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February 2nd, 2011
05:56 PM ET

What's next for Middle East?

ALT TEXT

A Molotov cocktail thrown by a supporter of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak arcs through the air towards government opponents in a side street during a violent conflict between the two groups in Cairo. (PHOTO CREDIT: GETTY IMAGES)

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

The Middle East is starting to look like one big game of dominoes.

As the kings, unelected presidents and emirs watch what's going on in the streets of Cairo, they've got to be wondering if they're going to be next.

Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak's days are clearly numbered. At this point, it seems highly unlikely he'll even make it through the rest of his term.

Mubarak would be following Tunisian President Zine El Abedine Ben Ali out the door after similar popular street movements pushed him out of power.

No doubt about it, some sort of genie is out of the bottle.

Yemen President Ali Abdullah Saleh says he won't seek re-election when his term ends in 2013. That's after more than three decades in office. He also says he won't hand power over to his son.

Of course, he made that announcement ahead of a "day of rage" protest scheduled for Thursday.

Thousands of people have already been demonstrating in Yemen in recent weeks.

Over in Jordan, King Abdullah has sacked his government and appointed a new prime minister in the face of protests. The king is asking the new government to implement what he calls "genuine political reform."

It’s funny how "reform" has suddenly become a priority in some of these countries after decades of repressive governments.

Meanwhile, demonstrators also are calling for change in Algeria and Sudan. And in Syria, there are protests planned for this week.

Experts say these protests sweeping across the Middle East and North Africa are "unprecedented" and a "watershed event for the Arab world."

For now, the leadership in Saudi Arabia and Libya seems secure, but it's safe to say a new day is dawning.

Here’s my question to you: What's next for the Middle East?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

Mark in Arkansas writes:
Jack, Don't worry about what's next in the Middle East. Worry about what's next in America. The riots in the Middle East are economic-related. They're driven by high unemployment, economic disaster, and a government that doesn't do its job. Sound familiar? I'm sure Greece, France and Ireland understand perfectly what's happening in Egypt.

Dave in Vancouver writes:
What's next for the Middle East is playing catch-up on nearly a thousand years of human rights history, from Britain's Magna Carta in 1215 until a desperate Tunisian set himself on fire last month. In a let's-get-it-done-by-breakfast world, already precariously balanced, this is not a task for the faint-hearted.

B. in Pennsylvania writes:
I think we can expect to see more people taking to the streets in other Middle Eastern countries seeking change. It's like a fever that sweeps over an area and everyone catches it. What is next for us is higher oil prices.

Nick in San Diego writes:
If we side with the people for democratic reform in that whole region and tell Israel to get serious concerning the Palestinians or the money stops NOW, we'll be ok. If not, brace ourselves for more 9-11's.

Lou in Iowa writes:
What's next is we finally see if democracy is really all we've been building it up to be.

Carla writes:
More of the same. The Middle East has been a hotbed of unrest since God was a little boy. It's not going to change. And our interference will only result in more Americans being sent home in pine boxes and a bigger hole in our budget. It's not our business. I doubt seriously that the Egyptians are sitting about asking each other what's next for Chicago or Des Moines.


Filed under: Egypt • Middle East
soundoff (140 Responses)
  1. The Mudshark in Oregon

    Whatever happens, if it is not to the liking of Israel, the lid to Pandora's box comes blasting off. Driven by the victim mentality, Israel is the one to keep an eye toward. With their overwhelming military power, and paranoid leadership, one wrong move by Israel could lead to the end of the world as we know it. The Rapture, in other words.

    God save us all.

    February 2, 2011 at 5:46 pm |
  2. Jim

    Whatever is in store for the Middle East, the U.S. should let it play out without any interference or threats of action or fleet movements or disparaging remarks about the principle players. It is time the U.S. learned to deal with the world as it is and stop trying to make the world over in its own image. Hamas, Hezbollah and possibly the Muslim Brotherhood are legitimate political parties in some of those countries. It is hypocritical and counterproductive to call for democratic elections, and then to vilify the parties that were democratically elected and refuse to deal with them because they have a different world view than we do. We have to learn to find common ground and work with these groups.

    February 2, 2011 at 5:46 pm |
  3. Kenneth Krieger

    The information age gives the people of Egypt the new world view of freedom. They know the results of the nasty leaders in Iran and I believe they do not want to live that way. I have faith in the people of Egypt. Ken Krieger Cape Coral, Florida

    February 2, 2011 at 5:48 pm |
  4. Mohammed Junaid

    What's next for the Middle East? The Middle East is surely going through a series of domino effect because of these politicians and false promises. One man will surely come out after the death of King Abdullah. He will be from the descendant of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). There is nothing to be frightened of. He loves humanity, he will rule with justice and peace and abide by the rules of the Qur'an.

    Salaam, Peace

    Mohammed, from Naperville, IL.

    February 2, 2011 at 5:51 pm |
  5. Jerome T. Czeikus

    The genie is out of the bottle.

    It looks like 2011 is going to be the year of massive upheavals throughout the Middle East and, possible, beyond. I would not be surprised if the citizens of Iran return to the streets of Tehran and demand changes in their government.

    North Africa, the Middle East, and repressive regimes in the neighborhood are liable to be scenes of riots and demonstrations the likes of which we have never seen and will remember for a long time.

    The task for the U.S. and other democracies is to support those marching for freedom while not seeming to be pushing events in one direction or another. Let them have their revolutions and let us accept the outcomes. We have supported dictators for too long.

    February 2, 2011 at 5:51 pm |
  6. Jeff

    Glad to see this is happening. At long last people are standing up for themselves instead of beckoning the Western powers to bail them out. Western countries had to fight for thier freedoms – all of them hoad some sort of uprising 100s of years ago...from the US to France to Britian and even non-Western Russia. Now all we need is an uprising in North Korea somehow and we're all set.

    February 2, 2011 at 5:52 pm |
  7. Matt Glass

    I am sure this is a sign that the Arab world is now going to fall in line with the West and begin to indoctrinate our values into its newly found democratic culture. The world will be a Utopian paradise in no time....OR (more likely) this means that the status quo of the west hate rhetoric is about to intensify with younger, stronger, more militarized & aggressive leaders.

