The Worst Predictions for 2011

Global politics, economics, and ideas.
Dec. 20 2011 11:46 AM

The Worst Predictions for 2011

From dictatorships to elections to the rapture, 2011 was another banner year for bone-headed prognosticators.

Worst Predictions of 2011

It wasn't a great year for dictatorial bombast. A day after his speech promising to fulfill his term and hand over power only when he was ready, Hosni Mubarak stepped down, reportedly under pressure from his own military. Libya's rebels took Tripoli a little over a week after Muammar Qaddafi assured the "rats" that their end was near and the leader met his own bloody end on Oct. 20. (Qaddafi, at least, did fulfill his promise to die on Libyan soil rather than flee.) Syria's Bashar Assad may still be hanging on to power, but after months of protests and with his country on the brink of civil war, his assurances that Syria was insulated from the uprising seen elsewhere in the Arab world seem absurdly optimistic now.

Dictators weren't the only ones making bad predictions in 2011. View a slide show from Foreign Policy magazine on the worst predictions of the year.

Joshua Keating is a staff writer at Slate focusing on international affairs and writes the World blog. 

  Slate Plus
Working
Nov. 27 2014 12:31 PM Slate’s Working Podcast: Episode 11 Transcript Read what David Plotz asked a helicopter paramedic about his workday.