over all that and leaves the discussion no where to go because it ignores any common ground and the train of thought used to reach the various positions. All that is left is for the discussion to devolve into posturing where the two sides should past each other.

    NOTHING productive emerges from that and it is in watching that shouting match that many become ambivalent about politics. This has VERY dangerous consequences.

    A society like ours, founded on the principles of individual liberty, self governance and the rule of law, DEMANDS an informed populace. Without an informed and engaged populace, our great experiment in freedom is condemned to the “ash heap of history”.

    Unfortunately, the types of discussion that would encourage being informed and engaged doesn't appear to be something you are interested in because you are quick to dismiss them with comments like this...

    So, what is the "primary function" of this thread? Is it to engage in a pointless shouting match that only discourages decent people from "joining the fray" while bringing out the worst in those who remain?

    Why jump over that common ground between the two positions and avoid any critical examination/comparison of the various viewpoints? The only reasons I could see is, A) if your are either not confident in the logical validity of the position you are conveying or are not confident in your ability to convey that position logically, thus necessitating avoiding that discussion, B) you would rather engage in a rhetorical pissing contest to demonstrate some sense of superiority, or C) some combination of the two. Either way, the focus ceases to be on truth and becomes about self.
     
  4. shagdrum

    shagdrum Dedicated LVC Member

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    Back to the actual topic of the thread...

    America's Naivete About Egypt
    by Kirsten Powers

    Americans are notoriously naïve.

    This is the message I am getting from people I know in Egypt today.

    When the protests first began in Egypt, I was in constant contact with an Egyptian relative who is a successful businessman, university professor and astute student of world politics. As my husband and I panicked for our family’s safety, this relative was calm, assuring me that Hosni Mubarak would appoint an interim government and that there would likely be an important role for Omar Suileman, who is a well respected leader in Egypt. Both these things quickly came true. Day after day he assured me that everything would be fine. He was sure that the Muslim Brotherhood—which he regards as a radical Islamist group – was not organized enough to gain any significant power.

    Today, he was not so calm. Our family in Egypt is shocked and alarmed by what they are hearing from Western voices and even the apparent leading opposition candidate Mohamed ElBaradei—who has partnered with the Muslim Brotherhood -- who claim that the Brotherhood is a moderate group that should not be feared.

    As Coptic Christians—native Egyptians who comprise the largest religious minority in the Middle East—they are especially attuned to the double-speak of Islamist groups trying to attain power.

    During the last elections, the Brotherhood's slogan was “Islam is the solution.” Its logo is a black flag with a sword and the Koran.

    This reminded me of a trip my husband and I made to Saudi Arabia last year. While driving in from the airport we passed a gigantic statue of a gold sword. I asked our guide what the inscription said, and he told me that it was from the Koran and translated to, “Sometimes the sword is better than words.”

    Gulp.

    I spent much of yesterday interviewing American experts on the region—including two Brookings Institution scholars who are experts on the Muslim Brotherhood—and was reassured over and over that the organization has reformed and does not seek to establish a fundamentalist state. One claimed that Brotherhood officials have said they view Copts as equal citizens.

    My relative laughed at this. He says when Brotherhood members have been asked about how they would treat Christians they are vague. When asked about whether they would nationalize the banks, they are vague. Even one of the Brookings scholars told me that the Brotherhood would probably segregate the sexes. This is far from a secular group.

    Our family in Egypt always makes the point that if the current regime—which is considered moderate and quasi-secular—arrests people who convert from Islam to Christianity, what do you think it will be like if power is seized by a group that has as its explicit goal the spread of Islam?

    One of the things I consistently hear from the Egyptian Christians I know is that Islamists know the right things to say in order to gain power. They are sophisticated. They are especially astute at telling Westerners what they want to hear.

