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EGYPT: From Mubarak to Worse

World  (tags: world, Egypt, living coniditions, middle-east, news, politics, society, 'HUMANRIGHTS!', 'CIVILLIBERTIES!', interesting, government, humanrights, freedoms )

- 2194 days ago -
More than 15 months after Egypt's Tahrir Square uprising and four months after free parliamentary polls, many Egyptians say that daily living conditions are worse now than they were in the Mubarak era.

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Suzy F (94)
Friday May 18, 2012, 6:47 am
I hope that the elections will bring stability and security to the Egyptians. They fought hard for their liberty and deserve to see an improved economy.

Past Member (0)
Friday May 18, 2012, 7:52 am
Thanks, never as easy as one think it will be.

Ellen m (215)
Friday May 18, 2012, 8:13 am
While the military gets fat..
I sure hope the elections help these people. Thanks Cal

. (0)
Friday May 18, 2012, 2:36 pm
Right from the start, these "revolutionaries" did not have a clue to what they were doing. They did not want outside help, all they knew is they wanted Mubarak out. Well, he's out, and the result is Egypt, one of the most stable nations in the Middle East has been reduced to ashes.

Stephen Brian (23)
Friday May 18, 2012, 2:46 pm
I wish I could be more optimistic. Unfortunately, I believe there are major cultural differences between Egypt and Western democracies that need to be worked around or eliminated before any functional democracy can form there.

Ira Herson (13)
Friday May 18, 2012, 7:27 pm
I think everybody on this list agrees that Egypt is in a mess. One can only hope that the religious extremists will not gain power. As it is they attacks on the Coptic communities are constant. One Coptic friend has told me that her family had to flee and leave everything behind.

I do not imagine that religious tolerance will be the hall mark of whatever new government takes charge.

Ro j (0)
Friday May 18, 2012, 8:25 pm
I love Egypt...I hope things improve soon.

Shelly Peterson (213)
Friday May 18, 2012, 8:43 pm
( oh , I need to go to where I lived last year and talk with my Egytion/American friends..they always share "the real-time info"...I can't until next weekend....)..they are on the phone constantly with family and friends and KNOW the truth!)

Billie C (2)
Friday May 18, 2012, 9:01 pm
that's what happens when we mess in other countries politics. we need to get out of the whole region and let them work it out by themselves.

Stan B (123)
Saturday May 19, 2012, 1:48 am
Egypt is very close to becoming the Greece of the Middle East. If the Muslim Brotherhood gains power things there will get even worse.
Why do Arabs find it so hard to handle democracy and the rule of law?

Charles O (209)
Saturday May 19, 2012, 11:42 am
So why are we so eager to inflict the same hideous fate on Syria?

In Syria, the "Peaceful Protesters" are now receiving heavy weaponry from Turkey, Libya, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the U.S. and Al Qaeda.

I thought Al Qaeda was supposed to be our enemy. So why are we once again fighting on the same side?

In Iraq, we open the country up for Al Qaeda then spend a trillion dollars fighting the "insurgents"; and now, in Syria, we are arming and funding a new gang of Islamist "insurgents". Have our rulers completely lost their senses?

. .

> Nothing can be giving bin Laden greater pleasure than the spectacle of the West going to war to topple his hated foe, the "atheist Satan", Saddam Hussein. Even in his wildest dreams, he cannot have imagined what has now come to pass, Saddam about to go and Islam radicalised against the West.

-- Simon Jenkins, "Bin Laden's laughter echoes across the West", *London Times*, 19 Mar 2003

. .

> The Former Chief of Staff of Secretary of State Colin Powell has stated that this resolution "reads like the same sheet of music that got us into the Iraq war."

-- Dennis Kucinich, "NDAA Authorizes War Against Iran", 17 May 2012

Charles O (209)
Saturday May 19, 2012, 11:51 am
stan b. asks:

> Why do Arabs find it so hard to handle democracy and the rule of law?

Why does Israel find it so hard to abide by international law (the Geneva Conventions, the U.N. Resolutions, and even its own courts)?

