Well, that was then, and this is now.
More than a year ago, before the blood had been hosed off the concrete in Tahrir Square, those of us who have studied the history of the region were not as sanguine as the mainstream media about the anticipated rosy future for the Muslim Middle East.
The past four decades of Lebanese history offered an instructive example, as did the election of Hamas in Gaza. It was obvious that when the “Arab street” finally got a chance to vote in a real election, it would install the Muslim Brotherhood and its affiliates in office.
Which, of course, is exactly what happened in Tunisia and Egypt, and to a lesser extent in Morocco. And the mandarins of the MSM are now shocked — shocked! — to discover Islamic fundamentalists calling the shots in their beloved new “democracies”.
All this brutality, murder, homophobia, and misogyny — who could have guessed?
The following article is from Saturday’s Washington Post, but similar pieces have recently appeared in The New York Times, Foreign Policy, and other venerable leftist organs.
It seems the Progressives of the media are waking up to the unintended consequences of what they pushed so fervidly to achieve last year. Or, to be more cynical about it, perhaps their masters in the Obama administration have ordered up these reports as advance damage control in anticipation of a long, hot Arab Summer just before the election:
The ‘Islamist Spring’ Continues as Tunisia Suffers Fundamentalist Takeover
One year after the uprising that sent autocratic leader Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali packing to exile in Saudi Arabia, Tunisia stands divided between two visions of its future. Last year’s street clashes in this sun-spangled city by the sea have morphed into a different kind of battle — more intimate confrontations in which many families struggle with essential questions of identity.
Secular parents, surprised to find their daughter covering her hair in public, worry they are losing their child to extremism. Moderately religious families argue over a son’s decision to grow a beard and demonstrate against aspects of Tunisian life they have always taken for granted: beer and wine, bikinis on the beach, Hollywood movies on TV. In workplaces, kitchens and sidewalk tearooms, one question dominates: Can and should Tunisia’s blend of Western and Islamic values and practices be maintained under the North African country’s new freedom, or has that freedom unleashed a religious extremism that threatens to push this land of 10 million people toward a new kind of dictatorship?
Read the rest at the WaPo website.