Egypt descends into chaos

It does not appear to be a source of comfort that the Egyptian army is in charge. This is an institution whose Golden Rule is: "Don't report bad news up the chain of command." One recalls the June 1967 debacle, when President Nasser and his top generals had no idea how badly they had been beaten until days after the events because no-one in the field would tell them.

I have been warning since Feb. 2 that the so-called Arab Spring represented the terminal convulsions of  a doomed society. It seems eons since The Weekly Standard complained last April about "grudging" support for Arab democracy, arguing that "the Arab Spring deserves to be greeted with enthusiasm and support." The Arabs might even be an inspiration to us: "Helping the Arab Spring through to fruition might contribute to an American Spring, one of renewed pride in our country and confidence in the cause of liberty."

Meanwhile, we can't punish Pakistan for sponsoring an attack on America's embassy in Kabul because we supposedly need Pakistan to help us stabilize Afghanistan. And Nouri Maliki, the leader of the supposed Iraqi democracy we spent a trillion dollars and 4,000 lives to put in place, is backing the Assad regime in alliance with Iran. We can't attack Iran to neutralize its nuclear weapons program because that might destabilize Iraq (which seems an odd concern given that Iraq is an Iranian ally).

The problem is the faulty premise that American ingenuity, blood, and treasure could stabilize the Muslim world by building democracy. That premise is exploding in every single theater one cares to mention: Egypt, Syria, Palestine, Lebanon, Turkey, Iraq, Pakistan, Afghanistan. Stability is a mirage in the Muslim world. Instability, though, can benefit American security interests, and under certain conditions we should actively destabilize hostile entities rather than attempt to stabilize them.

That's why I wrote How Civilizations Die (and why Islam is Dying, Too).

(Thumbnail on PJM homepage based on a modified image from