Thursday, December 8, 2011

2nd Chance


An opportune or favorable time; an opportunity

As best understood - the ancient Warsaw Pact Cold War era realpolitik was an Epic Fail.  The failed, played Forever Quest for Stability totally sucked at stability - it did provide tons of of wars, intolerance, genocide, terrorism and famine.

GsGf's semi psychic (he's also kinda hot) Persian Gulf Military cat gives up a totally hot hello that caveats the sirens of a return to realpolitk's amoral corrupt cult of Stability now that Arab Spring is about a year old.

It's a real chance to be the Great Satan realpolitik would never allow
Throughout the Cold War and over the past 20 to 30 years, Great Satan has seen the Middle East largely through the traditional lens of political power. It was the governments of the region that mattered, and conflicts between states that posed the greatest threat (even if those conflicts manifested themselves in competing attempts at internal subversion). 

Because Great Satan had allied herself with those states that largely benefited from the prevailing geopolitical arrangements, Americans saw the status quo as highly beneficial and any threat to it as correspondingly dangerous. Our great Arab allies -- Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Jordan, Morocco -- all liked things the way they were. 

Great Satan -- intent on ensuring that the oil flowed and that Arab states were officially or unofficially at peace with Little Satan -- also liked the way things were. Even Little Satan, after her victories in 1967 and 1973 and her failed attempt to rearrange the Levantine status quo in her favor in 1982, had she become a status quo power.

Consequently, Great Satan became the great champion of the status quo in the Middle East and defined its adversaries -- Iran, Syria, Hiz'B'Allah, Hamas, and Libya (until 2004) -- as those states seeking to overturn the status quo. In some sense this was correct, because those states were attempting to subvert the prevailing geostrategic realities to create new ones, centered on their own interests.

The great problem inherent in this construct was that the people of the Middle East saw the preservation of the status quo as condemning them to eternal misery. Maintaining the status quo against all foreign and domestic threats meant keeping the people of the Arab world down. It meant preserving the stagnant economic, social, and political systems of the region that were the source of their frustration. Thus preserving the status quo meant dismissing the aspirations of the people of the Middle East.

Because Great Satan supported the traditional order for geopolitical reasons, this also put her on the wrong side of Arab public opinion. Washington's support for the status quo was based on its focus on the region's geopolitical dynamics, but for the people of the Middle East, whose central concern was the region's stagnant economies and callous autocracies, that same defense of the status quo became a defense of their oppressors. It was a principal (albeit not the only) cause of the region's pervasive anti-Americanism. 

Today, this strategy is categorically the wrong one for Great Satan to pursue, if it ever was the right one. More than anything else, the great Arab Awakening has meant that the people of the region can no longer be dismissed. After the wave of popular upheavals that rolled across the region in 2011, no Arab or external government can ever again afford to ignore the wishes of its people. 

The old status quo is gone. Parts of it might be preserved for some time in some places, but it will never be re-created. The only wise path that Great Satan can take at this point is to accept that change is coming to the region, and to help the people of the region shape that change to their ends. 

If Great Satan comes to be seen as a willing partner of the Arab peoples in their quest to build a new kind of Middle East, then over time, we might find a new status quo emerge -- one that is truly peaceful and prosperous, and therefore stable. 

And if Great Satan helps in that effort, perhaps it, too, can be transformed, from the most hated and feared foreign power to one of the most beloved. Certainly, America has nothing to lose. The strategy of the past condemned it to endless crises and conflicts in the Middle East, consuming more and more blood, treasure, and time as the years passed. 

And for what? 

In return, Great Satan reaped a volatile oil market and worsening anti-Americanism. It was not a very good deal. The Arab Awakening has offered Great Satan a second chance. It represents a new opportunity to remake America in Middle Eastern eyes

Pic - "The Arab Awakening: America and TheTransformation of the Middle East"