A Middle-east democracy success story

It's hard not to get excited over what's going on in Muritania. I mean, a country that was ruled by a despot for 21 years gets a military coup, that gets done by a group of military officers who chose not to rule the people but hold fair and democratic elections, where not a single one of them or anyone backed by them gets to run, and where they will resign from power and the military after the new government is in place, and this is the middle-east? And they did this totally by themselves, without foreign intervention or pressure? How could you not love that?

Power in Mauritania has never changed hands at the ballot box,
although past votes have been held by dictators amid opposition cries
of fraud. The last president, Maaoya Sid'Ahmed Ould Taya, took power in
a 1984 coup and held it until a popular military junta led by Col. Ely
Ould Mohamed Vall toppled him in August 2005.

Vall has been praised for ending the nation's history of
totalitarian rule, making good on promises to ensure a free press and
establish an independent judiciary. In June, he oversaw a successful
referendum that enshrined basic constitutional liberties and limited
future presidents to two five-year terms. Municipal and legislative
elections took place in November.

"We have big hopes for democracy," said Ahmed Ould Daddah, a leading
candidate in Sunday's race and a longtime opposition figure who ran
twice against Taya in past ballots and spent four years under house
arrest. "People are afraid of a return to the old ways. They are
paranoid about this."

And they won't. Once given a choice, no one would take tyranny over democracy! 

Let's hope the entire middle-east follows suit one day! 

72 Comments on A Middle-east democracy success story

  1. dsaf
    March 11, 2007 at 6:04 pm

    sandmonkey, do you prefer democracy in egypt or the same regime that you have now?
    because democracy mean the islamic brothers…no?

    Reply
  2. Eric
    March 11, 2007 at 6:09 pm

    Major cool. Now if we can only get something like that here in the US.

    Reply
  3. Amgad
    March 11, 2007 at 7:05 pm

    this happened already once in Sudan by General Sewar Elzahab,

    Reply
  4. Don Cox
    March 11, 2007 at 7:11 pm

    “Once given a choice, no one would take tyranny over democracy!”

    You and I wouldn’t, but I think many people, especially in the more “traditional” countries, do prefer to be told what to do rather than having to make decisions for themselves. A patriarchal society loks for a strong man at the top.

    This links to the anthropomorphic view of God as a powerful old man who receives petitions.

    Reply
  5. tedders
    March 11, 2007 at 8:36 pm

    Eric says:

    “Now if we can only get something like that here in the US.”

    Don’t be stupid Eric. What, are you one of the Moveon .org fanatics? Do you believe that our President stole the vote in 2000 or 2004? You call Bush inept and at best dumb but then say he’s pulled off the biggest coup in world history with out a trace of evidence, the perfect cover up? Do you also think Bush ordered the WTC knocked down so he could invade Iraq? If you answer yes or maybe to either question please seek immediate therapy, or better yet educate yourself somewhere besides CNN or the cult of personality Katie Couric Show. If you have it so bad here in the fascist USA, why don’t you move to Cuba or Venezuela? I here Russia is ecspecially easy on reporters and citizens who voice couner points to their view of the world nowadays. Get a life. And don’t forget to put your vote in for Hillary in 2008. Loser.

    Reply
  6. Alaa
    March 11, 2007 at 9:01 pm

    Sudan been there and done that, look where it got them? they don’t even get t shirt

    Reply
  7. Patrick
    March 11, 2007 at 9:21 pm

    Mauritania is not in the Middle East. It is a northwest African country, south of Morocco. It is predominantly black. it has few natural resources, and I really don’t see much economic progress emanating from its “democracy.”

    Reply
  8. lynne
    March 11, 2007 at 11:31 pm

    Perhaps people will be drawn to Mauritania as a tourist destination due to its natural beauty and the fact that they would be able to visit there safely (let’s hope). If there is stability and a rational, functional government, investors may be drawn there, providing jobs for the people. I wish them the best.

    Reply
  9. SAM NY
    March 11, 2007 at 11:32 pm

    Very heartening. Patrick, you are one dumb douche. Shame on you for pissing on people trying to give themselves a better life. Punk ass bitch, you should be smacked in the mouth.

    Reply
  10. Richard B.
    March 12, 2007 at 1:24 am

    “Let’s hope the entire middle-east follows suit one day! ”

    Amen to that.

    “It is predominantly black. it has few natural resources, and I really don’t see much economic progress emanating from its “democracy.””

    Yeah, right! They have had almost two years of democracy and they should be an leading economic world power by now? Get real!

