Friday, January 18, 2013

The new Middle East looks a lot like the old Middle East

Photo of Mali courtesy of Wikipedia:

Daniel Greenfield notes at Sultan Knish that

The French are in Mali now, being shot at by Islamists armed with the very same weapons that France airdropped into Libya. Either those or the weapons that France sold to Gaddafi in the preceding period when European countries were competing to be his arms dealers. The joke is equally bleak, either way.

It used to be that decades would have to pass before a bad policy unraveled, but these days it only takes a few years to go from arming a tyrant to arming the rebels to shooting at the rebels.

In less time than it takes a pop star to go from fresh faced to train wrecked, Saif Gaddafi went from the toast of European academics to a mass murderer, Gaddafi's opposition went from Al Qaeda terrorists to brave rebels, then the brave rebels, many of whom were actually Iraqis, Tunisians and Jordanians, shot up an American diplomatic mission, hooked up with some of Gaddafi's Tuaregs to take over Northern Mali, shot them up and began carving out their own Islamist Emirate.

In barely two years, Mohammed Morsi, the Muslim Brotherhood president of Egypt, went from screaming that Egyptian children "must feed on hatred" to the toast of foreign diplomatic circles as the same geniuses behind the invasion of Libya try to make the best of handing over the most powerful country in the region into the hands of a terrorist organization.

In two years, the evil ruthless dictators who kill and torture their own people have been replaced by ruthless democratically elected dictators who kill and torture their own people. In Egypt and Tunisia things are worse now than they were under the "dictators" and unsurprisingly the one thing that they can all agree on is that it's America's fault.

It seemed like only a few weeks ago that the cognoscenti were enthusiastically predicting a new Middle East, sending reporters in droves to be kidnapped and molested at the celebrations of freedom and democracy. And now the new Middle East looks a lot like the old Middle East.

The war hasn't gotten that far yet. For now we watch from afar while Salafist terrorists take apart the Western and Soviet trained and equipped armies of regional dictators. And then we watch while they fight our armies on their territory. It does not occur to most of those flipping through the channels, watching men in black masks riding Toyota pickups, shooting into the air and beheading their enemies that what is now Aleppo and Timbuktu may one day be London and Paris.

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