I am in a waiting period, observing not only the impulsive reactions but more importantly WHO will fill the political power vacuum.
Before you jump and bite my head off, calling me all kinds of names, let me say that even though the masses - peoples grievances are valid, the political plot is not, not benign and far from it.
I am calling it a plot for several reasons.
First of all the timing. Have the Arab masses from Tunis, to Algeria, to Yemen, to Jordan, to Egypt (including the Palestinian leaks and their political implications) suddenly woke up to the fact that they are living under "corrupt dictatorships"? All at the same time ? Strange.
Secondly, I am wondering why this timing coincides with a full Hezbollah Iranian take over of Lebanon.
Thirdly, I am concerned, what are the alternatives presented, what is the agenda, is there one, what is the plan, and if people are clamoring for democracy as some leftist activists are claiming, who will institutionalize the democratic process ?
So far I have seen no real indicators for more open democratic societies in the making. Leaving aside my own allergy to the word "democracy" and its consequences as in Iraq, so far I have seen nothing but an "Islamist" alternative presenting itself as some savior.
Not that I have anything against Islam, quite the contrary. However, I am very wary of these Islamic parties. I am wary of the Tunisian Islamists who try to re-assure us they are not Khomeinis, I am very wary of Hamas and its close ties to Iran, I am very wary of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood who is in bed with Iran, and needless to say I am excessively concerned regarding the Lebanese situation and the Iranian Hezbollah take over.
Some claim this wave of protests is a demand for Freedom (another dreaded word in my dictionary as per the Iraqi lesson), this is inaccurate.
At the grass root level, be it in Tunisia, Algeria, Egypt, Jordan the demands were mainly economic in nature and have to do with rising costs of living, inflation, low salaries, lack of social security, unemployment...i.e an economic insecurity that can be inscribed in the general global economic crisis. Basically, they are protests for Bread.
There is no doubt that Arab governments have contributed through their own corruption, to this state of affairs. One cannot deny that. However, I don't think at the grass root level, the main demands were demands for more democracy and doing away with autocracy. More like doing away with kleptomania, yes.
That is not to say that Arab people don't have aspirations for "democracy", but it is to say that radical changes that are to take place or are taking place cannot be divorced from the grander geopolitical context, in the aftermath and with particular reference to the US invasion and occupation of Iraq.
My fourth point is another observation that is sticking out like a sore thumb. My question is how come there are no protests in "democratic" Iraq where over 50% of the population is unemployed and how come all is quiet on the Syrian front ? Don't they have inflation in Syria ?
Of course, both Iraq and Syria are totally in the Iranian camp today. The countries where protests are taking place are in the so-called pro-Israel, pro-US satellites.
Need I remind that US occupied Iraq is run by Iran and its Shiite parties and militias ?!
In this sea of political instability who holds the cards ? Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia (abdicated in Lebanon) or Iran ?
The answer is of course Iran and to a much lesser extent Turkey who in my opinion got on a tad too late on the "anti-Zionist" bandwagon, due to well known reasons : a) its past aspirations to join the EU which it gave up by now and b) to NATO's presence on its soil.
The other thing that is missing from the big picture is Israel. I would have assumed that Israel would be terribly worried by now, now that the Palestinian papers are out, now that all those pro-Israel US lackeys are being shaken by democracy. I see no Israeli worry and that worries me.
Iran is already praising the "revolutions" in the Arab world and that worries me even more, for I have seen what the Iranian "revolution" has done to Iraq in collaboration with the Americans.
The expected, immediate results are obvious to me, Iran has consolidated its regional position/influence even more.
On another note but very much related, and still on the subject of "democracy".
When the Shah regime fell, I heard the same excitement - namely that the Tyrant is gone and that the winds of change, of freedom were sweeping Iran...I let the Iranians respond to that today.
The same thing when Saddam Hussein's regime fell thanks to American Imperialism and to Zionism, people applauded the end of "Tyranny". I let the Iraqis tell you all about real Tyranny today, a tyranny of an Iranian American flavor.
I realize it is too soon to pronounce myself on Tunisia and Egypt and even on the Palestinian Authority's fate in the West bank, but...
As for Lebanon, check mate.