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LibyaIf Gaddafi was doing all this massacring, why did it take so long to intervene? The reason it took so long was that there was plenty of planning to do, both military and diplomatic. There was also resistance from Russia and China. The US, the UK, France, and every other nation participating in those talks had said that they would not take action without regional backing for the operation, which the Arab League provided (but the African Union did not). If anything had been done without the UN's permission, it would have been (seen as) just another illegal invasion by the West. It would have allowed Gaddafi to claim that that the West is coming to take their oil and all that, and without the UN resolution, millions of people could potentially believe that to be the case. The process of intervention itself started up quickly, however. Meetings between the leaders of the UK, France and the US took place immediately after the first reports of violence against protesters in Libya broke. The no-fly zone resolution began as a draft made by the UK and France (later joined by Lebanon and the US), which initially was being written "just in case". As it turned out, the case was just. Initial talks at the UN were reserved and yielded no result because of announcements made by Russia and China that they would block the resolution at the Security Council. When the level of violence escalated and the resolution was finally voted on, 5 out of the 15 members - including Russia and China (the only members with the veto to not vote "yes") - abstained. The resolution passed 10-0-5 (10 votes for, 0 against, 5 abstaining: China, Russia, Germany, Brazil, India). The West is carrying out a no-fly zone in Libya. Why isn't it doing the same for Yemen, Ivory Coast, Bahrain, and everywhere else there's protests and rebellions? Is it because Libya has oil? Every country has entirely different things going on in terms of the specificness of the threat to the people, the size of it, the length of time it will take for the threat to be carried out, what action can meet the threat, the level to which the action may disrupt the usual political allegiances and equilibrium level of government, the potential for peaceful resolution down the line and the real or imagined precedence it sets. In the case of Libya, many things made it suitable for the intervention to happen.
EgyptHosni Mubarak was the second leader ousted in the revolutionary wave. He is currently to be held trial for his crimes against the people. Until the elections, the Egyptian Military has formed a temporary government. The Regime change has once again sparked conflicts between the Egyptian Muslim and Coptic Christian communities, that usually flame up at any conflict (including the Swine Flu scare, during which Muslims blamed Christians' pigs for outbreaks). Leaders of both communities do appeal for peace, and blame the military for causing more trouble than they solve. In late 2011, Parliamentary elections were in Egypt with the Muslim Brotherhood and the Ultraconservative Islamic Nour party leading as of now. These events raised the question of how the secular/liberal youth will be represented in the new government, and fears that the revolution might degenerate into a Full-Circle Revolution. In summer 2012, a Presidential election was held, with 5 candidates getting about the same number of votes in the first round, but the eventual winner being Muhammed Morsi, a Muslim Brotherhood based candidate. However, during the election, Parliament was dissolved by a court order, with the military rulers than giving themselves a bunch of extra power. This set off some more rounds of protests and political conflict, and the questions of whether/how much the military will continue to stay in power. Morsi managed to counter; in August 2012 he "retired" the military council and gave them a big severance package and a bunch of medals, asserting control over the military. For a hot second it was uncertain whether the Council would accept this, but it appears that Morsi had the assistance of some junior officers, and the old generals probably realized that refusal would be massively unpopular and strip them of legitimacy. After this, all eyes began to focus on the next parliamentary elections, although nobody knows when they will be.
TunisiaWhile protests and unrest are usual in the Middle East and North Africa, many count the self-immmolation of a Tunisian fruit vendor, Mohamed Bouazizi as the starting point of the Arab Spring. Tunisia was also the first country to overthrow their leader. The first free elections were held on the 23rd. of October 2011. The moderate islamic party Nahda, or Renaissance Party won the most seats, 90 out of 217. Nahda leadership has promised to respect the large secular community in urban Tunis, opposes strict Sharia and the Saudi Arabian model, instead presenting Indonesia and Turkey as better social models. Nahda also promised to uphold women's and homosexual's rights, though to what extent the promises will be kept is still questionable.
YemenInitially, the Yemeni protests were against unemployment, economic conditions (Yemen is the poorest country in the Middle East), and corruption, as well as against the government's proposal to modify Yemen's constitution. Eventually, it grew into an uprising demanding the ousting of Ali Abduallah Saleh. It got worse when military started to deflect to the protesters, and the fact that there were possible links between the protesters and Al-Quada, which has embarked on a terror campaign throughout the protests, pushing Yemen on the brink of civil war. Starting in late April, Saleh agreed to a Gulf Co-operation Council-brokered deal only to back away hours before the scheduled signing three times. However, on November 23, Saleh signed another Gulf-backed deal allowing him to resign, and he did so in January 2012, and was succeeded by Abd Rabbuh Mansur al-Hadi as president.
