March 24, 2015

HOW CAN YOU UNDERSTAND THE ARAB SPRING IF YOU DON'T UNDERSTAND THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION?:

Yemen Chaos Derails U.S. Counterterror Strategy (DAMIAN PALETTA, March 23, 2015, WSJ)

What happened in Yemen, according to descriptions by current and former officials and experts, was a miscalculation about the changes unleashed by the Arab Spring revolutions. It involved an overreliance by Washington on a promising new leader who ultimately was unable to hold off rival forces and tensions, they said.

As a result, a country President Barack Obama last year cited as a model of American counterterrorism success has now descended into chaos, with U.S. influence and drone strikes no match for at least four sides at war with one another.

"In many ways, this is all the Thanksgiving Dinner from hell," said Jon Alterman, a former State Department official and director of the Middle East program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. "It is people who have been dealing with each other for a long time, none are satisfied, and the fight has broken out. And the first thing is figuring out who the different sides are."

The Arab Spring consists in its entirety of the application of the notion of consensual government to the Middle East. And just like every other post-colonial situation the main force driving it is centrifugal--the breaking of artificially imposed states and dictatorships into their natural constituent parts--not centripital--which is why Iraq, The Sudan, Israel, The Lebanon, Syria, Yemen, etc. can not be "saved" in the form that was handed down from imperial times.  Our role in the region was and is--as it has been everywhere else in the world--to destabilize not to stabilize.

Posted by at March 24, 2015 1:22 PM
  

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