    Reply
  11. Eric
    March 12, 2007 at 2:57 am

    #5 Nope, said none of the above. I do want to thank you for putting all those words in my mouth. Okay. 1: He’s the worst President since Grant. Read some history you’ll find out why. 2: And I voted for him. Excuse me while I go wash my mouth out with Vodka after saying that.

    Reply
  12. Anonymous
    March 12, 2007 at 3:16 am

    Perhaps if the West stops supporting regimes that suit their interests, perhaps there will be democracy in the region.

    It’s ironic how Iran 54 years ago was a flourishing democracy until the West came in and overthrew a democratically-elected leader to install their own puppet, only to repeat it in Southeast Asia and Latin America.

    Quite ironic how that all works out, huh?

    Reply
  13. leo
    March 12, 2007 at 4:42 am

    Even if they will not suceed it worth trying.

    Worst comes to worst next time it will be better.

    I, for one, wish them my very best and dare not pass judgement.

    Reply
  14. leo
    March 12, 2007 at 4:52 am

    Sorry, almost forgot.

    Eric @ 2

    I usually try not to be rude but in your case I feel exception is necessary.

    Just in case nobody ever called you an a-hole, please allow me to be the first (or one of many?).

    Thank you

    Reply
  15. BrooklynJon
    March 12, 2007 at 6:04 am

    Eric,

    GWB may be the worst president since Grant, but if so, it’s only because Kerry was spared that indignity by losing.

    Reply
  16. BrooklynJon
    March 12, 2007 at 6:22 am

    Anon @12,

    So….the west should support regimes that do not suit their interests? Or the west should not support anyone? I’m confused as to what, exactly, would satisfy you. I’m guessing something like “The west should do whatever I want, whenever I want it,” but I’m willing to hear you out.

    And you write “the West” as though Western Europe, North America, Japan and Australia were some monolithic block that moves in unison. Don’t let Nomad catch you alleging that! Those Frenchies hate being lumped together with the Anglophones!

    Reply
  17. Eva, Canada
    March 12, 2007 at 7:15 am

    This is a bit off topic but geographically not too far from Mauritania. I just finished reading “Glory in a Camel’s Eye – Trekking Through the Moroccan Sahara” by Jeffrey Tayler. The author speaks Arabic and therefore is able to experience the local culture and mores unfiltered by translation. If you like travel books, this one is a superior read.

    Reply
  18. habibi
    March 12, 2007 at 8:52 am

    It’s worrying, that you have to travel past Tombouctou, to find a ‘Middle East’ democratic, success story. Muritania is in North-Western Africa, it’s beyond the Sahara and across the widest east-west expanse on the continent. I know it’s almost entirely Islamic and by association pan-Arabic, but Middle Eastern? Arabs only constitute about one third of the population with the remainder being local tribal and the descendants of slaves. Islam needs to de-Arabize and incorporate local indigenous culture into it’s teachings and stop the pan-Arab creep across the region and further afield. Pan-Arabization smothers local language, dress, belief and culture, across the planet, with it’s close ally Islam.
    Good luck to Muritania, they’ve got some natural resources and it’s a beautiful part of the planet for attracting tourism. A comment about the deposed leader Taha, he ruled the only, non Israeli bordering, Islamic country on the planet to recognize Israel’s right to exist. The new government continues to be in the minority and recognize Israel.
    How many military coup leader’s actually end up doing what they say they’re going to do? Allah must be smiling on them.

    Reply
  19. Saudi dude
    March 12, 2007 at 9:01 am

    You forget to mention the US and he west condemned the coup against Wild bin Taye, their very close ally.

    Other than that this is great news. I hope all Arab countries follow this beautiful example that Mauritania is setting for us.

    Reply
  20. nomad
    March 12, 2007 at 9:03 am

    Bjon,

    he did not include the frenchs, did he ? we are the invisible backyards evil in that geopolitic mess, don’t we ? alike a king’s fool, but the chess are played at the round table by kings : dabaliew, put in, ….

    Reply
  21. Adam B.
    March 12, 2007 at 9:30 am

    “And they won’t. Once given a choice, no one would take tyranny over democracy”

    Unfortunately, the russians seem to be disproving your theory with vigor! :(

    An upsurge in the tourist industry is certainly the way to go for Mauritania – just ease off on those nill-alcohol laws, for pete’s sake…! ;)

    Reply
  22. Drima @ The SudaneseThinker
    March 12, 2007 at 2:49 pm

    Amgad & Alaa, you’re right but it’s not that simple. Siwar al Dahab did the same thing but it was the people that screwed it up later on. Long story… I think I’m going to write a post about it.

