What A Time! What A World! The Muslim World Is Awakening
09 May 2016
By Dr. Khaled M. Batarfi
''May you live in interesting times!'' says the ancient Chinese curse. Are we?
Just look around you! Or at the TV screen in front of you! Are we in Hell? Or
is it just a nightmare?
I keep track of what is going on, on hour-by-hour basis. As a political
analyst, I have to, even though my doctor and wife are not in total agreement,
to say the least!
Has it always been like this? There were times in the past, when the world was
on fire. In my lifetime, I could vividly remember the Arab-Israeli war of
1973, the Israeli invasion of Lebanon (1982), the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait
(1990), the US invasion of Iraq (2003), then came the so-called ''Arab
Spring'' that started with a protest in Tunis 2010. Within months, a domino
effect took Egypt, Libya, Yemen, Syria and Bahrain by storm.
Now, it is constant, persistent and nonstop ''Reality TV.'' Like a drama
series, you need to watch, document and memorize every episode, lest you have
missed something that might explain anything!
I am watching now, for an instance, the Iraqi episode. I see the elected
representatives of the people in a group fistfight inside the Parliament. The
country is half lost to terrorists and extremists — Daesh (so-called IS) has
created its own nation in the Iraqi territories they gained so easily and
quickly from the government and its mighty armies!
In the Libyan episode, competing Libyan governments are in a street fight —
with live ammunition! For years, now, since the fall of the Gaddafi
dictatorial regime, the Libyans could not agree on one government. The country
is divided among tribal, political and religious groups
The Yemeni episode is not less dramatic or complicated. Rebels are fighting
the government. Arabs are supporting the government. The UN Security Council,
Organization of Islamic Cooperation, and the rest of the world community —
except Iran — are standing with the government—in principle.
Then comes the ongoing Syrian fight. This time it's not just locals fighting
each other. Iranians, Russians, Kurds, Turks, Arabs, Afghanis, Pakistanis,
Lebanese, Europeans, Americans, even Chinese, are in the show. The theater has
become more complicated with each entrance of a new player.
Interesting in all the above is the American stands. On the face of it, they
seem in and out at the same time. Different officials, from the president to
his Cabinet and military chiefs, say different things, at different times.
Once they are with Geneva 1 agreement that has no place for Assad, and then
they don't seem in a hurry to take him out of the picture. Once they are
totally opposed to the Russian and Iranian interference, and then they look
like they were in bed with them last night. If that is not confusing enough,
they called for Syrian neighbors to shoulder the responsibility of fighting
Daesh and stopping the Syrian regime's war on its own people, and when we
answered the call and announced our readiness, they put us on hold!
Valid questions are raised even by NATO members and US allies. They include:
Why after over a year of bombing, Daesh is not only intact, but also
expanding, its oil fields are humming, bumping and selling? Why would the US
stand with Russia in support of the terrorist Kurdish groups, threatening the
security of a NATO member —Turkey? How could the US trust a revolutionary,
unstable, rogue regime, like the mullahs, to serve its interests in a volatile
region like ours – — side stepping traditional, steadfast allies? Why the
hesitation in supporting the Syrian resistance and providing, or allowing
others to provide them, with badly needed equipment to face Russian, Iranian,
Shiite militias and regime holocaust?
Not all news is depressing, though. Saudi Arabia is leading the Arab and
Islamic resurrection. The Muslim Nation is awakening, and steps are taken to
diagnose the ills and take proactive measures to resolve troubles and isolate
The war in Yemen is nearing its end and Iran is publicly admonished and
criticized for interference by its agents — the Houthis.
In the Gulf Cooperation Council, Arab League and Organization of Islamic
Cooperation (OIC), Iran and its agent of terror, Hezbollah, are named, shamed,
The OIC Summit in Istanbul (April, 2016) condemned Iran for its destructive
intervention in member states' affairs and the spreading of division,
sectarianism and hate, as well as ''the aggressions against the missions of
the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in Tehran and Mashhad.''
The Conference also ''rejected Iran's inflammatory statements on the execution
of judicial decisions against the perpetrators of terrorist crimes in Saudi
Arabia, considering those statements a blatant interference in the internal
affairs of the Kingdom.''
Our world is getting more interesting by the day, but at least someone is
doing something about the dark side of it. And I am proud and optimistic that
my country is in the driver's seat.
Dr. Khaled M. Batarfi is a Saudi writer based in Jeddah. He can be reached
at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him at Twitter:@kbatarfi