View Full Version : Israel, the Middle East, and Sharon's Coma

9th January 2006, 02:50 AM
Doctors Plan to Bring Sharon Out of Coma (http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20060109/ap_on_re_mi_ea/israel_sharon)

Well, as some of you may know by now, Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon has been in a medically-induced coma for a few weeks now while doctors have tried to stop the bleeding in his brain and give him time to heal. They plan to bring him out of the coma today to see how much damage he has suffered. However, most of his physicians and even more outside experts believe that he will be unable to return to his position as the Prime Minister of Israel. This is troublesome, considering that he was expected by most to win a third term in a landslide vote this March, and especially considering that the Middle East is already a very volatile region.

So what happens now? Will Sharon be able to return to power? If not, will his replacement be able to garner enough support from Israelis to work towards restoring peace to the region? How might the positions of Israel differ with a different leader? And what does a shocking event like this do to the stability of the region?

What are your thoughts?

Roy Karrde
9th January 2006, 09:53 AM
Sharon wont be able to return to power, that is basically certain. I mean unless there is absolutely no damage at all, I cant see him returning to power. As for his replacer, he or she will have a very hard time getting support from his or her own people and allies just due to the fact of the size of shoes they will have to fill. As for stabability in the region, Iran has made it pretty clear that they wont to wipe Israel off of the face of the planet, infact their rhetoric against Israel has been stepped up in the last few months. I have a feeling that this event with Sharon will only embolden Iran to try and preform a first strike situation while Israel is trying to find a replacement.

9th January 2006, 10:29 AM
Why is everyone so bent against Israel, anyway?

9th January 2006, 01:12 PM
For pissing off the Arab/Muslim world, mostly.

Roy Karrde
9th January 2006, 01:17 PM
That still doesn't justify the extreme measures that some Arab/Muslim countries * Iran * are trying to take to destroy Isreal. As for why they hate Isreal so much, I would guess it's a number of things ranging from petty hatred of anyone that doesn't share their religion, to Isreal's very illigal expansion tactics that they used back in the 70s I believe. Anyway I really am not that knowledgable on the subject of Isreal's past, right now I'm taking more of a interest in it's present day situation and it's possible future in the region.

9th January 2006, 02:03 PM
Bah. We invaded the wrong country. Still, one letter off isn't bad.

Also, I noticed a quote the other day on Vietnam and how the government went out of favour with public opinion since they were losing their sons in a country few could pronounce and even fewer could place on a map. Iraq anyone?

Roy Karrde
9th January 2006, 02:39 PM
Getting a bit off topic, but Iraq is far from being Vietnam, the biggest difference is the death toll in which Nam ranked above 50,000 deaths, while Iraq it is just at 2,000. As for invading the wrong country, hey now we have a base of operations to go after Iran :p. But all joking aside we're having trouble with insurgents in Iraq and that is what half the size of Iran? We would never ever be able to hold Iran realistically with out alot more forces and I mean ALOT more.

9th January 2006, 02:46 PM
I know Iraq isn't Vietnam 2 but I was just comparing them in the way public opinion has gone down due to the fact young men are dying in a country few can pronounce and even fewer can place on a map.

The difference between Iran and Iraq is that in Iraq we've removed a government that was no threat to the West whatsoever and have placed a military dictatorship. Bush and Blair are under pressure not to send more troops to Iraq, even though both countries are clearly capable of sending far greater numbers out there. At the moment, we're not trying to win a war, we're trying to give Iraq back to the Iraqis.

Iran, on the other, is a great threat. They have nukes and shit and are actually threatening to blow shit up. We don't need to go in and remove the government, we need to go in and disarm them. Moreover, we actually have evidence that Iran are capable and willing of blowing large amounts of shit up so we're more likely to get UN and public backing (as long as they don't take into account how badly we fucked up in Iraq).

Roy Karrde
9th January 2006, 02:54 PM
I agree with basically everything you said except for that Iraq wasn't a threat to the West and that we have a military dictatorship in there, but that is a topic for another time. As for UN approval, I would hope the U.N. would back a attack against Iran, but I have a feeling Iran would have to use some of it's nuke's before that. Yet even then there is a possibility of Russia and a few of it's allies, still opposing any attack on Iran due to the fact that they are very good buddies with Iran.

Edit: Saw this on Yahoo News, JERUSALEM - Ariel Sharon started breathing on his own Monday and moved his right arm and leg in response to pain stimulation in what his surgeon called an important development. But it will be days before doctors can determine whether he is lucid or will be able to return to the job. "The prime minister is breathing spontaneously," said Dr. Shlomo Mor-Yosef, the director of Hadassah Hospital, adding that the movements of Sharon's arm and leg marked "a slight but significant improvement."

So atleast he has some responce, yet it is still a long way from him actually being able to return to any type of work.

10th January 2006, 10:06 AM
Despite whether or not he feels physically well, no one is going to let him return to a position of power when he is in such a clearly unhealthy state. People are going to realise the inevitable and choose a leader instead of having a crisis when he eventually does die or is incapacitated further.

Roy Karrde
10th January 2006, 01:17 PM
Yeah if anything I could see him maybe holding a token consulting post for who ever replaces him. That way you could have a guy that can handle the day to day rigors of the job, while still having it look like that Sharon is still giving imput and suggestions on matters. Even still I have a feeling that after a few months of being a consultant if he even is made one, that he will eventually disapear from the lime light once everyone gets used to this new guy, and Sharon can spend the rest of his days with his family.

10th January 2006, 02:02 PM
The guy is about 78. A 78-year old man who has just been hospitalised by a stroke should not be running a country, especially one as volatile as Israel.

This is why I am against the Presidential/Prime Minister system. It is unrepresentative, undemocratic and seems somewhat imbalanced to give one man such great power. And when something like this happens, it somewhat jeopardises the situation.

Anyway, I doubt what you have suggested might happen will happen. Sharon is the key figurehead in his party, Kadima, and since it is such a new party (formed only in 2005), many predict that it will vanish with these developments in the situation. Without Kadima, the right-wing Likud will most certainly take back power, which will probably be bad news for any hoping for a peaceful solution to the Palestine controversy.

10th January 2006, 02:41 PM
Well, the U.S. has a system to transfer power to someone else quickly in the event of something like this. There's actually a long list of people, thinking about it: The Vice President takes over if the President is incapacitated, the Speaker of the House runs things if both of the previous people are unavailable for whatever reason, and so on. Does Israel not have a plan for emergencies like these? Because it seems like they were really caught off guard here.

As for a possible return to his position, the problem for Sharon is that the elections are coming up very soon. Frankly, even if he were to miraculously make a full recovery, he might not be able to return until after the elections themselves. And by then it might be too late for a return, especially if the people of Israel are concerned like some of us are about Sharon's capacity to continue as the Prime Minister.

10th January 2006, 03:00 PM
Yeah, except the Vice-President is undemocratically elected, so while it might be efficient, it is hardly in the interest of democracy.

10th January 2006, 04:13 PM
Well, I see your point; the Vice President is actually elected alongside the President, but most people don't care who the potential VP will be when they vote. The big issue is the President, so people are pretty much stuck with whoever the running mate is. However, if we were to have elections for every public official who might potentially have to become the President, there would simply be too many elections, and people would probably stop caring about the vast majority of the positions, thus resulting in elected officials who fewer people support than the ones before.

Then again, many people don't seem to care enough to think about and vote in the Presidential election anyway, so I guess it wouldn't be much of a change... :P