Wednesday, March 30, 2011

The Middle East Uprisings: Disturbing Pattern

When the suicide of the street vendor in Tunisia sparked an uprising that drove the long-time president and autocrat Ben Ali from power in January 2011, a chorus of pundits, news analysts and media personalities in the US and Europe immediately cheered the departure. When Egypt's long-time ruler Mubarak was overthrown the following month and the uprisings spread like a wildfire across the region from North Africa to Arabian Peninsula, the catchphrases like "Arab Spring" (similar to Czechoslovakia 1968 "Prague Spring" reformist social-democratic movement) and "Arab Democracy" filled the air, TV and cyberspace. Here is the typical selection of optimistic predictions in the past few months:

Analysis: Why Arab Spring could be al Qaeda's fall, By Paul Cruikshank, CNN Terrorism Analyst

"The political, economic, and cultural stagnation that al Qaeda fed off for more than two decades has been replaced by the fastest moving change the region has ever witnessed, the most promising of Arab Springs."

My Optimist about the New Arab Revolt, By Daniel Pipes, Historian and Director of The Middle East Forum

"One has the sense that the past century's extremism – tied to such figures at Amin al-Husseini, Gamal Abdel Nasser, Ruhollah Khomeini, Yasir Arafat, and Saddam Hussein – has run its course, that populations seek something more mundane and consumable than rhetoric, rejectionism, and backwardness."

Egypt Uprising Should Be Encouraged, By Anne Applebaum, Washington Post/Slate.com Columnist and Author

"We should speak directly to the Egyptian public, not only to its leaders. We should congratulate Egyptians for having the courage to take to the streets. We should smile and embrace instability. And we should rejoice – because change, in repressive societies, is good."

When political or media intellectuals ( be they "left", "right", "liberal", "conservative" or "neo conservative") trained at the elite American or Western universities on the belief that democracy is the answer to all the world ills, it is good enough  reason to look for a second or third opinion. Too often this optimism has proven to be unfounded. And the harsh realities about the Middle East revolts did not wait for long to appear.

First, post-Mubarak new Egypt allows Iranian warships to pass through Suez Canal--unthinkable under Mubarak. The mass rape of US reporter Lara Logan right on the eve of the celebration of Mubarak departure is hardly an example of "democratic values" allegedly espoused by protesters. Then there was a mass attack on Christian Coptic church with the Egyptian Army looking followed by mass shooting of Copts protesting the brutal treatment in the hands of their Muslim neighbors.

More disturbingly, the only force that is well organized and positioned to take power in the new Egypt is Muslim Brotherhood--Egyptian born secretive pan-Islamic organization that seeks to establish Islamic Caliphate worldwide and believed to be a parent organizations of Islamic terror groups like Hamas, Hezbollah, and Al-Qaeda. The ultra-liberal New York Times had a cautionary piece here  about the growing influence of Muslim Brotherhood after Mubarak departure.

However, it is not just Egypt where Muslim Brotherhood is gaining power. In Yemen, Al-Qaeda (believed to be Muslim Brotherhood offshoot) is reported to be advancing in a country engulfed by the protests against the Yemeni long-time ruler Ali Abdullah Saleh. And now, of course,  there is an uprising in Lybia, where Obama administration, along with UK and France, decided to intervene on behalf of anti-Gaddafi rebels. Gaddafi with his long history of terror-sponsorship throughout the Middle East, Africa and his involvement in Lockerbie Pan Am bombing may look like the best candidate to be toppled. However, who are precisely the anti-Gaddafi rebels on behalf of whom the US and some NATO allies are intervening ? One of the top NATO officials, the US Admiral Stavridis claims that there are "flickers" of Al-Qaida, Hezbollah and other terror groups present in the rebel forces, although rebellion leadership, the Admiral claims, is "responsible" (based on what ?). Furthermore, since the intervention on behalf of the Lybian rebels began, the US Military academy report surfaced showing that as many as 19% of Jihadists who fought against
the US and coalition forces in Iraq come from Eastern Lybia--the hotbed of the current anti-Gaddafi rebellion (for more information, read the "Washington Examiner" report here).

So by helping the rebellion, the US, UK and a handful of NATO allies are helping to establish Islamic terror regimes across the Middle East whose end goals are worldwide Jihad and overthrow of all "infidel" governments, including the US and Europe. If this is not a definition of insanity, than what else is ?