Close, but No Democracy

Washington must realize that unless Arab regimes allow pluralism, power-sharing and judicial independence, liberal autocracy--not democracy--will be the result.

Issue: Winter 2004-2005

September 11 and its aftermath caused many Americanpolicymakers, both Democrats and Republicans, to re-evaluateWashington's traditional emphasis on promoting "stability" in theMiddle East, even at the expense of democratization. Support forautocratic regimes, far from pacifying the region, came to be seenas the root cause for the growth of Islamic radicalism, culminatingin the terrorist attacks on New York and Washington. A strategy ofpromoting democracy throughout the so-called Greater Middle Eastwas no longer considered to be an idealist dream but a realistnecessity to ensure the long-term security of the UnitedStates.

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