February 17, 2006
Tick-TockBy John Mendez
The sounds you're hearing are the last gasps of life of the Middle East's autocracies and the bankrupt ideology of the American left. A left that was once idealist when it should have been realist and now has discovered "realism" at a moment in history ripe for idealism. Cynics would conclude the shift occurred to counter the paradigm shift in American foreign policy itself.
The catalyst that has set the sands dripping through the hourglass is the strategic invasion and subsequent principled reconstruction of Iraq. The failed policy of past administrations that merely demanded stability in the region (so as to keep the oil spigots open) has been rightly abandoned as we attempt to help the once—subjugated people of Iraq build a functioning democracy. Democracy, at its core, is defined simply as self—determination, and for the first time in the long history of the Middle East, a population is taking control of its government.
Unleashing a democracy and capitalism in an oil—rich nation where, for once, the oil wealth will be in the hands of the people and used for their benefit, will have far reaching implications, the ripples of which will be felt all over the world. Every day that goes by brings that reality ever closer and nothing frightens Middle Eastern autocrats and their apologist American liberal friends more. Recent developments illustrate perfectly the desperation of a dying breed.
Nothing quite exemplifies Islamo—fascist desperation than bin Laden's offer of a long—term truce (hudna) to the infidel west. The man responsible for the mass murder of over 3,000 Americans, who declared a war to the finish, now claims a willingness to peacefully coexist with the hated infidel. The one prerequisite, as if taken directly from the Democratic Party playbook, is our complete withdrawal from Iraq.
Bin Laden understands what most on the American left so thoroughly miss, that as he cowers in his cave he is quickly losing the reverence he once held as the beacon of Islam. The seemingly plentiful sanctuaries of just a few years ago are quickly disappearing as missile—armed drones patrol the mountainous regions of Tora Bora and western Pakistan and US Special Forces hunt for clues of his whereabouts in Afghanistan. All the while, just like any parasitic rat, bin Laden's daily concern is his very survival. Knowing full well that any mistake could lead to his capture, his terror capacity has, by all measures, been severely curtailed. So enter the desperation.
Since American forces cannot be defeated in the field, the last desperate hope is appealing to leftist anti—American guilt at home, and thereby sapping our will. Everyday Iraqis are moving ahead with their lives building a future, and bin Laden's wish is for the US, as in the early nineties, to abandon the people of Iraq to Ba'athist thugs with the blood of hundreds of thousands of innocents on their hands. Or else to Islamo—fascist murderers who kill indiscriminately. He fully understands that as Iraq draws ever closer to a functioning democracy his medieval theocratic ideology will be summarily rejected and Iraq will serve as a model of what can be accomplished. A beacon of hope in a sea of desperation.
The 'cartoon controversy' also reeks of desperation. Local Danish imams contrived stories and concocted images of the Prophet Muhammad to stir and mobilize Muslims against the very west that has opened its doors and society to so many of them. The timing is suspect since the cartoons themselves were published months ago and it is likely beyond the capacity of local imams to so comprehensively disseminate their embellished creations.
Someone is attempting to incite Muslim violence by depicting the 'west' as attacking a shared Muslim bond in the very desperate attempt to somehow derail the movement towards democracy in the Middle East. A continuing Muslim backlash will not be forthcoming since, aside from the extremists and the na�ve, most understand that this is a matter of the private sector, and that unlike the autocratic governments of the Middle East that control every aspect of media and news dissemination, the democratic governments of the west are powerless to stop self expression. Crowds of a few thousand can always be ginned—up and driven to violence in impoverished large cities, but no underlying wave would be present absent artificial force—feeding of outrage.
The governments of the US and throughout Europe should allow these fabricated offenses to fade into oblivion without the obligatory apology desired from the ready—to—appease left or the calls for obstinate support from the right. Democracy itself is a celebration of tolerance and therefore nothing will do more to raise the tolerance level of the people of the Middle East than being part of a functioning democracy where self expression, dissent and an open exchange of ideas flourishes. Such habits take time to establish, but they are putting down roots right now.
The truly frightening act of desperation is the Iranian nuclear program.
Iran is a totalitarian theocracy whose leaders have a messianic view of themselves and the world at large, are sponsors of global terrorism, and have repeatedly stated they will nuke Israel and hand nuclear technology to all Muslim states, none of which are elected by the governed. They are all illegitimate autocracies no better than the neighborhood thugs.
Recent 'elections' demonstrate how truly desperate the situation has become for the ruling mullahs who in no uncertain terms rigged the outcome in order to elevate the hard—liner, Ahmadinejad, to the presidency. His nuclear aspirations and menacing threats against Israel and the 'west' serve several purposes that should be rather transparent. The mullahs are quickly losing their grip on power as recent student demonstrations and uprisings reveal. Consequently the efforts to recover the beacon of the Islamic world lost to bin Laden and al Qaeda after their audacious attacks and ardent defiance of the 'west.'
Iran's strategy requires confrontation with the 'west' particularly Israel and the US, as quickly as possible in order to inspire nationalistic and religious fervor to counter a burgeoning democracy at its doorstep that will only encourage further unrest inside Iran. The mullahs see acquiring nuclear weapons and joining the exclusive, yet growing, nuclear club, as the ultimate act of defiance against the US and as a vehicle for complete ascension as the regional power that can wield its influence unimpeded.
Although few believe Iran can develop a compact missile—mountable nuclear weapon in the immediate future, an Iranian theocracy armed with purchased 'suitcase' nukes, a clumsy primitive bomb, and/or nuclear waste and terrorist ties, would be free to interfere in the affairs of neighboring countries, as they are already currently doing, particularly in Iraq, which has a sizable Shiite population. The reality is that Iran will not have the capacity to strike Israel with anything other than a crude bomb for many years and understands fully that the reprisals would be incalculable. Therefore, all the posturing is actually intended for the people of Iran, since the mullahs don't see the US or even Israel as the threat posed by a democratic Iraq. Their true intentions and desperate hope is that its populace will somehow overlook a dysfunctional economy, repression, and intolerance as they revel in a renewed sense of national and religious pride. Whereas the people of Iraq build a future based on self—determination and freedom, the Iranian mullahs are basing their future on the sense of national pride from owning a nuclear weapon. How truly desperate.
No other recent event has so absolutely and clearly exposed the desperation of the American left than the accidental shooting by VP Cheney. At a time when monumental events are transpiring in Iraq our misguided media instead focuses on a complete non—story. The very same media that chooses to air the irrelevant shrills of an anti—war protester as she announces her non—candidacy for the US Senate fails to send even one reporter to the announcement of the winning candidates in Iraq. As the Iraqis struggle valiantly in the face of barbarous attacks against civilians, the outcome of their most recent and historic election apparently isn't considered newsworthy. Good news from a war not supported by the press rarely is.
Cheney's hunting mishap and subsequent 'cover—up' garner every front page as the media tries desperately to redirect attention from recent successes in Iraq, and attack with consistent pathological hatred the Bush—Cheney administration they so abhor. But the clock keeps ticking, drawing ever nearer to the ultimate victory of democracy over totalitarianism.
The autocrats, mullahs, and American left are on the very same side, the wrong side of history.