Writing about the current mess in Yemen, Fareed Zakaria says, in part:
This is the pattern that has produced terrorism in the Arab world. Repressive, secular regimes — backed by the West — become illegitimate. Over time they become more repressive to survive and the opposition becomes more extreme and violent. The space for compromise, pluralism and democracy vanishes. The insurgents and jihadists have mostly local grievances but, because Washington supports the dictator, their goals become increasingly anti-American.
Since we have learned little from this history, we are now repeating it.
So, what are the chances that we might learn to stop supporting secular dictators (in Egypt and elsewhere) any time soon? And why doesn't it matter that we also support sectarian dictators (in Saudi Arabia and elsewhere)?