Why does Israel find it so hard to handle the result of democracy in Gaza? Why is Israel trying to strangle the electorate?

What sort of "democracy" do you have when basic rights, such as the right to vote and the right to representation, are determined by one's alleged affiliation with an Old Testament tribe?

. .

Is this what you want?

"A Whisper of Nuclear War Spurs a Sell-Off in a Russian Stock Market", Andrew E. Kramer, *NYT*, 18 May 2012

Persian Gulf militarization

Robert O (12)
Saturday May 19, 2012, 1:45 pm
Thanks Cal.

Hans V (0)
Saturday May 19, 2012, 2:03 pm
Whether it was the U.S. military intervention in Vietnam, supporting Saddam Hussein against the war with Iran, invading Iraq and killing Saddam Hussein, invading Afghanistan, (eventhough most of the 9/11 terrorists were citizens from Saudi Arabia) or promoting overthrowing Muslim governments, at the end it always has back fired one way or the other. Also supporting Israel's occupation of the West Bank and the ongoing confiscation of even more land has not made the U.S. or the world safer but has only irritated Muslims worldwide even more.

The politicians continue to make poor decisions that have cost thousands of U.S. and foreign lives and in the process they are spending this great country into bankruptcy. Instead of being victorious, when it is all over we will again be licking our wounds.

. (0)
Saturday May 19, 2012, 2:29 pm
I am very fond of Egypt and have visited the country many times. It is a country where the contrast between rich and poor is stark. I hope that the Egyptians can find a peaceful way forward soon, not least because so many 'ordinary' Egyptians make a living from the tourist trade which will be badly affected by continuing disruption.

Nelson Baker (0)
Saturday May 19, 2012, 2:40 pm
Thank you for the article.

Stan B (123)
Saturday May 19, 2012, 4:25 pm
Charles O. In case you hadn't noticed, this thread is about Egypt. It's strange how you feel compelled to introduce an anti-Israel comment into every single Care 2 story. What's your problem?
Google OCD.

Vicky P (476)
Saturday May 19, 2012, 4:31 pm
hopefully it gets better for them, because living under Mubarak the dictator was never good.

Carmen S (611)
Saturday May 19, 2012, 6:08 pm
thanks Cal

pam w (139)
Saturday May 19, 2012, 8:34 pm
I agree with Howard C.

There are many victims here---I remember the charming people in cafes, bazaars and coffee shops, always ready with a smile and a laugh. What will happen to them if the Muslim Brotherhood manages to eliminate tourism? What will happen to the glorious artwork of the Pharaoahs? Tourism touches everyone in the country---and, until true democracy is created, things will continue to decay.

Patricia N (9)
Saturday May 19, 2012, 10:40 pm
This doesn't surprise me. What a mess. If they think it was bad before wait until those extremist religious groups get full power.

Past Member (0)
Sunday May 20, 2012, 4:29 am

Les L (12)
Sunday May 20, 2012, 12:39 pm
Thanks Cal.. I agree with what John S said above.

Carol Dreeszen (346)
Sunday May 20, 2012, 1:00 pm
I do hope that the Muslim Brotherhood do not get control of Egypt because it will only go down hill if they do!! I have a friend over there that I am very concerned about if the Muslim Brotherhood get control.

Stephen Brian (23)
Sunday May 20, 2012, 1:22 pm
Hi Stan :)

You asked why Arabs find it so difficult to maintain democracy and rule of law. I understand the primary problems can be most easily understood in terms of their hierarchies of loyalty.

First, Arab culture places a heavy emphasis on strict loyalty to close family, and then clan, and then tribe, and then country. (Among Muslims, religion mixes somewhere in there, often between tribe and country.) That means the priorities of the family, clan or tribe outright trump the dictates of the government. If there is a conflict, the masses only follow the law out of fear. While this is what we theoretically rely upon to maintain order as well, in reality a lot of Westerners would follow the law even if we believed we would not be caught out of loyalty to the democratic system by which the government instituted the law and the state which enforces it.

