Results 1 to 10 of 10

Thread: Egyptian Copts, reeling from violence, want protection

  1. #1
    Sage

    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    New York
    Last Seen
    12-13-17 @ 12:40 PM
    Gender
    Lean
    Centrist
    Posts
    11,691

    Egyptian Copts, reeling from violence, want protection

    From CNN:

    Muslim-Christian sectarian violence intensified in Egypt this weekend, spurring an emergency meeting of the Cabinet and public exhortations from Coptic Christians for international protection...

    Problems between Egypt's Muslim majority and its Coptic Christian minority have been on the rise in recent months, with a number of violent clashes reported between the two groups. Tensions flared after a recently-published U.S. government report on international religious freedom detailed the hostility targeting the minority Copts in the predominantly Muslim society.
    Egyptian Copts, reeling from violence, want protection - CNN.com

    In general, in countries in which ethnic or other longstanding divisions exist, tensions can be diffuses through two mechanisms:

    1) Vibrant representative institutions widely viewed as legitimate and sufficient protections of minority rights (constitution + robust judiciary).

    2) A heavy-handed government that suppresses the divisions.

    Canada and the U.S., among other nations, are characterized by the former situation. Egypt under President Mubarak was characterized by the latter situation. So was Yugoslavia under President Tito. When central power eroded, the centrifugal forces associated with the divisions gained strength. In Yugoslavia, two painful episodes of civil war (Balkans civil war between the Serbs, Croats, and Bosnian Muslims and later the Kosovo conflict) resulted. In the months since President Mubarak's ouster, violence between Egypt's Muslim and Copt communities has increased.

    Egypt won't necessarily go Yugoslavia's way. The military remains the most formidable force in society. Egypt's post-Mubarak era could be one characterized by more representative government under a framework that preserves military dominance. That framework could, ultimately, slam the lid on Muslim-Copt tensions, so long as they don't get out of hand before such a framework is in place. On the other hand, an attempt at representative government prior to the development of robust institutions and a constitutional framework that protects minority rights, could lead to continued and even greater violence between the two communities, much as things played out in Iraq following Saddam Hussein's ouster.

    Right now, the transitional period represents uncertainty and ambiguity. Central power in Egypt is weaker than it was during the Mubarak era. Not surprisingly, long-simmering tensions between the two communities are playing out and in increasingly violent fashion.

  2. #2
    Sage
    Erod's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    North Texas
    Last Seen
    Yesterday @ 11:47 AM
    Lean
    Conservative
    Posts
    13,073

    Re: Egyptian Copts, reeling from violence, want protection

    Don't overestimate these people. They've been here...and there...longer than anyone else on the planet, and they're batting 0-for-3,000 in trying to implement anything resembling a truly representative government concerned with the rights of ALL its people.

    That's why we were better off with Mubarak in power. It's the only type of government understood in that part of the world.

  3. #3
    Sage
    ric27's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Last Seen
    06-15-17 @ 02:57 PM
    Gender
    Lean
    Independent
    Posts
    7,539

    Re: Egyptian Copts, reeling from violence, want protection

    Quote Originally Posted by Erod View Post

    That's why we were better off with Mubarak in power. It's the only type of government understood in that part of the world.
    You are correct, sir!

    What would have been better than Mubarak and what were the possible results?

    Mubarak maintained the peace with Israel that was started by Sadat. A successor might have kept that going, but historically (everywhere), when a new regime takes over, either through coup, revolution or election, they seek to separate themselves from the prior government and there is a good chance (not a certainty) that a changeover would result in a rejection of the Israeli peace treaty. Something that the Muslim Brotherhood is considering doing.

  4. #4
    Sage

    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    New York
    Last Seen
    12-13-17 @ 12:40 PM
    Gender
    Lean
    Centrist
    Posts
    11,691

