Bargaining With Autocrats

“When you see history, and you see it to be noble,
you have to respond….

Fouad Ajami

You have 360 million Arabs ruled by a handful of autocrats, mostly old, but some young, as in Jordan, Syria and Morocco. And eight of the Arab states practice torture on a regular basis. We know there are political prisons for the dissidents. We know there is massive economic failure, that the Arab world did not have economic growth since the ’80s, that tens of millions of Arabs live below the poverty line.

The young Arabs see the facts of their life, and many are eager to flee the Arab world, to London or Berlin or Oslo, and many of them leave. But this is their world and they have to make a stand in Cairo and Rabat and Tunis. They have to try to build a better public order for themselves. The pathologies of the Arab world are so deep, and these young people came to understand these pathologies. …

There is a certain level of security that comes from autocracies… There is stability there. But the bargain with an autocrat is never a good bargain.”

— Fouad Ajami, in Haaretz

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Chris Johns & Terry Adamson celebrate the launch of NGM-China in 2007 (left) and NGM-Arabic in 2010 (right)

 

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