Friday, February 25, 2011

Middle Eastern Unrestfullness

With the mounting upheavel across the middle east, there seem to be three likely scenarios for each country undergoing mass unrest:

1) The regime weathers the storm, by cracking down oppressively on the protesters or by co-opting them with reforms that take the wind from their sails. The U.S. maintains a status quo arrangement with this regime.

2) The regime topples, and is replaced by a more modernist, humane and/or democratic government that placates the populace and improves the society. Hooray, the U.S. now has new friends! And ones that aren't corrupt kingpins sitting on a simmering powder keg.

3) The regime topples, and is replaced by (a) long, painful civil war and chaos, a la Somalia or Algeria, or (b) a vile, radicalized regime that wants to offer its people the best that the tenth century had to offer. Uh oh, the U.S. now has an enemy much crazier and energetic than ever before!

What are policymakers to do? Pledge immediate support, moral, economic and military, for the protesters to try and ingratiate ourselves to them and help them win? Back the status quo regimes if they're friendly to us, even if that means going against our democratic values and backing thugs? We have a long history of backing the wrong horse (Vietnam, pre-Castro Cuba) and creating new headaches for ourselves. We have also sometimes encouraged revolutions that came back to haunt us (Iran in '79). Maybe the solution is the George Costanza solution--do the opposite of our instincts.

So how do we go against our instincts here? Invade Canada. No one will see it coming.

Sorry, Canada, we have nothing against you. We just want your sweet, sweet Molson.

No comments:

Post a Comment