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What's your opinion about the Arab's revolution?

Tunisia,Egypt the first coutries that excite revolution in the Arab world,because of dictatorship.

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    May 8 2011: I think what's important here is not to look for any single narrative of Arab revolution. One has to understand that such a characterization of these revolutions is political rather than objective. All of these countries are contested spaces themselves and a political revolution is not necessary going to lead to any kind of emancipation, no matter the brave rhetoric surrounding many of the revolutionaries. Indeed, how many of those revolutionaries are in political power now in these countries? How many people in these countries attempted revolution and received a well gift-wrapped reshuffling?

    Egypt is no more democratic under its military than it was under its former political leader. But most of that doesn't seem to matter if they don't have any control over their economics, no economic democracy. They can shuffle their leadership all they want, but they and other countries won't control any aspect of their lives without becoming more self-reliant and more able to deal with the structural issues of being a country and region of limited industry and many potential resources with moderate exposure to global economics. To make a choice to coordinate with the global economy and other structural issues is a luxury, however, so I suspect many of these political revolutions will be ineffectual insofar as they attempt to provide more democracy.

    Now, this assumes that democracy is the goal. Yet, even if it wasn't democracy and they were pursuing but something else, even then it would be tough unless, especially in Egypt's case, it could be attempted through militarism. But then that creates its own problems, as most modern nation's history will suggest. So, I see certain problems in these revolutions. What I care about here is the narrative that people can change their government's actions if they just get involved. I think that's something we need to preserve and promote. However, we need to back that up with practicalities that follow through on these promises.
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    May 2 2011: I have a great hope that it represents a positive step for the people of the region. But a moderate fear that things could go wrong.

    What is your opinion Musenim? And what do you think of the foreign involvement in Libya?
  • May 2 2011: Yes,an arab proverb says "Who walked on the path arrived"
    the essential issue is that the situation change for our child.
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    May 2 2011: it's better late than never
  • May 8 2011: Hi Lindsay,
    All of those stories are the everyday news on the local channels. but what about the Russia on Regan days, those days are over, the world is so different today. Just go to the google trends ( and you'll get valuable information on what other people are thinking right now on some far place, more information than 007 can get for years on past days ! This is how easy it is now.
    Remember "tiananmen square massacre" in 1989 in china, no one until now knows the exact (or even estimate) of the number of victims. Why? Because of the media restrictions.
    Thankfully, we have Internet now, facebook ,twitter, youtube...etc and everyone now is a news reporter.
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      May 8 2011: Hello, Tofig. Yes of course it is a new world ofi nformation. I was suggesting the scary possibility that even with all the informatin we have now on the internet our president and key officials are just as closed off from reality on the ground as Regan was. And that would be even more distrubing as the presidents aides and top advisors have no excuse now for wrong information.( and maybe that's easier tolive with than seeing people i believed in..Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama..telling bald face lies..that's very hard for me.. I'd rather believe they were somehow uninformed or misnformed.
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    May 8 2011: a wonderful and relevant background to this talk on one country..IRAN brought to u sby Debra Smith at another talk
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    May 8 2011: Wanted also to bring you this very good back ground to the LibyanCivil War and the role of key international players leading up to theno-fly zone. An interesting analysis here on how Tunisia and Egypt inspired a sort of hardening of a long brewing, unarmed resistance and opposition toa full fledged armed civil war.
  • May 5 2011: in your opinion how much Arab's revolution are influenced from Iran revolution?
    if Iran revolution did not happen, now Arab's revolution happened or not?
    what is your idea?
  • May 5 2011: I thought I will never see these changes during my life, and so I am excited and happy for the freedom of people.
    I also understand that these moments are so historic and definitely a step forward toward a more civilized, corruption-free and democratic countries.
    Religions, sectarian,ethnicity, tribalism...etc, still plays a very huge part on everyday life of the people here. And I think these are the most issues that could bring backward these movements toward democracy.
    Even simple rules like "live and lit live" might not be acceptable under some of those believes, moreover the simple definition of democracy "the people will" might not be accepted as opposed to "the god will".