    Re: Egyptian Copts, reeling from violence, want protection

    In general, the political arrangement of countries is a function of structure (history, culture, traditions, circumstances) and institutions. It is no accident that the Mideast has the governments it has. That Western liberal democracy does not exist outside of Israel is a consequence of the region's structural and institutional framework. That Iraq, even eight years after the war is, at best, protodemocratic with its government largely promoting the interests of the Shia above those of all other groups is consistent with Iraq's structure and institutions. Hence, one should be cautious about looking forward to the emergence and continuation of liberal democracy in countries currently experiencing popular uprisings. Proclamations of an interest in democracy among the Eastern Libya-based anti-Gadhafi movement and current anti-Assad movement in Syria should be taken with a grain of salt. The belief that Egypt and Tunisia will rapidly become functioning representative governments is also likely to be too optimistic. Some greater elements of representative government could emerge, but there will be factors that likely prove limiting e.g., in Egypt the military will remain the dominant institution. In Iran, even with current political tensions between Ayatollah Khamenei and President Ahmadinejad, liberal democracy is unlikely anytime soon. In Bahrain, the popular movement has been turned aside. Saudi Arabia's monarchy remains entrenched. Jordan is experimenting with gradual liberalization, but significant risks may lie ahead.

    IMO, the U.S. should pursue a regional policy that best safeguards its critical interests in the region. Hence, while the U.S. can and should affirm its support for democratic principles and human rights, it should be cautious about taking substantive measures e.g., military measures, to pick sides, except when it has critical interests at risk by one side or another. It should assert that the political evolution of countries is a domestic and internal affair prefaced by the note that it would act to safeguard its critical interests and allies.

    Hence, I continue to believe the U.S. made an error in using force to pursue regime change in Libya when it had no critical interests at stake. Likewise, I believe it should avoid the use of force to pursue regime change in Syria, as there are no guarantees that the anti-Assad movement would be any friendlier to critical U.S. interests and regional allies. It should continue to support Saudi Arabia's monarchy despite Saudi Arabia's intervention in Bahrain on behalf of Bahrain's embattled government, a step that was wholly justified by critical Saudi interests vis-a-vis Iranian ones (and, U.S. protests notwithstanding, actually beneficial to U.S. interests, too).
    Last edited by donsutherland1; 05-09-11 at 03:00 PM.

  5. #5
    Sage
    apdst's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Bagdad, La.
    Last Seen
    Today @ 02:41 PM
    Gender
    Lean
    Very Conservative
    Posts
    76,552

    Re: Egyptian Copts, reeling from violence, want protection

    I recall the pro-protester folks saying that none of this would happen. When Mubarack was gone, everything would be coming up roses.

    They also swore up-n-down that the Muslim Brotherhood wasn't a driving political force in Egypt.

    At the end of the day, these are same folks that are telling us that torture doesn't work. How do some people go through life getting wrong, on a regular basis?

  6. #6
    Sage
    apdst's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Bagdad, La.
    Last Seen
    Today @ 02:41 PM
    Gender
    Lean
    Very Conservative
    Posts
    76,552

    Re: Egyptian Copts, reeling from violence, want protection

    Quote Originally Posted by donsutherland1 View Post
    In general, the political arrangement of countries is a function of structure (history, culture, traditions, circumstances) and institutions. It is no accident that the Mideast has the governments it has. That Western liberal democracy does not exist outside of Israel is a consequence of the region's structural and institutional framework. That Iraq, even eight years after the war is, at best, protodemocratic with its government largely promoting the interests of the Shia above those of all other groups is consistent with Iraq's structure and institutions. Hence, one should be cautious about looking forward to the emergence and continuation of liberal democracy in countries currently experiencing popular uprisings. Proclamations of an interest in democracy among the Eastern Libya-based anti-Gadhafi movement and current anti-Assad movement in Syria should be taken with a grain of salt. The belief that Egypt and Tunisia will rapidly become functioning representative governments is also likely to be too optimistic. Some greater elements of representative government could emerge, but there will be factors that likely prove limiting e.g., in Egypt the military will remain the dominant institution. In Iran, even with current political tensions between Ayatollah Khamenei and President Ahmadinejad, liberal democracy is unlikely anytime soon. In Bahrain, the popular movement has been turned aside. Saudi Arabia's monarchy remains entrenched. Jordan is experimenting with gradual liberalization, but significant risks may lie ahead.

    IMO, the U.S. should pursue a regional policy that best safeguards its critical interests in the region. Hence, while the U.S. can and should affirm its support for democratic principles and human rights, it should be cautious about taking substantive measures e.g., military measures, to pick sides, except when it has critical interests at risk by one side or another. It should assert that the political evolution of countries is a domestic and internal affair prefaced by the note that it would act to safeguard its critical interests and allies.

