The Arab Spring has gone from peaceful demos in favor of democracy to Saudi Arabia training a sectarian army to defeat a terrorist group.An excerpt from, "The Arab Fall" by Jared Feldschreiber, World Policy Blog, October 1, 2012:
— Blake Hounshell (@blakehounshell) September 12, 2014
"Real democracy in the region is still a long ways off, said Foreign Affairs' Jonathan Tepperman, and there is little the United States can do to compel good democratic governance. “It would be a mistake to think this is all about the United States,” Tepperman said.
Western policymakers long supported autocrats to maintain the status quo as the U.S. placed greater support for regional stability over democracy. tIn the past, autocrats—and policy makers in the West—feared anarchy and the specter of Islamic errorism. Before the Arab Spring, the region’s autocrats banned Islamist parties and jailed suspected Islamists. Today, as Islamists have won big in recent elections, the question is: What are the next steps for the West as their influence in the Middle East wanes?"