Arab dictators and USrael: some thoughts on the Arab spring

Some argue that Arab dictators who are against US policies in the ME, which is mainly safeguarding Israel's interests first, seem to be more immune to popular uprisings against them because they have the approval of the people who are sympathetic to the Palestinian cause which they perceive as being the product of an injustice perpetuated by Israel and the US.

I think the argument has no basis because it alludes that Arabs can be totally distracted by the Palestinian issue and that the Palestinian issue was used by Arab dictators to divert the public attention from reforms. This is absolutely false because revolutions are happening in both USrael friendly and USrael hostile regimes.

It is not the Palestinian cause that is at issue here, it is rather the reliance of some of these dictators on outside protection from the US and Israel that paved the way to revolutions and rapid change in leadership. The US sponsoring of these dictators generated internal tyrannies backed by outside powers and worked efficiently to keep the Arab street silent by doubling the power of the internal tyranny by an external one. But it also made these dictators vulnerable from the decline of the external powers who backed them. And I think it is the decline of the US power and credibility in the ME*, as well as the decline of Israel's war capabilities following the 2000 and 2006 defeats by Hezbollah in Lebanon, and the rise of a new power represented by Iran and Turkey, that made the uprisings possible. Revolutions rise when what prevent them from happening does actually decline or disappear. Revolutions size on a vacuum or a shift in the power balance. And that's what I believe is happening in the Arab world.

That's why I believe, even though there are common features to the aspirations of the Arab people, be it in Syria, Bahrain, Tunisia, Lybia, SA, Egypt, Yemen, etc...the leaderships who are most vulnerable right now are the ones who are backed by the declining powers that are the US and Israel.

There are also geopolitical considerations to predict the success of the revolutions.

Thanks to the US and its war on Iraq, a new geopolitical bloc and power center formed by Iran, Iraq, Turkey, and Syria, is emerging in the region. This bloc of countries is preparing an agreement for the free circulation of merchandise and citizens in an area that will extend from the Meditterranean to the Perisan gulf, to the Black and Caspian seas. Should countries to the west of this bloc like Egypt and countries in the east like Pakistan and Afghanistan, wish to join, Israel and the US will see their regional power severely diminished, despite Saudi backing.

What strikes me is that, contrary to what is being written or said in the US, these revolutions are not the vindication of the neo-con doctrine. What the neo-cons did, in my opinion, with their war in Iraq, resulted in the creation of a local power shift and power vacuum, which reverberated across the region and made possible the revolutions in their puppet regimes, revolutions they could not expect nor prevent...

For the time being, revolutions in countries whose leadership is backed by the US and Israel have a better chance of succeeding. Other revolutions might have to wait...

From the NYTimes, The larger game in the middle east: Iran

* I think Wikileaks had an enormous impact by showing the emperor without clothes. The cables from US embassies across the world and especially across the ME demonstrated that the empire does not have the moral authority nor the means to lead the world. The perception that stemmed from the cables on the Arab world is of servile Arab dictators serving a declining and weak empire. Arab revolutions vindicated Wikileaks as a powerful democracy tool (not Facebook please...)

No comments:

Since March 29th 2006