Classical Liberal asks:
I wonder if you have any insights or thoughts about the various uprisings going on in the Arab world, and specifically about the big "Day of Rage" in KSA?
I'm very pessimistic about all these protests and possible revolutions. I don't think that the status quo is going to change. Even if there were regime changes, the new thugs would not be much different from the current crop.
Why? I've three reasons.
1. In Islam the state and the religion are the same. The new governments would be theocracies. They won't have any legitimacy in the eyes of the majority public if they weren't. Of course, this also gives the possible new governments tremendous power: To criticize them is to criticize Islam. Off with your head!
Therefore, the possibility of democracy and human rights are not rosy.
2. Oppression of women. Western feminists bitch and moan about the patriarchy whenever they're faced with avenues of life where men, overall, are far superior. These women wouldn't know what oppression is if it bit them on the ass.
One finds true, horrendous misogyny in the Islamic world. This is what all women must look like in public in Saudi Arabia:
This, I fear, will (continue to) be the fate of women if revolutions were to occur in the Arab world. There, men have little control over their own life -- but they have tremendous power over women. They will not relinquish that. There might well be some cosmetic improvements (hey, you can wear a white abaya!) but nothing significant.
3. The hatred of Jews. New regimes will not get street-cred without loudly loathing the Jews. It's in the DNA of Islam. To be merely neutral towards them is to be a bad Muslim. So, the new thugs will spew venom on the Jews and by extension on the United States. The regimes won't be explicitly at war with the West but they'll certainly create the right conditions for hundreds of horny terrorists.
The Jews, the infidels, will always be hated. They are a great stress outlet for all the failures of Islam and its peoples.
Those are my reasons. I will be very happy to be proven wrong.