The Arab Spring started with the self-immolation of a vegetable barker over his frustrations with the insurmountable legal requirements and licensing which made making a profit impossible and expressed his feeling of utter hopelessness of his life in one blazing protest sparking a wave of protests which were to spread. The government of Tunisia fell within days followed by Egypt with an assisting push and a shove by United States President Obama pushing Egyptian President Mubarak out the door and all but guaranteed the Muslim Brotherhood would take control of Egypt. Little was known at the time that this had been the design by President Obama. The so-called Arab Spring rolled into Libya next and with a great amount of assistance from NATO powers Muammar Gaddafi was knocked from power almost solely due to the air strikes and other NATO assistance but the plan for any reconstruction failed leaving Libya broken into its tribal elements and some areas under the control of the influence of al-Qaeda and other areas under Islamic State with the rest under tribal control which may prove more stable a practice than the imposed state system from Sykes Picot, the one complaint made by ISIS before they decided to go on Jihad as the New Caliphate which had some degree of merit, but lust for power always overrules sensibility. The next stops were Yemen and Syria. These appear to be currently the play of power of Iran using Yemen to gain control of vital waterways off of southwestern end where the Red Sea exits into the Gulf of Aden and on into the Arabian Sea and Indian Ocean all through the choke point known as Bab-el-Mandeb which is the name of the straights with which Iran wrests control for all shipping traffic through the red Sea including Suez Canal traffic and sea traffic from Israel and Jordan coming south through the Gulf of Aqaba and the Red Sea on to Africa or Asia. Closure of this vital waterway would provide a causes belli of war should Iran block this waterway bringing Iran in direct contention of Europe, the far east and much of commercial shipping which would normally use the Suez Canal. Such a blockage could rapidly escalate out of control with nation after nation declaring their rights being challenged and commerce being directly affected adversely.
But the Arab Spring quickly became the Arab Winter as Egypt had a second set of massive demonstrations even larger than before which were more widely attended including students and businesspeople and others from nearly every walk of life which eventually led to the Egyptian military replacing the sitting government which had been on a fast track to implement Sharia, at least the interpretation of Sharia by the Muslim Brotherhood which they would have inevitably used to place themselves in the sole position of appointing the future Presidents and members of parliament thus giving themselves dictatorial powers. These new moves came to attempt to change the military hierarchy which was one step too far and the military balked and took down President Morsi and his government claiming to be doing so in the name of the people. Meanwhile there was a reshuffling of the Tunisian government to make it more representative of the people and guarding against trading the old dictatorial governance for religious dictatorial governance, a similar but less drastic measure than the one necessitated in Egypt. And the demonstrations began in Syria but unlike the previous demonstrations the one in Syria did not receive the full and hardy backing of the Western nations thus the peoples demonstrations slowly morphed into a disastrous civil conflict which itself morphed into a large Sunni against Shiite war front which spawned the Islamic State which took control over a sizeable area of Syria and Iraq. The latest development has been the introduction of serious air power and missile assaults by the Russians in defense of their naval base at Latakia, Syria and in support of their chosen ally, Bashir al-Assad and the introduction of IRGC troops, the special forces of the Iranian military.
Eventually the Egyptian governance worked its way to what all hope will be regular, open, free and fair elections on schedule with the results truly representative of the Egyptian electorate. Hopefully the same can be said for Tunisia which also appears to have settled from its early days as the lead of the changes which swept much of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). There were also the unsuccessful or muted. The first were any demonstrations in Saudi Arabia or any of the nearby GCC countries such as Bahrain, Oman, United Arab Emirates, and Kuwait. There potentials for demonstrations in Saudi Arabia, where a number of Shiite Imams had given sermons to emotionally prepare their adherents to challenge the authorities, many ran out into the streets that fateful afternoon and looked up and down the street and realizing that they were cut off at the end of the block at both ends by security forces, armed so as not to need to discuss principles; so the Shiites calmed themselves and went home without incident in virtually every case and any case where the reaction was different was squelched so fast that it made no news. There was one exception which was Bahrain. Bahrain is ruled by a Sunni Monarch but is predominately Shiite and this led to street demonstrations of a severity which the Monarch was not willing to use the force which would have been required to put down the rioting demonstrators but also could not allow the lawlessness to continue. This required the King Hamad Ibn Isa Al Khalifa to make a call to his friends over the causeway in Saudi Arabia for assistance. The one thing known to the people of Bahrain that should the Saudis come to the rescue of their King, then they may have gone a bit too far and their time left to continue their actions is limited to as long as it takes the Saudi Arabian military to arrive to restore order. This was a particularly large demonstration which almost lasted four hours until they saw a disturbance heading towards the Island of Bahrain along all six lanes of the causeway between the Saudi Arabian mainland and their Island, three lanes in each direction, except this was all six lanes heading for the Island. As the vehicles came closer it became obvious these were Abrams tanks and Armored Personnel Carriers which meant that unremitting and lethal force was coming to their demonstration. This took the wind out of their sails and quickly the demonstrators dispersed rather quickly and peaceably with a small number of fools not heeding the obvious. They were quickly subdued and turned over to the Bahraini officials and the Saudis returned home a week or two later with a small rotation of forces remaining for a month or two as a reminder.
