The Arab Spring is finally beginning to bear fruit. An article in today’s FT reports that Syria has a decades-old chemical weapons program that may fall into the hands of terrorist groups amidst the chaos of Syria’s civil war. Syrian stockpiles include significant amounts of nerve gas and “mustard blister agent,” and while they are apparently well-protected by the Assad regime, it’s anyone’s guess what could happen to them if the regime falls. The opposition group, like its counterparts in Libya, is difficult to pin down and is a diverse set of anti-Assad elements rather than a unified movement. Should Assad fall, the fate of the weapons would lie largely on which group took power and how quickly and effectively it could secure these stockpiles. With Hezbollah and al-Qaeda reportedly eyeing the country, this is a gamble few would be anxious to take.During the halcyon days of the protests in Egypt’s Tahrir Square, Western media outlets were filled with lofty predictions: the end of autocracy in the Middle East, the rise of the Arab twitterati youth, and the emergence of a liberal majority in the Middle East that would wipe away decades of tyranny and oppression. One year later, with repression in Egypt, fighting in Libya, and civil war in Syria, these predictions have been revealed for what they were: wishful thinking marred by an absence of critical thought about the region and its history. The reality is much uglier.