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Behold the American felony in Middle East



Once again the American calculations have gone horribly awry. Its efforts to export democracy to Middle East has pushed the region at least five steps back rather than a step forward. The sands of Arabia remained as arid as they were prior to 2011. Democracy did not germinate.

Instead, the entire region has slid back into a frosty winter of a fresh spell of authoritarian rule which is sure to be worse than that of Hosni Mubarak, Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, Muammar Gaddafi and Bashar Al Assad. And worst, the emerging breed of autocrats in Middle East may not be as obliging to the United States as those whom they have replaced.

The CEO and editor at large of Foreign Policy David Rothkopf says, the United States now faces a ugly choice in Middle East. It is between permanent chaos and a new generation of strongmen. For Washington the pick isn't an easy one. Next 20 years or more are certainly going to be the darkest ever in the history of Middle East.

"The US willingness to embrace dubious 'partners' like Afghanistan's Hamid Karzai or Iraq's Nouri al-Maliki and Washington's reluctance to publicly criticize leaders with questionable values such as Egypt's Mohamed Morsi are seen as signs of this growing predisposition."

Mandarins in White House were wrong since beginning because their perceptions of the Arab Spring were grievously flawed. President Barack Obama and the then Secretary of State Hillar Clinton, in a fit of infantile naivety, sought to leverage the opportunity as a marketing hook for the West. They sought to charm the region by siding with leaderless and radar less upheavals, presided over the downfalls of long standing US friends and installed unknown elements of radical groups hoping that the Arabs would love America and Americans more than they ever did.

Within two years the United States began to pay for its stupidity. Its envoy in Libya was murdered; America and Americans are much more despised today than they were five years ago; Washington, worst of all, has now to deal with a region it has created, not a region it wanted to create — a deeply pessimistic scenario where old dictators have only been replaced by new and with no light at the end of the tunnel.

Obama, with his cronies in London and Paris, have let loose the mythological sea monster Kraken in Arabia. In their myopia and obsession with democracy the stupid trio have granted the scourge of terrorism a fresh lease of life. "Syria has illustrated that with the United States, Europe, or others being slow to take significant action in restoring normalcy and ending the conflict, extremist groups are seeking to capitalize by moving in quickly to take advantage of the void. Syria's Al Nusra Front, which has pledged its fealty to al Qaeda, has now surpassed 12,000 in strength, with foreign fighters drawn in from every corner of the region."

A graffiti on a wall in Cairo perhaps tells the story of Middle East than any analyst or commentator. Painted almost two months after Mohammen Morsi took over the rule of Egypt as the new pharaoh the graffiti depicted how a young woman, lying on the ground, being beaten by the police. Its caption, "Out with the old, in with the old" spoke a million words. Efforts to export and implant Western democracy in Arab world notwithstanding authoritarian yoke remain the reality on the ground for the Arabs.

West's dabbling in Middle East hasn't been a story of democracy's triumph but a sordid tale of autocracy reinforced — a snake simply changed its old skin.

Rami G. Khouri, editor at large of Lebanon's Daily Star and a foreign policy institute director at the American University of Beirut is perhaps wrong in his criticism of Washington. He appeared sour because the United States apparently failed to do more to help democracy take root in the region. The truth is on the contrary.

American interferences and the encouragement it offered to fan the contagion have been extremely detrimental. Arabs today don't want America to do anything more to help democracy taking root in the region.

Egypt, Tunisia, Libya and even Yemen are back in chains. And so shall Syria if Assad falls. The United States must stop its promotion of democracy around the globe. At least, we in Middle East, do not need American help nor are we in need of its brand of democracy. We have had enough.

Fall of Hosni Mubarak, Zine El Abidine Ben Ali and Muammar Gaddafi has changed nothing. Repression of free will, trampling of human rights continues to manifest unabashedly in their ugliest format. Totalitarianism, worse than that of the fallen dictators, remains. Only the faces of the dictators have changed. This is what the United States, Britain and France have gifted the region.

They have created open wounds everywhere in the entire region which isn't likely to heal anytime in near future; Arabia is now groping like a headless chicken with interconnected violence and gory sectarianism. Nations and cities have become eternal battlegrounds of zealots where wars threaten to be endless.

The author is the Opinion Editor of Times of Oman


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