The Emergence of a New Middle East
By Mazen H.ABBOUD
Has the Old Middle East expired? How did it happen? Why? & how the new Middle East is going to be?
Those are question that are seldom asked in the Levant, the so called Middle East. What is happening could be considered as a dream for some & a nightmare for the few others; but as a matter of fact, it is an inevitable process.
It is quite clear that the Middle East is in metamorphosis; the walls of fears collapsed for good by social digital media; autocratic & oppressive regimes are shaking & falling; the change is the outcome of an internal dynamicity (quest for freedom) engendered by a change in the regional atmosphere; what is happening now in the Levant, could be compared to the fall of Berlin wall & the communist regimes in Eastern Europe in the 1990s; it is indeed a new milestone in the historical course of the region, which is in the making. Apparently, the elites of the region initiated revolutions, through digital social media, to outset oppressive & autocratic regimes, which could not achieve development and basic rights to freedom of expression & action; regimes that could not either shield their territories from Israeli aggressions or achieve a real comprehensive & everlasting peace with it.
However, nowadays this is not the whole story everywhere, since initiating an uprising is an issue & investing in it is another; for example, in Libya one can smell also the scent of fuel that affected the latest escalations of the situation; whereas in Syria one can feel the shadows of the struggle of the West with Iran over the Middle East & of the clashes between the Sunnite & Shiite over the power game in the region.
It is obvious that President OBAMA grasped the opportunity & became the advocate of change & democracy in the Middle East; his administration is making good use of the change to get by diplomacy what the other administrations could not get by wars from the endangered regimes.
Nobody knows exactly how the new Middle East will look like in the next few years; however, I am sure that it would not look like Eastern Europe now; I believe that the Middle East is not Eastern Europe; moreover, 2011 is not 1992. In addition, the cost of change in the region of oil & conflicts would be much higher & its potential outcomes might turn out to be political liabilities in the short & medium term on us & the World.
It is true that the emerging Middle East would be more democratic in the long run; but it would be less moderate, less varied, & less stable in the short & medium terms; the emerging regimes will certainly reflect the true identity of the people that are anti-western & conservatives; then, it is expected that minorities will fade away along with moderate Muslims; then, real peace between Arabs & Israelis would be impossible due to the fall of the game on both sides(Arabs & Israelis) into the hands of extremists; it would be a violent & chaotic Middle East in the short & medium term. This is explains why US policies toward changes in the Middle East is case specific. It seems, US administration designed for each case in the Levant a specific set of conducts based upon the outcome of a formula made up of the qualitative variables of freedom, democracy, extremism, stability & peace.
However, this is not an easy task to do, since nobody can speculate exactly the effects of the degradation in a certain state on the international security, political & economic situation; the risks of interferences in this region of fuel are indeed great; the sick World Economy will be affected badly by soaring fuel prices.
Finally, what is happening in the Middle East in general & Syria, in particular, is important, & inevitable; it is the struggle of the people of the region to gain their basic human rights by shaking & ousting autocratic & oppressive regimes; in addition, it is the beginning of a hard & a long term development process toward building democracy, which has no time & cost frames. I believe the Middle East of nowadays is in critical situation; it is at the operating room of the world hospital; so, it is imperative that the doctor (the free world) has the means & know how to treat the patient properly to recover in the long term; the patient should recover to make real development, economic prosperity, & democracy & peace, a reality; then, the whole World would rejoice & become a better place for people to live in.