Ah, when Instapundit gets flustered on something you must *know* it is bad. His trials and tribulations to get a decent coffee maker are a standout in such things and now he realizes that something known as Peace in the Middle East appears to be further from view than ever before... so lets take a quick look at some of the main contributing factors of this dilemma and see if a solution can be found.
First up is Pan-Arabism. Luckily the folks at Wikipedia have this little map to show you just what the Pan-Arab world consists of:So that is what the Pan-Arabists want, a nice Arab-only, no others need apply Nation of their very own. This lovely idea was pushed by various regimes post-WWII such as Gamal Abdel Nasser of Egypt and Syria was so enamored of this idea that in 1956 they wanted to join with Egypt to form the United Arab Republic. Well, THAT didn't last long, but it gave ideas to all other sorts of folks in the region about how all that land was Arab land and they should very well kick out anyone they didn't like. This Arab Nationalist Movement pretty well died a death on the vine, save for the ugly roots it put in place throughout the Arab world. And all the way up to the fall of the Iraqi Ba'athist Regime, Sadaam Hussein continued in his dreams of being the 'Leader of the Arab World'. Now, if you are NOT Arab, this is a problem... do ask the Kurds about that. And the Jews in Israel. And Persians are not Arabs. Actually, there are quite a lot of folks in that region that are not Arabs who would not gain benefit from an Arab Nation. But the dream persists in absence of any substance.
Second is Islam. Love 'em or hate 'em, atheists do like to show the diversity of religion and they give a quick listing of the various Sects of Islam: Sunnis, Shi'ites (or however you spell that!), Sufis, Kharijites, Wahhabis, Ismailis, Zaidis, Fatamids, Nizari, Alawis, Druze and Baha'i. And, not listed there: Ibadi. So, there you have the great plethora of Islam, such a united front! And remember there was always a 'golden age' of Islam... it only had 3 or 4 sects! But tell that to the Wahhabi's who hooked up with the Saudi Royal Family to become the State Religion of Saudi Arabia... they have this great idea of theirs being the only *pure* version of Islam and all the rest are really infidels and worse. Even worse the Muslim Brotherhood arose to help spread a pernicious idea of trying to get rid of unbelievers of Islam as a whole and re-establish the Caliphate on a Global Basis. They believe that anywhere that ever had or has Islamic sway is *always* part of the Caliphate. And that is why Spain is up in the cross-hairs, too. As a whole it is this Global Caliphate idea that drives al Qaeda and a number of other large Islamic Transnational Terrorist organizations that seek to put in place an Islamic Nationalist Empire. Since no Nation will do this, they have to do it on their own and formed into multiple terrorist organizations over time, most looking towards standard Nationalism and some being Islamic based and others just plain out of it. I look at some of the problems of this here, but it basically comes down to a concept that one can shear terrorism from establishing a State and still reach the goal of a Global State. Mind you, they will have to *purify* Islam to get to a new 'golden age' which, unlike the previous, will only have one brand of Islam available. So all of those not believing in that particular form either convert or get killed. Swell folks.
Third up, and finally, Transnationalism. I go over this concept lightly here, and will lift from this article by John Fonte on Transnational Progressivism and Steven Den Beste which has the best summation of it I can find:
And this lovely idea gets pushed into the Arab Middle East! Add that to the aforementioned Pan-Arabism and Islamic Fundamentalism inspired terrorism and you come up with Transnational Terrorism. This potent brew aims to segregate Arabs from the *rest* of the Middle East, turn Islam into one sect ONLY, and then push for a Caliphate of Global Status that will rule over all other Groups and People's and aim to wipe out all other religions. When all is said and done, Transnational Terrorist aim to abolish the Nation States of the world, put Islam in place with a single strain of it as the only *allowed* religion and then dominate all other ethnicities and religions to their own benefit. All will be treated *equally* by this system: believe or die. Very fair, no?The key concepts of transnational progressivism are:
Groups are what matter, not people. You are "Black" or "Christian" or "Mexican" or "Afghan" or "Sunni", you are not yourself. You also don't get to choose your group; it's inherent in what you were when you were born. Someone else will categorize you into your group, and you will become a number, a body to count to decide how important that group is. And your group won't change during your lifetime.
