The Middle East Potato
by CHET NAGLE
February 13, 2011
Slice a potato lengthwise or crosswise, and all the pieces look alike. The Middle East is not a potato.
The American mainstream media, intelligence organizations, and worse, the White House, are all ignorant of the true nature of countries in the Middle East—individually or collectively. President Obama underscored that ignorance when he said the CIA had failed to give him advance warning of regional street protests, and then capped that nonsense by saying Egypt’s government should create a “genuine democracy.”
President Obama, it seems, believes that Middle East political and religious movements are actually interested in creating western-style democracies. Instead of basing his foreign policy on such politically-correct, multicultural, and relativistic notions, America’s president should listen to the Prime Minister of Turkey.
In 1995 Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan said, "Democracy is like a streetcar, when you come to your stop you get off." For Erdogan, democracy is a tool that is enabling him to systematically dismantle all opposition to the creation of a fundamentalist Islamic Turkey. When that is completed, he will get off the streetcar, just as Hamas did in Gaza after its “democratic elections.” This democracy-streetcar plan is surely what the Muslim Brotherhood will also attempt to follow in Egypt.
So, all is lost, says mainstream media. Arabs and Persians and Berbers are rising up, says Al Jazeera, and America (and Israel) will be marginalized and evicted. But the media refuse to acknowledge the debilitating internal fractures and tensions in every nation of the Middle East. And the Obama administration is unwilling to understand or utilize the distrust and often outright enmity that seethes across every Arab border in the Middle East as opportunities for the United States to acquire allies and influence.
To secure the interests and safety of our Republic, we need a president who understands that the Middle East is not growing democracies. Or potatoes.
FamilySecurityMatters.org Contributing editor Chet Nagle is a graduate of the US Naval Academy and Georgetown Law School. He was a Cold War naval aviator, a Pentagon official, and an intelligence agent in Africa and the Middle East, where he was awarded the Order of Oman. Chet Nagle is now a columnist and the author of IRAN COVENANT.