    I saw this also when I was in Saudi Arabia. Our guide told us repeatedly that Saudi Arabia was reforming and that it was becoming a more open society. This was the story he sold us day after day. Never mind that women can’t drive or that restaurants are segregated or that the religious police hit women with a baton if they think they aren’t appropriately covered. They are known to cut men’s hair right on the street if they deem it too long. My husband had his passport taken away in the airport for wearing shorts, and the authorities wouldn’t give it back to him until he changed. If a Muslim converts to any other religion, the punishment is the death penalty.

    Open society indeed.

    Shadi Hamid, a Brookings Institute scholar and expert on the Muslim Brotherhood (which he maintains is not radical) made the case to me that Egypt is a very Islamic country, and if the people want an Islamic government that is their choice. It’s not for the U.S. to decide.

    As a liberal, I have a very hard time with the idea that I’m not supposed to care about a potential government that is oppressive to minorities and women. I also do not support theocracies—Muslim, Christian or otherwise even if they aren't fundamentalist. I find it strange that so many American liberals aren’t concerned about the Muslim Brotherhood’s stated mission to “spread Islam.” It’s hard to imagine them being so unconcerned about a Christian political group with the stated mission of establishing a Christian theocracy gaining power in a new government.

    If the Muslim Brotherhood wants to evangelize Islam on its own time that is fine; but it shouldn't be able to use government power to do so. I should also note that it is already against the law for Christians to share their faith in Egypt—and that’s under a quasi-secular government. (Human Rights Watch last year accused Egypt of “widespread discrimination” against Christians and other religious minorities.)

    This isn’t to say that Mubarak deserves our support. He's an oppressive dictator. But all the Americans who are supporting the participation of the Muslim Brotherhood in the new government need to understand who they really are. Beyond my own personal concern for the treatment of Christians and women, fundamentalist Islamic governments generally aren’t known for being pro-American.

    I shared with my Egyptian relative that most experts I spoke to here believe that Turkey is the model that Egypt will follow.

    Again, laughter.​
     
  5. shagdrum

    shagdrum Dedicated LVC Member

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    Another fact that seems to be overlooked...We have essentially "bought off" Egypt from attacking Israel for decades now. Will a new government in Egypt honor any such arrangement?
     
  6. foxpaws

    foxpaws Dedicated LVC Member

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    Cal - making predictions with confidence is being foolhardy.

    Things I look at - that point to a different scenario -

    Egypt is no Iran - Sunnis wouldn't put up with it, and Egypt is Sunni. You really need to look into the very real differences between the sects.

    The army remains very strong, and doesn't want a religious order - they will control the area for some time. It is what happened in Turkey -

    This is far more like what happened in Turkey than what happened in Iran - but Glenn Beck isn't looking at the Turkey model because it would upset his handcart of doom, so he chooses Iran.

    Egypt has started to move to a market based economy - once people get a taste of capitalism, it is pretty hard to go back (look at China).

    Islam is scary - but, you have to remember that Islam is where political discourse was allowed. In the mosques, people were allowed to complain against the autocrats and strong arm leaders. The dictators suppressed the population, but they couldn't shut down the mosque.

    The US planted the seeds of Democracy in the middle east - we will now find out what we will reap.
     
  7. foxpaws

    foxpaws Dedicated LVC Member

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    You just posted the articles with ZERO comment from you, just the raw article, no other statement from you - I have absolutely no idea of what 'reasoning' was behind them other than perhaps you agreed with them... you might want to post your thoughts with regards to your reasons for posting, and then us mere mortals would have a clue on what goes on behind the curtain.

    But, you wouldn't do that - it might 'define' you shag - and you certainly wouldn't want that...

    I had to really wonder when you posted this in response to '04

    Recently I begged you for an 'understanding' regarding how you define social justice, and you never once stated a view that would allow us to then discuss the similarities and differences when defining 'left' and 'right' - you can't even play by your own socratic rules...
     
  8. foxpaws

    foxpaws Dedicated LVC Member

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    anything could result - but my question wonders if (not when) democracy results - but a democracy that isn't a product of US intervention, and thereby controlled by the US - is that still good? A democracy we don't 'control', that isn't subjective to our own 'brand' of intervention.
     
