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March 29, 2005



Strange how autocrats of today are centrists of yore, when the "center" reflected poles of Marxism (South Yemen) and "Islamism" (Iran).

But the problem is not that the West misunderstands how to effectively balance the contrary positions in the Arab world so as to inculcate democratic reform.

Rather, it's the arrogant assumption that, once the proper formula is deduced, the West can catalyze the change among Arab factions, alchemically shifting leaden autocracy into golden democracy.

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