'Tis the season for reflections and prognostications. I'll have my own next week, but to help you deal with the anxiety of waiting, here's one worth reading.
It was prepared by Robert Danin, senior fellow for Middle East and Africa Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations and former director for the Levant and Israeli-Palestinian Affairs at the National Security Council.
It has been one year since Mohamed Bouazizi set himself ablaze in Tunisia, igniting an awakening and an upheaval that continues to sweep the Arab world. No one saw it coming, and no one knows where it is going.
It was the catalyst for still developing historic change and is the first on Danin's chronological list of Top 10 Middle East Events of 2011.
1. Mohamed Bouazizi's Self-Immolation and Death
2. Mubarak's Toppling
3. GCC Sending Troops into Bahrain
4. Violent Uprisings in Syria
5. Death of bin Laden
6. President Obama's Middle East Speech in May
7. Arab League Activism
8. Qaddafi's Killing
9. Tunisia's Elections
10. The Departure of U.S. troops from Iraq
Of particular interest to NYJW readers may be the sixth item. In his Middle East speech last May, the President had nothing new to say about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, not even in his articulation of U.S. policy regarding borders, Danin said, and that was the problem with it.
"What was most interesting was what the speech omitted," Danin wrote, namely a failure to "outline a diplomatic path forward to resolve the conflict."