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87 comments

Was getting worried for a second... (3, Funny)

grub (11606) | more than 3 years ago | (#35282310)


Phew, that's a relief!
At first I was thinking things were getting worse in the Middle East but then realized the graphs weren't written right to left.

Re:Was getting worried for a second... (1)

magarity (164372) | more than 3 years ago | (#35282386)

At first I was thinking things were getting worse in the Middle East

That remains to be seen; will the (somewhat) secular tyrants be replaced by (at least a little bit) secular democracies or fundamentalist tyrants?

Re:Was getting worried for a second... (5, Insightful)

Wyatt Earp (1029) | more than 3 years ago | (#35282440)

And if they elect religious figures to parliament and establish a religious democracy?

Tunisia and Egypt have had their revolutions, it's up to them to decide on the government they want, if they want fundamentalists representing them, thats their right.

Same for the United States if the voters of a state elect a fundamentalist or an atheist.

Re:Was getting worried for a second... (1)

Nidi62 (1525137) | more than 3 years ago | (#35282558)

And if they elect religious figures to parliament and establish a religious democracy?

What worries me, as an American, is what our response would be to a democratically elected Islamist government. Now, remember, Islamist does not neccessarily mean radical, al Qaeda type people in power. An Islamist government can still be moderate, but I'm worried that the American response to an Islamist party winning a democratic election would be knee-jerk and an overreaction, hurting our image and relationships in the region. Of course, we could also luck out and these states will elect a government like Turkey. Turkey's government is secular, but also has a strong relationship with the Islamic authorities in the country. Essentially, the state has captured the Islamic authority structure inside Turkey, which has made it very stable. Of course, it doesn't hurt that the military plays a strong role in Turkish politics either. A lot of policies are run by the Turkish military as they go through the government, which essentially keeps the military in the loop with the promise that they won't stage their own coup. This system has pretty much made Turkey the most stable state in the region.

Re:Was getting worried for a second... (2)

Wyatt Earp (1029) | more than 3 years ago | (#35282664)

We were doing good in patching up ties to Iran right after the Revolution, till the Embassy crisis hit and both side stonewalled and got all conflicty. Then the Shah stayed in the US and we wouldn't send him back to an execution, the Soviets went all in to Afghanistan and that really balled things up.

But that's not really a case of not trusting a fundamentalist government, that was strategic global politics in the Cold War.

Turkey was like that in the past, now it's going more and more Islamist like Iran, it's worrying traditional Turkish allies like the United States, Germany and Israel.

I think it's good politics for the United States to keep ties with a revolutionary country like Egypt even if it does trend toward religious openness and more religious people in the government. To be kneejerk will just end up "losing" the country like the US did with Iran.

Re:Was getting worried for a second... (1, Interesting)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 3 years ago | (#35282774)

There are differing views on Turkey. As much as folks worry that the current government is going to turn it into some Islamist republic, at the same time, the current government is very keen to further its relationship with Europe, with the ultimate goal of entering the European Union. The leadership knows perfectly well that this is only possible as long as the secular nature of the Turkish state stays relatively intact.

Re:Was getting worried for a second... (1)

Wyatt Earp (1029) | more than 3 years ago | (#35282962)

In the long run Turkey will be OK.

If the Islamists get too wild, I believe the Army will step up and toss them out (again).

Re:Was getting worried for a second... (1)

Sun (104778) | more than 3 years ago | (#35287876)

This is 180 degrees from what the local Israeli interpreters are saying (or rather, same motives, opposite action). The explanation I've heard was that Turkey has given up on being accepted into the EU, and therefor decided to become a major force in the Islamic middle east by going more extreme and more outspoken against Israel.

In other words, the claim is that the political sight is dictating its Islamic move, rather than the other way around.

Shachar

Re:Was getting worried for a second... (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 3 years ago | (#35290914)

I think that's paranoia talking. There's little enough economic advantage in being a "big player" in the Islamic world right now. The money, the prosperity, the stability, they all come from Europe.

Re:Was getting worried for a second... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35283168)

You play with the crazies, and the crazies will turn on you!

US played with them in Afghanistan, directly or indirectly helping foreign fighters like Osama Bin Laden*. Pakistan also got burned by the Taliban. NEVER support the whackjobs, EVER. They are unreliable and will always end up turning on their supporters.

Maybe in 1980s US didn't know about what would happen 20-odd years later, but now they know. Extremism is the real enemy, not a stable country with "wrong" ideology - that should always take 2nd place to the primary enemy. You win a war with extremists by never supporting them, and always supporting moderate groups, always. And never meddle too much too; real change is always from the inside.

* - it was revenge for Vietnam where Soviet Union helped the communists in Vietnam war. But the commies in Vietnam were not extremists - they were motivated by nationalism and reunification. US supported jihadists in Afghanistan and those are crazies...

Re:Was getting worried for a second... (2)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 3 years ago | (#35282750)

I can easily envision Turkish-style republics in Egypt and Tunisia, and in particular in Egypt where the Army is as well-respected as it is in Turkey.

Libya, if Gadhafi does fall, is the odd man out here. It's military has been emasculated by Gadhafi, who has long preferred the use of secret police. I would be much more worried about instability in Libya leading to the accession of some other form of tyranny.

Re:Was getting worried for a second... (1)

sumdumass (711423) | more than 3 years ago | (#35283494)

There is nothing indicating that the US would have a knee jerk reaction to any Islamist government. As you pointed out, Islamist does not necessarily mean radical, al Qaeda type people in power.

Where the knee jerk reactions typically come from is where the Islamic government tends to favor terrorism or what we perceive as Terrorist actions. Take Palestine for instance, we withdrew financial support when they elected a terrorist organization turned political party to their government. But we didn't care at all when some of those political members were trying to get involved into the government under a different political party.

