Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Quel Surprise--'Experts' Get it Wrong Again

Unlike, say, Thomas L. Friedman, I had absolutely no expectations about the so-called Arab Spring.

Let me rephrase that. Unlike Thomas L.  Friedman who, in espying Tahrir Square revellers became as giddy as a tweener at her first Justin Bieber concert, I expected the "Arab Spring" to devolve fairly quickly into one long, cold Muslim Brotherhood winter.

But, hey, that's just me. For those who had, if not great expectations, then at least semi-great ones, historian Alistair Horne offers words of semi-consolation:
We never expected fat King Farouk suddenly to be overthrown by a bunch of colonels; never expected Nasser to seize the Suez Canal, then provoke a war with Israel in which he and the Arab “brethren” would be shatteringly defeated. Even when Sadat had half a million men milling around in the desert just west of Sinai, the CIA never expected that Egypt might be about to attack Israel again. And certainly, no one in the West could ever have predicted the September 11 attacks.
Now, six months on from the initial uprisings of the Arab Spring (which, understandably enough, no one expected), we seem to have got all our predictions wrong yet again. But why should we have thought the Arab world might introduce democracy? Against every expectation, out of all the nations in revolt, from Tunisia to Yemen, no leaders, not even a petty Nasser, have arisen, anywhere.
Speak for yourself, Al.

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