The Arab Counter-Spring distracts from the authentic desires of the Middle East

We are seeing the other side of the Arab Spring movement of
last year.  This is the “counter Spring”.  I note, however, that these actors in the Middle
East are all, I think, men.  Compare the
picture attached to the New York Times article on demonstrations in Yeman with the statement by a young woman in Yemen a year ago.  
This woman was appealing for American help in protecting the movement for democracy there.  
In that
case, the crowd behind her included a number of women, and she spoke in impeccable
I am prepared to believe that
this young woman, whose name will surely never be known, represents the genuine
longings of young people in the Middle East. 
What I fear is that such individuals will give up and leave – escape to the
States or Europe. That would mean that as usual the nations of the Middle East
will be run by the most conservative and defensive elements of the
society.  And mostly men [as in the NYTimes picture].  Something needs to happen to
force the leadership of these countries to listen to the heartfelt appeals of
these young people.  
The Middle East has not changed:  the hope for democracy has not died.  But this society is now, as it was a year ago, sharply divided.  What we see now is the attempts of a few, again, to co-opt September 11 as a vehicle of refusal.  It is reactive and defensive.  Lets hope Egypt and Yemen will join the Libyans in punishing such lawless behavior.