Wednesday, November 23, 2011


By Schmoel Yitzhak

There are two kinds of "Springs" in my life these days; one I like; the other I detest.

Irish Spring is an inexpensive deodorant soap with an invigorating odor and a pleasant green look about it. I use it every morning when showering myself down for the day ahead.

Arab Spring is just the opposite.

For one thing, it stinks to high heaven and no amount of applicable Irish Spring can ever disinfect the odor emanating from Cairo, Triipoli and Damascus, among other turbulent towns.

Irish Spring is a genuine product which does what it says; cleans you up and makes you smell good.

Arab Spring is no more than a fictitious label concocted by the journalistic horde looking for a positive democratic hook to put on a very un-democratic story in the Middle East.

Oh, yeah, there were well-meaning protestors galore last January at Cairo's Tahrir Square demanding the overthrow of Hosni Mubarak and eventually -- with a lot of misguided help from Barack Obama -- they got their wish. 

Mubarak is history and so, for that matter, is the Arab Spring; at least in that idealistic sense propagated by the know-nothing North American and European media which so desperately tries to elevate the Arab cause beyond all logical reason. 

The case against Mubarak was that he led a repressive regime and, as such, deserved to get the hook.

So, what kind of beautiful music have his successors provided?

Well, if you call the "rat-a-tat-tat" of machine guns "music," then Egyptians have been getting their fair share because what's happened is that the successors to the repressive Mubarak are no more than repressors themselves. Want proof? At last look at least 24 protestors have been killed as the current leaders suppress the anti-government activists. 

Arab Spring? Get this analysis direct from The Associated Press:

"Over recent months, security around Egypt has fallen apart with increased crime, sectarian violence and tribal disputes. The economy has badly deteriorated. Airport officials report a sharp drop in international passenger arrivals -- a further blow to the country's crucial tourism industry, which is one of the top foreign currency earners."

Then again, one might say that the view from Cairo is a lot rosier than the sickening spectacle in Damascus. After all, the 24 Cairo deaths are small potatoes compared to the hundreds massacred by the forces of Syrian President Bashar Assad -- with more killings occurring by the day. 

Some Arab Spring?

In the case of Syria, arguably the most astonishing aspect of the anti-Assad uprising is that the protestors have received precious little help from Uncle Sam, nor his English, French and other European Union pals. 
The best they've been able to do is wring their hands in dismay and issue banal warnings that have about as much effect on the Syrian dictator as a Band-Aid on a grenade wound.

Assad knows a futile gesture when he sees it and when The Arab League suspended Syria's membership, Bashar's reaction was roughly equivalent to Groucho Marx's comment when he was refused membership in a Waspish country club:  "I wouldn't belong to any club that would have me as a member!"

Meanwhile, Obama's cronies continue to do what they've been doing since the Democrat took office, blather about Iran instead of directly taking on that nut-nation. Obama's National Security Advisor Tom Donilon is the latest to blow steam at President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

"If Tehran does not change course," says Donilon, "the pressure will continue to grow. Working with allies and partners, we will continue to increase sanctions."

Some threat. Ahmadinejad & Co. laugh at such imprecations. They heard variations on Donilon's theme when Iran began its hostile nuclear program years ago and continued hearing them right up until today. Yes, they hear; but, no, they don't care because they have seen over and over again that Obama is a tissue threat. 

And don't tell me that you believe Washington when Donilon proclaims, "We will take no option off the table."

Who is he kidding? The one option that matters is not on the table. If anywhere, it's on Benjamin Netanyahu's and it's no secret that Obama has been warning him not to use it -- or else. (I doubt that Obama knows what that "or else" really is.

Disaster has been the Arab's middle name for centuries and, really, nothing has changed. 

As Moshe Arens points out in Haaretz, the UN Arab Human Development Reports continue to cite "deeply rooted shortcomings" in Arab countries. Report after report rip the Arab countries for a "severely retarded educational system," lack of "respect for human rights and freedoms" and assorted other shortcomings that the international media studiously avoids reporting.

"If you were thinking that the so-called Arab Spring was going to fix all that," says Arens, "you'd better think again. It looks like the Arab Spring will be followed by an Arab Winter. The Islamists are going to inherit the mantle of the dictators."

The New York Times may believe that the Arab Spring still has virtues.

Me? I'll take Irish Spring, shower myself down with it and wish the Arab Spring could only smell as sweet!

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