BBC BLOGS - Have Your Say
« Previous | Main | Next »

Will protests change North Africa and Mid-East?

11:18 UK time, Thursday, 27 January 2011

Following anti-government protests in Tunisia in January, unrest has erupted in both Egypt and Yemen. What impact could this have on the region as a whole?

Protests over unemployment and high food prices, sparked by a student who set himself on fire in Tunisia, resulted in the ousting of President Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali in January.

With other countries in the region facing similar pressures, there has been speculation of a domino effect.

On Saturday, tens of thousands of protesters took to the streets of cities in Egypt for a fifth day. President Hosni Mubarak was forced to make changes to his government to try and quell the uprising.

Do you live in any of the countries affected, or in neighbouring countries? What is your reaction to the protests? Have you taken part in any of the demonstrations? How might these demonstrations affect the political and social infrastructures of these countries?

Thank you for your comments. This debate is now closed.

Comments

Page 1 of 14

  • Comment number 1.

    Maybe it`s these semi-life time sitting Presidents that have something to do with it. Anyone else for Dominoes?

  • Comment number 2.

    we can only hope!

    its about time these nations realised they don't have to wait for the UN or USA to come and bring a change!

    Tunisia have shown them the way! i just hope the rest have noticed (egypt has)

    no one man or party should be in power for 31 years (unless they are amazingly good)

  • Comment number 3.

    unfortunately the regimes in these countries will clamp down hard causing a terrible loss of life, or they will be replaced with fundamentalist islamic regimes which is worse i do not know.

  • Comment number 4.

    PROTESTS AND DESTABILIZATION WILL RUIN THE ECONOMY,GOVERNANCE AND UNITED NATION WILL ANNOUNCE INTERNATIONAL SECURITY ASSISTANCE FORCES,NATO,US,TO STATION THERE FOR THEIR SECURITY.


    TODAY LIFE SHOWS THAT RELIGIOUS LAW NOT WORKING.

  • Comment number 5.

    I have lived in the Middle East and the rule of law is say nothing to upset the ruling minority. A bit like the UK now in fact!

    Seriously, I would hope that a democracy does evolve but many factions will try to take control as it does in any power vacuum, look at Iraq, well thought out schedule that Tony and George.

    I have read about the unrest in other countries like Yemen too so possibly this wil result in change.

    I do not think the Saudi Royals caould take all the dicators in as there own house will be under pressure if others follow suit.

    I think Algeria may end up in a lot of bloodshed, Gaddafi wil not relinquish his place.

    The west needs to stand clear, we upset the middle east already too much with interference, again thanks Tony and George. We will just have to recognise that whoever gets into power will have to be negotiated with as the dust settles.

    What we see are people wanting a fair deal, not terrorists, we see educated young people devlaring the right to speech, I do not see them as wanting to be dominated by religion as freedom is their cry.

    The West stays out, then we cannot be blamed by others.

    Aid should only be in medical or food supplies with no strings or multinational business deals involved. In fact any deal done at this time should be suspect to close scrutiny.

    It is a time of change possibly for the Middle East, let them have that change, painful as it may be a birth is still a great thing, so watch and help as stated but let them get on with it.

    PS I would add that the West is not exclusive but that also should include China, India and any other player.

  • Comment number 6.

    How long will it be before someone posts a comment blaming the U.S. for this?

  • Comment number 7.

    Some countries in Africa and Asia need to take lessons from Those countries which passes through .

    Take a look to the history that how it works.

  • Comment number 8.

    4. At 12:16pm on 27 Jan 2011, ARMANI PASHTUN wrote:

    PROTESTS AND DESTABILIZATION WILL RUIN THE ECONOMY,GOVERNANCE AND UNITED NATION WILL ANNOUNCE INTERNATIONAL SECURITY ASSISTANCE FORCES,NATO,US,TO STATION THERE FOR THEIR SECURITY.


    TODAY LIFE SHOWS THAT RELIGIOUS LAW NOT WORKING.


    ==========================================

    Armani, the people of those countries should only ask for the UN to help, the US and the UK and others should stay out. The economy will suffer as you say but think of the future and leave the past behind, what you dream you can make.

    I would hope that the peoples of the Middle East will follow this teaching.

    And stand together, yet not too near together: For the pillars of the temple stand apart, And the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other's shadow."
    — Khalil Gibran (The Prophet)

    Stand together but remain a seperate identity and do not restrict the growth of nations by being too close or close minded.

  • Comment number 9.

    Some call this a "twiiter" revolution; I call it a "Wikileaks" Revolution. Thousands of US military documents involving the politically charged reality of spreading corruption in Kenya, the deadly dumping of toxic chemical wastes in Côte d'Ivoire and off the coast of Somalia, etc.
    Many Africans have had exposire to these Wikileaks - at least by word of mouth. They have read and spoken about the American imperial complex, peaked at the political workings of western powers and how much of their poor, African lives are decided behind closed doors.
    For instance, the cables shed light on how effectively US diplomats develop and maintain personal contacts with a wide range of local distators. The cables also show how consummately US diplomats supply the information needed by the White House in order for Washington to make (mostly) undemocratic decisions about the people, the resources, the dumping, and other nefarious practices.
    The leaked cables show how US policy with Africa is strikingly developed, and not for the goodof the people. US diplomats write succinct reports which US policy-makers use for information that they can use to develop policies shaping the continent's politics for years to come.
    The released diplomatic cables contain significant details about the innermost secrets of political leaders, the treacherous power plays and ongoing conflicts in Africa. Some of the cables reveal the utter decay of Eritrea's oppressive government, the well-known eccentricities of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi and the less-known but ever-increasing drug trafficking in Ghana and Guinea.
    Others expose Kenya's interference in Somalia's internal politics, the under-the-table dealings of oil companies in Nigeria, African leaders' multifarious ties with France. Many cables also made public details of high-level corruption in states such as Mozambique, Tanzania, Senegal, Gabon and Sudan.
    Cables from the US embassy in Tunis described Tunisia as 'a police state, with little freedom of expression or association, and serious human rights problems'. They reported the persistence of 'fictional rule of law, unpopular and corrupt practices of aging President Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali and his extended family, the population's frustrations over high unemployment and regional inequities'. These also stressed the fact that 'Ben Ali and his regime have lost touch with the Tunisian people'. The cables reproachfully indicated that 'corruption in the inner circle is growing.
    The result of all of this (and more) has been a wave of anger, a sense of betrayal, which can only continue unabated.
    The damning contents of the cables have not yet seriously disrupted current US diplomatic work & double-dealing in Africa. But time is not on the side of the Americans. The release will affect the distatorships of some African political leaders, their perceptions of US diplomats. It could also temporarily strain US relations with some African governments, which I (personally) can only see as a good thing indeed.
    All in all, Wikileaks could make it harder, if not impossible, for the US to smooth the political situations and pursue its foreign policy objectives (aka exploitation, imperialism) in Africa.
    What is my reaction to the protests?
    It's about time.
    How might these demonstrations affect the political and social infrastructures of these countries?
    Less American influence & power in the Middle East & Africa, including its one-sided protection of Israel, less exploitation in Africa, less dumping, more real, grass-roots democracy. Perhaps, I hope, the eventual generation of a United States of Africa to protect and help all African people.

