Since the constitutional crisis and coup of 2009, Honduras has inhabited international headlines for all the wrong reasons. It’s possible that this is about to change.
Although Russia has been a longstanding patron of the Syrian government, Moscow may soon find that its support for the beleaguered regime is a trap of its own making.
China and Russia vetoed a United Nations Security Council draft resolution on Syria on Feb. 4. At present, Syria is not only the eye of the storm in the Middle East, but also a focus of interest for great powers that seek to set the template for resolving the crisis of a sovereign state.
The Middle East’s despots and the push for democracy synonymous with the Arab Spring make curious bedfellows. And yet, as an Arab League delegation presses the United Nations to support the league’s latest roadmap to peace in Syria, all overt signs suggest that the Arab world’s most ardently anti-democratic leaders have re-cast themselves as champions of Western-style liberal democracy, at least in appearance.
The United States continues to ignore the thwarted Arab Spring in Bahrain. Recently, a quasi-military court in the small Gulf state sentenced 20 doctors and nurses to up to 15 years in jail.
For the Arab Spring it was Twitter; for the summer riots in London it was BlackBerry Messenger. The latest technology is helping to accelerate ‘information cascades’, where people make decisions based on what they see other people doing – and getting away with.
The remnants of the old authoritarian order are still in place in Egypt. Despite frustration and impatience by Egyptians, the military council that is in charge in Egypt has delayed the transfer of power to a democratically elected civilian ruler.
On October 23rd, the people of Tunisia will vote to elect a Constituent Assembly, with the primary task of drafting a new constitution within a year. Furthermore, the NCA will also elect a temporary president (and a new interim government) from among its members.
Of all the struggles going on in North Africa and the Middle East right now, the most difficult to unravel is the one in Libya.