There are a number of people who actually understand what is happening in Egypt and the Middle East. One of them is Michael Ledeen. He posted an article at PJMedia today to help the rest of us get some perspective.
Mr. Ledeen begins by explaining that there is a global war going on and we shouldn’t be looking at each country involved as a separate entity–this is one big picture with many parts–not many little pictures.
Some of Mr. Ledeen’s ideas:
For the most part, the deep thinkers zero in on the single battlefields.
…It could not be otherwise, since our government, our universities, our news organizations and our think tanks are all primarily organized to deal with countries, and our analysts, policy makers and military strategists inevitably think inside those boxes. We don’t have an assistant secretary of defense for global strategy (FOOTNOTE: actually we do, his name is Andrew Marshall, he’s a sprightly genius of 92 years, and he runs a largely-ignored corner of the Pentagon called “Net Assessments”), but we do have one for the Near East and South Asia.
…So there’s a global war, we’re the main target of the aggressors, and our leaders don’t see it and therefore have no idea how to win it.
…The war is easily described: there is a global alliance of radical leftists and radical Islamists, supported by a group of countries that includes Russia, at least some Chinese leaders, Iran, Syria, Cuba, Venezuela, Bolivia, Ecuador and Nicaragua). The radicals include the Sunni and Shi’ite terrorist organizations and leftist groups, and they all work seamlessly with the narcotics mafias. Their objective is the destruction of the West, above all, of the United States.
…Let’s get outside these little boxes and look at the big board. There’s an alliance plotting against us, bound together by two radical views of the world that share a profound, fundamental hatred of us. If they win, it’s hell to pay, because then we will be attacked directly and often, and we will be faced with only two options, winning or losing.
That’s the bad news. The good news is that they’re divided, and slaughtering each other. And it’s not always possible for us to sort out what “each other” even means. But one thing is quite clear, and I know it’s an unpopular idea, but it’s a true fact: they’re not an awesome force. The radical left has failed everywhere, and so have the radical Islamists. Both claim to have history (and/or the Almighty) on their side, but they go right on failing. The left is now pretty much in the garbage bin of history (you can hire Gorbachev for your next annual meeting if you can afford his speaking fee), and the “Muslim world”–sorry to be so blunt–is a fossilized remnant of a failed civilization. Look at the shambles in Iran, look at the colossal mess the Brothers unleashed on a once-great nation.
…So we’ve got opportunities, lots of them. We’ve already passed up many: failing to support the Iranian people against the evil regime that is the central source of terror against us and our would-be friends, failing to support Mubarak against the Brothers, failing to quickly support the opposition to Assad at the outset, before the enterprise got buried under a heap of jihadi manure, and so forth. OK, we’re human, we’re led, if that’s the right verb, very badly, by ideologues who think we are the root cause of most of the world’s problems. Which is the same thing our enemies believe, as luck would have it. But this will pass, and even now we could transform the big global board by doing the strategically sound and morally correct thing, and support the Iranian people against the regime. Don’t bomb them, don’t invade them, just tell the regime we know who and what they are, and start talking to their most dangerous enemies, the overwhelming majority of the Iranian nation. We may not know exactly how to do it, but they do, and if we showed up, they would tell us.
That the regime fears them was demonstrated once again when the Iranian parliament rejected three nominees for the new government. All three would have commanded ministries having to do with culture and education, which is to say young Iranians, the core of the opposition. Two of those candidates were associates of the Green Movement leaders, Mir Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi. During the debate, the word “Green” was heard more than 150 times, underlying the alarm of the deputies.
Of course they’re afraid. They are right to be afraid. And just think of the consequences of a free Iran: the fall of the Syrian regime, a devastating blow to Hezbollah, the Revolutionary Guards, Islamic Jihad and Hamas. Bad news for the Brothers. A kick in the solar plexus of the nasty lefties in South America…
Think globally. Act as if you understood it. On our side, confound it. And yes, faster, please. Especially those of you who pretend to be capable of leading us after the departure of these guys…
As I said, Michael Ledeen is one of the most knowledgeable and rational experts on the Middle East.