This has always been my problem with the arab spring. The western world is singling and dancing but fact is democracy has yet to be tested and elections are where democracy begins they are not the system itself and there is no proof yet it will work. The arabs have gone through from tribal system - royalty - dictators and pan arabism - tame dictators - in some countries communism and all have come and gone and there is no guarantee that democracy will work but at least the dictator bring stability. After WW1 the allies kicked out the Kiaser and the power vacume was filled by the Nazis, after WW2 the Americans intentionally left the Japanese emperor but without any real power so the Japense still had their figurehead to look up to. After Desert Storm in 1991 the allies intentionally left Saddam Hussain in charge in Iraq because there was nobody better and it would lead to the instability we have seen there since the 2003 Iraq invasion in which we got rid of Saddam & his regime. Israel never liked the Assad's but didn't want to see them toppled because they brought stability and were predictable. Egypt was stable under Mubarak. It would be a mistake to topple the Iranian ayatollahs because whilst the opposition says all the things the west wants to hear now if they take power for all we know they may even be worse than the ayatollahs are, Mousavi who is leading the opposition and playing the moderate was calling for Iran to develop nukes long before anybody had ever heard of Ahmadinejad. So yes dictators have their purpose and if your going to get rid of them better for a gradual process rather than a revolution. Easing of some laws to begin with and slowly slowly more laws are changed and its a natural process. Takes longer but it leads to real democracy and stability.
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UN: Seventeen countries in Americas may have eliminated mother-to-child HIV transmission (Reuters)
from the article: Assad: UN report on Syria crimes against humanity not credible