What a wasted opportunity.

The collapse of communism in 1989 plugged the pipeline of Soviet support to Arab regimes, opening a window of opportunity to change the face of the Middle East which the democratic powers should have seized. In the last eight years, these nations could have used the great weight of their influence, resources and, in some cases, latent military might, to bring about enormous changes in this region - for the benefit of all its peoples and, ultimately, their own.

Instead, that chance of the century has been squandered in efforts to force Israel, the free West's only Middle Eastern democratic ally, into compliance with the demands of the dictators all around. And from Damascus to Baghdad, the despots that could have been forced into opening their doors to democracy remain on their thrones and prepare to drag the world onto the battlefield of non-conventional warfare.

Perhaps its naïveté, but one can't help thinking about how things could have appeared today if, instead of singling out little Israel as the easy victim, the US and EU had come together to read the facts of life to the enormous Arab states so suddenly bereft of their principal sponsor.

What would have happened, one wonders, if all the air-miles logged by James Baker, Warren Christopher and Madeleine Albright - all the energy expended to create and keep the "peace" process alive - had been channelled into pressuring the despots to welcome in meaningful reform?

'You need money, investment, help in taking care of your millions of needy and unemployed,' these states could have been told. 'We can assist you, pouring aid and expertise into your countries, working with you to restructure your economies along western lines, create jobs, improve your health-care, cut back your infant mortality rate, stabilise your governments, and dramatically increase your standard of living. All you need do is open yourselves up and let democracy take root.'

It is thought-provoking to contemplate what could have been attempted, and perhaps accomplished to some degree already, if only the nations that have so enjoyed the good fruits of democracy had prioritised sharing it with those who, because they have not, have for so long endangered the world.

Back to Middle East Digest - March 1998
Back to Middle East Digest Page {} Return to Home Page
Recommended Links
  • C and M Law Corporation, the Los Angeles personal injury attorney firm, has been serving the city’s residents for over 45 years. People who think they do not need the services of an experienced personal injury attorney, invariably find out the hard way that they should have chosen that right lawyer in the very beginning. Regardless of the type of accident or injury, we have the experience to successfully represent you and your family. If you or someone you know has been injured through the negligence or recklessness of others, come see us. Voted in the top one percent of trial lawyers in the USA, our lawyers go the distance. We can help get you the compensation you and your loved ones deserve. The personal injury attorney Los Angeles firm of C and M Law Corporation has won an excess of 2 Billion Dollars in settlements!