Middle East






Libya Is Off the InternetVia BBC News:

As fighting inside the country intensifies, Libya’s links to the net appear to have been completely severed.

Net monitoring and security firms are reporting that no net traffic is entering or leaving Libyan net space.

Renesys said the outage was more than just a “blip” as many sites have been unreachable for more than 12 hours.

Net traffic into and out of the country had been intermittent during recent protests but the cut coincided with a push to oust rebels.

During the early days of the rebellion in Libya, net access was restricted but in early March net traffic started to pick up in areas no longer under the control of Colonel Gaddafi’s government.

Graphs of net activity maintained by Google show a steady rise in traffic to its sites throughout this week. In particular, Libyans were making heavy use of YouTube to post images of the conflict.








TunisiaWhile Libya now, and Egypt not too long ago, are/were dominating the news cycle, 60 Minutes had a recent piece on what happened in Tunisia before these events. The most amazing part of this video to me, is in Tunisia, some young people who were part of the protest movement are now part of the new government. Bob Simon of 60 Minutes reports:

The wave of revolutions sweeping the Arab world started in a forgotten town in the flatlands of Tunisia. It was an unlikely place for history to be made. But so was Tunisia itself, the smallest country in North Africa, strategically irrelevant, with no oil and not much of an army.

It has been an oasis of tranquility in this tumultuous part of the world, famous for its beaches, its couscous and its wonderful weather. But there was a dark side to paradise: for 23 years, Tunisia was ruled by a corrupt and ruthless dictator named Zine Ben Ali, who filled his prisons with anyone who spoke out against him.









Jennifer Epstein writes in the Politico: “There are always problems in our nation’s capital that are more important than party affiliation, and I will always believe that,” Paul said. “It’s not necessarily…



Tear Gas in EgyptVia HuffPo. Richard Engel reporting for NBC News:

You talked earlier about anti-American sentiment and a lot of that has been because the United States while today the Press Secretary is saying how they’ve been talking about Egypt and the need for reform and bringing up this at every meeting that’s not the way many Egyptians see it. Most Egyptians see the United States as having stood solidly by President Mubarak while the government here grew more and more corrupt.

And they see the Americans as complicit in it. And just today, for example, when we were out on streets this is what a lot of people were showing us about American involvement. If you can see in my hands this is one of the tear gas canisters and very clearly written in English on it, it says “Made in the USA by Combined Tactical Systems from Jamestown, Pennsylvania.” And they say this is the kind of support that the United States has been giving to the Egyptian government and bears some responsibility, although today it it trying to say that it never backed Mubarak so much, it has been calling for reforms for a long time, Egyptians don’t see it that way.



“This virus is spreading throughout the Middle East. This is probably the most dangerous period of history…in the Middle East.” Speaking to FOX News, John McCain echoes the current sentiments of many politicians and pundits distressed by recent events in Egypt and Tunisia. Because the rules are, democracy only belongs in the countries where we choose to impose it. Via Think Progress: