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Tuesday, January 15, 2013

100 Wars

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 that same period, Syria's Assad went from the pages of Vogue and meetings with John Kerry to being the most reviled man in the world. But two years from now, if he survives the worst that the Syrian rebels, most of whom are Al Qaeda or wish they were, you might well find him meeting with Secretary of State John Kerry while his family gets another four pages in Vogue Magazine.

In two years, the evil ruthless dictators who kill and torture their own people have been replaced by ruthless democratically elected dictators who kill and torture their own people.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.

The press can't be expected to pay much attention to these events. The media will provide the obligatory coverage of Muslim Brotherhood torture chambers in Egypt and the labor riots in Tunisia.  But it would really like to spend its time lamenting Israel's fall to the far right by covering the rise of a political party which holds the shocking and outrageous position that the twenty year old peace process has failed and should be wrapped up and put away.

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.

Columnists still pen the occasional column urging patience. Rome wasn't burned down in a day, they say, all revolutions take time. Look how long it took Germany, Russia and Japan to stop killing millions of people and get down to the business of making engines, accidents and wristwatches. They stop by Doha, take in the stores packed full of the finest French and Italian luxury goods, the terrified Filipino maids and the surly Thai workers and proclaim that the Middle East is just like Europe.

Arab Spring fever got the UK and the US, both of whose leaders had replaced unpopular predecessors associated with unpopular Middle Eastern wars, and France, which had been the poster brat for not going into Iraq, so fired up that they decided to bomb Gaddafi in the name of democracy.

Since the UN wasn't about to approve their regime change operation, the Libya liberators bombed the country's air force and then its armored vehicles in the name of protecting civilians. France got so caught in the excitement of protecting civilians, that it began airdropping assault rifles, RPGs and anti-tank missiles, despite the arms embargo. When asked about it, their spokesman explained that the French government was just helping civilians protect themselves. And an anti-tank missile certainly packs a lot of protection.

Now the civilians of Mali are about to come under the protection of some of those civilians and their toys. Between Somalia and Nigeria, Al Qaeda already has far too much of a presence in Africa. But Mali is its biggest footprint yet.

Having learned nothing from Libya, the same gang jumped eagerly into Syria. Hardly a day passed without shrill editorials insisting that we do something about Syria before it's too late. The pace of those editorials has slowed down as the Syrian opposition has made it clear that it is allied with the local Al Qaeda affiliate and depends on it to do much of the fighting. The Brave Syrian People were following in the footsteps of the Brave Libyan People who were following in the footsteps of the Brave Afghan People.

There's no telling what all this will mutate into, but our brief history here suggests that it will be ugly and fast.

Chaos breeds conflict in the region that eventually resolves into tyranny. And then an empire or two falls into the dust and the whole cycle begins again. The Ottoman Empire collapsed, the British Empire faded away like a sad song and the Soviet Union called it quits. Each of those events unleashed a new wave of violence and chaos, nationalistic movements and terrorist groups rushing to take advantage of the new opportunities.

The Arab Spring coincided with the collapse of the fourth empire. The Pax Americana. Hardest hit were the countries closest to the United States. Of the Middle Eastern countries who are close to the United States and aren't oil giants, only Israel and Jordan survived the spring intact. And Jordan isn't out of the woods yet.

The fall of the British Empire destroyed many of the region's monarchies. The fall of the USSR and the US marked the end of the Arab Socialists. And that just leaves the Islamists as the only game in town. But if Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Kuwait go under, then a fifth empire will collapse and take them with it. Oil made it possible for backward countries ruled by fat sheiks to become players on a global and regional level. It even made it possible for them to set their sights on colonizing the West. But if the energy revolution finally kicks in and the rest of the world stops crawling to OPEC, then a new wave of chaos will begin again.

The fifth empire, that jumble of slave-built skyscrapers and foreigner-tended oil industries, that mass of overpopulated cities and straggling countrysides, the clutter of minarets and billboards, palm trees and satellite dishes, is writhing in its own chaos, its own madness and violence, but surging out to colonize America and Europe.