The goal of fairness is equality of result, not equality of opportunity. It isn't important to let individuals fulfill their potential and express their dreams, what's important is to make groups have power and representation in all things proportional to their numbers in the population. Fairness is for groups, not for individuals. The ideally fair system is based on quotas, not on merit, because that permits proper precise allocation of results.
Being a victim is politically significant. It's not merely a plea for help or something to be pitied; it's actually a status that grants extra political power. "Victimhood" isn't a cult, it's a valid political evaluation. Groups which are victims should be granted disproportionately more influence and representation, at the expense of the historic "dominant" culture.
Assimilation is evil. Immigrants must remain what they were before they arrived here, and should be treated that way. Our system must adapt to them, rather than expecting them to adapt to us (even if they want to). The migration of people across national borders is a way to ultimately erase the significance of those borders by diluting national identity in the destination country.
An ideal democracy is a coalition where political power is allocated among groups in proportion to their numbers. It has nothing to do with voting or with individual citizens expressing opinions, and in fact it doesn't require elections at all. A "winner take all" system, or one ruled by a majority, is profoundly repugnant because it disenfranchise minority groups of all kinds and deprives them of their proper share of power.
National identity is evil. We should try to think of ourselves as citizens of the world, not as citizens of the nations in which we live, and we should try to minimize the effects of national interests, especially our own if we live in powerful nations.
Peace in the Middle East is *not* achievable with this as a concept floating around in the heads of millions of Arabs. You cannot have peace with those that wish to destroy your individuality and subjugate you if you do not agree with them and are not born into their ruling and Elite ethnic club. That must END as an idea.
So, how to do it?
First and foremost is to adhere to the concept of the Nation State as the ONLY entity for interaction between and amongst diverse peoples. This may seem blindingly obvious, but it must be put in force and all of these Non-Governmental Organizations that propose to uplift one Group of people over another because some are *victims* of a harsh world out of business. Nations should NOT support them. Charities for the down-and-out that give a hand up to a successful and productive life is LEGITIMATE. Charities that give hand outs and encourage people to consider themselves *victims* and cry about that forevermore are NOT LEGITIMATE no matter how many lives they save. This includes the UN. There is no such thing as 'People's Diplomacy': that is the sole reserve of the Nation State.
Point 1: De-legitimize all NGO's that are not Charity based. Further, they must espouse a non-victimization agenda so that immediate help for such things as disaster relief is followed up with rebuilding and helping individuals to find *productive* means to lead a life. Any group or organization that espouses Group victimhood or Group especiality must be put out of business. That *includes* all lobbyist organizations that are not wholly and completely funded by individuals WITHIN their host Nation.
Point 2: The highest order of contact in the World is that *between* Nations ONLY. There is NO higher body or governance than the Nation State. This includes the UN, which must be de-funded and eliminated. Only those things which are done via Treaty between Nations is wholly and completely legitimate.
Point 3: Diplomacy is ONLY for Nation States. There is NO other sanctioned form of Diplomacy between Nation States and their Peoples.
Each and every one of these that is being abused is delegitimizing the rightful role of the Nation State to have Independent Sovereignty with its People, even if it IS a totalitarian regime. The goal of National Foreign Policy is to set a National Agenda by a Nation so that its People may know how other Nations and People's are viewed. If you want to change the Foreign Policy, then one is stuck with the internal means of one's Nation to do so. Since the end of the Cold War the United States, in particular, has had NO Foreign Policy. NONE. Without that and the Republic of Free People's telling what their outlook and belief is as a diverse People actually IS, three Administrations have wandered from crisis to crisis without guidance, without outlook and towards disaster.
