Friday, January 28, 2011

"Reform" in the middle east?

A wave of political unrest threatening Middle Eastern governments grew ominously larger Thursday as new protests shook impoverished Yemen and Egyptian authorities braced for massive anti-government demonstrations Friday.

The fresh turbulence deepened fears of a prolonged period of chaos and uncertainty in the region while raising new questions about the viability of autocratic governments that have been stalwart allies of the United States for more than a generation.

. . . While the Obama administration continued to show symbolic support for the protesters' pro-democracy aspirations, administration officials and security experts acknowledged a deepening uncertainty about how the protest movement will play out as it reshapes and possibly upends governments and entire societies from Lebanon to North Africa.

The fact is that no popular revolution in the Islamic world has ever led to the adoption of western style secular democracy.

In every instance, the result was either theocracy or autocracy.

There is no reason to believe that the results will be different this time.

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