In many Middle Eastern countries, there has been civil unrest. Primarily, the unrest is caused by frustration with the government. In some cases, added tension surrounds religion, specifically whether the government should be religiously based or secular. Four countries, Libya, Yemen, Egypt and Syria, are rife with civil protest. While there are similarities among the four as to the particulars of their protests, careful analysis must be made before a decision on a course of action can be determined. Each country has its own history and particular goals to be considered.
Libya has experienced tremendous political unrest. The leader of Libya, Muammar Gaddafi, is a tyrannical leader who refuses to step down from his position of power in spite of clear indication that many Libyans are ready for a new leader. As a result, rebels have taken action. They are steadily advancing towards Tripoli, gaining smaller cities as strongholds. The North Atlantic Treaty Organization, or NATO, has taken action to help defend the rebels of Libya and overthrow Gaddafi. Many believe that not only would Libyans be better off with out Gaddafi, but so would the world at large. NATO’s assistance to the Libyan rebels adds credibility to their cause, as they now have the support of 28 nations. This power should be used with great caution, as just a couple days ago Gaddafi’s son and three of his grandchildren where reportedly killed by a NATO bomb, an action that could quickly change the tide of sentiment against NATO, and perhaps toward Gaddafi.
In Yemen, the president, Ali Abdullah Saleh, has agreed to step down from his position due to political protest. However, this agreement as reportedly fallen apart, as he continued to add provisions the deal, such as Saleh and his family being granted immunity. Al Qaeda has influenced the protesters which has left the US with a decision to make. Would it benefit the US to support terrorist protesters, or a dictator? Hundreds of thousands of people poured into Sana, the capital of Yemen, in recent days to protest the deaths of more than 140 protesters since the beginnings of the protests, 2 months ago. At the very least, the United States may have a humanitarian role in this impoverished Arabian peninsula nation.
Egyptian protests have also yielded bloodshed, as many Egyptian civilians attempt to wrest power away from the current government. There has been some progress toward peace among Egyptians, but the cost so far is 846 recorded deaths. There are still issues to work out, notably the rewriting of their constitutional amendments and working past religious prejudice so that the most fit person fills the political job, not just the one with the “right” religious preference. Historically, Egypt was leader in the middle east, and with...