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Hanne Nabintu Herland: The Arab Winter

Hanne Nabintu Herland: The Arab Winter

Throughout history, democratic leaders have occasionally shown an extraordinary talent in destabilizing the world. This was the case in Germany leading up to World War II. It also seems to apply to the current Arab spring, or maybe rather the Arab winter. The Western attempt to portray the Arab uprising as a mere question of “ ’all Muslim peoples’ yearning to become secular-democrats like us” has made Western politicians and media coverage remarkably biased. (First published in BT, one of Norway’s largest newspapers, 8.8.2012) (Photo: Scanpix)

The US and NATO has increasingly been involved in wars in the Middle East that neither are defensive along their own borders or reflecting local political conflicts. We have implemented a new type of wars of aggression. These wars are portrayed with great success as “democratic humanitarian” in an easily manipulated and uncritically passive Western opinion. Leading editors who should have been doing their job and voiced critical journalism, have betrayed their calling and today serve almost only as the government’s prolonged propaganda channel.

American intellectuals like oppositional Noam Chomsky have much to say about the use of propaganda in Western democratic states. Likewise, the American scholar Samuel Huntington has shed light on these international issues. He is known for claiming that future political conflicts will be based on cultural differences. Civilizations have too different perceptions of reality and thus do not understand each other adequately. In a global perspective, this will create serious conflicts. The Arab spring sadly seems to prove Huntington right.

In The clash of civilizations and the remaking of world order (1996) Huntington points out that one of the problems is that the rich Western countries dominate the UN Security Council. In effect, this has made the UN a servant of Western interests. Political questions are quickly settled in the UN Security Council by the US, Britain and France. Economic issues are dealt with by the US, Germany and Japan. Since the Western nations have a tight cooperation, the perspectives of non-Western countries are quickly excluded. The decisions are then presented to the rest of the world as the best alternative for “the world community” as a whole. In effect, the United States and NATO have succeeded in gaining legitimacy in the UN Security Council to go to war in several countries in the Middle East based on rumors and unsubstantiated allegations. Everyone remembers Iraq and the so-called weapons of mass destruction that turned out not to exist, while UN special envoy Hans Blix tried in vain to restrain the war rhetoric. Iraq is now a destabilized country and Bagdad labeled the most dangerous city in the world, as a direct result of US interference. After 9/11, the US initially went to Afghanistan to find Osama bin Laden. Ten bloody years later, having waged America’s longest war in history, with soaring figures of loss especially the last four years according to USA Today, the U.S. pulls out, in a manner not unlike Vietnam. Robert S. McNamara’s comment in the documentary “Fog of war” sums up the tragedy: “We saw Vietnam as an element of the cold war, they saw it as a civil war,” – a war that the US could not win.

The Western nations currently have the policy of not respecting sovereign national states and leaving it up to them to solve their own internal problems. By continually interfering as an imperialistic totalitarian democratic power and supporting only one political or religious fraction, one actively participates in building up civil wars.

The situation in Syria is now characterized by an overwhelming use of anonymous so-called “democratic activists” and “human rights organizations” that constantly give reports of massacres and atrocities by the Syrian government and call for “action to save the civilian population.” The Guardian voiced strong criticism July 12th on the fact that so few have taken the trouble to look into who these overly active “democratic activists” are. The articleshowedin detailsignificant economiclinks between Syrian”activists” and the United States, which according to The New York Times now openly is funding the uprising which largely consists of foreignjihadists.USA openly defies the UNSecurity Council, where Russia and Chinaused theirveto– they have NATOssmashingofLibya vividly in mind, a countrywhereAlQaedalong had triedto getGaddafikilled.For in our lifetime, NATO has gone from being a transatlantic defense organization to an aggressive political alliance which attacks weak states wherever Western interests are threatened.(Link to another article: “NATO, tyrant in Libya” http://www.hannenabintuherland.no/?p=1334) The increasingly unmasked war propaganda almost only supported the sunni-islamistic groups, Al-Qaeda fractions and foreign jihadists.

It is now clear that the United States wants to contribute to the same type of destabilization of Syria with Sunni Muslim Saudi Arabia and Qatar using mostly foreign jihadists. According to The New York Times June 21. Sunni insurgents in Syria are funded by the US. Last year, Wikileaks documented significant monetary transfers to opposition groups and “activists” in Syria in America’s long term plan to destabilize the Middle East. Radical Islamist Sunni Muslim groups are gaining ground in the region, according to a number of sources including Hamza Hendawi, Associated Press.

Ironically enough, Western politicians speak of the tragedy of hundreds of thousands of refugees and suffering civilians, as if it was not Western interference itself that made these people lose everything to begin with.

In an instant, it’s forgotten that the leaders who have been removed the past years, were the moderate and secular who opposed extremism and gave a higher degree of protection to religious minorities. After all, most fallible and imperfect leaders like Mubarak and Gaddafi led their country into a phase of significant economic growth and tens of millions were lifted out of poverty and into the middle classes. Libya was Africa’s richest country with a population that had higher living standards than Italy, Australia and New Zealand. The country had atoned for the Lockerbie affair, opened for Western investments and modernized. But that was before NATO under the pretext of protecting civilians bombed infrastructure, cities, water lines and road systems for months – all the wealth that Libyans had managed to build up outside the Western cultural sphere. In a just world the politically responsible Western authorities would have been brought to The Hague and tried for crimes against humanity.

One of the consequences of the Arab Spring is that states are destabilized; the standard of living has gone down considerably, tourism halts while religious and ethnic minorities such as Coptic Christians and black Libyans are grossly persecuted. DerSpiegelhad an articleJuly 25th on the cruel conditionsof persecuted Christians inSyria, as the Sunni-islamisticfactionssupportedby the Westconsiders the Christian minority enemies of’the newSyria.’

Country after country is thrown into civil war with the considerable sufferings endured by the civilian population. Foreign Affairs recently showed how a number of countries in North Africa now are experiencing severe challenges because of the destabilization of Libya.

Samuel Huntington points out that the Western countries are staging an increasing level of conflict in the world because they view their own culture as universal. The West is onlyone of several civilizations.It has jurisdiction in the Western cultural sphere, but not in other civilizations’territory. In aglobal world, the idea that Western values are universal is potentially very dangerous. This gives Western powers an artificial legitimacy to intervene in other countries’ internal affairs, destabilize nations and contribute to civil wars.

Let this be clear: We contribute to the opposite of world peace through our military global policy that is doomed in time to provoke serious setback. When that happens, we can blame ourselves.





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