Was the Arab Spring worth it?
FILE PHOTO: Protesters carrying a giant Egyptian flag in Tahrir Square during a mass rally on November 25, 2011 in Cairo.
September 12th, 2012
04:00 PM ET

Was the Arab Spring worth it?

By CNN's Jack Cafferty:

So much for the Arab Spring.

The wave of protests that swept parts of the Middle East and North Africa - in which the people fought to oust dictators - doesn't seem to have brought many of them any closer to a peaceful society.

Libya and Egypt are but the latest examples.

Years from now Historians might even trace the origin of the arab spring to the decision of George W. Bush to attack Iraq in the wake of 9/11:

Go in, overthrow a dictator, turn the country over to the people and nirvana will surely follow.

But violence continues in Iraq and people die there every day.

Egypt's now in the hands of the Muslim Brotherhood. Mubarak is gone, they had elections and yesterday violent mobs assaulted the U.S. Embassy compound.

In Libya, Moammar Gadhafi is gone and the U.S. Ambassador and three other people are dead. Because some terrorists in that country didn't like a movie that was critical of Islam.

Syria's become a slaughterhouse with the dictator Assad hanging on and murdering the civilian population at will.

Iran continues its march toward nuclear weapons - I don't even want to think what might happen if they get them.

And al Qaeda is busy reconstituting itself in Pakistan and half a dozen other countries.

The songwriter who wrote the lyrics "Wishing won't make it so" was spot on.

And anybody who thinks the Middle East is going to suddenly transform itself into a peaceful civilization where the majority rules hasn't been reading the history books.

Here’s my question to you: Was the Arab Spring worth it?

Tune in to the Situation Room at 4pm to see if Jack reads your answer on air.

And, we love to know where you’re writing from, so please include your city and state with your comment.

Posted by
Filed under: Egypt • Libya • Middle East
soundoff (145 Responses)
  1. John from Alabama

    Jack: Yes the Arab Spring was worth it. Freedom and Democracy are messy, but it is the only thing that satisfy the needs of the people fully. Men and women will die for freedom, so their children to live free. This human emotion runs deep in our being, as well as, those in the Middle East. We might sit in different pews, and pray in different ways, but the hallmark to our beliefs is freedom. Do not let some spoil what is best about living in a free society.

    September 12, 2012 at 1:42 pm |
  2. Greg Turman


    Osama Ben Laden's stated goals:
    Unite the Muslim world via war against the United States
    Run the U.S. out of Saudi Arabia & take control of Saudi oil
    Break the U.S. economy
    Osama might be dead, but his plan is running on time
    Gregory Turman

    September 12, 2012 at 1:44 pm |
  3. Rich McKinney, Texas

    Some will say yes. The world is becoming a very crowded place with far too many mouths to feed and tanks of gas to fill up. At some point we will reach a tipping point as populations continue to grow. The fight for control and power will go on. It will be survival of the fittest and best armed. The winner will be the last one standing however what is left might hot be worth it..

    September 12, 2012 at 1:47 pm |
  4. Pete in Florida

    Anytime common citizens unite, stand up and fight against repression, censorship, fascism, dictatorships, corruption and the like, that's a blow for freedom from oppression. Plus, it's hard to imagine how life could get any worse for most of the citizens of these countries. The United States and similar countries would be well advised to step back and let those citizens decide their own futures.

    September 12, 2012 at 1:50 pm |
  5. Dan from Stewartstown PA

    The answer is yes. If people want to judge the results of the Arab Spring on the acts of a few radicals, they might just as well base the results of the American Revolution on the actions of the Manson family.

    September 12, 2012 at 1:50 pm |
  6. Gary H. Boyd

    The Arab Spring was very much like an old war movie with a cast of of thousands but no real star. The script was weak and the audience was left wondering who won at the end. The only ones who made out were the popcorn vendors.

    Gary in Scottsdale, Arizona

    September 12, 2012 at 1:57 pm |
  7. Michael Bindner, Alexandria, VA

    Were Lexington, Concord and Yorktown worth it? Its not our call, Jack.

    September 12, 2012 at 1:57 pm |
  8. Pete in Georgia

    Arab Spring ??
    Just a luny trendy phrase about a part of the world that is full of nothing but..................LUNATICS.

    September 12, 2012 at 1:59 pm |
  9. Gary in San Jose, California

    The world won't know if the Arab Spring was worth the price until decades have past.

    September 12, 2012 at 1:59 pm |
  10. Itsmeagain, Wyoming

    Ask the Arabs, Jack.

    September 12, 2012 at 2:02 pm |
  11. Mel - Houston

    Why do you refer to the Arab Spring in the past tense. The Egyptians, Libyans and the Tunisians are still trying to find their way to a stable form of government. Just look at the history of United States we declared our indepentence from England in 1776 and the US Constitution was't ratified until 1789. Will you give the Arabs 13 years to get their act together as it did the United States.

    September 12, 2012 at 2:04 pm |
  12. calaurore9

    We'll see. It's in a fragile and complex transition which does not lend itself to cold war line-in-the-sand posturing of NeoCons. They are already mounting a bully offense to make Obama look weak. PuppMitt is being lead by Bibi, Karl et al. It could end well, but needs careful navigating.

    Carol in Northampton, Ma

    September 12, 2012 at 2:04 pm |
  13. David, Tampa

    For this country and the rest of the world any worth remains to be seen. For the people in the nations where it has happened some of it was worthwhile but future effects will be uncertain for decades to come. I would equate it to us being rid of the two party system in this country.

    September 12, 2012 at 2:14 pm |
  14. Mike Dalton, Orlando

    The Arab Spring isn't about us. It is about abused people fighting for simple justice within their own culture and society. The tale of whether it is worth the pain and suffering will be determined by those who survive the trials of sufferage. We tend to want to establish all values around whether something is good based on how it affect America, but the world isn't just about us.

    September 12, 2012 at 2:16 pm |
  15. Annie, Atlanta

    If I were a middle-aged woman living in one of these countries, I would think living without tyranny would be a pretty good thing no matter the struggles ahead. But that has to be a guess since I don't actually know anyone living in the middle east and north Afrida.

    September 12, 2012 at 2:23 pm |
  16. Eric in Houston

    It is way to early to know and it will depend on to who. I imagine it took some time for the French Revolution to be considered worth it even to a great many of the French, though now I would expect that there is general agreement that it was. Time will tell on the Arab Spring.

    September 12, 2012 at 2:23 pm |
  17. Jim in Denver, CO

    We have to look at this from the long term view, the next 5 to 10 years and then we'll know. Problem is that we as a society only look at the short term view and doing so gets us in trouble. It causes us to be reactionary and rash, which leads to bad decisions and involvements/wars that we really should not get in the middle of.
    Only time will tell.

    September 12, 2012 at 2:25 pm |
  18. THEO

    Most of theses Arab countries are driven by Religious fanaticism.Sprinkling "seeds of democracy",GW Bush, will not result in a two chambered Congress in the Middle East.Our dealings with Egypt are resulting in Coopertion with the US on many fronts and is a benefit to us.Trade, Military and Politically.
    Placing an Ambassador in Lybia W/O a contingent of Marines like in Egypt is just stupid!

