A Commentary by J. D. Longstreet
Does anyone really believe the government of Egypt will ultimately become a democracy like unto that of the US?? I mean -- anyone other that a few eggheads in Washington and in the cloistered halls of academia, of course.
Naw! Ain’t gonna happen!
When all the smoke finally clears in Egypt the chances are extremely good that another strongman-type government will reign supreme in Egypt. And, honestly, I don’t think that is all bad.
A very astute friend came to visit me today, and as we sat in my office discussing the situation in Egypt and the Middle East, we agreed that the Arab countries and the Persian country of Iran are not what one could describe as “fertile soil” for democracy. Not by a long shot.
Look. For a democratic government to survive it takes commitment by the people of that country to work, every day, at maintaining control of their government… as we Americans are learning today – much to the chagrin of many US citizens!
A people of a democracy must think of themselves as a single entity and not as a member of multiple tribes, or clans, or religions, etc. And that is where democracy crashes and burns in the countries of the Middle East. Democracy hasn’t a chance, in Iraq, in Afghanistan, in Iran, in Egypt, in Jordan, in Syria, in Lebanon, in Pakistan, in Yemen, in Tunisia, in Saudi Arabia, etc.
Sadly, all the American blood shed in Iraq and in Afghanistan will have been wasted in the attempt to bring democracy to both those countries.
I am convinced that once US troops leave Iraq and Afghanistan, they will revert to their former ways and their former strongman-type governments -- or anarchy and chaos – or all three. In a startlingly short time, I am convinced the attempt to introduce democracy to those countries will be nothing more than a memory and a memory that will fuel only more resentment towards the US.
In the beginning of the wars in Afghanistan, and in Iraq, we advocated a scorched-earth policy on both battlefronts. Utterly destroy the countries, especially their infrastructure, and leave them both as piles of smoking rubble -- and bring the troops home.
As I see it, there was no reason to make efforts to win hearts and minds in that region. It led only to a bog-down and an extended stay, which is costing us great gobs of our treasure for which I see no return on the investment of our blood and money.
I do not support the US government’s policy of promoting democracy and so-called “human rights” by favoring certain Middle Eastern countries with loads of foreign aid, military aid, etc. I also do not support any attempt to spread democracy at the point of the gun or the bayonet.
I live in a part of the United States -- that IS a part of the United States -- as the result of my ancestors having been forced back into the US at the point of that bayonet. I am 150 years removed from that incident -- and it STILL smarts!
A century or so from today, if, and when, the Middle Eastern countries decide they want to experiment with democracy and request our assistance, then, by all means extend a helping hand. Until then, the US, in my estimation, has no business creating a government the people don’t understand, do not respect, and one that appears weak and unstable to them.
Until they are ready and willing to forsake their “tribal mindset” democracy has no chance of a long life in the aforementioned countries.
The US Government could save itself some sleepless nights worrying about protecting the continuous flow of oil from the Middle East if our inept government would allow the oil companies the right to explore for and drill for our own oil beneath our own soil and our own ocean bottom.
It has been established that America has enough oil of its own to service our needs for hundreds of years into the future even at today’s daily consumption of petroleum products including gasoline, and natural gas -- not to mention one of the worlds largest deposits of coal.
We know from experience that the moment our own oil fields are opened and the threat of a decrease in the demand for middle eastern oil drops, even by a tiny bit, the middle eastern oil countries will drop their prices for crude as if it were a white hot stone.
One way to get the ball rolling on our own shores would be for the US Congress to abolish the Environmental Protection Agency, or at least, cut its funding to the point that it becomes totally impotent.
If I had any advice to give the US government on the Egyptian crisis, it would be short and simple, and, I believe, would save us some trouble down the road a few years. That advice would be: Stay the hell out of the Egyptian “revolt” and allow it to play out without interference from the US. We can only make more enemies by injecting ourselves into an Egyptian domestic problem.
Another bit of unsolicited advice to the current regime in power in the US would be this: If the Obama regime really wants to do something that would actually be constructive in the Middle East, I would advise bolstering Israel with whatever Israel needs to insure that she is not overrun by the Islamist nations surrounding her.
Unfortunately, we currently have a presidential administration that is hostile to Israel and openly friendly to the Islamist states. That attitude by Obama was seen as an open invitation to mischief by those Islamist states that have sworn to utterly destroy the state of Israel and wipe her from the map.
Mr. President: Fortify Israel – forget Egypt. Egypt will work out its own problems with, or without, input and interference from a US President they have concluded is a weak, naïve, chief of state who will be out of office in a couple of years, in any event.