Egypt, Libya and Beyond

Libya No Fly Zone

The United Nations finally passed a resolution establishing a ‘No-Fly Zone’ in Libya. The resolution itself was not unanimous with the usual suspects (Russia, China, India who fear being taken to task for their own human rights abuse and oppressive policies of certain ethnic, cultural and religious groups)  abstaining. But that’s par for the course of most resolutions at the UN. While I’m pleased it was finally established, I fear it may well be too late to protect the Libyan people or the anti-Gaddafi forces who wish to oust the dictatorship from the Gaddafi’s military.

The question for the Obama administration is will this now become their equivalent of the Bush Doctrine that the left (including the President) maligned so much? Will it be implemented with equal regard in so called allied nations in which the governments are cracking down on their citizenry through violence such as Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Yemen, et al? Already we see right-wingers using the same anti-war tactics used by the left to malign the decision.

 

Egypt

Egypt’s march to reform and democracy continues, albeit slowly and not without some difficulties. Tomorrow a referendum is being held on Constitutional Amendments. Naturally the power vacuum had left Egypt divided with different groups, often at odds, trying to fill that power vacuum.

 

Africa

Whether fearful of the people sweeping away their dictatorships or holding them accountable for their corruption a large number of African nations are cracking down, sometimes violently on pro-democracy and pro-reform movements in their nations. The usual culprits are a part of this crowd: Mugabe (Zimbabwe), dos Santos (Angola), and Gbagbo (Ivory Coast).

 

Sadly world political leaders, even those in the West, still do not truly comprehend the anger and determination of the people of the world to be free of corruption and abuse of power. These so called leaders think a few placating words and a few shekels while implying threats if that isn’t enough for their lowly peons to accept. Meanwhile, the underlying problems that have sparked the anger and rebelliousness of the world wide population have not been addressed. While each regions problems are unique to them they all have a target to blame for these problems: their governments. Governments that fail to work in the best interests of their citizenry above their own selfishness and greed are doomed to fail as the people realize they’ve been betrayed by those who claim sovereignty over them. That betrayal, that greed, that selfishness, is ultimately what drives all revolutions.

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Libya

The uprising in Libya is both surprising and heartening. Surprising because the Gaddafi dictatorship has been so effective in maintaining its power through fear and oppression for so long and heartening to see the people realize they no longer have to be downtrodden by the so called leaders of the nation.

Will the protesters be successful in Libya as others have in Tunisia and Egypt? That remains to be seen, but I hope so. Like all people living in repressed regimes around the world, they deserve better than to be ruled by uncaring despots.

Sic Semper Tyrannis.

News Briefs 08 Jan 2009

Obama pushes stimulus, warns on recession | Reuters I’m highly skeptical of Obama’s neo-socialist attitude that only the government can solve the economic crisis, especially one that will only increase the debt left for future generations. The Federal Government can not be the cash cow for the country to turn o for money that doesn’t exist. History has shown government influence and control hinders economic recovery. Recent history even more so highlights this with the epic failure that was the so called Wall Street Bailout. Do we really want to trust a government that bankrupted the nation’s social programs and ran up massive deficits and debt over the past forty to fifty years to have greater influence in the economy as well? I, for one, do not.

Israel faces criticism as Gaza toll hits 765 | Reuters And why doesn’t anyone blame Hamas, a blantantly obvious terrorist organization, not held accountable for its attacks on civilians? Oh that’s right, only Israel does wrong. Everyone else in the ME is innocent, fluffy bunnies. /sarcasm Yes Israel has done some terrible things to Palestinians, but then so have the Palestinians done terrible things (to both themselves  and Israelis) as well by allowing the Arab world to use them as pawns to keep the corrupt Arab regimes in power for decades.

Microsoft’s Ballmer touts ‘best version of Windows ever’ – CNN.com
What’s funny is I thought Vista was the best version of Windows since the archaic 3.11. I know others had problems with Vista but I never really did. On the rare occasions I did I was always able to find a viable, easy solution. So go figure. Perhaps this means Windows 7 truly will be the ‘best version ever’. Perhaps not. I still like Unix/Linux systems (particularly Ubuntu) better even if I don’t use one at home.

