Skip to comments.Twilight of the Arabs - The contest for leadership in the Muslim world
Posted on 02/13/2010 2:39:57 PM PST by Ernest_at_the_Beach
For nearly a century, the West has seen the Muslim world primarily through the prism of the Arab states that stretch from North Africa to the Persian Gulf. Born of decaying empires, these states still carry echoes of desert war and ancient calls to glory. Yet for more than a thousand years after the founding period of Islam, Arabs did not lead the Muslim world, or even the Middle East. For that millennium, non-Arab Muslim rulers to the east and north marked the course of these Islamic lands.
Then, the late 19th and early 20th centuries brought both the Arab Awakening and Western European ambitions to control Arab lands. Ottoman weakness abetted these developments. World War I ended four centuries of Ottoman rule in the Middle East, and, in the aftermath of World War II, the brief period of Western colonial dominance passed. Arab rule at last returned to Arab lands, as did Arab claims to leadership of the Muslim world.
The newly independent Arab states, all under Sunni control, wore a youthful vigor. They laid claim to being modern enterprises, suitably equipped with modern theoriesprincipally nationalism and socialismand practices. They called for unity, formed a league, dabbled in unions. They cheered champions of their causemost prominently, Egypts Gamal Abdel Nasser. Constant crises, from the nationalization of the Suez Canal through the wars surrounding the Arab-Israeli dispute and the rise of terrorism, put the Arab lands clustered around the eastern Mediterranean at the center of world attention. The Cold War rivalry and growing world demand for oil further heightened Arab importance. Arab issues rose rapidly to be of great consequence for the wider world.
But the Arab armies failed; nationalism and socialism proved false gods; and the Cold War ended. The new Arab states vitality faded, drained away by authoritarian governments and ......
(Excerpt) Read more at weeklystandard.com ...
The book “The Haj” lays out the reasons for a lot of Arab craziness/nastiness.
Arabs have literally never produced anything except authoritarian states. This probably has something to do with the fact that most Arabs are Moslems. In Lebanon, where there used to be a very large minority Christian population, the postwar constitution called for power sharing. That broke down in the 1950s, and President Eisenhower sent in troops to restore order and prop up the Lebanese constitution.
The PLO tried to overthrow the Hashemite dynasty in the Kingdom of Jordan (again, an authoritarian state), but was thwarted. The survivors were either rounded up and kicked out, or ran across the border and surrendered to the Israelis (no joke) to avoid annihilation by a pretty pissed-off Jordanian army.
Their next stop (although there had been an earlier presence of “refugees” from “Palestine”) was Lebanon, where a large, heavily armed, criminal enterprise (with help from the Syrians) destabilized the Lebanese polity and it disintegrated. The Syrians then invaded, occupied parts of Lebanon, and finally pushed on to Beirut where they shelled the presidential palace and finished taking control. This followed the Israeli incursion, which drove the militias and the Syrian forces aside in order to eject the PLO from Beirut.
They wound up in Tunisia, but should have wound up stone cold dead.