“Jasmine Revolution”
Symbol of peace: Flowers placed on the barrel of a tank
in very much calmer protests than in recent days in Tunisia

'The Protester' - Time Person of the Year 2011

'The Protester' - Time Person of the Year 2011
Mannoubia Bouazizi, the mother of Tunisian street vendor Mohammed Bouazizi. "Mohammed suffered a lot. He worked hard. but when he set fire to himself, it wasn’t about his scales being confiscated. It was about his dignity." (Peter Hapak for TIME)

1 - TUNISIA Democratic Change / Freedom of Speech (In Transition)

How eyepatches became a symbol of Egypt's revolution - Graffiti depicting a high ranking army officer with an eye patch Photograph: Nasser Nasser/ASSOCIATED PRESS

2 - EGYPT Democratic Change / Freedom of Speech (In Transition)

''17 February Revolution"

3 - LIBYA Democratic Change / Freedom of Speech (In Transition)

5 - SYRIA Democratic Change / Freedom of Speech (In Transition)

"25 January Youth Revolution"
Muslim and Christian shoulder-to-shoulder in Tahrir Square
"A Summary" – Apr 2, 2011 (Kryon channelled by Lee Carroll) (Subjects: Religion, Shift of Human Consciousness, 2012, Intelligent/Benevolent Design, EU, South America, 5 Currencies, Water Cycle (Heat up, Mini Ice Ace, Oceans, Fish, Earthquakes ..), Middle East, Internet, Israel, Dictators, Palestine, US, Japan (Quake/Tsunami Disasters , People, Society ...), Nuclear Power Revealed, Hydro Power, Geothermal Power, Moon, Financial Institutes (Recession, Realign integrity values ..) , China, North Korea, Global Unity,..... etc.) -
(Subjects: Egypt Uprising, Iran/Persia Uprising, Peace in Middle East without Israel actively involved, Muhammad, "Conceptual" Youth Revolution, "Conceptual" (without a manager hierarchy) managed Businesses, Internet, Social Media, News Media, Google, Bankers, Global Unity,..... etc.)
"The End of History" – Nov 20, 2010 (Kryon channelled by Lee Carroll)
(Subjects:Abraham, Isaac, Ishmael, Muhammad, Jesus, God, Jews, Arabs, EU, US, Israel, Iran, Russia, Africa, South America, Global Unity,..... etc.) (Text version)

"If an Arab and a Jew can look at one another and see the Akashic lineage and see the one family, there is hope. If they can see that their differences no longer require that they kill one another, then there is a beginning of a change in history. And that's what is happening now. All of humanity, no matter what the spiritual belief, has been guilty of falling into the historic trap of separating instead of unifying. Now it's starting to change. There's a shift happening."

“ … Here is another one. A change in what Human nature will allow for government. "Careful, Kryon, don't talk about politics. You'll get in trouble." I won't get in trouble. I'm going to tell you to watch for leadership that cares about you. "You mean politics is going to change?" It already has. It's beginning. Watch for it. You're going to see a total phase-out of old energy dictatorships eventually. The potential is that you're going to see that before 2013.

They're going to fall over, you know, because the energy of the population will not sustain an old energy leader ..."

African Union (AU)

African Union (AU)
African Heads of State pose for a group photo ahead of the start of the 28th African Union summit in Addis Ababa on January 30, 2017 (AFP Photo/ Zacharias ABUBEKER)

Nelson Mandela

Nelson Mandela
Few words can describe Nelson Mandela, so we let him speak for himself. Happy birthday, Madiba.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Obama announces 'new chapter in American diplomacy'

CNN News, By Alan Silverleib and Tom Cohen, May 19, 2011

Obama: Two states for 'lasting peace'

  • Recent events show oppression will not work in the Middle East anymore, Obama says
  • The president announces $2 billion in assistance for Egypt
  • He announces a trade plan for the region
  • A two-state Arab-Israeli solution should be based on 1967 borders, Obama says

Washington (CNN) -- President Barack Obama placed the United States squarely on the side of democratic reform in the Middle East and North Africa on Thursday, declaring that the wave of change sweeping the region "cannot be denied."

Addressing a global audience, Obama condemned the use of force against protesters by longtime allies and adversaries alike. He also said the eruption of demands for greater opportunity in Arab nations could be used to kick-start stalled Israeli-Palestinian peace talks.

Obama dismissed the notion of al Qaeda-style extremism appealing to future generations of Muslims, asserting that the organization was "losing its struggle for relevance" long before the death of Osama bin Laden.

The president's speech -- the subject of intense speculation in recent days -- was a long-promised overview of America's changing Middle East policy in the wake of the Arab Spring that started unfolding in Tunisia last December.

In recent months, Washington has often appeared to struggle to keep up with the pace of events not only in Tunisia, but also in Egypt, Libya, Syria, Yemen, Bahrain, and elsewhere.

Administration officials have also wrestled with an Arab suspicion of U.S. motives fueled by decades of American support for the region's autocratic regimes.

"Shouts of human dignity are being heard across the region," Obama declaring, speaking in front of a group of diplomatic and military officials at the State Department. "We support political and economic reform in the Middle East and North Africa that can meet the legitimate aspirations of ordinary people throughout the region."

