The events of the past few days, from Libya to Afghanistan and from Syria to Mali indicate a huge region descending into anarchy, chaos and entropy.
At first there appears to be a lack of any discernible pattern, but gradually the following is beginning to emerge: (1) Al Qaida, confidently declared close to defeated by the West not long ago, is spreading with astonishing rapidity not only throughout the Near and Middle East but also North Africa and the Muslim parts of sub-Saharan Africa. Al-Qaida has morphed into an effective loosely connected network of local and regional adherents with headquarters providing general policy directives and some resources only. These groups or cells are effectively connected through electronic means and have shown themselves capable of many more or less simultaneous operations. (2) The Moslem Brotherhood has broken out of its decades-long marginalization and in cooperation with other Salafist groups has talken control of Egypt and is active in Tunisia, Libya, Syria and elsewhere. Al-Qaida is seen as a resource, along with other terrorist groups such as Hezbollah. Elections, where held, are simply seen as a route to power, not to be relinquished ever.