Transformation of the Middle East

I’d like to share some of my thoughts that evolved from an exchange I had with an acquaintance concerning the ongoing Arab-Israeli conflict. You see, I was challenged with the following question:  ‘If I were an Islamic fundamentalist leader, what would I do to propagate the acceptance of Israel?’  and took the charge to answer as best as I am capable of. 

If I were an Islamic fundamentalist leader (assuming of course I had the ability to influence my constituency)… I would do my best to foster a paradigm shift my people’s cultural mindset to simply ‘switch the target/ enemy’… The target/ enemy would no longer be outlined as secular factions or prospering Judeo/ Christian peoples in other lands (AKA Infidels) but rather: The Islamic world’s poverty, illiteracy, sub-standard housing and political oppression, lack of opportunity and basic freedoms….

Alas, I am not a leader so we first must look at ways to influence the leaders themselves. How does one convince Islamic fundamentalist leaders that ‘switching the target’ can be a multi-national win-win for all? How do those leaders reset the generational blood lust for Israelis and other non-Muslim cultures, convincing their constituency that there are more important issues which they should apply their focus? What would a leader need to do to build the infrastructure required to eradicate the socioeconomic ills that cripple the potential for growth and prosperity?

 Let us not forget that there is (at face value) a seemingly insurmountable obstacle: that their long standing focus of hatred is based on interpretations of a document heralded as perfect, infallible, and in their words, God’s word…

‘Transforming the current state of a region so unyielding in their ideals toward a fundamentally sound, sovereign citizenry with aspiring potential introduces a puzzling set of variables (and invariables)’.

Perhaps the challenges within this objective are criminally understated, but I enjoy a good puzzle now and then so let’s have a look at the pieces and try to determine which pieces are movable and which ones are not. We will examine our challenge and the desired objectives of all the pieces and players. In review and reflection I’m beginning to sense that if only a few (movable) pieces were repositioned, the remaining pieces to fall into place.

Our directive:

In order to attain milestones that align with a desired end point, the drive should be to engage in a coalition-to-leader dialogue, expressing the long term gains that can be realized by refocusing available resources toward a positive trending infrastructure.  

Now let’s make an attempt to understand the characteristics of Leaders in the region. The term ‘Leader’ could be applied but is not limited to: Dictator, elected official, appointed Military leader, spiritual leader, etc. Once I’ve outline leader characteristics an evaluation is to be performed to define a primary target. Namely, which of these leaders hold the most significant influence over their region? Secondary targets (and perhaps ‘target’ is poor terminology) would fall into place based upon their sphere of influence within both the geo-political and sovereign communities.

At this point the objective is to ‘secure the ear’ of the primary and present with irrefutable logic, the potential for an alternate trajectory, outlining a proposed course of action and the beneficial outcomes that will emerge on a path toward an alternate end goal. The primary will be charged as the motivating force while secondary’s assist in aiding the mission. 

Leader – Primary Objective:

To maintain, capitalize and exploit their leading position to the highest benefit for as long as possible. In my opinion this attribute can be applied universally so a fundamentalist leader has no tactical advantage or disadvantage in comparison to any individual positioned at the zenith of any hierarchy (parent, shop foreman, office manager, Monarch, Prime Minister, Dictator, Imam or elected President or representative of a Republic).

Leader – Tools that are used to maintain primary objective: 

Unfortunately an oppressive regime opts for an expedience to obedience strategy. A citizenry’s fear of non-conformity is after all the most efficient method a leader can apply toward maintaining their primary objective. People are starved of their freedoms, denied means of self sustenance and prosperity, and lack the educational opportunities and infrastructure to thrive. The citizenry under such a leader is on a whole destitute, susceptible to misdirection and subjugated to eke out whatever opportunity (however limited) is available to them. This hopeless future is unsettling to say the least and as a result people are ravenously driven to secure a target on which to focus their rage. 

At this point all that is required of a leader is to point a finger and cry ‘IT’S THE JEWS, IT’S EUROPE, IT’S AMERICA’. .. And well, they’ve just rallied the troops… and we know how that goes.

Leader – Tools that can and should be used to maintain primary objective:  

Let’s first take a look at what we might consider ‘movable objects’ and how they might be repositioned toward an alternate trajectory:

  1. Military and Government function
  • Safety – Redirect Military enforcement toward self preservation (including protection from insurgents) rather than oppressing/ capitalizing by means of plundering the existing local economy.
  • A Lawful system of taxation as a foundation to fund self preservation and infrastructure as relates to socioeconomic improvements.
  1. Socioeconomic conditions
  • Allowing local economy to expand freely
  • Foster growth of goods and service providers, local entrepreneurs
  •  Encouraging trade with neighboring provinces/ countries and eventually global exports (Military providing foundation for protection/ secure trade)
  • Literacy and education
  1. Terrorist aggression
  • Forward momentum with regards to items 1 and 2 will naturally suppress spikes in terrorist aggression. Meaning, if people are able to go about their lives, provide for their families, there would be less incentive for organized militia directed inward toward its citizenry or toward external entities (regardless of whether the aggression evolves from secular or military discretion).