The president acknowledged that "there will be times" when America's "short-term interests do not align perfectly with our long-term vision."

"But we can -- and will -- speak out for a set of core principles" including freedom of religion and expression, and equality under the law, he promised.

"It will be years before this story reaches its end," Obama said. But "the events of the past six months show us that strategies of oppression and strategies of diversion will not work anymore."


Among other things, Obama accused Iran of hypocrisy for publicly supporting protests in parts of the Arab world after violently cracking down on protests at home.

He also criticized the crackdown against Shiite protesters in Bahrain -- a key Persian Gulf ally and home of the U.S. Navy's Fifth Fleet. The president made no mention of struggles for greater rights in neighboring Saudi Arabia, another close ally.

A large portion of Obama's speech was devoted to the Israel-Palestinian conflict. The administration's strategy for a comprehensive settlement has been seemingly derailed in recent months. Former Sen. George Mitchell unexpectedly submitted his resignation as the president's Mideast envoy Friday, and deadly clashes broke out Sunday between pro-Palestinian protesters and Israeli forces.

Ongoing Israeli settlement construction in the West Bank and Palestinian steps toward a unilateral declaration of statehood have driven the two sides further apart since Obama took office.

Additional doubts about the viability of the stalled peace process were raised this month in the wake of a formal reconciliation agreement between the two largest Palestinian factions: President Mahmoud Abbas' party, the West Bank-based Fatah; and the Islamist group Hamas, which rules Gaza.

Both Israel and the United States consider Hamas a terrorist organization and have voiced strong opposition to the inclusion of the group in any unity government, demanding that it first renounce violence, recognize the state of Israel and abide by all previous agreements.

Nevertheless, the president renewed his push for a two-state solution Thursday, declaring that the borders of Israel and a future Palestinian state should be based on pre-1967 lines "with mutually agreed swaps, so that secure and recognized borders are established for both states."

"The full and phased withdrawal" of Israeli security forces from the West Bank has to be accompanied by evidence of a Palestinian state that can help secure the peace and prevent attacks against Israel, he said.

But a continued Israeli presence in the West Bank is inconsistent with long-term dreams of a secure Jewish and democratic state, Obama said.

"The Palestinian people must have the right to govern themselves, and reach their potential, in a sovereign and contiguous state," the president said.

On a broader regional level, Obama stressed the importance of economic development to accompany political reforms. Toward that end, he announced $1 billion in debt forgiveness for Egypt, as well as another $1 billion in loan guarantees for Cairo.

He also promised a new "comprehensive" trade and investment partnership initiative with the Middle East and North Africa. Europe will play a key role in moving the initiative forward, he said.

Obama also defended U.S. and NATO intervention in Libya, arguing the move was necessary to prevent an imminent massacre.

"Time is working against (Libyan leader Moammar) Gadhafi," he asserted. When Gadhafi goes, "decades of provocation will come to an end" and a democratic transition can begin, he said.

Thursday's speech came nearly two years after Obama delivered an address in Cairo, the Egyptian capital, that called for "a new beginning" between the United States and the Muslim world.

Today, many in the Middle East and North Africa consider the Cairo speech a collection of lofty ideals that lacked sufficient follow-through, and they have been looking for Obama to signal substantive and concrete policies that support the aspirations of the region's people.

Marwan Muasher, a former Jordanian foreign minister and longtime advocate of Arab reform, said Wednesday that the Middle East is a new environment now, where young men and women are laying their lives on the line for democracy throughout the region. They need to be told their cause is just and how the United States will support them.

If Thursday's address is viewed as just "another Cairo speech, forget it," said Muasher, now at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. "It was great two years ago, and even then the feedback was mixed, because people wanted to see what he would do. If he doesn't have much to add this time, people will not be fooled by it."

Gigi Ibrahim, a 24-year-old Egyptian activist and blogger, predicted Obama's words will have little impact in her country.

"At this point, whatever President Obama will address will really be irrelevant to what the situation is now because we're really building democracy from the bottom up," Ibrahim told CNN, adding that "America is not the model of democracy that we are striving for."

She called U.S. policy on the Middle East "hypocritical" because, she said, the United States "will support a dictatorship if it's aligned with its interests."
That attitude is still rife throughout the Middle East and North Africa, noted CNN senior political analyst David Gergen.

With Egypt facing economic crisis, the Libyan conflict at a stalemate, an ongoing harsh crackdown on demonstrators in Syria and the Israeli-Palestinian peace process at a standstill, there is little belief in the region that Obama or the United States can do much to help, Gergen said.

"I think it's going to be very difficult in the near term to generate excitement about his policies in the Middle East," Gergen said.

In an effort to start changing such perceptions, the Obama administration on Wednesday imposed tough sanctions against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and six other senior Syrian officials in an effort to stop the regime's fierce crackdown on anti-government protests.

The sanctions also target two top Iranian officials whose unit was a "conduit for Iranian material support" to Syrian intelligence, according to a copy of the executive order issued by the White House.

Obama's speech came in a week when the White House is strongly focused on Middle East issues. He met Tuesday with Jordan's King Abdullah II at the White House, and will meet Friday with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

CNN's Elise Labott and Matt Smith contributed to this story.

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