    As for this, congrats to Mauritania…

    Patrick, I think you should watch the crap you say before you say it. Oil has recently been discovered there, it could move the country forward pretty fast. Just look at where Dubai was 30-40 years ago.

    Reply
  23. Leauki
    March 12, 2007 at 3:26 pm

    “Perhaps if the West stops supporting regimes that suit their interests, perhaps there will be democracy in the region.”

    Can you make a case for that hypothesis?

    “It’s ironic how Iran 54 years ago was a flourishing democracy until the West came in and overthrew a democratically-elected leader to install their own puppet, only to repeat it in Southeast Asia and Latin America.”

    Iran has had the same ruler between 1943 and 1979. The Shah was installed in his father’s place with British help to make sure that Iran supports the allies against the Nazis, which Iran did.

    Iranian nationalists illegally took over in the 1950s but were beaten by the legitimate government, with British and American help. It had nothing to do with democracy, rather with mob rule.

    Your history of Iran seems to be different but is wrong. Iran was well on its way to becoming a democracy in 1976 when the Shah introduced women’s suffrage. But the Islamic revolution removed all hopes for a democratic Iran.

    “Quite ironic how that all works out, huh?”

    Indeed.

    When you mix up regimes you will often arrive at ironic results. Fact is that the America supported the Iranian regime that was slowly introducing democracy. But in 1979 America didn’t support the regime any more and the regime fell, being replaced by an undemocratic one.

    What was your theory about America supporting regimes and its effects on democracy again?

    Had America continued to support the Shah AND PREVAILED, Iran would be democratic now, with women’s rights and everything. But unfortunately America stopped supporting the regime that suited America’s interest and there we go.

    Reply
  24. sammish
    March 12, 2007 at 3:48 pm

    Sorry. I am a pessimist. Let’s wait for a couple of years and whoever is elected president will be toppled. Democracy is a hard sell for muslim and arab country. The Mauritanians are better served electing Col Vall. How can a democracy takes roots when it is overlooked by a military junta?
    I hope I am wrong in my prediction.

    Reply
  25. chuck in tacoma
    March 12, 2007 at 4:39 pm

    1979? Jimmy Carter? America stopped its support?
    Leauki, You just reminded my of the last time I ever voted for a democrat.
    How much different would the world be had we never elected that man?
    I can only imagine.

    Reply
  26. ella
    March 12, 2007 at 6:23 pm

    Anonymous

    You mean Mosaddeq? Sorry to burst your bubble. Mosaddeq was not a democrat, although he was taking about democracy. You probably did not read about what was happening in Iranian parliament at the end of Mosaddeq government. You also forgot that some complicity in removal of Mosaddeq lies with Iranians. Mosaddeq is a legend, great Iranian legend. Unfortunately he, as well as his followers in power (Khomeini, Rafsanjani, Ahmadinejad), blamed all iranian ills on outsiders not seeing that some part of what was happening was a fault of insiders……. iranians themselves.
    As for democracy, iranians choose Khomeini & Co., and large majority of iranians demonstrated for him and greeted him ecstatically when he first arrived in Tehran on a board of French airplane.

    Iit has few natural resources, and I really don’t see much economic progress emanating from its “democracy.”
    Patrick

    Does Japan has a lot of of natural resources, does Taiwan?. The resources Mauritania needs are people, nothing else.
    I wish it all the best

    Reply
  27. the tapper
    March 12, 2007 at 9:11 pm

    Why do people from the United States alway look inward and criticize their country. Of course they have their problems. I think the biggerst problems is “Freedom comes with responsibilities.” Some people this everything is free, but someone has to pay the price, and it does not come cheap.

    Reply
  28. Anonymous
    March 12, 2007 at 9:43 pm

    ella and Leauki, you can believe whatever you want but the evidence is clear.

    I guess the invasion of East Timor by Indonesia armed by the U.S. was a factor in spreading democracy there, huh? Or the illegal overthrow of a democratically-elected government in Chile bac in ’73, killing dissidents who disagreed with them?

    What a joke you two neo-con retards are. You fucktards don’t really give a fuck about democracy unless it suits your ideals. Don’t paint yourself as defenders of freedom, give me a break.

    Reply
  29. Aardvark EF-111B
    March 12, 2007 at 9:52 pm

    things are going smooth there so far, this irritates many arab leaders (Al-Qaddaffi of Lybia) in particular sounds all the week like having pepper in his ass, this makes me particularly happy.

    As for the results, It will not be extraordinary after all, lets hope it will bring stability and less corrupt leadership.

