Is it because of blindness or duplicity that the West unceasingly acts against its own interests in the Middle East and one by one destroys all the ramparts that stand against Islamic extremism?
What an incredible blindness this is, causing Europe and the United States to promote, for over 30 years now, the advent of radical Islam in the Middle East under the pretext of fighting dictators who actually stood in its way.
This began when we abandoned the shah of Iran while he was pushing for reform and being contested by the mullahs, who were angry that he had taken the clergy’s land away and given women the vote. Aided by the Iranian student movements of the Communists and the extreme left, Khomeini received the unconditional support of Jean-Paul Sartre and Michel Foucault while he took asylum in France. And so, the ayatollah took power in 1979 for 10 long years, indiscriminately repressing all opposition from the preceding regime, but bringing his country back into obscurity by imposing sharia. Thus, the benevolence of the West permitted the installation of an Islamic republic in a country where pro-Western policies once reigned.
Then came the first war in Iraq, its causes as specious as those that led to the second. To defend its own interests, after having supported Saddam Hussein for eight years, the United States started a war that caused widespread devastation. After this came the second intervention, which, following a 10-year embargo, caused more civilian deaths in Iraq than terrorism will ever cause here. By doing this, the West removed a secular dictator, introducing murderous chaos and giving birth to the Islamic State.
And then, as if we had not learned our lesson, we had to help overthrow Moammar Gadhafi. In 2011, under the influence of the ridiculous Bernard-Henri Lévy, Paris recognized the head of the insurrection as the sole representative of the country. Then, at the behest of Qatar and Saudi Arabia, Western allies took it upon themselves to bring order to Libya. We know now that Paris would have gone so far as to finance the rebellion in exchange for future contracts and the provision of arms. Currently, the country is torn between Tobruk’s official government and its competition in Tripoli, supported by the Muslim Brotherhood of Qatar and Turkey. But jihadi groups close to al-Qaida, out-of-control tribal militias, and finally the Libyan branch of the Islamic State group are also intervening.
Today, as if we had not chosen the wrong target enough in the past, we want the eviction of the disreputable (once again) head of the Syrian state, postulating that the rebels who oppose him are “moderates.” We withhold support from Egyptian Gen. Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, who has the impudence to want to fight against the Muslim Brotherhood and re-establish a little order. We decry Putin, who supports Assad and el-Sissi, and who is becoming ipso facto the number one enemy of Turkey, a NATO member whose perverse actions must prompt us to bring about heavy-handed reprisals. Once again, we claim to hold the truth while we work against our own geostrategic interests.
Is this a Pavlovian reflex of the old Europe, leading it to react — whenever it comes to deposing an authoritarian regime — by aiding insurgents in the name of democracy, as if revolution can bring nothing but benefits? Is this a way for the United States to sow disorder along the edges of a European Union that could contest its economic supremacy? Is this a form of Stockholm syndrome or a manifestation of deterioration among people tired of living? Is this simply the consequence of erroneous calculations by unenlightened governments?
As the Greeks said, Zeus brings madness upon those he wants to lose.