The Arab Spring, so-called by lala journalists, is not flowering quite the way one would have hoped and great wads of money are being thrown at it. David Cameron said that if we don’t spend money to aid beginning democracies, we risk fueling extremism. David Cameron made this statement as an aside at the G8 meeting of world leaders in France. Britain is committing 110 million pounds to help the uprisings in North Africa and the Middle East succeed he said. Egypt and Tunisia will be the biggest beneficiaries. This approach is identical to that of the U.S. and the IMF. Is this a smart political move or desperate outreach to nations which are quickly becoming terrorist nations?
The IMF is seeking 160 billion in aid over the next three years from donor countries for this purpose according to Reuters. Masood Ahmed, IMF Chief of the ME and Africa, told journalists at the G8 summit, “The region needs to prepare for a fundamental transformation of its economic model. This will be greatly facilitated if international players including the G8 can enter into strategic partnership with these countries…where incentives are linked to a social agenda.”
The G8 Multilateral (don’t you love the words they use – they never clarify) Nations, including the United States, will contribute $20 billion dollars for the (Arab Spring) “democratic” governments (all this while we’ve surpassed our debt ceiling & the money will likely be contributed by China on our behalf) and that is in addition to the doubling of aid we recently agreed to. Info here: $20 billion for the “Arab Spring”
At the same time, Egypt has opened the Rafah border crossing with the Gaza Strip, which has been a launching pad for missiles aimed at Southern Israel. The Mubarek regime kept the borders closed to aid Israel’s efforts to isolate the Hamas-ruled territory (Hamas was voted in democratically ironically). This is likely a direct result of the Palestinian reconciliation deal between Hamas and the Fatah.
In another “democratic” move, well worth the expenditures of billions of dollars, Egypt is forming a new Nazi Party to “bring together prominent members of Egyptian society.” This, according to Al-Masry Al-Youm daily, which is using facebook to stir up enrollment. The report stated that founder, Emad Abdel Sattar, “believes in vesting all powers in the president after selecting him or her carefully” and that “preparations are underway to choose the most competent person to represent the party.” this party allegedly operated illegally under Mubarek. So far, it only has 70 members but they claim membership is increasing rapidly. The story can be found at the Jerusalem Post.
Coptic Christians, which make up 10% of the Egyptian population, have a fragile existence and fear life after Mubarek. Two of their churches were recently destroyed and they have been staging sit-ins. The government will restore one of the churches and Coptics are encouraged to end their sit-ins.
Meanwhile, gays in Egypt and Tunisia fear for their future with a new government in which a strict anti-homsexual policy is the mandate. In the Arab world, homosexuality is often punished by floggings, imprisonment and executions. Real Clear Politics had a detailed story today.
Then there are the women and their rights. There are no women in the transitional Egyptian government. In Tunisia, girls as young as 8 years are forced into marriage. Fundamentalists in Yemen have resisted raising the marriage age, especially opposition forces. There is a movement in Egypt to drop the quota of women required in the Egyptian Parliament. Interestingly, they are not discussing any other quotas. Tunisia, however, is demanding an equal number of men and women in the Parliament. Information can be found at World Politics Review.
Iran is viewing the uprisings as an extension of the Iranian Revolution orchestrated by the Ayatollah Khomeini. “The Islamic world is ripe with major new developments and Khomeini’s Islam is the engine of these events,” Iran’s hard-line daily “Kayhan” wrote in a January 27 commentary devoted to the recent wave of protests in the Arab world.
The daily, which often reflects the views of the Iranian establishment — or more specifically, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei — added that the third millennium is witnessing “the powerful [presence] of Islam under Iran’s leadership.”
Muslim Brotherhood leader in Egypt, Soghi Saleh, stated that Islamic Sharia would apply if it came to power. He said it protects its non-Muslim citizens. “Terms like civil or secular state are misleading,” he said. “Islamic sharia is the best system for Muslims and non-Muslims.”
Yemen is ordering the deportation of all Americans (though I don’t understand why any American would want to live there). The rule of order is almost completely collapsed as President Saleh hangs on with the help of loyal troops.
Radical Imam, Rachid Ghannouchi, has returned to Tunisia while calling for death to Israel and the United States. He strongly supports the new Palestinian pact with Hamas and the Fatah. He recently said, “all the land between themosque in Mecca and Jerusalem is the heart of the Muslim nation and, thus, the presence of any foreign power in control of any part isa challenge to the Muslim nation (umma).”
Don’t forget that the Arab Spring is supposed to be a side effect of the Iraqi invasion and the flowering of free Western-friendly Middle East democracies. Only in the theoretical world could this be the outcome. In reality, these countries will go the way of the Pew polls and the dictates of their Karan and that’s not good for the West or Israel.