The Second Version

16/02/11

They Do Not Believe It

Remember the Bush Doctrine?

The much-reviled doctrine postulating that in order to reduce the problem of islamic extremism the people of the Middle East should be given another choice instead of their two typical options: islamic theocracy or strong-man dictatorship.

The third option was intended to be, for lack of better terms, liberal democracy.

The experiment was tried in Iraq with mixed results, but the hoped-for domino effect, the extension of requests for change and revolts in other middle-East countries did not occur.

However, now middle-class revolts and protests are rocking the middle-East and Maghreb: the dictators of Tunisia and Egypt have stepped down* and the unrest may be spreading. These revolts have many agreeable characteristics: they come mostly from the middle-class, the class that historically can provide guidance for a better future; the role of islamic extremists in those is secondary at best; once ousted the dictator those countries became relatively calm. At least I have heard nothing of persecutions of the losers.

I do not think this is a consequence of the American intervention in Iraq; I think that the causes of these rebellions are much closer in time and space: But it is possible that the seeds spread back then have germinated just now.

In any case, for those who professed support for the Bush Doctrine, the actual situation in North Africa and the Middle East should be welcome. To be watched carefully, of course, but as a possibility for positive developments.

Not like Obama is doing, but that's a different story.

Instead, the most common reactions in the American right-wing blogosphere seems to be "Oh, Muslims. We'll see more theocracies in the Middle-east." That is, complete lack of trust. Or worse, considering Muslims as incapable of civilized behaviour.

So why did they support the Bush Doctrine in the first place? Maybe because saying that they just like to see dead Muslims seemed too much?

*The military cabinet ruling Egypt now is made up of Mubarak's men, so the change there may be very superficial after all.

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