Concluding an Arab Spring update from James Petras' latest (21/9/12) essay...
"Faced with a sharp and militant backlash to its ongoing counter-revolutionary offensive in the Muslim world, Washington is demanding that its 'new' Muslim client regimes increase 'security' by strengthening the police state apparatus and cracking down on on mass protest movements. Washington is once again on the defensive.
"In the first phase of the revolutionary process, dubbed the 'Arab Spring', Washington and its EU allies were caught by surprise and severely challenged by the mass pro-democracy movements which overthrew or threatened their client rulers in Tunisia, Egypt, Somalia, Yemen, Bahrain and elsewhere.
"In the second, counter-revolutionary phase, Washington and its allies sought to countermand, halt and reverse the popular pro-democracy movements through alliances with malleable Islamic leaders in Egypt, Tunisia and Yemen, launching and escalating armed rebellions by Islamic extremists in Libya and Syria, and buttressing the despotic royalist regimes of the Gulf. The restoration of neo-colonial client regimes by the US and the EU, however, soon revealed its fragile foundations, the various fraudulent 'transitions' producing servile rulers incapable of and unwilling to address the socio-economic demands of the pro-democracy movements.
"The third, current, phase of the struggle presents us with a far more complex scenario than the earlier binary conflict of dictatorship vs democracy. We see conflicts between neo-liberal Islamists in power and secular and Islamic trade unionists (Egypt); poor fundamentalist Islamists fighting for the US (Syria), and against it (Libya); and secular (Syria) and Islamic (Iran) regimes joining forces against Western-backed Islamic mercenaries and threats from Israel.
"The Islamic terrain of these struggles reflects a discrediting and decimation of secular rulers and civil society organizations. Religion has become the refuge, the cloak, and the war cry of the dispossessed and the propertied classes.
"A careful study of the two decades of US and EU wars in the Muslim world finds little evidence of corporate oil interests in their conduct. They are rather imperial-military wars. Everywhere we look we see the large-scale destruction of the means of production, the massive dis-accumulation of capital, and the massive displacement of the millions of workers, scientists and engineers who produce the wealth of the area. What investors are going to make large-scale, long-term investments in places like Afghanistan, Yemen, Somalia, Syria or Libya when their lives and property are in danger from warring ethno-religious bands armed and trained by US Special Forces? Nor do big investors find countries ruled by corrupt, servile, and unpopular US/EU client regimes an attractive proposition. Investors see in Iraq only 10 lost years and billions in oil profits down the drain. The US did not go to war for oil in Iraq as some benighted leftist pundits claim.
"Military imperialism has led to ruin and rule, followed by ruin and run. The only, and the obvious, beneficiary of these Western wars on Muslim countries has been the Jewish state of Israel whose billionaire political influentials and political acolytes in the Pentagon, Treasury, National Security Council, Congress and the mass media designed and promoted these wars. Most recently, they have promoted the US counter-attack which has turned the 'Arab Spring' into a 'Muslim Winter of Discontent'.
"There will be no end to these wars as long as Israel claims supremacy in the Arab world. The US is, and will remain, in permanent war with the Muslim world as long as its foreign policy and political structures are influenced by the Israeli power configuration.
"No previous empire has sustained such huge financial losses and gained so little in economic rewards or destroyed so many countries without establishing a single, viable, productive colonial or neo-colonial regime as the US empire. So to read or hear from most of our prominent journalists that the recent massive, widespread and violent Muslim protests against the symbols and substance of US imperial power are all about an 'amateur film defaming the Prophet' boggles the mind. The pundits ignore the fact that mass unrest and anti-imperial assaults preceded and will follow this kind of film. Given the massive round-up and detention of thousands of innocent Muslim immigrants by uber-Zionist and GW Bush Homeland Security chief Michael Chertoff; the FBI surveillance and infiltration of hundreds of mosques; the Zionist-sponsored, rabble-rousing campaign in New York City against a cultural center and the purge of a Muslim educator; the rabid, weekly anti-Muslim, Christian-Zionist rants to 40 million US followers; the AIPAC-promoted US Treasury appointments and subsequent imposition of sanctions against independent Muslim countries, Muslims have a solid basis for believing that Islamophobia is embedded in US culture. And no thinking Muslim anywhere in the world believes that the film was an aberration, since Hollywood's pro-Israel film and television moguls have always demonized and caricatured Muslims, portraying them as either worthless playboy sheikhs or bloody villains.
"Obama's despatch of Marines and warships to defend US missions merely reinforces the image and reality that the US presence in the Muslim world is based on nothing more than force of arms. Nor are there any signs of critical reflection in US political circles on the larger cultural and political issues involved at home and abroad which arouse the passion and rage now spreading to 20 Muslim nations and beyond.
"Islamophobia is not simply the bad attitude of an extremist and marginalized American minority. It is part and parcel of policies which have involved the US in large-scale, ongoing wars in a dozen Muslim nations, in policing millions of US Muslims, and in arming a Jewish state which uproots Palestinians and threatens to bomb 75 million Iranian Muslims."