We are approaching the one year anniversary of the beginning of the troubles. Since December 18, 2010, all across the Muslim world, popular uprisings have led to the downfall of longtime dictators and strong men, as groups labeled “the youth” or “the people” have filled public spaces with crowds demanding that “democratic principles” take hold, and that the Western-leaning authoritarian regimes be removed.
In Tunisia and Egypt, scores of demonstrators successfully protested the government out of existence. A civil war was required in Libya before the fall of its regime and the death of Muammar Gaddafi. Civil uprisings continue in Bahrain, Syria, and Yemen. No progress has been made in major protests in Algeria, Iraq, Jordan, Morocco, and Oman, while minor protests continue sporadically in Kuwait, Lebanon, Mauritania, Saudi Arabia, Sudan (which just ended a civil war, resulting in two separate countries) and Western Sahara.
Whew! So many revolutions, so little time.
One might be forgiven to arrive at the assumption (But you know the little ditty about assumptions, don’t you?) that these revolutions are positive changes, that the “revolutionaries” are just like the ones that gave birth to the Western Democracies, and that the end result will be equally as successful, virtuous, forward-thinking, and freedom-loving… One might.
The realities are a bit darker, more foreboding and have unforeseen consequences that will affect the entire world long into the future.
While some of the demonstrators do indeed have ambitions of recasting their heretofore benighted countries with the mantle and respectability of Western-style democracy, the muscle of the movements, the underlying strength, is Fundamental Islamist in nature, predisposed to aggression and violence toward the West and Israel, and seeks to entrench itself in the halls of power as a means toward securing the means and opportunity to attack, while imposing Sharia law on its citizenry.
Meanwhile, Western media, unabashedly leftist, statist, and against the pro-Western autocrats, did everything in their collective power to declare the movements “peaceful”, “freedom-seeking”, “anti-corruption”, and “democratic”. They are nothing of the sort. The Muslim Brotherhood now controls the Egyptian crowds and they are hell-bent on breaking the peace treaty with Israel as a first step towards conflict.
Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Jordan have tried to bribe the unrest into submission, Syria is killing them by the dozen, and Libya is still in messy turmoil as the Transitional National Council can’t seem to admit which terrorist group will be in charge, as Al Qaeda’s flag flies proudly over their headquarters in Benghazi.
The question of course is, what steps is our government taking to intercede? What have they done to ensure that our closest ally in the Middle East, Israel, is secure and confident that we will support them in these tumultuous times? What has our government done to foster relationships with pro-Western groups and provide them logistical support?…Nothing.
Instead, our government has damaged our relationship with Israel, demanded that a pro-Western leader (Egypt’s Hosni Mubarak) step aside in favor of the aforementioned Muslim Brotherhood, which has since gone on a Coptic Christian killing spree, completely ignored the Iranian Green Movement (which would have toppled the Mahmoud Ahmadinejad regime), and used the NATO proxy to attack Libya’s Gaddafi, leaving his now unguarded weapons free for the taking.
So, what are we left with? A region less stable, more violent and teetering on the edge of barbarism. Countries controlled by terrorist groups seeking the destruction of their enemies with newly aquired weapons caches, and complete loss of trust in American support for popular democratic movements. All this on the watch of a President who was supposed to have a “more honest, more transparent” and closer relationship to the region.
Such is what we should have expected.