Why The Arab Revolutions Have Produced So Few Leaders

Dubai, United Arab Emirates —

travelling in the post-Awakening Arab world, I have been most struck by how few new leaders have emerged from the huge volcanic political eruption here. By new leaders, I don’t just mean people who win elections, I mean leaders — men and women with the legitimacy and the will to tell their people the truth and build the coalitions required to get their societies moving forward again.

Discussing this problem with Arab friends, I am always quick to note that my own country — not to mention Europe — has a similar problem. There is a global leadership vacuum. But in the Arab world today it is particularly problematic, because this is a critical juncture. Every one of these awakening countries needs to make the transition from Saddam to Jefferson without getting stuck in Khomeini.

Read the rest of this post at the New York Times.

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