The debt-crises in Europe and the growing inequality and corruption by special interests in the US makes the western model of democracy a tougher sell in the Arab Spring.
It doesn’t always work that well.
By Rami Khouori in the Daily Star:
I had a particularly enlightening and depressing day last week as a student of American democracy and Arab-Israeli diplomacy. I know better now why most Arabs have totally given up on expecting anything positive or fair to emerge from the United States when it comes to the Middle East. Democracy is a great and noble venture and a most utilitarian governance system; but it also has a dark and ugly side that is very visible in the U.S. these days.
[..] My conclusion at the end of the day was that the struggle for justice, fairness and equal rights in Israel and Palestine will not be won or even seriously nudged forward in the United States, where the structural biases for Zionist zealotry are too deeply entrenched.
This has also been a useful refresher course for me – 40 years after living and attending university in the United States – on why American democracy is not a useful model for the Arab world. I understand better now why Palestinians are taking their battle for statehood to the U.N. and defying the U.S. and its threats and blackmail; and why so many newly democratizing Arab societies are asking Americans offering money, advice and assistance on democratic state-building to stay home for now.