Home > Uncategorized > Role of Foreign Intervention (again)

Role of Foreign Intervention (again)

Once again I am faced by the importance of foreign intervention on local events. I was talking with Ali from ECPR about Lebanon and the contrast between 1960s and today. Mentioned sense of fatalism. He thought that without regional intervention by the major powers, especially USSR, the war wouldn’t have gone as far as it did. This was mainly due to the weapon and finance supply. It’s an interesting effort to try to quantify or delineate the importance of foreign intervention. First is the fact that Lebanon always had sectarianism but only had a war in 1976 (well previous skirmishes also). Then that Syria has always been an authoritarian regime, but that now the opening opportunity taken by Qatar and Saudi allowed the protests to turn into a civil war. Third example is Turkey’s change on the Syria policy which Ali says is a result of the Gazi protests in which the Russians mobilized the left in the country to come out to support the protests. The Russian,Turkish connection here is interesting as it shows that almost any country can have its internal politics exploited if given the chance. Any country except the US ofcourse. Interesting that no one give the US shit or interferes by funding democrats or republicans. Maybe the Arabs should join into American politics and throw their money around … In any case the role of media, ideology, social movements are all perhaps potential sparks, but then the opportunity is pried open by international powers to pursue and further their interests. I’m sure some scholars would object and say this wouldn’t explain behavior, we have to look at motivating ideas, but I also think we cannot deny that this is the experience in our part of the world. It might be the privilege of empire not to have its internal affairs messed with. The puzzle for other countries is how to direct protest and reform without inviting foreign intervention that can lead to internal conflict. Perhaps this is not possible. It’s surprising that no one came out supporting the OWS in the US.

But again the point here is that I do not want to forget this important lebanese insight of the role of foreign intervention when all around me people are talking about ideas, social networking, dictatorship etc…

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