Early on, the conventional view on the so-called “Arab Spring” was euphoric. In a nutshell, it was that the upheavals herald the triumph of freedom. Two-plus years on, however, Islamist groups have gained considerable political power — an ascendancy ominous not only for those subjugated under sharia, but also for American and Israeli security. Searching for silver linings on a darkening horizon, some point to Turkey: here is a regime widely feted as proof that Islamist rule is compatible with political freedom, after all.
Andrew McCarthy roundly refutes that view in Spring Fever. Recep Tayyep Erdogan’s regime, he contends, serves as a case study of what to expect of ascendant Islamists in the Middle East: more oppression, and more hostility toward the West. “The trend-lines are unmistakable,” he writes, “the trajectory of change more certain than its pace.”