The Economist recently highlighted the contrast between post-revolt Asian societies and Middle Eastern and North African societies in the woes of a pro-longed, messy and bloody transition that is pockmarked by revolt and counter-revolt, sectarianism, the redrawing of post-colonial borders, and the rise of retrograde groups as revolutionary forces.
You heard it here, the former Secretary of State, Hillary Rodham Clinton was right. Like she said, "what does it matter?". What does matter is that the Congress is wasting our time and money rehashing rhetoric instead of reason.
Libyans want to put the Qadhafi era behind them, but they also want capable individuals to draft the constitution, keep the lights on and the oil flowing. To achieve this they need a strong, moderate leadership.
Contemporary Libya is clearly a nation in the making, rather than just a conglomeration of tribes ready to be at each other's throat. Libyans, however, are still experiencing some conflicts.
Did everyone in the free world all of a sudden forget that it was not the Obama administration but the protestors on the ground in Libya who actually first stated that the reason they were protesting was because of the anti-Islam video, Innocence of Muslims?
During the Bush years, the Republicans used to say it was unpatriotic to criticize the commander-in-chief when troops were in harm's way -- that it would endanger the lives of our soldiers and damage morale. But this deeply heart-felt declaration of wartime patriotism has now been completely abandoned.
This juggling act would pose a nerve racking challenge to any GOP or Democrat occupant of the Oval Office. The tight walk demanded that a president be flexible, deft, and attuned to fast changing conditions and players in the Middle East.
Dramatic plots turn on epiphanic moments of revelation. Republicans know how to lie with statistics, but they may find it difficult to resist a dramatic moment of moral truth last night.
The violent protests in Cairo and in Benghazi were painted with an anti-American brush, and attributed to the vile anti-Islamic video produced in California. But could it be that the 9/11 anniversary -- etched in our psyches -- precipitated the violent demonstrations?
Muslims should not be so quick to complain when others demonstrate their lack of respect for Islam if they fail to make any real progress towards understanding the societal norms of other nations, in this instance the complexity of free speech rights and traditions in the United States.
On my way to and from Manhattan's West Side on Wednesday, I passed by a protest that appeared to be sponsored by the LaRouche PAC, calling for President Obama to be impeached.
The responsibility of every global citizen today is to refuse to be led by irresponsible extremism posing as one of the Abrahamic religions.
The most recent protests are unlikely to amount to Western-style liberalism. They do however constitute a watershed in which people for the first time draw lines in which anger pent-up in societies not only spills into the streets but is also being channeled into engagement.
As the unrest surrounding the "Innocence of Muslims" simmers down, we must face the upsetting conclusion that the last two week's events have followed the ideological script of the hatemongers who made the video.
One of the consistent messages of the holy Quran is: "The good deed and the evil deed are not alike. Repel the evil deed with one, which is better." In last few weeks, we witnessed too many Muslims fail miserably to uphold these central ideals.
For the United States, the concept of free speech covers the rude, crude, false and the blasphemous. Our response to that which offends us is to criticize but not to prohibit or seek by violence to deter.