    Hence, I continue to believe the U.S. made an error in using force to pursue regime change in Libya when it had no critical interests at stake. Likewise, I believe it should avoid the use of force to pursue regime change in Syria, as there are no guarantees that the anti-Assad movement would be any friendlier to critical U.S. interests and regional allies. It should continue to support Saudi Arabia's monarchy despite Saudi Arabia's intervention in Bahrain on behalf of Bahrain's embattled government, a step that was wholly justified by critical Saudi interests vis-a-vis Iranian ones (and, U.S. protests notwithstanding, actually beneficial to U.S. interests, too).
    A lesson learned recently in Libya. Eh?

  7. #7
    Sage

    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    New York
    Last Seen
    12-13-17 @ 12:40 PM
    Gender
    Lean
    Centrist
    Posts
    11,691

    Re: Egyptian Copts, reeling from violence, want protection

    Quote Originally Posted by apdst View Post
    A lesson learned recently in Libya. Eh?
    My opposition with respect to a possible invasion of Libya that I posted on 3/1 applies also to regime change driven by the U.S. and outsiders:

    1. The national interest involved is not sufficiently important to justify an invasion.
    2. Those involved with Libya's populist uprising have been abundantly and persistently clear that they do not want foreign military intervention.
    3. The complexities involved with creating a sustained reasonably democratic political framework in Libya are enormous. Invading and then withdrawing would create a dangerous power vacuum.
    4. A post-invasion power vacuum in Libya could adversely affect the region's balance of power and create opportunities for groups/elements that are hostile to the U.S.
    http://www.debatepolitics.com/milita...post1059318893

    Early on, I thought that limited weapons assistance to negate the Gadhafi regime's air power, but not military intervention, to the rebels might be useful. However, my view was that the revolution would need to be waged, won, or lost by Libyans themselves, not NATO, the U.S., or other outsiders.

    Shortly afterward, it became abundantly clear that:

    1. The anti-Gadhafi movement is not a broad popular movement. It is a narrow regional phenomenon. A significant number of Libyans--perhaps even the majority--still support the Gadhafi government.
    2. The anti-Gadhafi movement's purpose is murky. No documents outlining that movement's purpose have been developed, much less released. The movement has also engaged in suspect battlefield practices.
    3. The anti-Gadhafi movement is grossly incompetent, both politically and militarily.
    4. The anti-Gadhafi movement has made no meaningful effort to build popular support among Libyans e.g., no amnesty has been offered to defectors, no reaching out for a broad-based transitional government has been pursued.

    Ultimately, that movement's lack of battlefield success (even with periodic robust NATO close-air support), unpopular as it might be to suggest it, has little to do with its weapons. It is far more a combination of a lack of broad popular support among Libya's people and its own gross military/political incompetence. At best, the rebel movement might--and "might is the operative word--be marginally better than the Gadhafi regime, but there are no assurances that this would be the case. I don't believe the anti-Gadhafi movement has the capability to avoid the real risks of a power vacuum that would be left in the wake of Col. Gadhafi's being driven from power and do not believe the West has the patience or resources to engage in long-term nation-building to mitigate that risk.

    Hence, regime change should not be pursued given the lack of critical U.S. interests involved. The West should back any credible ceasefire that guarantees civilian protections regardless of whether it would leave the Gadhafi government in place.

    Finally, the same situation with respect to avoiding regime change also applies to Syria. That the Damascus-based dictatorship is also a bloody and ruthless one is not relevant. The absence of critical U.S. interests is the overriding factor.

  8. #8
    Sage
    apdst's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Bagdad, La.
    Last Seen
    Today @ 02:41 PM
    Gender
    Lean
    Very Conservative
    Posts
    76,552

    Re: Egyptian Copts, reeling from violence, want protection

    Quote Originally Posted by donsutherland1 View Post
    My opposition with respect to a possible invasion of Libya that I posted on 3/1 applies also to regime change driven by the U.S. and outsiders:



    http://www.debatepolitics.com/milita...post1059318893

    Early on, I thought that limited weapons assistance to negate the Gadhafi regime's air power, but not military intervention, to the rebels might be useful. However, my view was that the revolution would need to be waged, won, or lost by Libyans themselves, not NATO, the U.S., or other outsiders.

