Do you REALLY want to help withdemocracy in the Middle East?

///M

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I haven't been posting much because of the shock and anger that I'm feeling because of the events of the past few days back home in Egypt. Just in case you haven't heard, here's a little rundown.

Around this time last year, the government, spearheaded by Mubarak himself, introduced a modification to the constitution which allowed for multi-party candidates to run against the NDP and Mubarak. This atmosphere of 'opening' up has revealed a desire for more freedoms from the citizens, and peaceful demonstrations organised by the Kefaya (Enough) movement began becoming a regular event. People were arrested every now and then, but the Liberal, Secular, Rational Kefaya movement was allowed to operate while the government dealt with the Brotherhood on the other side, since they were the biggest threat during the elections.

Fast forward to the one year anniversery of the new, "fair" elections. Two judges make their feelings public regarding the fairness of the elections, making strong claims that they were rigged and the judges were not truly independant. Salt was added to the wound when the Emergency Law was extended, to be replaced by a comprehensive 'terrorist' law. Clear dissatisfaction with the elections and this extension caused not only all of the opposition to rally around these two judges, but caused 300 more pro-reform judges to come out in silent protest.

Source: http://voanews.com/english/2006-05-25-voa40.cfm

All was fine and dandy, and the protest was for the most part peaceful. During the evening, however, several prominent activists, mainly bloggers, were picked up by secret police and their street thugs. Most notable were Karim al-Sha'ir and Mohamed al-Sharqawi. I'm just going to link up Sharqawi's testamony regarding the abuse he faced at the hands of State Security.

Source: http://arabist.net/archives/2006/05/28/a-letter-from-sharqawi/

Slowly now this is starting to get international coverage. This can be huge, and I'm sure these brave visionaries are on top of things back home. We, who live in the civilised world that is funding this oppressive regime, need to do something right now. Anything. STOP going to Egypt, tell your friends to not go to Egypt. This regime is not going to go anywere unless it is forced out, and sadly many sacrifices need to be made. I urge everyone here to write a letter to their congressmen, senators, MPs, WHOMEVER represents you in the truly democratic governments you enjoy. The State Department is aware of this, show them now that you care exactly where your tax money is going.

Do you really want to spread democracy in the middle east? This is the biggest chance we have. The Mubarak regime is deaf to complaints from every side except big western governments. Spread the word around, we can not have our voices fall on deaf ears. We can not sit back and let this chance slip from our hands like what happened in Lebanon. These people are mostly secular, Liberal, modern, rational thinking people. You are either going to stand behind the judges today, and allow the Mubarak regime to prosper. That will only cause the number of extreme Muslims to increase. Mubarak is not going to be around forever, and I'm sure most will agree that unless something is done, the vacuum of leadership will allow the Muslim Brotherhood to take power. Egyptians and non-Egyptians can NOT let that happen.

Links:

http://hrw.org/english/docs/2006/05/31/egypt13482.htm
http://arabist.net/
http://www.sandmonkey.org/
http://www.manalaa.net/

I am going to follow through with this post if people are interested. I'm planning on starting a Kefaya chapter in my school. If not, I will surely have joined the Toronto chapter at the least. I'm getting in contact with some people and I should have more reading material and information. I'll try to get draft letters to send to your representatives in government. 'Till then, the best thing you can do is keep up on this matter and follow it closely.
 

Firecat

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The election was obviously fixed, and any future elections will be fixed so that Mubarak's son Gamal will take control. Given the notion that the election was fixed, I'd assume that means perhaps that Ayman Nour may have received more than than what was reported...of course since turnout was also very low, that may have not been the case (the reason I'm wondering about this is because of the question I have below).

And you're right, the only reason he's in power is because of western support. I'm not sure how many people actually buy the argument that the United States wants to "spread democracy" in the middle east, none of their actions seem to indicate that in the least.

Let me pose a question, because it would be hard to find actual numbers. If there was a free and fair election in Egypy, would liberal groups like al-Ghad and al-Wafd win more seats than the Brotherhood?
 

///M

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At this point in time, I really don't know. From what I understand, the Brotherhood got alot of votes out of protest. Who knows. The hope is that something can be done soon before they gain any more ground.

I'm thinking that this will go down as the darkest period in Egypt's history. There is no common enemy to rally the people. The people are simply sick of what's happening, and they need to be put in control quickly. One of these two scenarios is possible when Mubarak dies, either Jimmy is going to do good on his western education and have full and free elections, or he will try to control the power which will end up causing a massive fight for power between the NDP and their leader who has never served in the army, the army itself, the Brotherhood, and the several Liberal factions. I can not see the first happening.
 

budzi

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Many politicians remember what happened in Algeria

Islamists won the elections. Afraid by the result, the FLN decided to keep
the power and the civil war began

I really do not want the same thing to happen again
 

TestECull

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Do I want to help with democracy in the middle east?


