Let me just express my profound objections to the prevailing belief, expressed in so many pernicious ways, that the peoples of the Middle East, in particular Arabs, are incapable of democracy. They’re portrayed as bovine peoples suited to & content with living under dictatorship. Some, shaking their heads in pity, will say ‘that’s the regrettable heritage of colonialism.’
To rebut this rubbish, it isn’t necessary to speak of racism though that is the heart of such a belief. One only need consider the Arab Spring uprisings that began in 2011 all over the Middle East, most powerfully in Egypt, Yemen, Bahrain, Syria, with strong reverberations in Iraq, Tunisia, Morocco, Jordan. What is going on in the Middle East with massive repression in Egypt & Bahrain, with carpet bombing in Yemen & Syria is the international response to destroy every vestige of those powerful democratic movements against dictators, military juntas, feudal monarchs.
What pity is due is only to those who deny those uprisings, who mock them as CIA orchestrated, who scorned them as “Islamist,” who never understood what the hell was going on when millions of people rose up in the most powerful, fearless ways to demand democracy. And by the way, those revolutions ain’t over till the peoples of those countries say they are over.