In Iraq and Egypt, Arab citizens are teaching democracy to the old order

In Iraq and Egypt, Arab citizens are teaching democracy to the old order
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As an American and a student of America's history I can not help but look at current events in the ME and see similarities to the birth of this nation. Many look back at the move to independence as an almost overnight process. This is understandable, as history taught in school treats it almost that way. The process however was much, much longer. It began years before, even before the first settlers came here. Remember, most came seeking a place where they could practice their religious beliefs without interference from a powerful and oppressive central government.

Over time, they became better educated, (most do not realize it, but at the time of the Revolutionary War, better than 85% of the population was literate. News was read avidly and discussed vigorously.) They also began to learn how to govern themselves as the distances and time involved in communicating with the crown necessitated a degree of self governance. Still after the Revolution it took many years to work the "bugs" out of our democratic republic, almost 100 years, perhaps more, depending on how you look at it.

We look today at the ME and we see many peoples struggling with independence and what it means to be a democracy in whatever form they choose. Keep in mind, by and large, these people have never lived in or under any sort of democratic rule, so they are still trying to learn how to roll over, let alone crawl or walk. I am encouraged by what I see, yes, there will be some stumbling, some will fall down, and some perhaps will fail, at least for a time. But in the end, I think we will see some major changes over there. The people seem to want freedom, and with time, and as they become better educated, we will see good things happen. Iraq, thanks to the assistance they have received from the US and allies, has gotten a jump start ahead of other nations, but Egypt, Libya, and even Syria will come along.

For now though, there is only one stable democracy in the ME and that is Israel. It may be many years before we see another, but I believe that in time we will see others, many others. Freedom is not an easy thing to accomplish, but at the same time, there is no such thing as a little freedom. Once the seed is planted, it is not easily killed, it's growth may be slowed, but grow it will and in time it will blossom and bear the fruit of true democratic rule. It may be many years, it has taken us many to get to where we are, but know that it will happen, and be encouraged in that.

Anonymous (not verified) Fri, 02/01/2013 - 20:07

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