Has the Arab Winter arrived?
It’s a question analysts in Washington are asking as angry demonstrations spread across North Africa and the Middle East to protest a video ridiculing the Islamic prophet Muhammad.
Those skeptical of promoting democracy in Muslim countries and those who fear a rapid decline in American influence may see their suspicions validated. Even among those who’ve championed the end of Middle Eastern autocracies, the level of anti-American rage wrought by the film has been ominous.
U.S. embassies and consulates have been breached this week in Egypt, Libya, Yemen and Tunisia — the same four countries to rid themselves of decades-long dictatorships in what became known as the Arab Spring of revolutions last year. In Libya, the only place the U.S. used its military to ensure regime change, the violence was the worst, claiming the life of Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other embassy staffers.