Arab Spring for Dummies ...

… like me. Most (but not only) specifically to how the west has reacted to each.

Iran… does it count? Not sure whether it was on Bush’s or Obama’s watch. Being the first uprising it was unique but you can also compare it to Syria (see below).

Egypt … Mubarek was relatively friendly to the west it seems but that didn’t get him much help. He was gone pretty quickly but things seem to have turned in the last couple of weeks.

Libya… Gaddafi was such a rogue it was very easy for the west to get involved militarily.

others… not sure what’s going on with them.

…and then there is Syria. That regime is so connected to terrorists that it seems the west is afraid to get involved despite all of the killings of uprisers. I wonder if Bush would get a pass too?

Check it out. There’s a country-by-country table and map.

:confused: What the . . . No, that is not why the West is reluctant to intervene in Syria. :rolleyes:

The reason the West is reluctant to intervene in Syria is because we have the example, right next door in Iraq, of what might happen when you do that. And no Arab, however oppressed by his present government, wants anything like that to happen ever again anywhere else in the Arab world. One division of U.S. Marines could have ended the Libyan Civil War at any time. But the Libyan rebels were utterly terrified of inviting in NATO ground troops, and were expressly concerned to avoid a “Baghdad Scenario” for the fall of Tripoli and aftermath, that has become a regional byword for “worst-case scenario” in this context.

I would say not – that is, what happened in Tunisia in 2010 was not inspired by what happened in Iran in 2009.

N.B.: The only non-Arab state decisionmakers in all this who are actually afraid of terrorism are the Israelis. Nobody in the West really cares or fears what Assad might do in retaliation, if the West intervened. The PTB do fear what Iran might do in sympathy – but they’re not concerned even there with terrorism, but with the prospects of the whole thing spinning out of control into a regional war.

That, and the fact that any attack on Syria will have to involve Israel - if only because the Syrian government will make sure to involve Israel. The last thing anyone wants is a full-scale regional war.

The last thing anyone who has to live there wants is a full-scale regional war. I daresay there are still some American neocons drooling for it. They’ve still got a frustrated hardon for Iran.

A lot more than that. Syria is much more complicated because it has a larger populace, many more diverse ethnic/religious groups, a powerful sponsor that is, officially, aligned against the US, and is right next door to Iraq.

OTOH, Assad is now finding himself in the unpleasant situation of having no friends but Iran and maybe Russia. Everybody else wants him gone – not just Israel and the U.S. and NATO, but all his neighbors, all of the Arab-League states regardless of the nature of their own regimes, and the Turks too.

The reason NATO was able to get involved in Libya is because Gaddafi had pissed off his neighbors by being a pain in the butt so he had no regional supporters. Also NATO did not get involved until Gaddafi had lost control of large portions of the country and there was open civil war.

Syria is different. It does have reasonable relations with most of its neighbors. The support may be waning some with Assad’s crackdown but the proposed Arab league sanctions have fallen apart. The opposition does not have control of territory so intervention like that seen in Libya is not an option currently.

Ummm… I said “involved” which you have multiplied into “intervene”.

Somehow events always do exactly that.

In Egypt, the course of revolution is not running smoothly.

How would you suggest the West get “involved” in Syria?