http://www.blackwaterusa.com/btw2007/archive/010807btw.html this article in their archives scared the shit out of me.
Arab nationalism's last gasp
JUST AS THE demise of Slobodan Milosevic in Yugoslavia closed the lid on national communist parties in Eastern Europe, the demise of Saddam Hussein in Iraq appears likely to do the same for secular Arab nationalism across the Middle East.
And just as communism exited the European stage exposed for what it always truly was - fascism without fascism's ability to make the trains run on time - secular Arab nationalism will exit the stage revealed for what it always was: a despotic perversion of the western nation-state that lasted as long as it did mainly because of secret-police techniques imported from the former Soviet Union.
Arab nationalism's roots go back to the revolt against European colonialism in the early decades of the 20th century. But as it developed, it faced a serious problem: Because it was organized around the artificial national borders that these same colonialists had drawn - which generally ignored ethnic and sectarian lines - the result, in too many cases, was multiethnic rivalry and the subjugation of one part of the population by another.
In Iraq, for instance, the national borders created a state in which the majority Shiites were subjugated by the minority Sunnis (as we all now know). In Syria, the majority Sunnis came to be subjugated by the minority Alawites, who constitute a branch of Shiism (and who had been favored in the armed forces by the French). In Lebanon, it was the Shiites who ended up subjugated by both Christians and Sunnis.