NOPE


We can't even get it right in the US. Why the hell should we force other countries to use it too? It'd be like taking auto repair pointers from Jeremy Clarkson.
 

nomix

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The election was obviously fixed, and any future elections will be fixed so that Mubarak's son Gamal will take control.
Wasn't Gamal one of several arrested during a razzia against a couple of pleasure boats on the Nile, on which there were only men? I believe it is regarded as a public secret in Egypt, making it difficult to know wether or not Gamal will be able to take control once his father dies.
 

Karoug

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Do I want to help with democracy in the middle east?

NOPE

We can't even get it right in the US. Why the hell should we force other countries to use it too? It'd be like taking auto repair pointers from Jeremy Clarkson.
Dude, this thread is 4 years old...
How deep did you and your construction workers have to dig to find it because of parkinsons??
 
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LeVeL

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I really need to stop assuming that I'm looking at fresh threads before reading them :lol:
 

Top Geek

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To address only the title question: my thought has always been, "what business is it of ours?"

EDIT: Haha... derp. 4-year bump :lol:
 
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Mitlov

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LeVeL

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oh man I remember that story. I :lol:ed pretty hard at it. Goddamn jew sharks going all 007 on us...
 

Cobol74

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Someone (the opposition??) raised a false rumour that the Sainsbury Family were Jewish and they owned stores in Egypt so these were boycotted. Sainsburys pulled out, odd really as two of the main rivals in the UK - M&S and Tesco do have connections with Jewish families many, many years ago - but NOT them. It is funny how lies gain credence with people.

btw Democracy - I'd vote for that.

Citation:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/1268099.stm

and. ?

"Shortly after the Palestinian uprising erupted in late September, Egyptian students demonstrating against Israel threw stones at two Sainsbury's supermarkets in the suburban town of Maadi, southern Cairo, convinced the owners were Jewish. "
 
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Ayman

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Funny how this thread got a huge bump. But my guess is it's because it's in the "Similar Threads" when you view the S16E00 discussion thread. And it looks as if it's fresh.

Of course I'd love to help! Whether I can or cannot.. Is anyone's guess.
And actually, aren't some elections planned to take place in 2011 in Egypt? And weren't some of its parameters already rigged? I think I saw something about it on that television programme called... "The News". This thread was .. revived for good measure.
 

tigger

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And actually, aren't some elections planned to take place in 2011 in Egypt? And weren't some of its parameters already rigged? I think I saw something about it on that television programme called... "The News". This thread was .. revived for good measure.
Yes, they're holding a presidential election in September 2011. As far as rigging the elections, they're setting the stage for doing just that. So far the NDP is barring not only international election monitors, but also barring the national courts from overseeing the election. The NDP claims that Egypt can have a free and fair election without legal oversight. Which is, of course, bullshit. Even if they managed to have an election without electoral fraud, the rules are still completely stacked against opposition parties and independents. Mubarak probably means to give his son the presidency.
 

Ayman

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Which is, of course, bullshit.
Amen.
Since you seem to be informed, is it "optional" to be the subject of legal international supervision? Because that I think would defeat the purpose. the word "barring" just seems so bold and undemocratic that it actually makes me feel bad.
Mubarak's been rotting there for a while. Bloody dictatorship.
 

tigger

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I really don't know enough about international election monitoring to say for sure one way or another. I'm sure it's been a requirement in a number of treaties and possibly a condition of UN membership (or other international bodies) for some nations. But there are also plenty of instances where it is purely optional. The interesting thing is that impartial election monitors are often welcomed, even by governments that are perceived as corrupt. What better way to show that you're making an attempt at "free and fair" elections, right? But obviously the NDP isn't concerned with appearances, just with anyone finding out how fraudulent their elections are.

As for using "barring", it's unfortunately the best word for it. The NDP said in no uncertain terms that they will not allow an outside organization to monitor the election. And there can be no denying the NDP's intentions when they have barred their own judiciary from monitoring the elections. I could see one or the other. If you're afraid of corrupt judges then bring in foreign monitors. If you want to prove you can conduct your own elections, have your judiciary preside over it. But no, I think the last thing the Egyptian government is interested in is rule of law. Here's a quote from Mohamed Kamal, he's in the NDP's General Secretariat, explaining the NDP's 'logic', "Most of the world has no judicial supervision on elections, however, those elections are fair and impartial". :rolleyes:

And given the fact that Mubarak has been President for nearly 30 years, with "Emergency Law" in place for that entire time, certainly makes it seem that "Dictator" would be a better title for him. That will be especially true if he turns the office over to his son.
 
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danigoni

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"Shortly after the Palestinian uprising erupted in late September, Egyptian students demonstrating against Israel threw stones at two Sainsbury's supermarkets in the suburban town of Maadi, southern Cairo, convinced the owners were Jewish. "
I don't get it, people bitch and moan about how criticizing Israel is not antisemitism, and then you read stuff like this?
 
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