March 18, 2012

History's Shadow over the Middle East

Robert Kaplan, Stratfor

AP Photo

1848 in Europe was the year that wasn't. In the spring and summer of that year, bourgeois intellectuals and working-class radicals staged upheavals from France to the Balkans, shaking ancient regimes and vowing to create new liberal democratic orders. The Arab Spring has periodically been compared to the stirrings of 1848. But with the exception of the toppling of the Orleans monarchy in France, the 1848 revolutions ultimately failed. Dynastic governments reasserted themselves. They did so for a reason that has troubling implications for the Middle East: Conservative regimes in mid-19th century Europe had not only the institutional advantage over their liberal and socialist adversaries but also the moral advantage.

TAGGED: Iraq, Middle East, Syria


March 9, 2012
Israel and the Plight of Mideast Christians
Michael Oren, Wall St. Journal
Just as Jews were once expelled from Arab lands, Christians are now being forced from countries they have long inhabited. more ››
March 10, 2012
The Islamic World's Quiet Revolution
Nicholas Eberstadt, Foreign Policy
Everybody who pays attention to these sorts of things knows Muslim societies are almost uniquely immune to the forces that have been driving down fertility rates on every continent for decades. But everybody, it seems,... more ››
March 5, 2012
New Battle Lines Shape the Mideast
Barry Rubin, Jerusalem Post
The new Middle East strategic battle is heating up, and this is only the start. It has nothing to do with Israel and everything to do with two more serious lines of battle: Arabs versus Persians and Sunni versus Shia Muslims. more ››
March 10, 2012
Taking the Measure of Arab Opinion
Marwan Bishara, Al Jazeera
The first of its kind - a poll conducted in 12 Arab countries, representing 84 per cent of the population of the Arab world, in an attempt to gauge the region's political mood - has arrived at some interesting results. Organised... more ››