The Arab Spring: Has It Failed? -- The Economist
Despite the chaos, the blood and the democratic setbacks, this is a long process. Do not give up hope
ROUGHLY two-and-a-half years after the revolutions in the Arab world, not a single country is yet plainly on course to become a stable, peaceful democracy. The countries that were more hopeful—Tunisia, Libya and Yemen—have been struggling. A chaotic experiment with democracy in Egypt, the most populous of them, has landed an elected president behind bars. Syria is awash with the blood of civil war.
No wonder some have come to think the Arab spring is doomed. The Middle East, they argue, is not ready to change. One reason is that it does not have democratic institutions, so people power will decay into anarchy or provoke the reimposition of dictatorship. The other is that the region’s one cohesive force is Islam, which—it is argued—cannot accommodate democracy. The Middle East, they conclude, would be better off if the Arab spring had never happened at all.
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Commentaries, Opinions, And Editorials
Tunisia's dark turn. Will the Arab Spring's most promising democracy blacklist candidates? -- Joshua Muravchik, L.A. Times
Egypt Shows How Political Islam Is at Odds With Democracy -- Youssef Rakha, New York Times
Egypt in Turmoil: Salafists Gain Strength amid Political Chaos -- Spiegel Online
Get Obama to Focus on Iran? Good Luck. -- Jonathan S. Tobin, Commentary
Why It’s Time to Talk to Our New ‘Iranian Friends’ -- Patrick Smith, Fiscal Times
In Israel, no silver linings -- Michael Gerson, Washington Post
Analysis: Israel ignores EU's anti-settlement sentiment at its own peril -- Herb Keinon, Jerusalem Post
Why Chinese Obey -- Chun Peng, The Diplomat
Japan Prepares to Vote. Not That You Would Know. -- William Pesek, Bloomberg
Will the West stand up for a free election in Zimbabwe? -- Washington Post editorial
How Bosnia Heals -- Roger Cohen, New York Times
New protests, same 'troubles' as riots roil Belfast -- Jason Walsh, Christian Science Monitor
Antarctic Angst: Russians Blamed for Failed Nature Reserve Talks -- Spiegel Online
Inside the Brutal Clean-up Efforts in Lac-Megantic -- Christine Pelisek, Daily Beast
NSA surveillance is within democracy’s bounds -- Charles Lane, Washington Post