Friday, March 04, 2011

PoliticsOman: Arab Revolutions: Tiny country in good shape but revolutionaries shaking it

Why Oman is different from 

other Middle East 

autocracies in turmoil

In Oman, democratic aspirants are struggling against an absolute monarch who has developed and managed the country far better than most regional autocrats now facing revolt.
by Ben ArnoldyStaff writer, Christian Science Monitor (March 1, 2011)
New Delhi
Much of the popular protest sweeping the Middle East has targeted tyrants responsible for stagnating the economic or social progress of millions. In Oman, however, the story is more interesting: Democratic aspirants are struggling against an absolute monarch who has developed the country well.
See also: "Oman protesters unmoved by Sultan's offer" (CNN Feb28,2k11); this article outlines the revised list of demands which perhaps reveals the work of Marxist agitator's in my opinion. -- Politicarp
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  • refWrite does not endorse the revolutionaries in Oman, at least not at the present time, given the extent of our information.

One gap in our info pertains to the question of a Shia / Sunni split, given the religious freedom that Oman affords to its citizenry and guest workers.

A question in our minds has to do with whether a Shia minority islamicist movement (as in the case of the Shia majority in the Bahrain revoltion), under the influence of the tyrants of Iran, is simply trying to  dislodge a Sunni monarch, the Sultan Qaboos who created the conditions of freedom in his country.  Iran deploys heavy financing for such purposes elsewhere (notably thru the Shi'ist movement Hezbullah in  Lebanon and the Sadrist movement in Iraq).

Another question is whether an Arab secularist movement, communist or anarchist, wants to create an atheist state in Oman (as a number of such organizations attempted in the early stages of the Palestinian terrorism, as in the case of terrorist orgs DFLP and PFLP).

Either influence woud, we imagine, drive us back to our basic anti-revolutionary principles:  we never support revolutions operated by ideologues to create chaos, in whatever state or country, as such movements want to create their own intolerable conditions in prelude to their take-over the state and the country.

For now, we trust and hope that is not the situation in Oman.

We need detailed profiles of the leading revolutionaries, and a demographic profile of the participation in the mass demonstrations compared to the overall societal demographics -- in order to make a suitable geostrategic judgment.

But:  In a free country with reasonable public-legal provisions for societal members, the courts shoud deal with "corruption," and peaceful demonstrations shoud present their demands to the authorities.  Not violence.  Not arson.  Not chaos.

-- Politicarp for refWrite

  • An AP photo shows burning market, Sohar, Oman, Feb28.  it's caption:   "Omani nationals watch smoke rise from Lulu hypermarket in Sohar, Oman, Monday, Feb. 28. Omani security forces have blocked roads to Sohar, about 120 miles northwest of the capital of Muscat, after deadly clashes between pro-democracy protesters and riot police."
The facility is named the Lulu Hypermarket.

Related CSM Story

  • Oman protests intensify 
  • as Sultan struggles to appease demonstrators
  • Oman protests come with calls for economic improvements and political reform, but stop short of demanding removal of the Gulf state's Sultan Qaboos.
    After avoiding the wave of protests sweeping the Middle East for months, Oman has entered its third day of continuous demonstrations. Local media is reporting that

    • demonstrators have set fire to a supermarket, cars, a police station, houses, and the governor’s residence amid protests calling for economic improvements and government reform.
      The nation’s ruler, Sultan Qaboos bin Said, has so far announced the creation of 50,000 new government jobs and an unemployment program that will pay job seekers $390 per month until they find work, reports CNN.
      Christian Science Monitor (Feb28,2k11)

      According to CNN, A new demand emerged after the riots in which the police apparently cawzd 6 fatalities: "the prosecution of security officials whose actions led to the death of demonstrators."  Even the fact of six deaths does not justify leaving the path of courts and peaceful demonstrations and petitions. -- Politicarp

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