No, this snarky title is not from “The Onion,” but it might as well be. This has not happened yet, but likely will.
For you see, there likely is only one of two possible outcomes in Syria: 1) either the protesters will prevail and Bashar al-Assad and his regime will be driven from power or 2) every last one of the protesters will be hunted down and killed. They know who they all are, after all.
No matter which way this current dust-up in Syria turns out, Obama will lay claim to having caused it to happen. It will have either been “his” Arab Spring or simply no one left to shoot. And he will try to take the bow.
There is a precedent for this latter happening, for the last time the Arab street rose against the Syrian dictatorship, Assad’s father, Hafez al-Assad, killed from 20,000 to 40,000 in one city alone, Hama, in 1982, and is said to have paved a street over their bodies. A mean, vengeful man was Hafez, compared to his son, the nearly 1000 killed in recent violence in Syria seems little more than a coming out party for young Bashar.
Back in 1982, the world could do little more than watch in horror, for as now, there were no “good guys” to look to turn things around. For, you guessed it, the principle group leading the Syrian resistance then was the Muslim Brotherhood.
And therein lies a tale.
This was always the devil-and-the-deep-blue-sea of politics in the region that the world’s leaders tried to steer clear of, including Reagan’s qualified assistance to Iraq during the 1982 Persian Gulf War with Iran, where he wanted to ensure “Iraq did not lose.” He wanted a tie, and got it.
The Middle East has been beset with a steady conflict between two (or more) bad guys, none with even the least sense of humanity for the poor citizens living there. Indirectly, Saddam’s invasion of Kuwait in 1990 ended this hands-off policy, for it forced upon the United States, in George W Bush, to attempt to add a third rail to middle eastern politics, by establishing what may turn out to be a real democracy in Iraq in 2005.
They really do have a chance of undoing 1500 years of potentate-politics in the Middle East. For those of you looking for that Luther-like Reformation in Islam, it first begins when kings are disowned, and Iraq may be that place. (I’ve had reservations about how well we did there, or could’ve done there, but that isÂ another matter.)
But witness Egypt earlier this year, Obama has chosen sides, only he chose from the original two ideological contestants, and not on behalf ofÂ the democratic third rail!
Obama has chosen the Islamo-fascist ideology of the Muslim Brotherhood, which, much like Hitler in the late 20’s and 30’s, stands in direct opposition to the nationalist-socialist ideology of the Baathist dictators of Syria, (as well as Saddam’s Iraq and Egypt under Gamal abdel Nasser.) Read up on the bitter hatred between the Nazis and the Communists and Socialists in Germany in the late 20’s-early 30’s and you’ll get a sense of this. It was not about ideology, but power. Kingly, dictatorial power.
Yes, I know it’s confusing, but this internecine enmity runs deep in the modern oil-era Muslim world, sprinkled with clan blood feuds, and sectarian Islamic issues (Sunni, Shia, Seveners, Twelvers), including the return of the old pan-Islamic idea of a worldwide caliphate, and the Mahdi.Â A common hatred for Jews and Israel are about the only bond they share.
America’s leaders before Obama always knew all this. The knowledge of this perpetual war between two sets of bad guys is why prior presidents tried to stay out.Â Their policy had been to wait until some better ideas of governance could come into the region.
That better idea was George Bush’s democracy in Iraq, not Baraack Obama’s ideas for democracy in Tunisia and Egypt, the so-called Arab Spring, for all Obama has done is take sides in the original warfare. He has chose Islamo-fascism over dictatorial socialism, plain and simple.
And of all the great losses you might imagine, as life will get much worse for all the Arab countries if the Muslim Brotherhood get in charge, the greatest risk is to the embryonic democracy in Iraq, which, I am certain, the Muslim Brotherhood fears and hates as much it does New York.
Almost no one is speculating on the effect of Obama’s Arab SpringÂ offensive on the tenuous foothold of democracy in Iraq.Â Still, it’s easy to see, it will make life on earth, everywhere, far more difficult.