Monday, June 06, 2011

The two kinds of 'Arab spring' revolutions

There are two kinds of 'Arab spring' revolutions:
  1. those that start somewhere, perhaps for purely local reasons, but quickly spread throughout the entire country due to a wide-spread desire for radical change (e.g., Tunisia, Egypt, Yemen); and
  2. those that are based in some areas of the country and, despite the fact there are perfectly good reasons for the whole country to revolt, are based solely on local problems, are ethnically or religiously grounded, and refuse to spread (Syria, Libya).
"While the regime of President Bashar Assad has cracked down on smaller cities in Syria, residents of the nation's large cities, including Aleppo and the capital Damascus, seem ambivalent about staging mass protests." 'Ambivalent' is a funny way of putting it. They have been given every encouragement to revolt, and yet have weighed the possible outcomes, and clearly prefer the current regime to the possible replacements.
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