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View Full Version : Egypt moves to democratic reform



Tranquility
2005-Feb-26, 03:07 PM
Finally! It's a dream come true for me. Sorry I'm gushing but this is really incredible news and a historical moment for my country, and I'm really ecstatic it happened now. I'm still in a sort of semi-state of denial. The move was so unexpected by the Egyptian president, that even the opposition parties are in a state of shock.

The general gist is that Egypt's President Mubarak announced that instead of the usual way in which presidential elections in Egypt occurred, where one candidate was selected by Parliament and the population was polled for approval, now the Constitution will be amended to allow for multiple presidential candidates.

Egypt announces democratic reform (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/4300039.stm).

I'm terribly sorry BA because this is political, but I just couldn't wait to share this great news (at least from my humble perspective).

Tranquility
2005-Feb-26, 03:11 PM
More news here (http://news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/nm/20050226/wl_nm/egypt_president_dc_4), here (http://www.cnn.com/2005/WORLD/meast/02/26/egypt.ap/index.html), and here (http://news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/afp/20050226/wl_mideast_afp/egyptpoliticsvote_050226123004).

Raptor1967
2005-Feb-26, 03:23 PM
Your from Egypt. :)

I dream of visting that place. I watch every program and study every photograph. I have wanted to go since i was a small boy and saw my first mummy.

I will toast your country's future tonight at dinner.

Moose
2005-Feb-26, 03:25 PM
=D>

Tranquility
2005-Feb-26, 03:49 PM
Your from Egypt. :)

I dream of visting that place. I watch every program and study every photograph. I have wanted to go since i was a small boy and saw my first mummy.

I will toast your country's future tonight at dinner.

A great many thanks :)

It's awesome if you visit in the winter too. The beach resorts like Hurghada and Sharm El Shaikh have great weather and Cairo's weather is pretty cool, too. Alexandria is great for a summer vacation though.

Jpax2003
2005-Feb-26, 09:18 PM
Without making a political comment, I was wondering if the recent Iraq invasion and elections had anything to do with it? Were they worried that the US might invade them next?

The Bad Astronomer
2005-Feb-27, 02:57 AM
I will withhold my opinion on this until I learn more, but it does sound promising.

Yes, this is a political topic, but probably not one likely to engender heated debate. When I say "political" in context of BABBling, I mean "Democrat/Republican" or "conservative/liberal" or something that is likely to turn out badly.

Brady Yoon
2005-Feb-27, 03:01 AM
Wow, that's awesome! It's great to see countries allowing more freedom, and by their own choice. :)

Brady Yoon
2005-Feb-27, 03:02 AM
Without making a political comment, I was wondering if the recent Iraq invasion and elections had anything to do with it? Were they worried that the US might invade them next?

I doubt it. The US doesn't just go to any country and say, you're not a democracy, so we're gonna invade you.

Gullible Jones
2005-Feb-27, 03:25 AM
Wow... Now this is good news.

Then again, there might be a catch...

Jpax2003
2005-Feb-27, 06:38 AM
Without making a political comment, I was wondering if the recent Iraq invasion and elections had anything to do with it? Were they worried that the US might invade them next?

I doubt it. The US doesn't just go to any country and say, you're not a democracy, so we're gonna invade you.Ahhh, but some of our international adversaries do think that... or more likely they claim to believe that in order to give credence to their own actions. Maybe the egyptians got around to reading Stalin: "Those who cast the votes decide nothing; those who count the votes decide everything."

W.F. Tomba
2005-Feb-27, 07:31 AM
Without making a political comment, I was wondering if the recent Iraq invasion and elections had anything to do with it? Were they worried that the US might invade them next?

I doubt it. The US doesn't just go to any country and say, you're not a democracy, so we're gonna invade you.Ahhh, but some of our international adversaries do think that... or more likely they claim to believe that in order to give credence to their own actions. Maybe the egyptians got around to reading Stalin: "Those who cast the votes decide nothing; those who count the votes decide everything."
Egypt is not one of our international adversaries. The United States has been pretty chummy with Egypt, especially since they made peace with Israel in 1979. We give them oodles of financial and military aid. Although I think Bush has been putting some pressure on him, I don't think Mubarak was worried about getting invaded.

Archer17
2005-Feb-27, 07:51 AM
..Egypt is not one of our international adversaries. The United States has been pretty chummy with Egypt, especially since they made peace with Israel in 1979. We give them oodles of financial and military aid. Although I think Bush has been putting some pressure on him, I don't think Mubarak was worried about getting invaded.Agreed. We've even played "war games" with the Egyptian military. I'm glad for you & your people Tranquility. Egypt has a lot of influence in the world community and is a vital "player" in the region.. your gain is everyone's.

Cylinder
2005-Feb-27, 11:11 AM
Congratulations Tranquility - for you and your people! Like everyone else I greet this development with a large amount of optimism and pride. A few questions - if you don't mind:

How is this news being greeted "on the street?" What's the mood?

What's being said by ordinary Egyptians? Is it a buzz or a whisper?

Is their a measurable change in the atmosphere? If so, when did you first notice?

Thanks in advance for your response and I'll understand if you would rather not answer these questions. Good luck to you!

Tranquility
2005-Feb-27, 11:37 AM
Thanks for the congratulations folks. Very much appreciated. And thanks a lot BA for allowing the topic.

