Brendan,I would simply point

Brendan,

I would simply point out that there is momentum for change in the Arab world now. We should not discount the possibility of an evolutionary step forward with only moderate or limited help/intervention from external powers.

I hear ya, bro.  It is very exciting, isn't it.  But....

I am very anxious about 100 million people in North Africa living in a state of political uncertainty.  I am always happy to see a people rid themselves of a tyrant, but when the Russians threw off the czar and the Iranians ditched the Shah, things didn't turn out so well.  Both of those events were revolutions that eventually radicalized into something that the original liberal, democratic forces never expected but were eventually overwhelmed by.

Egypt and Tunisia had their February revolutions.  I am basically waiting to see if there is going to be an October Revolution which will take those nations off their intended course.

I want the West to consistently engage the Arab nations emerging from dictatorship and foster democracy in those countries.  I sort of wish this wasn't happening all at once, as it dilutes our abilities and resources.  All it takes is one group of Bolsheviks or Islamic Theocracists to hijack a nation while we are on our coffee break, and we have an anti-democratic problem that lasts for 70 years.

I hate to be so negative at such promising time, but the Arabs do have a tendency to spontaneously self destruct.

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