Second, even within loyalty to the country, they get the hierarchy wrong. This is not entirely surprising because even we get it wrong when promoting democracy. Arabs' loyalties tend to go to their political factions before the democratic system. For an idea of the impact of this, compare the recent Ivorian civil war (not Arabs, but a clean and clear example of the same dynamic), the Fatah-Hamas civil war, and the aftermath of the 2000 U.S. election. In the first, the losing side in the election refused to accept defeat and the two sides went to war. In the second, the side which lost the executive branch-elections refused to recognize the division of powers and rebelled. In the third, a lot of people still believe the wrong side won, but not a single shot was fired. This doesn't get included in the promotion and general discourse on democracy, so no culture unfamiliar with democracy would learn this, but to function smoothly, democracy actually depends upon a fascist support of the democratic system.

Hi Charles,

You asked why the U.S. is arming the protesters? I suspect it's not so much because they want the protesters to win, but because they want the protesters' opponents to lose.

Iran is known to have outright sent Revolutionary Guard forces to Syria, and guess which side they were on. The revolutionary Guard in Iran is a political force, meant to nip any military coup in the bud. Imagine the consequences if Syria becomes a great big sink for Revolutionary Guard forces and Iranian protests get going again. A coup without the political forces around to fight against it could probably be managed almost bloodlessly, would be far likelier, and would be sure to succeed. This is a means of diffusing tension with Iran without having the U.S. go to war with it. Now imagine if Syria becomes the same for Hezbollah, which the Lebanese government opposes, but which nearly threw a coup in 2007. I am talking about peace between Israel and Lebanon. Even without that, if Hezbollah can be eliminated, Iran loses its loophole in classical nuclear deterrence, so tensions drop dramatically in that conflict anyway. It's a bloody, ruthless, and vicious strategy, but in the end I suspect it serves U.S. interests and reduces the overall body-count. "Ideally", insofar as "ideally" can be applied to a bloodbath, if the conflict can be maintained and raised in intensity, it could turn Syrians against religious politics and drive a whole lot of refugees into Turkey, possibly making its political landscape more amenable to U.S. interests. Any one of these would probably be enough to get the U.S. to "support" the rebels (and drag on the conflict, causing both sides to lose).

Alexander Werner (53)
Sunday May 20, 2012, 5:00 pm
When Mubarak was in power, the government newspapers did not publish Islamist research and fatwas about sex with the dead.

The country is heading straight to starvation, yet presidential candidates cannot come with anything better than raise anti-Israeli feeling, as if they could feed the crowd.

Egypt is soon will celebrate its 59th Birthday as a republic. What a sad state of affairs.

Stephen Brian (23)
Sunday May 20, 2012, 7:51 pm
Hi Bob :)

The situation with Egyptian food is even sadder: The Nile Delta was the breadbasket of the Roman Empire. It is one of the three most fertile areas on Earth (mouths of the Nile, Ganges, and Mississippi), and I think it might have naturally been #1. The Aswan High Dam stopped the silt from flowing down the Nile to it. All it would take to turn Egypt into a major food-exporter is a supply of electricity that does not block the Nile's silt, but the High Dam is a major point of national pride. Also, growing large amounts of food might lead people to wonder why they're not trying to be best friends with one of the world's top innovators in irrigation, which happens to their neighbor.

patrica and edw jones (190)
Sunday May 20, 2012, 8:20 pm
Perhaps the Devil you know is better than the one you don't,after all. The West helps in removing, these despotic Dictators - like Mubarak - only to find the replacements are worse. The Muslim Brotherhood, IMO - will not be a replacement of Democracy and Peace.

patrica and edw jones (190)
Sunday May 20, 2012, 8:27 pm
Have maintained that the West should stay out of the troubles in Syria, Egypt et al. Keep an eye on the situation - certainly - but let them sort out their own problems. They do not appreciate our interference anyway.

Ira Herson (13)
Sunday May 20, 2012, 9:35 pm
To quote Hober Marlow, "War is the refuge of the incompetent politicians". If you cannot govern with policies that promote growth then start a war and blame the enemy.
It worked for Hitler and Pol Pot and it will work for the Egyptians as well. At least it will guarantee full employment.