  • Comment number 10.

    6. At 12:22pm on 27 Jan 2011, rich p wrote:

    How long will it be before someone posts a comment blaming the U.S. for this?

    --------

    depend where your on about but certainly the middle east is mostly there fault!

    they trained, supported and supplied AQ to fight the Russians (that's why Russia lost) Osama bin laden was a CIA contact etc.

    what the USA did not do what research who they were supporting, hence when the usa left AQ took over the power vacum because they had the best weapons (courtesy of the USA).

    they gave Israel nukes which was the worst possible thing to do!
    you cannot on have one nuclear power in a continent because they can bully the rest just like israel do now!
    hence why Iran wants nukes so its a level playing field with Israel.


    so yes i think the USA does have to take alot of the blame for that region.

  • Comment number 11.

    Lets hope so then they will fully understand just how similar totalitarianism and DEMOCRACY are.Democracy is highly overated these days as freedom of speech is non existant anymore so why bother shedding your blood for so called DEMOCRATIC FREEDOM.

  • Comment number 12.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 13.

    10. At 12:35pm on 27 Jan 2011, scotty1694 wrote:

    6. At 12:22pm on 27 Jan 2011, rich p wrote:

    How long will it be before someone posts a comment blaming the U.S. for this?

    --------

    depend where your on about but certainly the middle east is mostly there fault!

    they trained, supported and supplied AQ to fight the Russians (that's why Russia lost) Osama bin laden was a CIA contact etc.

    what the USA did not do what research who they were supporting, hence when the usa left AQ took over the power vacum because they had the best weapons (courtesy of the USA).

    they gave Israel nukes which was the worst possible thing to do!
    you cannot on have one nuclear power in a continent because they can bully the rest just like israel do now!
    hence why Iran wants nukes so its a level playing field with Israel.


    so yes i think the USA does have to take alot of the blame for that region.



    -----------------

    Think it was actually France that helped Israel to develop nuclear power - and not for Israel to "bully" the other countries with, but rather to avoid Israel being bullied by those hostile countries that might otherwise attack it.

  • Comment number 14.

    6. At 12:22pm on 27 Jan 2011, rich p wrote:

    How long will it be before someone posts a comment blaming the U.S. for this?

    ===========================================================================
    I couldnt resist, firstly the united states of obesity is clearly to blame here and most places, as they are the current empire, soon to be displaced. Why dont they overthrow dictatorships and monarchies without exception in the name of democracy and freedom. Could it be that some are puppets doing their will instead of tending to the interests of their own people or the worlds people for tha matter.

    In any event both the rebels and governments are covertly supported by the empire masters. Look at your own country and ask yourself, why is it that the 2 mainstream parties have the same policies?

    Come to your senses man!

  • Comment number 15.

    12. At 1:04pm on 27 Jan 2011, anotherfakename wrote:

    Interesting isn't it. In these countries the people are protesting against the lies and injustice. Here we watch someone who is 'head' of a bank that we own walking off with 5 million quid. We listen to a politician with money pouring out of his ears telling the rest of us we will have 3 years of falling living standards. We see our assetts being given away(sorry sold). We see them lie to us about the unemployment rate (see the ONS - employment is 70% of the workforce, aka unemployment is 30%). We see them raise our taxes and destroy the one reason for any governments existance (the ability to protect us - i.e. the armed forces). We watch open mouthed while they destroy 7 billion pounds worth of new planes, destroy a whole fleet of the only planes that would save the RAF from day 1 defeat by any invader (the Harrier) see them chop up our aircraft carriers (well chop up one and keep the other as target practice - it has no aircraft) so leaving the Falklands and us unprotected. We see them b*****r up public spending by spending it all abroad.... and worse than doing nothing we vote them in to repeat it next time....


    -----

    i wouldnt worry

    you can only poke the bear so many times before it kills you.
    and i think the ENGLISH people are reaching the poke limit.

    Scotland and wales have it easy in comparison, why complain when your being given more money than you give back

  • Comment number 16.

    i hope it is the start when the ordinary peole throughtout the world
    are at last about to live or die on thier feet then live a life on thier knees.maybe we are at the end of our patience with the failed monoterist system of the eighties,this is a wake up call to the mega rich that life is about to become difficult for you.you can only bully a person for so long,then they turn and fight. it should never have come to this,but, when you allow greed and averice to reign this is what happens.the balance as to be restored.i would have prefered it to happen, through good commonsense policys but there is no chance of that with the idiots we have allowed to govern,so anarchy appears to be on its way..well done....

  • Comment number 17.

    Popular/mass protests are always due to some long-standing grudges of the people against some long-perpetrated injustices by their leaders; and the leaders should never overlook the simmering discontent or unilaterally dismiss the overflow of any public passion or protest. The fact of the matter is, that, good leadership/governance generally does not have to face any ugly or violent protests.

  • Comment number 18.

    Will protests change North Africa and Mid-East?
    _______________________________________

    Now if only the Iranian people heard about these protests and demanded fresh elections, where the counting of votes aren't done in secret by the very same people who have a vested interest in its outcome.

    "it is not those who vote that count, it is those who count votes" [quote often attributed to Stalin]

  • Comment number 19.

    ref #5The West stays out, then we cannot be blamed by others.

    Aid should only be in medical or food supplies with no strings or multinational business deals involved. In fact any deal done at this time should be suspect to close scrutiny.

    It is a time of change possibly for the Middle East, let them have that change, painful as it may be a birth is still a great thing, so watch and help as stated but let them get on with it.

    PS I would add that the West is not exclusive but that also should include China, India and any other player
    __________

    The West will be blamed no matter what happends.

    the concern inside and out of the country is if Islamic facists like those in Iran, Syria and Lebanon take over

  • Comment number 20.

    It's only a matter of time before people over here take to the streets about abuse of power...

  • Comment number 21.

