Inglorious Revolutions

Revolutions rarely produce stable democracies and human rights overnight—and it's foolish to expect otherwise.

Issue: January-February 2014

TWO AND A HALF years after it began, the revolution was widely considered a quagmire, even a disaster. Rebels had made disappointingly little headway against the forces of the hated tyrant. The capital and the country’s second major city remained under his control. Foreign powers had provided sympathy, but very little real aid. And despite promising to respect human rights, rebel forces were committing widespread abuses, including murder, torture and destruction of property. In short, the bright hopes of an earlier spring were fading fast.

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