Syria Circling The Drain

So far, we’ve seen varying degrees of serious Muslim unrest in Pakistan, Lebanon, Tunisia, Egypt, Yemen, Algeria, Bahrain, Libya, and Oman. Now, it appears that Syria is also on the verge of descending into chaos.

Thousands continue protests in Syria

Thousands of people took to the streets in the southern city of Dara, chanting “Syria, Freedom,” a day after a deadly crackdown on protests there, human rights activists said.

The demonstrations Thursday occurred at the funerals for some of those killed when government forces opened fire on protesters the previous day. Initial reports put the death toll at 15, but Reuters news agency, citing a hospital source, said more than 25 people were killed.

. . .

No additional violence was reported Thursday, but human rights activists said a number of Syrian writers and journalists who reported on the unrest in Dara had been arrested.

. . .

Presidential advisor Bouthaina Shaaban pledged to consider ending the emergency law in place since 1963 that has allowed the government to detain anyone without a warrant or a trial.

She said the government was also drafting a law that would allow political parties other than the ruling Baath party to operate, and loosen restrictions on news media. She also promised wage increases and health insurance for public servants.

But the human rights activists noted that the promises were not binding and pledged to move forward with their plans for Friday protests.

See also:
Syria’s Bashar al-Assad faces most serious unrest of his tenure
The Syrian revolt
Syria: patience of people running thin
Thousands Protest At Syrian Funerals
Thousands of Syrians chant “freedom” at Deraa mosque
Reports of bloodbath in Syria
Syrian Police Kill at Least 15 Protesters
Syria changes tack, promises reform
Syria offers reforms to calm violence
Syria crisis: Can reforms appease protesters?
Obama administration condemns Syria crackdown
2011 Syrian protests

Like Libya, here’s another revolt that I can heartily root for. Bashar al-Assad has buckets of American and Israeli blood on his hands and I would thoroughly enjoy watching his corpse being dragged through the streets. Tomorrow’s planned Day of Rage, after Friday prayers, could be a tipping point as to whether the Syrian government will fall or brutally repress the protesters. Stay tuned.

/of course, the Muslim country government that I would most like to see circle the drain is the Iranian regime, directly responsible for well over 90% of all the terrorism on the planet, maybe, hopefully, soon

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Oman Circling The Drain

We can now add Oman to the ever growing list of teetering or toppled Muslim country governments that already includes; Pakistan, Lebanon, Tunisia, Egypt, Yemen, Algeria, Bahrain, and Libya.

Oman clashes: Two killed during protests in Gulf state

Two people have been killed in clashes between security forces and protesters in the Gulf state of Oman, witnesses and officials said.

Hundreds had gathered for a second day in the industrial city of Sohar to call for political reforms.

At least five people were said to have been wounded when police fired tear gas and rubber bullets at protesters.

Until now, Oman had mostly been spared the unrest which has affected other Arab states in recent months.

Demonstrations are also taking place in the southern town of Salalah, according to Reuters news agency.

See also:
Protests turn violent in Oman port
Deaths in Oman protests
Middle East unrest spreads to Oman
Oman shuffles cabinet amid protests
Oman police clash with protesters
Two Killed In Oman As Protesters Clash With Security Forces
Clashes Between Police, Protesters Kill 2 in Oman
Anti-Govt. Clashes Kill 2, Injures 5 in Oman
Protesters clash with police in Oman
Two dead as Oman police move to quell protests
Police station, state office burning in Oman town
Six killed in Oman protests on Sunday: government hospital
Factbox: Facts about Oman

Oman is yet another country in political turmoil that borders Saudi Arabia. If this unrest consumes Saudi Arabia, all world economic hell will break loose and you can expect to pay a lot more for a gallon of gas. Will the Saudis be able to keep the wave of regional ant-government rebellion from splashing across her borders?

/we probably won’t have to wait long to find out, youth groups and workers in that country now calling for a “day of rage” demonstration in the capital, Riyadh, on March 11th

Libya Circling The Drain

The anti-government fever that has so far infected Pakistan, Lebanon, Tunisia, Egypt, Yemen, Algeria, and Bahrain, has now spread to Libya.

Protesters die in Libya unrest

At least two people have been killed in clashes between Libyan security forces and demonstrators in the town of Bayda, east of Benghazi, the second largest city, as activists plan major anti-government protests throughout the country on Thursday.

The victims’ names were: Khaled ElNaji Khanfar and Ahmad Shoushaniya.

Wednesday’s deaths come as hundreds of protesters have reportedly torched police outposts in the eastern city of Beyida, while chanting: “People want the end of the regime.”

At least 38 people were also injured in the clashes, including ten security officials.

“All the people of Beyida are out on the streets,” said 25-year-old Rabie al-Messrati, who said he had been arrested after spreading a call for protests on Facebook.

Inspired by popular and successful uprisings in neighbouring Tunisia and Egypt, Libyan protesters are seeking an end to Colonel Muammar Gaddafi’s 41-year-old rule, one of the longest and most repressive leaders in the world.

