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North Africa.docx

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Department
Political Science
Course
POLI 340
Professor
Rex Brynen
Semester
Fall

Description
North Africa Freedom house rating (1 is good) is very bad in the region. Morocco only had a partly free rating before the arab spring. Large populations. A bit of oil money with Algeria and Libya. Gdp per capita very low. HDI very low. Libyan number is a bit suspicious. Part of ottoman empire. Local governor had a degree of autonomy. One of those parts of the ottoman empire that pushed for defensive modernization. Reforms in education and administration. In 1881 --. Becomes a French proctectorate. This is the period where north Africa (Tunisia, morocco and Algeria come under French colonial rule). There were protest and limited violence in the run up to independence after ww2. Neo destour emerged as primary poli actor. Tunisian gained independence 1956 normally as a monarchy. New destour essentially put the king under house arrest and eventully a republic emerged. Habib boughiba leader of new destour who became the 1 pres of Tunisia. Egypt  muhammed ali tried his own defensive modernization  mounting debt crises  brits and French (to whom much opf the debts were owed and who owned the suez canal) to put ina kind of receivership to take over their finances and with finances, the admin of the country  urabi revolt  Egypt under fully brits Resistance to brit colonial rule mostly after ww1  brit granting independence in 1922. Limited indep. Brit troops remain in the canal zone. Indeed they remained in all of Egypt in ww2. So although Egypt gained nominal indep in 1922. It was under brit influence and control cos of brits strategic needs specially through the ww2. Libya  another semi autonomus part of the ottoman empire. Conquered by Italy from 1911 onwords. Italians essentially took three parts: 1) western part of Libya(Tripoli), 2) eastern part (Benghazi) 3) southern part (Sahara) and sort of put them together in modern Libya  continued tensions. Easter part of the country resent the politics in the west. Indep  UN managed transitional process in 1950s. Italians lost control of it during ww2. It wasn’t until 1970s that middle eastern regimes starting to gain much revenure from oil cos prices were low and they only got a small percentage. 1969  group of nationalist army officers  Monarchy was overthrown. Qaddafi comes in. The thing about Algeria (unlike most of the other areas) it was the target of overwhelming colonial rule. For france Algeria was not a colony. Algeria was a part of france for france. The French dream was to expand france to north Africa. So Algeria was under intense French colonial scene. A million setllers by the early 1950s. most of em French but many Italians and Spanish. FLN emerged as the leading nationalist movement in the 1950s and launched war of national liberation (bloody cost: 200 000 algerians. HAZAARON LOG KILLED for French to hang on to its colonial posessions) ironically in many ways the French won the military struggle. By the end of the war the FLN controlled less and less of the areas it had. But the war had broken the will of French people to retain control and had raised the cost of colonial occupation. So in 1962 with da gaulle now in power in france, indep given. FLN assumes power. (often after a war of national liberation: one party state emerges, the party which had led the war of national liberation examples include: Vietnam)  this was seen in france. So we have very diff trajectories to indep. From violant uprisings in Algeria to a kind of indirect colonial rule with lil bits of power given off to Egyptian monarchy with brits retaining considerable leverage in Egypt. Was the kingdom where the current dynasty traces its roots back to the 17 century. It is the only long standing monarchy in the middle east. Centuries of ruling. In 1912  French procteroate. The French tried a kind of indirect colonial rule leaving the monarchy intact. Lil bits of morocco cam under the Spanish rule, indeed there are still some parts under Spanish control. But the French presence gave rise to opposition both from the monarch and nationalist political parties: istiqlal party (most imp) The French faces growing protest (also in Tunisia, Algeria) French tried to crush this nationalist emergeness in morocco by exiling the king. Which backfired as population united against French colonialism. Morocco  indep  1956  under muhammed V Then Hassan II  key role in consolidation in post colonial monarchy. And then he is succeded by muhammed VI - Private sector remained quite vibrant certainly COMPARED TO Egypt under nasir or Algeria under fln - Most liberal personal status laws in middle east – rights of women, marriage, divorce, chil custody - You always knew who will win: destour - Western foreign policy and the west dint have any prob with this authoritarian rule soeacially through the cold war era. - Replaced by interior ministery general: ben ali Ben ali when came initially offered partial poli reforms. Kind of the trend in the middle east when a new leader comes in power he offers some reforms which are not really reforms. Renamed destour Elections  he won Islamist suppressed – partly cos of Algeria (there is a fear amongst authoritarians that islamist will screw em up) Tunisia undertook  econ liberalization in 90s. went further then most other middle eastern countries. Had good econ growth comparatively. Better then developing countries. Econ growth rate through 90s and 2000s were generally above avg in the region and the developing world. There was however an idea in the public about how ben ali and his family and inlaws were using state resources for their own benefits. That disproportionate part of state resources are being used by ben alis family. This is one of the reports leaked by the wiki leaks. Wins elections with 90 percent plus vote. Wikileak report. Theres another report where they told about their luxurious life. Many people benefited from the regime. Upper classes, econ elites but the sense that too much benefit was goin towords the people around ben ali. Even by the people who were doing very well under ben ali regime felt this. King faroq  king when Egypt took indep  overthrown by nationalist army officers (free officers) ( qaddafis coup in 1969 Libya later was based on the coup of Nasser in many ways). The free officers citied corruption for social inequality. They dint cite arab nationalism much during 50s as Nasser emerged as a leader he took an increasingly arab nationalist stance. He did many things listed above. Land reform – to take land take from the rich and given to the very poor. Both for econ, social and poli reasons. Suez canal was nationalized. Egypt was subject to attack by isreal france and brit in 1956 which resulted in all those armies and a mjor polit victory (not much of a military victory) but a diplomatic poli victory for the Egyptian pres which spurred the embrace of panarabism and increased his influence. 58-62 egyptian and Syria unified  united arab republic  involved a lot of Egyptian officers to run Syria and Syrians got pissed off and left the scene. l\gter in 60s he embraced arab socilasm and expanded the role of the state. Formed arab socialist union. 67 egypt along with with other arab countries was defeated in the war with Israel. Which did real damage to appeal of Arabism. There has been a decade of rhetoric Arabism often with Israel as the focus. And so when the war comes in 67, Arabism is hardly a success. Gaza strip and west bank taken by the Israel. Large parts of Syrian Golan heights, Sinai peninsula. Naseer died in 1970 at a point where arab nationalism was declining. He was succeded by anwar sadat. 73 arab Israeli war. It results objectively in Egyptian military defeat but it was a political success. That Egypt and Syria managed to mount one of the biggest strategic surprises by catching Israel off guards and penetrating defensive lines which were thought to impenetrable. Sadat did this to convince the isrealis that they need to talk to him cos he is a threat cos aftr 67 israel thought arabs were hopeless, they cant wina war and so its no use to negotiate with them. But in 73 israelis were panicked and were prepared to use nuclear weapons. Sadat reorients the domestic and foregin policy. He engages in infitah (econ openings) which tries to to attract foreign investments. Reduces the restrictions on businesses to some extent. It’s a slow econ opening. Not like the one in Tunisia in 80s and 90s but quite significant departure from the arab social scene in late naseer period. Foreign policy  towards US instead of Soviet Union (which had main ally of naseer) Cos of reorientation of foreign policy and cos of 73 war, 1979 treaty btw Egypt and Israel which sees the withdrawel of Israeli forces from occupied parts of Egypt. He also broke up nasers old poli party the arab socialist union.  