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.

May 18, 2011

The Revolt for Freedom is a Risky Endeavor

The spring uprising in the Arab world is at risk. Repressive governments are fighting back to stop those who are revolting to gain their freedom and free elections. The governments of Yemen, Libya, Syria and Bahrain are using all sorts of violent tactics such as live bullets, tear gas and jailing large numbers of protesters.

Despite the various governments’ tactics, the young people continue their fight and struggle for freedom. Their determination to succeed is reflected also in their technological skills to outflank governments’ strategies and continue communicating with each other. They also use social networks to transmit pictures of government abuses of protestors.

Yemen, Libya, Syria and Bahrain have determined to stop the protestors uprising for several reasons. The first and major one is reflected in the fact of what happened to the political leadership of the disposed regimes in Tunisia and Egypt. In Egypt, ex-president Hosni Mubarak, his family members and many others are being investigated and are under arrest. They are being charged with many violations such as corruption, misuse of public wealth and the deaths of many people. Such charges will lead to the indictments of these officials. Similar trends are taking place In Tunisia.

The dictators and heads of governments of Yemen, Libya, Syria and Bahrain will not surrender their authority to face prosecution, imprisonment and/or death for the crimes they have committed.

Therefore, and as long as their military forces continue to support them, they will use all sorts of methods to bring the protestors movements to an end.

In Bahrain, the government requested military support from Saudi Arabia, which sent 2,000 soldiers and crushed the uprising there. Many of the leadership of the uprising are in jail and some others have been killed.

In Syria, it has been reported that more than 850 people have been killed and more than 10,000 are in prison. Members of President Bashar Assad’s close family, who occupy important positions, control the Syrian government. For example, the president’s brother is the head of the Republican Military Guard, which is the strongest military division in the Syrian army. The army has been used to stop the protestors. Members of the Alawite group who are associated with the regime occupy other military high positions. How long the regime will continue to resist a question that is hard to answer.

In Yemen, the situation there is no different form the Syrian one. The uprising has been going on for nearly three months. Hundreds of people have been killed and thousands injured in many cities in Yemen. The son of President Ali Saleh is head of the Republican Guard, which is providing security for the regime. Members of Saleh’s tribe and/or friends also occupy many high governmental positions. Despite the large numbers of Yemenis who are opposed to the regime, there is some tribal support for Saleh, but on a lesser scale.

The governments of the Gulf Council initiated an offer to end the rule of President Saleh with immunity for him and members of his family from prosecution. The offer was rejected by the young people, who want to prosecute the president for crimes and corruption. The mediation has failed despite President Saleh’s acceptance of it. The fight will go on and it will be difficult to predict the outcome as long as part of the army continues to support the regime.

In Libya, the situation is the worst and the civil war will continue as long as Gadhafi and his sons are alive and have cash money to pay their mercenary soldiers who are fighting the war on their behalf. However, the end of the war will stop when the Gadhafi family perishes.

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