When an activity is new or new to you it can be exciting an awkward and joyous and full of missteps and stepping back to take another run at it.  Forming a new government works pretty much the same way.  Take out the old government, not just the people but the roles that they played, decide on an entirely new form of government, then, while you’re defining roles and transitioning power, try to figure out how the governed works with all of this, get messaging out there, change an ancient and ingrained culture while you’re at it and please do it on a dime while everyone is watching.

Oh, and remember that there are a lot of governments, groups, ethnic groups, families, and religions that have a vested interest in what you do, what you don’t do, how you do it, and will take actions depending on this.  Don’t let that stop you, because lord knows it won’t stop them no matter what you do.  And meanwhile, the governed may or may not be involved in one or many or none of those interests and may be working for or against you at any point along the way.

Whew!  Ok, that’s a lot to deal with, and add into that Democracy which actively promotes people having a voice in the political process.  We know from experience that it’s hard to handle that.  It’s just a lot of a lot and it’s going on in real-time in the Middle East and in Northern Africa.  And just like all other democracies, each one is unique, develops from a mixture of organic popular interests and the politics of the powerful and that growth and change never stops happening.  To my knowledge no current full-fledged Democracy looks exactly like any other and while most of the time we have a semblance of playing nicely with each other, all you have to do is look at the European Union to see how difficult that is even for those who have done it for a while.

So Islāmic countries are trying to form Democratic countries.  Yay!  Will they look exactly like the US or Canada or Europe?  Nope.  Will they automatically become Christian?  Nope.  Will they have exactly the same values as other Democracies?  Nope.  But then again, none of us do so let’s not set the bar too high.  And meanwhile, our freedom of speech allows people in the US to voice opinions about Mohammed and Islam.  And their newly formed right to speak publicly means they have the right to say they really, really, really don’t like that.  And some groups are using the uproar to practice terrorism.  And some groups are apologizing for their actions and showing that they don’t blame all US citizens for the few who are exercising free speech to say something they don’t like.

And while all that is going on I applaud our government officials who take the high road, memorialize and honor the dead, honor those who are in harm’s way in the service of their country and support our efforts to resolve the situation and get us through this difficult time.  And I cringe at those government officials that who publicly utilize this time of morning to divide to make vituperative political statements and try to score media points for an election.  To them I say, Congratulations on exercising your right to free speech.  Now GROW UP!