Two protesters dead in Iran; violent clashes in Yemen; and at least two deaths in Bahrain. It's another day in the new Middle East, as people-powered revolutions in Tunisia and Egypt continue reverberating across the region.
The Internet certainly didn't deliver Tunisians and Egyptians from from their rulers. It was a tool utilized by savvy organizers to mobilize people to reach for their shared ideals. Among the aspirations shared by protesters in Bahrain today is avoiding a beating by security forces. There, organizers are banking on the notion that where there are cameras, there isn't live ammunition.
The New York Times humanizes the ongoing Pan-Arabian revolution with uncharacteristically poetic prose that describes two years of collaboration between Tunisian and Egyptian youth:
The exchange on Facebook was part of a remarkable two-year collaboration that has given birth to a new force in the Arab world — a pan-Arab youth movement dedicated to spreading democracy in a region without it. Young Egyptian and Tunisian activists brainstormed on the use of technology to evade surveillance, commiserated about torture and traded practical tips on how to stand up to rubber bullets and organize barricades.
Nothing since Israel's birth has sparked demonstrations of pan-Arabian identity like the self-immolation of a 26-year-old street vendor in Tunisia. When Mohamed Bouazizi doused himself with paint thinner and struck a match on December 17, 2010, it ignited a shared sense of indignity among those living under the thumb of autocratic rulers across North Africa and the Middle East.
"Constitutional crisis" is an understatement. The revolution in Egypt appears to have left the country's constitution in tatters, with military commanders apparently operating outside the legal framework to restore order, protect Egyptians' natural rights, and heed protesters' demands.
Egypt's military dictatorship, which began after a 1952 coup, retains official control of the country as its third dictator makes for the door. Hosni Mubarak's resignation is a huge success for the Egyptian people, but their demands for political reforms remain unheeded. Tonight, the Egyptian people revel in their success. Tomorrow, no doubt, they shift towards securing the victories that lie ahead.