When The Arab Spring Died

TThe Arab Spring was born in Tunisia. It died in Tunisia. Its funeral was attended by the same violent flag-waving protests as its birth.

The ruling Islamist Ennahda party has agreed to step down. Ennahda’s move came after months of violent clashes and even murders. The Islamists had held out against the protesters, swapping out governments, but Morsi’s example frightened them into backing away from a final confrontation for fear that their movement might suffer the same punitive outlawing as Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood.

Egypt and Tunisia were the two great victories of the Arab Spring. Now both of them have been undone.

The picture doesn’t look any brighter for the Islamists elsewhere. The Muslim Brotherhood in Morocco faces rising protests. The Libyan Muslim Brotherhood bit off more than it could chew with its attempted coup and risks plunging the country into a civil war with no NATO warplanes to bail its fighters out.

The Muslim Brotherhood’s campaign to capture Syria is collapsing as its Free Syrian Army fighters lose to the more suicidal Jihadists of Al Qaeda and the superior firepower of the Syrian military. Its only hope in lay in Western military intervention and that hope died with Cameron’s parliamentary defeat in the UK and Putin’s outmaneuvering of Obama.

In Syria and in Egypt, the Muslim Brotherhood, with its army of infiltrators and foreign agents, had bet everything on Western support. But Obama couldn’t save Morsi and it doesn’t look like he will be able to save the Free Syrian Army. The Brotherhood’s decades long effort to build influence in the West may have proven to be worthless, helping them topple weak regimes, but unable to keep them in power.

Obama was at once their greatest gift and their greatest curse. He gave the Islamists an American leader who was overtly sympathetic to their cause, but who was also too weak to protect them. Obama may have rolled over for the Muslim Brotherhood, but he also rolled over for Russia and Saudi Arabia. And when the dust settled, so did the hopes of the followers of Qutb.

The Arab Spring was designed to move the Muslim Brotherhood into power. Now it’s dead and an identical combination of factors; a sympathetic American leader, global economic depression, regional turmoil, terror fears and European immigration integration panic, may never come around again. More than anything else, the Islamists were undone by the same economic problems that allowed them and their leftist allies to topple their former governments.

The Muslim Brotherhood and Ennahda made the mistake of assuming that their political victories would allow them to implement their religious agenda before producing actual economic improvements. That was the opposite of the Turkish model where Erdogan’s economic shell game produced enough gains to allow him to arrest political opponents and wreck the rule of law in order to implement Islamic law.

Another reason that Ennahda may have been more willing to step down was that Tunisia’s economy is approaching a critical point. Economic growth in Tunisia fell 2% after the Arab Spring, its currency fell 10%, the budget deficit doubled and external debt is approaching 50%. Ennahda may have gambled that its best bet was to leave before its economic policies were completely discredited.

If the Muslim Brotherhood had been a little more pragmatic, it might have come to the same conclusion. Egypt’s economy was a disaster and the new government has resorted to higher subsidies to hold on to its popularity. Those subsidies had to be cut by Mubarak and Morsi because Egypt couldn’t afford them. And despite the flow of UAE and Saudi aid and investment money into Egypt, that hasn’t changed.

Even Sudan’s bloody butcher, President Omar Al-Bashir, was forced to cut fuel and cooking oil subsidies leading to violent riots.

In Morocco, the Muslim Brotherhood’s subsidy cuts are touching off waves of protests, alienating its liberal allies and pitting it against the rival Islamists of the Justice and Spirituality Organization. With the left and even its own Islamists turning on the Moroccan Brotherhood, its political prospects are dim. But like Sudan, it can’t afford to keep up the subsidies which cost billions.

Western support for Islamist regimes in Egypt, Tunisia and Morocco came with the expectation of the IMF that they would make the hard decisions of economic reform. Morsi had trouble committing and his attempts to cut subsidized fuel use only further enraged the Egyptian public. Morocco’s Brotherhood is finding out the dangers of touching fuel subsidies after mass outrage over an 8% fuel price increase.

But the successful counterrevolutions against Muslim Brotherhood rule may have actually salvaged its reputation.

Had the Brotherhood gone down in complete economic disaster, it would have been obvious that it was not only brutal and tyrannical, but also incompetent at everything except setting up front organizations and infiltrating other movements. Instead the Brotherhood has been able to play the victim. Instead of being seen as a failure, it has reinvented brutal power-hungry thugs like Morsi as revolutionary martyrs.

