Letter: U.S. should steer clear
After reading, watching and listening to the news and debates concerning events in the Middle East over the past few years, I’ve begun to question this nation’s belief that people in that part of the world actually seek or even approve of democracy.
Most recently the “Arab Spring” has turned pretty stormy, which is really not much different from before the democracy movements. Given the history, culture and dominate religion, Islam, all of which are authoritarian-based, it is perhaps a fool’s errand to attempt to promote democracy there. That culture seems to have done best when under the control of one sort of strongman or another.
Now I’m not saying that is any sort of just or even a peaceful society, but compared to the chaos of the recent half century it could not be much worse.
Egypt is suffering from the threat of potential civil war; Syria is in full-blown revolt with 100,000 dead, some estimate; Iraq is showing signs of joining the bloody circus as has Libya and Afghanistan. U.S. leaders are debating whether we should provide weapons to the Syrian rebels and what to do about Egypt.
I say, stay clear of the whole thing. We have no dog in those fights. Getting involved is a no-win position for us. Whoever prevails in Syria will be no friend of ours, and in Egypt the army kept the Muslim Brotherhood under control for decades so even if another Mubarak gains power that is better for us then the Brotherhood. Still, let them decide.