News / Middle East

Libyan Uprising Boosts Morale in Mideast

Multimedia

The apparent victory by rebels in Libya is sending shockwaves throughout the Middle East.  An uprising that appeared to be lost is boosting the morale of protesters facing other Arab governments that have responded with severe repression.

The Middle East is notorious for the longevity of its rulers.  Even after Tunisians and Egyptians overthrew their leaders, many considered those uprisings flukes.  And Moammar Gadhafi's brutal response to a popular revolt in Libya reinforced that view.

"Maybe the lesson of the Arab Spring was going to be if you're bloody enough to shoot peaceful demonstrators, then you get to stay in power," said Elliott Abrams, a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations.

Protests in Bahrain also faced a brutal response, with military help from Saudi Arabia. And Yemen's uprising has entered a stalemate.  

David Pollock of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy says the so-called Arab Spring remains in doubt.

"This is a long and drawn out and still unfinished process, and it's still not clear what the outcome is going to be even in some of the places that have been in turmoil since February or March," added Pollock.

Still, he says what is happening in Libya will be a boost for the anti-government protesters elsewhere, especially in Syria.

Last week, the United States and its key European allies called on Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to step down, and banned Syrian oil imports.

The U.S. would not have taken that step, says Michele Dunne of the Atlantic Council, if not for earlier criticism of Assad from Saudi Arabia and Turkey.

"The fact that they're all now turning against al-Assad and saying that they're out of patience with him. This is a really important development," noted Dunne.

As Libyan rebels were entering Tripoli last weekend, Assad went on state television and insisted his government is not in danger of falling.

"I think that that is probably a sign of fear on his part," noted Pollock.  He adds that Assad's remark should not be taken at face value.


Jerome Socolovsky

Jerome Socolovsky is the award-winning religion correspondent for the Voice of America, based in Washington. He reports on the rapidly changing faith landscape of the United States, including interfaith issues, secularization and non-affiliation trends and the growth of immigrant congregations.

You May Like

China Investigates Former Powerful Security Chief

Former security chief and member of Politburo Standing Committee, Zhou Yongkang, under investigation for suspected 'serious disciplinary violation' More

India, US Look to Reset Ties During Kerry Visit

This week's talks will be first high level interaction between two countries since Prime Minister Narendra Modi took charge More

Video Young African Leadership Program Renamed to Honor Mandela

YALI program, launched by President Obama in 2010, aims to build skills in business, entrepreneurship, public management and civic leadership More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spati
X
Reasey Poch
July 28, 2014 7:18 PM
China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video ESA Spacecraft to Land on a Comet

After a long flight through deep space, a European Space Agency probe is finally approaching its target -- a comet millions of kilometers away from earth. Scientists say the mission may lead to some startling discoveries about the origins of the water on earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Africans Arrive in US for Leadership Program

President Barack Obama's Young African Leadership Initiative has brought hundreds of young Africans to the United States for a six-week program aimed at building their knowledge and skills in fields such as public administration and business. Out of the 50,000 young Africans who applied for the program, just one percent was accepted. VOA's Laurel Bowman caught up with some of those who made the cut and has this report.
Video

Video In Honduras, Amnesty Rumors Fuel US Migration Surges

False rumors in Central America are fueling the current surge of undocumented young people being apprehended at the U.S. border. The inaccurate claims suggest the U.S. will give amnesty to young migrants from the region. As VOA's Brian Padden reports from Honduras, these rumors trace back to President Obama's 2012 executive order to halt deportations for some young undocumented immigrants already living in the United States.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid