Thursday, October 4, 2012

The Summer of Muslim Discontent 1

It's not the amateur film, stupid.

An Arab Spring update from James Petras' latest (21/9/12) essay (in bite-size bits):

"The so-called Arab Spring is a distant and bitter memory to those who fought and struggled for a better world, not to speak of the thousands who lost life and limb. In its place, throughout the Muslim world, a new wave of reactionaries - corrupt and servile politicians - have taken the reins of power, buttressed by the same military, secret police and judicial power which sustained the previous rulers. Death and destruction is rampant, poverty and misery has multiplied, law and order has broken down, and retrograde thugs have seized political power, where previously they were a marginal force. Living standards have plunged, cities are devastated and commerce is paralysed. And presiding over this 'Arab Winter' are the Western powers, the US and the EU, with the aid of the despotic, absolutist Gulf monarchies, their Turkish ally, and a motley army of mercenary Islamic terrorists and their would-be exile spokespeople.

"The legacy of imperial intervention in the Muslim world during the first decade of the 21st century, in terms of lives lost, people displaced, and economies destroyed in perpetual war exceeds any previous decade, including that of the 19th and 20th century colonial conquests. Much of the latest Western-generated mayhem and violence has been compressed into the period dubbed the 'Arab Spring', between 2011 and 2012. Moreover, the worst is yet to come. The Western overseers have gained strategic positions of power in some countries (Egypt), are engaged in prolonged, ruinous wars in others (Syria), and are preparing for an even bigger and more destructive intervention in Iran.

"The 'Winter of Muslim Discontent' covers an arc from Pakistan and Afghanistan in South Asia, through the Gulf region and the Middle East to North Africa. Despite being in the throes of the worst economic crises to hit the West since the 30s, the Western imperialist regimes have squeezed their peoples and mobilized personnel, arms and money to engage in simultaneous wars in five regions and two continents, aimed at overthrowing political adversaries and installing clients, even at the cost of destroying whole economies and uprooting millions.

"Let us begin with Egypt, where the Arab Spring has become a case study in the making of the New Imperial Order in the Muslim world. To attribute the mass violent rebellions across two continents and two dozen Muslim countries to a US-made film which desecrates the Prophet Muhammad is the height of superficiality. At most the film was the trigger that set off deeply-rooted hostilities resulting from two decades of US-led ravaging and destruction of the Muslim world. More particularly, the rage flows from Washington's crude intervention against the promise of the Arab Spring."

Next post in the series: Egypt: The Making of a Client State...

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