History UsefulNotes / TheArabSpring

22nd Sep '17 9:52:01 AM TheDragonDemands
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* DivideAndConquer: The New York Times Magazine put out a good special issue, over a year in the making, with interviews from most affected countries, to explain just how much this trope affected the situation. The short version is that all of the post-World War I colonial powers relied on this – in one form or another – and the post-colonial dictatorships that replaced them continued the practices, fueling generations-long sectarian tensions which have finally come to a boil. In most cases, a small minority group was privileged by the colonial powers, using them as middle-men to rule the rest of the country – who they loyally served, because otherwise they would be an oppressed minority. These sectarian differences could be religious, ethnic, tribal, and (rarely) political, and sometimes overlapping:
** '''Syria''' is a Sunni-majority country with several small minorities. In Syria, the French propped up the Alawites (a local ethnic group which follows an offshoot Shi’a branch) as their middle-management allies. The Assad family is Alawite, and continued to oppress the Sunni majority after the colonial period, often by allying themselves with other minorities such as Christians and Druze.
** '''Iraq''' was the opposite: a majority Shi’a Arab country (mostly in the south) with a Sunni Arab minority (mostly in the center). The Sunni minority ended up ruling the country with an iron fist under the Saddam Hussein regime, with his own Sunni followers particularly loyal to his dictatorship, because they feared that the Shi’a majority would oppress them without his power. There’s also a large Kurdish enclave in the north: Kurds are an ethnicity, like Arab – most Kurds are also Sunni, but the Sunni Arabs oppressed them due to this ethnic difference/desire for an independent state/oil reserves. This decades-long mistreatment brought resentment from the Shi’a and Kurds, and the Sunnis to fear annihilation if they ever backed down.
** '''Turkey''' has experienced a more muted example of this, along ethnic lines: while most of the country is Sunni, there are tensions between the Turkmen-majority, and the large Kurdish enclave in the southeast of the country (wanting to make an independent Kurdistan with the neighboring Kurdish enclave in northern Iraq). The nominally democratic government grew increasingly authoritarian due to fears of a Kurdish secession.
*** '''The Kurds''', concentrated along the disputed borders, became a potential fifth column to any neighboring country (Turkey, Iran, Iraq, and Syria) wanting to destabilize another. None of these four countries want to see them gain power and military hardware, but at the same time they are just as willing, when convenient, to arm and fund them to fight against any of the other three. Of course, the western intervention against Daesh in Iraq and Syria has largely had to operate by supplying the ground forces of Kurdish militias, to build them up into a larger fighting force, even though major western ally Turkey is complaining that these same Kurdish forces are actively fighting them to secede the southeastern quarter of their country into an independent Kurdish state…
** '''Libya''' doesn’t actually have the religious or ethnic tensions of Syria and Iraq: the country is overwhelmingly Sunni Arab. Instead, there are tensions due to strong ''tribal'' influence and high importance on places of origin – the country has largely balkanized along the lines of the old Ottoman provinces that now make up Libya while within each area the local tribe and town dynamics make things even more complicated. The colonial powers favored a few weaker tribes, who fought hard to defend them against the majority tribes, and then to support Gaddaffi (there are some Bedouins in the south, among them Gaddaffi’s group, but they’re generally seen as more of a tribal than ethnic difference).
** '''Egypt''' is actually unique in the Arab world for not being particularly tribal, unlike neighboring Libya. While there are a fair number of Egyptian Christians, the British and Ottoman colonial rule made a fair amount of effort to turn it into a reasonably modern, cosmopolitan society, with its own local political discourse. Even this created a minority/majority tension, however, along ''political'' lines: the Egyptian intelligentsia that was nurtured in that environment looked toward Ankara and saw what Kemal Ataturk did for Turkey, eventually leading to the overthrow of the British-backed monarchy in favor of the likes of Nasser and his successors, including Hosni Mubarak. They managed to stay in power for so many decades by blaming everything on the Muslim Brotherhood, another outcome of Egypt's intelligentsia, that sought a religiously-based but also more egalitarian society, in opposition to the secularist and nationalist Nasserism of the government. As with all the other regions, this finally turned unsustainable.
** '''Yemen''', meanwhile, has a Sunni/Shia split, a strong tribal split, and both are further complicated by the fact that Yemen was once two countries, the southern half of which wants to secede again. Until his overthrow, Saleh would play the various tribes against one another and bribe the rest with aid money. After his overthrow, Hadi attempted the same, but simply could not pull it off. Now the situation has devolved to where you have the Houthis (Shia tribesmen) and Saleh (secularist former dictator) teaming up against Hadi (unionist puppet dictator) who is aligned with the Hirak (southern seperatist Adenites and tribesmen), with both sides trying to enact this trope against the other.
7th Jul '17 5:42:45 PM FFShinra
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* TheRival: Hadi's attempts to eliminate this possibility [[WhatAnIdiot ended up either creating them or making the situation worse]]. First was the attempt to sideline General Mohsen, at the time the head of the First Military District that included all of former North Yemen. This led to Mohsen resigning and going into self-exile, allowing the army's loyalties (never really with Hadi) to wander toward their former boss, Ali Abdullah Saleh, and his new allies the Houthis. Second happened when Aden was secured by his Saudi backers. Within a few months, he fired his more popular and able prime minister, Khaled Bahah, appointing Mohsen in his place, leading to a further sinking to his popularity among the local populace. Thirdly was in 2017, when he fired Aidirous al-Zubaidi, the governor of Aden, whom he himself had appointed. Al-Zubaidi then proceeded to promptly turn around and declare his allegiance to the Southern seperatist movement, which he soon became leader of on account of promising to recreate South Yemen....and denouncing Hadi.
3rd Jul '17 8:40:37 AM FFShinra
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* TheQuisling: What many, if not most, Yemenis view President Hadi as, especially since the Saudi intervention began.



