The Arab Spring, Ten Years On

Islamists and autocrats have the run of things. But the millions who struggled for freedom should not be forgotten.

After a fleeting season of hope, despair has returned to nurture the pretensions of the ancien regime. “Realists” in distant lands have doubled down, proclaiming the resilience of Arab tyranny. In the American governing class, there is no longer any great sympathy with, let alone active encouragement for, liberal reform. The reactionary right has decided that America’s Enlightenment creed doesn’t apply to the Muslim Middle East; the progressive left is more critical of Middle Eastern tyrannies, with the glaring exceptions of Iran and the Palestinian territories, but has no interest in taking up a “freedom agenda” in Islamic lands.

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