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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 30, 2011

Spring Revolution in the Arab World

The success of the revolutions in Egypt and Tunisia was attributed to several factors. They include the army support of the protestors the massive population density who backed the revolution and the efficient technological communications network set by the organizers of the revolution. For these major reasons, the revolutions were successful and the protests lasted only a few weeks.

On the other hand, the protestors’ movements in several other Arab states are still going on and their consequences have been brutal and destructive. Yemen, Libya and recently Syria have joined the ranks of countries experiencing civil wars.

The latest news about the Yemeni revolution, which has been going on for more than two months, led the Gulf Council to mediate the conflict and bring it to an end. The Gulf proposal has been accepted by both feuding parties. The president of Yemen, Ali Saleh, will surrender his position to the vice president within 30 days. He and his family were also granted immunity from prosecution. This part of the agreement was rejected by the young people, but was accepted by the other political opposition parties. The young people are still demanding the prosecution of President Saleh for the crimes committed and the corruption during his 30 years of rule. Despite the fact that the protestors’ movements in Yemen were supported by massive population density, President Saleh was also supported by counter protesters, as well as the Yemeni army, who did not protect the protestors. The army was divided and the Republican Guard was led by President Saleh’s son. This neutralized the armed forces. In some cities, even the army was against the protestors. This gave President Saleh some protection and delayed his decision to resign.

The situation in Libya is the worst type, where the Gadhafi army has turned its military might against the Libyan population. This has led to heavy casualties and injuries. The slaughter of people will only stop by the elimination of Gadhafi and his family from power. During the past four decades, Col. Gadhafi became intoxicated by his power and was running the country and its population as his property. He must be removed, regardless of the cost.

The Syrian situation is getting more critical due to the increasing deaths of some of the protestors in several Syrian cities. At the beginning of the protest a few weeks ago, the people were calling for political reforms and an end to corruption and for free elections. The president of Syria, Bashar Assad, promised to bring reforms and he ended the emergency law, which has been in effect for nearly 50 years. This was not enough and the protestors’ demands were escalated by asking for the removal of the Assad regime and for new elections. The Syrian security responded by calling on the Syrian army to stop the protestors in many cities throughout the country. The clashes between the army and the protestors led to the killing of more than 453 people, according human rights organizations, and to the arrests of over 2,000 activists.

This harsh treatment did not stop the protestors in various Syrian cities, even when the security stopped water and power.

Furthermore, 230 members of Syria’s ruling Baath Party have resigned in protest over the government’s excessive brutality against the protestors. It was also reported that clashes between members of the Syrian armed forces took place when some officers refused to fire their arms against the protestors and as a result, were shot by their fellow army officers.

The basic, major problem in Syria is attributed to the fact that the whole country has been ruled by the al-Assad family for more than four decades. Most important government positions are held by family members and close relatives of this family. The Syrian army’s top ranking positions are also held by the Alawite minority group, who constitute no more than 8% of the total Syrian population. These members of the Assad family are well known as the most corrupt government officials in the country. In addition, Syria has been ruled with an iron fist and no other political party is permitted to operate in Syria.

The protestors’ movement was inspirited by what happened in Egypt and Tunisia by young people who were connected to various modes of technological communications. As usual, the public, which has been politically suppressed, joined in spontaneously. The movement spread even when Syrian security used excessive brutality to disperse the population.

If the Syrian government succeeds in stopping the protestors, it will be for a temporary and short period before it explodes again. The only way for the Syrian government to stop the movement is to implement rapid political reforms.

Furthermore, political heads of state In Syrian, Yemen and Libya have seen what happened to the heads of state in Tunisia and Egypt: jail and humiliation. They will not give up their authority to face similar consequences. Regardless, in the end, they will pay a heavy price for their ruthless actions and suppression.

The population in the Arab world has succeeded in overcoming fear and has begun to breathe more freely.

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