Three years later, no one talks about the Arab Spring. Its anniversaries pass in rioting and terror; clubs, bombs and juntas mixing together in a bloody cocktail. Protesters die, police die and the liberals who once claimed that the Age of Aquarius had come to the Land of the Nile have turned their faces away.
In the bleak grey skyscraper towering precariously over Eight Avenue, the filing cabinets bulge with back issues of theÂ New York TimesÂ full of optimistic speculations about the future. But now the Old Grey Lady hardly mentions the Arab Spring except when she’s talking about insurgencies and riot casualty counts.
Only a few years ago, she fell head over heels for the bad boys of the Muslim Brotherhood. Now, despite the best efforts of her procurers of Islamism like David Kilpatrick and Robert Mackey, she has stopped taking their phone calls and has settled down to placidly chronicling the daily urban disorders of Egypt.
Despite her disregard, the Arab Spring countries are slowly sorting themselves out. Egypt has ratified its constitution and is moving ahead to elections. Amr Moussa, the Secretary General of the Arab League and Chairman of the Committee of 50 that drafted the Constitution is assuring reporters that General al-Sisi “will assume the seat of power in a democratic way, because he will win the majority of the votes.”
“There is nothing else to say,” he added. When it comes to Middle Eastern elections, there usually isn’t.
Tunisia is stumbling in its efforts at both a constitution and a government, but the Islamic parties in Egypt and Tunisia have been forced to retreat. The Arab Spring has receded and the new battle will be between Islamic terrorist groups, including those that temporarily went ‘straight’ to try the democratic path to power, and the authorities. And that will be better than the ‘democratic’ Caliphate alternative.
The Syrian opposition has been forced to the negotiating table because Assad’s Russian backers proved more determined than Obama and the rag-ends of a NATO alliance unwilling to take on Syria without the United States leading the charge. Its politicians are busy with their petty bickering and the fighters are killing each other over the loot of the cities and towns that they expect to lose before too long.
By the fourth anniversary of the Arab Spring, it is entirely possible that most of the countries affected by it will look a lot like they did before it took place with the exception of Libya where NATO intervention has turned the country over to Islamic militias linked to Al Qaeda and the Muslim Brotherhood.
In Cairo, anniversary celebrations cheer the fall of Mubarak and welcome the future presidency of General al-Sisi while the Muslim Brotherhood’s supporters unleash a new wave of terror. In Tunisia, some Islamists denounce the “secular” constitution while others support it. In Egypt and Tunisia, both the Islamic parties and the left have tried to claim the mantle of a revolution that no longer exists.