After spending part of the 20th Century funding and forging alliances with anyone with an 'Islamist' agenda to counter Communism, the US and the Western world in general decided Islamists were the bad guys. So then they spent the next decade fighting them all over the globe even if they were democratically elected. Post 9/11 it was even worse and there was total breakdown in communication. This attitude from the West has helped fuel hatred towards not only Islamists but really anything and anyone Muslim (at least that's my impression) which fell right into the lap of the extremists and helped further their plans thereby resulting in a vicious cycle of violence that targeted not only western interests but ordinary Muslims and non- Muslim alike.
The horrible wars fought by proxy in countries such as Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia etc.... are a witness to this yet it was and has always been a loosing war for the western powers; with resounding defeats in my opinion in Pakistan, Iraq, Afghanistan and Somalia and Sudan. Troops are pulling out steadily but surely, which means that they will have to come to accept these 'people' and negotiate some kind of honourable retreat a la Iraq for example. The Taliban are still powerful in Afghanistan, the Iranian mullahs have gotten hold of Iraq, Pakistan? no comment and Somalia is run by those Shababs, Sudan ? they had to be pushed into partition, Palestine, into a civil war, Algeria are still reeling from their post election war in the 90s that seem to have put them out of the 'Arab Spring ' loop for the moment ....etc.....etc...
There is a saying which I oft repeat "when you cannot beat them, join them" and that is a wise advice :) but the US and the Western world cannot do this without looking like losers and like all this money and the lives lost were for nothing. So to save face the iconic figure of Islamic fundamentalists had to be demolished. Nothing more cathartic then murdering Bin Ladin to send the right message, to back home, to your average Arab and Muslim but also to your so called Islamist. The message was that if we get this 'victory' we bury the hatchet and you guys get the opportunity to for the first time of your life get on the political stage legally.
So when Arab countries started to revolt I was sure that whatever I brought up here would be kicking in fast along with the political machinery that goes with it. The other dimension is the involvement of ambitious GCC countries not exactly beacons of democracy and who fear Iran's domination and whose human rights record is appalling .
To prove my conspiracy theory let's glance at the newspaper headlines for 2011 post 'Arab Spring' developments:
Islamist leader named Morocco PM [source]
Tunisia Islamist Party wins vote [source]
Islamist strong ahead of Egypt poll [source]
Fatah Hamas prepare to bury the hatchet [source]
Saudi Arabia is the bedrock of Wahhabism and yet is America's best ally, Qatar is forging a name for itself and funnily has been linked from the beginning in the Libyan uprising and other pots. The Bahrain revolution has been violently stymied down, Syria is heading towards civil war unless a miracle happens, Yemen we are in season two of the revolution and not sure what the world is waiting for, Lebanon is in such a mess that nothing needs to be done to make it worse, Oman saw a very short lived movement and Saudi Arabia pumped money to its people, Jordan is trying a balancing act, Kuwait had the daring movement of the storming of its parliament and so many other examples all over the region
Even in Libya it seems that the US would give it's blessings to an Islamic government as long as its own interests are safeguarded check this headline. We need to remember that this cleric mentioned here is believed to be an American /Qatari stooge by a large number or Libyans....and he has ambitions of( or for his party) to lead in Libya.
Who would have thought this possible a mere year ago? the key word seems to be 'moderate' Islamist. Nevertheless it is a U turn for the US and others and now it seems that it has been decreed that the old dictators were no longer useful, they are ushering a new breed disguised under something that they believe will be acceptable to the people.
The fishy stink is can be smelled from kms away... I want to be optimistic for the freedom, but I don't dare lest my hopes are dashed to the ground. May I be wrong and just a crying Cassandra but in light of what is happening and what has happened in 2011, my words on Feb 28 of this year now seem almost prophetic:
I am terrified that when all the ashes from the uprisings that are consuming us settle down we become blinded by the celebratory mood and find ourselves having exchanged one agenda for another whose nature would be like an octopus: soft but with many slippery tentacles."
I'm not angry or bitter but simply realistic and accept the truths, I hope that in Libya we do not fall into this trap as I have nothing against Islamists on the contrary a lot of their ideas sound very valid and strike a vein but I do not want them with the blessings of America, it just means they are the new puppets. Libyans are not dumb but I hope that for the sake of peace they do not let themselves be played with like pieces on a chess board.
And finally as I said, the west could not beat them and so decided to embrace them and the choices of its regional allies and influence the democratic process.... sigh