multiparty system established but the NDP as the dominant party. (national democratic party with just enough competition to make it kind of look like a multi party system but with a system fixed that you will always know whose gonna win which is kind of different from the one party system that we saw in nasir period. Sadat flirts with islamist for a while  in part cos he is moving aaway from nasirsm that the nasirit aren’t too fond of him and so he uses the islamist as a counter balance to the nasirite left. But eventually finds him self in a confrontation with them and clamps down in early 80s and is assassinated during a military prade. In many ways the Mubarak regime will follow in the foot steps of sadat regime. NDP  governing party  giant patronage machine  gives out and uses it to win poli support. Other then that it doesn’t act much like a poli party. Violant struggle (a980s) and ending in 90s with militant jihadist groups. Harassment of the non violant muslim brotherhood but eventually it is allowed to enter the poli process. During the Mubarak period the muslim brotherhood were allowed to run for some seats in parli but if it looked like they were doing too good they had all their middle ranking cadres arrested to make sure they didn’t do well. There is civil society there are certain thuings you don’t talk about like the pres or the army but u can say anything about the pm. But the president, his sons and army were not to be questioned. Improved econ performance and by being on the side of America and Kuwait in 91 gulf war where they got large parts of its debt forgiven for being on the side of America. Unemployment remained high like in morocco and Tunisia. Youth bulges. You decline fertility and mortality rates  large youth bulge  more people entering the labour market then jobs created and so youth unemployment rates were high in north Africa during 1990s. NDP winning elections. 9/11  greater external and internal pressure for poli reform in the arab world. 2005  first time competitive pres elections. Uptil now there has been a single candidate. now Multiple candidates. Ayman nour did best of the opposition candidates. Most ppl dint bother dint vote. Its interesting to think if 100 percent of Egyptians had showed up and voted against Mubarak. But most ppl dint show up cos they dint think the system will change. The state had all kinds of benfits. Ayman nour was allowed to participate and after he lost was thrown back in jail. Parli elections 2005  muslim brother won almost all the seats they contested in. one of muslim brother hood official says he hopes that they don’t do any better cos if they did they might be clamped down upon. Those MPs entered parli but the muslim brotherhood continued to be harassed and the regime wouldn’t allow brotherhood to be a party even though they had done very good in the elections. Egyptian elections take place in multiple stages largely cos they have to be overseen by judges and they don’t have enough judges to go around. So like in Egypt the areas where muslim brotherhood can win, the state is using forces to protect the voting place from voters to ensure they don’t cast votes in favor of the muslim brotherhood. Intl community voiced very lil concern about the fact that the elections results were being eroded by harassment of the opposition and they expressed very lil discontent when the next elections in 2010 were marred by vote rigging and boycotted by much of the opposition. It was apparent in this period of the early 2000s that husni Mubarak was beginning to groom his son for succession. Gamal Mubarak is in jail right now but at that time this idea of him succeeding his father was very unpopular and also unpopular within the military. May b one of the reasons why Mubarak was abandoned by the military in 2011. Highest HDI in Africa even if we doubt the statistics, it was actually highest in Africa. Great deal of neopatrimonialism: i.e to say great deal of politically motivated patron client relationship. Where the regime used its oil money to buy support and use force to silent dissent. Qaddafi was deeply suspicious of instituitons. In poli sci we don’t like great men theories of politics. The notion that the leaders omehow make things happens cos there are social factors which either cause these things to happen or oppose these things. There are constraints. But inlibya qaddafi constructed a cult personality and he was deeply suspicious of any kind of institution, poli parties and even his own beureucracy. He established a supposed system of pyramidal system of peoples congress where loca l neighbourhood people voted for represents and they voted for represents and so on which was all useless cos it all depended on really what he himself wanted and later what his sons wanted as they emerged on the poli scene of the country. No ngos other then the one set up by his son saif. No unions. No poli parties. No civil society in the sense that existed even in the authoritarian regimes. Very personalistic leadership and increasingly his sons emerging in prominent roles and the belief that his son saif was being groomed as the new successor to the regime. 