    September 12, 2012 at 2:26 pm |
  19. Doug Ericson

    The Arab spring can mean the evolution of protest against oppressive Governments in whatever country it is percieved. Tunisia is considered a starting point, after a man burned himself to death in public, inspiring a massive outcry against the Government. Egypt is the Country most associated with the concept of " Arab Spring ". Tehrir Square, in Cairo, Egypt, has been the center of the most attended and longest protest in History, perhaps. ( There are probably other examples, but History class for me was nap number three, whenever I had to take it). The Arab Spring in Egypt was the springboard for the Muslim Brotherhood Political Party to win the Presidency, and a majority in Parliment. Ironically, the group that was the backbone of the Arab Spring in Egypt, was a loosely associated group of disinfranchised, or unemployed middle class wannabe young adults. Be carefull what you wish for the new saying goes, the other guy might get it. Doug, Pepperell, MA.

    September 12, 2012 at 2:31 pm |

    tampa, fl our spending a dime over there in that hellhole was too much. 1 American life was too much and we should as voters demand an end to ALL of these wars. bring our children home. let's hold all responsible for this mess accountable.

    September 12, 2012 at 2:33 pm |
  21. George in PA

    Yes, even if only to shed some light on these repressive regimes.

    September 12, 2012 at 2:34 pm |
  22. Kevin in CA

    I'm not sure it was, but I guess you'd really have to first answer the question:
    What, if anything, did we get out of it other than the assassination of our Ambassador?

    September 12, 2012 at 2:36 pm |
  23. BOB IN Ohio

    Yes, it shows that at least some of the people in the Middle East are willing to think independently of the dogma handed out by their religious fanatics. Sometimes it takes a lot of little sparks to finally get a fire started.

    September 12, 2012 at 2:41 pm |
  24. Richard Oak Harbor, Wa

    The Arab Spring did not happen because of US intervention but because rising food prices, job losses and dictorial repression awakened Arab freedom. It's not over yet. Do they want to be better Muslims nations or do they want to participate in peaceful Western commerce?

    September 12, 2012 at 2:44 pm |
  25. Larry from Georgetown, Tx

    The same can be asked if our "Civil War" was worth it. Many of these people are being held in bondage and want their own freedom. However, I say we should stay out of it and let them fight their own fights. Most of them just want to kill Americans.

    September 12, 2012 at 2:46 pm |
  26. Brad, Portland, OR

    Historically Arab countries are ruled by a dictatorship, or a Muslim theocracy. In either case, they keep an iron first on the population, because they seem prone to violence without firm guidance.

    Democracy and Western values, like freedom, tolerance, and women's rights are alien to them.

    I don't know why anyone would expect them to change their culture, except because of wishful thinking.

    They're not like us, they don't want to be like us, and they'll never be like us. We need to accept that, and deal with them as they are.

    September 12, 2012 at 2:49 pm |
  27. Doug-Dallas

    We won't know for the next few years; the whole area is a powder keg and powder kegs have a way of going off when you least expect it.

    September 12, 2012 at 2:52 pm |
  28. Deb in MT

    Was the Arab Spring worth it? I think we need to check back in a few hundred years to really answer that one, Jack. Bitter hatred, superstitious ignorance, and sectarian violence fueled by resurgent religious fundamentalism (of all faiths) aren't easily countered by one flash of enlightenment.

    It's the old '3 steps forward, 2.9 steps back' routine.

    September 12, 2012 at 2:53 pm |
  29. RoMoney is a vulture capitalist

    We had very little to do with the Arab Spring. Ask me if it was worth it in 10 years.

    September 12, 2012 at 3:00 pm |
  30. Kim, Dodge City, Kansas

    No. The Arab nations lack the desire and the ability to make the basic move from a theocracy to a democracy. They don't appear to be able to understand that the separation of church and state is the key principle of a democracy, and that toleration of others is a non-negotionable element. The term "Arab Spring" is misleading at best, since the people themselves haven't changed one bit and they seem intent on going backwards as fast as possible.

    September 12, 2012 at 3:08 pm |
  31. Paul, Parry Sound, Ontario

    It's sad to see the "Arab Spring" degenerate into the usual fist-pumping, shouting chaos. But perhaps the problem wasn't dictatorship, but an Arab culture which sees much of the world in black and white: men versus women, Arabs versus Jews, believers versus infidels. Democracy requires a more nuanced view of the world and will remain elusive to the Arabs.

    September 12, 2012 at 3:08 pm |
  32. Steve,NY

    Yes it was worth it. Men want to be free. Freedom is not cheap, you have to fight for it. Was our revolution worth it?
    It didn't come cheap, we had to fight for it. Ask this question again in 50 years and you'll get your correct answer and it will not be the same answer you're going to get today from the near sighted Liberals.

    September 12, 2012 at 3:10 pm |
  33. Sandstone

    "When you give up your bed to strangers, you need to know who's sleeping there!"

    September 12, 2012 at 3:12 pm |
  34. joshua

    when the "terrorists' were bombing the embassys, they weren't talking about a movie, they were chanting "Obama, Obama, we have a billion Osamas". This is a direct response to the democrats using the death of Osama Bin Laden as a re-election ploy for the Democrat Party. I would ask you to question the president about that but you don't work for weekly reader or tv guide so you won't get the chance.

    September 12, 2012 at 3:14 pm |
  35. Ralph in Orange Park, FL

    The jury is still out on whether the Arab Spring was worth it to the Arabs. It was definitely not worth it to us. What part of "too broke to keep playing World Cop" does our leadership still not understand?

    September 12, 2012 at 3:20 pm |
  36. Curtis in Philadelphia

    Yes. The cost of preventing the Arab spring would have been huge; we would had to put some sort of multinational coalition together, sans France, and gone into Egypt, Libya and now Syria, while our country is almost bankrupt. Republicans would have loved it, pushing for more tax cuts, the Democrats would have been for it, before they were against it, and Yogi Berra would have been spot on: "It feels like deja vu all over again".

    September 12, 2012 at 3:25 pm |
  37. gotup

    Was the American Revolution worth it? After all, we got slavery (racism and bigotry which in some measure yet exist) as a result of it. Let's wait and see what the Arab Spring brings.

    September 12, 2012 at 3:28 pm |
  38. Ilene Rosenberg

    Mr. Romney should not be let loose when it comes to foreign affairs.He would cause a third world war. First you try talking and any other non war tactic. Money can buy a candidacy but hopefully not the presidency.