While French soldiers battle Salafists in Mali, there are Salafists in the basements of Paris who are planning to do to France what they have done to Mali. And the demographics are on their side. America tried to fix Somalia and now there's a Somali on trial for plotting to bomb a Christmas tree lighting ceremony. America tried to fix Iraq and there are plenty of Iraqis locked up in American jails. To say nothing of the United Kingdom and Pakistan.

The West is trying to impose its moral norms on the Muslim world with bribes and interventions, while the Muslim world imposes its norms on the West by settling and blowing up Western cities. Within that chaos, the passenger planes depositing their cargoes of Pakistanis, Jordanians and Somalis at Heathrow, JFK and Charles de Gaulle Airport (the latter two names being quite fitting considering JFK's impact on immigration policy and de Gaulle's impact on North Africa) and the fighter jets and drones flying over North Africa and the Middle East, are a hundred small wars.

Those wars occupy our attention, but they are symptoms, not causes. The conflicts that we have seen are all the outcome of a prolonged process of political decay in the West. They are flares warning that power abhors a vacuum and fills it with bullets and bombs, with small wars that get bigger and bigger until they become the war. The big war whose battles will decide who rules and who is ruled.

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.

16 comments:

lemon lime moon said...

Another huge mess in the making.

hwgood said...

Arab Spring or Arab Sting?

Ex-Dissident said...

Damn these spammers. Daniel, maybe you should create a registered group of followers of this blog and only allow them to make comments.

ASG said...

Over a decade ago people on the right argued that the Islamists were determined to end our way of life and that fighting them was inevitable and we were better off fighting them in their own backyard. Due to the Left's sickening resistance, lack of common sense, and sympathies for our enemy, we did not fight them properly. Afghanistan and Iraq could have set an example for that entire region to stay out of the West. But instead through outrageous rules of engagement and an over hypersensitivity of the local populations, we failed. Any of us that were there, or that are paying particular attention to that region of the world over the last decade realized this long ago. Now, there is a difficult to explain feeling. I believe this feeling to be the anticipation of the fight coming to our backyards. And the enemy will not be as concerned with the lives of our civilians. Their rockets are not guided by complex computers (unless we supplied them with those too). The enemy we face celebrates the death of defenseless civilians. And to make matters worse, as our governments supply our enemies, they are currently systematically disarming us leaving us just a bunch of defenseless Dhimmis.

Anonymous said...

Fun stuff, but it is worth remembering that the Libyan "revolution" was in fact a counter-coup mobilized from Cyrenaica NOT by Islamists or al-Qaida, but by very moderate Sanussiyah Muslims who merely demanded the return of the 1951 Constitution. This counter-coup (against the 1969 coup by Qadhafi, overthrowing the beautifully crafted Constitution which the UN and all the Libyan tribes approved) was then hijacked by the US, which fed Islamists (including al-Qaida related groups) into Libya, and armed them. Yes, this arrogant and stupid Western policy is coming back to bite the US and the West. But the Libyans tried to take back their birthright, only to have it hijacked by Waashington.

Daniel Greenfield @ the Sultan Knish blog said...

Blogger catches most of the spam, though not all of it. I could limit comments to registered users, but that would wipe out 70 percent of the comments, many of them by people who use Anonymous.

ASG said...

Anonymous- You are wrong. al Qaeda was involved with the overthrow of Ghaddafi from day one. The western media hid that fact from the people because they didn't want to admit that Obama stabbed every recent combat veteran in the back with a rusty knife by bombing on behalf of al Qaeda after a decade of US troops dieing at the hands of the same exact people.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/africaandindianocean/libya/8407047/Libyan-rebel-commander-admits-his-fighters-have-al-Qaeda-links.html

mushroom said...

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.

The joys of the Arab Spring. The wonders of Democracy!

See Revolution!

"In the Reign of Terror, Terror reigns."

Coming soon to a theater nearer you.

Anonymous said...

About terrorists deplaning in Western cities: as a returning high-school student jetting back-and-forth from Saudi Arabia to the US three times a year, I enjoyed Swiss Air's Dhahran/Zurich/Chicago flights most of all.