    Reply
  30. DagneyT
    March 12, 2007 at 9:56 pm

    This is the best news I’ve heard/read in a very long time! I can see that not all of the ME is a hopeless cause. God bless Gen. (?) Vall for being a virtuous and honorable man. We need more like he and his compatriots to come to the rescue of Arab and Persian peoples. Given a chance you would all prefer to have control of your destinies through democracy.

    Reply
  31. Patrick
    March 12, 2007 at 10:20 pm

    “Very heartening. Patrick, you are one dumb douche. Shame on you for pissing on people trying to give themselves a better life. Punk ass bitch, you should be smacked in the mouth.”

    Wow SAM NY, you must be proud of yourself for talking down to someone online. Is that your premiere accomplishment in life? What have you done for the people of Mauritania? Is anything I said inaccurate? No, it’s not. So before you open your fucking ignorant and naive mouth just hold in whatever moronic thoughts are in your mind. Do I need to sit and cheerlead Mauritania? It’s a fucking country, it doesn’t need my support. I can be cynical if I want. We’ve seen this happen in 20 other African countries and they always just fuck up, I’m sorry for speaking the truth you dumb son of a bitch.

    Really Drima? Oil in Mauritania? How much? Oil has done great things for so many African countries like Nigeria, Sudan, Angola, Equatorial Guinea, oh wait…

    Yes lynne, Mauritania is a premier tourist destination. Are you out of your fucking mind? It’s just a desert! If people wanted a desert with culture they would go to Mali. Beaches can be found along the entire North African coast. What exactly does Mauritania have to offer? Or do you just assume that because it is African it has spectacular natural scenes? American conservatives and liberals have one thing in common: hopeless ignorance.

    Reply
  32. DagneyT
    March 12, 2007 at 10:53 pm

    “Leauki Says:
    March 12th, 2007 at 3:26 pm ”

    Thank you for setting the record straight. Since you did not put the blame where it belonged, let me do that for you. Jimmy Carter, American President in 1979, did not support the Shah, and will go down in history as one of the very worst presidents in American history and not just for his non-support of the Shah (remember the “misery index”?).

    Reply
  33. DagneyT
    March 12, 2007 at 11:09 pm

    I always find it interesting that folks like Patrick and the Anonymouse seem to feel it is necessary to use a plethora of gutter language to get their points across. That is a typical small mind attempting to make themselves heard.

    Patrick, Mauritania as a tourist destination seemed to be a questionable fact for your tiny mind. Try this link to expand your brain; http://lexicorient.com/mauritania/

    The lovely part of the internet is that great and small minds come together in a dialogue that can be very elucidating….or boring, depending on the subject.

    Thank you Sand Monkey, for advancing intelligent subjects for debate, and for allowing your mental midget readers to expose themselves to a potential to read the truth.

    Reply
  34. nomad
    March 12, 2007 at 11:42 pm

    don’t be so reserved, Ella, say on board of an “Air France” plane ! yeah funny how those tyrans always chose France as asile when they fear a death penalty in their own country and won’t chose Poland, (except CIA)

    Reply
  35. Modern Pharaoh
    March 13, 2007 at 2:18 am

    SANDMONKEY…Saw you on CNN today! well your silhouette

    Reply
  36. ella
    March 13, 2007 at 5:29 am

    don’t be so reserved, Ella, say on board of an “Air France” plane ! yeah funny how those tyrans always chose France as asile when they fear a death penalty in their own country and won’t chose Poland, (except CIA)
    Nomad

    You are forgetting that at the time of Khomeini Poland was not a capitalist country, it was socialist (aka communist). That said I am sure that everybody was choosing France starting with Khomeini and ending with Algerian mujahadins.
    As for CIA choosing Poland, Poles would prefer it given the choices between it and the KGB, SVR or GRU. But CIA choice of Poland is a news to me, in what way CIA choose Poland?

    Reply
  37. nomad
    March 13, 2007 at 8:57 am

    I appreciate your nice twisted mind

    At that time your referring about, Khomeiny was an opponant to The Shah regime who was well known for tortures too, and Khomeiny was US chosen alliee ment to replace the Shah who apparently did not please them anymore. but a big bad surprise happened with him, and we all know the end of the story

    Algerian mujahadins, as you seems not to know, preferred largely to stay in London where they found lawers to defend them and empeched them to go in jail in France

    as far as CIA :

    “Des prisons secrètes en Pologne “impossibles” à localiser

    Dans un amendement adopté à une courte majorité (356 pour et 323 contre), les députés ont déclaré qu’en se basant sur “les preuves indirectes” disponibles, “il s’avère impossible de conclure à l’existence ou à l’inexistence de centres de détention secrets basés en Pologne”. Toutefois, le rapport observe que les noms de “sept des quatorze détenus” transférés au départ d’une prison secrète vers Guantanamo en septembre 2006 correspondent à ceux mentionnés dans un rapport publié par ABC News (en décembre 2005) qui identifiait les douze suspects principaux appartenant à Al-Qaeda détenus en Pologne.

