This year’s Arab League summit met in Mauritania as the region continues to struggle with instability and war in Syria, Iraq, Yemen and Libya.
Last week’s failed coup-d’état in Turkey has been roundly condemned in the regional media. According to most observers, the defeat of the coup is a victory for Turkish democracy.
However badly misnamed are the popular protests, uprisings, revolutions and civil wars that started spreading across the Middle East in the winter of 2010-11, it is abundantly clear that in most cases they did not result in peaceful transitions to inclusive democratic politics.
The media view of Bahrain — as a matter of the people struggling for democracy against repression and a hypocritical United States that calls for democracy but is unwilling to pressure the Bahraini government—has elements of truth but is too simplistic.
In this comprehensive history of Syria, John McHugo compares the police state erected by the Assad family "with a crumbling block in a curved arch that is held in place by the adjoining rocks." The "tremor" of the uprising that started in 2011 has "loosened the Syrian block so that now it hangs p