Un-American Democracy

Beinart says that Tunisia teaches us democracy can spread without Charles Krauthammer hurrying it along:

The reason democracy may yet break out in the Arab world has less to do with the trajectory of American power than with the reality that even if American power declines, democracy still has no compelling ideological competitor. Jihadist Islam can’t answer people’s desire for economic progress. Chinese-style authoritarian capitalism isn’t something most authoritarian regimes can import, certainly not in the Middle East. In other words, it’s too early to count Fukuyama and the optimists out. It’s a good thing for the U.S. government to want democracy in the Middle East. But the important thing is that young Arabs want it even more.

And we will advance it by keeping ourselves out of it as much as we can, and helping only when asked.