Tuesday, March 20, 2012

The Middle East has always been a time bomb

February 24, 2011

The Middle East has always been a time bomb. It still is.

From the time the Jewish people migrated into the area now known as Israel, a few thousand years ago, until now, this area has known war without end. The Bible has a passage containing Moses’ use of spies to scout the Holy Land before they occupied it. (In North America, we did the same thing, but we didn’t just conquor the indigenous people, we eliminated most of them.)

Now, the Arab crescent is boiling over with unhappy young and disadvantaged people who have known only kings and dictators. Is it possible for democracy to succeed in such places?

In the United States, I believe we hope so. In fact, I’d bet most of the world hopes that the kings and dictators will be replaced with tolerant governments. Would this be good for the United States? Would it make a permanent peace with Israel possible? It’s very hard to say.

My personal opinion is that the current unrest in the Middle East was inevitable. It is a repeat of history not just from that region, but from the world over. Look back to the mid-nineteenth century’s revolts in Europe, where Prince Metternich played a prominent role. From the mid-1840′s to World War One, there was a time of conflict in Europe between the rich and poor leading to a few mostly-failed revolutions. During the Great Depression (the one in the 1920′s and 1930′s, not the current one), global conflict between the rich and poor intensified. World War Two ended that conflict, but it’s happening again all over the planet. What’s happening in the Middle East is more visible that what’s happening in the United States, but greed for power among the rich and a desire for a decent life among the poor will always set the stage for violence and change.

History repeats itself. It’s not that we don’t learn lessons from history. It’s that greed and power are what motivate those who seek to govern. The real lesson is in our DNA. We’re built like this.

Expect the worst to happen. Be surprised when, or if, it doesn’t. As for me, the current unrest is marvelous fodder for spies and their roles in political power shifts. As a fiction writer, it’s time to sit and watch.

After all, the Middle East has always been a time bomb.

1 comment:

  1. First time viewer of this post, but enjoyed your perspective. As you mention this as being an inevitable facet of human nature, I agree, however, am also interested in how it affects governing. The total fertility rates between the U.S. and Iran and other mideastern countries are similar, near 2.1, with population growth slowing in the U.S....Contraception was also subsidized as a tax in Iran but did not affect the growth rate much.

    I just found it interesting that the framework of Iranian gov't appears to have many similarites to U.S. gov't except the obvious relation of church/state there. It is also interesting to see their beliefs of the prophet (muhammed) influence their 'state', and our usage of 'taxes' predominantly associated w/ the religious right...I just thought this was interesting. The many similarites we all have, as people around the world...government's may differ to an extent, but there are still, those people who express similar 'fundamental values'.