Monday, February 21, 2011

Gorbachev Says..

For too long, conventional political thinking about the Arab world was based on a false dichotomy: authoritarian regimes or fundamentalism, extremism, terrorism. The leaders of those regimes also seemed to believe in their roles as guardians of stability. Behind the fa├žade, however, severe social and economic problems kept mounting. Stagnating economies, pervasive corruption, the widening chasm between rich and poor, and a life of frustration for millions of young people fueled social unrest.

Egypt's Agonizing Choice -

Just as everywhere else, the only way forward in the Arab world, with
its tortuous history, unique culture and numerous risks and dangers, is
toward democracy, with the understanding that the path is difficult and
that democracy is not a magic wand.

It would be a mistake to see Islam as a destructive force. The history
of Islamic culture includes periods when it was a leader in the
development of world civilization. Its contributions to science,
education and literature cannot be disputed. Islamic doctrines strongly
advocate social justice and peace. An Islam that emphasizes those values
can have great potential.

One needs to muster courage for real change, because power without
accountability cannot last. This is what hundreds of thousands of
Egyptian citizens, whose faces we’ve seen on television, stated loud and

Looking at those faces, one wants to believe that Egypt’s democratic
transition will succeed. That would be a good example, one the entire
world needs.

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