    February 2, 2011 at 5:54 pm |
  8. Nick San Diego

    If we side with the People for demcratic reform in that whole region and tell Israel to get serious concerning the Palestinians or the $$$ stops NOW, we'll be ok.
    If not brace ourselves for more 911's

    February 2, 2011 at 5:54 pm |
  9. IzDaMan

    Next up is the emergence of the Muslim Brotherhood taking over all muslim countries, re-establishment of the Chaliphate, and world dominance of Islam. It is afterall the goal of the MB to establish Islam throughout the worlsd, this is the first of it.

    February 2, 2011 at 5:55 pm |
  10. Robert

    What does this mean for the rest of the world? Will new regimes spark more anti-western sentiment in the middle east, or will they stabilize this volatile region ??

    February 2, 2011 at 5:56 pm |
  11. Kevin Gately

    What if some of these new regimes, elected into office democratically, actually provide for their people, but are more authoritarian and Islam fundamentalist, perhaps anti-U.S.-anti-Israeli. Be careful what you wish for.

    February 2, 2011 at 5:57 pm |
  12. mark in arkansas

    Jack, don't worry about what's next in the Middle East. Worry about what's next in America. The riots in the Middle East are economic related. Driven by high unemployment, economic disaster, and a government that doesn't do it's job. Sound familiar? I'm sure Greece, France and Ireland understand perfectly what's happening in Egypt.

    February 2, 2011 at 5:57 pm |
  13. Kim Smith

    What's next, you ask? Increased oil profits for those who last the longest. Middle-Eastern cultures are not breeding grounds for a stable democracy, they are hot-beds of centuries old superstitions, hatreds, igorance and corruption.

    February 2, 2011 at 5:59 pm |
  14. James A. Melching

    So what's new that Revolutions occur with each new generation. Times and needs change according to the new ideas and demands of the populace. The U.S.A. constitution foresaw and provided the Power of Amendments in a peaceful manner. And, all the more reason to avoid uprisings with the utilization of democratic concepts by and for the people. By now, Kingdoms,Monarchies and Dictators should be History,if not for the Human urge to maintain control and power over others. Not wanting to relinquish power,foments Revolution, but the Ego is over powering to those few who think they know what is best for themselves and the Little People.(Underlings). James Melching /Springville,Calif.

    February 2, 2011 at 6:02 pm |
  15. mike

    2012

    February 2, 2011 at 6:02 pm |
  16. JayDeeT

    Dominoes? I will probably be more like a game of potato head - changing parts of the head while the restt of the body stays the same.

    February 2, 2011 at 6:03 pm |
  17. Tim Yearneau

    It is anyone's guess what will happen next. The people are speaking, with a very loud voice. I think the model to look at is Glasnost with Gorbachev, seems like a similar situation. I think Democracy will rise in these countries and there will be economic turmoil for a while before things stabilize. Minneapolis, Minnesota.

    February 2, 2011 at 6:05 pm |
  18. chloe, texas

    What's next? I fear more violence and bloodshed, but I also hope that the people in the Middle East will be able to achieve what most people want - a decent life with dignity and freedom, a life in which they can achieve their full potential. Some autocrats make do lip-service to reform, but it will only be to silence their critics until those critics can be totally silenced.

    February 2, 2011 at 6:06 pm |
  19. A.Loukakis

    This is an important opportunity for the U.S but from what I'm seeing
    we are not taken advantage of it. Tehran hang three people this week for last year demonstrations. They did it now just in case anyone has any ideas to start the demonstrations again. Ahmedinejad is an evil s.o.b and we can give him some of his own medicine. All Hillary or Obama have to say is "people should not put up with oppression and small time dictators".
    I guarantee you the Iranian people will get the message. Some day they will hang Ahmedinejad and the mullahs from the balconies of Tehran.

    February 2, 2011 at 6:07 pm |
  20. Padraig

    The Middle East is heading into a revolutionary phase. First Morocco and now Egypt which is one of the bigger Middle Eastern prodomently Muslim nations. I can see several of the other nations either falling or adjusting to the new trend. The new trend is the Isalmic Brotherhood.

    The Islamic Brotherhood is a pro-Taliban and promote strict discipline to Allah without question or doubts. Once they are in control, Egypt will be in an even worse off situation.

    One country that needs to be on heighten awareness is Israel. The Islamic Brotherhood have stated that Israel needs to be destroyed.

    February 2, 2011 at 6:09 pm |
  21. Stewart in Portland

    Don't know what to believe here, Jack. I hope – that this is the beginning of the internet being used as a powerful social tool for massive positive change. I fear – that the change could be a fall to decades of ruin unless reasonable governments are built rapidly – usually its just a power grab, but this seems different. I know – that danger lies in masses of ignorant and uneducated people just expressing their anger – education is the key to any county's success.

    February 2, 2011 at 6:10 pm |
  22. Dave

    Once consolidated the Muslim Brotherhood will turn toward Israel and WWlll will begin shortly after. I have never seen anything like this. The coming together of the Republican and Democratic elitists to denounce Mubarak after 30 years of propping him up. Talk about compromise.

    Now both party`s seem to endorse the Muslim Brotherhood. We, the people of America, have elected the stupidest most self serving congress in all of history.

    This cannot come out good and most probably turn out real bad for us here in the states.

    February 2, 2011 at 6:13 pm |
  23. Mohammed Rashid

    Whats going to happen is a new Muslim World Order will start, or you could say the next Khalifa is on it's way.

    February 2, 2011 at 6:14 pm |
  24. nelson

    Allah only knows.

    February 2, 2011 at 6:14 pm |
  25. Solomon

    Ethiopia. Meles Zenawi is another harsh dictator in Africa and will be next in line to be protested against.

    February 2, 2011 at 6:14 pm |
  26. Marshall

    People yern for freedom, even if they're not sure what to do with it. US foreign policy has been concerned about the latter to it's detriment. Our best chance for good future Egyptian relations is to support change now. Respect democracy.

    February 2, 2011 at 6:14 pm |
  27. Edu Pút

    A wave of revolutions that could drastically effect the world economy.

    February 2, 2011 at 6:14 pm |
  28. Charles

    Never mind the Middle East, which could always take care of itself–without our interference. How about the U.S., here at home? We could take a lesson when it comes to corrupt and lying politicians.

