[QUOTE=JetPotato;4248045]I love bitoniworld - a world in which China is the standard for free market economies and Egypt is to be celebrated for its "free" elections (as its standing government is commiting genocide).
Fairy tales are fun. For children.[/QUOTE]
Just curious, werent you celebrating Iraq's "free elections" just after Baghdad was ethnically cleansed by the winning Shia government now in power?
[QUOTE=kennyo7;4248759]Im glad we made that clear. Now I know where you stand.
So you agree that Saddam was a better option than the current regime in Iraq, just like you appear to feel Mubarak is a better option for Egypt, Right?[/QUOTE]
Do you honestly think that this type of debating style - where you not only twist your interlocutor's words, but do so in such an obvious way that it has no persuasive force at all - is useful or productive?
[QUOTE=doggin94it;4249012]Do you honestly think that this type of debating style - where you not only twist your interlocutor's words, but do so in such an obvious way that it has no persuasive force at all - is useful or productive?[/QUOTE]
Yes. I do. Happy Thanksgiving.
BTW, how have i twisted his words? I asked him if he agrees with the statement. Its a yes or no question.
[QUOTE=kennyo7;4249030]Yes. I do. Happy Thanksgiving.
BTW, how have i twisted his words? I asked him if he agrees with the statement. Its a yes or no question.[/QUOTE]
When you start off a "question" with "so you agree that . . ." (rather than "do you agree that . . .") you are implying that you are summarizing his prior views (or at least articulating their necessary conclusion) rather than asking a question.
But you knew that. Your style may be dishonest, but you're not stupid.
[QUOTE]Islamists fare well in first round of Egypt's elections
From Mohamed Fahmy Fadel, for CNN
updated 12:21 PM EST, Sat December 3, 2011
Cairo (CNN) -- Islamist parties made dramatic advances in Egypt's parliamentary elections during the first round of voting for lawmakers this week, a result reflecting a growing embrace of religious-oriented sentiment across turbulent North Africa.
"We accept the results of the elections in any case because it's the will of the people, and our rivals should embrace it too because this is the true democracy we fought for and we wish our liberal brothers better results in the next two rounds," Mahmoud Ghozlan, spokesman of the relatively moderate Muslim Brotherhood, whose Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) won 40% of the vote.
Al Noor Salafi Movement, a hard-line Muslim group, had the second-highest total, 20%, in the first round of voting for the lower house of parliament, according to Yousri Abdel Kareem, head of the executive office of the Higher Judicial Election Council.
In the first election after the toppling of President Hosni Mubarak, the tallies reflected similar results in Morocco and Tunisia. Moderate Islamists in those North African nations prevailed in recent elections amid the wave of political discontent across the Arabic-speaking world this year.
Secularists weren't surprised at the result but they were stunned that some longtime secular groups performed poorly.
"The strong showing of the Islamists should serve to mobilize more support for secular candidate," said Mohamed Ghoneim, speaking for the liberal Egyptian Bloc that garnered 15% of the vote. "We need to build on that and we are going for it."
Ghoneim said voters were turned off by some secular candidates because they come from Mubarak's old National Democratic Party.
The Muslim Brotherhood is entrenched in mainstream Egyptian politics. Most are highly educated -- doctors, lawyers, engineers, professors and businessmen -- and come from solidly middle-class backgrounds.
Al Noor Salafi is the first Salafist group to register as a political party in Egypt. Salafis are conservative, religious purists and have been accused of stoking sectarian strife against Egypt's Christian minority and of plotting to undermine the country's fledgling democracy.
This week's voting in Egypt marked the initial part of a complex, multi-step process that will first pick members of the lower house of parliament.
Voters had to cast three votes, two for independent candidates and one for a party or coalition. Four independent candidates won but runoff elections for those who didn't win clear majorities will be held Monday and Tuesday. One of the four is Amr Hamzawy, once a research director at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and a spokesman of the "Board of Wise Men," which worked to foster negotiations between the government and protesters.
Presidential elections will be held by June, according to the military, which has rulied the country since Mubarak's fall.
"The success of Islamist parties will make it much more difficult, if not impossible, for the Egyptian military to prolong its political control and to recreate a political system along the lines of Hosni Mubarak, as it appeared intent on doing." Marina Ottaway, a senior associate of Carnegie's Middle East program, said in an analysis on Friday.
Voter turnout was initially reported by the country's election board at 62%, but the board said it would recalculate the figure after reporters raised questions about the number of registered voters used in the calculation, suggesting the true figure was lower.
