The “Arab Spring” continues apace, well into summer. In Libya, the rebels are fighting amongst themselves, while no one quite knows what the hell is going on and the West (led from behind by Obama) tries to help by dropping random bombs hither and yon. In Egypt, the Muslim Brotherhood pushes its militant form of Islam forward for the new government, and the old leader (and fairly reliable US ally) goes on trial from a sickbed in an iron cage. In Turkey, the secular generals are being pushed out by the Islamists. In Syria, the Dorktator shows his potential as a partner for peace by wiping out protesters left and right.
This, of course, is inspirational to asshats like Al Gore, who says we need our own version of this chaos to push his extremist version of environmentalism.
But as we watch the Muslim world boil over, I find myself with a troubling thought: has there ever been a revolution in the Muslim world that ended up making things better for both the common people, and the rest of the world?
And by “revolution,” I mean overthrown from within — excluding invasions and forceful changes of government by outside forces, like in present-day Afghanistan and Iraq. Even those are still up in the air.
I’m no historical expert, but I can think of only one: the fall of the Ottoman Empire and the rise of modern Turkey, which gave us almost a century of a secular Islamic state that, for the most part, minded its own business and didn’t go out of its way to cause troubles.
Bill Cosby has a routine about challenging “WORSE.” He was in Vegas, and he learned you don’t challenge “worse.” He kept saying “things can’t get WORSE,” and they kept getting worse. Finally, he went down to the roulette wheel. He got $200 in quarter chips, and covered the table. No matter what came up, he had it covered. He was going to win SOMETHING.
But then he said the magic words: “it can’t get WORSE.” At which point, the ball fell off the table.
I am reminded of that pretty much every time I hear talk about “progress” in the Muslim world. Because it seems no matter what they try, the ball ends up on the floor and it gets WORSE for everyone.