    February 2, 2011 at 6:15 pm |
  29. David B

    Mass exit to the USA looking for work? Who knows Jack but even if they get their wish of new government where will the jobs come from?

    February 2, 2011 at 6:15 pm |
  30. Eyad Abuwar

    Tell all the arab leadrers :
    take a number and wait .........you could be next on line ..

    February 2, 2011 at 6:15 pm |
  31. sep

    Dictators in this world like khamenei and ahmadinejad are next. This revolution is not based in one country but will affect all of the middle east.

    February 2, 2011 at 6:15 pm |
  32. Bradley, Portland, OR

    A bunch of new dictatorships and/or Islamic theocracies.

    Arabs have no interest in democracy, except as a way to create a dictatorship or Islamic theocracy.

    February 2, 2011 at 6:16 pm |
  33. joemc

    Jack, I think that is the only ways to remove those dictators from power.

    February 2, 2011 at 6:16 pm |
  34. Drew

    Like you said, after decades and decades of regime, the middle east is finally realizing what "could be" with out a form of dictatorship. Maybe some time soon you guys in the media will give Bush some credit for what he did in Iraq, when every one in the media and public thought it America was taking over.

    February 2, 2011 at 6:16 pm |
  35. Ranya

    The question should be, how will the U.S. manage the new middle east.

    February 2, 2011 at 6:16 pm |
  36. henry blicharz

    I HOPE - Israel signs a Peace Treaty with Palestine and takes the Anti – American Card Off the Table?!

    February 2, 2011 at 6:16 pm |
  37. George

    I wish I could say it was piece and prosperity for all,but sadly enough there just doesn't seem to a history of that in this part of the world.
    George
    Chester,Ct.

    February 2, 2011 at 6:16 pm |
  38. Angela Savage Austin

    Middle East...Middle Class...this is the face of corruption and greed infecting communities, countries throughout the world. Peace will only come when such distructable forces rule. God have Mercy on us all...you said there will be days like this.

    February 2, 2011 at 6:16 pm |
  39. greg, largo fl.

    Whats next? An Islamic Caliphate. It's the perfect setting for radical Muslems to take over. People will say no way, but think about how radicals had little percentage in Russia, Iran, etc....when revolution took place. It just opens the door for them.

    February 2, 2011 at 6:16 pm |
  40. Jerry Jacksonville, Fl.

    People are sick and tired of some jerk thinking he is the supreme leader, they want a say in how the government is ran and just maybe get a little peice of the pie. Same thing will happen to the United States some day, the people will get damn sick and tired of the jerks we have in congress and will throw them all out, the only ones they are interested in is themselves and the lobbyist that stuff their pockets with money.

    February 2, 2011 at 6:16 pm |
  41. Arab

    Yemen, Syria, Jordan, Bahrain, Libya, Sudan.. in that order.

    February 2, 2011 at 6:17 pm |
  42. Michael

    When and under what conditions would UN forces, or the like, take action to help stabilize the situation in Egypt, and the middle east in general?

    February 2, 2011 at 6:17 pm |
  43. Tom & Judy

    The Mubarack regime of corrupt politicians will be outsted. Maybe the people in this country need oust the corrupt politicians in the U.S. Oops that would be all of them!

    February 2, 2011 at 6:17 pm |
  44. Walter A. Wilson

    Hopefully a much smaller US financial aid package.

    Walter Wilson
    Los Angeles, CA

    February 2, 2011 at 6:17 pm |
  45. Nina D

    With Israel surrounded by soon to be all anti-semitic countries, it's safe to say the Middle East is more than likely going to erupt. Also, the US– no matter if Mubarak somehow regains control or if radical Islamists take over or if democracy ensues– has just lost their biggest allies in the Middle East. We'll be lucky if things turn our way...

    February 2, 2011 at 6:17 pm |
  46. Carole EL Gazzar

    This is a new age, not only for the Middle East, but for the whole world. Despots, dictators, and torturers alike are seeing what can happen when people gather in the name of freedom, democracy and human rights. They have been forewarned, and we can rejoice.

    February 2, 2011 at 6:17 pm |
  47. Rick McDaniel

    It is my opinion that the Islamists of the middle east, intend to take over the world. They intend to take over all of the countries, and convert them to militant run countries, under the control of Al-Queda, and their allies.

    Once they have gained control of the middle east, they will move to other countries one by one, and indeed, they have already inserted militant violence into many countries outside of the middle east, including Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, and African countries, including Somalia.

    The Islamic populations of many western countries, are seeing the impact of violence in those countries, already, as well, to include France and Holland, as well as the UK.

    This is, and has always been, a religious conflict, and it will eventually become world war 3.

    February 2, 2011 at 6:17 pm |
  48. Robert

    Biggest fear would be the middle east countries would become Theocracies. We would have one big Al Quiada to deal with.

    February 2, 2011 at 6:17 pm |
  49. Name*Steven

    I think it's long overdue and an advantage for the U.S. In the long run. That is one less radical extremist we've got to worry about. The more people see democracy works the more we can bring that whole continent out of the dark ages.

    February 2, 2011 at 6:17 pm |
  50. AG

    I believe not only the government of Mubarak will collapse, but a new government will arise, and it will be against the will of the people. Islam will come to be the ruling power, and Egypt will become one of the many countries to experience this change.

    This is a terrorist attack, but not in the US, instead, a terrorist attack in the Middle East towards the rest of the World. A mastermind plan to continue to unify, a new Empire...

    February 2, 2011 at 6:17 pm |
  51. Ernest S

    Jack, Tunisia was the beginning , Egypt will not be the end, the people of the middle east have seen that tyrants are vulnerable and can be removed from power, I imagine that next year we will see more much democracy in the middle east
    Ernest
    Port aux basques
    Newfoundland

    February 2, 2011 at 6:17 pm |
  52. Brian

    Democracy, in my opinion, is a release mechanism for the people in troubling times. A way to make a change. The people don't rebel if they feel they can do something about their situation. It's only a matter of time before any of these leaderships get forced out. It's only a matter of time for Iran or even China. It's inevitable.

    February 2, 2011 at 6:18 pm |
  53. Dustin Johnson

    Its seems the fall of Israel looms in the shadow of this "gas filled room" we can now call the Middle East! May God help us all!