    Sur la base des témoignages recueillis au cours de leur déplacement en Pologne, les députés concluent que l’enquête du Parlement polonais n’a pas été menée de façon indépendante et que les déclarations faites à la délégation de la commission temporaire étaient “contradictoires” et entachées de “confusion concernant les journaux de bord des vols de la CIA dont il a été dit d’abord qu’ils n’avaient pas été conservés, ensuite qu’ils avaient été archivés à l’aéroport et enfin qu’ils avaient été transmis par le gouvernement polonais au Conseil de l’Europe”.

    Le rapport précise, en outre, qu’aucune preuve définitive n’a été apportée pour contredire l’une quelconque des allégations relatives au fonctionnement d’une installation de détention secrète sur le sol roumain.”

    rapport du parlement européen

    and you have such nice representants in Poland as the 2 siamese Kaczynski,

    and Maciej Marian GIERTYCH …

    you chose to collaborate with the extrem part and therefore human rights don’t bother you

    Reply
  38. John C. Randolph
    March 13, 2007 at 11:23 am

    Great news. I guess the next step for Mauritania is an economic boom. Anyone have a real estate agent there they can recommend? ;-)

    -jcr

    Reply
  39. Egyptian_Patriot
    March 13, 2007 at 1:04 pm

    Neither mauritania nor Egypt are middle eastern countries. The Middle east consists of the gulf, lebanon,israel syria jordan,, and iraq and iran in the east.
    Just thought I lecture all of you in Geography, ta.

    Reply
  40. Toady
    March 13, 2007 at 1:10 pm

    Perhaps if the West stops supporting regimes that suit their interests, perhaps there will be democracy in the region

    Yes, Anonymous, lack of Western support for the Sudanese and North Korean government has made both into admirable democracies

    Reply
  41. Toady
    March 13, 2007 at 1:14 pm

    Perhaps if the West stops supporting regimes that suit their interests, perhaps there will be democracy in the region

    Yes, Anonymous, lack of Western support for the Sudanese and North Korean government had made both into admirable democracies

    Reply
  42. ella
    March 13, 2007 at 3:07 pm

    Nomad
    The parlamentarian rapport also mentioned couple of other countries. It is also known that security forces in the western countries cooperated with CIA, you are forgetting about it, aren’t you. The security forces of these countries understand, as you do not, that to fight fire one sometimes have to use fire.

    As for brothers Kaczynski, I like kaczki. At least they are not politicians who finished École Polytechnique, Sorbonne or other high ranking universities, and belong to the “elite”. “Elites” think they know everything, often they know only other “elites”.

    Reply
  43. ella
    March 13, 2007 at 3:21 pm

    Algerian mujahadins, as you seems not to know, preferred largely to stay in London where they found lawers to defend them and empeched them to go in jail in France
    You mean that the people who now protest against your republic, your democracy and your government, who want to change your Napoleonic law into sharia, who might disrupt your presidential elections are not immigrants from or descendants of people who came from Maghreb?

    Reply
  44. Nomad
    March 13, 2007 at 4:13 pm

    yeah, I know there were a few more countries involved with CIA plans, but Poland gets the coconut palm

    as far our elite , I am grateful they did not get their degrees in a catholic “ligue de la famille”

    and what do you know about how our magrebins behave in our country apart your surburb clichés taken out of alike the sun, daily mirrors… most ofour immigrant population ismore tolerant than your conterparts

    Reply
  45. Seneca
    March 13, 2007 at 5:48 pm

    >Once given a choice, no one would take tyranny over democracy!

    Hitler came to power by elections. Islamists won big time the elections in Algeria and the army had to take them down, Erbakan won in Turkey (the secular kemalist army had him resigning) and they have relected Ergodan (closet islamist).
    After US leaves Iraq you will see there a Shiia-theocratic state emerging just as in Iran.

    Democracy in Isalm = making the islamic world safe for Sharia-lovers to come in power by elections and impose the islamic medieval state everywhere.

    You need first a political culture recognizing the universal human rights (Bill of Rights) even if they are at odds with Sharia (i.e., you need to reform Islam first) and only afterwards democracy will work.

