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Making the World Safe for Islamism

Sixteen months after the United States abandoned its loyal satrap of 30 years, President Hosni Mubarak, to champion democracy in Egypt, the returns are in.

Mohammed Morsi, candidate of the Muslim Brotherhood, is president of Egypt, while the military has dissolved the elected parliament that was dominated by the Brotherhood, and curbed his power.

The military and the mullahs will fight for the future of a country that is home to one in four Arabs. The soldiers who have dominated Egypt since the ouster of King Farouk in 1952 show no willingness to surrender what they have long controlled of the state and economy.

Yet in the long run, the Brotherhood — whose claim to guide the nation’s destiny is rooted in a faith 1,400 years old — is likely to prevail.


In Syria, the uprising against Bashar Assad appears headed for civil war, with atrocities on both sides. Some 10,000 are estimated to have died, a far bloodier affair than Egypt. And here, too, the day of the Brotherhood, massacred in the thousands by Bashar’s father in Hama, seems not far off.

Witnessing what is happening in these critical Arab countries and across the region, one is tempted to ask: what are the fruits of three decades of compulsive U.S. intervention in the Islamic world?

Ronald Reagan put Marines in Lebanon to support an embattled Beirut regime and saw 241 of them massacred in their barracks.

In 1986, he ordered air strikes on Libya in retaliation for the bombing of a Berlin nightclub frequented by GIs. Reagan was paid back in his final days in office when Moammar Gadhafi’s killers blew up Pan Am 103, scattering the bodies of U.S. school kids over the Lockerbie landscape.

George H.W. Bush launched Desert Storm to rescue Kuwait from Saddam Hussein and restore the emir. After five weeks of air war and 100 hours of ground combat, Bush triumphed. He then imposed an embargo-blockade on Iraq and transferred thousands of U.S. troops onto Saudi soil that is home to Mecca and Medina.

Two of the causes of his attack on 9/11, said Osama bin Laden, were the U.S. strangulation of Iraq and the defiling of Islam’s sacred soil by infidel U.S. troops.

George W. Bush answered 9/11 by invading Afghanistan, driving out the Taliban and al-Qaeda, and staying on to build a more secular, democratic and pluralistic nation. He then invaded Iraq to overthrow Saddam and convert that country into a model Arab democracy and strategic base camp for the United States in the Middle East.

What did those wars cost? What did they accomplish?

Some 6,500 U.S. dead, 40,000 wounded, $1 to $2 trillion sunk. Tens of thousands of Afghan and 100,000 Iraqi dead, with widows and orphans numbering over 500,000. Half the Christians of Iraq have fled their homes, and half of these have fled the country in which their ancestors had lived almost since the time of Christ.

Neither Afghanistan nor Iraq can be regarded as a loyal ally or defender of U.S. interests. Pakistan, a country of 170 million with atomic weapons and an ally through 40 years of Cold War, has been converted into an embittered and even hostile nation.

The U.S.-NATO intervention in Libya brought about the dethroning and death of Gadhafi. It also resulted in the expulsion of Tuareg tribesmen who had served Gadhafi as mercenaries. Back in Mali, they have joined rebels to effect the secession of a slice of Mali the size of France, which is now becoming a haven for al-Qaida.

When one considers the investment America has made in the Middle East — the dead and wounded from our wars, the trillions lost in fighting and foreign aid, the endless time and attention of our leaders, scholars, journalists — what do we have to show for it?

From the Maghreb to the Middle East to Afghanistan, Christians are as isolated and imperiled as they have been in centuries.

The Israelis now have as neighbors: Hezbollah to the north, an embittered, segregated Palestinian population of 2 million to the east, Hamas to the south and to the west an Egypt of 80 million that has just passed into the custody of the Muslim Brotherhood.

And among those seeking to bring down Assad are not only Americans, Turks, Saudis and Qatari, but al-Qaeda, the principal suspect in the terror bombings of Aleppo and Damascus, and the Muslim Brotherhood, which owes the Assad family a blood debt.

If Assad falls and Sunnis seize power and pursue their slogan — “Christians to Beirut and Alawites to the tomb” — a prediction: A return of the Golan Heights taken by Israel in the 1967 Six Day War will top the agenda of the new Damascus regime.

And now John McCain is calling for air strikes on Damascus and Bibi Netanyahu and his neocon allies have Tehran in their gun sights.

What exactly have we gained from 30 years of interventions in the Middle East — that China lost out on by staying out?

