Dictators in the Middle East: Headed for Extinction?

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.




About middleeastcommentary

As an Associate Professor in Electronic Media Communication at Middle Tennessee State University, I teach courses in Media in the Middle East, among other courses analyzing media. I also produce media -- a recent documentary on the Kurds of Northern Iraq "More than the Mountains: Kurdistan of Iraq" produced following two trips to Iraq in 2005 and 2008.
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