Mideast bowling for tyrants

As the Dude, Donny or any “Big Lebowski” fan can tell you, it is a blast smashing bowling pins to the hardwood; and right now, millions in the Middle East are enjoying a similar sport called bowling for tyrants.

Usually only one King Pin is targeted, but it can take a lot of balls to knock him down. And yet, angry mobs there are rolling strike after strike in the name of freedom and democracy.

It is a triumph for the White House, which was savaged for playing it so safe on engagement that a gutter ball seemed certain. It is inspiring for many young Americans who enjoy a Facebook-Koolaid kinship with young folks the world over, especially when it comes to pushing the Old Guard off to the nursing home or a war crimes trial.

But the pin-setting machine is whirring even as the protestors are posting their victorious profile pics, and you can bet your league shirt new King Pins are preparing to take a stand. Why?

Many of these countries have one key industry and are wracked by joblessness. That equation has always made it easy for tyrants to arise: Control that one resource, and you control the wealth and power of the nation.

The protestors seem to lack any clear strategy for what they will do with their newfound power. Sure, they’ll hold elections — but absent rapid economic improvements, this too can leave the door wide open for new dictators to hijack their revolutions.

And lastly, women still have limited influence and rights in many of these communities. Here is a simple test for whether a country can be truly Democratic. If women are relegated primarily to child-bearing and family-caring, it is usually a sign of an economy and health system that can’t survive without half the population in this role. And when that many people are forced to respect such an imposed foul line, tyrants know that much of their work is already done.

I’m not saying there is no cause for celebration. What I am saying is that even though some of the King Pins are gone, the circumstances that brought them to the front of the pin set remain; and in a long tournament, even a string of strikes does not necessarily take the trophy.

– CNN’s Tom Foreman is a regular on “AC360°”/ www.ac360.com and “The Situation Room.”



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Newest java joint in bastion of hipness is…

Little may represent the change the neighborhood is undergoing right now like the arrival of the first Starbucks. The chain which is ubiquitous in Manhattan, opened a Williamsburg store at…

National

Black and white are the new orange at…

By Brendan O'Brien(Reuters) - Black and white are the new orange in a Michigan county where the sheriff has made a wardrobe change for jail…

National

Traps set after reports of giant snake on…

New Jersey animal control workers have set traps to snare a reported 20-foot-long serpent slithering through the waters of Lake Hopatcong.

Local

NYPD: Stroller carrying 2-year-old rolls onto Queens subway…

A 2-year-old girl in a stroller rolled onto subway tracks in Queens on Monday morning, police said.

Entertainment

‘The Leftovers’ recap: Season 1, Episode 4, ‘B.J.…

Last week’s episode of “The Leftovers” was apparently a fluke, because this week’s episode returns to focusing on the Garveys and it is so boring.…

Movies

Interview: Luc Besson says 'Lucy' is very different…

Filmmaker Luc Besson talks about his new film "Lucy," how it's different than "Limitless" and his crazy first conversation with Egyptian actor Amr Waked.

Music

Weezer releases first new song since 2010

Weezer releases "Back to the Shack," their first new song in almost six years.

Movies

Benedict Cumberbatch plays a different kind of genius…

The man known worldwide for his portrayal of London's eccentric private detective Sherlock Holmes is trading his Belstaff coat for tweed this fall. Benedict Cumberbatch…

NFL

'Vicktory dogs' travel road to rehabilitation seven years…

Of the dozens of dogs groomed by Bad Newz Kennels, 48 were rescued and 22 of the pit bull terriers have emerged at Best Friends Animal Society.

MLB

Yankees looking at trade for Cliff Lee, according…

Yankees looking at trade for Cliff Lee, according to report

NFL

Giants lineman Chris Snee to retire: Reports

The Giants report to training camp on Tuesday, but Chris Snee may not be there when they do.

NBA

Carmelo Anthony talks about his charity work in…

As he is used to doing every year, NBA All-Star Carmelo Anthony is going to visit Puerto Rico to do work for his foundation.

Tech

RocketSkates let users roll with a motor

Los Angeles company Acton has raised funds on Kickstarter to roll out a nifty alternative – motor-powered "RocketSkates."

Tech

Knicks star Carmelo Anthony becomes a tech entrepreneur

He's been an All-Star, an Olympian, and a celebrity spokesperson. Now NBA player Carmelo Anthony is adding the position "tech entrepreneur" to his resume. Along…

Tech

Ulises 1 is the world's first singing satellite

A group of artists and engineers in Mexico have unveiled Ulises 1, the world's first opera-singing satellite.

Home

Wallscape on a budget

Skip the wallpaper and ombre an accent wall instead.