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the culture of criticism is certainly alive and kicking in the area. Unfortunately it is not aimed internally, but rather externally at the west, as the NYT article demonstrates. In fact am foreign policy has been an advantage for bloated oligarchies a la Orwell's 1984. Where criticism is focused on gov, it is not in the form of a pro democracy movement, it is in the form of a fdmentlst movement. Specific examples? Check out countries like SA, Jord, Ept, etc, etc. Many historians believe that the reformation was a key element in the developement of western democracy. That happened in 1517 in Europe. Despite the date being 2103,it has yet to happen in the arb world. Recently a guy in Irn suggested that it would be a good thing and got sentenced to death for his trouble. Doesn't bode well.
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