Imagine if the Bolsheviks had been forced out in the 1920s. Millions of lives would have been saved, but Stalin would have been remembered as a political martyr, instead of as a monster. Communism would not have been discredited in the stark economic terms that the slow collapse of the Soviet Union, its growing indebtedness to the United States and the defection of its allies into the Capitalist camp did.

The Muslim Brotherhood was forced out before its Caliphate experiment could become as great a disaster as the Soviet Union and its ideas have not been completely discredited. Discrediting it however might have proven as costly in human lives as the discrediting of Communism. As the Russian scientist Pavlov once said, if Communism were an experiment, he would not spare a frog’s hind legs for it.

The Muslim Brotherhood’s experiments in the Middle East deserve even less than a frog’s hind legs.

The real story of the Arab Spring is not that the Muslim Brotherhood failed as a political movement, but that it was not up to the task of dealing with the economic turmoil. Like the Communists, it excelled at organizing its core activists, but proved incapable of actually running a country.

The Arab Spring was born out of economic discontent and it died because of economic discontent. The Muslim Brotherhood did not lose the battle for the soul of the Muslim Middle East.

It lost the battle for its wallet.

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  • Naresh Krishnamoorti

    “Like the Communists, it excelled at organizing its core activists, but proved incapable of actually running a country.”
    Just like Obama.

  • AdinaF

    DESPITE the fact that they have been shoved out of power, it would be a devastating mistake to assume that they are down and out. Far from it. In fact, they will do what they do best, they will sit in the shadows and wait for the next opportune moment in time, and then they will pounce.

    The fact of the matter is they were on the sidelines for decades in Egypt, yet became a mega force, even though seemingly in the background. Moreover, while there exists a smattering of secularists within the Muslim Mid East, most are wedded to Islam, in one form or another.

    So, bottom line: ‘Washington EMPOWERS Sharia Law Through Syrian ‘Rebels’: A Back/Trap Door To IMPLANT Muslim Brotherhood Mafia Rule Despite ‘Climb Down’ and my blog/research is rife with said evidence!

    Adina Kutnicki, Israel

  • truebearing

    “The Arab Spring is Dead”

    A fitting end for the revolution of a cult that sees death as the solution to everything.

  • elkoz

    The term “Arab Spring” is a complete misnomer. The word spring denotes new health growth. There was nothing new or healthy about any of this. This was nothing more than an outpouring of ages old religious hate and tribal war, which should have been obvious to the most casual observer. Obvious to everyone except leftists and the media (same thing), because they live world of self delusion and self promotion. Neither of which bears any resemblance to historical precedent or modern reality.

    It might be point out that all these eruptions were probably triggered by the rise in the cost of food, which was promulgated by ethanol requirements in western countries. All of this may have been caused by environmentalist’s drive to fuel cars with food.
    Another leftist triumph in dystopia!

  • stephen

    Does this clear the way for the rise of a new Muslim hero to lead his people to the greatest war no Westerner ever wanted?

    • defcon 4

      What muslme wouldn’t want to see another Tamerlane of Saladin leading armies of muslimes on a genocidal march through Dar al-Harb? What muslime doesn’t long for the good ole’ days of mass slaughter and slaves in every household? Just look at the Soddy princess who was cleared of all charges for holding foreign workers captive in CA.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Paul-Marks/1266358046 Paul Marks

    Sadly I see no sign that Marxism is discredited – indeed “Critical Theory” (i.e. Frankfurt School) Marxists now dominate the universities – and much else.
    Indeed when the Marxist backgrounds (and loyalties) of leading politicians are exposed, it is normally the whistle blowers, not the politicians, who are discredited. As for the idea that Barack Obama is a “weak” President – if only……. In reality his foes walk into trap after trap – because they do not understand how utterly ruthless he is.

    • lessthantolerant

      Marxism will only bring the world closer to a world war. Hell, it is time for one.

  • logdon

    Springtime for Hitlers progeny ends up just like the real thing.

    Only instead of a Berlin bunker they end up in Churchill’s front room.

    Thrown out of Egypt, the Muslim Brotherhood moves office… to London

    atlasshrugs2000.typepad.com/…/thrown-out-of-egypt-the-muslim-brothe…‎25 Sep 2013 – Where are terrorists comfortable and free to set up house? … “The Muslim Brotherhood moves office… to London” Trending Central, September …

    London Underground – By Bel Trew | Foreign Policy

    http://www.foreignpolicy.com/…/london_underground_muslim_brotherhood‎6 days ago – CAIRO and LONDON — The Muslim Brotherhood is reeling. … and come up with new strategies — including hiring hotshot British lawyers to …

  • poetcomic1

    Collapse of the Muslim Brotherhood?…to use an old Yiddish expression, ‘From your mouth to God’s ears.’

