Algeria now following Egypt

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by re-stilly, Feb 12, 2011.

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  1. BBC News - Pro-democracy rally begins in Algeria, defying ban

    I know I should probably have the tinfoil hat on but it seems to me that some one somewhere is co-ordinating this, would it be a foreign power such as China, Saudi or Iran or something a little darker pulling the strings to ensure an Islamic superstae
  2. rampant

    rampant LE Reviewer Book Reviewer

    Yeesh, a little paranoid there dontcha think, stop reading the hyperbolic fear-mongering in the press. So far in these populist demonstartion the extreme Islamist have been left scrabbling to catch up, the demands coming from the people are not in tune with the calls for warped puritanism that such groups espouse. Furthermore, the likelyhood of an new Pan-Islamic Caliphate is as likely as Penguins establishing a colony on Mars.

    These groups differ radically from each other in their conception of what should constitute the ideal Islamic state and would merrily slaughter each other if it were not for the presence of an outside enemy that unites them.

    TBH these uprising remind me of the collapse of the Eastern Bloc, disaparate groups of people finally saying enough is enough and taking inspiration from each other to rebel.
  3. Auld-Yin

    Auld-Yin LE Reviewer Book Reviewer Reviews Editor

    While I agree with the tin-foil hat argument I have to disagree that these groups are as disparate as the old Soviet Bloc countries. These countries are all Arab nations, all Isalmic nations and the only real disparity is the borders drawn on a map, unlike the old SovBloc where the peoples were different; Slavs, Caucasian, with differing religions; Christianity and Islam. The Arab countries are so alike that the other leaders such as Ghaddafi and Co must be sweating.

    Whether someone is feulling this or not, there is sweet FA we can do about it as the Western countries are definitely viewed with suspicion by Middle Eastern peoples.
  4. Agree with you there Rampant that it's the Arab World's 1989. Europe had something like it with Ukraine, Georgia etc in the mid-00s, but that did have overt US logs support. That wouldn't wash for a moment in the middle east, making these truly spontaneous outbreaks
  5. Shock news today as NASA reports that the Stardust-NExT probe confirms with photographs that Penguins have been seen in a previously unknown colony on Mars and in other news.........
  6. IMO there is no way that these "outbreaks" are spontaneous.
  7. If these outbreaks are organised by the modern equivalent if SMERSH of SPECTRE when is ours due? I'm ready to hurl a few cobblestones at Authority.
  8. Islamic superstate? There's no gaurantee any of them will tilt in that direction.
    If it was a sure fire thing Iran wouldn't be preventing/ jamming BBC news broadcasts that describe what has been happening in Egypt

    Its interesting non the less, within months we could see the entire political map of North Africa and Arabia change completely. Should give the dis-armament movement it Whitehall something to think about....
  9. True, they are not as diverse as the people of the fringes of the Soviet empire but it's a bit sweeping to see arabs as one monolithic block. They've never been that not even in the days of the first arab Caliphate, it was always a aspiration that failed at societal boundaries. To be an arab is to wear an old imperial identity that is shared by distinct peoples, being British is a similar construction. Spoken arabic is riven by dialects some of which are mutually unintelligible, only the written language is uniform.

    Pan-arabism was in a way an attempt to blur these boundaries, nationalist institutions like the military just proved to strong. The arab world is hardly as cohesive as Europe and they have just as bloody a history of fighting each other. National identity has become an important marker for them, the Cario mobs patriotic respect for their military is an obvious and rather perverse manifestation of this.

    Algerians are a hard-nosed, resilient and gloomy bunch like the Scots, they are also heavily influenced by France. The now flabby Saudis are still at heart Bedu, a Wahhabi world away, Cossack or pirates by nature and sternly puritan by confession.

    Egypt has a large Christian minority and a fairly moderate strain of Islam, it has in living memory held free and even fair elections. It developed from ancient sedentary society that spent a millennia dominated by Greeks, but maybe a better comparison is the easy going often sophisticated but chaotic Italians.

    What Egypt and the Maghreb countries do share is economies going south, a very youthful population clustered in slums, a legacy of colonialism, authoritarian rule vigorously supported by us until the point of failure, deliberately fragmented secular oppositions and narrow but deep Islamist movements. It's the first two that are most salient.

    Unlike Tunisia with its tiny army Algeria has lLe Pouvoir, a deep state apparatus much like the one Turkey finally threw off nearly a decade ago after eighty years. It's not at all clear if Egypt has made that advance and I think its very unlikely in Algeria. The brutal civil war that followed the democratic elections of a Islamist party that had gained broad middle class support and subsequent military coup.

    It's just struck me with all this giddy talk of it being 89 all over again if there's a pivotal moment here it might not be the current events in Tunisia or Egypt. It's Turkey in 2002 and the AKP's boringly democratic landslide that history may look back on.

    Only Iran of the three powers mentioned above may gain from this and that's by no means certain. The Saudis are terrified that the democratic virus will spread and Beijing like DC wants uninterrupted access to cheap Kingship oil. While there's perhaps some astroturf going on in Egypt I think it's no more serious than what the Saudis got up to during the Cedar revolution, probably domestic and run out of parts of the army. There's no conspiracy here, this has been building for decades.

    It hasn't helped that two American administrations have done a good deal of banging on about freedom in the ME while propping up the usual despots, raising the spectre of the Shia Crescent and casually letting the Israeli pitbull worry the life stock. Barry is now looking very worried about the eyes and so he should.
  10. I heard someone remark that in 5000 years of history, Egypt has never been a democracy. The Arab and his bickering, disparate ideals and differing levels of civilisation is what keeps the world safe. Pan Arab cohesion would be a force to recon with given their religious mindset.
  11. Well said that man!
  12. (to alib's post)
  13. Turkey was never a democracy as well. Now it is by all standards a democratic state with the Islamists at power by the way.
  14. Have you ever been to Egypt or spoken to an Egyptian? For God's sake don't call them Arabs: they believe they are far superior to any Arab, and the Arabs think Egyptians are gypo scum only just above the Palestinians.
  15. perhaps I should have said All desert dwellers of the Near/Middle East !