abbylovesfilm asks: Who do you think will be the next country in the region to follow in Tunisia and Egypt’s footsteps?
050458 asks: What are the implications of Mubarek stepping down on US-Egypt ties? After all, he was one of those dirty little dictators the US propped up
» We say: For the first question, we think that the next countries which could face this sort of trouble are numerous. Our best prediction would be that protests would continue to heat up in Jordan or Yemen. Or they could start flaring up in Libya, Egypt’s neighbor to the west, which has a pretty controversial leader of its own in Muammar al-Gaddafi. As for the second – it honestly depends on who gets in power. If it’s one of Mubarek’s lackeys, or someone tied to the military, the odds favor a relationship that’s still fairly stable (if unfavorable for the people of Egypt). But if someone less appreciative of the Israeli state goes in, it could be really bad – for the U.S. For Egyptians, that may be a better option. All this stuff, though, is really too early to predict.
» Ultimately, though: While these American statements resonated with the leadership, they didn’t really resonate with the people of the country, who are working from their own muse. And based on the current deck of cards, the U.S. may have trouble holding any influence at all due to their history with Egypt: “It’s not clear to me that the protesters will take seriously expressions of solidarity from a country that’s been backing autocratic regimes,” said the International Crisis Group’s Robert Malley, who suggests that American leaders will back themselves into a corner if they say anything, whether supportive of Mubarak or the protesters.
The revolution threatens not only Hosni Mubarak’s regime but the strategy the US and Britain have constructed in the Middle East. The hesitancy with which President Mubarak reacted last night was matched only by the perceptible shift in the emphasis of the statements by the U.S. secretary of state, Hillary Clinton.An editorial by The Guardian regarding Egypt • In an editorial about Egypt which we thinks relates well to a question we just answered on Tumblr not that long ago. The Guardian makes their point pretty well, we’d say: “Faced with the conflicting needs to keep an Arab partner of Israel afloat and to respond to demands for democratic reform, the U.S. would choose the first every time.” The Guardian makes three points: First, a regime change would possibly damage long-term diplomatic goals; second, if Mubarak has any chance of leaving office peacefully, he’s going to have to free Mohamed ElBaradei and other prisoners, and open up the Interwebs; and finally, this juggernaut may be too difficult to stop at this point. source (via • follow)
sadafie says: So sad. Not sure I appreciate shortformblog’s take though. Plane crashes are an unfortunate reality and happen all around the world. When they do happen, more often than not, they’re related to mechanical malfunctions. That doesn’t mean that a country cares less about it’s people. Just sayin’… I’d be interested in the full story.
» We say: They are, yes, and I don’t mean to downplay the awfulness of this situation. I was just noting that Iran specifically has a reputation for poor care for/lack of refurbishment of their air fleet, leading to a higher likelihood of crashes. From the article: “The country’s civil and military fleet is made up of ancient aircraft in very poor condition because of their age and lack of maintenance. In Iran’s worst air accident, a plane carrying members of the elite Revolutionary Guards crashed in February 2003, killing 302 people on board.” The article lists three other major air incidents since the 2003 crash. It’s not so much suggesting that Iran doesn’t care about their citizens, but questioning their priorities as a country. By alienating the West in part because of the nuclear program, they’ve allowed their air fleet to become dilapidated, leading to these insane crashes. (This 2003-era BBC article offers further context on the planes being used and why they’re so hard to maintain.) Engine problems are common, but they’re even more common when you’re using Soviet-era planes and don’t have access to the parts to fix them.
You have some facts rights, but you’ve missed the core problem: It’s the American sanctions which have kept Iran’s fleet of aircrafts in such poor condition. This has been reported on for decades. Reza Nakhjavani, the head of Iran’s Civil Aviation Organization, has gone so far as to say that the U.S. sanctions against Iran’s aviation industry is “inhumane,” and that the blockade of spare Boeing parts is similar to “denial of needed medical supplies.”
Wikipedia: Due to U.S. sanctions, Iran is unable to buy new Western aircraft (whether commercial or military), nor spare parts for existing aircraft from U.S. manufacturers. American-built military planes now operating in Iran were purchased under the old regime during the 1970s. Iranian officials blame the country’s poor aviation record on the sanctions.
This issue has nothing to do with Iran having misplaced priorities and everything to do with outdated, inhumane sanctions which the international community should demand to have removed immediately.
I believe I was talking around the very issue, but coming at it with the opposite result. Yeah, the U.S. is indirectly enforcing a fairly draconian standard for Iran’s air fleet (for diplomatic reasons), but if Iran were more willing to diplomatically give on their end, they could help solve their own problem. My ultimate feeling is that the answer lies somewhere in the middle.
The West has a very strange relationship with Iran. It’s to the point where Iran’s leadership can pretend to sort of think about doing something that the West wants them to do, ratchet up anticipation, and then pull out a stunner in the fourth quarter. I don’t necessarily think that we should be handing them what will obviously be perceived as a victory, but you may be right that the human rights issues with this are starting to become a little too troublesome to ignore.
As the referendum proceeds, voters must be allowed access to polling stations; they must be able to cast their ballots free from intimidation and coercion. All sides should refrain from inflammatory rhetoric or provocative actions that could raise tensions or prevent voters from expressing their will.President Barack Obama • In an editorial, published in the New York Times, emphasizing the need for an honest vote in Sudan tomorrow, where they’ll be deciding whether to split the southern part of the country from the main country – a vote that Obama has long pushed for diplomatically. Obama suggests that if Sudan follows through with the vote without incident, the Khartoum region’s government could be taken off a list of state sponsors of terrorism. He also emphasizes that Darfur is also important to this peace process: “There can be no lasting peace in Sudan without lasting peace in the western Sudan region of Darfur.” We’re totally with him on this. source (via • follow)
cokeverbsipads said: Actually GOOD idea. Korean reunification is an essential part of the culture on BOTH sides of the border.
» We say: While not meaning to disrespect anyone’s culture here, there’s a fundamental problem here, which is that forcing such an issue in a time of volatility just makes things worse. That’s why Israel and Palestine don’t go back to the negotiation tables until the U.S. has broken the ice between the two nations. The problem here is diplomatic. South Korea risks angering at least two of its neighbors by going down this path. Ease the relationship first and break the ice, then go back to the table. The concept is good. The timing is bad.
We are going to take it up with the government of United States, and I hope that things could be resolved so that such unpleasant incidents do not recur.Indian Foreign Minister S.M. Krishna • Reacting to the shoddy treatment that the Indian ambassador to the U.S., Meera Shankar, got recently. That’s right, an ambassador got chosen for a pat down. But here’s the thing. Foreign leaders have the clout to make them stop. Regular people? They don’t. source (via • follow)
That sound you hear is that of the U.S. dragging its tail between its legs. After attempting to making an offer to Israel to give them some fighter jets in exchange for a temporary delay of their building ambitions, the deal fell apart. The hope was that the delay would encourage Israel and Palestine to create firm borders, but in the end, the U.S. wouldn’t offer anything up to Israel in writing, and Palestine wouldn’t rekindle peace talks over a temporary settlement-building halt. The U.S. is playing down the diplomatic failure (which was kind of a bum deal anyway) and instead moving on to diplomatic talks between Israel and Palestine next week in the U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, by the way, will be making a speech about the Middle East on Friday. source