Friday, December 2, 2011

Hit List: Middle East

History repeats itself.

In the days of Cold War, Saddam Hussein (Iraq) used to be an ally of the West in their battle against Iran. The founders of Al Qaeda and Taliban used to be allies of the West as they struggled against communism in Afghanistan. Support from the west to their allies included weapons and training and turning a blind eye to inhumane tactics and dogmatic zeal. The end was supposed to justify the means. They won.

After the Cold War, erstwhile friends of the West were bombed to high noon - for being terrorists.

The War on Terror has become the post Cold War world’s biggest preoccupation. Consider the “Arab Spring,” a series of revolutionary uprisings in the Middle East and North Africa. Its ties to the War on Terror seem indirect, but the two events intertwine somewhere down the line.

Following a NATO-backed revolt, Libya’s Gaddafi is dead, and his son is soon likely to be executed at the hands of the new regime under Islamic Sharia law. The Islamist character of this regime has not hindered the West from making strategic oil deals. But the Islamists best remember that the West knows no permanent allies; only permanent interests.

Elsewhere in Egypt, it’s back to Tahrir Square as the Egyptian masses revolt to remove a military council from power, having successfully harried Hosni out of office. Word is, the long-banned Islamic Brotherhood is poised to make a resurgence, amassing popular support on the ground, unofficially already a political force to be reckoned with.

Libya and Egypt best remember: the West may support “Islamist” administrations today, but it will never forgive them for “terrorism” or associations thereof. Friends today battle to the death tomorrow, winner takes all. Iran knows this, so Iran dispels with pretenses to “friendship,” and refuses to toe empire’s line. It remains to be` seen how far that strategy will take Ahmedinejad.

History repeats itself.

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