Friday, February 11, 2011

Arab street is no longer passive

Except in Saudi Arabia.

NYT: "The departure of the 82-year-old Mr. Mubarak, at least initially to his coastal resort home in Sharm el-Sheik, was a pivotal turn in a nearly three-week revolt that has upended one of the Arab’s world’s most enduring dictatorships. The popular protests — peaceful and resilient despite numerous efforts by Mr. Mubarak’s legendary security apparatus to suppress them — ultimately deposed an ally of the United States who has been instrumental in helping to carry out American policy in the region for decades.

Mr. Mubarak’s fall also came three weeks to the day after a sudden revolt in Tunisia toppled another enduring strongman, Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali of Tunisia — a domino effect that may upend conventional wisdom about the passivity of the Arab street and the staying power of authoritarian governments in the region. Monarchies and one-party dictatorships still hold sway in many countries in the region, including Syria, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Yemen."

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