Saturday, January 7, 2012

International News Recap for 2011

 

Internationally, the biggest event of 2011 was the Arab Spring.

For 2-3 weeks in January and February, we watched the coverage each night from Tahrir Square. It was amazing how the spark spread, so quickly, from Tunisia to Egypt to Libya, Bahrain and Syria. It was reminiscent of the protests in Eastern Europe in 1989 -- and similarly inspiring.

502. What is the current status of Hosni Mubarak's trial? Is he being tried in Egypt or elsewhere?

503. Will 2011 achieve the historical/symbolic significance of 1989?  1989 is the year of my life that's most perceived as a historical watershed; could 2011 become a similar turning point?

504. Is democracy the "natural" political state for humans?  Among a group of hunter-gatherers, is the preference for group decision making or for a single leader (or small group of leaders)?  Or are hunter-gatherers the wrong frame of reference, since most societies are no longer organized that way?

505. Will the Muslim Brotherhood continue to do well in the coming rounds of elections in Egypt? If so, what will the United States reaction be?

506. Was Tahrir Square an important place in Cairo prior to 2011?

507. If Obama is re-elected, will Hilary remain the Secretary of State for the entire second term?  I feel like the number of 8 year Secretary of States is small (have there been any - perhaps Dulles for Eisenhower?).

508. Hilary has done a great job as Secretary of State. How often do she and Obama talk?  Do they like each other?  Have they developed a relationship as friends or is it purely professional?

509. What will happen in Syria in 2012? I can't believe how much violence is happening there without all that much global/U.N. outrage.  Will there be a tipping point this year?

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