Welcome to the Middle East Today

The Middle East has traditionally been important for the world economy. The Middle East situation today has an impact on all aspects of life in America and much of the world.

Only by understanding the motivations of the various factions in the Middle East can we hope to understand how to promote peace and national security for Middle Eastern nations, Europe, and the United States.

Apr 19, 2011

The Continuous Spring Protests

Most states in the Arab world are still experiencing people’s protests demanding reforms such as freedom of expression, political reforms, free elections and an end to political and financial corruption.

All of these demands are legitimate and the political leadership in these states continues to promise to respond to the demands of the protestors. The following reflects the latest.

In Jordan, the protestors in Amman, Zarka and other cities are demanding the prosecution of those who stole the public assets. Some of them fled the country to escape prosecution. The protestors were calling for the revival of the gift of April of 1989, which led to the removal of the emergency law and the return to the freedom of political parties and election. Furthermore, the crowds were calling for the cancelation of the Arab peace agreement with Israel.

The young people of March the 24th were part of the protest movement who also called for the resignation of the government and requested political reforms that will lead to free elections. In Zarka city, the security forces were attacked by the Islamic Salafi group, which led to the injuries of more than 80 people. Many of these were members of the police force. Also, members of the Salafi group were arrested, including their leader Abu Muhamid il Tahawi. This group was carrying knives that were used against the security forces. According to revealed reports, more than 30 members of this group were arrested.

During the same period, King Abdallah met with tribal Jordanian leaders and assured them of the government’s intention of a wide range of political and economic reforms. The tribal segment of the Jordanian population reflects the basic support for the regime. The Jordanians of Palestinian background, who constitute more than half of the population, are the backbone of the protestors movement, in addition to liberal and highly educated individuals form the Jordanian segment. Nevertheless, I continue to say that unless real reforms are made, political unrest will continue.

In Syria, the political protests continue in many cities including Damascus, repeating the same demands for political reforms. Tear gas was used to disperse the protestors. At the same time, the protestors removed the pictures of Bashar il-Assad and called for his resignation. The people are demanding that the regime respond to their demands. President Assad has already formed a new government and promised a broad range of political reforms. How fast he will implement such reforms will influence the future political trends in Syria.

In Iraq, the Iraqi population has started an uprising against their newly elected members of parliament, who they have accused of being puppets for the American occupying forces. The Iraqi youth are the most active of those who have been marginalized by al Maliki regime. They feel that the present ruling groups came with the occupying American forces, who have destroyed Iraq politically, economically, socially and environmentally. What the young Iraqi people are objecting to is the establishment of a sectarian political structure under the pretext of democratic principle, which has been adopted. The young people are calling for the establishment of true democracy that will usher in a better future for all Iraqis and the removal of political division influenced by sectarianism in the country. They are calling for more political freedom and an end to political corruption.

In Algeria, the protestors’ movement is still active. However, President Abed al-Aziz bin-Taflika promised constitution reform in response to people’s demands for freedom, free elections and an end to corruption. The emergency law has been lifted and more political reform is being implemented to avoid a similar uprising that took place in 1988, which led to the deaths of more than 160,000 people. The Algerian president, who is 74 years old, will respond to the peoples’ request in the end. However, how far he will go remains to be seen.

The situations in Yemen and Libya are getting worse and more bloodshed and destruction will continue until the removal of both dictators.

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