There's been much hope regarding the Arab Spring uprisings, and many westerners hoped that this represented a movement to gain freedom and dignity, but warning signs were present from the beginning. Religious irrationality was severely underestimated as westerners considered the protesters through a liberal mindset. This projection of liberalism on mideasterners failed to understand the depth of Islamist belief and the unwillingness to separate State and Religion. Liberal-minded westerners also underestimated the power of radical Islamist groups over the people of the Mideast (I'm including northern Africa as part of the mideast region). While Egypt is not Libya and Libya is not Tunisia and Tunisia is not Syria, on and on, the reality of the region's embrace of religion over secular government and liberalism is common. As long as the people of the mideast, or the great majority, are subservient to religious authority, these nations will evolve toward overarcing regional control through Islamist law.
There's been much talk of moderate Islamism in America, but the reality of the mideast is Islam, period, and as long as the Islamist religion governs, there will be no freedom. The only way this mideast system can work is through forced obedience to irrational laws that are antithetical to freedom. We can hope for better according to our beliefs of what creates human flourishing, but I think it's time to leave the affairs of the mideast to those living in the mideast.