Patrick J. Buchanan is a founding editor of TAC and the author of “Suicide of a Superpower: Will America Survive to 2025? [1]” Copyright 2012 Creators.com [2]

19 Comments (Open | Close)

19 Comments To "Making the World Safe for Islamism"

#1 Comment By Michael O’Hearn On June 26, 2012 @ 2:38 am

Pat, it’s all about small people finding a way to make themselves look big. As history moves forward, justice always prevails.

What about the Mandaeans in southern Iraq and Iran who follow John the Baptist but reject Christ? How much time do they have left?

#2 Comment By EdK On June 26, 2012 @ 10:08 am

Great article Pat, I always had the same exact questions you are raising, if we are truly fighting Al-Qaida, why we are supporting Islamist movements in Egypt and Syria?. I am not sure if the long term plan is to show the people in these countries the religious parties cannot govern democratically as the promised. Too bad though since the Syrian current regime is most secular in the Arab world.

#3 Comment By peter terminello On June 26, 2012 @ 11:14 am

You are right the the USA has been working to help Islam, the avowed enemy of the United States. I frankly don’t care what happens in that part of the world. Not a drop of American blood should be shed for those ungrateful people. We should stay out and let civil war proceed and they can kill each other off. Helping Iraq was supposed to be paid for by their oil. Nothing happened there. Iraq helped break our economy. We are not appreciated. They let us in to kill tribal foes then criminals take power and want us out as unwanted infidels. America is a mess which neither party can fix. Let’s keep our money here and help ourselves.

#4 Comment By James Canning On June 26, 2012 @ 1:23 pm

The blunder by the H G W Bush administration, after the Gulf War, in keeping permanent US bases in Saudi Arabia, was indeed one reason for the 9/11 attacks.

Another primary reason or grievance for Osama bin Laden was the Israeli invasion of Lebanon in 1982.

#5 Comment By James Canning On June 26, 2012 @ 1:31 pm

Colin Powell’s new book sheds some light on the failure of the US to react quickly and sufficiently to the Iraqi army build-up on the border of Kuwait prior to the invasion in 1990. Another blunder, sadly.

#6 Comment By amspirnational On June 26, 2012 @ 1:59 pm

Peter, I would advise you to read Buchanan’s pre-war column to get a more accurate reading
of who forced the war and how. Hint: there has been one set of “grateful” people.


#7 Comment By Majumder On June 26, 2012 @ 4:14 pm

“What exactly have we gained from 30 years of interventions in the Middle East — that China lost out on by staying out?”

Mr. Buchanan, you are the best on earth to tell and teach history!

I salute you, Sir.

Any future U.S. president should make you the Chief Political Advisor and pay you handsomely for your priceless service.

#8 Comment By Sir On June 26, 2012 @ 4:35 pm

“The blunder by the H G W Bush administration, after the Gulf War, in keeping permanent US bases in Saudi Arabia, was indeed one reason for the 9/11 attacks.

Another primary reason or grievance for Osama bin Laden was the Israeli invasion of Lebanon in 1982.”

Oh please…. and do were the Crusades…..and so was the Reconquista….and so was the collapse of the Ottoman Empire…. Why do you give credence to the assertions of that moron? He probably had an arms’ length of reasons from the days of Pharoah – who cares and why believe it?

#9 Comment By James Canning On June 26, 2012 @ 5:40 pm

China clearly is much the richer and stronger, for having avoided squandering a trillion dollars or more on unnecessary wars.

I think it is regrettable Israel did not make the peace deal with Syria that Turkey had brokered in 2008.

#10 Comment By James Canning On June 26, 2012 @ 5:44 pm

Sir – – Osama bin Laden made a number of statements regarding the factors that drove him to attack the US. There is no reason to believe Osama bin Laden was not stating facts acurately.

#11 Comment By Brian On June 26, 2012 @ 6:58 pm

Sir-Here is the speech in which Bin Laden sited his grievances with the American Government. Mr. Buchanan was correct.


#12 Comment By Clint On June 26, 2012 @ 7:00 pm

American warriors aren’t to be used as cannon fodder and American treasure isn’t to be tossed down the rat hole attempting to force impose democracy and police the middle east for the neocons foreign interests’ agenda.

