From Spring to a Winter of discontent

From Tunisia, to Egypt, to Morocco, to Yemen, to Kuwait, to Syria and of course Libya there has been constant scenes of unrest. I should not forget that Jordan and Bahrain had also been the subject of unrest, but at least in Jordan the king, being a reformist, seems to have the upper hand. It is not over in Libya by any stretch of the imagination, but the situation could be improving now that Saif al-Islam Gadhafi and General Senussi have both been captured. In contrast to the treated delivered by the Misrata Brigade, the people from Zintan have looked after their high profile captive. It will be interesting to see what comes of the interrogation of Senussi because I expect that he is the person behind the Lockerbie bombing, as well as a number of other criminal acts.

However, this is not about Libya (there is a lot of unknowns regarding Libya at this moment in time), but it is about Egypt. The “revolution” in Egypt was hailed as part of the “Arab Spring”. It was supposed to be a new beginning in Egypt. Muburrak was forced to step down, his son was arrested, and eventually he was arrested and faces trial. However, the people are not happy. Now I am still not sure of the make-up of those protesters, as I suspect that they were financed by certain Leftist interests, even so, the group is a mixed bag because it not only includes the left wing, but it includes Islamists and members of Muslim Brotherhood. There is also another element to consider: the Egyptian army.

One report that I saw recently suggested that the Egyptian army was quite happy to tell Muburrak to go, not because of him, but because they did not want Gamal, his son to take over when he died. This might logically explain why the army have been trying to cement their own power behind the scenes.

Just like in Libya, there are multiple players. Unlike Libya, some of the players are not being all that open about their intentions. The Muslim Brotherhood are continuing to try and hoodwink the people about their political intentions. The name of Mr. Potato Head, er make that el Baradei keeps cropping up, but that man should not even be running for President. However, there are other names and other players, and all of them are hostile to Israel.

The first of the expected elections took place in Tunisia. The winner of the elections was the Ennhada party. This is the MB party in Tunisia. They have promised to remain moderate, but can they really keep that promise.

In Yemen, Saana keeps refusing to give up power, and he continues to cling to that power. After the attack on his palace that had caused him some injuries, Saana went to Saudi Arabia for treatment, and to the peoples’ dismay he returned. The thing to watch in Yemen is the rise of any party associated with Al Qaeda. Yemen is, after all, a stronghold for Yemen in the ME.

Syria remains a major concern. This is a conflict which is not strictly about corruption. It is really about tribal and religious conflict. President Assad belongs to the minority Alawite tribe. The issue here is that they are the minority. However, Assad is propped up by Iran and Russia. The Russians are not going to let Syria be taken from their grasp in the same way that they lost influence over Libya. Russia is doing everything it can to divert the UN from implementing sanctions upon Syria. Iran has been providing the forces for the crackdown on the people. More than 3500 people have been killed in Syria. The opposition is made up of different people, including soldiers who have deserted from the army.

As the Syrian crisis continues to escalate, western countries need to think about their stance. At this stage of the game it is far better to be neutral than to get involved. It does not mean that there should be no condemnation of what Assad done, on the contrary, Assad should be condemned for the 3500 deaths. You cannot claim that these people were shooting each other, and it is not true that the Assad troops were killed by the “rebels”. On the contrary, the evidence had been that there were people killed because they refused to carry out orders. We do know what happened.

The protests have not brought peace, or even “justice” and instead they have brought turmoil.


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