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România Liberâ - Romania | Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Nicolae Prelipceanu on the Arab double bind

The West is currently celebrating the rebellions in the Arab World as heralding a period of democratic transition. But publicist Nicolae Prelipceanu sees Western civilisation stuck between a rock and a hard place in the daily Romania Libera: "Western civilisation is in a double bind. Its basic principles ... do not allow it to look on impassively while the citizens of another country are slaughtered. On the other hand it knows that by supporting rebellion it will fuel the conflict with anti-Western Islamist forces. ... I fear that these revolutions are actually just a conflict between two sorts of intolerance: that of the dictator on the one hand and that of the Islamic masses on the other. The West supported the first sort - albeit passively - for decades, for as long as the dictators were of some use to it. Now the West is rallying behind the second sort of intolerance. Is our world not committing under the pressure of its rules and norms a new mistake of the sort you see in chess, when a player is forced to make a move that will lead to his own defeat?"

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