"Much to the satisfaction of the United States and its allies it’s been essentially no change to the major centers of oil production, Saudi Arabia and the Gulf. The dictatorships are firmly in place", says Noam Chomsky. There were attempts by the population to join the Arab Spring but they were quickly and harshly repressed with the support of the West. Iraq meant a substantial loss to the United States. It doesn’t follow US orders anymore and is now under significant Iranian influence, e.g. in permitting supplies to the Assad government in Syria. The countries of North Africa like Tunisia and Egypt have experienced some real successes: Much more freedom of speech and for labor organizing. On the other hand the governments were taken over by Islamist forces which follow the neoliberal policies of the West. The two countries under military occupation in the region, Western Sahara and Palestine, were kept immune from the Arab Spring. "The revolution is not in a standstill but in a waiting period. I think there will be a power shift. It’s much harder to simply disregard the populations as it had been the case under the Western backed dictatorships. Even in the oil dictatorships they have to pay some attention to the populations."
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