But the Iranians Can Probably Do the Job Themselves
Japan, humiliated by Perry’s warships, embraced the Meiji restoration and created the first Western-style empire with an Asian capital. Following the bloody four-year stalemate in France, losing the First World War radicalized the German General Staff — so much so, they invented the Blitzkrieg and swept through France in six weeks. Having left Vietnam more or less in disgrace, the US Army adopted a long series of reforms, in both training and doctrine, culminating in the 100-hour victory over Iraq.
Winners think they’ll keep on winning, but bad losses can lead to real restructuring.
In the case of Germany and Japan, reform just made them more efficient conquerors — until a second round of losses forced them to plant both feet firmly in the West.
The Arab world has suffered a long string of defeats at the Western hands of Israel. Now, that could be excused by “Jewish trickery” or some such nonsense. But they’re most likely about to face a long series of completely disasterous losses. Regime-changing, revolutionary losses — the kind Israel couldn’t inflict for political reasons. But the US can and may and probably will do just that. In Iraq for sure, but also perhaps Syria and Sudan, Egypt and Saudi Arabia.
Could these rebukes be the wake-up call the Arab world needs to stop blaming others for their problems and make some real reforms? Could total humiliation serve as the springboard for an Arab Renaissance?
I wouldn’t bet the mortgage, but it’s certainly a nice thought.