It's more the actions and motivations of the newly formed government then the government itself. If it's full of Bin laden death to infidels type people, our reaction will likely be negative, if it's full of We believe in Islam and we want peace type people, our reaction will be friendly. The US does not make policy decision based on religion. We recognize that it's the people, not the religion, doing things in the name of the religion, that gives the wrong impression and cause for concern.

Re:Was getting worried for a second... (1)

Vancorps (746090) | more than 3 years ago | (#35283964)

Clearly you haven't been watching enough Fox News as they reported the Muslim Brotherhood would definitely take over Egypt despite a complete lack of evidence supporting that. That is where the fear of knee-jerk reactions comes from. Fortunately I agree with your assessment and hope that we as a country can keep an open mind and remember that moderate people can be reasoned with while hard liners cannot.

Re:Was getting worried for a second... (1)

sumdumass (711423) | more than 3 years ago | (#35284692)

No Fox News Needed. Either the Muslim brother hood takes over or not. Either they are peace loving people bent on some religious ideology, or the are the evil fanatics that think terrorist, killing people, and attacking our allies is right. Perhaps there is in-between, but it a matter of waiting to see what happens at this point.

There will be people who will knee jerk, there will be people who will celebrate, there will be people who will cry. This is probably true no matter what kind of government is installed. But people in general aren't the government as a whole as even though they might comprise some members of the government, the diversity of the country will temper their actions or reactions.

In other words, unless we, or an ally are somehow attacked due to the new government, we will spend more time fighting amongst ourselves in government then any newly formed regime, The closest to unity you will find the US government outside that would be sanctions or something if human right violations start happening. But if history has showed us anything, we will even over look a lot of that if they pretend to be on our side in something important.

Re:Was getting worried for a second... (1)

Wyatt Earp (1029) | more than 3 years ago | (#35286564)

Yea, I've not been watching much news of it. Some CNN from Cairo, but mostly have been following Al Jazeera English on the web and supplementing that with regional newspapers in English, like Haaretz and JPost.

Re:Was getting worried for a second... (1)

MachDelta (704883) | more than 3 years ago | (#35282574)

The US elect an atheist?
They'd elect a mouth-breathing moron, a black man, and a woman first.

Well, 2/3 ain't bad.

Re:Was getting worried for a second... (1)

Wyatt Earp (1029) | more than 3 years ago | (#35282688)

Peter Stark Democrat from California's 13th District, openly atheist.

Re:Was getting worried for a second... (2)

treeves (963993) | more than 3 years ago | (#35282918)

...and openly having no chance in hell of being elected president.

Re:Was getting worried for a second... (1)

sumdumass (711423) | more than 3 years ago | (#35284202)

So what's your point. Most senators and representatives have no chance in hell of being president.

In someone's 80 year lifetime, there will be about 20 presidential elections. That can be as little as 9-10 depending on when they were born and if they all serve 2 terms. There are 583 total members of congress not counting the "special members" like the representatives from DC or our territories. 100 of these politician will have the opportunity to be replaced every 6 years so there could possibly be 600 of them in the same time span. The other 483 will have the opportunity to be replaced every 2 years so there could conceivable be 17,520 different ones. And even if they all kept their seats for the entire length of time covering those 80 years, only 1.8-7.4% of them could become president. So without even considering governors, movie stars, and others who have filled the job in the past, there is very little chance in hell that any of them will be elected president. Especially when someone's notoriety outside their district consists of "that one atheist" or "that one different person". That's not a result of being Atheist, it's a result of being against the odds.

Re:Was getting worried for a second... (1)

treeves (963993) | more than 3 years ago | (#35284378)

Let's just say that many other Congresspersons have a higher subjective probability of being elected to POTUS than this particular one, due to his stated beliefs.

Re:Was getting worried for a second... (1)

Wyatt Earp (1029) | more than 3 years ago | (#35284746)

Name one Representative who has any possibility of being elected President?

If Peter Stark ran for President as a Democrat I'd wager he has a better chance than the top Republican in the House, Ron Paul.

Re:Was getting worried for a second... (1)

magarity (164372) | more than 3 years ago | (#35292514)

If Peter Stark ran for President as a Democrat I'd wager he has a better chance than the top Republican in the House, Ron Paul.

The top Republican in the House of Representatives is John Boehner as he is the Speaker. The second most top Republican would be the majority leader, Eric Cantor. The third top most is Kevin McCarthy, the majority whip. Ron Paul is on a couple of committees but chairman of none. His highest position is chairman of the House Financial Services Subcommittee on Domestic Monetary Policy. This makes him a long, long, long way from being the top Republican.

Re:Was getting worried for a second... (1)

Wyatt Earp (1029) | more than 3 years ago | (#35292682)

Its not about the position in the House leadership, its about name recognition and popular support.

Ron Paul has been running for President and gets a good share of supporters when he makes a run. Not enough to be a Tier 1 contender, but a strong Tier 2.

Example - Rep. Ron Paul raises $700000 in 24 hours
http://www.thestatecolumn.com/articles/rep-ron-paul-raises-700000-in-24-hours/ [thestatecolumn.com]

http://www.opensecrets.org/politicians/summary.php?cid=N00005906&cycle=2010 [opensecrets.org]
Cash on hand December 31, 2010 - $1,855,893

So now Ron Paul has closer to 2.5 million

Contrast to the Speaker
http://www.opensecrets.org/politicians/summary.php?cid=N00003675 [opensecrets.org]
Cash on hand December 31, 2010 - $126,342

Re:Was getting worried for a second... (1)

sumdumass (711423) | more than 3 years ago | (#35284836)

I doubt that. People don't care much about the religion of our elected leaders except when it might indicate control from outside parties. That's why Kennedy spent a good bit of time claiming the Vatican would not influence any of his decisions before he was elected.

