What is the tipping point for a revolution? A little over a year ago, Tunisians reached the tipping point, at least in part because their leader fled the country, and the army signaled that it would not engage in mass slaughter of the citizenry. In Egypt, Hosni Mubarak was not eager to leave, but again, under pressure by his own army leadership, he gave up his position. The tipping point had been reached earlier when those who hadn’t originally joined the demonstrations began pouring into the streets.
The situation in Libya, Yemen and Syria was quite different. And today, I am thinking of the numbers of Syrian dead, and the oppositions efforts to upload recordings to You Tube about those who have been kidnapped, and those defecting from the Syrian Armed Forces.
The token visit by the Arab League and the continuation of violence during its visit shows us that some other country, group or factor must figure into the equation at this point. But who and what will it be? The NATO mission in Libya garnered such vigorous accusations of imperialism (despite the participation of certain Arab countries) that it seems unlikely. The creation of a safe zone — from Syrian Army or Air Force incursion has been requested from the U.N. Security Council. If other countries join that request, that may be the next step toward a tipping point.