  9. 04SCTLS

    04SCTLS Dedicated LVC Member

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    Oh and how does our society DEMAND an informed populace.
    Usually only 50% of the population votes.
    There is no meaningful penalty for those eligible voters who choose not
    to vote.
    Many people glaze over about politics.
    Is this where your frustration and neurosesies come from, that a large part of the public is apathetic to being informed and that we're headed for the ash heap of history.
    Thats my conclusion from your above quote.
    Our society does not DEMAND in informed populace so your whole statement is completely wrong.
    If you actually believe this it calls into question your judgement on the basest level in that you show that you start with a delusion that is not based in reality and don't know what you are talking about.
     
  10. shagdrum

    shagdrum Dedicated LVC Member

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    from here:
    Nine out of ten Egyptian women suffer genital mutilation. US President Barack Obama said Jan. 29, “The right to peaceful assembly and association, the right to free speech, and the ability to determine their own destiny … are human rights. And the United States will stand up for them everywhere.” Does Obama think that genital mutilation is a human rights violation? To expect Egypt to leap from the intimate violence of traditional society to the full rights of a modern democracy seems whimsical.

    In fact, the vast majority of Egyptians has practiced civil disobedience against the Mubarak regime for years. The Mubarak government announced a “complete” ban on genital mutilation in 2007, the second time it has done so – without success, for the Egyptian population ignored the enlightened pronouncements of its government. Do Western liberals cheer at this quiet revolt against Mubarak’s authority?

    Suzanne Mubarak, Egypt’s First Lady, continues to campaign against the practice, which she has denounced as “physical and psychological violence against children.” Last May 1, she appeared at Aswan City alongside the provincial governor and other local officials to declare the province free of it. And on October 28, Mrs Mubarak inaugurated an African conference on stopping genital mutilation.

    The most authoritative Egyptian Muslim scholars continue to recommend genital mutilation.
     
  11. shagdrum

    shagdrum Dedicated LVC Member

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    I imagine you are going to keep bringing up this lie unless the record is set straight.

    First, I HAVE defined social justice in earlier threads and you could have dug up those definitions but chose not to. Apparently it would have been inconvenient to the false narrative you were drawing in that thread and are attempting to perpetuate here.

    Second, your one sided account conveniently avoids the actual context of the thread in question; specifically you are ignoring my response to your posturing in that thread about my unwillingness to humor you in "honest" discourse (something you failed to respond to in that thread as well):
    Myself as well as others have attempted to engage you in honest debate countless times. We have given you the benefit of the doubt more times then you care to admit and every time we do, you throw it back in our face.

    It is apparent to any objective observer of this forum that your appeal to honest discourse is simply a false pretense to further your efforts to delegitimize and "win by default". Don't insult us with faux outrage when we see through your charade.

    You have already admitted (in post #98 of this thread) that you asked a loaded question. The fact that you even asked that question explains a lot. The point being raised is that the uprising in Egypt can very easily be co-opted toward radical, authoritarian ends. Your question is a clear attempt to reframe the debate to weather or not a democracy in Egypt is legitimate or not...
    The question makes a false innuendo about the points I am raising. The ONLY person bringing up the possibility of a democracy being illegitimate because it doesn't conform to American ideals is you in your constant efforts to attribute that notion to the points Cal and I are raising. Nothing Cal and I have said (in context) can be construed as inferring what your are falsely attributing to it in your "question". Of course, making the charge in the forum of a question gives you plausible deniability. It is a loaded, "are you still beating your wife" question and you have admitted as much (again, see post #98).

    Let me be clear, the ONLY reason to ask that question is to misrepresent the points I am raising so as to delegitimize them and reframe the debate toward one that avoids critical examination of the uprising and the context surrounding it. It is a dishonest attempt to win by default, nothing more.

    The fact that you would look to subvert critical examination of the uprising in Egypt is very telling.
     
