Good luck with that. Still more whistling in the dark in the Obama Administration: “Secretary of State Clinton urges Tunisia’s youths to pursue promise of Arab Spring,” by Matthew Lee for The Associated Press, February 26 (thanks to all who sent this in):
TUNIS, Tunisia “” U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton on Saturday warned of backsliding in the democratic transformations under way in the Mideast and North Africa, and appealed for countries in the region to fulfill the promise of reform offered by the Arab Spring.
In Tunisia, the catalyst for the tumult that engulfed the region last year, Clinton said the continued embrace of reforms would serve as a powerful example elsewhere. Her comments came amid concerns that transitions in Egypt and elsewhere are faltering and at risk of being hijacked by Islamic extremists….
Hijacked? The uprisings were never actually Western-oriented or democratic. But you only ever heard that here and in a few other places.
“Protecting democracy is the duty of every citizen,” Clinton said. “For young people here and across the region, this is a special responsibility. You were fearless on the front lines of the revolution, enduring tear gas and beatings. It takes a different kind of courage to be guardians of your new democracy.”
Later, in Algeria, she carried the same message: “The people of the Maghreb are as talented, creative and hard-working as people anywhere in the world. They need and deserve the opportunity to make decisions on behalf of themselves because that is good for the dignity and rights of every individual and it is good for every society.”…
“Transitions can be derailed and detoured to new autocracies,” she told a town hall with Tunisian youth. “The victors of revolutions can become their victims. It is up to (you) to resist the calls of demagogues, to build coalitions, to keep faith in the system even when your candidates lose at the polls.”…
Clinton said the Islamists, along with other parties, must learn to govern together and uphold respect for rule of law, freedom of speech, religion and assembly, protect women and minorities, and “especially in a region with deep divisions within and between religions, avoid inciting sectarian conflicts that pull societies apart.”
Don’t hold your breath, Madame Secretary.
“There are those who question whether Islamist politics can really be compatible with democracy,” she said. “Well, Tunisia has a chance to answer that question affirmatively and to demonstrate that there is no contradiction. That means not just talking about tolerance and pluralism “” it means living it.”
She urged young people to be patient as reforms take hold, noting that economic progress often takes much longer than political change.
Earlier, in meetings with Tunisian President Moncef Marzouki and Prime Minister Hamadi Jebali, Clinton pledged continuing U.S. support for the country as it navigates the transition.
Of course, of course, the jizya will keep flowing no matter what.