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The Opposition Advances

The rebel forces in Libya have launched their first major offensive since the no-fly zone was instituted, pushing Gaddafi's forces out of the strategic city of Ajdabiya. Meanwhile, civil unrest has spread to Syria and Jordan. Syria has responded with particularly egregious violence.

Events in Egypt and Libya have already assured the current crisis a page in history. But the extent of the rebellion remains to be seen. As I wrote this post, I mentioned aloud that protests in the Arab world had spread to Syria and Jordan, and my lovely lady quite sincerely asked, "How many nations are left?" 

On the other hand, the outcome of the rebellion remains to be seen, as well - the entire enterprise could lead to liberal democracies or sectarian tyrannies. One can only hope that, whatever the immediate results, the uprisings mark the beginning of a trend toward liberty and moderation in an oppressed corner of the world.

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Discussions - 3 Comments

Don't tell the lovely lady you are worried about princess Haya and Queen Rania. Jordan really is one of the better countries in the middle east.(based on the 2011 Index of economic freedom+ Weapon sale agreements(part of the Obama/Cameron foreign aid, arms bazzar export boost.) Syria of course is evil (because it has a low score on the 2011 Index of economic freedom+ buys its weapons from Russia.)

I am still sticking with the end of history, Obama as Corporatist admin law geopolitical deal maker thesis, and it seems clear to me that with no additional specialized knowledge this way of fighting in Lybia really means a future cyclical bull market in Ratheyon and all the companies that supply ammunition, and potentially in KBR and all the companies that will help rebuild Lybia. High tech wars are corporatist wars, and the types of smart bombs that prevent civilian casulties are expensive. Of course preventing civilian casulties is also a laudable goal. That is it is very easy to be overly critical of crony capitalism, in a sweeping principled way, that is at the same time narrow and partisan and ignores the potential applicability of the principle to a broader range of circumstances and parties.

I think George Soros at Davos is far more realistic about the world, and Ron Paul is kinda just lost in what should be. Ron Paul howhever is not only an idiot but also an honest man, and dealing with the concerns of Chemerinksi and Paul are critical.

Ron Paul is not factually wrong when he points out that Iran inherited dozens of the then-frontline F-14 "Tomcat" fighter jets back in 1979, when the Shah was overthrown as part of the Iranian Revolution, which enabled the Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini to come to power. He draws a quick politicized argument from this, but Ron Paul also knows a lot more than I do.

This is partially about Russian and Americans being worried about the legal status of weapons deals.

You write that "the entire enterprise could lead to liberal democracies or sectarian tyrannies."

Are you kidding? LIBERAL democracy? The rebellion in Libya might just conceivably result in something that you could call "democracy" in the ancient Greek sense (and I doubt even that will come about), but it definitely will NOT result in "liberal" democracy, i.e., democracy subject to constitutional protection of individual rights and safeguards against majority tyranny. I'd be shocked if there are any analysts with real expertise in Arab politics (as opposed to credentialed leftist propagandists) who are saying that the Jew-hating rabble fighting Khadaffi might realistically be expected to bring about "liberal democracy" in that blighted land.

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