Sunday, October 16, 2011
The Middle East Goes South
By Alan Caruba
They’re rioting in Yemen and have been for eight months, trying to get rid of their president who, it appears, cannot take a hint. It shares a border with Saudi Arabia.
They’re rioting in Syria. Its president says he is going to have a new constitution drafted, presumably to meet the demands of the crowds in the street, but in the meantime his forces will just shoot as many of them as possible.
The troubles in Syria have caused Turkey to park a large number of its troops on its border and Jordan has done the same. Turkey already has lots of Syrian refugees who wisely fled when they could. Turkey, once one of the more rational nations in the region and an ally of the U.S., has been tilting toward Islamism in recent years and that has got to be bad news for everything, but especially Israel.
They’re rioting again in Egypt. Having gotten president Mubarack removed, the problem now seems to be the military that—surprise—have no intention of giving up power. They have also made it clear that any peace treaties with Israel are kaput; the first thing to go, a demilitarized Sinai between them and Israel.
In Tunisia they are preparing for an election after having rid themselves of a long time dictator. And that may be the only good news from the region.
There are attacks on government buildings in Kabul, Afghanistan, but that’s a headline going back decades. The Taliban are the problem, but particularly since they come in over the border from Pakistan.
Pakistan was, is, and will always be a tinderbox and basket-case. Formerly home to the late Osama bin Laden, only the military represent any hope of stability and, if that means shooting a bunch of Taliban every so often, they will do so.
The occasional bombs go off in Baghdad, Iraq, but since President Obama is pulling out all by a relative handful of troops, what could possibly go wrong there, eh? Hint: It shares a long border with Iran.
Oh, did I mention that there is still fierce fighting in Libya and no one knows where Col. Gadhafi is, but a provisional government is going to see if it can keep the northern and southern parts of the nation, highly tribal, together.
There is a reason that the people of these nations have a difficult time getting their arms around democracy and that’s because Islam has a stranglehold on their brains. That’s why the formal name of these nations is usually “the Islamic Republic of” wherever.
The worst of these alleged republics is, of course, Iran. It had a spate of riots in 2009, but Iran is the poster child for a complete dictatorship and, after killing and jailing anyone who even looked like they were protesting something, quiet has returned to the street of Tehran. This has permitted their military to plan operations like assassinating the Saudi ambassador to America in America.
The Supreme Leader of Iran and the lunatics who surround him hate the Great Satan (us) and the Little Satan (Israel) with such passion that, at some point, they will have to be killed to avoid World War Three. Most Iranians love the U.S. and will be greatly relieved if we free them from their bondage.
In Israel, in order to secure the return of a single Israeli soldier, kidnapped five years ago by Hamas, the government has decided to swap a couple of hundred murderers of Israeli citizens that have been in their jails. It’s symbolic, but it is also very, very dangerous. The Israelis value the life of every one of their soldiers. Hamas values no one’s life including Palestinians. They hide behind women and children whenever the Israelis show up to dispense some justice. Then they go back to firing rockets into Israel.
Now, as the rest of us go about our lives, trying to get our heads around why a bunch of spoiled brats and leftover Sixties potheads are protesting against Wall Street in New York and elsewhere, a sizeable portion of the planet, the Middle East, is in a life-and-death turmoil that is, I suggest, going to get a lot worse.
None of this, coming as it does in disparate reports from places many find hard to find on a map, bodes well for the second decade of the 21st century or possibly also the next one.
The so-called “Arab Spring” is rapidly turning into yet another Arab nightmare (and, yes, the Iranians are Persians, but they are doing what they can to influence events to their advantage.)
Complicating the immediate future is the question of whether the European Union will come apart over monetary issues. As for the U.S., we have to get to the 2012 elections and put right the worst mistake this nation has ever made by ridding ourselves of Barack Hussein Obama.
© Alan Caruba, 2011