    February 2, 2011 at 6:18 pm |
  54. terry williams

    Jack the Elephant in the room is China.How is the Gov. of China trying to block all this info. to the people?

    February 2, 2011 at 6:18 pm |
  55. Bradford Hart

    Why does no one mention Iran? Frustrated youth/middle class takes to the street. Repressive, closed government; economy a shambles. Sound familiar? What's Iranian protesters now? US allied despots have limits on force/repression. Mullas have no such constraint with US military having it's hands full. Why have I heard nothing about this from the 9 million talking heads discussing the current situation.?

    February 2, 2011 at 6:18 pm |
  56. Terry in Chandler, AZ

    I am saddened over the deaths as well as the injured, however we are witnessing history. We, thanks to live coverage by CNN, are eye witness to history in the making. Leaders in Arab countries, including Saudi and Libya, had better plan on making changes before changes are made for them. Let us all pray for peaceful solutions.

    February 2, 2011 at 6:18 pm |
  57. Oliver

    Because we are boxed in wars of attrition in Iraq and Afghanistan, the radical Islamists will take over power in the Middle East and North Africa and will threaten our security and the security of the state of Israel.

    Oliver,
    Virginia, USA

    February 2, 2011 at 6:18 pm |
  58. benny

    watch out for Saudi Arabia soon! The things that are holding up the Saudi royal dissenters are the influence of foreign expatriates on the locals, and the dividends from oil that the saudi government is doling out to every citizen.

    February 2, 2011 at 6:19 pm |
  59. iWitness

    It is unfortunate to see the events unfolding in the middle east and the very sad events destroying years of stability in Egypt. I hope the world realizes how grave the current situation is and work hard to bring back stability in the region; otherwise, we could be heading towards third world war

    February 2, 2011 at 6:19 pm |
  60. Felicia

    If Mubarak leaves before September, I strongly believe that other oppressed nations, not just Arab nations, be inspired to speak out and will demand change in their governments.

    Minneapolis, MN

    February 2, 2011 at 6:19 pm |
  61. josh

    I'm not a huge george bush fan but this is the start of the spread of democracy he started in iraq. This is the war we have been fighting. The problem with the middle east is that they didn't want to change now that the people of the other arib countries have seen freedom so close they want it

    February 2, 2011 at 6:19 pm |
  62. Jack from california

    I think the most important thing for the US is how this relates to Iran. Will Irans democratic movement we saw after there "elections" re-emerge? And will it actually be successful this time?

    February 2, 2011 at 6:19 pm |
  63. Bman

    How about Gaza revolting and rejoing egypt.

    February 2, 2011 at 6:19 pm |
  64. Annie, Atlanta

    I would hope the people of the Mideast could enjoy the peace of what is considered normal day-to-day life that we take for granted here in the US. Maybe that’s too much to ask since our complacency hasn’t really brought us that normalcy of late. But maybe, someday, for all of us.

    February 2, 2011 at 6:20 pm |
  65. Mohamed

    i hope that Libya would be next. Libya actually has one of the worst oppressive regimen in the region. actually we Libyan used to look to Tunisia and Egypt as a heaven comparing to our Gaddafi oppression, I think the problem is Libya has not usually had a fair share of media coverage as the other countries in the region. Gaddafi regimen has being nothing but a mix of oppression and brutality for 42 years. can you believe that 42 years !! if we think for a minute how many president did USA have since then? this brutal dictatorship has been in power since the days of president kennedy in USA !! does that sound too long time ??

    Mohamed

    February 2, 2011 at 6:20 pm |
  66. Prof. Tarek Madkour (Egyptian)

    What's next for Middle East?

    The middle east ... safe and prosperous ... hard working people ... parents raising kids ... good education, good health care and justice for all ... but more importantly, going to sleep every night knowing your government is working for you instead of you slaving for it ...

    February 2, 2011 at 6:20 pm |
  67. Sharon Garren

    Nothing will change no matter who is in charge. The Middle East is mostly desert. The people are complaining food is too expensive and jobs are too few. CNN shows pictures of mother's feeding babies opium because there's no food. In Africa people kill anything that lives within miles of their villages for "bush meat." Yet they keep having babies by the dozens (literally). Just how many jobs are there for billions of people? How much food grows in the desert? Is anyone talking about this? Did anyone notice the horses the Mobarak supporters rode in on? The only thing that will save us now is a massive human die-off. PERIOD.

    February 2, 2011 at 6:20 pm |
  68. S. Reuter

    If the rest of the world is lucky, the american government will stop supplying everyone with weapons...oh I forgot, war is business and everyone has the right to bear arms!!!!!!

    London, ON, Canada

    February 2, 2011 at 6:20 pm |
  69. Arnold MI

    We supported the Dictator Hosni Mubarack for thirty years because he signed peace agreements with Israel, but we overthrew the Dictator Saddam Hussein because he threatened Israel. Where is our equality?

    February 2, 2011 at 6:20 pm |
  70. George

    Change is coming. The real question is "can the unorganized democracy movement catch up to the organized fundamentalist movement in time to take advantage of this opportunity".

    February 2, 2011 at 6:20 pm |
  71. IMAD

    Next is Sudan. Remember Sudan people led two uprising in the last 49 years and ignited to close a half century with a third one.

    February 2, 2011 at 6:20 pm |
  72. hubb.r

    Jack,Maybe we will finally find the weapons of mass distruction hidden by Saddam and give new life to secular discord in Iraq..Or maybe there will B a Lesson Learned( too late) to our own American Youth.

    February 2, 2011 at 6:20 pm |
  73. Gladys Wehbe

    As a Lebanese American I tell you that we are unfortunately losing credibility with the new generations in the Middle East. We seem to be supporting Dictators, Kings etc...We need to support the Democracy that the people are fighting for. And relying on the USA to support and help. We cannot afford top be on the fence.
    Gladys from NC

    February 2, 2011 at 6:20 pm |
  74. Kevin

    What's next? Mcdonalds on every corner, shopping plaza's every 200 feet, major corporate profit margins and citizens loosing their homes, starving on the streets without health insurance while their politicians make appearances on the latest hot nightly talk show's. Just like our great country!

