As the Middle East stabilizes I thought it would be nice for somebody to make a quick summary of the situation as it stands.
Tunisia: Traditionally fairly liberal, there has been an emergence of Islamic elements in Tunisia since the uprising. Although they remain a small group, they have become more vocal.
Michael J Totten describes how, although they claim to be happy and free, and all evidence seems to point in that direction, he couldn’t shake the feeling that the Jews in Tunisia felt threatened.
Bahrain, Algeria, Saudi Arabia, Jordan: Opposition movements were suppressed. Nothing has really changed.
Iraq: The government remains relatively weak and fairly unstable.
Libya: Libya under Kaddafi had no real bureaucracy. Because of this, and reports that Islamists were behind the rebels, the common understanding of the situation was that the Muslim Brotherhood-because of their organization was a shoo-in. However, the Islamists were rejected and a fairly liberal NFA under Mahmoud Jibril rules today. For once I wonder whether Obama’s advisors knew more than word on the street since he hasn’t entered any other war situation actively.
Egypt: We have yet to see who will come out on top, the Muslim Brotherhood or the Military. The US seems to have backed the rise of the Muslim Brotherhood.
Syria: Violence still erupts. Most pundits, like American Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, feel that it is only a matter of time until the Assad regime falls. I personally am not so sure. Although the Syrian regime is still fighting desperately, Assad has still not fallen and it is obvious that nobody is stepping in to help the rebels since Russia and China are against any action against Assad. Russia has actively sent weapons to Assad.
Also, Barry Rubin opines that Kaddafi would not have fallen had NATO not stepped in. Assad is far more powerful than Kaddafi ever was.
Also worth reading is Barry Rubin’s longer summary on the situation in Syria.
Iran: Although there were a couple of uprisings, both were quashed by the Iranian government. As it stands, it appears that Iran is moving closer toward nuclear weapons even as the sanctions take their toll. The US has decided to impose even harsher sanctions today.
Iran is also doing its best to attack countries (particularly Israel) that are some threat to the regime.
Turkey: Turkey has survived the Arab spring for the simple reason that it is the most functional democracy in the Arab world. However, Erdogun has solidified his power and strengthened his government against the Military involvement, weakening the Military’s power in the political arena.
Palestinian Authority: Abbas is increasingly growing more tyrannical, trying to consolidate as much power as possible while shutting down opposing voices.
Gaza: Hamas is as controlling as ever. Their popularity among the citizens has greatly reduced since their elections.As time goes on, Islamic Jihad gains more and more influence since they have taken Hamas’ place as the most militant group in the territories. However, it is unlikely that Hamas will be giving up its position anytime soon.
Israel: Continues to flourish, create, innovate, and grow even among social protests. Although the government felt it is necessary to raise taxes, the political and economic situations are extremely stable. Businesses and services are becoming progressively more privatized.
Also worth reading: