Middle Eastern Upheavals Enter Round Two

Round one of the Middle Eastern upheavals consisted of uncannily parallel coups d'état in Tunisia and Egypt. In both, street demonstrations prompted the security/military establishment to rid itself of a rapacious, unpopular president. Events moved so quickly because, faced with rejection by their own institutional power bases, Presidents Ben Ali and Mubarak had little choice but to resign. They were rapidly replaced by another security/military leader who kept most of the governing institutions, practices, and policies in place. Neither liberals nor Islamists made much of a difference over the subsequent half year.
Round two consists of the near-certain overthrow of the Qaddafi regime in Libya and the likely overthrow of the Asad dynasty in Syria as well as the Saleh regime in Yemen.  CONTINUE

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