The Weekend Wrap: Revolution In The Air


A lot happened over your holiday weekend. Bahrain, following a week of violence, took a big turn for the better on Saturday as security forces ceded Pearl Square to the protesters. Nick Kristof conveyed the joy of the crowd but cautioned against declaring victory just yet. Andrew hoped that calls for a constitutional monarchy come through and wondered about Obama's behind-the-scenes role. A young Bahraini girl smiled with guarded optimism, a Bahraini boy signaled victory, and a Muslim boy joined the cause against extremism.


Meanwhile, the brutal violence in Libya continued to escalate. Massacres carried over into Sunday, spreading from Benghazi to the capital city of Tripoli. Qaddafi's son took to the airwaves that night to threaten an even bigger crackdown. The people reacted with rage while a group of prominent Muslim leaders implored the regime to refrain from violence. Those calls went unheeded as the bloodshed poured into Monday. Disturbing reports and graphic images here, here, here and here. As military commanders defected to the West and ambassadors abandoned their posts, Qaddafi appeared to be in his last throes.


A big reax of Libya analysis here. Marc Lynch pushed for US and UN intervention, Daniel Byman assessed American interests in Libya, and Ryan Avent fretted over the economic shocks. Andrew compared the Arab uprisings to the European revolutions of 1848 and pondered the impact that Bush and other neoconservatives may have had on the former. A glance at the far right's reaction here. Lucan Way described the vulnerability of regimes based on patronage while Graeme Robertson examined how protests topple regimes in general.

The Green Movement in Iran had another big day of protests on Sunday; read our news roundups here and here; watch footage from the streets here and here. Yet another Muslim nation, Morocco, joined in the democratic uprisings; read a roundup here and watch footage here and here. There were even some rumblings in China.


In Egypt coverage, the Dish took a long, comprehensive look at the country's future. We also kept an eye on Sheikh Qaradawi - a guru for the Muslim Brotherhood who just returned from exile - and dug up some disturbing data. Ian Johnson sharpened our view of the Brotherhood. Jeff Strabone addressed the post-Mubarak impact on Israel.

On the media front, Morgan Meis praised Al Jazeera's oil-financed integrity, Dan Drezner delved into the disastrous message control of Arab regimes, Andrew Exum emphasized the role of cell phones in the uprisings, Clay Shirky talked sense on the impact of Twitter and Facebook, and Malcolm Gladwell's thesis crumbled even more.

A reader commented on our coverage. Another provided a placid view of Isfahan, Iran.

-- C.B.

(Photo of celebrating Bahraini protesters by Hasan Jamali/AP; Libya's new flag by khalidalbaih, via BoingBoing; photo of Qaddafi by Mark Renders/Getty Images; video of Iranians chanting “Independence! Freedom! Iranian Republic!”; photo of a demonstrator arguing with a police officer in Rabat, Morocco by Abdelhak Senna/AFP/Getty Images)