Under certain conditions, autocrats can indeed ensure stability. But this stability is always borrowed somehow, borrowed from the future. The more stable an autocratic society today, the more catastrophic its implosion in the not-so-distant morrow. For autocrats are like termites, the structures they infest continue to look impressive right until they fall on their heads, and ours. Betting on Middle Eastern autocrats to ward off the evils of Islamist threats and popular revolts is not only misplaced but will serve as a catalyst of these very evils. We tend to seal our fates in various ways, some with a handshake, others with a kiss.