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The Arab Spring:

Well the Chinese and Russian positions don't hinge on that anyway, so they don't have to care that inspectors were shot at. They back the Peace Plan, so if inspectors are shot at, that really wouldn't change that position. They're fairly immune to any level of violence via their arguments.

 11602 Greenmantle, Fri, 8th Jun '12 12:06:39 AM from Thornycroft-land Relationship Status: [TOP SECRET]
Dodge-ing The Water
Ban Ki-moon increases pressure on Syria

This is the most important line of them all:

"The danger of a full-scale war is imminent and real"
"To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield" — Alfred, Lord Tennyson
 11603 Silasw, Fri, 8th Jun '12 11:59:47 AM from UK :( Relationship Status: [TOP SECRET]
Globalist Bunny
I'm going to make a prediction. The Kofi peace plan will be officially abandoned by the end of the month. I don't know what (if anything) will replace it, but with even the man himself staring to admit defeat, it seem unlikely that it will survive.

"Some say that the plan may be dead, " Mr Annan said

Apparently things are starting to move away from the Security Council (likely because of Russia and China's constant vetoing) and towards a suggested "contact group of regional and world powers with influence on Syria's government and opposition.". The question of if Iran should be included has come up. Sure they meet the criteria, but would it actually be productive to get them involved in negotiations? Then again, could locking them out of any negotiations push them to back Assad even more? http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-18364674

I'm going to take a guess at who would be included in any such group, beyond the Rebels and Assad.

  1. Russia
  2. China
  3. US
  4. UK
  5. France
  6. Saudi Arabia
  7. Qatar
  8. Turkey
  9. Egypt, if it's stable enough (big if).

There are also some possible members who I'm unsure about.

  1. Libya: it depends on exactly how much they are funding the rebels, also in the NTC are organised enough on the foreign policy front to attend.
  2. Jordon: I'm unsure of how much regional influence they have.
  3. Any of the big 4 (Brazil, India, Japan, Germany) that shows interest, but, I don't think any of them have shown interest.
  4. Israel: May be too much of a wild card.
  5. Iran: Same problem as with Israel, plus it seems unlikely you could get Israel and Iran in a room together, and expect keep the focus on Syria.
  6. The Arab League: They would already be represented by any Arab states but the League itself is a regional power, much like the African League was in Libya.
  7. The European Union: Same as with the Arab League, with France Brittan and possibly Germany it may be redundant to include them. Yet the EU can take actions that just the UK and France can't.

I canít think of anyone else that might be evolved. Iraq hasn't got the influence, none of the smaller gulf states do either, everyone else is too far away, not powerful enough or to busy with their own problems (Italy and Spain).

Edit: Formatting.

edited 8th Jun '12 12:02:42 PM by Silasw

"And the Bunny nails it!" ~ Gabrael

"A nuclear powered magnet death ball is perfectly scientifically possible." ~ Discar
 11604 Derelict Vessel, Fri, 8th Jun '12 1:39:04 PM from the Ocean Blue
Flying Dutchman
I think it's actually prudent to invite Iran, because you lose nothing by doing so.

Think about it. Invite Iran, and they accept. They then feel included in decisions with the Western superpowers, hostility for us among Iranians goes down slightly, and it opens the door to further negotiations later with Iran and Western powers over the sanctions.

Invite Iran, and they decline. They then can't say they were not given a say, because we invited them.

Invite Iran, they accept, and they try to introduce unacceptably bad conditions for transition in Syria to something approaching liberal democracy (like, say, allowing Assad to get off without facing justice). You then ignore these conditions, because they're terrible and you know they're terrible, and what is Iran going to do about it?
"Can ye fathom the ocean, dark and deep, where the mighty waves and the grandeur sweep?"

 11605 The G Dude, Fri, 8th Jun '12 4:34:20 PM from Fresno, CA
I just went through and deleted a bunch of fairly un-subtly opinionated comments in the Libya sections of the Middle East Uprising 2011 page. I'm amazed that people can still bitch about this nearly 8 months after Gaddafi's death.

