What has happened in many of the countries that have been hit by the Arab Spring, and this was recently painfully obvious in Egypt, is the coming to power of radical and extremist Islamic elements that had less power or existed only on the fringes before the uprisings in their respective countries.
Expert after expert, time and time again, have stated that the results of the Arab Spring are going to be widespread long-lasting and difficult if not impossible to undo. The U.S. was warned many times that what they were unleashing was not going to go the way of their pie-in-the-sky scenarios but nevertheless they continue to push for regime changes which we have seen have only caused more bloodshed and suffering and not the quick implementation of reforms and the appearance of democratic governments.
The Muslim Brotherhood, the largest Muslim organization in the world, is an example of one such group which had been banned in
Egypt, and whose original goal was to bring about Sharia Law and Islamize society. Although their extremist and violent nature have been toned down many experts are worried that their claims and actions which appear to adhere to democratic principles are merely tactical and a way for them to obtain real power.
The Muslim Brotherhood had promised not to front a presidential candidate in Egypt but we have seen that was a lie. What other lies they have presented to garner the trust of the people are yet to be seen but if they went back on one promise they are sure to go back on others.
The Muslim Brotherhood has a long and violent history including bombings, assassinations and attempts at overthrowing governments. It was also a member of the Muslim Brotherhood, Sayyid Qutb, who laid down the intellectual and theological justifications for the use of jihad, that inspired the leaders and founders of many of the modern day radical, militant and terrorist Islamic groups, such as Al Qaeda.
Tunisia, where Mohamed Bouazizi, the poor street grocer set himself on fire, the event that sparked the Arab Spring, appears may be another failure for the West, even though they claim success there. Laws prohibiting alcohol consumption and forcing women to wear traditional Muslim dress which did not exist before the Arab Spring are beginning to appear in the country.
According to Alon Ben Meir, a New York University based Middle East expert, in an interview with the Voice of Russia: “…without solid economic and other reforms, there is no chance that these countries will be able to develop democratic systems and as long as there is poverty and lack of freedom the radical Islamist elements will be able to recruit more and more of the population and gain power.”
Libya is another complete failure as the country has deteriorated into one where militias fight one another for control of cities and regions and there is still no real rule of law. Many international organizations have complained about the proliferation of weapons in the country and announcements by Islamists that they will be taking part in elections. These are just a couple of reasons for concern.
The opinion of Ben Meir was echoed by Claude Moniquet an expert in the field of regional conflicts and terrorism and the director of the European Strategic Intelligence and Security Center, in a recently published book the Arab Spring, an Unhealthy Spring: “… democracy must include respect for the rights of women, youth, labor, and the right to freedom of expression. When that is all there, you can proceed to the election process. To do the opposite - it's like to start building a house from the roof down.”
In other words, you can not just overthrow a regime and have nothing to replace it with and you can not build democracy without a foundation, this is clear in all of the Arab Spring countries and elsewhere such as Iraq.
Bahrain is another complete failure for the West, as they support and supported the regime. It was an unpleasant surprise for Washington that the uprisings spread to Bahrain. How can they claim to support Democracy and human rights and all of the other talking points and catch phrases when they are in support of a brutal regime because it supports the U.S. military complex?
Then we have Syria, which some experts say became the battleground for Sunni and Shiite Muslims, and where it appears the days of Bashar Assad are numbered. With questions as to his whereabouts, high-level defections, the continued arming of rebel groups by the West and a security apparatus that is growing more and more difficult to control, the political elite and those in power are beginning to question their own survival, and when they go, the country goes.
What awaits Syria after Assad? A fair and just society? A Western style democracy? Safety and security for the citizens? Not likely.
Will there ever be real “democracy” in the region without a basis on which it is to be built? It looks seriously doubtful.Asian Defence News