As Autumn nears, and the so-called Arab Spring has achieved nothing more than bloodshed, resentment and instability, the West should stop its shameful support of bloody revolution.
Western leaders have shown themselves inept and totally lacking in leadership. Leadership would have led to peaceful change to bring about democracy and freedom, not the abomination we are creating by meddling yet again, as before in Iraq and Afghanistan and Georgia and Sudan, and now Libya and elsewhere.
For regimes to change, regime-change is not a necessity. They can reform just as the West has been built... it is what has given the West its stability that is admired internationally more than has the 'democracy' it endorses. The West is depriving countries of peaceful evolution, by importing bloody revolt and regime change.
There are an alarming number of rabble-rousers in Western governments, bent on causing trouble to satisfy their own egos.
The handling is lamentable for the tragedy it has inflicted on the people, with unnecessary loss of life and destruction of homes, infrastructure and livelihoods.
There are far too many Government members and soap-boxers alike who went straight from university to politics without growing up and still behave like student malcontents, calling for the overthrow of regimes in countries they have comprehensively failed to understand, and behaving in a most unstatesman-like manner.
Western commentary on the Middle East and North Africa is simplistic, as if the circumstances are the same in every country; they are not. Indeed it is rather insulting to those countries how the West sees them as all the same.
It is a nonsense to suggest that for most people there, the Arab Spring is about democracy; the basics are more important to them; the fundamentals of life that all-too-comfortable Western lefties and do-gooders are out of touch with. They are also forgetting why the situation exists in each country, which is often by Western design by agreement for oil (Kuwait) or strategic advantage (Egypt), or Western meddling (Sudan). It is true in many cases that had there not been the corruption, then there might have been more food reaching the people.
Sadly the introduction of democracy does not necessarily mean the end of corruption. Certainly in Libya the fight is mostly about freedom and democracy and against corruption and persecution, but in Egypt it was for jobs and poverty that predominantly the middle-classes took to the streets on behalf of the poor fellaheen. Often the belief is that with democracy prosperity automatically comes; of course the reality is that that does not follow.
In Saudi it may be about religious liberalism. In Bahrain Iran is pushing to gain territory. In Yemen poverty and corruption; in Oman very little - more a case of getting caught up in the mood to demonstrate; in Syria Israel wants the regime overthrown; in The Lebanon against Israeli aggression and Hezbollah terrorism; in Jordan the Muslim Brotherhood are active; in Kuwait Iran is supporting Iraq in pushing to gain the territory; in Qatar nothing!; in Sudan it is about Western governments seeking control which has resulted in lack of representation; in Morocco an attempt by the West to overthrow the monarchy against the majority wish, in Egypt poverty for the masses and remember the Muslim Brotherhood is always just beneath the surface, in Libya a need for democracy, in Algeria religious insurgents at western behest but as the country stabilises democracy can increase providing the West stop meddling this long 'civil' war has led to a shortage of housing and jobs etc which is what provoked the riot, but these have since fizzled out, in Iraq it is about security, terrorism, corruption, food ,and jobs, in Tunisia lack of jobs, in Palestine for freedom from American and Israeli oppression; Even these brief thumb-nail summaries of suggestions are over simplified but they make the point that the failure is once again with Western 'intelligence' and discarding the centuries of diplomatic knowledge available to them. Overall any domestic element is about food, poverty, healthcare, jobs, corruption, police brutality, but the protests have become generalised against a range of issues and frequently not about revolution and regime change and are often supportive of their governments: some just seemed to feel that they ought and to take part in the celebrations! In many cases it being more akin to a carnival than a protest against anything. This the West fails to report, choosing instead to report the demonstration and allowing the suggestion that it is anti the government in the particular country.
But in all this turmoil was orchestration from Western quarters, as has been demonstrated in the source of the first calls for protest through electronic social media technology. This was confirmed by the calls for revolt in Arab countries being encouraged by social media suppliers but them blocking the same calls by Palestinians against Israeli oppression. It is also confirmed by the lack of protest in the Sudan; overthrow of the regime would not be in America's game-plan as that would prevent the further break-up of the country.
Why now? In reality nothing has changed, only external political circumstance has changed, causing a change in the West's perceived view of the internal circumstances of these countries. Perhaps the problem is a new American President whose proposed abandonment of his predecessor's policies is to interfere even more!
: Contrast this with UAE, for example, where there is neither democracy nor freedom but there is prosperity: that is not to say that there are not low-paid and poor but there is not the poverty of hope or opportunity, similarly Qatar which has a fledgling democracy. Although there were rumblings in Oman, Kuwait, The Lebanon, Jordan, Morocco, even Saudi Arabia, - none of which have democracy or even significant freedom, there was no appetite amongst the people for change - the push for which was coming from outside the country.
There has been much emphasis that the use of modern technology was what enabled the co-ordinated uprisings, sure it was intensively utilised but I would suggest people look at the 1919 revolt in Egypt to see how just as well organised and speedy the communication and implementation was in the absence of instant messaging, social networking websites, etc.!
When one considers the low turn-out for elections in Western countries, then the importance of democracy to people is put into context against their needs, e.g. food, health, security, freedom, fairness, jobs, prosperity. Democracy is in reality a lower consideration but its prevalence is elevated as it is symbolic of anti-corruption anti-poverty, and for fairness. So much the same is true for other people in other countries.
