Democracy in Arabia
Today on Tablet
Traveling in Morocco, Mideast columnist Lee Smith takes the temperature of the region today in Tablet Magazine. The mood has been altered by two events of the Past week: Tunisia’s Jasmine Revolution—”for the first time in Arab history a people rose up to send their ruler packing,” as Smith summarizes it—and Secretary of State Clinton’s speech in Qatar calling on Arab leaders to liberalize. “What is more depressing,” Smith writes,
is that while we believe poverty, hopelessness, and despair may pave the way for extremist elements and terrorist groups, we know that democracy has empowered them where repression sidelines them. Even avid Bush partisans cannot ignore the fact that the gospel of democratization propagated by Bush and his secretary of state, Condoleezza Rice, during the president’s second term helped bring Hamas to power in Gaza and strengthened Hezbollah’s hand in Lebanon.
There is a reason why a famous Arab dictum has it that 100 years of tyranny is preferable to one day of chaos. It is meant to remind us of the nature of man the political animal who cannot foresee the consequences of his actions.
Daily rate: $2
Monthly rate: $18
Yearly rate: $180
WAIT, WHY DO I HAVE TO PAY TO COMMENT?
Tablet is committed to bringing you the best, smartest, most enlightening and entertaining reporting and writing on Jewish life, all free of charge. We take pride in our community of readers, and are thrilled that you choose to engage with us in a way that is both thoughtful and thought-provoking. But the Internet, for all of its wonders, poses challenges to civilized and constructive discussion, allowing vocal—and, often, anonymous—minorities to drag it down with invective (and worse). Starting today, then, we are asking people who'd like to post comments on the site to pay a nominal fee—less a paywall than a gesture of your own commitment to the cause of great conversation. All proceeds go to helping us bring you the ambitious journalism that brought you here in the first place.
I NEED TO BE HEARD! BUT I DONT WANT TO PAY.
Readers can still interact with us free of charge via Facebook, Twitter, and our other social media channels, or write to us at email@example.com. Each week, we’ll select the best letters and publish them in a new letters to the editor feature on the Scroll.
We hope this new largely symbolic measure will help us create a more pleasant and cultivated environment for all of our readers, and, as always, we thank you deeply for your support.