Skip to comments.Thrilled by the ‘Arab Spring’? You’re Delusional
Posted on 03/29/2011 1:36:19 AM PDT by Tolerance Sucks Rocks
I'm flabbergasted to hear people I normally agree with be so optimistic about the current upheaval.
I am actually shouting at my television.
I am watching Fox News Sunday, and politicians and pundits with whom I normally agree Newt Gingrich, John McCain, Joe Lieberman, and Bill Kristol are all making me crazy with their advice on Libya. Each seems to believe that success in Americas latest foreign adventure is predicated on taking out Moammar Gaddafi, and they are all blaming President Obama and Secretary Robert Gates for failing to grasp the obvious.
So now Im yelling: Guys, the question is not what to do about Gaddafi the question is what to do after hes gone!
Senator Lieberman seems to have this worked out. He echoes a sentiment I have heard regularly from lawmakers and journalists since January, when the jasmine revolution erupted in Tunisia. Once brutal dictators like Gaddafi, Mubarak, and now possibly even Bashar Assad in Syria are deposed, democracy will surely bud and bloom all over the Middle East. There is even a name for this awakening, Arab Spring, which I must admit has poetry to it. It would make a good show tune.
But as foreign policy, it is dangerously delusional.
Whether Gaddafi flees to Venezuela, barricades himself in his Tripoli fortress for a prolonged siege, or finishes toes up in a ditch, the vacuum he leaves behind in a country he has dominated for 40 years is what should concern policymakers. And the question they should be asking is this:
If freedom and democracy are waiting to sprout from Tunis to Manama, where are the seeds? Who exactly is doing the sowing?
Unlike that other fertile era when democracy flowered across central Europe before the Berlin Wall finally collapsed twenty years ago, there are no Lech Walesas or Vaclev Havels to lead the way to a totally new and unfamiliar system of self-governance. Instead, in Egypt the country for which most analysts have the highest hopes we are witnessing the triumphal return of Yusuf Qaradawi, probably the preeminent Islamic scholar in the world and the spiritual leader of the Muslim Brotherhood. While he was living in exile in Oman, Qaradawi preached jihad regularly on Al Jazeera and encouraged the murder of civilians in Iraq. Now, when he prays in Tahrir Square, he can draw a million people.
The protesters who toppled Mubarak never exceeded a hundred thousand.
Meanwhile, we learn that one of the rebel leaders we are backing in Libya is Abdul-Hakim al-Hasadi, whose last tour of duty was fighting against U.S. troops in Afghanistan. His fighting force, the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group, is an ally of al-Qaeda and a fellow traveler with the Muslim Brotherhood. The Brotherhood and al-Qaeda have fallen out over tactics in the past, specifically over whether Bin Laden should have launched an attack on the West on 9/11 which killed Muslims. However, there is no disagreement over whether to kill infidels in Muslim lands: it is decreed in the Quran.
Hasidi and his soldiers may be handy in a firefight right now, but what does the United States do if they want to hang around after the battle and help to write a new constitution?
Speaking of constitutions, there may be a small kernel of hope for some kind of pluralism to actually take root in Tunisia. There a new constitution is scheduled to be voted on in about four months, and one of the framers will probably be Sheikh Rashid Al-Ghannushi: he is the leader of Ennahda, the Tunisian branch of the Muslim Brotherhood. Like Qaradawi, Ghannushi has lived in exile for 20 years only to return to a large popular following now that the Ben Ali government has been overthrown. However, unlike his fellow Muslim Brothers across the Arab world, Ghannushi fashions himself as a reform Islamist. He claims he is not intent on restoring the Caliphate, he professes support for womens rights, and he does not take a hardline stance against the status of non-Muslim citizens in Islamic countries. Whether this is straight talk or taqqiya remains to be seen, but at present Ghannushi is certainly outside of the traditional doctrine preached and practiced by the Muslim Brotherhood. Because of this, Western diplomats should be wary of someone who appears to be passing himself off as the Scott Brown of Islam.
A gentle reminder to the believers in the Arab Spring: when Poland, Czechoslavakia, Hungary, and even Albania collapsed under the weight of communism, the United States rushed in with organizations such as the National Endowment for Democracy, the International Republican Institute, and the National Democratic Institute. We were usually able to fill the void left by the Soviets because all we were doing was replacing one discredited political system with one that had not yet been tried. In the Arab world we are up against shariah, a system of laws and proclamations that are decreed by God and not subject to the free will of man.
