by John Horvat II
It should be evident by now that the Arab Spring has only brought disaster upon the Middle East and the world. It has also served to make the United States look irresolute and inept, as we lack a firm, realistic approach to Syria and the Arab world.
As the Syrian situation deteriorates, what is needed is a reality check in Syria since wishful thinking, not reality, now rules. We need to abandon the Arab Spring narrative that denies the reality of characters, which will inevitably play their roles.
We must, for example, give up the idea that revolutionary terrorists are freedom fighters. We should rather trust revolutionary terrorists to act like revolutionary terrorists by making Syria unlivable. We should not be surprised that they fight among themselves, ruthlessly stamp out opposition and commit barbarous acts of killing. We should expect this and act accordingly, because this is what they have always done to bring about the fall of governments whether it be Iran, Libya, or Egypt.
We must not put our confidence in the moderates who play a very important role in the narrative. They are not reasonable voices in a passionate struggle. Rather, you can trust the moderates to be moderates. They are by definition those who compromise and give in because that is what moderates do. You can trust the moderates to solicit help from the West and then surrender the prize to the radicals because that is what they have always done.
On the other hand, you can also trust the radicals to be radicals. They are organized and take their ideas to the ultimate consequences. They fanatically do not give in because that is what radicals do. And so when country after country falls under the rule of the Muslim Brotherhood, there should be no surprise because that is what radical groups do among weak moderates; they take over.
Alas, there are useful innocents who appear on the streets to support the revolution. During the Arab Spring, these Facebook and Twitter warriors add an element of authenticity to the reaction but these characters lack the substance to prevail. You can count on these useful innocents to play their tragic role and disappear because that is the role they have always played. They are eliminated when the radicals take over.
Tragically you can trust the liberal media to be the liberal media.
We should not be astonished when things turn out awry. The media will always report sympathetically on radicals and support their worn-out freedom fighter narrative because that is what they have always done. Once the sensationalism of one revolution subsides, you can count on this media to go to the next revolution and ignore the misery left behind because that is what media do; they seek after the sensational.
In the case of Syria, we can trust the Russians to be Russians. That nation suffers from a regime of corruption, a faltering economy and growing unpopularity. What better way to bolster support for an unpopular regime than to confront and outmaneuver the United States? It is something to be expected. Equally evident is the fact that a KGB agent will always act like a KGB agent even if it means stamping out domestic opposition, selling advanced missiles and nuclear reactors to Iran or becoming a de facto president for life.
These are a few of the ignored realities that should be considered in the development of a realistic policy in Syria.
There are two more realities that must be addressed. One is the fact that once restraints are lifted that protect Middle Eastern Christians, you can trust the Islamists to kill Christians and burn down churches because that is what they have always done when given free reign.
Yet more tragic you can count on secular leaders in the West to ignore the killing of Christians and burning of churches all over the Middle East. They will shout out for religious freedom and the need for tolerance at all the world forums, but lift not a finger to aid Christians in danger. You can trust them to maintain their Christianophobic attitude because that is what they have always done in the name of a secularism that tolerates everything save Christ.
It is time our Middle East policy in Syria reconnects with reality. Let us treat moderates like moderates, radicals like radicals, Russians like Russians. Let us discard the media-driven Arab Spring narrative that is a blueprint for handing over nations to radical Islam. Let us pursue a policy that will not thrust Syria into the hands of Al-Qaeda operatives who spread terror all over the world and persecute Christians in their lands.
And if world leaders are looking to pencil in thin red lines, let them look instead at the thick red line, the blood of Christians that appears like a giant red gash across the Middle East. Let them draw the line before the smoldering ruins of churches and disappearance of whole communities, as Christians flee the land of their birth to escape the religious cleansing that cries to the world to be noticed and stopped.