While Libya is in a state of uncertainty and the Western Press and politicians continue to be both guarded and speculative, I just wondered if we’re missing something in the bigger picture:
December 2010: A young university-educated man, who could only find work as a market trader, torches himself in Tunisia after the police rescind his trader’s licence.
January 2011: A Coptic Church is bombed in a suicide attack in Egypt and twenty-one people die.
January 2011: Protests about unemployment and the price of food begin in Algeria.
January 2011: Gaddafi condemns the uprising in Tunisia and first reports of unrest in Libya emerge.
January 2011: Protests begin in Yemen as opposition activists are jailed.
January 2011: A “Day of Rage” in Lebanon as people protest the appointment of a Hezbollah-backed successor to the PM.
January 2011: Unrest spreads to Jordan and people take to the streets demanding “political change”.
January 2011: Gazans take to the streets to protest against ‘concessions’ to Israel in peace talks.
February 2011: Protests, conflict & negotiation continue in Egypt, Algeria, Jordan and Yemen.
February 2011: Protesters killed by ‘Security Forces’ in Pearl Square, Bahrain at anti-government demonstrations.
March 2011: Protests begin in Iraq.
March 2011: Obama calls for Gaddafi to stand down after reprisals against protesters.
March 2011: UNSCR No. 1972 is passed and UK/France scramble to put together a no-fly zone.
March 2011: Saudi Arabian ‘Security Forces’ emerge to quell possible uprisings in major Saudi cities.
March 2011: More protests in Gaza.
March 2011: Protests spread to Iran.
March 2011: Morocco is swept up in the protests.
March 2011: Saudi Forces move into Bahrain to protect the Monarchy. Protesters not killed begin to ‘disappear’. Bahraini protests are crushed.
For the remainder of March and to-date, the news has been pretty much full of Libya so here’s Bahrain’s story, and it doesn’t make comfortable reading. Instead of watching Newsnight claptrap (the NATO spokeswoman was a peach) I suggest this, and while you’re watching, spare a thought for the US 5th Fleet:
H/t to The Guardian for the graphic that helped me put together the timeline.