Neither Afghanistan nor Iraq can be regarded as a loyal ally or defender of U.S. interests. Pakistan, a country of 170 million with atomic weapons and an ally through 40 years of Cold War, has been converted into an embittered and even hostile nation.
Sixteen months after the United States abandoned its loyal satrap of 30 years, President Hosni Mubarak, to champion democracy in Egypt, the returns are in.
Mohammed Morsi, candidate of the Muslim Brotherhood, is president of Egypt, while the military has dissolved the elected parliament that was dominated by the Brotherhood, and curbed his power.
The military and the mullahs will fight for the future of a country that is home to one in four Arabs. The soldiers who have dominated Egypt since the ouster of King Farouk in 1952 show no willingness to surrender what they have long controlled of the state and economy.
Yet in the long run, the Brotherhood — whose claim to guide the nation’s destiny is rooted in a faith 1,400 years old — is likely to prevail.
In Syria, the uprising against Bashar Assad appears headed for civil war, with atrocities on both sides. Some 10,000 are estimated to have died, a far bloodier affair than Egypt. And here, too, the day of the Brotherhood, massacred in the thousands by Bashar’s father in Hama, seems not far off.
Witnessing what is happening in these critical Arab countries and across the region, one is tempted to ask: what are the fruits of three decades of compulsive U.S. intervention in the Islamic world?
Ronald Reagan put Marines in Lebanon to support an embattled Beirut regime and saw 241 of them massacred in their barracks.