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Thomas Friedman dreams of a Syrian/Arab/Sunni/Shiite/Egyptian/Tunisian/Libyan Mandela, a short history:

Without an external midwife or a Syrian Mandela, the fires of conflict could burn for a long time. http://nyti.ms/OE8Iux

America midwifed that social contract-writing in Iraq, but Egypt will need a Nelson Mandela. http://nyti.ms/OE8T9j

These sectarian divisions have prevented national leaders from emerging — and no Arab Nelson Mandela or Martin Luther King Jr. has been able to rise above them to heal the rifts. http://nyti.ms/OE91FJ

We know, though, that there will be no impartial outside midwife to guide the transitions in Egypt, Syria, Tunisia, Libya and Yemen. Can they each make it without one? Only if they develop their own Nelson Mandelas … http://nyti.ms/OE9bwR

The Arab world desperately needs its versions of South Africa’s Nelson Mandela … http://nyti.ms/OE9qrN

They need to grow their own arbiters — their own Arab Nelson Mandelas. http://nyti.ms/OE9yrk

But it will be impossible without Iraqi Shiite and Sunni Mandelas ready to let the future bury the past. http://nyti.ms/OE9LuK

The ideal but least likely scenario is that we see the emergence of an Iraqi Shiite Nelson Mandela. http://nyti.ms/OE9VSR

There is nothing that you can’t do to someone in the Middle East today, and there is no leader or movement — no Nelson Mandela and no million-mom march — coming out of this region, or into this region, to put a stop to the madness. http://nyti.ms/OEa7l5

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