What Can Go Wrong

(Jerusalem Post) Daniel Pipes - * While I too welcome recent developments in the region, having been trained in Middle Eastern history makes me perhaps more aware of what can go wrong. * Yes, Mahmoud Abbas wishes to end the armed struggle against Israel, but his call for a greater jihad against the "Zionist enemy" points to his intending another form of war to destroy Israel. * The Iraqi elections are bringing Ibrahim Jaafari, a pro-Iranian Islamist, to power. Likewise, the Saudi elections proved a boon for the Islamist candidates. * Mubarak's promise is purely cosmetic; but should real presidential elections one day come to Egypt, Islamists will probably prevail there too. * Removing Syrian control in Lebanon could well lead to Hizballah, a terrorist group, becoming the dominant power there. Eliminating the hideous Assad dynasty could well bring in its wake an Islamist government in Damascus. * Note a pattern? Other than the Palestinian case, one main danger is that a too-quick removal of tyranny unleashes Islamist ideologues and opens their way to power. The writer is director of the Middle East Forum.

2005-03-09 00:00:00

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