    19. At 1:30pm on 27 Jan 2011, MagicKirin wrote:
    The West will be blamed no matter what happends.

    the concern inside and out of the country is if Islamic facists like those in Iran, Syria and Lebanon take over

    ============================================================================

    Then we have to either negotiate or let the people of that country decide. We would not accpet the americans appointing our government, we like to mess it up ourselves and then blame each other.

    If facists get in then the protests for freedom have failed. During the repression of the peole the facists did not break down the government, the young educated and the peopel who were oppressed did it.

    No deals for minerals, fuel, arms etc should be allowed or done until the government is settled and the people are not being easily shut down so I live in hope.

    Who knows we may all be surprised.

  • Comment number 22.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 23.

    In regards to post #9, BluesBerry continues his/her singular obsession with the US and all things conspiratorial. I hate to break it to you, BluesBerry, but the US does not control the world. Not by a long shot.

    Tunisia was a French colony and the French, not the Americans, are the primary Western influence in north Africa. The US does have close security ties with Egypt, but the UK also plays a significant role in that country.

    The US has had little interest in sub-Saharan Africa and American economic and military ties with the region are quite slim. Unlike the UK, France, Italy, and Belgium, the US never colonized Africa and demonstrated no imperial ambition in the area. The US does pour a tremendous amount of aid into the continent, both from government and private nonprofit sources (I sponsor a girl in Zambia) and a significant percentage of Americans have a cultural interest in Africa since it is their ancestral homeland. In contrast to the nearly lily-white European governments, people of African ancestry play a prominent role in American politics. Perhaps I need to remind you that our president's father was from Kenya and he still has relatives there.

    Africa is also noteworthy as the one part of the world where George W. Bush was truly popular.

  • Comment number 24.

    Perhaps the peoples of Arab and North African states, for so long 'governed' by autocratic and wealthy ruling dynasties, usually based on family or tribe, are realising that some form of say in their lives is no bad thing. What is driving this is resentment of the gulf between rich and poor at a time of shortages and rising prices. The danger is that Islamic extremism will feed on this discontent to further their own ambition of an Islamic world. So far, it seems this discontent seems to be confined to major centres of population, but watch this space. This could become a problem that far outweighs journalists phone-tapping, sexist football commentators, ownership of BSkyB, and arguments about our economic growth.

  • Comment number 25.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 26.

    The fermentation of societies are permanent, the stage when that reaches a level high enough for quality changes however are rare during one's lifespan. This must be true for ALL societies, not just for the above mentioned ones, e.g for the "highly developed" (idiotic term without objective meaning) countries as well. Those are the historic times as all will remember it. The messing up with from outside (like Bush & Co. did) is like a forced premature birth, will result lots of further complications. All systems reach the level of incompetency at one point, which turns the wheel of history further.
    Today it is their turn.
    Good luck to all of them.

  • Comment number 27.

    As long we dont end up with region full of Saudi Arabias i wish the people good luck.

  • Comment number 28.

    As an American living in the Middle East (Jordan), I have seen firsthand the vast culture of conspiracy theories that abounds in this region of the world about American evils. In reading some of these posts I can see that conspiracy theorists are yet again blaming the United States (and Europe) for things that are independent of it. I truly believe it takes away from the Arab/North African citizen by saying that the US is responsible for the uprisings. As to say that Arabs and North Africans could not have the capacity of being feed up with their treatment and lack of opportunities without American interference is ludicrous at best. Having seen how the other half lives there is no wonder why they are sick of their situation. So let’s get back to the questions at hand, and not become sidetracked by discussions on the evil empires of the US (and Western Europe).

    In regards to the questions…Jordanian government is being much more proactive in easing the tensions however the question is will it be enough. The biggest compliant among the young adults here is a lack of job opportunities and of course the rising costs of living. As it appears to an outsider those that are organizing these protests are groups that will be equally oppressive (if not worse) if they come to power and are simply using young people’s frustrations for their own gain.

  • Comment number 29.

    The political situation across the muslim dominated region of the world are more connected than it might seem on the surface. Wikileaks revelations which all too clearly defined the political position of the government of Saudi Arabia in contrast to Iran are not irrelevant to the rising tide of new events. The rise of Hezbollah in Lebanon, a campaign for sharia law in Pakistan, attacks on Christians in Iraq and Egypt, the strengthening of the Taliban, and even the increased tension between shia and sunni muslims, is all part of the same trend that is sweeping across the muslim world, towards Islamic fundamentalism. While more liberal parties and non fundamentalist factions can be seen to readily join in into protests on bread and butter issues, it is a bandwagon dominated by the fundamentalist cause, and clearly indicative of the immense covert power of its supporters across the region. Western intelligence is severely lagging behind in terms of understanding these trends and their implications. What is likely to happen is the growing power and entrenchment of Islamic fundamentalism in all affected areas, with specific rewards on bread and butter issues meted out to solidify what will likely become a fundamentalist stranglehold threatening to involve areas far beyond the immediate borders where contentions have surfaced into the political arena. The key items of fundamentalist ideology may readily be repressed from political expression for a while, but once the opportunity is seized and solidified on other issues, it will be steadfast in its move towards its own long term soico-political agenda, which has not changed in more than a thousand years.

  • Comment number 30.

    How do I leave a comment directly underneath someone elses previous comment please?

  • Comment number 31.

    It is amusing to watch the US reaction to all this upheaval. The US has been supporting many of this lilfetime regimes because they are predictable and many of them in the 'pocket' sort of speak of the US especially where issues pertaining to Israel are concerned. The US likes a status quo that is allied to its interests so these 'democratic' protests in Egypt alarm the US State Department, the CIA, and American corporations doing buisness in such countires. In Egypt the US is caught between its long standing public rhetoric about human rights, press freedoms, minority freedoms, and promoting democratic government and its other strategic interest of keeping Egypt firmly under US control because of its boarder with Israel and helping to isolate the Palestinains in a virutal prison camp in Gaza. The Egyptian military and police are entirely paid by money from the US from the $billions it receives in American foreign grants. The Mubarack government is wholly dependent on this Americna largese, bought you might say, to favor the American-Zionist agenda in the Middle-east. Without this largese things would be far worse economically in Egypt but little of it ever reaches to help the lower classes and essentially maintains the Mubarak bureaucracy. So when the populace rebels against this entrenced oligarchy wanting true democracy the US plays a middle of the road policy hoping secretly that Mubarack prevails (since someone new might be anti-American and reverse Egyptian policy in the region) while calling for an openly restrained approach by the government to the protestors lest a harsh response makes the American position in Egypt untenable. This can be said of all other long reigning regimes like that of Saudi Arabia hardly a model of modern civilized liberal thinking and far more repressive than the Mubarak government. This is so reminiscent of the fall of the Sha of Iran but without the Ayatollahs therefore it is a truely populist movement from the people themselves against Mubarack. The US cannot view all this in detached sange froid and the diplomatic cables must be humming. Now is when we need Wikileaks to tell us what is really happening behind closed doors!

