In case you missed it, the next two installments of the Beyond the Blue essay were posted this past week. Part three dealt with the disruptive promise of infostructure, and part four with the painful but necessary changes we’re all likely to experience in the near future as a result of these disruptions.
As Syria continued its slide into grisly horror, we read the leaked talking points Bashir Assad used in preparation for his interview with Barbara Walters, and marveled at the moral hypocrisy of Asma Assad, Bashir’s faithful wife. Yet we noted that the results of the most recent intervention in Libya haven’t been exactly stellar: our humanitarian war has yielded some humanitarian catastrophes of its own.
Elsewhere in the region, we suggested that the Saudi promise to keep oil below $100/barrel is a vote of confidence over how we’re handling Iran, even as we cast a worried eye over to Saudi Arabia’s restive and mostly Shiite Eastern Province, where several people have been shot by police in the past few days. We likened the mood behind Egypt’s decision to put several Americans on trial to the paranoid conspiracies which buffeted the French Revolution, and speculated that the deteriorating economic situation could be setting up Cairo for another round of unrest. And over in Israel, we wondered whether it might be time to fundamentally rethink the premises of the peace process.
In Africa, we interpreted recent Senegalese unrest as less to do with democracy and more to do with regional and tribal issues, and we showed “Christianist” worrywarts in America what real theocracy looked like… in Uganda.
Another week in the Asian Great Game saw Pakistan and Sri Lanka meet in Islamabad to the delight of China and the consternation of India, just as Japan and India grow closer from a mutual distrust of Beijing.
As Europe limped along, we looked at what a Francois Hollande victory in the upcoming French elections might mean, and worried about the continued decline of religious liberty in Hungary. And as Greece’s situation continued to get more and more untenable, we pointed out that the EU may have come to terms with an eventual Greek default and eurozone exit.
Back in the USA, we saw that despite good news in the economic statistics, gasoline consumption continues to stagnate, historically a sign of ongoing recession.