* TheQuisling: What many, if not most, Yemenis view President Hadi as, especially since the Saudi intervention began.
30th Jun '17 6:17:09 AM Neakal
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** A truly bizarre case (and perhaps a sign of the times) has emerged in Syria in the form of ''Malhama Tactical'', a "Jihadist PMC". A small band of Chechen jihadi fighters decided that instead of squandering their skills (which they say they earned in the Russian Military) on the battlefield, they could train the rebels of the highest-bidding groups. They have good relations with al-Qaeda affiliates and have a pretty robust social media presence with a very ''corporate'' look and feel.


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* TheRemnant: In many parts where Daesh lost the open war, it has resorted to melding into the population and becoming an insurgency just like its predecessor did after 2006. Such developments have already taken place in Egypt, Tunisia and Libya and Iraqi officials have expressed concern it can take place there too.
26th Jun '17 8:41:56 PM FFShinra
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* ThePlague: Though it is not uncommon for long-suppressed diseases to make a return to war torn regions, Yemen is unique among the nations affected by the Arab Spring in that it is, as of the summer of 2017, dealing with a cholera epidemic ''of a scale never seen in the world before'', affecting (as of this writing) 200,000 people, with about 5,000 new cases a day and 1,200 confirmed deaths, a quarter of them children. With Yemen's medical system considered ramshackle ''at best'' before the war, it is now utterly non-existant, and as such the epidemic is unlikey to stop until the war (itself currently in stalemate) ends.
26th Jun '17 8:27:24 PM FFShinra
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* DivideAndConquer: The New York Times Magazine put out a good special issue, over a year in the making, with interviews from most affected countries, to explain just how much this trope affected the situation. The short version is that all of the post-World War I colonial powers relied on this – in one form or another – and the post-colonial dictatorships that replaced them continued the practices, fueling generations-long sectarian tensions which have finally come to a boil. In most cases, a small minority group was privileged by the colonial powers, using them as middle-men to rule the rest of the country – who they loyally served, because otherwise they would be an oppressed minority. These sectarian differences could be religious, ethnic, tribal, and (rarely) political, and sometimes overlapping:
** '''Syria''' is a Sunni-majority country with several small minorities. In Syria, the French propped up the Alawites (a local ethnic group which follows an offshoot Shi’a branch) as their middle-management allies. The Assad family is Alawite, and continued to oppress the Sunni majority after the colonial period, often by allying themselves with other minorities such as Christians and Druze.
** '''Iraq''' was the opposite: a majority Shi’a Arab country (mostly in the south) with a Sunni Arab minority (mostly in the center). The Sunni minority ended up ruling the country with an iron fist under the Saddam Hussein regime, with his own Sunni followers particularly loyal to his dictatorship, because they feared that the Shi’a majority would oppress them without his power. There’s also a large Kurdish enclave in the north: Kurds are an ethnicity, like Arab – most Kurds are also Sunni, but the Sunni Arabs oppressed them due to this ethnic difference/desire for an independent state/oil reserves. This decades-long mistreatment brought resentment from the Shi’a and Kurds, and the Sunnis to fear annihilation if they ever backed down.
** '''Turkey''' has experienced a more muted example of this, along ethnic lines: while most of the country is Sunni, there are tensions between the Turkmen-majority, and the large Kurdish enclave in the southeast of the country (wanting to make an independent Kurdistan with the neighboring Kurdish enclave in northern Iraq). The nominally democratic government grew increasingly authoritarian due to fears of a Kurdish secession.
*** '''The Kurds''', concentrated along the disputed borders, became a potential fifth column to any neighboring country (Turkey, Iran, Iraq, and Syria) wanting to destabilize another. None of these four countries want to see them gain power and military hardware, but at the same time they are just as willing, when convenient, to arm and fund them to fight against any of the other three. Of course, the western intervention against Daesh in Iraq and Syria has largely had to operate by supplying the ground forces of Kurdish militias, to build them up into a larger fighting force, even though major western ally Turkey is complaining that these same Kurdish forces are actively fighting them to secede the southeastern quarter of their country into an independent Kurdish state…
** '''Libya''' doesn’t actually have the religious or ethnic tensions of Syria and Iraq: the country is overwhelmingly Sunni Arab. Instead, there are tensions due to strong ''tribal'' influence and high importance on places of origin – the country has largely balkanized along the lines of the old Ottoman provinces that now make up Libya while within each area the local tribe and town dynamics make things even more complicated. The colonial powers favored a few weaker tribes, who fought hard to defend them against the majority tribes, and then to support Gaddaffi (there are some Bedouins in the south, among them Gaddaffi’s group, but they’re generally seen as more of a tribal than ethnic difference).
** '''Egypt''' is actually unique in the Arab world for not being particularly tribal, unlike neighboring Libya. While there are a fair number of Egyptian Christians, the British and Ottoman colonial rule made a fair amount of effort to turn it into a reasonably modern, cosmopolitan society, with its own local political discourse. Even this created a minority/majority tension, however, along ''political'' lines: the Egyptian intelligentsia that was nurtured in that environment looked toward Ankara and saw what Kemal Ataturk did for Turkey, eventually leading to the overthrow of the British-backed monarchy in favor of the likes of Nasser and his successors, including Hosni Mubarak. They managed to stay in power for so many decades by blaming everything on the Muslim Brotherhood, another outcome of Egypt's intelligentsia, that sought a religiously-based but also more egalitarian society, in opposition to the secularist and nationalist Nasserism of the government. As with all the other regions, this finally turned unsustainable.
** '''Yemen''', meanwhile, has a Sunni/Shia split, a strong tribal split, and both are further complicated by the fact that Yemen was once two countries, the southern half of which wants to secede again. Until his overthrow, Saleh would play the various tribes against one another and bribe the rest with aid money. After his overthrow, Hadi attempted the same, but simply could not pull it off. Now the situation has devolved to where you have the Houthis (Shia tribesmen) and Saleh (secularist former dictator) teaming up against Hadi (unionist puppet dictator) who is aligned with the Hirak (southern seperatist Adenites and tribesmen), with both sides trying to enact this trope against the other.
21st May '17 12:14:40 PM FFShinra
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** '''Yemen''', meanwhile, is majority Sunni, but was ruled by a Sunni party - the opposition was from Houthi rebels in the north, who are Shi'a, but their minority group wasn't in power when the fighting started.

