By John Solomon
How the government's punishing of the exposure of official wrongdoing can linger for years
Independent voices from the TWT Communities
Egypt's Islamist president fled his palace by the back door Tuesday as riot police used clubs and tear gas to battle thousands of demonstrators protesting his seizure of broad powers that enabled him to push through a draft constitution.
The U.N. singled out government forces Friday for blame in the latest massacre in Syria, a frenzy of killing that raises new questions about whether diplomacy has any chance to end the crisis more than 16 months into the bloodiest revolt of the Arab Spring.
Middle East analysts acknowledge that they underestimated Syrian President Bashar Assad, who remains in power and on the offensive a year after protests against his regime erupted.
The Arab Spring set in with the hope that a huge democratic change finally was within reach for the region. Now, 12 months later, that initial euphoria largely has subsided.
"President Morsi was responsible for triggering the current crisis by [trying to make himself] supreme leader and to have absolute power. He didn't even consult with his closest advisers prior to carrying out the decree," he said. "He has chosen to escalate the confrontation."
"What we are seeing now is an escalation by both camps, who are both going for broke," said Fawaz A. Gerges, director of the Middle East Center at the London School of Economics.