Is it possible that the Sykes-Picot Agreement has now completely failed and the attempt to bring the Middle East into some semblance of the modern world of nation-states is an impossible endeavor?. Could it be that based upon a 7th century barbaric ideology which is duplicative in nature and violent otherwise, what we know as the Middle East will never find its place in the global community of peaceful coexistence? I’m not a fan of nation-building especially when it seems unappreciated — or rather seen as an indicator of weakness. Can it be that the system once known as Mohammedism is not sustainable unless there is a complete and total reformation?
I’m not the only one asking these questions. Hisham Melhem — the Washington bureau chief of Al-Arabiya, the Dubai-based satellite channel and also the correspondent for Annahar, the leading Lebanese daily — offers an incredible insight in an article written for Politico. Mr. Melhem postulates that Arab civilization has collapsed and will not recover in his lifetime — something with which I unfortunately concur. The immediate question is, then what can be done?
He writes, “Arab civilization, such as we knew it, is all but gone. The Arab world today is more violent, unstable, fragmented and driven by extremism—the extremism of the rulers and those in opposition—than at any time since the collapse of the Ottoman Empire a century ago. Every hope of modern Arab history has been betrayed. The promise of political empowerment, the return of politics, the restoration of human dignity heralded by the season of Arab uprisings in their early heydays—all has given way to civil wars, ethnic, sectarian and regional divisions and the reassertion of absolutism, both in its military and atavistic forms. With the dubious exception of the antiquated monarchies and emirates of the Gulf—which for the moment are holding out against the tide of chaos—and possibly Tunisia, there is no recognizable legitimacy left in the Arab world.”
Indeed, if you take a gander across the Middle East, all we see is angst, violence, and jiahdism — or autocratic rule by despots or mystics. As you know, I have served in Islamic countries where I have seen some lights of possibility, but as a whole there is a specter of darkness that blots out any hope. What is most troubling is that we in the West who believe in liberty, freedom, and democracy are chided for supporting dictators, but then it is dictators who quell the Islamic jihadism which now seems to be prevailing. It was the lack of support to the Shah of Iran that gave rise to the Ayatollahs — all because the Shah was believed too corrupt.
It was our desire to fight by proxy against the Soviet Union in Afghanistan — I suppose some kind of payback for their supporting the Communist North of Korea and Vietnam. In doing so we blindly allowed the battle to become one of a religious nature — the Mujihadeen — which later morphed into what we now know as the Taliban and al-Qaida.It was the removal of Saddam Hussein that has allowed Iraq to fall under the spell of greater sectarian violence and a resurgence of Sunni islamic jihadism. It was the removal of leaders such as Moammar Gaddifi and Hosni Mubarak which plunged those two countries, Libya and Egypt, into the hands of Islamo-fascists, namely the Muslim Brotherhood as well as various al-Qaida-associated terrorist militias. Our own lack of a long term strategic vision led to this abject disintegration and collapse — and has given rise to the cancer, the scourge which now endangers the world.
We have refused to fully develop the full spectrum of our own energy resources and have become slaves to the despots, dictators, theocrats, and autocrats who make up the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC). Therefore we send our hard-earned dollars, which in turn has fueled the exportation of not just oil but the vile ideology of Wahabbi Islam — theocratic, political, totalitarian, and imperialistic in nature. And it has been the warped sense of political correctness and multiculturalism that has allowed this vile and sick ideology to infiltrate our Western civilizations, enabled by our own cultural jihadist apologists who embrace the depraved sense of relativism that has resulted recently in a 54-year-old woman in Oklahoma being beheaded at work.And yet, like stupid fools we rush to categorize evil as “workplace violence.”
I encourage you all to read the article by Mr. Melham because what is troubling about the apparent implosion of the Arab civilization and the Middle East is that it’s not regional — the end goal is to collapse our own civilization. And sadly, we have spurred on the problem in the Middle East in our refusal to acknowledge the violence and Islamo-fascist nature as it seeks to extend its destructive nature to our rule — bringing their darkness to snuff out our light, while using the beacons we have established of liberty and freedom by which they bring about our eventual decimation.
Melhem asks, “Is it any surprise that, like the vermin that take over a ruined city, the heirs to this self-destroyed civilization should be the nihilistic thugs of the Islamic State? And that there is no one else who can clean up the vast mess we Arabs have made of our world but the Americans and Western countries?”
But how can we clean up the mess if we have idiotic leadership such as we have now in America that cannot recognize the vermin and believes them to be cuddly little ferrets? Can the West truly confront this cancer when it refuses to combat it head on while decimating our military capacity as they grow stronger?
Melhem gives us a window into what once existed, “A byproduct of the depredation of the national security state and resurgent Islamism has been the slow death of the cosmopolitanism that distinguished great Middle Eastern cities like Alexandria, Beirut, Cairo and Damascus. Alexandria was once a center of learning and multicultural delights (by night, Mark Twain wrote in Innocents Abroad, “it was a sort of reminiscence of Paris”). Today Alexandria is a hotbed of political Islam, now that the once large Greek-Egyptian community has fled along with the other non-Arab and non-Muslim communities. Beirut, once the most liberal city in the Levant, is struggling to maintain a modicum of openness and tolerance while being pushed by Hezbollah to become a Tehran on the Med. Over the last few decades, Islamists across the region have encouraged—and pressured—women to wear veils, men to show signs of religiosity, and subtly and not-so-subtly intimidated non-conformist intellectuals and artists. Egypt today is bereft of good universities and research centers, while publishing unreadable newspapers peddling xenophobia and hyper-nationalism.”
Perhaps this hasn’t been a real sexy read for some of you — and that’s exactly why we find ourselves in this predicament at the precipice of a true global conflagration. Because we have leaders in our country who haven’t exercised strategic vision, we find ourselves contending with the unimpeded rise of Islamic jiahdism — there and here.
The clock is ticking and if we fail to turn back this implosion, we shall all be engulfed in this vortex. No, global warming or climate change is not the greatest threat to the world — it is the abject collapse of the Arab world as it is being replaced by the 7th century scourge of Mohammed, the ideology that will undermine the achievements of reason and enlightenment.