The Middle East's Titanic Battle

[Jerusalem Post] Barry Rubin - For 55 years the Middle East has lived under Arab nationalist dominance. The last real regime change from within an Arab state happened 37 years ago, when Hafez Assad seized power in Syria. Since then, surprisingly little has changed in Arab ideology, political structure, economic organization or society. It has also been 28 years since Iran's Islamist revolution took power in 1979. Since then, Islamism has been on the upsurge. Radical Islamism has now reached a critical mass, posing serious challenges to Arab nationalism as the leading opposition in every Arabic-speaking country. For years to come, the Middle East will be shaken by a titanic battle for control between Arab nationalism and Islamism. This struggle, and certainly not the Arab-Israel conflict, is the central theme and underlying factor in every regional issue. It is folly to think that the Hamas-Iran-Syria-Hizbullah alliance can be split. The parties have common aims and ideologies, their cooperation is mutually beneficial, and they think they are winning.

2007-08-21 01:00:00

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