The label for recent military interventions in some Arab countries — the majority of which are American-led — was “Regime Change.” Some world leaders who advocate humanitarian and democratic principles sympathize with oppressed Arab people, so they come to their rescue and rid them of their oppressive leaders, granting them freedom. It is somewhat peculiar that some ordinary Arabs are still buying into this ideology, promoting it to the interveners despite the conceivable bloody consequences of related policies.
Sept. 11 paved the road for initial interventions in Afghanistan and Iraq. The Arab Spring unintentionally provided another opportunity for intervention. In both cases, proponents of intervention forgot that the United States created al-Qaida, which was used as a pretext to topple Saddam Hussein’s regime for allegedly supporting al-Qaida. Proponents of intervention also forgot that the United States supported Saddam himself during his war against Iran, kept silent about his use of chemical weapons and didn’t accuse him of running a dictatorship.
During the early stages of the Arab Spring, the United States and the West didn’t support the Arab uprising in a tangible way but waited until it became clear on which side they should intervene. Blind is he who doesn’t learn from past blunders. According to history, the very forces who occupied the region stole it and supported its main enemy (the Zionists) in addition to supporting other dictatorships which were never loyal to their people, would never participate in a project that would help people in this region develop by releasing their energy and liberating their minds. Nevertheless, some among us are seemingly prone to repeatedly stepping on the same rake.
One can’t defend a regime that has used intimidation as a tool in governing people — a regime that has accumulated economic and social backwardness by undermining freedoms and the right of self-expression. Any change must be contingent on being prepared for a vital and realistic alternative that addresses the needs of the people. The intervention by forces renowned for hating the region and its people and set on looting it can never be a viable alternative. Even if these forces intervene to install a local alternative, this alternative will be sold in advance and mortgaged to those who give it its power. The easy transfer of power, even if it serves this purpose, is not desirable.
The incidents that succeeded the intervention in Libya, Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan didn’t deviate from the norm and resulted in the destruction of the country, its history and accomplishments; death and diaspora; the creation of a power vacuum occupied by the likes of different militias, warlords and selfish interests; the provision of room for extremist terrorist groups; tension in the countries that witnessed direct interventions and pressure on their economies in addition to the creation of a general atmosphere of tension. We will not succeed if we attempt to find one positive outcome that might have resulted from the interventions. Even “regime change” which might seem promising at first, poses a relevant and vital question: change of regime to benefit who and serve what exactly? Which regimes will be able to fulfill the demands of change? The years following 2011 brought nothing but the annihilation of the intifadas of the Arab people in order to promote the kind of anarchy that brings backwardness, not progress.
Notably, the countries whose revolutions were suppressed locally or by limited interventions in order to sustain the regime suffered less in the way of damages than blood and the destruction of homes, even if the countries regained stability the old-fashioned way.
There were always immediate and particular doubts about the intention of foreign intervention policy in Arab countries. You can directly reach this conclusion when you look at the nature of foreign and regional meddlers who lack any positive values and who presented the worst alternative for ruling the very people they claimed to have rescued. In a country like Syria after six years of massive destruction, diaspora, asylum and the destruction of an ancient culture, the intervention concluded with the finding that the alternatives are inadequate replacements for the regime.
The interveners might have been aware of this possibility from the very beginning. The notion probably didn’t occur to any one person or bunch of people who come and go. According to the results, the idea of intervention became related to the destruction of the region’s culture, the destruction of the Arab countries and the placing of major stumbling blocks in front of any progress by Arab people. The pre-Arab Spring era might have been plagued by a suffocating dictatorship; the intervention, however, turned this suffocation into immediate death, undermining historical achievement and relegating people back to the stone age. The people didn’t only receive a blow from one direction, but a set of blows from countless sides, including citizens involved in civil wars and from brutal foreigners. Change is supposed to come from within by developing the alternative plan of making people love their country. The belief in foreign freedom promoters, as we see today, constitutes nothing but suicide.