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I am sure that all of us have been following the amazing things happening in the Middle East - from the power of the people in Tunisia and Egypt to the worrying situation in Libya.

I hav been following a lot of what is going on through the Amnesty website and thhought you may be interested in reading all about it too. It is from the Amnesty UK website so I hope that it works for all.

 

http://www.protectthehuma...nt=pthmenacamapigncentre

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Hey Zhiv,

Thanks for this.  Yes, I too have been following closely the events throughout the region including reading press coverage from various nations, following trending topics on Twitter, watching YouTube videos, checking out Facebook pages and keeping my computer tuned to Al-Jazeera/English's live news stream.  Al Jazeera is doing a great job, by the way, and is the only English-language news organization I have found which is providing a continuous live news stream on the web.

There are a zillion things I would like to  say.  My thoughts are a mixture of hope, apprehension and analysis.  It really is too soon to see how things will ultimately play out, but I am hoping for the best of all possible scenarios to emerge--the peaceful rise of responsive, healthy democratic institutions in Middle East and North African nations that are committed to achieving peace and progress throughout the world.  These are high hopes, to be certain.  There is great potential for great things, but also endless reasons why things could go terribly wrong.

Amidst all of this intellectual effort, however, there is one thought-trend in the global response that troubles me in particular.  This writer from The Economist does a pretty good job conveying it, so I will leave it to him to state:

 

The Economist

Libya and the higher bilge

Feb 27th 2011, 18:49 by Lexington

AT TIMES like these people do say some daft things. Most irritating have been the Western pundits whose first reaction to any sequence of events anywhere is to blame the West. First to catch my eye was repeat-offender Robert Fisk of the BritishIndependent. He's an excellent writer, but his opinions are frankly loopy. Considerthis:

The docile, supine, unregenerative, cringing Arabs of Orientalism have transformed themselves into fighters for the freedom, liberty and dignity which we Westerners have always assumed it was our unique role to play in the world. One after another, our satraps are falling, and the people we paid them to control are making their own history – our right to meddle in their affairs (which we will, of course, continue to exercise) has been diminished for ever.

Gimme a break. When in recent history did "we Westerners" think freedom, liberty and dignity should be uniquely ours? America and the European Union have tried for years to promote reform and democracy in the Arab world. We didn't pay the local "satraps" (neither Mubarak nor Qaddafi were our satraps anyway) to control their people. We paid them as part of the Camp David peace treaty not to make war on Israel (Egypt) or for their oil and gas (Libya).

Next up is the egregious John Pilger, who thinks the Arab revolts show that the West in general and the United States in particular are "fascist":

The revolt in the Arab world is against not merely a resident dictator, but a worldwide economic tyranny, designed by the US Treasury and imposed by the US Agency for International Development, the IMF and the World Bank, which have ensured that rich countries such as Egypt are reduced to vast sweatshops, with 40 per cent of the population earning less than $2 a day. The people's triumph in Cairo was the first blow against what Benito Mussolini called corporatism, a word that appears in his definition of fascism.

I don't know why the formerly serious New Statesman gives Pilger house room (actually I do: depressingly, they sell a few more copies when he's on the cover). Maybe he hasn't noticed, but what most of the Arab protesters say they want are the very freedoms that they know full well, even if Pilger doesn't, to be available in the West. No doubt he believes they are labouring under some massive mind-control delusion engineered by the CIA.

http://www.economist.com/blogs/lexington/2011/02/westerners_against_west

 

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Hey Zhiv,

Thanks for this.  Yes, I too have been following closely the events throughout the region including reading press coverage from various nations, following trending topics on Twitter, watching YouTube videos, checking out Facebook pages and keeping my computer tuned to Al-Jazeera/English's live news stream.  Al Jazeera is doing a great job, by the way, and is the only English-language news organization I have found which is providing a continuous live news stream on the web.

There are a zillion things I would like to  say.  My thoughts are a mixture of hope, apprehension and analysis.  It really is too soon to see how things will ultimately play out, but I am hoping for the best of all possible scenarios to emerge--the peaceful rise of responsive, healthy democratic institutions in Middle East and North African nations that are committed to achieving peace and progress throughout the world.  These are high hopes, to be certain.  There is great potential for great things, but also endless reasons why things could go terribly wrong.

