And by extension, an observation about all those who thought, who may still think, that without touching Islam, and its hold on the minds of men, Arab societies can be transformed through Yankee know-how and goodwill and lots and lots of money.
But what, someone will inevitably say, about Tunisia? Doesn't that "prove" that "democracy and Islam are compatible"? No. It proves that more than a half-century of Bourguiba's influence and followers, and the ability to read the French-language press (of the Lebanese L'Orient-Le Jour type) and listen to radio and television from France, or to be taught by those who have gone through the French system of education, either in France or through local schools run by French-trained personnel, enough people who want to be French and not Saudi (even if they still call themselves Muslims out of filial piety or fear) can manage to come to power through the ballot, but likely will have to adopt the ruthless measures of Al-Sisi, or of Ataturk, to make sure that hydra-headed Islam, and its truest adherents, do not take over. And that's the most that can be expected, in any Muslim-dominated land -- keeping the primitives down and out, using whatever means, as much as possible through legislation, including relentless suppression, prove necessary.