by Cal Thomas
"Another one bites the dust
And another one gone, and another one gone
Another one bites the dust." -- Queen
Forgive me if I don't join the
"Gadhafi's Death Ushers in New Era," read the headline in last Friday's usually sober
Secretary of State
We have been assured by various sources throughout the misnamed "Arab Spring" that these revolutionaries are genuine democrats, who want free elections and will guarantee at least some rights (if not equal ones) for women, religious minorities and perhaps even political opponents. But the attacks by Muslims on Coptic Christians and their churches in Egypt ought to be a warning sign that an Egyptian (and Libyan) version of America is unlikely to bloom in such putrid soil.
Turkey was supposed to be the shining light of 21st-century Islam, a beacon to the rest of the Muslim world. Instead, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has been turning more and more to Islam's conservative wing while rebuffing Israel and behaving in ways not befitting a U.S. ally or member of
In Tunisia, where the Arab uprisings began, an election was recently held. Initial returns indicate that a once-banned Islamist party, Ennahda, may have won a majority.
And Afghanistan isn't turning out as many had hoped.
If real progress is to be made in Libya toward representative democracy, women's rights, religious pluralism, economic stability and diplomatic cooperation with the West, the first step must be to rewrite the
Should Libya's new leaders approve a constitution without that clause, if they keep the Muslim Brotherhood at bay -- which is now active in other Arab nations experiencing upheaval -- and if they turn toward the West for more than economic aid, embracing the most fundamental of human rights, I will move from pessimism to guarded optimism. Confidence isn't warranted when a headline in the
I remain a skeptic that Libya is capable of heading in a direction that improves the lives of its people, aligns itself with the U.S. and our interests and lessens tensions in the region.
But I am open to evidence to the contrary, if it's not based on wishful thinking.
"Gadhafi Bites the Dust ... What's Next?"