Amidst all of this intellectual effort, however, there is one thought-trend in the global response that troubles me in particular.  This writer from The Economist does a pretty good job conveying it, so I will leave it to him to state:

 

The Economist

Libya and the higher bilge

Feb 27th 2011, 18:49 by Lexington

AT TIMES like these people do say some daft things. Most irritating have been the Western pundits whose first reaction to any sequence of events anywhere is to blame the West. First to catch my eye was repeat-offender Robert Fisk of the BritishIndependent. He's an excellent writer, but his opinions are frankly loopy. Considerthis:

The docile, supine, unregenerative, cringing Arabs of Orientalism have transformed themselves into fighters for the freedom, liberty and dignity which we Westerners have always assumed it was our unique role to play in the world. One after another, our satraps are falling, and the people we paid them to control are making their own history – our right to meddle in their affairs (which we will, of course, continue to exercise) has been diminished for ever.

Gimme a break. When in recent history did "we Westerners" think freedom, liberty and dignity should be uniquely ours? America and the European Union have tried for years to promote reform and democracy in the Arab world. We didn't pay the local "satraps" (neither Mubarak nor Qaddafi were our satraps anyway) to control their people. We paid them as part of the Camp David peace treaty not to make war on Israel (Egypt) or for their oil and gas (Libya).

Next up is the egregious John Pilger, who thinks the Arab revolts show that the West in general and the United States in particular are "fascist":

The revolt in the Arab world is against not merely a resident dictator, but a worldwide economic tyranny, designed by the US Treasury and imposed by the US Agency for International Development, the IMF and the World Bank, which have ensured that rich countries such as Egypt are reduced to vast sweatshops, with 40 per cent of the population earning less than $2 a day. The people's triumph in Cairo was the first blow against what Benito Mussolini called corporatism, a word that appears in his definition of fascism.

I don't know why the formerly serious New Statesman gives Pilger house room (actually I do: depressingly, they sell a few more copies when he's on the cover). Maybe he hasn't noticed, but what most of the Arab protesters say they want are the very freedoms that they know full well, even if Pilger doesn't, to be available in the West. No doubt he believes they are labouring under some massive mind-control delusion engineered by the CIA.

http://www.economist.com/blogs/lexington/2011/02/westerners_against_west

 

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Hey Zhiv,

Thanks for this.  Yes, I too have been following closely the events throughout the region including reading press coverage from various nations, following trending topics on Twitter, watching YouTube videos, checking out Facebook pages and keeping my computer tuned to Al-Jazeera/English's live news stream.  Al Jazeera is doing a great job, by the way, and is the only English-language news organization I have found which is providing a continuous live news stream on the web.

There are a zillion things I would like to  say.  My thoughts are a mixture of hope, apprehension and analysis.  It really is too soon to see how things will ultimately play out, but I am hoping for the best of all possible scenarios to emerge--the peaceful rise of responsive, healthy democratic institutions in Middle East and North African nations that are committed to achieving peace and progress throughout the world.  These are high hopes, to be certain.  There is great potential for great things, but also endless reasons why things could go terribly wrong.

Amidst all of this intellectual effort, however, there is one thought-trend in the global response that troubles me in particular.  This writer from The Economist does a pretty good job conveying it, so I will leave it to him to state:

 

The Economist

Libya and the higher bilge

Feb 27th 2011, 18:49 by Lexington

AT TIMES like these people do say some daft things. Most irritating have been the Western pundits whose first reaction to any sequence of events anywhere is to blame the West. First to catch my eye was repeat-offender Robert Fisk of the BritishIndependent. He's an excellent writer, but his opinions are frankly loopy. Considerthis:

The docile, supine, unregenerative, cringing Arabs of Orientalism have transformed themselves into fighters for the freedom, liberty and dignity which we Westerners have always assumed it was our unique role to play in the world. One after another, our satraps are falling, and the people we paid them to control are making their own history – our right to meddle in their affairs (which we will, of course, continue to exercise) has been diminished for ever.

Gimme a break. When in recent history did "we Westerners" think freedom, liberty and dignity should be uniquely ours? America and the European Union have tried for years to promote reform and democracy in the Arab world. We didn't pay the local "satraps" (neither Mubarak nor Qaddafi were our satraps anyway) to control their people. We paid them as part of the Camp David peace treaty not to make war on Israel (Egypt) or for their oil and gas (Libya).