  • Comment number 32.

    how long before someone blames the USA, I think that that would be a little unfair America's Involvement since the 1940's has been unhelpful to say the least but most european nations have a long record of chinless toffs carving up the globe for their own profit. Just as britain is experiencing today.

  • Comment number 33.

    Everything has a limit. So much poverty,corruption and false promises have tipped the people over the edge. People are putting pressure on the current governments since,unfortunately, it seems to be the only way to claim their rights.

  • Comment number 34.

    30. At 3:50pm on 27 Jan 2011, donnellystevie wrote:
    How do I leave a comment directly underneath someone elses previous comment please?

    Complain about this comment

    -----------------------------------------

    Go to the post, as in yours post 30, put the intermittent curser on the screen right next to the `3` of the number 30, and left click once, HOLD THE CLICK ON ,drag the curser slowly down with your finger pressed firmly on the left click button in a close direct virtical line past the `H` of the word how, you will begin to see the print lines "Blueing", keep on going past the `C` of the word comment of the post and the
    "complain about this comment" will blue up also.Then all blued, release the left click button, it all should remain blued. the gently go up to "edit" at the top left of the screen and click on it, a small drop page will say a few words one of the words is copy, left click once on it and release your finger of the button. Go back to the blued post and click once on that, it should go normal black print and white background again, release your finger again. Then go down to the space provided for the post area and left click once on that also. Go back to edit and do the drop thing again and find the word "paste", left click on that and release your finger afterwards. Go back to the post area and left click "once" and up should come the post you want to challenge on. go to the minus`s sign as in ---- and draw a line like..

    --------------------------------------------------
    How I do it.....good luck others might do it different, but that`s how I do it.

  • Comment number 35.

    rich p wrote:
    How long will it be before someone posts a comment blaming the U.S. for this?


    I can say with absolute certainty that these demonstrations have nothing to do with the U.S. government as there is no way that the U.S. would do anything to upset their favoured dictators such as Mubarak, a dictator who has brutally clung on to power since 1981. Incidentally, Egypt has received $28 billion of US aid since 1975.

    Source: http://www.usaid.gov/locations/middle_east/countries/egypt/

    (Obviously I'm referring to the Federal government here, it's not like I think individual Americans are busying themselves supporting dictators, or even support the morally questionable actions of their own government.)

  • Comment number 36.

    The children of the North Africa are fighting for their futures. They care not for western fears of Islamification or instability. They are sick of living in fear. Of living without hope. They just want their voices to be heard. Is this so much to ask? All power to those who fight against injustice rather than just talk about it, all power to those brave enough to stand against corruption and oppression.

    It is time for them to take their rightful place in the sun.

  • Comment number 37.

    At 3:50pm on 27 Jan 2011, donnellystevie wrote:
    How do I leave a comment directly underneath someone elses previous comment please?

    ----------------------------------------------------
    Just highlight the text you want copy, click edit then copy, place your cursor in the comment box, then click edit and paste.

    __________________________________________________________________

    What concerns me in all this is that the hard-core Islamists could take advantage of these protests to try to grab power for themselves, and the devil you know might be better than the devil you do not know.

  • Comment number 38.

    # 25. At 3:03pm on 27 Jan 2011, you wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.



    errr why?

    all i did was say to herecomesthemirror man that i stand corrected? and thanks for the info :S ???

  • Comment number 39.

    I would not be surprised if it happens here in the UK. The political elite is out of touch with the people. For 30-odd years, the Whitehall elite have not allowed us to have our say on EU, in case we vote NO. The Irish had to vote twice before they got the "right" answer, and they have recently forced a general election to get rid of the clowns who caused their current economic crisis.

    Over 400 out of 650 MP's were found to be fiddling their expenses and they have lost the trust of the people. The fiddling of expenses is acceptable and commonplace for members of the House of Lords. They do not consider it dishonest, untrue or misleading to lie about their false expenses claims as members do not receive a salary.

    The politicians have been fiddling the unemployment figures for years. The true number of unemployed is nearer 7 million than 2.5 million. They change the goalposts on the inflation figures to suit themselves. Most people know from their household spending that inflation is nearer 15% than 4%.

    The politicians have flooded the country with immigrants who are competing with us for jobs. The media reported that 2 out of every 3 jobs are given to immigrants.

    Make up your own list as to why what happened in Tunisia could also happen here.

  • Comment number 40.

    Will it change the Middle East? The answer must be "Eventually Yes" but not until several hundred thousand of their citizens have flocked to the UK as asylum seekers. Of course, the disaplaced dictators, heads of state and their military henchmen will already have ensured that any gold or solid Western currency has already been flown out to deposit with the gnomes for safekeeping in lieu of forfeited retirement funds.

  • Comment number 41.

    The protects can't change a country but the ruler's resignation can change the protects or country's worst situation.

  • Comment number 42.

    I'm heartened by the effectiveness of these protests. I had thought that lately, protests had become the govts' way to let the people act out their anguish while preventing any change. In order for our species to survive, we must have a way to get rid of bad governments without resorting to nukes. Our leaders can't or won't do it. Let's watch and learn from these folks.

  • Comment number 43.

    THOSE WHO ARE NOT ABLE TO SERVE THE MAJORITY AND UNABLE TO FULLFIL BASIC NEEDS ,HAVE TO GO

  • Comment number 44.

    PRESENT GOVENMENTS HAVE TO GO

  • Comment number 45.

    I don't want to single out any muslim country but in general, Islam is a failed system of governance. The current upheaval is just a sign of how instable their political system is together with the social order.

    Its easy to rule the uneducated and the poor. The government is from the riches and serves only the riches and they don't have any effective welfare system, either medical or social.

    It's problem with the philosophy that "you are poor, because, God hates you." While you are rich, you can raise any number of children with any number of wives.

    That's why a poor doesn't have any trust in the government and the political system. Finally, I would say, it's the ideology in concern.

  • Comment number 46.

    I hope it changes, not only the Middle East and North Africa, but all the dictatorial governments in the world. I hope all the dictators are overthrown and tried for the crimes they have inflicted on their citizens.