How does democracy take hold in a country where free will is considered apostasy punishable by death? We must not believe in that ourselves because U.S. advisors have helped draft constitutions in both Iraq and Afghanistan that have made shariah the supreme law. And in Egypt, whose constitution also elevates shariah above any manmade statute, the only obstacle standing in its way was the Mubarak regime.
The Muslim Brotherhood has renamed itself the Freedom and Justice Party in time for the upcoming elections. Should they prevail, does anyone believe they will abandon fourteen hundred years of Mohammeds teachings for some wild ideas from James Madison?
So forgive me, esteemed elders of Fox News, if I do not wax euphoric over the prospect of an Arab Spring. I dont smell the flowers and I dont hear the robins song. The tune that keeps running through my head is Mel Brooks Springtime for Hitler.
Stuff by Fred Grandy.
“If freedom and democracy are waiting to sprout from Tunis to Manama, where are the seeds? Who exactly is doing the sowing?”
The top question of 2011!!
The train wreck rolls on.
Try to understand it.
Grandy is better in print than he is on radio
I would add that Europe had western traditions and was primarily Christian in their faith. Both of these facets helped smooth the transition beginning in 1989. The Muslim culture has no democratic or individual-based traditions; they’ve always been dictatorial and autocratic. More despots will rise from this so-called “Arab spring”. Muslim “culture” is incompatible with western representative republics and democracy.
AND he darn sure knows exactly what he is talking about. Someone needs to wake up and tell those who are still asleep that o-negative is al qaeda in our House. He was trained as an imam and I BELIEVE that on his trip to pakistan, he finished his training and was given his instructions for jihad...which he has followed faithfully.
His next step is to back the falsestinians in their 3rd intifada against Israel...secretly, of course. Nonetheless, he will do it.
Why don't any of our politicians ever recommend representative republics with the rule of law? (you know the answer)
Well one thing’s for sure. If they let Daffy live....and they probably will, since if they really wanted to kill him, they wouldn’t have waited and given him time to hide...he’ll be gunning (literally) for America from here to eternity. Just what America needs...another radical Muzzy that hates us...and no doubt, just what Obama wanted.
” I would add that Europe had western traditions and was primarily Christian in their faith. Both of these facets helped smooth the transition beginning in 1989. “
Bingo - Mr. Grandy omitted the most damning evidence: when the Soviet Hegemony collapsed, the sections with strong Muslim tradition - Chechnya, the ‘Stans’, Serbia-Croatia, and so forth - are almost universally ‘failed states’, or teetering on the edge....
But, but, but......
Carter freed the Iranians, didn’t he?
Now The Obamasiah Himself is carrying on that democrat party tradition in Egypt, Libya and other venues yet to be announced.
Americans and in particular the cloistered average democrat middle class voter are as dumb as a box of rocks. They want to believe everything piece of scary disinformation they are fed.
If sharia law is adopted as the supreme law in any of these countries, say hello to another theocracy modeled somewhat along the lines of Iran - maybe not immediately but in the near future.
Obama is fiddling for time while the middle east is handed over to the moslem brotherhood.
And we are sitting on our hands with a moslem president named Barak Hussein Obama while Islam marches on. If the president was pro-christian he'd at least go by a western name.
” of the liberal intelligentsia. So now, we are all told and are required to group think and agree with the premise that the coming of democracy in the middle east is just around the corner. “
Sadly, it’s not just the ‘liberal intelligentsia’ — it’s a common belief among a large segment of our fellow FReepers, these days..
And if we harken back to the Iraq invasion, the unspoken assumption by all players (up to and including Rumsfeld and Bush) implicit in the ‘narrative’, was that, where the tanks passed, something akin to “Poughkeepsie-on-the-Euphrates” would spontaneously, magically, spring up in their wake...
Self governance was not a new and unfamiliar concept to the people of Poland or Czechoslovakia. They had experience with liberty, a deep sense of history, and before WWII, highly developed western cultures and economies. In contrast, Russia lacked a history of representative democracy, and we see how corrupt 'strongmen' have continued to dominate, whether Putin in government or mobsters in the larger economy.
I agree. I was shocked by how quickly the boys over at the NR were arguing for us to institute a no-fly zone over Libya, and now the complaint with Obama is that he took a month before getting involved.
There’s got to be some seriously misguided think-tankism behind this, and I fear the GOP is embracing in foreign policy what Romneycare is to Obamacare.
is it just me, or is our admn supporting shiite over sunni -In the countries this admn is encouraging regime change in there is a sunni ruling class with shiites revolting. In the countries this admn says they will not interfer in (iran/syria/etc) there is already a shiite ruling class.
Or am I just seeing things?
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