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World on Fire: Bahrain, Iran Join the Fray

— Filed under: Breaking News, Politics & Government
Bahrain demonstrates in solidarity with Egypt
Bahrain demonstrates in solidarity with Egypt

If the media are to be believed, there are literally dozens of countries around the world which are primed and ready to go up in flames. It all started in Tunisia, when a fruit seller set himself on fire and ignited a revolution that sent President Ben Ali packing. This inspired two-plus weeks of street protests in Egypt, which led to the ouster of President Hosni Mubarak.

Ongoing demonstrations include those in Algeria, which have been recently invigorated after seeing the success of Tunisia and Egypt's protestors, and thousands in Yemen demanding that President Ali Abdullah Saleh step down.

The latest countries to see protests are Iran, where police on Monday used tear gas and batons on protestors, and Bahrain, where police have opened fire on a funeral procession for a victim of previous violence.

What will be the next country to see its dictator fall? Will it be one of the those already mentioned above? Foreign Policy magazine has created a nice little feature detailing the possibilities of regime change in North Korea, Libya, Zimbabwe, Cuba, and Belarus. Some more far-fetched scenarios have also been suggested, including Puerto Rico and Finland.

Has all this unrest been sparked by unprecedented increases in world food prices, as many experts have suggested? Is it simply a yearning for freedom and democracy? Richard Falk offers in an insightful piece for Al Jazeera that efforts by former colonial powers to exert a 'covert imperial hegemony' are being undone by those who have learned from their colonial teachers and are using that same knowledge to foment revolution. He says:

"Ideas may be disseminated with conservative intent, but if they later become appropriated on behalf of the struggles of oppressed peoples, such ideas are reborn - and serve as the underpinnings of a new emancipatory politics."

What are your thoughts? Why are there so many countries experiencing unrest, especially in the Middle East? Are they all about to descend into chaos, or is that overblown hype created by the media? Let us know your opinion by posting a comment below. Seize the skull!

Michel's picture

Lets hope Iran will fall, but

Lets hope Iran will fall, but its probably somewhere insignificant like Bahrain.

Bernard's picture

The proverbial smart money

The proverbial smart money would appear to be on Bahrain buckling first, according to our friends at Reuters. Here is the link - http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/02/17/us-protests-idUSTRE71F41K20110217

On the other hand, Libya appears to be heating up as well - http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5hiRm6or7fqLxkFUiE4v8PN3hn6Kw?docId=ac0fdf1479e844578db73ae3a0abd841

lloydyspeaks's picture

I'm the same i hope Iran and

I'm the same i hope Iran and also Libya will fall. Although Yemen is quite interesting as it's in the same position as Egypt was with the President Ali Abdullah Saleh saying he will not return to office and his son will not inherit the office either..quite possibly Bahrain tho, but i don't think any should feel safe around the region, dominos anyone?

Map showing the Middle Eastern Protests:-

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-12482293

Simon Templar's picture

Hmmmmm, What I find

Hmmmmm,

What I find interesting is the fact that certain Western countries have stayed silent as these protests began in Tunisia and then Egypt.  It's also interesting that they also remain silent while protests still continue to this day in Bahrain and to a lesser extent Yemen.  As soon as protests start in Iran and Libya, the "ol pariah state" story gets huge airplay...

ALL THESE COUNTRIES HAVE OPENED FIRE ON THEIR OWN PEOPLE!

I think the country that should feel the most unease about this is not Israel, but Saudi Arabia.... 

This is like a virus and I can guarantee it will spread.