    Shortly afterward, it became abundantly clear that:

    1. The anti-Gadhafi movement is not a broad popular movement. It is a narrow regional phenomenon. A significant number of Libyans--perhaps even the majority--still support the Gadhafi government.
    2. The anti-Gadhafi movement's purpose is murky. No documents outlining that movement's purpose have been developed, much less released. The movement has also engaged in suspect battlefield practices.
    3. The anti-Gadhafi movement is grossly incompetent, both politically and militarily.
    4. The anti-Gadhafi movement has made no meaningful effort to build popular support among Libyans e.g., no amnesty has been offered to defectors, no reaching out for a broad-based transitional government has been pursued.


    Ultimately, that movement's lack of battlefield success (even with periodic robust NATO close-air support), unpopular as it might be to suggest it, has little to do with its weapons. It is far more a combination of a lack of broad popular support among Libya's people and its own gross military/political incompetence. At best, the rebel movement might--and "might is the operative word--be marginally better than the Gadhafi regime, but there are no assurances that this would be the case. I don't believe the anti-Gadhafi movement has the capability to avoid the real risks of a power vacuum that would be left in the wake of Col. Gadhafi's being driven from power and do not believe the West has the patience or resources to engage in long-term nation-building to mitigate that risk.

    Hence, regime change should not be pursued given the lack of critical U.S. interests involved. The West should back any credible ceasefire that guarantees civilian protections regardless of whether it would leave the Gadhafi government in place.

    Finally, the same situation with respect to avoiding regime change also applies to Syria. That the Damascus-based dictatorship is also a bloody and ruthless one is not relevant. The absence of critical U.S. interests is the overriding factor.
    The reality is, the rebs didn't posess the combat power needed to destroy Qaddafi's forces. Some of us, back then, told of this and we were snubbed with long winded posts, based on anything but reality.

    We also said that Mubarack's removal would lead to an radical Islamist, anti-American state and that is coming to fruition quicker than we imagined, as well.

  9. #9
    Sage

    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    New York
    Last Seen
    12-13-17 @ 12:40 PM
    Gender
    Lean
    Centrist
    Posts
    11,691

    Re: Egyptian Copts, reeling from violence, want protection

    Quote Originally Posted by apdst View Post
    The reality is, the rebs didn't posess the combat power needed to destroy Qaddafi's forces. Some of us, back then, told of this and we were snubbed with long winded posts, based on anything but reality.
    The major reason the anti-Gadhafi movement is failing is not due to firepower differences, which would have been alleviated with weapons, but a lack of popular support, not to mention their own gross military and political incompetence. Hence, even when backed with NATO air power, which gives them a qualitative edge over Gadhafi's forces, they have achieved minimal battlefield success, at best.

    The operative hypotheses early on were that a lack of armed capacity made it impossible for the anti-regime forces to prevail and that such elements had broad support from Libya's population. What became evident early on was that the rebels' principal problem is a lack of support among Libya's people. It is that factor, not a matter of arms, that has mostly defined their lack of military success. As a result, even as NATO took the big risks to reshape the battlefield and NATO has destroyed an estimated 30%-50% of Gadhafi's forces and weapons, the rebels have achieved no meaningful battlefield progress. In short, even if the rebels possessed more arms and manpower than the Gadhafi regime, it is probably not likely that they would be in a position to prevail. Few parties have done so little militarily with so much outside support as had been provided by NATO.

    We also said that Mubarack's removal would lead to an radical Islamist, anti-American state and that is coming to fruition quicker than we imagined, as well.
    There are many possible outcomes in Egypt. The rise of a radical Islamist state is not the only such possibility nor is it the most likely one (at least in the near-term) given the strong role the armed forces have been playing and are seeking to embed in a post-Mubarak constitutional framework.

  10. #10
    Bohemian Revolutionary
    Demon of Light's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Last Seen
    03-07-17 @ 12:25 AM
    Gender
    Lean
    Independent
    Posts
    5,095

    Re: Egyptian Copts, reeling from violence, want protection

    There have been some theories that some members of the old regime have been inciting these clashes in the hopes of using the unrest to launch a counter-revolution. Still, these events are also taking place in the context of continued demonstrations by Egyptian workers against the present government making me think that a second revolution, not a counter-revolution, may be impending.
    "For what is Evil but Good-tortured by its own hunger and thirst?"
    - Khalil Gibran

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •