Over many decades, tens of thousands of ordinary citizens in Middle Eastern states had been brutalized, arrested, tortured and killed before
A unique pair of affronts set him off. A government inspector confiscated his fruit and slapped him in the face. Bouazizi was insulted, humiliated in public. And the inspector threatened his very livelihood.
His death resonated in a way that none of the previous abuses ever had. The reason: More than anything else, the ordinary people of the
Now, the anti-American foment sweeping through the
A national Gallup poll of Egyptians made public in July found that they overwhelmingly want their new government to focus on the economy and jobs. Ninety-five percent of those surveyed said their primary concern was the high cost of food; 88 percent complained about how hard it is to find a job. The statistics were the same among both secular and Islamic Egyptians.
Since then, the nation's unemployment rate has risen to almost 13 percent. And the
No. Instead, he has been appointing Muslim Brotherhood sympathizers as editors of state-managed newspapers. He's trying to curtail the authority of
Last month, European newspapers widely reported that a gang of Salafist extremists wielding swords and clubs set upon a French official on vacation in northern
"The high number of beneficiaries and the amount of compensation" will "result in a very heavy expenditure for the state's budget" at a time when the nation's financial situation is already dire, the departing minister warned. This month, the government showed where its heart really is. It authorized university students to wear veils, and Arrafah, a newly registered Islamic party, began calling for a national referendum to allow bigamy, a practice common among some Islamic fundamentalists.
Once again, the government seems to be doing nothing about the economy.
The median age in both
Who can blame them for being angry? They revolted, but their lives did not improve. In fact, in most Arab states the employment situation has grown worse while leaders argue about how women should dress and whether bigamy should be allowed.
I'm not trying to excuse these people for attacking American embassies and killing American officials. That's inexcusable. My point is that their self-interested Islamic governments, intent on religious aggrandizement instead of improving social welfare, hold most of the blame.
- Arab World Greets Israeli Elections with a Yawn
- Egypt's President Reasserts His Country's Sovereignty in World Affairs
- The Truth Behind the New Islamic Flashpoints
- Middle Eastern Governments Continue to Let Their People Down
- The Islamophobe Fringe
- Iran's Ahmadinejad Cannot Deny His Own Words
- Western Sanctions Not Enough to Sway Iran from Enrichments
- Democratized Media Meets the Arab Political Awakening
- Middle East Madness
- War and Bluff: Iran, Israel and the United States
- Libya: From Gadhafi to Benghazi
- Who Needs Reform Most: Egypt or America?
- The Humpty-Dumpty Middle East
- Possible Stalemate in Syria Lesser of Two Evils
- Sheikhs and Shekels: The Real Cost of Patronage in Yemen
- Anti-American Protests in Arab Countries Continue
- Islam's Walls of Language
- The Geography of Iranian Power
- Tension Grows Between Israel and US Over Whether or When To Attack
- On the Ground in Syria
- Morsi's Plan to Keep the Egyptian Army Sweet
- Targeting Tribal Leaders: A New Militant Tactic in Sinai
- The Israeli Crisis
- Jewish Refugees Re-emerge as Issue for Israel-Palestinian Peace
(c) 2012. Tribune Media Services, Inc.