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Posts Tagged ‘victory’

‘Even slow growth has typically been enough to carry incumbents to victory’

July 27th, 2012 Comments off

“…. All told, the trajectory of recovery has been flatter than initially reported; but for the last quarter of 2009 and the last quarter of 2011, when growth rose to 4%, output has expanded less than 3% every single quarter of the recovery and below 2% a full third of the time. Since the recovery began in the third quarter of 2009, the output gap has scarcely closed at all, falling from roughly $1 trillion to about $800 billion. Little wonder that unemployment remains well above its long-term rate.
The poor performance will open up additional room for criticism of President Obama by his Republican challenger, Mitt Romney. But even slow growth has typically been enough to carry incumbents to victory…”



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Jimmy Carter’s Greatest Victory: Guinea Worm on Verge of Extinction

July 16th, 2012 Comments off

The guinea worm may be the second major human disease after small pox to be completely eradicated. It is a parasite that you get from drinking water with small fleas in it. The larvae of the worm are in the fleas, and they migrate into your muscles. After growing there for a year, as a long thread gathered in a bump, the worm works its way out over two or three days, which is extremely painful. The disease mainly existed in Central Africa, and especially in South Sudan.


h/t Waterlink

In some countries, such as Nigeria, no new cases have been reported for a couple of years.

As I understand the story, after he left the White House, Jimmy Carter did a lot of traveling for his foundation. He saw those suffering from the guinea work, and asked what could be done about it. The flea that carries the larvae is big enough so that even just filtering water through cloth would get rid of it. From 1986, Carter put together a coalition of the World Health Organization and health ministries in the afflicted countries (which then included Pakistan) to get the word out to people about the need for water filtration. He even at one point in the mid-1990s helped negotiate a ceasefire between the north and the south in Sudan so that his activists could reach affected villagers and teach them how to filter the water.

The Garter Center thus spearheaded this effort, though it became an international movement with many participants.

Carter has proven what a determined person can accomplish through single-minded purpose driven by compassion, and the pursuit of strategic partnerships and cooperation. Carter has given the world a model that should be deployed to solve other pressing problems. He is one of the world’s few true heroes.

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Mahmud Jibril

July 10th, 2012 Comments off
The deck was stacked in Libya for the victory of Mahmud Jibril.  His coalition comprised more than 60–yes, sixty–parties.  2) it is identified in the West as “liberal” and “secular” when Jibril himself–former mentor of Sayf Al-Islam Al-Qadhdhafi–specifically denied that his coalition is secular and said that one of its main planks is the commitment to Islamic law.  That is being ignored in the Western press to promote the headline of “liberal victory” in Libya. 3) Who was behind the unification of the more than 60 parties?  4) the electoral law (combination of voting for parties and single candidates–to weaken the Islamists) produced the desirable outcome.  5) typical in Arab countries where elections take place, not a single report in the press about external funding.  It is undemocratic to speak of external funding in Arab elections.  

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Jibril wins landslide victory in first Libyan democratic poll

July 9th, 2012 Comments off

TRIPOLI – Libya’s former prime minister Mahmoud Jibril, a moderate, has won a landslide victory in the country’s first democratic election to the national assembly, according to provisional …
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Israel’s leaders write to new Egyptian president

July 1st, 2012 Comments off

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attends the weekly cabinet meeting in his Jerusalem office, Sunday, July 1, 2012. (AP Photo/Abir Sultan, Pool)Israel's president and prime minister have sent separate letters to Egypt's new Islamist president, congratulating him on his election victory and calling for continued peace between the neighboring countries, Israeli officials said Sunday.

