Exactly five years ago, on 17 December 2010, a street vendor from Tunisia Mohammed Bouazizi, whose municipal inspectors confiscated goods, committed self-immolation. The result of this act of desperation has become a real political earthquake that changed the face of the Middle East.
The next day in Tunisia began the demonstration, in the short term and the spillover to other Arab countries. Out on the streets, mostly young, who was fed up with the corrupt dictatorial regimes that suppress civil liberties.
For several months the authorities have lost their policies, which, as it seemed, to rule forever – the presidents of Tunisia, Egypt, Yemen, Libya. The Arab world from Morocco to Bahrain covered the turmoil in Syria escalated into civil war.
The Western world welcomed the popular uprisings in support of democracy. Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi was overthrown with the active participation of NATO and the President of Egypt Hosni Mubarak, counting on the support of longtime ally — the United States, resigned himself.
In Russia and Israel the West, this enthusiasm was not shared from the beginning, predicting that the euphoria of the «Arab spring» will come «terrorist winter». In Jerusalem preferred the familiar evil stranger in Moscow clung to the remains established even when the Soviet Union system of international relations, where Syria was considered one of the top satellites in the Arab world.
Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad with an iron hand suppressed all opposition, ignoring the reaction of the international community. This reaction was purely declarative. The statements of Western leaders that Assad has lost legitimacy and must go, are unable to bring the overthrow of the bloody dictatorship that responded to their opponents with terror.
Moderate opposition figures, who were given to understand that they can count only on themselves, were unable to overthrow Assad. Soon they had to deal with Contracting in Syria Sunni militants, who opposed the heretical Alawite regime. The country began a war of all against all. Hundreds of thousands of people were killed, millions became refugees, a priceless treasure of civilization has been lost.
Grouping «Islamic state» splinter too reasonable from her point of view, «al-Qaeda», introduced the world to the terror of a new type. Its purpose was the revival of a Caliphate on all the territories that ever was under the rule of Islam. This purpose jihadists achieve with perseverance and fanaticism, designed to intimidate potential victims.
The issue of external patrons IG remains largely unanswered. Russia is convinced that the group are the Persian Gulf States, the Kurds find themselves the only force capable of resisting the forces on the field of battle with Turkey. However, ISIS is trying to create on territories controlled by self-sufficient state entity that exists primarily due to the oil trade.
At the time of the formation of the grouping most Arab regimes have restored internal political stability or with the help of moderate reform, as in Jordan, or with the help of foreign aid – as in Bahrain, where troops from Saudi Arabia. However, in Iraq’s renewed sectarian conflict. Unstable was the situation in Yemen and in Egypt, where a wave of democratic protests came to power the Islamists.
«Muslim brotherhood», in 2012 democratically established control over the legislative and Executive branches, tried to create in Egypt an Islamic state. This caused resentment of the old elites, including the military. The result was the coup, eventually leading to the presidential Palace Minister of defense Abd al-Fattah al-Sisi.
Before the new authorities faced a difficult task not only to bring Egypt out of chaos, but also to feed 90 million people the most populous country of the Arab world. Addressing these power through dictatorial methods, often exceeding those enjoyed by Hosni Mubarak.
Shortly after the overthrow of President-Islamist Muhammad Mursi, the Egyptian army launched large-scale anti-terrorist operation in the Sinai Peninsula, where the situation left from-under control of the Egyptian government. Two and a half years of operations destroyed thousands of militants, killing hundreds of soldiers and police. However, the end of this war is not visible, and the group «Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis» the most dangerous operating in the Sinai, declared themselves part of the «Islamic state».
Operation on the Peninsula is carried out with the approval of Israel. The opinion of the rest of the international community, al-Sisi are less interested in. He learned a lesson from the fate of Mubarak and no longer relies solely on the help of Washington, actively developing relations with Russia and China. Wary of cooperation with the US is another key ally of Americans in Saudi Arabia.
The Obama administration is actually left changes in the middle East, without attention, continuing to only address the issues of the Palestinian-Israeli settlement. This allowed us to lay claim to leadership in such regional powers as Turkey and Iran. The Arabs took the initiative of Ankara with hostility, seeing in it an attempt to restore the Ottoman Empire. And in 2015, Turkish Kurdistan, under the influence of events in Syria and Iraq, resumed armed confrontation of Turks and Kurds.
Iran’s attempts relied on the Shia and have been more successful. The Ayatollah regime finally managed to turn Iraq into its satellite – the price actual independence of Iraqi Kurdistan. Tehran has come to the aid of the Assad regime, first pointing to Syria by fighters of the Lebanese Hizbullah, and then the fighters of the Islamic revolutionary guard Corps. Almost failed attempt to overthrow the legitimate authority in Yemen. Finally, on the background of the events of the «Arab spring» Iran concluded an advantageous agreement on the fate of nuclear development.
According to media reports, Iran also returned to the middle East Russia, which is already three months bombing the positions of opponents of President Assad in Syria. Moscow is expanding its military and political presence, using completely emerged in the vacuum region. How effective the bombing and who exactly bombed the Russian air force, the debate continues. However, air support has allowed the regime to take control of a significant part of Aleppo – once the largest city of Syria. For the first time since 1953, the NATO States have shot down a Russian plane, which led to the cold war between Russia and Turkey.
According to the estimates of Arab economists, the events of the «Arab spring» caused the regional economy damages in the amount of 839 billion dollars. The economy of Syria and Yemen is in ruins, Egypt will need years to regain its status on the world map of tourism.
But all this is nothing compared to the hundreds of thousands, if not millions of people who have fled war-torn Middle East into a prosperous Europe. A new great migration could change the face of the old world – even if not to take into account the establishment by the immigrants of the terrorist infrastructure on European soil.
December 17, 2015 in Tunis hosted a rally in memory of the merchant, whose death five years ago rocked the entire Arab world. It says about the collapse of hopes for a democratic transformation, that all of the opportunities for fundamental reform that the Arab world had over the years were missed.