9/11  reorientation of foreign policy towards the west worried that they might face the same fate as Iraqis. They gave up weapons of mass destruction prog including chem weapn prog and nuclear (purchased from paki scientist but was not being used cos they dint know how to make it work, actually bits of nuclear prog all packed up with no idea what to do with it. Algeria after indep was being dominated by the army and its forces. But there were poli splits which became visible when the pres ben bella lost power in 65. Under houari  oil money for govt. programs for econ growth, social services. But spent more money then it actually had from oil revenues.  heavy debt. (ironic) Chadli benjedid had to deal with this debt  he decided to undertake some reforms  he coupled econ and poli reforms. Opening up of regime in 90 and 92 elections. Open questions: how far was benjedid willing to go with reforms? Was he up for it all the way? Did it get away from him? What really he wanted and what happened? Clear in local and parli election in 90 and 92 was that FIS (Islamic salvation front) a militant Islamic party was doing very well and could have won the parli elections. To win them was big cos u could then change the constitution. So the army intervened and cancelled the poli process and opening. Averted FIS victory which  civil war btw increasinggly radicalized FIS and the army/regime(FLN)  Algerian civil war  Algerian poli development scarred uptil now cos of this. Benjedid removed from power  in comes military council  replced by general. Regime began to witness civil war it began to be in position to negotiate with the islamist  truce with FIS  amnesty Civil war  regime wins  amnesty taken by most radical islam opposition takes but some parts dint. Civil war is just over. We just have some continuing spark of terrorism. Berber: minority, non arab ethinic minority present in north Africa. Berber politics is quite diff in Algeria Tunisia Libya and morocco. Algeria: regime policy had emphasized the arab identity of Algeria. For decades no recognition of their lingo and culture although berbers are a sig minority in Algeria.  emergence of berber identity, berber parties come up and periodic protests in berber areas. Ironically the regimes attempt to homogenize the Algerian identity results in actually berber identity being increased. Tunisia has some berbers but not that much Berbers in Libya: who again were marginalized and were simply not recognized. Indeed many of their areas were redeveloped where their villages were finished off and replaced with buildings etc. in overthrow of qaddafi they berber groups played a very imp role in military declopments just bfre fall of tripoli. New Libyan govt recognized berber lingo. There are however issues over berber identity and regional autonmy still. Morocco: for hundreds of years berber population has been integerated in the patron client relationships with the monarchy as other non berber groups have been  result  its hard to tell who is berber in morocco. Cos the patron client networks of berber monarchy have been inclusionary for centuries. And so hasn’t become an identity for politics. Shows the ways in which state policy can effect identity. Under boutefika some econ improve: partly cos price of oil went up. There was some multi partyism. But largely party linked to regime won elections. Army and old guard remain powerful. The mysterious people in the army and regime who are known to have quite a bit of power but no one knows who they are or how they work. Algeria: peculiar case where every one knows who the pres but no one is entirely sure who the contours of poli power are. Every time theres a cabinet reshuffle or someone is appointed as an army officer, no one knows who have what kind of poli power and how much influential the pres is or isn’t. so in contarast to Egypt (Mubarak) or Tunisia (ben ali) we knew who the pres was and his poli power. We don’t in Algeria who really has the poli power. Hassan II pres  opposition from: leftist, unions and even the military. Irony: although morocco looks relatively stable later on, Hassan barely survived the 70s. he survived a coup attempt during his bday party and survived cos he hid in the washroom. Another coup where morocco rebel pilots tried to shoot down his plane. They shot. Royal plane pilot told them that you killed him now stop shooting. They stopped shooting. But he was alive and got off the plane and crushed the coup. Hassan second almost died in 70s and this made his rule very remarkable cos he managed to consolidate the power. State tressury, elite around the palace are used as patronage system. Very imp is the patronage system. Very much suppression. Most consolidates regime in 1975  pres franco (fascist dictator) of spain dying  spain has colonial possession in Africa  western sahara. What will happen to western sahara? Will it be decolonize? Franco is dying? What morocco does is marches into western sahara and annexes it. First it annexes the top half with maurtinia takes the other half. But then morocco takes all of it. But how they take it is with civilians marching into western sahara and