Take president Obama for instance. Most people know he went to a Islamic school as a child. It was the only one available where he was living at the time. Most people know he spent a lot of time in Islamic countries. He spent very little time talking about being a christian. When he did in his books, he left the image that it was a calculated political decision to declare himself a christian and even the church he attended which a lot of people don't think is christian outside of name, was calculated. On the campaign trail, most of his discussions on being a christian was in rebuttal to claims he wasn't.

Now here is the point of that. Many people were lead to beleive that Obama was a Muslim. Probably more people who thought he was a christian. They even had stories about him being sworn into office on the Koran (which was someone else completely). Yet he still became our president of the United State. And if you remember some of the debate around the internet at the time when people were claiming he was a Muslim, a lot of the argument against him consisted of so what, who cares. This argument continued when the attack turned onto his church and the crazy ass shit his pastor was saying.

I think maybe you are taking something you are seeing and attributing it to something you want to be the blame for it. I don't think your all that correct in your assumptions.

Re:Was getting worried for a second... (1)

butalearner (1235200) | more than 3 years ago | (#35285822)

He spent very little time talking about being a christian. When he did in his books, he left the image that it was a calculated political decision to declare himself a christian and even the church he attended which a lot of people don't think is christian outside of name, was calculated.

Mod parent up. Obama only invokes the label when it makes sense to do so, when people want to hear it. He's only gone to church half a dozen times since he's been in office, always at opportune times. I wouldn't be surprised if this pattern is common in elected officials and, from the recent trends in religious affiliation, the United States in general. People just call themselves Christians because it's still somewhat taboo to be anything else.

Re:Was getting worried for a second... (1)

sumdumass (711423) | more than 3 years ago | (#35293456)

IT may be common among elected officials, but I think the point I was trying to make is that it's unfounded as what is clearly illustrated by Obama.

I mean a good portion of America believed he was a Muslim or just didn't care what religion he claimed to be. That was about 6-7 years after 9/11 and we had all the fear mongering about Muslim extremists wanting to destroy America. If being the wrong religion, and being in a religion that is supposedly hating on the US wasn't enough to defeat him, then being an atheist isn't going to bother anyone other then those who would not have voted for him anyways.

Re:Was getting worried for a second... (1)

mjwx (966435) | more than 3 years ago | (#35286520)

Peter Stark Democrat from California's 13th District, openly atheist. --

..and openly having no chance in hell of being elected president.

Coming from a nation who has elected a female atheist as our leader, I feel quite proud to fart in the general direction of your backwards society.

Re:Was getting worried for a second... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35288402)

How's your neighbour's earthquake going? Clearly, God sent it your way as punishment for this.

- Pat Robertson

Re:Was getting worried for a second... (1)

MachDelta (704883) | more than 3 years ago | (#35284658)

Thanks, I had no idea congresscritters had managed to break that particular barrier. :)

Re:Was getting worried for a second... (1)

skids (119237) | more than 3 years ago | (#35283236)

Cheer up. They'd elect an atheist before they'd elect someone who openly admits to not caring about sports. So you have that at least.

Re:Was getting worried for a second... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35283156)

I think the value of Democracy is highly overrated. Not that democracy isn't a good thing; but more important is the nation's respect for inviolate human rights and limited government power. I'd rather live under a king that had strong constitutional limits, than a democracy that had vague, shifting restrictions.

Re:Was getting worried for a second... (1)

h00manist (800926) | more than 3 years ago | (#35286444)

Same for the United States if the voters of a state elect a fundamentalist or an atheist.

Hmm I think the US has democratically elected a couple of drunks and nutjobs before. As many countries have. Italy's got one for a while now. Yep, people have the right to democratically screw themselves royally, and it's nobody's busieness, if that was the people's choice, they have to deal with it.

Re:Was getting worried for a second... (1)

umghhh (965931) | more than 3 years ago | (#35288962)

To this I have one question: how much power one indihvidual sank in a ocean of US (or any other western) democracy actually has - I reckon not very much. You can scream as much as you want and even have reasonable arguments but still end up having to accept what they decided for you. The difference is of course that once in a while you can replace old asshole with a new one so damage per asshole is relatively small. This advantage proves to be diminishing with increasing number of assholes. Still that is the right neither NK's nor Libya's citizens have.

Re:Was getting worried for a second... (1)

Wyatt Earp (1029) | more than 3 years ago | (#35291162)

One individual can have alot of power if they want to use it.

Look at Martin Luther King Jr, Charles Lindberg, Father Flanagan, Father Coughlin, George Soros, hell even Glenn Beck had or have wide audiences or projected a ton of power with actions and words.

Re:Was getting worried for a second... (1)

Chris Mattern (191822) | more than 3 years ago | (#35282470)

Not seeing much from the fundies on this yet--in fact, it seems like the whole thing is producing unrest against the Iranian regime along with all the others. Not impossible for a religious dictatorship to come out of nowhere in any of these places, though, I'll admit.

Guerrilla networking alternatives (1)

h00manist (800926) | more than 3 years ago | (#35282582)

What would be nice are some alternatives that people can use to transport data long distances in such adverse conditions. Though I think it's been answered, it's basically ham radio, long distance dialups, satphones and little else.

Re:Was getting worried for a second... (1)

Quiet_Desperation (858215) | more than 3 years ago | (#35282766)

Or fundamentalist democracies- for example, where only Muslim males can vote much like only propertied citizen males could vote in ancient Athens.

Re:Was getting worried for a second... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35283960)

Or the United States in the 19th century?

Re:Was getting worried for a second... (1)

rainmouse (1784278) | more than 3 years ago | (#35285304)

That remains to be seen; will the (somewhat) secular tyrants be replaced by (at least a little bit) secular democracies or fundamentalist tyrants?