    February 2, 2011 at 6:21 pm |
  75. josh

    On the hand you are seeing people be people. Greedy and evil

    February 2, 2011 at 6:21 pm |
  76. Joe Jodeh

    I have always beleived that a dictatorship is very important to pave the way for democracy in the middle east. but who is the honest dictator that is welling to speed up process and be the the first victim of it!
    Internet will speed the process.

    February 2, 2011 at 6:21 pm |
  77. Adriana Rocha from Brazil

    Jack, I really hope that a new day has began for the middle east. It was about time that people there have freedom of speech. I am sure they can find a way to stay true to their habits, culture and religion without being radical and starting to related better with the rest of the world.

    February 2, 2011 at 6:22 pm |
  78. Steve B

    Jack, if the past is prologue, then we only have to look back at how the world was reformed in the early 1900s. Governments fell, autocratic families lost their reputations and power and all of Europe was reshaped as World War One raged and reformed countries and alliances. Perhaps World War Three will occur in the Middle East – not between the US and the USSR as we once expected – and these events will be a historical tipping point affecting the world for the rest of the century.

    February 2, 2011 at 6:22 pm |
  79. Rich Tom

    Shades of Tianaman Square. IMubarak was just marking time with his speech while his goons organized to disrup the crowd. I predict the crowd demostrating for democracy will be put down eventually by the military and Mubarak install martial law and keep power. Samo, samo.

    February 2, 2011 at 6:22 pm |
  80. Tony Williams

    The Middle East is a powderkeg. There has been so much tyranny and violence throughout this area since the dawn of civilization that few in the Middle East will either forgive or forget the past. Too bad, because they will end up disrupting many countries outside of the Middle East.
    Tony Williams, Calgary, Alberta

    February 2, 2011 at 6:23 pm |
  81. glenn

    Whats next...thats easy...the people of the middle east have had a look around and see themselves being left behind in the 20th century, or in th case of the middle east, the 19th century should they not get moving forward fast...next is American and other business from around the world opening business there to grow the economy and get peoplw working...if you area a bad political member be aware the internet is about to uncover your poor efforts...

    February 2, 2011 at 6:23 pm |
  82. Gladys Wehbe

    Mobarak removed? No risk for the Egyptians and Democracy, for the US and Israel we'll lose a supporter and follower.

    February 2, 2011 at 6:23 pm |
  83. Duop Chak, Colorado Springs, Colorado

    Jack, No doubt, the greater Middle East is heading to a ‘rock solid’. I don’t think I can live in a country ruled by a King or something on that line because they like to impose their desires on ordinary citizens without consulting them. Bad right? Dictators, Kings, queens or those who call themselves royal family should think again. It is getting uglier by seconds…

    February 2, 2011 at 6:23 pm |
  84. Frank

    What's next for the Middle East? They'll be issuing America an apology for all of the whining they did when we liberated Iraq and Afghanistan. Jack, now they'll see the chaos that ensues when America's helping hand isn't there. These failing countries are going to lead to a situation where the Middle East is entirely "for sale" to Al Qaeda, almost like office space. If America had done what it was supposed to do ten years ago, we would not only have liberated Iraq, but the entire Middle East. These type of situations would never be allowed to happen if U.S. military bases were around.

    -Frank

    I ca

    February 2, 2011 at 6:23 pm |
  85. alaci

    what's next is going to be better for the US and the people of the middle east. The arab world have been in solation for decades because of there dictatorial regimes and injustice. And, the problem they didn't do anything to there young people who needs to work and live like all human beings all over the world.
    Corrupted governments who they keep inflaming there people with speeches and hate towards the West and egnoring there injustice rule. So, I think Next will be Democracy for the Arab world and good relations with there neighbours and the world. Cooperation Which is needed in this century for all over the world.
    These people are asking for simple things like living in dignity and respect and be able to find jobs and being treated like human beings from there governemnt, and we should support those people

    February 2, 2011 at 6:23 pm |
  86. George Samuels

    It seems like the Arab nations are committing a Holocaust upon themselves. For them, some groups hate other groups of themselves. Some totally fear others. They all hate Israel and Jews. Israel must sit back not knowing whether all the Arab nations will eventually blame Israel for the Holocaust the Arab nations are committing upon themselves. It's too impossible for The White House to figure out. Mubarak must be sitting back and laughing at them all.

    February 2, 2011 at 6:23 pm |
  87. John chypiwan

    The people that want it rise up against the people who don't, even the armies will split, the world will watch our civilization take this step once more. Your president this time is better than your last.

    February 2, 2011 at 6:24 pm |
  88. Nevine Moustafa

    This barbarian is unleashing his pigs to massacre the egyptian youth the world has to stop him or this is gonna be God only knows what for everybody. An Egyptian American crying for immediate actions you

    February 2, 2011 at 6:24 pm |
  89. Admiral Ackbar

    Jack,

    What a question, just a continuation what has been going on already. The place is a powder keg just waiting for a match. Eventually it is all going to burn.

    February 2, 2011 at 6:25 pm |
  90. Jamal Husein

    It is time for this country and this administration to stand for what is right and for what America is all about and unequivocally be with the people of Egypt. What the Egyptians want is their Freedom from a tyrant and a dictator who oppressed them for 30 years (unfortunately with American aid and tax payer's money).

    Next "God Willing" Jack is Algeria, Jordan, Yemen, Syria, Saudi Arabia ... etc.

    February 2, 2011 at 6:25 pm |
  91. Mohammad Mustafa

    Yes...your 100% right, Funny how suddenly "Reform" is the priority...it is definitely a sign of change that must take place through out the middle east...Egypt has basically set its self back aprox.10 years in all aspects of advancement...but to assume that democracy may be a possibility is difficult in Egypt due to the difficult/outdated mentally of the people..no one person will be able to satisfy everyone...on the other hand Jordan is as corrupt as Egypt with a mis guided mentally of the people...they all are trained or made believe to be part of the government..yes one out of every three people in Jordan have be recruited in some way or form to be an undercover member of the police, investigation personal...in others words a very easily distracted and mis guided..