claiming it a historic part of morocco. Those Moroccan civilians were backed with Moroccan army. Then they faced years of gurella warfare with polasaria ( the local population armed sharia nationalist movement) which the morocco govt finally wins. But this makes Hassan popular. Later half of 1970s where army is backing him and fighting the insurgency in western sahara. Econ challenges. Some reform in 90s. the king the palace remained firmly in control. Hassan died. Succession by son. Again the story if he is a reformist? In some ways yes there were reforms. Release of poli prisonors. Removal of some security officials involved in worst cases of reppression domestically. Clamp down particularly cos of 9/11 Thing about morocco elections: no one ever wins the majority. System is designed to make sure no one wins the majority. Cos if no one wins the majority thn the palace can tip btw different poli actors to get outcomes it wants. Graph shows no one wins majority. So everything is based on what relations you have with the king and the patronage system. When we look at poli systems, the authoritarian regimes tend to prefer a dominant poli system. RCD in Tunisia. NDP in Egypt. They want their parties to win. Monarchies prefer fragmented poli system cos then the power is with the king (who is not a member of a ppoli party) like in morocco, Jordan, Kuwait  many parties and palace claiming that I am above all of em. Authoritarian republics use parties to mobilize support for themselves vs. the monarchies where they want the central role amidst a fragmented poli system. Party fragmentation tends to facilitate regime patronage. Morocco takes constitutional reforms in arab spring. King gives up his ability to choose pm. Constitution revised that the pm is always from the party with most seats. If you look at morocoo politics today, the palace is still the leading poli force. In the sense that things haven’t changed much. We have a pjd islamist pm but palace still has all kinds of influence. But it may be that later these constitional reforms might come to bite the king (like we see in britian how small const reforms resulted in monarchy being limited and limited and limited) Consolidation of regimes in north Africa so that by 2000s the regimes are ticking more or less quite smoothly. Very lil changed in tunisa, egypts muabarak system seems ok, moroca and Libya are doing ok like stable. Algeria exiting civil war with some poli stability. NOW WE GET TO BAAM BAAM BAAM ARAB SPRING BHENCHOD! Morocco  monarchy which remained under French rule (quite diff from French excercising indirect rule). Remained after indep. Kind of hard in the first kings period. Hard in till 1975 for Hassan II. Monarch y remains. The current king even relaxing a bit now. Less suppression etc Algeria  very diff. a bloody gruiella war against the French for indep. Eventually the French left. Fln emerged as a single party ruler in Algeria. That continued up till the 1980s when Algeria had hugh econ issues cos of high deficit and so ben jedid tried to come up with electoral reforms. But when it looked like the islamist are gonna win, the army stepped in and hence a bloody civil war in Algeria starts again from which Algeria eventually emerged where the power still around the old guard but a very complicated scenario where u don’t really know who has the power and how diff actors in the system excercied their control/power Libya  Italian colony gainin indep after ww2 n power seized by qaddafi in 1969 who in essence did what the ruler of every other middle east country did. He had a lot of oil money. He didn’t set up institutuions with strong rule of law like other rulers. Instead he was allergic to institutions and kept changing his mind about how to govern. Also Libya was made up of three very dif parts put together(lot of regional politics). And also dint have a history of multi party democracy. Kind of a monarchy? Qaddafi – king of kings? Being ‘succeded’ by saif? So like a monarchy Egypt  brit colonial rule  nominal indep btw ww1 n ww2  more indep after ww2  1952 free officers throwing over the monarchy  nasir, sadat, Mubarak all continutation of the same regime where the military plays a key role in upholding the regime. Real shift in ideology between nasir (pan Arabism + lose foreign policy tilting to soviet) and sadat (econ reforms + foregin policy towords west + abandoning of Arabism in peace treaties with isreal) Tunisia  French colony  republic shaped by habib bourgiba  ben ali takes over and follows the same path. Econ reforms are more then other countries. Ben ali a lil less charismatic than habib and a lil more corrupt. Pro western foreign policy. Strong middle class bade of support. Mohammed bouaziz was protesting against police harassament. Protest in sidi bouzid  spread to other rural and semi