Or perhaps corrupt, tax dodging, corporate capitalists like we have running the West.

the "score" (4, Interesting)

khallow (566160) | more than 3 years ago | (#35282452)

Ugh, this just like the "convention wisdom" garbage that Newsweek used to do (maybe they still do, I don't know). Getting an up, down, or left/right arrow ("") is a pathetic way to assign a "score". And why does Algeria get a "" instead of an up arrow for maintaining its internet connection with the absence of any filtering?

It's like having a murder index where you only get up arrows when you stop killing people. If you already don't kill people and never will kill them, you just keep getting "".

Re:the "score" (2)

chemicaldave (1776600) | more than 3 years ago | (#35283030)

I should also point out that this only measures traffic, and attributes any decrease to "filtering." While that is possible, and probably true, I can't help but wonder how much of a decrease in traffic is due to people not being at home using the Internet and instead protesting out on the streets. I point out Bahrain as an example.

Information Wants To Be Free (3, Insightful)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | more than 3 years ago | (#35282514)

Information wants to be free, but more importantly people want to be alive. Shooting peaceful protesters seems like a much worse offense than trying to shut down the intertubes.

Re:Information Wants To Be Free (1)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 3 years ago | (#35282572)

Actually, not to be too cynical about it, but if you're the press it's the ideal situation to have both an open internet and people getting killed. That means great images, which means great ratings. So, much as they would deny it, the press is often much less concerned about people getting killed than they are about not being able to received the images of those people getting killed.

Re:Information Wants To Be Free (2)

metrometro (1092237) | more than 3 years ago | (#35282644)

You are being to cynical about it. The press is made of people and they aren't the monsters you describe.

Re:Information Wants To Be Free (3)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 3 years ago | (#35282690)

Individually, perhaps not. But get them together and tell them that their jobs depend solely on ratings and see what happens.

Re:Information Wants To Be Free (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35285204)

Yes, but as long as they're not actually CAUSING the people to be killed and are merely faithfully reporting on REALITY, what's the problem?

Re:Information Wants To Be Free (1)

T.E.D. (34228) | more than 3 years ago | (#35283768)

Information wants to be free, but more importantly people want to be alive.

No, people want to be free too. Watch a few protester videos on YouTube and it won't take long before you find folks telling the camera they'd rather die than go on being treated the way they have been treated. Perhaps they were exagerating, but I don't think so.

Re:Information Wants To Be Free (1)

umghhh (965931) | more than 3 years ago | (#35288990)

As a citizen of a country that broke free from a tyrant 20 years ago trough public unrest etc I can say that this is incorrect. People majority of them do not care about freedom of speech because in majority of cases they use speech to communicate with their peers about things that matter most: family, health, job, money etc. If you provide the majority the possibility to support the family and live in relative peace I can guarantee you that majority will not care about abstract freedoms like this as they consider them nice to have but must have. This changes when no job, no women and alco is available for a huge population of young men especially if they are not educated well as they do not even consider such abstract things like freedom to be needed and may accept another thief and murderer instead of the new one.

All hail our new Caliphate overlords (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35282518)

Looks like the Muslim Brotherhood has the tiger by the tail and will attemp to usher in a new age of Sharia law under a new Caliphate, which is in theory a constituonal republic. [wikipedia.org] Of course its not one where all are equal. [wikipedia.org]

Re:All hail our new Caliphate overlords (2, Informative)

Nidi62 (1525137) | more than 3 years ago | (#35282604)

Doubtful. The Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt has nowhere near the backing to take over the Egyptian government democratically, and they don't have the manpower to take it over militarily. Even under a proportional representation system, the Muslim Brotherhood would be forced to enter into a coalition if they wanted to govern. As such, their presence in a coalition would be moderated by the other coalition members. So, no, there will be no Muslim Brotherhood-led Caliphate.

Re:All hail our new Caliphate overlords (3, Informative)

Beelzebud (1361137) | more than 3 years ago | (#35283076)

You need to watch less Glenn Beck.

Re:All hail our new Caliphate overlords (1)

sumdumass (711423) | more than 3 years ago | (#35284326)

I don't watch glen beck so could you tell me where he was wrong and what is has to do with glen beck?

Moral bankruptcy (1)

MaDeR (826021) | more than 3 years ago | (#35284408)

Yes, you should hope for that outcome. This is, after all, only justification for supporting murderous regimes by hipocritical fuckers from USA goverment. Losing Egypt, Libia, etc. is political failure. Not only losing them, but also morphing into something else than fundamentalist islamic regimes is not moral failure, but complete moral bankruptcy of USA.

Re:Moral bankruptcy (1)

sumdumass (711423) | more than 3 years ago | (#35285806)

What does the US have to do with how Egypt treated it's people?

I think the only bankrupt thing going on here is your thought process. It went home to sit on the sofa and watch Oprah and the price is right while your emotions and whatever else are concocting things on their own.

Oh, and yes.. I am trying to say you are sounding like a raving lunatic. Perhaps you had something of value to say, but it's completely lost in your emotion. Please restate anything of value that might have slipped into obscurity.

Re:Moral bankruptcy (1)

MaDeR (826021) | more than 2 years ago | (#35293924)

"What does the US have to do with how Egypt treated it's people?"
How about fact that USA sponsored Mubarak's regime (among other things providing tear-gas used to surpress protests [go.com] and generally giving 1.3bln $ anually for Egyptian military)? And it is not only one dictatorship helped up by USA, but I digress.
Do you still claim that USA have nothing to do with this?
"you are sounding like a raving lunatic"
Yes, sure, only raving lunatics do not like best and most free country in world, USA. ZSRR sang same tune - and my country know this music very well, being under Reds from IIWW to '89.

Re:Moral bankruptcy (1)

sumdumass (711423) | more than 2 years ago | (#35295082)

How about fact that USA sponsored Mubarak's regime (among other things providing tear-gas used to surpress protests and generally giving 1.3bln $ anually for Egyptian military)?

