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Analysis - Arab Uprisings Overturn Clichés On Democracy

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Arab uprisings against unpopular Western-backed rulers have undercut the arguments of some Western intellectuals about passive populations who are not prepared to fight for democracy.

During the 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq, neoconservative cheerleaders for war who had direct access to Western policymakers said force was the only way to take down Arab dictators. A minority of Arab intellectuals agreed with them.

Many writers, especially in the United States, suggested there were characteristics peculiar to the region that could explain why Arabs had not been touched by the democratic wave that toppled East European regimes two decades ago.

Often they cited Islam, or implied there was something wrong in the Arab psyche. Those who suggested more of a focus on U.S. policies and backing for unpopular regimes have had less access to mainstream media and policy makers.

Bernard Lewis, one of the intellectual giants of this trend, wrote in 2005 that "creating a democratic political and social order in Iraq or elsewhere in the region will not be easy," as if "creating" democracy required American tutelage.

The uprisings that removed Tunisian President Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali on January 14 and Egypt's President Hosni Mubarak four weeks later have shown the people are capable of doing it themselves, even when up against huge odds.

Clearly they need the help of the greatest democratic oligopoly of them all to bring democracy to the people.....

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  • 312 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

    1. 1. Including the effects Brexit, where do you think average UK house prices will be relative to now in June 2020?

      • down 5% +
      • down 2.5%
      • Even
      • up 2.5%
      • up 5%

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