MoroccoSome trace the start of Arab Spring to protests in Moroccan-occupied West Sahara. The protests started in Rabat, Fez and Tangier in solidarity with the Egyptian revolution. Subsequently, a day of protest in favour of Moroccan constitutional reform and social justice was planned for 20 February and advertised on social networking sites. These protests ultimatly lead to a referendum in June to be held on changes to the constitution, which became law on 13 September. Some protesters felt that the reforms did not go far enough and continued protesting.
Saudi ArabiaKing Abdullah granted women the right to vote in the next elections (to largely meaningless local councils), as a part of his long line of reforms in the past few years, but speculated to be a move to stem further unrest. Nevertheless, significant protest movements have sprung up every now and again, particularly in the Eastern Province (which has a large but oppressed Shia minority).
JordanSome protests and a shift in government occurred, but otherwise little changed in this country.
SyriaFun fact: For some time, many people in the west followed one certain blog, "Gay girl in Damascus", by a half-American girl named Amina Arraf who was well, gay. Later people learned that "she" had been Middle East peace activist Tom MacMaster all the time. Yeah, the G.I.R.L. phenomenon now arrived in the Mainstream Media. Definitely explains the various Fanservice bits. The governemnt response to the uprising has been the most violent, with massacres of nearly entire villages. A Syrian political cartoonist, critical of the regime was beaten, and his hands broken by "unknown assailants". This sparked fury of political cartoonists worldwide. As of June 7, 2013, the death toll surpassed 70,000, and the Red Cross gave the area Civil War status. Efforts by the United Nations and the Arab League to intervene are hamstrung by the fact that unlike Libya, Syria has powerful friends who regard it as a key strategic ally—specifically Iran (who provide some arms and a lot of training, and as of August 2012 even soldiers on the ground) and Russia (whose only Mediterranean naval base is in the Syrian city of Tartus and which has very lucrative arms contracts with the current regime). Fun fact #2: The aid the Iranian government has given to Assad far exceeds their own military budget.
OmanOman was an oddity. The Sultan of Oman is rather popular, and while there were protests, it didn't end all that badly or aim to overthrow him (In fact, some had signs while protesting that were Pro Sultan). Once he gave them a few concessions and began to work on oil profit distribution, Oman has been peaceful and quiet.
IraqIraqi Kurdistan some some protests soon after the Tunisia ones, but otherwise has so far remained stable throughout the unrest in the region, but at the time of writting (a couple of days after US troops officially left the country) there are fears of sectarian violence between Iraq's shia majority and sunni minority. The vice president is aledged to be behind a recent terrorist attack and is currently nowhere to be found.
BahrainBahrain saw numerous protests, calling for reform of the government and an end to the domination of the Sunni minority over the Shia majority. While for some that meant the outright abolition of the monarchy, most struck a more conciliatory tone, merely demanding the resignation of the Prime Minister and the establishment of civil rights and government responsible to Parliament (which would probably lead to a Shia-led government) while retaining the monarchy and the Sunni Al Khalifa as the royal house. Nevertheless, this uprising was brutally crushed by the Bahraini security forces and about 1500 Saudi and Emirati troops (whom the Bahraini government had brought in to, um, "help").
IranIran is not an Arab country, so Arab Spring can't be applied to Iran. However, American sanctions are focused on making people revolt against their government.
Israel and PalestinePalestine once again has petitioned for independence, though it's expected to fail at the security council due to the US opposition, which will result in a veto. As always. Despite a few token attempts, the terrorist Hamas regime (Gaza) and the less extreme Fatah-led PA (West Bank) did not reconcile or unite on any real level. Rampant corruption and souring diplomatic relations between the PA and the rest of the world have taken a serious toll on the West Bank's economy, and Gaza is in similarly bad trends as Egypt has started cracking down on the many smuggling tunnels under the Egypt-Gaza border, which is where most of Hamas' inflow of arms was coming from. Israel is content to not be the main target of protest/anger/violence in the region for once, focusing on preventing the local situation from destabilizing in the near future.
MaliA number of Tuaregs (A traditionally nomadic North African ethnic group who mainly live in and around the Sahara) who had previously fought in the Libyan Civil War on the Gaddafi loyalist side started a rebellion to try and create their own Tuareg state. The malian government did little about this originally and eventually the military took over the government in a coup d'etat because they believed the government were not allowing them to fight the rebels. This act sparked an international outcry and it backfired as the Tuareg rebels used this as an opportunity to take a number of towns (including Timbuktu) and then once they had control of a so called Tuareg homeland they declared independence as the state of Azawad. The Tuareg rebel's rebellion was eventually corrupted by hardline islamists (many of whom were not-Malian or Tuareg) who attempted to impose Sharia Law and destroy historic sites in Timbuktu as well as push forwards South into the rest of Mali. The Malian army seemed powerless to stop them and then the French came; like they often are like to do with their former colonies.