There Is A Tide

It is heartening to see the momentum changing, for the moment at least, in the Muslim world. The excesses of the Taliban have provoked a vigorous response, it seems, in northwestern Pakistan, and there are reports that an al-Qaeda exodus to Yemen and Somalia may be beginning – which may in many way be more problematic in terms of their containment, but which at least would get them farther away from Afghanistan, and from Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal. In Lebanon, Hezbollah was handed a defeat in recent elections, and there has been a rising tide of democratic activism in Iran in advance of today’s elections there.

Time does not permit me to comment further just now — and of course with fundamentalism and authoritarianism exerting a constant pull in the region these trends may easily be reversed, as we have seen so often before — but for the moment at least the wind seems to have shifted a bit.


  1. Ahmed says

    Just proves that when you extend a gesture of peace and respect (Obama’s speech), people in that region respond well and in kind . I think Obama single handedly has accomplished what the soft-targeting Israeli “army” failed to do, and that is; defeating Hizeballa, who was up in the polls before the speech.
    Lets hope he (Obama) uses the momentum, to convince people in the US that having a ‘Just’ solution to the Palestinian people is key to the US national interest and security, and we should not be bullied and dragged into conflict with 1.5 B people, by war hawks, hate speech neoconservatives, who would prefer, according to Danial Pipes, to have ahmedinajad win, because he is an easy excuse to wage wars on Muslims. We cannot have people with double passports(Radical Jewish Israelis) write our foreign policies.

    Posted June 12, 2009 at 1:23 pm | Permalink
  2. Malcolm says

    Nor are we, or should we be, about to abandon Israel, our staunchest ally in the region. The Muslim nations of the Middle East, for whom the Palestinians have been little more than pawns in a 60-year-old power struggle, also need to recalibrate their attitude toward Israel if any progress is to be made.

    We’ll see how this goes.

    Posted June 12, 2009 at 1:48 pm | Permalink
  3. Ahmed says

    Indeed. It is a 2way street. All, including the right wing govt. of Israel, need to put an exceptional effort for this to work. US of course is not going to abandon Israel, but needs to make it clear that America’s security comes first and foremost.

    Posted June 12, 2009 at 2:46 pm | Permalink
  4. Ulyses says

    I see a world in which forces of radical hatred are being beaten back by common people.
    People want just to have a good life all over the place. I have high hopes for the voices of reason and what that entails. Conservatism in all forms is no way to govern the people. It has failed. All people want to be able to live their lives how they see fit without some towel head or religious nut telling them how to do it. Religious freedom from radical dogma of all flavors is what is needed. I support Iran’s people fight for their religious freedom.

    Posted June 12, 2009 at 6:55 pm | Permalink
  5. What we’re seeing in some places, Ulyses, is a victory of conservatism over radialism. Al Qaeda and the Taliban are both based on radical interpretations of Islam, and both have tended to alienate ordinary Muslims in places where they’ve come into power. Suicide terrorism directed against Muslims in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Iraq has also made Islamism less palatable to the average, conservative Muslim. But democracy will take root slowly in some of these places and will not necessarily look like Western democracy with its distinction between religion and state. Think of Iran, which has a rather vigorous democratic system . . . but overseen by religious authorities. That may eventually change, but who can say when?

    Jeffery Hodges

    * * *

    Posted June 12, 2009 at 9:02 pm | Permalink
  6. jack says

    you might call it radical conservatism that is being beat back. we are of course mixing up words and their nuances.

    Posted June 14, 2009 at 5:57 am | Permalink
  7. jack says

    A solid blog, by the way.

    Posted June 14, 2009 at 6:01 am | Permalink
  8. George says

    Aaahh.. What about Radical Judaism? Radical Jews who run the state of Israel today.. Or some of us here like to only talk about the ‘sexy’ topic of radical Islam because it benefits their so-called blogs (don’t mean this one). Check this out, it will make you sick in your stomach:


    Posted June 17, 2009 at 12:55 pm | Permalink

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