It now appears that the armies in Middle Eastern countries determine the future of governments. Brave popular uprisings have forced governments out in Tunisia and Egypt, where the armies declined to support the incumbents. In Libya it looks as if the rebels are now losing, as the dictator seems to have command of enough mililtary might to crush them horribly.
For once the USA has decided it does not wish to use its might to intervene, to prevent the Libyan reassertion of brutal power. Libya is in the EU’s back yard. Italy and France have the military means to intervene to help the rebels, but have decided not to.
I think intervention is fraught with difficulty, and could end up killing too many of the people they migtht like to help. I understand their reluctance. The various conditions set included UN support, which was never likely to be forthcoming.
It tells us something about the modern world. The USA now has to take more account of the emerging power of China, and is having second thoughts about the rersults of its past interventions in Iraq and Afghanistan. The European countries do not think as one, and find inaction easier to agree than action. It is a better time to be a dictator as a result. The world does not like its US policeman when he does take action, but misses him when he’s not around. Middle Eastern countries do have armies prepared to meddle in politics. Their leadership and loyalty of the troops is now what decides the future of governors.
So far it looks as if Bahrain and Saudi do control their military machines, and are using them to keep order. Saudi has made clear it intends to help Gulf states governments, where they were not prepared to help the Libyan regime.