The uprisings of 2011 spilled over from the Middle East to affect the entire world
2011 was the year of the Arab Spring, Occupy Wall Street and global change, said Mazen Hammad, a columnist with the Qatari newspaper Al Watan in an article entitled 2011 … the inventory".
Geographical borders had no bearing on the spring's intellectual influence.
North Korea, as removed as it is from this multinational wave of change, was introduced to the third generation of the Kim family, but the system of inheritance of power that was brought to an abrupt end in the Middle East will surely have some impact on the North Korean dynasty that might not see a fourth generation in rule. That is, if the new third generation itself isn't toppled first, opined the writer.
2011 established change in the world. Historic leaders vanished from the political scene, either killed or fleeing in fear of prosecution. Others found themselves besieged in their own countries.
The Syrian case remains the most mysterious and brutal among Arab examples. The observers' protocol that was signed during the last week of the past year came to confirm that Arab solutions have failed to solve the ongoing situation.
As for Yemen, whose president still retains at liberty to travel for treatment or other purposes, it is advancing slowly but steadily towards an era of change that may match the change that has already occurred in Tunisia, Egypt and Libya.
On the other side of the Middle East, Iran continues to struggle to accomplish its allegedly peaceful nuclear programme despite the firm opposition of the West and many Arab countries.
"Many expect that 2012 will be the year of the US/Israeli-led war on Iran. It will also be a harsh and decisive year in Syria as the regime has to choose between agreement with the opposition or final departure," added the writer.
At a time where the world expresses apprehension over the "Islamist attack" carried out by elections in Arab Spring countries such as Tunisia, Egypt, Libya and possibly Yemen and Syria, the West finds itself required to understand the new turn of events and to be cooperative. The Islamist political class that was born out of the Arab revolutions is here to rule, but it is a moderate form of Islam that can't be compared to Al Qaeda and similar hardliner groups.
Al Qaeda's organisation, dormant at present in Europe and the US, is still active in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan despite the loss of its leader and it is quite capable of shocking the world this year.
The year 2012 augurs some real surprises, opined the writer. While the entire world stands at the threshold of a comprehensive revolution and a new age, the future remains foggy.
Syria needs Arab commitment to peace
Al Arabiya news channel recently showed a news report featuring a member of the Arab observers mission in Syria explicitly saying that regime snipers are present in Deraa and demanding their withdrawal.
In comment, Tariq Homayed the editor of the London-based daily Asharq Alawsat said: "This straightforward statement squarely refutes previous statements by the Sudanese general and fellow observers about the good situation in Syria."
The video also undermines the explanation of the Arab League secretary general as he tried to patch up the Sudanese general's observations alleging that what he meant is that the regime's cooperation has been good.
"What is going on in Syria requires no delegations or observers," the writer opined. "It requires a real effort to stop the Assad killing machine. The regime's behaviour towards the Syrian people is a crime and to remain silent about it is equivalent to complicity in murder."
The horrors taking place in Syria certainly do not need a group of "Arab onlookers", as he called them, among whom only one man had the courage to speak up on camera from within Syria.
The creation of an isolated buffer zone is of the essence in Syria, in addition to a no-fly zone, whether under the patronage of Security Council or not and despite anything that Russia may say or do. What is needed now is a courageous Arab decision.
Al Qaeda establishing a branch in Libya
Western media coverage of the Libyan situation waned considerably since the Nato-led raids succeeded in toppling the Qaddafi regime and as Libyan oil exports got back to their normal levels, said the pan-Arab newspaper Al Quds Al Arabi in its editorial.
It was quite surprising that the US news channel CNN reported recently that it has received information from reliable sources confirming that the new leader of Al Qaeda, Ayman Al Zawahri, has dispatched a group of experienced jihadists to Libya to build a fighting force there.
In response, the Libyan National Transitional Council strictly denied any presence for the terrorist. The NTC claimed that the former regime used the "Al Qaeda scarecrow" to gain the sympathy of western countries and get them to support his regime.
"We don't know how the NTC will further react to these news," said the paper. "What we know for sure, though, is that Al Qaeda was able to exploit the Libyan situation to gain a foothold in the country and that a number of its fighters participated in the struggle against the Qaddafi loyalists."
Months after the success of the revolution, Libya still wallows in instability, which makes it a perfect host environment for Al Qaeda.
* Digest compiled by Racha Makarem
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