Is the West Still Concerned About the Arab Spring’s Demise in its Downward Spiral?

The past few months have been bleak for many Arabs as they witness the restoration of old, authoritarian regimes in a region that was once full of hope. The end of the Arab Spring has been predicted many times before, and it seems that the last remnants of hope have been crushed. Tunisia, which started the democratic uprisings in 2010, served as a model for other countries in transition, but it is now slipping back into autocracy with President Kais Saied imposing an emergency regime, suspending Parliament, and rewriting the constitution. Sudan was another beacon of hope when a year-long uprising led by women ended Omar al-Bashir’s 20-year dictatorship. However, two of the generals that removed Bashir went to war against each other last month in a battle for control of Khartoum that has already resulted in over 500 deaths. Syria’s revolution was the bloodiest of all and has resulted in 500,000 deaths, with President Bashar al-Assad still standing, assisted by Russia and Iran. Successive American administrations have treated the Middle East as a lost cause that can be fixed by force or ignored. Arab officials who have met with Assad recently report he has shown no remorse and no willingness to compromise. Western countries are to blame for the region’s return to authoritarianism and its receptiveness to human-rights abuses and strategic adversaries. However, former Jordanian diplomat Marwan Muasher refuses to accept that the journey is over for the Arab revolutions and likens it to the French Revolution of 1789, which went through several stages before ultimately being established. Rached Ghannouchi, the leader of Tunisia’s largest political party, is also taking the long view, stating that while the old Arab order is dead, people are no longer afraid, and change is inevitable.


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