Monday, June 18, 2012
Trying to Drag the Middle East into the 21st Century
By Alan Caruba
I am beginning to miss some of the dictators who ruled the Middle East for the past forty years or so.
Even Iraq’s Saddam Hussein was considered useful when, in the 1980s, he kept busy invading Iran. The U.S. didn’t lose any sleep over that, but when he invaded Kuwait, Bush41 concluded Saddam had bigger conquests in mind and put together a coalition to push him back inside his borders.
Bush43 didn’t even need an Iraqi invasion to justify sending another force to find him. Instead he and his neocons conjured up warehouses filled with weapons of mass destruction which were never found. Oops! It’s not reported much, but Iraq, now that the U.S. forces are gone, is back to the bad old days of Sunni-Shiite warfare and is, for all intents and purposes, an Iranian satellite.
One result of the past decade is a lot of Americans who never want to see one of our warriors set foot in the Middle East for a very long time. Lots of luck with that.
The kind of dictators the U.S. and the rest of the world tolerated were the likes of those who kept the lid on Libya, Tunisia, Syria, and especially Egypt. The monarchs in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates continue to hold power.
Diplomatically we didn’t even have a beef with Syria’s father-and-son dictators so long as they didn’t invade Israel. It’s worth recalling that Obama and Hillary Clinton called Bashar Assad “a reformer” when they took over U.S. foreign policy. It is anyone’s guess if the civil war in Syria will turn out well for Assad’s opponents.
Bashar is doing what his father, the previous dictator, did; slaughtering lots of people to discourage the rest. The West, preoccupied with its financial problems, is not inclined to get involved. Russia, China and most importantly, Iran, have made it clear that Bashar is their boy.
Always a major player in Mideast politics, Egypt under Gamal Abdel Nasser Egypt fought three wars with Israel, losing all of them. The famed Six Day in 1967 provided the rest of the region with a good reason not to start another one. After a heart attack killed Nassar, he was followed in office by Anwar El Sadat from 1970 until his assassination in 1981. Hosni Mubarack took over after that.
Sadat signed a peace treaty with Israel, one that has remained in place, but which is imperiled by the rise of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood. The Egyptian military are in no hurry to get into another war so, last week, Hosni Mubarack’s supreme court appointees ruled that the current parliament is unconstitutional and that Mubarack’s vice president can stay in office for, well, forever or until he gets assassinated.
The Egyptian military has just granted itself sweeping powers, saying the elections on Sunday are invalid until a permanent constitution is drawn up. The Muslim Brotherhood has declared that its candidate, Mohammed Mursi, won the election.
Despite the “Arab Spring” and the crowds in Cairo’s Tahrir Square, it doesn’t look like they are going to get a government that provides Western-style democratic freedoms. Islam and democracy do not mix. What the Egyptian and Iranian revolutions have in common is the support of many different factions that brought them about, but once Islamists are in power, Sharia law drags a nation back to the seventh century.
With the sole exception of Israel, there is no true democracy in the Middle East.
The wild card is still Iran. Since the Islamic Revolution in 1979 Iran has been the poster boy for every awful thing an Islamic nation represents to the rest of the world. Syria has been an Iranian satellite for decades, working closely with the mullah regime. To say that Iran is nervous about losing Assad is an understatement.
Even Turkey has signaled that it would be happier with a predictable Assad dictatorship than an alternative. Turkey was once an exception in the Middle East with a secular government is now firmly in the Islamist grip.
Under pressure from the West regarding its nuclear weapons ambitions, Iran is likely to try to distract attention by creating a conflict with Israel. And Israel knows it even if no one else does.
Iran’s other problem is more fundamental to the ability of the mullahs to retain control and that is the falling price of oil. That was the major factor in the collapse of the former Soviet Union in 1991.
As the European Union struggles to maintain his financial and political coalition and the U.S. is focusing on the forthcoming national elections, the Middle East is waiting on the outcome of the Syrian civil war and Egypt is back to square one so far as an elected government is concerned.
It has the look of a perfect storm.
© Alan Caruba, 2012
Posted by Alan Caruba at 1:45 PM
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I've been missing the benevolent dictators for some time now, given the alternative of the godless "thuggee" style gang of islam, masquerading as a religion, for the purpose of control, and predation on itself and all others, with the worst of the carnage of the 7th century, brought into the relative modern actual Western Civilization, in which they exist as completlely deficient barbarians at the gates. The majority of islamics anywhere in the globe, have never had freedom of speech, as a precious right, have no idea of its value, have no concept of democracy, or a republic. They can't so long as they are nearly totally brainwashed into the concept of totalitarian, barbaric style, carnage ridden, dictatorship.
I've been missing the benevolent dictators for some time now, given the alternative of the godless "thuggee" style gang of islam, masquerading as a religion, for the purpose of easier acceptance and control, and predation on itself and all other peoples, with the worst of the carnage of the 7th century, brought into the relative modern actual Western Civilization of today, in which they exist as completely deficient barbarians at the gates, again all over again. The majority of islamics anywhere in the globe, have never had freedom of speech, as a precious right, have no idea of its value, have no concept of democracy, or a republic. They cannot, so long as most of them remain, from infanthood, nearly totally brainwashed into the concept of totalitarian, barbaric style, carnage ridden, dictatorship, the fraudulent, masquerading fake theocracy, that is nothing more than gangland creeds, from the primitive times of the bedouin camel train raiding days, and the even worse earlier times. They are so often compared favorably to the nefarious qualities of nazism, and thuggees.
Representative democracy in any nation where upwards of 90% of the population is Muslim is an impossible dream.
The best that can be hoped for in the Middle East - as history has proven - is a secular military dictatorship with a leadership that favors the West.
The good news for the West is that the so-called "Arab Spring" of revolutions is Islam's death rattle.
Demographics (falling birth rate, high death rate)indicate that within a couple of generations, the heart of Islam in the Middle East will stop beating.
As many experts in things Islamic have indicated - what we are seeing today is a kind of "Battle of the Bulge" by fearful and dying Arabic Islam - a last desperate attempt for a 7th century collectivist society to save itself from destruction by the superior ideas of the West.
The next thirty years will be pure hell for the defenders of liberty, but when the "Bulge" of young Muslim men die out or grow old in the coming years, Islam will collapse as a world force for evil.
Here is a quote from Thomas Jefferson :
"Peace, commerce, and honest friendship with all nations --- entangling alliances with none."
My comment: Most of the time when the US government intervenes in another nation's affairs, it usually isn't in the best interest of the US public or the interest of the other nation.
I agree, Alan. Israel on June 7, 1981, destroyed a nuclear plant in Iran.
This nation needs to end our participation in the UN as soon as possible.
All the the "talks" with Iran only gave Iran more time to better arm themselves to become a greater danger to all and sundry. End the talks, and destroy Iran's capability to be an enemy of all and sundry.
What is amazing to me is that everyone expects Israel to do all the heavy lifting. The only ally we have "over there", and now unsuported by even the US.
We and all of Europe are going to pay a bitter cost because of our supporting the UN.
Larry, I think you meant that Israel destroyed a nuclear plant in Iraq, not Iran. They also destroyed one more recently in Syria.
So, I guess, Iran is next.
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