Charles O (209)
Sunday May 20, 2012, 9:41 pm
Patricia and edw jones:

> Have maintained that the West should stay out of the troubles in Syria, Egypt et al. Keep an eye on the situation - certainly - but let them sort out their own problems. They do not appreciate our interference anyway.

. .

I couldn't agree more! When we take sides in these distant wars, we create dissension and strife here at home as well.

The empire is costing us trillions, and we're up to our necks in blood. Shut it down.

There's no such thing as a free war. If you love America, DON'T leave it! Don't go around the world destroying other countries. Stay home and promote real freedom and real democracy HERE.

Ellen m (215)
Sunday May 20, 2012, 9:42 pm
As i do every time there is a story on Egypt or The Arab Spring i think about, so i must ask now if ANYONE has heard any information on Elias? Thank you

Lloyd H (46)
Monday May 21, 2012, 1:10 am
A lot of the problems with the Middle East originate with the fact that the West, in many cases particularly the USA, brought to power and kept in power corrupt evil bastard Dictators and tyrants. And a major reason for the apparent 'good times and stability' was the flow of Western money into the countries, usually through the Military and with strings attached, like Egypt playing nice with Israel. the problem with removing Despots, Dictators and Tyrants is that they they are not only the Government but the Economy as well. And you can put all the Western fast food chains into Middle-Eastern Countries you want but that does not mean that Government and Economic change are going to fast or 'your way'. The US after the Revolutionary War did not become a prosperous egalitarian bastion of democracy in 15 months. It is insane to expect a nation, whose people have absolutely no real experience in self governing or a stand alone economy are going to go from Dictatorship to Revolution to Prosperous Democratic Nation in 15 months smothly or with every one being happy. It has never happened in the past and it is not going to happen now, just because one can communicate with the speed of the web does not mean one is going to learn how to govern that fast.

Marianna molnar woods (9)
Monday May 21, 2012, 1:14 am
it is always worse before it gets better

Jennifer Ward (40)
Monday May 21, 2012, 3:48 am
Over population in Egypt is causing food shortages. 80% of food is imported and paid to importers and foreign countries. Unless and until Egypt and the other Middle East countries get a grip on birth control and education, problems and revolts will continue. Equality and choice for women would solve much of the problems we are seeing. Religion and politics are not a good mix.

. (7)
Monday May 21, 2012, 10:27 am
Saturday May 19, 2012, 4:25 pm
Charles O. In case you hadn't noticed, this thread is about Egypt. It's strange how you feel compelled to introduce an anti-Israel comment into every single Care 2 story. What's your problem?
Google OCD. send green star | flag as inappropriateWhy is this inappropriate?

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. (7)
Monday May 21, 2012, 10:39 am
Send a Green Star to stan b.

. (7)
Monday May 21, 2012, 11:11 am
The Muslim Brotherhood has already sent out FGM caravans, going to Egyptian towns and cutting out the clitoreses of young Muslimas who had been relatively safe from such a heinous crime when the Mubarak government made FGM illegal.

Misogyny and the idea that women are possessions are so inextricably bound in Islam and Egyptian culture, the biggest apartheid system in the world - that against Muslim women and non-Muslims - is highly unlikely to be overcome anytime in the foreseeable future.

The "revolution" was of a people totally unready to incorporate and implement the true mechanisms of democracy. As in most Islamic countries in the "Arab Spring" where people were offered a chance to vote, they voted for losing their newly found freedom to Islamist governments and theocracies who forever after will suppress what few freedoms that women, especially, were able to gain under Mubarak.

Only in Algeria, where the population went through a prolonged bloodbath and crimes against humanity by bloodthirsty Islamists, did the population recently vote AGAINST Islamists. There, the violence, violations of human rights, wholesale slaughter, lawlessness, and bloodletting of The Religion of Peace is still very much in the mouths and the minds of the voters there who know that Islam is nothing of the sort.

May the Egyptians learn this lesson without having to experience the nightmare years of their Algerian cousins.