  • Comment number 47.

    There will be many changes, but not every change is for the better. It must be feared that in some countries things will get worse. History has so often shown that nations and peoples, which once fought for human freedom, now suppress others themselves.

  • Comment number 48.

    All this user's posts have been removed.Why?

  • Comment number 49.

    6. At 12:22pm on 27 Jan 2011, rich p wrote:
    How long will it be before someone posts a comment blaming the U.S. for this?

    I will. El Baradein is a joke, we all know how he manipulated the WMD story in Iraq to allow the US invasion.

    Egyptian should think about what they wish for. You always know what you have, you never know what you may get...

  • Comment number 50.

    I live here in Tunisia. I support the revolution and everything it stands for and tbh I'm not that interested in those that live outside giving their commentary. You have no idea how it has been for us over the years. Looking over our shoulder, speaking of our discontent in whispers behind closed doors. Everything has been controlled, our emails monitored our internet use logged. Mohammed Bouazizi is our martyr for democracy and we won't rest until we get it. Be damned if we will accept this government, it has Zine Abidene's old hacks and we know it and you should all know it also. We know we are being watched and our tiny nation will prove to all that we can do it.

  • Comment number 51.

    It could be bad news for Israel if democracy does spread in the Middle East.

    At the moment the governments of both Egypt and Jordan maintain good relations (compared with other countries in the region, anyway) with Israel.

    However, this is not a position supported by the majority of people living in these countries.

    So presumably a shift towards a free democracy would also mean a rapiud deterioration in relations with Israel.

  • Comment number 52.

    The downtrodden masses are rising against their oppressors. That is a good sign. Now, if only the US and Britain would stop arming and giving support to the oppressors.

  • Comment number 53.

    A reformer in India G.G. Agarkar said in 1880s - need for social reform is more immediate than the need for political reforms. It is still true. Be Middle East or Asia social reforms, like equality to all, men and women, having religion as a personal thing and not a path to power, freedom of expression and many such things lack. as long as people don't change and their are no social reforms political changes don't mean anything.

  • Comment number 54.

    Sadly, the government will win in the end and take control of the situation. It is however, good that people are standing up for their freedoms in this very controlled country. It is sad, however, that it will be years before those looking for democracy can gain the ideals and independance that they require. I say to the people, don't seek your independence in the countries of Europe, fight for what you want, and make a difference.

  • Comment number 55.

    How can the people protest against they Government? they dont live in a free society??? that is not allowed in the U.K Anymore you need bravery to protest as would be force into holding areas, by bully boy tactics!!! like the young students, The Con/Fib government dont like protest of any type.

  • Comment number 56.

    39. At 5:09pm on 27 Jan 2011, Dave wrote:
    I would not be surprised if it happens here in the UK. The political elite is out of touch with the people. For 30-odd years, the Whitehall elite have not allowed us to have our say on EU, in case we vote NO. The Irish had to vote twice before they got the "right" answer, and they have recently forced a general election to get rid of the clowns who caused their current economic crisis.

    Over 400 out of 650 MP's were found to be fiddling their expenses and they have lost the trust of the people. The fiddling of expenses is acceptable and commonplace for members of the House of Lords. They do not consider it dishonest, untrue or misleading to lie about their false expenses claims as members do not receive a salary.

    The politicians have been fiddling the unemployment figures for years. The true number of unemployed is nearer 7 million than 2.5 million. They change the goalposts on the inflation figures to suit themselves. Most people know from their household spending that inflation is nearer 15% than 4%.

    The politicians have flooded the country with immigrants who are competing with us for jobs. The media reported that 2 out of every 3 jobs are given to immigrants.

    Make up your own list as to why what happened in Tunisia could also happen here.

    _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _+39. At 5:09pm on 27 Jan 2011, Dave wrote:
    I would not be surprised if it happens here in the UK. The political elite is out of touch with the people. For 30-odd years, the Whitehall elite have not allowed us to have our say on EU, in case we vote NO. The Irish had to vote twice before they got the "right" answer, and they have recently forced a general election to get rid of the clowns who caused their current economic crisis.

    Over 400 out of 650 MP's were found to be fiddling their expenses and they have lost the trust of the people. The fiddling of expenses is acceptable and commonplace for members of the House of Lords. They do not consider it dishonest, untrue or misleading to lie about their false expenses claims as members do not receive a salary.

    The politicians have been fiddling the unemployment figures for years. The true number of unemployed is nearer 7 million than 2.5 million. They change the goalposts on the inflation figures to suit themselves. Most people know from their household spending that inflation is nearer 15% than 4%.

    The politicians have flooded the country with immigrants who are competing with us for jobs. The media reported that 2 out of every 3 jobs are given to immigrants.

    Make up your own list as to why what happened in Tunisia could also happen here.

    _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

    Couldn't have put it better myself, Dave.

  • Comment number 57.

    These are third-world countries which require much more then removal of authoritarian regimes to succeed. There needs to be rethinking of the entire economic, social, legal designs for these stagnant and overly conservative, and non-developing countries. But yes, the time for the Mubaraks, Qadaffis, Kings, mullahs and other dictators of this world is long gone! Dictatorships are very stagnant by design compared to the very dynamic and adoptive representative governments, and is the main reason why all of Dictatorships have failed through history.

  • Comment number 58.

    All this user's posts have been removed.Why?

  • Comment number 59.

    I've been always skeptical about ppl protesting against corrupt and dictatorial regimes specifically in so called third world countries. That it can't work. Tunisian youth literally amazed me. Theses guys and girls, organised and arranged themselves, using 21st century tools and techniques and threw away a 30 years old currupt regime. They listened no mullas or never used any bombing and stuff. A purely political move.
    World got impression that MiddleEast = fanaticisim. Tunisians prooved, its not the case atall. Fanatics are the actually tools of the dictators thereby to keep ppl busy in non issues, and divided. Middle East is a lovely place, with ppl who love music, dance and romance. Majority of population live there is young with almost no prospect of good future. They dont want another dictatorship in form of religious fanatics. So they are taking matters in their own hands. When I follow their struggle on Twitter and FaceBook I wish I would be there with them.

  • Comment number 60.

    22. At 2:14pm on 27 Jan 2011, John Mc wrote:
    The poll tax riots were completely ignored as was the marches against the Iraq war. possibly the UK needs to be more vocal than literal as we seem to have a lot of opinion on HYS but no actual movement.

    ============================================

    The poll tax riots meant the poll tax was converted to council tax....

    The poll tax was actually fairer.



  • Comment number 61.