Egypt is not, as other folks here mentioned, an adversary of the US. Egypt is, and has been, for all intents of purposes a US ally since President Sadat signed the peace treaty with Israel in Camp David. Egypt also provided trained pilots and aided in the military effort during the first Gulf War. So Egypt isn't an adversary of the US that is somehow frightened of the US invading it. Libya might be in such a situation for example, but not Egypt.

Cylinder:

Your questions are sort of related in my mind at least, so I'll answer them in one, hopefully coherent, go.

Egyptian press and the population has long ago had the freedom to criticize or attack anyone in the government except for the President. Recently though, there have been some demonstrations objecting to Mubarak having his presidency extended for yet another term. Mubarak's decision might help him in the short run. Folks might certainly be impressed by this stance and re-elect him as a President. And even if Mubarak wins the next elections - and it seems that main opposition parties will not put forward a challenge to Hosny Mubarak (only if Mubarak is nominated). The system that existed did not allow for the presence of a good, real candidate for presidency, so I expect some time before a real political leader with a good agenda can emerge and stand up to the challenge.

But the fact is the 1000 ton truck started moving down a slope (i.e. takes its own momentum) .. no-one can stop it anymore. there is no going back anymore.

Maybe the first, 2nd or 3rd elections will not be entirely fair or free... but the seed is there, and that's what gives me real hope.

Now to get to the crux of the question, the Egyptians I've met have been ecstatic. One of my friends was actually glued to the TV watching Mubarak's speech to the Parliament and crying.

People have been starting to speak up to begin with, but even the opposition is at the moment flabbergasted. They had no idea such a thing would happen. In an interview with one of the opposition parties' leaders, he said that he had a very nice speech planned for the occasion, but he was content to just listen for the day, because he felt it was a historical moment.

Cylinder
2005-Feb-27, 12:37 PM
Thanks for the reply and congratulations again. =D>

trob
2005-Feb-27, 10:29 PM
Without making a political comment, I was wondering if the recent Iraq invasion and elections had anything to do with it? Were they worried that the US might invade them next?



Iraq is the tactical pivot
Saudi Arabia the strategic pivot
Egypt the prize

http://slate.msn.com/?id=2069119


In american policy the main threat to democracy in the region is saudi financed neo-fundamentalism. A good example is Algeria, where well financed neo-funadmentalists were set to win the election, and the army was awoken from its slumber. This election victory for the islamic neo-fundamentalist movement thus resulted in civil war, which cost the lives of thousands and thousands, because of the secular elites who thought they could be legitimized through democracy.
For long worries have been that a similar situation could occur in Egypt and other MENA countries if democracy was introduced. Therefore the Ledeen doctrine, devised by Laurent Murawiec - the stuff of conspiracies.
The hope is of course to weaken neo-fundamentalists before democracy is introduced, by confronting Saudi - this has already begun by more confrontational statements in US policy.
The Saudis could not be challenged until a backup oilproducer was found, since the cost of a closing of the oiltaps will be many magnitudes larger than that of rebuilding 10 twin towers, therefore Iraq becomes the tactical pivot.
When Saudi is under control, financing of the neo-fundamentalists from London to the Phillipines, Russia to Sub-Sahara could be stopped. Then the cultural giant of the middle east, Egypt, can do its work to spread democracy after a secure election.
Imagine it as a combination of the Bush doctrine and solid IR neo-realism.

Now I'm not saying that this IS the case - just that one could argue that the US has a grand strategy that deviates from diplomatic nicities (is that spelled right?)


addendum:
In the middle east it is in general the secular elites that are anti-democratic and not the islamic movements per se (in Turkey the army has interferred in politics may timed although the islamists are democratic to the core ), as Olivier Roy argues in The failure of Political Islam and Globalized Islam: the search for a new Umma
It is rather the exclusion from the political process, such as in Algeria, that results in radicalization.

A curious historical note: it is the regions where imperialism and colonization had the least impact that resulted in the most anti-democratic regimes ( see Fred Halliday: Islam and the myth of confrontation)

All the best
Trob

Candy
2005-Feb-28, 12:50 AM
Finally! It's a dream come true for me.
Me, too! :D

Lycus
2005-Feb-28, 02:20 AM
Now that you've achieved some democratic reform, you're going to need your very own comic superhero to fight for truth, justice, and the Egyptian way: :)

LINK (http://www.bergen.com/page.php?qstr=eXJpcnk3ZjczN2Y3dnFlZUVFeXkxNjcmZmdi ZWw3Zjd2cWVlRUV5eTY2NTg5NjkmeXJpcnk3ZjcxN2Y3dnFlZU VFeXk3)

Jpax2003
2005-Feb-28, 02:56 AM
I got a comic idea.

Super Tut
He's the pious and level-headed businessman Rafiq, but when he puts on the newly discovered second king Tutankamen mask, he becomes an ancient martial arts expert that seeks out evil-doers. Unbeknownst to him, his wife, Jazira, is

Blue Water
She is the graceful defender of truth and purity who battles evil with her cat like reflexes and the Burka of Truth which compels criminals to confess and repent.

Their nemesis is the greedy and debased, drug induced villian

Franken Scents
He is the enemy of all right thinking people who he overcomes with noxious fumes and compels to be his minions through a secret elixir that promises long life, but turns them into hidious monster slaves.