Egypt was an ally. We sold them weapons. Non-lethal weapons and it was a private company not the US. They could have purchased them anywhere. Again, what's the point?

And as far as the military goes, aren't they the ones who kept the Egyptian police from turning it into a blood bath? Wasn't Egypt's military putting armored vehicles in between protesters armed with rocks and sticks and the police who had guns and charging towards them?

It seems to me that that investment payed off pretty well if you actually pay attention.

And it is not only one dictatorship helped up by USA, but I digress.

So is the US supposed to invade and overthrow the dictators? We deal with what we have to deal with. When the new government of Egypt is formed, we will deal with them too. Since when is the US supposed to be roaming the earth imposing it's wishes on all countries and their governments?

Do you still claim that USA have nothing to do with this?

You certainly didn't show where they did have anything to do with it. At best, you pointed to a private company that sells non-lethal weapons to foreign governments. You point about funding the military is completely lost on the fact that the military protected the protesters. Please take a deep breath and examine reality.

"you are sounding like a raving lunatic"
Yes, sure, only raving lunatics do not like best and most free country in world, USA. ZSRR sang same tune - and my country know this music very well, being under Reds from IIWW to '89.

Lol.. Where in the hell did you dredge that up from? I said you sound like a raving lunatic because your accusations are baseless and do not match reality. Whether or not the US is the best country or not is not even at issue here. What is at issue is if your accusations meet with reality and they don't. They contained nothing but falsehoods draped with adjectives and adverbs with some intent to demonize the US and aren't completely Unfounded.

Again, I will ask. was there a point that got dropped in there somewhere?

Re:Moral bankruptcy (1)

MaDeR (826021) | more than 3 years ago | (#35306194)

"Egypt was an ally."
And brutal dictatorship. Nice allies you have.
"We sold them weapons. Non-lethal weapons and it was a private company not the US."
Newsflash: USA have very much to say about exporting this kind (or any kind for that matter) of things elsewhere. Do you say that private company in USA can export anything anywhere and is above USA law?
"It seems to me that that investment payed off pretty well if you actually pay attention."
I agree that Egyptian army protected protesters. I don't think this was intention of USA, when they was spending 1,3bln$ anually for Egypt military. So this was not any "investment" - by using this word, you suggest that USA somehow did it specifically to help impossible to predict (and unwanted anyway) changes in Egypt. This is lie.
- "And it is not only one dictatorship helped up by USA, but I digress."
- "So is the US supposed to invade and overthrow the dictators?"
False dilemma fallacy use noted.
"Since when is the US supposed to be roaming the earth imposing it's wishes on all countries and their governments?"
Hey, USA themself are worlds policeman wannabe (that they do piss poor job is beside point). So yeah, they are supposed to do it and they do it. There is only one little teensy weensy problem with it: what they say (ya know drill: freedom, democracy, free speech, human rights and other strings of letters like that) does not match with what they do. There is word for this in English: hipocrisy.
"your accusations are baseless and do not match reality."
Wut? Fact that USA goverment, backs and supports many dictators now and in past is widely known and undisputed fact. Do you deny this fact?
"was there a point that got dropped in there somewhere?"
Yes. That I consider USA goverment as bunch of hipocrites and moral bankrupts. Why I think that was explained above.

Re:Moral bankruptcy (1)

sumdumass (711423) | more than 3 years ago | (#35306976)

And brutal dictatorship. Nice allies you have.

And your point is what? Was the US supposed to invade and say treat your people differently or something? Or was they supposed to mind their own business and work with countries that didn't attempt to destroy other allies? I mean seriously, what did you expect the US to do? Last I heard, we shouldn't be meddling with the internal affairs of other countries. Is that your point, that we haven't meddled in Egypt's internal politics?

Newsflash: USA have very much to say about exporting this kind (or any kind for that matter) of things elsewhere. Do you say that private company in USA can export anything anywhere and is above USA law?

And when has Egypt used those weapons on it's own people in the past? Oh, in legitimate police and military operations? OK. And even though the US has influence on the selling of weapons, these are non-lethal weapons and would be sold by China or Russia or any other country in the process. In fact, the article you pointed to only says some of the tear gas canisters were made in the US.

Again, I don't see your point. Are we supposed to deny an ally non-lethal weapons because you do no like them? I mean seriously, if it wasn't tear gas, it would have been bullets. And I believe Egypt can make those themselves. The protesters were in a better position because the tear gas was available instead of resorting to bullets. Now make a comprehensible argument or drop it.

I agree that Egyptian army protected protesters. I don't think this was intention of USA, when they was spending 1,3bln$ anually for Egypt military. So this was not any "investment" - by using this word, you suggest that USA somehow did it specifically to help impossible to predict (and unwanted anyway) changes in Egypt. This is lie.

And the inverse that you are attempting to create is just as much a lie. In fact, you are now trying to destroy your argument by saying it's about what you think simply because I turned it against you.

Here are some facts. the Egyptian military was equipped, ready and able to step in between the police and protect the protesters. The US government supported monetarily and trained portions of the Egyptian Military for whatever reason before that happened.

Now here is what we can assume or guess, either the US government, despite all it's talking points and posturing indicating support for the protesters safety and human rights, the US supported the Egyptian military with the goal of harming the protesters and oppressing the people. Or we can assume that because the military was funded, they were able to interject some sanity into the violence and keep things a lot less bloody then they were. And with Egyptian military elements training with US and other ally forces in anti terrorism exercises where the intent is to focus on the bad people and not harm innocents, chances are this separation from doing anything they were told and sticking up for human rights came somewhere from that interaction. If I was a betting man, I would bet on the later seeing how the government lost control of the military and they did specifically protect the unarmed in the conflict without harming the police.