to:

** '''Yemen''', meanwhile, is majority Sunni, has a Sunni/Shia split, a strong tribal split, and both are further complicated by the fact that Yemen was once two countries, the southern half of which wants to secede again. Until his overthrow, Saleh would play the various tribes against one another and bribe the rest with aid money. After his overthrow, Hadi attempted the same, but was ruled by a Sunni party - simply could not pull it off. Now the opposition was from Houthi rebels in situation has devolved to where you have the north, Houthis (Shia tribesmen) and Saleh (secularist former dictator) teaming up against Hadi (unionist puppet dictator) who are Shi'a, but their minority group wasn't in power when is aligned with the fighting started. Hirak (southern seperatist Adenites and tribesmen), with both sides trying to enact this trope against the other.
17th May '17 8:01:23 AM TheDragonDemands
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** '''Egypt''' is actually unique in the Arab world for not being particularly tribal, unlike neighboring Libya. While there are a fair number of Egyptian Christians, the British and Ottoman colonial rule made a fair amount of effort to turn it into a reasonably modern, cosmopolitan society, with its own local political discourse. Even this created a minority/majority tension, however, along ''political'' lines: the Egyptian intelligentsia that was nurtured in that environment looked toward Ankara and saw what Kemal Ataturk did for Turkey, eventually leading to the overthrow of the British-backed monarchy in favor of the likes of Nasser and his successors, including Hosni Mubarak. They managed to stay in power for so many decades by blaming everything on the Muslim Brotherhood, another outcome of Egypt's intelligentsia, that sought a religiously-baed but also more egalitarian society, in opposition to the secularist and nationalist Nasserism of the government. As with all the other regions, this finally turned unsustainable.

to:

