Originally Posted by bjjs
Am I wrong for suggesting that the rising, intelligent middle class of these middle-eastern countries that was overthrowing dictators and leading a revolution maybe isn't so intelligent, or atleast heavily outnumbered by others influenced by extremist leadership?
I'm far from well-educated on the subject, but one year ago, the news was painting the general population of these countries in a very positive light. Now they're using a movie as an excuse to be violent.
Are these events masterminded by political groups? What's going on?
There have been reports that the demonstrations in Egypt began mostly among competing soccer fans, used to going at it and then fighting off the police. There was also thuggery amongst the usual extremists. The numbers are not anywhere near as great as those demanding democratic measures in any of the countries involved. At the same time there are not the kinds of controls and institutions in place, and that is being exploited by a relatively small number.
There are still some real problems between various middle eastern populations and the west, due to things like the occupation of the palestinians by Israel and the steady use of drones by the US. But by and large there is much more of a convergence than there was in the past, and a good measure of that comes from a rejection of the sorts of actions on display by the extremists that we've seen this past week.
The Arab Spring does not represent a monolithic advance. Each country has been very different. And there are groups within groups that vary from one to another, as well as Al Qaeda spinoffs that are willing to move from one place to another to cause trouble. There are way too many weapons that were let loose, and not enough civil society built up as of yet. So it's entirely a work in progress. The whole thing was depicted as good overcoming evil, but what really needs to take place, I think, is to see the effects of colonialism gradually dissipated throughout the region. The events of a year ago were a good step towards that, but there is still a long ways to go, and there could be more violence to come before they get there.