By John Galt
July 17, 2011
The issues arising after the “Arab Spring” have re-emerged into a summer of Islamist rage, especially in those nations once romanticized by the Western mainstream media but as some of us tried to warn, never romance the stone when it has been whipped from a slingshot towards one’s face. The lack of reform is neither shocking nor unexpected in most of the nations where violence, protests, and economic duress have been ongoing for months now. This is a brief review of the stories since Friday and a summary of their impacts in my opinion.
Per Reuters July 16, 2011:
ALGIERS, July 16 (Reuters) – Two people were killed in Algeria on Saturday when a suicide bomber targeted a police headquarters in a town 70 km (45 miles) east of the capital, a local security source told Reuters.
Al Qaeda’s north African branch frequently attacks security forces in rural areas of Algeria, but it has been months since there have been any bomb attacks in the centre of a town.
The bomb struck in the early hours of Saturday morning in the centre of the town of Bordj Menaiel, near the local police headquarters, said the source, who did not want to be identified.
NOTE: This could be part of the continuing evolution of AQIM, the North African branch of Al-Qaeda which has created problems throughout Algeria, Tunisia, Morocco, Mauritania, and Mali. If this is the start of a new offensive in coordination with rebels in Tunisia, Libya, and other MENA nations the disruptions they could create for Europe and Western companies dependent on resources in the MENA region is incalculable.
All stories from Reuters-
NOTE: This does not sound like the idyllic starting place for the “Arab Spring” that CNN and Christiane Amanpour once described. As the Libyan Civil War rages next door the spillover effects are impacting the Tunisian economy and what is left of a civil government’s attempt to maintain order and prepare for future elections.
A very good story breaking down the situation in Morocco and the attempted reforms from Bruce Maddy-Weitzman of the Jerusalem Post today:
Also this past week, the government relented and worked with the protesters to end a prolonged phosphate strike. More details in this Reuters story:
A must read from the NY Times this morning:
NOTE: This is the elephant in the living room as the United States still has yet to set a long term policy towards the Kurdish question. While our military is ordered to pay lip service to the Kurdish government to pacify their concerns, anger against the central government in Baghdad and lack of concrete acknowledgement of the provisional territorial borders by the Iraqi government is building cause for an even more militant defense of the Kurdish homeland along with a restriction of oil flows from the Kirkuk region.