Friday, August 1, 2014

What Did the Arab Spring Accomplish?

As the old saying goes: "You can't tell the players without a scorecard".  This is a succinct overview of the "Arab Spring".  


What Did the Arab Spring Accomplish?

By John Price | July 30, 2014

The Arab Spring in North Africa began in Tunisia in December 2010, with the self-immolation of a street vendor named Mohamed Bouazizi who had his fruit and vegetable cart confiscated by local authorities. Massive protests forced President Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali to flee to Saudi Arabia. President Moncef Marzouki his successor failed to unify the country, and under political pressure agreed to hold new elections– which he postponed twice. Islamists have carried out attacks against members of parliament and political leaders, recently killing two moderate candidates. In May 2014 the electoral laws were changed to allow former officials in Ben Ali’s administration to run for office. Twenty former government leaders were recently released from prison, which sparked public outcry. Adding to the chaos last week fourteen soldiers were killed while pursuing AQIM Islamists embedded in the Chaambi Mountain region near the western border with Algeria.

The discontent in North Africa spread quickly to Egypt where riots led to the ousting of President Hosni Mubarak, the military ruler. In the elections that followed U.S. State Department personnel coached the Muslim Brotherhood on the election process bringing to power Mohammed Morsi, a radical Islamist, who was deposed a year later. His attempt to institute Sharia law had caused major riots. Egypt again is in the hands of a military ruler. The Muslim Brotherhood continues to undermine the political process across North Africa and the Middle East. Democracy and tolerance have not taken hold in Egypt with on-going abuses and arrests of opposition leaders, outspoken activists, and journalists.

U.S. and NATO forces undertook a military incursion into oil rich Libya, in support of rebel groups in their fight against the Gaddafi regime. The Islamists tracked down Gaddafi in his home town of Sirte and killed him, and also slaughtered many of his Warfalla tribe. Gaddafi had proffered that if he were overthrown, al-Qaeda would take control of Libya. The interim president, Mohammed Magarief has not been able to unify the country. He and the prime minister, Ali Zeidan had been under constant threats by Islamists, before finally resigning. The new interim president, Nouri Abusahmain has not been able to control the Islamists who have expanded their presence throughout the country.

Article continues HERE.