Thursday, February 17, 2011
Middle Eastern Dominoes - Charles Krauthammer
On Friday night's Fox News All Stars, Charles Krauthammer discussed the possibility of revolution spreading from Egypt to elsewhere in the Arab Muslim world.
Well Iran, of course, is the prize. If that regime were to fall, it would have the most important effect in that region because its satellites Hezbollah, Hamas, Syria, and its agents around the Arab world would be weakened. In the same way that when the Soviet Union collapsed, communism around the world essentially disappeared.
The problem is that we’re not in 2009 and people have experienced that incredible repression. There are levels of repression: Mubarak repress[ed] his people, but he’s nowhere in the league of the mullahs. Just today Iranian state media reported a statement by one of the top officials of the Revolutionary Guard Corps, who said of the demonstrators “The conspirators are nothing but corpses.”
They shoot, they kill, they imprison, and they rape. Last year 66 people were hanged. So those brave young people who went out into the street in 2009, who got to the cusp of a revolution and were essentially defeated, remember that it’s really hard to get a second wave of revolution after that kind of repression and when you know how deeply evil and cruel is the regime. …
Jordan has some stability. It has a tradition of a king. It’s a benign dictatorship under a monarchy. They have — the monarchy, the Hashemites — have the support of the Bedouins, who are a big ethnic element in the population, the army is largely Bedouin. So King Hussein and his son have had success in holding off really dangerous revolutions [such as in] 1970, the Palestinian [uprising] of Black September.
I think the one area where there might be a domino effect is Bahrain. It’s small, it’s rich, and it’s heavily Shiite. Iran has had a lot of influence there. It has a Sunni leadership, [but] a majority Shiite [population]. It’s in turmoil. The Saudis support the leadership, and Iran has actually claimed it as its territory — so it could be a real flash point.
I wish I could share his optimism that a Democratic Iran would drop support for Syria, Hamas and Hezbullah. But we can dream, can't we?
Labels: Arab democracy, Charles Krauthammer, dominoes
posted by Carl in Jerusalem @ 5:36 PM