    I counted the number of times Israel was mentioned in the 60 posts above. The number is 15. I would also count number of times Bush and USA is mentioned.

    I guess all problems in the Middle East were apparently created by someone else... blaming others doesn't work and is the main reason why Democracies prosper.

  • Comment number 62.

    Well it seems Tunisia have started the ball rolling. How far that ball rolls depends on the how determined the opposition to the governments concerned are and how far them same governments are prepared to go to crush said opposition. Could it happen here? Quite possibly considering so much injustice is seen in this country, but it`s well known brits have to be pushed pretty hard before we take to the pitchforks and torches.

  • Comment number 63.

    As long as we can buy their oil cheaply, who cares.

  • Comment number 64.

    Blaming anyone for such problems is pure ignorance. When people do not lift themselves as a society the outsiders take advantage. without solid social progress there cant be sustainable political or economic progress.
    Islam has played spoilsport in local social progress in Muslim countries like Pakistan, Iran, Afghanistan etc where fundamentalism is a key to political power. Tunisian youth might have done so well so far but the next challenge is to defy religion and Mullahs.

  • Comment number 65.

    I think it is great that the young people have the guts to get out and stand for something they believe. Hopefully, the youth in the U.S. will get off their silver spoons and start bringing about change to this Country. The U.S. Government is so corupt the only way to bring back freedom is to have a good old fashion revolution. Bravo to the young Egyptions! I truly hope their efforts will birng them the happiness they deserve.

  • Comment number 66.

    Tunisia, Egypt, Yemen amongst others in the Arab world are demanding change by demonstration so it will be interesting to know what reaction there could be in Libya by Muammar Gaddafi who has been in power in various roles for more than 40 years, far too long by any stretch of the imagination. Luckily for him, he has massive oil revenue that, to be fair, he does use to offset rising costs of heavy manufactured equipment, vehicles and farming machinery all of which is fully imported. If peace prevails in Libya, I suspect that the other disturbances in North Africa will die down.

  • Comment number 67.

    What I would like to see, but only a few of the protesters are seeking, is an end to the dreadful persecution of Christians in many Middle-East countries.

  • Comment number 68.

    The poverty and despair I see every day in Sana'a would sicken anyone, whole families living on less than US $2 a day, some on even less than US $1 a day, children barely old enough to walk are begging at the doors of cars at traffic lights, people scavenging in garbage piles, the down and really out sleeping on the footpaths in the side streets. The unemployed possibly outnumber the working.

    The lack of infrastructure and facilities is appalling, the word metro is unknown, there is no recognisable bus service in Sana'a, only hundreds of taxis, some metered most not, thousands of little microvans used as mini-buses, driven by Qat chewing drivers weaving in and out of traffic to snatch a fare, oblivious of any traffic sense. None of their vehicles would pass ever a cursory UK MOT carried out in the dark by a blind man.

    Our oil processing construction site is guarded by the military, no expatriate can leave the military control zone, the locals roads are absolutely off limits even in a medical emergency - wait for the plane.
    There is a security problem only one step behind Afghanistan and the lawless areas on Iraq, foreign nationals are advised not too leave the precincts of their hotel, where armed soldiers and police mount a 24 hour guard. Between the virtually lawless tribal areas in the north and the secessionists in the south is Al Qaida.

    And yet despite all their problems, the Yemenis are nice people. The scenery and the architecture are unsurpassed anywhere in the Arab world, buildings perched dramatically on rock outcrops, a photographers paradise.

    Yemen has a long and interesting history and culture that predates the UK, not for nothing was it known from Roam times as Arabia Felix. If it had worthwhile oil reserves, the hard working attitude of its people would propel this country forward, but of all the countries on the Arabian Peninsula, Yemen is oil poor and people rich - and therein lies its problem. For what its oil rich neighbours spend on luxury cars in a year, that amount spent on inward investment infrastructure by its neighbours could see Yemen prosper instead of becoming a breeding ground for future Al Qaida members seeking to destabilse Yemen's neighbours.

  • Comment number 69.

    Hopefully yes, and hopefully positive changes will come and hopefully there will be peace finally and people will not only live freely in harmony with all religions, with out any restrictions from either the state or the mullahs and iman's and lastly dictators

  • Comment number 70.

    19. At 1:30pm on 27 Jan 2011, MagicKirin wrote:

    The West will be blamed no matter what happends (sic).

    the concern inside and out of the country is if Islamic facists (sic) like those in Iran, Syria and Lebanon take over
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Why would the West be blamed? After all, its not as if America has supported the absolute dictatoroship in Egypt for decades, given Egypt billions in aid and helped to train an insidious network of secret police, all to maintain regional hegemony and provide security for the still-expanding state of Israel to continue its land grabbing ways.

    According to Amnesty International, Egypt deals with political prisoners by making them rape each other, but to you and to the West this doesn't seem to be an issue. I note that your post mentions the three countries that stand against Israel but not the others - not Jordan, not Kuwait, not Saudi Arabia. Seems human rights and democracy are not the criteria by which you judge fascism (note the correct spelling) but willingness to appease the rampant expansionism your beloved Zionist state.

  • Comment number 71.

    Good luck to the Egyptian people.

    I hope you can get rid of your corrupt government: a ruthless, corrupt Middle-Eastern government propped up and supported by the Western and Israeli governments. No surprises there.

  • Comment number 72.

    To Simon 21.
    With respect, you have missed the point. I am not concerned about the legality or illegality of accessing private confidential information. This can be changed at the whim of those in power. What concerns me are the moral dimensions. Ask yourself; would you like your private conversations, papers or whatever to be widely published for all to leer at? The leakers will always say that it is in the public interest, no matter what. That isn't an excuse in my books. Are we entitled to keep our private thoughts and conversations to ourselves or not?

  • Comment number 73.

    Will protests change North Africa and Mid-East?

    There is a very strong possibility that these protests will change the political landscape of North Africa, as one contributor said, creating a domino effect, this can have positive or negative conotations.

    The first thing we have to realise is that the North African and Middle Eastern countries version of a democratic government is not like our version of a democratic government.
    Hopefully these protests are not the result of radicalism, It does not at present appear to be so, however the Muslim Radicals prey on the uncertain, the weak and the vulnerable to do their bidding (often bombing) for them as we have all seen.

    What ever happens here, the West must keep a very low profile whilst viewing what is happening, to interfear in any way - as the US has frequently done by the back door, and the UK to some extent also - would certainly polarise the populations in those countries, in doing so would almost certainly open the door to radicalisation - and we all know what that would mean.