    Having said that, in no way we should consider that the ex-regimes might in anyway be considered as "best available" as that just the rise of the people toward understanding their rights and the ability to change still a big step forward toward democracy.
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      May 5 2011: But did you notice? There is no freedom for the poeple emerging? Has the US acknowledged the Libyan Transition Council? Do you think any of the issues the revolutionaries in Egypt sought are even on the table any more? There is no myth that the revolts and unrest are legitimate and urgent and speak to truths about condituions for most people in these countries. In Egypt people were paying 80% of theri wags for food..people with advanced degrees wroking several menial jobs and still poor. Thata is what these uprisings are about. But the pople are hetting neither a chance to share in the riches of their nations nor any freedoms which might lead to that. The story in Egypt, in Iraq, in Bahrain, in Libya is the same. Oil is Bad for Democray. Democracy is bad for oil.
      • May 5 2011: I would have to disagree with you regarding the story behind each country:
        - Libya: Oil country, revolution went so bad and violent there because of excessive use of force from Gadhafi,US still didn't acknowledged the LTC although I believe France & Italy did.

        Egypt: Not an Oil country, It was "almost" peaceful, looks like peaceful military coup by now but people there trust their military leaders to guide them through the transition to a constitutional democracy, and trust me they are watching very closely, they knew the game now !

        Iraq: Oil country, war, bombing , sectarian, and now revolution ? wait against who ? Iraq government ? US Forces ? Al Qaeda bombers ? People had enough there and didn't see that much revolution.

        Bahrain: very few oil left there for the very few population , but hey! Take care the majority of the of the people are Shiite (backed from Iran) and the ruler family are Sunni (backed by the other oil gulf countries), now that revolution could turn into regional and sectarian war!! And even the most supposedly "fair & balanced" arab media networks that heavily covered other revolutions did not give enough coverage for the chaos took place in Bahrain.

        Other than these differences, I believe the region has many years (if not decades) to come and many sacrifices until the people of the region accept their differences and truly understand the meaning of "the will of the people".
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          May 5 2011: have laid out much ground there and you are absoultely right that each country is it s own story and we should honor and distibguish that here if we are to really understand what is going on . By the way,I was not associating all with oil...only Iraq and Libya. I have only followed closely and been writing about Libya and Egypt so those are really the only two where I have enouh grasp of history, background and current events to speak with any credibility. So I'll stick to that. Here I will speak to your specific assertions above.. For Egypt..Human Rights Watch and others say otherwise as to trust between the revolutinaries and the militray government. In fact Human Rights watch documented many many instances of torture and abuse of the revolutionaries and it is well documented and extensively reported that the militray "trasnition government" has acted to try and suppress freedoms and precent public gatherings. All of these are facts, not opinion. And the reason I lay them out here isn't to win points in a debate with you because, quite the contrary, I support and encourage you in this much needed opportunity to see the truth about each of these revolts in the middle east. I hope that is what you want too...not cheerleading for dsme myths about the revolution in Egypt..but a responsble and discerning examination of the truth of that.
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          May 6 2011: Hi Richard Oil Is Bad For Democracy/Democracy is Bad for oil..Ii din't coin it..I saw it im recent travels on oil, libya, egypt..if I can find the link Ill paste here by edit.. The idea was essentially that foreign investor owners in countries with vast oil resources dont want a demicratic government in place because that might lead to protections and limitations on the recovery and export of oil fair labor laws, polution, maximizing local employment, air and water polution etc. etc. In fact many argue tha our interventions in ILibya was really baout a series of major moves Qadhaffi ( the spelling I have chosen out of the hundred used) toward nationalization of oil. One assumes that a truly democratic key oil nation would want that oil to work for the benfit of its people. I don't know much about Saudi Arabai..but I believe their policies are very protective against outside influences in the extraction and export of oil. The other side of that Oil is bad for that dictators and puppet overnemnts of foreign imperialist interests ( that would be us usually) are easily harnessed to keeping policies in place which serve our interests..they are happy with the welath and power they can attain. And of course the two work together against a revolution that could bring atrue democracy.
      • May 5 2011: Lindsay, that's exactly what we are doing on TED, exchanging knowledge , getting different point of views from diversity of cultures and afcorse spreading ideas.
        Regarding the Human Rights Watch on Egypt, I didn't really knew about (or might been blocked) so I'll do some searching.
        Thanks a lot
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          May 5 2011: Tofig..and I will try to bring some cites/links here on that.. I think we are working from the same side of the field on this..that our hearts and support ar with th epeople who are revolting and that our hope for them..what we wowuld ike to help them accompish is to have a government where there voices are heard and there legitimate needs and demands are heard and addressed.
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          May 8 2011: Hi Tofig..I wanted to bring this pre-flyover CNN story here to you and this conversation which suggests to me that the UN was the source of the idea that "humanitarian relief" was needed in Libya.'s interesting to me both its differences from Human Rights Watch reports and others and in the strange telling of the story in this article. How are we to ever know the truth on anything?. Suzanne Massie, whose full account will soon be released in a book, appeared in a recent segment of a History Chanel series looking at moments in history where we came close to global war. Her know account of events leading up to the Gneneva Summit with Russiais that the US, including President Regan, had no idea at all what was really going on in Russia. The information Regan was getting from his top advisors to us to war.In the segment her story is corroborated by top whitehouse officials at the time, including Robert McNamara. This story reminds me of Suzanne's eye opening account on the real story in Russia. No wonder we ordinary citizens find it hard to know the truth when even heads of state, as in Regans case, are mis advised. I am going to do some more work to tru and reconcile the UN account, as repprted in the CNN story, the story that ultimately lead to our involvement in Libya, and the story on the graound at the time among Human Rights Watch and other international human right monitors.
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    May 2 2011: I feel the example the Arab world is setting is exactly what the founder's of America would have supported strongly.
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      May 5 2011: Hi Nicholas..lyes, in terms of the folk who are rebeling and even a lot of the exact thing sthey were rebelling about it is like us in 1776 like the French revolution,, But. we ended up with our declaration of independence, our consitution, our democracy. My concern is that theseyoung diensfrachised oppressed folk have staged their revolt and forces at play are frustrating, suppressing and defeating their having the government the sought..In Egypt I am not even so sure the removal of Mubarak was caused by their demands..I thinkt sposisble their demands gave the military a great excuse to get rid of him. It was all very phiny that "trusted military " stuff. I really fear for the safety and the future of the younf revolutionaries in Egyp and for the Libyan rebels. (I have been following Egypt and libya in some depth for a while..not my usual veue but I amvery compelled by what is going on and what is not going on..
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        May 5 2011: I feel you find value in this thread.

