Doug's Darkworld

War, Science, and Philosophy in a Fractured World.

The Puzzle Pieces

with 8 comments


“The genius of you Americans is that you never made clear-cut stupid moves, only complicated stupid moves which makes us wonder at the possibility that there may be something to them we are missing.”
Gamal Abdel Nasser, in the 1950s.

“Our friends and allies naively believe that we have a plan and know what we are doing… they are convinced that we have a secret plan we are not sharing with them… They look at me with disbelief and bewilderment when I tell them there is no secret plan and we are as incompetent as they fear.”
Larry Johnson, former CIA agent, today.

After spending enormous amounts of time studying the Mideast situation the past year, I’m starting to form some overall theories and observations. Or modify my original theories. Or ramble weirdly about stuff that gets more complicated and harder to understand the more I study it. I have reached a point in my studies where I find unrepentant liberal writings as offensive as the flip side of the coin. I suppose that’s progress of a sort.

In any event, things just keep rolling along in the Mideast as the blowback from Bush’s invasions and meddling continue to send shock waves through the region. And unfortunately they aren’t the democratic shock waves we were so glibly promised. Just the opposite in fact, almost everywhere extremists have been empowered and moderates are on the run. How the hell did this happen? This is my theory du jour…

It starts with propaganda. Since 1948 it has been “common knowledge” that Israel was surrounded by terrible enemies who would destroy it if they got the chance, and that only the fighting spirit and military might of little democratic Israel served to protect it in a sea of hostility. Intelligent and educated people knew this was self serving propaganda, and the truth was far more complicated. For one thing Israel has never been in any danger from its neighbours, the opposite in fact has been the case since 1948. But I digress.

This propaganda allowed the US to give buckets of money to Israel, it allowed Israel to pretty much do as it please, and the corrupt western toadies running the oil states could sell their oil while letting their nations stagnate. All problems could be blamed on Israel, while the US was mostly seen as a force for stability and moderation in the region. It was a pretty good system, and it kept the oil flowing and Israel safe for decades. Behind the scenes of course Israel and the west played off the many factions in the Arab world against each other, and nothing ever changed. Sure, there was constant low grade terrorism, but in the world of realpolitik a few dead western civilians a year was a small price to pay for Israel’s regional dominance and western control of the oil.

In 2001 it all changed though. A new administration came to power in Washington. More than a politically affiliated administration, these were ideologues. Yes, Bush and company actually believed the propaganda about Israel and its enemies, they actually believed that the world consists of good guys and bad guys. Even more important, like the dot commers that preceded them, they actually thought they had the power to change the rules and redraw the middle east to match their own ideals. Not understanding history, not understanding diplomacy, not understanding realpolitik, not willing to listen to anyone including America’s own generals and career diplomats; they abandoned America’s traditional role as moderator of the status quo and set out to destroy their perceived enemies.

The result has been disastrous. Instead of being regarded as a moderating force on Israel, the USA is now so solidly and unabashedly on Israel’s side that moderate and pro America voices in the region have been weakened and stilled. From Somalian warlords to Fatah to factions in Iraq, and throughout the middle east, being seen as receiving American backing is now a death knell. Traditional enemies who have been at each others throats for decades have buried the hatchet and have joined forces against a common enemy, the US and Israel.

As Alan Bock so succinctly put it, Bush has managed to has managed to “…convert allies into neutrals, neutrals into doubters, doubters into foes, mildly hostile parties into actively hostile, and enemies into sworn and even fanatical enemies.” Throughout the entire region anti American forces and extremists are on the ascendancy, and America’s friends are on the run. By so blatantly and openly taking sides, Bush is literally creating the situation he set out to fix.

Could I be wrong? Well, my predictions about Bush’s foreign policy have been a lot more on the mark that the people who thought the middle east was just waiting to be “liberated” and “democratized” by beneficent Americans. And it’s getting worse all the time, look at Iraq even. Last year’s attack on the Golden Shrine triggered a wave of Sunni/Shia violence. Last week’s attack triggered a wave of statements by Iraq’s leaders calling for unity against the common foe…America. And in Palestine, Lebanon, Somalia, Egypt, and Pakistan et al…anti Americanism is on the rise and the voices of moderation and peace are being silenced.

