Walter E. Williams
Recommend this article
Here's the first paragraph of my last year's column "Democracy Is Impossible":

"After Moammar Gadhafi's downfall as Libya's tyrannical ruler, politicians and 'experts' in the U.S. and elsewhere, including French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe, are saying that his death marked the end of 42 years of tyranny and the beginning of democracy in Libya. Sen. Chris Coons, D-Del., said Gadhafi's death represented an opportunity for Libya to make a peaceful and responsible transition to democracy. House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, said, 'Now it is time for Libya's Transitional National Council to show the world that it will respect the rights of all Libyans (and) guide the nation to democracy.' German Chancellor Angela Merkel said that 'Libya must now quickly make further determined steps in the direction of democracy.'"

It's good to have hope, but if we're going to be realistic, there's little chance for Middle East emergence of what we in the West call democracy.

Almost a year ago, both Egyptians and Westerners welcomed and celebrated the downfall of three decades of Egyptian dictator Hosni Mubarak's tyrannical rule. It was called an "Arab Spring." A year later, Egyptians are once again taking to the streets, this time protesting the tyrannical acts of President Mohamed Morsi, who represents the vision and ideological orientation of the Muslim Brotherhood. The Muslim Brotherhood's goal has always been to impose Shariah law. Egyptian tyranny hasn't been eliminated; its form has changed.

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's dictatorship is now being challenged by a hodgepodge of armed resistance groups nominally united as the Free Syrian Army. Speaking for our nation, last year President Obama said, "The United States has been inspired by the Syrian peoples' pursuit of a peaceful transition to democracy. They have braved ferocious brutality at the hands of their government." Is al-Assad's downfall in any way more likely to produce democracy than Gadhafi's downfall or Mubarak's downfall? Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is optimistic in saying the rebel protest shows "the strong desire of the Syrian people ... for a Syria that is democratic, just and inclusive."

Recommend this article

Walter E. Williams

Dr. Williams serves on the faculty of George Mason University as John M. Olin Distinguished Professor of Economics and is the author of 'Race and Economics: How Much Can Be Blamed on Discrimination?' and 'Up from the Projects: An Autobiography.'
 
TOWNHALL DAILY: Be the first to read Walter Williams' column. Sign up today and receive Townhall.com daily lineup delivered each morning to your inbox.