What is going to happen in the Middle East?

It is widespread practice at the moment to pretend that nobody knows what will happen in the Middle East following the revolutions in the Arab world. There might be other revolutions ahead or not and we can’t exactly answer the question where revolutions will take place and where they will not. It is not always easy to predict what regime will emerge in a given Middle Eastern country.

However, there are some generalizations that can safely be deduced from the recent past and the logic of Middle Eastern crisis.

1) The new and the existing governments in the Middle East will become more Islamic to reflect their population’s desires. This will be the direct effect of democratization of the region. This may seem to be a grim prospect for the West, but is not necessarily such. More Islamized governments will still have to provide for their peoples and that means they will have to become realists in order to survive. At the same time the governments will become more populist and therefore the rhetoric will escalate, this may lead to outbreaks of violence.

2) A sweeping wave of revolutions will almost inevitably lead to international borders’ changes in the Middle East. In local realities the border changes will most likely be accompanied with wars. It is important for the West not to side with any of the warring regions or at least not overly engage in the fighting, apart from Israel’s defense, of course, that is an outpost of Western civilization in the Middle East.

3) More revolutions are likely to take place in the Middle East. An oblique consequence, whether intended or not, of the West’s attack on Lybia is that more dissenters across the region will feel if they stage a large scale revolt, the authorities will be afraid to put out the rebellion by force. If the government does that, it might be targeted for flagrant human rights violations. If the government does not, then it will be overthrown. So dissenters of all types will try to take their chances. Of course, this process is empowered by the high food prices and other economic hardships, that affect the dissenters, as many economists predicted couple of years ago.

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