- And most people in the West, after jubilantly watching the Arab Spring's amazing revolutions last year, wanted to believe them.
He talks of "jubilantly watching the Arab Spring's amazing revolutions last year." I guess Brinkley doesn't know about YouTube. I'm going to help the guy out: go right here to see what's actually happening in the world, not what CNN wants you to see. I watched a lot of video on CNN, and then I watched the raw footage on YouTube, and just like with the Occupy movement, I saw a massive disconnect between leftist news coverage and what was really happening. Every protest in the Arab Spring was an "Allahu Akbar" fest. It was alarming from the first day, not "amazing." I guess the left ignored all the rapes and unlawful detentions, too. And they missed the military virginity checks. And they failed to note the ethnic cleansing. These things didn't happen later, they happened almost from the very beginning.
The moment that Tunisian kid BBQ'd himself, kicking off the "Arab Spring", everyone except liberals were saying, "There are only two kinds of governments that work in Muslim, Middle East countries, iron-fisted dictators with the brutality to control the Islamists, and the Islamists (see: Iran)." Joel Brinkley doesn't know this? I'm embarrassed for him. This is a gross misunderstanding of Islam and the region.
- Think for a moment about what has actually happened. Youths with modern ideas, resulting in part from what they've learned online, were the engines of the revolts that threw the dictators out of office. But when elections came, most people voted for what they knew.
- As Mustafa Abdel-Jalil, Libya's interim leader, took office last fall, he thanked NATO and then let slip that he believed Libya should legalize polygamy, an element of Shariah law.
That set off a furor. Nonetheless, a short time later he said his views are "moderate" but then added: "As a Muslim country, we have adopted the Islamic Shariah as the main source of law. Accordingly, any law that contradicts Islamic principles with the Islamic Shariah is ineffective legally."
The only positive thing I can say about Brinkley's embarrassing story is that it's a good summary of how the Arab Spring marks a shift not from dictatorship to democracy, but from dictatorship to radical Islamism. Brinkley doesn't come out and say it, but we can infer from his article that he at least understands that dictatorships in the Middle East are far better for us, and the world.
Obama is on the verge of supporting the Syrian rebels, which would be another foreign policy blunder. Assad is no friend to the West, but when the rebels defeat him we will have yet another radical Islamist nation to deal with. Will it take Brinkley 15 months to recognize what's happening this time, or will he blithely endorse Obama's support of Syrian rebels as the liberals endorsed Obama's support of Libyan and Egyptian "democratists", only to end up with an Islamist cesspool when the dust settled? Maybe Rumsfeld's words from the 1980s are beginning to make sense to them, "Saddam Hussein may be a bastard, but he's our bastard."
One comical thing we can conclude from Brinkley's article: we know where he gets all his news -- far-left media organizations like NYT and CNN and PBS/NPR. Fox News has been covering the dangers of the Arab Spring, accurately, from the first day. Old Brinkley lives in a box.