Again, you point is nothing but emotional dribble in your mind centered around what you want to believe. It's disconnected from the reality that was happening.

- "And it is not only one dictatorship helped up by USA, but I digress."
- "So is the US supposed to invade and overthrow the dictators?"
False dilemma fallacy use noted.

It's no more a false delima then you are attempting to employ. Don't sit there claiming to be the pot calling the kettle black. What was the US supposed to do differently and what difference would it have made? Answer that because the fact that we were allies with a country that was ruled by a dictator does nothing to prove anything negative in this. You still havn't shown where the US support for Egypt enabled any behavior or how not supporting them in any way would have changed that behavior. And yes, you are the one making the accusations that it was bad, you are the one who has to show how it was bad.

"Since when is the US supposed to be roaming the earth imposing it's wishes on all countries and their governments?"
Hey, USA themself are worlds policeman wannabe (that they do piss poor job is beside point). So yeah, they are supposed to do it and they do it. There is only one little teensy weensy problem with it: what they say (ya know drill: freedom, democracy, free speech, human rights and other strings of letters like that) does not match with what they do. There is word for this in English: hipocrisy.

So your entire point rests on the US not getting involved. The premise that you think the US is the world policemen but fail to be policemen of the world. Logic would tell you right there that perhaps you aren't correct in your first assumption. Hmm.. Last I heard, when we did get involved in foreign countries internal affairs, people disliked it. And your point is that because we didn't do what people of the world disliked, we are now evil because we spout freedom, democracy and so on. Sounds like you are painting yourself into a corner. Supporting an idea or concept does not mean you can't ally with people who do not support it. Where has the rule saying the opposite ever been printed? I bet you do this right now, use good and services to your advantage while the producers of those good and services have ideals contrary to your own. Are you a hypocrite too? Or are you making the best of a not ideal situation?

"your accusations are baseless and do not match reality."
Wut? Fact that USA goverment, backs and supports many dictators now and in past is widely known and undisputed fact. Do you deny this fact?

Lol.. you really need to learn what in the hell you are talking about. The US supports countries, rarely do they support the actual leaders of the countries except when the alternative is worse. If the US didn't support Egypt as a country, the people would have been against us, against our ideals and concepts of human rights, freedom, and democracy, and the people of Egypt probably would have never done anything to break away from the dictators. We see it right now in countries like Cuba, the US has positioned itself against it, the US Cuban embargo really does nothing to hamper Cuba, and the people, outside the ones who escape to the US, tend to shy away from the US message of freedom.

why don't you look at reality. It's right there in front of you.

"was there a point that got dropped in there somewhere?"
Yes. That I consider USA goverment as bunch of hipocrites and moral bankrupts. Why I think that was explained above.

I think you failed to make any logic to that argument and my initial assumption was correct too, it's all emotion that you think.

Re:Moral bankruptcy (1)

MaDeR (826021) | more than 3 years ago | (#35323682)

I am sorry, but I cannot discuss with that level of detachment from reality. I will address only one, in my opinion most important point of this post - justification for supporting dictatorships. After that, I will probably give up.
"The US supports countries, rarely do they support the actual leaders of the countries"
Phrase "US supports countries" is menanigless. I do not know what it is supposed to mean, but this seems to sound positive and good to you. Ergo: propaganda.
"except when the alternative is worse."
I know very well boogeyman of islam radicalism as justification for supporting dictatorships by one of biggest democracies (if perpeptual two-party duopoly could be called that, but I digress again) in world. Still disguisting hipocrisy.
"If the US didn't support Egypt as a country,"
Again with the word salad.
"the people would have been against us, against our ideals and concepts of human rights, freedom, and democracy, and the people of Egypt probably would have never done anything to break away from the dictators."
Some notes:
1. Funny that you talk only about Egypt, what with rest, especially Saudi Ariabia? Do you want to pretend that Egypt was only one dictatorship supported by USA?
2. Many people are against USA (not "concepts of human rights, freedom, and democracy" - you do not have monopoly on that, get it?), because your goverment support dictatorships that deny these very things to their people.
3. By supporting dictatorships and retarded interventions USA have done for growth of fanatical islam terrorists more than they themself could dream ever. Direct religious reasons for USA hate are in miniority - but other reasons, like hiportitical policy of USA and consequences of it, are good in recruiting for radical islam. Thus, USA policy is suicidally stupid, flourishing and spreading things that you were supposed to prevent.
Good luck in wondering why half of world does not like or outright hate USA or its goverment. Bye.

Re:Moral bankruptcy (1)

sumdumass (711423) | more than 3 years ago | (#35325458)

I am sorry, but I cannot discuss with that level of detachment from reality. I will address only one, in my opinion most important point of this post - justification for supporting dictatorships. After that, I will probably give up.
"The US supports countries, rarely do they support the actual leaders of the countries"
Phrase "US supports countries" is menanigless. I do not know what it is supposed to mean, but this seems to sound positive and good to you. Ergo: propaganda.

It's pretty simply. In this world, you have countries. These countries want things from other countries. If those other countries submit and are peaceful to you, you support them. IF they don't and are peaceful, you ignore them. If they don't and are hostile to your country, you treat them as an enemy. Egypt, as a country has for more then 200 years, been a country that the US wanted stuff from and friendly to the US with a slight exception in the 1960.

The US, or almost any other country, will not break off relations with a country because it's people democratically elected someone. We gave aid to Egypt, participated in joint military training and share data on terrorist with Egypt. Just because the leader was an ass to his own people, doesn't mean he was ever an ass to the US. Furthermore,The US called for Mubarak to step down when the people appeared to be rejecting him. So if you are not going to allow the difference between the support for an allied country to be separate from support for the leader of that allied country, then you can't say we supported Mubarak because we didn't when it mattered.