Maybe the freedoms gained under the Mubarak government will cause the people to see through the Salafists and the Muslim Brotherhood, so enough Egyptians will thwart Islamist governments. I can only hope so. Otherwise we will continue to see a downward spiral that will again make people miserable and sigh in rememberance of the good ol' Mubarak days.

Charles O (209)
Monday May 21, 2012, 11:41 am
Lee H. writes:

> As in most Islamic countries in the "Arab Spring" where people were offered a chance to vote, they voted for losing their newly found freedom to Islamist governments and theocracies who forever after will suppress what few freedoms that women, especially, were able to gain under Mubarak.

. .

Much of the blame for this lies with Mubarak himself -- and with his sponsors. Mubarak had every opportunity to serve Egypt and move it in the direction of freedom and democracy. Instead, he choose to serve foreign interests and move Egypt in the direction of serfdom.

People in the Islamic world end up choosing Islam, because the only alternative they see is domination by certain foreign powers that you don't want me to name. That was certainly the case in Iran in 1979.

Now that Iran is finally moving away from its revolutionary zeal and back to normalcy, the foreign powers are preparing to destroy the country and take us back to square one.

Are we allowed to talk about the U.S. role in this?

Mary P (157)
Tuesday May 22, 2012, 11:54 am
Lloyd - Excellent comments! Gold Stars to you! :)

Charles , "People in the Islamic world end up choosing Islam, because the only alternative they see is domination by certain foreign powers"

Its a islamic world, obviously because they are majority muslims and belong to the religion
Of islam; most of them love islam and are passionate about islam and do not need alternatives, proof is their continuation of their love and practice
Of their religion of islam even when they relocate in the western countries!!

Alexander Werner (53)
Wednesday May 23, 2012, 5:59 am
Mary, you won't find "love and peace" in pretty much any Islamic country.

When people come here, young generation often wants to get rid of Islamic lifestyle, especially girls, and that often results in "Honour Killings".

More often than not, political realization of Islam means supressing minorities and militancy. Just see what is happening with Egypt, once a leader of all Arabs! Permissibility of sex with the dead, blown up pipelines, economic crises - and yet abusing Christians and blaming Israel.

If Islamists win the elections - see Egypt disintegrating even further.


Mary P (157)
Wednesday May 23, 2012, 9:26 pm
Bob, "Permissibility of sex with the dead, blown up pipelines, economic crises - and yet abusing Christians and blaming Israel."

This is Not Islam! These are the Vile acts of human beings! Bush and Cheney caused millions
Of innocent deaths; only ignorant people would blame Christianity and Judaism. Or
Blame ALL christians and jews!

Bob, " young generation often wants to get rid of Islamic lifestyle, especially girls,"
A handful do not speak on behalf of all muslim youth! Btw even in mubarak's
Unislamic reign most youths girls\boys were following the islamic lifestyle; like
you saw in Afghanistan even without the Talibans in rule, most muslims still adhered
to the islamic lifestyle ; that's because they love their religion of islam. It
does not matter which modern or devoted man\woman rules!! Its each individuals choice
whether they love the islamic lifestyle or not; whether they wish to choose the
Spiritual Path or the Material Path!

Stephen Brian (23)
Friday May 25, 2012, 10:02 pm
Hi everybody :)

There is a reason Mubarak didn't go for democracy, and it is the same reason why the MB does so well: Arabic cultures' hierarchies of loyalty: Family, clan, religion and political faction (in one order or the other), and then country. For democracy to work, loyalty to the democratic system must trump loyalty to the political faction and any identifiable sub-group of the country. Otherwise elections only lead to civil wars. Egypt may be ready for a change, but there is no way to know until after well after the election. Mubarak was reluctant to give up power because there was no precedent for an Arab giving up the highest office of his country and surviving, and moves towards democracy are very scary because if it fails, and it usually does, three will be civil war.

Hi Bob,

There are Muslim-majority countries which are fairly peaceful. Bosnia has serious problems, but political violence is not among them as far as I know. If I recall correctly, the same goes for Malaysia.
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