Tunisia, home to the Arab world's first successful uprising against a dictator, erupted this week with a battle between radical Islamists and the moderate Islamic party that dominates government. A second revolution, one within Islam that can reconcile it with democracy, will again help the Middle East.
Syria is at the nexus of some of the Middle East's most central problems, meaning that fallout from its uprising is likely to ripple, in unpredictable ways, through the region. Here's a brief guide to the actors in the conflict.
The US called the death of al-Libi the most serious blow to Al Qaeda since the death of Osama bin Laden last year.
The massacre in Houla, Syria, over the weekend pushed Russia to finally denounce the atrocities there. But Moscow also warned that the regime of Bashar al-Assad faces threats from Al Qaeda. Al Qaeda's future in Syria depends on how Sunnis there respond to foreign jihadi fighters.
The record shows that some radicals can be persuaded to give up the gun when inducements and local conditions are right. The Pentagon recently spent $4.5 million to find out more.
No group has claimed responsibility for today's bombings in Damascus that killed at least 40 people, but an Al Qaeda-inspired group has claimed similar attacks in the past.