Five questions the US State Department Needs to Ask

by Karen Topakian

The US State Department seems to be having trouble figuring out which side to support in the Middle East and North African uprisings. I thought this handy dandy quiz might help them pick the winner.

1. Is the government in power appointed by itself?

2. Was the government in power elected in a fraudulent manner?

3. Does the government oppress women, non-heterosexuals and people based on their religion?

4. Does the government use violence to control its people?

5. Does the government control access to all forms of media and telecommunications?

If the answer is yes to any of these questions, you’re rooting for the wrong team. Wasn’t that easy?

Which dictator will be the next to fall?

by Karen Topakian

First it was Tunisia. The Jasmine Revolution.

Now it’s Egypt. Whose dictatorship is ripe for ruin.

Today’s NY Times reports that the King of Jordan fired his government after weeks of demonstrations challenged his regime.

Who will be next?

Which Middle East despot should be watching his back for a crowd of young angry educated unemployed adults ready to demand democracy?

Could it be Syria, Yemen, Libya???

Note to dictators across the world. This is what happens when you refuse to hold open and fair elections, rig the ballot box, rule with an iron fist, make dissent illegal unless authorized by you. Beware dictators across the globe. You could be next.

Here’s my short list of where I would like to see peaceful protest overthrow a corrupt government: Chad, Myanmar, Uzbekistan. Who’s on your list?