The Political Domino Effect in the Middle East

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The military occupation of the British, the French, and the Soviets departed from many parts of the Middle East during and after World War II, while Iran, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and other Middle Eastern states on the Arabian Peninsula  generally remained unaffected by World War II.

However, after the war, the following Middle Eastern states had independence restored or became independent: 22 November 1943 – Lebanon, 1 January 1944 – Syria, 22 May 1946 – Jordan (British mandate ended), 1947 – Iraq (forces of the United Kingdom withdrawn), 1947 – Egypt (forces of the United Kingdom withdrawn to the Suez Canal area), 1948 – the Occupying State of Israel (forces of the United Kingdom withdrawn).

A bird’s eye could see this common withdrawal of occupation forces as the first in the political domino-effect wave in the Middle East.

The second wave came shortly after these years, with the independent waves in North African Arab countries; as the departure of the European powers from direct control of the region, the establishment of Israel, and the increasing importance of the oil industry, marked the creation of modern Middle East.

These developments led to a growing presence of the United States in Middle Eastern affairs. The U.S. was the ultimate guarantor of stability in the region, and since the 1950s, the dominant force in the oil industry. When local revolutions brought anti-Western regimes to power in Egypt (1954), Syria (1963), Iraq (1968) and Libya (1969), another domino-effect wave that shaped the region’s history for almost 50 years or more.

After generations of political mistakes, a call for democratization and the protection of human rights have typically been understood as domestic phenomena. It reminded us with the 1960s movements seen in Europe.

However, popular commentary on the Arab Spring has included reference to the international dimensions of the diffusion of democracy and human rights that began with the self-immolation of a street vendor in Tunisia and the subsequent spread of political protest, conflict, and transformation engulfing the region, especially Egypt, Yemen and Syria.

That this third wave of public political movements of peoples was marked by the obvious interference of the new social media and their interplay with the international dimension to democracy and human rights becomes evident.

A hidden wave of religious domino effects of Islamic groups jumped to control the scene, with western support to give the region over to Islamists, a step which was wrong enough to destroy democracy at its birth place.

Now the region is facing the final wave of the domino-effect, with wars to determine the scene as no independent is sure, no human rights are fulfilled, no justice guaranteed, no president elected, and no economy progress achieved. Only questions remain: Where was the mistake, then, and where is it now?

The main answer is that the national powers that replaced previous occupation forces were not good and honest enough to set the scene right.

So, people in this region had gotten rid of the old foreign powers that had occupied their land, but they are now facing a new national occupation by their own domestic armies. For decades, the Arab states ensured all advantages possible for privileged army members (and interior forces)—special rights not available to normal citizens. In Egypt, for instance, advantaged citizens as ranked into classes: armed force members, individuals of the Ministry of Interior, Al-Azhar clerks, and media personnel. These four ranks come before the 5th level ordinary citizen.

Only democracy can solve this by distributing rights and duties away from ranking citizens in such inhumane practices.

Another step that would very much help is to prevent local governments from ruling societies as per a religious regime does. Religion should go back to mosques, churches and temples.

Finally, western powers only when their interests are placed at risk or when such interests are questioned. Thus, at a high price, big wars have destroyed countries like Libya, Yemen, Iraq, Syria, and Somalia, but those powers are still gathering in Geneva and Astana to “make their negotiations”. Hundreds of thousands are killed in wars, in refugee’s camps; as they flee from death, but international organizations still stand helplessly not knowing how to provide assistance. Weapons are being dropped every day and everywhere in a destruction domino-effect, but with one great UN council veto-action, radical forces are permitted to carry out their ugly mission.

The World has a solution, but no one dares to use it.

Syrian refugee children watch television at their parents tent at an informal refugee camp, at Al-Marj town in Bekaa valley, east Lebanon Lebanon, Saturday, April 8, 2017. For the millions of Syrian refugees scattered across camps and illegal settlements across the region, the chemical attack on a town in northern Syria and subsequent U.S. strike was a rare moment when the world briefly turned its attention to Syria, before turning away again. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)

Photo: AP

 

A sigh of frustration is now with the American President’s announcement to shift the American embassy to Jerusalem—as the capital of Israel—this action shows greats powers really do nothing other than sending outside regions into a more destructive future.

 

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