    September 12, 2012 at 3:32 pm |
  39. I'm a Rose

    About all it does is trade one dictator for another.
    It is sad to say but the middle east has been fighting forever and will continue to do so.
    That is why I thought it was BAD for Bush to get us in two wars, (which he didn't pay for,) we had no business going to either place.
    If romney gets in we will be in war after war after war. He won't stand back and look things over and listen to others, he will just send our Troops in all directions. VERY SCARY.
    OBAMA/BIDEN 2012

    September 12, 2012 at 3:35 pm |
  40. Mary

    Maybe to the residents of Libyia but definitely not for the Western World.. We free these people who hate us and are taught to kill anyone who doesn't believe in Islam. we should not allow anyone with that belief to immigrate here if they are not willing to change.

    September 12, 2012 at 3:36 pm |
  41. Jerry Johns Creek, GA

    Our policies in the Middle East will always end up in a failure if we do not spend time in setting a goal that will lead to peace. Getting rid of a dictator to be replaced by an Islamic militant dedicated to converting, dominating or killing the non-Muslim, aka Infidel, will not change anything and will cause only mass destruction and murders. These miltant Muslims pracitce Taqiyya as described in the Quran which encourages them to lie in order to get their desired outcome. We cannot trust what these people tell us or what they promise, they have a totally different motive which leads to world domination. We must bomb these people we have to support religious organizations to convert the Muslims from their errant and devious ways.

    September 12, 2012 at 3:36 pm |
  42. Gigi Oregon

    Ask anyone who has been or lives in Libya, "if it was worth it". Over 50% of the people there will say yes. Because I have a relatives who was raised the first 19 years of his life there. I feel I know a little about Libya and it's people. Having had them in my home as visitors over the past 35 years. Since My relative and his family are not allowed by our government to travel there. They (his family) have visited and shared in our home their dream of living in a Democracy for years. They were free to travel anywhere in the world but could not have a say in the government. Just as this murder of the Ambassador and 3 others, is no different than the death of the innocent victims in Oklahoma City, by the hand of one Timothy Mcvey. There have been other anti-freedom Americans who want it their way, death or destruction to those who don't agree...Yes any time the young decide enough is enough a might force for freedom will rise to breath or die for freedom from suppression. It has happened here in "These United States" and it could happen again if freedom begins to vanish...

    September 12, 2012 at 3:38 pm |
  43. Elizabeth From Toronto

    To some extent. But overall in the Muslim/Arab world the problem is "just intense hatred" for anything non Muslim/Arabic. There is a large group of repressed, unemployed and irresponsible people living in countries like Libya, Egypt, Tunisia, Syria to name a few countries that need to be held accountable for killing innocent people by their own countrymen!. This never happens. The closest is what we saw in Libya today by the new Libyan Leader's apology to the US and US Citizens. Also the so called moderate muslims/Arab who are living in peaceful democratic societies need to do more to hold these repressed people accountable, by declaring their objection to such violence and stop being afraid.

    September 12, 2012 at 3:39 pm |
  44. Bernie of Lowell, MA

    The Arab Spring was indeed worth it to the oil companies. Our gaoline prices haven't declined since the onset.

    September 12, 2012 at 3:43 pm |
  45. bleacherman

    Mr. Cafferty: One cannot nor should not try to judge the outcome of a political change like the Arab Spring based upon data from just one year of experience. Political and social change is evolutionary and takes time to work its way through a society. If we are truly who we say we are, if we are pro democracy, then we have to choice but to work our way through the ups and downs of such significant change. Thank You.

    September 12, 2012 at 3:43 pm |

    If you believe in Democracy, then yes, If like you so often say, our pres. is the leader of the free world than every one in the free world should get a vote. If you believe in democracythan every voteshould count.

    September 12, 2012 at 3:48 pm |
  47. BrainTurnedOff

    You got it wrong, Jack. Iraq didn't have an Arab spring, and there was no uprising there within that caused the end of that regime. If you asks Libyans and Egyptians, they will tell you it was worth it. There are occasional setbacks, and as regretful as these outbreaks are, these people will get through it. There are not many countries around in the world where you don't have and never had any incidents like that.

    September 12, 2012 at 3:55 pm |
  48. jen seattle,wa

    Not WHen the U.s. PUrposelly refuses oil with excuse to get away from uncivil cultures only to have the State Dept Treasons endanger U.S> citizns acting like the onlyones entitled to bettor life are the 3rd world moneyworshippers who get a free house ,free money,free car after a u.s. citizen is kicked out for not paying the fuedal landlord inflations.JustLOok at State Of IOWa Obama Allowed an Egyptian Industrialists permission to build a Bomb Making Fertilizer Plant in middle of a corn field so he could export all around the 3rd world..

    September 12, 2012 at 3:56 pm |
  49. Robert Speigner (Pittsburgh, PA)

    Unlike Iraq, we didn't send the military into Egypt or Tunisia topple and topple governments. In Libya, the popular uprising was well underway before we, along with a coalition, provided air support that prevented a slaughter. In each of these countries, the people had determined that they wanted freedom—president Obama only acted (using diplomacy then military support in Libya) to limit civilian losses. What President Obama was worth saving those lives. Childish, deliberately provocative acts—like making this stupid movie and burning Korans—is not worth it.

    September 12, 2012 at 3:57 pm |

    Not at all. reasonable people know what and who the POTUS is dealing with. Romney is incompetent and dangerous. Look at his eyes. Something is wrong with Mitt. His wife knows, his children know, his church members know, but do WE know how crazy he is?
    grandma from Hpt Va.
    go BO!!!!!!!!!!!

    September 12, 2012 at 3:59 pm |
  51. Mike in Minneapolis

    Asking why, after two whole years, decades and maybe even centuries worth of problems haven't been solved, is a very American question. Toppling a dictator is not a magic pill, and the subsequent violence is by no means unique to the Middle East. While the title may sound like it, "Arab Spring" is not a movie. It will take more than Harrison Ford killing a tyrant to fix things, and for those in Egypt, Libya and Iraq who have a TV, I am guessing that they are not that impressed with 21st century American democracy anyway.

    September 12, 2012 at 4:01 pm |
  52. Cee. La.

    I think the Arab spring was worth it.....time will tell......we will have to wait until the facts of this attack are sorted out.......

    September 12, 2012 at 4:03 pm |
  53. Mark

    Our Muslim in the WH is over joyed with what's happening in the Mid-East. He's a closet Muslim who rejects America's standing in the world. You think I'm kidding, see what he does and doesn't and not the great teleprompter speeches. The sheeple of America have been fooled again. Mean while, he's off campaigning in Las Vegas instead of listening and talking to the PM of Israel, our closest democratic friend over there. He doesn't have time in his busy schedule. Atleast we know what and who he values.

    September 12, 2012 at 4:04 pm |
  54. Bizz, Quarryville Pennsylvania

    Jack, your question suggest that we had a choice. I guess maybe you were expecting everyone to join hands and dance around in the circle. If this is what you expected you should have known better just by what happened in Iraq. For thousands of years there was always unrest and wars going on in the Middle East. By the way why can we not see your questions on Facebook?

    September 12, 2012 at 4:08 pm |
  55. ken, atlantic city, nj

    No. Sadaam, Mubarick and Gadafhi knew how to handle the religious sects in that region. After 3 trillion dollars 1 million dead, and thanks to our interference all that is left is caos.

