NATO and the Arab World: Are Happy Days Here Again? When Potentates are Divine and Groveling is Hip…….

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NATO planes are still in the air and bombing targets over Libya, and Moammar Gadhafi is still on the loose. Nonetheless, NATO is taking something of a victory lap in the wake of an operation that broke new ground for the military alliance……….. Throughout the conflict, NATO has insisted that its actions are limited to supporting the U.N. resolution that calls for protecting civilians and enforcing an arms embargo. But NATO certainly pushed the boundaries, and critics say NATO ended up providing close air support for anti-Gadhafi rebels. To most observers, NATO was clearly taking the rebel side in a civil war and backing efforts to oust Gadhafi. Those critics worry that NATO risks becoming an armed service provider for the U.N. and other allies. That job description is a long way from what NATO still insists is its core, founding mission: to protect its members’ territory and population…….”

A few decades after the last European imperialists departed the Arab world, militarily speaking, they are back. The major, the only imperialist powers that ruled the Arabs for decades are back to their old turf. That would be the British and the French. Interesting that the British leader (a minority leader) comes from the Conservative (Tory) Party of Winston Churchill but he is hardly Churchill-esqu, and the French president du jour comes from the conservative ranks as well, but he is hardly de Gaulle-esque. But they are here in Libya and looking speculatively toward Syria (while completely ignoring Yemen and Bahrain).
Mr. Cameron is doing an Allenby, or is it a Kitchener? While the strutting Sarkozy is more ambitious, if more delusional, and is apparently going for a Bonaparte. Maybe Berlusconi is also dreaming of the old Roman Province of Africa but he is a bit late. Now we can say that NATO, or various parts of it, control the skies and the seas and the land of almost the whole Arab World, save for a sliver in Gaza and a very iffy Syria that is also teetering, and parts of Lebanon. Now NATO also controls all of the Middle East, save for these mentioned parts and theocratic Iran (remember that Turkey is part of NATO and Israel is practically an honorary member).

All that because the corrupt Arab system, and not just the League of Arab States, has failed the Arab peoples for decades. There was a time, decades ago, when Arabs were hopeful and had expectations of something better. Maybe they were delusional, but they had optimism and hope. In recent years, they have been reduced to bowing to potentates and absolute monarchs and dictators. It is now cool, nay it is hip, in much of the Arab world to bow and grovel to the potentates. One, or perhaps two, of these potentates are increasingly assuming the air of something beyond statesmanship, more like quasi-divinity, egged on by their all pervasive vast dynastic media that control the Arab skies and waves and the squads of thugs and mercenaries.