It's not a feel good anything. It's just a fact. We needed the country "Egypt" for various reasons and they needed us for their own reasons.

"except when the alternative is worse."
I know very well boogeyman of islam radicalism as justification for supporting dictatorships by one of biggest democracies (if perpeptual two-party duopoly could be called that, but I digress again) in world. Still disguisting hipocrisy.

Islamic radicalism or the boogerman have nothing to do with it. It's because we needed the country Egypt, not the leader. Would we stop the violent overthrow if Mubarak? Probably because the peacfull overthrow is what is needed. I'm not even sure why you injected that at all.

the people would have been against us, against our ideals and concepts of human rights, freedom, and democracy, and the people of Egypt probably would have never done anything to break away from the dictators."
Some notes:
1. Funny that you talk only about Egypt, what with rest, especially Saudi Ariabia? Do you want to pretend that Egypt was only one dictatorship supported by USA?

What in the world ever gave you that idea? The concept is completely lacking and existing only in your mind. Get this into your head so you understand. We have co-dependencies on different countries. We need to be friendly and support those countries in order to satisfy those needs. It doesn't matter if Mary fucking Poppins is leading it, some ruthless dictator, or Peter Pan. We support our need with the country, not the people who are leading it. Unless their replacement is going to take away our access. It's really that simple. Being friendly with a country does not mean supporting it's leaders. Being friendly with a complete jackass racist does not mean you support the concepts and ideals that jackass racist spouts.

3. By supporting dictatorships and retarded interventions USA have done for growth of fanatical islam terrorists more than they themself could dream ever. Direct religious reasons for USA hate are in miniority - but other reasons, like hiportitical policy of USA and consequences of it, are good in recruiting for radical islam. Thus, USA policy is suicidally stupid, flourishing and spreading things that you were supposed to prevent.

What in the hell are you remotely talking about? I don't care if radical Islam terrorist want to kill themselves. That's why we are fighting a war over there- to keep the killing within their own.

Also, I have a feeling you are close to one of those retarded "I will kill myself" idiots and are spouting out gibberish. It's like you got some concept in mind but are failing to communicate it effectively enough to match reality. But that's ok. The more of them that kill themselves, the less of them around.

Good luck in wondering why half of world does not like or outright hate USA or its goverment. Bye.

Call it arrogance, whatever. I certainly do not care about half the world that comes from some of the poorest shit holes run by people who couldn't support themselves or citizens if you cut them a check for the entire costs. When people think their religion allows them to kill and encourages it, they long ago gave up any respect I will ever have for them. When people are pissed off because we don't let those illiterate pedophile worshiping idiots take over some country that is allied to us, then they can get as mad as they want. They can even kill themselves for all I care.

And when they elect some ass clown to rule over them for the last 20 or so years, then cry because he was a dictator for 20 years but no one living in the country seemed to care until money got tight and the food got scarce, I still do not care. But unlike your assertions, The US as a country did ask the dictator to step down. We did support the military that was keeping the peace from becoming much more deadly. So your entire premise seems to be more or less predicated on some misrepresentation you are harboring as fact in your little emotional fallacy.

its always nice to see (2, Interesting)

nimbius (983462) | more than 3 years ago | (#35282530)

an impartial American citizen grading and critiquing the openness and freedom of the internet in the middle east. The scorecard in america of course will not be published, as we call our censorship against wikileaks "patriotism." and our arrest and suppression of legitimate hackers "DMCA." and "intellectual property rights." our bandwidth throttling of torrents isnt a form of censorship at all either, but "Terms of Service." and the inability to make skype calls from an internet enabled cellphone? thats just part of business.

Re:its always nice to see (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35282568)

Yeah and how dare america claim to be the land of the free when I can't walk into your house and steal your stuff!

Re:its always nice to see (1)

suso (153703) | more than 3 years ago | (#35282586)

Yeah and how dare america claim to be the land of the free when I can't walk into your house and steal your stuff!

Isn't it free?

Re:its always nice to see (2)

Beelzebud (1361137) | more than 3 years ago | (#35283094)

You say we have had censorship against wikileaks, and yet I can go there right now and have access to every part of their site.

Re:its always nice to see (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35283234)

The issue with Wikileaks notwithstanding, there is no absolute right to free speech. You do not have a right to walk into the proverbial crowded theater and cry Fire!. What Wikileaks has or does not have is not at issue, but their belief they can disclose anything to anyone regardless of who might get hurt or killed as a result. If all they have is information that is embarrassing, great let's see it. If it exposes personnel from various countries that if exposed could be killed? Well, sorry you don't get to play god with other people's lives. Is either one of those scenarios correct? I have no idea and neither do you so your claim of censorship fails.

As for DCMA, yea this is bad law but does it rise to the level of censorship? What speech is being repressed? Fair Use sure, but is that actually speech. You can argue either way. This one "could" be close to actual censorship but that is shaky at best.

Bandwidth throttling? Seriously? Where is the government controlling that? Unless you can provide some evidence that shows where government agencies are directing ISPs to do this directly you have no leg to stand on here. Same goes for your Skype claim. Sorry, it *is* just part of business and if more users demand it the phone companies might just grant it. Again, if you have some evidence that the FCC is prohibiting them from implementing this feature, by all means let's see it.

Censorship is government interference, not private companies.

Re:its always nice to see (1)

fatphil (181876) | more than 3 years ago | (#35283854)

And did you see any evidence of "filters" being responsible for changes in traffic rather than just (a) noise in his figures; (b) maintenance work in the networks; and of course (c) equiptment failures?

By his metrics, here in Estonia we suffered absolutely massive censorship this morning, for about 3 hours, as the largest ISP censorred their connection to the backbone by applying massive filtering to every packet.

Thank goodness they removed those filters eventually, or I wouldn't be able to post this!

