Gadhafi's Fall Will Ripple Through Arab Spring

More than Libya, Syria will determine Middle East democracy
By Mark Russell,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 23, 2011 7:24 AM CDT
Gadhafi's Fall Will Ripple Through Arab Spring
Amateur video made available by Ugarit News, reportedly showing a large crowd in the town of Rastan near Homs, Syria, on Aug. 17, calling for the overthrow of Bashar Assad.   (AP Photo/Ugarit via APTN, File)

The fall of Moammar Gadhafi is demonstrating to people and regimes around the Middle East that even the most violent crackdowns cannot stop populations fed up with dictatorships and corruption—but even more important to the Arab Spring will be how Libya affects the uprisings in Syria, reports the Wall Street Journal. Yesterday in Syria, protestors started chanting "Gadhafi tonight, Bashar tomorrow." "Syria is very different from Libya, and for us, there are different scenarios, but what a boost to know that all scenarios lead to the end of the dictator," said a Syrian opposition activist.

The question is how much the momentum from those protests will spread around the region, to Iran, Yemen, Bahrain and other countries. Iran seems to have put down its Green Revolution, but unrest in Syria, its strongest ally in the region, could re-ignite protests in Tehran. "In recent months, people had started losing hope that they could achieve change," says an activist in Bahrain. "But if Gadhafi can be removed, this means democracy and popular revolutions can happen in the Arab world." (Read more Moammar Gadhafi stories.)

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