Don’t watch the Reformers…
… watch the guys with the guns.
Don’t think that the current upheavals in the Middle East with their calls for “freedom” and “reform” will automatically end well. Americans are enamored with the idea of freedom-loving youth demanding better education, designer emo clothing and 4G internet access, blithely thinking that once current aging despot and his cronies have been forced into retirement, we’ll end up with another Ally-in-the-region by this time next year. But that’s a huge miscalculation.
At best, fundamental concepts like Democratic representation and civil liberties are ethereal notions in those societies. (I’m not saying Arabs are incapable of such things, I’m saying the embedded cultures work against implementing them.) Complex and uncertain, America doesn’t do them well after 200 plus years. What makes you think Arab states can put them into practice in 6 – 8 months, if they even get the opportunity. Factions/tribal structures, autocratic, religious absolutes, and a long-standing system of corruption render the prospect difficult, even unlikely.
Consider science: Nature abhors a vacuum. Consider history: In time of crisis, the strongest leaders assert themselves. (Read ‘strong’ here as ‘armed and organized’.)
Think Russia and Germany in the early 20th century – heck, consider Russia now. What happened to glasnost and perestroika? We got Putin and Medvedev instead.
Analyst and historian Ralph Peters said “Since 9/11, Americans have learned that there are entire segments of the world’s population that desire certainty – no matter how backwards and oppressive – over the rights and responsibilities of liberty.”
Fact is, in the Middle East, the guys with the guns and organization are the Military, and Fundamentalist Islamic groups. Not University students.
Director of National Intelligence James Clapper’s gaffe about ‘largely secular’ Muslim Brotherhood
( More here) betrays an almost will-full ignorance, and mind-numbing dismissal of history and human nature. The Middle East is the birthplace of Islamic fundamentalism. It’s not going away anytime soon.
(Here’s why I’m making note of this) The future world of Eshu International envisions a conglomeration of Arab states known as the Islamic Republic. Although diminished in influence and affluence, it is governed by fundamentalists and driven by the vision of a universal caliphate.
In “Shift Tense”, its leaders are seeking to regain prominence on the world stage by gaining control of another rare, natural resource, and spearheading this effort is no less than the Muslim Brotherhood. It’s fiction. I made it up a year ago by extrapolating history and current events and inventing a worst-case scenario. I hope it stays fiction.
* For a refreshingly balanced Christian perspective on this, go Here: The Door, CFC, Tucson, AZ. Watch the video clip and listen to the sermon.