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AMMAN, Jordan â€" Jordan's King Abdullah II fired his government Tuesday in the wake of street protests and asked an ex-prime minister to form a new Cabinet, ordering him to launch immediate political reforms.

The dismissal follows several large protests across Jordan_ inspired by similar demonstrations in Tunisia and Egypt â€" calling for the resignation of Prime Minister Samir Rifai, who is blamed for a rise in fuel and food prices and slowed political reforms.
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20110201/ap_ ... an_cabinet

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If, and it is still an if, Mubarak falls, then it will be a signal to all in the region that no regime is safe. Relatively speaking, the Mubarak regime was the most stable in the region. King abdullah II is trying to get ahead of the protests before the same level of protests hit Jordan.

If Mubarak falls it will embolden other democratic reformers in the region to oust their oppressive regimes that are largely concerned with maintaining the status quo in terms of power and wealth distribution. Basically this has been a powerful and wealthy elite class, a relatively small middle class, and a large poor and disenfranchised lower class.

This power dynamic was maintained through the cold war. We, the United States and our western allies, identifed social reformers as communist sympathizers and looked for governments that would suppress such activities. Often in the face of hopelessness and oppression, many people look to religion for redemption, thus a wave of religious rhetoric was infused into social reform. After the fall of the Soviet Union, we maintain those authoritarian governments for the stabilkity they afforded, and began identifying those reformers as radicals instead.

Thus we started a pattern where we supported authoritarian regimes that suppressed social reformers as either communists or radicals.

We financiallly and militarily supported figures like Ben Ali in Tunisia, Mubarak in Egypt, Sheik Saleh in Yemen, King Faud in Saudi Arabia, and Kings Hussein and Abdullah II in Jordan. We paid lip service to democratic reforms, all while giving them a financial incentive to maintain rigid control in their countries.

Over the last 60ish years we have been far more interested in maintaining stability than in encouraging democracy. We have intentionally supported repressive regimes that will maintain the social order.

King Abdullah II hopes to remain in power during a massive restructuring of the social order in the Middle East. It will be interesting to see if the Jordanian people buy it.
 

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bdee said:
If, and it is still an if, Mubarak falls, then it will be a signal to all in the region that no regime is safe. Relatively speaking, the Mubarak regime was the most stable in the region. King abdullah II is trying to get ahead of the protests before the same level of protests hit Jordan.

If Mubarak falls it will embolden other democratic reformers in the region to oust their oppressive regimes that are largely concerned with maintaining the status quo in terms of power and wealth distribution. Basically this has been a powerful and wealthy elite class, a relatively small middle class, and a large poor and disenfranchised lower class.

This power dynamic was maintained through the cold war. We, the United States and our western allies, identifed social reformers as communist sympathizers and looked for governments that would suppress such activities. Often in the face of hopelessness and oppression, many people look to religion for redemption, thus a wave of religious rhetoric was infused into social reform. After the fall of the Soviet Union, we maintain those authoritarian governments for the stabilkity they afforded, and began identifying those reformers as radicals instead.

Thus we started a pattern where we supported authoritarian regimes that suppressed social reformers as either communists or radicals.

We financiallly and militarily supported figures like Ben Ali in Tunisia, Mubarak in Egypt, Sheik Saleh in Yemen, King Faud in Saudi Arabia, and Kings Hussein and Abdullah II in Jordan. We paid lip service to democratic reforms, all while giving them a financial incentive to maintain rigid control in their countries.

Over the last 60ish years we have been far more interested in maintaining stability than in encouraging democracy. We have intentionally supported repressive regimes that will maintain the social order.

King Abdullah II hopes to remain in power during a massive restructuring of the social order in the Middle East. It will be interesting to see if the Jordanian people buy it.
Very good post, bdee. That's a great overview of the entire situation.
 

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I think Abdullah's simply being prudent and acting pre-emptively to take the steam out of the engine before it reaches critical temperature. Unlike the Yemeni, Egyptians, or Tunisians, the Jordanians enjoy too much stability and luxury for the popular uprising that's happening in other parts of ME to take root in Jordan IMO. Same with Kuwait, UAE, Qatar, and several other parts of the region. I personally don't believe that the "revolution" will succeed in that class of nations. There may be people that protest but the anger and frustration exhibited by the citizens of the other nations isn't there. Same for Syria but for different reasons.

