Friday, December 30, 2005

2005 in the middle east

Juan Cole here summarizes the year 2005 in the Middle East. Not a great year, from our fuck-up in Iraq to the rise of a belligerent rightwing religious zealot insider (who claimed to be an outsider) to the top job in Iran to the increasing representation of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt.

Cole gives the Bush regime a "D" for the year, brought up from a failing grade by supporting the end of occupations in Gaza and Lebanon. Here's a summary...
Are Americans safer because of the political developments in the Middle East of 2005? The widespread instability introduced into the region by aggressive US policies seems more portent of menace than harbinger of peace. The one development that might have made us safer was the Israeli withdrawal from Gaza, but it was done in a hamfisted way that likely guarantees continued conflict and continued bad press for the US, the coddler of the Israeli hardliners. Otherwise, the US may have started some political tsunamis in the region, but the waves have not yet come ashore.