    September 12, 2012 at 4:08 pm |
  56. Karl in Flint, MI

    Like everything else today, if it doesn't work in one news cycle it must be a failure. Everything takes time but our modern society expects miracles overnight and can't comprehend the delays if it takes longer. Thanks God our founding fathers didn't think that way, or did they just have longer news cycles back then?

    September 12, 2012 at 4:09 pm |
  57. Ed from Texas

    Jack, a young man in Benghazi who set himself on fire started the Arab Spring, with the help of social media. We didn't start it and we can't stop it.

    September 12, 2012 at 4:10 pm |
  58. Ed from California

    There is nothing easy about freedom. Look at our history Jack. Are we the "poster child" for doing it the right way? Ask anyone non-white and find out.

    September 12, 2012 at 4:12 pm |
  59. Gary - Woodhaven, Michigan

    Over two hundred and fifty years ago we fought a revolution, today we still are loosing our young men and women to the ideologies that freedom brings.

    How can we ever judge our Arab brothers and sisters when we ourselves have yet to get freedom and liberty right?

    September 12, 2012 at 4:14 pm |
  60. Gilbert

    Was it worth it to whom???

    September 12, 2012 at 4:15 pm |
  61. Michael, from Smiths, Alabama

    I can't believe you would ask that question, Jack. How would you feel if someone asked you whether the American Revolution was worth it, considering that we still have issues with race and sexuality, over 200 years after we broke from Britain. It could take 200 years for many of these Arab nations to adjust to democracy after being ruled by dictators for decades. Ask this question again in 200 years, and by then, we should have a better idea of how to properly answer this question.

    September 12, 2012 at 4:19 pm |
  62. Steve, Clifton, Virginia

    It was worth it to the Arabs but the jury is still out as it's benefits to the U.S

    September 12, 2012 at 4:19 pm |
  63. Ben

    I will answer your question with a question: was the American Revolution worth it – when it led to the Civil War less than 100 years later? The road to democracy and unity is not always a straight line, and it often comes at great cost. Was the Arab spring worth it? We'll know in about 100-150 years.

    September 12, 2012 at 4:21 pm |
  64. Renee, Illinois

    There was another wave of revolutions following the American revolution, not all worked out so well. Remember the French revolution – aristocrats being led to the guillotine in front of cheering crowds? Wanting freedom and ousting dictators isn't the problem; the problem is who's waiting in the wings to take over. Unfortunately for the middle east, that means the Muslim Brotherhood. Not exactly freedom and democracy-loving guys. If the Arab Spring is indeed over, then no – not worth it – they just traded one bad government for another. If they keep working on it and oust the bad guys trying to take over in the name of religious extremism – well, time will tell.

    September 12, 2012 at 4:21 pm |
  65. RicknATL

    No, the Arab Spring was not worth it. We helped to replace a necessary evil with total evil and chaos.

    September 12, 2012 at 4:21 pm |
  66. We

    It is not worth it at all. Egypt and Libya are in chaos. The Egyptian economy is in free fall; tourism industry is gone as well as foreign investment. Most of the population in Libya have at least a couple guns at home.

    September 12, 2012 at 4:21 pm |
  67. Kevin

    Yes it was. It was because it truly showed the hope of democracy to those who have been wanting it and a better future for themselves and their children.

    September 12, 2012 at 4:22 pm |
  68. Kevin

    No it was not worth it. Whenever we meddle in another country's affairs, it is never good. When we helped run the Mujahideen which included bin Laden, to fight off the Russians in Afghanistan, the same Muslim fighters then crashed planes into New York. If only we could stop spending our money and resources into every other country, we could invest that money into our own country and put us back on track into being the great country we once were.

    September 12, 2012 at 4:22 pm |
  69. Lori

    Every revolution was difficult and bloody, with many terrible consequences, not to mention people who fight against the change. The American Revolution, the Civil War, both world wars, the fall of the Iron Curtain, you name it. If you think the Arab Spring wasn't worth it, then you must think those historic events weren't worth it, either.

    September 12, 2012 at 4:22 pm |
  70. Ed Fern

    Worth what, Jack? It gave CNN something to babble about and it was what the people of the region thought they wanted. You might just as well ask if the American Revolution was worth it now that we are well above our ears in debt and involved in too many wars. It just isn't our job to pass judgment on history. The best we can do is learn from it.

    September 12, 2012 at 4:22 pm |
  71. Ken

    Absolutely not – western countries need to stay out of the affairs of Middle Eastern countries. Iraq is in anarchy, Afghanistan will be in anarchy after we leave; these countries must liberate themselves.

    September 12, 2012 at 4:23 pm |
  72. Tim Spencer

    Who are we to say if the various revolts "were worth it" for those person.
    It was certainly Not worth it for the USA! Tons of money and valuable political alliances have been wasted; and, the outcome has only harmed, and not benefited the United States in any measure whatsoever.

    September 12, 2012 at 4:23 pm |
  73. Mark.......in Houston

    With the coming of Fall the revolts of "Arab Spring" did not end.....they are ongoing and will continue to be, possibly for decades.
    It's much to early to make a call. Were they worth it? Of course they were. Even if the efforts of freedom seeking people in the Middle East fail, their actions may inspire others living under tyrannical rule to rise up and throw off their own oppressors. Any struggle for freedom is worth it.

    September 12, 2012 at 4:23 pm |
  74. RickFromDetroit

    The Arab Spring will flush the right wing dictators out of the governments like MLK did for the U.S. in the 1960's. As long as we don't have a middle everything will be OK. Remember, the Middle is what ruined everything, the correct form of government is either all of the left, or all of the right, and NO MIDDLE.

    September 12, 2012 at 4:23 pm |
  75. Tarla Tarla Cyrille

    i think it's worth it imagine the world today if Bin Laden were still alive Khadafi it would be a world of caos

    September 12, 2012 at 4:23 pm |
  76. Jim

    Worth it for whom? For the people in those countries only they can answer that. For the US? I doubt it. What do we gain? Loss of lives? Zillions of dollars in assistance/aid monies.

    September 12, 2012 at 4:24 pm |
  77. Max

    I hate to say this but no, sometimes you need these dictators to keep these parts of the world stable. As sad as this is, it's simply true.

    September 12, 2012 at 4:24 pm |
  78. Tyler from Boston

    Of course it was worth it! Brutal dictators have been disposed of, and free elections have taken place in many of the countries where the uprisings occurred.
    These demonstrations only numbered in the thousands, it does not represent the view of the overall population. The entire country of Libya did not attack the consulate.

    September 12, 2012 at 4:24 pm |
  79. mike murray

    Jack..we have to wait to see if this new democracy works...at least four more years...save this question for the future.

