Mark Collins – The West and the Middle East: No Guts

I wrote earlier:

What to Do About the Bloody Middle East?

Poor bloody locals. If the West is truly willing to sort things out right now, are we then willing to rule–one way or another–for some decades or so to try to ensure things work out wellish? Triple double HAH! Given no willingness for, or today in the West intellectual acceptance of, such a prospect, then let us just face things honestly:

The US and the Middle East: Just. Give. Up…

What with neo-colonialism no longer allowed, even conceivable. Now at The Gods of the Copybook Headings blog:


The West has two options in regards to the Middle East: 1) Do nothing and wait for the Arab nations to enter modernity or 2) Directly or indirectly reimpose colonial governments on the region until it reaches something like a civilized level of development. Not Switzerland on a long weekend mind you. If they could do India on an average Tuesday it would be massive improvement over what they have now.

Neither is going to happen. If we do nothing the nations of the West will feel guilty. If we do something useful we must commit ourselves to a generations long project of social redevelopment that will likely costs trillions of dollars and thousands upon thousands of lives. The modern West lacks the courage to look away or the courage to tackle the problem head on. Instead we engage in a kabuki theatre of moral vanity, a conceited display of our rhetorical intentions. For all the hypocrisies, errors and sins of the British Empire you could never say about the red coats traversing the plains of Africa or India that they lacked guts…

Postcolonialism just doesn’t cut it.

Mark Collins, a prolific Ottawa blogger, is a Fellow at the Canadian Global Affairs Institute; he tweets @Mark3Ds

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