Three Arab dictators-for-life lost power in 2011: Ben Ali of Tunisia on January 14, Mubarak of Egypt on February 11, and Qaddafi of Libya on October 20. Now, the first Arab dictator of 2012 seems to be down: Ali Abdullah Saleh of Yemen.
Abed Rabu Mansour Hadi - Yemen's new president in fact as well as in name?
But, as Laura Kasinof of the New York Times puts it, Saleh "still wields considerable influence. His relatives control most of the military and government security agencies, and it remains to be seen how independent Mr. Hadi, a longtime Saleh loyalist, will be." So, Hadi's installation might be a gambit for Saleh to retain control. We shall see.
Who's number five? Bashar al-Assad. After that, it's unclear who's number six, but I bet on a newly-wobbly King Abdullah II of Jordan, thanks to his incompetence in dealing with the growing Islamism of his Bedouin political base. (February 25, 2012)