|Triumphant: A group of rebels ride through the centre of Tripoli yesterday |
as others fought running battles with pro-Gaddafi troops
as they battled to save the city (Photo: Daily Mail)
The fall of the Libyan capital represents a clear victory for freedom over tyranny, they tell us, and a new country — defined by an enthusiastic embrace of democracy, pluralism and representative government — will emerge. However, we have been here twice before in the Middle East in recent months. First, when Tunisia’s strongman, Zine El-Abidene Ben Ali, fled Tunis, and then when Egypt’s dictator Hosni Mubarak vacated the presidential palace in Cairo.
Rebel leader Abdul Jalil says his opposition forces had chosen to start their first attack on Tripoli on the 20th day of Ramadan, which marks the ancient Islamic Battle of Badr, when Muslims fought for the holy city of Mecca in AD 624. That hardly inspires confidence in a secular, liberal future for Libya.
The fiercely independent Islamists, moreover, will not relent on their demands for an Islamist state. In the transitional council’s draft constitution it is clearly stated that Islamic law will be ‘the principal source of legislation’. Nato, then, can at best achieve replacing the Gaddafi regime with an Islamist-infiltrated tribal council. And that means Libya is as far as ever from being a Western-style democracy. Indeed, it is more likely to turn into the West’s worst nightmare.Rachel Lipkin, the Egyptian born Jewess and ex-Israeli government interpreter, gleans info from studying Arab media. Her husband, Avi Lipkin, interprets it and shares it in books, videos, and lectures in English. Last week, he presented his interpretation of the differences between Western culture and Arab/Islamic culture in a presentation to LA's ACT! for America, San Fernando Valley Chapter.
In "The End of Normal," Daniel Greenfield of Sultan Knish, illuminates the social, cultural, and political distinctions which Westerners mis-understand in forging treaties with Muslim cultures which don't abide by Western expectations.
Western diplomats have been convinced that solving the Rubik's Cube of the Muslim-Israeli conflict is the key to regional stability. But the Arab Spring disproves it on both points.
The Arab Spring is a reminder that it is only a bit player in the larger dramas of the Muslim world. A scapegoat for Muslim states who come to terms with it behind the scenes, while using their state controlled media to spread paranoid and bigoted conspiracy theories about it. And a reminder that no treaty can create regional stability when it can hardly outlast the men who sign their names to it.
Even if a Palestinian state is created, what of the Kurds, who have also acted as the Palestinians of Turkey, Iran, Syria and Iraq. And what of the countless stateless ethnic and religious minorities in the region. What of the Iranian refugees in Camp Ashraf who duplicate on a smaller scale the dilemma of Palestinian refugee camps. Even if all these people received their own micro-states, the violence would still not end. And if it somehow did, that would only mean less proxy warfare through terrorist groups and more direct confrontations between regional armies. Is that something anyone really wants?
The Middle East has never been normal, or rather it is as close to normal for a baseline that goes back thousands of years. The progressive model applied to the West has no relevance to its Muslim conquerors. And there is no normalization to be had anywhere here.
If the Arab Spring has accomplished anything, it is to destroy the illusion that a treaty signing and a handshake will stabilize the region and allow Israeli mothers to stop worrying about their sons. These childish ideas have created an entire peace industry built on expectations that have not been realized anywhere in the region.
It is a moral and mental laziness that the peace depends upon. A willingness by the public to believe sentimental slogans about the power of love and of politicians to think that a shortcut to market stability can be reached with territorial concessions and foreign aid. This laziness carries as high a price as war, but with far less to show for it.
The Pax Americana is losing its grip on the Middle East, and its American and European leaders are pressuring the one country still intimidated by them. The one regional democracy that they can count on as an ally.
Such foolishness is not unprecedented. The political history of the world is full of such betrayals. . . .
While the Pax goes on believing that it can bring up the Middle East to European standards, a tide of immigrants is instead lowering the Pax to Middle Eastern standards. And when the Pax Americana falls, the last of its progressive illusions will fall with it.
The end of that illusory normalcy that provided safety, security and open markets to over a billion people is being swept away on the tide of the very belief that such a state was normal and that its very normalcy could be infinitely reproduced with enough goodwill and treaties.
There will be a high price to pay for that mistake. But Israel is paying it already and will go on paying it until the illusions die, the mirages are swept away and the naked truth will stand revealed. That treaties are worthless, agreements shift as quickly as the desert sand, and it is only those plants which defend themselves with prickles and tough skin that will survive. There is no use being an orchid in the desert. It is the sabras that survive.