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Sunday, June 24, 2012

The Arab Spring Revisited (Part 1)

Free elections bore a monstrous progeny whose racist, irredentist and genocidal theocratic beliefs were formed within an Islamic crucible and found its first fruits of the 21st Century in Gaza.

Similarly, the Arab Spring has proven so far, to be a poisoned chalice.  It may spell the end of any chance for a two state solution (replacing it in fact with a three state solution as HAMAS and The Palestinian Authority on the West Bank are almost certainly irreconcilable).  The Arab Spring has not only destabilised the Arab world; it has diminished any possibility for resolution because of increased Israeli fears and greater insecurity in the entire region.  Anxiety, frustration and the perception that a solution is receding cannot encourage dialogue towards a peaceful solution to the conflict.  Both sides assume time to be on their side. The Palestinians display a false sense of religious superiority and cannot appreciate that God may not only be on their side.  Many Jews feel that God is on their side too. This is the old chestnut that has always benefited no one but the undertaker. While we cannot prevent occasional acts of prejudice from seeping though into the dialogue a hegemonic agenda precludes any discussion based on equal rights and shared narratives.

In an Op-ed in Yediot Achranot written by Alex Fishman he refers to the Iranian revolution thus: “On February 10 the Islamic revolution was launched. A day before, on February 9, units from the Revolutionary Guard used lists that were provided by the two traitors to pick up a few hundred generals who hadn’t managed to flee. February 9, 1979 was the night of long knives in Tehran. That night, hundreds of generals were killed. The entire upper tier of the military echelon, which was the final floodgate and which could have served as an opposition in the future, was wiped out. The dam was breached, and the fundamentalist flood swept through Iran”.

In 1979 Iran was also aligned with communists but once it gained power it executed its allies, consolidating its in-country rule.

In order to take control of Lebanon, Assad’s army had its list of 800 leading Christians who, in a single night, they visited and executed. Then Syria ended Lebanese Sovereignty.

I will not speculate on whether this can or will happen in Egypt. It is enough to note the pattern in Muslim society. Replacing one set of dictatorial kleptocrats with another set of dictatorial kleptocrats does not bring regional prosperity or peace.  There is no evidence of changed behaviour, other than a God obsessed self-belief that encourages reckless adventurism but delivers not a jot of improvement to those marginalised by society.

Democracy as pretence for staged Islamisation is what we fear most and what is happening throughout the Arab world. It seems that we have been here too many times before. We ascribe to others an essential goodness that is non-existent. And the Left is most to blame for this naive and foolish contempt for history.  When Iran fell, many liberals embraced the revolution and were vicariously giddy with the power of the new regime.  Even as the body count rose alarmingly they made their excuses and ignored the blood that was the cement of regime change. Far too many continue to do so to this day.  When America invaded and overthrew the murderous tyrant Saddam Hussein the left was outraged. Even as persecuted expatriate Iraqis argued that the evil dictator must go, the Left indignantly accused them of being no more than lackeys for American colonialism. And no one predicted the fall of Mubarak. As flawed as he was, the alternative is far worse.

Josef Joffe believes that a common enmity toward Israel is the only thing preventing the complete collapse of the modern Middle East.  Between Islamic modernists and Utopian reactionaries ruthless suppression constrains the political and religious freedoms of everyone living in an Islamic neighbourhood.

The “Days of Rage” in the Arab world have not provided evidence of delivering an “Arab Spring” – unfortunately, it may herald the beginning of an Arab Winter whose propensity towards violence heralds a new era of long term instability throughout the region and beyond.

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