Friday, September 14, 2007

The General in Our Labyrinth

by Michael Young from Reason

Arab nationalism, instead of uniting Arabs in a single state, mainly dissolved into brutal authoritarianism and factionalism, with the Syrian and Iraqi branches of the Baath Party having fought most bitterly against each other between the late 1970s and early 1990s. Similarly, the Saudi ambition of spreading Wahhabism through the funding of mosques and educational institutions backfired, so that the most dangerous threats to the monarchy today are the violent Islamist groups it fostered and sustained for so long ... The Bush administration has abandoned the democratization goal, showing perhaps that it never seriously cared about it in the first place. But that shouldn't undermine a deeper truth. The only grand project that can ever really work in the Middle East is democratization, because only democracy won't leave behind bitter losers. But the Arab world may yet be a long way away from that enlightened step, despite what the optimists—present company included—believe. That Petraeus never mentioned democracy shows that he's integrating into the region.

1 comment:

Abu Daoud said...

I don't think that a long-term, stable democratic government can co-exist with a Muslim population. The sunna of Muslims is to follow Muhammad's example: the consolidation of absolutely all power--civil, religious, and military--into the hands of one leader who will use any means available to stay in power.

That was the example of the 'perfect man'.