(Hillary) Clinton Outlines Road Ahead For Arab Democracy
“Today there are new democracies fighting for life, there are vicious autocrats clinging to power,” Clinton said in a speech at the “Community of Democracies” meeting. “This is an hour or need. And every democracy should stand up and be counted.”
Drawing on the experience of Lithuania and other countries that opened up when the Iron Curtain came down 22 years ago, Clinton outlined a series of fundamentals she said were necessary for nations to make the transition to democracy: institutions rooted in law; equality for all, including women; a free press; economic opportunity; legitimate leaders.
The implicit warning was that it is uncertain if the Arab reform movements will translate into stable democratic societies. While Tunisia and Egypt try to find their own formulas for a new system of governance, the would-be democrats of Syria may never get their chance.