From the onset of the so-called Arab Spring, I have cautioned against optimism. Link to my articles here.
I thought it naïve to believe that liberal democracy was suddenly going to break out in the Middle East, and I had no confidence in the Obama Administration’s ability to manage the foreign policy challenges that events were posing.
Several recent articles in the media buttress the case against optimism.
I have already reported on the widespread practice of female genital mutilation in Egypt. I found it impossible to believe that a culture that systematically mutilates young girls will suddenly embrace civilized values.
Writing in The New Republic Betwa Sharma shows how the fall of Mubarak has allowed those who favor genital mutilation to recover the ground that they had been losing to a campaign initiated and directed by Mrs. Suzanne Mubarak.
No one has much to say about this, but the truth is that Egyptian girls have been victims of the fall of Mubarak. You have to wonder why no one is reporting on this inconvenient fact.
At the Daily Caller Barry Rubin explains that when the Obama administration abandoned Mubarak it lost the confidence of many of our other allies in the region. Among them the King of Jordan, who now considers us untrustworthy. Rubin even suggests that under the circumstances the Iraqi government could not be expected to allow the troops of an inconstant ally like America on its land.
It’s worthwhile to read Rubin, if only to remind ourselves that there’s more to foreign policy than slaying the dragon. You need to know whose dragon you are slaying and you need to calculate the real world unforeseen consequences.
At the Fox News site, James Rosen offers some further analysis of a point that I underscored last week: the winners in the North African theatre of the Arab Spring seem to be the Muslim Brotherhood and other terrorist sympathizers.