The term “Arab Spring” was to mark a new beginning in the middle east. I recall President Obama warmly welcoming the turning of the tides not so long ago. Libya, Egypt and Syria where to be deemed as ground zero for a new freedom in the middle east, a new beginning coinciding with the feel of spring. Catchy phrase but has it born the fruit it was intended to? Watching the images transmitted from the region one can only answer with a resounding NO?
It seems as if overthrowing longstanding dictators who kept the hammer on it’s citizenry should have proven a success at least in theory. But it seems new regimes have taken root (apologies for all the spring puns) and they seem to be encouraging a more lethal and vocal anti American stance. Go figure.
But why is this the result? President Obama traveled the region and begged forgiveness. Now he is routinely burned in effigy. Moronic videos and cartoons are widely attributed for disrupting cultural sensibilities. And no doubt this does have a hand in the issue at large. But it certainly does not explain the massive eruption in violence.
Our Embassies are being destroyed. Our flag is burned daily. Our foreign diplomats are being killed in horrific fashion. Again I ask why? It appears the recent events have been in planning for quite some time. Payback it is said, for the taking of Osama Bin Laden.
One can make an argument that our historic policies to the region have been less than appropriate. One can also state we are a pretty good partner. We of course stopped the genocide in Bosnia. Not to mention freeing the people from the tyrant and brutal killer Saddam Hussein. Of course we also let down the people of Iran and the uprising in which thousands where killed by their own government while we watched. But on balance we have attempted to aid in peace negotiations and of course dropped in billions of dollars through aid and of course oil dollars to an oil rich region.
I find the burning of our flag and the killing of our people sheer hypocrisy. This is not what you do to those whom you have received assistance from. Put aside the bad policies and accept the good policies and at the margin, we have been a friend. So is it our strong support of Israel? Likely it plays a major role, but even Israel has given much and pays a heavy toll and in reality, Jews and Arabs get along fairly well in Israel on a daily basis.
I submit the biggest nuisance is the cultural differences. And the religious implications are certainly difficult to ascertain. After all if Christianity is as stated in the bible, then all things are changed in the middle east. I submit this is frightening for any religion to contemplate on any continent. But this is about more than religion and Israel. The dictators use this common ploy to rile the people and shift blame away from themselves and their corrupt regimes and towards a perceived common enemy ie. the west. But in the end, terrorism and flag burning serve no useful purpose. Does anyone out their have an answer? If so the Nobel people want to hear from you. As does the rest of the world.
My suggestion would be to leave Israel alone in peace. Also to elect leaders given an opportunity, who can install systems for your varied nations to grow and prosper economically and leave corruption in the dust. I know this is a tall and albeit simplified idea, but it has been proven to be effective in Eastern Europe, China and several other once oppressed regions. Is it not worth a try as an antidote to what is currently taking place. No more destruction is needed. Mutual respect for all is in order. And finally as I report to my readers here weekly, be very skeptical of any and all leaders and do not blindly follow them. We know where this road takes us.
We, my middle eastern friends, have our share of problems as well but perhaps not as bad as what you face. I bet if we sit and talk we can resolve much as we all are more in sync than most would care to admit. Having many friends from your region over the decades, I know it can be done. Maybe that too is a problem. Our leaders do the talking, not us. Let the destruction end and peace will surely follow. A welcome position for the earth. After all, no one is perfect.
Article first published as <a href=’http://technorati.com/politics/article/whither-peace-in-the-middle-east/’>Whither Peace In The Middle East As Winter Approaches The Arab Spring?</a> on Technorati.