    September 12, 2012 at 4:24 pm |
  80. rick

    Always. Leave no one behind. Our ambassador knew that and he knew the risks. May GOD keep him in his glory. Let the SEAL team go find them. They must be on their way to IRAN. Now lets worry about SYRIA and VENEZUELA.-

    September 12, 2012 at 4:24 pm |
  81. Mark J Engler

    Poor question, as we won't know until the new governments develop, however, we need to me mindful that there may be worse things than Saddam – Bush Senior knew that, too bad we've forgotten.

    September 12, 2012 at 4:24 pm |
  82. Saul- Virginia independent

    All i have to say is that MITT ROMNEY is not presidential material given his lies and distortions about the president today in the mids of this crisis. Quite the contrast today......

    September 12, 2012 at 4:24 pm |
  83. libhandbook

    The Arab Spring is a buzzword for a hostile take over of the Middle East by the United States and it's cronies. Most of the people we have thrown out of power there, were actually incredibly popular with their people. Where do you think those people are going to go?
    We backed Mubarak for 40 years, to the tune of over $80 Billion dollars, only to deem him a "horrific dictator" overnight. Well he was a horrific dictator, he was our horrific dictator and the people there understand this. Therefore they hate us.

    We run around the world, putting in puppet dictators, stealing resources and forcing "democracy" through the barrel of a gun and wonder why these people hate us. It's insane.

    I know what will happen if Iran gets a nuclear weapon. We wont be able to take them over too.

    September 12, 2012 at 4:25 pm |
  84. Christine

    The Arab Spring has turned into a western winter. We waste our treasure and brave soldiers on these folks. We try to save Muslims in Bosnia, Africa, and Libya. We worry about the innocents being slaughtered in Syria. How many times do we have to pay such devastating prices for helping an ungrateful, fanatic people? There is NO reasoning with these fanatics. On 9-11, we pay yet another cost we cannot bear. Leave them to figure out how to overthrow their own governments. Let them poison little girls who dare to go to school. Sorry. My heart is hardening, and for that I am ashamed.. Killing an ambassador is so egregious that civilizations for thousands of years have guaranteed the safety of the messenger. I wish we could give Gadafi back to the ungrateful hoards.

    September 12, 2012 at 4:25 pm |
  85. Jim

    It's important to remember that it take years, perhaps decades, for democracies to develop and mature. There will be peaks and valleys – some very pain for our more mature democracy. But, it is my belief that fundamentally people desire freedom. And, let's not forget that millions of people got to voice there opinions in the town square, got to vote, and are now shaping their destinies. That doesn't excuse the actions of these criminal thugs and cowards. It just exposes them for what they are – enemies of freedom.

    September 12, 2012 at 4:25 pm |
  86. Ron, Lawrence, Kansas

    Yes, the Arab Spring is worth it, just because we are American and we believe in Democracy does not mean we should single out any particular group!

    September 12, 2012 at 4:25 pm |
  87. webyo

    When Obama said in Cairo: " to young people of every faith, in every country – you, more than anyone, have the ability to remake this world." He destabilized the world. The Arab Spring was just the beginning of a massive transformation of the world- but not for the good.

    September 12, 2012 at 4:25 pm |
  88. Colleen

    So much drama. If you want to know what's really going on, ask the people. I sent this message to an Egyptian Muslim FB friend. "I'm saddened by the events taking place in Egypt. The man who created the movie is a mentally unstable extremist. I truly hope the Egyptian people understand that the majority of Americans don't think the way this man does. We accept and respect all religions and do not tolerate his type of hatred. I for one am sorry he offended anyone. He alone should be punished for his actions, in a court of law. Respectfully, Colleenl" His response, "thanks colleen i already understand that as i'm i involved into american society through online communities and chat like that and i know they are not racist people but i apologize cause a large amount of people here didn't kow the true about the event from the media the media got them to do that effing thing in lybia plus the it is controlled by the people who against our revolutions and wan the world to see us as just a bunch of animals." Maybe we she be looking at this from a different perspective.

    September 12, 2012 at 4:25 pm |
  89. steve

    Yes spreading demcracy and freedom is always worth it. Our country is the envy of the world for the freedoms we have by vertue of our fore fathers.

    But we are nothing if our constitutional rights are not spoken by our own President.

    September 12, 2012 at 4:26 pm |
  90. Stefanie

    What an arrogant, obnoxious question, one that only an American could come up with. Worth it to who? We don't rule the world, we're not the only people in the world, and the lives of the millions of Arab citizens working their way to democracy are, of course "worth it". I am so insulted by this question I don't even know where to start. And I'm an American. You do realize that our own revolution and transition to democracy was not a clean and bloodless overnight transfer, right? A lot of people were, many died. Democracy is hard. It's not fast food and the Jay Leno Show. Wake up and smell the rest of the world, America - realize that you're not the only inhabitants of planet Earth.

    September 12, 2012 at 4:26 pm |
  91. Tom Barrister

    Jack: it's a big waste of time. The Middle East has been in varying states of unrest for 4,000 years. No matter who we help into power, there will be people on the opposite side who are unhappy about it and who will do something about it. We've spent over 10 years and several trillion dollars since 9-11, and not a lot has changed. It's time for us to stop being Big Brother and let the rest of the world take care of itself.

    September 12, 2012 at 4:26 pm |
  92. Wayne Kansas City MO

    The Arab Spring is the least of our problems. I don't want to alarm anyone, but the upcoming election to determine the future of our country pits a challenger who wears magic underwear and thinks his heaven (on the planet Kolab) is better than your heaven against a man who was schooled in the quaran and Muslim faith, now denies it, but officially recognized the Muslim Brotherhood (who's extremists want us all dead) as a diplomatic partner in 2011 and left God and Israel out of the platform. They both still say one nation under God, but they both apparently have a very different view of God.

    September 12, 2012 at 4:26 pm |
  93. paul

    A tiger can't change its stripes, Jack. Did you really think that anything would be different as long as Islam is the rule of law? Muslims will still fiercely defend their god above everything else. The problem is the irreconcilable difference between freedom and Islam, These are two very big and fast trains on a collision course, and there are no brakes. The booming Muslim population and global infiltration had slipped under the radar for so long that there is a very real possibility the world will live under sharia law within a century.

    September 12, 2012 at 4:27 pm |
  94. Ed in Texas

    Never has been worth it. Not likely to in the future. Just take a look at history.

    September 12, 2012 at 4:27 pm |
  95. Christoff

    a ruler is murdered as the people rise up to build a better country, but the new leaders are the greater of two evils compared to the previous leader and when they take over innocent people are killed. wait, that was russia in 1917.

    September 12, 2012 at 4:27 pm |
  96. Dale Castle

    As a democracy, we know that freedom is costly and takes dedication and time. We went through our growing pains as we became the United States of America, and our freedom is still costly. I add my prayers to the rest of our country for those who lost loved ones in the senseless tragedies in Egypt and Libya, and let's remember that they were working in those Arab countries to try to help them bring about the democracy we treasure today.

    September 12, 2012 at 4:27 pm |
  97. PCGeezer

    You can't change the mindset of these animals. If all they know is killing, they will continue to kill until killed.

    I suggest the USA build a mile high fence around it's borders to keep the animals out. Then the only people these animals can kill are themselves. Problem solved.

