A Map to the Muslim Middle East

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The borders of Muslim nations are artificial and fluid. The Muslim Middle East is not purely nomadic, but it is nomadic enough that large families stretch out across different nations and their tribal allegiances stretch with them. The Palestinians are a fraud, but so are the Jordanians, and to a lesser degree, the Egyptians and the Syrians. Every nation is an artificial entity ruled over by powerful families or old soldiers who are keeping the whole thing together with guns and bribes, not to mention imported bread and circuses.

The British treated the region as a grab-bag of clans, and backed any powerful family willing to throw in with them. That is how the Hashemite kings and the Arab-Israeli wars came to be. Unlike the Brits, the United States was not interested in an empire, just in oil rights, which is how we got in bed with one of the most powerful families in the region, who became far more powerful thanks to their association with us. And who repaid us by trying to conquer us in their own way.

At some point we forgot that the Saudis, the King of Jordan, the Palestinian Authority and most of our so-called allies are just powerful families with territorial claims based on that power. And even slightly more civilized countries such as Egypt aren’t really any better; the invaders who overran them just absorbed more culture and civilization from their conquests and their proximity to more civilized parts of the world.

The only place that the Muslim Middle East ever goes is backward. The great achievement of the Arab Spring was to hand over power in Egypt to Mohammed Morsi, a man who not only carries the same name as a 7th Century warlord, but whose party is based on restoring Egypt to the values of that 7th Century warlord as a cure for the damaging modernism of civilization. And those values are tribal power, ownership of women and repression of outsiders.

Since all Middle Eastern Muslim power structures devolve to the tribal, personal power is the only power that matters. And personal power is a zero-sum game. No one can trust anyone else, because the only rule that counts is that the one with the most toys wins. That instability has led to a great deal of tyranny and misery, but it has also made it difficult for Islamic power to extend itself all that far.

Personal power is limited to a single tyrant and his feudal underlings. A highly effective conqueror can push his borders outward, but the whole thing inevitably collapses into broken emirates and then into backwardness and decay. The conquest may impose Islam on a population, but that just dooms the people under the yoke of the Koran to be less competent, less innovative and more backward than their neighbors.

A Muslim conqueror may begin by raiding infidels for plunder and glory, but usually ends by turning on his rivals in a conflict that creates deep fractures and divisions, some of which like Sunni and Shiite, last to this day. Despite all the professions of faith, the Jihad devolves into tribal power, and Muslim kills Muslim for a chance at the golden throne.

In the desert, nothing really changes. One day turns into another. The footprints of the past are buried by the next sandstorm, and tomorrow’s traveler arrives to marvel that his feet were the first to mark a path that lies buried just beneath his feet.

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  • melvin polatnick

    Infidel hunters of the Mosque are gaining power in Egypt and Libya; they are also fighting to get rid of the multi-culturist Assad. Blood will flow when the Infidel hunters from the Mosque chase Syrian Christians and Alawite out of Muhammad’s Democracy. The hunting season will continue until there are no more Infidels in the greater Middle-East.

  • Schlomotion

    Oh! I just sprained my laugh muscle trying to figure out how the regime in Israel is not also a "Military, Tribal and Ideological" government.

    • Larry

      Happy eternal nakba, worm castings, may it continue and expand.

    • Zionista

      when Romney replaces the affirmative action amateur, Israel will become even stronger!

    • IsraelFirster

      Greenfield's article is a winner. Any time, the numbskull Schlo adds his inane comments, you know the author has hit the nail right on the head.

    • kevinh

      Actually "…for yet another tribal government…" might just as well describe our own in Washington right now as well. You may just have scored a point.

    • Drakken

      Trying to explain the obvious to someone too stupid to get it is an exercise in futility.

    • Ghostwriter

      Gee,Schlockmotion. I didn't even know you were capable of laughing,since you hate Jews so much. I didn't think anti-semites HAD a sense of humor.

      • Kufar Dawg

        Their sense of humor is that of the psychopath, the nazi the islamofascist. The sense of humor that delights in the misery of others.

    • Kufar Dawg

      The only reason Israel is highly militarized is because islamofascists not only can't stop ranting and raving about killing Jews and destroying Israel, but acting upon that psychopathy. Get stuffed Ahmed.

      • Mburu

        The only reason Israel is highly militarized is because IT WANTS TO CREATE A GREATER ISRAEL BETWEEN THE NILE AND EUPHRATES…..from whence to rule the world!

