Egypt and democracy?

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Egypt continues the push toward democracy holding the first ever presidential debate in the Arab World Thursday night. The two election front-runner squared off in a televised debate that lasted four-hours and featured fiery exchanges over what Egyptian democracy should look like and the role of religion in the nation moving forward.

According to reports – not once did any of the candidates tout how many people they’ve executed – like Rick Perry, who should die without health insurance – like Ron Paul, or why a war needs to be immediately started with Iran – like Rick Santorum. There were no ten thousand dollar bets either.

Thom Hartmann Administrator's picture
Thom Hartmann A...
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With that question mark, I thought this would be a thread about the gas supply issue. Which has emerged as a result of the democratic action to oust Mubarak, and Egypt itself beginning to show some signs of independence from the U.S. and Israel. You know, like another of those Middle East versions of democracy, like in Iran back in the late forties and fifties, that had to be squashed.

Quote Michael T. Klare:

Egypt cuts off the natural gas flow to Israel: On April 22nd, the Egyptian General Petroleum Corporation and Egyptian Natural Gas Holding Company informed Israeli energy officials that they were “terminating the gas and purchase agreement” under which Egypt had been supplying gas to Israel. This followed months of demonstrations in Cairo by the youthful protestors who succeeded in deposing autocrat Hosni Mubarak and are now seeking a more independent Egyptian foreign policy -- one less beholden to the United States and Israel. It also followed scores of attacks on the pipelines carrying the gas across the Negev Desert to Israel, which the Egyptian military has seemed powerless to prevent.

Ostensibly, the decision was taken in response to a dispute over Israeli payments for Egyptian gas, but all parties involved have interpreted it as part of a drive by Egypt’s new government to demonstrate greater distance from the ousted Mubarak regime and his (U.S.-encouraged) policy of cooperation with Israel. The Egyptian-Israeli gas link was one of the most significant outcomes of the 1979 peace treaty between the two countries, and its annulment clearly signals a period of greater discord; it may also cause energy shortages in Israel, especially during peak summer demand periods. On a larger scale, the cutoff suggests a new inclination to use energy (or its denial) as a form of political warfare and coercion.

From: The Energy Wars Heat Up, by Michael T. Klare

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.ren
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Apr. 1, 2010 6:50 am

The Carter Center won't be able to monitor these elections unless the Egyptians have changed their minds about kicking them out. I'm not saying that the elections can't be trusted, I just thought I'd point that out.

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