“Revolution in the Middle East”… It’s become an almost banal concept by now, degraded by its regularity. After the high hopes typically invested in such events fade, reality usually shows the world to have been made worse by them. Such was the case with the so-called ‘Arab Spring” which was in fact a regional Islamist-uprising (admittedly, that’s not quite as catchy). Since then, most commentators are (or should be) more inclined towards caution when welcoming ‘democratic’ movements in the Muslim world.
Still, the revolution (or counter-revolution) over the past few hours appears (on the face of it) to be worth celebrating. Credit is due to the Egyptian people (and army) for ousting the Muslim Brotherhood from power. They have, at a stroke, made the world a lot safer, the possibility of a regional war less likely, and – should this military rule persist – the prospects for Arab social development a little brighter.
It will be interesting to observe the reaction from Mr Obama this time around. During the previous revolution, the White House shamefully failed to show support for their loyal ally President Mubarak (a man worthy of our gratitude incidentally) and saw nothing wrong in establishing relations (and new arms contracts) with the Islamist regime that replaced him.
Let’s hope for a good deal more from the ‘Last Black Hope” on this occasion.
Although the news from Egypt is welcome, don’t breathe a sigh of relief just yet. As one injury begins to heal, another is being gruesomely deepened by the hour elsewhere. David Cameron seems to be engaged in a battle to the death with the forces of logic on the Syrian civil war. There are still plans being made (and for all I know, perhaps already being carried out) to ship some of the world’s most advanced weaponry to some of its most loathsome militants.
Dissent is thankfully mounting to this ridiculous idea from more authentic conservatives within Tory ranks. Norman Tebbit wrote the following in the Daily Telegraph:
“So much for the Arab Spring….what is happening (in Egypt) should give pause to the enthusiasts for intervention in Syria. Every day it becomes clear that there are some very unpleasant people on both sides in the long running civil war, and no likelihood that minority groups (not least the remaining Christians) would be any safer under any likely new regime than under President Assad. Indeed, the accounts of the murder of a Catholic priest by rebel army forces suggest the absolute opposite.
We can only hope that the madcap idea of bring peace and tranquility to Syria by arming the “nice” people in a disparate collection of militants without the risk of weaponry falling into the hands of extremists intent on a wider agenda of violence outside Syria will now be quietly forgotten – or if needs be vetoed by the House of Commons.”
Lord Tebbit is articulating observations plain to all but the deliberately blind. One hopes that his plea for a veto in the Commons isn’t as utopian as it sounds. Stranger things have happened, and politicians can (occasionally) bend to the influence of their consciences.
More generally, all must acknowledge now that the Arab Spring has been a disaster; a disaster for Christians, Secularists, Minorities and – of course – Global Security. Those who welcomed it should be apologizing, and those who forewarned of the dangers of it, congratulated.