February 19, 2011
They Know We Won’t Intervene

Whether the dreams of Egyptian hopefuls come to fruition or are gradually worn down by a dominant military, the world has been electrified by the sight of the people of Egypt converging on places like Tahrir Square to protest the corruption, brutality, and venality of the regime of Hosni Mubarak, dictator for over forty years.

The Tunisian and Egyptian protestors were successful in converting the overthrow of a brutal dictator into a waiting game. That success quickly bred imitation across the Arab world, where populations have begun to think that perhaps they too might throw off the yoke.

Protests against the regime of the King of Bahrain are meeting bullets from the regime. Gaddafi’s forces in Libya are by no means following the example of the Egyptian army.

What’s up with this wave of unrest? Sure, the rebellious populations have plenty to protest, but most of those grievances have been sore spots for decades. Why now?

Gwynne Dyer has a provocative answer: a growing perception in the Middle East and the Arab world that the US failure in Iraq basically eliminates any chance of American intervention on behalf of the harsh regimes we’ve historically supported in the name of anti-Communism or stability or whatever explanation the commissars came up with.

His theory that the US won’t intervene in the Lands of Oil is speculative; past empires have gambled everything they could find on maintaining that grasp just a little longer, passing up every chance to switch hands and grab a more reliable handle. Still, it makes sense in several ways. It’s not just Obama who’d avoid a war in the area, any more than it was just Carter who’d avoid a war in Southeast Asia.

As a result, the regimes that survived on the implied threat of American force exerted to maintain “stability” began to totter. Perhaps it was the self-immolation in Tunisia that sparked the widespread revolt, but there was some reason it wasn’t squashed immediately, whether by internal censors or by external ones. Dyer’s hypothesis deserves consideration.

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Posted by Chuck Dupree at February 19, 2011 02:16 AM
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Seems to me Dyer is right on the mark. For a long time the United States was tied with the USSR as the most anti-democratic force in the world. When Gorbachev decided drop out of the game we began to overreach ourselves. Till then, the threat of mutual nuclear destruction had restrained both of us. Now America has turned into a sort of gigantic armored tank, riding on empty and headed nowhere, with the engine starting to sputter.

Posted by: Jerry Doolittle on February 19, 2011 9:41 AM

Right now there are a minimum of 100,000 people on the public tit as "intelligence" personnel, that simply need to be fired and sent home. Pay their salaries and benefits till retirement on condition that they never work again.

They have no clue as to what is going on. They are total waste. They are perfectly prepared to spy on their fellow Americans, to gin up lies as policies.

Want to argue?

Two freaking words: Fidel Castro. In power over 50 years just 90 miles from Key West.

Useless hogs at the trough.

Posted by: evil is evil on February 19, 2011 2:18 PM

It's great that this time (unlike in '89), *it's not about us*.

Posted by: Martha Bridegam on February 19, 2011 11:46 PM
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