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Americans love a story about rebellion. This is why Star Wars is so popular. When revolutions for democracy unfold across the globe, we watch with keen interest
Revolution is in our blood, of course. Every child is taught in school about how George Washington and the Continental Army beat the British and set up freedom and democracy for Americans.
The civil war in Syria and the revolutions in Egypt and Libya are being portrayed as popular uprisings against corrupt and tyrannical regimes.
Roughly 700 days ago, peaceful and stable governments in the Middle East and northern Africa began to face resistance from the public. The opposition manifested into massive protests in countries like Tunisia, Egypt, Libya and Syria.
The widespread unrest culminated into the supposed Arab Spring. Egypt and Libya were sites of violent revolutions, and Syria has been embroiled in civil war since March 15, 2011.
Over the next year, the revolutions in Egypt and Libya led to the overthrow and removal of the governments.
Because the revolutions were complete, the public assumed that peace would follow, and public interest began to fade.
Of course, that assumption could not be further from the truth. The countries involved in the Arab Spring continue to be fraught with turmoil.
Fairy tales and movies end neatly when the evil king is deposed, and the land is blessed with peace and prosperity.
Reality is that revolutions cause chaos for years and years. More often than not, a worse leader will replace the old one.
It is much too soon to be remotely optimistic about the Middle East, especially Syria.
The country is still entangled in a bloody civil war that has claimed more than 60,000 lives. Hundreds of thousands of refugees have fled to neighboring countries. After Egypt and Libya dropped from the front pages, the Syrian crisis took their spot.
The crisis in Syria hardly makes the news anymore. Viewers and readers have likely become desensitized, so the media are done featuring it.
The public and media got tired of waiting for the Syrian revolutionaries to prevail.
Now we go back to news that is normal for this time of year—Academy Award predictions and an in-depth look at the hottest Super Bowl ads.
Even though most people know the story of the American Revolution, they often do not know about the inner turmoil that America endured after the British left.
The country almost went bankrupt, went through two constitutions and dealt with two internal rebellions before Washington’s first term.
There is no happy storybook ending in sight for Syria or any country involved in the Arab Spring.
What will bring an end to the civil war in Syria? It seems no one knows. The attempts that have been made are not working.
We can hope that the power vacuum will be filled with less tyrannical leaders, but we may be hoping in vain.