Thursday, November 24, 2011
Rev Recap - Scores from Around the League
As we enter the end of a complete year of the Democratic Arab Revolutions, which began in Tunisia in late December 2010 - and led to the removal of four dictators, so far, and has a few more on the ropes, who may go before the end of the year, it is a good time to assess the situation, which doesn't appear to end anytime soon.
The quick success of the revolt in Tunisia quickly spread to Egypt, where the exit of Mubarak signaled the sudden ability of popular uprisings to affect such radical political change, and sparked similar revolts in Bahrain, Yemen, Syria and Libya.
While the apparently successful revolutions in Tunisia and Egypt were moderately non-violent, at least on the part of the protesters, over 300 people were killed in each country in the nearly month long demonstrations, and while Tunisia has conducted a democratic election in which almost 90% of the people voted, the situation in Egypt has reignited.
After thinking they were successful in getting rid of Mubarak, it was clear that even after elections were scheduled for this week, the Egyptian military were not about to relinquish the power they assumed with Mubarak being imprisoned, and the people had to come back to the streets to fight them.
As this battle continues into its sixth night, it is clear that the people will not back down again until the military turns over the power of the government to civilians. One interesting aspect of this is the failure of the Muslim Brotherhood to rejoin the revolt, especially after it only entered the fray the last time after it became clear that Mubarak was going to go. Now the radical Brotherhood believes it will have a strong showing in the scheduled election and doesn't want them to be cancelled or postponed, which is what is going to happen since the whole country is currently in chaos.
Meanwhile, the dictator of Yemen has arranged for his exit, and a grant of immunity, with the support of Saudi Arabia and apparently the United States, where he will seek medical assistance and the US interests in combating the al Qaeda terrorists threat there will be maintained.
Over in Bahrain, the King has reluctantly agreed to some new reforms, but the as in Yemen, the protests continue, and there is no end in sight of their ending until the reforms are in place.
In Syria, the revolution has deteriated into a civil war with some of the military defecting and the previously non-violent demonstrators increasingly resorting to violence if only to defend themselves.
Since the situation in Libya is now slowly settling down, I will try to bring more news and some original commentary to the other revolutions in the region.
Here's four reports on situations in each of these countries.