Abdel Moez Ibrahim, head of the judicial election committee said problems arose during the polling that will be addressed in the next round of voting. They include campaigning on the days of the elections, long lines and the late arrival of a limited number of ballots. Ibrahim said sending vehicles to pick up judges and handing out paper ballots the night before elections are among solutions to problems.
Ibrahim said the process has been triumphant for Egyptian democracy.
"The winner of these elections is the Egyptian people," he said.
As for the future, the Carnegie analysis says "the response of the military and secular parties, and the political acumen of the FJP" will determine whether the future government will be "dominated by Islamists, including hard-line Salafis, or a less threatening alliance of the FJP and secular parties," Ottaway said.
CNN's Joe Sterling contributed to this report[/QUOTE]
[QUOTE][B][U]Liberal Youth Behind Revolution 'Decimated' in Free Egyptian Elections[/U][/B]
Published December 05, 2011 | Associated Press
[U]CAIRO[/U] – Egypt's top reformist leader has said the liberal youth behind the country's uprising have been "decimated" in parliamentary elections dominated by Islamists and expressed concern about the rise of hard-line religious elements advocating extremist ideas such as banning women from driving.
Mohamed ElBaradei, a Nobel Prize laureate and possible presidential candidate, said Sunday he hopes moderate Islamists will rein in the extremists and send a reassuring message to the world that Egypt will not go down an ultraconservative religious path.
"The youth feel let down. They don't feel that any of the revolution's goals have been achieved," ElBaradei told The Associated Press in an interview on the same day electoral authorities announced that Islamist parties captured an overwhelming majority of votes in the first round of elections last week. "They got decimated," he said, adding the youth failed to unify and form "one essential critical mass."
The High Election Commission announced that the Islamic fundamentalist Muslim Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party garnered 36.6 percent of the 9.7 million valid ballots cast last week for party lists. The Nour Party, representing the more hard-line Salafi Islamists, captured 24.4 percent.
The tallies offer only a partial indication of how the new parliament will look. There are still two more rounds of voting in 18 of the country's 27 provinces over the coming month and runoff elections on Monday and Tuesday to determine almost all of the seats allocated for individuals in the first round. But the grip of the Islamists over the next parliament appears set, particularly considering their popularity in provinces voting in the next rounds.
ElBaradei said he thought the combined strength of the two top-placed Islamist blocs surprised everyone, probably even the winning parties themselves.
"The outcome so far is not the greatest one," he said, summing up the mood of the country's educated elite as well as average Egyptians as "angst."
The new parliament will be tasked, in theory, with selecting a 100-member panel to draft the new constitution. If Islamist parties dominate, more liberal forces worry the constitution will be greatly influenced by the religious perspective.
In a move that angered the Islamist groups, the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, which took control of the country after Mubarak's fall in February, has suggested that it will choose 80 of those members.
ElBaradei said writing the constitution that respects human rights, dignity and freedom of expression should be based on a consensus among all the players, and not on a parliamentary majority.
"In my view, it is all in the hands of SCAF right now," he said, hoping the ruling generals will help promote the consensus.
However, ElBaradei was highly critical of the military rulers, saying they have "royally mismanaged" the transition period.
He also raised concerns about statements by some Salafi elements questioning whether women should be banned from driving, as they are in Saudi Arabia, or branding the novels of Egypt's Nobel laureate Naguib Mahfouz, as "prostitution."
"I worry of course that some of the extreme stuff coming out from some of the Salafis ... when you hear that literature of somebody like Mahfouz is equal to prostitution, if you hear that we are still debating whether women are going to drive their cars, if we are still discussing whether democracy is against Shariah," or Islamic law, ElBaradei said.
"These are of course sending shockwaves, statements like that. I think the Brotherhood in particular, and some of the Salafis, should send quickly messages of assurance both inside the country and outside the country to make sure that society continues to be cohesive to make sure that investment will come in."
He said the statements "will have tremendous economic and political implications." Moderate Islamists need to "make clear that some of these voices ... are on the extreme fringes and they will not be the mainstream."
The focus on safeguarding religious principles should be mindful of rampant poverty and illiteracy, not "about what people are going to dress, to drink," he said.
Salafis are newcomers on Egypt's political scene. They long shunned the concept of democracy, saying it allows man's law to override God's. But they formed parties and entered politics after Hosni Mubarak's ouster in February, seeking to enshrine Islamic law in Egypt's new constitution.
By contrast, the Muslim Brotherhood, Egypt's largest and best organized political group, was officially banned under Mubarak but established a nationwide network of activists. After Mubarak's fall, the group's Freedom and Justice Party campaigned fiercely, their organization and name-recognition giving them a big advantage over newly formed liberal parties.
