The Middle East is lacking strong, secular, liberal leadership. Everything is extreme. Its either nun or libertine.
Where have all the liberal forces gone?
Let us not forget that they exist, although most religious and fundamentalistic forces would not mind if we did, and that they are currently facing extinction in the Middle East. This is mostly visible in Syria, in what seems to be another attempt by global forces to support unknown and possible extremist entities overthrow a secular dictatorship. It is also visible in Egypt, where Morsi and his supporters continue their Islamic campaign, and in Turkey too.
Since 1979, the country of Iran has been held hostage by the world, forcing it to be an artificial clerical theocratic democracy with no real ability to redistribute wealth due to its isolation.
In fact most of the Middle East is unable to redistribute wealth in the region democratically and in a fashion that protects western-like values such as individualism and natural rights. This is mainly due to the collective forces of religious fundamentalism and ideological fanaticism and their entanglements with foreign schemers.
Liberal forces brought Hafez al-Assad to power in Syria in the latter half of the twentieth century. I would argue that part of this was possible because of a collective Syrian identification with secular and diverse culture.
This culture of Alawites, Christians, and mainly Sunni muslims would become the subject of a rather subversive government for forty years, however, during this reign, the country remained stable, religious fundamentalism was squashed, religious minorities were protected and the economy developed. However these liberal forces were only allowed to go so far, as is usually the case in the Middle East and, arguably, the whole world.
The Middle East, and especially Syria, considering its geopolitical relativity, is in my opinion unable to take full strides towards liberalism as the West has been able to. I attribute this not only to mere differences in culture — namely the conservatism and religious significance of the Middle East — but moreso to the political landscape: on both ends of the world lie two self-interested great powers, the U.S. & China; just neighboring it are what appear to be modern Western satellites, or extensions of power and influence in the region, namely Israel, Saudi, the rest of the Gulf, Iraq (or whatever is left of it that is still under Western influence), and Turkey.
All these countries have one thing in common: very powerful religious forces which, if played right, can fall right into the traps of Western governments who easily use them to coordinate colonial plots.
How the hell are social liberal forces and economically liberal forces — which are not mutually exclusive in my opinion — going to exist in the Middle East — how is true happiness, freedom and social justice — these liberal values — going to prevail in a part of the world dominated by religious extremism and a constant foreign agitator?
How can democracy, individualism and the pursuit of happiness be implemented in a Middle East rampant with such ideological mayhem and economic disparity?
One begins to think that certain forces in the West, mainly corporations like oil companies, and the military industrial complex, are together working to influence their own democratic governments, like ours in America, to vote in favor or blindly support foreign initiatives such as invasions or supplying armed militants/terrorists.
There are individuals in this world who don’t care. They cooperate in order to reap the benefits of global wealth, such as oil and gas. Their enemy? Freedom.
So why have the liberal forces of the Arab world been crushed? It is because of foreign intervention and their little pawns. Foreigners will have the world believe otherwise, but of course, only those who wish to be their slaves.