Peace in the Middle East must wait another 50-100 years to become a reality. By then, all the current Arab dictators would be dead, oil and petrodollar have dwindled, and radical Muslims dead or at least tired.


What has Tony Blair, former British prime minister, achieved since his appointment, in July 2007, as special envoy of the Middle East Peace "Quartet" (comprised of the United States, the European Union, the United Nations and Russia)? Nothing.

What has the former U.S. senator, George Mitchell, achieved since assuming his job as the United States Special envoy for the Middle East in January 22, 2009? Nothing.

What have all those Western officials, including Xavier Solana, the Foreign Relations of European Union Coordinator, have achieved through their shuttle diplomacy to the Middle East? Again, nothing.

In the meantime, while the European Union injects billions of dollars in a corrupt Palestinian Authority, the oil Gulf states, led by Saudi Arabia, and Libya, support Muslim terrorists with their petrodollars across the globe.

Nevertheless, the West still believes that it can help the Israelis and Arabs strike a peace deal.

While Western officials and Western media blast Mugabe of Zimbabwe and the Burmese Junta for their dismal political and human rights record and call them dictators, they do not do the same with Abdullahs of Saudi Arabia and Jordan, the Moroccan Hassan, Hosni Mubarak of Egypt, and Gaddafi of Libya. They are “kings” and “leaders,” not despotic dictators, although they rule undemocratically and tread on human rights with their feet.

I wonder if Western officials and Western media realize that Arab leaders are unique demagogues and have always been so. I also wonder if these bodies check out the Arab media.

Day in and day out, the Arab media, which most Arabs voraciously consume, highlight deficits of Western policies and practices in the Muslim world. Torturing terrorists by the CIA and killing civilians in Afghanistan by NATO troops are widely reported.

The thousands of political prisoners in Arab jails who are tortured day and night for demanding democracy and human rights are rarely reported about by Arab media. Why should they? Everybody knows that torture of dissidents is quite normal in Arab jails. There is nothing sensational about that.

Consumers of Arab media are constantly given the impression that the West is “hypocritical” when it talks about human rights. Arab leaders and their media talking heads are very good at inventing conspiracy theories.

After 9/11, the Arab regimes have discovered in radical Muslims a useful ally to advance their repressive agenda and rejection of democracy and human rights. They depict the West as “hypocritical.”

At the same time, Arab regimes, especially those friendly to the West, use radical Muslims as a ghost, and argue: if we established uncontrolled democracy, radicals like Hamas and Hisbollah would take over. Do you want that?

Hence, implementing democratic and human rights values is delayed for generations to come.

The West is honest, but naïve, and follows its economic interests, in the course of which it often sacrifices human values, especially in the Arab world. The West is honest about democracy and human rights. These are civilization achievements which have arisen and developed in the West. But the West is naïve if it believes that it could achieve peace, stability, and socio-political justice with despotic Arabic regimes. Further, the West is stuck in a conundrum: it needs the Arab oil for its economy and jobs; whole pivotal industries in the West depend on the Arab oil. All this makes the West easy to be blackmailed. Yet for the sake of credibility, the West must relentlessly force the Middle Eastern regimes to introduce democracy and respect human rights. The war in Iraq and Afghanistan is the beginning, regardless how painful it is.

The Arab regimes are demagogic and do everything possible to continue in power. The oil Arab regimes (Saudi Arabia, UAE, Qatar), and Libya have a unique leverage: oil. And the West bows to that. When it comes to money, the West forgets democratic and human rights values. Money comes first. Additionally, Egypt is using its geo-political position in the Middle East as a triumph card to avoid implementing democracy.

By the way, Saudi Arabia has a paper-tiger army. While I was teaching at KingSaudUniversity, a student of mine who was also an army officer told me that the Saudi army is big in number, but in terms of fight readiness it is the weakest in the region. It spends billions of dollars on equipment which is left unpacked and rusts in the sun. The only one who benefits from these weapons is the arms industry in the West.

The Saudi regime does not want to have a strong army. It might one day topple the regime. The Saudi clan depends entirely on the Americans in case it is threatened by an external enemy. In other words, it is the West that is keeping the Saudi regime in power.

In fact, all the Arab armies are weak and all the wars they have waged against Israel prove that. Hence, Israel can rest assured that the Arab regimes do not pose any military threat to the Jewish state. Israel is fighting paper-tiger demagogues.

The only serious threat that Israel is facing comes form the Iranian nuclear program. Both Israel and the West are watching the development of this program very closely. If the Iranians carry on with their program, sooner or later the Israeli air forces will strike.

Western politicians and the mainstream media blast China for its harsh treatment of the Uighuri Muslim separatists. The Uighuris are led by radical Muslims who incite to violence and hatred against non-Muslims and want to introduce Shari’a in their homeland. A colleague of mine, who has just returned from visiting the Uighuri region, has conformed that. He also says that he visited several Uighuri mosques and in each one of them the imam incites to hatred and violence against the West, Christians, Buddhists, and the Jews. If the Chinese do not act resolutely against the Uighuri radical Muslims, the Chinese would have their own Taliban and international terror would thrive. Of course the Arab media report extensively on all this to prove their conspiracy theory that the whole world hates Islam and Muslims.

Had the Russians not acted resolutely against Wahhabi radical Muslims in Chechnya, the situation there would like the one in Afghanistan.

Instead of following in the footsteps of the Chinese and Indians which are steadily establishing themselves as world economic powers, from scratch, the Arabs are lamenting and blaming the West for their backwardness.

Arabs are demagogues. They hail the man who threw his shoes at President Bush, who rid the Iraqis from one of the worst dictators in the history of mankind, as a hero. But none of them would dare do the same with an Arab dictator.

Americans, and the West at large, urge the Israelis to stop building settlements in the West Bank. They argue that these settlements are a hindrance to peace in the Middle East. I believe that even if Israel stops building settlements in the West Bank, the Arabs would find other excuses for not negotiating peace with the Jewish state.

Even if Israel withdrew completely from the West Bank, as it did in Gaza, would the Arab regimes normalize their relations with Israel? Of course not. Although Israel signed peace treaties with Egypt and Jordan, these Arab countries have not yet normalized their relations with the Jewish state. It is still a crime for Egyptians and Jordanians to visit Israel. (Click here for more.)

If peace were attained in the Middle East, Arabs would ask, “What then?” They would start demanding political and social reforms. This implies, of course, the end of Arab regimes.

Arab regimes support suicide bombers, but they would never think of committing the same “heroic act.” Hence, demagogy is the name of the game in the Middle East, not rationality.

Unfortunately, peace in the Middle East has got to wait another 50-100 years to become a reality. By then, all the current Arab dictators would be dead, oil and petrodollar have dwindled, and radical Muslims dead or at least tired.

The West must change its foreign policy toward the Arab regimes. It must unequivocally tell these regimes: change or perish! Only then peace will prevail in the Middle East. Anything else is like talking to the wall. The world is sick and tired of pampering criminals in return for petrodollars. Think of the soldiers and innocent people who are slain in Afghanistan and elsewhere in the name of radical Islam funded by petrodollars. Enough is enough.

Dr. Sami Alrabaa, an ex-Muslim, is a professor of Sociology and an Arab-Muslim culture specialist. He has taught at Kuwait University, King Saud University, and Michigan State University. He also writes for the Jerusalem Post.

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