Written By: - Date published: 12:55 pm, June 7th, 2011 - 2 comments
The Arab Spring has become an increasingly bloody Arab Summer as dictators unleash their security forces to try to stop the wave of protests and revolutions sweeping the Arab world. Yemen’s dictator, wounded in the fighting, left for treatment in Saudi Arabia and seems unlikely to return.
Written By: - Date published: 2:30 pm, March 26th, 2011 - 20 comments
The revolts around the Middle East are still heating up. The coalitions air strikes are dealing havoc to Gaddifi’s heavy weapons, giving the rebels a fighting chance. In Bahrain, the Shi’ites are brooding as the country remains under de facto Saudi occupation, Saleh looks gone in Yemen, while violence is escalating in Syria and Jordan.
Written By: - Date published: 1:50 pm, March 21st, 2011 - 41 comments
There’s a hell of a lot happening in the Middle East right now, with protests and violence from Morocco to Bahrain. It seems likely that more governments will fall in coming days. In every instance, these revolts appear to be genuinely grassroots movements. The West is turning a blind eye to some government crackdowns. Its support for democracy is overridden by the need for stability to secure its oil supply.
Written By: - Date published: 2:02 am, March 19th, 2011 - 18 comments
If you’re like me, you just got home and were watching Te Karere with your nightcap. When it ended they cut to BBC with a live press conference of Libyan Foreign Minister Mussa Kussa (awesome name) who declared a unilateral ceasefire and called for talks with the rebels.
Written By: - Date published: 12:00 pm, March 18th, 2011 - 11 comments
The Arab League turned against Gaddifi this week, calling for a no-flight zone. But the UN Security Council voted it down. The US voted against that proposal but is now talking about possibly talking about air strikes. As the West dithers the moment, to borrow from the Bard, is now very now. The rebellion is being snuffed out. Update: UN authorises air power against Gaddifi.
Written By: - Date published: 10:22 am, March 15th, 2011 - 7 comments
For the second time in 14 years, the Saudi monarchy has sent troops into Bahrain to crush protests by the Shi’ite majority against the Sunni monarchy. Having intimidated their own people into silence on Friday, the Saudis now want to bring the Bahraini Shi’ites to heel, lest they inspire more unrest from Saudi Shi’ites. The US is not unhappy.
Written By: - Date published: 10:14 am, March 12th, 2011 - 40 comments
Faced with the choice between short-term stability offered by a military strong-man or the long-term stability that would emerge from a democratic revolution, the West has long backed dictators in key resource supplying third-world nations. As the West backs away from saving the Libyan rebellion, it appears that little has changed.
Written By: - Date published: 9:04 am, March 7th, 2011 - 24 comments
You know things are bad when the AA is saying that high petrol prices are here to stay and there needs to be more investment in public transport. Global supply and demand is so tight that tiny disruptions are causing massive spikes. What if Saudi Arabia erupts?
Written By: - Date published: 1:00 pm, March 1st, 2011 - 43 comments
NATO leaders are discussing a no-fly zone over Libya to prevent the crumbling Gaddafi regime bombing and strafing protesters. Gaddafi’s loyalists are tied up keeping Tripoli under control, and the opposition is preparing to send in troops. Meanwhile, the big question elsewhere in the Arab world is what will happen on Saudi Arabia’s March 11, ‘Day of Rage’?
Written By: - Date published: 11:21 am, February 25th, 2011 - 67 comments
I read a book a while back that was set in the near future after what it called the ‘Domino recessions’ – successive oil shocks had created a series of economic and political crises, each one before the world had recovered from the previous recession. As the second oil shock in three years hits, that scenario looks to be coming to true.
Written By: - Date published: 9:24 am, February 25th, 2011 - 124 comments
We hear a lot of, frankly, trite comments in times of disaster about how the people affected are ‘tough’ and a special breed. People are people. But communities can be more resilient in the face of disaster if they have existing civil society organisations to rally around and help coordinate their actions. Canterbury Students’ Association is a perfect example.
Written By: - Date published: 9:21 am, February 23rd, 2011 - 36 comments
Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi has appeared on TV saying he will die a martyr in Libya, rather than flee into exile in the face of gathering protesters. The scale of the loyalist military’s attacks on protesters seems to be intensifying, while evidence of more troops refusing orders and defecting is also coming out. NATO may need to intervene.
Written By: - Date published: 12:30 pm, February 22nd, 2011 - 5 comments
It looks like Libya’s Muammar Gaddafi will be the next dictator to fall to the wave of protests and revolts sweeping the Arab world. The military initially sided with the regime and fired on the protesters, killing hundreds. But the loyalty of the security forces to the Gaddafi regime seems to be wavering. If this hard-man can crumble, who next?