As we watch the mounting chaos from Yemen to Tunis, remember this: a corrupt and unjust regime is invariably better than any violent wrath that replaces it.
From the overthrow of 17th century Catholicism in north Germany and Bohemia, to the French Revolution, to the horrors of the October Bolshevik coup, to China, Korea, Vietnam, Algeria, Cuba and Iran — the lesson is the same. Violent revolutions always mean bloodshed, famine and chaos for at least a generation. The collapse of communism two decades ago was peaceful and consensual. But such peaceful transitions have seldom occurred in the Arab world.
The current hero of the Egyptian revolution, Mohamed ElBaradei, is a beneficiary of parallel historical streams. He won the Nobel Peace Prize, but not for the official explanation — his work in preventing nuclear proliferation. The Nobel committee then gave the prize to President Obama, and again, not for the same, stated reason. Both awards were actually given because the two laureates had opposed George W Bush’s invasion of Iraq.