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The Economist
9 mins | May 13, 2020

The Arab spring at ten

A decade ago Arabs rose up — why haven’t things improved? "Much has been said and written about what went wrong. In the West, pundits and policymakers tend to talk about themselves, what they could have done to help the revolutions succeed. There is a solipsism to these debates, which relegate Arabs to a secondary role in their own story. And counterfactuals are hard. It is plausible to argue that Syria would be less of a charnel house had America destroyed Bashar al-Assad’s air force in 2012; far less to claim it would have become stable or prosperous or democratic. The no-fly zone over Libya in 2011 helped overthrow Muammar Qaddafi but did not prevent his country’s ruin." The Economist analyses.

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