What Hath the Arab Spring Wrought?

We are now almost exactly two years into the Arab Spring – it began with protests in Tunisia back in December 2010 and January 2011. It is a good time to take stock.

What is the overall scorecard of achievements and failures?

Achievements:

  • Overthrowing several oppressive tyrants and moving to at least some liberty and democracy, particularly in Tunisia, Libya, and Egypt.

Failures:

  • Collapsed States in Libya, Syria, Yemen, and Mali (due to spillover from Libya).
  • Civil Wars in Libya (now over) and Syria (ongoing with 60,000 dead the latest estimate).
  • Islamists gaining influence in Egypt, Syria, and Libya.

For the overall scorecard, failures outweigh achievements by a considerable margin. Probably it is something like 20% achievement (lessening oppression) versus 80% failure (descending into barbarism).

An earlier view of the Arab Spring in Syria is here and a comment on the issue of separation here.

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