Monday, May 23, 2011

The Truth about the 'Arab Spring'

Much ballyhooed across the Middle East and North Africa since about the beginning of this year is the ongoing 'Arab Spring'.  This is, we are told, a hopeful time when every ossified dictatorship in the region is either being brought to its knees or shaken to its core by democratically-minded uprisings and/or 'revolutions', one after another like proverbial dominoes. Supposedly, it's a time of great hope as the long oppressed people of the various Arab fiefdoms and sheikdoms finally reclaim their long-withheld freedom.

Well that's the mainstream media's take on the situation.  And the public always was a sucker for fairy tales.

The Egyptian so-called 'revolution' may have cast off the previous tyrant, but it also left another dictatorship--namely the generals of the Egyptian Army--firmly in charge.  The now-legalized Muslim Brotherhood--granddaddy of Hamas and Al Qaeda--is now openly and deftly maneuvering for power.  They are also working assiduously to write a new Egyptian constitution that sets up the next dictatorship--i.e. the one that puts the Muslim brotherhood on top.  The same is largely true in Tunisia, the place where this all began five months ago. In Libya, meanwhile, the 'Arab Spring' has morphed into a stalemated civil war, with Gaddafi's goons pitted against a disjointed hodgepodge of tribes and Islamists.

Other 'revolutions' in Syria, Yemen and Bahrain have done little more than leave piles of dead bodies in the streets.  The various regime enforcers keep busy shooting, mostly unarmed protestors and civilians. The gangs of thugs that rule all of these broken, dysfunctional countries remain in charge to this day. The UN and "international community" wring their hands, punctuated by issuing various sternly-worded--and equally useless--statements.

Meanwhile, the hunger, corruption and unemployment that brought the masses into the streets in the first place has, hardly to my surprise, failed to ebb as prognosticated by hopeful sounding pundits on CNN.

So what are the Muslims going to do about this, now that their street riots -- I mean 'Arab Spring'-- have failed to bring them bread or jobs?  What will they do now that their respective national economies have tanked or are moribund? Well, they'll fall back on their usual habit blaming the Jews for all their ills. Even the US mainstream media is reporting that "anti Semitism is on the rise in the Arab Spring." Obama, of course, with his political finger permanently jutting into the political wind, has neatly piggybacked onto this sentiment by proclaiming that Israel's borders are the cause of all the region's problems. He recently had Israel's Prime Minister in his office and pretty much ordered him to make sweeping territorial concessions (which apparently didn't go over too well).

So, you see, fixing those pesky Israeli borders and taming the "Zionist Regime" will solve everything, as any diplomat in Brussels, Washington, Riyadh or New York can tell you.  Ah, so peace, bread and freedom can all be yours if the Zionists--I mean Israelis--just fall back to their 1967 borders and meekly lay their necks down in front of a bunch of Jew-hating homicidal maniacs--I mean their 'Palestinian neighbors'.

The reality of the Arab Spring is this: the burgeoning masses of the Middle East are hungry and unemployed. Simply put, they are running out of food. Their corrupt, cash-strapped governments got priced out of the wheat markets when rising demand from Asia, along with the climbing cost of fuel and declining world supplies, sent the price of wheat skyrocketing by 91% in the past twelve months. Even a fire-breathing Koran-and-AK-47-toting jihadist has to eat.

Now, the various governments of the region are finding funds and credit short and their food stockpiles running out. Egypt reportedly now has a one-month supply of rice and a four-month supply of wheat. They increasingly cannot afford to buy more. Every Muslim and Middle Eastern country has long since lost the ability to feed itself with crops from its own arable land. So if food from the outside is not forthcoming, and soon, the Arabs will starve. But everyone can see this coming, right?

Not exactly. The hungry masses riot in the streets and blame the Jews. Their own governments, all dictatorships or transitioning to one form of tyranny or another, care only about power and staying in power. And blaming the Jews is also politically useful for them and everyone else, unless of course you happen to be Jewish.  The US is led by a president who has his own ideological axe to grind, a man who endlessly blabs to all about 'green jobs', 'carbon credits' and a 'peace process' based solely on Israeli concessions and worthless promises. As for the looming food shortage? Well, Obama has promised "aid" to Egypt, but whether the US can provide enough "aid" to singlehandedly feed Egypt, let alone the entire Arab world, remains an open question. 

The Arabs, and most everybody else, desperately need energy, jobs and most of all, food. And they need it now. But since everyone is too busy chasing their own ill-considered short-term ideological or political agendas -- from Washington on down -- who's minding the store?  Maybe you are, but you don't count.

When historians in the future look back on the early years of the 21st century, and consider governments bankrupted by prolific and wasteful entitlement programs, tied down by drilling bans and environmental restrictions on agriculture, blindfolded by relentless political correctness and self-censorship, they will likely shake their heads. They will conclude, "What were they thinking?" No one is thinking; that's precisely the problem.

The biggest tragedy of our time may yet prove to be the pursuit of the irrelevant by the self-deluded.

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