Thursday, March 21, 2013

After the Arab Spring

The Arab Spring uprisings were in response to serious problems. How has that turned out for people?

Tunisia seems to have just as many problems as before. Egypt is a mess. I don't think the secular protesters wanted the Muslim Brotherhood to take over. Libya turned into a full scale civil war, with NATO air support along with arms and other aid. We would have completely forgotten about the country by now if they hadn't killed our Benghazi ambassador. (most have already forgotten about that too.) Armed men moved into the African interior to cause more trouble. Only the French have really taken notice and sent military aid.

How about Yemen? What the heck is going on there? As long as US interests are protected, it doesn't seem to matter what's going on. The same can be said for Bahrain. Saudi Arabia? Shush, don't say anything negative about the big oil provider.

For some reason the west thinks it's a good idea to meddle in Syria's problems. How well did that work out in Iraq and Afghanistan again?

The whole Arab Spring thing didn't seem to get much traction in Iran. Maybe that's because most of them aren't Arabs and speak Farsi instead of Arabic. Besides the whole nuclear thing, why are trying to topple another sovereign government?

There's already one belligerent Middle Eastern nation that threatens its neighbors with nuclear weapons: Israel.

There's a lot of skulduggery behind these movements. How many secret agencies have their claws deeply sunk into these protests?

The Arab Spring movements tap into people's deep seated yearning for freedom. Unfortunately, that has yet to be delivered.

Even if a country, Egypt for example, became a perfect Jeffersonian Democracy, it would still have crushing problems. It has a large population in a resource poor country. No amount of democracy can magically change that. People don't want to just be free of tyrants, they want freedom from poverty.

Iraq has natural resources and a fledgling democracy, yet it struggles. Billions of US dollars poured into the country with little to show for it. The fact that it's still a mess demonstrates something is missing from the equation.

Maybe they need cultural change, or changes in the way money works, or something else. I hope they find it, as we could use it here in the US too.



  1. They shouldn't act like they're from the seventh century and then expect to have a 21st century way of life.

    1. At one time in history, the Arab world was the civilized world. Things change and can change again.

  2. Kind of like the US after hope and change.

  3. Revolution is usually messy. The French Revolution began with deposing royalty and promising equality, it ended with the Empire of Napoleon. The Taliban replaced a Soviet puppet dictatorship. The Iranian government replaced the Shah.

    Power vacuums get filled. The fanatic with lots of guns get in more often than the idealist with a pure heart.

    A little trade and education and allowing some self determination might yield better results than kicking over any state we don't like and seeing who pops up, or installing our own puppet dictators.

    1. Yeah, let's try the trade, education, and self determination thing. Couldn't hurt, right?

  4. I agree, if they act like it is the 11th century or so....that is the life they will have, and the Middle Ages life was pretty brutish and short. Since they take it upon themselves to kill anyone daring to suggest otherwise, (like a poor young woman in Syria, last summer, a pagan); I don't feel too inclined to mercy towards them.

    In fact, for people who conduct their 21st century revolution as if it is again time to storm cities of 'infidels'....well, let's just say, infidels sometimes storm BACK.

    1. One of the wonderful things about culture is that it can change, sometimes rapidly. Most people don't want to live like it's the Middle Ages. These asshats might suddenly find themselves on the wrong side of public opinion. Maybe I'm feeling generous today -or looking for hope where there is little to be seen.