  12. shagdrum

    shagdrum Dedicated LVC Member

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    The notion of a more democratic Egypt and Middle East is very appealing. Under a certain perspective, it can even be seen as broadly consistent with (and therefore confirming) Marxist prophecy, which is why the Left is predisposed to viewing (and labeling) it as a legitimate, democratic uprising. But it is in those moments where we are predisposed to accepting something without critical examination that critical thought becomes most important.

    Unfortunately, we have far to many working to subvert that critical examination; to force the national dialog to reflect their quixotic delusion. Moral posturing, misdirection and distortions of opposing views is a very effective way to further that end, but those delusions have had very deadly consequences in our past.

    Neville Chamberlain exemplified this type of wishful thinking in making the Munich Agreement with Hitler. During this same time others in Britain were practically shouting from the rooftops warning of Hitler's true intentions, most notably, Winston Churchill.

    However, the popular sentiment in Britain and much of the Western World was that of appeasement and avoiding military conflict at all costs (steaming from an understandable aversion to war after the horrific events of World War 1).

    Hitler was able to play off this sentiment. He made overtures to peaceful co-existence, telling these people what they wanted to hear and manipulating them into wasted time on a peace agreement while he grew his war machine and maneuvered Germany into a position to be able to kick it's efforts of world domination into high gear.

    If the Western Powers had actually enforced the Treaty of Versailles and kept Germany from building up their military and launching their agenda, countless lives could have been saved. Unfortunately, the Western World was gripped in a quixotic delusion that kept them from taking the threat of Nazi Germany serious until it was too late.

    We are seeing this same delusional thinking today with regards to Egypt. Inconvenient facts, subversive political agendas and historical patterns in the region are being ignored and the notion that this is a legitimate, democratic uprising that well successfully result in a free society is being accepted without critical examination. Any attempt to critically examine the events in Egypt must be delegitimized by any means necessary; they are targets.

    However, when this view is pressed to defend itself (instead of simply nullifying opposing views), all they have are baseless assertions, wild speculation, distortion and cherry picked facts to back up their claims. Reality is something to be avoided in favor of wishful thinking.

    And just so my words cannot be distorted later, I am NOT arguing that Egypt will become Nazi Germany or that any similarity exists between the two. I am simply comparing the lack of critical examination and realistic, rational thinking between the desire to see peaceful co-existence with Nazi Germany and the desire to see a legitimate and successful democratic uprising in Egypt.
     
  13. 04SCTLS

    04SCTLS Dedicated LVC Member

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    Scholarly review and interpretations of events happen after the fact when things are done unfolding.
    We're still in the middle of it so warnings are good but comparisons are premature.
    Bringing up the Nazis for everything conservatives disagree with has grown tiresome and hollow to the point of lacking credibility and there's enough going on without throwing that into the fire.
    Now is not the time to be talking Nazis.
    The kind of critical examination you long for is for institutes of higher learning and not something to throw about in newspaper headlines and articles and the event isn't finished so no one wants to look foolish in hindsight.
     
  14. foxpaws

    foxpaws Dedicated LVC Member

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    There is a tradition that once such a comparison to Nazi Germany is made, the thread is finished and whoever mentioned the Nazis has automatically "lost" whatever debate was in progress. This principle is itself frequently referred to as Godwin's Law. ;)
     
  15. shagdrum

    shagdrum Dedicated LVC Member

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    Fortunately, I am not making a comparison to Nazi Germany.

     
  16. foxpaws

    foxpaws Dedicated LVC Member

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    So- how about just a little link shag - I had given the standard 'social justice' definition in the thread in question - and asked if that was OK - you couldn't even answer that shag -

    You posture a lot - but actually discuss very little...
     
  17. cammerfe

    cammerfe Dedicated LVC Member

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    'Tradition' and reality do not necessarily coincide. It might be more appropriate to have a respectful discourse regarding the juxtapositions laid out for review.

