Is A New Middle East Taking Shape?

First it was Tunisia. Mostly working-class young men protested the government's corruption, repression and high unemployment. Tunisian security forces killed several dozen protesters. Authoritarian President Zine el Abidine ben Ali is believed to have fled to Saudi Arabia and a new government is being formed.

In Egypt, Facebook and Twitter appear to be major factors in galvanizing a similar revolt. Even the former U.N. nuclear watchdog, Mohamed ElBaradei, has stated his plans to join the protesters on the street. Egyptian police and security forces have fought the protesters with tear gas, rubber bullets and water cannons. Demanding an end to the three decade rule of President Hosni Mubarak, the resistance is complaining about runaway inflation, lack of jobs, and the violent lack of tolerance for dissenting opinions against government actions. In less than 24 hours, 55,000 responded in support of a page on Facebook announcing Friday's protest!

And these two countries appear to be the tip of the iceberg. Yemen and Gabon are also experiencing unrest for the same or similar reasons. Thousands of protesters have taken to the streets in Yemen, a country that is an ally in the war on terror but also a haven for terrorists due to the nation's impoverished condition. The leading opposition party in Gabon has been dissolved by government action and condemned for having committed treason when its leader declared himself to be president and set up a parallel government.

So what is going on? Is the Middle East re-shaping itself into something new? Are the pieces being put into place for nations to have a positive or negative role prophetically? Stay tuned, watch and pray . . .

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