Next up is the egregious John Pilger, who thinks the Arab revolts show that the West in general and the United States in particular are "fascist":

The revolt in the Arab world is against not merely a resident dictator, but a worldwide economic tyranny, designed by the US Treasury and imposed by the US Agency for International Development, the IMF and the World Bank, which have ensured that rich countries such as Egypt are reduced to vast sweatshops, with 40 per cent of the population earning less than $2 a day. The people's triumph in Cairo was the first blow against what Benito Mussolini called corporatism, a word that appears in his definition of fascism.

I don't know why the formerly serious New Statesman gives Pilger house room (actually I do: depressingly, they sell a few more copies when he's on the cover). Maybe he hasn't noticed, but what most of the Arab protesters say they want are the very freedoms that they know full well, even if Pilger doesn't, to be available in the West. No doubt he believes they are labouring under some massive mind-control delusion engineered by the CIA.

http://www.economist.com/blogs/lexington/2011/02/westerners_against_west

 

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The Economist

What the Arab papers say

Feb 27th 2011, 9:49 by J.D | LONDON

20110226_MAP510.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

IN LIBYA the bloodshed continues, as does Muammar Qaddafi’s defiance in the face of his people’s protests and international outrage. Arab commentators have been scrutinising those who have supported Mr Qaddafi over the years, wondering what can be done to prevent further violence and asking and how the various Arab revolutions will cope with challenges of making the transition to democracy.  

In response to criticism of Arab diplomatic collusion with Mr Qaddafi, the Arab League has suspended his membership. Khalid al-Zubayday in a Jordanian newspaper, al-Dostourpoints to Arab protest movements as proof of the failure of traditional Arab leadership:

The accumulation of centralised power by these governments and their refusal to grant even the most basic rights to their citizens has now led to their own downfall. Most importantly, the youth movement has not harnassed any religious ideology, nor has it looked to traditional leader. They talked lots and did little, while the young people talked little but achieved a great deal, laying the ground for the Arab nation to reclaim its rightful status. 

The future of the people of the region is at stake.

In al-Hayat, a Saudi-owned pan-Arab daily, Randa Takieddine criticises Western leaders who she says have overlooked Mr Qaddafi’s human-rights abuses in recent years:  

This "leader" has, for many years, wasted the wealth of his country, kept his people under lock and key, and nurtured terrorist movements from east to west. And now he is wildly trying to kill off those of his compatriots who would rather die than let him cling to power any longer. Europe and America carry a large part of the responsibility for this because they opened their doors to Qaddafi, rushing to rehabilitate him among the international community. 

The Libyan state-owned media have covered pro-Qaddafi demonstrations and published outright threats against anti-government demonstrators. But a staff editorial in Quryna, a Libyan newspaper owned by Mr Qaddafi’s son, Saif al-Islam, seems to be trying to find the middle ground, implying that the anti-Qaddafi movement is no longer peaceful but calling on all parties to refrain from violence: 

While the first three days of demonstration were peaceful, in the last few days they have devolved into a gruesome slaughter, horrifying to all, without exception… Many have been killed in the two-day-long clashes with demonstrators at the headquarters of the al-Fadeel Abou ‘Umar brigade in the al-Kaysh district. Although our role as journalists is normally to investigate events objectively and analyse them, we felt compelled to urgently call on the city’s religious leaders, social elite, and all citizens of conscience to move, peacefully, to prevent further casualties.

The London-based Libyan newspaper Libya Al-Youm has published many pro-revolution editorials, including this appeal to Libyans by Mr al-Ameen Balhajj, a former spokesman for the Muslim Brotherhood in Libya:

My compatriots of august Libya, my fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters, sons, and daughters, I greet each one of you with great pride for we Libyans have ignited the spark of freedom. We have broken the wall of fear and have dispersed the clouds of hesitance. We all now have but one path, one goal: that Libya, for whose freedom our forefathers fought, should become a state governed by the rule of law.

Some commentators, however, remain concerned about the future of post-revolutionary Arab states. Hazim Saghiya, in al-Hayat again, tries to address the dual concerns of human rights and stability, recognising the challenges that a post-Qaddafi Libya may face with the meeting the protesters’ demands: 

The fact is that history cannot be wiped away to leave a clean slate. Championing the most progressive ideas, believing in them fervently doesn’t necessarily mean they are feasible. There are broader realities to be contended with, the most important of which is the objective ability to make revolution or democracy implementable...None of this should be taken to mean that the masses should just submit to their regimes’ blackmailing logic that says you are either for us and for stability, or for change and anarchy...What can be said about the Libyan regime except that it defies all analysis and theorising? Perhaps just that it alone–and not those rising up against it–bears responsibility for the chaos and violence which have been unleashed.

