Western Illusions About the Middle East:
Stability as Far Off as Ever
intellectual crisis such as the schemes of reformers and the good will of philanthropists could hardly alleviate. Nevertheless, the idea that Middle Eastern instability is endemic has found little favor either in England or America. Every new revolution in this area is still greeted as the herald of a new day, and every new outbreak of trouble as the necessary and beneficent prelude to an epoch of orderliness and justice.
The meliorism of Western liberals, the activist categories and hopeful concepts of their political science, go far to explain this attitude, as does also their conviction that a stable, universal peace can be established only when the whole world is composed of democratic and progressive nation-states. Whatever the worth of this notion, it is not one that a statesman should act on. To him, it should not matter whether the events he has to cope with are milestones on a road leading somewhere, or mere variations on an eternally repeated theme.
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