Monday, January 24, 2011

Popular movements in Tunisia, Albania, Jordan, Yemen -- elsewhere?

WE can be hopeful that the new signs of restiveness will lead to the formation of authentic democracies but I wonder if they were in the end turn out that way. The Iranian Revolution was genuinely authentic, one of the few real revolutions in history, and yet was eventually appropriated by the more radical elements of the Shiite clergy [one of the few national organization capable of organizing an administration]. The result was a regime more repressive than the Shah's. So I am dubious while being hopeful. Without a population educated enough and savvy enough to develop a workable system of popular suffrage that protects the rights of those who lose as well as those who win it won't happen. Too easy for the bullies to take over. If it can happen anywhere in the Middle East Tunisia may be the place.

Some helpful recent statements:

On the rising signs of restive populations in Tunisia, Albania, Jordan, Yemen, and possibly elsewhere, see:
ARAB WORLD: Protests in Algeria and Yemen draw inspiration from Tunisia uprising
by Meris Lutz [LA Times blog "Babylon & Beyond"

On the significance of the uprising in Tunisia see Judith Miller, formerly of the New York Times, here on
Tunisia's 'Jasmine Revolution' Could Quickly Wither
Sunday, 23 Jan 2011

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