A Note on Supporting “Friendly” Dictators. Part II
In the early days of the Arab Spring, I posted that it does not always make sense to support friendly dictators even when they might be overthrown by somebody worse:
If a powerful nation gets a reputation of supporting any dictator who might be likely to be overthrown by a totalitarian movement (for the purposes of this discussion it doesn't matter if said movement is communist, religious, or racist), then dictators have an incentive to prop up such movements.Today we see some evidence of that. In Libya, where we were the enemy of the local chief thug, we not only see anti-American riots but even some pro-American demonstrations. As far as I know, this hasn't happened in Egypt. Maybe if we had stayed enemies with Egypt, we'd see pro-American demonstrations there too.
On the other hand, this is the epitome of a small sample.
On the gripping hand, small samples are the best we can do in international politics. Maybe we'll have a large sample after we settle the Galaxy…