Despite the media narrative to the contrary, there can be little question that Gaza is now in a state of civil war. The Iranian-backed Hamas appears set to destroy what remains of the Fatah faction in Gaza, and it’s quite likely that the strife will spill over into the West Bank sooner or later.
The situation in Gaza demonstrates that the virtual non-existence of civil society in the Middle East is the root cause of terrorism — not poverty, not Israel, not the United States, not colonialism, not imperialism, not anything but a culture that has embraced terrorism and hatred. This nihilistic culture of death is destroying Arab societies more thoroughly than anything any other power has ever accomplished. From Gaza to the assassination of yet another anti-Syrian lawmaker in Lebanon to yet another attack on the Golden Mosque in Samarra, Iraq the Middle East is ripping itself apart as puppet-masters in Tehran plot their hegemony.
If ever there was a reason why this nation needs a leadership who understands the current challenges, the terrible events of today provide a bloody demonstration. Yet we still have a dysfunctional political culture, a society that is drenched in postmodern nihilism and self-obsession, and a fundamental unwillingness to confront reality. Instead, our chattering classes seem to think that if we pull out of Iraq and have tea with Bashar al-Assad and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad things will get better.
Satayana once wrote that those who fail to learn from history are damned to repeat it. Our political culture can’t even seem to learn from the present no less the past. Should we continue on the current course, today’s events in Gaza, Beirut, and Samarra are but prologue. Unless we start confronting the reality that the Middle East — and indeed Islamic civilization itself — is in a state of civil war and we cannot avoid becoming entangled in that war, things will only get worse. History is replete with examples of willful blindness leading to the deaths of millions — and yet here we stand, unable to see what is going on right now, and with little interest in stopping it.