The United States is the most revolutionary power in the history of the world, but after more than 200 years of a brilliant revolutionary career we are still not very good at understanding or responding to the revolutions our example, our ideas, our economy and our technology do so much to create.
The Arab spring is the latest example of the clash between America’s revolutionary world role and our pathetic cluelessness about the forces we do so much to promote. The Arab Spring is turning into a long, hot summer. Civil wars in Libya, Syria and Yemen and the sullen silence of the Shi’a in Bahrain have baptized Arab democracy in blood. More will flow — and American foreign policy is befuddled and bemused.