    In these very uncertain circumstances and clearly troubling political times we have a government in the UK hell bent on axing the very best aircraft and aircraft carriers in the Royal Navy and the Air Force, totally ignoring advice from the most senior members of the Defence Forces about the very real threat to National Security.

  • Comment number 74.

    There is no doubt that many of these countries are governed by corrupt and oppressive regimes which are not fit to govern:the problem is that when they are ousted they are often replaced by equally unpleasant regimes,often consisting of crazies,religious fanatics and other undesirables who simply visit more oppression on the unfortunate population.....or are they unfortunate or do they just get the government they deserve?

  • Comment number 75.

    35. At 4:45pm on 27 Jan 2011, General_Jack_Ripper wrote:

    rich p wrote:
    How long will it be before someone posts a comment blaming the U.S. for this?


    I can say with absolute certainty that these demonstrations have nothing to do with the U.S. government as there is no way that the U.S. would do anything to upset their favoured dictators such as Mubarak, a dictator who has brutally clung on to power since 1981. Incidentally, Egypt has received $28 billion of US aid since 1975.

    Source: http://www.usaid.gov/locations/middle_east/countries/egypt/

    (Obviously I'm referring to the Federal government here, it's not like I think individual Americans are busying themselves supporting dictators, or even support the morally questionable actions of their own government.)

    ----------------------------------------------------

    Forget the aid, his support for Israel was the main reason we in the west over-looked his actions/egypts over-all lack of democracy and regular torturing on prisoners/people who didnt back him in egypt for so long.

    If Jordanian citizens take this route, even though in comparison to Egypt they are pretty "democratic", Israel will be extremely worried.

    Israels currently "concerned", which is tolerable..a "worried" Israel..that would be very risky.

  • Comment number 76.

    At 7:32pm on 27 Jan 2011, Awld divil wrote:
    As long as we can buy their oil cheaply, who cares
    --------------------------------------------

    You call $100 a barrel oil cheap?. Maybe if you're Bill Gates it is!!!

  • Comment number 77.

    MR. TRUCULENT SAYS.

    Will protests in the mid east or Africa change anything?
    Will protests in europe change anything ?
    There are high food prices across europe. IN the late 70s and early 1980s the CAP was formed and food mountians were made , so no one in europe will ever starve again. Now these food mountains have gone and market prices control the economy. Agriculture was the most sucsesfull industry since the second world war . " I HEAR YOU SAY WHAT ABOUT SUBSIDIES". It is not just farmers who get subsidies , I can name several dozen companies that get subsidies, ie Nissan car factory in Sunderland asks our government for £40 million every 3 years or they will relocate in France. The railways etc. Even poeple who do not work or have several children get a pay out which is the same as subsidies, the list goes on and on.
    These demonstrations are not limited to the mid east , but europe and probably most of the world.
    The first solution is to curb fuel prices.
    Yes this last year has seen major world food disasters in Russia with forest fires ,in Australia with extreme flooding and rice crop failiers in the far east .If we still had food mountains this would ease the problem. OH I hear some of you say dumping cheap food on say African countries ,will destroy Fair trade . I surgest you shut up, these people may be starving and will not care about anything else except where their next meal is comming from.......

    E&0E MR. TRUCULENT.

  • Comment number 78.

    Sounds to me like we will be facing more fundamentalist nutters.

    Sharia law anyone?

  • Comment number 79.

    By RD:

    >> Forget the aid, his support for Israel was the main reason we in the west over-looked his actions/egypts over-all lack of democracy and regular torturing on prisoners/people who didnt back him in egypt for so long.

    Really? So you would have recommended removing Mubarak and his regime, as we did with Saddam?

    >>If Jordanian citizens take this route, even though in comparison to Egypt they are pretty "democratic", Israel will be extremely worried.
    Israels currently "concerned", which is tolerable..a "worried" Israel..that would be very risky.

    Why would Israel worry? The reason why Egypt signed a peace treaty with Israel is because Egypt kept on loosing wars to Israel. And loosing badly. Even if regime changes in Egypt nothing will happen between relations with Israel, because the alternative is to open up Gaza and Egypt terribly does not want that.

  • Comment number 80.

    50. At 6:09pm on 27 Jan 2011, TunisiaDolly wrote:
    I live here in Tunisia. I support the revolution and everything it stands for and tbh I'm not that interested in those that live outside giving their commentary. You have no idea how it has been for us over the years. Looking over our shoulder, speaking of our discontent in whispers behind closed doors. Everything has been controlled, our emails monitored our internet use logged. Mohammed Bouazizi is our martyr for democracy and we won't rest until we get it. Be damned if we will accept this government, it has Zine Abidene's old hacks and we know it and you should all know it also. We know we are being watched and our tiny nation will prove to all that we can do it.

    Complain about this comment
    -------------------------------------
    Well get it sorted quick. I want back to holiday in Your lovely country. LoL

  • Comment number 81.

    Yes it's time for the people of the world to take a stance against these criminal 'leaders'.

    I'm so angry about all of this that I'm going to post something on HYS... that'll sure give them something to think about!

    We REALLY do need to think differently about our existence on this planet.

    Otherwise we simply throw out rubbish and put garbage in its place.


  • Comment number 82.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 83.

    Maybe the UK can join in by ousting that long standing family of Winsors and then start on the Gulf states UAE, Qatar, Saudi, Oman etc etc.
    Times are over due for massive changes! Time to rid the planet of these 'all powerful' families for good!

  • Comment number 84.

    Not if it spares Libya.

  • Comment number 85.

    It won't make any difference as long as the West and China keep sticking their noses into all of Africa for sheer greed over their resources.

  • Comment number 86.

    Why are we debating Egypt and the Middle East when the biggest UK story in the past three days has been the telephone bugging by the right wing News of the World newspaper ? This story is going to turn out to be the UK's version of the Watergate affair - is that why the Tories are stopping the BBC reporting on it and allowing us a debate ?

  • Comment number 87.

    I'm not sure that protessting will change these countries. I mean, if they haven't changed until now, someone from the public should run for president and do what the public actually WANTS. this also might be nice for a lot of other countries

  • Comment number 88.

