A new order in the Middle East

 Protesters shout slogans during a demonstration demanding the release of
prisoners they say are held without trial, in the Gulf coast town of
Qatif March 10, 2011. Saudi police dispersed a protest by a Shi’ite
minority in Qatif on Thursday with one to four people wounded as shots
were heard, witnesses said. One witness said police fired percussion
bombs to disperse the crowd of around 200 people, while a witness and
Shi’ite activist said shots were fired. REUTERS/Stringer


For the US and the Western industrialised nations, the new Middle East
is fraught with uncertainty and potential instability at a time when
their influence has diminished

However successful the uprisings may be in overturning the political
order, it will take time before the underlying socioeconomic causes of
the present instability are satisfactorily addressed.

The regimes that emerge from the convulsions, whether markedly different
from their predecessors or more of the same, could very well be facing
new outbursts of popular disaffection when the high hopes for rapid, if
not miraculous, change are not immediately fulfilled, as is likely to be
the case.

As the Sunni Arab states, many of them friendly to the US, have
contracted politically and socioeconomically, and as they now sink even
further into crisis, the void is being … >>>

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