        • Kufar Dawg

          Nothing says crazy quite like delusional islamic Jew hatred!

    • vladdy

      Beacause it's a democracy, where all groups, including "palestinians" are represented in the Knesset? Because you don't have to be a Jew to hold certain jobs? 'Cos palestinian theres voted they'd rather live in Israel than a newly-created state? Got me.

  • Marty

    Someone once observed that egypt is the only real arab country. The others are all tribes with flags. But it's even worse. Since time immemorial the middle east is a pit of chaos and violence. Only the persian and byzantine empires gave any sense of order to the place and they were destroyed by the predatory and genocidal islamic conquests that began in the seventh century and from which the region never really recovered. Only Israel has been able to sustain civilization and its benefits while encouraging individual freedom. No wonder muslims hate the Jewish state. It mocks the inherently destructive qualities of islam, its utter lack of any scientific and technological progress, its overall inhumanity, and its relentless determination to destroy anything on this planet that is good and decent.

    • Yusuf

      "the predatory and genocidal islamic conquests that began in the seventh century and from which the region never really recovered….."

      the only aim islam has is to have the world ruled by none other than the one true deity who created it…..but zionists like you want humanity to be your servants

      Islams seeks to liberate humanity from being servants of human masters to being servants of a divine master/ideal!

      • PaulRevereNow

        Do you think that the "divine master" approves of murder in His name? One of the Ten Commandments says, "Thou shall not murder." Yet Muslims murder in G-d's name all the time; and have done so throughout their sorry history. If Islam "seeks to liberate humanity from being servants of human masters," then why the stonings, beheadings, amputations, honor killings and genital mutilations? Hashem allows for free will; Islam doesn't. I've never heard of anyone that leaves Judaism, Christianity, or Buddhism getting beheaded; but Muslims who leave the faith have to live in hiding, or get their heads cut off. Islam therefore is a political cult, a sickness, masquerading as a religion.

  • kingofdisco

    If there is or was or will be a flower of market based democracy to be found in that barren garden, you can be sure that Barry is not the only western jockey boy who'd make sure he wouldn't find it. And maybe that's all for the best, in these totalitarian times, because if he or any of the other western ideologues did, they'd be bound to crush it under jackboot to keep their friends you quite accurately identified in power and aid and protected trade happy. In fact, when you dig a little deeper, it really is quite hard to find anyone who is not part of the problem on some level or another. So the only certainty is that things will carry on just as they always have, unless the hardy little flower seeds under highly propitious conditions during a change of landscape gardeners, when everyone is too busy fighting amongst themselves, cashing in, or looking the other way, to notice.

  • PaulRevereNow

    The Dubai Tower-the "burj Khalifa"–is the worlds tallest man-made structure, at 828 meters; 2717 feet; a very impressive structure, to be sure. But years after its construction, the Dubai Tower is still 85% unoccupied. And there's a Youtube video of someone standing on top of this building, looking down. While looking out at the rest of Dubai, he remarks that the tower is "badly shaking" in the wind. A perfect metaphor for the Muslim Middle East. One wonders if the Iranians, who bought a chunk of the Burj Khalifa, just yesterday, paying $128 million(for luxury apartments), will get their money's worth. In contrast, Tel Aviv's tallest building is a mere 806 feet high; but its 80% filled up.

  • κατεργάζομαι

    One of the most dangerous outcomes of the Arab propaganda campaign, is that it has convinced well-meaning people around the world (including some Israeli and American Jews) – that being pro-'Palestinian' means that you are for a peaceful solution that will give a people called "Palestinians" (who are not really culturally or historically separate from any other Arab group) their own country called 'Palestine' next to Israel, where they can live in peace.

    This entire belief is a deliberately conceived lie, – – that, from its inception in 1964, – – – was always intended to be used to destroy Israel.

    We cannot count on a person or government to be our friend if he also considers our enemy his friend.

    Ignoring the abundance of contrary evidence, President George W. Bush and the entire US State Department remain some of the most powerful adherents to that false belief.

    Bush still speaks of 'occupied Palestinian land' and 'illegal Israeli settlements' from which he is determined to create the country of 'Palestine'. (Because of Ms Rice) – But he is not alone.