    February 2, 2011 at 6:25 pm |
  92. Sally Saba

    I hate Mubarak, and I want him to leave! BUT let's be HONEST, the reason he has been in power for 30years is partly our responsibility. Our generation let him, we did not have a revolution when he got re-elected the first time, the second time, the third time...., 'God does not change what is upon a people until they change themselves'! This generation has made us all wake up. The bigger test to the success of this revolution is the next steps, the next elections, our reaction the next time someone is abused, the next time someone steals, the next time someone corrupts, that is the real test. Corruption in Egypt is more intrinsic then just in the government and just Mubarak – the real revolution is an awakening of a country to uphold the values we Egyptians had forgotten, and when ‘what is right’ is very distinct from ‘what is wrong’ all the time!! Not just during the ten days of a revolution!

    February 2, 2011 at 6:26 pm |
  93. Barry

    Wow ,the whole world is in melt down mode,and people say the Bible is a hoax .Ha,the Lord on high laughs,This is happening beacuse men reap what they sow.Its not just happening here,thers stuff goin on all over the place,dont beleive me just watch the news.We havent seen anything yet.These are the last days that Jesus spoke of in Matthew chpt.24,read it.Want to escape whats coming upon the earth than repent of your sins and beleive in the Lord Jesus Christ and u will be saved.Jesus said that the world would be as it was in the days of Noah before his return

    February 2, 2011 at 6:26 pm |
  94. Brad from Michigan

    Let's see these dictators fall!! At least this time the U.S. doesn't have to get involved to make democracy happen!

    February 2, 2011 at 6:26 pm |
  95. IMAD

    Next is Sudan. Remember Sudan people led two uprising in the last 49 years and are ignited to close a half century with a third one.

    February 2, 2011 at 6:27 pm |
  96. Sandy

    I truly think this is the beginning or the end .... the protester's have already said they are ANTI American and Israeli and it they WIN and Mubarak just leaves the people who will go into power will turn Egypt into a BIGGER and more dangerous Iran.I fear for all the Middle East.

    February 2, 2011 at 6:27 pm |
  97. Tom R

    What's happening is a prelude to an Islamic super-state that will control OPEC for years to come.

    Get ready for seriously high energy costs.

    February 2, 2011 at 6:27 pm |
  98. John

    The genie is out, but the chaos will eventually result in extreme violence. Egyptians and Arabs will need to steel themselves and prepare to counter the nefarious individuals who will use violence to seize power. Al Jazeera will play an crucial role, and I am not optimistic that the news organization is up to the challenge.

    February 2, 2011 at 6:28 pm |
  99. RON ROBINSON from PA

    I do believe Washington D.C. best take note. People all over the globe
    are feeling their governments are not taking notice to their every day plight to servive and care for their famlies. I hope Washington recognizes that many in this country have similar concerns. Our leaders would be wise to understand this and stop these decades of non cooperation between parties. This country was founded upon
    civil unrest, it could happen again.
    First and formost, elected officials work for the American people,,,not
    some lobby, religious group, EXXON,WALLMART, or other big business. You in Washington...get with it...do not drive our country to
    the civil unrest that is happening in the Mid East.

    February 2, 2011 at 6:29 pm |
  100. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Just think about a tsunami sweeping across the Middle East that eventually sweeps to the shores of Israel. That's what's next, Jack.

    February 2, 2011 at 6:29 pm |
  101. Sally Saba

    Please help the Egyptian people get the ARMY back to Tahrir Square!! Civil war is what is next and the demise of a very crucial Nation is at stake! Please HELP!!

    February 2, 2011 at 6:29 pm |
  102. Manwarul

    Next is world leaders to stop supporting dictators, monarchy regimes in middle east and start the walk the walk of big talks of democracy, freedom and human rights. Some democratic governments will come out as we expect and some won't but that shouldn't let us support a dictator again.

    February 2, 2011 at 6:29 pm |
  103. Lisa Bryant

    Whatever is next for the Middle East, I hope it doesn't further involve US forces. As provocative as the past couple of weeks have been, the issues these citizens have been protesting against are the issues of their nation, and in all honesty, need to be addressed by the powers to be within their nation. My fear is that OUR nation somehow sees this as a problem WE need to fix. Hopefully, that will not be the case.

    February 2, 2011 at 6:30 pm |
  104. Jeff in San Diego

    The best we can do is stay out of the people's way. Whatever governments are formed in the wake of this are going to need aid and when they come knocking on the rest of the world's door for it (certainly oil-rich Arab countries like Saudi Arabia won't help them -they never give to crisis funds), we should negotiate a peace agreement that gives them autonomy over their lands, natural resources and governments but puts pressure on accepting Israel. If they won't support that – no aid. Period.

    February 2, 2011 at 6:30 pm |
  105. Renee Peoria,Ill

    Remember back in the cold war when the Soviet Union was so concerned with western 'propaganda' contaminating their population? But they couldn't stop the advancement of 20th century communications. It was inevitable that people living behind the Iron Curtain would learn what life was like outside. Now, thanks to 21st century communications via the web, something similar is happening in the middle east. A lot of what happens may be dependent on what they believe the rest of us have, which they have been denied. If govts. of the world feel the need to be cautious of what they say publicly maybe the rest of us need to signal our support and encourage the Egyptians to choose a secular democracy that will last instead of just another oppressive theocratic regime.

    February 2, 2011 at 6:30 pm |
  106. Bruce Bloomin gton Illinois

    Any conjecture from anyone is simply a guess at this point, Jack. What would be truly ironic, however, would be if Bush's prophecy and hope for democratic states in the Middle East, came to pass. According to our highly esteemed Vice President, Mr. Biden, Egypt is already in that column.

    February 2, 2011 at 6:30 pm |
  107. Gary - Woodhaven, Michigan

    This is history being made right in front of our eyes.

    This is control by fear and the toxicity of shame being cast aside for democracy and freedom.

    This is absolute ideology that cripples everyone, even us, being shunned and replaced with truth and imagination by the youth in these countries.

    Whether the path to God is through Jesus, Abraham, Buddha, or Mohammad, the goal of all of us to come together at the feet of this one God we all seek no matter the path we take. And the young sisters and brothers of the Middle East are beginning on this path of unity and freedom.

    February 2, 2011 at 6:31 pm |
  108. Rick

    In the 21st Century, it becomes difficult to suppress and repress human beings. To say that we did not see this coming is foolish. Technology plays a very important role in people's realization that they do not have to live the way the upper crust forces them to live. An awakening of this sort should not be discarded in the U.S. among the ethnic groups here. Hopefully I'm wrong!