        I read the filers/information the protesters were giving out/spreading out. I would like to note they emphasized to not use facebook and twitter because they can be easily monitored.

        Although these people are not philosophers and politicians, they are wise enough to work together.

        I just wish more Americans would learn the from these activities. Even countries like Greece have their nation past time set at protesting. Power of the people is the only power that is to be feared.
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          May 5 2011: I agree with you Nicholas..we have this vast potential to connect with each other on anyting all over the wolrd. and bring about amzing things...I think we are still evolving the "e-instituons"" that all us to do that. Faecbook and twitter got our young friends to Tahir squre to stand before th world but we need a fabric of some TED Conversation help keep focus and build knowledge. I have no idea what it might look like or how itmight work but it is our best hope..truly and we have to figure out how to do that.

          by the way..nice to see you
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    May 2 2011: I guess my feelings about it are joyful but wary. I hope that the people of these countries see stablity, human rights enforced for all and the government of their own choosing which follows the people's collective will. I hope that all of this comes true soon and leads to happier, healthier lives for all the citizens.
  • May 2 2011: I'm against foreign involvement in Libya ,but i'm also against killing libyans people by the forces of Gaddafi.
    So i will choose the one who less costly.
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      May 5 2011: actually if you read the Human Rights WatchReports on Qadhaffi (on eof many spellings..don't know how i settled on this one) he did not have any record of brutality nd he was very careful, according to them, in avoiding any civii lan damage.Just recently rhe african nation sleceted Qadhaffi to repent them on the UN Human Rights Committee and he was approved. Again, according to Human Rights Watch..right there on the groud, monitoring, there was no humaitarian emergency to justify NATO intervention..while those who stayed and fought were definitely targeted by Qadhaffi he did also iffer all rebels a safe passge out throughh Egypt. ( In libya of course it was a long term civil war..not all a sudden uprising as in Egypt). I am convinbced by all I have seen that we did not go in for anything even vaguely closely to humanitarian reasons. Our ability to even know whta is going in is very much at the eart of Alisa Millers News about the News and ger TED conversation on who we trust in the news and to me also about our own governmnet diseeminating disinformation to the press. What we all think we know about Egypt and Libya is not excatly the reality for our youn freedom fighter over there.
  • May 2 2011: I hope that other countries like, Yemen and Libye to have his liberty at
    The earliest.
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      May 5 2011: of course we all hop e that..but is that actually possible? did you look ? ( this comment of mine thread is out of place in the sequence..nt where I intededit..I am not saying to musenim.."Did you look")