It’s no longer news that the Arab Spring has become unseasonably chilly. The Syrian revolution began as a nonviolent protest movement but is rapidly degenerating into a civil war. Libya is cracking up into a fragmented state controlled by hostile militias. And Egypt is ruled by the same Nasserist military dictatorship that seized power in 1952. (If the army there does step aside, don’t get excited: In last year’s election, two-thirds of Egyptians voted for Islamists—and a third of those chose the totalitarian Salafists, the ideological brethren of Osama Bin Laden.)
For a dash of optimism, though, one could do worse than to look to Libya’s North African neighbor to the west: Tunisia, the country actually responsible for kicking off this season of Arab revolutions. And if current trends in the region persist, it may be the only country of the Arab Spring that doesn’t slip back into winter.