I am anxious to find out more about the reactions of Arab commentators and members of the elite who for a long time have argued against “conspiracy theories,” insisting that our own tragic reality as Arab nations is the cause of our failures and we don’t need foreign interference to deteriorate any further.
The West does not interfere in our affairs, such people say, and conspiracy theorists suffer from delusions.
However, while visiting the US last week Crown Prince Mohamed bin Salman of Saudi Arabia admitted that his country had sponsored jihadist ideology and violence on the instructions of the West to carry out specific missions against specific countries.
This had served a long-term political and security agenda promoting an ideology that says that rulers and subjects are infidels and that does not recognise the concepts of the nation-state, sovereignty or national borders. Instead, it calls for the creation of a religious state under the banner of a caliphate ruled by a radical ideology that does not acknowledge progress or that opposes enlightened views.
This ideology is in a state of hostility and rivalry with others who differ in ideology and belief both domestically and internationally.
The plot began by supporting the spread of this ideology under the banner of jihad, while also promoting the concept of Political Islam.
Moderate currents of the latter assisted and helped to train violent armed groups, helping them to find refuge as so-called opposition figures in Western capitals, among them London.
The plot’s simultaneous promotion of “armed and violent” and “political and moderate” groups caused many people to be put in the position where they were forced to choose the so-called moderates after being blackmailed over security, stability and economic issues.
But at the core, both groups adhere to the same ideology that was engineered by Western security agencies and by Western diplomatic headquarters.
The goal of this plot was always to empower this extremist current, whether under its violent or its political facades, as an alternative to the incumbent regimes in the Arab region and to create a “New Middle East” after sabotaging and undermining all other political and ideological forces from the far right to the far left. All these would all be replaced by the slogan that “Islam is the solution.”
Meanwhile, various dictatorships were being actively propped up to increase popular protest against them until this reached fever pitch, causing populations to rise up and overthrow these regimes and replace them with Islamist rule.
The Arab Spring was the manifestation of this plan once the region had been primed to explode due to poverty, unemployment, injustice, and the lack of hope for a different future. In parallel, the West supported armed terrorist groups working to tear down the existing states since these stood against the Western-sponsored current of change.
The role of these groups was to target state institutions, the economy and the security and stability of these countries, while relying on certain regional countries, among them Israel, Qatar, Turkey and Iran, for logistical and other support.
The focus was on self-destruction because the radical groups that had been awakened, promoted and protected were themselves from the region.
Muslims would destroy their own countries through their own quarrels, for example by fuelling Sunni-Shiite rivalry and launching one hundred or one thousand years of war.
This would occur in the absence of a genuine Arab elite sounding the alarm and warning about the horrors and destruction to come. Some members of this elite were even happy to act as Western agents, working relentlessly to promote everything that came from the West without hesitation, in some cases out of a deep conviction as if this was an inescapable fate.
The absence of the Arab elite at this critical time led to a lack of the necessary vision to confront such activities, leaving the region wide open to Western plots.
The West has always called for greater freedoms and the separation of religion from the political sphere, even having itself embarked on ideological and political battles to end the power of religion in Europe and defending the model of the nation-state, national sovereignty, and the freedom of belief.
However, now the West wanted the Arab countries to live under the rule of religion and of fascist groups that ruled through the authority of a religious leader, whether a supreme guide, caliph or imam.
This is the same West that denied the rights of the people in the region, most notably those in Egypt, to rise up against religious rule, even striving to reinstate it in power and ignoring the people’s will.
The West understands full well that these fascist currents do not believe in democracy and view it simply as a tool to be used to gain power. These currents also do not recognise the rights of others, the concept of equal citizenship, or the idea of national sovereignty and the nation-state.
The West is betting that since it engineered these currents in the first place they owe it their loyalty. It thinks it can control them, even if in an improvised way. After years of working on the streets and with the masses in the Arab countries, the West understands that there is substantial grassroots support for these currents and that if they are able to take power in the Arab states they would doubtless serve its direct and indirect interests.
It would empower allies of the Western capitals to take control in the region, which explains the West’s position on any regime or people that prevents these currents from taking power.
Such regimes are put under a political and economic embargo, so that the West does not lose its battle or bet on currents that are stopped in their tracks before they can take over the entire region.
*This article was first published in Al-Ahram Weekly