On Jan. 29, the day the riots began in Egypt, I hastily jotted down some initial predictions for what I expected to see happen next in the Middle East. The article was published by WND on Jan. 31. Now, a month later, its time to review and size up the accuracy of my predictions and to add some very important additional thoughts and observations.
It’s important that I qualify my comments by once again reiterating that I am no prophet. The predictions I make are based only on two things: my understanding of the political actors in the Middle East and a solid understanding of what the Bible says will happen in the days before the return of Jesus. While many are scrambling to understand what will happen next in the Middle East and the world, Bible believers know where to turn for answers.
First, I began with the easy call that Mubarak would be unable to cling to power:
President Mubarak’s self-imposed reign was bound to come to an end soon enough. Now just happens to be the time. Mubarak will not be able to retain power.
Of course, this was a no-brainer. Mubarak is in his 80s and has cancer. I’m only 40 and fit as a fiddle, yet some days I can barely rally the stamina to keep my unruly 14-pound bishon-poo in proper submission.
The next obvious prediction was the inevitable takeover of Egypt by the Muslim Brotherhood:
After the dust settles and the Egyptian government is reformed, the Muslim Brotherhood (al-Ikhwan) will certainly ease their way into significant positions of power, not at all unlike Hezbollah in Lebanon. This could take as long as a few years, as it did with Hezbollah, but in all likelihood it will be a rather quick rise. In a dramatic and portentous shift, the U.S. and even Israel will be forced to recognize and deal with the strengthened Ikhwan Party in Egypt.
Of course, there are still plenty of little Pollyanna-meets-Rachel-Maddows who believe they have witnessed a wonderful pro-freedom revolution in Egypt. Sadly, reality will smack them in the face soon enough. In all likelihood it will finally happen some time after the news leaks out that thousands of Egyptian Christians have been systematically extracted from their homes, raped or murdered and then some crowd of Shariah-compliant “freedom fighters” will hang a homosexual or two in Tahrir Square. That might wake them up.
My next predictions were quite a bit more specific. And this is where it becomes very important that we all pay attention:
As the present era of Arab dictators comes to an end, the model that will be looked to is Turkey. And Turkey will be all too willing to lend its support in the establishment of these new Islamic democracies. The Obama administration will also fully support Turkey in her regional endeavors to this end.
Three days later, the headline in Time magazine read, “A Model of Middle East Democracy, Turkey Calls For Change in Egypt.” Two days later, Today’s Zaman, one of Turkey’s largest newspapers reported that “President Obama and Prime Minister ErdoÄŸan agreed that the U.S. and Turkey would continue to consult closely as events unfold in Egypt and on our broader shared agenda.” What exactly is Obama’s “shared agenda” with Turkey in the region? Could it be Turkey’s recent commitment to train the Syrian military? And don’t miss the irony in the Time article. On one hand, Time praises Turkey as a shining “model” while also acknowledging that the primary reason they’re so popular among Muslim nations is because of Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan’s vitriolic rhetoric toward Israel.
I continued my predictions by pointing to the eventual use of Turkish military force:
In the midst of the shift, I expect Turkey (again, with the full support of the U.S.) to be the most actively engaged and visible actor in the region. If things destabilize enough, we could even see Turkish military action, but this is doubtful. Instead, we’ll likely see Turkey use the moment to gain a significant paternal influence over some of the other governments in the region as they undergo regime changes. … The United States, drained of finances and lacking resolve, will sit by idly as Turkey does as it pleases in the region, particularly when it is done in the name of establishing democracy, regional and even global peace, stability and security.
And now The World Tribune has reported that Turkey has floated the idea of invading Libya to establish peace and stability in that nation. According to the report, the one stipulation however, as set forth by Prime Minister Erdogan, is that the European Union must immediately welcome Turkey into its warm embrace. And then comes the zinger: “The sources said the United States, particularly President Barack Obama, supported the Turkish proposal.” Bingo. President Obama is virtually rolling out the red carpet for the emerging Neo-Ottoman Caliphate. Thankfully, the Turkish newspaper Hurriyet has followed up with a report that both Erdogan and Turkish Foreign Minister Davutoglu have categorically ruled out such a Turkish-led invasion of Libya – but not before Obama had the opportunity to reflexively support such an idea.
But here is the essential point. American foreign policy in the Middle East is sadly a series of idiotic blunders. The U.S. has often helped to create some of its most vile and persistent enemies. In order to create a buffer against the Soviets, it was the United States that provided massive support, funding and training to the Taliban. And who will deny that the resultant bite on our collective rear has left a hideous mark? What about Saddam Hussein? Likewise, the U.S. supported his leadership role in Iraq as a buffer against Iranian hegemony in the region. And again, we eventually paid for it deeply.
One would think that we had learned our lesson. One would think we’d develop enough foresight to avoid supporting today our enemy of tomorrow. But two years in, Americans have learned never to underestimate the potential of this president in any given situation to make the worst possible choice.
Today President Obama is relating to Turkey through a paradigm of six years ago, as if Turkey is still a moderate Muslim democracy. But it is not. Prime Minister Erdogan and Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad are BFFs. Turkey has pledged to train the Syrian military. Need I remind you that Iran and Syria are two of the world’s most significant state sponsors of terrorism. Meanwhile, by showing himself to be one of the region’s most powerful antagonists of Israel, Erdogan has (no joke here) gained far more Facebook friends than any other Middle Eastern leader. I wonder if Obama is one of them?
For now, the U.S. will continue to throw its support behind Turkey. Tomorrow we will ask ourselves what in the world we were thinking. But this time around, the bite will leave far more than just a mark. The nation of Turkey, with its powerful military, vibrant economy and nearly unparalleled strategic geography is a far cry from the Taliban or Saddam Hussein.
Many analysts today are expressing well-justified fears that the House of Saud will fall into the hands of Islamist revolutionaries resulting in a massive stab to the Achilles’ heal of the Western economy. Although this scenario will eventually take place, it is yet several years away. While the collapse of the Saudi regime and the $10-per-gallon gasoline that would result is a surely fearful prospect, for now, the much more immediate danger is Yeni Osmanli: the New Ottomans and the catastrophic impact this will have on the region, on the United States and the entire globe.