The drinks were free, the transit times tolerable, and Zurich's airport is a great place to be laid-over for a few hours. You can stretch your legs, visit the mall, buy a good book or take a hot shower.

But lately, the availability of easy transit from Arabia to Chicago has occupied my thoughts. Obviously the demand for comfortable passenger-travel from terror-sponsoring nations to America's corruptible Northern cities would be enough to attract Swiss Air's route managers. And Daley's plans to enrich his city's airport by gaining another triple-A, international carrier at its gates abetted the formation of this pore. But I cannot help but think that others saw direct conduits to Chicago and Detroit, like Swiss Air's, as important, strategic beach-heads on America's "fruited plain."

We may look back on the eighties' promiscuous invitations to foreign carriers to hub at Democrat-machine's cities' airports, and our naive solicitation of foreign students from "difficult" regions to bunk at our colleges, and identify both as the methods by which the foxes gained entrance to our henhouse.
-steveaz

Anonymous said...

Western foreign policy is pathological, like a patient with multiple psychological diagnoses: severe Borderline Personality disorder, sociopathic, codependent with multiple addictions.

Anonymous said...

While the fighting goes on in the Middle East,the war the Muslim Brotherhood is fighting here in the U.S. goes unnoticed. Their civilizational war from within is wholely backed by our government. The Muslim Brotherhood,winning the control of Egypt, is winning control of the U.S. using the same tactics the Communists did except they are much better at that game because their commitment to world domination is greater.

While we concentrate on Eqypt, Libya, and Syria, the enemy within is systematically winning its war against us in our own backyard. The Muslim Brotherhood has infiltrated powerful positions in our governments, federal, state and local. They have infiltrated our public policy-making institutes. They have infiltrated the schools, colleges and universities. They have filed hundreds of lawsuits in courts throughout the country against our Constitutional rights which do not comport with Shariah law. They have controlled the training manuals of our intelligence agencies.

We should be more concerned about the destruction of our Constitution, our liberties, and our future than that of Libya, Egypt or Syria which our own government, with the help of the Muslim Brotherhood, is doing.

Elaine

Anonymous said...

The power company sent a mailer the other day requesting a response as to which language I would like my bill/correspondence in. I don't even know what to say.

The water is getting warm....ribbit, ribbit.

Ex-Dissident said...

Ask them to send the bill in gibberish. Then treat it accordingly.

Anonymous said...

Daniel, congrats ! Another spot on and excellent article/blog post ! I love reading you and Mark Steyn. Elaine's post above is also accurate and yet nothing is being done about it. I got caught by the .223 ammo hoarding and can't get it anywhere (been to 8 gun stores in FL - no one has it - all waiting for the next factory truck loads). I am not a prepper or nut ball ( Military O-5 with two deployments to Afghanistan and Pakistan - three Masters Degrees - stint working in US House of Representatives) but I recommend those that can to cache their long rifles and ammo for the soon to come dark ages (make sure you hide them in metal plumbing pipes since US GOV has FOPEN and Ground Pentrating Remote Systems that can pick up yard buried guns)! Cling to Bible and guns! Join Oath Keepers!

NormanF said...

The Middle East is sliding into chaos and barbarism and the UN and Western chancelleries are now hectoring Israel for not committing national suicide fast enough.

As Daniel Greenfield might well put it, the day Israel is consumed, then its the West's turn. Unlike during World II, they might never recover at the hands of a tough and determined enemy. Rome's DNA survived despite its fall. There's no chance the Western DNA will be any more than a lost and unloved memory under a global Islamic Caliphate.

It probably won't happen in our lifetime. Great civilizations rarely become extinct all at once. And then the great Cycle Of Life will begin all over again.

Anonymous said...

"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."

That is exactly right. The lifestyle of the Western world seems eternal, the result of societal forward moving evolution, that one day all countries will become. But we all should remember Will Durant's words on the fragility of civilization:

""The Islamic conquest of India is probably the bloodiest story in history. It is a discouraging tale, for its evident moral is that civilization is a precious good, whose delicate complex of order and freedom, culture and peace, can at any moment be overthrown by barbarians invading from without or multiplying within."

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