Response to Demonstrations in Middle East Honed


Posted by Chris on March 9, 2011

After the fall of Egypt and Tunisia, the world and particularly the Arab world was ecstatic at the possibility of a region-wide peaceful democratic solution that would sweep unpopular dictators out of power. Both Ben Ali and Mubarak fell rather peacefully; any violence by protesters or the government was relatively isolated in a sea of peaceful chanting and unique displays of unity. Indeed, as Marc Lynch notes, the revolutions brought a sense of unity to the entire region: “Yemenis don’t watch Tunisia as spectators but as participants.” Unfortunately, just as popular unrest was starting to grow in many Arab states, Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi stuck back against his people. The violence employed by Qaddafi against the Libyan public has been brutal and shocking. Videos of murder have swept the internet while Al Jazeera has nearly nonstop coverage of what has turned into basically a civil war. Qaddafi will not all as easily as Ben Ali and Mubarak and it remains to be seen how the Libyan crisis will affect other demonstrations.

Outside of Libya, one might begin to feel concern about the situation in Yemen, where President Ali Abdullah Saleh is perhaps leaning towards the Qaddafi model of demonstration resistance. Although the President recently told soldiers to protect the demonstrators, more violence seems just around the corner for Yemen. While the capital of Sana’a has been generally quiet recently, the sea port of Aden has been very tense for weeks. Yet recently, a prison riot demanding the resignation of the President broke out in Sana’a, leaving one dead and 60 injured. Hours later, the army attacked demonstrators who had taken over Sana’a University, shooting rubber bullets and tear gas, leaving 98 people wounded. Soldiers also attacked a peaceful protest in Yemen’s version of Tahrir Square – Taghyeer Sqaure – leaving at leave 75 protesters wounded. Furthermore, protests have reached President Saleh’s home region of Dhamar – a development that could leave Saleh rather isolated.

Read the complete article at Amadinah…


About carlos

I'm a curious person, of reasonable intellect, "on the beach" (retired) and enjoying my interest in anthropology, language, civil rights, and a few other areas. I've been a hippie/student/aerospace tech writer in the '60s, a witness to the Portuguese revolution in the ‘70s, a defense test engineer and witness to the Guatemalan genocide in the '80s, and a network engineer for an ISP in the '90s. Now I’m a student and commentator until my time is up. I've spent time under the spell of the Mesoamerican pyramids and the sweet sound of the Portuguese language. I've lived in Europe, traveled in Brazil, Central America, Iceland, New Zealand, and other places. My preferred mode of travel is with a backpack and I eat (almost) anything local. Somehow, many of the countries I have been to have had civil unrest (for which I was not responsible). I'm open to correspond with anyone who might share my liberal, humanist interests. I live in San Buenaventura, California.
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