Top Trumps (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35282704)

"Digits of Pi" has made some nice comparison "Top Trumps-alike" cards on B3TA.

Turns it into a fun game for the whole family!

Crappy information design (3, Insightful)

ashidosan (1790808) | more than 3 years ago | (#35282808)

The green graphs are the traffic over the previous three weeks, yet turn yellow for single-day traffic anomalies somewhere in the previous three weeks? The X axis is labeled with only one set of dates.

I guess we're supposed to look at these and go "yup, the problem is here, where this line appears to not be part of the same pattern as the others."

This scorecard thing is terrible. I can only be thankful for the many paragraphs which state exactly the same thing, only clearer.

Internet Effect (1)

U8MyData (1281010) | more than 3 years ago | (#35282946)

I have always considered the ramifications of the Internet where society comes in, how it effects the citizenry, how it effect economics, demographics and the like. With all of this unrest in the middle east I am reconsidering that topic. Repressive regimes seem to have a better time when the society is completely isolated from the rest of the world. With the pervasiveness of the Internet and global communications, the notion of isolation has become much harder to achieve. I wonder how new governments will form, what political form they will take and what their longevity will look like given the fact communication is so open and difficult to repress. Are we seeing the beginning of the end to repression, isolation and dictatorship? If so, what is the likelihood that, in time, most world governments will look the same?

Free Dial-up ISPs throughout Europe (1)

gravis777 (123605) | more than 3 years ago | (#35283106)

Boing boing posted a few stories today about different ISPs offering free dialup to people throughout the Middle East, as apparently international phone calls are not being limited at this time. Slow and expensive, but you should be able to access Twitter and Facebook.

http://www.boingboing.net/2011/02/22/free-dial-up-isp-for.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+boingboing%2FiBag+(Boing+Boing) [boingboing.net]

and

http://www.boingboing.net/2011/02/21/operation-libya-whit.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+boingboing%2FiBag+(Boing+Boing) [boingboing.net]

Re:Free Dial-up ISPs throughout Europe (1)

jez9999 (618189) | more than 3 years ago | (#35288466)

Slow and expensive, but you should be able to access Twitter and Facebook.

Ahmed is now: in hospital. Shot in street. Given 10% of living. :-(
Gadaffi likes this.

What, no Israel? (1)

EnsilZah (575600) | more than 3 years ago | (#35283216)

What are we, chopped liver?

Re:What, no Israel? (1)

BluBrick (1924) | more than 3 years ago | (#35284480)

Oh, don't be silly. "Middle Eastern Country" is merely the PC way of "Bunch of heathen Muslim swine' without coming off sounding like a bigoted idiot. Everyone knows that Israel is not really a "Middle Eastern Country", it's a little piece of USA that happens to be located in the Middle East.

ugh graphs (1)

Ogive17 (691899) | more than 3 years ago | (#35283370)

Those graphs really didn't explain the situation very well. Maybe I'm just not focused, but most of them don't seem to show anything out of the ordinary to me... Only Libya and Egypt look abnormal.

Plus nothing is labeled well. Looks like a monkey put these together.

Re:ugh graphs (1)

fatphil (181876) | more than 3 years ago | (#35283892)

Looks like a marketting department put these together.
Or a governmental propaganda - sorry, information - department.

Oh, that's what you already said that.

Privatized surveillance (1)

Animats (122034) | more than 3 years ago | (#35283458)

Here in the US, surveillance is privatized. The article [monkey.org] won't load because we have "google-analytics.com" blocked. Page load is stalled here:

<script type="text/javascript">

var _gaq = _gaq || [];
_gaq.push(['_setAccount', 'UA-20036650-1']);
_gaq.push(['_trackPageview']);

(function() {
var ga = document.createElement('script'); ga.type = 'text/javascript'; ga.async = true;
ga.src = ('https:' == document.location.protocol ? 'https://ssl' : 'http://www') + '.google-analytics.com/ga.js';
var s = document.getElementsByTagName('script')[0]; s.parentNode.insertBefore(ga, s);
})();

</script>

Big Google is watching you. And you can't turn him off.

Re:Privatized surveillance (1)

LanMan04 (790429) | more than 3 years ago | (#35283744)

It's funny that the page-load is blocked. Monkey.org is even using the more recent "asynchronous" Google Analytics code that's *not* supposed to affect page loads when blocked/slow.

Weird...

Re:Privatized surveillance (1)

Animats (122034) | more than 3 years ago | (#35284370)

It's funny that the page-load is blocked.

I know. I have FlashBlock installed, and BlockSite installed but disabled. I'm not running AdBlock. However, I have cookies and images blocked from many sites. I'm not sure what's making it stall.

When can we have an open internet like that? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35283596)

When can we have an open internet like that. You know, without the government spying (carnivore, omnivore), without the record companies compelling ISP's to spy (packeteer, Narus deep packet inspection, etc), internet kill switches, port blocking, throttling based on port/content, etc.. If all we had was either no-internet and internet, without 'internet with spying by friend and foe alike, manipulation by private interests, including ISP's bent on promoting their content while stifling competing content' etc, then I think a lot more people would be happy. The internet needs free and open competition, something controlled in the public interest, rather than something manipulated by private interests.

It's only one step (1)

Fuzzums (250400) | more than 3 years ago | (#35284412)

from wanting a internet kill switch and actually just pulling a plug or asking mobile operators to shut down their network.

Probably even now if a presidents wants the internet shut down, he will just send a friendly suggestion followed by the insinuation that there are also more "tactical" ways to get what he wants.

There's a App for that (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35285112)

http://itunes.apple.com/ca/app/worldpulse/id395085155?mt=8

Hobbits abound (1)

perlith (1133671) | more than 3 years ago | (#35285910)

Did anybody else read this as "Middle Earth" internet scorecard and hear a subtle "my precious" being hissed?
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