January 27, 2014

3 Most Important Numbers in the Arab World

Thomas Friedman, New York Times

The Associated Press

When people in a country are ready to live together, you just need one Nelson Mandela — a unifying leader — to galvanize the political system to work productively. When people are not ready to live together but are ready to live apart — as in Bosnia or Lebanon after years of civil war — you just need 5,000 peacekeepers to police the de facto or de jure lines of partition. But when people are not ready to live together or apart — because of a lack of trust, lack of exhaustion or one or all parties still think they can have it all — then you probably need 500,000 peacekeepers to come in, remove the dictator, eliminate the most extreme elements on all sides, and protect the center for a long time while it forges a new citizenship and party system able to share power. Even...

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TAGGED: Tunisia, Egypt, Arabs, Middle East

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