November 29th, 2012
09:10 AM ET

Past is not prologue in Middle East

By Fareed Zakaria

Amid the disorder, there is a broader contest for regional power. Israel has by far the most powerful economy and military, but it lacks any political power for obvious reasons. Turkey has economic and military power as well, and it also has growing regional clout. The Turkish model–an elected government that combines democracy with a pious outlook–is extremely attractive in the Middle East. But Turkish diplomacy in the past year, most notably over Iraq and Syria, has been arrogant, emotional and unsuccessful.

Egypt, meanwhile, is the natural leader of the Arab world, but at the moment is not in a position to dominate: Its economy is a shambles, its military second rate and under pressure from its people, and its democracy still very fragile. President Mohamed Morsi's recent power grab is worrying, but the public response and opposition to it has been reassuring.
Read the full column at TIME


soundoff (9 Responses)
  1. Hahahahahaha

    Um.......Yes it is!!! Once a Towel Head, always a Towel Head!!!!!! Hahahahahahaha

    November 29, 2012 at 10:21 am | Reply
  2. USN Ret.

    There are good and wise men and women on both sides. The problem is we all let ingrained prejudices cloud our response to any change. Being from the south and living in the north east on several occasions. I have seen prejudices of all kinds in my 64 years. I had to over come white on black prejudices and now many of my best and most dear friends are none white. Because of my experience I know there is a way to find peace in this area. The problem is leadership. The leadership that can maintain is power by using hate will never relinquish that power until the PEOPLE are tired of letting their children DIE for these fools.
    What changed me the most was when cowards in Alabama bomb a church and little girls died. Children should not die because adults who put their self-interest first.
    For 5,000 years these people have been killing each other and will continue to do so as long as mothers and fathers provide cannon fodder for their leaders.

    November 29, 2012 at 12:01 pm | Reply
  3. deniz boro

    Egyptians were right in building pyramids to represent a social structure. each foundation of a pyramid has a group of the society which goes up to get closer to the same level of another group. And At the top of the pyramid the only person, or the eleminated and selected group is one and the same. You may yourself give different names to these foundations of the society. However, This is what happens and should happen on the top.
    But we, as Muslim countries have a traditional desert called Halva. We cook varieties of this. But we certainly cook it traditionally after a funeral.
    It is simple to make Halva. It takes flour, sugar and butter. But there is also a Muslem saying: We have flour, we have sugar and we have butter... But who will cook the helva?
    Democracy is fine. We all want it. But who will teach people what democracy is. And can you trust them?

    November 29, 2012 at 7:51 pm | Reply
  4. deniz boro

    After the War of Independence of Turkey, most educated people trusted the Turkish Military in safeguarding Turkey. It was more or less a father figure to us. I remember back in 1980's when I was being graduated from highschool, there was yet another military revolution and another curfew. I never thought to chose politics as my Education area. Politics ment problem. None of my class of graduates was interested in it.
    In summary, people who can cook, who can purchase the material, store it and distribute it were all afraid of doing it.
    Some of it was the World Trend. Some was local.
    But I hate it when someone tries to make a quick meal out of it. I mean at least people should learn from it.

    November 29, 2012 at 7:56 pm | Reply
  5. j. von hettlingen

    Fareed, indeed, the artificial borders drawn decades ago are the source of many ills and evils to-day. Perhaps one should take a look at T.E. Lawrence's MId-East map during WW I and get inspiration out of it. He opposed the allied agreement which determined the borders of Iraq as it is now. He also said separate governments should operate in the predominantly Kurdish and Arab areas. His proposals would have provided the region with a far better starting point than the crude carve-up from London. Lawrence's map showed that he knew the region well, but was ignored, as the colonial powers in London and Paris had their own agendas and did not appear to care about the facts on the ground or the people of those areas. His proposed borders differed substantially from those that ended up being put in place.

    November 30, 2012 at 5:31 pm | Reply
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  9. azei2n

    Your hypocrisy is evident in covering the military coup in Egypt. I have not heard any condemnations of the killing and in many cases burning alive of thousands of anti-coup demonstrators. I am amazed of the continuous coverage of the Ukraine demonstrations, while ignoring the Egyptian's struggle for democracy.....I am ashamed of our news media coverage, and particularly of you.

    February 20, 2014 at 11:10 am | Reply

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