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EDITORIAL – Political house of cards

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EDITORIAL – Political house of cards

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INSTABILITY seems to be increasing across the globe as many governments are falling like a deck of cards. The Arab Spring is poised to enter a winter of discontent as unpopular dictators in most countries around the world do not know when they have outlived their usefulness.
Even as Egypt brings former President Hosni Mubarak to the court of justice, the full implications of the change in government could be deflected by the rise in Palestinian and Israeli confrontation, which is always a cause of deep concern in the region.
In Libya, Colonel Muammar Gadaffi seems determined to continue despite the forward push by the rebels, who are now seen as liberators; but at a great cost.
The rebels’ sudden advance into the capital and the little resistance with which they were met is a telling tale of the house of cards.
Yet, it remains to be seen how effectively the rebels are going to transform their successes for making a dramatic change on the political landscape of Libya, and what would be the fate of the regime that, for the last many weeks, was virtual in existence.
In Syria, President Bashar Al Assad ignores the writing on the wall and continues to unleash the military armour against civilians. He has brushed aside calls from the United States and some European Union states to step down, saying that it is those leaders who should resign for the blood spilled in Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya.
Assad’s warning against any foreign military intervention carefully juxtaposes two critical elements: Syria’s geopolitical location and its capability. This is important since any military action against Syria would need careful planning and execution.
Syria is sitting precariously between Lebanon and Israel and is also a close ally of Iran and a strong supporter of Lebanese militant group Hezbollah. Assad would exploit any intervention and use it to pitch a far wider conflict across the region.
In India, an overnight celebrity takes the word “corruption” and feeds it to a billion people who are suddenly ready to take to the streets and follow the new leader – though they have no idea what exactly is behind the hunger strike.
Tragically, rhetoric and rage rule the emotional upheaval, and could become a victim of piety in due course. And while there is an uneasy calm in England, the horror of the riots is a very disturbing precedent.
In Pakistan, the mayhem continues unabated and it seems the government is unable to create any sense of security against what is clearly the battle of the mafias. In Somalia, even nature turns harsh as millions face death and starvation.