Citizenry – Primary Objective in their current environment:

Survival, providing for self and family by any means necessary. Faced with limited opportunity, an adult citizen may have a choice between sweeping streets for $2 a day, or toting a rifle for $6 a day. The street sweeper looks at a rifle toter and realizes ‘this rifle toter possesses an asset of substantial caliber (pun intended) whereby he can relieve me of my $2 a day in addition to anything else he sees fit to do. Therefore, it would be in my best interest to become a rifle toter as well’.

Sadly, this dynamic is the accelerant of street militia tactics and ironically, whatever remains within the boundaries of free trade in goods and services becomes not only the principle victim but the source of funding for the former.      

 Citizenry – Primary Objective within an alternate trajectory:

The freedom to inject ones efforts into a visible spectrum of opportunity and not only prosper but further still, transcend that spectrum as ones motivation for acquisition of knowledge and skill building will allow.

The hope and opportunity to earn not $2 a day but $30, $50, $1000 a day or more and thus be able to contribute a dowry/ betrothal, marry, raise, educate a family, and care for their familial elderly.

As external entities we struggle as much as these internal entities with the realization that those who choose (or were ‘influenced’) to subscribe to fundamentalist / extremist beliefs were born into a centuries old bloodline of hatred and contempt for those unlike themselves. Without change these beliefs will be passed through generations as intact as the DNA that propagates life itself.  However, the generational hatred would evaporate quickly if leaders were to provide the building blocks for a prosperous path.

Benefits of an alternate trajectory:

Leaders & Citizenry – Getting back to presenting irrefutable logic to the ear of the leader, adopting an alternate trajectory, we find there is much to be gained on many levels. In laying the basic ground work, the leader will bring opportunity, hope, eventual realization of self reliance and prosperity to his people. The leader, with his benevolent wisdom and action wins the adoration of his citizenry. He becomes the sole force behind elevating his people from rags to a potential global economic power. His Griffin would no longer be one of fear and terror, but one of economic power and influence… He shall be heralded (perhaps not in the literal sense) a good King among Kings, in his life and long after his natural demise.

Further still, would he not prefer ‘soldiers’ whom are diligent and proud in their prosperity, working to secure and build their Nation? Or the infighting factions recruited and directed through fear and survival instinct? The opportunity provides the foundation to pave a road from sand to gold. To recruit the former to defend their Nations ideals, and dissolve the destruction caused by the latter.

Reflecting on the recent history of the Arab Spring and the disposition of leaders that followed, an alternate trajectory trumps the current state by unimaginable proportion. We know what ultimately happens to those who chose to maintain a current state of affairs. 

Considering an alternate trajectory, a leader in effect not only gets what he requires to maintain his primary objective, he gets more than he could dare to dream of.

The potential of benefit of this trajectory provides a citizenry the tools with which they can embrace the primary objective they dare to dream. They also get what they want.

The Immovable Object – a reprise: Let us not forget that there is (at face value) a seemingly insurmountable obstacle: a long standing focus of hatred is based on interpretations of a document heralded as perfect, infallible, and in their words, God’s word…’

While I am perhaps as far as one could be from being a theological expert, I’m at a loss to identify anything within this document that contradicts the spirit, teachings and adherence to the Qur’an. In fact, a new trajectory may drive what exists in the mindset of the West as ‘jihad’, toward the ‘best of jihad’ (industrious and determined in hard work, success and prosperity in adherence to the ideals of their scripture). An open window for the best of jihad to be as explosive as that of the former. Minus of course the collateral damage that the former bears.


If presented in the right manner, a leader would devour this opportunity as ravenously as his people would eagerly reap the benefits of the new found wealth & security for their families and livelihoods. Since this the antithesis of the fundamentalist mindset, the fundamentalist machine would rust and crumble as quickly as the moderate set could rise.

I am of course only an armchair analyst with a naïve perception of a world so far away from mine. I do not possess the wealth of contacts nor the conversational acumen with which this idea could be presented properly. I do think we need some smart, well intentioned and well positioned folks to get their heads around this and improve this model as presented.


One Response to “Transformation of the Middle East”

  1. Doomsday clock to Middle East war - Democrats, Republicans, Libertarians, Conservatives, Liberals, Third Parties, Left-Wing, Right-Wing, Congress, President - City-Data Forum Says:

    […] on a plausible (long term) effort to alter the extremist mindset toward a more productive society here if interested. Always enjoy feedback as to whether I'm on point or bat sh*t […]

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