    Also, give all the unemployed a job painting that fence. Again, Problems solved.

    September 12, 2012 at 4:27 pm |
  98. Ken Jelden

    It was naive by Bush to go into Iraq and naive on Obama's part stay on in Afghanistan. After thousands of our sons and daughters have been killed in both places nothing will have changed in both places in the long run.

    September 12, 2012 at 4:27 pm |
  99. Greg Garrison Riverside, CA.

    Too bad Pres. Obama and his private militia "aka" the mainstream media didn't think ahead to the "Islamist Fall-out".

    September 12, 2012 at 4:27 pm |
  100. natalie

    Jack what do you mean worth it? Like if we have anything to do with it. History happens. But my questions to you is: What is so call filmaker liability is in all of this, sorry is not just going to make it.

    September 12, 2012 at 4:27 pm |
  101. Jared in Virginia

    no its not worth it nothing is worth lossing american soldeirs somethings can be let go.

    September 12, 2012 at 4:27 pm |
  102. James Woomer III

    Jack these peple have been killing each other for thousands of years Democracy means nothing to these people like what our founders fought for. We need to cut off all foreign aid to these savages we . The comments of Mitt Romney are disturbing and shows Why he can't be president Lets get our facts before we beat our war drums like we did with iraq As a army vet I could not see romney leading our troops. Turning this event into a last ditch effort to swing the election Just disturbing and will be why he loses the election.

    September 12, 2012 at 4:28 pm |
  103. Ahmed Paul

    I am a Christian from Egypt 
    What Arab spring , it was a harsh winter and we all going to pay for it 
    We should ask Obama why did he favored the Islamic uprising in the middle east and why He helped the Muslim Brotherhood In Egypt , Libya, and Tunisia but turned the deaf ears on the uprising in Bahrain?! Obama has open a whole new can of worms and it will bite us in the

    September 12, 2012 at 4:28 pm |
  104. Jennifer M in Winnipeg

    Was it, Jack? Ask the families and friends of those who died for it – with no end in sight. My heart breaks for those who are fighting a losing battle.

    September 12, 2012 at 4:28 pm |
  105. WR Jones

    The Arab spring was a carefully planned strategy by Russia to create unrest and hopefully a complete meltdown in the Mideast in order to raise the price of oil worldwide making their oil profitable enough to be brought to market.
    This simple logic seems to be lost on our "leaders" who think a country that's undermining our life's blood in oil worldwide, has nukes aimed at us and an almost an 80 year history of attacking USA interests is somehow our friend and no threat.
    You ask if the Arab spring was worth it? If you are a Russia with oil that needs $10.00 per gallon gas to be marketable, the answer is yes, if you are a person living in the USA trying to get to work, the answer is no.

    September 12, 2012 at 4:28 pm |
  106. Dan From Michigan

    I don't think we American's can answer that question. The Arab Spring was not about us. It was about the people of the Middle East standing up to the Tyrants that ran their countries for centuries. While that may not always be convientent for America. It IS what America has always stood for.

    September 12, 2012 at 4:28 pm |
  107. Lissa

    To us, maybe.
    To those in the Arab world – don't know. Really too soon to tell – I don't think it's over yet.
    Was it worth yesterday's and today's events against us? No. But those events show exactly why America is hated – tolerance for all types of religious thinking and opinions...we don't kill people for what they believe or the opinions they share. Is the Middle East ready for that kind of tolerance? maybe. Can't really judge a nation by one group of nasties.

    September 12, 2012 at 4:28 pm |
  108. Stanley nwabinwe

    The Arab spring don't worth it. The best leadership for Arabic nations is not democracy but dictatorship. Lesson learn for the United states and the western world. Leave Arab nation alone. United states should focus on its internal problem........

    September 12, 2012 at 4:28 pm |
  109. Uttam Saha

    I think it is worth it. Under the President Oboma the USA is seating at the right place in history and history will reflect that. And the USA and the whole World will be rewarded – even may have to wait a longer.

    Thank you.


    September 12, 2012 at 4:29 pm |
  110. Aaron Yazejy

    Yes it is worth but with high cost. Change in the Middle East is a direct result of new age of technology can't be stopped. Extremest trying to take advantage of the unrest. If our Government enforce the change and stand clearly on the right side (people side) against these regimes then the future will be better and Al Qaida will never find the ground to operate.

    September 12, 2012 at 4:29 pm |
  111. Darnell

    Hi Jack. i do not know if the Arab spring was worth anything or not, but this insanity our nations leadership is imposing on the American people by trying to help set those people free is not worth all the American lives we have as a nation been so fast to condemn to death, no one on this entire planet has given any whear close to what this nation has given, and to thank America they burn down our embassy on 9/11 rip our nations flag to pieces in front of camera,s for us to see and smile in our faces knowing they just killed 4 innocent people. i have no idea how the rest of America feels about this but myself i have no use for the man who posted that stupid video or the ones responsible for those 4 lives lost as a result of that video.how many more idiots are going to spring up in America and use the internet to make a stupid statement ? i do not give a dam who those people call God. i know my creator personally, and he is very capable of defending him self and needs not my help inso doing.

    September 12, 2012 at 4:29 pm |
  112. mike sey, Ottawa

    You make it sound as though the Arab Spring is an American project, Jack. Who do you think you are? Even though Americans and the West have been swanning around the region for more than a century playing at missionary for God, capitalism and Democracy the Arab Spring is what it is, an Arab Spring. Neither Good or bad, Jack, it is time to get over yourself and out of the way.

    September 12, 2012 at 4:29 pm |
  113. Robert

    Yes, if Adolf Hitler was Islamic and the leader of Egypt or Libya would we support him to prevent possible anti-USA Islamic governments? We have to hope and assist emerging Islamic nations choose freedom and democracy over religious based totalitarianism.

    Robert, Louisville KY

    September 12, 2012 at 4:31 pm |
  114. Name*Juliet Minassian

    Dear Jack, Islam glorifies: murder, killings, abuse, oppression, child ABUSEand wife/spousal ABUSE and CONTROL. They DO NOT UNDERSTAND "MERCY" and forgiveness and PEACE. They believe in MILITANT RELIGION: ISLAM. They laugh at us behind iur back and think that wr are weak and golluble for helpjng the helpless. Arab MUSLIMS in my opinion are not worth if my Americas soldiers ptotecting and saving them.

    September 12, 2012 at 4:31 pm |
  115. acmecomedy

    Well Jack, without the American Revolution, you'd be asking this question on the BBC instead of CNN. 🙂

    September 12, 2012 at 4:31 pm |
  116. David Schockett

    In the short run no. In the long run yes. So... Yes.