There is some really strange maneuvers happening amongst the political heavy hitters in Beirut right now. Lots of people are nervous. Lebanon has been a flash point ever since Rafik Hariri was assassinated in 2005. With the UN release of its report implicating Hiz'bollah in the murder and the Druze siding with the Shia to break the junior Hariri's government last week, I'd say they're probably as close as ever to resuming hostilities since 1990. Not good. They're a powder keg just waiting for a spark and I'm fairly certain of the source from which it will come. Will play out this summer in my prediction but will have nothing to do with a popular uprising.
 

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None of this is new. People in this region of the world have been fighting each other for over five thousand years. Since the days of Abraham and his two sons, Isaac and Ishmael, the forerunners of modern day Judaism and Islam. The Pharaohs of Egypt kept the people of Israel in captivity. And David the Israelite slew Goliath the Phillistine (Palestinean). And on and on and on and on....

These are not just "stories" from the Bible, but historical facts. Whether you believe the Bible or not, these conflicts are backed up by secular historians as well.

They have been fighting each other forever and probably will keep fighting each other until the end of time. There are times of relative calm and then things flare up again. The names may change but the conflicts are the same.

Why is anyone surprises that there is conflict in this region of the world?
 

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Jordan has had this problem for awhile now, it's only coming to light with Egypt going off. Same with Lebanon.

My thoughts? Watch Turkey and Libya. Pakistan, maybe.
 

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Easy there, posting links to DailyPaul, CountryGun, people might start to call you one of those tin foil hat conspiracy theorist nutjobs. :lol:
 

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If the Jordanian people are mollified by this, I'd be surprised. My best guess is the next country to truly erupt is Yemen. Saleh has been brutal for years. He has been identifying his political and economic rivals, as well as democratic activists as al-Qaeda sympathizers. We have been happily using drones to wipe them out as well as the surrounding neighborhood, and patting ourselves on the back for striking a blow against terrorism.
 

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Nullifier said:
None of this is new. People in this region of the world have been fighting each other for over five thousand years. Since the days of Abraham and his two sons, Isaac and Ishmael, the forerunners of modern day Judaism and Islam. The Pharaohs of Egypt kept the people of Israel in captivity. And David the Israelite slew Goliath the Phillistine (Palestinean). And on and on and on and on....

These are not just "stories" from the Bible, but historical facts. Whether you believe the Bible or not, these conflicts are backed up by secular historians as well.

They have been fighting each other forever and probably will keep fighting each other until the end of time. There are times of relative calm and then things flare up again. The names may change but the conflicts are the same.

Why is anyone surprises that there is conflict in this region of the world?
Great post, Nullifier! I was basically going to say the same thing, but you said it first...and better. :)
 

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If they are a people prone to war, just ask yourself how many conflicts America has gotten involved in in the last 100 years. How many years in the last century has America been at peace, not at war, no 'police actions,' no occupying a foreign nation? Then cast the first stone.
 

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Yeah, saying America is a peaceful nation doesn't really hold as an argument. We're either always in a war or playing police officer at all times.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Nullifier said:
None of this is new. People in this region of the world have been fighting each other for over five thousand years. Since the days of Abraham and his two sons, Isaac and Ishmael, the forerunners of modern day Judaism and Islam. The Pharaohs of Egypt kept the people of Israel in captivity. And David the Israelite slew Goliath the Phillistine (Palestinean). And on and on and on and on....

These are not just "stories" from the Bible, but historical facts. Whether you believe the Bible or not, these conflicts are backed up by secular historians as well.

They have been fighting each other forever and probably will keep fighting each other until the end of time. There are times of relative calm and then things flare up again. The names may change but the conflicts are the same.

Why is anyone surprises that there is conflict in this region of the world?
I think this can be said about anyone because rarely do people live in peace. I grew up with a friend who is a Muslim and he told me that in Palestine (where he was from) they all know they are basically the same people and the fight is not with each other.

He said the fight is mostly political. The people in power usually want more and trample on everyone else (and it cuts both ways).
 
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