First Tunisia ‘s Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali. Then Egypt’s Hosni Mubarak. Then Muammar Gaddafi in Libya. Some dictators left with their skins intact. Others like Gaddafi fought and lost. Yemen’s leader Ali Abdullah Selah survived an assassination attempt and Syria’s Bashar al-Assad is using brutal force to stay in power.
A headline in an online journal “On Islam” last January — almost a year ago — was headlined “Tunisia Overthrow Worries Arab Leaders.” http://www.onislam.net/english/news/middle-east/450571-tunisia-overthrow-worries-arab-leaders-.html
This has turned out to be a vast understatement of the fear and loathing that leaders or the sons of ruling dynasties such as Syria’s al-Assad whose father, for decades, held power. Bashar al-Assad, like Gaddafi, is trying to suppress the rebellion with an iron fist. Bahrain’s leaders have been successful in quelling dissent. Iran suppressed its Green Movement two summers ago. Does the ultimate success or failure of protests depend upon support of “interested” powers outside the borders who either provide aid, weapons, counsel to the protesters or to the government?
Here’s an interesting timeline on events that have comprised the “Arab Spring” — also called the “Arab Awakening” by Middle Eastern media and the “Islamic Awakening” by Iranian media.