Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Mideast uprisings: A lesson for strong men and counterfactual historians

Manipulated over the past century and a half by greedy outsiders and their own repressive leaders, many Arabs in the middle east and north Africa are saying, "Enough already!" In country after country from Morocco to Bahrain, popular uprisings are now a raging fire. The long simmering resentment of ordinary people against widespread corruption, unemployment, grotesque inequalities and curtailment of freedom which is now a growing explosive anger, is said to have been sparked by the self-immolation of a young Tunisian man who refused to be cowed down by the brutality of a corrupt police force. The wave of protests has caught the world by surprise, especially the recent events in Egypt where the stunning removal from power of Hosni Mubarak, the long time dictator and US ally was unimaginable just a few short months ago. Egyptians themselves are probably among the most surprised. This time the bogeyman for the mass demonstrators is not the US or Israel, but their own leaders who have long exploited anti-US sentiments to control the citizenry while doing the bidding of the west for their own profit. I have no special insights to add to what we are hearing in the news about the middle east. Things are in a ferment; it is hard to predict how the present and future will shape up in Egypt or elsewhere, and what the implications are for the coming trends in geo-politics. At this moment, the hottest spot in the Arab fire storm is in Libya where the crazy colonel has threatened to become a martyr while inciting a civil war among his countrymen with the help of foreign mercenaries. A map of the region shows the time line and the current status of events in the affected areas.
Ruchira in Accidental Blogger. Here.

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