Ever since the disastrous decision by President George W. Bush to invade Iraq in 2003 (to avenge the attempt by Saddam Hussein to assassinate his father) the position of the West, and particularly of the US in the Middle East, until then unassailable, has gone from very good to very bad. A series of terrible policy decisions, spread over the sixteen years of the Bush and Obama administrations, supplemented by equally bad policy judgments on the part of the European Union's principal member countries, have resulted in transforming the region into a bloody killing-ground where Iran, Russsia, Turkey, the Gulf States and a rainbow array of terrorist organizations jockey for position and local dominance.
There is no point here in detailing the sad tale of Western stupidity, before and after the Arab nightmare (originally referred to as the Arab Spring). Suffice it to say that the culmination of this doleful process was a combination of the 2015 Iranian "deal", the worst international agreement since the Munich settlement of 1938, and the decision on the part of Germany to arm-twist the principal EU countries to permit and indeed facilitate the movement of hundreds of thousands of "refugees" from the Middle East into Europe where they are now busily engaged in subverting those countries from within.
Since the changeover of leadership in the US in early 2017, however, the following events have occurred which may signal a turn in the apparently unstoppable process of deterioration. First the US responded to use by the Assad government in Syria of chemical agents in April 2017 by attacking Syrian targets, which Obama had refused to do years earlier. Then in 2018, in response to another use of chemical agents by the Assad forces on defenseless civilians, a massive air attack was again launched, this time by US forces joined by the French and the British, which was entirely successful in destroying the Syrian chemical weapons facilities. In addition, in response to an attempt on the part of the Russian government to add to its list of murdered dissidents by poisoning a former Russian security official and his daughter in London, several Western governments adopted truly significant economic and diplomatic measures.
It is to be hoped that these events mark a turning point in the seemingly inexorable decline of the Western powers. Several European countries are beginning to take stronger measures to counteract spreading Islamic influence internally, and in collaboration with the Gulf States, especially Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the UAE, along with Egypt and of course Israel, they and the US are finally beginning to confront the Iranian/Turkish/Russian cabal.
Assuming that rampant "political correctness" does not sabotage this development, it has enormous significance for investors everywhere. Scientific and technological progress has continued unabated during this period, and indeed appears in several areas to be approaching a society-changing climax. The single most important question mark is in what sort of society will these paradigm-changing developments be implemented? Any technology can be used for good or for evil. Which it is depends on who does the choosing. Will it be those who uphold the values of Western civilization or the tyrants and terrorists of the new barbarism?
Norman A. Bailey, Ph.D., is Professor of Economics and National Security, The National Security Studies Center, University of Haifa, and Adjunct Professor of Economic Statecraft, The Institute of World Politics, Washington, DC. He was formerly with the US National Security Council and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence.
The views he expresses are his own and do not necessarily reflect those of "Globes."
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on April 22, 2018
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