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Egypt’s Mursi to take leader oath

June 30th, 2012 Comments off

Egypt’s first freely elected president Mohammed Mursi is to be formally sworn in, a week after his victory in a hotly contested poll was confirmed.
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Egypt’s Second Chance

June 27th, 2012 Comments off

The Arab world has never seen anything quite like Sunday’s excruciatingly delayed announcement that the Muslim Brotherhood’s Mohammed el-Morsi had
won Egypt’s Presidential election.  The enormous outburst of enthusiasm in Tahrir after Morsi’s victory was announced — and the rapid resurgence of Egypt’s stock exchange — suggests how narrowly Egypt escaped the complete collapse of its political process.  This isn’t the time for silly debates about "who lost Egypt," since against all odds Egypt isn’t lost. On the contrary, it has just very, very narrowly avoided complete disaster — and for all the problems which Morsi’s victory poses to Egypt and to the international community, it at least gives Egypt another chance at a successful political transition which only a few days ago seemed completely lost.   

Outside of the Brotherhood itself, this popular response was more a celebration of Shafik’s defeat than of Morsi’s victory. The signs leading up to the announcement strongly suggested that the SCAF had carried out a "soft coup" aborting its promised transition to civilian rule.   The dissolution of Parliament and the issuing of the controversial constitutional annex, along with the long delay in releasing the results and the rampaging rumors of the deployment of military forces and warnings of Brotherhood intrigues, all pointed to the announcement of a Shafik victory which hadn’t been earned at the ballot box. 

It’s actually quite astounding in some ways that the SCAF didn’t — or couldn’t — rig the election in Shafik’s favor. I agree with those who suggested that the Brotherhood likely saved
Morsi’s victory by rapidly releasing results from every precinct —
results which proved to be extremely accurate. This masterstroke of
Calvinball established the narrative that Morsi had won and that Shafik
could only be named the victor through fraud, and it also dramatically
reduced the room for maneuver for anyone hoping to carry out the cruder
forms of electoral fraud.  A Shafik victory widely seen as fraudulent would have ended any hope of a
political transition, and would have likely meant a return to severe
political and social turbulence.

International pressure along with intense behind the scenes political talks in the days following the election also almost certainly contributed to the SCAF’s decision.   Support for the democratic process, and not any particular support for the Muslim Brotherhood, is why the United States and other outside actors pushed the SCAF so hard publicly and privately to not pull the Shafik trigger.  Quiet American diplomacy, which combined continued efforts to maintain a positive relationship with the SCAF with a stern warning that it must complete the promised transition to civilian rule, appears to have played a key role. And the Brotherhood almost certainly gave the SCAF a number of guarantees in the quiet negotiations which reassured the nervous military — while, of course, infuriating revolutionaries ever attuned to the Brothers selling them out.   While such a negotiated outcome might not seem especially democratic, it’s hard to see how it could really have gone differently given the intense institutional uncertainty, pervasive doubts and fears, and the reality of the balance of power.  

It’s important to not overstate the extent of Morsi’s victory, which neither proved overwhelming electorally nor put the Muslim Brotherhood in a dominant position in Egyptian politics.  The MB’s decision to field a Presidential candidate was only very partially vindicated by his victory, and is still likely to create more problems than opportunities for the traditionally secretive and cautious movement. Many revolutionary political forces already had a bill of complaints
against the Islamist movement (supporting the March 2011 constitutional
amendments, not joining various Tahrir protests, trying to dominate the
Constitutional assembly, having the nerve to win Parliamentary
elections, and so forth).  Breaking their very public promise to not run a Presidential candidate drove a sharp wedge between the Brotherhood and other political forces because it seemed to confirm a prevailing narrative about their hunger for power and noncredible commitments. 

Morsi and the Brotherhood clearly did pay a political price for this behavior.  Morsi slipped into the run-off with a quarter of the vote only because non-Islamist revolutionary forces failed to unite around a single candidate and instead split 50% of the vote three ways.  Nor was the performance in the runoff especially impressive, as Morsi managed only 51% despite running against a caricature of a figurehead of the
old regime. There were almost the same number of voided ballots as the margin of
victory.   Morsi is going to have to quickly take significant moves to reach out to those political forces in the next few days if he has any hope of bridging a polarized polity. He has already begun these efforts, meeting with the martyrs of the revolution (including Khaled Said’s mother) and signaling that he would appoint Christians, women, independents and technocrats to key government positions.  If he’s smart, he will prioritize rapid moves to create jobs, stabilize the economy, reform government ministries, and restore a sense of security and political stability.  It isn’t going to be easy to overcome the deep, raw wounds which have been opened between Egypt’s political forces, and little which has happened over the last year is reassuring… but at least there’s a chance to try.

