Chaos Coming

Rami Khouri is a Palestinian-Jordanian with US citizenship. A writer and scholar he appears in the Nation, American Progress and other media and is syndicated by Agence Global along with Mark Hertsgaard, Juan Cole and others.

His take on what is happening in the Middle East is not as blind to the behavior and responsibility of Arab actors as are we whose sight is often overwhelmed by the giant here at home.

The Middle East has suffered so much homegrown internal tyranny and sustained external assaults that it has become a dangerous pressure cooker, given that the majority of citizens live with enormous and still growing dissatisfactions in their economic, social, ethnic, religious or national lives. If the pressure is not relieved by allowing the region and its states to define themselves and their governance values, the whole pot will explode. I suspect we are witnessing both things happening together these days.

On the one hand, Islamist, ethnic, sectarian and tribal movements grow and flourish all over the Middle East — and are aided by Iran — in a dramatic example of collective self-assertion. On the other hand, massive external pressure, led by the United States, some Europeans, Israel, and some Arab governments, fights back, hoping to keep the lid on a region trying to define itself and liberate itself from the modern legacy of Anglo-American-Israeli armies.

The Great Arab Unravelling

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