“US should stop acting “shepherd” to the Arab world” – historian
”In America there is a sense: Oh, democracy has come! No, regime change has barely come,” Katrina vanden Heuvel said. ”These dictators have been ousted and what follows will be a measure of international support, of non-meddling, of countries’ ability to come together and find the resources.”
”I come back again to economic development. I really think that is going to be critical in this region,” she added.
”Part of the problem in the United States is that a lot of the lessons being drawn in the media are the wrong lessons,” Stephen Cohen said. “People are saying: this is democracy. It is not and that will be a long journey. Maybe, it is the first step, but this is a long journey, this is far from certain.”
According to Cohen, what is happening in the region are also hardly revolutions.
”People say this is a revolution, but as a historian, I react badly at this generalization,” he said. “In Egypt, for example, Mubarak is gone, but the regime is still there, the military regime that governs the country. That is not a revolution … at the moment it is only leader change.”
Stephen Cohen added that the US should drop the illusion that its interference with the region’s affairs is crucial.
”There is a lot of misperception,” he said. “The idea that the United States has to ‘shepherd’ these countries is a false lesson. That always ends badly. These countries will make it on their own or they will not make it at all.”