    No doubt that most of the Middle East foreign affair policies are either set by more powerful western countries or Iran, either directly or through other party. Hosni Mubarak with no question has been the most loyal patron of the US agenda in the area. There have been many protests over the years in both Tunisia and Egypt, all the times it came to halt. Tunisians and Egyptians have been repeatedly demanding democracy and economic growth, but their dictators repressed them over the time on the US and Europe watch. If you wanna repel as a citizen of any of these countries, I believe you have countless reasons, from the infrastructure to the foreign affair practices conducted by such systems.
    However my three concerns are who the majority represents, why now, and if these protest succeeded what will happen next. In my opinion and I may be mistaken Egypt if there will any Honest elections, the winners ll be form Ikhwanul Muslimeen. I think I ll be dumb if am gonna give all credits of the change in Tunisia to the protestant, or even a potential one in Egypt to the Ikhwanul. The synergy of the protests in the three countries if anything is well planned. The psychographic characteristics and the presence of zealous Islamist either in these countries or in neighbor ones is threatful. If the Ikhwanul Muslimeen take over in Egypt, it wont end there. There will be Ikhwanul in Palestine, Jordan, and Syria. Conflicts will rise, minorities rights will if existed diminish, federal or confederal systems will seems as the most fitted systems, and may be there will another Iraq. Having said that, I ll regretfully admit that Shimon Peres vision of a new Middle East after too long is coming into being.

  • Comment number 89.

    Who would have thought it, people power and democracy, Not if power brokers have anything to do with it. Regime change and more dictators.

  • Comment number 90.

    ref #70
    According to Amnesty International, Egypt deals with political prisoners by making them rape each other, but to you and to the West this doesn't seem to be an issue.
    ____________

    Amnesty is very selective in its outrage, no protest of Lebanon allowing Hezbollah terorizing Israel, no talk of human rights violations by Venezuela and Bolivia.

  • Comment number 91.

    Thank you coladelcid, Great observation!

  • Comment number 92.

    The current actions by the people are unlikely to lead to anything resembling democracy or the ability of their populations to control their own destinies.

    No doubt the "usual suspects" will insist that, "The only solution is Islam and Sharia".

    Then, the intolerance that characterises the ideology of Islam will prevail and the countries' populations will be subject to (and controlled by) the barbaric strictures of Sharia. These will make their despised former corrupt leaders appear models of rectitude.

  • Comment number 93.

    Yes, I wonder how long Ghadaffi has got left before the good people of Libya get fed up with him and copy their neighbours.

  • Comment number 94.

    Yemen, Syria, Jordan, Egypt, Tunisia plus a plethora of other minor Arab states are undergoing a very simple revolution.

    Might has always been right. The biggest tribe took everything. Presidents were selected for life based on how many palms were greased. Democracy was something foolish Westerners practised but who cares as long as their aid kept coming to buy the Learjets, their weapons kept coming allowing neighbour to fight neighbour and their multinationals kept coming to dig up more of this black sticky stuff that lets them honour Allah by buying solid gold Rolls Royces.

    Of course, to your average North African or Arab, it's always been that way. The few at the top got the lot and you were lucky if he let you take your goats to his water hole to drink. If the natives got uppity, a few Imams could be summoned to declare protest was against Islam and the masses would go back to the desert to grow olives whilst their rulers feasted in the tent of plenty.

    Suddenly, it ain't so. Goat herders are getting sick of watching the elite, installed for generations simply helping themselves to wealth owned by the people. People who would normally sit under a palm tree cursing Allah that they were born into the wrong tribe are now on the streets, demanding a slice of their own future, demanding an end to dictatorships, an end to censorship, an end to enforced poverty, an end to the status quo that says "it was ever thus".

    Are we seeing a genuine revolution that will free MILLIONS from the slavery of tribal rulers and vested interest Imams? I certainly hope so. They have 500 years to catch up. The sooner they start, the better.

  • Comment number 95.

    is it likely that the middle east will determin the future of the world and that world leaders will see more sense by allowing middle eastern people to live without threat of a third world war.
    People must not forget the early stages of wrath before world war two and the years leading up to the beginnings of a world conflict.
    The victors of world war two did not give assurances to people in the world that a third world war could not even begin let alone be started.Yet is seems that the middle east is packed with the right kind of wrath that could turn into a no win conflict for all combatants.

  • Comment number 96.

    The likely end result of this is more states under the jackboot of Islamic fundamentalism. Anyone who thinks democracy and freedom are going to be the winners is deluding themselves.

  • Comment number 97.

    Icebloo wrote:Why are we debating Egypt and the Middle East when the biggest UK story in the past three days has been the telephone bugging by the right wing News of the World newspaper ? This story is going to turn out to be the UK's version of the Watergate affair - is that why the Tories are stopping the BBC reporting on it and allowing us a debate ?
    -------------------------------------------
    Lols. Because you are on the wrong thread and the subject of this thread is the unrest in the Middle East. I suggest you go onto the thread dealing with the phone-tapping issue which the Tories have kindly allowed the BBC to open.

  • Comment number 98.

    I think unfortunately, it will make things worse for some time. If you look at history, any country that has had an uprising usually goes further downhill for a while.
    The French wound up with Robespierre and found themselves in the Reign of Terror.
    The Soviets ended up with Stalin.
    The Zimbabweans found themselves with Mugabe.
    The list of tyrants allowed in to govern is endless. Uprisings seldom work, they just let someone worse take control.

  • Comment number 99.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 100.

    The shame of the situation is that these regimes in North Africa and the Middle East have long been supported by the western powers who thought that it was in their own interests to do so.

    Tonight Jeremy Bowen was on TV and I think that this was the first occasion on which I have heard a British correspondent ever refer to Egypt as a repressive police state. Like Tunisia and Morocco it has long been put forward as a nice place in which to take a holiday. We have used a compliant Egyptian administration to give Israel a peaceful border to the South West. Our governments have chosen to trade with these nations knowing full well the truth behind the facade that is presented to the tourist. It is little wonder that the ordinary people of these nations feel betrayed by the so called democracies of the west. It is little wonder that some of them end up drawn into the ranks of terrorist organisations.

    The poor Egyptians in particular, they had a revolution and got rid of King Farouk who had been supported in office by successive British governments but a few decades down the road they find that they have swapped one exploitative regime for another - they were robbed of their freedom yet again, this time by their own native politicians.

    A bit like the Irish really who managed to get the British out of most of the country only to find that they too had swapped one lot of exploitative British rulers for another lot of exploitative rulers but this time home grown Irish. Hence the awful mess that they are now in and for which the ordinary lesser folk again will have to pay. As is usual in these cases those who gave their lives in the fights for freedom were in general drawn from the very ranks of those who are subsequently oppressed and find themselves one way or another paying the price.

    Does history repeat itself....repeat itself....repeat itself...repeat itself....repeat itself?

 

Page 1 of 14

BBC iD

Sign in

BBC navigation

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.