Israeli physicist Dr. Haim Harari
, former president of Israel's world-renowned Weizmann Institute of Science, recently laid forth an analysis of the Arab Spring and its aftermath that is a must-read as Egyptians elect a new government this week.
Harari at Stanford Linear Accelerator Center in 2002. Photo credit: SLAC
Harari points out that the only stable and powerful political forces in most Arab countries are the military and the Islamist movements, with some tribal forces playing a role in certain Arab states. The outlook for true liberal democracy--with individual rights, respect for opposition, and checks and balances of power--is therefore grim, Harari concludes.
In addition, Harari offers an analysis of the Obama administration's foreign policy that summarizes its incoherence (emphasis added):
The American attitude of the Obama regime, during the evolving events in the Arab world, is truly amazing and baffling. One might understand and applaud an idealistic American attitude based on the principles of supporting freedom, justice and democracy everywhere. One could also understand a less honorable, but very pragmatic, American policy of supporting its friends in the Arab world, regardless of their own attitudes towards freedom and democracy. But there is no explanation, either idealistic or pragmatic, for a policy which works against dictatorial friends of America and does not oppose, in any significant way, all dictatorial foes of America.
Harari's full essay is available here