    • defcon 4

      In the long run, it would be irrelevant. The MB would be replaced by some other islam0fascist organization, of which there is no shortage.

  • Gee

    This was so predictable that not one Middle East “expert” saw it coming. Though a lot of un-informed types sure did

  • Edohiguma

    You mean the Arab Spring was ever alive?

    Geert Wilders was one of the first who called it “Arab Winter” when this whole mess started. Of course, nobody listened to him.

    Comparison of the MB with the NSDAP is more fitting. They have much closer ties.

  • UCSPanther

    I understand that the rebellions were over food prices and other more important issues.

    The Muslim Brotherhood’s well-deserved failure was the result of the Egyptian people realizing that one cannot eat ideology…

  • Texas Patriot

    The Arab Spring is alive and well in Nairobi, Benghazi, Cairo, Paris, Berlin, London, Moscow, New York, Boston, Washington, D.C. and countless other cities around the world. Wherever Muslims join together to further Muhammad’s vision of a world dominated by Sharia law, it is alive and well. But it should not be called the Arab Spring. It should be called the Islamist Spring. And it does not represent a religion of peace and freedom. It represents a religion of conquest and submission. Like everything else about Muhammad’s vision, it operates by deception, and it is not what it seems.

  • ObamaYoMoma

    The Arab Spring is a fantasy based leftwing concoction similar to global warming. There never was one and there never will be one at least for as long as Islam dominates that part of the world. Hence, to suggest that it somehow died is ludicrous, especially since there never was one to begin with.

  • Daniel Rubio

    “Arab Spring” is not an oxymoron. The reason is that the term “spring” should be read with “spring” as in elastic, coil-mechanism. If something or someone tries to take an arab out of its 8-th century, backward mentality, its bigotry and antisemitism, its superstitious beliefs in promoting a criminal pederast to the ranks of a prophet, the “arab spring”, well “springs” into action bringing the arab back to its reality, its 8-th century, bigoted, antisemitic, mysoginist and supremacist beliefs.

    “Arab spring” is the elastic aminoacid in the built-in genetic code that brings back the caveman, that retracts a woman back into believing that the black trash-bag attire reafirms her self-respect and modesty. “Arab spring” is the elastic property that snaps back in its place any arab trying to think that the cause of his troubles are his rulers, his religion, his imam, his superstitiousness, instead of blaming any and every misfortune of his on the evil “jooooos” and/or the Americans. “Arab spring” is what refrains arab clerics from declaring the hateful, discriminatory, war-mongering verses in the Koran to be the garbage they are. “Arab spring” is what will keep arabs always being, well…, arabs.

    • Johnnie the Jew

      Great stuff Monsieur Rubio ! I need help trying to understand how God (by the way, I don’t believe there is any god) who is so intelligent and loving, etc, etc hand picks an illiterate, camel dung sweeping (not even bright enough to herd camels!) child molester to be his messenger, oops via the angel Gabriel, who has been redundant for a long time now. You have to ask yourself, what kind of twisted (sky fairy) entity this god really is?
      Any metaphysicians out there that can possibly explain this nonsense to me please.
      I suppose I could always believe that it was the angel Gabriel that screwed up here by misconveying gods message to mankind……hmmm
      Bacchus for true profits

    • Udada

      You think you’re so brainy with all the puns you’re using, aren’t you? You’d better educate yourself before making foolish, chauvinist and narrow-minded judgments. Such a repulsive hateful speech for someone pretending to condemn hatred!!! F.Y.I. Arabs are Semitics, Mr Know-it-all!

  • lessthantolerant

    One good point about Obama and his support of radical jihadists, they will continue to murder and inflame the Middle East for another twenty years. There is hope that the Middle East will still explode in this decade.
    With our growing oil and gas discoveries and “Obama the too”l needing that growth to keep our faltering economy alive we may yet see further deepening of the economic disasters in the Middle East, maybe even an exchange of the hidden WMB all these crazies possess.
    Hope springs eternal!

  • MLCBLOG

    May the same fate fall on O’s house of cards. Great at organizing, not so much in maintaining a viable organization. One can hope.