rural areas  finally to the capital (tunis) in a week and a half/ two weeks, UGTT  trade union movement backing protest it in a way it never has backed protests. Previously ugtt had tried to quiten down protest fearing they will damage the econ. Ben alis try cabinet shuffle. Tries consessions. Blaming outside forces for trouble. Tries sympathizing with protestors. Tries putting bouzizi in a better hospital before he dies. Tries all sorts of things. But protests don’t stop. Protests grow. Army refuses to use fire power to crush the protestors. Ben ali frees to saudia. Theoretical concepts to understand why now protests? Preference falsifications: Is when people might hold one view but they don’t express it cos of fear of expressing it. You are falsifying your prefernces. One of the things about authoritarian regimes is that people falsify there prefernces. You don’t go around saying key we hate the pres. Problem with this is that people don’t know what others are thinking. You are afraid that others may not share the same view or might be a member of the secret police. They need some signal that other people feel the same way. Info cascade – when someone might think something but then see other people doiung someother thing and think ok may be theres something that they know that I don’t know and so I start doing the same thing. Its when people take signal from what other people are doing. so I may think that its dangerous to protest but if I see there a hundered thousand people in tahrir square then may b they know something that I don’t and start following em. Related to both of them are the perceptions of opportunity structures. I may think today that its impossible to overthrow regime. They have money and everything. No one voted against Mubarak in 2005 cos everyone knows elctions are fixed and they cant do anything It may be that my perception of opportunity structure changes. Bouzid did for Tunisians. Tunisians did for Egypt. The more people protest the lower the risk of protesting to one protestor cos its much harder for the regime to respond to hundred thousand people then just one person. Qs in class: muslim brotherhood was not registered as a political party in Egypt even though it had a poli party there, the FJP (freedom and justice party. For years and years muslim brother hood either been illegal or only allowed to operate as NGO. After overthrow of morsi, the courts were asked to review the status of the muslim brother hood and the courts have recently decided that the muslim brother hood should stop its operations and we might be going towards a ban on the muslim brotherhood. Syria giving up chem weapons cos it rmmbrs what happened to saddam cos of his wpds. But did they cheat? The stuff they provided is more then what was expected they will declare. Very hard to transport weapons. Weapons in areas with insurgencies. You need incinerating facilities to destroy them. Russian inspectors on the ground can be used as human shields if America later decides to strike. Inspectors them self not secured. Mayb make chem weapons less effective by contaminating them but you don’t really want that. Jordan can not legally have chem weapons on its soil cos it signed a treaty. Syria has these cos of Israel. Very complicated scene. The aforementioned theoretical basis: info cascade and personal falsification and change in perception of opertunity structure IS WHY MEDIA IS IMP. Cos media tells you what other ppl may be thinking. Aljazeera showing protest. You connecting with other people through media and forming like minded groups. Facebook. Texting. It is fashionable at times to call the arab spring a twitter revolution. Like a Libyan on tv calling it a twitter revo. But its imp to note that most Libyans don’t twitter and that revo before these were not cos of media or twitter. There were obvio other ways to communicate before twitter. Internet peneteration is diff in diff countries. Media role in diff countries is diff. fewer ppl watched Aljazeera in Egypt thn in other parts of the middle east. Facebook was quite imp in Egypt. Twitter is much less used and twitter is mostly used for connection btw activists and activists or activist n the media then btw ordinary ppl. The connection is th info cascade facilitated by the media. Media it self is not the cause of the revolution and we have had revo spread much more quickly in the pre internet age then the one which spread in Tunisia. Role of intermediate actors was very imp speacially in Tunisia. Intermediate actors: actors with some social way and cedibility and actors who have some stake in the status quo and whose actions people take as a signal of wth things are changing a signal of wthr ppl should participate in the info cascade. When young people started protesting in Tunisia, middle aged ppl were thinking what