I did get some amusement at the implication that they had developed a flexible screen. The Japanese came up with that nearly a decade ago. I remember seeing it on a Japanese tech news television program. I guess its good that it’s finally reached the US.

News Briefs 08 Jan 2009

Obama pushes stimulus, warns on recession | Reuters I’m highly skeptical of Obama’s neo-socialist attitude that only the government can solve the economic crisis, especially one that will only increase the debt left for future generations. The Federal Government can not be the cash cow for the country to turn o for money that doesn’t exist. History has shown government influence and control hinders economic recovery. Recent history even more so highlights this with the epic failure that was the so called Wall Street Bailout. Do we really want to trust a government that bankrupted the nation’s social programs and ran up massive deficits and debt over the past forty to fifty years to have greater influence in the economy as well? I, for one, do not.

Israel faces criticism as Gaza toll hits 765 | Reuters And why doesn’t anyone blame Hamas, a blantantly obvious terrorist organization, not held accountable for its attacks on civilians? Oh that’s right, only Israel does wrong. Everyone else in the ME is innocent, fluffy bunnies. /sarcasm Yes Israel has done some terrible things to Palestinians, but then so have the Palestinians done terrible things (to both themselves  and Israelis) as well by allowing the Arab world to use them as pawns to keep the corrupt Arab regimes in power for decades.

Microsoft’s Ballmer touts ‘best version of Windows ever’ – CNN.com
What’s funny is I thought Vista was the best version of Windows since the archaic 3.11. I know others had problems with Vista but I never really did. On the rare occasions I did I was always able to find a viable, easy solution. So go figure. Perhaps this means Windows 7 truly will be the ‘best version ever’. Perhaps not. I still like Unix/Linux systems (particularly Ubuntu) better even if I don’t use one at home.

I did get some amusement at the implication that they had developed a flexible screen. The Japanese came up with that nearly a decade ago. I remember seeing it on a Japanese tech news television program. I guess its good that it’s finally reached the US.

Lebanon Crisis

I’ve been following the current Lebanon crisis lately and fears of a new civil war, gleaning information from the usual news sources and from people like Sandmonkey, who I admire for pointing those of in the West to news bits we don’t hear about on our sanitized news networks. Especially interesting is seeing how the news in the ME is slanted (and out right propagandized in some cases) from one region to the next. While the situation is disheartening, obviously, it reassuring to see people in the region don’t all buy into the BS. But then there is the usual blame the Americans/Israel/The West/et al for what’s happening in Lebanon when in fact it’s just more thuggery on the part of Iran and it’s allies. Hopefully things will be settled quickly, though whether that is due to the Lebanese Army stepping in to end conflict or not remains to be seen.

Makes me wonder now if all the old militias of the Civil War will rise up again should full civil war return.  In many ways the situation on the ground really has not changed that much from the last civil war. Back then there were the Christian militias (Lebanese Forces, the Phalange, etc.), the Shia militias (Amal, Hezbollah, etc.), Sunni militias (al-Murabitun, etc.), the Druze militias (don’t remember any of their militias at the moment), and a smattering of others like the Palestine Liberation Organization, the Syrian Socialist Nationalist Party, some Baathists and other pan-Arabic, -democratic, -secular, and or -communists groups running around.

It is interesting to read some of the assorted blogs and Arabic websites to see everything from Hez supporters declaring complete victory to other saying the whole civil war is in fact staged and is a brilliant strategic move by others (insert your choice: Israel, the U.S., March 14, etc.) to lead to the eventual defeat and crushing of Hez and their allies once and for all. I don’t particularly buy any of that that but I suppose it is possible. Whatever happens, blood shed or not it’s not going to be pretty or easy.

Straight of Hormuz Incident

I find the whole incident getting interesting, especially with Iran’s flip-flop on that yes their ships were there but that the video and audio now being shown in the United States is fraudulent. Everyone knows Iran’s naval assets act more as pirates than a navy in the Straight of Hormuz such as the kidnapping British personnel. Basically it’s a wait and see as to whether Iran will choose to escalate it’s activities or back off as they have in the past.

The timing is curious, given Mr. Bush is now in the Middle East drumming up support on several issues: Palestine, Iraq, anti-terrorism and Iran.