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Democracy Spreading In Middle East, North Africa?

(Photo by Mark Renders/Getty Images)

Uprisings are everywhere it seems; Egypt, Libya, Yemen, Bahrain, Iran, even Saudi Arabia.  Is democracy going to gain a foothold in the region?  It could happen.  I could also win the lottery tonight.  I’m not holding my breath on either bet.  By my count, there are about 34 countries that exercise some form of Sharia law, some more than others.  I don’t see any way in which democracy, at least as we define it, will ever co-exist with Sharia law.  It just does not work.

Right now, things are red hot in Libya.  Tensions are higher than ever throughout that region of the world.  But they’ve always been high.  The whole region has been at war, off and on again, for over 5,000 years.  How far this spreads depends on how the ‘protesters’ are dealt with country by country.  The brought out the heavy-hitters in Saudi Arabia (a spread the cash around-nothing like buying a little national loyalty).  Over the last couple of days, it’s come out that the rebels in Libya are being supported by Al Qaeda.  So we’re backing rebels who are backed by our sworn enemy?  According to an article in the LA Times, U.S. intelligence has found no “organized” presence of Al Qaeda in the fight.  I say any involvement, organized or not, is a game changer.  It could be that what happens in Libya over the next few weeks could send the whole mess in an even darker direction.

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