Letter: Worrying times

I HAVE watched the recent developments in both Tunisia and Egypt with a sense of growing, unease, because, should other countries such as Morocco, the UAE, Jordan or Saudi Arabia follow suit, we would then have confirmation of the "domino effect" spreading across the Middle East.

While open revolution is less likely in Saudi Arabia, it is already obvious that further afield in Zimbabwe, the callous and bloody dictator Robert Mugabe and his thugs are already intimidating their citizens as a warning against aspiring to similar ambitions.

While the pursuit of freedom is something to be actively encouraged, we can only hope that the transition to democracy in the countries so far affected is relatively smooth and uneventful, because should there be any power vacuum created, there are many groups in this turbulent region with their own agendas just waiting to take control.

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The worst scenario here is for some militant Islamic group, with the backing of anti-western theocracies such as Iran, to take control and impose its version of Sharia law, thereby creating another form of dictatorship on an already oppressed people. It would certainly signal an end to the non-aggression treaties signed between Egypt and Israel.

Should more Middle Eastern countries fall victim to this pattern of events, then the future for Israel looks grim, and if another Arab-Israeli war should ever break out, assuming it did not turn nuclear, then it would involve direct action by superpowers such as the US, Russia and perhaps even China to suppress it. Were this ever to happen, then the prospects for all of us are dire.


Keith Street