The collapse of America’s foreign policy in the region is not the result of some diabolical plot emanating from Syria and Iran. It is the direct result of Bush’s ham fisted “diplomacy” and military interventions. And since Bush and company for the most part seem utterly unable to grasp that they have wrought this mess, it’s just going to get worse. Mark my words, if the sight of Hamas brutally murdering its American backed foes bothered you…you aint seen nothing yet.

(The above image is claimed as Fair Use under US copyright law. It is not being used for profit and it is central to illustrating the post. Despite extensive searching I have not been able to find out who to credit for the picture, though I believe it came from an Israeli media outlet. If anyone knows please contact me so I may give credit where credit is due.)



Written by unitedcats

June 16, 2007 at 6:48 am

8 Responses

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  1. Excellent. No disagreement. Also don’t forget Lebanon which is a time bomb could explode anytime with sectarian civil war and this time it looks like Sunni and Christians will be united against Shias.


    June 16, 2007 at 9:53 am

  2. The tribal/party bickering and fighting between Fatah and Hamas illustrates my point:

    “It will never be solved”

    These people truly cannot unify enough to save themselves, and it plays right into the will of the west to keep them ‘down’.

    The idiots are doing it to themselves.


    June 16, 2007 at 10:49 am

  3. Agree with you ET. The problem in the Muslim world is greed for power and money and then there are other dividing factors like sectarian, regional, ethnic and cultural division. The problem is that these people follow their false emotions and desires instead of intelligent approach towards issues.

    The basic issue there in Palestine is poverty lack of services, no future for the people and their children and these idiots are burning each other offices and buildings and looting their opponents houses.


    June 16, 2007 at 11:03 am

  4. re: “The idiots are doing it to themselves.”

    That’s like tying two cats together by the tail, tossing them over a clothesline, and then claiming “The idiots are doing it to themselves” when the inevitable carnage results. While I am not blaming Israel, to pretend that the state of siege they imposed on the occupied territories since Hamas was democratically elected has nothing to do with the current situation is disengenuous at best.

    re: ““It will never be solved”

    What makes you think the current situation isn’t exactly what Israel wants? They have sowed discord among the Palestinians since before the day one, Hamas even got their initial funding from Israel. Divide and conquer is one of the oldest tricks in the book.


    June 16, 2007 at 7:05 pm

  5. This is my take on Palestine and Middle East situation:
    QB’s Take


    June 17, 2007 at 7:40 am

  6. Thanks, I’ll check it out. I haven’t blogged on Palestine too much since it’s such an unpleasant subject, it’s very complicated, and people get very excited about it. And most of the major players involved either don’t really want the situation resolved because they are benefiting from it, or they want a solution that is unacceptable to the other players. —Doug


    June 17, 2007 at 8:36 am

  7. Doug,

    I do believe that the Palestinians infighting is exactly what the west wants.

    But it takes two to tango. And if these two ‘cats’ cant figure that out, it is hopeless.

    It will take them working together to overcome this. My point is that they are incapable of doing so. They ruin their own infrastructure, burn essential buildings, and only hurt the people.

    They are true dopes for doing so. They need a Gahndi.. but alas they would probably kill him for not being Islamic. The chance for Palestine being a country eventually has been put back 50 years.

    I truly feel sorry for the people who are simply trying to go about their lives as this gang warfare further destroys what little thay have.

    Yes the fools are doing EXACTLY what outsiders want. Too bad they cant figure that out.

    I sense the war is closer. Imagine Israel fighting along side Fatah going into Gaza and Lebanon?
    Strange times are upon us. Things are going to be redrawn. And I suspect Syria will be the big looser here.



    June 17, 2007 at 9:17 am

  8. Israel intelligent policy should be not to interfere at all with these two factions fighting and destroying their own ideology of independent Palestinian state. Their differences had already divided the Palestinian control area into two separate. Mahmoud Abbas got the blessing of Bush regime and Israel and lets not wish and hope this conflict spread to Lebanon and Syria which will be a disaster for Middle East. The people who will suffer most will be the non fighting majority of civilians.


    June 17, 2007 at 9:26 am

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