    KS
     
  18. foxpaws

    foxpaws Dedicated LVC Member

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    If it quacks like duck....

    So what are you doing shag - you can say you aren't making a comparison - but, that doesn't mean anything - look at your argument - you are comparing them...

    Unfortunately, the Western World was gripped in a quixotic delusion that kept them from taking the threat of Nazi Germany serious until it was too late.

    We are seeing this same delusional thinking today with regards to Egypt.
     
  19. shagdrum

    shagdrum Dedicated LVC Member

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    Foxy, instead of dodging, how about actually confronting my argument on it's merits?

    Whoever has to engage in distraction has "lost" the debate, as you say.

    Can you confront the analogy I made on it's merits?

    Can you disprove the notion that, in public policy, a focus on Utopian wishes that overrides a focus on reality leads to negative consequences?

    Given the history of the region and the political agendas that dominate the region, can you show, specifically*, why it is irrational to be wary of the possibility that this uprising could result in an authoritarian regime hostile to American interests and destabilizing in the region? Cal asked essentially this same question from both you and 04 and neither of you have yet to directly respond.

    Instead of attempting to delegitimize the points Cal and I raise, how about logically proving that your view is legitimate?

    *by "specifically", I mean more then conjecture, cherry picked facts, and misrepresentations of the politics involved.
     
  20. 04SCTLS

    04SCTLS Dedicated LVC Member

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    Egypt's real parallel to Iran's revolution


    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dy.../02/06/AR2011020603398.html?hpid=opinionsbox1

    A specter is haunting the West. In 1979, the United States watched a street revolution in the Middle East and saw its stalwart ally, Iranian Shah Reza Pahlavi, ousted, only to be replaced by a theocratic Islamic Republic. Now, watching another street revolution in another Middle Eastern country, many people seem spooked by this memory. Fears of an Islamic takeover are not limited to Glenn Beck, with his predictions that the fall of Hosni Mubarak will lead to the rise of an Islamic caliphate bent on global domination. (Beck's policy recommendation to Americans was even more out there: "store food.") Serious conservative politicians such as Mitt Romney and John McCain describe Egypt's Islamic opposition in terms not so dissimilar from Beck's. On the left, The Post's Richard Cohen writes, "The dream of a democratic Egypt is sure to produce a nightmare." Leon Wieseltier believes the Islamists will attempt a Bolshevik-style takeover.
    All these things may indeed come to pass, but there is little evidence so far to support the scare scenarios. The Egyptian protests have been secular; the Muslim Brotherhood is one of many groups participating, all of whom have demands that are about democracy and human rights. Egypt is not Iran in a dozen important ways. Its Sunni clergy play no hierarchical or political role the way they do in Iran. Perhaps most important, the current Iranian regime is not a popular model in the Arab world. Egyptians have seen Mubarak and the mullahs and want neither - Pew polling in 2010 found that a large majority supports democratic governance.
    Fears of this imagined future are drawing American eyes away from the actual problem in Egypt: military dictatorship. Egypt is not a personality-based regime, centered on Mubarak, despite reports of his wealth and efforts to establish his son as his successor. Since the officers' coup in 1952, Egypt has been a dictatorship of, by and for the military. The few presidents since then have emerged from the officer corps; the armed forces have huge budgets and total independence, and are deeply involved in every aspect of society, including owning vast tracts of land and hundreds of companies.
    Right now, the military is consolidating its power. Mubarak's efforts since 2004 to bring civilians and business leaders into the cabinet have been reversed over the past week - in fact, the businessmen have been turned into scapegoats, sacrificed so that the generals can continue to rule. The three people running Egypt - the vice president, prime minister and defense chief - come from the army. Half of the cabinet are military men, and about 80 percent of the powerful governors are drawn from the armed forces. The military seems to have decided to sacrifice Mubarak but is trying to manage the process of change, to ensure that it remains all-powerful. Egypt, remember, is still ruled by martial law and military courts.
    Many commentators have made parallels to Turkey, where the military played a crucial role in modernizing the country. But the military in Turkey has yielded power very reluctantly, and only because the European Union has persistently applied pressure to weaken the military's role in politics. The danger is that Egypt will become not Turkey but Pakistan, a sham democracy with real power held in back rooms by generals.
    The Obama administration is right to work to produce a smooth transition. The danger of chaos is real: The views of the Muslim Brotherhood are retrograde and pernicious. Without a new constitution and legal protections there are risks of "illiberal democracy," or free and fair elections under Egypt's current laws that would lead to bad outcomes for minorities, human rights and other freedoms. The transition should be not just from Mubarak but from the whole system he headed.
    It's worth remembering what has led to the rise of Islamic extremism and anti-American rage in the Middle East. Arabs see Washington as having supported brutal dictatorships that suppress their people. They believe that it ignored this suppression as long as the regimes toed the line on American foreign policy. If Washington is now perceived as brokering a deal that keeps a military dictatorship in power in Egypt, de jure or de facto, the result will be deep disappointment and frustration on the streets of Cairo. Over time, it will make opposition to the regime and to the United States more hard-line, more religious and more violent. That might be the real parallel to the forces that led to the Iranian revolution.

