The Middle East is Back! To a Normal Level of Turmoil

 Jack Denton


The Middle East: Home to some of the world’s oldest civilizations, richest people, and largest oil reserves. A region marked by some of the most intense conflict in history, and this conflict has not slowed down. Here is a rundown of events in the area.

Libya: The militias caught Gadhafi, resulting in his “accidental death in the crossfire”, but things haven’t settled down yet. All of the individual militias that fought together against the government forces have splintered into rival factions. Each of these factions believes they deserve some of the spoils of war and more representation in the government than the other factions. What ever happened to “fighting for the common cause?” Elections are just around the corner in this country.

Egypt: Egyptians are revolting again, this time about whether or not their last session of revolting-turned-revolution was handled well. The country gave aging military men full control in interim power, but it soon became evident that they did not want to give it.  Thankfully, Egypt’s first fully free election in about sixty years cleared things up in that department. Results point to a majority government for the religiously inclined and not-so-Western-friendly Muslim Brotherhood.

Syria: Bashar Assad, the Syrian “President,” is in trouble. The atmosphere is tense over all of Syria, where Assad’s oppressive regime has killed thousands of protesters. The Arab League has imposed sanctions on the country, as has the United Nations Human Rights Council. To paraphrase the eternal-president, “We only played the game, pretending to be part of the Arab League and the UN. Their sanctions mean nothing to us.” Sure, let’s see how that works out. I faintly remember Gadhafi saying something similar before the NATO airstrikes…

Iraq: More bombings. Less US Troops.

Yemen: Yet another Middle Eastern president is “stepping down”. This time the country he is leaving is desperate: it’s a breeding ground for terrorists, it has an overwhelmingly young population, and the predicted cataclysmic depletion of the country’s oil reserves in 2017 will leave Yemen in a very bad place. Based on the aftermath of the Egyptian and Libyan rebellions resulting from the overthrowing of a tyrant, Yemen is in for a rough stretch.

Iran: The unsanctioned nuclear program expands, and seemingly government-organized protesters have sacked the British embassy. I imagine that the images of the Union Jack being burned and of the Queen being held upside down won’t go over well in the United Kingdom.