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Libyans in Benghazi celebrate the fall of Tripoli with fireworks

David Davis’s call for a Marshall Plan in the Middle East (Prospect, July 2011) has been echoed by Hillary Clinton, Tony Blair and General Jim Jones. Although the Marshall Plan did not cover Japan, the great success of the US and its allies in introducing democracy and a free economy into both Japan and Germany are widely cited as proof of what can be done with economic aid. But what was possible in those countries, at the end of the second world war, highlights precisely what cannot be done now…

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