New Democratic Arab countries? Tyrants falling right and left in the Middle East? Atrocities discovered in various cities in Lybia? Billions of dollars stashed away by said dictators? Ruling families brought to justice or attempting to flee? Is this a brave new world, or at least a partial new world? How will we manage our foreign policy with these “new” Arab countries? With a heavy controlling political hand or with patience and billions in foreign aid, billions that we do not have?
We must be careful; we just might run out of enemies in the Muslim world (OK, just kidding). Iran is still our number one concern, mainly because they ferociously try to build a nuclear weapon and because we are sworn to protect our “beach head”, Israel. But if Syria’s murderous Assad falls and a real Muslim democracy is established in that nation, a possibility that Teheran fears above all, our concerns with the Jewish state shall strongly diminish. Would you like to bet that Iran is helping Assad with money and arms to crush the rebellion? On the other side, the U.S. is secretly supplying funds to the rebels (through Tel-Aviv perhaps)?
Obama’s strategy to deal with Ghaddafi has been wildly successful; he didn’t listen to the hawks in his cabinet. He refused to take the lead in the assault on the tyrant’s tanks and planes. He let Europe, yes NATO, become responsible for the bellicose intervention, a first in our foreign policy, and in so doing allowed the rebels to suffer the brunt of the war of liberation. The consequences of these actions are all positive; it’s a win-win situation. The new government, or at least its more religious sector, won’t be able to accuse America of “invading” their country, as happened in Iraq and Afghanistan.
After more than 40 years of brutal regimes, several Arab countries will finally enjoy the sweet taste of freedom, and in the process shaming the remaining despotic Muslim nations which systematically abuse the rights of their citizens, especially women. (right Iran?). Their combined success will weigh heavily against the inflexible regimes and motivate their people to rebel as is the case in Syria. Internet, Facebook, Tweeter, and smart phones are all technological tools which bring the truth to all sectors, in spite of the governments’ efforts to control the media.
Let us hope that the American government will see the opportunity to make amends, we developed cozy ties with the former rulers, and convince the new governments that we can live in harmony with the Muslim world. We cannot antagonize more than a billion Arabs by acting as the big bully we have been in the past. Working closely with the European Union and pooling our resources, we can no doubt help the new democratic regimes by treating them as equals in the Brave New World.