Jay Reding.com

The Middle East In Pieces

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.

2 responses to “The Middle East In Pieces”

  1. Nicholas MacDonald says:

    What do you suggest?

    Bomb them all to hell and let Allah sort it out? No, that’s the humanitarian disaster we’re trying to avoid.

    Go “full Roman”, as Lileks put it, and “invade their countries, kill their leaders, and convert them all to Christianity”, as Coulter would have it? As appealing as that option seems at times, and while, in theory, we have the power, we lack the will. What government would be willing to draft the millions of young men that it would take for such an operation, and put forth the trillions of dollars that it would cost?

    The U.S. Government and it’s military is as much an obsolete dinosaur in this conflict as its European counterpart; Iraq, as I expected, has proved this much. Our high-tech, professional, volunteer-mercenary (I do not use the term as a pejorative; fighting for a wage for a legitimate political actor like the U.S. is a highly honorable occupation in my eyes) army is amazing at kicking the snot out of other professional forces, but it can’t hold territory worth a damn. For that you need boots on the ground, in large numbers… this is what universal conscription provides. You can never wage the sort of war it will take to pacify the entire middle east on the terms in which our military fights. Period. In the meantime, what strength our army does have will be sapped by the realities of our domestic political landscape; you can complain about it all you want, but it will never change it. I was opposed to this war from the beginning, not because it was morally wrong (we were clearly in the right), but because I knew we lacked the moral fortitude to finish the job, and a half-finished war, wasting half a trillion dollars and god knows how much diplomatic capital, would be worse than no war at all. I’ve been vindicated, but it’s a bitter vindication; I’d rather I’d been dead wrong.

    We can continue to wage the “secret war” against Al-Qaeda and other such networks; we’ve been doing such for years, and such a conflict will continue, invisible to the eyes of the international media and, for that matter, to anyone in the US outside of Langley or the Pentagon. But will it work? And how will we know? Indeed, we will not.

    We’re stuck in a conflict we cannot win on our own terms, and all the wishing in the world won’t make it happen. Robert Kaplan’s famous article, “The Coming Anarchy”, a decade later, is looking more and more scarily prescient.

    Political modernism, “liberal” or “conservative”, is obsolete.

  2. leon says:

    You need to check out the accuracy of the May 15th Prophecy in regards to what is happing in Iraq,Lebanon and Syria and the return of the Hidden Imam

    lastdaywatchers.blogspot.com