    _______________________________________________________________

    Well at least your on the left of Glen Beck who's urging people to store food LOL!
    The difference and irrationality of your view is that the military is a force in Egypt unlike Iran and is not going to allow the extremists to have power, plain and simple.
    The military has not attacked the protesters but neither have they driven Mubarek out.

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  21. foxpaws

    foxpaws Dedicated LVC Member

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    '04 - finally something about the military power in Egypt...

    I still think it can go the way of Turkey, and not Pakistan - current Egyptian life parallels Turkey far more.

    Will this get treated with the same 'lack of interest,' as shag indicated -where he compared the current situation in Egypt to Nazi Germany? (yes you did shag).

    It can't - today our communication grid is so much more diverse, and all the world is watching - What we do with that communication is unknown - but, just that different 'card' in the 'deck' skews the dynamics shag. Diverse communication felled the Soviet Union - it is changing the face of Communist China, it will have a profound effect on this situation in the middle east as well.

    There is no apples to apples comparison to be made at all when it comes to the third reich and the democratic uprising in Egypt.
     
  22. Calabrio

    Calabrio Dedicated LVC Member

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    To quote the Turkish prime minister Erdogan, "Democracy is a train that takes you to your destination, and then you get off."
     
  23. shagdrum

    shagdrum Dedicated LVC Member

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    A red herring is a deliberate attempt to divert a process of inquiry by changing the subject.

    The notion the modern information age is somehow immune to the self-delusion that resulted in the Treaty of Versailles is absurd. It rests on the notion that more information can somehow nullify romanticized delusions. But this is based on a flawed understanding of that self-delusion and reinforced by distortion of historical events and political realities.

    John Stewart Mill explained the phenomenon of self delusion most succinctly when he said,
    So long as an opinion is strongly rooted in feelings, it gains rather then loses in stability by having a preponderating weight of argument against it. For if it were accepted as a result of argument, the refutation of the argument might shake the solidity of the conviction; but when it rests solely on feeling, the worse it fares in argumentative contest, the more persuaded are it's adherents that their feelings must have some deeper ground which the argument does not reach.
    If a viewpoint is rooted in idealized, wishful thinking, more information against it can actually reinforce the delusion.

    This is evident by the fact that, at the time of the signing of the Treaty of Versailles, some of the MOST informed people were also the most deluded. Neville Chamberlain was the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. Not only was he one of the most informed men on the goings on in the world was not only surrounded with some of the brightest and most well informed minds on international politics and the happenings in Europe as anyone.

    In fact, the vast majority of the most informed experts in all of the Western World had reached a consensus on the appeasement strategy that enabled the grand ambitions of the Nazi War Machine.

    The notion that more information = less delusion is false.

