Libya and Iraq and Democracy

Libya revolt-1

As quoted from Al Jazeera:

Democracy does not land from Mars. Without exception, democracy is constructed locally. Recent and past lessons from the wider Middle East affirm that democracy does not easily travel from the West to the rest.

It seems to me that our democracy from Mars is not working in Iraq. I read where the government has closed down the opposition headquarters, this is not a government that tolerates dissent and free speech. I am dubious about democracy flourishing in Egypt – there really doesn't seem to be anything in the wings now that Mubarak is gone. I hope it works: it would be thrilling. But Libya; ah! Libya.

If the revolutionaries in Libya win – and they might not – and especially, if they win after a rough fight; I think that they have a shot at really getting democracy.

Democracy is constructed locally, but so is revolution. Of the two, democracy – real democracy, with a free press and freedom of dissent is harder. I am not saying it is easy to have a revolution , it seems almost impossibly hard and dangerous;


but democracy is almost impossible. Among other things, democracy requires leadership. Imagine South Africa without Mandela.


As the civil war in Libya goes on, leadership will have to emerge for the revolutionaries to win. After they win – and they might not, although the chances are better now that France has recognized the new government as legitimate – they will have home grown leaders. If those leaders are more like George Washington than Nouri al-Maliki, there is a chance there will be democracy in the Arab world. 



2 thoughts on “Libya and Iraq and Democracy

  1. I recommend that you read Christopher Hitchens latest essay in Vanity Fair that addresses the protests in the Middle East. Yes it does have a slight odor of English Colonialism but he has insight and opinion that strike me as sound.

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