Online calls of dissent have been growing rapidly over the past few days, with Facebook groups calling for “Uprising on February 17” doubling in popularity.

See also:
Protests flare as Libya arrests activists
Protests Spread To Libya
Anti-government protests spread to Gaddafi’s Libya
Gadhafi next? Anti-government protests spread to Libya
Rioting hits Libyan city of Benghazi
Libyan police stations torched
‘Day of rage’ to confront Libya’s Gadhafi
Libyan online protesters prepare for “day of rage”
Gaddafi sweats as protest fever reaches Libya
As ‘day of rage’ tests Gadhafi, Libya’s future rests in military’s hands
Gadhafi’s regime is braced for a day of anger
Libyans Plan Rallies After One Is Quashed
Libyan dictator warns against use of Facebook, 40 protesters injured
Libyan forces take action against demonstrators
Protesters, Police Clash In Libya
Riots spread across Libya overnight
SNAP ANALYSIS-Riots break out in Libyan city of Benghazi
Unrest continues to sweep Arab world

So, now the street chaos has come to Libya. Well, here’s one country where I can, in good conscience, heartily root for the rioters. If anyone in this world deserves to be dragged through the streets, it’s Muammar Gaddafi. We still owe him big time for Lockerbie.

/of course, the rioters will first have to fight their way past Gaddafi’s infamous Amazonian Guard

Tunisia Circling The Drain

First the government of Pakistan breaks down, then the Lebanese government, and today, Tunisia’s government. See a pattern here? These are all Muslim countries and the toppled governments were all friendly to the United States.

Tunisians drive leader from power in mass uprising

Protesters enraged over soaring unemployment and corruption drove Tunisian President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali from power Friday after 23 years of iron-fisted rule, an unprecedented popular uprising in a region dominated by strongmen who do not answer to their people.

Tunisians buoyant over Ben Ali’s ouster immediately worried, however, about what’s next: the caretaker leadership of the prime minister who took control, and the role of the army in the transition.

The upheaval took place after weeks of escalating unrest fueled partly by social media and cell phones, as thousands of demonstrators from all walks of life rejected Ben Ali’s promises of change and mobbed the capital of Tunis to demand his ouster in the country’s largest demonstrations in generations.

At least 23 people have been killed in the riots, according to the government, but opposition members put the death toll at more than three times that.

See also:
Tunisia: PM Takes Power Amid Deadly Riots
Exit Ben Ali – but can Tunisia change?
Tension Grips Tunisia’s Capital After Leader Flees
Tunisia in turmoil as President flees from the anger of the dispossessed
Tunisia: President Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali forced out
Constitutional debate after Ben Ali
Arab activists hope Tunisia uprising brings change
Tunisia: a ‘wake-up call’ for Arab leaders
Patrick Cockburn: Troubles like these are brewing all over the Middle East
Al-Qaeda supports the events in Tunisia and Algeria
France did not prepare to welcome Tunisia’s Ben Ali: Foreign Ministry
Montreal eyes possible arrival of ex-Tunisian leader
Obama calls for free and fair Tunisia elections

That’s three governments in three Muslim countries in about as many weeks. How far will this trend spread and what government will be next to fall? It looks like we have a fast paced game of geopolitical dominoes going on here and it’s being played for keeps. And it could end up with Islamic interests being the eventual winners.

/it almost goes without saying that, chances are, the successor governments will be more hostile to the United States and Western interests

Slum Wars

Well, Brazil has the World Cup and the Olympics coming up in a few years, the status quo can’t stand.

23 dead since Sunday in Brazil slum violence

Violence including clashes between police and drug gangs in the slums of Rio de Janeiro has killed 23 people since Sunday, with 188 people arrested or detained so far, military police said Thursday.

It was not immediately clear whether all the dead were gang members or whether civilians and police were among the fatalities.

The continuing unrest stems from the transfer of prisoners from local institutions to federal lockups in other states, the government-run Agencia Brasil news outlet reported, citing Rio de Janeiro Public Security Secretary Jose Mariano Beltrame. Some of the prisoners being transferred ordered the violence by drug gangs, Beltrame said.

Also factoring into the situation was a police effort to remove some drug gang members from Rio’s crime-ridden slums, called favelas.

See also:
Tanks Roll Into Rio Slum Amid Drug Battles
Military vehicles enter Brazil slum
Brazil Marines join slum battles, 30 people killed
Rio police targeting slum where gang based
Brazilian Authorities Target Slum in Rio Crime Crackdown
Military deploys armoured vehicles in Rio
Rio favela violence: The two rival factions behind the violence
Armored carriers deployed in Rio crime crackdown
Rio police targeting slum where gang based

This is what happens when the Government, ether purposely or through benign neglect, cedes control of state territory to enclaves and no go zones. Eventually, to avoid embarrassment and reestablish the law and order of the majority, the enclaves have to be retaken, and at great cost. It’s cheaper just to maintain law and order in the first place and not let these areas exist and fester.

/it’ll eventually happen here, Dearborn, Michigan comes to mind