    In defense of this quixotic denial of reality we are seeing the rise of a host or red herring that are attributed more power then is realistic. Any possible difference, however insignificant, is attributed "game changing" qualities no matter how absurd.

    The overwhelming amount of information and inability to censor information due to the modern information age is attributed unrealistic qualities not only in fueling and organizing the riots but in inhibiting both the co-opting of the riots to radical ends and nullifying any tendency toward romanticized delusions by many in the western world.

    These transparent rationalizations of fantasy are reinforced by a distortion of history. We have absurdly exaggerated claims that "Diverse communication felled the Soviet Union" and, more profoundly delusional, the notion that Turkey is to be aspired to.

    At one point, Turkey seemed to be the example that any decent, democracy loving person hoped all the Muslim world would emulate. As I heard someone put it, "Turkey was the bridge of the Muslim world to the western world- a member of NATO and at the crossroads of Europe and Asia". Unfortunately, in recent times, Turkey has taken a clear turn for the worse after the rise of a radical leader; towards an Islamic state dominated by Sharia Law.
     
  24. 04SCTLS

    04SCTLS Dedicated LVC Member

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    Foreign Islamists Get Little Support in Egypt

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB100...450552259540.html?mod=WSJ_hp_MIDDLETopStories

    Iran and its ally Hezbollah have been quick to claim kinship with the mass demonstrations in Egypt, describing them as part of a "regional Islamic awakening," but the reaction from Egypt's own Islamic movement has been lukewarm.

    The latest endorsement of the protesters came Monday when Seyed Hassan Nasrallah, leader of the political and militant Shiite group Hezbollah, gave a televised speech to a crowd of several hundred supporters gathered at an auditorium in south Beirut waving Egyptian and Hezbollah flags.
    "The resistance Egyptians demonstrate does not differ from the resistance of Hezbollah during the 2006 war with Israel," Mr. Nasrallah said. "I wish to be with you and offer my blood to support your cause."
    Iran and Hezbollah have reveled in the upsurge of opposition to Egypt's President Hosni Mubarak, a traditional U.S. ally and one of their main rivals for regional influence.
    Moreover, the prospect of Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood gaining more power if Egypt holds free elections has raised fears in the U.S. that the pro-democracy movement could be hijacked by Islamists.
    During Friday's prayer sermon, Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, said the oppressed people of Egypt and Tunisia were aspiring for an Islamic state modeled after Iran and that the street demonstrations were "liberating Islamic movements."
    Meanwhile, the Muslim Brotherhood acted quickly to distance itself from Iran and Hezbollah, saying it "regards the revolution as the Egyptian people's revolution, not an Islamic revolution."
    "The first thing we want is not to have any political addresses to the people from outsiders," said Mohammed Morsey, a spokesman for the Muslim Brotherhood.

    "The revolution in Egypt has nothing to do with any outsiders. You must not underestimate the youth and say they are following foreign agendas," he added.
    Even Cairo's Al Azhar University, Sunni's Islam's most important religious institution, issued an unprecedented condemnation of Iran's attempt to characterize the popular uprising as Islamic.
    The Muslim Brotherhood's quick rejection of Iran's advances could cause embarrassment in Iran.
    If Egypt becomes a multiparty democracy and its Islamist movement develops along moderate lines, like the AK Party in Turkey, Iran's influence could be eroded both in Iran and regionally.
    "As people begin to see the geopolitical shifts this will bring, it will have a tremendous effect and will be an example everyone would want to emulate," said Joshua Landis, director of the Center for Middle East Studies at the University of Oklahoma.
    Egypt's state television has followed the line of the government saying protests were instigated by foreign agents, and took calls from viewers on Friday who said they had seen Iranian faces in the crowds in Tahrir Square. No mention was made that it is extremely difficult for Iranian passport holders to enter Egypt due to lack of diplomatic ties.
    And among the demonstrators on the streets of Cairo, there was little enthusiasm for Mr. Nasrallah's endorsement. "We have one concept that we live by: not Hassan Nasrallah, not Khomenei, not America. The Egyptian people are in the streets for themselves," said Hussein Suliman Hussein, 34 years old.
    This rejection could play into the hands of Iran's opposition. Over the past few days, Iran's bloggers and opposition websites have been talking about how Iran was humiliated by the rejection by the Muslim Brotherhood.
    Iran's opposition has said the protest movements in Tunisia and Egypt were inspired by their own postelection protests in 2009, rather than by the Islamic revolution of 1979.

