Domino theory

The description of recent Arab uprisings as a domino effect to oust autocratic leaders is not entirely accurate. History demonstrates that in many cases, revolts will adversely result in the institution of regimes more tyrannical than the previous.

February 6, 2011 18:16
4 minute read.
Domino theory

micky domino effect gaza . (photo credit: )


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First Tunisia. Now Egypt, Yemen, Saudi Arabia, and Jordan. As recent pledges of reform by King Abdullah and Bashar al-Assad make plain, leaders in the Middle East are not just concerned, they’re panicking.

Today’s revolts are not a total surprise, mind you. Ever since the Iranian Revolution, there has been a widespread belief that the same energies that shook off the Shah lay latent throughout the Arab world as well. The Arab regimes themselves played up to this potential doomsday scenario. When pressured by the West for reforms, engaging in détente with Israel, or siding against Saddam Hussein, these most autocratic of regimes inevitably brushed off these demands by pointing to the “Arab Street” - the Sword of Damocles, they claimed, hung above their heads.


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