When the first signs of the so-called Arab Spring appeared, the mainstream media went into a schizophrenic overdrive. The popular narrative was that the protesters were peace-loving social-media-savvy middle-class youth who were unhappy with their rulers and the restrictions on freedom and democracy. One has to be fair, there were a few such individuals. But the broad majority, which was ignored by the media, were the devout Muslims who were angered by their leaders’ association with the infidels USA and Israel, and their role in cracking down on Islamist jihadis. These people had no intentions of establishing a Western-style democracy and an open liberal society, and their hatred of Israel was barely hidden. Despite all this, the USA intervened and helped these rebels militarily, financially and diplomatically, and helped them overthrow their rulers.
Unfortunately for the USA, this move backfired. The much awaited midsummer night’s dream in the Middle East ended up as an Islamist winter as the Muslim Brotherhood and similar parties swept to power in the elections. More importantly, with the overthrow of the secular dictators, the jihadis now have full power to engage in their war against America. A few days back, radical Islamic militants stormed US embassies in Cairo and Benghazi and killed the US Ambassador to Libya.
The USA is apparently fighting a war on terror against Al Qaeda. However, it was the very same Al Qaeda which was funded by the US Administration in order to overthrow the Arab dictators. And guess what? It was Al Qaeda which stormed the embassies, and its black flag now flies over the embassy in Cairo.
Most Americans, in fact most Westerners, were enthusiastic about the developments during the Arab Spring. Indeed, they were naively idealistic about the chances of democracy in the Middle East. History was again conveniently forgotten. Every revolution starts off with a democracy, descends into tyranny and then starts to develop expansionist tendencies. The French Revolution established a constitutional monarchy, then gave way to the excesses of the guillotine, and finally Napoleon went on a rampage across Europe. The Russian Revolution established a democracy under Kerensky, then descended into Bolshevik massacres under Lenin, and Stalin imprisoned Eastern Europe.
The initial phase of the Arab Spring had established a democracy. The West was in euphoria. But they were ill-prepared for the next phase – the Islamist victories and the imposition of Sharia Law in these countries rather than the establishment of liberty and human rights. Now, the radical Islamists are massacring American diplomats. Call me pessimistic, but I’m going to watch out for a bloodbath in the Middle-East. And then? Will the new Islamist countries overrun Israel? One must just wait and watch as events unfold. The Balkans were the powder-keg of Europe from 1911-1914. From 2011, the Middle East has been the powder-keg of the world. The beautiful summer of 1914 descended into the gory chaos of the trenches. What awaits the world in the following years?