 11606 betaalpha, Fri, 8th Jun '12 4:43:56 PM from England
betaalpha
Mob attacks women at Egypt anti-sex assault rally

Astoundingly, the text implies that Egypt has no laws against groping women and it's a very common occurrence - women were reportedly attacked by hundreds of men. No-one likely to be charged.

I assume that it was a successful anti-demonstration and terror tactic in Mubarak's time and is being employed in the same way nowadays.

[down] Yes.

edited 8th Jun '12 4:50:43 PM by betaalpha

 11607 Derelict Vessel, Fri, 8th Jun '12 4:47:38 PM from the Ocean Blue
Flying Dutchman
Isn't Egypt where they raped a Western news correspondent in the street when she was separated from her group? Or is that Libya?

Either way, the misogyny out there is just plain scary, I swear.
"Can ye fathom the ocean, dark and deep, where the mighty waves and the grandeur sweep?"

Lawlessness, or the lack of rule of law, will do that. You let mobs do what they want and they'll do some fairly despicable acts of violence.

 11609 Forlorn Dreamer, Fri, 8th Jun '12 9:04:59 PM from United States
Astoundingly, the text implies that Egypt has no laws against groping women and it's a very common occurrence - women were reportedly attacked by hundreds of men

The Egyptian Centre for Women's Rights has documented that something like 2/3 of the adult male population in Egypt has acknowledged engaging in what most of us on the outside would consider to be sexual harassment of women. While outright rape is in murky territory (it's not encouraged, but only a small portion of law enforcement is likely to care), groping women who aren't following traditional decorum is accepted and considered corrective, so that they won't engage in the offensive behavior again.

 11610 fanty, Sun, 10th Jun '12 6:21:55 AM from ANGRYTOWN
Woefully Ineloquent
[up]I heard that wearing a burqua really does no difference to the likelihood that a woman in Egypt will get groped.
Individual liberation is an illusion.
betaalpha
[up] That certainly appears to be the case - [1] [2]. Some said they do it because the woman is dressed 'provocatively', but to others a woman simply being there, wearing anything at all, is reason enough. I imagine they tell themselves that that they're protesting against females going around unaccompanied. I doubt many admit to themselves it's because they take pleasure in humiliating women.

Kudos to the woman in the first link who punched her assailant in the face and screamed obscenities at him until the little worm apologised. The same link shows how this is getting tackled too, thank God/Allah.

edited 10th Jun '12 10:07:15 AM by betaalpha

 11612 Marq FJA, Sun, 10th Jun '12 12:50:32 PM from Saudi Arabia Relationship Status: Shipping fictional characters
O' Allah, save Egypt
If the US really wanted Assad out, we could do it without using an invasion. We would just have the CIA set up a shadow militia, and use that as cover for special ops teams, backed by air strikes. That's how we "invaded" Afghanistan. The fact that we aren't doing it means we don't feel it's worth it.
IIRC, the Taliban government didn't have a developed and pervasive secret police apparatus and/or (counter-)intelligence agency like the Assad regime has, meaning they were ill-equipped to prevent/suppress/combat any such operations by foreign forces with any acceptable measure of success.
Ash-shaʻb yurīd isqāṭ ḥukm al-ʻaskar
I don't think it is that the USA doesn't feel it is worth it to assassinate Assad. It is because you have a sensible leader like Obama who is capable of asking the question "then what?". You have no idea what killing him in that manner will do. If the country falls into chaos and a million people die, guess who they'll point the finger at.

betaalpha
[up] Agreed. [up][up] Agreed. Also, the US didn't set up the Northern Alliance in Afghanistan (if that's what De Marquis was alluding to), that militia had been around since 1996 and was already very powerful and constantly battling the Taliban and Al Qaeda. Syria's resistance is nothing like as powerful and is much more fragmented. You can't just 'make' a militia capable of taking on a well-embedded and paranoid dictator but you can power up an already strong one - there ain't any of those though.

