FROM Khalil Jahshan
Are Revolutions Transforming the Middle East? Since dictators were deposed by "people power" in Tunisia and Egypt, there's been talk of an "Arab Spring" that would finally bring an end to authoritarianism in the Middle East and even a flowering of democracy. But in Egypt today, street protests, strikes and sit-ins were criminalized by Hosni Mubarak's military successors. We hear more on the possible consequences of revolution there and elsewhere.
Are Revolutions Transforming the Middle East? Since the so-called "Arab Spring" began in Tunisia, there's been violence in that country. Today, Egypt's new military leaders formally criminalized protests. In Yemen, Bahrain, Syria and Libya, there's no telling what kinds of changes domestic upheaval will bring. Iran and Saudi Arabia may not see changes at all. What can be learned from Georgia, Ukraine and other countries that threw off the yoke of Communism? When is the old order vulnerable to a new generation of freedom-loving democrats? When are high expectations vulnerable to traditional realities?
The flight bumping heard around 'round the world Recent video of a passenger forcibly removed from a United Airlines plane is a worst-case example of what's happened since consolidation into just four US-based carriers. Management seems to be tone-deaf to a decline in service — and even abuse — of passengers.
Is Venezuela becoming a dictatorship? Venezuela may have the world's largest oil reserves, but it's a nation in trouble… economically and politically. Is a populist promise to rescue democracy turning out to be a prelude to dictatorship?
Mixed Messages from US diplomats on the new hard line on Syria Since President Trump's surprise retaliation against Syria's use of chemical weapons, Bashar al-Assad has used the same airport to launch conventional attacks on his own people. It's not clear what the US, its allies — or Vladimir Putin's Russia -- plan to do now.