Foreign Policy

Middle East Revolution: What is the Endgame?

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The campaign of 'assistance' is well underway in Libya.  The U.N. sanctioned coalition of nations including Canada is now actively enforcing a no-fly zone as well as hitting Qaddafi's military targets. 

Reaction has been mixed, with those on the left grudgingly supporting Obama with as much enthusiasm as the President showed in committing the U.S. to this action, which is to say not much, and the right complaining that it took too long to get involved.

Alarmingly, conservatve talking-heads are quick to dismiss discussing the possible outcomes.

What neither side is discussing is the one question that craves an answer: what happens to Libya after Qaddafi, and who exactly have we allied with?

The same question should be asked of the other Middle Eastern and North African countries currently embroiled in revolutionary turmoil. 

It is no argument that the citizens of nations such as Libya, Egypt, and Yemen have lived for years under tyrannical rule.  Oppression is part of their daily lives.

But to what extent should we be involved?

There is a disturbing and glaring lack of a certain word from the people protesting and the 'rebels' actively fighting for change in these uprisings: democracy.

You don't hear the revolutionaries demanding democracy.  Unorganized as most of the opposition supporters are, one of the more stable groups involved is the Muslim Brotherhood which would like nothing more than to see these countries turn into staunch Islamic states complete with Sharia law.

As has been noted, protesters are not chanting 'one person, one vote!', they are more often overheard praising Allah and yelling passages from the Q'aran.

The West has been in similar situations before.  While the circumstances were much different, we covertly supported the muslim Mujahideen rebels in Afghanistan in their ultimately successful fight against the communist Soviets in the 1980's.  Years later, former 'ally' Usama bin Laden masterminded the 9/11 terror attacks, and we have been fighting those very same rebels ever since.

Some now question our involvement when looking back at the Yugoslavian-Bosnian war of the 1990's.  Yes, the Serbs carried out atrocities and something needed to be done, but now in hindsight, did we need to get that involved?  Did siding with the Muslims result in any lingering benefit?

When the West and al Qaeda agree on something, red flags go up.  The fact that the free world and an Islamic terrorist organization both support the protesters and the removal of current dictators in these countries makes something seem a bit askew.

We have a current administration in which each member seems to have a different answer as to our military goal, and a conflict where the international coalition supports that same side as terrorists.

Are we fighting to stop the oppression and slaughter of innocent people, or are we, in actuality, fighting a proxy Muslim war in these fragile nations that will result in the further spread of radical Islam?

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