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Monday, February 28, 2005

Quantitative Analysis of Qualitative Data

Does that title make me an oxymoron? By the way, I am going to change the bullets on my ominous soviet post below from cute flowers to something... other than cute flowers.

So there's a Dominoe effect (cheesy terminology, but I'll get to the meat in a moment) taking place in the Middle East, and everyone's frolicing gaily in the streets. That's nice. So here's a summary of the k-rad changes taking place right now:

*Iraq is no longer a brutal dictatorship. Beheadings are steady, but torture and oppression are down.

*Afghanistan is a democracy, and they're diversifying out of opium. Good for them. Opium was made obsolete by ecstasy.

*Egypt can now change presidents once in awhile. More reforms should be forthcoming, if Mubarek is a democratc reformer and the populace is pushing for it, as seems to be the case.

*Arafat's dead, and the Palestinians are actually mad at Hamas for its interfering in the peace process. Palestine may be a real democracy now.

*Lebanon is no longer as occupied, and the government has stepped down in response to demonstrations. Lebanon wasn't exactly known for it's oppression. By the way, it's not anarchy, it seems to be just the ruling coalition has stepped down. Dunno why they call the administration the government, but it implies longevity.

*Syria is not quite as much of a conquerer, but they seem to have a small nuclear program.

*Libya is supposedly disarming. Since it had some of the most advanced WMD programs, this is good. I know it's not strictly in the Middle East, but... oh well.

*Saudi Arabia is allowing local elections. They're fat and happy, but not really bad. They'll keep democratising, but sloooooowly.

Yemen and Oman seem too stable. Iran is going to have another revolution in 3-5 years. Turkey might regress, but I don't see much happening there. I know absolutely nothing about the UAE, but they seem hopeful.

So we have a majority of the states trending in the right direction. Good job, me.

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