A Mideast Makeover?

(Washington Post) Jackson Diehl - Egypt's Mubarak and Syria's Assad are autocrats whose regimes had remained unaltered, and unchallenged, for decades. There has been no political ferment in Damascus since the 1960s, or in Cairo since the 1950s. Now, within weeks of Iraq's elections, Mubarak and Assad are tacking with panicked haste between bold acts of repression, which invite an international backlash, and big promises of reform - which also may backfire, if they prove to be empty. They could yet survive; but quite clearly, the Arab autocrats don't regard the Bush dream of democratic dominoes as fanciful.

2005-03-04 00:00:00

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