    _______________________________________________________

    Further to your irrationality in comparing Egypt to Iran in 1979

    I think you feed and thrive on having a generalized anxiety about events that sometimes overwhelms your judgement(opinion?) demonstrated in the tone of the articles and the alarmist musings you post.
    Looks like the Muslims are not all alike after all.
    I'm wary of Muslims myself and support restrictions on immigration from Muslim countries to the US but that's just a general precaution to keep out a few bad apples.
    Personally I think it's great and refreshing they're saying FU and humiliating the religious zealots.
    We should be so strong ourselves with ours :p
     
  25. foxpaws

    foxpaws Dedicated LVC Member

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    Why is it self delusional shag - just because you say that it is, you haven't placed anything into play that would indicate otherwise. Expanded means of communication has changed China, it did help bring down the soviet union (they wanted to be like us), it is doing amazing things in India - and it has fostered a more world centric economy.

    It has changed the people in Egypt as well. Mubarak wouldn't have shut down communication if he didn't think it had a profound effect.

    Communication - freedom of speech - is the most important liberty that is out there shag - it is number one in the Bill of Rights for a reason... And as communication becomes more widespread, and is global in nature, it will be harder and harder for the world to close its eyes when it comes to the human condition throughout the world.

    That was then, this is now. We didn't have journalists on the streets of Krakow, we didn't have people setting up websites with photos of the situation in Theresienstadt. We aren't living in the 1930s - and you can't compare today's situation to that situation just because of the communication factor alone shag. It is a false comparison and you know it.

    Yes it did - I don't disagree with that - but I very much disagree with this statement shag...

    Why do we have freedom of speech then? More information is useless according to you, and yet - the founding fathers thought much differently. They knew that the more the people knew - the more they allowed the freedom of the press, the freedom of the podium, and yes the freedom of the pulpit, that the people were going to be better informed, and therefore, freedom would be served.

    The rise of mass communication - instantly available - isn't 'insignificant' shag - even you contradict yourself here. You laud the rise of instant access to the internet and the huge amount of information that is contained there - you state how important it has been to getting the 'conservative' message across, and you decry any type of intervention into the media by government - via Fair Doctrine, or any other means - you know very well how important communication is shag.

    Diverse communication help lead to the fall of the soviet union - heck, just the fact that each side knew what the other had, led to the arms race. And the Soviet people did see what they were missing, what they didn't have that the west did, because of communication - and that helped lead to the fall of communism.

    Really - last I checked they were giving rights to women, they were removing the people from military law, they continue to have free elections, they just last year had a huge election regarding changes in the constitution which expanded their freedoms - freedom of speech for one.

    They are the example currently in the middle east to emulate - got any other muslim nations you would like to see Egypt emulate shag?

    Egypt has Sharia law anyway - that isn't going to go away - but, at least sharia law within a democracy is better than sharia law within the grasp of a strong arm dictator.

    The west is going to have to deal with the fact that the middle east is going to mostly be under sharia law - it is their law, it is the law they understand and have been under for centuries. I see democracy as a huge step, although, once again, it appears you seem to think that it must be democracy that reflects the west.

    Perhaps there will be a democracy that starts to arise from this, Egypt and other middle east countries, that is uniquely theirs - one that can flourish in an area that has traditionally only known strong armed dictators. It isn't going to 'democracy' as usual shag - because each people, each culture, each history is different.
     

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