Point 4: Each Nation shall have a declared Foreign Policy and open Viewpoints on other Nations.
It is perfectly *acceptable* to say: as a Nation we *detest* the following Nations for these reasons... That is how things WORK in a system of Nation States. A Nation is forthright about its outlook, goals, agenda and operations towards other Nation States and uses the time honored arena of Diplomacy to work out differences. Anything which erodes this denies National Sovereignty and the Right of a Nation to be Sovereign for its People. This will bring Nations into conflict and has ever done so, thus we have Diplomacy. Diplomacy is used to keep Nations accountable for their actions and hold them responsible for them. This is Jus ad bellum or 'Just War' and has precise and proper diplomatic language and meaning, and is the basis for State to State conflict definition and resolution. This is *not* some wishy-washy 'trying to place blame and make someone a victim'! It *is* keeping Nations accountable for their activities via Foreign Policy and Diplomacy.
Point 5: Conflict resolution is done by Diplomacy and has stated levels and means for understanding with due reciprocity of those meanings upon all Nations.
These Five Points are the way the Middle East needs to ACT to get its act together. By enforcing these Five Points some things become plain and immediate:
1) Harboring, aiding or in any way giving legitimacy to terrorist organizations by ANY NATION is in, and of, itself a Casus Belli. This INCLUDES all terrorist organizations on the State Department's list. This INCLUDES all charities that support these organizations. Give each of those Nations a deadline to either get rid of these Transnational Terrorists and deligitimize them, or come out in support FOR them and say that those organizations that are being given safe haven SET the Foreign Policy for your Nation.
2) All Foreign NGO's that push religion, Group based behavior or anything more than 'a hand up' or 'immediate and necessary relief and rebuilding from disasters' is to be considered INTERFERENCE by the People of one Nation into the affairs of those Nations they are sent to UNLESS each and every one of those organizations registers as a Foreign Lobbying Organization. Those that register as same will be limited via treaty for staffing, spending, and what they may or may not do via treaty. Those that fund Madrassas, *separate schools*, or *ethnic cultural learning establishments* shall be prohibited from doing so as those are INTERFERENCE in the affairs of a Foreign Nation. Giving out press releases, public statements and other, similar, resource documents is ONE thing. Teaching that the Nation State is not the Sole Sovereign of a People is quite another.
3) Arab Nations have fought wars against Israel and LOST them. Repeatedly. It is time to *accept* this. The attempt to fund terrorism is now coming back to bite all of the Nations that have supported terrorists. If your Nation has a Peace Treaty with Israel, it would be a good idea to actually UPHOLD that treaty and ensure that the provisions in it are *working*. The actions of the Arab Nations have let the Palestinians hold on to a forlorn hope that they are *entitled* to victory and are victims if they do not get same. Most of the Arab Nations do not *want* the Palestinians as Citizens for some strange reason, and yet have large numbers of them in camps and working inside their Nations. Either send them home, make them Citizens or DECLARE WAR ON PALESTINE for invading Sovereign Nations with its problems that it should have solved ON ITS OWN. Or those Nations might want to talk with the Palestinians and suggest that they SURRENDER to Israel and work out something known as a Peace Treaty of Surrender, in which Palestine gets to make very few demands and may not ask for more than its current borders and may get far, far less than those. That is a matter between Palestine and Israel, not a kibbitzers Conference. If Arab Nations are so hot for a Palestine, they should tell the Palestinians to join the real world and realize that they have LOST to Israel and accept that and work out an agreement. They have been losing since 1948 and giving false dreams has only kept the killing going onwards. And *that* blame falls squarely on the Arab Nations supporting the Palestinian Problem while offering NO SOLUTION.
The World has tried Transnational ways of doing things since the 1960's and that has only put the entire World at peril.
Complain as you may against the old Nation State Diplomacy system: for both good and ill it WORKS and is comprehensible in its workings.
We just might want to give it a try, again, before something really awful starts up.