Tuesday, August 22, 2006
A New Middle East, Part III: Israel
The question is which is preferable... 2000
Israel Surrounded by Arab National-Seularist Regimes
Rollback of Arab National-Secularism
The first map, the world as it was before George Bush and Ariel Sharon, shows an Israel surrounded by Arab National-Secularist regimes: Yasser Arafat's Fatah-led PLO in the east, and two states controlled by the Baath party, Lebanon and Syria. The situation gets even worse down south, as another Arab National-Secularist regime, Egypt, borders Israel on the Sinai. The only half-way normal neighbor Israel had was the tribalist Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan.
Arab National-Secularism was one of the worst products of the twentieth century, the intellectual offshoot of German National-Socialism and an ideology may have done less harm if it ruled for a few bloody years (as the NSDAP did in Germany) whether than perverting generations of minds.
If Arab National-Secularism merely left lifeless, frozen states in its midst, fine. But National-Secularism has done worse than freezing the cultures of the states it takes over, but it begins destroying the culture. Arab National-Secularism, by taking away the traditional meaning of life while not replacing it with economic growth, leaves behind a murderous rage. In states like Egypt and Syria it has so-far been contained by massacres and political repression. In countries where it can break free, such as Iraq and Lebanon, the consequence is state failure and civil war.
Israel's greatest enemy has been the National-Secularism and, because of its wise actions, Israel is in the final phases of destroying Arab National-Secularism as a political force.
The recent Israel War in Lebanon did not succeed in destroying Hezbollah as a fighting force -- it failed as a war in the context of war -- but it succeeded in further rolling back the Arab National-Secularist block that has been Israel's main enemy. The War in Lebanon succeeded as a War in the Context of Everything Else<. In the context of war, Isarel's failure to disarm Hezbollah makes Hizbullah stronger. In the context of everything else, Israel's failure to disarm Hezbollah weakens Syria (which was forced to stay out of the fight due to fear of Israeli retaliation and Muslim Brother reaction).
Lebanon is now even further away from Syria's sphere of influence than before the Hezbollah War. All actors see yet another failure by an Arab National-Secularist government, and another success by a Shia Theocratic government.
Lebanon will now be contested between the country's indigenous, globally-oriented, Catholic-Sunni majority, and a smaller but well armed Shia minority. It is important that whatever country leads the SysAdmin effort in that country, be if France, Italy, or someone else, that the Catholic-Sunni majority's interests are favored. Yet it is a mistake to believe that just because Hezbollah won the war Israel must lose the peace. On the contrary, by further weakening its primary 4GW adversary, Israel is closer to "peace" than ever.
A New Middle East, a tdaxp series
A New Middle East 1: Our Vanquished Enemies
A New Middle East 2: Iran
A New Middle East 3: Israel
A New Middle East 4: Islam is the Answer
If I understand you correctly, while the rest of right-blogistan is still ranting about "islamofascism", you've now decided that the Islamic bit is OK, it's just secular nationalism which was the real problem in the middle-east?
Are you also saying that Israel is better able to co-exist with Shia theocracies? In which case Iran is no threat?
You can't honestly be saying that establishing Islamic theocracies (to help give people meaning in their lives) was the plan all along?
Posted by: phil jones | Wednesday, August 23, 2006
I've advocated free elections for the Muslim Brothers in Syria on April 2005  and in Egypt on March 2005 , and have been sympathetic to Muslim fundamentalist aims in the middle east for longer than that.
Arab National-Secularism was Israel's main 4GW enemy in the Middle East since the early 1950s. Isreali actions since then have been wisely aimed at rolling that back. "Establishing Islamic theocracies" was no more the goal of the Israelis than establishing Stalinist dictatorships was the goal of America in the 1940s. That doesn't mean it wasn't part of the solution for a worse problem.
Israel is naturally surrounded by Sunni states, with only a small, politically nonviable Shia populace to its north. Israeli and Iran are natural cooperators, which is why they have often taken actions that help each other (think of Israeli knocking out Iraq's nuclear capacity during the Iran-Iraq war, or the Israeli-Iranian arms sale called the 'Iran-Contra Affair' by Americans, etc.).
Iran is a threat to Israel as long as one is an American client and the other is not.
Some of your comments hint at the next part of this series...
Posted by: Dan tdaxp | Wednesday, August 23, 2006