The Arab Spring Killed the Left’s Foreign Policy


fallThree years later, no one talks about the Arab Spring. Its anniversaries pass in rioting and terror; clubs, bombs and juntas mixing together in a bloody cocktail. Protesters die, police die and the liberals who once claimed that the Age of Aquarius had come to the Land of the Nile have turned their faces away.

In the bleak grey skyscraper towering precariously over Eight Avenue, the filing cabinets bulge with back issues of the New York Times full of optimistic speculations about the future. But now the Old Grey Lady hardly mentions the Arab Spring except when she’s talking about insurgencies and riot casualty counts.

Only a few years ago, she fell head over heels for the bad boys of the Muslim Brotherhood. Now, despite the best efforts of her procurers of Islamism like David Kilpatrick and Robert Mackey, she has stopped taking their phone calls and has settled down to placidly chronicling the daily urban disorders of Egypt.

Despite her disregard, the Arab Spring countries are slowly sorting themselves out. Egypt has ratified its constitution and is moving ahead to elections. Amr Moussa, the Secretary General of the Arab League and Chairman of the Committee of 50 that drafted the Constitution is assuring reporters that General al-Sisi “will assume the seat of power in a democratic way, because he will win the majority of the votes.”

“There is nothing else to say,” he added. When it comes to Middle Eastern elections, there usually isn’t.

Tunisia is stumbling in its efforts at both a constitution and a government, but the Islamic parties in Egypt and Tunisia have been forced to retreat. The Arab Spring has receded and the new battle will be between Islamic terrorist groups, including those that temporarily went ‘straight’ to try the democratic path to power, and the authorities. And that will be better than the ‘democratic’ Caliphate alternative.

The Syrian opposition has been forced to the negotiating table because Assad’s Russian backers proved more determined than Obama and the rag-ends of a NATO alliance unwilling to take on Syria without the United States leading the charge. Its politicians are busy with their petty bickering and the fighters are killing each other over the loot of the cities and towns that they expect to lose before too long.

By the fourth anniversary of the Arab Spring, it is entirely possible that most of the countries affected by it will look a lot like they did before it took place with the exception of Libya where NATO intervention has turned the country over to Islamic militias linked to Al Qaeda and the Muslim Brotherhood.

In Cairo, anniversary celebrations cheer the fall of Mubarak and welcome the future presidency of General al-Sisi while the Muslim Brotherhood’s supporters unleash a new wave of terror. In Tunisia, some Islamists denounce the “secular” constitution while others support it. In Egypt and Tunisia, both the Islamic parties and the left have tried to claim the mantle of a revolution that no longer exists.

What the West mistook for a reform movement, the East misread as a revolutionary movement and the end result has been neither revolution nor reform but a slow crawl back to the status quo of the Shaitan that everyone knew, hated and could count on. In Syria, Egypt and Tunisia, people power no longer stands for change, but for the status quo. The weight of democratic opinion is on the side of stability.

Salafist terror might still sweep across the region as parts of Iraq and Syria transform into a new Afghanistan, but it isn’t likely to happen unless the United States gives the Sunni opposition hope that it will intervene. The Libyan uprising would have imploded without NATO intervention and the Syrian civil war has no future as long as Syria’s allies are prepared to continue upping the ante. The infighting between Sunni groups and the futile negotiations suggest a last ditch effort before the end.

The smugglers, kidnappers and drug dealers will go back to their labs, hidden routes and the caves where their victims end up. The Pakistanis and Chechens will return home, the Iraqis will refocus on the Sunni Triangle and the European Muslims and Muslim converts will return with weapons training that they will put to use in London, Paris and New York.

But the fall of the Arab Spring hits liberal critics of American foreign policy even harder than the Syrian Sunnis. The left was convinced that everything wrong with the Middle East had been caused by American foreign policy. But this time the United States backed the Muslim Brotherhood’s takeover of Egypt and the Islamist rise in Tunisia. It bombed Libya and threatened to do the same thing to Syria.

The old argument that the region was unstable and that we were hated because of the dictators no longer holds water. The United States pushed out the dictators; their own people brought them back.

The left will try to use Kerry’s belated attempts at working with the new Egyptian government and Obama’s fumbling in Syria as an indictment, but their worst accusation is that the United States did not do enough for the Arab Spring and that is a long way from the old indictments that we were oppressing the Islamists with puppet regimes and stirring up anger against ourselves by supporting the dictators.

History is as malleable for the left as it is for the protesters booing Mubarak and cheering al-Sisi and it will transform the Cairo speech and the Libyan intervention into a complicated plot to seize someone’s oil. Having learned nothing from history, the left will once again champion “moderate” Islamists as the solution to the turmoil. Meanwhile the left will have to go back to using American support for Israel as the default explanation for the terrorism and for absolutely everything that is wrong with the region.

And that is because beyond Israel, it no longer has American foreign policy to kick around anymore.

