Wednesday 22 November 2017

Kevin Myers: Little hope of democracy as Arab despots overthrown

Kevin Myers

And so, just eight years on, the neo-con dream that prompted the invasion of Iraq is finally coming to pass with the collapse of the various Secular Arab Despotisms.

The great neo-con theory was that with such SAD dictatorships abolished, democracy, the rule of law and the market economy would flourish in the great landmass from the Indian Ocean to the Atlantic. And I confess, I too subscribed to this insane hallucination, not because of any evidence, but because I wished it, despite all the evidence of history.

Short-term good seldom results from revolutions. It certainly does not result from revolutions in Muslim societies in which the local imam is usually the font of both civic and criminal law, and where tolerance of others is merely conditional. The fate of the Turkish city of Smyrna after the fall of the Ottoman Empire remains a bloody and terrible warning about the consequences of revolution in a Muslim society: according to Edward Hale Bierstadt of the US Emergency Committee, about 100,000 Christians were butchered, and another 160,000 deported to the interior of Turkey. One of those who managed to escape was an Aristotle Onassis.

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