    Reply
  46. Egypeter
    March 13, 2007 at 6:41 pm

    Yeah, you’re right #46

    Reply
  47. deprived
    March 13, 2007 at 7:09 pm

    Interesting. Like the Sudan, Mauritania is still involved in the slave trade.

    #12 anon

    …”Perhaps if the West stops supporting regimes that suit their interests, perhaps there will be democracy in the region.”….

    Should we support regimes that don’t suit our interests?
    Most of the world had to be pulled kicking and screaming by the WHITE, CHRISTIAN, west to end slavery.
    And like Sir Edward Pellew (google his ancestor Thomas Pellow, who was taken into slavery for 23 years) who decimated muslim Algiers to end the white slave trade, perhaps the west should find their muscles again, and kick that part of the world into the 21st century. Seeing as they seem to let their despots run their lives.

    Reply
  48. d00d
    March 14, 2007 at 12:51 am

    Anonymous Says:
    “I guess the invasion of East Timor by Indonesia armed by the U.S. was a factor in spreading democracy there, huh? ”

    What, are you some kind of shill for Al Queda propaganda? Involvement in East Timor is Al Queda’s propaganda excuse to attack Australia & is included in their list of whiney complaints in many of their statements.
    You do realize the death & mayhem going on there before & why East Timor was established? Either you’re totally ignorant & unqualified to comment or you know what’s going on choose to make the same propaganda points Al Queda does.

    Cheers! Oh, btw, it’s not to hard to come up w/ a name other than Anonymous.

    Reply
  49. ella
    March 14, 2007 at 3:29 am

    what do you know about how our magrebins behave in our country apart your surburb clichés taken out of alike the sun, daily mirrors… most ofour immigrant population ismore tolerant than your conterparts
    Hmm…sun, daily mirrors? I do not read them, so sorry.

    As for “our” immigrant population from, say, Lebanon as opposed to “your” immigrant population from Lebanon, there are no, or nearly no, differences. However there may be some differences in the second generation of immigrants. “Yours” do speak French, don’t they, not English. “Ours” speak French and English.

    Reply
  50. egyptiankangaroo
    March 14, 2007 at 7:32 am

    The Palestinians have done it again. This time they have kidnapped a BBC journalist. Now how does that help their case , I don’t know , what do they gain by doing this , again I don’t know. What I do know is that they (the Palestinians will never miss a chance to screw themselves.
    We have seen them over the years send suicide bombers onto buses while their elected leader (Arafat) was sitting negotiating. Kidnapping aid workers, journalists, setting fire to the British council office and planting a bomb in the Al arabiya office. Now they keep on saying they want the west to help them with their cause !!!! Why would anyone want to help them when they do stupid things like these . The government needs to get a grip on what is happening and the people have to wake up and smell the coffee.
    let me know what you think @ http://egyptiankangaroo.blogspot.com/

    Reply
  51. nomad
    March 14, 2007 at 8:05 am

    conterpart did not mean lebanese in my mind, but polish “du cru”, yeah , my english sucks ! (but I see a doctor … :)

    Reply
  52. Andrew Brehm
    March 14, 2007 at 4:14 pm

    “ella and Leauki, you can believe whatever you want but the evidence is clear.”

    The evidence is clear which is why we believe what we believe.

    The worst dictatorships tend to be very anti-American and you seem to believe that anti-Americanism is a good weapon against the worst dictatorships. That is just silly.

    “I always find it interesting that folks like Patrick and the Anonymouse seem to feel it is necessary to use a plethora of gutter language to get their points across.”

    I thought thr gutter language was their point???

    Reply
  53. Andrew Brehm
    March 14, 2007 at 5:03 pm

    “Most of the world had to be pulled kicking and screaming by the WHITE, CHRISTIAN, west to end slavery.”

    Indeed.

    And for some reason that fact is rarely mentioned.

    Reply
  54. lynne
    March 14, 2007 at 11:37 pm

    Patrick, ouch! I’m sorry that you were attacked for your comment—but is it necessary to respond so…vigorously to everyone? You are right; geography is not one of my strong points. Still I am sure that Mauritania has some natural beauty and places worth seeing, but failing that, perhaps some investors will be attracted to a place with a stable workforce, should Mauritania be able to achieve that. Does not hurt to wish them well.

    Reply
  55. ella
    March 15, 2007 at 12:23 am

    patrick

    Mauritania has an estimated 1 billion barrels of proved reserves. Substantial oil production and exports began in early 2006 and averaged 75,000 barrels per day for the year. Meantime the government emphasizes reduction of poverty, improvement of health and education, and promoting privatization of the economy.
    And of course Mauritania has Sahara, Sahara of the stories, Sahara the beautiful. It has the same wild beauty in its way as northern territories of Canada have and many people are paying to go north and see miles and miles of snow. Now many people can also pay to go and see miles and miles of sand dunes.