For more translated commentary from the Arab press, visit Meedan.net

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The Economist

What the Arab papers say

Feb 27th 2011, 9:49 by J.D | LONDON

20110226_MAP510.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

IN LIBYA the bloodshed continues, as does Muammar Qaddafi’s defiance in the face of his people’s protests and international outrage. Arab commentators have been scrutinising those who have supported Mr Qaddafi over the years, wondering what can be done to prevent further violence and asking and how the various Arab revolutions will cope with challenges of making the transition to democracy.  

In response to criticism of Arab diplomatic collusion with Mr Qaddafi, the Arab League has suspended his membership. Khalid al-Zubayday in a Jordanian newspaper, al-Dostourpoints to Arab protest movements as proof of the failure of traditional Arab leadership:

The accumulation of centralised power by these governments and their refusal to grant even the most basic rights to their citizens has now led to their own downfall. Most importantly, the youth movement has not harnassed any religious ideology, nor has it looked to traditional leader. They talked lots and did little, while the young people talked little but achieved a great deal, laying the ground for the Arab nation to reclaim its rightful status. 

The future of the people of the region is at stake.

In al-Hayat, a Saudi-owned pan-Arab daily, Randa Takieddine criticises Western leaders who she says have overlooked Mr Qaddafi’s human-rights abuses in recent years:  

This "leader" has, for many years, wasted the wealth of his country, kept his people under lock and key, and nurtured terrorist movements from east to west. And now he is wildly trying to kill off those of his compatriots who would rather die than let him cling to power any longer. Europe and America carry a large part of the responsibility for this because they opened their doors to Qaddafi, rushing to rehabilitate him among the international community. 

The Libyan state-owned media have covered pro-Qaddafi demonstrations and published outright threats against anti-government demonstrators. But a staff editorial in Quryna, a Libyan newspaper owned by Mr Qaddafi’s son, Saif al-Islam, seems to be trying to find the middle ground, implying that the anti-Qaddafi movement is no longer peaceful but calling on all parties to refrain from violence: 

While the first three days of demonstration were peaceful, in the last few days they have devolved into a gruesome slaughter, horrifying to all, without exception… Many have been killed in the two-day-long clashes with demonstrators at the headquarters of the al-Fadeel Abou ‘Umar brigade in the al-Kaysh district. Although our role as journalists is normally to investigate events objectively and analyse them, we felt compelled to urgently call on the city’s religious leaders, social elite, and all citizens of conscience to move, peacefully, to prevent further casualties.

The London-based Libyan newspaper Libya Al-Youm has published many pro-revolution editorials, including this appeal to Libyans by Mr al-Ameen Balhajj, a former spokesman for the Muslim Brotherhood in Libya:

My compatriots of august Libya, my fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters, sons, and daughters, I greet each one of you with great pride for we Libyans have ignited the spark of freedom. We have broken the wall of fear and have dispersed the clouds of hesitance. We all now have but one path, one goal: that Libya, for whose freedom our forefathers fought, should become a state governed by the rule of law.

Some commentators, however, remain concerned about the future of post-revolutionary Arab states. Hazim Saghiya, in al-Hayat again, tries to address the dual concerns of human rights and stability, recognising the challenges that a post-Qaddafi Libya may face with the meeting the protesters’ demands: 

The fact is that history cannot be wiped away to leave a clean slate. Championing the most progressive ideas, believing in them fervently doesn’t necessarily mean they are feasible. There are broader realities to be contended with, the most important of which is the objective ability to make revolution or democracy implementable...None of this should be taken to mean that the masses should just submit to their regimes’ blackmailing logic that says you are either for us and for stability, or for change and anarchy...What can be said about the Libyan regime except that it defies all analysis and theorising? Perhaps just that it alone–and not those rising up against it–bears responsibility for the chaos and violence which have been unleashed.

