3 comments on “Western Policy in the Middle East is Unravelling

  1. The upside is that the fundamentalists are killing each other and perhaps in doing so sparing us a bit. However as you point out the downside is far more horrendous. Although you mention the refugee problem you did not at the same time say that Europe is now the the destination of choice for many of them. Europe’s abilities to cope with those immigrants already here is greatly under strain and indeed an Islamic 5th column is already large enough. I agree that all the Arab spring and western meddling and intervention is achieving is the removal of secular thugs(the lesser of two evils I would say) to be replaced by religious fanatical ones. Soon their will be many more Iran’s to contend with and with so many 5th Columns in Europe the future does not bode well for our security, cultures and way of life. History has a lesson for us; the crusades were successful because of Muslim disunity and they were expelled when unity returned. Not quite a parallel but when unity does return and it will Islam is then bound to be a much more serious threat than it is now and that is bad enough. The most pernicious evils confronting the world today to my mind is Islam, socialism and expansionism/autocracy; governance as practised by the likes of Russia and China. Of course they are only the major ones there are many more such as those arising from the efforts of ecoloons, prodnose banstarbators and the like. It is a pretty dismal world we now have to live in, probably always has been but technology and population size has now probably made it totally intractable.

    • I agree that Islamic fundamentalism is a threat. This is not new however!

      Back in the 1980s, the Americans were supporting religious fundamentalists in Afghanistan in their war against the occupying Russian forces.

      Going back further, in the 1970s, religious fundamentalists deposed the Shah of Iran and replaced him with an Islamic fundamentalist regime.

      And even further – you mentioned the crusades; I guess they were an example of Christian fundamentalism, but we have been in conflict with the Islamic world for hundreds of years. What is new now is our dependence on them for the supply of oil.

      You are also quite right that all of this poses a risk for Europe.

      I don’t agree however that “the most pernicious evils confronting the world today [are] Islam, socialism and expansionism / autocracy”, nor that Russian governance is a threat.

      First, Islam itself need not be a threat – indeed, there are large numbers of Muslims living quite happily and peacefully here in Britain. It is religious fundamentalism that is a threat – whether it is Islamic, Christian or indeed Hindu or anything else.

      Socialism is no longer a threat. There are no major socialist powers left, and socialism as an ideology has been discredited in the West.

      As for Russia, working with Russia is a key part of a sensible response to Islamic fundamentalism. It is a critical national interest that we have in common with Russia. And Russia has a much deeper understanding of the Middle East than the US does.

      Russia may not be properly democratic but is a great deal more so than most countries in this world. It is not the Soviet Union! The Soviet Communist system ended decades ago. Furthermore, Russia has a culture that is rather similar to ours – much more so than any countries in the Middle East. It is (to misquote Margaret Thatcher) a country with which we can do business – but our leaders seem entirely unwilling to do so. William Hague’s remark that I quoted is a reminder of where the unwillingness to work with Russia originates.

      Furthermore, American expansionism is far more in evidence than Russian. NATO has expanded over the last twenty years right up to the border with Russia itself. The Americans are continuing to push to extend their sphere of influence – witness events in Ukraine, or indeed, their antics in the Middle East. They seem unable to distinguish between morally desirable goals and their own selves.

      They see themselves in terms of “American Exceptionalism” (a shocking phrase when you stop to consider it). They are continuing to see the world in terms of “us and them”, “with us or against us”, and “good and evil” with themselves as the Good Guys. By definition, in their eyes, anything they do is Good.

      In short, America is currently a much bigger threat to peace and stability in the world than is Russia. I suspect that has to do with the weakening of the fundamentals underlying American power. There is a striking parallel between today’s declining US superpower, picking fights with Russia, and Britain in the early 20th Century, then a declining imperial power and gung-ho for a fight with Germany.

      • “Socialism is no longer a threat. There are no major socialist powers left, and socialism as an ideology has been discredited in the West.”

        I fail to see that socialism has been discredited in the least. Do not nearly all nations now subscribe to statism and command economies? Is not free market capitalism, libertarianism and democracy being slowly subsumed by authoritarian governments aided by technocracies and other forms of dictatorial ocracies? Certainly private sectors still survive and thrive but are they not becoming more monopolistic(due to oppressive and costly rules and regulations. The EU politburo a case in point but only one of many) and in the end will eventually come under state control either directly or through crony-ism.

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