Thursday, January 27, 2011

Which way is West?

What's going on in the Arab/Islamic world is fascinating. With all the riots and coups it can get so confusing as to which governments are in and out, which ones are on the way out, and what direction these countries are headed.

To help me keep it straight (and I'm still not 100% sure I got it all right, except the last one), I made a list of the major countries facing internal threats from anti-government forces, organizations, and movements.

Tunis. Government is out. Islamists in power. Islamists will probably keep power.

Lebanon. Government is out. Islamist in power. Islamists will probably keep power.

Egypt. Government appears to be on the way out. Not clear if Islamists, Military or Democracy will take hold (OK, who am I kidding with that last line).

Jordan. Government still in charge, but for how long? Palestinians likely to take over if riots escalate and overthrow government.

Palestinian Authority/Gaza. Government is out. Islamists in charge. Likely to stay that way.

Palestinian Authority/West Bank. Government likely to be toppled soon. Islamists will take charge.

Iran. Government (Islamists) in charge. Green movement crushed.

Iraq. Government stabilized by US forces. Chance it will fall after complete US withdrawal. Islamists would then take over.

Sudan. Divided. North Sudan is Islamic. South Sudan is not Islamic, but in a precarious position. Unclear how long South Sudan can survive.

Yemen. Unclear what will happen, except that it's guaranteed to remain radically Islamic.

Saudi Arabia. Government (Islamists) in charge. Likely to stay that way.

Israel. Government stable. Democracy. Not Islamic. Likely to stay that way.


Feel free to post your comments, additions, or corrections.

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12 comments:

JoeSettler said...

Great line the NYTimes


"It was unusual to see the front pages of the Hebrew newspapers, which mostly obsess about domestic issues, taken over by foreign news."

Which is amusing, because the front page of the NYTimes tends to also obsess about domestic issues... in Israel.

Danny Hershtal said...

Joe, Islamists are not in charge in Tunisia. Tunisia had a relatively small Islamist population compared to other Muslim countries. The revolution there seemed to stem from an actual popular uprising but the eventual winners who are now the leaders are top military men with a lateral reshuffle of the old guard. The president ran to Saudi Arabia, but other than his immediate family, everyone else in the regime got a different, but basically equal position. Will the instability of Tunisia allow Islamists to take a hold there for the first time since the 1820s? Maybe, but it's an up hill climb for them there.

On the other hand, the Jordanian Islamists are trying hard to be seen as the popular leaders of the protesters there. Also an up hill climb but they seem to be succeeding. It may be that they will have achieved a leadership status by the time the royal family is really under threat.

South Sudan is not only not Islamic, but is majority Christian, with more Animists than Muslims. The Juba Republic will only survive with immense western support. I think Israel should be the first country to open an embassy there, and I have said as much to Avigdor Lieberman.

Anonymous said...

The "green movement" in iran is an islamist one, controlled by the mollah.

Chanokh said...

On the other hand, North Sudan is basically reduced to Khartum, the Darfur (persecuted, to say the least, by Khartum) and the Northern desert). It's future doesn't look too bright either.

Dityo Ramadhani said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Don Cox said...

Islamists have one trump card: they claim to be more virtuous than the other parties. This does fool many people for some of the time.

We had the same problem with the Puritans and Calvinists in the British Civil War. Their argument was that because they prayed often, and so had a direct line to God, they should have power.

Vox Populi said...

>Tunis. Government is out. Islamists in power. Islamists will probably keep power.

Where did you get this idea? From what I've heard not only are the Islamists not in power, they are far weaker in Tunisia than in any other Arab country.

>Israel. Government stable. Democracy. Not Islamic. Likely to stay that way.

I'd like to hear how that goes.

JoeSettler said...

Under the former Tunisian government, Islam (and communism) were repressed/limited in power.

I would agree that I jumped the gun on this one, as this has the appearance of a popular revolution.

But I do expect that Islam will now be making big strides in Tunis as a result.

Anonymous said...

Add: Turkey, currently a secular democracy,
Islamists in the process of taking complete control.

Anonymous said...

I liked that

Anonymous said...

Israel: Government unstable and completely corrupt. Pretend democracy. Islamic population set to outnumber Jewish population within a few decades. Jewish groups despise each other based on culture/politics/religion. State borders remain disputed. Violence ensues.

Joe Settler for President.

JoeSettler said...

Prime Minister.

President is a figurehead.

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