Blame dictatorship, not democracy, for the unravelling order in the Arab world.
From Deep State to Islamic State: The Arab Counter-Revolution and its Jihadi Legacy. By Jean-Pierre Filiu
A similar dynamic can be seen in Syria, whose leader, Bashar Assad, carefully stoked the sectarianism and Islamic radicalism he now claims to be defending against. Before and after the stillborn 2011 “revolution”, Egyptian governments have also posed as a last-line defence against extremism, requiring frequent doses of foreign aid to shore up the ever-leaking dykes.
In fact, brutal measures wielded against dissidents only provoked increasingly extreme forms of dissent. Yet the eventual collapse of many of these countries into civil strife did not unseat rulers so much as tighten their grasp. To the adage that wars make states, says Mr Filiu, “one might add that for the Arab Mamluks ‘civil wars make (and strengthen) Deep States.’ ”