I think from a bigger perspective what we are seeing, and have seen with the beginning of Arab Spring, is a Middle East tired of being pawns. It has taken them 20+ years to realize there is no other player opposite the US on the world stage, therefore, they longer need to remain the “monkey in the middle” of two super-powers. I also think Obama’s message to Muslims everywhere, but particularly his speech in Cairo, let them know that it is ok to disagree with authority if that authority (i.e. the US and its puppets in the Middle East) is wrong.
I think ColinWright hit it on the head when he wrote, “Indeed, it’s been noticeable that our willingness to tolerate democracy in the Arab world varies directly with the distance of the state in question from Israel.” Just the other night I was watching a debate between Ted Cruz and David Dewhurst, Republicans running for the Senate seat from TX, and they were asked whether we, the US, should intervene in Syria. Both stated unequivocally “No.” UNLESS, the conflict threatened Israel, then both claimed by all means we should send in troops.