There were some rather sizeable demonstrations in Iran where pleadings were chanting for President Obama to assist their cries for freedom and representative governance. There was no reply from President Obama as he had this plan where he would be the one to bring Iran in from out in the cold through negotiations with the Supreme Leader. This plan had no room for new representative governance or for the people’s revolution. President Obama’s plan called for him bringing the previously unapproachable and immovable when it comes to that which he believes and the way he rules and the desires and directions he wishes to take the nation are completely unchallenged as his word is treated as if it were the words from Allah himself. This would eventually play out well after the demonstrators were routed by the Basenji Militias and other extreme police and security forces. The universities were put under a lockdown with security and Islamic observance groups patrolling the dorms and grounds. The end result was an additional term listening to the rantings of President Ahmadinejad, violently put down democracy demonstrations, and after a painfully extracted and pathetic set of surrenders which may or may not be finished and a nuclear treaty with a ruling elite who are not exactly known for keeping promises, meaning what they say or doing what they say or in the end having said what they said as everything is negotiable and even the meaning is open for an ever changing series of interpretations even to the point that what they say means exactly what they mean it to mean at the moment they say it. Deals with the mad hatter or Cheshire cat would be more trustworthy, and didn’t we decide that the President was a lookalike for the Cheshire Cat such that we labeled him Cheshire man as in the picture below. Perhaps that picture may be the closest thing to an accurate depiction of the reality dealt with in making the Iran Nuclear Deal.
The problems from the Arab Winter have just begun. The real problem is still a full generation away, a good fifteen years before everything begins to blossom and explode upon the Western world. Presumably, Iran will legally be capable of perfecting and testing ballistic missiles which will give them all the time they could possibly need as they will be completely free to produce, or should we say finally assemble the necessary parts to make their nuclear warheads using the technology perfected by their scientists or by following the methods used by either North Korea and thus be completely ready to produce deliverable warheads using such designs or be using their own designs, whichever way they decide to branch into nuclear warhead designs. Iran can take their time and while working on their nuclear warhead designs and production they can begin the hardest part of the challenge facing them, the proselytizing within and outside of the Islamic communities in Europe and the United States and other Western World Nations to drastically increase the numbers of Shiite Muslims more so amongst those living outside MENA though there will be some moves outside of the ardently Sunni states such as the GCC, Egypt, Jordan, and Turkey (though Turkey might be a more ripe for change than many believe). This will be accomplished with the monies freed up by the Iran nuclear deal and target the young who may find Shiite Islam’s dynamic Jihadi strengths more attractive than the more sedate Sunni Islam which is a more conservative approach.
The next three years will see between thirty-five-thousand and fifty-thousand “refugees” from MENA invading Europe and sending a fair number to the United States and Canada, especially if these nations remain under leftist control, especially the immigrations offices. Do not get me wrong, the majority, even the vast majority of these will be actual refugees as almost any family which can manage to get to Europe or the United States, the Western world, the first world, such a transit would be a welcome improvement in their lives as even the poorest family in the Western World live in a level almost unimagined other than for the wealthiest in their nations in much of the MENA world. Over the rest of the decade these refugees will likely repatriate with another ten to fifteen people per family. Eventually there will literally be an army ready to impose Sharia across all of Europe and there will be swaths of land in the United States which will be “no-go zones” just as they have in areas around many British, French, Swedish and other European countries where police and even fire and rescue personnel refuse to enter except in force, will populate many areas around numerous cities and training areas may be found in the countryside acreages around Europe and the United States. What many are unaware of is that there exist such training ‘cities’ outside numerous cities in the United States already and these ‘cities’ are well guarded and only allow Islamists known to their group and they hold firearms training and some even hold tactical training and live-fire exercises.
These are the stark realities facing Western Society which the governments are ignoring at their people’s own peril. Why these known camps are being left to their own devices while the FBI infiltrates neighborhood militias and paramilitary militias which often consist of some friends who are ex-military and enjoy target shooting and having paintball outings or even some which simply are reenacting Civil War or Revolutionary War battles. The future is not yet written in stone but it had been stenciled into wet cement and it is starting to dry and will take a while to cure thereafter but the stencils are still malleable, their final story will be up to the people if they decide to take government into their own direction and this may mean many people making whatever sacrifices are necessary and perhaps work for or make a needed new political party or influential branch of a party like the Tea Party had started to make inroads but it will take a long term commitment and it will take families deciding the time has come for regular families to take charge of the governments such that the governments will serve the future of the Western World and the family unit with an emphasis on control of the education of the children as they will be the future and if they are not better prepared than we were, then there will be even less hope, and hope is all there is right now and we cannot lose hope or our future.
Beyond the Cusp