The Arab Spring killed the left’s foreign policy. Obama has pivoted away from the Arab Spring and the Middle East because he no longer has a road map; except the familiar one of blaming Israel. The left’s bet on the Islamists crashed and burned. The radical foreign policy experts responsible for the invention of the Arab Spring are tiptoeing away while hoping that nobody notices the mess they left behind.

Above Eight Avenue, the Old Grey Lady, once so optimistic about the Middle East, has grown pessimistic again. New York Times editors peer through the windows to the east through the pelting snow where they once saw the Arab Spring from their offices and then turn away while in Cairo the streets burn and clubs hit flesh and a new democratic dictator rises out of the ashes.

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  • truebearing

    “..a new democratic dictator rises out of the ashes.”

    And while that happens, Obama will continue to emulate dictators everywhere by utilizing the power of the federal government to persecute his political enemies, especially if they are film makers outside of Hollywood.

  • DoIJuly1776@yahoo.com

    Referring to Sisi as a dictator is a narrow minded insult. Obama on the other hand is a wanabe dictator wielding his pen and phone to put forth Executive orders of questionable merit.

    • mindRider

      You are absolutely right, so far Sisi only uses the paraphernalia & trappings of a dictator, shades, way too many medals on his uniform and the use of the military to nudge the peoples political will in electing him president for life.

      • DoIJuly1776@yahoo.com

        Sisi won’t fall into the trap and will do what is necessary to ensure Egypt’s future. He is Egypt’s George Washington.

        • Gee

          Don’t bet on it. He is another Muslim extremist – Egypt is toast and it is just a matter of time until the next revolt.

          All Islamofascist regimes are going to repeat the same steps until their countries fragment

        • defcon 4

          I haven’t noticed him repealing the enforced islamic blasphemy and heresy laws.

      • Drakken

        Hmmm lets see, Gen Sisi who keeps the Islamic savages at bay, or the ilsmist mullahs which say go forth and do some good ole jihad for allah? Yeah I’ll take the general. Islam is either ruled by a dictator or a mullah, always take the dictator.

        • mindRider

          Regrettably in the Arab world those are the only flavors to choose from.

  • Texas Patriot

    Now that it’s clear that the so-called Arab Spring was in fact a disguised Islamist takeover of the middle east orchestrated by Al Qaida and the Muslim Brotherhood and facilitated by none other than the well-intentioned but thoroughly clueless government of the United States of America, the question is how is Israel going to survive as the lone outpost of Western Civilization amidst a sea of Islamic jihadists who fervently believe that Israel is illegitimate and has no right to exist?

    Does Israel still consider herself a second class nation created under the authority of the United Nations which lacks the traditional and inherent right of all nations to defend themselves and confiscate the lands of aggressors who refuse to recognize their legitimacy and right to exist? Why is Israel so conciliatory and facilitating with those who want nothing more than to see her disappear?

    What’s your take, Daniel? Will 2014 be the year in which Israel finally stands up for her right to exist independently of the United States and the United Nations and, if need be, every other nation on earth? Or will it be the year in which Israel throws in the towel, begins to implode and ceases to exist altogether?

    • Mladen_Andrijasevic

      >>Or will it be the year in which Israel throws in the towel, begins to implode, and ceases to exist altogether?

      Read Bravo, Bogie!
      http://www.madisdead.blogspot.co.il/2014/01/bravo-bogie.html

      • Texas Patriot

        Yes, there is no doubt that the United States is cluelessly bungling along and creating a very dangerous situation for the entire world, and we’ve been doing it for the last forty years. But so what if one man in Israel sees the handwriting on the wall, if everyone else remains asleep?

        • Mladen_Andrijasevic

          Well there is also Netanyahu, so we have both the PM and the defense minister who know what they are doing

          The crucial piece of the puzzle
          http://www.madisdead.blogspot.co.il/2012/02/crucial-piece-of-puzzle.html

          A few years ago Netanyahu held an in-depth discussion withMiddle East expert Bernard Lewis. At the end of the talk he was convinced that if the ayatollahs obtained nuclear weapons, they would use them. Since that day, Netanyahu seems convinced that we are living out a rerun of the 1930s.

          At the UN General Assembly Netanyahu quotes Bernard Lewis on MAD
          http://www.madisdead.blogspot.co.il/2012/09/at-un-general-assembly-netanyahu-quotes.html

          There’s a great scholar of the Middle East, Prof. Bernard Lewis, who put it best.He said that for the Ayatollahs of Iran, mutually assured destruction is not a deterrent, it’s an inducement.

          Iran’s apocalyptic leaders believe that a medieval holy man will reappear in the wake of a devastating Holy War, thereby ensuring that their brand of radical Islam will rule the earth.