** '''Egypt''' is actually unique in the Arab world for not being particularly tribal, unlike neighboring Libya. While there are a fair number of Egyptian Christians, the British and Ottoman colonial rule made a fair amount of effort to turn it into a reasonably modern, cosmopolitan society, with its own local political discourse. Even this created a minority/majority tension, however, along ''political'' lines: the Egyptian intelligentsia that was nurtured in that environment looked toward Ankara and saw what Kemal Ataturk did for Turkey, eventually leading to the overthrow of the British-backed monarchy in favor of the likes of Nasser and his successors, including Hosni Mubarak. They managed to stay in power for so many decades by blaming everything on the Muslim Brotherhood, another outcome of Egypt's intelligentsia, that sought a religiously-baed religiously-based but also more egalitarian society, in opposition to the secularist and nationalist Nasserism of the government. As with all the other regions, this finally turned unsustainable.
17th May '17 7:56:52 AM TheDragonDemands
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** '''Libya''' doesn’t actually have the religious or ethnic tensions of Syria and Iraq: the country is overwhelmingly Sunni Arab. Instead, there are tensions due to strong tribal influence and high importance on places of origin – the country has largely balkanized along the lines of the old Ottoman provinces that now make up Libya while within each area the local tribe and town dynamics make things even more complicated. The colonial powers favored a few weaker tribes, who fought hard to defend them against the majority tribes, and then to support Gaddaffi (there are some Bedouins in the south, among them Gaddaffi’s group, but they’re generally seen as more of a tribal than ethnic difference).
** '''Egypt''' is actually unique in the Arab world for not being particularly tribal, unlike neighboring Libya. While there are a fair number of Egyptian Christians, the British and Ottoman colonial rule made a fair amount of effort to turn it into a reasonably modern, cosmopolitan society, with its own local political discourse. Even this created a minority/majority tension, however, along political lines: the Egyptian intelligentsia that was nurtured in that environment looked toward Ankara and saw what Kemal Ataturk did for Turkey, eventually leading to the overthrow of the British-backed monarchy in favor of the likes of Nasser and his successors, including Hosni Mubarak. They managed to stay in power for so many decades by blaming everything on the Muslim Brotherhood, another outcome of Egypt's intelligentsia, that sought a religiously-baed but also more egalitarian society, in opposition to the secularist and nationalist Nasserism of the government. As with all the other regions, this finally turned unsustainable.

to:

** '''Libya''' doesn’t actually have the religious or ethnic tensions of Syria and Iraq: the country is overwhelmingly Sunni Arab. Instead, there are tensions due to strong tribal ''tribal'' influence and high importance on places of origin – the country has largely balkanized along the lines of the old Ottoman provinces that now make up Libya while within each area the local tribe and town dynamics make things even more complicated. The colonial powers favored a few weaker tribes, who fought hard to defend them against the majority tribes, and then to support Gaddaffi (there are some Bedouins in the south, among them Gaddaffi’s group, but they’re generally seen as more of a tribal than ethnic difference).
** '''Egypt''' is actually unique in the Arab world for not being particularly tribal, unlike neighboring Libya. While there are a fair number of Egyptian Christians, the British and Ottoman colonial rule made a fair amount of effort to turn it into a reasonably modern, cosmopolitan society, with its own local political discourse. Even this created a minority/majority tension, however, along political ''political'' lines: the Egyptian intelligentsia that was nurtured in that environment looked toward Ankara and saw what Kemal Ataturk did for Turkey, eventually leading to the overthrow of the British-backed monarchy in favor of the likes of Nasser and his successors, including Hosni Mubarak. They managed to stay in power for so many decades by blaming everything on the Muslim Brotherhood, another outcome of Egypt's intelligentsia, that sought a religiously-baed but also more egalitarian society, in opposition to the secularist and nationalist Nasserism of the government. As with all the other regions, this finally turned unsustainable.
17th May '17 7:53:39 AM TheDragonDemands
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*** '''The Kurds''', concentrated along the disputed borders, became a potential fifth column to any neighboring country (Turkey, Iran, Iraq, and Syria) wanting to destabilize another. None of these four countries want to see them gain power and military hardware, but at the same time they are just willing, when convenient, to arm and fund them to fight against any of the other three. Of course, the western intervention against Daesh in Iraq and Syria has largely had to operate by supplying the ground forces of Kurdish militias, to build them up into a larger fighting force, even though major western ally Turkey is complaining that these same Kurdish forces are actively fighting them to secede the southeastern quarter of their country into an independent Kurdish state…

to:

*** '''The Kurds''', concentrated along the disputed borders, became a potential fifth column to any neighboring country (Turkey, Iran, Iraq, and Syria) wanting to destabilize another. None of these four countries want to see them gain power and military hardware, but at the same time they are just as willing, when convenient, to arm and fund them to fight against any of the other three. Of course, the western intervention against Daesh in Iraq and Syria has largely had to operate by supplying the ground forces of Kurdish militias, to build them up into a larger fighting force, even though major western ally Turkey is complaining that these same Kurdish forces are actively fighting them to secede the southeastern quarter of their country into an independent Kurdish state…
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