For more translated commentary from the Arab press, visit Meedan.net

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The Economist

What the Arab papers say

Feb 27th 2011, 9:49 by J.D | LONDON

20110226_MAP510.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

IN LIBYA the bloodshed continues, as does Muammar Qaddafi’s defiance in the face of his people’s protests and international outrage. Arab commentators have been scrutinising those who have supported Mr Qaddafi over the years, wondering what can be done to prevent further violence and asking and how the various Arab revolutions will cope with challenges of making the transition to democracy.  

In response to criticism of Arab diplomatic collusion with Mr Qaddafi, the Arab League has suspended his membership. Khalid al-Zubayday in a Jordanian newspaper, al-Dostourpoints to Arab protest movements as proof of the failure of traditional Arab leadership:

The accumulation of centralised power by these governments and their refusal to grant even the most basic rights to their citizens has now led to their own downfall. Most importantly, the youth movement has not harnassed any religious ideology, nor has it looked to traditional leader. They talked lots and did little, while the young people talked little but achieved a great deal, laying the ground for the Arab nation to reclaim its rightful status. 

The future of the people of the region is at stake.

In al-Hayat, a Saudi-owned pan-Arab daily, Randa Takieddine criticises Western leaders who she says have overlooked Mr Qaddafi’s human-rights abuses in recent years:  

This "leader" has, for many years, wasted the wealth of his country, kept his people under lock and key, and nurtured terrorist movements from east to west. And now he is wildly trying to kill off those of his compatriots who would rather die than let him cling to power any longer. Europe and America carry a large part of the responsibility for this because they opened their doors to Qaddafi, rushing to rehabilitate him among the international community. 

The Libyan state-owned media have covered pro-Qaddafi demonstrations and published outright threats against anti-government demonstrators. But a staff editorial in Quryna, a Libyan newspaper owned by Mr Qaddafi’s son, Saif al-Islam, seems to be trying to find the middle ground, implying that the anti-Qaddafi movement is no longer peaceful but calling on all parties to refrain from violence: 

While the first three days of demonstration were peaceful, in the last few days they have devolved into a gruesome slaughter, horrifying to all, without exception… Many have been killed in the two-day-long clashes with demonstrators at the headquarters of the al-Fadeel Abou ‘Umar brigade in the al-Kaysh district. Although our role as journalists is normally to investigate events objectively and analyse them, we felt compelled to urgently call on the city’s religious leaders, social elite, and all citizens of conscience to move, peacefully, to prevent further casualties.

The London-based Libyan newspaper Libya Al-Youm has published many pro-revolution editorials, including this appeal to Libyans by Mr al-Ameen Balhajj, a former spokesman for the Muslim Brotherhood in Libya:

My compatriots of august Libya, my fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters, sons, and daughters, I greet each one of you with great pride for we Libyans have ignited the spark of freedom. We have broken the wall of fear and have dispersed the clouds of hesitance. We all now have but one path, one goal: that Libya, for whose freedom our forefathers fought, should become a state governed by the rule of law.

Some commentators, however, remain concerned about the future of post-revolutionary Arab states. Hazim Saghiya, in al-Hayat again, tries to address the dual concerns of human rights and stability, recognising the challenges that a post-Qaddafi Libya may face with the meeting the protesters’ demands: 

The fact is that history cannot be wiped away to leave a clean slate. Championing the most progressive ideas, believing in them fervently doesn’t necessarily mean they are feasible. There are broader realities to be contended with, the most important of which is the objective ability to make revolution or democracy implementable...None of this should be taken to mean that the masses should just submit to their regimes’ blackmailing logic that says you are either for us and for stability, or for change and anarchy...What can be said about the Libyan regime except that it defies all analysis and theorising? Perhaps just that it alone–and not those rising up against it–bears responsibility for the chaos and violence which have been unleashed.

For more translated commentary from the Arab press, visit Meedan.net

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The world is speaking and it's been a long time coming. You can only starve, beat and treat people like crap for so long before they will rise up and be counted.

 

I don't think this will be the last country to stand up for it's self, I suspect it is just the begining.

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Colonel Gaddafi just doesn't understand when the Libyans have had enough of him. Drugs? What a useless excuse. There's no escape for him now. It's depart or die. Your choice, Gaddafi.
I about laughed out loud when I heard about that. I also saw bits of interviews with his sons, and they seem to be about as delusional as their father. I do hope that for once he does right by his people and steps down peacefully.
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