To some, the “populist” protests in Egypt, Libya and many other Arab nations and the toppling of dictators is a sign of Muslims expressing their desire for freedom and liberty; almost a very American-like, valiant, grassroots rebellion to make good finally triumph over evil. Some are in awe of the brave citizens facing armies and overwhelming odds, and eagerly await new leaders.
The thinking is, of course, that the new regimes will be better than the current ones.
But historical evidence and the clearly expressed desires of those instigating these revolts portend a very different future and potential nuclear disaster for both the U.S. and Israel. It is time to see through the optimistic facade and accept, and prepare for, what is really happening.
The current events in the Middle East have been festering since World War II. When the UN partitioned Palestine into a Jewish State and an Arab State in 1948, the reaction of the Arabs was immediate: The tiny new Jewish State of Israel was surrounded and invaded from all sides by the overwhelming forces of Egypt, Jordan, Syria and Iraq. Somehow Israel, with the help of the U.S., survived this and two other wars instigated by Egypt and her allies, in 1967 and again in 1973. No wonder that over 80 percent of Egypt’s population, and those of many other Muslim countries, harbor animosity toward Israel and America. The current tyrannical rule does little to help the situation; but the cold, hard truth is: The brutal leaders of the “Muslim Brotherhood” would be far worse.
It is tempting to consider all conflicts in the Middle East as simply one side against the other, as in the old adage: “the enemy of my enemy is my friend.” However, it does not take a long memory to deny this. Recall, in the 1980’s, we supplied the Taliban and their ally al Qaeda, with military supplies and know-how to help them oust the Soviets from Afghanistan, a major factor in the disintegration of the Soviet Union. Only a decade later our new “friends” were using this same aid to fight their centuries-old enemy, Western Civilization.
The goals of the Muslim Brotherhood and its allies, Al Qaeda, Hezbollah, Hamas, and Islamic Jihad, are the same: elimination of Israel and the installation of “Sharia Law” throughout the Middle East and beyond. Sharia Law is the ancient misogynistic legal system that permits stoning, genital mutilation, and other crimes against women. Even the most moderate of those set to take power in Egypt, Mohamed ElBaradei, their Nobel Peace laureate(!), does not deny Sharia or the goals of the Brotherhood; he states he will open the border into Gaza, permitting the flow of weapons to the Hamas terrorists in control. Hamas, you may recall, is the governing body that espouses a never-ending war against Israel.
There are many who believe Israel is the key to peace in the region; that it is her intransigence that is the barrier to peace. The facts are that Israel remains the only true democracy in the Middle East, with full religious freedom, and participation in the government by all: Jews, Christians and Arabs. This freedom, right on the Arabs’ doorstep, has so angered the religious extremists, including the Muslim Brotherhood, that they have now stoked the fires of hatred and revolt throughout the region.
The fact that the Arabs living in Israel and the West Bank have higher standards of living than those in the neighboring states is a constant thorn in the side of the Islamists. Furthermore, Israel is our only true ally in the region. For example, in 1981 they destroyed the Iraqi reactor that could have provided Saddam with plutonium for nuclear weapons; in 2007 they destroyed the Syrian reactor (being built in concert with the North Koreans) that could have provided their ally Iran the same. More recently, it is likely that it was the Israelis who perfected the computer “worm” dubbed “Stuxnet” that dealt the Iranians a multi-year setback to their uranium enrichment program. Rather than being an obstacle to peace, Israel is the shining light in the region, the only blockade against the forces of darkness.
What does this have to do with us in the United States? For those who have forgotten the source of the ignominious assault of 9/11, which killed more Americans than the sneak attack on Pearl Harbor, it was the handiwork of the Islamic extremists. Remember the joyous dancing in Arab streets that followed that heinous act? Imagine the effect on our foreign policy the threat of future nuclear terrorism might evoke. The entire balance of power in the Middle East would be directly influenced by a revision of our foreign aid. For example, if the terrorists could prove their nuclear capability, they could very well attempt coercion of our government, applying pressure to eliminate military aid to our allies, (e.g. Israel). The threat of another attack on our Homeland, far worse than that of 9/11, would indeed cause serious consideration of acquiescence in the halls of congress.
The new leaders of the Muslim countries involved in the current revolt will, most likely, not be our friends. The entire region will become either unstable and unpredictable, or unite in their common hatred of the U.S. and Israel. Minimally, some of the countries will become both breeding grounds and training zones for future terrorists.
There are many countries now confirmed to have atomic weapons. Most have reasonable governments and not a significant threat to world peace. However, there are just a few that are “armed and dangerous,” most notably Pakistan and North Korea. These countries could well be a source of weapons-grade nuclear material to the terrorists. Our own State Department has acknowledged on more than one occasion, that the only real impediment to the construct- ion of a nuclear device, even by a team of amateurs, is the access to such material.
The possibility of a “dirty bomb” being detonated by terrorists in the U.S. has already been acknowledged. Such a bomb would strew radioactive material over wide areas of a major city, rendering it hopelessly contaminated for decades. A true nuclear bomb would be even more disastrous. These types of actions would surely cause the kind of terror and panic that could lead to major concessions to the countries harboring the terrorist group leaders.
The transition to democracy is ultimately the most desirable path for all the nations currently under autocratic rule. But the forceful, contrived revolution to a bellicose theocracy, such as occurred in Iran, would be worse than unfortunate. The fact that Iran is primarily Shi’a, and other nations, Sunni, is of little consequence.
We already have enough belligerent enemies in the region; we should do our best to discourage the addition of more. Our future may depend upon it.