There’s a famous scene in the movie Raiders of the Lost Ark where the hero Indiana Jones and his girlfriend are tied to a post by the Nazis, while the villainous archeologist Belloq performs a ceremony prior to the opening the Ark of the Covenant. The lid is lifted off and one of the Nazi is disgusted to find that it is filled with nothing but sand. As they’re about to leave there’s a hum from the Ark and ethereal spirit beings emerge from within and fly around the group.
Just as Belloq catches a glimpse of the face of one of these beings and excitedly proclaims that “it’s beautiful” – the being morphs into a hideous monster. What transpires next can best be described as a total meltdown. Belloq and his cohorts are literally melted and destroyed by the beings.
That’s one way how I think of the Arab Spring. Beautiful one day – horror story the next.
The movement first began in December 2010 and has been described as a “revolutionary wave of demonstrations and protests occurring in the Arab World“. At first these protests were mostly peaceful but even when the violence flared up; some pundits noted that at least the region was free from Mubarak and Gaddafi. Suddenly there was renewed hope for the emancipation of Arab societies and democracy in the Arab World.
“They had the Arab spring, which was a people-powered, non-violent opportunity to change the conversation in those countries. We should have an American Autumn–people-powered, non-violent.”
Perhaps that was what Pres. Obama‘s initial fondness for Occupy Wall Street was all about. Either way, I’d hazard a guess that Hosni Mubarak might have some sage advice for Mr. Jones (no relation to Indiana as far as I know), as would the late Muammar Gaddafi if he were still among the living.
Of course the CNS News article later adds a somewhat dour note to Van Jones’ ebullience:
“…the “Arab spring” started in December 2010 in Tunisia when a man burned himself to death to protest his treatment by police… Another witness, a relative of the man who set fire to himself, said outbreaks of rioting had continued into Sunday… The Libyan civil war, an outgrowth of the Arab Spring, has led to the death of as many as 30,000 people…”
Yet cold hard reality has a habit of smacking the optimist in the face and the painful results of that Arab Spring began accumulating. Regimes toppled and the incumbents are proving to be far worse than those they replaced. They might well be referred to as Raiders of the lost Arab Spring.
The Muslim Brotherhood is now running Egypt – that’s the organization that the Obama administration courted from the beginning. They’re the same ones who want to subjugate Egypt under Shari’a Law and whose leader adds an Islamic “amen” to the destruction of Israel and victory over the infidels:
“Oh Allah, absolve us of our sins, strengthen us, and grant us victory over the infidels. Oh Allah, destroy the Jews and their supporters. Oh Allah, disperse them, rend them asunder. Oh Allah, demonstrate Your might and greatness upon them. Show us Your omnipotence, oh Lord.”
The Syrian conflict only gets worse, with no foreseeable solution. It too was initially associated with the “spring”. As reckless as Assad can be judged to be in his behavior, one must acknowledge the dark side of the “revolution”. Al Qaeda’s black flags are flying – the rats have moved in and made their homes there. One activist group notes that:
“Despite the rapidly rising death toll, international powers are stuck in a diplomatic stalemate. Western powers and Gulf Arab states back the opposition, while Russia, China and Iran are backing Assad.” (Emphasis mine)
Just recently a Christian pastor and his family were executed. According to Mission Network News:
“The civil war in Syria continues to claim lives. More than 30,000 have already died in the conflict. Now, with the rule of law unbridled, innocent Christians are becoming victims as radicals take advantage of the situation…They’re not necessarily Syrians, but they’re very radical Muslims, and their goal is to eradicate Christians. They believe it’s an abomination to have Christians within Syria.” (Emphases mine)
Pres. Obama might possibly have looked on the movement as affirmation for his “Apology Tour De Force” and infamous speech delivered in Cairo. He is an apologetic president who cannot use the word great and America in the same sentence. He is a man who, regardless of whether he was right or wrong, felt led to declare that America wasn’t a Christian nation. What motivates someone to do that?
President Obama also felt the United States needed to apologize for Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and tried to do it. That shame for his own country has allowed others the opportunity to slip into the arena of influence in the Middle East.
Two of those “others” are Russian President Vladimir Putin and Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. President Obama passed the initiative onto Putin and the latter has run with it. PJ Media‘s Jaime Daremblum sums it up pretty well. The article brings it all into perspective and is worth a read:
“In recent years, Moscow has consistently supported anti-American dictatorships in every corner of the world, and it has consistently defended those dictatorships from sanctions and international pressure. Sadly, the vaunted Obama “reset” policy has not changed that.”
Another writer in a column for gulfnews.com believes the cold war has been resurrected by Putin and that “we must stand up to the Iranian audacity.” He believes Putin regrets the break-up of the Soviet Union and Russia’s consequent loss of status in the world’s arena. He thinks “the Bear is on the rampage”. He goes on to say that:
“In this game of one-upmanship between Russia and the US, Putin can now add another notch to his belt – Iraq. This supposed democratic nation has been gifted by western allies to Iran – and, by extension, to Moscow.” (Emphases mine)
I think he might be right.
Putin’s agenda has little to do with righting the human rights violations in the Middle East. It’s all about Russian pride and business. As for Iran…well, they just want to spread Islam, destroy Israel and the U.S. and entice the 12th Imam into returning.
I doubt anyone can stop the momentum already generated in the Middle East – not even a new U.S. president. Iran will eventually get its nuclear program up and running and own a bomb – despite the sanctions, the computer virus attacks and, possibly, assassinations of its intelligentsia.
Now there’s news of drones and virus counter-attacks. The ante has been raised again.
The real shame is that America has been missing in action the last four years. No country is perfect but on the whole I tend to agree with Governor Romney’s sentiment, “We do not dictate to other nations – we liberate them.” The world would have been a much darker place to live in without the U.S.
But liberation isn’t what the Middle East Raiders are about. And the current U.S. administration has given them a major free pass through its lack of leadership and voice.