The American Interest

The Myth of the "Arab Spring"

Whom the gods would destroy they first make mad.  The ongoing enthusiasm of the Western elites for Islam, in general, and for the misnamed Arab Spring, in particular, is a case in point.  The bitter fruits of the latter—simultaneously visible but differently manifested in Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, and Syria—are rooted in the character of the former.

The common political denominator of most “democracy activists” in North Africa and the Middle East is not a devotion to the model of governance provided by ancient Athens and her Western heirs.  It is not the sense of common “Arab” destiny either.  The common denominator is Islam.  Sensing opportunities not imaginable in decades, they now feel more emboldened than at any time since the collapse of the Ottoman caliphate after the Great War.  Their slogans, specific ambitions, and geopolitical designs vary, but they are invariably hostile to the American interest.

Paradoxically, whether holding power or plotting to grab it, they were and still are supported by the government of the United States (with Britain and France toeing the line) and lionized by the agitprop machine on both sides of the Atlantic.

In Arabic the process of uprisings and rebellions that started in the winter of 2010-11 is called the Arab Revolutions (al-Thaw­rat al-‘Arabiyyah). ...

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