Western world must back Arab uprisings
Published 26/02/2011 | 05:00
THE Arabs have not been a lucky people. In former times, the Christian powers drove them out of Europe and the Turks took the Middle East and North Africa from them. Their once-brilliant civilisation has never recovered.
When the Ottoman empire collapsed, as empires do, in World War I, the victorious British and French drew up a blueprint for the region. It closely resembled a plan devised by an Irishman, the pro-Arab T E Lawrence, 'Lawrence of Arabia'.
It might or might not have worked, but it was never implemented. The region lapsed into instability, poverty and ignorance under a variety of oppressive regimes. Some were and are hereditary monarchies, others had their origins in revolutions which had resulted only in dictatorships.