is happening? Is it the real thing or just some unemployed thugs. But when the trade unions start to come out and when lawyers are protesting in tunis in their lawyer clothes then it gave credibility to the scene and so the rest of the population followed. Intermediate actors can b quite imp in sending a signal Open qs  what is the impact of repression on public protest? Is it linear? The more you protest the lest opposition there is? Is it linear in the other direction? That if u repress too much ppl get angry? Is it curvi linear? That is it goes up and down so that a moderate amount of repression is efficient from regimes point of u cos too lil doesn’t do much and too much just pisses ppl off. Or does it go the other way? A lil repression works cos ppl don’t really get angry on it and too much works cos ppl get scared but moderate isn’t enough to scare ppl and instead it isn’t too lil even to be ok for the ppl and hence moderate ends up pissing ppl off. All of these relations intuitively make sense and the data is confusing as to which one it is. Tunisa 2010? Was it that the police was too tough on the initial protest cos ppl saw the police firing on crowds and going like woah this doesn’t happen in Tunisia despite it being a repressive country or we could have the argument that less respressive might have worked out by handling it like anyother periodic protest Tunisia has suffered or you can make the argument that there were too light if they had been really brutal from day one then ppl wld have had been scared. Repression and level of repression does effect people perspective of level of opportunities, of the situation and their willingness to participate in this info cascade thingy we discussed.  perfect example is Syria. Cos even rex dint think ppl will rise up cos the regime had been extreaaaamly repressive in past and had flattened in an entire city and he thought ppl will be too scared (hama massacare 82). But then why did it happen? Cos in dera kids spray painted  kids taken away n roughed up  parents go to apologise and beg for kids to be released  parents insulted in quite a conservative part of the country  parents angry and burned down party hq of the country  regime being tough compltly backfired and if that hadn’t been the case may b the scene would have been diff but Syrian saw ppl burning down ba’ath party hq and breaking statues of hafez al assad n goin like whats goin on here. What happened in dera was really imp in sparking a change in which poli dynamics occur in Syria. Next domino after Tunisia. Some opposition in Egypt for some time. We had a small parli opposition  the electoral system was always designed to keep make sure NDP won big victories with small opposition but there were opposition parties which had grown up around the time of Iraq intervention which had later focused on the kefaya movement. We alrdy talked about the pres elections with multiple candidates. There was youth activisim including internet based youth activism. Beating of death of Khalid saed  fb campaign in Egypt  we are all Khalid saed. So debate  is fb causing revolution or fb acting as a substitute to revolution with ppl going like oh I liked the page. But point is there had been this activism and net has made it easy for protestors to communicate and connect which was obvio different from the traditional networking structure one usually sees through a poli system. So this activist group was prolly harder to get a hand on if you were the regime but prolly seemed less dangerous too. So protestors decide to have a protest on the police day in the context of the recent Tunisian revo and the way they did it they organized a lot of small protests in diff parts of cairo and then convened in tahrir square. Which turned out to be way bigger thn what they expected. Even a puzzle for poli scientists. Cairo is centre of Egypt. Tahrir is center of cairo. It is symbolically a big public space with residents. A big protests there means something. The most successful protests were in areas with very visible location like tahrir square or the pearl round about. Where as someother countries didn’t have this kind of a ‘square’ or geographical location. In cairo everything kind of diverges into tahrir square and so a protest there it was occupying the very center of the capital and showed the power of the protest when the govt couldn’t clear it. So there might be a connection between the poli importance of a city and its symbolism acting as an advantage for the protests. There is an interesting relationship between urban geography and public protest. The moment the regime couldn’t contain the protest and the public saw the regime failing in containing the protest and clearing tahrir square in the first 24 hours, regime has lost part of the battle. Ppl thinking that regime is not