I feel constipated. Not physically, but creatively. It's not quite writers block, in fact it's almost the opposite. There are so many things that I am poised to write about, but all of them are waiting for a trigger, an event, a green light. There are rumblings, ominous portents, but everything is still half-baked.
I blame Qaddafi.
The message that Egypt and Tunisia sent to the rest of the Arab world was, "This can happen anywhere"
For the past two months, Qaddafi has been trying to send a very different message, "Not here, it can't"
Thankfully, this has not stemmed the flow of uprisings nor has it broken the will of protesters in Bahrain, Syria, or Yemen. Nonetheless, we didn’t get to see a dictator step down this past month.
However, instead of getting one in March, we may get two (or three) in April.
It looks like the endgame is in place for the old president of Cote d'Ivoire. Despite his best efforts, his army has evaporated out from underneath him. This is, presumably, in no small part due to the fact that by most estimates two thirds of the military voted for his opponent in the election. The new president and his supporters have retaken most of the country, and Gbagbo is conspicuously absent.
Yeah, I know, Cote d'Ivoire isn't part of the Middle East, but if you go back and look at the very first posts that I wrote for this blog, you'll notice that the post-election conflict was one of the issues that motivated me to start writing this. Certainly, the circumstances are quite different, but watching a despot fail in his attempts to retain power in the face of a populace whose patience has expired is nonetheless inspiring.
I know my predictions for Qaddafi's departure have so far been overly optimistic, but Gbagbo will very likely be gone by next week.
As far as Qaddafi goes, it is only a matter of time before he reaches the end of his rope. His failure to capture the eastern cities has deprived his forces of the additional fuel supplies they were hoping to seize, thereby mobility severely. Air-strikes on weapons depots have also drastically impacted his military capacity. His attempt to reinforce his weakened forces with additional mercenaries may buy him a few more days, but I think it is unlikely that he will retain control for more than another week. (I've been wrong before, but I think the end is in sight at last.)
Perhaps, once brother leader has been removed from his position this damnable constipation will be relieved.
Qaddafi, you are an impacted stool impeding the natural functions of democracy’s colon. I look forward to seeing you flushed down the toilet of history.