Finally, it remains deeply unclear how much power Morsi will
have.  The constitutional annex announced in the midst of the Presidential vote sharply
limits the power of the Presidency. Morsi isn’t commander in chief and can’t declare war, and won’t be able to appoint his own people to key government ministries.  If he can’t even appoint his own Minister of the Interior or Minister of Defense, he isn’t exactly likely to be rushing towards imposing sharia law. There’s still no Parliament, with the SCAF absurdly granting legislative power to itself — will Morsi approve legislation by "liking" it on the SCAF Facebook page?  

But he will not necessarily accept those
limits. The truth is, this is still Calvinball. No rules are set in stone, everything is up for negotiation, and there are no guarantees about anything.  I don’t believe that the SCAF is firmly in control or has been manipulating events behind the scenes, or that the MB has accepted a permanently subordinate position.  Nor do I think that the current constitutional annex will necessarily stand, or that the courts will take consistent positions, or that the Parliament will remain dissolved.  Morsi will struggle with suspicious political forces, the absence of a Parliament, a recalcitrant SCAF, hostile state institutions keen to frustrate any changes, an economy still in something like a death spiral, and a suspicious outside world.   The ferocious rumor mill of Egypt’s wildly contentious press will continue to exacerbate every political issue into a crisis, and attempt to string together some coherent story out of the limited information available to them. 

In other words — Egyptian politics. It’s not as good as many had hoped for by this stage.   But it’s a lot better than it looked a few days ago.  And that’s something.  So save the inappropriate comparisons between Cairo 2012 and Tehran 1979, and put those "who lost Egypt" talking points on hold.  This is only the beginning of a long, intense political struggle to come — but at least there’s still a political process with which to engage.  

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Some Wise Words on Egypt

June 26th, 2012 Comments off

I think Marc Lynch gets it right and writes it well:

The Arab world has never seen anything quite like Sunday’s excruciatingly delayed announcement that the Muslim Brotherhood’s Mohammed el-Morsi had won Egypt’s Presidential election.  The enormous outburst of enthusiasm in Tahrir after Morsi’s victory was announced — and the rapid resurgence of Egypt’s stock exchange — suggests how narrowly Egypt escaped the complete collapse of its political process.  This isn’t the time for silly debates about “who lost Egypt,” since against all odds Egypt isn’t lost. On the contrary, it has just very, very narrowly avoided complete disaster — and for all the problems which Morsi’s victory poses to Egypt and to the international community, it at least gives Egypt another chance at a successful political transition which only a few days ago seemed completely lost.   

Outside of the Brotherhood itself, this popular response was more a celebration of Shafik’s defeat than of Morsi’s victory. The signs leading up to the announcement strongly suggested that the SCAF had carried out a “soft coup” aborting its promised transition to civilian rule.   The dissolution of Parliament and the issuing of the controversial constitutional annex, along with the long delay in releasing the results and the rampaging rumors of the deployment of military forces and warnings of Brotherhood intrigues, all pointed to the announcement of a Shafik victory. 

Indeed. Morsi may prove to be a disaster, a tyrant, a nonentity, or he may be preoccupied by a long struggle with SCAF,  but the alternative was starting to look like renewed violence. Do read Marc’s entire piece.


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Egypt Copts dismayed but determined after Morsi win

June 26th, 2012 Comments off

A Cairo cab bearing a portrait of Egypt's newly elected President Mohamed Morsi drives past a Coptic churchMany Egyptian Coptic Christians were dismayed by the election victory of president-elect Mohamed Morsi, but they are now preparing to co-exist with the Islamist while also safeguarding their rights.

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UAE congratulates new Egyptian president-elect

June 26th, 2012 Comments off

United Arab Emirates (UAE) President Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan has greeted Mohammed Mursi on his victory in the Egyptian presidential elections.
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