The Arab autocrats have been toppled, the Islamists have stepped forth. Islamists have come to various degrees of power in Morocco, Tunisia, Egypt. Some prophesy an outcome in Syria destined to favor the Muslim Brotherhood if and when the Assad dictatorship is overthrown.
Lessons from Europe can shed light on the challenge of Islamism in power. The experience of two world wars seemed to prove that Germans could never accept democracy. Yet Germany became an exemplary liberal democracy and the anchor for European stability.
Diplomacy - not as some claim, journalism - is the second oldest profession. As such, a lot can go wrong. The upheaval in the Middle East, and the heightened drive for an Islamist Ascendency which it has propelled, require a reassessment of this art for the new century.
These Islamists favored by the ballot box are not the Islamists of yore, hunted down by the mukhabarat (secret police). This is not the Muslim Brotherhood of the 1940s and 50s – conspirators pledged to the destruction of the ru