When, therefore, 'democracy' is discussed in the context of the region, great care should be taken. If one used the simplistic American view, Arab countries are at fault because the rulers of the country are of a religious minority. But governing a country should not just be about religious minority versus religious majority: if that is so then America, currently with a president who was a Muslim is a country being run by a religious minority in oppression of the religious (Christian) majority, or perhaps as he is of coloured skin ( a minority in the USA) ruling over a white majority!: - you see the fallacy - and danger-of the arguments being used about the Middle East. When factions are very pertinent in a country then introducing democracy can pave the way for disaster as the roles reverse and suddenly the minorities become oppressed, as in Iraq. Similarly, if one talks of religious freedom, then France which allows religion in private but not to be expressed in religious symbols in matters of state or public realm is, in a simplistic argument, no different from Sunni dominated Saudi Arabia allowing Shias to worship privately but not to bring their sect into public office. It is certainly no different from Israel's repression of all non-Jewish majorities, whether on religious or supposed ethnic grounds, until they had imported sufficient Jews to then have numerical dominance, but it is still no different to their repression of Palestine today; the remaining Palestinian ruled territory may in theory have its own government but life in the region is utterly controlled by Israel. And for many years, Palestinians have been calling for that repression to be thrown off and to be allowed "democracy" and freedom but it has been against international (a.k.a. USA) policy to assist the majority to be freed from minority rule and oppression. It is not pc to say it but it illustrates again the danger and the hypocrisy with which the West is playing in the 'Arab Spring' .....
Every militant (- or evangelical) ideologist believes they are liberating people from unjust establishment ideology and policy. Let's face it, Islamic fundamentalists say they are liberating people by overthrowing governments too. They see their system and laws as more just than any other. Is it not flaky then for the West to use force to overthrow for example Ghadafi but say that it is wrong for the Taliban to overthrow the regime in Afghanistan?
Freedom and fairness are paramount, democracy is beneficial too, but overthrowing regimes whether by words encouraging rebels or by bombing infrastructure, is not the way to go about it in the twenty-first century.
Calling for the overthrow of minority regimes by the majority on 'democratic' principles is what led to the genocide in Rwanda, that Rwanda was not too badly run does not enter into the argument; there was poverty and it was perceived (as directed by a particular Western country's agenda) by the majority to be caused by the minority ruling classes as a deliberate act of oppression.. It is the same mantra, ironically, that is used when many of the same advocates for change in the Middle East, call for in the overthrow of financial regimes and government arrangements argued by some to be controlled by Jewish bankers. It was Hitler's argument too; the Jews (minority) are controlling the finances and repressing the country as a whole, he claimed. The 'democracy' argument is simplistic and dangerous. Each case has to be seen in its own reality.
The reality is already setting in; of the reckoning of bloody revolution; there is an infirmity of nations born of bloodshed, the truth is there is unlikely to be real democracy or freedom for a very long time as a result of the violence and bloodshed. - And, as I have written elsewhere since the beginning of the so-called Arab Spring, it was all, perhaps, unnecessary:
What the West should have said is along the lines of ,"we hear you, now go home and we will work with you and your government to effect meaningful peaceful change." - not by whipping up revolution and bloodshed.
That bloodshed, instability, and resentment is leading, inevitably, to distrust and social breakdown making future government more difficult; instead of change to freedom having been built by the people together internally, which would have built trust within the country and the cohesion it needs. Just because the USA and France were formed out of mass murder dressed up as egalitarian revolution and liberty, seems to make them have to justify their own bloodshed by inflicting it on other countries' development too. It is not a pre-requisite of change: it is regressive not civilised nor enlightened.
What sort of leaders has the West got, that its foreign policy will inevitably lead to deaths? Shortly after his election, it was said that David Cameron sees himself as more Tony Blair than Margaret Thatcher, well now we had proven what to expect. And so it is also with Barack Obama, who had promised a total change from his predecessor's policies in the region, but has inflicted more of the same.
Making reckless statements that encourage protest that unleashes revolution which they then cannot manage or mitigate other than by sending in military support leading to even more bloodshed and destruction, as in Libya today, is not very intelligent. -even less so when it results in new regimes even more unpalatable than the one just deposed: This is especially true of Iran which is backing militant cells within marginalised Shia majorities throughout the Arabian states: just as the USA is - America is again doing the Ayatollahs' bidding, assisting Iran to have control over the whole Gulf and further afield!
Egypt has had its revolution but the reality that there can be no overnight improvements is causing discontent, and protests are starting again.
Each time Western leaders encourage rioting in foreign countries they are also telling discontents in their own countries that it is okay to resort to violence. The lack of consideration for the consequence of opening their mouths is derisible.
When the dust settles, then there will be a reckoning over the West's interference; diplomatic alliances will be re-evaluated: regimes which only a moment ago were our allies and darlings have suddenly been stabbed in the back by the international community. The Arab Spring may be a very different one from the one glibly hailed by the likes of Sarkozy and Clegg, Cameron and Obama. The West may just have achieved what the Arabs themselves have been unable to achieve amongst themselves for centuries; the united Islamic caliphate across the entire region and beyond, that has been the West's biggest fear for a thousand years.