Half the U.S. population owns barely 2 percent of its wealth, putting the United States near Rwanda and Uganda and below such nations as pre-Arab Spring Tunisia and Egypt when measured by degrees of income inequality.— Eric Alterman
Revolutionary Arab Spring quotations
But for us, in Syria, we have principles.
We'll do anything to prevent the region from another crazy war. It's not only Syria. Because it will start in Syria.
You can understand Tunisia revolution as a failure to censor the internet.
And Libya had that failure too. It's very difficult for governments that are autocratic and don't have broad popular support to be in power when a lot of people have these devices. That was what Arab Spring was about, that people could express this and lead to revolution.
Independence used to be the ticket for liberty.
But today, security and freedom, whether it's in the Arab Spring, whether it's in Iraq or whether it's right here in the United States, means working cooperatively and interdependently with others.
If you look not just at the Arab spring, but at what I call the youth spring that has started in Europe, young people are starting to find a voice, and they are not looking to the traditional media to reflect that.
The problem with what we call the 'Arab spring' is that these are very nationalistic experiences. Tunisians are concerned with Tunisia, Egyptians concerned with Egypt and so on.
The most striking thing is that even before Osama bin Laden was killed, he seemed largely irrelevant to the Arab Spring.
From the streets of Cairo and the Arab Spring, to Occupy Wall Street, from the busy political calendar to the aftermath of the tsunami in Japan, social media was not only sharing the news but driving it.
No matter what's happening in the Middle East - the Arab Spring, et cetera, the economic challenges, high rates of unemployment - the emotional, critical issue is always the Israeli-Palestinian one.
Revolution is like a love story. When you are in love, you become a much better person. And when you are in revolution, you become a much better person.
There are an awful lot of things going on that need understanding and explanation, but - to put it mildly - the world is a mess.
The international community cannot stand by and watch the massacre of Libyan protesters. In Rwanda we watched. In Kosovo we acted.
Look at what has occurred in history.
When the Berlin Wall fell, it was not surprising, but it was unexpected. Who predicted the Arab Spring? Nobody expected it, but all the ingredients were there. I think all the ingredients are also there for Quebec to become a country. But when? That's another question.
We are living in a world in which developments are harder to predict and one that has become more uncertain. In such a world, you must be prepared for the unpredictable. Nobody predicted the fall of the Berlin Wall or the Arab Spring.
The riveting moral power of the Arab Spring comes from its homegrown quality.
This is about Arabs overcoming fear to become agents of their own transformation and liberation.
Social media allows people to connect.
So instead of reading about the Arab Spring, I can have students following along, in real-time, with what is happening.
You're advised not to drink the replica Arab spring water.
In the process of the Arab Spring, we have unfortunately seen a development in Syria where the regime has been oppressing its people.
If you're young and inexperienced you might accept what people tell you, that everything's going to be fine, it's okay. It's usually other young people saying that, who don't know any better. It's good to have a survival instinct because increasingly, especially in the whole Arab Spring sort of violence, you're mostly with young people who have not experienced what they're doing before.
I don't think the Arab Spring had much to do with energy.
I think it was just the opposite, in fact. I think the Arab Spring happened because particularly young people knew they were living in a context where they could not realize their full potential, that they are being kept down by their own governments.
Let's look at two things real quickly: the civil rights movement in Mississippi in the Sixties and the Arab Spring starting in Tunisia and Cairo. What they had in common was people who were told, and who believed inside themselves, that they were a certain way, and the society at large believed it.
With the Arab Spring, came a great deal of hope that there would be a change towards more moderation, and opportunity for greater participation on the part of women in public life, and in economic life in the Middle East. But instead, we've seen in nation after nation, a number of disturbing events.
Syria is a civil war. Syria began as a popular uprising, just like the other experiences in the Arab Spring, with a repressive government that responded by basically killing the protesters. It's not a genocide, it's a war, and there's a difference. Genocide is a preplanned attack on people because of who they are. This is a interstate conflict.
I can understand the idea that there is a conspiracy.
In fact, in much of the world there is a sense of an ultra-powerful CIA manipulating everything that happens, such as running the Arab Spring, running the Pakistani Taliban, etc. That is just nonsense. They [CIA] created a monster and now they are appalled by it.
Some socialist movements in Egypt, Tunisia and Bahrain, for instance, were genuine. I was making films about the so-called Arab Spring, and I'm well aware of how complex the situation really was. But it goes without saying is that the West immediately infiltrated and 'derailed' the revolutions, turning them into what you have described.
I am a supporter of much of the Arab Spring, as a matter of indigenous self-determination. So, I see the United States' role in Libya as an appropriately restrained one in providing some international support for the work of those trying to bring democratic change against a regime that has undoubtedly been dictatorial, particularly in the past twenty years.
There is always the risk that a conflagration in the Middle East becomes larger and more dangerous. In this scenario, we discover that the Arab Spring was merely the prelude to a deeper and much farther-reaching upheaval in the region that has greater impact on countries like Iran and Saudi Arabia.
I'm optimistic, though. Now, with the Arab Spring, I think that people in the region are beginning to overturn some of these clichés, and Western editors are starting to catch up. We're seeing some exceptions to the stereotypes, like Elizabeth Rubin's great piecein Newsweek, "The Feminists in the Middle of Tahrir Square." But an article like that shouldn't be the exception. It should be the rule.
The Arab Spring has heightened the ideological tension between Ankara and Tehran, and Turkey's model seems to be winning.
It is the growing periphery of the Arab world - the masses at its margins, not its feeble and decaying center - that is shaping the future of the region.
If democracy succeeds in Egypt, other countries will follow.
Should the democratic experiment in Egypt be hijacked by the military or anti-democratic Islamist groups, the revolution will fail elsewhere.
We tie ourselves in knots when we act as if democracy is good for the United States and Israel but not for the Arab world. For far too long, we've treated the Arab world as just an oil field.
The end of despots is always odd?exhilarating to those who suffered their tyrannies, and to those who hold despotism in contempt, and anti-climatic at the same time, the discovery that these tyrants were petty, frightened men after all.
Democracy or breakdown in Syria would change the whole Middle East overnight.
The well of public opinion has been well and truly poisoned by the Iraq episode.