DUBAI, United Arab Emirates – The possible heirs of Egypt’s uprising took to the streets Monday in different corners of the Middle East: Iran’s beleaguered opposition stormed back to central Tehran and came under a tear gas attack by police. Demonstrators faced rubber bullets and birdshot to demand more freedoms in the relative wealth of Bahrain. And protesters pressed for the ouster of the ruler in poverty-drained Yemen.
The protests — all with critical interests for Washington — offer an important lesson about how groups across Middle East are absorbing the message from Cairo and tailoring it to their own aspirations.
The heady themes of democracy, justice and empowerment remain intact as the protest wave works it way through the Arab world and beyond. What changes, however, are the objectives. The Egypt effect, it seems, is elastic.