From Egypt (or forever Mitzrayim as some think of it) where the Muslim Brotherhood IS the opposition and has been since the 1920’s, to Yemen where we can’t find Awlaki we see a panoply of ancient tribal dictatorships, military dictatorships, and at best a corruptocracy whose simultaneous achievement of greatness was the destruction of it’s national education system, and a stockpile of nuclear weapons.
In some non arab nations such as Turkey where we HAVE representative voting the movement to Ismamism and Sharia is not just unmistakeable it is a wave seemingly resistable only in english language op-ed designed to calm people in the US State Dept.
Even reputable organizations such as Pew concern themselves with polls on the unfavorably held opinions (generally) on Bin Laden.
The real question is, would the populace move as they have in Turkey, are asking for in Tunisia, and as the ONLY viable opposition wants in Pakistan and Egypt, towards Sharia?
And does this necessarily mean some kind of confrontation with the USA as Sharia’s compulsory religious suppressions (no new church, temple, or anything ..for starters) become public policy.
What should US Policy be if it is the deeply held conviction of a solid plurality to majority of citizens in a majority of nations between Morocco and the Chinese border that their pursuit of happiness requires an adherence to a set of rules we find intolerant?
During the 1950’s the USA embarked on a series of national actions in support of clear dictators throughout Latin America and the world by reason of their opposition being Communists, a mortal threat to our way of life.
From Fulgencio Battista, and Somoza beginning in the 20’s, FDR, and Truman, to Trujillo, King Farouk, the actions in Iran in 1953 and the Shah, all the way thru Chile and Pinochet…supporting these sons of bitches has earned the enmity in these nations of all but the ruling and corrupt class.
But with the USSR gone, it is obvious that though we may be disliked for our choice, our system was superior and nations whose popular sentiment might have lead them to communism THEN are better off now, ARGUABLY. Unless it was your relative who got disappeared.
But today we see a series of sons of bitch dictators and backward tribal oligarchic systems holding back a flood of Islamic sentiment.
Iran is the archetype.
All revolutions change directions. From France in 1794 to Zimbabwe/Rhodesia, the USA is the only exception I can think of.
All revolutions also start with a political minority.
Now while the young have HAD IT across the muslim lands out of a lack of jobs we see something else … the minority, islamic bolsheviks SMELL BLOOD.
It may be that we are faced with a choice of backing some barely palatable people rather than the intolerable … Somoza or Chavez.
The Shah or Khomeini.
Some form of repressive semi Christian dominated Lebanese govt or …
Or perhaps we grit our teeth push for free elections and get ready to ensure that the result in Egypt, Lebanon and other places is not some Arab Mugabe?