Arab Spring, United States, and the Future of Democracy

Arab Spring, United States, and the Future of Democracy [/ caption]

Arab Spring. Of course we all have often met this terminology in various media information that we read. But what is the meaning of this terminology? What does it have to do with the United States, and the future of democracy?

Arab Spring

Arab Spring is a wave of protests and uprisings perpetrated by pro-democracy societies in the Middle East and North Africa against authoritarian regimes in the region that began around 2010 to 2011 [1]. It all began in December 2010 in the case of a fruit vendor in Tunisia who protested against the abuse of several policemen to him by burning himself in front of the local government office. This small incident then affected the turmoil of massive demonstrations escalating into a revolution of resistance in a small village in Tunisia, flourishing in Egypt to infect and threatening authoritarian regimes in Bahrain and Yemen, sparking civil war in Libya, and continuing to shake even in monarchies- calm monarchies like Saudi Arabia and Jordan [2]. The domino effect of the escalation of the conflict against the authoritarian regime in various Middle Eastern countries was then referred to by various western media as Arab Spring, after the turbulence of resistance in Tunisia managed to overthrow the government led by Zainal Abidin Bin Ali in 2011 [3].

The role of the US in Arab Spring

When examined more deeply, we can actually argue that the Arab Spring event was not only caused by the events of resistance in Tunisia alone, but also has its own connection with the policy of military intervention run by the United States (US) and its alliances in the Middle East. Military interventions in the Middle East have various excuses, from the mission to confiscate WMD (Weapon of Mass Destruction), anti-terrorism, to democratization by overthrowing authoritarian regime. This is reflected in US foreign policy entitled Forward Strategy of Freedom in the Middle East. As mentioned in the speech of former US president George W. Bush on November 6, 2003 which states that as long as freedom (democracy) can not be realized in the Middle East, then the region will experience stagnation, hatred and violence that are ready to be exported and endanger the national security of the US and the country -a colleague of colleagues [4]. The policy under the pretext of freedom and democracy will later be used as a justification for Bush to conduct military intervention in Iraq [5]. The phenomenon of democratization in the Middle East by using hard power by the US is in fact in line with the concept of offensive liberalism in the perspective of Benjamin Miller.

In contrast to defensive liberalism that promotes cooperation and global / regional integration in promoting democracy [6], then the offensive liberalism democratization is where peace will be achieved but on condition that only when the government of all countries is democratic. [7] US democratization of some countries in the Middle East is full of certain interests and coercive. Nevertheless, offensive liberalism remains one of the main drivers of the wave of democratization in the Middle East because democratic values ??such as individual freedom and human security provide an alternative to the authoritarian rule commonly found in the Middle East. Hence, in terms of Middle Eastern society, offensive liberalism efforts have helped them to be more confident in building new perspectives to fight for democracy against authoritarian authoritarian rule, albeit with certain consequences.

The Future of Democracy in the Middle East

Looking at the phenomenon of Arab Spring, we can also see the prospects of Middle Eastern democracy in the future will grow as democracy becomes an indicator of the justification of all policies of interest from the US and other western countries. So in the future democracy will develop on the basis of fear and compulsion of the authoritarian regime against the interests of Western democratic superpowers, rather than promoting a process of natural, social, political and cultural dynamics that are natural and independent. This argument was also made by Noam Chomsky in an interview in which he said that the United States does not really want the Middle East to get democracy (real), and that the US will only bring down a dictatorship that is not in line with its interests [8]. Chomsky also argues that this argument is evident from the US neglect of similar demonstrations in Saudi Arabia and Kuwait that actually have the same non-democratic system repressive with other countries affected by Arab Spring. Moreover the emergence of terrorist groups such as ISIS (Islamic State in Iraq and Syria) or often disebuIndicator whether a democratic country or not is determined by the US and its alliances. This is evident from the neglect of some Middle East countries such as Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, or some countries in Southeast Asia such as Singapore and Thailand in Southeast Asia that actually have oligarchic and authoritarian government systems but are not subject to US intervention because of US interests making them pivot. In a way, the prospect of future democratic values ??will not be separated from the pragmatism and economic and political interests of a particular country. Therefore, it may be difficult for some countries that have particular social and cultural values ??to try to adapt democratic values ??in the dynamic and independent developmental dynamics because of the overwhelming importance and intervention of western nations towards the value of democracy itself, US.

Hopefully the future of the international constellation will be able to escape from the axis and vortex of western democratic influence that exists, so that it can begin to construct a more adaptative, natural, and independent of democracy.

The above is personal opinion.


[2] .html



[5] Stone, James A. Shoemaker, David P., Dotti, Nicholas R. Interrogation: World War II, Vietnam, and Iraq. Washington, DC: National Defense Intelligence College, 2008.

[6] Miller, B. Democracy Promotion. Milennium – Journal of International Relations, P. 561-591, 2010.

[7] Ibid.

[8] source: Reuters.

Related Post