Wendell Steavenson notes that the idea that Arab governments should respond to their citizens instead of ruling them is almost unprecedented, yet in an unpredictable world, anything can happen. “At the heart of the complaints among the protesters—more than poverty and unemployment and low wages—is the sense that the pervasive corruption of wasta, or connections, must end. People are asking for better governance and accountability. Each Arab nation has its own permutations of a balance of power among tribe, sect, mosque, and military. The most striking and unexpected aspect of the protests is that none of these entities have been at the forefront. Extremism has also been missing.”
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