    September 12, 2012 at 4:31 pm |
  117. Lamar

    Jack, you'll get a bunch of responses from people who have never even been to an Islamic nation. As a two-time Afghanistan veteran, hoping to go back soon, I can tell you YES, it has certainly been worth it. Anyone who tells you "no" just doesn't understand how big of a deal it is, for good Muslims (which do exeist regardless of what you'll hear from the right) to stand up to a system that they recognize as corrupt and unjust and unbecoming of Islam and what real Muslims stand for. People that some may think of as "more civilized," like the Chinese for example, need to do something about the oppression that they face everyday, but they haven't. The fact that Arabs have done it says a whole lot about the future that they want to see.

    September 12, 2012 at 4:31 pm |
  118. James Woomer III

    Jack these peple have been killing each other for thousands of years Democracy means nothing to these people like what our founders fought for the lose of american life for these people are not worth it, . We need to cut off all foreign aid to these savages we . The comments of Mitt Romney are disturbing and shows Why he can't be president Lets get our facts before we beat our war drums like we did with iraq As a army vet I could not see romney leading our troops. Turning this event into a last ditch effort to swing the election Just disturbing and will be why he loses the election.

    September 12, 2012 at 4:31 pm |
  119. Richard (rich21 Austin)

    Yes, the Arab spring was worth it.
    They are now free to chose there government. Eqypt got it wrong but I believe their next election will be different. Libya elected the right people the first time but very few do. America went through the same process and we have perfected it. I am an American of african decent, I can trace my family back before the civil war, need I say more.
    Give those country time.

    September 12, 2012 at 4:31 pm |
  120. Mr. D

    I hope the "Arab Spring" isn't followed by a "necular winter." Getting involved with that part of the world is like trying to clear the sidewalks during a blizzard. Haven't we paid enough in blood and money? Besides, it's time to move to the Pacific where the next fun and games will commence.

    September 12, 2012 at 4:32 pm |
  121. Wayne

    Your take on the facts is spot on. In the cold light of day, the fact remains: "Helping the Middle East develop is like wetting yourself in dark trousers. You start out with a warm feeling but in the end you are left cold and all wet".

    Vancouver, Canada

    September 12, 2012 at 4:32 pm |
  122. Rita

    No. Its not worth it until the citizens of these countries learn to settle their differences between themselves, and other nations, with debate and negotiation, instead of violence. But, DUH, is anyone surprised that violence is the currency of the middle east koine?

    September 12, 2012 at 4:32 pm |
  123. Huda From Texas

    Yes. As a Libyan/American, I have always admired the democracy and freedom I enjoyed living in the United States and wished the same freedoms to be enjoyed by the Libyan people in Libya. I agree that it has been a rough road to democracy but after 42 years of oppression it is expected that dramatic changes will not happen overnight. My heart goes out to Ambassador Stevens' family and I hope they understand that many good Libyans share their grief and pain.

    September 12, 2012 at 4:32 pm |
  124. Edward A.

    Yes it was a start!
    Intelligence dictates that democracy is not built in a day. (again intelligence is a relavent term, politicians aside))Having traveled the middle east, I know radicals exist everywhere on the planet even America. Can we stop all of them? unfortunately No! Can we continue the education yes!
    Arab Spring will not be built in a day or year or decade! We need to continue the course or lost lives will be wasted in vain!!
    God bless the families of those we lost!

    September 12, 2012 at 4:32 pm |
  125. Thomas Hauck

    The question itself is absurd and reflects our Western myopia. "Worth it" for whom? For us, or for the citizens of Egypt, Libya, and other countries who are fighting to overthrow dictators? Here's another question: After the British burned the White House in 1812, was anyone asking if the American Revolution was worth it? We need to take the long view.

    And by the way, Mitt Romney was a fool to make his naive and self-righteous attack when he did, before all the facts were in. It just shows that he is not ready to be commander-in-chief.

    September 12, 2012 at 4:32 pm |
  126. mh82,wa

    ok,so some thugs go and do something stupid and next thing everybody start to judge the entire middle east accordingly,MEDIA !!!!!!!!!

    September 12, 2012 at 4:33 pm |
  127. Morgan

    Jack: Looking at some of the negatives of the Arab Spring is necessary but not the only way see it. For once in an area where some women aren't even allowed to drive, the people had power. The people rose up and stated what they wanted. Just because the West has a democracy now doesn't mean it didn't take a little conflict in the process. It's not even a question as to if The Arab Spring was worth it, but why it came so late. Why is the West the only area that's allowed to have a functioning democracy? Shouldn't we as Americans push for all parts of the world to have as many rights and civil liberties as we do? And in a sense, that's what the young people during the Arab Spring were striving for.

    September 12, 2012 at 4:33 pm |
  128. james

    NO. T he arab all all related and have fought since time started. they was alway ruled by a iron hand rulers. they used their religion for their benefit. a female is treated as property. they ran all the christians out of one town and burn thier houses last week. the only solution is to stop putting our money into these countrys. the only thing they respect is force so destroy the radicals who attack american..

    September 12, 2012 at 4:33 pm |
  129. James Woomer III

    Jack these peple have been killing each other for thousands of years Democracy means nothing to these people like what our founders fought for the lose of american life for these people is not worth it, . We need to cut off all foreign aid to these savages. The comments of Mitt Romney are disturbing and shows Why he can't be president Lets get our facts before we beat our war drums like we did with iraq As a army vet I could not see romney leading our troops. Turning this event into a last ditch effort to swing the election Just disturbing and will be why he loses the election

    September 12, 2012 at 4:33 pm |
  130. Christine

    Arab Spring? Look at history. Each revolution leads to an even bloodier government than the previous one. The Russian communist revolution ushered in Lenin and the murder of millions. Pol Pot. The Chinese agrarian uprising created a self serving communist government that continues to oppress its people. If the U.S. is exceptional, it is because we replaced our colonial rulers with reasonably educated, thoughtful, and future-minded forefathers who wrote the greatest document on freedom and human rights in history.

    September 12, 2012 at 4:34 pm |
  131. Kevin

    Too early to tell. The region's problems are more complicated to be resolved in "a spring". We should not go ahead of ourselves. The bodies of the Americans that died in Libya were not even cold and Mr. Romney was already attacking the "response" of the president. It is disgusting to see politicians trying to take advantage of such a tragedy to gain more votes.
    This is a moment to show an unified response and not to try entangle Americans in petty politics. Disgraceful.

    September 12, 2012 at 4:35 pm |
  132. Melissa in Costa Mesa

    What a weird question! You make it sound like the West cooked up the Arab Spring when it was an organic movement from those living in the region. It was fueled by social media, not U.S. policy. Not sure about this one, Jack.

    September 12, 2012 at 4:35 pm |
  133. Christine

    Worth it? Mitt Romney made a fool of himself by speaking before he knew the timetable of what our president knew. We are ALWAYS right to apologize when religious sensibilities are offended.

    September 12, 2012 at 4:35 pm |
  134. Tycho

    I think it's too early to tell, Jack. The Arab Spring is still a very recent event in some nations and is still ongoing in others, so I think we'll have to wait at least 10 or 20 years before we can really start to see the impact of this movement on the Middle East and on history. If we try to make a determination of its success or failure right now, then it is likely that our judgement will be clouded by small outbreaks of violence and other seemingly "telling" events that may end up being insignificant from a larger historical perspective - a perspective that we will not be able to take until we have experienced more of the Arab Spring and the post-Arab Spring Middle East.