    February 2, 2011 at 6:31 pm |
  109. Terry Aspen, Co

    What is most concerning in the face of the sudden activity in the middle east is the fact that Pres Obama has demonstrated over and over again his absolute inability, or total intent not, to confront, criticise, restrict or take a stand against anything muslim. The only thing that is a predictable and clear outcome from what is going on is that The President needed to take a stand, and as usual, did not, and will notdo so in the future. His inability to stand up for democracy and american values, even in the face of muslims clearly independently demanding it, demostrates the total ineffectiveness of his perceived politically correct policy of non interfearance in muslim foreign affairs.
    It is totally pathetic that he doesn't encourage their desire for freedom,
    and he doesn't use the opportunity to warn against the Muslim Brotherhood who present such a threat to the future of their freedom.

    February 2, 2011 at 6:31 pm |
  110. Zane Mansour

    Please stop comparing Jordan to Tunisia and Egypt, Jordan has been a haven for refugees for decades, Iraqis, Palestinians, Armenians and Circassians (who were driven out by the Russians from the Caucausus.) Jordan is a modern and peaceful country, we have been affected by the rising food and oil prices like the rest of the world, it's true that jobs are scarce due to the increase in the number of the population, but no one can call our King Abdullah a dictator. There have been calls for the dismissal of Samir Rifaai's government for months and months, way before what had happened in Tunisia and Egypt, our country is in no way "in danger" nor are we "nervous" or part of this domino scheme you speak of.

    February 2, 2011 at 6:32 pm |
  111. Igor Stojanovic, Belgrade, Serbia

    It certainly seems that middle east might change dramatically in near future as a result of current developments. I hope that these changes won't bring militant religious groups to power but will instead introduce new and strong pillars of democracy, individual freedom and stability to the world.

    February 2, 2011 at 6:32 pm |
  112. Arsalan

    What's next is that corrupt politicians, military strongmen and anyone else capable of seizing control will double-think their own fate before designating themselves perpetual heads of state. And not just in the Middle East, but everywhere. The Egypt situation clearly shows the enormous power the general public has when it is able to organize and plan collectively. Sure, when the voices of the majority are faint and distant, the Musharrafs and al-Gadaffis of the world can plant themselves at the top and use economies as personal fortunes. But when the population integrates its anger, the guillotine is next.

    February 2, 2011 at 6:33 pm |
  113. june

    Jack, I am not sure what's next but it seems that Egypt will destroy over thousands of years of history with the fires. Items that can never be replaced. Mummies that are their ancestors. I understand there pleas but why destroy what is their history in the process.

    February 2, 2011 at 6:33 pm |
  114. jim boomhower

    To predict the future in the middle east has always been predictable.Rigged elections,payoffs to rivals and compliance by so called anti factions i.e.US and others same O same O.

    February 2, 2011 at 6:34 pm |
  115. Lemar McAlmon

    Do you mean whats next after the middle east? Well lets try south east Asia (Bangladesh, and the likes, perhaps countries near Europe: Morocco ,Turkey ) Surprisingly Libya will remain relatively stable. America might want to review it's exit strategy for the region.

    February 2, 2011 at 6:34 pm |
  116. Stephanie R.

    It is a question that no one can answer conclusively but will take time. If reform equals democracy; Middle Eastern democracy will not look like American democracy. We in the west need to be open to facilitate the discussions with these countries for them to define what democracy is to them and not place our form of government and governing on them. We need to respect their culture(s). How they do it and what it will look like will be different from how western governments govern but that is not to say that democracy in the Middle East will not work.

    February 2, 2011 at 6:35 pm |
  117. Ngwene Andrew

    The people of the Middle East and Africa have come to realise that,people's power is the Key.This revolution won't be isolated only to the Middle East,I'm convinced it will spread down to the Southern part of Africa harboring many dictators well over 80,and wish to continue rulling.I think it's time for people to excercise their power peacefully and kick out people like Mugabe of Zimbabwe,Paul Biya of Cameroon etc, who think dictatorship and bad governace is the way forward.It's time to bring in modern and 21 st century leaders.

    February 2, 2011 at 6:35 pm |
  118. Kathy

    Freedom is next. Its awake. Don't know what it will look like in the Middle East but the masses are ravienous for human rights. Hunger is powerful. No hitting the snooze now – watch out – it's going to be huge and they , the people will demand to be satiated!

    February 2, 2011 at 6:36 pm |
  119. Jim

    I guess we'll have to find another dictatror to send our prisoners for torture

    February 2, 2011 at 6:36 pm |
  120. Muhammad

    Are you kidding me Jack? What's next for the Muslims in the Middle East is currently being played out on the big screen. What's next for the U.S. and the Western world depends on our ability to support the democratic ideals that we inspired in the first place. The U.S. must vacate the cowardice idea of supporting Mubarak in the presence of an uncertain outcome. This is our great opportunity to defy history and help forge a new path for the Middle East and a new future for our World.

    February 2, 2011 at 6:36 pm |
  121. Alvin

    More instability without a doubt. I admire these people as they have the guts to step outside the box. They can see a threat to their freedoms and take complete charge of restoring them or broadening them, even if it means blood shed. Americans, the majority, think this reaction to their government is barbaric. I tend to think it is heroic. These countries have many visible patriots. They truly care about their future and their childrens.

    February 2, 2011 at 6:38 pm |
  122. Adam Simi Valley, CA

    It will devolve into an Islamic, fundementalist, theocratic region. Egypt will partner with Iran and put pressure on the 2 remaining western-friendly states, Israel and Saudi Arabia. Democracy in this region of the world means mob rule. Without a foundation built on indiividual freedom, freedom of religion, separation of church and state, and equality for all citizens, democracy is no better than a dicatator. Without a nation of laws, protecting it's people from the government and placing the rights of individuals above the moral dictates of the ruler, the majority will suppress the minorities, in this case, in the name of religious rights. People don't seem to understand that Democracy is just a civilized way to transfer power and speaks nothing as to the nature of the power that will be wielded by the winners of elections. In this case the majority view women as inferior and have no tolerance of religions outside Islam. Indeed, good times are ahead of us.

    February 2, 2011 at 6:39 pm |
  123. Ned

    One of two things will happen in the Middle East. They will get a real democracy and hate the US or they will get a fundamentalist government, hate the US and do something about it.