    • knowshistory

      “the well intentioned but thoroughly clueless government of the united states”…………..what is it about the thoroughly clueless actions of the us government that makes you represent it as “well intentioned”? a minimum of well intentions would dictate that they at least obey the laws of our country, and if they did, we would at least be rid of the tide of illegal immigration that is “fundamentally transforming” America into a their world hellhole. if there were not so many rich and thoroughly evil criminals dedicated to the continuation and increase of illegal immigration, posslbly we would not be so blind to the even more toxic legal muslim invasion. there is nothing well intentioned about genocide, and it is even more evil to facilitate the genocide of your own kind. that is exactly what your “well intentioned” government is determined to accomplish—–your genocide.

    • fush

      I honestly suspect that Israel will start paying Jizya in order to buy a little piece and quiet. The Jewish people have always survived being useful rather than being loved. So long as we have more value alive than dead then they won’t try to kill us… At least that’s the hope. Israel must offer her skills to the world in a way that makes her absolutely indispensible. She has many skills, she can do that.

      • defcon 4

        It’s sad to even think they should have to.

  • http://libertyandculture.blogspot.com/ Jason P

    Brilliant! As I comment on the ‘net and find silly leftists blaming America for everything, I make some of these points. I particularly like to contrast Syria with Iraq … we never invade nor occupied Syria and 130,000 dead is clearly an internal matter within Islam. Indeed, in all these cases I can bring in Islamism (as the left prefers) as a widely supported movement, not a few extremists.

    As you note: “The left was convinced that everything wrong with the Middle East had been caused by American foreign policy.” The said we supported the wrong side … as if there was a right side. The leftists shared the Islamic hatred of America (see Unholy Alliance) and thought they found kindred spirits. While they (rightly) criticize Reagan for supporting Islamists in the 80s (so-called blow-back thesis), we should all know better now. It’s amazing how silent they’ve become as Obama supports Islamists around the region.

    The far left will try to distance itself from Obama. The demented Kumar (Prof at Rutgers) is already saying the Obama’s Islamophobic “liberal imperialism” is wrecking the region. What’s far left today will be the Democratic Party tomorrow as it continues its downward spiral.

    • Daniel Greenfield

      Yes, until their own people in the rear view mirror are right wing extremists.

    • Drakken

      Let it burn ! The more we let the savages cull their own herd, the better it is for us infidels. Maybe we can throw the left into the meat grinder as well.

  • Tut Ankh Amon

    A Muslim Brothers aka Al Qaeda takeover of the middle east, financed by Qatar, organized by Turkey at the request of Obama Bin Laden

  • John Davidson

    Egypt did the right thing. Will we?

  • mtnhikerdude

    Denial and Insanity outweigh Truth and Sanity in America .

  • American1969

    The results of the Obama Administration Foreign Policy.

  • john spielman

    beautiful article, the sad truth is that where ever Islam gets established, that area will descend into chaos of never ending jihad resulting in total anarchy (as in Somalia,Syria and frontier Pakistant ) or a dictatorship. Islam is incompatible with peace and democracry because at its very heart it is an evil, apartheid system that appeals to the worst of human nature.

  • johnlittle

    Again, thank you for another insightful article. Nothing would make the Muslims happier than to have the Mideast made into one mammoth theocratic state. Our government’s ineptness accomendates such an outcome. The NYT’s seem to champions such an outcome–sad but true.

    Muslim control of the Mideast means Muslim control of oil production and shipping–something to ponder.

    Cordially, John Little, Sr.

  • Lanna

    Imagine, Egyptians in another land saw through Obama and the Arab Spring, they are not Americans, but they knew a phony when they saw one.

  • pfbonney

    “The old argument that the region was unstable and that we were hated because of the dictators no longer holds water. The United States pushed out the dictators; their own people brought them back.”

    EVERYTHING the left says turns out to be untrue, either by design, or just because they are unable to grasp the reality of situations.

    It doesn’t help them that they hate the US so much, as it is, that it clouds their thinking. They DO like the money they can receive here in the US, and the power it can buy, though.

    On another note, Morocco seems to have been one of the few countries that were smart enough not to rise to the bait of the Arab Spring. They seemed to know that the grass wasn’t greener on the other side of the fence. And the Islamists DID try to get them started, too.

    When active duty Navy, I had the opportunity to visit the Atlantic coast of Morocco (Agadir & Taroudant) in January 1983. I enjoyed it there. Loved their version of couscous and their mint tea.

  • Hard Little Machine

    You have never had more than two fundamental choices in the Arab world: totalitarianism and complete anarchy. Pick one and hope the carnage as you swing to the other extreme doesn’t consume you.

  • celador2

    Arab Spring was a media creation and promotion which O and Hillary jumped on board. No criticism but all advocacy at CNN especially Anderson Cooper and his jubilant poetry for a coup to toss an ally Mubarak. As Judith Miller said on Fox–there are 82 mil Egyptians who also have opinions not just demos on the Square.
    Arab Spring destabilized ME and grew Al Qaeda is how it looks. We are not safer as a result any more than are innocents in ME.