I don’t seem to see much about what is going on in the Middle East and the Maghreb (to which I’ll include Mali for this discussion) in the press – I’m concerned that not only is the Arab Spring/Libyan War gone down mainstream Western journalism’s memory hole, but there are some very uncomfortable things going on right now that have their basis in those events. Here is a quick survey:
1. Tunisia – where it all started: Anti-Americanism because people in Tunisia believe the USA is backing the Islamist Ennahada (a sort of Muslim Brotherhood “Lite”).
3. Mali – the Tuareg (an ethnic group in the north that also live in southwestern Libya) supported Libya’s Qaddafi, and with the war in Libya, many were heavily armed when they returned home. Taking advantage of (yet another) overthrow of the civilian government by elements of the Mali military (unrelated to the Tuareg), the Tuareg seized the northern 2/3rds of Mali and on April 6th, declared the establishment of the new independent state of Azawad.
4. Egypt – The Muslim Brotherhood runs the parliament, the population has to import 50% of its caloric intake and is rapidly running out of money, and the Copts – the original Egyptians (they remain Christian after almost 2000 years, and comprise a minority of 10% to 15% of the population) are being persecuted.
5. Syria – where to start? Revolt internally, concerns about Iranian involvement, worries about chemical and biological weapons, and now spilling over to neighboring countries. Video of a discussion here.
I could go on, but you get the general idea. The situation is fluid and much more dire than we are generally aware.