#13 Comment By Dimitry Aleksandrovich On June 27, 2012 @ 1:52 am

In the 90’s the United States sided with Muslim Bosniaks and their Turkish and Arab Wahhabist sponsors over Orthodox Christian Serbs and then did it again in the late 90’s stealing Kosovo from Serbs and handing it over to the Albanians again at the behest of Turks and Saudi Wahhabists. Then in the last decade the United States overthrew a secular Arab nationalist named Saddam Hussein basically allowing Iraqi Islamists of all stripes to run wild and the result in Iraq as in Kosovo was the ethnic cleansing of the local Christian population. Now the United States and its Euro/Arab Wahhabist/Turk/Zionist allies wish to do the same with Syria threatening not only the millions of Christians in the country but also the Shia Alawites, Druze and Kurds. I cannot in good conscience wave the American flag anymore even though I was born here. It no longer stands as a symbol of freedom to me. It stands for oppression to my Orthodox Christian bothers and sisters. It stands for the theft of Kosovo. It stands for the ethnic cleansing of the ancient Assyrian and Chaldean Christians of Iraq. If the hawks get their way it will soon stand for the ethnic cleansing of the Christians of Syria where the ancient Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch sits. Not to mention the Alawites, Druze, Kurds and others who will be in the firing line of the Sunni Wahhabists should Assad be ousted. If America stands with Wahhabists then I cannot stand with my countrymen. You are right Mr. Buchanan when it comes down to it the politics of ideology are empty, the only politics that matter are the politics of religious, ethnic and family loyalties. In essence all politics is tribal.

#14 Comment By Paul T On June 27, 2012 @ 10:51 am

“When one considers the investment America has made in the Middle East,” asked Buchanan, “what do we have to show for it?”

Well, on a hunch I surfed over to Yahoo! Finance and found [5] for Boeing’s stock. The long-term trend is rather obvious.

#15 Comment By NY Teacher On June 27, 2012 @ 1:10 pm

Pat: Our policy has NEVER been about democracy in the mid-east; and this is what we have achieved through our “involvement” in the mid-east: US corporations like At&T, Boeing, Microsoft — you name it — all establishing preferential beachheads in those Arab nations. A trillion-dollar Lithium “find” in Afghanistan, a zillion-dollar capture of the world’s largest existing oil-fields (S. Arabia, Iraq and Kuwait), and untold gazillions more in un-drilled gas and oil reserves near Afghanistan.
So what it cost the US taxpayers a “trillion dollars” in military expenses (and $3 trillion more in a domestically devastated economy)? Since our schools have excelled in producing a dumbed-down population, this is exactly what we deserve.

#16 Comment By Clint On June 28, 2012 @ 6:56 am

In Iraq,
“In the end, bidder consortiums led by France’s Total and China’s CNPC secured contracts. Other companies awarded contracts were from Malaysia, Vietnam, Angola, Norway, Britain and Russia.

But there were no US companies.

Outside of the formal bidding process, only two US oil giants managed to secure contracts for other oil fields — Exxon and Occidental.”

#17 Comment By EdK On June 28, 2012 @ 9:57 am

Great article Pat and great comments from Dimitry. This week also Dr. Roberts has a great article too on the same subject:


#18 Comment By Harrison H.M. Elfrink On July 4, 2012 @ 11:42 am

All these above comments are beginning to remind me of FreeRepublic…the whole worry about the “Muslim menace”, “Islam is the enemy to the west” and all that claptrap that I would otherwise hear from the typical freeper or a neocon pundit like Michael Savage and David Horowitz who pimp the threat of Islam for political reasons. You are all becoming like your neocon enemies by inflating this “Islamism” threat.

Also, when did Turkey become an enemy to the US and Europe? Just because the Ottoman Empire conquered Eastern Europe in the 16th and 17th century does not mean they are a threat today, the Erdogan government is small time and has no ambitions to take over “the west” or create some sort of Taliban-ruled Middle East and Eastern Europe.

Listen, I disagree with America’s intervention in the Middle Eastern countries and I would love to see America stay out of Syria (as well as the Russians…as a true non-interventionist; Syria’s business is for Syrians only) and I am very much against the neocon’s idea of “nation building” or the liberal’s “humanitarian intervention” but I do not worship or root for long standing autocrats just because they’re opposed to hard-liner Muslims or because they’re friendlier to the Christian minority, and I do not support the other side either.

Arabs are smart and rational people just like the rest of us, let them figure out the Middle East for themselves, whatever the Arabs should want, is what should will. They do not need outside help from Americans, Europeans or Russians.

Also, Sunnis are people like Shi’as, Christians, Druze, Alawis…infact, Sunnis are the majority of Syria and the Muslim world as a whole.

#19 Comment By Ahmad Al-Hassan On August 2, 2012 @ 1:00 am

American XENOPHOBES think that the Saudis are out to conquer the world. Actually, Saudi society and government pursue a defensive agenda.
However, Saudi XENOPHOBES are no better than their American counterparts. It is their actions, both, that give their respective countries a bad image.