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Long Time Coming

Damn, its been a long time since I posted.  I apologize for that — school has kind of hit me like a sack of bricks over the past few weeks.  Anyway, this is going to be a short post.  There’s so much going on all over the Middle East that I don’t even know where to begin.

So, I’ll say this: The United States is not at war with Libya.  Full stop. Done. Nothing else to it.  At this point, there is absolutely no need to start talking about “Quagmires,” “Obama’s Vietnam,” or the even the long-term ratifications the multilateral UN bombing that has been going on for approximately the past 24 hours will have on the US.  Those who are doing so are silly, ‘nough said.

In Egypt I’ve been witness to a pretty incredible thing this weekend; what could be the first fair and free national vote in 20, if not 40, years.  People spent all week and weekend talking about voting and debating the merits of the Constitutional Amendments.  Friends are posting pictures on Facebook of them and their families with ink from the voting station on their hands, and in general it seems that people are happy with how the vote was run, if not necessarily with the outcome.

As of right now, it looks as though the Referendum will pass, accepting the Amendments and hopefully allowing Parliamentary Elections to take place this fall. Many argue that such a result would be in favor of the Muslim Brotherhood, and arguably it will be, but this is the price of democracy.  It is important to realize that even if that is true, this Referendum can in no way be seen as a referendum on the Brotherhood simply because they took a political stance in asking their supporters to vote yes.  I repeat, IN NO WAY was this even arguably a referendum on the Brotherhood and their popularity within the country.

As one of my teachers brought up this evening, the demographics of the vote are going to be extremely interesting to see.  I’m really hoping to see demographics comparing the votes in the cities with those in the villages and think that the breakdown of votes in Cairo may surprise people.  I think the country’s capital is going to turn out to be much more opposed to the Referendum than many expected. Also as, you may well already be doing if you follow politics anywhere, expect for Egypt to have many more liberal votes (and candidates in the future) coming from the large cities like Cairo and Alexandria than from surrounding areas.

Bahrain has Saudi Troops in deployed to protect the King and other key locations, the Yemeni Prime Minister has just dismissed his cabinet, serious protests have occurred in Daraa, Syria, and of course, Qaddafi forces claim to be under an immediate cease-fire in Libya.  The structure of the Middle East is changing rapidly, much more so than most, if any, can follow.

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