    • Yusuf

      BEST SOLUTION TO PALESTINIAN-ISRAELI CONFLICT: one democratic state for both Jews and Arabs living side-by-side in peace!

      just like it happened in apartheid south africa!

      • dartson

        Can you provide a single example of a Muslim state with a large non-Muslim population (about 50 percent), living side-by-side in peace? I mean, like Yugoslavia and Indo-China and Cypres? Oops, they all splitted into Muslim and non-Muslim countries after Muslims started slaughtering their infidel compatriots.

  • flowerknife_us

    The House of Saudi will change sides when the time is right.The self proscribed keepers of the Two most Holy places in Islam will find no choice but to join those they funded all these years. The place my burn for years as their Oil infrastructure lights up as retribution. By then we will have enough to worry ourselves to think much about it. Hell fire in the right place.

  • 080

    The Saudis take only one side: their own. Currently they are content to see Muhmmad Mursi and the Muslim Brotherhood go down for the count. They have more confidence in the military. If the military comes out on top, Egypt can count on subsidies from the Saudis. Since Egypt is practically broke, I'm betting on the military. As for Egyptian democracy it was never in play. Democracy means majority rule with minority rights. If you want to know about Egyptian minority rights ask the Coptic Christians.

    • Yusuf

      "Democracy means majority rule with minority rights"

      Does israel fit this bill by insisting it is a "jewish state" when millions of citizens are not jews!

      • Kufar Dawg

        I think the Druze, Christians, Jews and Bahais living in Israel are MUCH happier living in the Jewish state of Israel than ANY of the alternative, islamonazi states of the Mid-East and N. Africa. You see Yusuf, Christians, Druze, Jews and Bahais have noticed the strange, twisted proclivity muslimes have exhibited for killing, raping and persecuting them en mass.

        • fox in sox

          More than that! Israeli Arab Muslims have no desire to lose their democratic and human rights by being merged with the neighbouring states. The million Israeli arabs want to keep their citizenship. Jaffa and the other mostly arab areas are a lot happier and more prosperous than equivalent areas in Jordan, Egypt and Syria.

          If you were an arab, where would you want to live? Jaffa or Gaza? Jaffa or Aleppo? It really is a no-brainer.

          • Kufar Dawg

            I think Mayer Kahane had the right idea WRT Israel's Arab population — at least the muslo-fascist ones.

  • Jason John

    anyting is possible in the region and this will spread to the rest of the world

  • Martin

    It has been many years since I saw the green Islamic map of the world. It shows every country in world in varying shades of green. Saudi is very deep green to pale green stripes on white to tiny Muslim communities.
    I have no doubt that the mighty Satan (the good ole' US of A now has some shading. Certainly all of Europe will have by now a darker shade of green, all while the Islamic conquest for wrld domination continues.

    Sadly, whle the Saudi embassies pour out $billions to the embassies to spread the word of Islami and hatred for Israel and the Jews, it will continue relentlessly.

    A question to trhe liberal left; If a Jew can live in New York, London etc, why is it okay to forbid that same person the right to live anywhere on the west or east bank? Or for that matter, why is the ethnic cleansing of Jews from many historic home lands in north Africa and the Middle East acceptable? If it is acceptable, than that is why the Christians today are being ethnically cleansed, too, from their homes in the same areas.

  • arishsahani

    Muslim problem is all due to one reason. 99% muslism are convert from tribal culture. Converts have lost self esteem and have now slave mentality due to convert culture. Can't think. Conversison to islam means now no more progressive thinking allowed.
    Example 180 milions hindus convert to islam living in pakistan are now poor and uneducated comparedt o hindus who never conveted toislam even after 1000 yrs of salvery.
    Arabs convert first poor and uneducated and crimial to islam easy to convert then once converted they remein like this for many many genertaions. Want progress give up islam.
    Arabs are fooling 1.6 billions converts .

  • Caetano

    In this enlightening article with a no dout reputable and esteemed writer there one one comment that stood out for me.
    "…….Mohammed borrowed from Judaism and Christianity to create the religious structure for yet another tribal government, controlled by his father-in-law."………………

    I am intrigued. As to date, on reading this article, in all my references, readings on historical notes on life of Mohammed, it has never been suggested or revealed such a powerful or significant person / influence (father-in-law) existed in his life and so strange he remains nameless.

    • Hamid

      Maybe he refers to: Khuwailid ibn Asad. Of course he had a great position in tribe but not like what Muhammad gained.