Also, the Taliban and Al Qaeda had no allies (well, okay, they had Pakistan but lost it after 9/11). Syria has China, Russia and Iran.

edited 10th Jun '12 2:48:15 PM by betaalpha

 11615 CPF Mfan, Sun, 10th Jun '12 10:18:02 PM from A Whale's Vagina
I am serious. This is my serious face.
SNC's new leader is a Kurd. Interesting. Unsurprisingly, he's urging UN to intervene in Syria militarily.
...
 11616 Forlorn Dreamer, Sun, 10th Jun '12 10:51:17 PM from United States
@fanty: Decorum means "social behavior." The problem isn't really dress at all (women from other countries do report being groped more than Egyptian women, but "report" is the operative word), but the manner in which women engage themselves socially or politically. In particular, among traditional Egyptian conservatives, protesting is seen to reflect badly on both a woman's reputation and that of her family.

 11617 Silasw, Mon, 11th Jun '12 7:14:40 AM from UK :( Relationship Status: [TOP SECRET]
Globalist Bunny
Libya is still having issues.

16 are dead after internal clashes between tribal forces and government forces. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-18386836

Four member of the ICC delegation to Libya have been arrested with a new delegation having been sent to try and arrange their release. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-18394191

In Syria the new opposition chief has called for more defections from the government, with the regime being reported to have used helicopters to attack rebel positions. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-18393587

[down] Spelling mistake. I've fixed it now.

edited 11th Jun '12 9:05:07 AM by Silasw

"And the Bunny nails it!" ~ Gabrael

"A nuclear powered magnet death ball is perfectly scientifically possible." ~ Discar
 11618 Radical Taoist, Mon, 11th Jun '12 7:57:21 AM from the #GUniverse
scratching at .8, just hopin'
The ICC condition is worrying.
16 are dead after internal classes between tribal forces and government forces.
Dang, I've heard of harsh training, but that is ridiculous. Was this the classroom or field section?
[up] I'm not sure if you're joking or not, but I think he meant "clashes"

EDIT- On second thought, that probably was a joke. Never mind.

edited 11th Jun '12 8:50:30 AM by BaleFire

Dreamkeepers Prelude, check it out!
 11620 Silasw, Tue, 12th Jun '12 3:33:05 AM from UK :( Relationship Status: [TOP SECRET]
Globalist Bunny
Assad has started to use children as human shields for his military vehicles. Am I the only one getting flashbacks to Libya were Gaddafi was reported to be doing the exact same thing? Likewise the rebels have been using children (one hopes volunteers) as runners on the front line for "medical and service orientated jobs". Syria is going to end up with an entire generation almost wiped out at this rate. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-18405800
"And the Bunny nails it!" ~ Gabrael

"A nuclear powered magnet death ball is perfectly scientifically possible." ~ Discar
 11621 CPF Mfan, Tue, 12th Jun '12 10:53:15 AM from A Whale's Vagina
I am serious. This is my serious face.
UN Observers were shot at... again. It probably wasn't the army.
...
 11622 Best Of, Tue, 12th Jun '12 2:57:58 PM from Finland Relationship Status: Falling within your bell curve
FABRICATI DIEM, PVNC!
UN: Syria is in civil war, government has lost "large chunks of territory, several cities."

edited 12th Jun '12 2:58:11 PM by BestOf

I'd take the awe of understanding over the awe of ignorance any day. - Douglas Adams
 11623 CPF Mfan, Tue, 12th Jun '12 5:17:06 PM from A Whale's Vagina
I am serious. This is my serious face.
The Russians apparently sold the Syrians some pretty good weapons.

[up] It wasn't a civil war already?
...
Well it's more that the UN gets in a lot of trouble with member nations if they say the wrong thing so they usually try not to say much. When a UN official says there's a civil war, then yes, you are most definitely in the midst of a major civil war.

 11625 Derelict Vessel, Tue, 12th Jun '12 10:20:00 PM from the Ocean Blue
Flying Dutchman
I hope the Russian government comes to regret those arms shipments in the coming months next time they need something from the US or Europe.
"Can ye fathom the ocean, dark and deep, where the mighty waves and the grandeur sweep?"

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