The people of Egypt had the courage to express their sense of dissatisfaction after 2 years of represssion as Sisi engineered his way to the top. He has promised the World, though--and one wonders if he's able to deliver.
It was also of interest to assess President Obama's new vision on Foreign Policy that he delivered at West Point. He tried to inject a sense of realism into the new realities while seeking to underscore that the United States will continue to play a preeminent role in World Affairs. This is as he also announced a total drawdown by 2016 and how he underscored the fact that it will be up to the Afghans. It will be curious to see how the new President of Afghanistan will deal with the issues. Karzai, in the meantime, is having a great time making the rounds as he attended Indian Prime Minister Modi's inauguration.
Another pivotal player has been Iran--a particular focus here in "Outsiders". Iran is continuing on-going discussions with the P5+1 folks at the technical level and The Foreign Minister continues to be ever so optimistic. It is nice to be optimistic--however the proof will be in the agreement. This is as some facebook users were sentenced to a combined 128 years in Prison. As such, the struggle to transform Iran seems to be as slow as ever.
Europe, also, has undergone a profound political Earthquake as the Eurospectics swept the elections. The National Front in France won 24 seats in the European Parliament. The UK Independence Party scored similar victories throughout the UK. [LINK=http://www.france24.com/en/20140529-young-anti-far-right-protesters-urge-france-wake/] It was quite a scene to see an estimated 4,000 French Students as they urged France to "wake up". [/LINK] Hopefully the people of Europe will wake up in realizing that they are better off together than apart as their broken economies are finally beginning to mend after a very tough and challenging five years as exemplified by a recent report on Spain by the IMF.
Beyond the Continent, there is the continued insurrection in Ukraine. It was extremely shocking to read accounts of a Ukrainian Helicopter being shot down by Rebels that saw 14 soldiers--including a well-regarded General--killed. The new President-Elect of the country has vowed to crush the "bandits" of the East. The road ahead will be long and hard.
It is not easy to be inspired and encouraged as one assesses the World as May 2014 enters the dustbin of history. But, there is little choice but to stay hopeful and inspired: