Skip to main content

Long, Hot Arab Summer

Jack David

While the uprisings of citizen-victims in Libya and Syria are a cause for hope, it is far too early for believers in individual liberties and popular elections to celebrate. The outcome in each country is far from clear, even assuming that the dictator in each and his apparatus of terror are removed. There is no assurance that new leaders will share Western definitions of individual liberty or be willing to submit to a truly popular will. On the contrary, there is reason for concern. 

For example, although the Draft Constitutional Charter of the Libyan opposition has some reassuring words along these lines, Article 1 of its General Provisions provides that “the principal legislation is Islamic Jurisprudence (Sharia).” This may well be intended to provide justification for some among the new Libyan leadership who may not share Western views of personal liberty and democracy to move in another direction. We will see.

Under the circumstances, it would be wise to carefully monitor the words and acts of the new leaders who are emerging and energetically support the moderate voices among them as best we can. We should not celebrate prematurely. We should celebrate an Arab Spring in Libya and Syria and in Egypt as well for that matter only when new voices of moderation who support freedom and democracy for their people have truly won the day.

This is part of an NRO Symposium on the Arab Spring and the situation in the Middle East: http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/275512/long-hot-arab-summer-nro-symposium

Related Articles

Iran Deal or War?

Mike Rogers

Is our only alternative war with Iran?...

Watch Now

This EU Labeling is Bad for Israelis and Palestinians

Irwin M. Stelzer

This will convince the Israelis that they live in a hostile world that is best ignored....

Continue Reading

All Roads Lead to Syria

Walter Russell Mead

So far, the "historic" Iran deal hasn't shifted much. If it's going to stick, the Obama Administration has to think bigger....

Continue Reading