Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Thursday, July 9th, 2020

The Multitalented Phenomenon

As historic annals suggest, certain violent moves may bring about peaceful results, with horrible consequences may possibly coming out of apparently peaceful movements. So, socio-political phenomena are too interconnected and profound to be judged about easily. Grappling with predictions on possible consequences caused by the regime change, the United States of America and its European allies - the pioneers on war against terrorism - are put at stake.

However, they've preferred to cautiously support democratic reforms. Besides democratic reforms and political achievements in the region, a question remains unanswered under emerging free and democratic environment: how the revolts will affect extremism in the Islamic world? The western-backed Egyptian dictatorship could last for decades under the veil of threats from Islamic extremists.

So did Ben Ali and are doing Seleh, Assad, Qaddhafi and some others. Though al Qaeda leaders are publicly embracing the revolutions, they've essentially stood by and watched others achieve their goal of overthrowing secular regimes. But will their collapse or the current protests help extremism spread further?

Some experts eying on the current Arab unrest maintain that the current developments in Arab world will push extremism to a more isolated corner. They say that Arab autocrats aren't the only losers in the uprisings that have, so far, toppled the leaders of Tunisia and Egypt. The pro-democracy revolts have been just as bad for al Qaeda and other militant Islamist groups.

But according to several other analysts and counter-terrorism officials, the recent changes are shaking the foundations of US counter-terror efforts that have long relied on spy agencies under authoritarian regimes to help fight Islamist militants.

They quote US officials, former intelligence officers and experts as saying that US intelligence agencies are struggling to adjust to a radically changed landscape. They believe that the United States for years has counted on Arab allies to back up its diplomatic and security interests, enlisting their help to combat Al-Qaeda with harsh tactics and interrogations.

US officials are most alarmed at the fallout from upheaval in Yemen, where Al-Qaeda has already exploited a violent power struggle between President Ali Abdullah Saleh and his opponents. Anxious to see an end to protracted unrest, President Barack Obama's administration has dropped its support for Saleh, urging him to peacefully hand over power.

Even if some semblance of stability is restored in Yemen, Al-Qaeda will have emerged stronger, raising the threat of another attack on Western targets by the network's affiliate there. A US official acknowledged that the turmoil offered "opportunities" for Al-Qaeda's branch in Yemen.

As talked on interconnectedness of socio-political phenomena, the terrorist organizations may find more opportunities to spread operations across the region if regime change takes place in more totalitarian systems.

However, this doesn't downplay the importance that these protests have got because of their search for reform and democracy.

So, there is both possibility of improving or deteriorating the situation. To prevent detrimental side effects caused by regime change in the region, there needs to be proper plans in place to sustain stability and prevent extremist groups from expanding their area of operation.

Aptly handing of this paradoxical occurrence, however difficult, will turn the region into a more peaceful and democratic environment.