Over at the Washington Post, Henry Kissinger provides some insight into democratic transitions in the Middle East. Regardless of your opinions Kissinger the man; his insights should be carefully considered. HJFJR
"The United States can and should assist on the long journey toward societies based on civil tolerance and individual rights. But it cannot do so effectively by casting every conflict entirely in ideological terms. Our efforts must also be placed within a framework of U.S. strategic interests, which should help define the extent and nature of our role. Progress toward a world order embracing participatory governance and international cooperation requires the fortitude to work through intermediate stages. It also requires that the various aspirants to a new order in the Middle East recognize that our contribution to their efforts will be measured by their compatibility with our interests and values. For this, the realism and idealism we now treat as incompatible need to be reconciled."