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|Subject: 1979 and 2011: The Years that Shaped the Middle East Thu Mar 15, 2012 10:01 pm|| |
1979 undeniably (I Mean it, deny it and your a fucking moron) was the most important year when it came to shaping of the Middle East. Numerous events took place across the region that would shape the future to come.
I believe that if there is any year that can rival 1979 it is 2011. In short 1979 was a revolution across the Middle East and the same thing happened in 2011. For Better or worse, lets take a look.
The Iranian Revolution - Ayatollah Khomeini successfully leads an Islamic revolution and forced the Shah out of Iran. Iran became the first modern nation run by Islamic Law, Khomeini imposed Shia law and allowed the seizure of the U.S. embassy in Tehran.
The Camp David Accords - Peace between Egypt and Israel - Egyptian President Anwar al Sadat became the first leader of the middle east to recognize Israel and sign a Peace Treaty with them. Sadat showed that by attaining peace you could also regain lost territories (Sinai). Egypt would be suspended from the Arab League (that they largely helped form) and would become a partner with the USA. Sadat would become the first leader of an Arab country to visit Israel, recognize Israel, and speak at the Knesset. Sadat would be assassinated by islamic militants in 1981. No arab countries sent representatives to Sadat's funeral but an unprecedented 3 former United States Presidents and numerous Israeli delegates attended and participated in his funeral. Prime Minister Begin (of Israel) and President Sadat (Egypt) received the 1979 Nobel Peace Prize.
Saddam Hussein Purges Ba'ath Party - In 1979 Saddam Hussein seized control of the Presidency of Iraq and famously held an immediate emergency party meeting only 2 weeks after assuming power. Many of the people summoned were key political figures in Iraq (among them ambassadors to Britain) that Saddam viewed as a threat. Saddam then read off 60 names of high ranking members that were in the room. He stated these men were traitors to his regime and armed guards came into the chambers removed the men and killed them. Saddam had the entire event filmed and resided over the Committee while smoking a cigar. This one move effectively removed any political resistance Saddam may have faced from within the Baath party.
Seizure of the Grand Mosque - a group of Islamic nut jobs seized perhaps the most famous mosque in the world. 500 militants seized the mosque before a prayer session for 50,000 people. They claimed they were the "Mahdi" or the returning messiah. Iran and Pakistan said USA was behind this and not muslims, a lot of hell broke loose. In the end the Saudi's with the help of the French decided to gas the mosque in order to not kill any hostages. THe Mosque was freed from the militants and 61 of them were beheaded in public. The Bin Ladens are rumored to have funded this event.
The Soviet Union Invades Afghanistan - If there was ever a sole country that was responsible for serving as a mujahideen training ground it is Afghanistan. This was the conflict that led to that. When the Soviets invaded Afghanistan moderate countries (Egypt and Saudi Arabia) and other middle eastern countries saw this as a chance to get rid of the islamist nut jobs in their country that wanted to topple the current regimes. So after clerics issued fatwas allowing jihad on the invading soviets, tens of thousands of islamic fighters poured into Afghanistan. The United States would back the massive mujahideen and several factions of the mujahideen would go on to form Al Qaeda while others would form the Northern Alliance (the Talibans opposition). This is a key event in the history of islamic terrorists.
Tunisia became the first Middle Eastern country to have a Revolution since 1979 and it lead to a massive spread throughout the region. I have a strong feeling in thirty years we will be looking at 2011 as the defining year for the Middle East.
Lets take a look at some of events that took place in 2011 that will shape the Middle East going forward.
The Deaths of Bin Laden and Anwar al-Awlaki - In the same year the U.S. military effectively killed the Brain and the mouth piece of Al Qaeda. One of the long time recruiting tools of Al Qaeda had been the charismatic Bin Laden and his ability to avoid capture along with the fiery american cleric; in Joe Bidens words "this was a big fucking deal."
Tunisia Revolution - who would have thought that when it took place, that TUnisia would inadvertently spark the Arab Spring. Sunni's all over the middle east began rising up.
Egypts Revolution - long time american ally was basically tossed under the bus and forced to step down in the hope that modern elections would maintain a friendly relationship. Mubarak was declared president after Sadat's assassination and had remained in power over 30 years. The people of Egypt finally wanted an elected official. However, the elections were strongly controlled by the Muslim brotherhood resulting in them winning 70% of Parliament. Which led to General Mulla stating that the Generals and not the Muslim Brotherhood would be writing the Constitution.Looking more and more like a mistake to let Mubarak fall IMO. But it is lear the Egyptian Army is not about to let the Islamic nut jobs, that have threatened their government since Sadat, take control in elections marred by intimidation.
Gaddafi is Killed - NATO provides air support and bombing campaigns to allow the massive Free Libyan Army (if you don't realize that they controlled over 65% of the country before NATO became envolved then you are WRONG) to move on the Gaddafi strong hold of Tripoli. Worries of Al Qaeda infiltration and weapons caches being seized have played a part in the lull after Gaddafi's removal.
Iran nears a Nuclear weapon - it is inevitable that the Iranian problem is coming to a head and 2011 was the year that we learned the USA and Israel are strongly considering attacking while Iran decided to continue to play stupid.They also practiced closing the Straights of Hormuz and the USA and other countries imposed the toughest economic sanctions of all time.
USA withdraws from Iraq - After 8 years in the country the USA finally ended Operation Iraqi Freedom (ya ya Bush did that in 2003 but fuck off) and left President/Dictator al-Maliki to his devices. You know things like issuing arrest warrants for his elected Vice President, not showing up to our troop ceremony, declaring a victory day for expelling the occupier. Basically everything that Bush promised us (WMDS, treated as Liberators) was proven to be bullshit when we left a country with a government in charge that we were largely responsible for, and they essentially told us go fuck yourself.
Bashar al-Assad saved by Iran and Russia - When the Arab Spring spread to Syria we saw what happens when a despot has a strong modern military (unlike Libya) and a leader that doesn't mind massacring large amounts of citizens (Hosni Mubarak stepped down to his credit). Syria is Russia's last lap dog in the middle east and Iran needs all the friends they can get. They have been advising Assad and supplying him with weapons. Their 2 votes blocked the U.N. from taking action and the Arab League seems to have admitted they need outside help with this problem. Over 8,500 civilians have been killed in Assad's crack down.
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