Middle East Blues
We don’t know about you, but Opine Needles has had some difficulty absorbing all potential ramifications emanating from recent events in the Middle East.
The President mishandled this situation. Following is why-
–Western pundits and politicians love to hate self-declared presidents for life. (The one historical exception would have been Franklin D. Roosevelt.) We impose our values and systems on peoples who have no ability or desire to adopt same.
–While castigating President Mubarak’s strongman tactics and criticizing his thirty year reign in Egypt, Western media and politicians neglected a few important perspective checks:
• Egypt has supplied a substantial part of the metaphorical glue that served as the bond for a relative state of Arab peace with Israel. Mubarak has been the glue manufacturer.
• Egypt controls the Suez Canal. Think Commerce. Think Energy. Think Security.
• President Mubarak may be a tough guy, but he prevented the Muslim Brotherhood from gaining enough power to cause problems in Egypt. The Muslim Brotherhood is the proverbial lion waiting in reeds of the Nile. The Brotherhood’s creed is: “Allah is our objective; the Koran is our law; the Prophet is our leader; jihad is our way; and death for the sake of Allah is the highest of our aspirations.”
–So, we have a radical Islamist group chomping on the bit to gain power in Egypt, and what does our President do? As the tension in Cairo’s Tahrir Square (the equivalent of Beijing’s Tiananmen Square) rose, President Mubarak came to the conclusion that he needed to step down. He developed a rational plan for his departure; one that could keep the lid on potential unintended and devastating consequences of regime change.
–With Mubarak having announced his decision to leave office after an orderly and democratic transition was organized, our President responded by saying this: “It’s not the role of any other country to determine Egypt’s leaders” (but) “an orderly transition must be meaningful, it must be peaceful, and it must begin now.”
–President Obama did exactly what he said we should not do. He said it was not our business, and then he went on to provide the fodder for Egypt’s masses to continue their riots in the streets. He destroyed any chance Mubarak had to manage a resolution that ensured a stable Egypt in the years ahead.
–Egypt may well survive and remain on good terms with the United States. Time will tell. But our meddlesome rhetoric exacerbated an already difficult situation, and made Mubarak’s hastened departed a self-fulfilling prophecy. The Muslim Brotherhood must have been jumping for joy.
The Domino effect is real-
–While Tunisia may have been the catalyst for the people taking to the streets, the following countries now have major issues; Bahrain, Egypt, Iran, Jordan, Kuwait, Libya, and Yemen. A fire has been lit. And in many cases, it’s about suppressed minorities (Shia or Sunni, depending on the country) breaking out of their structured lives. In the case of Iran, it is a suppressed people. It is NOT a Shia or Sunni issue. It is a Shia degrees of separation issue!
–Here is the problem. Our way of life has very little to do with what ails the troubled people throughout the Middle East. In most countries, the people of the street are dirt poor, and largely illiterate. They will grasp at anyone and anything who promises them hope. And guess where most of them will turn; to whomever tells them the lies they need to hear. 90% of Egypt’s Muslims are Sunni. The Muslim Brotherhood is Sunni.
– Turmoil reigns in the Middle East, and radical Islam lies waiting at every turn.
Opine Needles would love to think of current events in the Middle East as being the manifestation of George W Bush’s freedom strategy; plant the tree of freedom in Iraq, and watch it take root throughout the region.What all freedom lovers may have misunderstimated (c’mon, a little humor doesn’t hurt) is that everyone in the world doesn’t value or define freedom as do we Americans. Remember the democratic process in Palestine. It begot Hamas.
–It is impossible to tell where all this is headed, but it is not impossible to forecast that we may end up with fewer allies in the Middle East. And that folks, is not good. If you think oil at the pump is expensive now, watch this space.
Finally, multiculturalism is no longer the new cool-
–And now for some good news; in the past few weeks, Presidents Merkel (Germany) and Sarkozy (France) and Prime Minister Cameron (United Kingdom) have all made speeches about the failure of Western Europe’s multicultural philosophy. They have finally figured out that if someone wants to live in their country, they need to embrace the laws and customs of that country!
–After decades of allowing Muslims to settle in various European countries and set up their own governments (virtually creating mini-Sharia states) and living in self-contained (and often hostile) cultural bubbles, governments across Europe are waking up to the fact that they have created ticking time bombs.
–They have much work to do to tear down the isolationist walls they have allowed radical Islamists to build and foster, but at least leaders are now acknowledging they have created a beast that needs to be tamed.
More to follow-