ElBaradei said the Muslim Brotherhood's strong showing was not unexpected, given that Egypt is emerging from decades of brutal dictatorship that smothered civil society. He said one in every three Egyptians is illiterate and nearly half subsist in deep poverty.
"It should not be a surprise people are voting with their gut. People lost their sense of identity with the state. They identify with religion," ElBaradei said.
He said the Brotherhood has been working for many years providing basic needs for health care and other social services the government failed to deliver and they were well known throughout the country.
In contrast, the liberal youth groups behind the uprising failed to form a cohesive, unified front. He said they only formed political parties two months ago.
He predicted the Muslim Brotherhood will prefer to form an alliance with the liberals rather than the Salafis to get a majority in parliament. The liberal Egyptian Bloc -- which came in third with 13.4 percent of the votes -- could counterbalance hard-line elements.
Nevertheless, ElBaradei agreed the first elections since Mubarak's fall were free and fair and said the massive turnout of about 60 percent lent it legitimacy.
However, he said it will not produce a parliament that represents Egyptian society. ElBaradei said he expects few women, youths or Coptic Christians, a minority that constitutes about 10 percent of Egypt's 85 million citizens.
The rise of the Islamists has also caused concern in the U.S. and Israel, which has a long-standing peace treaty with Egypt it fears might be in jeopardy. But ElBaradei said he does not foresee any radical changes in Egypt's foreign policy because the country still depends heavily on foreign assistance and cannot afford to isolate itself. Egypt is one of the largest recipients of U.S. foreign aid.
He said Egyptians are looking more to Turkey as a model for a moderate Islamist state rather than Saudi Arabia and its strict imposition of Islamic law.
ElBaradei said Egypt has progressed since the revolution but the economy and law and order have deteriorated sharply.
"We are now a freer country," he said. "People lost their sense of fear ... We are empowered as a people."
He said he is advising the liberal youth groups not to give up and to view this as a "long haul" process and to start preparing for the next elections, overcome their ideological differences and work together.
"We'll have to keep fighting," he said, adding that "the revolution is still a work in progress."
He predicted protesters will return to Cairo's Tahrir Square to keep pressing their demands.
"If you have the second wave of the revolution, it will be an angry one," he said.[/QUOTE]
Read some on their election system, very complicated system they choose.
[QUOTE]Zakaria: Don't fear political Islam - yet
By Fareed Zakaria, CNN
Tom Friedman recently wrote a sharp op-ed on "The Arab Awakening and Israel" in which he quoted Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaking before the Knesset in late November. Netanyahu said the Arab awakening was moving the Arab world "backward" and turning into an "Islamic, anti-Western, anti-liberal, anti-Israeli, undemocratic wave."
I agree with Tom Friedman that Netanyahu's view of the Arab Spring is wrong - in fact it is bizarre given recent events. In Morocco, Tunisia and Egypt, the moderate Islamic groups that are assuming power have made it clear that they intend to respect minority rights, work within the system, maintain and enhance democracy and strengthen the rule of law. In the Egyptian case, a more fundamentalist party is, in fact, outflanking the Muslim Brotherhood on the right because the Brotherhood ended up being so moderate. Now, there may well be reversals in some areas as these parties try to impose their social conservatism on the societies, but that does not make them necessarily undemocratic.
For decades, political Islam was the language through which people resisted dictatorial regimes. That gave these parties a special status, a kind of halo effect, which has helped them once the dictators fell. But is it likely that these forces will have staying power? Will they generate coherent governing philosophies that people buy into? The answer is: Only if they are competent at governing. And to be competent at governing and to stay in power, these groups have to moderate themselves. The history of countries from Indonesia to Pakistan suggests that over time, the more radical political elements lose their popular appeal because their mystical attraction was tied up in their opposition to the dictatorships. Once the dictatorships go, their appeal dwindles.
So far, nothing justifies Netanyahu's extreme pessimism about the Arab Spring. Sure, Egypt has taken a harder line on Israel and demonstrated stronger support for the Palestinians, but we always knew that was going to happen because the publics in these countries have long felt this way. Washington either bullied or bribed the dictators to suppress popular views on foreign policy. This shift is an example of democracy in action not anti-democratic forces!
Despite the shift, there is no indication that Egypt or Tunisia now wants to wage war on Israel. The broader change in these countries is that they are now much more concerned about themselves – about good governance, social justice and economic growth. When you go to Egypt today, the vast majority of people talk about their own domestic politics. Yes, people have very tough views on Israel, but mostly what they're concerned about is what's going on at home. As Tip O'Neill said, all politics is local.[/QUOTE]