The pro-democracy or anti-backed by the west-dictatorial strongmen movement that has spread across the middle east region in recent weeks has proven the old, cold war influenced idea of domino theory, which posits the emergence of social change or politico-social norms in one country in a region will eventually spread to fellow states in its region. This logic was applied brutally throughout the cold war as the social change that sent a shudder down the spine of many americans at the time was communism, with states accepting then applying the political processes that the Kremlin favored, deemed unacceptable among the political class.
This lead to a number of leaders and strongmen who were brought to power or backed by the US in the hope of staving the rapid growth of communism. This policy, Realpolitik at its most cynical, involved many deaths at the hands of those leaders in the effort to silence all dissent or challenge against the regime, however this policy, slowly in some places and quickly in others, began to unravel as these dictators found themselves facing broad mass movements within their countries demand their dismissal and/or major political reforms. In the middle east region this meant mostly the substitution of one tyranny for another, the Iranian Islamic revolution serves as a key case of this instance.
fast forward to the present day, the world bears witness to scenes in the middle east many political observers never thought would be so widespread in the region as observed longevity of autocratic rule in the region suggested that such political arrangement were to be the norm in the middle east, with some political commentators and academics arguing that such rule was what citizens in the region preferred.The last few has forever crushed such arguments and resurrected a cold war relic as a key idea to explain the current developments in middle east as the spread of movements calling for reform or dismissal .
In libya, this clash of wills between the people and those in power has become bloody, however, such blood was not spilled in vain as anti-Gaddafi forces have managed to claim half the country through an unshakable will for change (how that will look like is unclear due to the complex political set up in Libya) and defections of the army in the east, refusing to use force against fellow citizens. In sum politics has a funny way disproving new ideas and vindicating old ones proving all political are small morsels of political reality, some obviously less than others