“the self-styled modernism of the Arab-nationalist dictators proved to be a dismal failure. It produced dysfunctional, semisocialist , bureaucratic, corrupt regimes that left the citizenry (except where papered over by oil bounties) mired in poverty, indignity and repression. Hence the Arab Spring, serial uprisings that spread east from Tunisia in early 2011. Many Westerners naively believed the future belonged to the hip, secular, tweeting kids of Tahrir Square. Alas, this sliver of Westernization was no match for the highly organized, widely supported, politically serious Islamists who effortlessly swept them aside in national elections.” Charles Krauthammer, ‘The Islamist ascendancy’, The Washington Post, July 13, 2012
More than any other individual, President Barack Obama was responsible for translating the Arab Spring into Arab Islamist governance. In this sense, Obama rivals Lawrence of Arabia, with the single difference that Obama was not betrayed by much wiser national governments of Britain and France, who knew well what Arab Islamist nationalism really implied.
So, Tunisia and Morocco, the most Westernized of all Arab countries, elected Islamist governments. Egypt, the largest and most influential Arab nation, has experienced an Islamist sweep. The Muslim Brotherhood not only won the presidency. It won nearly 50 per cent of the seats in parliament, while more openly radical Islamists won a further 25 per cent. Now only the Egyptian military stands between radical Islam and the imposition of Sharia Law across Egypt.
In Syria, when Bashar al-Assad falls, the Brotherhood almost certainly will inherit power Jordan well may follow. And the Brotherhood’s Palestinian wing – Hamas – already controls Gaza.
“What does this mean? That the Arab Spring is a misnomer. This is an Islamist ascendancy, likely to dominate Arab politics for a generation….Radical Islam is the answer to nothing, as demonstrated by the repression, social backwardness and civil strife of Taliban Afghanistan, Islamist Sudan and clerical Iran. Charles Krauthammer, ‘The Islamist ascendancy’, ibid.
Obama of Arabia claims to be the savior of American women from the alleged predations of Governor Romney and the Republican Party. I wonder how well he will be regarded among the women of Arabia as they are driven back behind the veil, restricted from outside activities in the absence of chaperones, barred from formal education, and stoned to death for adultery.