The delivery of tanks and F-16s to Egypt, originally promised to the Mubarak regime, but now forwarded to Morsi and the Brotherhood, is the latest phase of U.S. engagement with a Middle East in turmoil. Though all kinds of nasty and brutal individuals are still in charge, and though the thrust of the Arab world remains anti-Zionist, anti-Semitic, anti-Christian and anti-American, the official line of our prescient government is that all this is an extension of the “Arab Spring” and, despite setbacks, is tending towards greater democracy in the Arab world.
We are, under Obama, supposedly the good guys because we generally support “democracy.” What appears to be developments that are cancerous and threaten world peace, should be seen as just another Excedrin headache for our sincere, hardworking, compassionate, and all-knowing leaders. After all, our President has an intuitive sense of the Muslim mind. He can reconcile us with those who appear to be irreconcilable.
Stories are written as though the events in the Middle East, the turmoil and barbaric upheavals, were something new. When the dust settles, we shall presumably see a more benign and tractable community of interests in the Arab world. If anti-Americanism and anti-infidel expressions are reflected in Algeria, Libya, Syria, Mali, or Egypt, they are reflective of a new more harmonious relationship with us reflective of the influence of our balanced and giving President.
In fact, we see a deep-seated anti-American and anti-Western “rage” going back to Gamal Abdel Nasser with the closing of the Suez Canal and alignment with the Communist bloc. Following Nasser, the assassination of his successor, President Sadat of Egypt, was clearly a rejection of the American-brokered Camp David Accords that led to the Egyptian recognition of the State of Israel. There is a direct line from the deposing of Pres. Mubarak to that long-ago assassination. Therefore, Mubarak’s deposing was not pro-democratic, but anti-American at its heart.
If one believes that the history of thirty years ago cannot motivate Egyptians today, he or she would be very wrong. Incredibly, until today, many Egyptians and Arabs “on the street” will tell you a bitter story of wrongdoing by the Crusaders who came in the late 11th and early 12th centuries. Christianity and the West are blamed and condemned for those events of one thousand years ago. The reader should understand that the “Arab street” really knows what it means to hold a grudge.
Further, if there is any doubt about deep-seated Arab animus towards the West and towards the U.S. in particular, we need only look at history to dispel that doubt. Way back in the early 19th century, the Barbary pirates routinely attacked American vessels until President Jefferson sent in Stephen Decatur and the Marines to crush the piracy. Almost 150 years later, we find that the Muslim Brotherhood allied itself with the Nazis in their fight against the Allies in North Africa.
By the 1950s, under the rubric of Pan-Arabism, Nasser tried to pressure Lebanon, where a civil war was waging between Maronite Christians and Muslims, to join the United Arab Republic, which would thereby align Lebanon with the Soviet bloc. Eisenhower, defending Western alignment, sent in 14,000 troops to force a compromise which kept Lebanon within the Western fold. Then, in 1983, approximately 25 years later, the Marine barracks in Lebanon were bombed killing 241 Americans during the Presidency of Ronald Reagan.
Then, as a small-scale reprise of the Marine barracks bombing, we must recall the repeated hijacking of American passenger flights in the 1980s, and of the terrorized cruise ship the Achille Lauro in 1985. During the terrorist takeover of that vessel, Leon Klinghoffer, a wheelchair bound American senior citizen, was thrown overboard by hijackers when he fearlessly repudiated their activities to their faces. These egregious events of the 1980s only stopped when, in 1986, President Reagan bombed Libya.
Closer to our own time, we must think of Ramzi Yousef, now serving a life sentence in Colorado in a federal maximum security prison, with the likes of the Unabomber and a mafia hit man on the same cell bloc. He led a team that blew up the World Trade Center in 1993, as a precursor of the 9/11 destruction to come. While on the run from the FBI, he was hidden safely by many friends in the Arab world, and had unsuccessfully planned a mission to blow up more than a dozen planes that were scheduled for departure from Aquino International Airport in Manila, Philippines. He represents the action-spearhead, the maniacal avant-garde, of the same mindset we see manifested on the streets and in the universities today protesting against the USA.
Lastly, we drove the Taliban from power in Afghanistan and ostensibly smashed Al Queda. Yet, the Taliban is still fighting us, and the government of Karzai (presumed to be democratically elected) is under armed siege month after month and year after year. Does this not show the failure of both the “democratic” or nation-building solution and the military solution?
To think that cordiality between America and these unstable and anti-American countries can be achieved by supporting one side (the democratic) over another side (the despotic) in a part of the world where violent power struggles have been the norm for centuries and anti-Americanism has existed for decades, or longer, is just bad thinking.
We are being “played” by the Islamo-fascists, who have used the magic word “democracy” to persuade our own self-serving, ideological President that their interests and ours really are compatible.
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