strong enough to stop more and more people gathering at tahrir square. Regime shown to be much weaker. Tunisian regime looked quite like the gyptian one. Former security officer was the pres. Nominal electoral system with no meaning. Corruption. Tunisia is a case which reverberated in Egypt quite well cos of the similarities. Organized poli parties were slow to join prolly cos they dint know which way the wind was blowing and were scared of jumpin in and then protest being shut down by the regime and they would be the ones pay the cost cos they wld be repressed by the regime if the regime gets control of the situation. Muslim brother hood was imp in mobolozing fairly tough individuals to stand ground in the so called battle of the camels. Egyptian polic were hated and dint do a good job in dealing with the protest. Egyptian army was called out but there was a aproblem with the army from the regimes point of view that it’s a conscript army and there was no diff btw rank and file in the Egyptian army and the protestors. Most of the protestors who were above 20 year old had served in the military and it was not clear if the army will be ordered to clamp down on the protestors will do so and the military officers wanted to do was to give orders which will be disobeyed cos then everything starts to fall off. So the military was not terribly usable for crowd control. No indication that they will be willing to just open fire on the crowd. So the regime used kind of thugs of the ruling party and infamously used camels to try suppress the protestors. So this was actually a sign of weakness of the regime that they had to use thugs and dudes on camels to try get rid off the protestors. Mubarak stood fast and only agreed to a few minor compromises. Then senior ranks in the army began to recognize that Mubarak was losing bet cos there was no way to rescue the situation with him still remaining the pres. There was some sympathy for him being forced out by protests. But he clearly had become a liability rather than an asset they tried to negotiate with him a smooth transition with omer Suleiman becoming the vice president it was supposed to be stage managed but when Mubarak gave the speech to announce this gradual change/transition he kind of messed it up possibly cos of his son gamal Mubarak and gave a a speech which angered ppl and at that moment scaf decided that they cant do a smoot transition with Mubarak and have to physically act to remove him and so Mubarak was remoed and so the supreme council of the armed forces essentially took control of the transitional process. Events in Tunisia  spurred events in Egypt which in turn  spurned events in Libya Egypt was particularly imp cos Egypt was Egypt. Mubarak was a powerful leader of a powerful country. So it was inspirational that ben ali could be over thrown but if the Egyptian regime could be overthrown then who was safe? So Egypt gave the tunisan scene greater momentum to the point that it affected Libya with an absolute dictator who ruled very brutally. Protest began around the country particularly imp in eastern Libya: Benghazi. Fighting erupted btw the regime and the protestors. City was reinforced with additional troops. Many of those troops defected to the protestors as did one of their leaders. There was fighting at the main barracks. Ordinary ppl trying to storm the barracks and the army firing on them and finally barracks were taken when ppl just took cars with gas cylinders and ran them to the wall and knocked down the walls. The barracks were over run. Population armed it self. National transition council was formed with rebel leadership formed. Protests spreading in other parts of Libya. Regime decided to crush this in full military style. Additional troops were sent to Benghazi. They fought their way to the outskirts of the city. And as that occurred fearing that the regime is on the verge in crushing the revolt and killing thousands of people. You saw the intl community act arab league goes to UNSC resolution 1973  authorized all necessary means to protect the citizens. Ppl complaining that the US and the NATO did more then they were allowed but all necessary means MEANS all necessary means and not something minor. The French acted first  air strikes against govt tank coloumns outside the city. Nato air campaign supporting rebels. Qataris in particular (but others too like Jordanians) provide military assistance to the rebels in a civil war for many months in which nato refrains from putting boots on the ground which ultimately see trippoli captured in august and then final fighting in sirte (qaddafis home town) Sirte was the best developed area in Libya cos it was qaddafis area but now its totally wrecked. In north Africa we have 3 regime changes  tunisa, Eg
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