    September 12, 2012 at 4:35 pm |
  135. Mbeng

    If history is a measuring rod of a peoples behavior, we ought to know how crafty these guys could be. They fry fowl and we go to their aid and then they turn around and come after us ,... Iraq, Afghanistan, Egypt, Iran and now Libya. Democracy as a philosophy to them is utopia and the rule of law is in Uranus. I cry for wasted $$ which could have helped reduce the deficit.

    September 12, 2012 at 4:36 pm |
  136. kris spike

    Anytime a government is chosen not by the people but instead by foreign influencers it is not a good idea. In an ideal world the people should always be given the opportunity the choose, however, states rights and states interests get involved. The Arab Summer was necessary, but unfortunately the current administration is all about influencing and assisting movements but they are not good at follow through. Blaming Bush is ridiculous, we should blame the leaders in the 50's and 60's and Jimmy Carter for signing the David Peace Accords if you are going to blame Bush. This whole situation has a long history and blame needs to be shared by more then one person. However, Obama has not done a good job with his foreign policy, and has allowed security interests to be second to the social issues. The economy and national security should ALWAYS be top priority for our president, unfortunately President and Congress have failed on both.

    September 12, 2012 at 4:37 pm |
  137. masdiary

    Yes, the Arab Spring was well worth it. Compare it any of the past revolutions that not only took years to succeed, they also caused untold numbers of deaths in the process. The essence of the "Free Elections" that have taken place since then are only the first result. It is expected to be a long road, but the people have finally been awakened and they are not likely to get back in the bottle of the past. I do not condone any of the violence that has been hapenning sine, but it will end at some point. It takes time for people to learn how to express themselves, after decades of not having a voice.

    September 12, 2012 at 4:37 pm |
  138. Flyingwolf from Manchester, NH

    Was the Arab Spring worth it? I don't know, I'm not Arab. I don't live there. Now should they have protested a bad movie about Mohammed with guns and bombs? No. If the Arab Spring was some kind of rennaisance, then they should have been able to protest a bad movie about Islam with a good movie about Islam. When everybody seems to have a cell phone that takes movies, somebody could have slapped something together (even if interviews) and stuck it on Youtube–that's what's Youtube is for. That would have been the enlightened approach that we thought was predicated by the "Arab Spring." Right now it's just the kneejerk response to everything they don't like, and the "Arab Spring" of enlightenment hasn't really taken hold. Okay, just in case somebody wants to do a Libya-style protest around my house, there are a lot of people here with guns–and itchy trigger fingers.

    September 12, 2012 at 4:37 pm |
  139. Eileen

    Let's find out all the facts about what happened in Libya and Egypt first. This is all so complicated and dangerous and many are still at risk. I am glad that President Obama is so steady when things get so scarey.

    September 12, 2012 at 4:41 pm |
  140. lynnej in nc

    I'd say that it is a glass half empty and half full. That means that it depends on the future and how those people in those countries handle it and as long as we don't meddle.

    That non-meddling is something we should have adhered to after WWII. If we had, we probably wouldn't have these problems now. When we make decisions backing individuals to lead countries, it may look good at the present, but we bad for the future.

    September 12, 2012 at 4:43 pm |
  141. Dee Marzen

    Jack, it seems that many people forget how violent our own American history was. We had our Revolution, which was as bloody and secular as the countries are going through today. Our forefathers burned houses,tar and feathered loyalists or anybody who stood in their way. They waged bloody battles, ransacked the countryside and towns. Then after we had our independance from Britain, we turned on so called "Loyalist" who remained here, had a Rebellion that was put down by President Washington, and also had our era of genocide against the Native Americans, and slavery was alive and well. The only difference is the kind of weaponry being used and the up to the minute news available today. Every democratic country has gone through this kind of growing pains. It seems barbaric and crude, but there it is.

    September 12, 2012 at 4:45 pm |
  142. James Woomer III from Melbourne fla

    No It is not worth it, americans are the one's being killed How meny revolutions have be backed that come back and blow up in our faces Far to meny. these peple have been killing each other for thousands of years and they will keep killing each other for another thousands years. Democracy does not work in that part of the world. Storming our embassy, buring our flag,killing four people. We need to stop helping these people let there own govt handle thier own mess its time we cut off all foreign aid And the romney supporters think he can lead Im glad he does not have the nuclear launch codes. romney has a mind set of cowboy diplomacy And rather run his mouth about obama's lack of leadership then honor the dead all for a election.

    September 12, 2012 at 4:51 pm |
  143. Christine

    It is NOT spring forward, it's fall backward. These fanatics have a kindergartener's understanding of God and idolatry. I Do NOT get offended when people picture my God as a white haired, white man, stretching his all so human hand out to humanity. My God is strong. My God can take insults. When the Arabs realize that God is not human, and does not withhold mercy from folks who don't understand the true, transcendent nature of God, they have a 2 year old's tantrum, with the added horror of murder. God cried yesterday, when again, THE NAME was used to rationalize the worst sort of violence.

    September 12, 2012 at 4:51 pm |
  144. Dan

    Any positive step towards a democratic country is well worth the risk and heartaches.
    Must weigh in on the current events in Libya and Egypt.
    To kill diplomats who work in the affected countries is shocking and ill conceived. These individuals work terribly hard behind the scenes and above anyone are the most sensitive and understanding to the cultures, and customs of these areas with a special sensitivity to religion.
    This jackass's racist film should be treated as a hate crime!
    This particular individual knew what would result out of his film!!
    I can only implore those of the Muslim faith to realize that Canadians and Americans alike are not racist and do not share the views of misguided individuals!
    Please do not paint Westerners with the same brush.
    While freedom of speech is tantamount in both our countries, racist propaganda of such a magnitude in this particularly sensitive period in the Middle East is unthinkable.
    If I was him I wouldn't be so worried about hiding from terrorists in these countries than the furor of fellow Canadians, Americans, and other Western countries that are having citizens murdered for his racist propaganda!!
    Educate yourself and blame radical, violent, terrorist factions, not Muslims as a whole, or how are our moral views then different from those that are projected by Al-Qaeda towards us???
    Thanks for doing what you do Jack.

    Ontario, Canada

    September 12, 2012 at 4:52 pm |
  145. Daniel

    (Northbrook, IL)

    Was the Arab Spring worth it? Why don't you ask the Arabs instead? Stability can only happen in the long term when the people do not feel disenfranchised by their government. Only viewing the Arab spring by its effects on America is dangerously shortsighted. Was America better off under the regimes of dictators like Mubarak? Perhaps. But we cannot expect every country to love America, especially after we supported their dictators for decades. Returning our relations in the Middle East to what they were in the past will take time, but in the long term is a better, longer lasting peace than supporting an oppressive regime could ever be.

    September 12, 2012 at 4:52 pm |