The Many Faces of the Arab Spring

MADRID – The attack by a Western-led alliance on Muammar Gaddafi’s forces in Libya is driven largely by principled motives. Had it turned its back on the Libyan rebels, the West would have betrayed its very identity.

Of course, the same principles are not being applied to save the brutally repressed masses in Yemen or the Shia protesters in Bahrain. It is doubtful whether they will be extended to Saudi Arabia and Syria, let alone to Iran. Nor is it improbable that a protracted war in Libya would end by vindicating the warning of the region’s authoritarian rulers that the Arab Awakening is but a prelude to chaos.