The revolutionary protests in Tunisia and Egypt weren't supposed to spread south to sub-Saharan Africa. But Gabonese protesters are aiming to oust President Ali Bongo.
The West's fearful stereotypes of Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood are based on myth and misunderstanding. Today's Muslim Brotherhood rejects violence and must be a full partner in the process of change – and it will be, if a minimally democratic state can be established in Egypt.
Those who said that "winds of change" were blowing through the Middle East were right. The past few weeks have seen a series of political shifts in response to widespread discontent and popular opposition that once went unacknowledged. On Friday, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak ceded to protesters in Cairo and stepped down. As Egyptians' cries, first of anger and now of jubilation, beam into living rooms throughout the Middle East, here is a look at where those "winds of change" are taking us. (Editor's note: This is an updated version of a story that originally ran on Feb. 2)
The Obama administration's delayed public call for an 'orderly transition of power' followed days of equivocating that hurt US standing in the region. The White House must now take stock of its failed foreign policy so as not to further jeopardize its role in the new Egypt.
The message the US projects abroad will resonate long after the final pass of the Super Bowl. The US must lend its full-throated support to the protesters of the Arab world. It matters – both for the future of the region, and the future of America. Sitting on the sidelines may cost us more than our regional standing; it may cost us our own ideals.
It is morally good for the US to speak about support for protestors, but it is also quite dangerous. Mubarak may go, but his regime is necessary for US and Israeli security, regional stability, and keeping at bay the Islamic extremists that would rise in its place. Obama must support it.
President Obama wanted to focus on job creation. But dramatic unrest in Tunisia, Egypt, and across the Arab world, shaky governments in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Lebanon, and potential major developments in China and North Korea mean Mr. Obama's priorities in 2011 may not be ones of his choosing.
France hosts Tunisia's largest expatriate community. Having long lived in political silence, Tunisians here are glued to Arabic TV and debating if greater democracy or regional strife will unfold.
Many Egyptian protesters came out for the first time, despite fears of violent confrontation as police cracked down hard, to call for the fall of Hosni Mubarak's regime.
The thousands of Yemenis who turned out to protest President Ali Abdullah Saleh's rule were met with counterprotests by government supporters.