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Hopes for Arab Spring met with uncertainy and desperation

It seems only a while back that the so-called Arab Spring sprung into life.  It was early last year actually.  And hope abounded!      Now, there is much to give rise to concern that, as this piece from AlterNet, describes it, there is much uncertainty and desperation in the air.

"The "Awakening" is taking a turn, very different to the excitement and promise with which it was hailed at the outset. Sired from an initial, broad popular impulse, it is becoming increasingly understood, and feared, as a nascent counter-revolutionary "cultural revolution" - a re-culturation of the region in the direction of a prescriptive canon that is emptying out those early high expectations, and which makes a mockery of the West's continuing characterization of it as somehow a project of reform and democracy.

Instead of yielding hope, its subsequent metamorphosis now gives rise to a mood of uncertainty and desperation - particularly among what are increasingly termed "'the minorities" - the non-Sunnis, in other words. This chill of apprehension takes its grip from certain Gulf States' fervor for the restitution of a Sunni regional primacy - even, perhaps, of hegemony - to be attained through fanning rising Sunni militancy [1] and Salafist acculturation.

At least seven Middle Eastern states are now beset by bitter, and increasingly violent, power struggles; states such as Lebanon, Egypt, Libya, Bahrain and Yemen are dismantling. Western states no longer trouble to conceal their aim of regime change in Syria, following Libya and the "non-regime-change" change in Yemen.

The region already exists in a state of low intensity war: Saudi Arabia and Qatar, bolstered by Turkey and the West, seem ready to stop at nothing to violently overthrow a fellow Arab head of state, President Bashar al-Assad - and to do whatever they can to hurt Iran."


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