    Tell me Patrick, who is a hopelessly ignorant, now?

    Reply
  56. lynne
    March 15, 2007 at 2:21 am

    I think that it would be nice if we could discuss issues without resorting to personal attacks. It would be peachy. Just my opinion :)

    Reply
  57. Patrick
    March 15, 2007 at 3:28 am

    Still you ella. Because I really dohn’t think northern Canadian territories are much of an asset. How much does the Canadain government make from them? Furthermore, whereas Canada has a monopoly on the Yukon, Mauritania shares the Sahara with seven other countries, nearly all of whom have more developed tourism infrastructures or other cultural sites.

    Thank you for not providing a source for your claim. Still, 1 billion barrells isn’t an incredible amount. Egypt has over 3 billion, has it done much? Furthermore, oil seems to have a negative affect on African countries. AT a rate of 1 million barrels per day of production, Mauritania’s reserves would expire within three years.

    So basically you’re still hopelessly ignorant Ella. You probably couldn’t even point to Mauritania on a map. You probably had never even heard of it until this topic came up and you felt obliged to protect your point of view.

    I wish Mauritania the best, but I don’t understand why Americans are so taken aback by a dose of realism.

    Reply
  58. ella
    March 15, 2007 at 3:40 am

    I think that it would be nice if we could discuss issues without resorting to personal attacks. It would be peachy.
    Lynne
    Yes, it would be nice if love, kisses and rational discussions without personal attacks ruled on the internet and outside of it. Unfortunately some people choose different life style, so ……”He who lives by sword shall die by the sword” ;-)

    Reply
  59. Eva, Canada
    March 15, 2007 at 4:26 am

    Oh well, I happen to be entertained by occasional gutter language exchange. It makes the rest of us look good. :)

    If you are interested in that part of Africa, get a copy of Jeffrey Tayler’s GLORY IN THE CAMEL’S EYE (Trekking through the Moroccan Sahara). The author speaks fluent Arabic and is therefore able to get very close to the uneducated locals and understand their way of thinking. I couldn’t put it down.

    Reply
  60. alexander6
    March 15, 2007 at 5:47 am

    I think most people (american’s included) would have your perspective and be pessimistic, Patrick. I personally will have no opinion about this so I can be neither naïvely optimistic nor labeled negative against Mauritanians. hehe!

    Reply
  61. nomad
    March 15, 2007 at 8:24 am

    ……”He who lives by sword shall die by the sword”

    Ella, if you just try not giving moral and biased allusions or lessons, and not pretend your a person that you can’t be : simplicity is not the apanage of the fools, but of genuine persons :lol:

    Reply
  62. CMAR II
    March 15, 2007 at 1:58 pm

    Sandmonkey,

    I’ve always said that what Africa and the M.E. need are some George Washingtons. If this works out for Mauritania that is how these coup conspirators will be remembered.

    It still requires that the elected leaders be up to the task as well, however, and that the people of Mauritania unite around political solutions and the concepts of general liberty rather than force arms. It also wouldn’t hurt if the nearby developed countries could provide bureaucratic, economic, and infrastructure aid (something that didn’t happen in Iraq primarily because most of the developed democracies were ideologically committed to its failure). But it could happen.

    As for the claim that political liberty would only benefit M.B. and A.Q. types in Egypt. That’s hogwash. The Mubarek government suppresses only secular parties in Egypt. They can’t suppress the M.B. because they organize around mosques and imams. It’s actually to Mubarek’s benefit that no one have any choice but Mubarek or the M.B. If Egyptians had the freedom to freely campaign for parties other than those two, Mubarek and the M.B. would be screwed.

    If Mauritanians commit to liberty and law, they will eventually succeed. Africans, Arabs, and Muslims generally are not genetically doomed to tyranny.

    Reply
  63. BrooklynJon
    March 15, 2007 at 3:14 pm

    CMAR II,

    Without commenting specifically about Egypt (as I make no claim to any great knowledge of Egyptian politics), I think it is generally dangerous to introduce Democracy into a society in which there are no well established civil libertarian traditions (e.g. free press, association, speech, etc), and in which there are not strong protections of minorities. Liberty first, then democracy usually works all right. Democracy first, then (hopefully) liberty is often an unmitigated disaster.

    bj

    Reply
  64. Seneca
    March 15, 2007 at 9:26 pm

    The choice today for “middle east” (i.e., islamic world) is in between dictators and fanatic believers in religion. Very sad, and predictable since both Cezar and God, Mubarak and Allah, want slaves not equal partners who have their own wills.

