From ‘Arab Spring’ to ‘Arab Nightmare’ as the ‘civilized’ world stands by

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By Norman Bailey

It has become commonplace to say that the grotesquely over-hyped “Arab Spring” has turned into the “Arab Fall” or even the “Arab Winter”.

Nothing of the kind. To go from spring to fall or winter is simply the fate of most revolutionary movements, as in the “French Spring” of 1789, the “Russian Spring” of 1917 and so many others. What is going on in the Arab world at present is much more than that.

Soccer fans protest in Cairo after a riot in March that left 74 dead. /Oliver Weiken/European Pressphoto Agency
Soccer fans protest in Cairo after a riot in March that left 74 dead. /Oliver Weiken/European Pressphoto Agency

The Arab Spring has turned into the Arab Nightmare.

I do not refer simply to the tens of thousands who have been killed in Syria, or the hundreds of thousands driven from their homes into internal or external exile.

I refer particularly to the bestial barbarism into which the region has sunk.

This is not, except perhaps in theological terms, a regression to the seventh century c.e. it is a regression to prehistoric times and customs.

Let’s see:

  • A small family gathering of the miniscule group of Sh’ia Muslims in Egypt is invaded by hundreds of their Sunni neighbors who bludgeon them to death, burn down their house and drag the corpses through the town.
  • A dozen fourth-grade students in Syria are told by rebels to write “Down with the Tyrant” on the walls of the school, which they dutifully do.  When Assad’s forces take the town back, these children are arrested, beaten and their fingernails torn out.
  • Various Muslim clerics issue fatwas that it is all right to rape non-Sunni women, whether Christian, Sh’ia or whatever.
  • Demonstrators in Cairo and elsewhere gang-rape women in full sight of all.
  • A rebel leader in Syria takes a bite from the heart of a slaughtered captive.
  • Beheadings take place routinely throughout the region.

I have no desire to go on. It is perfectly obvious to all but the Western media and political class that the “Arab Spring” has turned into a bestial nightmare. And not only in Arab countries. The “moderate” Islamist government in Turkey unleashes its police on a bunch of tree-hugging kids, who are beaten, gassed, blinded and killed. When they take refuge in hospitals and hotels their places of refuge are invaded by the police and filled with teargas. The lawyers who defend detainees and the doctors who treat the injured are arrested.

Guess what, “leaders” of the “civilized” West. The Turkish regime is not “moderate”. The Muslim Brotherhood is not “moderate”. Islam is not a “peace-loving” religion. Are all Muslims to be condemned, from the Philippines to Morocco and beyond? Of course not. Are all Arabs to be condemned? Of course not. But the perpetrators of these barbaric outrages will either be condemned and opposed in every way possible, or the pusillanimous, hypocritical and dishonest Western elite will deserve itself to be condemned for all time.

Not all Germans were Nazis. Not all Russians slaughtered millions of their fellows. Not all Chinese were involved in the killing fields of Mao’s giant concentration camp. Ask the Cambodians, the Rwandans and yes, the Armenians of almost a century ago who came to their aid and support when they were being systematically exterminated by their own governments and neighbors. Answer: no-one.

Tens of billions of dollars and thousands of lives were expended to defeat a secular dictatorship in Iraq, which has resulted in turning the country over to the bloodstained ayatollahs of Iran. What is being done now to put a halt to the prehistoric barbarism spreading through the region? Why of course — it’s all due to the “fact” that Israel won’t make an agreement with the Palestinian Authority and evacuate the West Bank, so the story of south Lebanon and Hizbullah and Gaza and Hamas can be recreated all over again much closer to the heartland of the Jewish state.

Hypocrisy is the mother’s milk of politics; we all know that. But there has to be some sort of limit, doesn’t there?

If the rest of the world does nothing to stop beheadings, slaughter of innocents, cannibalism and serial rape, then morally speaking the rest of the world is equally guilty.

Norman A. Bailey, Ph.D., is Adjunct Professor of Economic Statecraft at The Institute of World Politics, Washington, D.C., and a researcher at the Center for National Security Studies, University of Haifa. This column was published by Globes, an online business publication in Israel.

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