Rich Galen

In mid-March the United States and its allies fired over 100 cruise missiles at Libyan command and control facilities while French and Italian aircraft conducted surveillance and bombing runs. That activity had limited success so the U.S. added armed, unmanned Predator Drone aircraft to provide close air support for the rebels.

Last week missiles were fired into Gaddafi's family compound allegedly killing one of his sons and three of his grandchildren.

Nevertheless, three months into the operation Gaddafi has still refused to leave Tripoli and the rebels have had limited success against the Libyan army leading to what is widely agreed to be a stalemate.

About the same time the Libyan revolution was getting underway, demonstrators in Damascus, Syria began demanding the removal of president Bashar al-Assad (whose name loosely translates to "The Man with the Too-Odd Head and the Too-Long Neck"). It took about a month to get to critical mass, but on March 15 a small demonstration grew to about 1,500 men.

After Friday prayers, three days later, major demonstrations broke out across Syria leading, according to a Reuters report,

"At least three protesters have been shot dead in the south Syrian city of Deraa as security forces clamped down on a protest rally."

Since then protests have grown to hundreds of thousands and the number of deaths have grown as well. Syria does not allow foreign journalists into the country, so reports are very difficult to verify.

It has been claimed that Iran is giving technical and logistical support to the Syrian government to protect its client state on the Arabian peninsula.

This litany is presented so you can study up for a speech planned by President Obama on the Middle East which White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said would be coming "in the relatively near future."

Other than Tunisia, no other nation involved in the "Arab Spring" has a settled government, at least four are still under martial law or dealing with active revolts, and one - Egypt - appears to be bobbing up and down in the waters of democracy.

Can't wait to hear what the President has to say.

Rich Galen

Rich Galen has been a press secretary to Dan Quayle and Newt Gingrich. Rich Galen currently works as a journalist and writes at