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How Arab Spring turned into protests and 'Death to America!'

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“One of the lessons here is that helping to bring down authoritarian and very repressive regimes" – like the Taliban in Afghanistan or Muammar Qaddafi in Libya – "doesn’t mean we’ll necessarily have better relations with those countries,” says James Phillips, a Middle East expert at the Heritage Foundation in Washington. “The evidence suggests the new leaders are intent on leading their countries away from the US and away from Western values.”

The protests – sparked by an online video made in America that denigrates the prophet Mohammad and Islam – also spread to Pakistan, the Philippines, Australia, and Indonesia.

The largely peaceful protests that began in Afghanistan after Friday prayers intensified Sunday and Monday, when crowds in Kabul targeted a NATO camp and students at Kabul and Herat universities demanded punishment of the makers of the video.

There were also signs that Islamist extremists were tapping into the popular ire against the US to boost their own standing – and that some populations were responding.

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