    February 2, 2011 at 6:39 pm |
  124. George

    I'm afraid I'm not entirely sure who I should be rooting for – or against – in this one. As an American, I am genetically engineered to despise dictatorships: but as a weary citizen of the world, I am also wary of destabilization in highly sensitive areas. I see no Ghandis in this uprising: if I did, I think I'd feel a bit more optimistic about the immediate future of the Middle East.

    February 2, 2011 at 6:40 pm |
  125. Luciana

    Jack I just spoke with family in Cairo...
    The Egyptian government are recruiting all government employees thru different ministries to organize a pro Mubarak protest tomorrow and Friday to show more support from ordinary people instead of rent a mob protesters. Employees who decide not to join the government will be accused of threatening the national security.

    February 2, 2011 at 6:40 pm |
  126. Pete in Georgia

    Nobody knows EXACTLY what's next except...........................the American taxpayer will end up paying for a good part of it......................whatever IT is.

    February 2, 2011 at 6:41 pm |
  127. David

    Change must come, but violence can be tamped down by real choices and leadership. $2 a day earners are internet smart and know it is all about money and power. Change the instruments
    and policies. An oil energy dependent world is a tinderbox.
    Oil burns, just like a Molotov cocktail. Even Nigeria and Venezuela
    are part of the global picture. This is a global phenomenon, not only the Mid-East. Pakistan also understands food and fuel inflation.
    The wave effect is not just in sports stadia.

    February 2, 2011 at 6:41 pm |
  128. Mike Ali

    What's next?

    Away overdue democratic tsunami overtaking Islamic nations. Whether we end up with regimes such as that of Turkey or Iran depends on how fast western democracies line up with the side of the masses. The vacillation of the Obama administration and other western democracies in dealing with Mubarak will prove to be destructive to western interests for decades to come.
    Mike Ali
    Chicago

    February 2, 2011 at 6:41 pm |
  129. Arsalan

    What's next is that corrupt politicians, military strongmen and anyone else capable of seizing control will double-think their own fate before designating themselves perpetual heads of state. And not just in the Middle East, but everywhere. The Egypt situation clearly shows the enormous power the general public has when it is able to organize and plan collectively. Sure, when the voices of the majority are faint and distant, the Musharrafs and al-Gadaffis of the world can plant themselves at the top and use economies as personal fortunes. But when the population integrates its anger, the guillotine is inevitable.

    February 2, 2011 at 6:43 pm |
  130. andrew

    Seriously, you're asking Americans this question?

    February 2, 2011 at 6:43 pm |
  131. Adam

    Only God knows what is next. Who'd have expected that a frustrated guy in Tunisia could've sparked all of this. The pressure has been on for a very long time, and too much pressure causes explosion. There are important points that we all should learn from this. Most importantly, in my own opinion is to support the new generation. Those who are protesting peacefuly. We need to show that the protesting peacefuly is the right thing to do, and that resorting to violence is not the answer. We are witnesses the generation of Face Book and Twitter facing off with the generation of horses and camels. If we do the right thing, I can see a different, more peaceful Middle East. Information Technology did not only allow people in the Middle East to express their views, but more importantly, allowed them to see democracy at work in America and Europe, and they deserve no less. This is good for everybody including Israel.

    February 2, 2011 at 6:44 pm |
  132. BH

    Middle East should form a METO just like NATO. Stop fighting each other. Stand side by side and fight everyone who bring war upon METO.

    February 2, 2011 at 6:44 pm |
  133. clark1b

    America's Leadership makes decisions by watching the polls and seeing which way the wind is blowing ... because they refuse to stand on absolute values. Thus they appear wishy washy and make poor decisions and lose credibility with the rest of the world.

    February 2, 2011 at 6:45 pm |
  134. Eric

    These governments have been leaders in repression for centuries. Control by fear. Fear eventually leads to repression and ignorance. Those who push this fear and supression eventually receive their reward – revolution.

    February 2, 2011 at 6:45 pm |
  135. Jim

    What eds to happen. There needs to be an election held and the winners in each nation should be elevated to the position. Once the American people have spoken the rest of the world needs to sit back and let us take over.

    February 2, 2011 at 6:47 pm |
  136. expat

    This is like a 21st century enlightenment.
    The domino effect has been so powerful that it is impossible to tell where it will stop.
    All those who are in power today in that part of the world thought they could oppress the people, exert as much pressure as they wanted to; silence the educated and knowledgeable; limit freedom of speech...the public apparently had been getting ready and they needed something to pull the trigger. That was pulled in Tunisia and the ripples are speading around in all directions. where would it end? at the Black Sea?

    February 2, 2011 at 6:48 pm |
  137. Carlos

    We should revert to verbal neutrality with regards to the transition in Egypt and in the Region. The North Africans know what they want and the timetables for change and governmental restructuring.
    We can't possibly know what all the people want and what is best for them. Our suggestions will only alienate us with one segment of the population or another. It's not our civil war.

    February 2, 2011 at 6:49 pm |
  138. AB

    What's next is the following:
    * The insurrection now occuring in Egypt will ensue in Morocco, Sudan, Saudi Arabia and Kurwait as well as Libyia and Chad.
    *Mubarak will either step down as ASAP or be summarily removed.
    * There will be some economic disruption to the economies of the Arab world which will impact the rest of the world
    *Progressive political and more importantly, economic changes will occur in the Arab world. The rest of the world may well benefit from these changes.

    February 2, 2011 at 6:50 pm |
  139. Ayman M.

    Next is what will be the first time EVER an Arab country wil Actually ELECT a president and not just accept someone shoved down their throat. The young-in-Hair regimes have reached what they have been trying to evade all along hiding behind boogy-men such as the Muslim Brotherhood to scare off any attempts of calls to Democracy. Alleging that THEIR presence is important to fend off any rise of such groups to power. Hosni game has been dealt the final hand. He has been making the wrong choices all along but has been lucky. Well, time caught up with him and the band of bandits that stole everything from their people. Ghaddafy, is next.

    February 2, 2011 at 6:51 pm |
  140. karim

    as a student living in beirut i have to say that the only way for us to develop is for these totalitarian regimes to dissappear. we need to catch uo to the world and thats not gna happen without freedom and democracy.

    February 2, 2011 at 6:52 pm |