    Doomed if you do and doomed if you don’t and life goes on whatever you do.
    if I were to live there I would think day and night how to escape in the ‘decadent’ West.

    Reply
  65. CMAR II
    March 15, 2007 at 10:20 pm

    BrooklynJon,

    Okay. Give me an example where the civil libertarian traditions have been permitted to develop under tyranny? As soon a tyrant permits them, either those freedoms are used by wannabe tyrants to undercut him, or the tyrant ends up being deposed by democracies. Civil liberties have always been squeezed out of tyrants against their will.

    On the other hand, we do know that democracies can be imposed on tyrannies by force. We did it in Japan in the 40s and we did it in Taiwan in the 80s.

    It took 800 years for England to develop the civil liberties supposedly required for democracy and even then it did not develop first in Britain but in a colony far from the center of power. It took another 100 years or so for real democracy, freedom of the press, and freedom of association arise in Britain.

    Liberty grows from an environment of ever increasing freedom and economic power and responsibility. The easiest place to start is letting people choose their own leaders. If they pick wrong? Well, we’ll deal with that after we let them pick. At least it is only the Sudanese who are suffering for their bad electoral choices. Same for Iraq. Egypt & S.A. are producing some of the world’s worst jihadis that leave their countries to make life miserable for everyone else.

    Unfortunately, 9-11 has made it clear that we can no longer wait for democracy to develop by chance in certain areas of the world that are actually falling further into ignorance and Ludditism. Democracies no longer have the option of a laissez faire attitude about tyranny among predominantly Muslim countries. We cannot any longer permit the world to remain half slave and half free. It’s an existential matter now.

    So now is the time for the developed world to gently impose themselves on Mauritania that it produce a liberal open society.

    Reply
  66. ella
    March 16, 2007 at 1:44 am

    Eva

    I have too many books to read but I will try to read the one you mentioned. It sounds interesting, considering that the author speaks fluent arabic.
    As for uneducated locals, in my experience some uneducated persons, particularly in the “third word”, are much smarter than some educated persons from the west ;-)

    Ella, if you just try not giving moral and biased allusions or lessons, and not pretend your a person that you can’t be : simplicity is not the apanage of the fools, but of genuine persons
    Nomad

    Biased allusions are in the eye of the beholder.
    As for my being a person I can’t be, that’s only your unfounded, biased opinion.

    Reply
  67. yochanan
    March 16, 2007 at 2:58 am

    dhimmi carter was the worst president since grant at least grant was a great leader and general during the civil war. it is the democrats and there media lackies that call President Bush a bad president

    Reply
  68. Eva, Canada
    March 16, 2007 at 6:02 am

    Ella, if you want to read about smart people, the book will be a disappointment. It’s a trip back to the Dark Ages although there are some bright lights here and there. Their scarcity is frightening. It is true that life in such a harsh environment is a constant fight and one cannot expect much introspection. Nevertheless, with the current mindset, democracy in that part of the world is a dangerous idea. I begin to understand the need for despotism.

    Reply
  69. nomad
    March 16, 2007 at 9:01 am

    Ella, pia pia pia pia,
    so I leave the ring , boring now

    Reply
  70. mamapajamas
    March 16, 2007 at 10:40 pm

    Patrick… re: “I wish Mauritania the best, but I don’t understand why Americans are so taken aback by a dose of realism.”

    I think I’m more taken aback by your attitude of calling outright pessimism “a dose of realism” than by the history of North Africa.

    There was a military coup in which the military leaders banned themselves and people connected to them from running for office. Even George Freakin’ Washington didn’t do that!

    And that is where you’re missing a tidbit that is obvious when you sit and think about it for a minute or two:

    The military coup group is still intact, and still in power in the military establishment. They have already proven their honesty and integrity by relinquishing power to elected officials.

    What is so obvious that you are missing is that if the new elected government attempts to dissolve back into a tyranny, they, too, can be taken out. The power to do so is still vested in the military establishment ;).

    So lets have some good cheer and some congratulations to the brilliant minds of the Mauritania Coup! :D

    Reply
  71. tommy
    March 18, 2007 at 12:19 am

    Yes, this is good news. It is rare that you find military officials willing to support constitutional government. It is the same challenge the United States faced in the immediate aftermath of the American Revolution. There, our founding fathers could have done the wrong thing and seized control. They instead chose to do the right thing and the wise thing for the sake of the country.

    Reply

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