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Welcome to 2012: Transitions 01/07/2012

Posted by Leona Dawnfire in Foreign Policy/Relations, Government.
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It’s been awhile since the last update, and for this I sincerely apologize.  I will try to do better this upcoming year (this, might I suggest, particularly important year)!  While I am not believer in the ending of the world in December of this year, I do see reasons for caution.

Changes in regime are always a little dangerous.  We can never fully predict the future of a change in regime, whether it be in the United States, France, Russia, China, or Iran.  With the presidential and legislative elections for the US coming up later this year, a regime (or ‘administration’) change could happen.  With multiple Republican candidates battling it out, even the outcome of the primaries is quite uncertain.  And, quite frankly, some of the candidates scare me.  I think that every voter needs to make sure that they are fully aware of the stances the politician they favor has on certain issues, such as foreign policy towards Iran and China.

But it is not just the United States going to vote and having transitions in government.  A third of the world’s nations will have elections or governmental transitions this year, including 4 out of the 5 permanent members of the United Nations Security Council (US, France, Russia, and China).  Although the main focus of the 2012 election for the US will likely be on the economy, we should endeavor to take note of what other transitions will occur this year.

Egypt is a notable nation having elections, following the overthrow of Mubarak.  The parliamentary elections will take place during January, February, and the beginning of March, and presidential elections are also going to be later this year.  So far, it appears as though the Muslim Brotherhood will have the greatest amount of support in that country, which may drastically change US foreign policy towards Egypt.  The Salafi-al-Nour Party, which claims that the Muslim Brotherhood is just like all other parties and does not really adhere to Islam, is also becoming surprisingly popular (http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2012/01/04/egypt_s_salafi_surge).

Russia’s presidential elections will be on March 4.  Although Vladimir Putin is expected to win, he is facing unexpected protests and opposition, which will likely continue into his third term as president.

China is going to have a transition to the Communist Party’s 18th Congress.  This new government will have to deal with a faltering economy, social unrest spread by the Internet, the political transition in North Korea, disputes with neighbors, and a US garnering further attention in the Asia-Pacific region.

Mexico is having an election, influenced by the drug cartels and the failing drug war launched by the current president.  The results could effect the relationship between the US and Mexico, as well as Mexico’s relationship with Central American nations, where the drug war has begun moving.

Iran is also going to have a parliamentary election, the first polls since the disputed 2009 election.  These elections will pit the supporters of the President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.  With current events (war games in the Persian Gulf, threats from Iran to close the Strait of Hormuz, and the approaching of a nuclear-armed Iran), the relationship with the US could change drastically following both nations elections this year.  I recommend that particular attention be paid to Iran this year.  (I may follow up this blog post with one solely on Iran in the near future)

2012 is set to be a big year.

Articles of Interest:

Stances of Candidates in Relation to Foreign Policy:  http://www.cfr.org/projects/world/campaign-2012/pr1576

It’s Not Just Obama:  20 Elections that Could Change 2012: http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2011/12/30/2012_global_elections

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A short Middle East update 06/05/2011

Posted by Leona Dawnfire in Uncategorized.
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Ever since the protests in Tunisia, protests, riots, and even civil wars have broken out across the Middle East. Although the media began to pay less attention after President Mubarak of Egypt stepped down, the Middle Eastern nations are continuing to be part of actions that will shape the future of the world.

There is an all-out civil war in Libya, with NATO forces continuing to perform air strikes.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702303745304576364910965100534.html

Yemen appears to be next in line for a new regime. The president of 33 years, Ali Abdullah Saleh, has left the country to seek medical treatment.  However, he still refuses to give up power at this time, despite internal and international pressure.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/yemen/8557926/Yemen-rejoices-as-Ali-Abdullah-Saleh-flies-abroad-for-treatment.html

The brave pro-democracy citizens of Syria have continued their protests despite increasingly deadly and bloody attempts to silence them.

http://www.smh.com.au/world/syrian-snipers-fire-as-protesters-retreat-20110605-1fnel.html

In Egypt, there are already calls for a second revolution.

http://www.wsws.org/articles/2011/may2011/pers-m31.shtml

Middle East Hullabaloo of the Past 24 Hours 02/02/2011

Posted by Leona Dawnfire in Freedom, Government.
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A lot has happened since the last post, merely 24 hours ago!  24 hours ago, Obama was not taking sides in the Egyptian riots (but vaguely supporting Mubarak), the President of Egypt had not responded to the protesters requests, the Jordanian government was still in full power, and the US ally Yemei President intended on keeping power, even after 32 years.

24 hours later, President Obama advised Mubarak to step aside, which he did, in a sense, proclaiming that he has chosen not to run for reelection in the upcoming September elections.  The protesters are being told by the Egyptian military to “go home,” but the Egyptians are not convinced that they will get the reforms they seek, especially while Mubarak is still in power.

Also, in other Middle East news, following the riots in Tunisia and Egypt, King Abdullah II dissolved the Jordanian government in the face of small riots in his own country and established a new prime minister, boosted economic opportunities, and gave Jordanians greater political power.  The Muslim Brotherhood doesn’t believe the change is enough.

And to continue the turmoil, today Ali Abdullah Saleh has responded to protests against him in his country by announcing that he will not remain in power nor turn over power to his son as previously intended.

Wow.

Keep an eye on the Middle East turmoil.  History is in the making – and no one knows what the result will be.

Egyptian Riots 02/01/2011

Posted by Leona Dawnfire in Freedom, Government, Obama.
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For more than a week, the people of Egypt have been rioting against an oppressive government of 30 years.

“Decades of frustration, borne out of police brutality, systematic corruption and desperate poverty, exploded into revolutionary anger overnight. And the bad news for Mubarak is that this anger shows no sign of abating” (Bradley, Daily Mail).

And Mubarak is refusing to step down, despite the pleas of the people.  Instead, the police and military have been mobilized against the protesters, and the death toll is already above 100.

And throughout these riots, the White House has claimed its neutrality, a shocking contrast to the America of the past where freedom from dictatorships was who we were.  We believed in freedom.

Thus far, Americans have not been targeted as part of the protest, but it will not be long before the Egyptian people, and perhaps the Muslim Brotherhood will use this to their advantage, realize that a main reason Mubarak and his government have remained in power so long is support from the United States.  As we do so often in our recent history, the United States has backed yet another dictator over the freedom of its people.  Other examples in the Middle East are the Shah of Iran after the CIA/MI6 overthrow of the Iranian democratic leader and (ironically) Saddam Hussein.  America’s more recent track record doesn’t bode well.

With America being such a great ally of Egypt, one must wonder who America is friends with – the hated dictator or the people of Egypt?

America was founded on an uprising against a King and Parliament who overtaxed and treated the colonies like a group of second-class citizens.

The people of Egypt have been the victims of brutality (example: a 13 year old boy beaten and raped by police for suspicion of stealing tea), vast corruption, and censorship.  Egypt has out up with more than our Founding Fathers did before they chose to retake their freedom.  And yet the President of the United States will not choose to support the protesters and the freedom of the Egyptian people because of political bounds to the dictatorial government of Egypt?  What happened, America?

Why has President Obama said that protesters have the responsibility to “express themselves peacefully”?  Think about it.  Expressing yourself peacefully in a regime that throttles the press, arrests and beats citizens without cause, and Obama would have them express themselves peacefully?  President Mubarak has already closed all routes of effective expression of opposing views peacefully.

And as history should teach us, “Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable” (JFK).

 

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-1352090/EGYPT-RIOTS-Hosni-Mubarak-beware-comes-next.html#ixzz1Ci1Y2qEo